——The Demon Lord brushes away the old veteran’s sword.
His sword danced in the sky, and the old man laughs silently as he closes his eyes.
He was ready to accept his destiny.
The Demon Lord was also ready to shoulder that destiny.
——But the world isn’t made up of their esthetics only.
The black horse Azrael was sweating blood as it ran in the battlefield and killed its enemies.
With eastern footwork, Shirley kicks the saddle of Azrael, and jumps off.
The black fluid hair swayed in the air, and with sword out, she approached Solje.
“I won’t let you kill the General!!”
I noticed that the female knight that jumped into the sky was the woman I heard the voice of last night. If I remember correctly, Shirley.
A short-circuited young female knight… Moreover, the daughter of Kaien who took away my left eye!!
With a slash clad in bloodlust, she swings down at my neck. It is fast and sharp…I can feel the talent and the training in it.
How beautiful. That is a fluid motion that cannot be reached with the body of a man.
Ah, shucks. Leaving aside her brain, she is loved by the sword god, just like her father!
I stop the katana of Shirley Kaien with my dragon longsword. A beautiful fluid motion. She has grown in a path that I cannot reach for, huh. Her technique resembles Kaien’s and doesn’t at the same time. Maybe because she couldn’t receive his teachings after his death 9 years ago?
…No, that’s not it. She evolved the teachings of Kaien with her own talent. Her training and philosophy are being transmitted through her sword…
In order to become even stronger, she purposely adjusted the techniques of Kaien to fit her. Tenacious, huh. I like that.
“Y-You stopped it with one arm?!” (Shirley)
“…Yeah. So, what will you do now?” (Solje)
I provoked her.
Show me your hatred, your desire for vengeance… You hate me, right? The one who killed your father. A mediocre person would have died with just this one exchange, you know? My instincts are telling me you are not in that category.
Anything is fine. Struggle, Sword Saint Kaien’s daughter.
“Don’t look down on me!!” (Shirley)
Shirley, as if riding in the pressure of my sword, she twists her body midair. Then, she spins in the air and throws a side slash.
That was shocking. She has more technique than I imagined.
If I hadn’t moved all the way with my neck too, it wouldn’t have ended with just a scratch.
“Tch, missed.” (Shirley)
Landing on the ground, the beautiful swordswoman clicks her tongue.
“Hahaha!! That was impressive. How did you do that?” (Solje)
“Shut up, die, Solje Strauss!!” (Shirley)
Shirley runs with her anger pushing her. She is showing speed that I wouldn’t be able to pull off thanks to her light body. It was a sharp step, as if straining her body to the point of damaging it, she becomes a black gale. It was wondrous.
Kaien and that shitty Clauri must have managed to reach that level in a more advanced age. But this is certainly the black gale of Barmoa. The slash of the katana came up at high speed from a low stance!!
Moreover, this angle…! Good grief, just like her father, always aiming for my left eye!!
The metals cross and I protect Ares’s dragon eye. If even this eye were to be taken, who knows how many complaints I would be getting from Ares!!
“What?! With this timing?!” (Shirley)
“…That was close. It is a technique I saw 9 years ago. It won’t work on me anymore.” (Solje)
“Kuh! You learned it at the time you killed my father, huh!” (Shirley)
“That’s right. That technique took my eye… It was a good technique, but it won’t work. Next time you try that again, do so after polishing it thrice as much.” (Solje)
“Shut up!! Don’t talk as if you know! …It is not as if you know everything about the Kaien style!!” (Shirley)
Again? She is riding the pressure of my sword.
I see, she is abnormally good at adding her center of gravity with her sword, and not just her own, but mine as well.
Using nimble footwork and her light body, her weight disappears. Shirley Kaien is truly the wind. Hard to read movements, moreover, she opens the distance from me in an instant.
The meaning of this distance…
I can tell why. It is not for running away, or for defense. She is glaring at me with her black eyes as if piercing me, without hiding her killing intent.
She adjusts her stance diagonally downwards. I see, so that’s…Kaien’s true ultimate technique, huh.
I broke Kaien’s wrist before he could bring out his everything after all. So there was still a stage further in his technique…
“…I haven’t introduced myself. I am Shirley Kaien. The eldest daughter of the Sword Saint Zabi Kaien that you killed.” (Shirley)
“I am Solje Strauss… The man that killed your father.” (Solje)
“…Just how many times have I dreamed of this moment for 9 years!!” (Shirley)
So she is also an avenger like me.
Then I can’t turn her away. As an avenger myself, I have the duty of accepting the revenge of others. I won’t run away. I understand the hunger in your heart more than anyone after all!!
“Come! Show me your everything as a swordsman!!” (Solje)
“S-Strauss-dono, d-don’t kill her! Please!!” (Claine)
Yeah, I understand. I won’t draw pointless blood in front of you. But I want her to bring out her technique!!
“General, please withdraw at once!! I will take it from here! I will kill this man even if it costs me my life!!” (Shirley)
“Would you stop it!! Just for what sake do you think I—-” (Claine)
“I know!!” (Shirley)
“I already know! That you are trying to put an end to this war with your own life!! But…even if that’s the case, I can’t accept it!! General, you can’t die!!” (Shirley)
“You are my guardian, aren’t you? Also, you brought us, Assassin Knights, into the sunlight with this battlefield. You are our benefactor… That’s why…!! Please, don’t die!!” (Shirley)
“I see, so that is your wish, Shirley Kaien.” (Solje)
“Yeah, that’s right. Are you trying to take away…take away my father twice?! Solje Strauss!! I won’t let you!! I will never let you!!” (Shirley)
Is that so, the one who took custody of her and raised her was you, General. I don’t know what led to her becoming an assassin knight, but…it looks like she led an unsatisfactory life.
Well, that’s a given. Being the poisonous snake of Yuandart and hiding in the shadows…isn’t fitting for that straightforward sword of hers.
“…Shirley, it is okay. I—” (Claine)
“No, General. Let her do as she pleases.” (Solje)
“Don’t worry. I won’t spill anymore pointless blood in front of you. Come, Shirley Kaien. Show me your conviction.” (Solje)
If you don’t, you won’t accept it even in death… You see, Zack Claine, the world doesn’t revolve around our way of thinking. The words of this girl have resonated in my heart.
(Please don’t die.)
That’s right, just be honest… Even I myself am the same. I don’t want you to die, Zack Claine. Even if you don’t have time left…I would be sad if you were to die today.
“…This is a thanks for making me notice it. I will tag along with your revenge, Shirley.” (Solje)
“Don’t call me by my name so familiarly!! …I will make you understand…the true meaning of the Kaien style!!” (Shirley)
“…Bring it on.” (Solje)
I take a stance with my dragon longsword -seriously. I am not using just one hand, but both. This is not the way of thinking for battlefield swordsmanship, this is dojo swordsmanship’s way of thinking… In other words, self-satisfaction between swordsmen. Meaning that we will be clashing with our most powerful techniques, Shirley Kaien.
Show it to me, your everything!!
“Witness the peak of our path, Solje Strauss!!” (Shirley)
Shirley Kaien who is crouched like a keen beast was accumulating mana. Yeah, Severing Wind and Black Gale are within the magic sword category. Sword techniques that can only be arrived at with the ultimate finesse of the body and cladding it with mana…
Then, is this also a magic sword? …Hm?
Blood is flowing from Shirley’s forehead? No, it isn’t only from her forehead, places like her arms, and legs, are beginning to bleed? …Is she unable to control the raging mana? …No, that’s not it.
“…Purposely making your mana go berserk?” (Solje)
She didn’t get angry at that and simply smiled boldly. That was basically her answer. She is filling her blood and flesh with overflowing mana. Is it something like the magic spell, Charge?
No, this frenziness…from all things, it had to be Dragon Flame. So it resembles my special technique. Meaning, the place that the sword style reaches is the same, huh. No, this is different from the Dragon Flame that is properly under control, hers is a berserk state. In terms of strength, hers might be superior.
She will most likely attack me single-mindedly. No matter how you paint it, that’s a self-destructing technique. Burning your blood and flesh in such a way, to the point that you might even lose the ability to continue being a swordsman…she is putting her whole life at stake to kill me.
The swordswoman avenger announces.
“…Now, let’s die together, Solje Strauss!!” (Shirley)
“Try it. Onii-san will take it on.” (Solje)
As a swordsman that’s walking a little bit ahead of you, I cannot run away from this technique.
Come, Shirley Kaien.
I will show you that I can take it on, the everything of the Kaien style!!
The left foot she placed on the front sinks… It is coming.
“Kaien Style…ultimate technique, [Sakura Blizzard]!!” (Shirley)
Shirley disappears in an instant.
It surpassed the reaction speed of the dragon eye? What a reckless woman!!
I couldn’t see it, but I could read it from her stance.
I stopped the guillotine attack that came at me from overhead with my dragon longsword!!
I see the swordswoman with her long black hair swaying in the sky with the wind. A blood mist along with her, like red flower petals…
I see, so that’s why it is called Sakura Blizzard? In order to bring out ultimate speed, you push your body to the utmost limits, your arms and legs muscle fibres bursting, and even your skin tearing, making blood spray from your body.
It is a truly fearsome self-destructing technique. Despite your light female body, this attack has such weight. The weight of this katana comes from sacrificing your own body, huh.
“…It is a splendid technique. You are like a wind of blood right now.” (Solje)
“You saw through it?! But this is not the end!” (Shirley)
A daring smile. And then, the wind of blood, the Sakura Blizzard rushes onto me!!
I am glad I took off my armor. Honestly, reading her slashes is difficult.
I create distance with my footwork to make some room to breathe, cause if I don’t do so, it will be impossible to evade.
There’s the need for nimbleness to deal with this without killing her. If I could just kill her, it wouldn’t be that difficult…
What a waste. After showing me such an incomplete technique, it would trouble me if you were to die, you know.
“Solje Straaaaussss!!” (Shirley)
The blood wind raises her katana while screaming my name. She plans on slashing me…with her highest speed, and probably her last strike.
Her whole body is riddled in wounds, and covered in blood.
Bathing in her overflowing bloodlust, I immerse in this excitement.
She is still ‘midway’…unpolished.
Blocking this Sakura Blizzard may be difficult, but it is actually easy to break. I just have to deal a smiting strike. With a counter of strength that you cannot endure, I can just end it with just breaking you along with your teeth.
You are way too inexperienced… But, in time, there’s no doubt you will be able to reach further heights.
I want to see your grown state, to taste your completed Sakura Blizzard, from the bottom of my heart.
That’s why, just give it a break for today. Your body won’t be able to take it at this rate.
“I WILL KILL YOU—Aghuh!!” (Shirley)
Holding back is hard. That must have broken some ribs. Sorry about it. But this is the price for the lesson.
My fist was was dug into the pit of her stomach. I closed the distance in an instant and struck with my fist.
“…Y-You…! The Sakura Blizzard…!” (Shirley)
She was looking at me with eyes wide open in shock. She is misunderstanding. I didn’t use Sakura Blizzard. Yours is probably not it either.
Yeah, you must polish it further. The fastest magic sword is definitely not something like this.
“…It seems to be a technique that we haven’t reached yet… Sleep for today, Shirley. I won’t do anything bad.” (Solje)
She won’t believe my words. Even within her fading consciousness, she grabbed my arm, and glared at me.
“…D-Don’t kill…the G-General…!” (Shirley)
“Yeah, that’s why, rest…Shirley.” (Solje)
The recoil of the technique coupled with my strike shook her heart, and made her lose consciousness.
I carried the falling body of the war maiden, and was impressed by it. Even in this state, she was not letting go of her katana.
“…Nice fighting spirit. You will one day perfect it… When that day comes, let’s have a serious duel to the death.” (Solje)
“Shirley! Is Shirley okay?!” (Claine)
Claine shouts worried.
So I tell him the truth.
“Yeah, she is. She is not dead…and her wish is also alive.” (Solje)
“Don’t die, Zack Claine. I really don’t want to see your dying breath today.” (Solje)
- Chapter 130
“…But, I have to die—” (Claine)
“No, we were a bit too late.” (Solje)
“Zephyr…my dragon is telling me. The ones remaining at the rampart, the Assassin Knights, are…all dead.” (Solje)
“…No way! T-That fast?!” (Claine)
“Yeah. Looks like even I misread our own attack power.” (Solje)
“…I let them die before my eyes?! What am I even doing?!” (Claine)
“We allowed as many to escape as we possibly can. Now, let’s do what we have to do.” (Solje)
“What is it?! I already have no time!! Then, at the very least…I wanted to use this life for the sake of my subordinates…!” (Claine)
Claine was punching the ground in grief.
“Don’t go hurting your fists. Your bones will break, you know.” (Solje)
“I don’t need them anymore. I can break as many bones as I want…!” (Claine)
“That’s not true, and you know it.” (Solje)
Yeah, we got way too serious. The world doesn’t proceed as we wish. Coincidences, misfortunes, and fortunes; they are also factors. There’s times when the world surpasses the will and wishes of the people.
If we were to stop each time that happens, our wish would rot. No point in moping about things that have gone bad. What’s important is to struggle. Just like this girl that challenged someone higher than her for the sake of her own wish.
There’s no way she could have won?
Yeah, but you still fight.
For the sake of the wish in your heart.
Offer your very life in order to clink to your wish and fight. This is something that people with fighting spirit and grand causes must have in common… That’s why you and I should do what we can.
“…Are you saying there’s something my hands still have to do?” (Claine)
“Yeah, there is. The first one is right in front of you.” (Solje)
Are you only perceptive in the militaristic part? …It is not that, look here.
“Claine, it is within my arms. Your daughter. Who is going to receive her?” (Solje)
“This girl wished for it. For you to not die. That’s absolutely correct. To be perfectly honest with you, I also don’t want you to die today.” (Solje)
“…But, my time is…” (Claine)
“The worth of your life is not defined by your time only. Even if you are on the verge of death by a disease.” (Solje)
“…You knew?” (Claine)
Of course. When we infiltrated into your room last night, in the time when you and I were talking, my capable little sister was stealing items from your room, you know.
Documents of tactics, the letter from the Emperor, gold coins and jewels, and also…a bit of the medicine that was inside a paper bag. There’s not ‘too much’ when it comes to gathering information.
Loroka melted that medicine with alchemy, and wrote down its components. Riel looked at it, and analyzed what kind of medicine it was.
“Do you have some sort of bad tumor in your lungs?” (Solje)
“…So you were the medicine thieves. I am impressed that you were able to analyze it.” (Claine)
“We may not be many, but we have capable people in our crew… Are you so weakened that you can’t even carry your daughter?” (Solje)
“…No, I was told I will be dying in half a year, so it should be okay. I can function for 6 months.” (Claine)
He offers me his arms. Right, he was indirectly hit by Burst Zapper. It would be tough on him to give him an armored woman.
I look around and find it. A dark warhorse is looking at me.
“Oi, horse!! Come here! Carry your master!” (Solje)
A horse, that seems to be well-trained and would sell well, came to me with its hooves clanging. A beautiful horse…a high-class horse lines up at my side. I want it, I want the 2,500 ciels that I would most likely get from selling you.
But this time around there will be no horse stealing.
I put the war maiden that still hasn’t let go of her katana to the back of the horse. I feel like the sword will be stabbing the horse, so I forcefully move her fingers and take her katana.
“…This is one good sword. I will take it. Entertain me more next time, Shirley-chan. Onii-san is amazing not only with the sword, but in the bed too, you know?” (Solje)
I slap her butt with a light mood.
Sexual harassment? Forgive this much. This is light skinship between swordsmen—.
“Solje Strauss.” (Claine)
“S-Sorry. There was a nice butt there, so I just had to slap it.” (Solje)
“…Fufu, you are interesting.” (Claine)
“I am told that often. Now, go. Remake your organization with the subordinates that have already escaped and the ones who will be escaping, and return straight to the Empire. Don’t get lost on the roadside, okay? …Show me that you can carry her back to the Empire territory without getting robbed. That’s also a specialty of yours, right?” (Solje)
I know a variety of things.
The documents with the information of Zack Claine were brought in several times through an owl messenger. Maybe Queen Claris thinks of me as quite the idiot, she was making me read a lot of documents.
“…Umu, understood. I will.” (Claine)
“I will only allow the minimum amount of armament. You leave your weapon as well. Also, your money… I will at least allow you to bring the emergency food in the chateau.” (Solje)
“…Giving quite a lot of freedom there.” (Claine)
I will be taking your money and equipment though. But even if we are not going to be killing you here, don’t go misunderstanding.
“Properly disarm your guys. If you don’t, we will judge that you still have the will to fight back. We will kill not only you and Shirley-chan, but every single one of you, got it?” (Solje)
I want to put that out there clearly. You are solely invaders.
“The biggest reason as to why we can let you go here like this is because you guys didn’t partake in pillaging the Zakuroa villages and towns. If you had, you wouldn’t be forgiven.” (Solje)
“…I also understand the pains of the ones being invaded.” (Claine)
“Right. Don’t bring damage to the civilians of Zakuroa from here on as well.” (Solje)
“Of course. Right now, I will put bringing the survivors…and my stupid daughter back to country as the highest priority. Once we cross the national borders, we won’t return ever again. If there’s a soldier that shows any strange movements, kill them. They are most likely people that are on the verge of falling into being bandits.” (Claine)
“I know.” (Solje)
I had a time when I cleaned up bandits, so I know a fair bit about that. Their cruelty, that is. Those kinds of people must not be forgiven. If I find one, I will kill and hang them.
“…Azrael, don’t drop Shirley, okay?” (Claine)
Zack Claine rides on the saddle of the expensive-looking black horse.
“…Okay, go at once. There’s many who want to kill you. They are simply not coming to kill you right now because they are seeing you as my prey.” (Solje)
“Yeah, I will be stealthily withdrawing without standing out.” (Claine)
“Good attitude. Also…make sure to keep good hygiene and live as long as possible.” (Solje)
“…I thought I would be able to die on the battlefield though. At this rate, we will be having a strategy meeting in the Empire territory. I will be blamed for the defeat, and be imprisoned, or be spoken ill of as running away from the battlefield and be sentenced to death…” (Claine)
“What, even though you love peace, you are the type that wants to die in the battlefield?” (Solje)
“Yeah. Rather than dying from an illness, I wanted to die in a place where I can see the sky while making the enemy suffer.” (Claine)
“Then, you gotta live longer for that.” (Solje)
“That wish of yours…might one day be made reality by me.” (Solje)
“…Fight you once more, huh. That sounds interesting.” (Claine)
“Also, if you end up imprisoned, I have…see there, look up.” (Solje)
Claine raises his head. Those black eyes of his were looking at the black wings dancing in the sky.
“Yeah. Our boy can fly in the sky. With Zephyr…we can kidnap you from any tall tower you are being imprisoned in.” (Solje)
“Kidnap a young and healthy princess. Not the dying me.” (Claine)
“I am not troubled in bed partners right now. But your talent as a general…is hard to come by.” (Solje)
“Excessive evaluation.” (Claine)
“…Hey, be honest here. Between you and Kaizer…who is stronger?” (Solje)
The strongest general of the imperial army. The General Commander of the 1st division…William Kaizer. The strongest and undefeated invader.
“…Who are you even trying to compare me with.” (Claine)
“At the time when Kaizer has to be defeated, I will definitely be there. Can you stay alive until then? …Don’t you want to decide who is truly the strongest?” (Solje)
“…You really put me up there, Demon Lord-dono.” (Claine)
“Yeah, cause you are not a farisian. You are the son of a shepherd in some small country, right?” (Solje)
“You can say that. I don’t really feel that much sense of duty for the Empire.” (Claine)
“Then, wouldn’t it be great to bring back the head of Kaizer as a souvenir to hell?” (Solje)
“…That does sound interesting.” (Claine)
“Right? …That’s why, take care of your health. Until the day Zephyr comes for you. We will be coming for you someday soon.” (Solje)
“…If you come before I croak, I will think about it.” (Claine)
“Hahahaha!! Good, nice!! …And so, Shirley-chan, when that happens, let’s get along, okay?” (Solje)
I slap the butt of the cute swordswoman that had regained consciousness just a while ago and was listening in on us with her eyes closed.
“D-Don’t touch me…!! You giant pervert!!” (Shirley)
“She is quite energetic. She would give birth to some nice children.” (Solje)
“Don’t make Loroka-kun cry, okay?” (Claine)
“Don’t misunderstand. I am simply praising her feminine traits. Linking everything to sex is the trait of a delusional person. Well, that’s a different story if Shirley-chan is the one asking though.” (Solje)
“Never!! If I get raped and pregnant with your child, I will hang myself and die!” (Shirley)
“Looks like we will get along! I am good at dealing with strong women.” (Solje)
“I-I will kill you… I won’t forget this shame!!” (Shirley)
“…What an interesting man.” (Claine)
“Now, I have said everything I wanted to say. See ya, Zack Claine, and Shirley-chan too. Whether you become enemies or allies, live healthily. Later!!” (Solje)
“Yeah! Shirley, hang onto Azrael tightly! We will be retreating to the outside of the borders!! Go!!” (Claine)
“…Remember this, next time, I will surely…perfect the Sakura Blizzard…you goooot iiiiit?!!” (Shirley)
“Yeah! Take care!!” (Solje)
I wave my arms and see off the father and daughter that might become comrades one day. Life is unpredictable. The chances of meeting them again won’t be that high. But what’s important is to hold that hope in your chest and look forward.
I put my dragon longsword back onto my shoulder.
Right, for now, let’s return to the urban areas of Zakuroa. Once the confusion of a few hours finishes, we will celebrate our victory, and begin a grand banquet.
“…Zephyr, I am hungry.” (Solje)
(Yeah. Can I eat the corpses around the area?) (Zephyr)
“No, you can’t unless it is in the middle of battle. Eat only the meat you killed yourself. That’s the pride of a dragon.” (Solje)
(I see! Right! I will do that!!) (Zephyr)
“…Even if we were to order a whole cow, I feel like we will be able to get it for free. You worked hard enough to get that and more. If that doesn’t happen, I will file a complaint with Julian Laichi.” (Solje)
(Everyone did a whole lot!!) (Zephyr)
“Right? …That’s why, let’s go back quickly. Once work is done, our next job is to enjoy ourselves. See? The city is beginning to get noisy.” (Solje)
(It really is. The singing will begin, right?!) (Zephyr)
“THE VICTORY OF ZAKUROAAAAAAAAA!!” (Solje)
“VIVA FREEDOM ALLIAAANCE!!”
Cheers of victory were raised, and those songs rode the wind, reaching even my ears where I am still walking around the place filled with corpses. The Freedom Alliance survivors were happy at their victory and singing their joy.
Many died, but we killed even more enemies.
After getting that assassination mission by Ludo Kingdom which I wasn’t really pleased about and came to these lands, I didn’t imagine this victory. It is slightly different from the best scenario I thought of…
In a sense, we may have written the chance for an even better future. I couldn’t devour the soul of Zack Claine, but there’s the possibility that I can hire the strongest general I know of.
Our battle still continues. We simply destroyed two of the Empire’s armies. But even so, let’s enjoy the current victory!!
The Banjar Mercenaries managed to survive this battlefield without losing anyone again!!
The slightly tattered and dirtied mercenaries were lined up at the rampart of Zakuroa.
Riel Harveld said ‘You are late’, being strict with time like the usual forest elf. We didn’t arrange for a specific time though… She calls me slow often. She probably likes saying that to me. I also love listening to her voice.
Mia Mar Strauss shouted ‘Onii-chan’ as she jumped onto me. We are both bloodstained. Let’s take a bath together later, okay? Gotta clean up after a good fight!
Loroka Sharnel said ‘Thanks for the hard work’ and smiled. Average people, look at that. That person with big boobs and a healing personality is my second wife. One day, with Riel and her…fufu. The possibilities are endless. But right now…those kind words were seeping into my heart.
The unicorn Byakuya went ‘Neigh!’ and snorts. When you get along with her, she shows her emotions, huh. She is a tsundere just like Riel. Alright, I will prepare some delicious carrots for you next time. There’s no Diaros rule that says unicorns cannot be fed carrots, right?
Jean Redwood is worn-out. After returning to human mode, he went ‘my jaw hurts’. He used his jaw way too much. He really is always Jean. Well, that’s fine. Arianrhod must be praising you after killing so much.
Gindo Irving, you did well. I thought that if anyone was going to die, it would be you with the low stamina. I was a bit pissed when you insulted the fake Zephyr, but all your work was perfect. I feel like you will one day die in a flying accident, but that’s just like you.
I truly am glad that everyone is fine. I am their leader after all. They are my responsibility.
Aah, I am tired… I think there’s a lot to do like the postwar cleaning, and other minute work, but right now I am going to throw those things away from my head!!
Wipe my head clean, and…enjoy the fact that I am alive!!
That’s why I will sing, in order to enjoy life.
“Zephyyyyyr!! SIIIIIIINNNGG!!” (Solje)
Epilogue: The beasts that pray for the dark future
——What announced the end of the war, as expected, the song of the dragon.
Guiding the corpses covering the ground into the sky.
The civilians who were taking refuge returned, mourned the dead, and shared the joy with the living.
Night came and the banquet to celebrate victory began.
——Demon Lord Solje! Demon Lord Solje!!
Your name and title become songs and spread.
The victory of this war this time around was also brought by you.
You even called the undead!
——The zakuroans respect and fear you.
They won’t ever talk ill about you, and they will be loyal to you with gratitude and fear.
People saying that he has the devil in him, that he was born from the egg of a dragon.
They were saying all sorts of unreasonable things, but you would definitely be happy about it.
——The scheme of her Majesty unexpectedly succeeded.
She was hoping for something to be achieved.
That’s the reason why she appointed the daughter of the Diaros chieftain as the adjutant this time.
It was outside her plans that even Zeruagas would get involved.
——Was it bad luck, or should it be considered fortune?
The Zeruagas became the food that made the Demon Lord grow.
Fearsome, right? It fills me with unbearable pride.
Do you know your new nickname in the southern regions?
——Controlling the undead and using the lost fourth element, Ice, this devilish man…
Is being called the Undead King of Zakuroa.
Sounds like a villain.
Even so, it is fitting for the Demon Lord.
——The Empire army has had two of their divisions destroyed.
In just a month, you have swallowed two divisions.
The presence of the Demon Lord is plenty well shown.
You are getting closer to becoming a true Demon Lord.
——Not the king of the humans, but the king of the inhuman.
Do you know? There’s demi-human warriors gathering in the Ludo Kingdom seeking for you.
No…they might only be seeking for help, but if it is for the sake of surviving, they will raise their swords.
Bringing down the Faris Empire…the song that sounded so nonsensical, is beginning to take form.
——That’s why the world might be covered in darkness.
Claris and I think so.
Ludo is a special land, it was originally a small country after all.
The country where the demi-human merchants gathered, and made the grandfather of Claris rich.
——Claris hasn’t forgotten the bond between those merchants.
That’s why it is a country where demi-humans can live in.
But…that’s not how most of the world works.
Many humans hate demi-humans.
——Solje, your heart is in the Garuna that the Demon Lord Verius created.
Sadly to say, that sense of value of yours is heretic.
…By making your strength increase, the Empire has noticed what we are scheming.
…The wicked law, the revival of the Blood Hunt, will soon happen…
——-The massacre of the demi-humans is close to beginning.
As more power gathers around you…the more the Empire will try to stop it.
That move will be cruel and merciless, and saddeningly effective.
A sample of the new law propositions from the Empire Diet Congress had arrived from the spy.
——The right-wing diet congress is desperately pushing the revival of the Blood Hunt and increasing the cruelty of it.
The plans for the disposal of the demi-humans will be clad in a madness that has never been seen before.
There’s even propositions of ‘cutting off a few fingers’ in order to stop a revolt.
They are trying to make it so men and women cannot hold weapons anymore.
——Our spies are doing their very best.
‘If we were to do that, the value of the slaves would lower, and the manual labor force will decrease’.
…We have no choice but to contain the cruelty of the humans by poking at their greed.
Does it look like the Empire is being slowly driven into madness?
Your enemies, the majority of the humans in the world, are clapping their hands in acclamation.
They are happy about the destruction of the demi-humans and their pain from the bottom of their hearts.
Our justice is as warped as the self-righteous justice of the Zeruagas.
——Solje Strauss, my close friend.
In order to make your prayer a reality, justice isn’t enough anymore.
It is unfortunate, but there’s only few who would listen to your prayers, to your righteousness.
That’s why, I will create songs in your stead.
——I will change your kind prayers into songs, and turn them into story songs for bars and sleeps.
…But that alone won’t change the world.
The world must be destroyed.
Destroy the order of the world, and bring justice regardless of opposition.
——A world where the ‘crevice’ children who will be carrying your blood don’t need to to cut off their fingers.
If you wish for that, you have to destroy order itself which is the Faris Empire.
It is sad, but that is the answer of the world towards your prayers.
We will be together with you, because we believe that your prayers are truly in the right.
——-We will be with you till the end, whether you destroy the world.
Or the world swallows you…
Prayers and logic won’t change the heart of the humans.
There’s no other choice but violence…and that’s the sad reality.
——Regardless of how sad it is, it is reality.
That’s why Claris and I are prepared.
Solje Strauss, we will stick with you until the bitter end of our lives.
Our lives, your prayers…your strength, your justice…
…Let’s go, Solje. In order to grasp your future!!
“…There’re a lot of children in this forest.” (Zephyr)
After a night long of drinking, you gotta have a fly early morning!
While looking with pride at the wings of Zephyr that have grown a size bigger, I was bathing in the damn cold morning wind, freezing even my intoxication.
Aah, how much has Zephyr grown overall? Gotta measure him later and record it! Just how much after the 8 meters 84 centimeters? I am looking forward to it—wait, right, gotta answer the question of Zephyr.
“Yeah, that’s right!! There’s 10,047 flying around!! They are all around!! Ahahahahaha!!” (Solje)
“Oh, that’s a whole lot!!” (Zephyr)
“Yeah…that’s right…” (Solje)
“They are probably not sad.” (Zephyr)
“Yeah…they probably aren’t.” (Solje)
“…Doje, are you?” (Zephyr)
“Hm? No, I am not. I have everyone after all!” (Solje)
“Right, everyone gets along well!!” (Zephyr)
“People think about way too many things. Even though they are not intelligent like dragons. And when they think too much, they end up worsening their relationships. Being bothered by their silly and small misunderstandings… They let their stupidity swell, and end up fighting.” (Solje)
“Is that so?” (Zephyr)
“It is. The Diaros felt out of place, right? Even though it was a celebration banquet, they were isolated.” (Solje)
“Yeah. Gilliam was nervous. He was scared there were so many people.” (Zephyr)
“That’s right. Being scared is bad too. But people are idiots in the end… They can get along with even the smallest of things.” (Solje)
“Really? How?” (Zephyr)
“Like Garf Cortez!” (Solje)
“Like Garf Cortez!!” (Zephyr)
“Exchanging a drink with everyone, you will eventually get along with them!” (Solje)
“Ahaha!! That’s true! When Gilliam and Julian got drunk, they were linking arms!” (Zephyr)
“Yeah, in the end, that’s just how it is. Difference in races? Kekeke, that’s stupid!! Drinking together to the point of not caring about the small things is the best solution!!” (Solje)
“…Doje is amazing! You know a lot!!” (Zephyr)
“Well, kinda. I have been living a life of meeting a variety of people, and being taught a variety of things by them… Hey, Zephyr, do you want to see with your own eyes a world where everyone gets along?” (Solje)
“I see. That’s my Zephyr. You are a nice boy!!” (Solje)
I hug the neck of Zephyr, and brush it with both of my hands. Zephyr laughs as if enjoying it.
“It tickles! It tickles, Doje!!” (Zephyr)
“Oh, sorry. I was just so happy.” (Solje)
“Really? Does it make you happy that I want to see a world where everyone gets along?” (Zephyr)
“Yeah, because you can live for a long time, you will be able to overwatch the future that I created.” (Solje)
“Right! I will overwatch the future for you!” (Zephyr)
“I will leave a good future for you, Zephyr… That’s why…Zephyr…please pray together with me above this forest. You don’t have to sing. Just silently inside your heart…dream about a world where everyone can be together.” (Solje)
“…Yes, I will pray, Doje! Please let the future that Doje creates be a really good world!!” (Zephyr)
“Thanks, Zephyr. When being told this by a dragon…there’s nothing impossible for the handsome dragon knight.” (Solje)
“Really?! Then I will pray forever! Even a 100 years later!! 200 years later!! So that the future that Doje and the others create will continue forever!” (Zephyr)
——The innocent wings pray.
For the sake of the foolish mankind.
That the colors the Demon Lord has collected will all continue forever and ever.
No matter how much blood and tears flow, let the Demon Lord be able to reach the end of that battle.
…So that Zephyr can fly freely in the sky even after 100 years, 200 years.