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Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist, Editor: Krizzeir
Chapter 4: Let's Raise the New Demon Lord, Part 4
「Are you sure you want to do this?」
The intense smell of sulfur filled Tena's nostrils as they were climbing up the rocky path filled with lava pits and burning fire.
「You are the one who recommended this mountain.」
「That may be so, but…」
They were on their way to a cave high up on the mountain, which, according to Tatsuki, was home to one of the other Demon Lords. Tena got the feeling that this mountain must've been seeped in powerful magic since ancient times, as was often the case with volcanoes, homes to the fire breathing dragons where the very essence of the earth was erupting to the surface. There was no better place for Aur to build his next Dungeon.
「Beware. The inside is extremely dangerous.」
So maybe that was the reason why he did not try to claim this place yet.
When building a dungeon, the most important thing was to harvest the energy of the underground magic veins, but inside the volcano was only lava and molten rocks that made it impossible to create a Dungeon by using a Dungeon Seed. Moreover, this place was unfit for humans to inhabit because of the highly poisonous volcanic gases.
「We've already tried everything to get rid of them.」
There were seven people present on the mountain: Yunis, Mari, Yutsu, Spina, Aur, Tena and Sophia. Lilu was ordered to stay in the dungeon to protect the Dungeon Seed.
「Just leave it to me!」
Tena looked at Yunis, who was warming up her athletic body as if she was out of her mind.
A muscular, yet womanly red-haired girl.
Stoic, tall, reticent black-haired woman.
The blonde girl whose death she predicted, and a green-haired baby she was holding in her arms.
Such a group was, to put it lightly, unfit to traverse such a harsh environment. So much in fact, that she predicted that some of them will die here. Naturally, she has already informed Aur about this.
「With your ability this is no longer a problem.」
「I wouldn't be so sure about that if I were you.」
The problem with predicting destiny related to danger was that it won't change unless you actually avoid it. One might be able to fool destiny one or twice, but there was always a possibility of being caught up in a death loop.
「Keep your wits about you and let's go.」
As they were walking, his hands began to glow as he released light from them. Ever surface touched by that light turned into a p.r.i.c.ked stone wall, ceiling or floor.
「Give me a hand, Sofia.」
Sofia puts her tiny hands in Aur's direction.
The stormy gusts of wind that she created blew all of the poisonous ga.s.ses away.
「Amazing! You did that, Sofia?」
「Yup, Sofia did it!」
「What's with that self-satisfaction on your face?」
Yunis applauded Sofia's achievement my clapping her hands. Mari was not hiding how proud she was, and Spina had a complex expression on her face.
「It was to be expected, really. The Dungeon consists not only of aisles and pa.s.sageways, but even the earth and the air are a part of it. So it is really not a surprise that something like that comes as naturally as breathing to her.」
Said Aur while he was digging a pa.s.sage through a lava covered road. I other words, he was trying to say that Sofia treated this fiery cave as a part of her Dungeon, therefore she was able to shape it to her liking.
「Then let's check whether or not there is any danger lurking nearby.」
「Eh, it can't be helped.」
Tena stabilized her breathing, pierced her finger with a shortsword and painted vermillion trails on her eyelids. By partially morphing into a fox the speed and accuracy of her predictions were dramatically increased. But predicting the future in this state was more taxing for her body, therefore she was unable to maintain this form for long. She had to be fast.
「Rocks will come falling at us from the ceiling. Demon Lord will be caught up in between them and die.」
「Okay, let's move slowly ahead, and warn us three steps before it happens.」
In the prophecy Aur was walking forward without paying attention to his surroundings as he was too busy creating a dungeon.
「It's gonna fall!」
Exactly three steps from the place from the prophecy glowing red magma rushed through the ceiling without any warning, and rocks began to fall to the ground. But none of them even grazed Aur, as he had his invisible defense deployed and ready.
「Sofia, open your mouth please.」
When she opened her mouth, the floor before them split into two, swallowing rocks and magma dripping from the ceiling. Meanwhile Aur was repairing the damaged ceiling.
「Hmm, as I thought, this really is unnatural.」
Thinking out loud, Aur was caressing his chin in a in the middle of a pa.s.sage that was once again made peaceful.
「Wait, we need to run away, now!」
Suddenly, Tena began to make a lot of noise.
「Calm down and be more specific. What exactly is going to happen?!」
「Lava, huge amounts of it! We will all burn and die!」
Aur grabbed Tena by the neck as she was trying to escape and asked calmly.
「I told you to calm down. From which direction?」
「From all the corridors in the back!」
When Tena said that, magma rushed at them like a muddy stream. A huge ma.s.s of molten rock that would surely burn them to death if they were to touch it. It is much heavier than water, but its speed is comparable to that of water. It was not something that could be prevented by a mere stone walls.
「Sofia, water, if you could.」
Sofia quickly put her hands in Aur's direction, making two holes in the floor out of which two streams of water erupted with tremendous momentum.
「Is it seawater?」
Spina frowned with disgust as she felt the breeze brus.h.i.+ng against her skin. As a half-slime she was impervious to most forms of physical and magical attacks, but sea, or rather salted water was her only weakness. When she's exposed to it, she cannot maintain her slime form and is unable to absorb magic.
It might not be slime, but apparently magma was also not quite fond of salted water.
While it made a loud hissing sound, the water instantaneously cooled the magma off, solidifying it in place. The raw materials created that way will be perfect for the repairs of damaged parts of the Dungeon.
After every layer of magma ended up solidified, it was finally safe to stop the water from flowing further.
「You transported the water from the Underwater Dungeon?」
「Now it's as easy to do as replacing the air inside with another air.」
Aur explained to the excited Mari.
「This is a mountainous region, so manipulating the earth and soil is no harder than moving water from place to place. All you have to do is to create a proper way for it to travel.」
Suddenly, walls made of lava erupted right before them.
「Yes… if we seize control of this volcano, we will have access to all the basic elements.」
That was Aur's second aim in coming to this volcano.
「Huh? So does that mean… that Sofia is more useful than me?」
「She's the daughter of my Dungeon, so that's pretty much a given.」
Mary received a critical hit. But Sofia is even smaller than her when she first came to Aur's Dungeon.
Sofia stroked her head to make her feel better.
「Tena, why didn't you warn us about that lava walls just now? Were you not able to predict their appearance?」
「Now that you mention it, that seems to be the case.」
Tena reacted as if she realized that just now, and nodded her head.
「My predictions didn't mention anything like that happening.」
「But it happened. Can changes to predictions really happened to such an extent?」
Aur was astonished and asked Tena who was just as perplexed as he was.
「You can only see the future that is confirmed, and if it changes, you cannot perceive it until it is actually changed.」
「So now that I did not die from the rocks falling from the ceiling, the future that can be predicted was changed?」
Tena's words were not wrong, but there was one crucial information missing from them.
「And that does not explain why the pressure of lava in the ceiling or the flow of it changed.」
「What do you mean?」
「The reason is much simpler.」
Aur had briefly observed it before entering the cave.
「You don't mean…?」
「The cave itself is trying to get us?」
「That seems to be the case.」
Then it wasn't just a search mission.
「Truth to be told. There is another Dungeon Master here.」
Because they were already in the heart of the enemy's base.