Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken (WN) - Chapter 163
163. REWARDS AND EVOLUTION II
Now then, the problem was Diablo.
He would, without question, become the strongest among the candidates for evolution.
Not just the strongest among my subordinates, but peering even my own strength.
Diablo was now stronger than when he fought with Benimaru. (TN: See Tournament Arc) His defeat at that time only fueled a desire to overcome such adverse conditions the next time.
To that effect, he was, even at present, the strongest among my subordinates.
Wisdom Lord Raphael had calculated thus, so there was no doubt.
Following Diablo in the ranks were, Benimaru, Shion, and Zegion in that order.
Following them are the 3 Demon Dukes. (TN: Carrera, Testa, and Ultima I assume)
Zegion was a bit of a surprise, but Diablo was still many degrees stronger.
This Diablo was to be evolved.
With his strength now surpassing that of mine when I first evolved, his evolution is one that I highly anticipate.
’’I bestow you with the title 'Demon Lord'. (TN: The author keeps calling everything demon lord dammit. Longer note at the end.)
Keep serving me as my loyal confidant and as the leader of the Demons.’’
’’Kufufufufu, it would be my honor, Rimuru-sama!’’
And the Devil was born.
Diablo's evolution put him at the highest peaks along with this world's strongest.
With Benimaru and Shion's evolutions being rather underwhelming, he was truly the one who could stand beside me.
It was done in an instant.
I thought for a moment that it was going to be similar to Shion's, but it wasn't in the least.
He had all the increased energy perfectly under control, and didn't let it show.
That's Diablo for you, only excellence. (TN: Sasuga)
The compressed magic rivalled or even surpassed the amount I saw before in Demon Lord Dagrule.
With this evolution, we have gained another great asset.
Could I fight him all out this time? Was my secret thought.
Diablo's Gift (TN: blessing, or that mechanic where your underlings can get stronger just by you getting stronger.) propagated through his lackey Venom, and the 100 demon troops subordinate to him.
Venom evolved to Demon Duke class.
But he was still weaker than the likes of Testarossa or Carrera.
Even being the same Demon Duke class, his stats were not as high.
Among the Demon aristocracy, there were such things as Dukes, Barons, and Knights.
In the first place, the 3 Demon Dukes that Diablo had brought along had enough power to almost match himself.
The three who had held positions amongst the strongest for so long wouldn't lose to some greenhorn like Venom.
It wouldn't be a battle of luck, nor would the increased energy levels give him increased intelligence.
This difference in level would create an insurmountable difference in strength.
Still, it may be my imagination, but Diablo seemed to hold back the propagation of his Gift.
I don't honestly know if that's even possible, I felt like that was the case.
But it was Diablo, so anything could happen. So this result was expected.
Diablo seemed to have the view that one must gain strength by their own means.
Even so, Venom wasn't that weak to begin with.
For better or worse, he did become a Demon Duke.
It was enough of an evolution.
Further, he didn't get in over his head after becoming the same class as Testarrossa and co., and duly noted the difference in power between him and them.
His being Diablo's subordinate showed. (TN: Sasuga)
Well if he did get too ambitious, Diablo would probably have ended him right there.
Diablo wasn't soft on those under his command.
Besides Venom, there were others who received the Gift.
The 100 subordinates of Venom who here given automaton bodies from the Culture Capsules, have become elite Demon Chevaliers (TN: knights)
They were not as strong as Arch Demons, but surpassed the strength of Devils. (TN: Majin) They could probably finish a Greater Demon in a single hit.
To be honest, their strength was unexpected.
Diablo exceeds common sense as usual. (TN: Sasuga)
But the person in question didn't seem to care, and left the Demon Chevaliers to the management of Venom.
Diablo's priority was to be of use to me it seems.
Even after the evolution, Diablo be Diablo.
Next, would be the rewards for the guys in the Labyrinth.
Zegion, Kumara, Adalman.
They called themselves members of the 10 Lords of the Labyrinth.
At this point, worrying about them going berserk was unnecessary.
But to be safe, I did their evolution one by one.
Her new title would be 'Chimeric Lord' Kumara.
The Kumara I had picked up, yet a small silver furred fox, was now master of several Demonic Beasts.
I had hidden her in the Labyrinth ―― originally for protection ―― but, at some point, she had risen up the ranks of Floor Bosses, and was now one of the Labyrinth Guardians.
I still remember her as a Floor Boss.
I named her Kumara because she was a Nine-Tailed Fox. (TN: Kyu = 9 = Ku(mara)?)
I had left her in the freshly made floor 90 where the adventurers would likely never get to, and she later asked me to name some of her friends on that floor.
It's important to note that I didn't accept just because a little girl asked. (TN: lo*ic*n.)
It was just on a whim.
Naming monsters came with some high risks, but naming Demonic Beasts decreased that risk somewhat.
Plus, these beasts were like children, so I named them with no problem.
And that had resulted in a shocking before ->after. It was shocking to anyone. It was shocking to me!
What's done was done.
The Demonic Beasts being parts of Kumara herself, she had acquired nine names from me...... and her current strength was made possible by acquiring the dense Demonic Energy of nine named monsters.
It was past the time when they were just kids, and the 8 of the Demonic Beasts were lined up in front of me.
At a glance, they were each pretty strong.
Kumara successfully evolved into Demon Lord class.
Kumara's tails all became shining golden, and her hair, a beautiful mix of silver and gold, flowed gently down her back.
Was it only her beauty that evolved?
No, certainly her Energy also increased greatly.
Kumara was very strong in her original body.
But, only after combining with her 8 Beasts in Chimera Mode would her true strength be known.
Energy levels ≠real strength, but their combined force was by no means weak.
In other terms, Kumara's being strong = the 8 Beasts being strong.
In addition, on top of being named by me, Kumara's Gift was also properly allocated among them.
It was like all the power given to the Beasts were unfairly transmitted back to her.
No one could guess from her appearance as a beautiful lady, but she seemed to be the cold and calculating type.
Naturally, she could not get along with the naïve and impulsive Apito.
From an Energy stand point, she now surpassed Gabil easily.
And this enormous power was still rising.
She desperately kept her senses, so as to not go berserk.
’’Go back and rest!’’
She was a bit frustrated at the order.
That part of her was still childlike.
I figured that she wouldn't lose it even without me watching, and made her go rest.
Probably like Ranga, after a good sleep, her body would be adjusted to the new power.
In any case, I was looking forward to her growth.
Please don't think I'm looking forward to her new beauty. I'm totally not. (TN: *sweats*)
Though her new beauty would be a certain reality anyway.
With that, Kumara returned back to her own domain.
Now for Zegion.
The strongest in the Labyrinth.
His Energy was equal to that of Benimaru.
His specialty in martial arts and ability to train one-to-one with Veldora made his level of power obvious.
And the heights of his strength was shown clearly, as he beat the 7 strongest sent by the Imperial Army in the last battle.
Now that I think about it, its like we're popping out Demon Lords left and right......
It couldn't be helped saying it was too much;the souls had been granted to six of them already, and 2 had even finished their evolution.
There were those still in their Harvest Festivals (TN: In a transitional phase), and I've been feeling their new power flowing in.
Was it really ok to grant more souls? I was thinking, but my body had been greedily absorbing all the energy flowing in without problem.
The process wasn't making them unstable, so there was no need to worry.
I needed to bulk down and finish the job.
Fear not, charge! was the feeling.
How much stronger could Zegion get? The thought gave me goosebumps (TN: metaphorical) from excitement.
He could end up surpassing me, but that wasn't an issue as long as I had 'Food Chain'.
Let's look forward to it without worries.
’’You are strong. I never imagined you to become this strong.
It is thanks to your unrelenting efforts, well done!
Continue polishing that strength for me from here on out.
And from now on, your title shall be 'Mist Lord'.’’
’’I am eternally grateful!’’
The normally stoic Zegion trembled with appreciation at my words.
My carelessly constructed phrases sounded like excerpts from a holy book to Zegion.
He seemed to be looking to me under some strong divine lenses, (TN: metaphorical, looking at Rimuru as a god) but I appreciated his passion.
I had set out to gather up and save rare and endangered Insects, but they had in turn become strong enough to protect me.
Zegion's strength wasn't merely a fruit of effort, but also thanks to his insane talent in handling Energy, and also, training with individuals much stronger...... well, those were just the details.
He was strong, 'nuff said.
I awarded the souls.
He trembled for a moment, but then crushed the raging power with his spirit.
He proved that he was in control.
It was certainly not a feat achieved with effort alone...... but similar to Diablo, he had taken control of and suppressed his newly attained power.
To be accurate, it was not an instant transformation like that of Diablo.
He was also currently in a transitional state, but didn't show it.
His transformation was nonetheless fearsome.
He morphed his outer shell into the ultimate metal, God Steel (TN: Hihi'irokane) , through willpower.
His body itself, a weapon.
Surpassing various laws of nature, he manipulated his exoskeleton into one that rivalled God-class armours.
He had become, without a doubt, the strongest in at least melee combat.
Melee was weak against spiritual beings, but it shouldn't be a threat for him.
He had acquired many other abilities, and was still in the process of evolving.
He was suppressing it, but his body was still being remade again and again.
I would later slowly confirm exactly how much he had changed.
(TN: I think author is going into the future here.)
And in this fashion, the Harvest Festival continued.
Zegion's Gift had only one receiver: Apito.
Those who I had 'named' and also remodelled with my own flesh were Zegion and Apito only.
So for Zegion, Apito was like a sister.
The Insect floors had many other endangered species, but the Gift wasn't spread to them.
After eating her fill of her minion bees, Apito became a chrysalis and came out reborn.
The enormous scale of energy flowing in form the Gift would have destroyed her current body.
But now she was reborn, to rule as a true queen.
After being reborn, she created several Demonic Insects.
The community built with these Insects would become the new image of those floors in the near future.
With the power accumulated from the insects she ate, Apito became Devil class and attained the power 'Queen's Reverence'. And in addition to being one of the Ten Lords, she became a subordinate to Zegion.
Diablo had suppressed the propagation of his Gift, but Zegion gave his to Apito without reserve, resulting in her extreme transformation.
Zegion didn't mind Apito receiving this much of a terrific Gift.
But all this was a story of after the victory party.
Apito never showed any sign of pain during the celebration.
It was an effort to show her dignity as a queen;truly a splendid sibling of Zegion. (TN: Sasuga)
After the festivities, Zegion and Apito would become chrysali inside the Labyrinth, and complete their evolution.
Zegion had attained a new power from the evolution.
Apito's 'Queen's Reverence' surpassed the power of a Unique Skill and became a pseudo-Ultimate Skill, the likes of 'Absolute Defence'.
It was an amazing power, yes, but didn't compare to that of Zegion.
He had acquired a true Ultimate Skill 'Illusion King Mephisto'.
A splendid ability, considering he was Veldora's disciple.
With this power, Zegion made his position in the Labyrinth unshakable.