Derito was taken by the goblins to the depths of the labyrinth.
The Goblin leading the group in front, Purukku, shouted loudly at the front of a door.
“Alrac-sama! Halva-sama! I have brought the prisoners!”
What a huge door...
The door, inscribed with the image of a devil and an angel fighting each other with weapons, made a sound as it slowly creaked open.
“Hey, walk!” Purukku demanded roughly.
Even though Derito was fearful, he still walked into the room slowly.
The place he was entering was also known as the [Throne Room].
He held his breath in amazement when he entered the room. Upon remembering where he was, he focused and looked for the master of the room.
“You have come, intruder.” Alrac stated.
“Umu, welcome.” Halva nodded.
The masters were located at a high place where they can look down upon their subjects.
The two siblings, Alrac and Halva, were perched on the king’s throne, looking down at
“First, how about telling us your name?” Alrac requested.
“— auxiliary, Falsehood Judgment.” Halva cast a spell.
It wasn’t permitted to lie in front of her elder brother, so Halva cast magic that was able to detect lies.
“I wouldn’t recommend any lying ~ ” Upon seeing how intimidating Alrac was, a smile suited for Halva’s age bloomed on her face.
“Um, Derito...” Derito answered hesitantly.
“The man that’s groaning over there?” Alrac questioned.
“He is our leader, Tiles.” Derito replied.
Derito hoped that he wouldn’t be asked any more questions, but the next words shattered his silent wish.
“As he seems to be injured, you will answer the questions instead, Derito.” Alrac commanded.
“Y-Yes.” He was shaken.
What would happen to him after answering all the questions?
Just thinking about it almost made him go mad from fear.
“Don’t worry. If you answer our questions properly, you will be spared.” Halva, who could sense what was on his mind, told him kindly.
“Eh, is that… True?” Derito was shocked.
“Isn’t that right, onii-sama?” She turned to ask her brother.
“...I think that’s fine. Derito, I will allow both of you to leave this labyrinth safely.” Alrac nodded.
“But, will you answer the questions earnestly?” Halva smiled toothily.
Derito nodded his head furiously, intimidated by Halva’s words.
Even though it was only a verbal promise, he was willing to cling onto it.
“It’s not that difficult. Simply tell us about the topography, and the power of all the surrounding areas that you know.” Alrac stated.
“Y-Yes.” Derito stuttered.
There was a reason why Alrac and Halva wanted information of the surrounding areas.
In order to create the underground labyrinth, it was necessary to do it at a specific place at night every ten years. As the day of the next 10 year cycle when they first created the labyrinth was approaching quickly, they needed to have necessary tools and at least some information.
At most, what they know is that this place is located in a forest, and that near this place exists a small mountain. Also, when the Ferian Kingdom still existed, there was one city nearby.
As they think of this place as their base, it would be troublesome if there was no information available.
In that sense, Derito should have the information they want.
When the others attacked the goblin village, they would have had gathered enough information about the surrounding areas first. Therefore, Derito should have no trouble to talking about it.
“First, there should be a city north from here.” Alrac started the questioning.
“Yes, there’s a city called Bendole.” Derito replied.
“How many people live there? What about the number of soldiers?” Alrac demanded.
“The population is about ten thousand, and as for the soldiers… There should be about four hundred of them. However, if they gather militia and mercenary in case of an emergency, it will increase to about three thousand and five hundred people. If they gather people from nearby villages, it might become more than five thousand strong…” Relieved and calmed upon knowing that his life would be be spared, the priest pulled up all the knowledge he had from his mind and answered the questions smoothly.
Bendole… It might be just one of the small cities in this world, but, they have an army thousands strong. If they decide to attack the current labyrinth, they would able to crush it. It seems like there was danger just right under their noses.
Alrac made a mental note to enlarge the labyrinth soon.
“Who was the person who attacked the goblin village?” Alrac questioned.
“The man’s name is Jarre, a knight from Bendole. He often leads expeditions to subdue goblins or thieves.” Derito replied.
“Is there also an expeditionary force in Bendole?” Halva joined the interrogation.
“Yes, there are corps that defend the city when if it’s attacked. There are also Patrol Corps that guard the roads around the city.” Derito answered after reorganizing the information in his mind.
“Defence Corps, Patrol Corps… Do you know the name of the person that leading them, or any rumours about them?” Alrac questioned.
“The Defence Corps is led by an old knight named Hyudo. The Patrol Corps’ captain is the second son of the Lord of Bendole, Herekken.” Derito responded. “I don’t know any rumours about the Defence Corps’ captain, Hyudo. On the other hand, Herekken is infamous and hated. I’ve heard that he often takes supplies or women from the villages under the pretence of temporal tax collection.”
“I see….” Alrac muttered. “Anyway, do adventurers often fight together with them?”
“No. It depends on the content of the request.” Derito stated.
When he thought about the request that they accepted this time, he couldn’t help but curse Tiles in his mind. Of course, the priest didn’t show his displeasure on his face.
“Next, tell me about the topography and the threats of the surrounding areas.” Alrac requested.
“First, about the marshlands… There are five marshlands around here, with two between this place and the city with no particular dangerous creatures inside. The other two are located east of this place, while the remaining one is south from here.” Derito recounted. “At the eastern marshlands, there is a place called [Quagmire Jaw] which is inhabited by huge crocodiles that can swim in the swamp easily. It’s said that they are very ferocious when they eat their prey. At the southern marshland, there are pill bugs the size of cattle called [Poisonous Meat Eating Insect]. Just like their names suggest, they are carnivorous. That’s why peddlers and travellers usually avoid them.”
[TL: For those who curious about Pill bug]
After hearing the answer, Halva sighed in disappointment.
For Alrac to form a contract with monsters, he needs to establish the contract by negotiating with them. Pill bugs and crocodiles aren’t be able to negotiate. Thus, if he wants to include them into the fighting force, he would need to control them with magic.
People who claim that controlling creatures by magic is easy are nothing but amateurs.
Certainly, there exists a variety of magic that can control creatures, like [Charm] or [Friendship]. If you use such magic, you can easily take control of them. However, the spell will not last forever. Permanent effect might be possible if [Group Control] or [Brainwashing] was used. But, because what’s being controlled are creatures, if no orders for eating or excretion are given, they will die in a week. The only exception would be if [Complete Dominance] or [Everlasting Lover] was used. Unfortunately, the compensation required to use those types of magic is big, so it would be a waste to use it just to control a crocodile or a pill bug.
In other words, it is a type of magic that is not suitable for a master-servant relationship, especially for Alrac and Halva. If they need to prepare a large number of creatures for the army, it would be very inconvenient.
However, the story would be completely different if the monsters were to be placed in a labyrinth.
“Do you know the location of the various monster villages and barbarian tribes, like the goblins’?” Alrac questioned.
“There are about ten to one hundred goblin villages out there, although I don’t know about their locations. If it’s around the marshlands, there might be lizardmen around. However, I don’t have any evidence for it.” Derito answered. “In the west, there is a human settlement on the small mountain called Mt. Dahl. I’ve heard that that is the home base of small group of thieves.”
Upon hearing the word ‘thieves’, Halva’s eyes brightened.
She has an extraordinary interest in those who are called evil or unjust.
To suppress his younger sister whom wanted to say something, Alrac decided to ask a different question.
“Are there any villages around here? How many are there, and what is their scale?”
“E-Er… There should at least 3 villages around here. The scale should be around a hundred people each, although there are hardly any humans that can fight there.” Derito stumbled over his words slightly.
“Is that so?” Alrac hummed.
After hearing what Halva and Alrac have said, does this mean that when the time comes, they will set their sights on the villages and plunder their food?
“Is that enough?” Alrac asked.
“En ~ It is, onii-sama.” Halva nodded.
The two judged that information of this degree would be sufficient for now.
Derito and Tiles, who was still groaning because of the pain, waited for the siblings’ next words.
Will they keep their promise, or will they break it? Their fates would be decided now.
Before Alrac could utter the next word, the sound of chains going ‘chink’ was heard in [Throne Room].
Upon hearing this sound, Derito’s face paled while Tiles whom always groaned actually gave a miserable shriek.
“Wait a moment… Halva, let him in.” Derito heard Alrac telling Halva to open the door.
When the raven-haired girl nodded to his request, the huge door opened by itself.
In front of the door stood the Azure Knight.
He was holding a chain in his hand as if it was a bridle. At the end of the chain were six women crawling like dogs.
“Enter.” Alrac commanded.
“Yes!” The knight replied.
In response to his master’s order, the Azure Knight entered the [Throne Room].
The women bound to the chains began to walk, following the movements of the knight.
The sight was immoral, maybe even obscene.
Tiles wasn’t able to witness this because of his constant groaning. Of the two siblings seated on king’s throne, Alrac was expressionless while Halva seemed to be having fun. Meanwhile, Derito had surprised expression on his face when he saw the figures of the women who were connected to Azure Knight by chains.
The knight stepped forward, just a little ways from Derito, and bowed deeply.
[TL: I seriously have some weird B]
“I have finished the task as you ordered.” The knight announced.
“You did well. I will grant your wish and allow you to serve as one of our subjects.” Alrac declared.
“I am very happy and thankful for your kindness.” The knight replied.
“The treatment will be the same as the other knights. You will receive a reward depending on merits accrued in war.” Alrac informed him.
“By your will.” A deep voice lowered by several octaves came from the knight, signifying his satisfaction.
“Now, let’s continue our talk. Derito, as well as Tiles. Thank you for your cooperation. I will let you out from the labyrinth safely as was promised.” Alrac told the two adventurers.
“Jus- Just a moment, please!” Derito cried out.
Halva observed Derito looking at Alrac’s expressionless face thoughtfully.
“What is it?” Alrac asked.
Although his words were heavy and cold, it seems like he intended to hear him out.
Derito took a deep breath, and gave his request to the master of the labyrinth.
“To be released from the labyrinth… Instead of us, can I request for them to be released instead?”
His voice echoed louder than he thought it would in the large room.