Today, my friend has gone to visit the magic research lab.
He must have a bit of leeway now. I would like him to come visit later if possible.
By the time I noticed, my friend has gotten two Demon Lords -the sworn enemies of humanity- as comrades, and their positions are starting to become equal.
I would like to maintain our current friendly relation.
“Deep breaths, Mix. I can’t listen to your report properly like that.” (Marito)
“M-M-My apo-po-pologies!” (Mix)
I thought it would be nice to talk with my little sister every now and then, so I told her to come and report to me directly, but…it seems like this illness of Mix won’t be fixed easily.
I can’t complain about it. I am the one who instilled this on Mix after all.
Me saying something to her about it will have little to no effect. Giving my friend some sort of knowledge to begin fixing this for real might be an option.
Speaking of which, I remembered something after thinking about my friend. If I remember correctly, inside the drawer…here it is.
My friend also knows that my conversations with Mix don’t go well.
And so, he gifted me an item they produced as part of the magic research.
My honest opinion was one of doubt, but I decided to keep it close to me since it was something he gave me.
It is a mask you wear on your face -something that hides everything from forehead all the way to the chin.
The cheap idea that she would feel more relaxed if she can’t see my face.
However, this isn’t just any mask. If you pour mana into it, you can even change your tone of voice.
Mix got nervous with my voice at our call in Gahne, so my voice is also a factor that flares up that illness of hers, so he prepared that function too.
“Oh well, won’t hurt to try…” (Marito)
I wear the mask. No complaints about the size.
More like, it fits so perfectly, it makes me wonder if this was order-made.
My friend likes drafting, so it might not be that far off.
Its ventilation is also plain good. He has taken into consideration even the small details.
My vision is a bit narrower through the mask, but I can clearly see Mix.
Mix was taken aback by me suddenly putting on a strange mask.
“Now then, Mix, how’s this?” (Marito)
My voice has changed completely too. A somewhat higher voice than usual.
I almost laughed out loud, but I endure it.
“Uhm…I am troubled on what to say about this.” (Mix)
“Ooh! You are talking normally!” (Marito)
“Eh?! …Wait, that’s true!” (Mix)
I put it on as a joke, but to think it would have this much of an effect… Nicely done, my friend.
It has been decades since I have been able to have a proper talk with my little sister after all.
I need to thank him for this.
“To think it would be this easy.” (Marito)
“The presence and voice is clearly way too different from that of Ani-sama, so…” (Mix)
“True. I at the very least wouldn’t want to appear in front of others with this mask on. I don’t mind if it takes time, but there’s the need to deal with that issue of yours.” (Marito)
“Y-Yes, my deepest apologies!” (Mix)
She can’t get rid of her internal nervousness as expected. But it is great that it isn’t hampering her in normal conversation.
“Ani-sama, that mask is something Mister Friend made, right?” (Mix)
“Yeah, it is something he prepared as a test to see if conversation could be established with this.” (Marito)
“I see… That’s Mister Friend for you.” (Mix)
For my friend, this is simply one possibility out of many that showed up.
But I wouldn’t have even entertained the thought of trying a method like this.
I would just have just thrown it away from my mind as just being too silly.
But I am glad the reality was so simple.
Realizing that I didn’t test out such a simple thing made me want to sigh at how hard my head is.
“Let’s continue the report like this since we have the chance here.” (Marito)
“Y-Yes! The Yugura Church has left a part of the paladins and the others withdrew to Mejis. It seems Pope Euparo and the others will be staying for a while more.” (Mix)
The reason for their stay is simple. It is because my friend is going to be able to prepare a place for information exchange with the Colorless Demon Lord soon.
If they returned, it would just increase the work.
If it is just a report, that can be done through a call using magic.
Mejis would also like to avoid maintaining excessive military force inside a foreign country. They must have sorted out the unnecessary strength.
They have left some just as a formality, but it is not like they can do anything with their current force anyways.
“Ekdoik has communicated to us in regards to the Demon Lords. They plan on constructing a villa in the former bandit lairs just as discussed previously.” (Mix)
“As for the black wolfkins, we have explained to them that monsters appeared and we eliminated them, so the danger is gone. We have told them that we will be placing some knights there for a while just in case.” (Mix)
“Sounds good.” (Marito)
A bit of information ended up being transmitted to the black wolfkins at the time when the messenger and the search party were hindered in the matter of the cave in the mountains.
There’s the need for some peace of mind considering the scale of people mobilized.
But it is hard to tell them this was an action taken by a Demon Lord.
They are a deeply superstitious bunch, so they might end up holing themselves up again if a Demon Lord has appeared.
“What’s left would be… It is about time to report to Kuama.” (Marito)
“Right. It is only a matter of time before the king of Kuama learns about the situation through the Yugura Church.” (Mix)
The Purple Demon Lord was originally in Kuama.
Yet, she came here and caused trouble.
Even if it wasn’t the fault of Kuama, they are still a country involved in this.
If it is going to be something that will be revealed eventually, we would look better if we were to go ahead and tell them first.
I don’t know how fast the Yugura Church will move, but it is a matter that should be dealt with quickly.
“If you are going to tell Kuama, we should consider contacting the other big countries too… No, we should leave this one to Mejis.” (Marito)
“But isn’t there the possibility of Mejis pulling strings in the shadows with that?” (Mix)
“Whichever the case, we won’t be able to block the Yugura Church from pulling strings with their influence. We are moving our anbus to gather information of other countries. We have our hands full with just checking the information we can obtain and acting upon that.” (Marito)
If a country that approves of the 3rd Faction of my friend were to interfere excessively on other countries, it could provoke them unnecessarily.
I am sure Pope Euparo will be able to deal with that skilfully.
“This is all I have to report at present.” (Mix)
“I see. Good work.” (Marito)
…I can finally talk to my little sister, so I would like to talk a bit more.
Talking about the past shouldn’t be done while wearing this mask. It is an issue that must be tackled with my bare face. In that case, a topic we share in common… There’s only one, huh.
“Let me throw a blunt question here. Mix, what do you think of my friend?” (Marito)
“Mister Friend? Uhm… I see him in a favorable light.” (Mix)
“So we resemble each other on that front as siblings, huh.” (Marito)
“I can’t say I am as close to him as you are, but I do want to help him out as much as possible.” (Mix)
“Even if I am out of the equation?” (Marito)
“Yes. He is someone who changes completely depending on the person in front of him, but turning that around, it also means he is someone who matches the person with an understanding of them.” (Mix)
He shows matching good will towards good will, and shows matching malice towards malice.
My friend’s way of being is not stable, but him being able to properly respond to the emotions directed at him is kind of fun.
It seems my likes are similar to Mix’s.
“You can marry him if that’s okay with you, you know? I could assist you on the pretext that it is a political marriage after all.” (Marito)
“T-That’s…a bit troubling.” (Mix)
“Can’t feel any romantic feelings towards him?” (Marito)
“No, that’s not it! The smile of Mister Friend is cheating after all!” (Mix)
The smile of my friend?
There are times when his mouth would warp when he is scheming something evil, but it seems like it is not of that sort…
A smile that can steal the heart of Mix… What’s with that? I want to see it.
“Then, is there some sort of issue?” (Marito)
“Rather than calling it an issue… Mister Friend is currently hesitating to go into a deep relationship with someone. The matter of the Purple Demon Lord was brought upon because of that stance of his…” (Mix)
It is true that things might have wrapped up nicely if my friend were to say he would marry the Purple Demon Lord from the very beginning.
If it is him who can comprehend the other party and make them fall into traps, it shouldn’t be impossible to make women fall for him.
It is to the point that he is secretly using the night city despite being surrounded by women around him.
…Well, I will keep this information secret for the sake of his honor.
“You don’t like the idea of getting a head march by using your standing?” (Marito)
“Yes, I am thinking of patiently doing my best.” (Mix)
“There’s a lot of powerful rivals around my friend though.” (Marito)
“It is okay. I am Ani-sama’s little sister after all!” (Mix)
I also sought a relationship of equals from my friend that foregoes social standing.
Preparing a special position for Mix wouldn’t be fair, huh.
“I see. Then, I will just cheer you on from the shadows.” (Marito)
“Yeah, thank you very much! …Also, if it is Mister Friend, I feel like I would be able to manage somehow even if one or two were to get ahead of me.” (Mix)
I feel like I heard something I must not have heard.
But I know nothing of this. The king of Taizu has not heard a word.
“That’s quite the subdued sneeze.”
“The trick is to not inhale. A cold…? Doesn’t seem to be the case.”
That said, a lot happened recently. I can’t deny the possibility that I am on the verge of falling ill from overwork.
I did collapse in Gahne for using my Comprehension too much after all.
I am currently at the magic research lab and am in the middle of discussing a variety of things with her.
I am reporting to her what I have noticed after trying out the inventions. Adjusting things if there’s the need to is also proper research.
That said, my bodyguard Ilias said she had business at the barracks of the Ragudo Division for a bit, so she left.
Marito said there’s no need for a bodyguard inside the castle, but has also told me to not leave this room as I please without one.
What should I do if I feel like going to the bathroom?
“I understand the issue of the strengthening in the Superhuman Glasses-na no da.” (Nora)
“Yeah, it is pretty inconvenient that I can’t talk properly while I have them on. Also, the camera was met with good reviews. I am sure Marito will evaluate us highly if we can make it more compact.”
“Is there a need to make it smaller?” (Nora)
“Yes. With how it is right now, it is too rustic and obstructive to carry around.”
If we can carry around pictures as data regardless of the polaroid, it would serve a lot in a variety of files.
Well, there’s no need to force this world to match Earth though.
“But I would like to finish up the other one first-no da.” (Nora)
“Right. The development for the technique to make it smaller lies elsewhere after all. Let’s do that once our funds have increased.”
Improving an existing craft is different from creating a new one.
We are picking up momentum here, so it would be a waste to get too tunneled on one thing.
“Ah, Onii-san, you were here?”
“Hey there, Ruko-sa—n.”
“You were about to say Ruko-sama, weren’t you?” (Ruko)
“Ruko-sama is scary-no da.” (Nora)
Even if you say that, if you become the wife of Marito in the future, you will end up being called with -sama, Ruko-sama.
I think it would be better to get used to it now… Teasing her is my real intention though.
“Speaking of which, you are meeting with Marito often, Ruko?”
“Eh? Ah, yes. Every now and then. He would call me to talk about plants, and we have had meals at those instances.” (Ruko)
It seems like Marito is closing the distance properly.
At this rate, it might not be long before I am called the matchmaker.
But are there matchmakers in this world?
“That’s great. There have been no previous cases of Marito approaching a woman in such a positive manner.”
“M-My relationship with Marito-sama isn’t like that! Marito-sama has been stressed out daily because he didn’t have anyone to talk about his gardening hobby until now. If someone like me can relieve him of this, that would be my duty as a maid. That’s all there is to it. There’s no way Marito-sama would like me!” (Ruko)
“I see. It can’t be helped if Marito has no such intentions.”
“That’s how it is!” (Ruko)
“That aside, you like Marito, right, Ruko?”
“T-T-That’s…I do like him…as a maid…and a citizen…” (Ruko)
I feel like the spear might be turned towards me if I tease her too much, so let’s keep it moderate.
“I am not trying to trouble you here. I am just saying it is a whole lot better than accompanying someone you dislike.”
“T-That’s a matter of course! There’s no way I would hate Marito-sama!” (Ruko)
I feel like Marito is purposely maintaining this distance in the relationship.
It is scary, so let’s not poke at it too much.
There’s no doubt I will be the one suffering if I lower my guard.
“Nii-chan, adults have a lot of troublesome relationships-no da.” (Nora)
“Yeah, they do.”
I grieved the complications of human relationships together with the girl as we spent a laid-back time.
Ilias came to pick me up after that, so I decided to head to Marito’s room.
“I have come with no real reason.”
“I am happy that you came without much reason, but being told that straight to my face leaves me with complicated feelings, you know.” (Marito)
Marito is looking cheerful. Did something good happen?
The mask I gave him before was on top of the desk.
The thing I made to do something about the nervous wreck that was Mix.
“That was useful?”
“Yeah. She gave me a bit of a dubious look, but it has been a while since we have managed to have a proper conversation.” (Marito)
“I see. That’s great. If that didn’t work, I planned on preparing a full-body bear disguise.”
“Wouldn’t the others think a bear has appeared inside the castle and attack me?” (Marito)
I can’t deny the possibility.
I feel like he could debut as a fancy mascot if we didn’t think about the reality factor though.
The mascot of Taizu… That sounds like an idea?
A wolf… No, I don’t know if the black wolfkins would take it well. Maybe make a chibi of Marito?
“I can tell that you are currently turning your gears to cook up an evil scheme towards His Majesty, you know?” (Ilias)
“…I will forget about it. Ah right, I was thinking about showing you this as a result of our magic research. Make an imposing face there for a bit.”
“This is the first time I have been orally requested to make an imposing face.” (Marito)
He says that but still makes his usual imposing face.
The camera flashes there and I show the photo to Marito.
“Hoh, you can draw such an elaborate portrait in an instant?” (Marito)
“Rather than drawing, it is more like burning the scenery into paper.”
“Fumu fumu, if it can be made smaller, it would be possible to have the anbus carry it.” (Marito)
“Right? Please raise our funds with this.”
A certain limit has been decided for the funds.
In order to prepare more funds, there’s the need to discuss this with the cabinet ministers too rather than Marito being the sole deciding factor.
The more practical it is, the easier it is for them to accept it.
It should be possible to convince them with the camera.
I will secretly give this photo of Marito to Ruko later.
“If you prepare the files, I could bring them to the next congress.” (Marito)
“No issues there. I made the blueprints and instruction manual in a way that’s easy to put in files.”
I have made presentations a number of times on Earth.
I am not super good at it, but I have the know-how.
“That said, the magic research is important, but what you should be prioritizing the most right now is what the 3rd Faction will be doing from here on, you know?” (Marito)
“Even if you tell me that, it is not like we are going to do anything at present.”
We are not going to be hostile towards humans, and we don’t plan on making the other Demon Lords into enemies.
What we would be doing at most would be to fortify our positions with steady moves.
“We have the eyes of the other countries on us after all. I certainly would want you to act leniently.” (Marito)
“I will create as much profit for Taizu as I can until I get busy.”
“I look forward to that. By the way, I had something to tell you.” (Marito)
Marito silently stood up and walked this way.
That’s a pretty serious face.
“What’s with the seriousness all of a sudden?”
“Please punch me.” (Marito)
Ilias is making a wonderful face from sheer shock.
Of course she would be if His Majesty were to ask to be punched.
“I punched you before to kindle you, right? That had my personal circumstances mixed in it.” (Marito)
“Ah, that? I don’t begrudge you for it. Rather, you helped me wake up, so I have only gratitude.”
“Even if you tell me that, I feel bad for punching you. I would like to settle it.” (Marito)
“No need. It is true that it hurt to the point where my molar broke though.”
“S-So it really broke?” (Marito)
Thanks to that, I was basically being encouraged the whole time, and could manage to concentrate on my match with the Purple Demon Lord.
It is a bit swollen even now, but it doesn’t hurt that much.
“I wouldn’t be able to sleep comfortably after doing that much to you. I really would like you to punch me real good once.” (Marito)
“Hmm… Anbu-kun won’t unsheathe his sword, right?”
It wouldn’t be funny if my arm were to be cut off for trying to punch him.
“No issues. If I were to move just for something like the punch of Friend-san, I basically would have to cut down all the dust floating around too.” (Anbu-kun)
“I got casually dissed there. Then, here I go, Marito.”
“Yeah, make it a good one.” (Marito)
Ilias is watching in worry, but this is the request of the person himself, so it can’t be helped.
He wouldn’t be that hurt even if I were to go full force anyways, so I will do just that.
I put strength in my fist and launched a full power punch onto the cheek of Marito.
There’s the phrase ‘the one who punches is also hurt’, but it really hurt as if I punched a rock.
In the first place, I punched him with everything I had, yet he didn’t budge an inch?!
Marito was making a dumbstruck face.
“…Could it be that…that was your full strength?” (Marito)
“That’s right! It packed my full power!”
It was so weak Marito was baffled by this.
I am the one losing things here from punching him; him getting taken aback and me getting hurt.
“With this, I don’t feel like I got punched though… Can’t you punch harder?” (Marito)
“If I punch harder than this, the bones in my hand would break!”
“How can this be…? It might be better to hit me with that wooden sword… No, it wouldn’t change anything.” (Marito)
I was told things wouldn’t change even if I used my partner.
Aren’t the residents of this world too merciless?
“Alright, Ilias. You punch him for me.”
“Don’t ask for the unreasonable!” (Ilias)
“Ah, that’s an option.” (Marito)
“Your Majesty?!” (Ilias)
Ilias said she couldn’t punch Marito no matter what and refused with everything she had.
In the end, we agreed on me training so that I can one day punch Marito to a level where it hurts him.
I feel like it would be impossible for the rest of my life against Marito who is being trained by Lord Ragudo.
By the way, it goes without saying that when Anbu-kun said ‘how about me?’ we all refused.
The Kuama Nether; the zone that was ruled by the Blue Demon Lord who got instigated by the Purple Demon Lord in the past.
Its size may not reach that of the Mejis Nether, but the monsters there are more vicious than any Nether.
Undead that don’t know fatigue, don’t know pain, and don’t know emotions.
The humans took advantage of the monsters not having intelligence and made a giant weir, blocking their invasion to the human realm.
But because of the existence of that weir, the desire of the humans to reclaim that land also waned.
They have secured safe land, so there’s no need to force themselves to reclaim the land -is what they feel.
The decline of the humans’ will maintained the silence in the Kuama Nether.
At the bottom of the cliff of this Kuama Nether, at a place where the light of the sun doesn’t reach, there’s a small ice castle.
Everything was expressionless ice, threatening even to take away the temperature of the one sitting on the throne at the very depths of it.
The one sitting on that throne is the Blue of Annihilation; the Blue Demon Lord.
She abandoned her previous castle in order to escape from Yugura.
However, she doesn’t have the will to come out from her own land, so she is silently living below the cliff.
“Haah… I want to die.” (Blue)
For her, sighing and wishing for death were one and the same.
The Demon Lords wished for that body at the time when they were given their second life.
And yet, this Blue Demon Lord alone wished persistently for death after becoming a Demon Lord.
Demon Lords are immortal. Learning that such a wish would never come to be, she fell into despair, taking away the light in her eyes.
She doesn’t think about having near-death experiences with the faint hope that she might die either.
She doesn’t try to aim for something in order to die.
The Demon Lord that lost her sense of independence was simply staring at nothing.
“Oh? Aren’t you in the very same posture as the last time I met you? You would feel better if you were to move a bit.”
There was a single boy speaking in a soft tone as he walked towards the Blue Demon Lord sitting on the throne.
He was directing a smile filled with confidence as the scarlet necklace swayed.
“Raheight, you came again… You seem energetic… I want to die…” (Blue)
“I told you I would come again, Blue Demon Lord-sama.” (Raheight)
“Did you…? Have I gone senile…? I want to die…” (Blue)
Raheight didn’t mind the sigh of the Blue Demon Lord and spoke.
“The conditions from the Scarlet Demon Lord-sama are progressing well. The re-invasion isn’t that far off.” (Raheight)
“I see… So war will be happening again, huh… I want to die…” (Blue)
“I can’t assure you death, but I can give you a chance to, you know?” (Raheight)
“So you won’t give me definitives, huh… You could have told me I could die even if it was a lie… I want to die…” (Blue)
“It depends on yourself. I can’t provide you an opportunity as a Demon Lord with no issues even if you were to revive. But if you can serve as much of a threat to the humans as the Black Demon Lord, I am sure they would also try their best to eliminate you completely.” (Raheight)
“Black… Why is it that you are the only one who is not resurrecting…? Aah, I want to die…” (Blue)
The Blue Demon Lord was pessimistic in every word she uttered.
But the words of Raheight were reaching her clearly.
“Work to death in the literal sense. Your Annihilation power can be displayed without limits if you so wish after all.” (Raheight)
“I will try going all out once… Aah, I want to die right then and there…” (Blue)
“Well then, I will be taking my leave.” (Raheight)
Raheight bowed to the Blue Demon Lord and leaves the castle.
His mouth warped unconsciously after looking at the scenery outside the castle.
What’s filling up the bottom of the cliff are countless undead.
They are all the humans that have died in the Kuama Nether.
The world was in a warring era before the Demon Lords were born regardless of whether they were humans or demi-humans.
Many strong individuals fought and died.
The Blue Demon Lord can seep her mana into the bones of those dead people, even if it is just a fragment of it, and revive them as undead.
An effectiveness in necromancy unheard of when performed by a Demon Lord.
Overwhelming destructive power to gather the ones that have perished in the past; that’s the power of Annihilation.
The undead exhibited here are the share of 500 years.
A renowned warrior would have their quality lower a bit, but the other undeads have been given equal or higher power than they had when they were alive.
“I wanted to include the Purple Demon Lord if possible, but…it would be troubling if she were to Entice me after all. You could say this is enough though.” (Raheight)
The Blue Demon Lord is spurred by a single human.
As someone with no independence, her actions are completely reliant on who takes the helm.
The Blue Demon Lord is just washed along regardless of what lies ahead.
While waving about her repulsive power to affect all the ones who have died.
Author: With this, the Scheming Arc reaches its end.
It took longer than I expected. My apologies for that.