Chapter 11: The Dark City Dünbruck
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Humans were prohibited from this place.
No living human could step into these forbidden grounds.
Dünbruck — a dark fortress city ruled by the Demon Archduke Gudius.
After the start of the Dark Age, a dark city full of monsters suddenly appeared out of thin air on this barren desert of ice and snow.
Luya didn’t know much about Archduke Gudius, other than the fact that he was an extremely dangerous demon that struck fear in the hearts of imperial soldiers.
Canaan the Cyclops, Lilith the Banshee, and Ronya the Sea Devil were his three main demon generals.
Together, they had destroyed a majority of humanity’s cities.
Gudius himself had only appeared on the battlefield once.
When the Empire’s magic cavalry was about to rout the monster army, he suddenly appeared and teleported1 across the borders of the Asdra Empire, and ruthlessly slaughtered an entire army of the empire’s elite magic cavalry all by himself.
That event left a powerful impression on the soldiers of the Empire.
Many surviving soldiers from that battle developed post-traumatic stress disorder, which would be triggered upon hearing Gudius’s name.
She had no idea that the red dragon would take her to Dünbruck.
She had heard of this demonic city, but nobody knew exactly what happened on the inside.
It was rumored that merely breathing the miasma around the demon city was fatal for humans.
Luya couldn’t help but grip the dragon’s back tightly.
She was a little frightened.
But if the red dragon wanted to kill her, there was no reason for it to be so roundabout.
It must have had a reason for bringing her here.
Luya tried to convince herself to believe in the red dragon, after all there wasn’t anyone else that she could depend on.
Luya didn’t even dare protest.
As she laid on the red dragon’s back, she kept asking, “Are we really going in?” But the red dragon did not respond.
She had no choice but to ride the red dragon through the purple fog that enshrouded the city of demons.
Fortunately, the rumors were false.
She did not die after breathing in the air, although her chest did feel a little tight.
Her vision cleared up once they entered the city, and Luya was beholden to a sight that was completely outside of her expectations — it wasn’t a hellscape of murder teeming with undead like it was rumored to be, nor was it chaotic or disorderly like the monster market.
Rather this demon city was organized and neat similar to a human society.
Skeletons in armor and weapons patrolled the dark city like human guards.
A scantily clad succubus solicited the streets for business with her sweet voice.
All varieties of monsters walked in the streets, and as the red dragon passed by, they would immediately make way.
They watched Luya, trembling on the dragon’s back, with hungry and strange eyes.
The news that a human had entered Dünbruck spread very rapidly.
A patrol of flying imps quickly flew over, blocking the dragon’s path.
“Lord Farus, what is the meaning of bringing a human to this place?”
The imp leader hovered in the air, holding a trident as big as himself.
He glared fiercely at Luya, but did not approach due to the dragon’s intimidating presence.
“Archduke Gudius is very clear.
It is forbidden for any demon to bring a living human into Dünbruck, unless as fresh meat for a banquet.
However, you don’t seem to have undergone the required procedures through the administrative office…”
In Dünbruck, it was necessary to submit an application to Archduke Gudius’s representative in order to bring living humans into the city.
Even though the imps were afraid of the red dragon, Dünbruck was a demon city, and even a dragon needed to respect Archduke Gudius’s authority.
Luya shivered slightly, and she didn’t dare lift her head to look at those cutthroat demons.
If it weren’t for the red dragon, she would be pierced by those tridents in less than a second and hung from the city walls.
But thankfully, the red dragon planned to protect her.
It slowly raised its head, and an irritated and displeased growl rumbled from its throat.
“— (Dragon Language)!”
“E-Even if you say that, we can’t break the rules—”
The overwhelming pressure2 released by the red dragon caused the imps to hesitate.
They didn’t dare advance, and attacking a dragon was no doubt a suicidal act.
However, they could not violate Dünbruck’s rules.
The imps whispered amongst themselves for a while, then the leader summoned his3 courage, and spoke in a clear voice to the dragon, “Rules are rules.
Lord Farus, we do not wish to cause a scene.
You are free to treat humans however you like, but humans are forbidden in Dünbruck.”
The red dragon ignored the imp’s remarks, and he roared threateningly.
The group of imps went pale, and they trembled in fear.
If they fled from the scene, they would be flayed by Archduke Gudius later, but if they attacked the dragon, the entire place would be burnt to ashes.
Both choices led to death.
Why was this so difficult? Lesser demons had to deal with such a wretched fate.
“If Lord N-Nidhogg and Lady4 Tiamat knew what you were doing right now, they would definitely disapprove…”
When the imp captain tried to use the names of the evil dragon and the dusk dragon to convince him, the red dragon finally lost his patience.
In the middle of his sentence, a burst of dragon flame immediately incinerated the imp into ash.
The other imps scattered in terror.
At that moment, a voice finally interrupted them.
A graceful harpy flew in front of them and addressed the red dragon with a sweet voice: “We were not informed of your sudden arrival, Lord Farus.
Please, Master Gudius welcomes you and your pet to his castle.”
As she said this, she glanced at Luya, who had completely shrunk into a ball hugging the dragon, not daring to lift her head.
In truth, the harpy did not understand Gudius’s intentions.
The archduke himself had issued the decrees, yet suddenly he had changed his mind.
The red dragon was now allowed to bring this human to see him.
Although the archduke was a very mercurial demon, she couldn’t question him.
All she could do was follow his orders.
That said, these dragons really were a headache.
Out of the seven dragons, half were fond of humans.
Only the evil dragon Nidhogg absolutely hated humans.
The imps who hadn’t been incinerated by the red dragon were saved from their dilemma, and they all sighed of relief as the crisis was averted.
They immediately flew off and disappeared.
Although Luya was nearly about to faint.
Why the heck was this happening?! All she wanted was the red dragon to bring her to the monster’s market so she could buy some beastman medicine, and possibly get a pocket translator if she got the chance.
Instead, the red dragon had taken her straight to Dünbruck, and caught the attention of the infamous demon Gudius?
It was too much… She didn’t know why the demon archduke had invited the red dragon and herself.
Perhaps it was purely curiosity, or perhaps he wanted to rebuke5 the red dragon.
From the way the harpy described it, they seemed to regard her as a pet…
So the red dragon really did consider her to be his pet!
But that wasn’t the important part.
Gudius wouldn’t randomly kill his guest’s pet, right?
…That wasn’t easy to say either.
He was a demon, and you couldn’t use human common sense to predict a demon’s behavior.
In either case, Luya maintained her clueless frightened persona, and clung to the red dragon like her life depended on it.
Guided by the harpy, the red dragon carried Luya towards a pitch-black gothic castle.
Everything had become so scary all of a sudden.
But even if she was scared, it wouldn’t change anything.
Luya was like a small ant.
As a transmigrator from another world, she had been able to see and experience so many incredible things.
Even if she died, her life hadn’t been all that bad.
Everyone died sooner or later.
After comforting herself with these thoughts, Luya sat back and fixated on the panorama of this demonic castle.
It was just like one of those money-guzzling CG scenes in fantasy blockbuster movies, and it even felt pretty epic.
There were many winged monsters in the sky.
Many of these monsters preyed on refugees in the wild, but they didn’t dare get close.
When the red dragon flew by, they scattered and hid as if fleeing for their lives.
This gave Luya the impression that she was extremely powerful, but she quickly pulled herself back to reality.
Simply riding on a dragon didn’t mean that she was a dragon knight.
She was just a slightly lucky chicken with zero fighting power.
Soon after, they landed at the front gate of the demon castle.
Armored skeleton soldiers lowered the drawbridge for them, and Luya entered the inner castle while riding on the red dragon’s back.
The interior of the demon castle was exceptionally cold, and the lighting was dim.
The entire floor was carpeted with the bones of unknown creatures, and flickering blue flames hung from the walls.
There were motionless stone gargoyles every few steps, yet their eyes moved and followed Luya.
It was extremely creepy.
Luya pretended not to notice the gargoyles’ eyes.
After all, the red dragon had been invited as a guest, so those stone guards weren’t likely to attack without warning.
Luya had heard some rumors about gargoyles.
They normally protected important treasures, and they were difficult to kill because of their exceptionally hard bodies.
They were a type of monster that gave human mercenaries serious headaches.
She scanned the place uneasily.
It was totally unlike the demon castles that were in the light novels that she used to read.
The atmosphere was more like a hardcore American horror flick6, bleak and full of despair.
Soon thereafter, the red dragon brought her into the drawing room.
There, Luya finally saw the legendary demon Archduke Gudius, the terror of mankind.
When Luya entered the room, an enormous demon two meters tall was facing a bookshelf, leisurely sipping a cup of hot tea that had a faint foul7 smell.
“Long time no see, Farus.”
The tall demon slowly turned around.
There were huge goat horns on his head, his skin was pale blue, and he was dressed like a vampire.
He looked inhuman, but was quite handsome.
With a smile on his face, he sipped his cup of tea and greeted the red dragon with grace.
Then his gaze finally stopped at Luya, who was hiding behind the dragon.
Archduke Gudius grinned as he watched her try to peek at him while simultaneously trying to reduce her presence.
He seemed to have found something very interesting.
“Oh? She’s one of the Favored8… kuku, so interesting… Then again Farus, what gave you the sudden impulse to raise a pet as well?
An instrumental supporting male character, the demon archduke
Cuicui9 really likes him, because he’s a S.
Lately I’ve banked chapters up until the dragon’s alternate form appears, uwu…
Teleported (穿越): I’m not 100% sure about the accuracy of this translation.
Literally, 穿越 means to “cross over”, but it also means to “transmigrate” or to “time travel”. Overwhelming pressure (强大威压): Sort of like a powerful aura. His: The original raw uses “it” to describe the imps, but I’ve altered the pronoun in my translation. Lord/Lady (大人): The raw uses a genderless honorific for important people.
In Japanese, this would be Tiamat-sama or Farus-sama.
For this translation, I struggled to find a title that was appropriate for dragons, so if anyone has any suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them! Rebuke (下马威): Literally, “get off the horse”.
It means to intimidate someone, usually in the context of a superior intimidating their subordinate. Horror flick: The original raw does not explicitly state this.
It says that the interior of the demon castle was “American-style” rather than “(Japanese) Light Novel style”, which doesn’t really make a lot of sense on its own.
I believe the author plays a lot of games like Diablo, so I imagine that she is specifically thinking of demons like in Western video games.
In either case, I inserted some additional context in attempt to make this more comprehensible. Foul (腥): In previous chapters, I translated this as “fishy”.
See prior TL notes.
In this case, I felt like “foul” conveys the atmosphere better. Favored (神眷者): Literally, “One Beloved by God”.
It’s sort of like “Chosen One” but not really.
This is a proper noun. Cuicui (翠翠): No idea who this is, presumably someone the author knows (maybe a reader? a friend?).
They like Gudius because he’s a S(adist).
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