“And so, I have become a demon.”
After things finished up, we all gathered at the temporary base.
Ekdoik did his report on all that, and the only one within that group that showed surprise in her face was Ilias.
That said, this is because Mix and Rakura heard from Ekdoik first after we captured Raheight though.
Wolfe is simply opening her mouth and going ‘ooh’, so she is not that surprised.
Mix was decently surprised at first, but Rakura wasn’t really that taken aback by it… Well, it makes sense.
By the way, Raheight is currently imprisoned at the storage room of the temporary base. We had him change into the straitjacket that has magic seal stones embedded in them, confiscated all his possessions, inflicted him with paralyzing poison to a degree where he doesn’t die, and have completely sealed his movements.
For the Blue Demon Lord, we met her for just an instant, but we simply gave her simple instructions and had her move to a different location.
One of them was to stop the undead.
We had the giant undead crumble right then and there, and had the armed undead that appeared at the back retreat to the palace.
The walls were protected by the hard struggle of Ilias and Wolfe, but the shockwaves of the battle severely damaged the upper part of the walls as it was used as a landing point.
There’s the need to repair it before stationing the soldiers again, so the soldiers are waiting right before the walls, waiting for the arrival of the supplies.
Wall-san that continued receiving the bombshell called Ilias…thanks for your hard work.
We have already contacted Kuama about having incapacitated the Blue Demon Lord.
It is not like they believe us completely, so there’s some scouts remaining, but the soldiers that saw the battle of Ilias and the others should be able to trust us enough.
“Well, anyways, that’s one issue resolved.”
Ilias grabbed my shoulder with an extremely dissatisfied face. It hurts a bit.
“What is it?”
“What I heard is that you will be giving the opportunity for Ekdoik to persuade the Blue Demon Lord. I heard nothing about having him turn into a demon!” (Ilias)
“…So Comrade really saw this development coming, huh. No wonder things wrapped up smoothly at the time when we regrouped and gave the report.” (Ekdoik)
“Now now, calm down, Ilias. It is not like I completely predicted that Ekdoik would turn into a demon. It is true that I expected Ekdoik to try to take measures in order to persuade the Blue Demon Lord considering his personality.”
The aim this time around was to have Ekdoik persuade the Blue Demon Lord just like Ilias said.
We obtained plenty enough information about the Blue Demon Lord from the book that Dokora entrusted to me in Taizu.
Just like Gold and Purple, the Demon Lords may be moving in the shadows, but they haven’t had life-changing meetings that would go as far as changing their life values.
If the Blue Demon Lord is the same, I thought Ekdoik would be a good option to persuade her.
“But if you wanted me to do that, why didn’t you say so from the beginning? I was reflecting a decent degree there because I thought I had gone against your orders, you know?” (Ekdoik)
“I have explained this to Ilias, too, but this was for your own sake, Ekdoik.”
“For my sake?” (Ekdoik)
“You are following me in order to raise your own worth. But you were too faithful to my words. You wouldn’t have been able to grow despite the spotlight given to you.”
If I just gave him the simple order to ‘persuade the Blue Demon Lord’, I am sure Ekdoik would have achieved this order in the same fashion.
But Ekdoik hesitated and made a decision this time around. The difference is extremely big.
What I can expect from this would be outstanding growth in his communication skills that he has been neglecting until now.
“My growth…” (Ekdoik)
“How does it feel to choose by yourself and step into someone’s territory? Pretty fresh experience, right?”
“That’s true, but…what would you have done if I hadn’t tried to persuade her and obeyed your orders?” (Ekdoik)
“That wouldn’t have happened. Did you forget, Ekdoik? I have comprehended you once in the past.”
Before Ilias prohibited my Comprehension, I had grasped the mentality of Ekdoik to a degree where I could cause a team breakdown.
As for the changes that came afterwards, we spend most of the time together, and have received reports from him, so I had no issues adjusting it.
That’s why I believed that Ekdoik would definitely try to persuade the Blue Demon Lord by his own will if I were to tell him about her past and shake him mentally.
“…Speaking of which, that did happen. So I am still on the palm of your hands, Comrade… But what about the Blue Demon Lord? You had information about the Blue Demon Lord, but were you saying that seriously?” (Ekdoik)
“No, I haven’t used my Comprehension on the Blue Demon Lord. I only used it on one person this time around…on Raheight.”
My main target this time around was not the Blue Demon Lord but Raheight who was moving in her shadow.
The Demon Lords normally don’t move from their camp.
But when considering the Blue Demon Lord was cooperative towards the Scarlet Demon Lord, it was clear that there was someone from the side of the Scarlet Demon Lord being sent to her in order to tell her instructions.
Rather than using my Comprehension on the Blue Demon Lord who is self-deprecating because her wish for death wasn’t being fulfilled and was being used freely by others, it would be better to use it on the person that is controlling her. I thought this would decide the winner of this battle before arriving on this land.
The one who served as the trump card here was Girista.
At the time when we were dealing with the Gold Demon Lord at Gahne, I had Girista chase after the traces of Raheight.
It is an action I had her take because I was wary that he would try to pull something in the shadows by taking influential people to his side just like the time with Archbishop Ukka.
And just as I suspected, Raheight had made contact with several mayors of Kuama.
He probably wanted to stir chaos in the chain of order after the walls fell.
To be more precise, he was using a different body when making contact with the respective mayors. This is a fact that we finally ascertained after comparing the time and place Raheight was last seen in his child form and trailed it all the way to the new person that made contact with the mayors.
The reason why he returned to his child body is most likely because it is a pretty important body of his that he has put a lot of work in.
Being able to use magic like Nora despite having the body of a child. I am so jealous.
Well, Nora is also a child though.
The new body he used at that time and the way he made contact with them; I took my sweet time analyzing it all because if I were to use the faster method that is changing my own standing, Ilias wouldn’t be too happy about it.
I did tell Archbishop Seraes about this and had him confirm whether the mayors are under hypnosis, so there shouldn’t be any issues.
There was the need for me to come out, but the result was good.
After confirming the lightning magic signal of ‘Raheight present; only Raheight escaped’, I had Mix use the stealth magic and had her sneak in.
After that, I inferred the location that Raheight would like where he could observe the battle between Ekdoik and the Blue Demon Lord, would make it hard to find him, and would be easy to escape from, and then, went together with Mix to investigate it.
I had Rakura stay at a middle point to assist Ekdoik if an emergency happened or to provide backup for Mix if it were to turn into a battle against Raheight. I had her on the ready to move at any moment whichever of those happened.
In the end, the Blue Demon Lord and Raheight were both incapacitated by Ekdoik and Mix, so she had no turn though.
“…What would you have done if I couldn’t manage to persuade the Blue Demon Lord?” (Ekdoik)
“In that case, you would have let the Blue Demon Lord die, right? If she had gotten the better of you in battle, you would have escaped anyways, so I think in that scenario, I would have used her name as a bargaining chip to have her die.”
“No intention of persuading her?” (Ekdoik)
“None at all. I am not strong enough to be considerate towards someone that showed up as an enemy after all. Also, our compatibility is terrible.”
Me leaving the Blue Demon Lord to Ekdoik wasn’t just for the sake of his growth.
I can’t use Comprehension on the Blue Demon Lord.
Rather than not being able to, it is more like I don’t want to.
It is a technique that allows you to get an advantage by making you understand the standing of the other party and see an effective way to act upon it, but there’s a number of types that I must not use it on.
One of those is the suicidal type.
Completely understanding the emotions of a person that has been disappointed in life and wishes for death holds the risk of literally wanting to die.
Even without the restriction of Ilias, switching my standing is out of the question. If possible, I would want to avoid analyzing her too.
“I see, it is a technique that carries a heavy burden on the mind. So the Blue Demon Lord was in a way the natural enemy of Comrade.” (Ekdoik)
“Yeah, that’s why I relied on you. Also…”
“Also what?” (Ekdoik)
“Beyond all this talk about compatibility, I don’t want to make contact with a person that wants to leave their grudges on the world behind as they die.”
My real feelings about this is that I don’t want to deal with the reason as to why someone has become this warped.
This is my own personal weakness. I most likely haven’t gotten over how a friend of mine committed suicide.
Ekdoik knows about my past, so he must have noticed something there, he seems to be troubled about what to say.
That’s when Ilias interjects by coughing.
“Hm, but the Blue Demon Lord has stopped her invasion against humans. If her standing from here on will be neutral, you will have to get involved with her no matter what, right?” (Ilias)
“You could say that. As long as Ekdoik doesn’t say he wants to move away from here and be completely alone with the Blue Demon Lord, I will properly look after her.”
“Are you saying that will be for my sake?” (Ekdoik)
“That’s right. Sadly to say, I still don’t see the Blue Demon Lord as an ally. Not even one bit.”
“I see. This is pretty complicated.” (Ekdoik)
“It is far simpler than your current standing though.”
It is not like I didn’t consider the possibility of Ekdoik choosing to become a demon in order to obtain the trust of the Blue Demon Lord.
Of course, it is not like I will discriminate because of the differences between humans and demons.
But that’s not the case for the humans in this world. The people that already know him may be more forbearing, but the people that meet him for the first time will most definitely avoid him.
“There’s no issue there. I wasn’t seeking a lifestyle where everyone likes me anyways.” (Ekdoik)
“Is that so. As for me, I honestly don’t really care.”
“I would be surprised if you were to discriminate against demons when you have taken in Demon Lords as your allies.” (Ekdoik)
“The Colorless bastard is a different story though. What about Ilias and the others?”
I should at least ask the honest opinion of the others here. Depending on the result here, I might have to consider this when forming teams after all.
“Ekdoik-san is Ekdoik-san!” (Wolfe)
“Well, figures that would be the case for Wolfe.”
For Wolfe, Ekdoik is a benefactor of hers. In the first place, she has lived a life where the concept of humans has not been instilled in her, so there’s no issue.
“No issues. I don’t plan on giving over the number one spot of bodyguard just because he has become a demon.” (Ilias)
“I don’t remember giving it to you either just yet though.”
I was a bit worried since Ilias has her discord with monsters, but it seems like she is not finding much issue with it since she has a connection with Ekdoik.
“I am fine with it too-desu zo. It is just that his atmosphere changed a bit after all!” (Mix)
“I am still in the middle of the changes. My color will apparently change a bit more from here on.” (Ekdoik)
“Does Mister Friend prefer a more wheat color skin?” (Mix)
“I don’t dislike a healthy look, but I would be judgmental about someone turning into a demon just for that, you know?”
Mix also has no prejudice. Marito’s friend is like this after all.
“What about you, Rakura?”
“Even if you ask me that… As long as he is not an undead. I can defeat him if he becomes an enemy anyways…” (Rakura)
“That’s such a dangerous mindset, oi.”
He is your brother, you know? Blood and all.
“Aah, but I wouldn’t like things getting too sweltering.” (Rakura)
“Having darker skin does increase that athletic type aura after all.”
“I don’t really get the meaning of what you just said, but something like that, I guess.” (Rakura)
It seems like there’s no need to worry about the people here for now.
Marito should be fine about it too. As for Cara-jii and the others…well, it should be fine.
The ones I am worried about would be people like Maya-san and Lord Leano. Let’s try to do a proper follow-up on those fronts.
“Rather, if it is just a change in appearance, we can just change his skin color and hair color by using the spell that we created by mistake in the experiment with Nora.”
“Aah, now that you mention it, that’s true.” (Ekdoik)
We could even create a trend with wheat color skin to make it so he can be as usual without issues. That’s an option.
Let’s make Mix the advertisement tower. She needs to take responsibility for what she says after all.
While I was thinking about this and making an evil face, everyone’s face -except Rakura- turned slightly nervous.
“…Comrade, there’s the presence of people around. We are going to be surrounded pretty soon.” (Ekdoik)
“Yeah, I did think it was about time for them to show up. Just let them do what they want. The groundwork has been done, right?”
“Yes, no issues there.” (Ekdoik)
And so, we were relaxing for a bit there and the sound of many footsteps rang to a degree where even my untrained ears could tell.
Judging from the sound of the armor and all that, they are most likely Kuama soldiers.
And then, once we were completely surrounded, it went silent.
“They wouldn’t drink the tea even if we were to brew it for them anyways. Let’s talk with them outside.”
We went outside and the temporary base was surrounded perfectly by Kuama soldiers.
At the front there’s Archbishop Seraes. As for the other person, going by his nice beard and the traits I have heard of before, he must be the king of Kuama, Zenotta Kuama.
The eyes of Archbishop Seraes are as usual: glaring daggers at me.
As for the King Zenotta…it is a bit softer, but it does feel like he has his doubts here.
Archbishop Seraes and King Zenotta step forward, bringing along a number of bodyguards.
I bring along only Ilias as I step forward.
“My name is Zenotta Kuama. The king of this Kuama. Your skills at stopping the invasion of the Demon Lord on this occasion were splendid.” (Zenotta)
“There was no need for His Majesty himself to come meet me. I would have gone to you once things were wrapped up.”
“We didn’t come here for the sake of singing your praises. I shall have you hand over the custody of the Blue Demon Lord and Raheight.” (Zenotta)
Of course that would be the case.
They went ahead and came here after believing my report of having incapacitated them, so it seems they do acknowledge my skills, but brazenly coming here to take them away must mean they look down on me.
“So that’s why you have come with such tight security.”
“We are capturing a Demon Lord. It can’t be called too many.” (Zenotta)
“We were the ones who incapacitated the Blue Demon Lord and Raheight though.”
“They invaded Kuama, so it is only natural for Kuama to be the one handling the judgment.” (Zenotta)
“Invaded Kuama, huh. I thought the battle ended inside the Kuama Nether though.”
“The Kuama Nether is within the Kuama territory. We didn’t come here to hear your stupid semantics.” (Zenotta)
“With someone like Archbishop Seraes present, you should be able to tell faintly that the Blue Demon Lord is not here, right?”
“So it seems. And, where is she?” (Zenotta)
“In the Kuama Nether.”
“…If you have incapacitated her and made her neutral, you should be able to call her. Call her at once.” (Zenotta)
“There’s no reason for us to comply with your demand.”
“Hooh, so you have the courage to refuse our demands in this situation?” (Zenotta)
“As long as we are calling ourselves a 3rd Faction, we can’t just step out for a single country.”
“I see. The logic is there, but I can’t say it is the intelligent option.” (Zenotta)
The soldiers behind ready their weapons.
A very clear threat that if we are not handing them over, they will take us instead.
But they have mistaken their way to threaten us.
The only time when a threat of this sort works is when you can one-sidedly show how dangerous you are.
In contrast to this, Ilias is…standing awfully gallantly here.
“King Zenotta, if you bring harm to us, I think the Blue Demon Lord will deem you guys as enemies again and resume her invasion though… You plan on taking forceful means even after hearing the report of that giant undead?”
“That would be troubling. But can’t that issue be resolved if we just capture you guys here and draw the Blue Demon Lord out with that?” (Zenotta)
“Even if the Blue Demon Lord is watching this exchange?”
King Zenotta made a pondering look, but Archbishop Seraes interjected at the side.
“King, there’s no need to be swayed by the words of that person. This man is lying.” (Seraes)
“So it was a bluff. I am impressed that you can talk so eloquently without changing your expression at all.” (Zenotta)
“Oh, you are trusting what Archbishop Seraes said?”
“Of course. There’s no reason to trust you.” (Zenotta)
“Good grief. Then, I will confirm this once again. We want to wrap this up peacefully, but King Zenotta doesn’t have any intention of listening. Is that correct?”
“Yes. We have the perfect justification to restrain you. Capture them.” (Zenotta)
The soldiers walk towards me and restrain me.
Ilias doesn’t move. Good.
I direct my gaze at King Zenotta and smile.
“I’ve got the perfect justification too now. Thanks for your decision.”
Chills spread around.
The soldiers that know about this omen reflexively tense up.
And then, that phenomenon happened soon after.
“That just now…could it possibly be…!” (Zenotta)
King Zenotta turned back at the walls and looked at the upper area.
The beacon must have been sent by the lookouts at the top.
It is simple, really. It is an enemy attack.
There’s no need to check the details. A giant undead showed up at the other side of the walls again with a tremor.
Even if it crumbled, the remnants of the many undead mixed with the vast ground, so it is almost impossible to get rid of it all.
In other words, the Blue Demon Lord can immediately regenerate that giant undead inside the Kuama Nether.
The giant undead grabbed the upper part of the walls with both arms and slowly put strength into it.
Cracks ran through the walls and you could tell even from afar that it was being steadily destroyed.
“No way… That shouldn’t have been possible unless the Blue Demon Lord was watching this place…” (Zenotta)
King Zenotta looked at Archbishop Seraes; Archbishop Seraes glared at me as if taken aback by this.
It is true that the Blue Demon Lord is not looking here, but it is possible to communicate with her.
We gave the Blue Demon Lord a fragment of Ekdoik’s chain. That’s why the Blue Demon Lord on standby at the Nether could immediately act as told.
Making it vibrate is the best he can do at long distance, but that instead makes it better.
“You bastard. Make it stop!” (Zenotta)
“Let me confess here, Archbishop Seraes. It is true that the Blue Demon Lord is not watching this place. That’s why I can’t give her the order to stop.”
This is not a lie. We have only told her to destroy the walls if the chains vibrate.
I have absolutely no intention to take this back or make her stop it.
“I did warn you. You were the ones who didn’t listen.”
“You bastard. Do you understand what you are doing right now?!” (Zenotta)
“Yes, you guys were underestimating me as someone you could threaten. Well, it can’t be helped that you would think that. But it would be troubling if you were to think like that, so I decided to promptly level the field, you see.”
The defensive walls are being destroyed by the giant undead. It is not only the upper part but even the substructure too.
But that’s not the end of it. The giant undead continued destroying the walls from side to side.
“The walls…the defensive walls that continued protecting Kuama for centuries…” (Zenotta)
“King Zenotta, I think it is a bit too soon to tune out here. Have you not gotten the report? The Blue Demon Lord still has armed undead at the back. Oh, speaking of which, isn’t there a perfect path opened up now?”
“If a battle were to unfold on an open field, there’s a high chance monsters will pour in. Mejis most likely can’t lend you that many soldiers. As for Gahne…well, they have an understandable king there, so they won’t be interjecting here. You should have no problems with the military force of Kuama, right? You did brazenly declare you would put a hand on us after all.”
This is my rearguard plan.
The reason why I had Ilias and Wolfe head to the walls…
If those two are involved in buying time against that giant undead, the people around wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.
And at the time when Wolfe was leaving, I told her to take advantage of the situation to damage the place.
As for Ilias…I simply told her to land firmly. Ilias is terrible at holding back, so I figured she would get rowdy on her own if a long time passes.
The giant undead is destroying the walls, and yet, they can’t replenish their soldiers properly. The scouts that remained at the walls have escaped already.
Anyways, with this, Kuama has lost its defense against the Kuama Nether.
In other words, the threat of the Blue Demon Lord has shot up drastically.
The one who brought upon this situation was King Zenotta. He is most likely terribly shaken here.
Creating a justification was not that difficult.
King Zenotta and Archbishop Seraes should have been plenty aware of this risk. But I had them misinterpret this risk as a bluff.
I laid some groundwork on the information about us that Lord Tokusado was sending to them.
I checked the documents he was sending, and had him change the wording little by little.
The details of the report are not wrong, but I made it so that it sounded as if we were just stale small fry.
Lord Tokusado was scared and said ‘D-Describing you in s-such a way is just…’, but I said it wouldn’t be strange for him to hold the brush in resentment as the mayor that got tricked into a trap.
Archbishop Seraes is someone that glared at me a whole ton in Taizu, so I have already finished manipulating his impression of me to be just a cowardly human.
And here came more adjustments to lower it more.
With this, I made it so he thought ‘this man can’t do that’, ‘even if he flaunted it, he doesn’t have the courage’.
It would have been possible to make it look like I am strong or a troublemaker, but there’s a limit to that.
But I am confident in my skills to make it look like I am small fry so they are not wary of me, are top class, just like how I did it to live peacefully on Earth.
I spit out a plausible lie to see how much the opinion of Archbishop Seraes would sway King Zenotta, but he believed Archbishop Seraes without a single ounce of hesitation.
In this situation where it wouldn’t be strange for the Blue Demon Lord to be hiding somewhere, he eliminated the threat of the Blue Demon Lord and thought it was safe just because he was told ‘the man in front of you is lying’, so there was no need to hesitate.
“This is… At this rate…” (Zenotta)
“King Zenotta, I am a neutral party, so I wouldn’t want to turn humans into my enemies just because I want to. But can you please not misunderstand neutrality with pacifists that don’t fight back?”
‘I underestimated him. I got ahead of myself here and suffered greatly for it’ -We have etched that failure deep in his heart to an unforgettable degree. This should be enough to keep King Zenotta in check.
Even if Archbishop Seraes can exert power in Kuama, he won’t be able to move easily now that there’s the clear threat of the Blue Demon Lord.
I would say the plan to pluck the troublesome seeds around is going pretty decently here.