“You called me for something that stupid?”
After hearing the situation, I let out a sigh in disbelief.
Rakura Salf had called me from the crystal used for communication all of a sudden. Lady Ratzel seems to be by her side, but I can’t hear her.
She said there was something they wanted to discuss with me posthaste, and I was worried that his illness got worse, but there was nothing. It was simply that Lady Ratzel and him had a clash because of a matter related to him.
“You say it is something stupid, but it is a pretty risky mood, you know?” (Rakura)
“Lady Ratzel most likely complained about his way of doing things and took distance from him anyways, right?”
“That’s…I am impressed you can tell, King Marito.” (Rakura)
“Of course I know. I am not calling myself his friend for nothing.” (Marito)
The whole picture here goes as follows: after experiencing the method of ‘comprehension’ that he uses in the simulated world of the Gold Demon Lord, those people found fault in it.
When that happened, he didn’t object and simply said ‘do as you please’ and shut himself in his room at the manor.
That said, it is not like he is not coming out, but just that he is continuing to recover silently.
Therefore, Lady Ratzel was troubled in how to deal with this, so she contacted me through Rakura Salf.
“I have heard his way of doing things a long time ago from the person himself. I of course also understand that this is a method that won’t be seen fondly by knights who treasure their own selves. I was also aware that Lady Ratzel would eventually be clashing with him regarding this method.” (Marito)
“You knew quite a lot about Counselor-sama, huh.” (Rakura)
“That’s his weapon -even if warped.” (Marito)
On the occasions when he tries to understand the other party deeply, he would construct a mental image of that target inside of himself in order to know in more detail about them and read their actions.
The accuracy of it increases depending on how much information is used as ingredients for it and the time he takes.
However, his completed self gets in the way on the occasions when he wants to become the other party. That’s why he would temporarily let go of even his own self.
He turns all of the values he has gained until now into a blank paper, and reconstructs himself from zero.
For a person with the ideal that humans should grow, this would look like lunacy, but it has its logic.
Moreover, in order to utilize that information he gained from such a method to its fullest, he adjusts his own standing.
He chooses the mental state that allows him to act effectively. Lady Ratzel calls that state of his as ‘dyed’.
The change in his way of calling himself is a symbol of the degree he has changed. Because he is always keeping this in mind, he would veer away from those in his usual manner of speaking, creating a weird dissonance.
It is only in the cases when he is going to act with a strong will that he will concentrate highly on his own standing.
It is functional, and it would sound nice if you call it efficient.
However, it is simply a countermeasure for his inability to make appropriate responses with a single self.
He is weak and cowardly, but even if so, he takes such a method for the sake of efficiency.
“But that method will definitely corrupt his heart!” (Rakura)
“You people are neither his parents or his spouses, and yet, you have been given the right to deny his way of living? That’s a surprise.” (Marito)
“Putting it that way is…!” (Rakura)
“I wasn’t being sarcastic here. He really gave it to you, so I am surprised.” (Marito)
“…What do you mean by that?” (Rakura)
“He said: ‘This is as far as it goes. Do as you please’ and cooped himself up in the room of the manor. He didn’t say: ‘This is as far as it goes. Don’t get involved with me anymore’. That’s how it is. It means that he is leaving the decision to you people. He is even kindly providing you time to think.” (Marito)
“…That’s what it meant?” (Rakura)
“If he found his relationship with you people a pain, he could have just told Lady Ratzel ‘thanks for your hard work’ and left it at that.” (Marito)
I wanted to be the one in that position, but I am unfortunately busy with my duties.
It honestly only sounds as if they are bragging about their love story. Can’t blame me for mixing my dissatisfaction in this.
“He is trying to finish his current relationship…the current situation where you guys are worrying about his way of being, that is. Choose as you please. If you want to keep it as it has been until now, you can; if you tell him to never use that technique again, he will most likely accept it. He has entrusted his future to you all.” (Marito)
“However, he is my friend. I will have you take the choice that will make him stay in Taizu. If you say something stupid like ‘leave’, I will also order you all to leave.” (Marito)
“We…wouldn’t say something like that.” (Rakura)
“Lastly, make you choose carefully. Even if he loses his weapon, I still like his character. I won’t stop treating him as my friend. However, if he loses his weapon, his weakness will take full front stage. Understand that it would be like taking away the claws and fangs of a beast, the muscles away from its limbs, and throwing it out in the wild.” (Marito)
“…Thank you very much, King Marito.” (Rakura)
The call ends. Lady Ratzel didn’t say a single word in the end.
I have given the bare minimum advice. It is not in my right to interfere further than this.
Lady Ratzel was the one who stepped in. I should yield the resolution of this matter to them.
“But this is a common trope in friendship, so I wanted to be the one in charge of it!” (Marito)
“In that case, couldn’t you have clashed with him in the time he was in the country?”
A voice from within my vision, but I can’t see them.
I normally don’t talk to him, but he would sometimes talk to me when there’s no one around, reminding me that his existence is not fictitious.
The absolute condition is to have his existence not be known which is an action unlike that of a bodyguard, but without him talking, I would end up forgetting he even exists.
That said, I would like him to stop butting in when I am speaking in the tone I use with that man.
“*Cough* A clash is a complicated matter. I evaluate his way of doing things highly. He lacks strength, mana, and intelligence, but he still manages to bite onto the people of this world. A true to the word technique that puts his everything. And because I evaluate him highly, I can’t clash with him seriously. Also, you can’t just deny him; you have to deny him for his sake. It is pretty hard to end up in an environment like that.” (Marito)
“Well, our standing is that of good sympathizers after all. Let’s leave the clashing with him to the young ones.”
“Right… No, don’t treat others as old. If we are speaking of age, I am around the same age as Rakura Salf, you know?” (Marito)
“You look your age when you are together with him, Your Majesty, but when in the middle of your duties, you look 20 years older.”
I hurriedly grab a mirror. I still don’t have wrinkles, right?
Hmm, should I add a bit more of a smile? But to lose my majesty would be…
“Maybe I could keep it a bit more casual when speaking with people like Ruko.” (Marito)
“No, if you were to change your attitude all of a sudden, she would go ‘Eh, did I do something bad?!’ and get scared, you know?”
“…Hmm, what should I do?” (Marito)
“I can teach you how to make them fall.”
“Don’t omit words. Makes it sound dangerous.” (Marito)
And so, around 3 days have passed, but there still haven’t been any incidents.
Hmm, maybe I should be the one making contact…no, but…
Mix has taken the option of loyally protecting the order of Marito. There’s no action from this side.
Wolfe is unexpectedly fine. She greeted me energetically at the time when she was heading off to training today with Gradona.
The Gold Demon Lord went ‘What a thing to show me!’ and smacked me with her tail and that was it.
The only ones who are worried deeply about this are Ilias and Rakura, huh.
No, I feel like it is Rakura being worried about the state of Ilias.
It is praiseworthy for an older person to be looking after others.
“I shouldn’t be talking all big when I am the one leaving it alone though.”
I am almost completely recovered now. I normally would want to tour Gahne, but with the bodyguard mission present, I would need to bring Mix or Ilias with me.
It won’t be too awkward with Mix. Might even be better to have a one-on-one talk with her.
Even so, if I were to just bring Mix with me, Ilias would feel pressured as a bodyguard too.
If I were to bring only Ilias, it would be so awkward I wouldn’t be able to tour, and I don’t even want to imagine bringing the two.
And so, I am on standby on my own and am lazing about in my room.
I shouldn’t have shown that side of me so easily, but I can’t really do that.
Ilias was worried about me to begin with. A situation like this would have come sooner or later.
It wouldn’t have been impossible to intentionally continue to deceive them, but I didn’t plan on hiding my changes to begin with.
It would be harsh to continue making them worry little by little the whole time. I really had to sort that out at some point in time.
…Aah, it makes me sick.
In the end, I am simply trying to justify myself. I am simply a pathetic man who made them worry, made them feel unpleasant, and left them to chance.
Even if I don’t have the courage to end my relationship with Ilias myself, throwing it all onto her is not good. If Marito knew this, he would be baffled by now.
And then, a knocking sound rang. Expectation and unease surfaced in me all at the same time and I couldn’t speak at the moment.
Settle your breathing first… Yeah, I’m okay.
The one who opened the door and entered was Ilias. She is making a really unenergetic face.
I saw a peek of Rakura at the back, but it doesn’t seem like she plans on entering with her.
Ilias closed the door and silently looked at me.
I ended up letting my gaze escape to the book in my hand. It is hard to move my gaze back now.
The silence hurts. The contents of the book I am reading are not entering my brain properly, but I turn the pages for show.
I’ll have to read it again later. No, this is not the time for that though.
Ilias is not speaking. Only time passes.
Do I have no choice but to be the one to make the move? Keeping this current situation and having time pass would be bad for my stomach.
“Are you having trouble finding words, or are you waiting for me to say something? I would like you to make that clear.”
“I see. If you want to, I can be the one leading the conversation. What do you say?”
“…Please do.” (Ilias)
It seems like she is more troubled than I thought. Can’t be helped.
Let’s lead it in a way that will make it easier for her to speak.
“Just say your honest opinions first. Next would be your demands. After that, you just need to wait for the response.”
“I don’t like your way of doing things. I would like you to stop.” (Ilias)
“I see. Got it.”
…End of the conversation, huh. If this were written homework, the teacher would be demanding a rewrite.
“…There wasn’t even a wait for that.” (Ilias)
“Did you want me to tease you there? Sorry about that then.”
“I am telling you to throw away your only weapon, you know? How can you agree so easily?” (Ilias)
“Don’t just assume it is my only weapon. Even you can still fight without your sword, Ilias.”
“…You have another weapon?” (Ilias)
What an awful thing to say. Well, I have not shown any other weapon aside from that one though.
There’s obviously a limit to the weapons you can use in the modern era. Physical things would obviously be a no go.
There’s other methods if it is just understanding the other party. There’s no real need to become them like an actor.
This would just be an amateur trying to imitate the experts, but it is not impossible for me to do something similar to profiling by utilizing experiences and past events.
I haven’t learned it in full, so its accuracy and effectiveness would drop sharply though.
“I have a variety of methods. I would get a lot weaker though.”
“And yet, you would still let it go, huh… You…can throw away something that has worth for you in such an easy manner?” (Ilias)
“It is honestly painful to lose a valuable method that can work in this world. But if I am told to stop it, I can.”
“Are you saying my words have that much worth? The things that are worth to me are invaluable. I don’t understand how you can lack so much attachment towards the things that you define as valuable. That’s why I don’t believe in what you value. I can’t believe in it!” (Ilias)
“Then you don’t have to. Carrying the values of everyone would be impossible in foundation. There are things that you wouldn’t be able to understand. Why force yourself to understand it? That’s something you can’t understand easily without using the exact method you despise, Ilias.”
“But I end up wanting to understand!” (Ilias)
“You are one pain in the butt!!”
I ended up letting out what I was thinking. Even though it is not good to snap back here.
But I would obviously want to say that if she tells me she wants to understand despite not being able to understand.
“That’s what I should be saying! You always, always hide the important facts, don’t show them, won’t let us try to understand, and yet, you always flaunt us only the dangerous parts!” (Ilias)
“Asking for a guy that’s full of weak points to not show danger?! Have you heard of unreasonable?!”
“On top of that, you tell me to do as I please?! On the contrary, what is it you want me to do?!” (Ilias)
“I am not asking for anything grandiose here! It is exactly what it means!”
“Then, are you saying you would listen to anything I tell you?!” (Ilias)
“I didn’t go that far! It means I will concede as much as I can!”
“You are one pain in the butt!” (Ilias)
“Stole that straight from me!”
This is not good. We are in a state where we return oil with fire.
Let’s take a breath here…
Ilias must have thought the same thing, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath.
“There’s no way I could do something about it if you were to suddenly throw me your whole future… That’s just unfair.” (Ilias)
“Unfair… That’s one of the phrases ranked pretty high in what a knight would say to an evil person, oi.”
“You are an evil person. I say so as a knight, so there’s no doubt about it… Even though you understand other evils, you don’t try to understand me, huh.” (Ilias)
“I do think I have understood you within reason though.”
“So you won’t try to understand me seriously?” (Ilias)
“Oi, don’t divert your eyes. You are not going to try to understand my everything?!” (Ilias)
Ilias grabs me. She is holding back quite a lot here, but it is still far stronger than being grabbed by a brawny guy.
But what’s stronger are those eyes looking at me.
“How can you say such embarrassing things without any shame?! Do you even understand what that means?!”
“What, the meaning of those words? Something like that…something like that…” (Ilias)
An awkward silence takes over us.
What’s with this atmosphere? It is obviously Ilias’s fault though.
Can’t Rakura -who is most likely eavesdropping- just open the door?
“…Please forget what I said just now.” (Ilias)
“That’s asking for the impossible.”
“Then, it is okay for me to get defiant here, right?” (Ilias)
Ilias has a familiar face now.
At times like this, this is the pattern where she would say merciless things…but I have no energy to continue this exchange.
“…Do as you please.”
“Then, understand me, let me understand you, however, with proper methods. That’s my demand.” (Ilias)
“Aren’t both of those lying on me?”
I thought this was a development where we would both try to understand each other, but they were just demands for me to act.
Unfair. That’s so unfair.
“Most of what you can do will be gone. Don’t complain about just one or two things being added.” (Ilias)
“…I will consider it.”
“Can’t trust that response. Redo.” (Ilias)
That’s weird. How can she tell?
No, don’t put your hand on your sword. Demanding with violence is not good, you know?
“…I will do my best with everything I have.”
“Alright. From here on, I will speak without restraint. I am tired of having my stomach hurt at every instance because of you.” (Ilias)
Haven’t you been doing so already? No, I don’t have enough courage to say that.
But the face of Ilias right now reminds of when she is feeling satisfied from slaying an opponent.
The guy that was cut down was demanded things one-sidedly though.
“That’s how it is. Sorry to worry you, Rakura.” (Ilias)
“That’s how it is. You are listening in with your ear on the door, right, Rakura?”
“…How can you tell?” (Rakura)
“It means they have seen through us too, Rakura-dono.”
The door was opened and Rakura showed up, and Mix was also shrewdly there.
No, Mix is my bodyguard, so her being nearby could be considered natural.
We didn’t have a weird conversation here, right? —Nope, we didn’t.
After that, I was hit with excessive declarations to understand me. In the case that turns into a conflict, they will definitely end up consulting with Ilias.
As long as I can’t obtain a deep understanding of the other party, it will get harder to stand in an advantageous position against evil people, and I would have no choice but to deal with it in a normal state where good and evil will be the criteria.
With this, I have been demoted from an ordinary guy that can carry himself well to just an ordinary guy. No, in the standards of this world, the weakest guy has simply become more like the weakest guy he is though.
I will have to act carefully. I can’t choose risky actions carelessly.
The otherworlder has thrown away even the weapon he used in the modern era, and will be made to think up an even more safe way to live in this fantasy world.
Fortunately, I have been able to eliminate the dangers close to me with what I have done until now.
I have secured lodging and food, and my human relationships are mostly satisfactory.
There’s also the matter of Raheight aiming for my life, but having obtained information, I can leave the rest to Marito.
We have learned a bit of the Scarlet Demon Lord and Purple Demon Lord that are planning on attacking the human realm.
This is the end of the ordinary guy’s turn. I am sure the people managing the country will be doing their best there.
In the end, my main objective doesn’t change. I just have to live safely.
I have grown closer to Ilias and the others. This is a cheap price to pay for that.
At one of the residences in Kuama that an influential merchant owns, there lies the Purple Demon Lord who is using this place as her dwelling.
The Purple Demon Lord excels in perplexing people and making them obey her.
She has ensnared many people in the past, and has freely ruled them as soldiers, as offerings for the devils, and as loyal slaves.
But because of how much attention the invasion speed drew, she ended up being the very first one to be killed by Yugura because ‘it wasn’t fair’.
At the time when her chest was pierced, the Purple Demon Lord realized she wasn’t a ruler or an absolute being, and looked back at her own standing.
And so, she has now skillfully assimilated into the world of the humans just like the Gold Demon Lord who is ruling Gahne as their king.
However, the innate prideful personality she had is not so easily corrected.
She grew so bored with the repeat of building up troops that she ended up plotting to attack Gahne where the Gold Demon Lord rules.
She thought her identity wouldn’t be exposed, but it completely did so instead. And to top it off, the Gold Demon Lord discovered her location which she was hiding from all the Demon Lords.
She has several bases in Kuama, and she immediately moved locations that day, but she isn’t relieved in thinking she has managed to escape.
The hostile fighting force she took great lengths to prepare has become fertilizer for the Green Demon Lord’s subordinates too.
Her plan to let the other Demon Lords suffer the Hierarchy Curse that she had tasted before was also not fulfilled.
The Purple Demon Lord had completely lost to the Gold Demon Lord in every sense of the word.
But she won’t curse her own carelessness. This humiliation is a priceless experience for her.
The price to pay was too much, but she did gain something. She had no choice but to accept it in such fashion as she soaked in her bathtub, remembering the pain of the lips she bit.
“That’s right. Compared to my previous life, this much is…just sweet, isn’t it?” (Purple)
The Purple Demon Lord muttered as if asking someone. A shadow wriggles inside the room as if to answer her voice.
Those shadows were an abundant mass of devils. All of them are just one step into becoming a Great Devil.
This residence that has had the mana of the Purple Demon Lord resonate has already obtained the same properties of a Nether. It is not big enough to have monsters born naturally from it, but the Purple Demon Lord can create them through rituals.
The Unique Class Great Devils that are raised from the poison jar called the Nether are not so easily made.
However, if it is just before that, it is simple as long as she can provide offerings.
Fortunately, there are people being born here and there. There are many devils holding their breaths in all the bases of the Purple Demon Lord, waiting for the moment.
With her current forces, she would be able to bring Kuama down with ease.
But she won’t do something like attacking the human realm with lesser numbers like she did in the past. Obtaining experience and regressing would be the peak of stupidity, so she is progressing things modestly.
“But…that’s strange. I am surprised that that Gold Demon Lord managed to understand me.” (Purple)
She knows about the Gold Demon Lord. That’s because she met her when Yugura gathered the Demon Lords and granted them his knowledge.
The incompetent demi-human fox that didn’t know the outside world, and even when she obtained the ruling power, she died by the hands of Yugura without being able to show her strength. That was her evaluation at that time.
But after reviving, she became a king of the humans, and has become a wise ruler that could carve their name in history. And then, there’s the matter of the other day.
She can accept some degree of change, but could the Gold Demon Lord be able to understand her when she has gone through that change?
The monsters she created from the Nethers that she intentionally put together in a complicated manner were a masterpiece the Purple Demon Lord was proud of.
Their strength was only within the realm of giving them a passing mark, but she is proud of how well she hid her intentions and identity even now.
Even if they were to capture monsters from others and investigate them, it wouldn’t be easy to connect them to her.
She finds it hard to believe she managed to do so with her ruling power. It would have to be someone really out there like the Black of Omnipotence or Yugura.
“Speaking of which, Scarlet said there’s someone from the same planet as Yugura in Taizu. Could it be…? I wonder… It is not like I have anything to do. Maybe I should try investigating?” (Purple)
She came out from the bathtub and took a step forward.
Darkness suddenly coiled around the Purple Demon Lord, and changed into an elegant purple dress.
What she is wearing on her person are the High Devils that she herself has chosen. They have been deprived of their will and self, and have only been left with their functions; her very own armaments.
Even the Hero Yugura couldn’t chip away completely the forces of the Purple Demon Lord who holds the nickname Purple of Enticement despite having defeated their leader.
She can still control the biggest Nether in the world that continues creating many casualties and gives birth to monsters.
However, what’s more dangerous is her warped personality.
Despite being prideful and looking down on others, she also holds the modesty of caution.
She likes inflicting shame and being inflicted upon, and hates it at the same time.
She has no hesitation in taking daredevil actions, but can also give up for the sake of her own self-protection.
A walking contradiction of personalities. There’s no common sense in it.
“A bit of intelligent devils that can speak human tongue. How many foolish devils that will become my limbs will be needed? 10? 100? Or maybe a 100 million? I have to move carefully. It should be fine with around as much as a nation, right?” (Purple)