The space the Black Demon Lord had created under the orders of the Hero Yugura. Every full moon night, the Demon Lords would get their minds transported, and they are made to exchange information in this place.
The giant round table had crystal balls of 8 different colors. The gold, green, blue, scarlet, purple, and colorless ones were shining, and the black and white ones were still dark.
“Nfufu, this day has come again.” (Gold)
The first one to speak was the gold one, the Gold Demon Lord that rules Gahne.
“Oh my, you are more energetic than normal. Did something good happen?”
“I am the same as usual… So jealous… I want to die…”
“Now, is there anyone who wants to report first? Actually, there’s something this one wants to talk to everyone here about. If there’s any other talk that can be dealt with first, can we do so now?” (Gold)
“None here either.”
The ones who spoke were the scarlet, purple, and blue colors. The others maintain silence.
“Green and Colorless…go without saying. Guess I will talk then. —*Cough* I have said this before a full moon a few ways back, but this one has seen a horde of monsters that can’t be distinguished from any of the Demon Lords in the Gahne Nether that’s by the side of Gahne. Do ya remember?” (Gold)
“Yeah, but I also said it had nothing to do with me.” (Scarlet)
“Right. No recollection of that though?” (Purple)
“Of course, there’s no one here who would confess honestly even if I asked. But the scale is soon going to match that of mine. Therefore, I was thinking of taking countermeasures.” (Gold)
“Just do as you please. There’s no need to go out of your way to confirm with us.” (Scarlet)
“There’s the need to. Because I might have to use the Hierarchy Curse after all.” (Gold)
After a brief silence, the Gold Demon Lord declared she would use the Hierarchy Curse.
This is the curse that Yugura had embedded in them in order to have smooth progress in this meeting. There’s also a silent agreement that they wouldn’t use that curse in a place where Yugura is not present.
In the case the Gold Demon Lord were to demand the use of her position, the one against it will be made to feel an incredibly unpleasant sensation.
That would be a clear act of antagonism for the Demon Lords. It could even make her a target of killing intent.
“Have you lost your mind, Gold? Do you plan on turning everyone here into your enemy?” (Scarlet)
“I…would like you to not… I would want to die…” (Blue)
“Those are not words I expected to hear from Gold, who is one of the wiser ones here, you know?” (Purple)
“Nfufu, it is not like I am going to use it at once. I am going to be exposing the identity of the one causing the trouble and making a negotiation. The ones not related to this can just decide after hearing me out, right?” (Gold)
“Hooh, judging from that way of speaking, you have already ascertained who it is.” (Scarlet)
In that case, the meaning of what she said before would change.
If she were to use the Hierarchy Curse because of an unknown party, it would drag all the Demon Lords as well. The Gold Demon Lord would be resented by all the other Demon Lords.
However, if she is going to use the Hierarchy Curse with the premise that she has already discovered the target, the resentment will also be directed at the one that caused this problem.
No, it would be better to say that everyone’s resentment would be directed towards the one that caused the trouble.
“You came out big there. Even if it was something done by someone here, will you be able to tell us a deduction that will be acknowledged not only by the person themself, but the other Demon Lords?” (Purple)
“I won’t know unless I try.” (Gold)
“Then, will you let us hear it at once? Who in the world was the one that caused this trouble?” (Purple)
“—Is that something ya would say, Purple? What a bold one, ye are.” (Gold)
“Oh my, oh my… Are you implying that I am the culprit?” (Purple)
“Umu, it is ya, Purple. This one can say for sure yer the culprit.” (Gold)
The Gold Demon Lord strung words in amusement. However, there was tension taking over the place even in this isolated space.
“I see. You are acting pretty tough there. Then, can you prove it?” (Purple)
“Alright. Then, where do ya want me to begin from?” (Gold)
“There’s a lot I would like to ask, but…I would like to know the reason first. What’s the reason why I would want to attack the country you rule?” (Purple)
“From the decent reason first, huh. The reason is because ya can only attack Gahne where this one rules. We have gained a second resurrection after being defeated by Yugura, but everyone seems to be careful, most likely because they are bothered from having been killed. Due to this, we don’t know each other’s locations, right? The only ones who have spit out their locations boldly are me and Green.” (Gold)
“It should be possible to invade from the Gahne Nether to the Taizu Nether, right?” (Purple)
“If it is just invading. But with the people here, ya would only be displeasing Green and won’t be dealing much harm. The scale of the monsters is increasing, but it is a tad too small in scale to attack the Taizu Nether.” (Gold)
The Creature monsters are a high enough treat for humans.
But in comparison to the monsters that exist in the Taizu Nether like the dragons, they are just a gathering of riff-raff.
From the very moment it is confirmed they will be invading, they will get intercepted and fall. After that, it would be a one-sided slaughter.
“…Well, figures. If someone wanted to attack one of the Demon Lords, the only place that they could currently attack would be Gold. Everyone can accept that part. But even if we can attack you, what is the reason to actually attack you?” (Purple)
“It is in order to make this one use the Hierarchy Curse. To be more precise, it is in order to make the others suffer with it.” (Gold)
“…What’s with that?” (Purple)
“The reason ya brazenly gathered them all in the center of the Gahne Nether was in order for me to discover them. This one would obviously notice if ya did that. And then, once those numbers reach a certain point, I would be forced to act. Demons have the ability to control monsters, but the only ones who can create a Nether that can spawn monsters are Demon Lords. Ya would have to assume the culprit is among us. But ya tinkered with the Nether in order to make it impossible to pinpoint the one who did it from the type of monsters. Thus, this one would have no choice but to use the Hierarchy Curse to stop this.” (Gold)
“Right. You would naturally want to avoid making the country you worked so hard to raise fight and consume it. But if you use the Hierarchy Curse, I would be suffering too, you know?” (Purple)
“—Ya won’t. Ya would be happy instead.” (Gold)
“…Excuse me?” (Purple)
“There’s little merit to going so far as to make others suffer if ya will suffer as well. But if that were a pleasure for ya, ya would benefit, and the others would suffer. A win-win for ya, don’t ya think?” (Gold)
“Are you trying to say I have that kind of fetish?” (Purple)
“Umu, I at first thought there was a Demon Lord who would prioritize the pain of others over their own shame, but those aforementioned monsters were born from those distorted feelings after all.” (Gold)
“What do you mean by that, Gold?” (Scarlet)
The one who reacted to this was the Scarlet Demon Lord.
“The Nether refers to the land where our mana has been permeated on. And then, monsters in our form are born. What I have said until now is what we have been taught by Yugura. There’s no need to go into further detail on those. But it is not like y’all expanded yer Nethers with the same feelings the whole time, right? The traits of the monsters born are affected by the emotions put inside the mana as well.” (Gold)
“The monsters in the Nether of Scarlet are mostly therianthropes, but the properties of the mana are changed slightly by yer mood and battle desire. For example; the aggressive monsters are spawned when yer own mana is worked up.” (Gold)
“You have investigated this quite thoroughly, huh?” (Purple)
“The aforementioned monsters had the special traits of the Demon Lord themselves diluted, and were birthed by increasing a specific emotion. As mentioned before, it is difficult to pinpoint, but not impossible. Also, their motive was also clearly leaked from this. The desire to make others suffer and the craving for the unreasonable that will be poured onto ya.” (Gold)
“Even if that’s the case, can you assert that it is me? The other Demon Lords could have that kind of personality.” (Purple)
“I said I already pinpointed it, right? There were common points with the lesser devils and the monsters in question. I have already found a few common indicators even.” (Gold)
“How can you prove that? Your foundation being based on your findings can be considered a bluff, you know?” (Purple)
“Do you want me to make everyone accept it no matter what? Well, it is simple. Those monsters were born from the exclusive Nether that neighbors the Gahne Nether. Several of those places have been found. Ya just have to stand there. The Nethers of others are poison for us after all. If ya put yer body on the line here, it would be easy to prove yer innocence, ya know?” (Gold)
“…You think I will tag along with that play of yours?” (Purple)
“Ya can decline. In that case, I will simply have to make each Demon Lord head there in the order of hierarchy using the Hierarchy Curse. Yer rank is the second to the last one, but what will happen to yer position when ya make them go through such hassle?” (Gold)
“Do you think the other Demon Lords will obediently do your biddi—” (Purple)
“I don’t mind.”
The one who suddenly spoke was the Green Demon Lord. The Demon Lord at rank 3.
“But if you order me to leave my castle, I will also be giving out the same order to all of you.” (Green)
“…No objections here.”
“None here either…”
It is not only the Gold Demon Lord who can use the Hierarchy Curse.
Anyone can use it as long as they are not at the bottom of the rank.
With the Green Demon Lord declaring that they will be using the Hierarchy Curse, the other Demon Lords who decline this will have to suffer two layers of curses.
All the Demon Lords aside from the Gold Demon Lord have felt the Hierarchy Curse with their bodies in the past.
If you have a normal personality that dislikes unpleasant sensations, you wouldn’t want to suffer two times that.
“To think Green would go along with this. It is surprising that ya have sympathy towards this one’s position.” (Gold)
“Don’t get conceited. It is simply that your talk about the nature of the monsters being affected by the fluctuation of emotions made sense. That woman there tried to resist in an unsightly manner despite that, so I simply refused that escape.” (Green)
“That’s just like ya… And so, Purple, are ya going to make me use the Hierarchy Curse? Ya could have just enjoyed it if yer identity wasn’t exposed, but if everyone is convinced that yer the one that set this up, ya will be feeling really constricted here. Aah, I promise I won’t use it on ya. This one wouldn’t want to make ya happy after all.” (Gold)
“Fufu…fufufu…ahahahahahahaha! I was discovered more easily than I thought?” (Purple)
Laughs rang from the purple crystal with static mixed in.
That’s due to the obstruction of the transmission caused by the intensification of mana, showing fluently how shaken the emotions of the Purple Demon Lord are right now.
“Can I take that as a confession?” (Gold)
“…Fufufu, there’s no room for deceptions anymore, huh? I admit it. That’s right, I am the one who set that up.” (Purple)
The Purple Demon Lord admitted with elation. She was the one who prepared the monsters and is the one readying to attack Gahne.
“It is good that yer honest. I would be grateful if ya were to withdraw yer monsters while at it.” (Gold)
“Too bad. I admitted it, but there’s no need to withdraw the monsters, right? You dragged the other Demon Lords by saying you would use the Hierarchy Curse in order to identify the culprit, but I have confessed. My original objective crumbled, but I just have to challenge you to an actual match, right?” (Purple)
The objective of making the Gold Demon Lord use the Hierarchy Curse has crumbled, but none of the physical obstructions have been solved.
There’s enough monsters to attack Gahne in the Gahne Nether on standby.
“It is true that it would be troubling if ya were to bring the situation to that development. If this one were to use the Hierarchy Curse to ask for the cooperation of the other Demon Lords, that would be a show of this one’s own lack of ability, and would turn into my own selfishness.” (Gold)
“Yes. If I had stayed silent, I might have been at fault for getting them caught up in this, but I have already confessed. If you continue getting them involved any further than this, it would turn into your own selfishness. So, how do you plan on stopping me? Are you going to use the Hierarchy Curse on me? You could plead the other Demon Lords to use it too, you know? Just how shameful of a sensation will it be? Ufufu…fufufufufu!” (Purple)
The aim of the Purple Demon Lord has been exposed, but their advantage is still the same.
Her aim is to get the fun of receiving the Hierarchy Curse.
And also to make the other Demon Lords suffer.
The Purple Demon Lord is a masochist and also a sadist, so she wouldn’t not use the pawns she has already prepared.
“As I said before, I won’t use the Hierarchy Curse on ya. I don’t want to make ya happy after all. But ya would be happy even if the others were to use it on ya. What a hopeless one ya are.” (Gold)
“That’s right. But in my opinion, you are the most mysterious one. Even though you have become an immortal Demon Lord, you were given a shameful curse by Yugura… Don’t you think it is a waste to not be excited about it?” (Purple)
“Anything can sound good when put in words. And so, Gold, what do you plan on doing?” (Scarlet)
“Even if I were to use the Hierarchy Curse, it would benefit Purple. That said, if left alone, this one’s country will eventually be invaded and I will be suffering. Scarlet, are ya going to leave Purple be despite her using the Nether ya created as she pleases?” (Gold)
“I have already let the Gahne Nether go. I have no plans on considering it my Nether at present.” (Scarlet)
“So cold. Even if I were to ask Green and Blue, it would be pointless… How should I settle this?” (Gold)
“Do as you please. But my forces will surpass yours soon, so…I will be the one making the move if you don’t hurry.” (Purple)
“Umu, that’s right. Then, let’s negotiate.” (Gold)
“Oh my, you plan on solving this with conversation? Even though your pain is also a source of pleasure for me. Do you have a bargaining chip that surpasses this?” (Purple)
“If ya don’t step back, I will publicize yer location to everyone here. How’s that?” (Gold)
“…What are you saying?” (Purple)
Faint unease was shown in the voice of the Purple Demon Lord.
The location of a Demon Lord. That’s information that can become their weak point.
They have been defeated by the Hero Yugura once already. This elimination progressed without issues because their locations were exposed.
Having reflected on this, most of the Demon Lords now hide their location after they resurrected.
The exception would be the Gold Demon Lord who is reigning in the human realm as a beneficial existence, and the Green Demon Lord that is shutting themself in at a remote location where the humans can’t step in.
The Scarlet and Purple Demon Lords are currently hiding in preparation for the new invasion on the human realm.
They want to avoid this being exposed.
If their location is exposed, the danger of humans attacking them is created.
They will also be within sight of the Green Demon Lord who gets angry at the slightest things and would kill even a Demon Lord without mercy.
He is not here right now, but there’s the possibility Yugura will appear again.
If it were the Scarlet Demon Lord who welcomes conflict, he could turn defiant here, but for the Purple and Blue Demon Lords who don’t wish for direct combat, this could become fatal.
“Ya hid yer own identity when acting. That’s proof that, even if ya didn’t mind making this one yer enemy, ya didn’t want the other Demon Lords to become yer enemies. Even if yer a pervert who gets happy from shame, ya wouldn’t want to have yer back taken by all the other Demon Lords, right?” (Gold)
“—I doubt you know where my location is.” (Purple)
“Ya are the Purple of Enticement. Ya excel in kidnapping others. Due to this, ya haven’t created demons who could end up in close relationships. With that information alone, it is easy to locate where ya are. Yer the one that’s sending yer thoughts to the monsters created and gathering them. Ya have gathered them way too frequently. Did ya not expect to be located like that?” (Gold)
“…A bluff. You don’t have that powe—” (Purple)
“Kuama, right?” (Gold)
“If I describe it in more detail than this…the other Demon Lords are not idiots after all. I wouldn’t want to put ya in a precarious spot before our negotiation… And so, what will ya do?” (Gold)
“Purple… You are by the side of the Nether I created? …Aah, I want to die.” (Blue)
“—Got it. I will withdraw the monsters. But where should I withdraw them? If I move them to Kuama in the north, it would fall into the eyes of the humans too.” (Purple)
What’s close to the Gahne Nether is the Taizu Nether and the Mejis Nether.
The travel route to reach Kuama would require them to leave the Nether, and if they do, they will be spotted by the humans and they might locate them.
“You can just turn them into food for the monsters of Green. Green wouldn’t complain if monsters are coming just to become food for the monsters on their side.” (Gold)
“…Is that okay, Green?” (Purple)
“Fine. Gather them at the entrance. I grant you the privilege to give me offerings.” (Green)
“While at it, I will have ya undo the newly Nether that ya created. If it is still there by the following month, negotiations are broken.” (Gold)
“…Got it.” (Purple)
With this, the monsters that were gathered at the Gahne Nether by the Purple Demon Lord were trampled down by the monsters led by the Green Demon Lord near the Taizu Nether and were wiped out.
The Nether that spawned Creature monsters also lost its effects and was swallowed by the Gahne Nether.
The day after safely confirming the annihilation of the horde of monsters that were in the Gahne Nether.
It goes without saying, but the one who gave the Gold Demon Lord her knowledge was a certain otherworlder.
What I noticed after observing the monsters were like the faint traces of emotions found in art pieces.
Basically, I noticed that the wills and emotions of the Demon Lords were reflected in the monsters, yup.
I managed to tell that there were perverted masochistic and sadistic intentions, but I couldn’t ascertain who was the Demon Lord that created them.
But what I ascertained was that there was still leeway in time after seeing the intention.
After that, I had Ekdoik capture the monsters that were known who they originated from, and went around checking the differences in those art pieces.
If they were all misfires, then Colorless would come up as the prime candidate which would cause all sorts of problems, but I fortunately managed to find common points.
After that, I had Ekdoik capture more varied monsters from Mejis and confirmed in the same manner. That’s when I grew certain of it.
I then completed the preparations, coached the Gold Demon Lord in acting, and had her participate in the recurrent meetings.
If it is just proving the identity, making each one of the Demon Lords stand on the Nether would make it fast, but in order to make the other Demon Lords accept this, there was the need to convince the others that the Purple Demon Lord is the culprit.
If this proposal is made, the Green Demon Lord or someone in that vein would definitely get angry, thinking ‘why me?’.
However, if this verification is brought up with the premise that it is the fault of the Purple Demon Lord, the first one to decline would be the Purple Demon Lord.
The other Demon Lords will see this as an unsightly excuse. The intention was to make the other Demon Lords more cooperative.
“It may be fine until that point, but I am impressed ya managed to find out the location of Purple.” (Gold)
“No, knowing the location of the Purple Demon Lord was a bluff.”
“It wasn’t unfounded though. I knew it was close to the Gahne Nether. Weirdos like that are very particular about their location after all. That said, the territory of Gahne is an open plain. It is hard to avoid the eyes of the Gold Demon Lord. She wouldn’t get close to the areas near Taizu because she was left almost dead by the Green Demon Lord in the past. Mejis is the holy ground of Yugura who killed her in the past. She could be in the Mejis Nether that she prepared in the past, but if she sets her base there, it would mean that their former lord is back.
The father of Ekdoik and Great Devil would have shown a fitting attitude if that were the case. In that case, the area around the Kuama Nether would be the safe choice since it was created by the Blue Demon Lord she managed to utilize in the past. That said, it wasn’t clear whether it was Kuama or the Kuama Nether though.”
Of course, the bluff would be discovered if she were to ask the details.
But if it ends up being correct, the Purple Demon Lord would be self-destructing. There was no chance of her pursuing the topic there.
Finding common indicators for the monsters of other Demon Lords was also a bluff. I finally managed to get a feel after enduring for a long time here.
If it were an expert on the level of Gradona, it might be possible to achieve, but it wouldn’t be easy.
There’s a variety of methods to get bluffs through. One of them being to mix in truths in order to make your theories get through.
If you annex them to understandable truths, it gives credibility to your bluffs.
Next would be to not talk too much about the unclear points. Just speak directly about the important points.
Add the factors that you are not sure if it is right or left, and declare them with confidence. If they match, it would look like you are seeing through everything for the other party.
By the way, in the case you miss, you can just play it off as trying to trick them. With the Gold Demon Lord’s fishy way of talking, she can still come back from that.
The last one is to be bold.
I judged that the Blue Demon Lord wouldn’t take such actions from the book Yugura left behind.
The chances of being the Scarlet Demon Lord, who uses Raheight for his schemes, were low when including the information of Dokora.
As for the Green Demon Lord, it is impossible considering their personality.
As such, it was narrowed to the Purple Demon Lord and Colorless Demon Lord. If the deductions were wrong, the remaining culprit would be Colorless.
That’s right. The deductions of the Gold Demon Lord were a bluff in itself.