Even when slicing his body deeply, he doesn’t die.
I decided that I really do have to aim for his head, so I let go of my sword and lop off the head of Dyuvuleori with everything I had using the scabbard of my sword.
With a sword, I would slice him with mana imbued and that would be the end of it.
That wouldn’t be enough to settle the battle against him when he has his regeneration. Thus, I switched to physical means.
That single hit from my scabbard imbued with mana made my scabbard warp slightly.
It is certain that the impact along with my mana resonated in him.
Most of the Great Devils until now have perished when their heads were destroyed. This should have been effective.
“Don’t…look…down on me!”
Dyuleori retreated and supported his body with his right leg, and kicked the ground just like that.
He has only used his right leg until now against his enemies.
What’s his attack method? His right arm and left arm have been severed.
Left leg…no, this is his head!
The headbut of Dyuvuleori landed at the same time I reacted to this.
My consciousness was on the verge of flying away. Speaking of which, this might be the first time in my life getting hit with a headbut.
I staggered to the back. The impact of the headbut shook my brain.
My opponent is struggling desperately with his life on the line. What if my nose has broken because of it?
My scabbard… I let go of it because of the headbut just now.
In that case, I will use my head too!
I grit my teeth to the point of grinding them and smash my floating feet onto the ground.
I extend both arms and grab the clothes of Dyuvuleori.
I pay him back with a full mana strengthened headbut. The impact on me was on the same level, but I was prepared at the time when I unleashed my attack.
The Pawn Mask of Dyuvuleori was destroyed and I got a peek at the eyes deep within them.
The fighting spirit deep within those eyes has not been snuffed out yet. He can still fight.
No, don’t daydream here. I have no leeway to be checking the state of my opponent.
We have both already shown our resolves here. There’s no need to think at this point in time.
I bring back both of my arms and unleash a headbut again.
Stronger, with more momentum, driving it even further into the face of Dyuvuleori.
The butler clothes I latched on were torn off by the force of it, and Dyuvuleori himself was sent flying to the back. He spins 3 times in the air.
But he regenerated both of his arms at some point in time.
His clothes have been strengthened with mana. That’s why it doesn’t break that easily with magic.
Dyuvuleori concentrated on regenerating both arms while accepting the 2 blows he would receive from it.
I staggered lightly and stood up. I have Rakura on my side, so even if there’s distance between us, the one at a disadvantage will be Dyuvuleori.
In that case, the method I will take is close range battle again.
There’s no time to pick up the scabbard. My sword was also taken away with him when he was sent flying.
Dyuvuleori jumps towards us using his left leg.
He is using me as a shield to protect himself from the gaze of Rakura. He is planning on challenging me to a straight on battle.
He stretched his left arm. The one with the highest attack power between both of his arms is his left arm.
I jumped to the front to evade that left arm, and my right arm slid over his arm as I smashed it onto his face.
“I forgot to tell you this, but I have also learned martial arts from Maya!” (Ilias)
My sword would break often at the time when I aimed to become a knight and was training.
What I thought when I was ordering my sword was the most natural thing to think.
How should I fight at the times when I don’t have a sword…when I don’t have a weapon?
The one who answered that question as if natural was Maya.
The Archbishop of the Yugura Church, the Mauler of Everything, Maya.
She taught me how to fight barehanded.
You can predict the movements of living beings to a certain degree from their form.
There are exceptions, but it is effective against most living beings.
Dyuvuleori is humanoid. His movements may be superhuman, but he is still ‘human’.
His gaze, the pulses in all the parts of his body; they would tell me the next move he will unleash.
By instinctively reacting to the opponent before they pull out their move, I can perform reaction speeds that are similar to predictions.
My fist that utilized the full momentum of his attack landed straight, but I don’t plan on letting it end with just that.
I smash my left fist onto his unsteady head. He immediately went for a counterattack with his right fist, but I brought out my forehead to the front, and took it on with my face before he extended his arm completely.
I used that force to smash my right fist onto him which I had prepared for my next move.
I would evade or at times kill the impact as I steadily land blows.
When I felt that he would defend with his arm, I would switch my attacks to the opened torso, make him lower his arm, and once again concentrate on his face.
Dyuvuleori was not losing out here and continued trying to fight back, but they were far from effective blows.
Great Devils may excel in fighting with their special abilities, but they lack technique when it comes to fisticuffs.
Even if the punch I received just now on my face is strong enough to pierce an iron plate, it doesn’t matter to me.
It doesn’t deal much damage as someone who has perfected her mana strengthening.
He tried to smash me with a shockwave of mana, but his technique is way too coarse to be able to land a mana shockwave onto my mana strengthened head.
It may look like an exchange of blows from the outside, but the accumulated damage has a difference of more than 10 times the amount.
There’s no way Dyuvuleori hasn’t noticed this.
That’s why the only method for him to break through this is to add even stronger hits in.
If he is going to try to deal a strong blow in a fisticuff…
“That’s way too wide!” (Ilias)
I evaded the large swing of his left arm with paper-thin difference. My cheek was cut, but I managed to deal with it with the least amount of movement.
I used the surplus to grab his left arm with both of my hands and sweep his legs. And then, I raised his body up in the air with my shoulder, and smashed him onto the ground back first.
Dyuvuleori stopped for a moment at the impact on his back he hadn’t received before. This is the decisive moment.
I pour all of my mana onto my right arm and, just like the time with the sweep of my sword…no, with even more force than that…
Only when you have sealed the movements of your opponent can you land a large swing against them.
I mix purification magic onto it, and concentrate the mana strengthening onto my right fist on top of it.
The technique of my mother that Maya taught me. This attack is comparable to a meteor.
Just before I swung down that fist, Dyuvuleori noticed the power of that attack, and protected his head with both arms.
I knew that you would do that.
But this attack doesn’t choose the place it will land on.
I smashed my full power fist onto the chest of Dyuvuleori.
The shockwave reached all the way here to the point that it made me wonder if it was an earthquake.
This is the first time Ilias has showcased martial arts, but she pulled off a cross-counter. Is she a professional boxer?
Moreover, what she showed at the end is a rare judo technique. The mountain storm throw, I think?
After that, she landed what looked like a big move.
Dyuvuleori is not moving. Ilias stood up silently, moved back, and retrieved her sword.
And then, she directed her gaze at me for an instant.
It seems like she understands what I am trying to do here.
Well, she didn’t hold back though.
I head towards the Purple Demon Lord who is dumbstruck here.
“That’s it. I withdraw both Ilias and Rakura.”
“Dyuvuleori hasn’t begun disappearing, so he must still be alive. Therefore, the battle isn’t over. That’s why I am withdrawing them.”
I said this and placed the pieces of Ilias and Rakura on a corner of the table.
“What are you…” (Purple)
“You were listening to what we were talking about before, right? This is for the sake of fulfilling the promise of Dyuvuleori. The pieces I have left are: Mix, Ekdoik, Gold Demon Lord, Wolfe, and me. In order to fulfill my promise, I will have to win this reading between each other 4 times more. These 4 times will be your last chance.”
“Such a thing… What’s the point of doing such a thing?!” (Purple)
The Purple Demon Lord gets emotional and shouts.
Her trump card, Dyuvuleori, is not dead but can’t fight anymore. Anyone from our side would be able to win against him right now.
But it is a bit too soon to despair.
“There’s a point. This is a match between you and me. We both had strong pieces, but the ones who should actually be competing here are both of us. In order to win in the true meaning of the word, I myself have to win against you.”
“You…and me.” (Purple)
“Just saying, but I will be going at my fullest to read the remaining 4 tries. I will understand your heart completely and surpass you.”
That’s right. Everything was for the sake of creating this scenario.
Regardless of whether the flow of the match was in my favor or not, I planned on making it this way.
I would give as much of a chance to the Purple Demon Lord, and win them all by reading her.
‘I lost because he had strong comrades’, ‘I lost because my own pieces were weak’; I won’t allow her that delusion.
“Now, turn the gears in your brain with all your power. You are the only one holding the chance to obtain me. I will face that with everything. I will raise my worth until the very end.”
So this was his aim from the very beginning.
My attention was directed at making both pieces compete for superiority.
That’s why I almost lost it when Dyuvuleori and the strengthened Great Devils lost.
That wasn’t it. He has been competing against me since the very beginning.
It was a competition to see whether I could catch him until the pieces were gone.
He said that his original objective was to bring only Ekdoik and Gold here.
It is true that, even if both of them couldn’t defeat Dyuvuleori, it should have been possible to bring out my piece onto the board.
That’s right. The victories of his comrades may be something for him to rejoice about, but it served no point when it came to victory or defeat.
No, it is not like there was absolutely no point.
As long as he is a human, wiping out the Great Devils is advantageous for the human realm.
But he is not showing interest in that.
He is only interested in winning his match against me.
This is his challenge. He is showing his own worth, and he is seeing whether I have the qualifications to earn that.
My fingers are trembling. The only pieces remaining are mine and Dyuvuleori who is in a critical state.
He said 4 times, but now that I only have 2 pieces, there’s the possibility that a one-on-one or the match settling won’t happen.
…No, he wouldn’t make such a mistake.
He has been bringing out his piece the whole time until now.
‘I know the position of your pieces. I understand your thoughts’ -is what he has been telling me.
I have 4 chances remaining. Just 4.
I have to win against him in a reading battle. But…but…can I win?
“1st one: Mix and Dyuvuleori’s pieces faced each other. Of course, I will withdraw Mix.”
He said that and placed one more piece at the corner of the table.
3 tries remaining. Wait, when did I place my pieces?
Are you telling me that I placed the pieces without even thinking properly?
I must think. In order to outread him, I need to go beyond his read.
But where should I place it?
He can read my placements. How should I surpass that?
“2nd time: Ekdoik and Dyuvuleori. Ekdoik withdraws.”
2 remaining. Half of my tries are gone while I was thinking.
This is not the time to be running into negative thoughts.
If he can read the placement of my pieces, he should be placing it like this… If I use that…
“3rd time: Gold Demon Lord and Dyuvuleori. I withdraw the Gold Demon Lord.”
There’s now 2 pieces remaining.
With this, he will fulfill the promise with Dyuvuleori and can win against me with the next one.
This will be the last read.
Why…Why can he read my thoughts so easily?!
I direct my gaze at him. His black eyes continued looking at me silently.
Until now, I have never felt fear in the eyes of the strong like Black, Green, and Yugura.
And yet, these eyes that can read my everything are unbearably scary.
He is putting his all in winning against me. That tenacity is creating this result.
No, I am also betting everything here.
I just have to bet everything on this one time. I have to think…think…
I should understand his thoughts too and read him.
Remember the placements of the pieces.
Was there any pattern to the placements until now? Were there any connections with my words and actions?
There might have been faint signs.
He must have been able to read ahead from those.
In that case, he understands that I am seriously trying to read him right now.
How can I betray his prediction in that state?
—Right, there was that option.
The information I haven’t told him. I can just think of that and arrange my thoughts around it.
There’s no way he would be able to analyze information that hasn’t been provided.
The information I haven’t told him, memories; I think of the best placements for my pieces from that.
Here. In this location, my piece won’t face his.
But not yet. I need to read the position of his next pieces.
I think of him. Where would he place his pieces?
Think…think…and after thinking about it, I narrow it down to one spot.
I place my pieces. It should be fine here, right?
It should be. It is the answer I brought out with effort incomparable to anything I have done before.
I won’t lose with this.
“…I am done.” (Purple)
We close the drawer at the same time.
And then, the pieces show on the board.
“Wolfe and Dyuvuleori’s pieces are facing each other…and my piece and yours are facing each other. That settles the match.”
I can’t speak.
Why…? How…? This is the end?
In other words, I become his, and I won’t ever be able to make his heart mine for eternity.
No way…but…even so…
His comrades have gathered around him.
They are happy about his victory.
I still can…I can…no, I don’t have any more pieces to win against him.
The Great Devils have lost. My full power thoughts have been read thoroughly.
I already have no means to win against him and obtain him.
With the Gold Demon Lord serving as a witness, I can’t break the promise.
I have nothing anymore. I have proved that I have no right to obtain him.
No…there’s no way that can be.
The match isn’t over yet.
That’s right, I still have a card.
“…Not yet. I still have a way to obtain you.” (Purple)
When I muttered this, he silently looked at me.
“Yeah, I know. The Enticement, right?”
That’s right. The last and most powerful ability I have as a Demon Lord.
I promised to him that I wouldn’t use the Enticement in my match against him.
If I use it, I would easily obtain him, and that would lower his worth. I agreed to that.
But he has just proved his worth. Even the fact that someone as meager as me doesn’t match him.
“You may be too much for me, but I still want you despite that.” (Purple)
“You are putting me way too high on a pedestal though. But can I ask you something first?”
“…What is it?” (Purple)
“What will you do if even that Enticement doesn’t work?”
Even though I understand the meaning of that question, it still took me time.
If my absolute power that is the Enticement were to not work?
Didn’t he propose this competition in order to avoid me using that power to begin with?
“That’s not possible. You must be saying that your internal mana is so low that the magic won’t work, but my Enticement is—” (Purple)
“It works by calling the name of the other party which in turn calls to their soul, right?”
“You heard it from Gold, huh? That’s right.” (Purple)
“This is not about my mana though. What I am asking here is what will you do if even that doesn’t work. If that happens, you will have nothing left, you know?”
It is just as he says.
I lived a worthless life and was given a second life by Yugura.
This Enticement is my sole peerless symbol that was given to me in my new life.
Dyuvuleori has lost, too. I have no other means to obtain him aside from that.
If something like that were to happen… No, that’s not possible.
I have already confirmed his name.
The name his comrades call him and the name he introduced himself to me with match.
There’s no chance he introduced himself to me with a false name.
Even if he is a resident of Yugura’s planet, as long as I don’t mistake the pronunciation of his name, it should be effective.
The only one who can block this is Yugura himself.
“I see. I won’t be left with anything, huh? Then, that would instead allow me to give up without any grievances. I have this power, so I will be left with the lingering regret that I might be able to obtain you with it, you know? In the end, I am a mere Demon Lord that has grown depending on the power Yugura gave me, but I am fine with that. Even if my worth lowers, the worth I feel towards you won’t change.” (Purple)
His comrades tried to step in front of him, but he stopped them.
“Then, this will be the true last match, Purple Demon Lord. I will break the last of your strength, your Enticement.”
He is seriously trying to defeat it, but he doesn’t have the power to.
His eyes are not muddied anymore. They are the eyes overflowing with resolve that he showed to me at the time when he challenged me.
Aah, that’s right. I want to continue being reflected in those eyes of his.
The first time I wished for something… I desired from the bottom of my heart…to obtain him…to obtain his heart…
I can’t obtain his heart anymore. That’s a very painful reality I must swallow.
But, even so, it is better than not being able to obtain him. It is far far better.
“Yeah. Then, I will do as you wish…” (Purple)
I take a deep breath.
This ability is one that I have used countless times.
I just have to be a bit conscious of it. With just that, the person that gets their name called will become my loyal pawn.
My resolve shook for a moment there, but I still spoke those words.
“[Satou Ichirou, become mine].” (Purple)
I used the Enticement on him.
Ilias and the others are looking behind me in worry.
The Purple Demon Lord certainly did speak my name.
“Too bad. I won’t become yours.”
That statement destroyed her everything.
The Enticement of hers didn’t work on me.
“No…way… Impossible. It is impossible! I certainly did use the power. I also confirmed your name. It activated, you know?!” (Purple)
The Purple Demon Lord got confused and panicked.
She wouldn’t give up on most things, so in order to make her give up on me, I had to win against her in all the methods she could take.
That’s why I set the Purple Demon Lord to a psychological battle, and needed to make my playing field against her even.
My worry was that Ilias might put a stop to my comprehension act.
If I had gone full power like usual in my comprehension, she might have stopped me.
If I had done that, I would have been able to do the same thing as now, but with a bit of luck, I managed to proceed with things without being put to a stop by Ilias.
It was close to playing a mentalist here, but there’s no way I would be able to read the placements of the pieces 9 times in a row.
Actually, I noticed the first time we placed the pieces.
When the Purple Demon Lord sets her pieces, her chest would jiggle in that direction.
No, that wasn’t out of lust, okay? I sharpened my senses to gain as much information as possible, and ended up noticing that.
Other points would be that when you place your palm gently inside the drawer, you can faintly tell the vibrations of when you place the pieces.
She is not a professional in competitions or anything. There are many other means aside from reading your opponent’s moves.
Me mastering entertainment mahjong on Earth wasn’t just for show. I noticed those points, so I squeezed them out for all they were worth.
Thanks to that, I had quite a lot of leeway in my thoughts.
Me showing the Purple Demon Lord the parchment was a bit of cheating. I actually have a lot of the same papers in my pockets.
If the pieces lined up with any of the many papers I had, I would bring that scrap of parchment out.
I made her believe I excel at foresight.
There was the possibility of Baraguwerin listening to this, so I didn’t use the same trick though.
The reason I used my piece continuously and tried to shake her every now and then was because I wanted to instill in her that I am indeed reading all her thoughts.
Of course, my comprehension complemented me here.
If the Purple Demon Lord ran off to cheating, I would read her mentality in order to avoid her noticing my way of reading her placements, and would shake her with precision.
I made it so she would stay in that mental state of losing in a reading battle.
Judging from the personality of the Purple Demon Lord, it was already within expectations that she would rely on the Enticement after losing in the serious match.
She was a former human too. If she has one thing to cling onto, I thought she definitely would stretch her hand onto it.
If this were Ilias, she would have given up obediently, but I knew that her greed would win against her sportsmanship.
With all of those defeated, the Purple Demon Lord would be completely pinned.
That’s when Ilias showed up from the side.
“I believed you because you told me to, but…it seems like you really did defeat it, huh.” (Ilias)
“You could say that.”
“What in the world did you do? The Purple Demon Lord certainly called your name there.” (Ilias)
“Why are you averting your gaze? Feeling some sort of guilty conscience here?” (Ilias)
Ilias-san is the type who would say stupid stuff like ‘you won this time’s battle because you used your brain’, but her nose really does work well at times like this.
“I told you not to keep secrets. Judging from the way you are acting right now, there shouldn’t be any issues with you telling us, right?” (Ilias)
“…Are you not going to get angry?”
“Depends on what you will say.” (Ilias)
“I would like to exert my right to refuse.”
The people behind are already looking at me with eyes of ‘this guy has done something’.
Well, even if I were to spill the beans here, there’s no way to form a countermeasure for it though.
“…It is a pen-name.”
“Satou Ichirou is the pen-name I used in a late night radio program. Basically, an alias.”
Everyone was shocked by this.
By the way, I was a zealous postcard artisan on Earth.
That said, I recently switched to an email artisan though.
You could say that was my username in that sense.
“W-Wait wait, you introduced yourself in front of Maya, right? If that were a lie—” (Ilias)
“No, a pen-name is also a veritable name. I was thinking of making my way in this world with a pen-name, so I called myself that.”
I stopped using the name given by my parents a long time ago. We got along so badly we broke off relations.
My family register has been changed a long time ago, too, so my own name has become a pretty faint existence now.
I thought about living in this isekai with the postcard artisan name that was pretty decently received.
That must have been the reason why it went through the lie detector of Maya-san.
Man, who would have known there’s a power like Enticement in this world?
But it is because there’s something like that that I challenged her. If I didn’t have any means to get through the Enticement of the Purple Demon Lord, it would be over the moment she breaks the promise after all.
“I-In other words, you have been hiding your real name from everyone until now?” (Ilias)
“…You are getting an earful once we are back.” (Ilias)
I really wasn’t forgiven.