After the battle with Mugen, we were invited to his mansion.
He said we could spend the night there.
"Eat as much as you want."
"I'm sorry you had to go through all this trouble to prepare a great banquet like this."
In the center of the table is a crab more than a meter long.
In addition, there was grilled salted fish and a vegetable salad I had never seen before, with which I was unfamiliar, were brown and thick.
"Now you are like my apprentice."
"Coff, coff... Did you say… Apprentice?"
"In the short time you've been with me, you've absorbed almost all of my basic knowledge. Well, you're still a novice, but you certainly have a promising future."
I am his disciple... I like the sound of that.
It's a little strange to have a demon as a mentor, but the old man is someone I respect enough to not care about his race.
Honestly, if it weren't for the 'Imitator', I wouldn't have stood a chance.
It also didn't make the fight any less complicated.
If I had fought seriously, I'm sure he would have killed me even with me using 'imitator'.
"Good for you, Master. I think Mugen-san will make a wonderful teacher."
"Yes, I too was glad to finally get someone to be my mentor."
Kaede sits beside me, listening to my words with a soft smile.
Before I knew it, our seats were close together and I was rubbing her tail.
Panda walks past me, and heads for the salad I was craving.
"Hey, Panda, Frau would like some."
"Do you not want me to eat?"
"Get out of the way! I want some salad!"
Frau bounces off of Panda's body and shoots out onto an empty plate.
I had no choice but to offer him the salad I had.
Frau may now be able to take on the size of a human, but she is always the size of a fairy when she eats.
It's probably because he can eat more that way.
Even Kaede felt envious, wishing she could eat a mountain without her body being affected.
"Toru-San, I brought you some meat."
"Master, look here, I'll give you some food."
"Oh, thank you."
Pione, who is next to me, offers me some food, and Kaede cuts a piece of meat from the one she was eating and gives it to me.
This situation is shameful, as was to be expected.
I'm glad you both care about me.
"I think it's time we talked about the magic circle."
"Right, I had forgotten about that."
We all fell silent when Mugen spoke.
What we are going to hear is very important.
It is no exaggeration to say that I have come this far all for the sake of this moment.
"The magic circle located here was originally meant as an emergency escape route for the Demon King's Castle. There is a vast archaeological site in the basement of the Castle that is connected to the lower part."
"Is it an escape route? But does Lisa know?"
''Indeed, the master is right. I don't think it's usual to leave such a place unattended.''
"Of course it's not easy to enter. There's a powerful guardian waiting on the other side of that magical portal."
Mugen left his seat and moved to the back room.
After a while, he comes back with a piece of paper.
He offered it to me.
"It's a rough map of the underground ruins."
"Isn't this something very valuable?"
"You fool, it's a copy. I'd never give you the real thing."
I thought so.
I opened the map and took a look at it.
The underground ruins appear to be eight stories high, and only the shortest route to the surface was described.
At first glance it seems that you can climb quickly, but this is still a map, I guess it will not be easy.
"It may look small, but the ruins are huge. The one I gave you is a mere replica. You can get lost, so be very careful."
"And who is this guardian?"
"There are three of them. And the first one is directly beyond the magic circle."
Hmm, there are three?
We may be able to beat them with a bit of a margin, but we'd better be on our toes.
"And there's a report I just received, but it seems that the Demon King's army led by the hero has attacked a country on the human side. They will be a long time coming."
I could feel my body stiffen just hearing his name.
We don't seem to have time to take it easy.
We have to hurry and fight Lisa to protect this place.
But Mugen seems to enjoy it.
"I like the idea of fighting the hero of this generation. Well now, what's with that face? Are you confident you can win against the army this country has built?"
"There is a chance to win."
"I don't know. There are many like me, and several of my disciples in this country. They can easily beat us."
A grin full of mischief formed on my face, it was as if I couldn't wait to fight.
Come to think of it, the demon race was very belligerent.
And with this old man here, I'm sure Sain will have a very difficult time.
"Tomorrow I will take you to the magic circle. You should get a good night's rest."
I nodded at Mugen's words.
The capital of Asmodeus is a walled city.
Within these walls, corridors stretch like labyrinths, and countless stores and dwellings are scattered throughout the city.
Also, in the back, there was an area that only adventurers could enter.
Commonly known as an archaeological zone.
The interior is very large and complex, and there are still many unexplored areas.
The magic circle connected to the Demon King's Castle was located in that area.
"If you decide it's impossible, go back. It's better not to risk it."
"Be careful, and I hope you make it safely to the Demon King."
I nodded at Mugen and Pione's words.
A large magic circle shines in front of me.
I can't help but get nervous at the thought of it being transported somewhere beneath Lisa's feet.
Can we really win?
I am still concerned.
I pulled a skill blocking scroll out of my pocket.
I handed it over to Pione.
"You can't give me something this valuable!"
"Take it, Sain possesses the demonic eye of seduction. You're so pretty, Pione, he'll probably try to use it on you."
"So embarrassing, Toru said I'm pretty."
"...Why are you embarrassed?"
Pione holds her face in her hands and her ears turn red.
Mugen takes it instead and smiles.
"I knew that hero was useless, but I never imagined he would have magic as powerful as that. Very well, if he ever comes to appear before us, I won't hesitate to use this scroll."
That relieves me. Now you can fight him without having to think twice.
I'm counting on you both, Mugen, Pione.
"Lord, it's time."
Kaede, Frau, Panda and Rosuke were waiting for me.
I could also feel SharkBoy trying to make his presence known through the seal.
Well, it's time to go to the castle.
The Manyu Brigade goes into action.
We jumped into the magic circle all together.
We appeared on the other side safe and sound.
Kaede quickly created an orb of light.
What emerges is a large stone room filled with cold air.
It is lined with countless columns and is uncomfortably quiet.
As Mugen told me, it's a place where you can easily get lost.
Frau, who was in her human size, observes the environment with her hammer on her shoulder.
"Kaede, keep an eye out for any enemies."
"Hiiiiiiii... There's something over there!"
"It's the skull of a dragon."
The first enemy is an undead.
And it 's a dragon.
"Panda, come back!"
Unexpectedly, Panda refused to do so.
It was as if he was saying, 'I'm a member too, so I'm going to fight.'
It can't be avoided. Panda moves fast, so he won't be caught easily.
In case the situation gets complicated, Kaede, Frau and I will protect you.
Each of us drew our weapons and started to run.
In front of the door stands a dragon made entirely of white bones
A red light dwells dimly in it's dark-filled eye sockets.
The dragon skull began to move.
It was the size of a Red Dragon.
It was probably an undead of a lower dragon species.
I wonder how such a creature was even able to roar.
It is a real mystery.
Frau crushed the dragon's skull mercilessly.
It hadn't even risen yet.
Next time I see you, I will take good care of you.