I came here to visit the Purple Demon Lord with Ekdoik, but I was told she was still sleeping.
That would mean she has been sleeping for a whole day since fainting yesterday at noon.
We managed to stay there after asking Dyuvuleori about her state, but he suddenly disappeared. Once he returned, he told us the Purple Demon Lord had woken up.
And so, we were let inside her room.
There was the Purple Demon Lord in bed with just her upper body up.
Maybe because of her originally pale complexion, she looked sickly.
“You went out of your way to come here? There are no chairs, so can you sit here, okay?” (Purple)
Saying this, she placed a hand right by her side on the bed.
“If it is a chair, I can prepare one at once.” (Dyuvuleori)
“You peel some fruits. I don’t remember permitting any unnecessary actions, you know?” (Purple)
“…As you will.” (Dyuvuleori)
I did want a chair though. Can’t be helped.
I sat on the bed and my back ended up facing the Purple Demon Lord.
This is probably in part because she doesn’t want me to see her way too weak state.
Just when I was thinking this, the fruits that I had brought as a present were sliced up nicely on top of a big plate.
A table had been set near the bed at some point in time and fruits had been placed there.
A chair was readied for me though.
“Bodyguard-san, I would like to talk with just the two of us. Is that okay?” (Purple)
“Comrade, what do you want to do?” (Ekdoik)
Ekdoik asked me without looking too worried.
If she wanted to do something by force, she had Dyuvuleori. There’s no need for her to go out of her way to get us alone. There should be no problems.
“I will call you if anything happens. It is okay.”
“…I see.” (Ekdoik)
“Dyuvuleori, that goes for you too, you know?” (Purple)
“Do you think he would be able to kill me even if he had a blade in his pocket?” (Purple)
“…Please call me if you need anything.” (Dyuvuleori)
Ah, this guy was convinced as if saying: ‘That’s true. It should be fine’.
I won’t deny that though.
Dyuvuleori disappeared into the shadows and Ekdoik sighed lightly as he left the room.
Now then, what should we start with…?
“Did you sleep well?”
“Yeah, thanks to you?” (Purple)
“Sorry, I was a bit too mean there.”
“It is pathetic of me to get so flustered from just that, right?” (Purple)
“Not really. How many days have you not been sleeping?”
“Who knows. Since the time I accepted the competition?” (Purple)
“…A normal human wouldn’t be able to stay awake for 1 week.”
“I did take naps, you know?” (Purple)
That means she didn’t sleep properly for around 2 weeks. Of course she would collapse.
“It doesn’t feel bad to know that you are enjoying the competition, but it would be troubling for me if you collapse.”
“Right. Even though you and I are currently enemies, huh?” (Purple)
“Despite that, your treatment is nice.”
“Of course. I want you.” (Purple)
She placed a hand on my back. My heart jumped there, but it seems like there wasn’t much meaning behind it.
I don’t feel the heat; it even feels a bit cold.
“Do you want an Earthling that much?”
“No, it doesn’t matter who you are. I want you in specific. You, the person who spoke to me and stretched his hand towards me.” (Purple)
I remember the first time I met her. For the Purple Demon Lord who had no interactions with people, it might have been special to get the kindness of someone.
But that was simply a coincidence.
“Even if I didn’t pass by there, surely someone would have spoken to you. It could have happened one day if you are in a place where humans live even if it didn’t happen on that very day. It is not really special. Many people can do the same.”
“Yeah, you are right.” (Purple)
“You simply weren’t searching until now. The world is big. You will be able to find as many replacements as you want if you search for it. I am sure there will even be someone who can answer your feelings more.”
“Yeah, that might be the case.” (Purple)
I would even say Dyuvuleori likes the Purple Demon Lord a lot more and treasures her.
Loyal, strong, and treats her especially.
There’s no such worth in a man she simply met by coincidence…
“You are just a normal human who is not loyal to me, doesn’t exhaust himself for my sake, and you may not have a single thing special about you…but you have become special to me.” (Purple)
“What a tragedy.”
“Yes, a tragedy. But I am grateful for the miracle inside that tragedy.” (Purple)
I don’t remember having talked any further than that.
After a while of silence took over, I stood up and left the place.
It is because I was sure it would be impossible to return if we were to talk any further than that.
I had already noticed even without her going so far as to tell me this much…but I was avoiding it. I know just how serious the feelings of the Purple Demon Lord are.
But now that she has told me that much, I can’t avoid her anymore.
I escaped…because I was scared of facing the serious her.
The competition will resume once she recovers.
I am sure it will be a somewhat silly competition for a while.
But I don’t know anymore if she will win in the end.
I returned to the castle and headed to the office of Marito.
Ekdoik had noticed my state and went off somewhere.
Only Marito was in the office. I decided not to think about Anbu-kun, who should be invisible there.
“Oh, I heard you went out though. You returned pretty quickly.” (Marito)
“Yeah, I simply went to visit the Purple Demon Lord and left fruits for her after all.”
That’s right, it was only that.
We spoke for a bit, but the situation hasn’t changed at all… It hasn’t.
“Did something happen?” (Marito)
“There’s…no change at all.”
“Then what’s with that agitated state? It is as if you are crossing a thin ice bridge.” (Marito)
“You went out of your way to come here despite there being nothing to report. You came here to consult with me about something, right? Go ahead and tell me.” (Marito)
I ended up making Marito say those words first. I wanted to consult with him, but those words couldn’t come out immediately.
It made it easier for me, but my own evaluation dropped even further.
“Right… I should tell you about it first or we won’t even be able to start.”
I tell him about my conversation with the Purple Demon Lord as well as her serious intentions.
And how I faltered in the face of that and couldn’t see victory anymore.
“Fumu, it seems like the Purple Demon Lord is seriously desiring you -not for pleasure or entertainment, but from the bottom of her heart. And so, you were overwhelmed by that spirit of hers?” (Marito)
“Well, that does happen. Men use their bodies as weapons, but women use their hearts as weapons. They have firm spirits that allow them to stand tall against even enemies they can’t win against in power. You are losing on both sides, so you could say it is natural.” (Marito)
If it is fear through brute power, I have tasted that to an unbearable degree in this world.
There were innumerable people who were stronger than me on Earth too.
I learned how to poke at the openings in their hearts in order to oppose them and protected myself.
But I can’t do that here.
“So, what do you plan on doing?” (Marito)
“Now that I can’t win, I will end up losing. It wouldn’t be good for the humans if an Earthling were to join the army of a Demon Lord, right?”
“Right, we stand here like this because we fear that.” (Marito)
“If we fight, we might be able to win, but the casualties will be insurmountable too… Then, how about taking the choice of hiding?”
“Hiding, huh.” (Marito)
“The Purple Demon Lord will obviously chase after me, but I will be able to move her away from Taizu. The Mejis Nether won’t be able to recoup its forces immediately and you will obtain an opportunity to turn things.”
“But you will be constantly haunted by the fear of being chased after. You would have to abandon the competition and run away. Regardless of whether the Purple Demon Lord forgives you or doesn’t, she will make it so you can’t escape anymore.” (Marito)
“That happens when that happens. I am prepared for anything that happens to me. But I will buy time.”
Marito stood up and put the book in the bookshelf by his side.
“So you will still think about the standing of Taizu, Mejis, and the humans even when you face the heart of the Purple Demon Lord.” (Marito)
“…That’s right. I can’t betray the people that have looked after me.”
“I am happy about those feelings.I would like to praise your as the king of Taizu and a representative of the humans.” (Marito)
Marito faced me again -that expression of his is gentle.
“But as someone with a heart, that’s the worst.” (Marito)
My body hung in the air and my vision shook.
I felt like I was smashed onto the wall.
What was done to me? My head shook and my chin hurt.
My body is not moving. Is it because my brain got shaken?
Aah, I understood what was going on after seeing Marito.
I was punched by Marito, huh.
“What…are you doing?”
“I can accept your choice as a king and as a human…but I had my grievances as a friend, you see.” (Marito)
I get up, but I still can’t move properly.
Something trickles down my mouth. It is blood. It hurts so much, so it is only natural.
Something feels off about my mouth. Was my chin broken? No, this is…my molar broke too, huh.
This guy… He punched me without holding back.
“I won’t stop if you have made a choice. I will even cooperate. But that’s all. I have no intention of getting involved with a fool who doesn’t understand the meaning of the fist I swung here.” (Marito)
The guards showed up at the sound of an adult being sent flying.
“Your Majesty, what in the world is going on here?!”
“Don’t mind it. Bring that man to the infirmary. It seems like he can’t stand up on his own after all.” (Marito)
The soldiers obeyed him. They picked up my body and carried me to the infirmary.
Marito didn’t even glance at me and was tidying up the room.
I was cast healing magic in the infirmary, but there was no effect. They had no choice but to plaster me up with anesthesia, place ice bags on the affected parts, and fix them in place with bandages.
I could walk -even if unsteadily- by that time, so I returned to the room that was prepared for me.
I collapsed on the bed and slept, but I really couldn’t get a proper sleep.
Even if the anesthesia was working, the pain around my chin and molars weren’t going away.
“What’s with Marito?”
The meaning of his swung fist? He had grievances as my friend…? Well, of course he would.
I remember the reason why Marito recognized me as his friend and sighed.
For Marito who became the king of a nation of knights that honored tradition, the existence of an Earthling was fresh.
Unconventional ideas and actions; he held hopes that those could create changes around me, so he made contact with me.
I don’t know how much I could answer his expectations, but it shouldn’t have been bad until today.
The action I took today must have been unforgivable for him.
Even though I tried to do my best for Taizu and Mejis… No, that’s the reason, huh.
An action where I escape from the feelings of a single woman and show consideration towards my own country and a foreign country.
As a nation, it would be the natural action. Marito did say he evaluated that highly as a king.
But that must have been an action he didn’t want someone he sees as a friend to choose.
What charm would a person have imprisoned by conventions and runs to the safe choice brought by compromise?
What Marito sought wasn’t a dedicated subordinate…but a friend he could face on equal grounds.
“I probably would have punched myself too.”
But that’s all the reason why he swung his fist? Was it a punch to cut off relations?
No, as if Marito would punch someone just for that.
If he had simply gotten disillusioned in me, there would be no need to raise his hand. He would just need to make the soldiers seize me.
Aah, I see, so it is that.
What. Who is the Wise King, you Foolish King.
But you are a good king, seriously.
I read the intention of Marito. Is there a need to confirm this…? No.
Time is of essence.
I stood up, exited the room, and headed to Ekdoik’s room.
“Comrade, huh… What happened?” (Ekdoik)
Ekdoik showed a dubious look at my swollen face, but ignore that, ignore.
“A necessary expense. We are leaving the castle.”
“Where are we going?” (Ekdoik)
“The place of the Purple Demon Lord… A place one spot beyond that.”
“Well, wherever it is, I am your bodyguard, so I will come with you though.” (Ekdoik)
“No, I am not having you come with me as a bodyguard.”
“…What does that mean?” (Ekdoik)
“How about bringing him out of Taizu and isolating him?” (Euparo)
I listened to the proposal of Pope Euparo and thought ‘So it really is that, huh’.
The matches of the Purple Demon Lord have been content that was akin to child’s play, but now that she has decided to seriously obtain him, there’s the possibility he will eventually lose.
At worst, he will fall into the hands of the Purple Demon Lord, and the Great Devils will maintain their numbers.
If she desires him, we can have him escape from the country and hide him, and the Purple Demon Lord will try to find him.
If we lure her well, it would be possible to fight her in the place we desire. On top of that, we can aim for a simultaneous reclaim of the Mejis Nether while they are low on hands.
That’s the decision of Pope Euparo…no, of the Yugura Church.
“The harm brought onto Taizu would be lower with that method. Even so, if he were to run away immediately, there’s the possibility of her venting inside the country.”
“Right. Then how about having him act as if he is leaving the country temporarily, and then getting our people to kidnap him?” (Euparo)
After that, he will fall into the custody of Mejis, and the Yugura Church would be able to monopolize him, huh.
Taizu wouldn’t be able to turn hostile towards the Yugura Church just for the sake of a single human. If we turned obstinate and tried to monopolize him, it would be seen as us trying to obtain the forbidden, and all the countries in the world under the teachings of the Yugura Church would become their enemies.
There are a lot of Yugura Church believers in the country. It is possible even a civil war could occur.
—He must have thought that far.
“We have no reason to refuse. However, if the result that the people of Taizu were involved in this is left, it won’t end with just this. We would be leaving everything to Mejis in that regard. Is that okay?”
“Of course. I also promise his safety.” (Euparo)
We are talking about Pope Euparo here. There’s most likely no lie in those words.
But he is a being that can influence a nation…no, in the eyes of a religion’s head, he is a being that can influence the world.
If the relationship between Yugura and the Demon Lords is brought to light, the world would be shaken heavily. The faith in the Yugura Church would drop sharply too.
They will settle all the matters with the Demon Lords behind the pages of history, and he won’t be coming out to the light ever again.
“Pope-sama, I have a report to make!”
A soldier came in hurriedly. This soldier is one of the holy knights that came from Mejis.
He is wearing Taizu armor to disguise himself as a soldier of this country, but Pope Euparo had him check the state of that man.
Pope Euparo requested to post surveillance on him at a time when he was not present, and this is the measure we took after agreeing to this.
“What’s the matter?”
“A-About that…the person in question has disappeared!”
I voiced my surprise before Pope Euparo did. I am confident in my acting skills.
I am not acting as the Wise King on the regular for nothing.
“Tell us the details.” (Marito)
“After entering the room of the bodyguard called Ekdoik, he moved to the garden, and then, all of a sudden… According to accounts of the people at the castle gates, he hasn’t gone through the gates. We have searched everywhere in the castle though…”
If he knew in detail about Ekdoik, he would be able to deduce that he flew away, but this is most likely something the soldiers tailing him didn’t even imagine.
“…We are talking about my perceptive friend. He might have read our moves in advance and escaped.” (Marito)
“Taizu King, isn’t this your handiwork?” (Euparo)
“The last time he made contact with him, he tried to take an act of devotion towards us. I haven’t met him after I showed my willingness to cooperate.” (Marito)
“…So it seems.” (Euparo)
I haven’t lied. This is the way to break through the lie detector of the Yugura Church that he thought of.
I told the soldiers to not let him approach this room just in case, but it seems like he moved without relying on me.
It really was worth punching him.
I would like to tell him my heart hurt a lot when punching him, but well, let’s let him punch me next time.
“Looks like we need to search at once.” (Euparo)
“We will take the forefront when it comes to inside the nation. Pope Euparo, you go ahead and make it so that he can’t escape outside the borders of Taizu.” (Marito)
“You think he will leave the country?” (Euparo)
“My friend likes a neutral position. He has no intention of joining the side of the Purple Demon Lord, and he doesn’t intend to make them his enemies. He most likely escaped because he didn’t want to fall under the jurisdiction of Mejis. He understood that, if he remained in Taizu, he would be creating a rift between our relationships.” (Marito)
“True. Due to his cowardly nature, he tended to avoid becoming the enemy of someone. We shall go ahead and cut off his escape routes.” (Euparo)
Pope Euparo learned about him after making direct contact with him.
He is certainly a coward. He doesn’t want to increase his enemies. He thinks it is fine as long as he can live safely.
Pope Euparo has noticed that much.
But that’s not all.
If that was all, no one would be finding charm in him.
In order to save Wolfe who was oppressed by the black wolfkins, he undertook the role of the hated guy.
He became bait in order to get revenge against the Anbus killing a vagrant.
These actions contradict his creed on the surface.
He wants to live safely, but he is not satisfied unless he brings the people around him within that line too.
He can move without thinking of his own mettle and his own standing.
He has passion. Even if he doesn’t have the strength to fight, he can release passion that transmits to others.
And that passion is not for his own sake…it is only released when he is working strenuously for the sake of others.
It is because people know this that they like him dearly.
The fist I used to punch him with was slightly injured and it stung.
A tooth of his most likely broke at that time and cut my skin.
Rather than pain, it is like there’s heat.
My own hand kindled his heart. Aah, this pain is great.
It is an injury that can be healed in an instant with healing magic, but I will happily accept this pain.
Author: Ilias and that time when her job as the heroine was taken away while she was training.