I am inside warm water from head all the way to the tip of my toes.
But I don’t have difficulties breathing, and I can stay comfortably in a dozy state. But when I begin to think about the reason why things have gotten this way, my consciousness ends up coming back regardless of will.
What entered my vision was a green scenery.
I don’t know if it is the liquid that’s making it so or the container. It seems like I can breathe thanks to the device around my mouth.
This is when I finally understand that I am inside some sort of device.
The scenery I am seeing inside the water is blurry, but it seems like there’s the shadow of two people in front of my vision.
Judging from the color of their clothing, they are not people I know… No, more importantly, what I should be thinking of is how I got in this situation.
(If I remember correctly, we were attacked by the Scarlet Demon Lord… No, it is far later than that.)
I was caught by Raheight and was given to Archbishop Seraes. And then, I ended up getting tortured under the name of training.
I do remember it, but they are left as if they were records, and I don’t feel the reality of it.
To begin with, it is a self-defense mechanism to make it so I am not assailed by guilt by the actions I have done. It is something I did when I was in the me standing instead of me, but this is the first time I feel so disconnected to what I myself have done.
(I ended up heavily injured -leading to now.)
I don’t feel pain in my body. I should assume I have received some sort of medical treatment.
But this world has no advanced medical science, and doesn’t have effective spells towards targets with no mana.
In that case, what I can think of…
I make a number of conjectures and begin to hypothesize what will happen from here on.
The sound of flowing liquid is entering my ears.
Looks like the liquid inside the container I am in is being drained.
I could feel gravity slowly coming onto my whole body, and I began to take in the colors in my vision correctly.
“Okay~, I will be taking the thing on your mouth off~.”
Someone approached me with an unfamiliar voice.
My vision isn’t clear yet, but it seems to be a woman with black hair and darkish skin.
The device around my mouth was taken off and cold air entered my lungs.
My body can move. It seems like I have been sleeping for a long period of time, but I can get up by my own strength, albeit, languidly.
My vision grew clearer and I could tell who was in front of my eyes. The one who approached me before was a woman just like I thought, but someone I don’t know.
She is most likely a demon judging from her appearance.
Also, the attire and hairstyle are different, but his face is the very same as Marito…but he is not Marito. That’s not the gaze Marito would direct at me.
He is showing barely any interest towards me -that’s the kind of distance I feel from him.
Considering the situation I am in right now, the one in front of me is 90%…
“Good mo~rning! Can you hear me~?”
“I can. What’s the situation here, Green Demon Lord?”
“Ooh, as expected of the resident of Yugura’s planet! And so, and so, have you seen through me too?”
“No idea. I don’t know anything aside from the fact that you are the demon of the Green Demon Lord.”
“Figures. My name is Niruryates. The right arm of My King and his only demon!” (Niru)
The only demon of the Green Demon Lord… That bothers me strangely, but there’s something I have to prioritize here.
The Green Demon Lord doesn’t seem to be opening his mouth.
The one I should be asking is this light-mouthed demon.
“Who was the one that carried me all the way here?”
“Who? Your comrades. 3 Demon Lords came together to negotiate. You are loved.” (Niru)
Describing them as comrades, huh. In that case, Ilias and the others might be there as well?
They located me and found me.
They most likely relied on the Green Demon Lord after that. But Niruryates said ‘negotiate’ just now.
“What was the price—”
“Ah, can you wear clothes before that? I don’t know about exposing your bare body to My King.” (Niru)
“…Where is it?”
Niruryates gives me clothes like those of a patient receiving a physical examination or an operation.
I changed clothes as I got out from the device I was in, and checked the state of the room.
There’s a number of capsule shaped containers, and there were tools lined up on a table that looked as if they were to be used for medical purposes.
It feels like it is going against the flow of time, and yet, there are roots and vines here and there eating into the walls here and there.
“A price, was it? It took shape after the white demi-human Illegitimate became the subordinate of My King. I am su~per discontent about it though.” (Niru)
The Illegitimate are what Yugura Nariya -the Colorless Demon Lord- and the Green Demon Lord joined hands to set them into the humans.
Beings that have special talents that match Yugura Nariya who is called a hero.
Wolfe is clearly someone you can tell has outstanding talent even within the Illegitimate.
It is certainly true that she would have enough worth as a negotiation chip, but…
“Oh, is something the matter?” (Niru)
“I am simply checking the state of my legs.”
I hopped lightly in place and checked whether I could walk straight. It seems like I have recovered from even the wounds the Scarlet Demon Lord made on me.
I walk towards the table nearby and grab the tool that looks like a scalpel.
I don’t see much of a reaction from the two.
They wouldn’t need to worry about a weakling holding a weapon anyways.
And so, I brought the tool I grabbed to my throat—
“What are you doing all of a sudden?!” (Niru)
Niruryates grabbed my hand faster than the blade reached my throat. The residents of this world are truly monstrous.
“It is obviously to reject the negotiation. Obtaining Wolfe works under the premise of saving me. In that case, the deal falls through if I die.”
“No, no, aren’t you being way too extreme?! Life is important, you know?!” (Niru)
“Niruryates, that man simply understands his own worth.”
The Green Demon Lord finally opened his mouth. Even his voice is exactly the same as Marito, huh.
But I can see he is somewhat irritated here from his expression.
I see, it seems like he is a Demon Lord with a shorter temper than I thought.
“It is different from the worth you think though.”
“I don’t care what you tried to create from that attempt just now. Niruryates, take that man away while restrained. I don’t care if he dies after the deal is settled.” (Green)
“Okay~! You must not do that. They went through such lengths to save you, so you have to treasure your life, you know.” (Niru)
Niruryates is strong and fast.
I would most likely be stopped even if I tried to bite off my tongue. I don’t think I have the courage to bite off my tongue though.
That said, I don’t want to settle the deal here as it is.
“Then, let’s change the details of the deal.”
“You have been ridiculous for a while now!” (Niru)
“Obviously. It would be one thing if it were the life of complete strangers, but as if I would allow the lives of people I want to protect to be messed up so early in their life.”
“I understand how you feel, but that is that and this is this, you know?” (Niru)
“I don’t mind.” (Green)
“I simply accepted the conditions they proposed. If you can give even more than that, I will at least hear you out.” (Green)
It is just as I heard from Gold.
The Green Demon Lord may look arrogant, but it is because he correctly understands his advantage.
The reality is that he can accept proposals and negotiations when there’s merit to himself, and has the sincerity to seek for equal worth on the negotiation table.
Even if so, it doesn’t change the fact that he is a troublesome one.
If I don’t have anything with true worth for the Green Demon Lord, no amount of silvertongue will work after all.
“I have a number of questions.”
“Why do I need to answer them?” (Green)
“Not to you. I am talking to the demon there, Niruryates.”
“Eh, me? Wait, what rudeness to My King—” (Niru)
“I don’t mind.” (Green)
“Niruryates, answer within your own bounds.” (Green)
“…O-Okay, understood!” (Niru)
That demon…made an evil face just now.
Well, I can pretty much predict what’s going to happen. I just have to confirm that anyway.
Niruryates thought for a bit, and then faced this way.
“Then, can I ask you a question?”
“No, let’s set the rules of this questioning first! Rule one: No questions about My King. Rule two: It would be rude to make My King wait for too long, so limit it to only 3 questions.” (Niru)
“What easy to tell pestering.”
“He did leave this to my own judgment after all. Now, now, go ahead, go ahead.” (Niru)
This woman is enjoying it a bit, isn’t she?
But it is most likely the idea of the Green Demon Lord to try and draw information under these circumstances.
“Well, I don’t mind following those rules. What I want to ask pertain to yourself.”
“If you want to know about my erogenous zone, it is my neck.” (Niru)
“Thanks for that eternally useless piece of information.”
“Cruel! Well…there’s no reason for me to refuse if it is about myself. I have a strong desire to let others know about me despite appearances.” (Niru)
“That’s also information I don’t need. The first question: you said you are the only demon, but there’s no other demon?”
“Nope. There were in the long past, but most died at their post after facing the wrath of My King~. Thanks to that, it is now a happy world of only me and My King!” (Niru)
So he shows no hesitation even towards his own demons when his mood gets soured, huh.
Considering the personality of Niruryates here, I feel like she must have received a decent amount of severe scoldings though… She must be tough.
“Second question: I have heard the Green Demon Lord is normally asleep. Are you always managing this place at that time?”
“Of course. I manage this Nether and even clean up this castle. I have never missed a day since becoming a demon!” (Niru)
This is a castle, huh.
It doesn’t have many fantasy elements, so it didn’t feel like that.
I feel like the Nether itself is also different in a lot of ways.
“The last question…”
“Oh, troubled?” (Niru)
“No, I honestly can’t think of anything I would like to know about you.”
“You really are a horrible person! Are you seriously saying that straight to my face?! I have offered my heart and everything to My King, but my maiden heart is going to be hurt if a gentleman takes such an attitude, you know?!” (Niru)
“Then, please tell me one of the poems you usually write with your feelings towards the Green Demon Lord when you are killing time.”
“Don’t wanna! Why do I have to read that aloud in front of My King?!” (Niru)
“So you have written them…”
“Wa?! So it was a leading question!” (Niru)
I obtained all the information I wanted after the answer of the second question.
I was going to dig a bit more with the 3rd question depending on the 2nd answer though.
“Then, that’s all the questions.”
“It is weird for me to be the one saying this, but you haven’t asked any proper questions though? Will you be able to think of a decent negotiation with My King?” (Niru)
“How about the head of the demon that betrayed you?”
Niruryates’s playful face suddenly turned serious.
As for the Green Demon Lord…I don’t see a change in his expression, but the eyes he is looking at me with have somewhat more strength in them.
“My King, please allow me to question this man.” (Niru)
“I allow it.” (Green)
“Thank you very much. Can you tell me how you reached that conclusion?” (Niru)
“It was around 10 years ago, I guess? There was an invasion of monsters like wyverns to Taizu led by a demon. A demon that monsters of the Taizu Nether obey means they are without doubt a subordinate of the Green Demon Lord. Niruryates, you said you haven’t left this Nether since the time you became a demon. Meaning, you are not the demon that attacked Taizu. And you are currently the only demon in this Nether.”
Most of the demons have been dealt with by the Green Demon Lord. But most means that there’s exceptions.
“So the objective of those questions was to find out whether I am the one, huh. But you didn’t think that demon had been eliminated by My King?” (Niru)
“I had a feeling. We learned of the existence of the Illegitimate when we sniffed out the bunch hiding in the religious group called Leitis and were searching for the Illegitimate. Then, how did Leitis learn of the Illegitimate? It would be simple if a demon of the Green Demon Lord is involved, right?”
“It should have been spread publicly that the one who attacked Taizu has been subjugated though.” (Niru)
“That’s what someone with a decent standing in Leitis said -that the demon that attacked Taizu is still alive. In that case, it should be safe to assume that they are still involved with Leitis.”
That’s if the words of Ritial are to be trusted though, but there are a decent number of factors that give credibility to this.
No matter what the objective of Leitis is, searching for the Illegitimate is a step to it.
Then, there’s a high chance they have the cooperation of the demon of the Green Demon Lord that knows a lot about the Illegitimate.
“Why do you think that demon betrayed us?” (Niru)
“You said it yourself that there’s no other. If they were moving under your orders, you could have said there’s others. Even if it was a nonchalant statement of yours stemming from your playfulness, you said there’s only you two in this castle. You are not gathering Illegitimate. If Leitis has found a decent amount of Illegitimate, they would have made it so that one or two of these rooms would be used for experiments, right?”
This is a lab of sorts.
I confirmed just now, but the capsule that was used to treat me, had something like the vines of removed plants around it.
The other capsules still have those plants around.
In other words, this room hasn’t been used for a long time until they did medical treatment on me.
“In that case, the demon cooperating with Leitis and you guys are not in a relationship where you contact each other. But that would be weird considering the master-servant relationship with the Green Demon Lord. What I can think of is that that demon is acting of their own accord.”
“…I can understand how you got 3 Demon Lords to your side.” (Niru)
“Right now you can’t deal with that demon because of your lack of personnel. The Green Demon Lord can’t go there himself. We will do that in your stead. I think the head of the rebel that betrayed their kind and smeared the face of the Green Demon Lord has enough worth.”
My number one trump card would be the existence of Anbu-kun, but I can’t turn him into an enemy.
In the first place, if the Green Demon Lord were to learn about Anbu-kun being in Taizu, he might end up attacking Taizu.
Appointing someone useful or eliminating someone unnecessary; if we think purely about the merits, the former one would have more worth. But judging from the personality of the Green Demon Lord, I doubt he simply seeks pure benefits.
“—Fine. If you manage to fulfill that condition, I will accept it as payment for having saved your life.” (Green)
The Green Demon Lord simply said this and left the room.