◇Takatsuki Makoto’s POV◇
My Spirit Arm stung.
I used Clear Mind so it doesn’t show in my face, but when I think about it, I am currently using a mask.
With this, there’s no worry of being caught pushing myself here.
I was silently relieved by this when…
Someone slapped my head.
A short girl glared at me from below, the Destiny Oracle Esther-sama—who is possessed by Ira-sama.
“What’s the matter, Goddess Esther-sama?” (Makoto)
“Don’t act as if you are okay. You used most of your lifespan, haven’t you?” (Ira)
Not only Anna-san and Momo who were close, but even the people around heard this, and they were making shocked faces.
“It would be useless if I were to use Spirit Magic way too conservatively that it ends up into a melee. If I am going to do it, it has to be all in.” (Makoto)
“But there’s something called limits… Well, fine. You go rest already.” (Ira)
I got some kind words from Ira-sama who went ‘hmph’ with her arms crossed, but of course I can’t do that.
It begins for real from here on.
“In the first place, is the Demon Lord still alive?”
“Being hit by that, there’s no way he is okay, right…?”
“Hasn’t he been defeated with the spell of Makoto-dono?”
I heard that noise.
Everyone is so optimistic.
“The Demon Lord is unscathed.” (Ira)
What Ira-sama said made everyone fall silent.
“You can’t defeat it by just dropping a comet.” (Makoto)
The Beast King Zagan of before was an unbelievable monster.
If not for the Light Hero Sakurai-kun, we wouldn’t have been able to defeat it.
According to the legends, Bifrons is apparently a high ranking Demon Lord even among Demon Lords.
“Right. It is as Ta—Makoto says. The battle begins from now on. Everyone, brace yourselves.” (Ira)
Everyone’s expressions turn serious at the words of the Destiny Oracle.
“Uhmm…Master Makoto-sama, what should I do?” (Momo)
Momo tugged my sleeve.
“You stay on standby here. Mel-san and the others as well will be staying here, so act together with them please.” (Makoto)
“Are you sure I should not go too?” (Mel)
When I put Momo under the care of Mel-san, she instead asked me back.
“In terms of position, it would be bad for you as a White Dragon to go against a Demon Lord publicly, right?” (Makoto)
“Umu… But…” (Mel)
“You have helped us a lot, so it is plenty enough.” (Makoto)
I say this to Mel-san who seems to be worried.
This is something Ira-sama told me, but the Ancient Dragon Mel-san is a relative of the Dragon King Astaroth.
Of course, Mel-san is not on the side of the Demon Lords; she has a neutral standing.
But if she were to fight Bifrons here, she would be a complete enemy of the Demon Lords.
I don’t want to force that onto her.
But well, in the original history, Mel-san had her comrades killed by Cain, so she completely went hostile against the Demon Lords…
Cain was also the one who awakened Hero Abel, so he really is one war criminal…
Wait, he is from the side of Noah-sama, so he is technically a relative of mine.
“Makoto-dono, are we going to charge into the Demon Lord Castle with everyone?” (Johnny)
I once again tell them the plan that I have already told Ira-sama.
“The demon lord army is currently away because of the inundation. But they must be on their way back after noticing something strange is happening with that Comet Fall of before. Please make it so that they don’t rejoin with the Demon Lord. In that time, Abe—Anna-san and the others will defeat the Demon Lord.” (Makoto)
“Most of the demon lord army are undead. For them, the sunlight being back after clearing the Pitch Black Clouds is the worst kind of situation. We are at an advantage here.” (Ira)
Ira-sama complemented what I said.
That’s right, on top of the demon lord army being divided, the sunlight has weakened them.
There should be no holes in this plan.
“Got it. I will give the orders to my comrades. But I will be going with you, Makoto-dono. I have to give one slash at the very least onto that Demon Lord for the long years he has made my people suffer.” (Johnny)
Looks like Johnny-san plans on going with us.
…He is also a ‘true companion’ of Hero Abel, so there’s no problem, huh.
The Heroes Volkh-san, Julietta-san, and the others are going to charge into the Demon Lord Castle with us.
The fighters of Laberintos will be stalling the demon lord army coming back.
If injured show up, the White Dragon-san and the Sage-sama will be using Teleport to have them withdraw.
Esther-sama will be acting along with the White Dragon-san.
The rough formation is something like that.
“You seriously plan on going?” (Ira)
Looks like Ira-sama is against me charging into the Demon Lord Castle.
“Dia is with me. I will at least try to be of use as a support.” (Makoto)
“T-That’s right! I will protect Our King!” (Dia)
“I am also here! I will protect Makoto-san from the Demon Lord!” (Anna)
Dia and Anna-san continue after my words.
I have prepared perfectly beforehand.
There should be no problem.
And most of all…
(There’s no way…I would miss the moment Savior Abel defeats a Demon Lord!) (Makoto)
“I can hear you.” (Ira)
I was smacked.
Looks like my mind was read.
Bluffs don’t work on Goddesses.
“…Don’t go dying.” (Ira)
‘I can’t see your future after all’, is the whisper I hear from her.
I nodded slightly at that.
“Please pray for our victory. Now then, everyone, let’s go.” (Makoto)
Anna-san, Johnny-san, and the Heroes nodded at my words.
And in this way, the Demon Lord subjugation unit began moving.
Because the surroundings of the Demon Lord Castle have been submerged, we approached it with flying magic.
I can’t use flying magic, so Anna-san is carrying me…
“Makoto-san, be careful to not fall.” (Anna)
“There’s no need to stick to me so much. I won’t be falling.” (Makoto)
“No! Come on, grab onto me more tightly!” (Anna)
Anna-san was overprotective.
“Looking at it from up-close, it is even more in tatters.”
“I can’t see any monsters from the demon lord army.”
Just as Julietta-san and Volkh-san said, the Demon Lord Castle has been partially destroyed from the Comet Fall, and there’s no sight of monsters around.
However, only the 1st floor of the castle has maintained its form.
“Where should we infiltrate from, Makoto-san?” (Anna)
“…From the entrance.” (Makoto)
Before Anna-san finished speaking, I exchanged looks with Dia.
“Understood, Our King.” (Dia)
Dia approached the giant submerged entrance of the Demon Lord Castle.
When she did, the water split and a path was slowly made.
“Let’s go, Anna-san.” (Makoto)
Johnny-san and the other Heroes landed in front of the castle’s entrance after us.
An iron door that’s big enough that even a dragon could enter.
It is tightly closed.
While I was thinking about how to open it…
The giant door slowly opened.
“Looks like they are inviting us in.” (Johnny)
Johnny-san unhesitantly steps in.
I follow after.
“P-Please wait!” (Anna)
Anna-san and the others chase after us.
The corridor inside the castle is dark, and the only thing illuminating the floor were the lights of the candles.
Only the clanging sounds of our footsteps were ringing eerily.
“Despite the magic of Makoto-dono making a direct hit, the inside is strangely fine.” (Johnny)
“Maybe there was a barrier?” (Makoto)
I checked with Night Vision, and I couldn’t see traces of destruction from the floor and the walls.
Now that I look closely, it is a quite well decorated building made of marble.
We advance carefully through the corridor of this solemn building.
There would be gargoyles in the middle of the corridor, and iron armor monsters attacking us, but Johnny-san and the other Heroes cut them all down.
I was expecting us to be surrounded by an army of monsters, but nothing of the sort happened.
This is pretty lacking for monsters protecting the Demon Lord Castle.
There’s a giant hall at the end of the long corridor.
There’s stairs at the innermost part of it with a platform, and at the center of it, there’s the throne.
An empty throne that no one’s sitting on.
“There’s no one here…”
“Don’t lower your guard.”
We survey our surroundings on high alert.
“Could it be that the Demon Lord isn’t present?”
“According to Esther-sama, he should be here though…”
“Then there’s no mistake. Let’s search.”
Is there really no mistake?
We are talking about Ira-sama here. I feel like she might accidentally mess up…
(You can’t trust me?!) (Ira)
Looks like she heard me.
We arrived at what looks like the throne room, but the Demon Lord is not here, you know?
(Search properly! He is definitely here today.) (Ira)
Can’t be helped.
Let’s explore this suspicious hall…just when I thought that…
Despite that voice being by no means loud, it rang clearly in my ears.
I direct my gaze to where that voice came from.
At the place we looked up at…
At the throne that was empty just a few moments ago…there was a tall and lean man sitting there, looking down at us with a cold gaze.
I could hear someone gulping.
The air around turned heavy in an instant.
No one asked who he was.
Also, this is my second time meeting him.
At the Demon Lord Grave where I was in before at Spring Log.
I have spoken to this man in the future.
—Immortal King Bifrons.
The Demon Lord that rules over the West Continent was sitting on the throne.