There are three main types of dungeons scattered throughout this world—cave, mountain, and ruins dungeons.
In contrast to the first two dungeons that base their appearance on natural structures such as mountains and caves, ruins dungeons are based on man-made structures like the buildings built by the human and demon races. At times, they can be humongous, almost as big as mountains, to satiate the architect’s desire to show off.
At times, such humongous structures dam up and stagnate the mana convection that circulates the world, turning into dangerous dungeons inevitably abandoned by their inhabitants, thus becoming desolate ruins.
Ruins dungeons, after having been abandoned by their people, are relatively fewer in number due to their unique nature of occurrence.
And this place is one of them.
This ruins dungeon, more commonly known as the Old Demon Capital, is owned by me, the “Emperor” Lifeless King.
I was once a demon king who ruled this land, over the Demon Kingdom, and the entire demon race.
The commoners used to call me the Mad Demon King.
There’s a particular reason as to why they called me that, and it goes all the way back to this huge project I once carried out.
At one point, I made a major renovation of the Demon Capital, my territory.
I enclosed it with a moat, built ramparts, constructed a tower right in the middle of the main street, sealed the sewers, painted the castle gates, and even adjusted the atmosphere within the city so that the position of these wonderful sights would have an alchemic effect.
What do you think would happen then?
More and more circulating mana flowed into the city, but instead of being emitted, it settled.
Eventually, the highly concentrated mana distorted the space and turned my capital into a dungeon.
A ruins dungeon that should’ve been my stronghold.
Apparently, the foolish commoners fled and built a new capital somewhere else and started calling my base the Old Demon Capital ever since.
Oh well, it doesn’t matter.
I, who remained in my stronghold that has turned into a dungeon, absorbed the highly concentrated mana that has stagnated and evolved into someone of an even higher dimension—a Lifeless King.
A perfect being who has transcended death and obtained immortality. Befitting of me, the ruler of everything in this world.
This all happened five hundred years ago.
“You must be wondering why I did it,” I say while looking down at the ranks of the strongest undead army I had gathered over the past five hundred years.
They are all ready to go into battle, every corpse full of ghastly bloodlust in their lifeless, hollow eyes.
They look promising enough.
Naturally, I am the one who commands these corpses.
Once Demon King, now immortalized, the Emperor Lifeless King.
Why “Emperor,” you ask?
You will understand in due course once you hear my speech.
“I will become the ruler of this world. No one can control me. I’m the only one who rules over everything. That’s why I wanted the strongest power on earth– eternal life.”
In pursuit of this, I made the most of my power as the Demon King, altered my capital into a dungeon, and turned myself into a Lifeless King.
“Anyway, it’s been a few hundred years since I broke free from the natural cycle of life. But my ambition is not so petty as to be satisfied with just that. I will rule over everything—the earth, the seas, even the heavens! Everything will be under my control! I will dominate the entire world! Dominate!!!”
Hence, I call myself an emperor.
I invade and rule.
“Emperor” is the perfect title to bestow on the greatest invader.
“I will rule them all, and I am fully prepared to do so. My carefully selected elite legion of resurrected undead knights will kill the fools who dare challenge my dungeon. They will outmatch this generation’s demon army both in number and caliber by a long shot!!!”
It’s the reason why I’ve been remaining in obscurity for 500 years.
But that’s not all there is to it.
The Sacred Barrier is the biggest problem.
It’s the only thing that separates the Demon Kingdom from the Human Kingdom and persists to be the only hindrance I’m facing even after I’ve become a Lifeless King.
However, it has now vanished for some reason.
It seems that the current Demon King has done something, which is really good news for me.
The preparations are already in place, and with my greatest concern gone, now’s the perfect chance to unleash my supremacy!
“The current Demon King who accomplished such a feat must be praised in person. I’ll skewer him, kill him, turn him into an undead, and appoint him as my chief vassal. Go forth, my manservants!”
My mighty undead army has already gathered in front of the main gate, the entrance to the Old Demon Capital.
We’ll go through this gate and take every settlement outside by storm!
O’ lowly creatures, dread this world’s danger.
From now on, you will be under my control, down to the last ant that crawls on the ground!
“The first army will be led by me firsthand to raid the new Demon Capital. The second army will be led by the immortal general to invade the Human Kingdom! The other small units will invade each city and village!!!”
Open the castle gates!
All troops, move out!
From this moment on, the eternal reign of the Emperor Lifeless King begins!
What’s going on?
The moment I stepped out of the castle gates, a glaring light flashed at me.
“Awrite! Bullseye! Heck yeah!!!”
The converged mana cannon fired by Songokufon successfully hit the Emperor Lifeless King.
The corpse adorned in a black cloak turned into dust and vanished.
Oh, apologies for the late introductions. It’s me, Hakkai the orc.
We’re here at the dreaded Old Demon Capital ruins dungeon today at the Demon King’s request.
“Good lord, Songokufon! What do you think you’re doing? Didn’t I tell you we only came here to scan the area?!”
Of course, Prince Arowana is also here with us.
He looks as if his heart has been mushed by Songokufon’s preemptive bombardment.
“Wha? But… They looked battle-ready AF! Ya really think we should jus’ scan the area like ‘s nonuva business?”
“…Songokufon has a point,” tensely says our other companion, Miss Puffer.
This all started when King Zedan was seeing us off as we were departing the Demon Capital to continue our journey…
“It seems the dungeon called Old Demon Capital is showing disturbing readings as of late. Could you go there and see how things are going?”
…was the request we accepted.
Prince Arowana is a conscientious person, so we went straight to the Old Demon Capital.
But when we arrived, we were surprised to see the Lifeless King holding a rally.
“Fortunately, Songokufon’s blow seems to have defeated the enemy’s leader in one hit. But we can’t rest easy just yet. There are still swarms of undead knights left!”
“Gah! They’re coming out of the castle gates like wharf roaches!”
It seems one can’t be so naive as to think that the rest will disappear once their leader is beaten.
A large army of undead knights, each and every one of whom is a cut above the average undead!
“If they exit the dungeon and attack the neighboring villages, it’ll be big trouble! That castle gate should be perfect to keep them at bay since it’s the dungeon’s entrance, hun!”
Puffer’s suggestion to Prince Arowana is spot on.
“They look just like they’re about to invade the entire world. If we don’t beat them to the punch and destroy them now, there will be hell on earth!”
“Rite? Praise me more, sis!”
“Of course. There, there.”
Songokufon is being pampered as she presses herself against Miss Puffer’s chest.
I don’t know how or since when the angel took a liking to the witch.
“…It is as you say, we’ve got no other choice.”
Prince Arowana can become quite the competent commander once he strengthens his resolve.
“We will destroy them and save the world from danger! Puffer, the plan!”
“Roger! Songoku, use your mana cannon to pierce the ruins dungeon’s wall and improve ventilation! We’re releasing the highly concentrated mana seated deep within the dungeon!”
“If the mana concentration inside the dungeon drops, the dungeon will disappear! The dimensional distortion returning to normal will annihilate the undead army along with it!”
Songokufon’s mana cannon, which had been modified by Hephaestus, the god of crafting, is already doing wonders by boring a huge hole through the walls of the dilapidated ruins.
“Hun and Hakkai, push back the undead coming out of the city gates! Don’t let them out as much as you can! We’re wiping them out with the entire dungeon!”
“Understood. Let’s go, Hakkai!”
“Don’t ever step inside the dungeon to avoid being caught up in its distortion!!!”
Even Prince Arowana and I both have confidence in our abilities.
We may be a numerically inferior force, but we can buy ourselves some time on the defensive by nullifying our opponent’s advantage in numbers by locking them up behind the castle gates.
“We won’t last that long! Please, Puffer, Songoku!!!”
“Leave it to me! Songoku! Aim and fire as I tell you! Try to efficiently ventilate the dungeon with as few holes as possible!”
…And so, after a fierce battle, the Old Demon Capital ruins dungeon that had terrified the people of Demon Kingdom for 500 years, disappeared along with the undead army haunting it.
Of course, as well as the immortalized demon king and his mad ambitions.
Prince Arowana’s journey is going well as usual.
Author’s P.S.: Even though Emperor is a Lifeless King, he’s still much weaker than Sensei.