Jaaku Chika Teikoku

Chapter 3 – Rulers of the Labyrinth

Some time after the goblin group led by Prukk arrived, the [Swords of Faith] led by Tieres went in the labyrinth. Then a short while afterwards, the [Iron Warmaidens] with Yslaine as the leader also went down to the labyrinth.
Alarc and Halva were at the deepest part of the underground labyrinth, the “King’s Chamber”, talking about what they should do.
Yes, the place they were at is a place fit for a king to reside in.
The place could accommodate hundreds of people with room to spare. The pillars supporting the ceiling was adorned with gold and silver, a red carpet was spread from the doorway to the throne, and the parts of the floor that wasn’t covered with carpet was tiled with beautiful crystal-like transparent tiles.
It was also bright, so bright that one would forget that they were underground. Looking at the ceiling, countless gems were fixed to chandeliers hanging down, each radiating their own brilliance.
The lord of this place, Alarc, was sitting on a chalk-white throne.
The throne looked hard to make, even by dwarven artisanship. It was engraved with an image of a majestic angel being eaten by a snake, it had a presence that makes one hear the angel’s cries of grief.
As a pair with her brother the other lord of the dungeon, his sister Halva, was sitting on an obsidian black throne. This one was engraved with an image of the struggling dead being trampled under the foot of a smiling woman. Incidentally, the smiling woman looked just like Halva.
Between the two thrones, there was a round desk, colored as if black and white was swirling together. Countless crystal balls floated above the desk, one of them was showing the intruders’ current situation.

“What will you do, Nii-sama?”
“I want some of them captured alive.”

He answered his sister’s question bluntly.
“Understood”, Halva assented and put on a wicked smile.

“I can kill the rest, right?”
“That’s right…”

Alarc answered.
The underground labyrinth they build was still under construction.
That’s right, the [Wickedly Vicious Underground Labyrinth] they built with magic was a growing labyrinth.
The price was the builders’ souls.
At the moment of construction the builders become one with the labyrinth and became the labyrinth itself.
It was one of the spells brought forth by magicians who seek immortality, the labyrinth would grow by eating intruders that went inside it.
But why, then, were they able to still maintain their human forms?
The answer was because the two each paid half of their existences.
Performing a large scale magic that was meant to be performed alone using two people, they each offered half the required soul for compensation. Because of that, the two was able to maintain their human forms.
Of course, this was impossible for the average mage.
It was five years’ worth of hard work and the talent of royalty who administer the work of magic, but above all, the tenacity that comes with revenge that can be said to be the reasons how they could wield such large-scale magic.
The deepest area where the two lived, the “King’s Chamber”, was for the most part, complete.
But as has been said before, the labyrinth was still under construction.
Because not a single monster had been put in place, the siblings had to go out by themselves.

“Ufufu, let’s hurry up  and go, Nii-sama!”

If they themselves moved out, they could easily put this number of intruders to rout.
That was what Alarc thought.
It’s not hubris, but simple fact.
However, to Halva who invited him to go, Alarc only shook her head.

“No, we’re finally getting intruders. Halva, let’s call up a monster.”
“Oh? We’re not going to see them directly?”
“Yeah, we promised to take care of the goblins. While we go out and fight the goblins’ living area will be undefended from intruders.”
“If it’s us we can kill them all and not leave a single one!”

Halva, who thought her own abilities was doubted, puffed her cheeks, but Alarc replied with a cold voice.

“That may be so, but we’re getting intruders at long last.”
“I want to see the strength of the monsters we can summon. We know it but we won’t understand until we see it used in action.”
“We~ll, since Nii-sama says so.”

Seeing the still seemingly dissatisfied Halva with dispassionate eyes, Alarc put on a small smile and said.

“Don’t be so sullen, I’ll let you choose what we summon.”

Being told that, Halva chanted a short [Item Teleport] spell, calling out a bulky volume.
The book had an ominous binding, it radiated a faint green glow. The banned book, called the [Scriptures of Ruin], contained various knowledge regarding the end of the world.
It is said to corrupt the hearts of those who read it, but Halva paid it no mind and turned the pages and smiled once she found the place she was looking for.

“I want this!”
“…… Looks alright.”
“Ufufu, well then, Nii-sama…”

Asked by his sister, he slowly chanted the words of summoning.
There are a few ways to call a monster to the labyrinth, but the fastest way is to “summon” them.
“Summoning” is a magic to call forth a being from a different world. The magic creates a “gate” and controls the being that went through that “gate”.
There is a possibility that everything ends without getting anything through the gate and just wasting a large amount mana for no use. Or possibly being able to summon something but not being able to control it and get killed.
It was a dangerous magic with a high level of difficulty.
However, there was no tension nor fear in Alarc’s face.
He who had mastered summoning magic possesses the skill “Demon Call” that can call forth any monster of his liking once a day with certainty.

“——Summon, Knight of Judgement Commanding the Hounds of Depravity.” <<TN: 堕落せし猟犬を従える審判の騎士>>

Bringing the summoning to a finish, he put the “Demon Call” into motion.
A small distance from where the pair was sitting, a brilliantly shining magic square appeared.
It called forth a being not of this world and built its form.
Grey clouds gathered and transformed into a human shape. The being that took shape groaned in a low voice, perhaps in joy, or maybe anger, at being summoned.
Knight of Judgement Commanding the Depraved Hounds.
A monster of which is written in the “Scriptures of Ruin”, he was one of the knights appearing at the end of the world.
At first sight, he appeared like a knight.
He was clad in dark-blue armor and helmet and wearing a light green cape. The pommel of the longsword hanging from his waist was ornamented with the figure of a man in a collar suffering in anguish, and there were ominous looking words written on the scabbard.
But the most curious of all is the rattling sound of chains he makes everytime he moves.
The knight has countless chains hanging on his waist.
On the ends of the chains were collars.

“You did well to come.”

Alarc called out to the knight.
His voice was as if he was greeting a friend who came to his mansion, it was strangely relaxed for him.
Groaning, the knight looked at Alarc.
Then as he held down his groaning he dropped to his knee and bowed.
The chains with collars made a rattling sound, there were ten of them out in the open, but there were likely to be more hidden beneath his cape.
Taking on the posture of a retainer, the knight answered in a coarse, low voice.

[I have come, milord.]
“Be at ease. We have still not made the master-servant pact.”

Still kneeling, the knight slowly raised his face.
As he saw the knight, Alarc continued talking.

“There are intruders in our labyrinth. Here they are.”

He lightly touched one of the crystals floating above the desk and slowly turned it towards the knight. The images of people reflected on the crystal was transferred into it every ten seconds and projected. What was shown was the members of the [Swords of Faith] and [Iron Warmaidens].

“I want you to capture some of them alive.”
“The others can be killed……, no let some of them live and send them to the surface. Do what you like with the rest.”
[Capture them alive?]
“Also, go see the goblins. I want them to get to work.”
[By your will.]
“That’s all for your orders, what do you want in compensation?”
[You are strong, I would like to be serving under you.]
“I’ll consider it depending on today’s result.”
[You have my gratitude]
“Now go.”

Receiving the order, the knight nodded lightly and stood up to leave the “King’s Chamber”.

“He’s more obedient than I thought, Nii-sama!”

The Underground Labyrinth’s ruler, Alarc, possesses the skills [Evil Charisma], [Dark Noble], and [Wicked Soul] that gives him substantial bonuses during negotiations with monsters, especially those considered as evil. In return, he has the penalties of [Instinctual Fear : Human], [Threat to All That Is Holy], and [Abhorred by All That Is Just] when dealing with normally upright and good characters, humans in particular.
Incidentally, unlike her brother, Halva does not have the ability to call out monsters, nor any skills that gives bonuses in negotiations with them.

“If he resisted, I was thinking about maybe showing him your power.”
“Yes! Nii-sama’s enemy is also my enemy!”

Alarc looked at his sister, who was smiling as she said that, with dispassionate eyes.
Seeing her brother, Halva was immediately reminded of something.

“By the way, why did you want to send some back alive? It’s better to have even one more sacrifice to enlarge the labyrinth, isn’t it?”
“Yes, that’s exactly why I’m sending them back alive.”

As he said that, he showed his sister one of the crystal balls.
What she saw there were adventurer men having fun as they took out gems from an old-looking casket. Some of them were rubbing his cheek at a sack full of money and kissing a metal goddess statue.

“I want them to taste what this labyrinth has to offer and go back to town to spread the news.”
“Hm—m, but Nii-sama!”
“If you want to spread rumors, then couldn’t you hire proper agents rather than these guys?”

Hearing that, Alarc looked away from Halva.

“…. Well, that’s one idea. If we failed to spread the rumors we’ll do that then.”
“Yes! Nii-sama!”

As he looked at the innocently smiling Halva, Alarc thought.
He is willing to make all the sacrifices necessary in order to carry out his revenge.
Currently, he’s given up most of his body and soul to arrange a base needed for his revenge. After this he should enlarge his forces and territory. He isn’t going to balk at making sacrifices along the way.
However, he thought he shouldn’t make unnecessary sacrifices.
But how about his sister?
He understood a little of what she was feeling from how she integrated herself with the labyrinth.
However, he could not read what was inside her heart.
Just like she had no way of knowing what he was thinking, he didn’t know what she was thinking.
What was Halva thinking?
Then he mockingly laughed at himself.
For he will probably forgive her no matter what she was thinking.
Because of his hypocrisy, he unintentionally said out loud.

“What a terrible man.”
“Hm? Nii-sama? What’s wrong?”
“No, it was nothing. Rather than that, how is the knight doing?”

As he said that, he peered into the crystal.
In a few moments, the Knight of Judgement Commanding the Hounds of Depravity will make contact with the members of the [Swords of Faith].

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