◇Ancient Dragon King’s POV◇
My youngest child has finally returned after several centuries.
I thought for sure she would come by herself, but she had a human man by her side.
At first, I thought it was a weak being that only had feeble mana.
However, this being is known far and wide in the demon lord army.
A user of Great Water Spirits that hasn’t shown up in several tens of thousands of years.
I have never met a human Spirit User this strong in my life.
At first, that personage told us the one we should be careful about is the Light Hero.
But now this one is being seen as even more dangerous than that.
A person that can even use God Rank Magic isn’t something that can be ignored.
To think from all people, she would be bringing him…
“It has been a while, my daughter…” (Astaroth)
My voice resonates in the hall.
It is the truth that quite a long time has passed since the last time we met.
Due to her displeasure when I decided that I would be serving that personage, my daughter hid herself somewhere.
I didn’t expect to reunite with her in this manner.
“You as well Father. You seem to be in good health.” (Mel)
My daughter was taking a slightly sulky attitude.
I thought she had calmed down, but she is still young, huh.
But to think she would bring a human to my castle.
The man at her side was looking around the castle as if he were curious about everything.
(What is he thinking…?) (Astaroth)
If he were to show a bit of a nervous countenance facing a Demon Lord in their own castle, he would have been a bit cuter.
He is looking over here as if he isn’t shaken by anything.
I endured my irritation and asked my daughter.
“Why are you allying with a human?” (Astaroth)
“The same reason as you, Father. I am simply obeying a strong one.” (Mel)
“…So the man by your side has tricked my daughter.” (Astaroth)
I say this poisonously.
“Showing respect to the strong is the pride of Ancient Dragons, right?” (Mel)
“Tomorrow that personage will be coming to this metropolis. When that happens, it will be over, you know?” (Astaroth)
I strengthen my tone.
That’s right, no one can match that personage.
“There’s no knowing, right? Even today, he put a fight against you and the Demon Lords.” (Mel)
“Putting me on the same grounds as that personage…how foolish.” (Astaroth)
“Since when did you become such a wimp?” (Mel)
My daughter is blindly accepting the Spirit User man.
Then I have no choice but to ask the man by her side.
“What’s your name?” (Astaroth)
I ask the man by the side of my daughter.
This is my first time trying to learn the name of a human.
But that man simply looked over here with a dumbfounded expression.
“Takatsuki Makoto, Father.” (Mel)
My daughter answered instead.
Why are you the one answering?
“Takatsuki Makoto, were you the one who defeated my friend Bifrons?” (Astaroth)
No matter how much I try, it ends up with a hard tone.
I have been acquainted with Bifrons for long.
I have heard he isn’t completely dead, but I can’t fathom the idea of him being defeated by a human.
“We were lucky.” (Makoto)
So you are calling it luck.
The Immortal King can’t be defeated by something like that.
What a ridiculous man.
I stand up from my throne, and slowly approach the Spirit User man.
He does show slight signs of faltering, but he isn’t running or hiding.
I can’t attack this man because of the Moon Oracle’s curse anyways.
Even so, despite being surrounded by this many seasoned Ancient Dragons in a Demon Lord Castle, and being right in front of me, he is still this calm.
Just what are the nerves of this man?
Is it his confidence of being able to use the God Rank Spell that he utilized before?
“The Divinity that’s in your body, even with that, it won’t work on that personage, you know?” (Astaroth)
That personage is on a different plane from us Demon Lords.
If he thinks he can defeat that personage with such half-baked magic, that would be insulting.
“Don’t know till you try.” (Makoto)
“It is pointless. Stop the foolish choices. Come to our side.” (Astaroth)
“Father, that’s pointless. He is moving as an Apostle of a Divine Realm Goddess. He won’t stop.” (Mel)
An Apostle of a Goddess, huh.
All Apostles who have seen a God have gone crazy without exception.
It was the same for that Demon Lord Cain that believes in an Evil God.
No matter how strong you are, it is no good without your sanity.
You can’t even have a conversation with those kinds.
(This is bad… At this rate, my daughter is going to antagonize that personage.) (Astaroth)
I must stop that.
Should I just ignore the curse and stop them by force?
Maybe my state of mind was transmitted, the Spirit User man spoke.
“Don’t worry, Ancient Dragon King, if it looks impossible, we will simply run away.” (Makoto)
“What did you say…?” (Astaroth)
I was bewildered by his words.
Him fighting to the death surrounded by Demon Lords and overcoming it was not to challenge that personage?
How can he say he will run away in such a nonchalant manner?
“You bastard, do you think you can just get away after having an audience with that personage?!” (Astaroth)
A shout unconsciously came out from my mouth.
Even I understood with just a glance that I had no choice but to obey that personage.
That’s just how much of a difference there is as a living being.
I remembered the awe at that time, and it changed to anger.
Miasma overflowed from me unintentionally, and I ended up trying to intimidate them.
All my subordinates drew back at once.
No good, this is not pressure that should be directed at a human.
I reflected on this and looked at the Spirit User.
“We are finally getting a chance to meet them, so I should at least greet them.” (Makoto)
The Spirit User man said calmly.
Those eyes were by no means those of a madman.
(This man…) (Astaroth)
Why is he able to make such eyes when facing me?
I see, no wonder my daughter has been captivated by him.
I would have wanted to have a bout with someone with this much courage.
“I don’t think you will come out safely after going against that personage. However, if you somehow survive, once the curse of the Moon Oracle goes away, fight me. If you win, I will grant you a seal of the Dragon King that will let you have all dragons obey you.” (Astaroth)
“…Father, are you serious?” (Mel)
“Dragon King?” (Makoto)
My daughter and the Spirit User man made surprised expressions.
“You are the man that defeated my old friend and enticed my daughter; it is in the nature of an Ancient Dragon to want to fight you.” (Astaroth)
By the time I noticed, those feelings of annoyance were gone.
I waited for how he would answer me…
I could faintly see some letters close to the Spirit User man.
But they disappeared soon after.
What a strange feeling.
“Got it. I promise. Let’s have a match one day.” (Makoto)
The Spirit User man answered easily.
My subordinate Ancient Dragons grew noisy.
This man will surely appear in front of me again.
I am sure of this.
I in good mood tell my subordinates to see off the Spirit User man until the outside of the castle.
I stopped my daughter who was going to leave with him.
After that, I took my time and listened to what kind of journey my daughter had.
◇Light Hero Anna’s POV◇
(Makoto-san is late…) (Anna)
Momo and I were waiting for him to come back, but he isn’t coming back at all.
“C-Could it be the White Dragon Master is also aiming for Makoto-san and they are currently all steamy?!” (Momo)
“No no, there’s no way.” (Anna)
I denied that idea with a laugh.
“Who knows! Lately, her eyes when looking at Makoto-sama have been the eyes of a woman just like Anna-san!” (Momo)
“W-Wait, Momo-chan?!” (Anna)
I don’t make those eyes!
“Anyways, there’s nothing to do. Want to go outside for a bit?” (Momo)
“Yeah, let’s.” (Anna)
I agreed to the invitation of Momo-chan.
Johnny-san and Makoto-san have gone out too.
It would be boring for us to be the only ones staying at the inn.
There was a bustling street outside of the inn.
I haven’t seen a city this developed since Laphroaig.
No, this is prospering far more than that city.
I even think this might be the most prosperous place in the world.
Momo-chan and I were looking around the street stalls.
Maybe because it is a different continent, there’s a lot of food and costumes that I have never seen before.
Also, all the stall owners were demons.
But they aren’t saying anything even when seeing me -a human.
This was shocking as someone who was taught by my master that demons are enemies.
All the demons here are greeting us with a smile.
I was told by Makoto-san that they have all been Charmed and are being controlled.
Honestly, my poisonous nature was getting taken away.
(Why is the North Continent so different from the other continents…?) (Anna)
That’s not fair.
Even though the humans in the West Continent are not happy at all.
“You are a new face.”
Momo-chan swiftly hid behind my back.
When I turned there, 3 girls had spoken to Momo.
They look like humans at a glance, but I could see small fangs peeking from their mouths.
They are also vampires.
Isn’t it dangerous? Is what I thought, but I couldn’t feel any hostility from them.
It seems they are purely interested in Momo-chan.
“Could it be that you came from outside? I would like to listen to your story.”
“You are strong. You must have gotten the blood of quite the noble one.”
Momo-chan was flustered at first, but she slowly meshed in.
As far as I know, she hasn’t had the chance to speak to girls her same age.
That’s why she must be happy.
I checked the stores close around, but doing that alone wasn’t that fun.
(If only Makoto-san was here…) (Anna)
While I was thinking that, a familiar face passed by.
“Anna-dono, huh.” (Johnny)
The reddish brown long haired handsome elf swordsman.
“No matter if we are protected by the curse, being alone is careless, you know.” (Johnny)
I was going to point out that he has no right to be saying that, but I noticed that someone was by the side of Johnny-san.
This one isn’t a familiar face.
This is my first time seeing them.
“Hey, is this girl your comrade? What a pretty girl.”
The one leaning coquettishly against Johnny-san was a brown skinned dark elf woman.
“She is a comrade of the party leader I spoke to you about just now.” (Johnny)
“I see, the one that controls Great Water Spirits, huh. I would like to meet him too.”
“U-Uhm…Johnny-san, who is this person?” (Anna)
This is my first time meeting a dark elf, but it is still a demon.
And yet, they are talking as if they were pretty close to each other.
Did he coincidentally meet an old acquaintance?
“A friend of yours?” (Anna)
“Nope, met her just a few moments ago.” (Johnny)
Looks like she spoke to him when he was exploring the city.
And yet they seem this close?!
“Hey, let’s go quickly~.”
“Yeah, sorry for making you wait.” (Johnny)
The dark elf woman grabs the arm of Johnny-san and pulls him.
“Uhm…Johnny-san, are you going to be coming back to the inn…?” (Anna)
“I will return tomorrow morning.” (Johnny)
It has already been settled that he will be returning the next morning?!
We are in enemy territory though.
“Tomorrow will be the final battle. You should get some energy too, Anna-dono. Maybe having Makoto-dono embrace you.” (Johnny)
Johnny-san said something outrageous at the end as he left together with the woman.
E-Embrace, he says…
Haah, just what is he saying?
I fan my heated up face.
Momo-chan is talking to the vampire girls.
Just when I was thinking it should be about time to return to the inn…
(Ah! Makoto-san!) (Anna)
I found him.
Makoto-san was looking around restlessly as if he were worried about his surroundings and was heading somewhere.
It is the opposite direction of the inn, so it doesn’t seem like he is going back.
Just where is he going…?
D-Don’t tell me he met a woman like Johnny-san…?
Or maybe it is as Momo-chan feared and he is having a clandestine meeting with the White Dragon-sama?!
…No, there’s no way.
Nah, that’s not possible.
But it bothers me.
By the time I noticed, I had erased my presence and was tailing Makoto-san.
We were advancing deeper and deeper into the city, the amount of people lessening more and more.
Isn’t this the first time Makoto-san has come to this city…?
Makoto-san was walking unceasingly without getting lost.
We arrived at the outskirts of the city.
A really rundown place.
All the buildings are worn down, and there’s no presence of people.
I thought no one would come to a place like this.
But Makoto-san had his arms folded and was training his water magic while clearly waiting for someone.
I watch him while being careful to not enter the line of sight of Makoto-san.
He was just standing there and there were no changes.
Just when I thought about just going back…
Not a woman.
That relieved me a bit.
What a relief, Makoto-san wasn’t having a secret date.
But who is it he is trying to meet while avoiding the eyes of others?
I focus and look at the person Makoto-san was talking to.
I felt like my breath was going to stop.
My heart was racing.
I can’t keep my hands from trembling.
Why is that person…
That face is a face I have seen in Laberintos.
There’s no way I would forget it.
A man that normally covers his whole body is armor and doesn’t show his face at all.
The Black Knight Demon Lord.
The Apostle of an Evil God.
And…the man that killed the Fire Hero.
“Demon Lord Cain…” (Anna)
The one Makoto-san was meeting with…was the killer of my master.