LS – Chapter 85: The strength of the mask to start with

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My consciousness faded into existence. What entered my vision were two big mountains…

“Oh my, you are up now?” 

Grasp my current situation. Looks like my consciousness flew away after eating and I fainted.

And so, I am now lying down on a bench and the Purple Demon Lord is giving me a lap pillow… I would like to jump up, but I feel like my head would get buried, and I can’t move. 

“Aah, how long was I out for?” 

“Around 10 or so minutes, I guess?” (Purple)

I got up, matching the timing when the Purple Demon Lord raised her head. It brushed, but let’s not think about unnecessary stuff. 

In front of me there was Mix, Ekdoik, and Wolfe looking at me silently, seemingly relieved.

I saw Rakura and Gradona drinking booze in the kitchen far behind, but ignore that.

Looks like I worried a number of people.

“Man, I was sweating bullets when you lost consciousness, Mister Friend!” (Mix)

“Shishou, that wasn’t food.” (Wolfe)

Wolfe is trembling. Did she taste it?

I pitied her and faced the Purple Demon Lord again, and there were 2 Great Devils behind her at some point in time. 

“Now then, with this, we can finally announce the results of the match, right?” (Purple)

“Kuh, for My Lord’s cooking to lose…” (Dyuvuleori)

“Say that after you manage to eat it all?” (Purple)

“…In the first place, Gugugeguderstaf, it is because you hadn’t given your vote first! If you had done so, there would have still  been a chance of victory if My Lord were to vote too.” (Dyuvuleori)

No, there’s no chance of that.

Dyuvuleori, you also lost consciousness, so you can’t talk all big here, you know? 

“—I don’t remember accepting opinions about the results of this charade. Purple Demon Lord, I am free with this, right?” (Gugugeguderstaf)

Gugugeguderstaf approached the Purple Demon Lord as if trying to intimidate her. The Purple Demon Lord didn’t change her expression at all and answered in a low voice.

“Yeah, that’s right? You will be fulfilling your duty as my pawn. You will fight them, and regardless of the result, you will be free with the power you have obtained. —I will promise you that I won’t interfere with your way of living from here on, okay?” (Purple)

So that’s the reason why the Great Devils are obeying despite being pretty much forced here, huh.

The Purple Demon Lord gave them power in some sort of way, and ordered them to become pawns in this competition.

Every time the Purple Demon Lord loses, one Great Devil has to take the front and fight. 

But regardless of the win or defeat, their duty ends with this. They can go back while gaining new power. 

It is not a bad trade aside from the fact that they are treated like slaves.

“Fine. Then, humans, choose the human that will challenge me. I don’t mind all of you coming at me though.” (Gugugeguderstaf)

“Oh my, acting tough? But since you guys said we would be fighting fair and square here, of course you will be sending only one, right?” (Purple)

I honestly wanted to have everyone fight, but it seems like it won’t be that soft. 

At the very least, their strength should be the real deal with him being a Great Devil. Considering the people who have had experience subjugating a Unique, Rakura and Gradona would be the safe choices. I don’t know the true strength of Mix that much, and I can’t tell just how much Wolfe has grown. 

Ekdoik is someone who was trained by a Great Devil, so it will most likely be slightly rough for him.

Just when I was thinking this, Ekdoik stepped forward.

“Comrade, can you leave this fight to me? I have a bit of a connection with Gugugeguderstaf.” (Ekdoik)

“Ekdo… You had something like that?” 

“Yeah, Gugugeguderstaf is one of the unforgivable people that mocked mine father’s -Beglagud’s- death.” (Ekdoik)

The Great Devil and foster parent of Ekdoik, Beglagud, ruled a large amount of territory, and had the attention of the other Great Devils, but after he was subjugated by Rakura, his reputation was in tatters. 

Being defeated by Rakura who wasn’t known at that time was a reason for this, but it was most likely also because the other Great Devils were slandering him the whole time. 

“Beglagud? Could you possibly be the human brat that he was raising for fun? I heard you disappeared from the Mejis Nether, but to think you were at a place like this! You think the dredges of a Great Devil that was defeated by the mere underling of a cleric can stand in the way of this Gugugeguderstaf?” (Gugugeguderstaf)

By the way, that underling is drinking booze. We are entering a serious point here, so I would like you to be proper already though.

But it can’t be helped if that’s how it is. Ekdoik should also have a chance for victory here, so let’s leave it to him.

It should be safe to assume that the Great Devils have been given some sort of power. It most likely has to do with the mask they are wearing. 

Great Devils wearing the same mask stands out after all.

“I would like to end the match if our side says we lost though.” 

“Right. I plan on leaving those arrangements to you and the Great Devils, but I don’t mind that much though? Did you hear that, Gugugeguderstaf?” (Purple)

“Hmph, fine, but I’m not listening to any complaints if you are late in saying it.” (Gugugeguderstaf)

It certainly would be difficult considering the speed of the Great Devils in battle. Let’s ask Mix and such people who can react fast for this. 

We moved locations and the match between Ekdoik and Gugugeguderstaf began with the ramparts as background. 

“I -Dyuvuleori- will be giving the start signal. Both sides, ready yourselves!” (Dyuvuleori)

Ekdoik lowered both arms and spread the chains onto the ground. On the other hand, Gugugeguderstaf changed his body into that of a bizarre Great Devil.

That’s most likely his original appearance. I can feel eeriness from it. 

What we should be wary of is most likely those ominous claws on his left hand.

“Begin!” (Dyuvuleori)

Dyuvuleori gave the signal and Ekdoik’s figure disappeared. I then hear an explosive sound from the rampart at the back.

When I moved my gaze, I finally understood what this meant. 

Gugugeguderstaf’s arm was stretched to an unnatural degree. It is a length that reaches all the way to the ramparts even from where he is standing. 

It was so fast I couldn’t follow it with my eyes. Even the sound came in late. 

In other words, Ekdoik was hit by that left arm with a speed that was faster than the speed of sound…

“Hmph, what a boring opponent.” (Gugugeguderstaf)

“I understand that you want to finish the battle quickly, but that’s something you do against enemies below you, Gugugeguderstaf.” 

“…Hooh.” (Gugugeguderstaf)

Ekdoik landed on top of the stretched arm of Gugugeguderstaf.

From what I can see, he is uninjured. Did he avoid at a moment’s notice? 

“The Gouging Left Arm Gugugeguderstaf. I have at least heard about your left arm. It is not something that would hit me if I am just cautious of it.” (Ekdoik)

No, I don’t think you can normally avoid an attack at the speed of light though?

Broken pieces of chains that must be from Ekdoik were scattered about. Rather than calling it a perfect evasion, it is more like he used the chains as a shield and deviated it. 

“Then, how about this?!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

The left arm of Gugugeguderstaf shrunk to just 10 meters or so and he began to swing it around himself as if it were a whip.

That speed makes it look like his left arm is gone. 

But judging from the ground bursting every now and then, it should be safe to assume that it is being swung at the surroundings. In other words, this is like a barrier of sorts.

Ekdoik extended his chains and attacked Gugugeguderstaf. But the chains were crushed on their way as if they had been smashed by a giant hammer. 

“Fuhahahahahaha! Don’t think you can break my claw whip that can even smash ores with your wimpy claws!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

“The toughness is certainly top tier. But the arm swinging those claws doesn’t seem to share that same trait.” (Ekdoik)

“What are you—ah?!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

The arm of Gugugeguderstaf suddenly shrunk and returned to a length that fits in my vision.

There’s something similar to smoke being spewed out here and there. 

And on the spots that there’s smoke coming out from, there’s fragments of the chain that were broken, piercing those areas.

“Guoo…” (Gugugeguderstaf)

“I have made the chains in a way that they turn into sharp fragments to begin with. It must have been easy to break, right? If you swing that arm around while the fragments are flying around, I am pretty sure they would stab pretty nicely. How’s the sensation of purification magic seeping right into that arm of yours?” (Ekdoik)

He is politely explaining to him. It is true that it is not only his claws he is swinging around at the speed of sound. The arm composed of skin and flesh is also part of that. 

Since he is swinging it around like a whip, there’s a limit to how tough you can make it. 

Ekdoik poked at that vulnerability with expertise. 

“Something like this is no obstacle—” (Gugugeguderstaf)

“Then, I’ll be having that left arm.” (Ekdoik)

At the same time as Ekdoik casually tapped on the ground with one leg, the fragments stabbed on the arm of Gugugeguderstaf exploded. 

Gugugeguderstaf’s body bent at the impact of the explosion, and then, his left arm turned into pieces of flesh, and only the claws were pierced on the ground. 

Remote detonation. It is normally something you wouldn’t be able to do unless there’s a mana connection, but Ekdoik has an extremely rare talent for mana control. 

A mana wave was most likely sent out the moment he tapped one leg on the ground, wedging in the explosion magic onto the chain fragments. 

Practical magic construction. A tricky move that, while not impossible, it is something that would be really hard for the knights of Taizu to replicate. 

“You bastard! How dare you!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

“It is because you were distracted by the pain of the purification magic and neglected to notice the existence of the other spell set in the chains. Now then, Gugugeguderstaf, the arm you were so proud of is gone. I am impressed that you could insult my father when you are this far below.” (Ekdoik)

Ekdoik is not faltering at all even against a Great Devil. Even a Great Devil is only to this extent, or is Ekdoik just that strong? 

Gugugeguderstaf was groaning begrudgingly, but he eventually regained his calm.

“Hmph, I underestimated you as just a weakling unworthy of notice, but you seem to be able to pull your weight. But with those petty tricks, you won’t be able to defeat me, a Great Devil…no, me who has surpassed even that!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

A purple mist suddenly began coming out from the mask Gugugeguderstaf was wearing. It must be a massive amount of mana that even a novice like me can see.

That mist was sliding down towards his whole body. 

“I don’t know what you are planning on doing, but what can you even do now that you have lost your left arm?” (Ekdoik)

“Left arm? Which one are you referring to?” (Gugugeguderstaf)

The meat of the torn off part began to protrude and expand without restraint.

It eventually formed a giant arm, moreover, it branched out like a tree, creating several more arms. 

All the newly grown arms had sharp claws that were making solid sounds. 

Devils imitate the human form, but this figure is already beyond human. It is a creature that’s only using the shape of a human. 

“—That’s your new power, huh.” (Ekdoik)

“That’s right. By using the pawn mask that was given to me by the Purple Demon Lord and pouring the pure mana of my creator, it can increase my rank as a monster; an artifact. With this, any monsters can go up by one rank, no, two ranks of power!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

Thanks for the thorough explanation…

But that makes sense. She most likely had High Devils wear those mask and made the Great Devils obey by force.

2 ranks up when a Great Devil that is a Unique Class wears it… That means he has gone up to a being that hasn’t even been given a name yet. 

Any further battle would be bad. Even if it is Ekdoik, this is a bad match.

Forfeiting here would mean letting him go, but I can’t have him die pointlessly. 


“Don’t be hasty, Comrade. It is true that his internal mana has increased to an incomparable degree. The speed and destructive power of his left arm has most likely gone up in kind too. Just as he says, it seems like he is stronger than any Great Devil that has existed in the past.” (Ekdoik)

Ekdoik analyzed to that extent…and sighed heavily. 

And then, he spoke this clearly so everyone could hear.

“But you are a weakling.” (Ekdoik)

“—Fu…fuhahahahahaha! So you can only bark now in the face of overwhelming strength, huh, brat!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

Gugugeguderstaf raised his left arm up high, and then, that arm expanded in an instant, stealing away the light of the sun. 

A mountain made out of its many arms had shown up. 

“—Dyuvuleori, cast a barrier on everyone, okay?” (Purple)

“Yes!” (Dyuvuleori)

The moment I thought a faint purple mist appeared on the mask of Dyuvuleori, a half-transparent film appeared around the people spectating. 

It is similar to the barriers Rakura and the others cast, but I feel a certain degree of eeriness from it. 

“With this, it will be okay even if you get caught in the attack. That damn Gugugeguderstaf, to think he would even drag My Lord in this… I will eliminate him later.” (Dyuvuleori)

“No need. It is just a soft breeze anyways, so let it go, okay?” (Purple)

“…As you will.” (Dyuvuleori)

It seems like we will be fine on our side, but wouldn’t Ekdoik be in trouble here? —Ah, I remember seeing those eyes before. 

“Be crushed like an insect and die!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

Gugugeguderstaf was about to swing down its gigantic left arm, pushing his chest forward with vigor. 

And then, an unavoidable attack towards Ekdoik was—

“—Ah?! Impossible. You…just what in the world…?!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

Not swung down. Gugugeguderstaf stopped moving. 

Gugugeguderstaf struggled, but it seems like his movements have been sealed completely. 

Ekdoik’s eyes have gotten cold.

Those eyes are the same as when he saw the uselessness of Rakura -eyes looking down on others. 

“Let me explain it to you in a way so that you can understand just how much of a weakling you are. Even though I went out of my way to show you I excel in magic, you took no effort to be wary about it. You even forgot the specialty of mine father, Beglagud?” (Ekdoik)

“Beglagud’s… Could it be…?!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

The shape of Ekdoik’s pupils changed. They are normally round, but they are currently stretched to the sides. 

They are like the eyes of a goat that’s normally used to describe a devil. 

“That’s right. Beglagud’s Eye of Blindness. The eyes of mine father can blind the eyes of others. I have been granted that same power.” (Ekdoik)

Ekdoik held his hand aloft. When he did, chains began to appear at that place. 

The chains that were showing up spread endlessly and showed itself completely. 

6 towers made of chains stood tall around Gugugeguderstaf. And then, the several stretched out chains wrapped around Gugugeguderstaf.

Even the left arms that were raised high up like a mountain had most of its surface covered by chains.

“The [Six Towers of Binding] that can restrain even a dragon. Towers that have gravity magic, force field magic, barrier magic, defensive magic, sealing magic, and regeneration magic weaved onto them. No matter the mass, power, magic, sharpness, and even specialty, it will restrain it. It will even continue to regenerate from external impacts and continue restraining the target. A special technique of mine. The weak point of this special technique is that it takes an extremely long time to set it up. Moreover, I have to maintain the target in a specific location which is a fatal defect.” (Ekdoik)

Well, anyone would avoid it if towers of this scale were to be made. Gugugeguderstaf didn’t move a single step though.

“Once the signal to start was given, I used the Blind Eye so that you wouldn’t be able to feel my mana. At that same time as I did, I utilized invisibility magic as I formed the Six Towers of Binding. After that, it is exactly as you have experienced. If you had a working brain, you would have noticed I was buying time and would have at least moved from your place. This is proof that you are a weakling.” (Ekdoik)

“Chains like this…I am a being that has surpassed even Great Devils, you know?!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

“I see, so you are an existence that hasn’t even been given a title. You are nothing.” (Ekdoik)

Ekdoik grasped his chains tightly. When he did, the restraints of the chains were empowered even further as if the 6 towers reacted to this. 

Gugugeguderstaf was enduring the constriction while foaming, but the pressure around his left shoulder was strong, tearing apart its giant arms from his body.

“Gaaah!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

“You are understandably sturdy. It is a chore to squeeze your body to death. In that case, since this is such a rare occasion, I will borrow your hand.” (Ekdoik)

“W-What are you…?!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

Gugugeguderstaf was made to lay upside down on the ground by the chains.

It is a posture like that of being sentenced to death on a guillotine.

New chains were being wrapped around the severed left arm. 

Chains dyed white; chains imbued with purification magic for the sake of defeating devils. 

After the chains intertwined in a complicated manner, and changed into a shape like that of a pointy drill.

“That much mass should be enough to bore through you. Be pierced by your own left arm and die.” (Ekdoik)

The moment he said this, the restraints on the left arms that were floating in the air softened. 

He must have reduced its overwhelming mass using gravity magic. That thing received the gravity of the planet and free falled. 

At the tip of it, there’s the purification magic drill, and what was ahead of it was the head of Gugugeguderstaf.

“S-Stop, I forfeit. I forfeit!” (Gugugeguderstaf)

“I see, I am fine with this being my victory, but that’s beside the point. Die.” (Ekdoik)

“Hiih, s-sto—” (Gugugeguderstaf)

The left arm fell and made a thunderous sound.

Just when I thought the stabbed left arm moved, it began to visibly shrink.

The only thing remaining was a giant crater along with black and white chains.

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