The Aftermath — Part 1
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix
“You ignored me the whole time…” complained Enne. “Even though I was really worried too…”
“M-My bad. Come on Enne, cheer up. I said I’m sorry already.”
My attempt to appease the black-haired girl’s displeasure was met with silence. Though she was currently situated on my lap, she absolutely refused to meet my gaze. She turned her head away from me each and every single time I tried to look at her. The pout that decorated the girl who normally just remained expressionless was a treasure. It was so rare and adorable that I couldn’t help but want to snap a picture just to keep it forever preserved.
“Okay, okay, how’s about I spend the rest of the day with you to make up for it. I’ll even do anything you want, within reason of course,” I said. “The only catch is no more frowning, okay?”
Come on Enne, you’re breaking daddy’s heart here.
“Really?” She had yet to turn to face me, but hearing my desperate offer finally led the girl to stop avoiding my gaze.
Enne’s anger was justified. She had been worried because I had collapsed immediately after defeating the mentally challenged lizard, and yet, I may or may not have ended up completely ignoring her after I woke up. In fact, I hadn’t even acknowledged her because I was too busy flirting with Lefi to notice much of anything else at all. Yeah, no wonder she’s mad. Who wouldn’t be, in her shoes?
Although they weren’t actually supposed to know that there even was a battle, let alone one against a dragon, it turned out that all the dungeon’s residents had actually been quite worried about me. Making my way back to the true throne room with Lefi propping me up had caused every single one of the girls to react. The wraiths, whom I had evacuated to the true throne room, had joined Illuna in glomping me whilst crying. Shii, on the other hand, panicked as she tried to cast as much healing magic on me as she could as quickly as she could. The five of them combined had caused the scene of my return to degenerate into one of complete chaos.
I didn’t really understand why at first, but turning to the only two individuals that had remained rational, the maids, provided me with an explanation of the status quo. Apparently, my battle with the Douchelord had caused those within the dungeon to experience a series of small earthquake-like tremors. In other words, the combination of all the shaking, the looks that Lefi and I had on our faces as we left, and the fact that I had come back on the verge of collapse had frightened our resident children.
Wait. The dungeon was shaking? I had always assumed that the dungeon was its own thing, that it was effectively cut off from the rest of the world with the exception of its entrance, but the fact that it shook suggested that my hypothesis was likely inaccurate. The dungeon shaking implied that it occupied a space somewhere nearby. However, there was simply no way for the floor that I had set up to truly fit within the mountain it was located within. I guess that means the dungeon is probably messing with the spacetime continuum in order to create a massive subspace that occupies a much smaller space in the real world or something like that.
…I guess that means fighting near the true throne room wasn’t exactly the best idea, huh? The cave that led into the dungeon’s depths had in fact caved in because the dragon had hit the vicinity with a relatively weak attack. Yeah uh… probably wouldn’t have been pretty if that had been one of his more powerful attacks, huh? Yeah, I’mma just use hardening all around here to make sure nothing ever breaks. I don’t exactly want everyone to end up getting buried alive.
The girls living inside the castle weren’t the only ones that had sensed my duel to the death. Rir had as well and he had wanted to come running over, but I specifically instructed him to stay away because I knew that the battle against the Black Douchebag was one that I had to win on my own. Rir, however, seemed to interpret it as a matter of incompetence. The diligent wolf had visited the castle to check on me after the battle and left with a troubled, brooding look on his face. It was obvious that he was thinking of getting stronger so he could eliminate my enemies before I was stuck dealing with them. You know, as a dungeon master and whatnot, I’m happy to see him wanna strive for greater heights, but I hope he doesn’t stress himself out over it. I should get Leila to cook him something special sooner or later. I’m sure he’d like that. His minions’ll probably be over the moon about it too.
“Really. So what do you want me to do, Enne?” I peaked at her face from my cross-legged position on top of the throne.
“Hmmm…” She paused for a moment. “Then stay still.”
“Mhm. All I want is to be with you, Master.”
Enne flashed a brief, barely noticeable smile before leaning into my chest.
“That’s so not fair! I was really worried because you slept like a log and wouldn’t get up after, Yuki!” Illuna, who noticed Enne’s position, shouted a complaint. “I wanna sit on your lap too!”
“M-my bad. Alright Illuna, come here,” I said. “Enne, can you scoot over so there’s a bit more space for her?”
A hand reached over from the side and placed itself on my cheek right as Illuna got on my lap. It was accompanied by a nice cool sensation, one not that different from gel.
“Are you really okay, Master? You’re really not hurt?” asked the hand’s owner.
“Oh come on Shii, I said I’m fine already, didn’t I?” I moved my arms around a bit in order to prove my point. “See? I’m all healed up.”
“Are you really sure…?” The slime continued to question me, her voice filled with worry. “Because I know you like to act like you’re okay when you’re not.”
Her actions and questions served to demonstrate that, like Rir, she was able to roughly sense my condition and see through me in ways that the other little girls couldn’t. And while they weren’t currently present, the same more or less went for the wraiths. They continued to act like they were concerned for my well being even after I’d regained most of my strength. I had the sneaking suspicion that, like Rir, they were concerned over their abilities and wanted to do something about the whole situation because they too were monsters spawned by the dungeon.
“I’m kinda happy you’re so worried about me Shii, but I’m really okay. I’m fit as a sailor pumped full of spinach.”
“Are you good as new?” asked the slime.
“Yup. I’ve been oiled up and all my parts have been swapped for new ones. So yeah, I might as well be good as new.”
I spotted Lefi out of the corner of my eye as I tried my best to cope with the three little girls and their concerns.
“To think that this is my husband.” Seeing me in my current state caused the dragon to heave a heavy sigh and shake her head in exasperation. “I’ve little choice but to label myself pathetic for falling for him.”
“Oh shut up, Lefi.” I rolled my eyes. “I know what you’re thinking, but you don’t need to say it. I’m self-conscious enough about it already.”
Though I complained at her, I wasn’t exactly much in the way of discontent. If anything, I was happy. Hearing her call me her husband had caused my heart to jump in a way I wasn’t really used to.
A lot had changed since I took down my most recent foe. My character sheet was a far cry from what it had been before the battle. It now looked as follows.
Race: Demon Lord
Class: Dragon/Demon Lord of Judgement
Skill Points: 52
Martial Arts Mastery VI
Primordial Magic VI
Enemy Detection VI
Sword Mastery IV
Weapon Transmutation V
Trap Mastery IV
Greatsword Mastery VI
Crisis Detection VI
Demon Lord from Another World
Supreme Dragon’s Owner
One Who Judges
One Hostile To Humanity
Survivor of Death’s Embrace
Demon Lord; King of the Dragons
Supreme Dragon’s Spouse
Sooooo…. Yeaaaaahh… I’m uh… a lot stronger now. Yeah. That. Even just looking at my stats was enough to make my jaw drop. Both my HP and my vitality had spiked. Taking hits nonstop even while on the verge of death had caused both to grow disproportionately. My luck was well… my luck. Everything else had at least doubled, but my luck still seemed a good bit under 100. But hey, at least it’s actually going up.
All the skills I used against the oversized lizard had levelled up significantly, and I had even gotten myself a brand new pair of unique skills: Tenacity and Sovereign Pressure. It wasn’t actually my first time seeing the Tenacity skill, but I hadn’t been able to analyze it back when I fought the orichalcum class adventurer, but now that I actually had a chance to look at it, I learned that its effect was to drastically diminish all incoming damage and boost all stats by a factor of 1.5 when at or under 20% HP. Y’know, that’s actually OP as fuck. And now that I think about it, I probably got this thing mid-combat. I remember his attacks basically stopped doing damage near the end.
Like Tenacity, Sovereign Pressure also seemed fairly useful. Its effect was to generate an aura of intimidation capable of hampering all nearby enemies by making it more difficult for them to take action. The strength of its effect was influenced by the relative difference in stats between me and my foes. However, unlike Tenacity, I had no idea as to exactly why I had obtained the skill. I don’t remember doing anything like freaking people out.
After poking around, I learned that it came from one of my newly acquired titles, one whose description read as follows.
Demon Lord; King of the Dragons: This is a title granted to the demon lord who defeated the king of the dragons and thereby inherited his position as Dragonlord. It provides an extreme boost to charisma when engaged in conversation with a dragon, and grants a unique skill by the name of Sovereign Pressure.
Welp. Looks like I’m king of the dragons now. I mean, I don’t really mind the title itself since it makes me look like a total badass, but like, Iunno if it’s actually really okay for me to have it. Like, I kinda don’t have any plans to rule the dragons or whatever. Governing their village sounds like a headache and a half. I’m so not down. Seriously, they can solve their own problems. What they do ain’t my business. Actually, this title is probably why my class ended up changing.
One interesting thing about the Dragon/Demon Lord of Judgement class was that its details couldn’t be viewed. Neither Analyze nor the dungeon’s menu system could tell me much about its effects. But, that said, I did know for a fact that it did something. I felt as if my body was now much easier to control, and that my movements were more precise following my class change. Moreover, I had also confirmed that my magic was now much more powerful than it should have been otherwise. I had the feeling that there was more to it, but despite my curiosity, I was unable to determine the new class’ precise effects.
As far as titles went, Demon Lord; King of the Dragons was only one of my three newly acquired entities. The second read as follows:
Survivor of Death’s Embrace: This title is granted to one who has survived being pushed to the absolute brink of death. All of the title owner’s stats are doubled if their HP drops below 10% of its maximum value.
Much like the first, it was a title whose origin I could understand. I managed to beat the dragon in combat for the sole reason that he was an idiot. But that said, his stupidity didn’t change the fact that the fight had been a tough one. I had almost died; I may as well have had a foot in the grave the entire time. Dude, that double stats thing is a friggin’ eye popper. I probably would have screamed incoherently about balance if it wasn’t so hard to activate. Man, 10% health? That’s rough.
Unlike the first two, my final title had nothing to do with combat.
Supreme Dragon’s Spouse: This is a title granted to the man that has proven his valour by making a bride of the dragon that reigns supreme over the world. The man in question probably no longer needs to know fear.
Probably? The fuck? Telling me I probably don’t need to fear anything doesn’t actually give me any useful information at all! Like, what the fuck do you mean probably!? Shouldn’t these things be dealt in absolutes!? And who the hell wrote this stupid ass description anyway? It looks more like a goddamn opinion than it does anything actually objective. Was it God? God, please, you really gotta step up your title game. Like, come on, what the hell!? In the end, I decided to set aside its shoddy description and its questionable origins and just think of it as something that I was a bit embarrassed to have.
My battle with Lizardbrain had consumed most of my DP. I had literally used so much of it that I ended up with a two digit number. However, killing him and chucking his corpse in the recycling bin had provided me with a hefty profit. I guess he really was a member of this world’s most powerful race after all, even if the only thing he had in that thick skull of his was a rotten potato.
While I did enjoy my recent stat changes, I wasn’t entirely sure how I was supposed to feel about them. Aside from bewildered, of course. The issue stemmed from the fact that my sudden explosive gains had translated themselves to real-life applications in a rather questionable manner. My newfound power was hard to control and therefore kept interfering with my regular day to day activities. I kept breaking cups, shattering plates, and once, I had even accidentally crushed the armrest of one of my chairs because I had accidentally gripped it just a bit too hard. Similar things happened so many times now that I didn’t really have much of a choice but to awkwardly laugh it off whenever it happened. Hey… wait a second. Does this mean I’ll actually be strong enough to carry out that genocide I’ve been planning? Oh, hell yes. Fuck manticores! I’m going to wipe every single last one of those assholes off the face of this planet and have their stupid ass species officially marked as extinct!
One of the reasons that my stats had grown so drastically was because my latest encounter had caused the dungeon to gain a pair of levels of its own. That said, I didn’t actually evolve this time around. Wait. Shouldn’t evolving be what causes stat spikes? I’m confused.
Another interesting thing of note was that my level and my stats had grown in a non-linear fashion. Each level seemed to provide a larger stat boost than the last. Huh. You know, my stats actually might end up as high as Lefi’s by the time I catch up to her. Hell, they might even end up higher at this rate.
While I was happy with where my stats were at, I wasn’t exactly content with my level. It hadn’t changed as much as I was hoping despite the fact that I had defeated something way higher level than me. Oh god. Grinding levels is hard. Is it just me, or does it seem like matching Lefi’s level is gonna take a few thousand years…?