“Long live the demon king!”
“Long live the demon king!”
I quickly learned after entering the fort that the way every soldier greeted each other was with those words. I marched with the group until we reached a somewhat unwatched hallway, and then I slipped away as easily as I had entered. At that point, I had a sense of déjà vu. Remembering getting myself captured by the demon lord Aberis, I started to think that entering this way might have been a bit reckless, especially since I didn’t even know where the princess was.
However, as soon as I brought up my map, I took a breath. I noticed this once I took on the skeleton’s karma, but the skeletons didn’t appear as enemies to me. That was part of the reason I was willing to go along with the charade in the first place. Likewise, sense Life detected everything in the castle. All of the demons came off as red. Only one dot appeared in the castle that wasn’t an enemy. That had to be the princess, I was sure of it.
Carefully looking around, I actually felt a bit more comfortable pretending to be a demon rather than a skeleton. I knew when it came to karma and this dungeon’s strange rules, looks probably had nothing to do with it, but I at least could come off as a demon as long as you didn’t check under my helmet. Demon helmets thankfully protected the horns rather than exposed them as some kind of status symbol. Actually, so far, the demon’s walking around didn’t seem all that different from Shao. I was wondering if they were truly the enemy in all of this.
Given the game like nature of this world sometimes, I wouldn’t be too surprised to find out that humans were the enemy all along or some cliché like that. I had spent plenty of time with the prince and princess though, and I couldn’t imagine them being bad people. If there truly was an enemy, it was probably not everyone. You had your good and your bad, although I had to leave some room to admit that the nature-twisting way that miasma could affect people was hard to call good.
I started moving carefully, taking full advantage of my dungeon skills to move around without being detected. I couldn’t take the quickest path to the room the princess was in. I ended up having to take a round about way which ended up taking much longer. Just as I could see the door down the hallway, I heard another door nearby open and hid behind a tapestry. It was at that point that I could hear some of the demon’s talking.
“The princess is a boorish woman, to think that she would give you a blackeye, my lord.”
“I like them a little feisty.” The other man said. “I never knew that the woman was so beautiful. I also hadn’t heard that she already had a lover.”
“Whoever this man is, we’ll hunt him down and string him up!”
“No… actually, I’d rather like to play with her until she submits to me! I’ll tie her down and have my way with her! As for her lover, he can watch as I turn his woman into mine!”
It turned out that whatever this dungeon lore was, it was a bit saucier than I expected!
“My lord, we must be careful. We need the princess as our hostage. If you break her too much… the humans may push forward with their invasion.”
“We’ve been skirmishing against the humans for years. They attack a fort, we retaliate. They’ve been looking for a reason to start some war. I say that we give it to them!”
“Th-that borders on treason! My lord, the demon prince will be arriving later today. We must present a princess who is still in one peace!”
“Don’t mention treason to me!”
“Y-yes… apologies, my lord.” The other man cowed.
“Well, just in case, go find a healer and get her fixed up. When the Prince comes, she’ll be as pristine as the day she sought to leave the protection of her castle.”
“I will, my lord.” I heard footsteps racing away.
“And you… my lady… it’s time to meet your destiny.” The door closed as he entered the room with the princess in it.
He was going to rape the princess? That really would start a war! I left my hiding spot and quickly worked my way over to the door. I heard a female cry out, and then there was smashing, and then more smashing. Her voice was muffled, but I could hear a string of what I was pretty sure were expletives. Which was she? A beautiful woman that won the heart of this lord, or a boorish woman? Strangely, after hearing what was going on in the room, I still wasn’t certain.
There was one thing I was pretty certain about though. If I didn’t go in there, this woman would be tarnished, and her lover might never be able to look at her the same way. I needed to go in there and stop him, one way or another. However, without a visual, I wouldn’t just push my way into the room. I had to remain cautious. Who knew how strong this guy was. He could end up being another Alysia. If I had to fight someone that powerful, in my current state, there was no way I’d win.
I went to the room next to his, intending on seeing if there was some kind of peephole or something. Given the guy’s current attitude, he seemed like the kind of man who would do something like that anyway. Two seconds after stepping into the new room, I froze. From Sense Life, I hadn’t detected anything unusual about this room, but as soon as I stepped in, it became painfully familiar.
“A safe room? Here?”
I never expected that a safe room would just be sitting around in an enemy keep. I supposed as a dungeon, safe rooms could be anywhere. Did I miss out on a safe room at the previous keep? There was a kiosk as well. I wanted to go register, but just before I touched it, I remembered that these kiosks seemed to have challenges. I didn’t have time to worry about that. Rather, my focus should be on protecting the princess.
As I looked at the wall adjoining the room the princess was in, I saw something almost as good as a hole. I saw another dungeon mural.
The mural here actually revealed exactly what was going on. The first image showed the princess being taken by the demons. She was presented as a beautiful woman with blonde hair. I certainly couldn’t imagine her as the cursing woman in the other room. I could still hear the sounds of shouts and things being thrown. It was only for that reason I felt I still had a few moments to check over everything first.
The second image shows a demon lord pushing himself on the woman. However, in the third, it appears like another man shows up and picks her off her feet. He’s a demon as well, and it looks to be a higher rank than the lord. The lord was sulking and pouting while the white knight was walking away with the girl in his arms in a princess carry. She was looking at him with a blush, and it looks like she had fallen for him, or at least was starting to.
So, I didn’t need to do anything anyway. The white knight was going to burst his way in, save the princess, and then she was going to fall for him. Wait… she was the princess of the humans. He was a demon knight. If the pair of them fell in love, wouldn’t that start a war in the same way as the lord was just talking about? What should I do then? If I allow the story to go a different way, then there is no way I can predict how to end it. On the other hand, the current course is exactly what brings this lore to an unsatisfying end. Was it better to change the direction this dungeon was going, or follow along with the story it wanted to tell?
I recalled my impulsive self once saying in the Widow’s dungeon that I would bend the dungeon to my will and make it tell my story. However, that was easier to say when I was a Portal away from going home. At the moment, I wasn’t even technically in the same world. Just like when I left Earth and came here, I might end up trapped in another world, never to return. However, where my last world was a bitter one, and I only left my mother behind, too many people depended on me from this new world. Dying was one thing, but being unable to return was something far worse.
It was while I was waiting there that I started to realize something wasn’t right. Thedemon knight hadn’t come to rescue the princess. The room had also quieted down a bit. If he was raping her right now, who knew what the future would hold! Making my decision, I ran out of the room and elbowed my way into the room next door, drawing my starsword.
In front of me, the demon was completely naked. He was on his knees. Behind him was a woman in a torn-up dress. She had a piece of cloth stretched around his neck and was pulling it tightly with gritted teeth. Meanwhile, she had her foot jammed into his back, trying to increase the tightness. He was blue-faced, choking, with his eyes bulging and his tongue sticking out. However, the most noticeable part of him was he was sporting an erection, which he was openly playing with.
“Ooohh… yeah… almost there!” He croaked.
“Why won’t you die!” Hearing her words, I looked up to see a familiar face.
“Eh? Master?” She looked up from the suffocating man and tilted her head, then let out a cry. “Ahhh! It-it’s not what it looks like!”
She let go of the clothing choking the guy, who sat back up while rubbing his neck. “Hah, hah… it’s exactly what it looks like!”