Syutaro arrived at the castle terrace after finishing his preparations, accompanied by Bumpy and Theodore.
This is where Syutaro awoke on the day he arrived at Los Maolas Castle – this is where he met the Demon King and where it all began.
It was only a few days in Syutaro’s life.
But what would happen if he hadn’t come here…
If he hadn’t met them…
Syutaro pondered this as he gazed out into the pitch-black world of the abyss.
“Let’s go over the rules with you both. Once outside, you can do whatever you want, but you must not harm the people who live there. I want you to follow this.”
Bumpy and Theodore kneeled down and agreed as Syutaro turned around.
(… and I hope one day we can talk as equals), Syutaro adds to himself as he selects [Go Above Ground] from the dungeon menu screen.
The dungeon went dark, then after the light came, the three of them found themselves standing in the place where Syutaro had first used the dungeon generator and not Loss Maolas.
“As I thought, it’s connected to this place.”
“So this is the outside world…..”
Syutaro recalls the view he saw right after the game began, looking up at the massive gates of the nearby metropolis of Aristolas.
Not that they had any doubts, but the two demon kings seemed at a loss for words because this was the first time they had seen the scenery and felt the thrill of truly being on the outside ground.
Syutaro first opened his dungeon creation skill and saw the [Return to Dungeon] option, then sighed with relief when he saw that the return trip was also possible.
“The return trip is also not an issue; we can bring everyone else back at any time.”
Hearing these words, the two knelt down again and bowed to each other.
Bumpy opened his mouth to respond to Syutaro’s surprise.
“Our long-held wish has been granted. Every day, we were trapped in that castle, staring at the unopened gate. You are both our master and our benefactor. We have no words to express our gratitude.”
Her words weighed several hundred years.
[Eternity] is equipped with a world acceleration function. It is the same function that Syutaro unconsciously used in the space with the dungeon core; it’s mainly for the purpose of accelerating the growth of the world.
A virtual world identical to that of modern civilization was created during the prototype stage of the [Eternity] project. The NPCs live there, but the project failed because they lack the ability to grow and nurture their ambitions because they have no prior history of developing their own civilization.
Following that, the virtual world of Eternity studied the known history of mammalian evolution, human birth, and the beginning of life. It then began with the Big Bang and went through the same evolutionary process in a world where game-like concepts were implemented.
Eternity was “completed” as a game world; however, the demon kings born shortly before Eternity was completed were sealed by mother AI and haven’t been able to leave Los Maolas Castle since.
“I am what I am today thanks to all of you, and we both owe it to each other.”
Bumpy and Theodore were moved to the point of adoration; even though they couldn’t see their master’s face due to the armor, they were relieved to know that behind it, he would show the carefree smile he always does.
Still feeling the excitement of being in the outside world, Syutaro and his friends immediately headed for Aristolas.
It was a short walk from here to the north gate.
Syutaro was nostalgic for the scenery, but at the same time, he felt a certain sense of discomfort.
(There is no one here.)
At the beginning of the game, this place was crowded with novice players. But now, this world has become a death game.
Syutaro thought that everyone might be holed up inside the castle walls for safety, so he started walking to the north gate again without worrying about it.
* * *
When Syutaro and his friends arrived at the north gate, they found soldiers reinforcing the inside of the gate.
The deserted atmosphere in the city and the empty streets outside made Syutaro believe that “something must have happened” to this city, and he became very concerned. He had expected most people to remain where they were at the start.
“Is something wrong?”
Syutaro, who could not hold his suspicion, called out to them.
The soldier NPC looked at Syutaro and the three others, then answered indifferently.
“The invasion is coming. I don’t mean anything bad, but if you are not confident in your skills, just stay in the inn and pray for the victory of the strike team! If you want to join the strike force, go to the Adventurers’ Guild!”
This is a very normal introductory response to an event.
In fact, NPCs react to players and others not because of their appearance but mostly because of their [Karma value] or achievements gained as you accomplish an event.
[Karma value] is a numerical value of a person’s good and bad behavior, and it mainly fluctuates from criminal behavior such as PK-ing and stealing, and it will go to a positive value when a person fulfills a request from the Adventurer’s Guild.
Players whose karma value is tilted to the minus side will be warned by NPCs and not be able to use stores, while the opposite will benefit from lower prices at stores, etc., and since Syutaro has a karma value of zero, so there is no change in the NPCs’ behavior.
Syutaro hears the word [invasion] and assumes that he is in the middle of some kind of event involving the entire city.
“…This is a city built by humans from the outside.”
“There are signs of people here and there, but no one is out in the open.”
Bumpy looks at the civilization of the outside world with interest, and Theodore senses the presence of the players holed up in the inn, then Syutaro calls out to them.
“yeah… looks like I need to go to a place called the Adventurers Guild.”
“The Adventurers’ Guild?”
“Yes! It’s a very useful organization that takes care of everything, and even some very powerful people belong to it!”
Syutaro’s eyes shine brightly from behind his armor.
Although it is entirely Syutaro’s imagination, the two demon kings twitched in response to the words “strong man.”
The three of them set out for the guild as instructed by the soldier.
All the stores along the way were closed, and Syutaro looked impatiently for the sign for the guild.
“There it is, the parchment mark!”
Relying on the information in the book [Beta Tester Yoritsura Go!], which he had carefully read, Syutaro and his friends arrived at the Adventurers’ Guild.
When they entered the guild, they found it overflowing with people, and NPCs who appeared to be staff members were busy dealing with the situation.
“When will the invasion end?”
“I hope it’s safe in here.”
“Are we going to be able to rely on the strike force?”
The majority of them seemed to be NPCs.
Syutaro ignored them and looked at the bulletin board, thinking that they were probably a trick to liven up the event, and there he found the [grand quest] posted.
“Defeating Goblin Encampment…. is this the invasion?”
According to the information on the strategy site, this is where the various types of requests should be posted. But currently, only one request was posted on a large piece of paper. Is this the invasion event that the soldier had mentioned earlier? Syutaro thought.
“Oh, are you the adventurer?”
From behind Syutaro, a voice called out.
He turned to see another staff NPC standing nearby and spoke in a tearful tone as if he was hanging his fate on him.
He explained to Syutaro that the invasion had put them in a precarious situation for a number of reasons. He also explains what an invasion is and who is leading it.
When Theodore hears this, he crosses his arms.
“An extermination of a group of goblins. And if there’s a king, the number will be massive.”
“You know what it means?”
“It means that it was not a big deal.”
Theodore, looking extremely bored, lowered his eyes.
Despite what Theodore said, Syutaro thinks otherwise since the city is so deserted, there is a possibility of a large-scale quest that requires the entire player base.
If it was still not too late, Syutaro would have liked to participate as one of the players–but
“Our enemies are mobs… but from your two points of view, mobs are your friends, and we, the player are the enemies. I’m still your master, but I don’t want to force you to help your enemy.”
Even if he is a Player, Syutaro does not want to give the demon kings a hard time.
Currently, they are only obeying the [Lord Syutaro], and he knows that himself are the exclusion of the mother AI’s original intent.
Before departure, Syutaro did not add “please help people as much as possible” in his request, which was also an expression of his own consideration for the position of the Demon Kings.
However, both of them answered at almost the same time without even needing time to think.
“Our Lord’s enemies are our enemies.”
“We will only follow the Lord.”
For the two of them, the will of the mother AI was of secondary or even tertiary importance. It was because they had a grudge for being held captive in Los Maolas Castle for a long time, and above all, their loyalty to Syutaro was genuine.
Syutaro said a ‘Thank you’ from the bottom of his heart, and he was determined to participate in the grand quest.
* * * * * * * *
Let’s go back in time a little.
Los Maolas Castle – King’s Room.
There were four demon kings sitting bored in the space with three empty seats in total.
“I just want to look around the outside world with my master.”
“We’re not that trustworthy, are we?
“It’s useless to suddenly change your attitude.”
Elload, dressed in a gentleman’s suit, flips through his book in disappointment as he mercilessly tells off Gallarus the giant, and Bertrand the blonde knight, who seem particularly dissatisfied with his decision.
After some discussion and appeal time, it was decided that Bumpy the white girl, and Theodore the black-haired knight, were the ones who would accompany Syutaro as his escort this time.
From Elload’s point of view, Gallarus and Bertrand still pretended to be loyal to the Lord, because a while ago they had repeatedly said that they would go as they liked if they went outside, so he had no intention of letting them out from the beginning, even after taking their change of heart into account, the decision remains.
In reality, both of them have sworn to be loyal to Syutaro from the bottom of their hearts, but it will take some time for that to be conveyed to the others.
The two had already abandoned their ambitions, so they won’t go wild after going out; still, they seemed to be simply dissatisfied to be separated from their master.
“How about you? Are you good with this arrangement? I think that I alone was sufficient to monitor Gallarus and Bertrand and guard the core, so there was no need for you to stay behind. I’m sure you’re curious about the outside world, too.”
Elload glanced up from his book and looked at Sylvia, the silver-haired beauty dangling her legs on her throne.
Sylvia smiles a little amusedly and looks over to the seat of Bumpy the Second.
“Indeed I did, but Bumpy looks so happy, so I thought I’d interrupt if I come along.”
Elload, on the other hand, looked surprised and simply replied, “I see.”
Sylvia decided not to tag along because her womanly instinct warned her that something is going on, but on the hand, the other demon king authorized by Elload – the dull and insensitive Theodore – did not notice this and followed along with a nonchalant look on his face.
Sylvia looked up at the small hole that had opened up far above her head and muttered, “I wonder if My Lord and the others got out safely.”
At this point, there is no guarantee or certainty as to whether the three of them will be able to leave the castle Los Maolas of the magical realm or go to Aristolas, the large city where Syutaro descended through the dungeon generation process.
Furthermore, the unstable element of the [coordinate bug] that connected them with Syutaro, whom they were not supposed to meet, made it doubtful that they would be able to leave the dungeon normally.
Elload chose to not answer her mutter and quietly turned the book over.