The weakened Demon Lord is an invincible monster.
Due to the special characteristic that’s called perfect resistance which provides resistance to a wide array of elements, all status ailments are ineffective, and no debuffs work.
It simply mitigates damage from physical and magic attacks, so it is not impossible to defeat, but I can tell just how difficult that is as someone who defeated the Butcher that has the same physical resistance.
Also, the Demon Lord has perfect resistance against status ailments and debuffs by default, so those 100% don’t work on it.
You could say choosing where to shave off from this perfect resistance using the weakening quests is part of the basics to fight the Demon Lord.
We did 3 things when it came to the weakening of the Demon Lord’s stats.
Attack power, magic power, and agility.
I actually wanted to lower its physical resistance too, but it was impossible due to the difficulty of the quest.
Well, my attack power has reached a decent degree in terms of number of moves and raw power.
I will be able to manage somehow even if its defense hasn’t been lowered.
What was more important was to reduce its attack in order to lower the chances of casualties.
I can say with confidence that I didn’t make the wrong choices regarding this.
The only thing that we weakened for the resistances was the physical and paralysis.
I had no intention of dealing damage with magic elemental attacks from the very beginning.
Just that alone makes Sazan useless, but I am planning on having him use his magic a whole ton before reaching the last boss, so it doesn’t matter.
Regarding the attacks that do status ailments and debuffs, even if we take away the resistance, it will just go from ‘it doesn’t work at all’ to ‘works rarely sometimes’, so it is not something to rely on.
We did take away the paralysis resistance since it would be advantageous if it were to land, but that simply lowered the resistance of the Demon Lord to 95%.
Even if you hit an attack that would normally land the paralysis with a 100% chance, you will only have a 1/20th chance of landing.
While at it, the Demon Lord also has resistance to stuns and knockbacks. I don’t know if it is intended or overlooked, but there’s no event where you can take that away.
In other words, the Demon Lord is always in a Super Armor state where you can’t stagger or knock them back. That’s quite the troublesome trait.
How can you hit your big skills against a Super Armor Demon Lord? That will be the last worrying point for the Demon Lord battle.
Aside from basic stats and resistances, there’s also the self-regeneration and the counters that might cause sudden deaths which we have also sealed.
There’s attacks that would even be beneficial not to seal depending on your fighting style
This time around, we left the skills at close distance that have big openings, and mainly sealed the long and mid-range attacks.
The only worrying point here would be that we couldn’t seal the troublesome skill called Homing Flare.
This Homing Flare is a skill that shoots several homing fireballs, but what’s troublesome about this skill is that it is a special kind called random homing.
When the chance comes, I will explain this random homing in more detail, but this type of attack makes it hard for all the shots to hit, but no matter how fast you are, it is difficult to avoid completely.
Of course, since it is a long range attack, there’s no issues as long as I am within 3 meters of the Demon Lord, but it makes me a bit uneasy about the off-chance something happens.
What’s dangerous about this skill is not only the difficulty of avoiding it.
Most attacks of the Demon Lord are -as expected- dark element.
Because of that, I asked Maki and Sazan to gather as much dark resistance equipment, but this Homing Flare is a rare fire element attack from the Demon Lord.
Moreover, because it has high attack power, it might be dangerous if this were to hit Sazan who has a worrying defense.
The only one who would be okay even if hit by this would be Mitsuki who has strong resistance against the 4 main elements.
Mitsuki can endure fire element damage even if not perfectly, and it is impossible for all shots to hit with her speed.
But thinking about what would happen if anyone aside from her were to get hit by that…no, even if it has high power, the magic attack of the Demon Lord has been lowered, so I don’t think there’s any need to worry though.
It is not like there’s only worrying points.
We have weakened the Demon Lord, but we also have strengthened ourselves.
First, we had Sazan move around the item shops of several regions, and we have plentiful healing items now.
What was especially big was that we managed to get a good amount of MP potions which are rare items.
Thanks to this, we don’t have to think about the worst case scenario of running out of MP.
Regarding other consumable items, I still have the ones I bought out before. I made a list of important pick-up items, and had Sazan buy them if he found them.
After Sazan crosses over the blood pond area, I also had him prepare tools like ladders to raid the castle gate.
At the very least, lacking items won’t be a worry for us in this battle.
Our personal strength has obviously also increased.
Ringo and I obtained new techniques, and thanks to the Butcher, our levels have increased decently.
We are both level 178.
It is not that reassuring against the level 250 Demon Lord, but it is a decent result within the time limit.
As for my other comrades, Mitsuki said she had increased her level after doing the many events.
I have not heard her level yet, but she must have gotten stronger than 10 days ago.
About Sazan and the Bear…well, you know…Maki has gotten stronger.
In the case of Maki, her level was high to begin with, so she couldn’t level up, but she got a revamp in her equipment.
Thanks to having obtained a large amount of Meat Cleavers, the weapons of everyone has been amplified, but Maki has a special trait that others don’t have.
She doesn’t have an accessory limitation like me.
You could say being able to equip 10 rings is big.
I had her gather equipment with resistance being the main focus, so she is now an impregnable fortress.
This is to match the role of Maki in the Demon Lord battle.
In that fight, I will stick to the Demon Lord as the frontline and attack.
As for Maki, she will be a bit further away together with Mitsuki, and if they find an opening, they will attack too.
At the backline there’s Ringo, Sazan, and the Bear. If anything happens, Ringo will use the Hide from the Ninja Sword skills to protect those two.
In the case I leave the side of the Demon Lord, the long range attacks of the Demon Lord will begin.
I am planning on having Maki fill that hole.
If I get knocked back outside the 3 meters, Maki will approach the Demon Lord in my stead as someone with high defense and reflex. She will draw the attention of the Demon Lord until I return.
I am a bit uneasy about that, but if she concentrates on defending, Maki should be able to manage somehow.
What’s next would be the timing for when to use Incarnation of Fury.
This skill can’t be used when comrades are close to me, but the limitation isn’t that strict.
It is fine as long as there’s no comrades around you at the time you activate the skill, and the range for that isn’t that big.
The space where the Demon Lord is waiting is pretty vast, so as long as we get away from each other, it is possible to use it even in the middle of battle.
Anyways, I gave a detailed explanation of the signal when I will use Incarnation of Fury, and the distance necessary for this.
I was especially uneasy in the case of Sazan, so I told him the same thing 3 times.
Even after explaining it this much, I feel like blood will rush to his head at an important moment and he will forget about it, but I will just have to hope for the assistance of the others.
Quite a good amount of time passed with me explaining all this.
After I finished explaining to everyone, I gave my last greetings to Ina in that frozen state, and we left the mansion.
—Our objective is north.
The Belion Volcano where the Demon Lord Castle rises.
We tested out our team coordination against the monsters on our way.
At first, only monsters below level 100 showed up, but as we approached the Belion Volcano, the level of the monsters increased.
The enemies went up as high as level 175, but…
“Easy peasy!” (Maki)
They are no enemies of ours now that we have become strong.
I didn’t even need to fight. Maki and Ringo were mowing them down.
Even my biggest worry, Sazan, is being properly kept in control by showing a peek of the Bear on my shoulder holding a kitchen knife (which has the same attack power as a Meat Cleaver thanks to the weapon customization).
…But I would like the Bear to stop swinging around a kitchen knife on top of my shoulder. It is scary.
And then, we finally arrived at the base of the Belion Volcano.
The Demon Lord Castle is inside the crater of the volcano.
We obviously can’t see it from here.
However, I can feel an ominous presence from deep in the volcano.
Maybe that’s the fault of the black clouds floating on top of the crater that don’t clear up and are raining down dark lightning.
Those dark clouds that are the symbol of the Demon Lord’s power made me feel primeval awe, and I could also feel fighting spirit welling up from me.
(…I can still do it, right?) (Souma)
Mitsuki has the Explorer Ring, so there’s no need to worry about where to reunite, and it would be more efficient to advance as much as possible.
I confirm that everyone isn’t exhausted yet, and decide to advance.
The enemies in the Belion Volcano are strong and the mountain is steep, but there’s no companion of mine that would complain from just this much at this point in ti—
“Y-You bunch…wait a m—aguh!”
…Well, uhm…there’s one.
I thought the equipment was perfect, but I forgot to tell Sazan to equip himself with attire that is suitable for mountain climbing.
The monsters were no issue at all, but maybe because he is wearing thick boot soles, he tripped countless times, and our progress stopped every time it happened.
I think he is reaping what he sows, but him falling that many times does worry me.
“Aah, Sazan? If you are finding this rough, we can take a bit of a break here…” (Souma)
I tried to be considerate here and suggested this, but Sazan shook his head to the sides while letting out ragged breaths.
“Don’t be…stupid. We don’t have the time…to be stopping here. You are…the one that knows this the most…” (Sazan)
Even when out of breath, he still said this boldly.
That sight of his made me reconsider my evaluation of him.
“Sazan, you…” (Souma)
Sazan gets misunderstood often because of his attire and his way of speaking.
But the growth of people shine when your limits are tested.
The real him is…
“Now, Souma! I give you the honor of carrying me!” (Sazan)
…Is the worst piece of garbage.
This is really vexing, but once I piggybacked Sazan, our progress speed was outstandingly faster, and it didn’t take long for us to reach close to the crater of the volcano.
Once we arrived at the crater, lightning rained down on us from the black clouds above.
Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like monsters are coming out from the Demon Lord Castle, so it would be a good idea to stop here and wait for Mitsuki.
I lowered Sazan and told everyone to take a break, and they all began passing their time in their own way.
Ringo immediately began training her skill cancel, and Sazan was slapping the dust off his cloak while mumbling complaints.
As for Maki…
“…Souma, do you have some time? It is about after we defeat the Demon Lord.” (Maki)
For some reason, she was slightly eyeing Ringo and the others from a separated spot, and whispered this to me.
Sensing that this is a secret talk, the Bear read the atmosphere and got down from my shoulder.
And then, it looked back at me and did a thumbs up…or it at least looks like one.
I was thinking ‘dude, you don’t have fingers’ while I faced Maki again and nodded.
Maki was also a bit surprised by the Bear, but she began speaking in a meek manner that doesn’t suit her character.
“You see…when we defeat the Demon Lord, it would mean we have cleared the game, right? Wouldn’t we…return to our world with that?” (Maki)
Maki asked me this with 80% uneasiness and 20% expectation.
“Aah, now that you mention it, I haven’t explained that yet. Sorry to say this, but that’s probably not gonna happen.” (Souma)
If there was any guarantee that I could return to reality after clearing the game, I would have done so from the very beginning.
Nekomimi Neko is a grindfest game so, in a way, there’s no end to it.
You may have cleared the game in a sense when you defeat the Demon Lord, but the ending scene production is pretty lame.
After blood curling effort, you finally defeat the Demon Lord, and the first thing that happens is that you will be hit by super flashy visual effects so intense you can’t even look at it directly.
You will hear the throwaway line of the Demon Lord in that time, and once the light recedes, you will then suddenly have your whole vision covered by the credits.
You can’t skip or fast forward this super 5 minute long credits that have quite the grandiose music playing in the background. You can log out with the general menu, but if you do, your data will be the one before you defeated the Demon Lord.
After finishing the 5 minutes that are like torture, the last part will say: “Thank you for your praying”. After that, there’s no real event included in it. You won’t even be returned to the title screen and just go back to the normal point of view without the Demon Lord around.
The player will have to return to the city with the Demon Lord Castle filled with monsters, so there’s no feeling of having cleared the game.
Or more like, the game doesn’t even save after you clear it, so if you die on your way back, you will have to defeat the Demon Lord again which sucks.
There’s no log-out element until here, and us being sent to this world doesn’t really have to do with clearing the game.
It should be safe to assume that the chances of us returning to our world after defeating the Demon Lord are really low.
“…I see.” (Maki)
When I explained that to Maki, she seemed to be disappointed about it, but more than that, she seemed to have shaken a weight off of her as she nodded.
Seeing that expression of hers, I got uneasy, wondering if I deceived Maki.
“Sorry about that. Uhm…about not telling you properly.” (Souma)
If Maki had been cooperating here for the sake of returning to our world, I did something bad here.
I lowered my head apologetically to her.
“Ah, it is rare to see you apologizing to me.” (Maki)
But Maki simply laughed.
She didn’t even take it seriously.
“Hey, you, this is something really important. Cause, you know…we might even die here.” (Souma)
When I voiced out the word ‘die’ I felt uneasiness and a sense of foreboding pushing onto me.
The upcoming battle is completely different from the ones until now.
In this one, I can’t go doing everything.
At the very least, we won’t be able to win unless we challenge the Demon Lord with everyone, and there’s no assurance that everything will go as planned.
And if a mistake happens…
—There’s the chance that someone in our group won’t be here with us anymore.
This thought made my body go cold.
Until now, for good or for bad, I have not faced that reality seriously because of how concentrated I have been.
I definitely must defeat the Demon Lord for the sake of Ina.
I have formed my plans around the idea of not bringing any casualties with the civilians and my comrades.
However, even with that, if one of my companions ended up dying in order to defeat the Demon Lord…
Despite seeing me like that, Maki still laughed.
“Good grief, at this point in time? I myself also want to help out the people from the Knight Order, and I think such dangers can’t be helped.
…Or more like, at the very least, everyone here has come with that resolve.” (Maki)
I noticed after she told me.
At some point in time, my companions had gathered around me.
The first one to step to the front was the masked mage.
“I have my own objectives. I would like you to stop such conceited thoughts like me coming with you for your sake.” (Sazan)
Sazan said this with a decisive tone that felt as if his previous pathetic appearance was a lie.
“It is impossible for me to die as I am immortal, but…in the off-chance…no, in a chance of a billion something like that were to happen, it would have simply been a tragedy of destiny that cannot be stopped by any mortal.
That’s why, uhm…I-I definitely wouldn’t begrudge you for it.
T-That’s all!” (Sazan)
Sazan hurriedly moved back, and at his side, there’s the Bear who is holding a kitchen knife skillfully with its fingerless hands.
The Bear raised the hand that’s not holding the kitchen knife and…
Did something similar to a thumbs up.
I retorted internally with a ‘dude, you don’t have fingers’ but the intention reached my heart.
The last one was Ringo.
Even at a time like this, Ringo didn’t show any expressions, and she looked at me with those clear eyes.
“…I will…help Souma. I am here for the sake of that.” (Ringo)
Ringo is the one with the least amount of reasons to fight the Demon Lord compared to anyone here.
Yet I am dragging Ringo into this…
“…That’s not it.” (Ringo)
But Ringo looked at my face and shook her head vigorously to the sides.
“…I want to do this. Even if you say not to, I will follow you.” (Ringo)
Ringo’s voice wasn’t that high despite saying all that.
But that voice of hers had strong resolve in it, and it doesn’t feel like she would budge at all.
Even if you tell me all this, I don’t know what to respond with.
I feel ashamed of myself for not even paying attention to my surroundings.
“It is okay, Souma.” (Maki)
Despite that, Maki showed me a smile.
“In the end, the ones with love and courage on their side are the ones who will win.” (Maki)
There’s no logic to it and it makes no sense.
“You really like saying nonsense.” (Souma)
“Eh?! Not as much as you, Souma!” (Maki)
But it is strange how that actually calmed my heart.
“…I completely agree with that. You use way too many terms that don’t make sense.”
That voice rang at my back.
When I called out her name, she easily announced that she had accomplished her objective and said…
“I was listening half-way through.
Basically, everyone believes in you.
…Now, have confidence.
The fate of the world is riding on this. Do you plan on facing such a challenge with such a dispirited look?” (Mitsuki)
She slapped my back, and tried to go up the summit just like that.
“Mitsuki! Is it really okay? Getting this close to the Demon Lord Castle…” (Souma)
—Do I even need to answer that?
As if saying that, Mitsuki moved her cat ears lightly as if beckoning us over.
And then, as if pulled by this, we climbed the last stretch of the way, and we eventually stood at the edge of the crater.
“That is the Demon Lord Castle…” (Souma)
Under our eyes, there’s a slope that goes on like a spiral.
And then, deep inside, I could see the Demon Lord standing magnanimously at the depths of the earth.
(We have finally come all the way here…) (Souma)
The moment I saw that, the memories I have had until now… The frozen Ina, the training until now, and my companions that have come along with me; they all pushed onto my mind all at once.
I slowly chewed them for a few seconds.
“Let’s go. Let’s defeat the Demon Lord. And then…” (Souma)
I looked back at my comrades and declared…
“We will definitely return with everyone!” (Souma)
Seeing the faces of Ringo, Mitsuki, Maki, the Bear, and Sazan, my resolve burns ever stronger.
I will do my best…no, even more than my best.
And if danger approaches my comrades, I will definitely put my life on the line to protect them!
I won’t let anyone here die!
Not for the sake of Ina, but for the sake of my own desire of being together with them from here on.
I firmly pledged this.
Author: I plan on going full-throttle until the climax of the Demon Lord arc.
I will do my best to not run out of breath, so please tag along with me.