42 – The Hospitality of the Monsters Territory

Monsters were standing in the way of Fenix and his party.

「There you are…」

Alba muttered.

Fenixs party was confused at why Fenix suddenly burst out into laughter, but his words right afterward pulled them back into focus.

The Vampire Queen Carmilla that controlled bat familiars.

She was a bewitching vampire with a mask that covered her face and an elaborate dress covering her body.

「The Big Four, huh? Weve defeated them before, but having all four of them show up at once would definitely be troublesome.」

Lark spoke in his usual low-tension voice.

It depends on the Dungeon, but the Big Four, or any rank similar to that, have the potential to appear on pretty much any stratum.

In the Demon King Castle, they appeared in the third, fifth, eighth, and ninth stratum.

Theyre, of course, quite powerful, but there is one big difference about them that sets them apart from the rest of the Monsters.

For one time only, they are able to appear in a stratum that theyre not in charge of.

This is usually the case for either the Dungeon Master battle or the fight right before that.

To put it another way, other than the top-ranked monsters, special monsters like Floor Bosses and such are not allowed to appear on other strata, so they had returned to the Link Room after the speech.

There is one exception, however, and that is for them to be summoned by someone instead of entering the stratum themself.

Fenixs party still didnt know about my ring.

Thats why Ill start with making them think theyre just normal Clear.

By the way, I was officially promoted to Chief of Staff today. Before that, I was just a normal Monster, helping out with various things on the first and second strata. This was also a way to prevent any information on the strata from leaking.

「That Black Knight Furcus, is especially bothersome. My arrows wont pierce that armor.」

Furcus was quite large in her armor.

Its not that she exactly looked like a large person, but rather she looked like an extra-large statue created to resemble some famous person. You really had to look up when facing her, making it so that she didnt seem like an actual person.

The Reaper Knight Furcus wielded a pitch-black spear.

Behind her were several of her subordinates, the Dragonkin. They were warriors with the forms of Humans and dragon scales covering their heads.

I was able to get normal Monsters like Marchosiass werewolf subordinates and Naberiuss Hellhound subordinates to work under me but I was hiding that fact right now.

The Hellhounds had especially taken a liking to me and were operating according to my directions.

「If we want to end this quickly, well have to go after the Floor Boss, but…」

The stratum is considered Cleared as long as the Floor Boss is defeated.

But the Frost Hero Bella had a stern look on her face.

Her and Fenix were able to resist my Black Magic to a certain extent, but Alba was taking it full-on, while even Lark, who had a small amount of Magical Energy due to his Job, and Lily, who naturally generated more Magical Energy than Humans because of her racial traits, were struggling as well.

This was ultimately a team battle. Their operating ability had definitely taken a hit.

They were able to move, but not very easily, and they were far from their full strength. In fact, they were quite off their game. Something like that.

Strictly physically speaking, however.

「…Ugh, I dont mind if you go on without me.」

「That definitely wouldnt be a good idea. Wasnt there another party that got wiped out by doing that very same thing?」

「The Thunder Hero, right? I will say that its unlikely that this level of status-reducing Black Magic is coming from just a single user. Its probably safe to assume that there are multiple Black Magic users hiding about like the first stratum.」

Even the Frost Hero didnt seem to make the connection between Lemegeton and Lem.

Well, thats only natural.

「This is lame. Black Magic is completely boring to any viewers watching this, yet theyre using something like that.」

「Maybe on its own, but it has the potential to be interesting if combined with other factors. Shouldnt you be well aware of that by now, Alba?」

It seemed it was true that Bella had recognized my abilities. It wasnt that I had doubted Fenix, it was just that it felt kind of strange actually hearing that.

It was likely a result of her natural observational skills rather than her status as a Hero.

「Yknow, there are some things that were better about Lem than you. For one, he didnt babble on about nonsense all the time.」

「He must have been quite the patient person, then.」

Alba clicked his tongue, but he didnt say anything back.

「…Give me a few seconds, Ill end this.」

No one had any objections.

They must have felt that a few seconds wouldnt be any problem.

Fenix repelled Furcuss spear.

Furcus paid no mind to her spear that was seared and chopped in half and continued with a second, and then a third thrust.

By the time she thrust her spear out, it had already mended itself.

It was apparently a Magic Tool that was passed on by the previous Furcus.

「Foolish Adventurers who dare bare their fangs at Lord Lemegeton, I sentence thee to death by blood!」

The nails of Millas Avatar extend.

With said sharp nails, she slashes open her wrists.

When Avatars perform self-harm, it would be Magical Energy that flows out instead of blood. But it still applied to blood manipulation techniques.

The blood that flowed out floated in the air instead of dripping onto the floor, transforming into several swords that she could swing to her liking.

Her bats spread their wings in preparation.

「I dont think Id ever get used to that sadistic impression that Vampire lets off.」

Lark spoke while stepping forward.

「…With apologi

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