“You are horrible.” (Rakura)
“You are indeed horrible.” (Mix)
I explained to Mix-sama and the others that we have obtained information from Yasutet and Molari, and they looked at him with judging eyes.
I understand how they feel.
I am looking at him with similar eyes after all.
But the Purple Demon Lord is the same as usual.
Judging from how things are here, I think Ekdoik and Haakudoku -who are not present here- would be impressed by this instead.
“I wrapped things up with a comparatively better method though…”
“I don’t know about using the heart of a maiden-desu zo, Mister Friend.” (Mix)
“No, it didn’t work on Molari in the first place. Also, it was a different emotion in the case of Yasutet. I would like to assert that it should be acceptable in a way.”
It is true that I have no choice but to say his performance was impressive.
He didn’t do any torture and didn’t deal any physical pain, yet managed to obtain the information from them. That’s not a simple thing to achieve.
“Let’s debate that some other time. We should decide what to do next. What do you plan on doing?” (Ilias)
“I would like to avoid suddenly raiding Serende. We obtained a lot of information but we are still missing a decisive card. Also, it is about time for Pope Euparo and other people around that lane to get involved in our business.”
“Pope Euparo will?” (Ilias)
“Yeah. Seraes escaped from them, so their biggest priority should be to capture him. He is most likely talking with Marito and the others around now and making preparations to increase their surveillance on us.”
“I was assigned to keep an eye on you guys though…” (Rakura)
“Pope Euparo personally finds Rakura as enough, but the other Archbishops and influential people still don’t trust Rakura that much. They will most likely assign at least one priest and one holy knight.”
That means there will be a lot more people around him.
They probably don’t plan on harming him, and I am grateful that there will be an increase of people that will protect him.
But there’s also the worry that his actions will be restricted.
“So we will have to measure just how much surveillance there will be in order to do any actual moves?” (Ilias)
“Yeah, there’s not much of an issue if it is someone that’s easy to convert.”
“Convert, you say… By the way, there’s something that’s been bothering me, but about the method you used to trick Yasutet and Molari…” (Ilias)
I feel like he took a very roundabout method this time around. It felt a bit different from the way he has done things until now.
“I guess it is about time I explain that. There’s a number of steps for Comprehension. Let’s just call them Depths. The 1st stage is something that you all have experienced often. There’s times in stuff like battles when you have thought ‘this enemy will be moving like this’, right?”
“I have. There are times when I would be able to predict the movements of my opponents from their weapons, fighting style, and reactions.” (Ilias)
“This is like the entrance. The 2nd stage is to predict the movements of the other party by reading their ideals and emotions.”
“What’s the difference between that and the 1st stage?” (Mix)
“It is pretty different. The 1st stage are the decisions you take after using only the information given in front of you, but in the 2nd stage you can read the thoughts of the other party after getting information about them. You would be able to read actions in cases like ‘if it were this person, they would move in this way’.”
It is true that, in the case of someone I know well, there are times when I can imagine how they would act even if they are not present.
It is most likely basically that, aside from the fact that the quality of his reading is on an abnormal level.
“The reason why you normally investigate the other party is because you want to do until the 2nd stage of Comprehension then?” (Ilias)
“Yeah. I went to the 2nd stage with Yasutet and Molari. There’s the need to talk to them a good deal in order to draw out information from them, but the more you do this, the better the precision. And so, the 3rd stage…”
He closed his eyes slowly and opened them.
Aah, it is the eyes at the times when I think he is different.
Deep black eyes that I feel would be able to see through everything about me if he were to peek at me with them.
It is not a magical change of some sort. But there’s a creepiness to it that would make anyone think so.
“This is just natural, but the person themselves can easily read their own thoughts and actions. I recreate them inside myself. I might as well just become them if I want to comprehend them… That’s the 3rd stage.”
He shook his head lightly and returned to his normal eyes.
I feel like the atmosphere around got a lot less tense from just that alone.
“Well, I try to not use it as much as possible due to my promise with Ilias though.”
“As much as possible. Really…” (Ilias)
“I do feel bad about breaking the promise, but the situation called for it…”
He must be referring to the time with the Scarlet Demon Lord and the time when he was captured by Seraes.
It is in part my own mistake, so I can’t blame him too hard for it.
But I am honestly happy that he is worried about it.
“I would personally be happy if you were to understand everything though? But you seem to be cold in a lot of cases despite that.” (Purple)
“Even if I comprehend you, answering it depends on my judgment after all. Please don’t be so sour about it.”
“It is not like I am sour about it, you know? I like that kind of attitude too. By the way, I was curious about this too, but how much do you comprehend the people here?” (Purple)
“Honestly speaking, I am already on the 3rd stage Depth with everyone. Haakudoku and Masetta-san, who are not present here, are in the 2nd stage though.”
I am the first one he got acquainted with after appearing in this world. He was lonely, so it was absolutely necessary for him to learn my true intentions.
In the first place, he was normally going all the way to the 3rd stage until my promise with him.
But thinking about the fact that he comprehends every nook and cranny of me is pretty embarrassing.
“Does that include Ani-sama?” (Mix)
“Yeah. Also, I have already explained the Depths to Marito, too. He was listening with eyes full of interest, you know.”
“Must have…” (Mix)
“However, this is not magic, but more of a conscious self-suggestion. I can’t perfectly replicate the knowledge the other party has. There will obviously be discrepancies if there’s knowledge and techniques that I am not aware of. Well, I can feel those discrepancies, so I can deal with them to a certain degree though.”
He is saying this as if nothing, but is he aware that he is stating something outrageous here?
Being able to tell that the other party has secrets that only they know is still a big piece of information in itself. It would mean you won’t lower your guard until the very end no matter the situation.
If he hadn’t sealed this method, maybe he could have even foreseen the solo raid of the Scarlet Demon Lord?
It makes me feel bad when I think about it in that way.
“Don’t feel so down, Ilias. I may have been able to read the thoughts of the Scarlet Demon Lord, but there would have been no way for me to read his strength. There’s also a limit to the things I can comprehend even when replicating them. Even if I had the certainty that Seraes would negotiate with Raheight, I still can’t press him for an answer if I have no proof.”
“You are reading the thoughts of someone so naturally…” (Ilias)
“I can read the thoughts of someone else to a certain extent as long as I can see the countenance of their face and I have comprehended them before. It is easy to adjust it if I know how they have grown, you know?”
“I can say for certain it is not easy.” (Ilias)
Everyone nodded in agreement.
It is easy to read the actions of someone if you comprehend them. That’s what he says, but the comprehension in itself is hard.
He has continued polishing his technique just like how I have continued polishing my sword. That’s the reason why he can pull off such a feat.
“And so, there’s one more reason why I am talking about this. You should consider the observation skills of Ritial as being on the same level as me. Considering that he can see through the abilities and talents of the other party just by observing them, you could say he is a superior version, but…well, that’s only in the front of understanding.”
“Is that…true?” (Ilias)
“Yeah, it is something I felt when I faced Ritial. My instincts were telling me insistently ‘he is the same as me’. It should be better to assume that all the people Ritial has encountered are already in the 2nd stage of comprehension.”
I have only clashed blades with Ritial Zentry once.
He easily agitated me and created an opening to escape.
I understand that he would be a really dangerous opponent if we were to include psychological battles, but…he is that dangerous of an individual, huh.
“Isn’t that bad then, Counselor-sama? You have also made contact with Ritial-san. Doesn’t that mean Ritial-san can guess that you would be able to make a deal with Molari-san and Yasutet-san?” (Rakura)
“It does. In the case he has noticed our deal with the Green Demon Lord, it would be dangerous to go into Serende at once. There’s a possibility traps are set all over the place. Ritial has long years of experience, so he most likely has better comprehension than me.”
The same or higher -thinking about it like that makes me wonder if we can even win.
But I don’t feel such shadows in his face at all.
“Doesn’t that mean we have no hope?” (Rakura)
“I said there’s a limit to comprehension, right? The comprehension between me and Ritial are close to the limit. In that case, what’s left is not a battle of comprehension, but deception. Basically, the one with the nastier personality wins.”
“I suddenly feel like we will be fine.” (Rakura)
“I will remember that. Also, this is not a fair and square battle with equal pieces. Our cards are different and the people around us are different too. Our chances of winning can increase as much as your spirit allows. That’s why, please lend me your strength. I would like you to let me win.”
He directed a serious gaze at us and then lowered his head deeply.
It is not rare for him to ask us for something. But I have never seen him plead in this manner.
That’s most likely how dangerous Ritial and his group are.
“You don’t need to lower your head in that manner. I would lend you my strength in anything if it is your request, Mister Friend! It is instead creepy!” (Mix)
“It makes you feel like there’s something hidden in this, right?” (Rakura)
“I ended up thinking in that manner too?” (Purple)
“You people… I am doing this after reflecting about what happened with the Scarlet Demon Lord, you know…?”
He feels bad in his own way about having proceeded with things alone without relying on others.
That’s why they must have thought the same thing as me -that he might have been disillusioned by us… I see, it seems like I myself also understand him quite a bit.
“There’s no need to worry that much. You are more popular than you think. Your terrible nature is common knowledge though.” (Ilias)
“Even you say that, Ilias… Thanks. Then, let’s make preparations to conquer Torin!”
“That’s the issue I am referring to!” (Ilias)
Can’t he fix that tendency of his of not explaining things?
It would be one thing with His Majesty who has a good head on his shoulders, but I would like you to comprehend the standing of the people that have no choice but to tilt their heads at every instance.
I got information that Raheight and Nektohal are hiding at Serende.
But it would be dangerous to attack carelessly when considering Ritial.
A point of worry is the method they used to get Seraes and his group to escape all the way to Serende.
According to the information from Yasutet, there’s an Illegitimate who excels in espionage within their group.
“Even if it did go well, they would escape, and it would be a lot of extra work if they were to escape to Torin. We will crush the hideout in Torin to close the escape route completely. The action Ritial would have to take is to protect his inner citadel. Basically, he wouldn’t be able to deal with us at full power even if we were to attack Torin. Moreover, the fighting forces in Torin would end up being speculative forces added to the forces waiting in Serende.” (Marito)
“As expected of Marito. It saves me the trouble of explaining.”
“Explaining is an important process, you know? You would get Lady Ratzel and the others angry if you neglect that part.” (Marito)
“As expected of Marito. You really know your stuff.”
“So they really got angry, huh.” (Marito)
I returned to Taizu and talked with Marito and the others about our plans hereon.
We had to explain the progress to Niruryates who was left in Taizu. It would have saved the work of explaining twice if I had explained to them when everyone was together, but my tongue slipped.
“Hmm, I personally would like to capture Nektohal as soon as possible though.” (Niru)
“Even if you tell me that, Niruryates, it is faster than having him escape from Serende and capturing him in Torin. It would sour the mood of the Green Demon Lord if we were to let him escape, right?”
“That’s true. I would be crushed while at it!” (Niru)
“Well, we now know with certainty that Nektohal is involved. That alone is progress already.”
“Right! Aah, I want to bring the head of that traitor to My King quickly!” (Niru)
“Didn’t he say to bring him alive if possible?”
Nektohal is doing some sort of research in Serende.
There’s only a few who know the details of it, and Raheight and Ritial should know about it.
Arcreal is apparently in a close position as well, but he is stupid, so I don’t think we would be able to obtain information from him even if we were to capture him.
“Taizu will keep a close eye on Molari and Yasutet until you attack Serende.” (Marito)
“Thanks. I was a bit worried about having them in the place of King Zenotta, you see. Please let them exercise to a certain degree so that they don’t rust.”
We threw Molari and Yasutet inside the stomach of Dyuvuleori and escorted them all the way to Taizu.
The two of them were together, so what I did was exposed in a matter of minutes, and they glared at me with utmost anger, but the result is the same, so I am sure they will move as agreed once they calm down.
I will make it so they have no other choice but that anyway.
“What will you do about the members that will be heading to Torin?” (Marito)
“That’s the thing. I would like to do some preliminary investigation first, so I want to go with only a few people.”
“Then we should remove Lady Ratzel and Wolfe from the options.” (Marito)
“So that’s how it would go.”
The two reacted to this, but Marito raised his hand to stop them before they could say anything.
“The greatest combatants of my friend are Lady Ratzel and Wolfe. But we should assume that this Arcreal surpasses you both as of present. In that case, we should strengthen you for the upcoming battle. You two will learn fighting techniques, and should become strong to the point of not losing to anyone in this country. But reality is not so soft as to decide the winners solely from combat power alone.” (Marito)
“That’s true, but…” (Ilias)
“You must grow to the point of being able to oppose an enemy who matches Yugura in swordsmanship in that short period of time. Don’t think you will be able to get sentimental.” (Marito)
The two are not objecting.
They might be able to bulldoze their opponents just like they have until now when they are superior in specs, but they must be fully aware now that if someone like the Scarlet Demon Lord, who is beyond common sense, were to show up, they wouldn’t be able to do anything.
“Well, I have no intention of being reckless. I will call you when necessary, so do your best until then.”
“Good response. What about you, Ilias? Will you be okay?”
“…Yeah, I will obtain enough strength to protect you this time for sure.” (Ilias)
“Counting on you. The reckless stuff I can do increases depending on how strong you get after all.”
“I don’t want you to be reckless though.” (Ilias)
The members heading to Torin will be Ekdoik, Rakura, Mix, Haakudoku, Blue, and the two that Pope Euparo will put as surveillance on us.
“That would still make it 8 people, huh. Isn’t that a lot?”
“Rakura and the other two have to be there to respect the wishes of Mejis. There’s only Mix from the Taizu side. I would like to put one more person on you if possible though.” (Marito)
“Yeah… Then, can I bring Kayle with me?”
“I see. You could use his ability well if we are going to do a preliminary investigation. I shall arrange that.” (Marito)
Purple and Dyuvuleori will be making preparations for conquering the hideout of Serende just like Ilias and Wolfe.
The unanimous opinion of everyone is that Gold should return to Gahne already.
“Isn’t this one’s treatment harsh?” (Gold)
“Just how many times do you think Ludfein-san has contacted us to complain?” (Marito)
Molari and Yasutet being captured isn’t good. It is not like they know all our information, but they know most of our hideouts since they are subordinates of Ritial.
But it is hard to say whether we can rescue them.
The abilities of the Illegitimate are high, so they are strong in their specialty, but it is not like they are suitable for large scale battles.
But despite all of these worrying points, Nektohal doesn’t seem to be that worried.
“Those two were trained by Ritial. There’s no need to worry about them leaking information, right?” (Nektohal)
“Well, it would be impossible for them to do so with normal torture and magic. But there’s a worry.” (Raheight)
“The resident of Yugura’s planet, huh. It seems like you evaluate him awfully highly, but he should be gravely injured as of present, right?” (Nektohal)
“That should be the case, but…the matter this time around seems to be awfully crafty. I doubt it is just the Wise King of Taizu.” (Raheight)
There was information of Ekdoik and the Purple Demon Lord’s subordinate being within the enemies.
It means that the forces of that man are clearly cooperating too. That’s why it worries me.
I was thinking about how to describe this and Ritial showed up.
“Raheight, we have finished moving Seraes and his group. Have you thought of a plan moving forward?” (Ritial)
“Ritial-san, huh. No, I was wondering whether the resident of Yugura’s planet was moving, you see.” (Raheight)
“I see. Seraes said he wasn’t even conscious and he wouldn’t be alive for long. If healing through magic is not possible, we could judge that he can’t interfere here.” (Ritial)
“Can’t be healed with magic… Fumu. But it is not like there’s no chance at all, right? If he has joined hands with Demon Lords, they might have used some sort of method like getting the help of My—of the Green Demon Lord.” (Nektohal)
“—Nektohal, can you tell me in detail about this?” (Ritial)
Nektohal explains about the power of the Green Demon Lord.
The power of Prosperity… The Demon Lords really are all beyond logic.
But if that’s true, there’s the possibility that man has recovered.
Ritial’s usual peaceful expression turned into his original one.
I can’t handle this Ritial.
It feels as if I am by the side of the resident of Yugura’s planet.
“It wasn’t my intention to keep it a secret, but I had no plans of getting involved with the Green Demon Lord, you see.” (Nektohal)
“Not hearing this information until now is a matter of reflection. According to the information Raheight heard from the Purple Demon Lord, there’s a high chance they would rely on the Green Demon Lord. They have the white demi-human as a bargaining chip.” (Ritial)
“…I see. It might pique the interest of that Green Demon Lord.” (Nektohal)
“It should be safe to assume he has already in the case they have swiftly obtained the Green Demon Lord’s cooperation. It is only a matter of time before the information of Molari and Yasutet is leaked.” (Ritial)
Ritial has outstanding observation skills as an Illegitimate.
He can tell what kind of talent the person has with just one look, and can tell in an instant to what degree it is.
The resident of Yugura’s planet, which Ritial has no choice but to judge as a person to be wary of, having recovered is nothing but bad news.
“Ritial, do you think it won’t be possible even for the people you trained?” (Nektohal)
“That man is the same as me, and it would be possible for me to draw out the information from Molari and Yasutet. Being able to comprehend people to that degree at such a young age can only be described as a threat.” (Ritial)
“Then, are you saying they will be showing up in Serende?” (Nektohal)
“…50-50. He should be evaluating me in the same manner, so if he plans on being thorough, it is possible he will be attacking the hideout in Torin first.” (Ritial)
I see, so he plans on cutting off our escape route.
It certainly is something that man would think of.
But maybe he is trying to make us think like that and attack this place instead.
“Do we move on the defensive?” (Nektohal)
“We will have no choice but to move forces to Serende. Even if that man were to attack Torin, there’s a higher chance the other countries will target Serende.” (Ritial)
“The Yugura Church that’s trying to get back Seraes, huh. Then, let’s leave Arcreal here.” (Nektohal)
“That would be a good option. I will head to Torin. The current forces there should be able to fight decently if I head there.” (Ritial)
“But Ritial-san, if that man shows up, aren’t you the one who will be at a disadvantage in terms of forces?” (Raheight)
“I can’t really say. But I doubt that man would pour all of his forces here. There’s the possibility of revealing their cards to us after all. They wouldn’t want to pull all their cards on Torin when they are trying to investigate our hand before attacking Serende.” (Ritial)
Ritial doesn’t hold any doubts in his words.
He is speaking with certainty that this is what the resident of Yugura’s planet will do.
This man really is someone that I can’t lower my guard against.
“What are our chances of winning?” (Nektohal)
“That man must comprehend me to a good degree too. In that case, it will all come to a game of deception. The one with the nastier personality will reign supreme.” (Ritial)
“…I think both of you are nasty though.” (Raheight)
“There’s Soraid in Torin. I will show you some good moves.” (Ritial)
Aah, right, Soraid is indeed in Torin.
An Illegitimate that Ritial found just like Arcreal.
A lazy man that Nektohal has taken a liking to. But he doesn’t agree with Nektohal’s objective, so he is spending his days slothfully in the hideout of Torin.
“I am impressed you can deal with those types of people. I would steer clear from that.” (Raheight)
“I don’t get bored being together with Soraid despite appearances. I wouldn’t want to be together with him all the time either though.” (Ritial)
Soraid doesn’t have direct combat prowess, but his fearsomeness is on a level of its own even within the Illegitimate.
It is to the point that even the thoughtless Arcreal takes distance from him.
You could say he will be able to put up a good fight in that sense, but…I feel like it will be a more brutal battle than one where blood is shed.