I listened to the talk of the Purple Demon Lord first.
Her upbringing, how she became a Demon Lord, and her life after becoming a Demon Lord; I had my thoughts regarding those, but I have to talk about my life before digesting that.
Explaining the things natural on Earth to the people of this world is a job that’s pretty demanding.
Ilias and the others were also listening to this, but well, it can’t be helped.
“I hate talking about myself, you see. I also have no confidence I will be able to tell this properly, but…what’s certain is that I haven’t lived in a way others would be proud of.”
I have parents and I also have older and younger siblings.
Both of my parents did the jobs they wanted to do, and would make time for their family too.
I was a bit further apart in age compared to my brothers, and the family was slightly affluent compared to the average. I also had friends and a person that shared the same feelings as me, though it didn’t reach the point of a deep relationship.
My life was ordinary at the time when I graduated high school and became a college student, but I led a life with no discontent.
The trigger was the death of my friend -a suicide.
He didn’t hang out with me as much, but I thought we still got along well with each other.
I lamented the death of my friend, so I investigated how he was cornered to the point of suicide.
I soon discovered the reason after trying to learn about it, after trying to comprehend it.
His family environment, his personal relationships, the stress at his workplace; various factors were making my friend suffer.
He couldn’t condemn them and a lot of pent-up grudges were written down in the will of my friend.
My name was also written down within those. He was jealous of the friend that was always laughing together with him, jealous of his happy life, hated it, and wondered why he was not trying to save him. He left his resentments there.
It was at that time that I began to get sensitive to the ill intent of my surroundings.
I got in the habit of observing the scenery that at a glance had nothing out of the ordinary, wondering if there was some sort of ominous presence mixed in it.
The moment I understood that malice exists everywhere, I began finding a whole ton of malice.
My parents were living their lives as normal, but they were hit by a scam in the past and were caught in an inheritance dispute with relatives.
Despite looking like a perfect couple, they would both cheat on each other and were hiding it as if it were the most natural thing.
The siblings I got along with would report half-truths to our parents in the shadows in order to obtain as much of our parent’s inheritance as they could.
They would get lavish in their spending respectively, and then they would pin the blame onto a different sibling.
They would try to maintain their superiority by saying they will solve it themselves.
I was nauseated by this and left the house. I had no confidence I would be able to act as if I hadn’t noticed the malice within my family.
I tried to maintain a peaceful life by telling myself that that family is an exception and that most of the other families are normal.
But once that can was opened, the worms just crawled out.
Humans that interacted out of malice were everywhere.
In this world where it is fine to just live as a human, they were using that energy in their life to stand in a more advantageous position for themselves.
I avoided those kinds of people at first. If I can find them, I just have to try to not get involved with them.
With that in consideration, I will find people that I can open my heart to, and try my best to live a peaceful life.
But no matter how much I tried to be careful, the fangs of malice rained upon me indiscriminately.
Important friends of mine would get tricked, have their fortune taken away, their position, their honor, and at times even their lives.
As unqualified of a person as I was, I had no means to stop this, and could only be angered at the people that directed that malice and at how powerless I was.
Even when I gained knowledge to oppose them, those with malice were one step above that. They would come up with new methods.
What I grasped at that time was the ability to comprehend the other party. I would reproduce their position and predict their actions.
If upfront means don’t work, I will take upon that malice and fight poison with poison.
I deceived scammers, ambushed thugs, and would use others to crush criminal organizations.
At that time, I learned that I could win, grew impudent, and directed excessive animosity towards evil.
But just like how I was hostile against evil, if I were to perform evils towards evil, they would of course grow hostile too.
I drew grudges in droves. There were no small amount of grueling experiences.
The more I got back at them, the more enemies I got, and even the comrades I believed in began to betray me.
I felt even more anger towards the allies that betrayed me compared to the ones that were enemies from the very beginning, and I was even more ruthless towards them.
I believed in my emotions and welcomed fighting.
By the time I noticed, I was isolated. Even if there were people I could use, there was no one I could call a friend.
There’s no way there would be people who would be able to see me as a friend when I mercilessly dropped my own past friends.
One day, I got caught in a trap and was arrested by the police.
The prison term was pretty short, and the burden it brought down upon my life was minuscule. On the contrary, it gave me time to think by myself and gave me composure.
There’s a limit to what a single person can achieve. But if you trust too much in someone, things can turn irreversible when they betray you.
The bigger the enemy became, the clearer I saw my limits.
I learned that if I were to oppose that, the retaliation afterwards would get bigger too.
In the first place, I could avoid malice and had no friends anymore, so why is there a need to smash evil with anger? Even if I entrust my body to the rage, I would just be losing the whole time.
I moved away from the city I lived in and decided to change my way of living in the new city.
I didn’t get excessively involved with others and continued being cautious of malice.
If I stand out, gazes will be directed at me regardless of good or bad. That’s why I interacted with people in a way that I won’t be hated or liked.
There’s no need to create ripples in my life. I could have just lived silently, peacefully, and safely.
Even so, the techniques that were seeped into my body, the experiences, didn’t let go of their grasp.
Even when others tried to get closer to me, I would see the schemes lying deep in them. I could now find dirt within clean grounds.
I acted as if I didn’t see those and continued living my life.
I acted in a peaceful manner in order to not bring about any problems on the surface, and in the case it still ended up in trouble, I would lay the groundwork while making sure not to get noticed and would deal with it in the shadows.
Enemies didn’t increase; I had people I could call friends, even though they were shallow relationships.
“If I were to get too deeply involved with someone, I would get sad when they directed malice at me. I would get angry when they betray me. That’s why I took distance. I was tired of having my emotions shaken.”
This is good. I told myself that this much is good enough.
It was around here that I saw the world as faded.
“A rough summary would be that I couldn’t forgive evil, but I didn’t have enough strength, so I tainted my hands in evil, and, by the time I noticed, I was surrounded by enemies and self-destructed. I tried to live without standing out after that, but I ended up becoming a tasteless person.”
At the time when I was fed up with such a world and lived in a lame way, I arrived in this world.
A world with an unripe civilization, but the many people in this world were pouring their strength into living.
It is not like everyone is a desirable person.
Discrimination, persecution, labeling, prejudice; both worlds have such things.
Even so, this world was easier to understand. It was comfortable because of their simple lifestyle.
By the time I noticed, I was now able to act emotionally like I did in the past.
But that at the same time meant that my emotions were shaken more easily.
Feeling danger instinctively, I continued maintaining distance from the people in this world.
“I was honestly scared when the Purple Demon Lord directed serious emotions at me. I was thinking about making my relationship with Taizu, Mejis, and you as flat as possible, and was taking measures to escape. But it seems like, even if I live in the same way as Earth, I can’t live the way I wish in this world. No, that’s not it. I must have thought I want to live like myself in this world.”
There are people in this world who are trying to face me seriously. In that case, I must face them seriously too.
“I see. I understand you a little better now.” (Purple)
“A bit disappointed?”
“I understood that you are a lot more of a small being than I thought, I guess? But that doesn’t matter to me. The worth you created was from the things you did for me in this world -the things you provided to me.” (Purple)
“So you are fine even with a useless man like me.”
“That can be fixed.” (Purple)
“Makes me fear what will happen if I were to lose.”
With this, we now know each other’s information to a certain degree.
You could say that we are on the side that benefits the most in terms of the amount of information.
Dyuvuleori showed up by the time we were doing that.
“We have prepared the stage for the match.” (Dyuvuleori)
“Is that so? Let’s go then?” (Purple)
We left the residence and arrived at the plaza by the side. The biggest changes would be that the fountain in the middle and the benches have been withdrawn.
It has been remodeled into a battle stage that’s simply spacious.
“Regardless of whether we want to fight or not, won’t the patrolling knights find us if we do anything in such an open space?”
“No problems. We will be creating a wall right now, you know?” (Purple)
Black walls unfolded from the shadows of the ground around the plaza the moment the Purple Demon Lord said this.
The plaza was swiftly wrapped in a cubic form.
“So these are…devils?”
“Yes, the wall of devils that I brought to this country, you know? If you attack it, the devils around that part will return to their original form and retaliate. Not many will pop out as long as it is not that wide scale of an attack, so there shouldn’t be that much danger, but…it should be enough to buy time, right?” (Purple)
She must have used the remaining devils that were blocking the path to the black wolfkin village. The sheer amount of devils infiltrated in the capital of Taizu is honestly threatening.
“And so, what are the details of the match?”
There’s a small square table at the entrance of the plaza.
And then 2 chairs popped out as if sandwiching it.
The Purple Demon Lord sat on one of them. In that case, I should be sitting at the opposite one.
I sat on the chair and looked at the table. First of all, there are 5 circular holes equally spaced between each other at arm’s reach.
Right before that, there’s a somewhat big drawer.
I stared at that and pieces began showing up on the table.
The pieces were shaped in the form of my members in a miniaturized look.
Ilias, Wolfe, Rakura, Mix, Gold Demon Lord, Ekdoik, and me for a total of 7.
On the other hand, there’s the Purple Demon Lord with board pieces shaped as devils.
The numbers are also 7. It is the same number as the remaining Great Devils.
On top of that, there’s also one Purple Demon Lord piece.
“Alright, I will explain the rules, okay? Can you open the drawer?” (Purple)
I grab the handle and pull the drawer.
There was nothing inside the drawer, but there were circles drawn of the same size, number, and position as the opened holes on the table.
“We can place 3 board pieces from each side on top of that, okay? Can you try leaving a random one as a test and close the drawer?” (Purple)
For now, I place my piece, Ilias’s, and Wolfe’s from left to right in that order, and close the drawer.
The Purple Demon Lord seems to have done the same and closed the drawer.
When we did, a strange sound rang from the table.
While I was watching this, the pieces I set just now appeared from the holes of the table.
“That’s basically how it works. And then, we will have the pieces of the people matching the other side’s -aside from me and you- fight, okay?” (Purple)
In this case, the piece of Ilias has lined up with one of the devils from her side.
In other words, it would mean Ilias will have a one-on-one against that devil.
“The pieces that lose will be removed from the match. You will always place 3 pieces. When you don’t have enough, you place as many as you can, okay?” (Purple)
“I see. So you lose when there’s none left?”
“No. The condition for you to win is to set your piece on the same location as I do. And then, the condition for your defeat would be to have your piece be eliminated from the game.” (Purple)
“…So it would be the end if I faced a devil?”
“Not only that. For example; in this situation, if we are talking about the pieces for the one-on-one…it would be like this, right?” (Purple)
Saying this, the Purple Demon Lord sets one of the devils in front of my pawn.
With this, there are 2 sets of pieces facing each other.
“When this happens, she can face 2 Great Devils alone. However, if she loses, that will be deemed a defeat, okay?” (Purple)
Basically, the most would be a battle of 3 between 3. If I include myself there, our numbers would decrease and it would be a disadvantageous battle for us.
“By the way, what happens if there’s only my piece?”
“You lose. I would be troubled if you were to be hurt by the Great Devils after all.” (Purple)
“What happens if any other piece aside from me were to face yours?”
“I won’t fight, so it won’t be considered a set, okay?” (Purple)
I get the rules now. The basic win strategy would be to make the enemy expend their pieces and bring your own piece at the end.
Even if the pieces on each other’s side are not completely gone, the match can be settled, but we most likely won’t be able to avoid battles to a moderate degree.
“Is it possible to withdraw in the middle of battle?”
“I will allow it only under your own judgment. But I plan on making the Great Devils fight until their death, okay?” (Purple)
So I can avoid the worst case scenario if I make it in time.
If someone injured in battle ends up getting matched with Dyuvuleori, I will have to consider withdrawing them at once.
If we bring the match into a battle to shave each other’s pieces, the latter half will be left to fate.
…No, I won’t let that happen.
“Alright, let’s begin at once.”
That’s how the last match began in silence.
The Purple Demon Lord seems to be setting the pieces disinterestedly without thinking too deeply about it.
The first 3 will be Great Devils, so there’s no need to worry too much here.
I think about the 3 pieces and think about the places to put them on.
I have obtained information about the Purple Demon Lord. She is serious.
I got bold here in order to answer her seriously. In that case, I will do whatever I can.
“I have finished setting them, okay?” (Purple)
“Wait a bit… Alright, I have set mine too.”
The moment we confirmed with each other, the pieces placed in the drawer showed up.
Everyone was surprised by the result of the pieces that appeared.
“…What’s the meaning of this?” (Purple)
There are 3 pieces lined up at the side of the Purple Demon Lord from left to right.
On my side, there’s Mix’s piece in the 1st spot, Ekdoik’s piece in the 4th, and mine in the 5th spot.
The result is Mix and a Great Devil will be facing each other.
But that’s not what the Purple Demon Lord meant.
She must be referring to me using my piece on the first move when it is the condition for me to lose.
“Meaning? It is as you see.”
“There’s no way you wouldn’t understand the basic winning strategy of such a simple game. You said you would be fighting seriously, right? Was that a lie?” (Purple)
“I am serious. I am seriously going for the win, and that’s exactly why I made this move. I am going to be announcing it right here: my piece will be included in every move from here on.”