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After that, we invited Pope Euparo and the others again and explained about the Colorless Demon Lord.
They were making really complicated expressions as I thought.
“I am asking this just in case, but…this is true, right?” (Euparo)
“Yes. If you can’t believe us no matter what, we can call him after a month.”
I say this and show him the switch he gave me. I pushed it just to test it, but there was no reaction.
There’s a warning behind it saying: ‘You can only push it once a month!’.
By the way, from the eyes of the clerics that can see the quality of mana, this switch apparently has special mana infused in it.
“Mana with this characteristic comes either from the Yugura Church or has mana that was transformed by the secret magic that Yugura left behind. I have no choice but to admit that Hero Yugura is involved in this.” (Euparo)
Looks like he has no choice but to believe it. Don’t really get it.
“Anyways, is it okay to leave aside the Demon Lord that suddenly appeared for now?”
“Yeah, but if what you said just now is true, I would like to gather a certain degree of our forces the next time you call that one. If possible, I would like you to come to Mejis though… If that’s too difficult, we would have to gather them here. Would the Taizu King be okay with it?” (Euparo)
“Of course you can. If it is making contact with someone related to Yugura, the Yugura Church has a right to know too. However, I won’t take any responsibility.” (Marito)
I feel like the impression of Pope Euparo and the others towards the Colorless Demon Lord is a bit more forbearing than the Gold Demon Lord and the others.
I myself think the Colorless Demon Lord is clearly the more dangerous one, but the effects of history are big.
“By the way, what’s written in that list?” (Euparo)
“That’s…I can’t tell you.”
A list of things that I must not tell to the people of this world. The title written here is: ‘List of things related to the forbidden that must be hidden by duty’.
There are things I don’t understand why they must be hidden, but there’s obviously also information that I shouldn’t tell them.
Almost 60% is outside my expertise, but 40% of it I have some sort of knowledge or understanding of the theory.
“I see. That can’t be helped. But if it is a list that Yugura decided on, knowing them would mean stretching your hands towards the forbidden. We won’t think about learning them, but there’s the need to worry about the possibility of you telling others.” (Euparo)
He does have a point. The Yugura Church has the objective of stopping people from stepping into the forbidden.
And what was given to the Earthling was the path to the forbidden.
I most likely would be able to reach resurrection magic if I were to apply this knowledge.
The reality is that the Great Devil managed to call the Colorless Demon Lord with that.
The Yugura Church would even want to secure me for the sole reason that I am an Earthling.
“We are currently managing him as a possession of ours. If you can’t trust Taizu, we have our own means to dispute this. We are open for debates.” (Marito)
“If the Wise King says that, we would have to choose our words carefully. The most we can do right now would be to remind you not to lose sight of him. We shall move at the time when we have judged you can’t do that.” (Euparo)
“Yes, by that time, your internal matters should have been cleaned up nicely.” (Marito)
Banter where the fact that I was taken hostage twice in Taizu was pointed out, and was shot back with the mention of a related party from the Demon Lords having infiltrated their ranks.
If there were a cabinet minister or a person in the role of an intermediary, they would have a hole in their stomach from the stress, seriously.
I was ordered to stay in the castle today. Now that the trust towards the Purple Demon Lord has dropped sharply, Pope Euparo has ordered me to do as such because it wouldn’t be a good idea to sleep in a house.
Marito agreed to this. They probably can’t trust her anymore since she failed to control her own subordinates.
I now have to contact Ilias and the others through Ekdoik.
Looks like I will have to live in the castle until this competition is over.
The next day, both sides gathered outside the ramparts in order to have the one-on-one against a Great Devil.
On our side, we have Yox who will be participating in the battle, and Lilisa-san who came to cheer for him.
There’s also Ekdoik, Mix, Cara-jii, Rakura, and the Gold Demon Lord.
As for the Purple Demon Lord, there’s only her and Dyuvuleori. The other Great Devils are most likely staying at the lodging or hiding in the shadows.
Once they faced each other, Yox stepped to the front and drew his sword.
“I am a captain of the Holy Knight Order, Yox Shesferad. I will be your opponent in this one-on-one. I will face even underhanded tricks from the very front!” (Yox)
“I see… Dyuvuleori, please do?” (Purple)
“—As you will.” (Dyuvuleori)
Dyuvuleori stretched his hand towards his own shadow, and made his arm sink deep into it.
And then, he pulled out a single Great Devil: Hasharyukudehito.
It seems like his whole body is being restrained by dirty cloths wrapped around haphazardly.
“Is that my opponent?” (Yox)
“No, that’s not it?” (Purple)
At the same time as she said this, Hasharyukudehito was beheaded by the sword hand of Dyuvuleori.
A raw sound rang as the body of Hasharyukudehito collapsed onto the ground.
“…What are you trying to pull here?” (Yox)
“Hasharyukudehito has poured cold water into the competition of My Lord. Thus, My Lord has judged that it is just proper that he should be executed in the presence of both sides.” (Dyuvuleori)
“This is to make things right, okay? Of course, we are going to be doing the one-on-one though? You can choose whoever you want?” (Purple)
Dyuvuleori lights up the corpse of Hasharyukudehito on fire. The silent corpse easily burned and turned into ashes.
Thinking about the matter of Febyushasu, Hasharyukudehito most likely didn’t like the way he was being treated in this competition.
And so, he clung onto the faint hope of taking me hostage.
I do pity them somewhat, but there’s most likely no Great Devil here who would feel sentimental about this.
Yox directed his sword at the Purple Demon Lord.
“I see. Then, I would like to nominate you.” (Yox)
“Too bad, but I am in a competition with him. However, if you want to no matter what…if you want to go against Dyuvuleori, I can make a special exception, you know?” (Purple)
Dyuvuleori steps in between the two. He is directing animosity towards mainly Yox who is pointing his sword, animosity that even a novice like me can feel.
“I see. Then I shall do just that.” (Yox)
That’s how the battle between the strongest knight of Mejis and the Great Devil subordinate of the Purple Demon Lord began.
The man that called himself Yox would have most likely easily been able to match the two Great Devils that we fought the other days.
But the battle was settled way too quickly. The man was down on the ground, covered in blood.
I ordered Dyuvuleori not to take his life, so the man that fought is barely managing to breathe.
The reason the man lost was because he was treating Dyuvuleori the same as the other Great Devils.
The Pawn Mask is simply a tool that provides my mana together with restrictions.
It is true that the strength of the Great Devils increases drastically by giving them my mana directly.
But Dyuvuleori is not only within those bounds. I have modified him directly with my mana.
I had already considered the possibility that the Great Devils would grow impudent just from merely obtaining the Pawn Mask.
There’s no way I would give all of my blessings to people like that.
That said, I didn’t expect them to move to such a foolish action despite having felt the difference in strength between them and Dyuvuleori.
I was completely baffled by the Great Devils that went far below my expectations.
Because of that…what was his name? No, that doesn’t matter anymore. I have eliminated him as an example to the other Great Devils.
There will most likely not be any more Great Devils who will pull such stupid stunts.
More importantly, the one I should be the most cautious of is that man.
He wasn’t directing animosity towards me even when he reported this to me. He is not someone with such a narrow vision that he wouldn’t consider the possibility of this being a scheme of mine or some sort of plan.
It wouldn’t be strange for him to be suspecting me like the man that has been defeated right at this moment.
He doesn’t say much and doesn’t show me his emotions; he doesn’t tell me.
What does he internally think about me? Aah, he might have been disappointed in me with this matter. No, he could be overflowing with antagonism towards me from the very beginning.
I have to fix this…I must. I don’t want to lose the present.
No matter what he feels on the inside, he is answering my expectations, and yet, I can’t think of anything I could do for him.
How? How…should I propose even easier matches for him and have him win while feeling good about it? I don’t know what to do to make him happy.
Should I offer him more Great Devils? But if I were to offer even more than this, my remaining time with him…
“This one-on-one is our loss. Let’s decide on the next match.”
He is walking this way. Aah, what should I do? Right, we have to decide on the details of the match first.
“…Yeah, right?” (Purple)
I bring out the cards. My hands are close to trembling. What are his thoughts now that Dyuvuleori won?
I have cornered one of his comrades into a critical state. There’s no doubt he is thinking something internally. But if I didn’t do that, my time with him would be gone.
Was there any other better way? Aah, no, no, no, that’s not it. I have no time to think about other means for something that has already happened. I have to think about the future.
“Dyuvuleori will be free now that he has won the one-on-one, right? What will you make him do now?”
He questioned me. I have to answer. I have to. It is true that I told him at the beginning that the Great Devils that have won will be freed from my control.
Then, I have to do the same for Dyuvuleori? As for the person himself…
“I want to be under My Lord. I wished for subservience in the first place. If I am given freedom, I just have to offer that freedom to My Lord again.” (Dyuvuleori)
“…So he says?” (Purple)
“I see. If you are not going to immediately disappear without us knowing your whereabouts and don’t put a hand on the people of this country, we will be settling things at a later time then.”
“So it seems. I won’t run or hide. Please concentrate on your competition with My Lord.” (Dyuvuleori)
Those words of Dyuvuleori just now were not rude towards him, right? Did he say anything to sour his mood?
—It is okay . It should be.
He made a relieved response to that. But is that true? I can’t tell. I can’t tell with words anymore.
Right, let’s line up the cards right now. My hands holding the cards are on the verge of trembling.
Let’s shuffle them once to calm my heart and line them up after that. The next match has already been decided, so it should be okay.
I shuffle the cards and line them up.
There’s 6 cards lined up. There’s now close to half of the matches left because we have lost 2 Great Devils.
He turned around a card without care. He should now know what the next match is going to be.
Aah, why? Why did it end up like this? Why is it that my time with him is so short?
This is also because of those wretched Great Devils… No, is that really the case? I don’t remember the names or appearance of the Great Devils that have become ashes.
“So that’s how it is.”
“…Is something the matter?” (Purple)
He turned around one other card as if answering my question.
—Ah, no way.
He read what was written in the 2nd card and turned the remaining cards. I felt as if the remaining time was being shaved off in one go here.
“So they really are the same.”
“How…could you tell?” (Purple)
He was sure even before turning the card. Does that mean he saw through my intentions completely? I don’t know. I can’t tell.
He was silent for a bit, but he squeezed this out after sighing for a bit.
“The matches until now have been things that the Purple Demon Lord wanted me to do. The cooking showdown was to make me eat your handmade cooking, the search for the fake was because you wanted me to go to your house, and the hide-and-seek was because you wanted me to search for you. I can see that intention in this match too.”
The details of the match in the cards that were turned around were ‘Discover the lie’. It is a game that humans would sometimes play between themselves.
Raise a number of truths and then mix a single lie.
It is a contest where you would question each other and see through the lie.
Just as he says, this is a match where I wanted to know more deeply about him, and wanted him to know more about me…
“Purple Demon Lord, you shuffled the cards before lining them up, right? Even though you never did that before. You knew that I would just choose one without caring every single time, and yet, you shuffled them. It is an action that you normally wouldn’t need to do. The reason you did that is because you were flustered internally. You must have some thoughts about the remaining matches having decreased.”
“…There might have been matches I would have wanted you to avoid though?” (Purple)
“Then, when I was choosing, why didn’t you look intently at the cards as I turned it? Because you didn’t need to see them. Because they were all the same.”
How can this be? My underhanded tactic…my lie has been uncovered. What should I do? What’s the correct thing to do? I…
“Well, and what of it? If you want to play up the act, you should be cautious the whole time, you know?”
“…You are not going to get angry?” (Purple)
“Why? You are the one deciding the details of the matches to begin with. I simply warned you here since your act of playing up the tension by making me choose was so bad. It is because you tried to play up appearances in the fact that you couldn’t think of the 11 matches in the beginning.”
Playing up appearances… Aah, I see.
I wanted him to face the matches seriously, so I prepared the cards in order to give even a tiny bit more tension to it.
But I couldn’t think up a single match that bet the 11 Great Devils.
I also had to include one where I was serious about obtaining him.
If he were to choose that one first, our competition would be set in one go.
I ended up thinking that would lower his worth.
That’s why…I made them one by one…one by one…
Aah, he saw through my thoughts this much, observed my conduct, and deduced all of it, and yet…why is it that I can’t understand anything about him?
“Yeah, I was trying to put up a stupid act to play up appearances… So, you will be accepting the match, right?” (Purple)
“No, I won’t. I will use my right to refuse.”
My brain stopped.
The meaning of those words… I see, he said just now that he won’t accept the match. That he would refuse.
He in theory has no right to refuse. When I throw a way too unfair match, he would utilize this…but this match is not unfair in any way though.
What’s not good about it? What made him do that? What? Why? Why…?
“Why…? I can’t accept that.” (Purple)
“Then, Purple Demon Lord, try proposing a match where you can win against me right this instant.”
—What are those eyes?
I can’t feel joy, anger, grief, or pleasure in them. As if they are deep deep black eyes that were made simply to observe me.
What did he say just now? Right, propose a match where I can win against him. I have to. No, but I still haven’t heard the reason why he refused the match just now. Yeah, but he told me to propose one. A match where I can win against him. What…should I do…? A match where I would be able to win while still protecting his worth… My thoughts went haywire here and I couldn’t tell left from right anymore…
“Ah, My Lord?!” (Dyuvuleori)
I reflexively catch the Purple Demon Lord who collapsed.
The panic showed in an extreme manner on the outside and it felt like she couldn’t arrange her thoughts.
Her reactions towards my words were not good either, and we were not having a proper conversation here.
I used my right to refuse here because it wouldn’t be a fair match when she is not in a proper state of mind, but she didn’t even notice that.
I threw her that question to test her ability to process things, but to think she would lose consciousness…
Dyuvuleori reacted late because of how sudden this was and ran here.
Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like he judged this as an attack of sorts.
“You bastard! What did you do?!” (Dyuvuleori)
“I didn’t do anything. She simply fainted.”
I said this and gave the Purple Demon Lord to Dyuvuleori.
Dyuvuleori checked the state of the Purple Demon Lord and showed relief after confirming she was okay.
“Explain, human.” (Dyuvuleori)
“She should be the one doing the explaining. How many days has the Purple Demon Lord not slept?”
It took me a while to notice since she didn’t speak often and her skin complexion is pale white to begin with. She is clearly showing symptoms of exhaustion.
The agitation was pretty soft for it to be a mental issue.
The possibility I can think of is because she lacks sleep, but I wonder if that’s it.
“At the very least, she didn’t sleep yesterday, right? If it went so far as for her to lose consciousness from tension, she most likely hasn’t slept at all in the time she was thinking about the riddles…and at worst, since the time the competition began.”
Judging from the appearance of the Purple Demon Lord, she is not a Demon Lord that specializes in physical combat.
In that case, her physical strength should be within average range like the Gold Demon Lord.
A knight like Ilias who has trained extensively can fight for 3 days and 3 nights, but let’s leave aside ridiculous people like that.
“The reason I used my right to refuse is as you see. It would be way too unfair to have a match against the Purple Demon Lord when she is in this state, right?”
“…So it seems. But is that okay, human?” (Dyuvuleori)
“This is my thanks for letting Yox live. I will accept the match on a later date. Please let her sleep peacefully for today.”
The fight between Yox and Dyuvuleori was one-sided. I heard the strength of Yox doesn’t lose to that of Ilias, but even with that, the fight was settled even before I had the time to stop them.
Dyuvuleori didn’t even use his Tongue of Control and overwhelmed him with pure prowess.
Right now Yox is being treated by Lilisa-san and the others with healing magic. They are terribly flustered here, but he is apparently going to survive.
This was most likely not a personal decision from Dyuvuleori, but an order from the Purple Demon Lord.
I was actually sweating bullets internally thinking Yox had died, yup.
“…You have my thanks too.” (Dyuvuleori)
“Just bring her back already. Having your sleeping face being seen doesn’t feel too good, you know?”
Dyuvuleori disappeared inside the shadows while carrying the Purple Demon Lord.
That said, using the matches to fulfill your own desires, and then forgetting your own well being because of the competition and collapsing from lack of sleep… It seems like the Demon Lords have their functions as humans numbed in some respects.
Is that how much she thinks of me? She might be, but that’s most likely because the Purple Demon Lord doesn’t hold the natural sensations of a person.
No, she couldn’t.
It doesn’t feel bad, but it is troubling when considering the future.