[If you don’t mind me asking, what exactly was Linford trying to do?]
“Ufufu, since I’m in an especially good mood right now, I’ll enlighten you!”
Murellia starts talking, clearly in a brightened mood. I checked back up with Fran, but her situation hasn’t changed too much. I’ll probably have time to chat with her for a few minutes.
“The beginning of this story can be drawn at the time Linford came to this place. Apparently, that crusty old geezer knew that there was a fragment of the Evil God sealed away in this country.”
[What? Is there really?]
“Mm. It is the same piece that I used on my tribe. Linford aimed to reach that fragment in order to communicate with the Evil God.”
Though, of course, he didn’t find it. The Gods probably sealed it even tighter than it was before after Murellia had her way with it. But this didn’t mean that Linford gave up. A kingdom known as the Bashar Kingdom which occupied the area adjacent to the Beastman Empire, was being crushed.
“Linford was unable to find the fragment of the Evil God, though he did find something else.”
“Indeed. He found a new dungeon that had appeared on the Bashar Kingdom’s side of the Boundary Mountains.”
Linford and his subordinates were, of course, able to conquer this newly formed dungeon.
“Upon arriving in the boss’ chambers, they threatened the Dungeon Master and forced it to obey them. The purpose of doing so being to use the magical power accumulated by the dungeon.”
Even if this dungeon was basically a newborn, it was still a dungeon, and so it had a fair amount of magic power accumulated within it. Twisting this energy towards his own ends, he used the power within the dungeon to initiate a ritual, a certain summoning ritual. There exists a certain summoning technique known as Hero Summoning that calls past heroes and binds them to the summoner’s bidding for a certain period of time. Even things like evil spirits and wicked beings are able to be summoned through such a technique, as apparently even followers of the Evil God are counted as followers of a divine being.
“During this ritual, the one summoned was yours truly. Though, my body was incomplete.”
It seems that during this summoning, only a fragment of Murellia’s consciousness was summoned, as Linford didn’t believe he had the capabilities to control a completed Murellia.
Through the information extrapolated from the summoned Murellia, Linford was able to locate the seal that bound the fragment of the Evil God. Even so, he was unable to break it. Though I’m not sure how he thought he could unravel a divine seal.
“Though, Linford was horribly stubborn.”
Then, Linford had an idea. By sacrificing a huge amount of souls in the name of the Evil God, Linford would be able to give the Evil God enough power to somewhat weaken the seal. By doing so, the Evil God could summon enough strength to speak to Linford by using Murellia as a medium, as she was technically a priestess of the Evil God.
[… So that’s the reason the war.]
“Indeed. War is by far the fastest way to gather a significant amount of souls.”
Conveniently, the Beastman Kingdom where the fragment of the Evil God was hidden and the neighboring Bashar Kingdom were in the middle of a tug-of-war. Moreover, when Linford examined the politics of the Kingdom, he discovered that though King Bashar was an open-minded moderate, behind the scenes of it all he was a member of the beastmen exclusionist group. He contacted the political heads of the Kingdom, and established cooperation with them.
“Contrary to what you’d believe, many more people were willing to work with Evil Beings than they were to do so with beastmen. Though, if you think about the history between the two countries, that’s only obvious.”
No matter what they felt in their hearts, Linford’s group and the Bashar Kingdom came together to join hands.
“A pincer attack using the joined forces of the entirety of the Bashar Kingdom and the forces of the dungeon discovered by Linford. Such was the plan.”
If what Murellia is saying is true, then this war had been in the works for years. Apparently the reason that the Bashar Kingdom decided to ride on Linford’s coattails is because they weren’t even really a threat to the Beastmen Country otherwise.
The only reason that the King had decided to adopt a moderate policy as opposed to an aggressive one, despite the fact that he was part of the beastmen exclusionist’s group, was because their force’s military power were so vastly contrasted that even a skirmish could lead to the kingdom’s downfall. On the inside, the people of the Bashar Kingdom felt over-repressed, and the buds of the anti-beastmen movement had been long blooming.
“Now, I certainly hate the other beast tribes, but their human supremacy has gone way too far. It has become a bit of an awkward situation for me.”
As such, the possibility of finally razing the Beastmen Country delighted the nobles of the Bashar Kingdom. After many years, their desire would finally come true.
“It was also around this time Linford fully summoned me using the remaining energy in the dungeon and the souls of the slaves provided by the Bashar Kingdom.”
Although it is true that Linford normally wouldn’t be able to control Murellia’s vast power, a complete summoning that was powered using the sacrifice of hundreds of souls allowed Linford the ability to control her, to an extent. Even though Murellia’s power wasn’t as perfect as it had been, it was nearly so, and so she was still incredibly powerful.
Since the power of the dungeon was also used to summon Murellia, the percentage of control that wasn’t afforded to her by the sacrificed soul was achieved by binding her as submaster of the dungeon. No matter how strong Murellia was, she couldn’t escape the contract of the dungeon which was sealed by the Goddess of Chaos.
[In that case, Mistress Chaos Goddess, please descend and smite this girl again…]
So I wished, but I doubted it could be done. In the first place, the gods’ punishment was imposed, and the Black Catkin who became corrupted by the Evil God’s power were completely destroyed, including Murelia. And now, she’s bound by a dungeon submaster contract by the Goddess of Chaos. It’s not like all evil beings are subject to being destroyed by the gods, if that was the case, Rumina wouldn’t have been able to spawn Evil Beings like Goblins and such in hers. It seemed unlikely that the gods would descend and wipe out Murellia again.
“And because I’m a dungeon submaster, I’m unable to resist either Linford OR the true dungeon master.”
Oh? Apparently she had to obey not only Linford, but the dungeon master too? Though I doubted they had more control than Linford. Nevertheless, this also allowed Murellia to use the power of the dungeon to create her Black Catkin paradise.
“It’s incredibly frustrating, but the power of the dungeon, I can create the dream I’ve longed for.”
And so, Murellia begrudgingly cooperated while having no small amount of hatred towards Linford. And that was Linford’s plan in its entirety. In essence; start a war, collect souls, sacrifice them to the Evil God. With that, he would be able to contact and receive the blessings of the somewhat re-empowered Evil God through Murellia.
Though, the power of the dungeon had been basically spent by using the energy to summon Murellia. The next stage was to extend the dungeon’s reach to include part of the Beastmen’s Country, and to regather the strength that was expended in the summoning.
It seems that summoning monsters and controlling them outside of the dungeon consumed points. Though, if you don’t need to specify it, you can set it up so that a magic circle will summon a random monster at regular intervals.
To achieve that, it was as simple as killing hundreds of slaves from the Bashar Kingdom while they were inside the dungeon and absorbing their power. The dungeon master was a former young bandit who was unwilling to oppose either Linford or the Bashar Kingdom, and followed this strategy to the letter.
Linford continued to research a way to weaken the seal of the Evil God’s fragment, letting Murellia manage the war’s progress as he traveled to do so.
And the rest, we already know. As Linford was conducting his research in Barbora, Fran and I eventually destroyed him. Is it possible he didn’t even want to keep the Evil Beings he created in Barbora for as long as he had, and had eventually wanted to relocate them to the Beastmen Country as forces for the war? If he had, it would’ve been no joke, this war would’ve gone a whole lot worse.
“Kufufufu, I thought it might of been possible because of how weak that slug was, but he really went and died! Hahahaha!”
Although I’m glad that we defeated Linford, it gives me complicated feelings that doing so pleased this woman…
Even before Linford died, the dungeon master rarely gave orders to Murellia, and now that Linford was dead, and his power over her gone, it seemed that she can even move around quite freely!
“The binding of that pile of manure has been lifted. His power over that accursed dungeon is lifted. And soon, even the rule of that Goddess of Chaos will be lifted!”