The last boss of this world that’s called the Isolated Lord, the Endbringer Demon Lord, takes mana from all parts of this nation and amplifies their own power.
Thus, you go around every area before your direct confrontation with the Demon Lord, hit the source of the Demon Lord’s power, and the official game story states that you should shave off its power.
The process of shaving off the Demon Lord’s power is basically the story quests. The main story advances for the objective of weakening the Demon Lord and defeating them.
There’s a mountain of things you have to do for this weakening. It doesn’t simply decrease the HP and attack power, it also seals their ability to regenerate HP, reduces the resistances, makes it impossible for them to use ultimate attacks, and many other things.
There’s also changes in what you weaken depending on the quest branches. Stuff like making one unusable between the ‘Wide Shot that shoots homing bullets by 10 x number of people’ or the ‘Spread Shot that shoots a fixed amount of 30 homing bullets’.
And so, how you weaken the Demon Lord depends on your playstyle and your party formation, but what I can say for sure is…
—A Demon Lord that is not weakened…no, even while weakened, the Demon Lord is strong.
I have defeated the Demon Lord at level 183 aiming for a low level clear by utilizing the Master Torch efficiently.
However, flipping that around, it means that even in my game days, I needed to raise my level all the way to 183.
Moreover, at that time, I used more time than in a normal playthrough to weaken the Demon Lord as much as possible.
I did all quests except the ones that would level me up too much, exploited the hell out of the game, and faced the Demon Lord with the best state I could think of at that time.
Even when I did all that, I still needed to challenge the Demon Lord several dozen times before I could defeat them without any casualties.
In the first place, this game is sadistic in nature.
It is made with such a delicate balance that, even when you challenge the boss in the appropriate level, ‘you will spit out blood without giving up, challenging it countless times, and still won’t be able to win by a narrow margin’.
I don’t think it is on purpose, but for good or for bad, it is a game balance that requires you to exploit bugs.
It already goes without saying that the last boss that is the Demon Lord is even nastier.
Of course, it is not like I am the same man as the time when I cleared the game.
There are techniques I learned after defeating the Demon Lord, and I couldn’t bring as much effectiveness with the Master Torch in the game compared to now.
However, even with all that, you should be able to understand now just how tall of a wall it is to defeat the Demon Lord within 10 days, right?
We won’t have a chance to win unless we weaken the Demon Lord as much as possible.
I decided to divide the party for efficiency.
First of all, I tell Mitsuki and Maki as much as possible about how to clear the quests, and have them proceed with clearing the game.
Mitsuki’s combat capabilities and mobility are high, so she can go anywhere alone.
You could even say she performs best when alone.
On the other hand, Maki herself not only has high battle power, but can also move the Knight Order which is big.
The Princess being able to move the Knight Order is questionable realistically, but…
“I don’t know why, but they will do it if I ask them~.” (Maki)
So she said, so I will rely on her.
Anyways, having numbers and political power is convenient.
Depending on how well these two do, it will affect how much the Demon Lord will be weakened.
If it is just like the game, Sazan should be able to use the Teleport spell.
I say Teleport, but it is the type that only works on the user, so it isn’t suitable when acting in a party, but it is certain that it is the most convenient when moving from settlement to settlement.
I am a bit uneasy about it, but I will have Sazan gather information from various locations, buy items, and reduce the Monster Invasion Progress.
In the 7743 Reports, there was also written information about how to prolong your playtime in the Curse of the Demon Lord.
For example; for the sudden increase in Monster Invasion Progress after the Curse of the Demon Lord, you can purposely spread the Yellow Slimes, and then use the radial extermination to wipe them out and reduce the progress.
It is a specific remedy, so one mistake and it can become something that does more harm than good, but the way to deal with Yellow Slimes has spread quite a good degree thanks to the incident of before.
I plan on having Maki publicize the way to deal with the Yellow Slimes as well, so I decided to go ahead with it despite there being risks to it.
The question still remains about whether Sazan is the guy for the job, but then what would I even use him for? No matter what I put him on, it would only make me uneasy.
I am really scared of making him take quests, so the truth is that I decided to throw him work that doesn’t have to do with that.
Just in case, I gave the job of keeping an eye on him to the Bear so that he doesn’t slack in his work.
Seeing how Sazan trembled and shed tears of happiness when I told him this, I am sure he will do his best.
The Bear can teleport with him if he enters his bag, so I would say they are a pretty nice duo.
After that, we arranged the way we will keep in contact, and we departed to our respective destinations.
First it was Sazan in tears: “N-Now’s your chance to stop me! If you so wish, this exemplary Sazan wouldn’t mind going with y—hiih! I-I got it, I got it! I will go at once, Bear-sama!”
He departed together with the Bear.
The next one is Maki.
“Then, I will be going. If you need anything, you can tell someone from the castle… You must not corner them too much, okay?” (Maki)
Maki made a strangely worried expression despite being Maki, and returned to the castle.
And the last one is Mitsuki.
She moved gently without really showing off here.
“Well then, I will be going too.” (Mitsuki)
“Yeah, counting on you. But don’t push yourself too hard, okay?” (Souma)
When I said this, the cat ears of Mitsuki shook as if saying ‘no worries!’.
“You as well. Don’t push yourself too hard. Also…” (Mitsuki)
She suddenly got close to me and hugged me tightly between her arms.
“Wa, eh?!” (Souma)
I couldn’t move because of how sudden all of this was, and she whispered in my ear.
“…Once everything is over, please tell me your secret already, okay?” (Mitsuki)
After saying all that, Mitsuki separated from me just as sudden.
I was going to ask what she was doing out of nowhere, but after seeing the face of Mitsuki being bright red to a point I haven’t seen before, I swallowed my words.
I didn’t even need to see her cat ears that were flapping. Mitsuki is currently embarrassed to unseen degrees.
But as expected of Mitsuki. Aside from her blushing face, she still maintained her poker face.
She said that shortly and departed like the wind.
Such a spectacular display of skill as she departs. That technique of hers in her hit-and-run really is awe-inspiring.
“Now then…” (Souma)
I mutter this as if trying to play off my heated up face.
Everyone has left.
All that remains is my turn…no, our turn.
“…We should be going too.” (Souma)
I said this and looked at my side.
My last remaining comrade, Ringo, nodded slightly as usual.
There’s a reason why it ended up like this.
I intended to head to the Deus Plains on my own, but something unexpected happened.
Mitsuki and Ringo were fervently against it.
The condition Ringo gave me to allow me to head to the Deus Plains was ‘head there together with Mitsuki’.
The condition of Mitsuki to allow me to head to the Deus Plains was ‘head there together with Ringo’.
The two seemed to not want to allow me to head there alone.
After thinking about it, I decided to bring Ringo.
Both Ringo and Mitsuki didn’t seem to want to yield.
If there’s the need to bring one or the other, choosing Ringo would be the natural choice.
As I said before, with the Explorer Ring and the mobility of Mitsuki, along with her popularity among adventurers, makes her the best within our group to do quests.
I can’t have Mitsuki fooling around in a situation like this.
On the other hand, Ringo isn’t suited to do quests.
She is right around the same level as me as well, so bringing her along to level up is an option.
I quickly decided to bring Ringo with me.
Ringo nodded as usual when I voiced out my decision, and Mitsuki said: “With Ringo-san by your side, I can also have peace of mind… Since it is your little sister, I can also rest at ease in a different meaning.”
Mitsuki muttered in a really low voice unlike her, so low I couldn’t pick it up, but that was the final decision.
I actually wanted to go alone, but it can’t be helped.
It is not like we can’t level Ringo up here, so I decided to do that.
While I was deep in my thoughts, Ringo hurried me.
“Aah…no, please wait for a bit.” (Souma)
Because you can put all your items in bags, preparations to depart don’t take that much time in this world.
However, there’s one thing I haven’t done yet.
I had Ringo wait there and head back inside the mansion.
And then, I opened a certain room.
—At the center of that room there’s 100 seats, and there’s one girl sitting there.
However, the girl sitting there isn’t moving an inch.
If I don’t do anything, she probably won’t ever move…
“I will be going now, Ina.” (Souma)
I spoke to the girl that was like a doll.
I obviously didn’t get any response.
Seeing how this noisy girl has changed to this state, my chest hurt a bit, but I put that away.
“I leave Ina to you all.” (Souma)
I probably won’t be able to come back to this mansion for a while.
Ina won’t be harmed since she has been hit with the curse, but I told the gimmicks of this mansion this, and then left that room while shaking off my lingering feelings.
When I returned to the entrance of the mansion, Ringo was waiting there with an unchanging stance from the time when I left.
“Sorry for the wait. Let’s go.” (Souma)
However, even when I said this and was going to walk off, this time it was Ringo who didn’t move.
“Hingo, why ah foo phoing phis <Ringo, why are you doing this>…?” (Souma)
Ringo pinched my cheeks and pulled them to both sides.
It doesn’t really hurt. It actually is ticklish, but I can’t move like this.
The response of Ringo at my protest was…
A sudden unreasonable request.
Moreover, even though she is telling me to smile, the corners of her mouth are not moving an inch.
“Come on, I—” (Souma)
No questions asked.
Without much choice, I made something resembling a smile while my cheeks were stretched.
“Is this fine?” (Souma)
“…Hm, barely.” (Ringo)
Ringo said this and nodded slightly.
“Phen phuai aren’t you lephing go <Then why aren’t you letting go>?” (Souma)
My cheeks were still being pulled.
When I threw the obvious question, Ringo said straight.
“…Barely a failing mark.” (Ringo)
“So it wasn’t a pass?!” (Souma)
I forgot the situation and ended up retorting in a loud voice.
When I did…
“…Hn, that’s good.” (Ringo)
Ringo nodded satisfied this time around and finally let go.
I don’t really get it, but Ringo seems to be doing perfectly today as well.
I would like her to share that energy.
While I was thinking that, Ringo said: “…Souma, don’t be impatient.”
She once again told me what she told me at the Underwater City.
But this time around, that wasn’t the end of it.
“…You have us.” (Ringo)
She looked straight at me with serious eyes.
As if she wanted to tell me something no matter what.
“…Would do anything for your sake, Souma.” (Ringo)
She told me intensely.
I could feel the most compassion in those words than any before.
I can clearly feel that I have been supported by all of them until now with just this alone.
That’s why I nodded deeply.
“Yeah, I know. It is thanks to the help of you and the others that I managed to get to where I am now.” (Souma)
It is not like I have lost everything.
Rather, it is the time for me to grit my teeth and do my best.
“…Right. This isn’t the time to be feeling discouraged. It is at times like this when I have to get my act together.” (Souma)
But when Ringo heard this, she wriggled her mouth as if she was troubled by this.
“…Reconsidering. One more time.” (Ringo)
I grabbed the hands that were moving to my cheeks again.
“Now, we don’t have time to play around. We have to move already.” (Souma)
I pulled her hand as if saying I won’t be allowing anymore dialogue, and headed to the south gate where the Deus Plain is located.
Ringo, whose hand was being pulled forcefully, said.
“…Souma, you dummy.” (Ringo)
That low mutter of hers faintly reached my ears.