Dungeon Defense - Chapter 18 - Volume 3
The saying that life is a gamble was credible.
A person was good at war if they handled people like they did wagers. If people’s lives were not treated as stakes, then a war where hundreds and thousands of lives were cut down would become hell. Barbatos stated that people cannot cross this living hell while sober.
“Above a diligent bastard is an insensitive bastard, and above an insensitive bastard is an insane bastard. That’s why, if you want to win at war then you need to first become a crazy bastard.”
There was a mixture of laughter in Barbatos’ words.
The laughter and cruelty on her face were indistinguishable. I could not tell if she was behaving like that in order to show me her amusement, or if it was because she wanted to broadcast her brutality to me. Although, personally, it felt like that indistinguishability was Barbatos’ own madness.
I had sex with Barbatos frequently. Despite that, we did not share our feelings. I understood her deeply, but I was unable to fathom the very bottom. Barbatos was merely a diligent bitch, an insensitive bitch, and an insane bitch. And even to Barbatos, I was merely a lazy bastard, a keen bastard, and a psychotic bastard. Our preferences in bed matched. Since an insane bitch and a psychotic bastard had met, then they should be able to get along fine for the moment.
—Please spare us.
—If not this humble one, then at least this one’s daughter.
—I will work as a hound for the rest of my life, so please forgive me.
Even to the group of humans captured as prisoners before us, Barbatos smiled. She had prepared for war since before the start of autumn. Since people were wagers in war, Barbatos had many reasons to be cruel. Only the prisoners did not know of the upcoming war. To them, Barbatos’ smile only shone as unprovoked violence.
“Do whatever you guys want. Why are you asking me about your life and death? If you’re going to live then live, if you’re going to die then die.”
I nodded. The language spoken by the humans and the language spoken by Barbatos were different, so I had to stand as an intermediate to interpret. The only person proficient at the human language while also being a Demon Lord was myself.
“She says to die obediently.”
The prisoners all lowered their heads to the ground at once.
—Because we are foolish, it is difficult to understand.
—Please decide what we must do.
“Oi, would you look at that?”
Barbatos snickered. The demon soldiers around her laughed as well.
“Dantalian. What are they babbling about?”
“They said your words are too damn vague, and want you to break it down for them so they can understand easier.”
“Iyaa, what an abundance of bullshit. If they live then that’s their life, and if they croak then that’s their death. Why should I care?”
I nodded my head.
I then translated her words exactly to the prisoners.
“This lady here said that you guys are quite full of shit.”
—Oh lord, forgive us!
—Please spare us from your anger!
The prisoners sobbed and the demons laughed once more. The weeping from the humans settled down low and fluttered, while the sound of laughter from the demons echoed upwards and dispersed. The sound of sobbing and laughter was boisterous, causing the pronunciation of words to be difficult and tremble. Words were enveloped by laughter and eaten away by laughter. Since it was difficult to handle the words on my own, I did what I could as it came and improvised.
If Barbatos asked.
“Is the provisioning situation in the empire decent?”
I would translate it as.
“She asked what you guys ate on average for all of your mugs to look so dirty like bums.”
And to the question.
“I heard that in your neighborhood the crown prince and the 3rd imperial princess are having a big fight over who’ll be the next emperor. Does their lively confrontation have any effect on you citizens?”
I translated it as.
“They say the crown prince, after having scored two of his little sisters and then killing them off, is now trying to score his third little sister. What do you all think about this?”
Despite that, there were no problems in regard to communication.
It wasn’t a joke.
In the first place, Barbatos was planning to execute all of the prisoners anyway. She was merely poking at the captives here and there half as a jest. It would be more honest to tell them to hastily prepare for their demise than providing them a false hope.
If you completely got rid of the laughter and sobbing that was like grime attached to the words.
—We wish to live.
—We wish to live anyway.
Would remain cleanly.
It’s so simple.
Occasionally, while pretending to be interpreting, I would throw completely random questions.
“What is your name?”
“Do you have any last words you wish to leave behind?”
“Prepare yourselves for death.”
Then, the peasants, having realized their approaching demise, wept.
Shortly after, Barbatos grew bored and severed the lives of the prisoners. The decapitated heads fell to the floor and rolled in separate directions. All of the heads had their mouths hanging agape with a certain word still lingering on their lips.
I stared at the wide open mouths. It was simply dark. I was unable to see the bottom past the throat.
Past the tongue, a path to hell lay in wait…… was the thought that crossed my mind.
Barbatos had said that in order to go to war while avoiding the path to hell, one must treat the lives of others like a wager. However, be it Demon Lords, emperors, demons, or humans, everyone lived their lives while having swallowed hell down past their tongues. The important matter wasn’t avoiding hell or not…… was another thought that came to mind. The only thing that mattered was that, if there were people who threw up hell from their mouths, then there were people who held hell within their stomachs and endured it.
“Dantalian. Has the amount of humans we’ve killed reached roughly over a thousand now?”
“Who knows. Since this is the 22nd fire-fallow cultivating village we’ve burnt, it should be around there.”
Barbatos looked up into empty space.
“Then we’re still lacking…… Let’s burn a bit more. If we hold back in our slaughter here, then many of us will die instead.”
TL note: Thanks for waiting guys. It actually took me much longer to read volume 3 than I expected. The author almost completely changed their writing style to the point that some parts were difficult to read unless I read it multiple times. HENCE MEANING. Translating volume 3 is going to take much longer than volume 1 and 2. Cheers.
Oh, and I guess I should do the same thing as I did in volume 2 and give you guys a heads up. The same thing that happened in volume 2 isn’t going to happen again, so you guys don’t have to worry about being at your wit’s end to figure things out. Nor do you guys have to save up the entire volume before you start reading. It’s honestly fine to read one chapter at a time. So I guess you should wait for an entire chapter release before reading. Since I’ll probably still be doing parts.
Also, as a side note, my personal review of volume 3 is actually pretty amazing. Probably better than volume 2 and maybe even 1. There’s actually a lot of dark moments in this volume, so people who are uncomfortable with madness, violent scenes, and a lot of inner monologues, might not find as much joy as I did in this volume. The way the author changed their writing style was actually supposed to display Dantalian’s descent into madness. So bear that in mind.