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Chapter 1: Let's Tame the Restive Horse-Girl, Part 1
「 Here should be good enough.」
Aur stopped at the boundary of the plain, near the entrance to a thick forest.
「 So what should we do first? Collect firewood for the bonfire? Or hunt the animals so we could have something to eat?」
「 We're not camping here.」
Ridiculing Lilu, Aur raised his surprised voice.
「 We're going to build a dungeon here.」
「 Sigh… again starting from that stupid dungeon, huh?」
「 Got a problem with that?」
Not waiting for Lilu to reply, Aur took out a small bottle from his pocket.
「 This time we will use this.」
「 What is this? A portable Dungeon Core?」
The Core that was at their headquarters was enormous, but this one was small enough that Lilu could easily conceal it in her hand if she wanted.
「 The basic properties are the same, you can store magical power in it and take it out as you see fit, but it has one additional ability called the Dungeon Seed.」
「 Dungeon… Seed?」
Aur just nodded and opened the bottle, letting the small Dungeon Core fall on the ground. As soon as it did, it buried itself deep into the earth.
「 Wow, what is this?」
「 A Labyrinth Magic that I created. I guess you could call it a semi-automated golem creating the Dungeon from scratch.」
The Dungeon Seed made a large hole in the ground as it dug deeper and deeper into the earth. As it descended, the dirt and rocks that were in its way began to transform, turning into bricks and aligning themselves to make stone walls.
「 Using the pre-installed spells and commands, it collects and trans.m.u.tes the materials needed to create a fitting base of operations while also absorbing magical power from its surroundings. Of course, it won't be able to create something as big as my Ground Dungeon, but for now it should be enough as a temporary base.」
「 This is pretty awesome. With this, you don't even need your own dungeon designs!」
「 No, it is not that simple.」
Cooling off Lilu's excitement, the Demon Lord shook his head coldly.
「 Because the process is automated, there is a limit to what it can create without human intervention. Originally, I planned on using it only as a decoy, a trap to lure and deceive the potential intruders such as soldiers and adventurers. We'll have to apply the finis.h.i.+ng touches on our own.」
「 Yeah yeah, I get it, basically you wanted to have something akin to a backup dungeon in case of an emergency. Now, with that said, can we go inside?」
Aur felt like Lilu completely missed his point, but they entered the dungeon either way.
「 Heh, it's pretty nice in here.」
Dancing and spinning around in the corridor, Lilu looked like a newlywed bride excited to visit her new house.
「 Wait, something's not right. The Dungeon Seed is aiming for the top.」
Basically, magical power was fundamentally rooted deep in the earth. Therefore the Dungeon Seed should be constantly moving downwards, whereas one of the pa.s.sages that Aur pa.s.sed went upwards at a pretty sharp angle.
「 Eh, something's…」
Lilu wanted to say something, but her further words were blocked by a rumbling sound.
Suddenly, the corridors began to be overrun by roots.
「 W-What are those? Roots of the Dungeon Seed?」
「 No, those are the roots of the ordinary plants, but that's not important right now!」
Dungeon Seed created the dungeon from the surrounding materials. Usually it was ground… the soil itself, but occasional, substances such as rocks, and veins of copper, iron or other minerals also got tangled into it. It was the same for the trees.
「 The trees here seem to be capable of storing magical power inside them, and that's why the seed went for them instead of deeper underground.」
「 How can you stay so calm in a situation like that?! Duck!」
Aur got on the ground just in time to avoid the roots that were running wild in the dungeon's hallways, trying to pierce through the walls, creating clouds of dust in the process. Some distance away from him, Lilu screamed:
「 What's wrong with this roots anyway?! They're so weak that they can't eve break through the walls, so why are they acting up like that?!」
「 They can't pierce them because these are the walls of my dungeon of course!」
「 What are you getting so proud about?!」
Ignoring the screaming Lilu, Aur touched one of the roots. When he did, it shrunk and shriveled for a brief moment, only to return to rampaging when he took his hand off.
「 It's no use. Even if I suck their magical power, they keep getting a fresh supply of it from the Dungeon Seed.」
「 What do you mean?!」
「 To put it simply, this forest has hijacked the Dungeon.」
「 Ugh, then why do you sound like you're having fun?!」
Lilu's voice sounded somewhat tired. He didn't know whether it was from this whole situation or just from rolling on the ground, avoiding roots.[Having fun?]
When Aur touched his face, he noticed that his mouth was curved in the shape of a smile.
「 See, you're smiling right now!」
Lilu pointed the obvious to him.
「 How can you say that without seeing my face?」
「 We've known each other for so long that I can tell such things without looking at you.」
She sounded happy when she was saying that.
「 I see. I haven't smiled for so long that I have begun to forget how it feels.」
His everyday now consisted of governing the continent which he had conquered with his own two hands. I was a peaceful daily life that he craved and managed to obtain.
「 And just so you know… I don't dislike that face of yours. Now get that labyrinth under control quickly!」
「 I think that my naughty child is in serious need of daddy's belt to think about its behavior.」
In such a situation, the evil old magician just couldn't help it but to grin like a madman.