Volume 3 Chapter 2

Volume 3 Chapter 2, “The Kurultai without the Demon King”

 

——- The Kurultai, the Pavilion of the Demon King

Slam!

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Has the Demon King really fallen!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “…”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “Yeah.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “What is going on? Explain!”

Aide-de-Camp: “After the conference, we were walking back to the pavilion. It was a short distance, and we were laughing and joking… All of a sudden, someone fired an arrow at the completely defenceless Demon King…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Is the Demon King all right?!”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “She is presently in the care of my wife, we are trying to delay it.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Delay what?”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “She has been poisoned. We are trying to slow it down.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “The arrows penetrated her lung. It’s definitely a very serious injury. Actually, it wouldn’t have been strange if she had died on the spot. Luckily, the Black Knight managed to suck out some of the poison.”

Aide-de-Camp: “…”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “The shamans of the Tattooed and the physicians of the Banshees are tending to her as best we can, but it’s a very deep wound and the poison is a very strong one as well…”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “Why…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Who is responsible for this! To do something like this in a place like this. The Demon King is absolutely crucial for the Kurultai!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “…”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “To use such a method to deal with the Demon King, doing something so underhanded is far below what any normal Demon would do. The fool. I cannot understand why anyone would be so willing to anger the Eight Great Demon Tribes, no, the Nine Great Demon Tribes with such an underhanded method as assassination.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “How about a human…”

Aide-de-Camp: “What are you saying?!”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “Using such despicable means to attack the Demon King would result in a loss of reputation, so it can’t be a warrior. It’s clear that it can’t be anyone from the Demon Race. None of the Khans would allow it… That’s why it’s natural for me to suspect that this must have been done by a human assassin.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “…No, the only one who would stand to gain from this is one of us. The shooter was never even revealed, so there was no loss of reputation. It’s probably someone who saw the Demon King as an obstacle to be removed.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “Now we can only pray for the best…”

Wind blows…

The Hero: “…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Black Knight.”

The Hero: “…The next few days will be the most difficult.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “!”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “Isn’t there something we can provide? Ice? Medicine? I’ve already sent for the best physicians throughout the land.”

The Hero: “…Thank you for all you have done. I cannot thank you any more for all the help you have provided for us. The Chief Maid is presently tending to her, but… It is very deep. — The necrosis is very advanced as well.”

Aide-de-Camp: “That’s…”

The Hero: “…If the Demon King falls, how will the next Demon King be selected?”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “I suppose that should be considered.”

The Hero: “Please tell me.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “…The stars will decide the successors of the Demon King. The successors will discover a sigil somewhere on their body. It is said that the bigger the sigil, the more suitable he is to be the successor to the Demon King. In fact, throughout History, the Demon Kings have always had an extremely deep sigil.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “It often happens that a lot of people have the sigil. Usually about two or three. The present Demon King had an unprecedented number of sigil-bearers to contend with though…”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “There were six.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “If only one person has the sigil, that person automatically becomes the Demon King. If there are many, then a war of succession is fought. The Demon King candidate or a representative takes part in a tournament, and the victor of the tournament becomes the next Demon King.”

The Hero: “I see…”

Walks away.

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Where are you going?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Oi!”

The Hero: “I go to fulfil the wish of the Demon King.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “What?! Where?”

The Hero: “…Time does not stop for the Kurultai and the considerations of the ceasefire. While the Demon King is still alive, every second is as precious as a grain of gold.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “Black Knight.”

The Hero: “—”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “As the Khan of the Banshees, I will stay here. I am prepared for a heartbreaking conclusion to the Demon King, but a set of healing hands here is better used than at the Kurultai.”

The Hero: “Thank you.”

 

—– The Kurultai, the Avenue of Pavilions

Flap flap flap.

The Hero: “Demon Thrush.”

Demon Thrush: “I am by your side.”

The Hero: “The footprints?”

Demon Thrush: “I apologise, I could not follow them to their destination.”

The Hero: “Whereabouts did it lead?”

Demon Thrush: “The hill to the northeast.”

The Hero: “Let’s go investigate it. Charm of Speed!” Magic flows from fingers.

Flap flap flap.

————–

————-

Demon Thrush: “Here it is.”

The Hero: “…So the attack came from here?”

The Queen of Fairies: “Sir Black Knight.”

The Hero: “Your Majesty…”

The Queen of Fairies: “The Fairies have completely sealed the city. We may not have much battlefield ability, but we do specialise in seals and monitoring and the like…”

The Hero: “That is good.”

The Queen of Fairies: “How is the Demon King…?”

The Hero: “Critical.”

The Queen of Fairies: “…!”

The Hero: “Continue to conduct surveillance. Report back to me if you find anything strange.”

Demon Thrush: “My Lord.”

The Hero: “What is it?”

Demon Thrush: “Having investigated the area, I have discovered some repetitive footprints. I believe the perpetrators were operating in a group of about ten people. The footprints appear to have been moving together.”

The Queen of Fairies: “A group.”

The Hero: “I have a lot of questions for these people.”

The Queen of Fairies: “Indeed.”

Demon Thrush: “My Lord, there is also a suspicious mark over here.”

The Hero: “…What is it?”

The Queen of Fairies: “There’s nothing here.”

The Hero: “Is this… a battle?”

Demon Thrush: “I do not know.”

The Queen of Fairies: “Even with the magical abilities of the Tribe of Fairies, I can only detect a faint hint of something having happened here…”

The Hero: “The Shadow Arrow… Is it Grandpa?”

 

——– The Kurultai, the Perimeter of the Venue

Fairy: “Anything?”

Fairy: “Nope.”

Fairy: “See anything?”

Fairy: “Nope.”

Fairy: “But.”

Fairy: “But.”

Fairy: “Something is coming.”

Fairy: “A unit, there’s a unit.”

Fairy: “Their breathing is very shallow.”

Fairy: “They’re hiding.”

Fairy: “Got warn them!”

Fairy: “Warn the Queen!”

Fairy: “The Black Knight and the Demon King are in danger!”

Fairy: “Danger!”

Fairy: “Warn the Queen!”

Fairy: “Warn her!”

Fairy: “There’s a unit hidden in the valley!”

 

———– The Kurultai, the Pavilion of the Demons of the Pale

King of the Pale: “The black flag has been raised.”

Colonel of the Pale: “A black flag symbolises the death of a Khan—If it’s coming from the Demon King’s pavilion, then it must symbolise the death of the Demon King. It seems the Demon King is at the end of her lifeline.”

King of the Pale: “Hmph. It’s to be expected that such a weak Demon King would be so fragile. If she had only accepted my offer to abdicate, her life wouldn’t be in such danger. Girls should never be allowed to fight in the first place.”

Colonel of the Pale: “It is as you say.”

Door opens.

General of the Pale: “Your Majesty.”

King of the Pale: “Ohh, it’s the pride of our Army. You have come at a good time. The Demon King is dead… I do not know who or why, but this is a great thing at a brilliant timing.”

Colonel of the Pale: “You have come quickly.”

King of the Pale: “Where is the Prince?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Father, I am here as well.”

King of the Pale: “Ohhh! Are you well! My only son and successor!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Hahahaha. I am, Father, thank you for your concern.”

General of the Pale: “The sigil has made its appearance.”

King of the Pale: “Where?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “My eyes are the very proof.” Closes eyes.

General of the Pale: “This sigil on both his eyelids, it is clearly the sigil of the Demon King. With his strength and skill, he will surely be the material of legends.”

Prime Minister of the Pale: “…He is truly a Prince of the Pale.”

King of the Pale: “What a blessing! To think I would see this in my reign! My son, bearing the sigil, and the Demon King on her deathbed. The Demon Gods are just waiting to welcome a new addition from the Tribe of the Pale!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Hahahahaha! I am willing to bear the responsibility for the Great Tribe of the Pale. — However, the mere title of Prince, is not very cool.”

King of the Pale: “…What are you talking about?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “General, please.”

General of the Pale: “For the Grace of Your Highness.”

Prime Minister of the Pale: “…”

Stabs.

King of the Pale: “Wha! What?!”

General of the Pale: “For the prosperity of the Pale, rest in peace, Your Majesty.”

King of the Pale: “Da—! Damn you?! I’m your father! You would kill me for my throne?! I won’t allow…”

Stabs.

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Hmm.”

General of the Pale: “It is over, Sigil King.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Sigil King… It’s not bad, but I’ll wait for another nickname.”

General of the Pale: “Indeed.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I will be the next Demon King. Hehehehehehehe. Hahahahahahaha!”

 

———- The Kurultai, the Grand Pavilion

General of the Pale: “Well, I have gathered you for a simple reason. Due to unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, the Demon King has passed away, and we are very sorry for this unprecedented turn of events. In order to free ourselves from this predicament, I would like to borrow the advice of the Khans. Before this, I would like to introduce you to somebody.”

The Baron of Steel: “…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Who are you? Where is the King of the Pale?”

General of the Pale: “I beg your forgiveness. I am a General of the Army of the Pale. The Tribe of the Pale has welcomed a new Khan, it is my pleasure to introduce to you, the new Khan of the Pale.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “A new Khan?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “That would be me. I am the successor to the King of the Pale. My father passed away from a sudden sickness last night. I have been learning the ways of the King in order to succeed my father for a long time now, and I have the support of the Tribe of the Pale for the throne. — Now, I seek only your support.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “…Is that so? This reeks of blood.”

The Cyclops: “The decision… of the Tribe…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Hmph, fine.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “It is not our practice to interfere with the domestic politics of the Tribes. If this is the decision of your people, we will accept it.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “So, you want to talk about what happens after the death of the Demon King?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I am sure my Khans all know about the unfortunate passing of the Demon King, this is to decide what we will do next.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “What we decide has no bearing…”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “The next Demon King will be decided by the stars.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “However, there is a problem here. Regardless of our many entreatments, we are currently still at war with the Human World. The only person who has the authority to call a ceasefire or a truce or whatever has just passed away. We cannot waste time in deciding the next Demon King, this concerns the life and death of the Demon World.”

The Hero: “…”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “That is true.”

The Baron of Steel: “So what would you have us do?”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Continue the Kurultai in the absence of the Demon King?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “If there is such a need.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Decide this matter between the nine of us?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I have one more thing to announce. The sigil has appeared on my eyes.”

The Baron of Steel: “Eyes…?!”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “Don’t tell me…”

The Queen of Fairies: “Even the fearsome Demon King known as the Demon Eye only had the sigil on his right eye…”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Hey, hey. What’s this all about?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “That’s right. I am in line to be the next Demon King. With the death of the Demon King, it is not uncommon for an uninterrupted succession. Based on the intelligence of the Tribe of the Pale, at this current juncture, there are no other claimants to the Throne.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “What?!”

The Baron of Steel: “That cannot be…”

The Hero: “…”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “If you think about it, there were six claimants at the last generation.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Hahahaha, perhaps that is why there are none this time.”

The Cyclops: “So the Demon King… is decided…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “The Pale… What’s this about the good of the Demon Race, he just wants the Throne… He just wants to keep up the momentum. With the death of the Demon King, the Pale automatically receives the Throne, then.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “That may be so, but you are currently just a claimant.”

The Queen of Fairies: “Indeed. You are not the Demon King.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I understand that. As I am young, I merely seek to gain your approval, I will work hard, and I have no intention to take the seat of the Demon King.”

The Baron of Steel: “Hmph.”

The Cyclops: “Then… why…”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I merely wish to speak on a few matters with you, using my status as the Khan of the Pale and a Claimant to the Throne of the Demon King. The first is extremely urgent, and that is that I have no intention to immediately occupy the empty Throne of the Demon King.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Fine.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “The second is that we must proceed with haste with the funeral service of the previous Demon King. At the same time, we must also focus our efforts on discovering her murderer. We must decide on someone to be responsible for this.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Hmph. You should have said that from the start.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “The Tribe of the Pale believes that this was committed by Humans.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Based on what!” Slams table.

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Naturally, at this point we have no evidence. We have also been searching for the perpetrator without discounting the possibility that it was committed by Demons. However, at the very least, it is clear that this is just a cowardly method to create divisions among the Tribes in the Demon World. We have to pursue this coward aggressively and catch him.”

The Baron of Steel: “Humans…”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Seems like something they would do!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Thirdly, how long shall we wait? As I said earlier, we are pressed for time. It is true that the stars may pick other Claimants and we should allow them time, however, the ones who decide when the date of the War of Succession will be are the Eight, now the Nine Great Khans. I beseech you to make an earlier decision.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “Which is the next Tribe making the decision?”

The Queen of Fairies: “We were the last one.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “In that case, it is us, the Fiends.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Please make a decision.”

The Baron of Steel: “…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “…”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “What will it be?”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “…”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “My Khan, please.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “…I understand that we are in a time of crisis. If we drag this on for too long, the Demon World may be thrown into chaos. We need a new Demon King right now, but we also need time for the other Claimants. This is a difficult question… However, wasting too much time is also a big problem. Tomorrow morning. That’s right—Tomorrow morning, we will have the War of Succession. The other claimants have until daybreak to present their sigils, in the absence of which, the Tribe of the Pale will inherit the Throne.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “…Black Knight.”

The Hero: “…What?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “You are the left hand of the Demon King. Behind that black carapace, there are those who call you the Sword of the Demon King.”

The Hero: “…”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I deeply regret the passing of the Demon King, however, you are the Demon World’s strongest knight. In other words, you are our last bulwark against the incursions of the Human Race. Put aside your emotions and work together with me to support the Demon World.”

General of the Pale: “You have my highest honour, Sir Black Knight! Together, we can give the Demon World its strongest and most formidable army! Hahahahahahahaha!”

The Cyclops: “…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “How brash.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I apologise for any insult I have made, my Lord…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Hmph.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “The fires of war… have reignited.”

The Queen of Fairies: “Looks like we will be at war again.”

 

——— The Kurultai, the next Morning

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Daybreak.”

The Cyclops: “Mor…ning…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Hmph.”

The Queen of Fairies: “Nobody has come.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “I see.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “…”

East Fortress Base Commander: “You’re going to have to take off that armour soon.”

Aide-de-Camp: “Yeah.”

The Hero: “But the Demon King gave it to me.”

General of the Pale: “Today is a beautiful day.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “A day of rebirth.”

The Baron of Steel: “…It is time.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “Then it is settled. The Pale will provide the next Demon King. Step forward.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale steps forward.

East Fortress Base Commander: “…”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “As the Chieftain of the Tattooed, I represent the will of the Nine Great Khans at this Kurultai to acknowledge the sole claimant to the Throne of the Demon King. Do you object to bearing the name of the Demon King, the responsibilities of the Demon King Castle, and the duty to undergo four days of cleansing in the Palace of Death, in order to awaken as the next Demon King?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I do not.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “Do you agree to carry on the will of the Demon King in your actions and your bearings?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I do.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “Then, I hereby crown you the…”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Hold.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “What?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Would it be possible to allow my right hand, and the unifier of the Demon World, the Black Knight to perform this ceremony?”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “Fine. In that case, you now have the duty to place the circlet of the Demon King on the head of the Demon King. You will have the honour to serve him with honour and distinguished conduct.”

The Hero: “…”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “Black Knight. Step forward. Place the Circlet on the head of the Demon King.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Black Knight…”

Aide-de-Camp: “Black Knight…”

The Queen of Fairies: “Black Knight…”

The Hero: “…”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “My right hand. My Grand Marshall. I hereby bestow upon you the greatest honour I can bestow in the Demon World, in recognition of your many victories without defeats, I proclaim you the Black Marshal of Death. As the right hand of my reign, we will together usher in an age of prosperity. I thank you for your unwavering service to the previous Demon King. Raise your sword, and receive my orders, now and forever.”

The Hero: “I accept your orders. Under divine contract, my body and my life, everything belongs to the Demon King in entirety. My sword is exclusively for the enemies of the Demon King.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “…Everything?”

The Hero: “My strength is the strength of the Demon King, for the people of the Demon World. My skills are a ray of light, carving a road for the will of the Demon King. My voice will echo the commands of the Demon King. To realise the will of the Demon King, I will walk alongside the Demon King, on any path his Majesty chooses to take. My hands serve only the Demon King. — With these words, I pronounce my divine contract that binds me forever to the Demon King.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Black Knight!”

General of the Pale: “All hail the Demon King!”

Waaaaaaaaa! All hail the Demon King!

General of the Pale: “Glory to the Demon King!”

Attendant: “Glory to the Demon King of the Pale!”

Prime Minister of the Pale: “Hehehehe. Glory! Glory!”

—— Hmph, it’s all just for show, isn’t it.

Arrow flies through the air.

Prime Minister/Assassin: “Hiss… Wha… My leg, my leg… Hiss…

Butler: “Be quiet. It’s improper.”

Prime Minister/Assassin: “Ah! Hiss! What are you doing! Grandpa! Hiss!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Who is it!”

General of the Pale: “What are you doing to our Minister!”

Butler: “Silence! Who would interrupt a ceremony like this! Even my young man has more class.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Ah… I’ve seen this person, on the battlefield, a long time ago.”

The Hero: “Old man, you’re late!”

Butler: “Nyohohohohoho. Sorry for making you wait.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “What is going on?”

Butler: “Nyohohohoho. I’ve been waiting for a while to confirm it, but I finally have my chance… in this guy’s breast pocket.”

Bottle rolls out.

Prime Minister/Assassin: “That’s! No! Not that!”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “A bottle…?!”

Butler: “This is the poison… Because of this thing, five of my cutest underlings are dead. It’s a very scary poison. Without the antidote, it’s a sure death.”

The Baron of Steel: “Poison… Don’t tell me…”

The Cyclops: “He’s the assassin…?”

General of the Pale: “—!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Hey, why is the same poison used to assassinate the Demon King with the Tribe of the Pale? Eh?”

Prime Minister/Assassin: “Let me go! Let me go!”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “Let’s interrogate the assassin and find out why…”

Prime Minister/Assassin: “Damn you! Take this kick!” Kicks.

Slash.

Prime Minister/Assassin: “Agh! Ah, ah… Hiss… Hiss… Hiss…”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “That was dangerous, old man.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Hey! What’s going on! Were you trying to silence him! Is that how you Pale things operate?!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Hmph, I was just trying to save that old man.”

General of the Pale: “Hahahahahaha.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “What a terrible excuse!”

Aide-de-Camp: “That was an extremely suspicious thing to have done!”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “King of the Pale! You yourself said that it was highly imperative to find out what happened to the Demon King, and now you kill the only person who can tell us?! Explain yourself?!”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “That’s right, you’d better make this clear!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “…”

Clunk.

The Baron of Steel: “What’s this… A mask…?”

The Cyclops: “That’s…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “This assassin… Is from the Tribe of Serpents…”

Aide-de-Camp: “Tribe of Serpents…?”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “From… From the Tribe of Beasts…? No! That can’t be! It’s true that we support the war, but we wouldn’t do something as underhanded as assassination! That can’t be!”

General of the Pale: “Who would believe you?”

The Baron of Steel: “This looks even worse for you Demons of the Pale!”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “The suspicion is on the people who would hire this assassin as a Prime Minister!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I think you’re misunderstanding something.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “What?!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Excuses? Suspicions? Hahahaha.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “I’m the Demon King, right? I don’t need things like excuses. I have no need to clarify any suspicions. What I say is right. I am the Demon King. There are none above me. I rule the Demon World. So, I don’t want to hear any more of this crap.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “You are at the Kurultai! The Demon King needs the support of half the Tribes to keep the Throne!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “In that case, I officially call an end to the Kurultai. Convening a Kurultai is the personal privilege of the Demon King.”

The Baron of Steel: “!”

The Queen of Fairies: “What?”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Let me make this clear, I will not convene a second Kurultai. I have no need for the support of anyone else, unlike that third-rate, weak-willed Demon King. You can call me a tyrant or whatever, I don’t care. I am different from that rotten woman. I am the order of the Demon World, I am beyond all law. Do you understand! It’s over… It’s the end. My Khans.”

“Perhaps you should change that way of thinking.”

General of the Pale: “Who is it?”

The Demon King: “Do I really need to introduce myself…”

The Chief Maid: “Your Majesty, don’t push it.”

The Female Paladin: “The healing process isn’t complete yet, let’s go back.”

The Demon King: “I have to do this.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Demon… King…”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Demon King!”

The Queen of Fairies: “Demon King!”

General of the Pale: “What?! Why are you here!”

The Demon King: “I will say this just once. Even though I’m saying this in the capacity of the Demon King, to begin with this entire system of the Demon King is completely anachronistic. To have all power vested with a single person; that authority, and might, and influence that person now holds, will completely imbalance and prejudice the other Tribes, just as it has done for the many Kings before and just as it is doing now. You get it, right? You may speak of loyalty and deference, but when a power-crazy Demon King rises to the throne, you get this kind of despicable and heinous acts occurring in the World.”

Butler: “Scholar…”

The Demon King: “I apologise for suspecting you.”

Butler: “Well, you believed me in the end.”

The Demon King: “It’s because of what the Hero said. ‘That old man would never kill anyone D-cup and above.’ Furthermore, using poison isn’t really your style, is it?”

Butler: “I’m a real gentleman after all, nyohohohohoho.”

The Hero: “—So, I suppose your candidature was invalid to begin with. My sword belongs to the Demon King, that is explicitly what was stated in the contract.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Black Knight, damn you!”

The Demon King: “Hero!”

The Hero: “Got it!”

The Demon King: “Seize the Sigiled Prince! If possible, I want him alive. But use whatever means you have to!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “This isn’t over yet!”

Magic buzzes in the air.

The Hero: “?!”

The Female Paladin: “What’s with this insane Demonic Energy?!”

The Chief Maid: “That’s the magic of the Palace of Death?!”

Explosion.

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Hahahahahaha! Black Knight! Black Knight! Black Knight!!! This is the real strength of the Demon World! Ahahahahaha!!!”

The Hero: “This guy is insane!!!”

Draws sword, magic buzzes.

The Hero: “Charm of Haste! Blade of Lightning! Spell of Armour!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Lightfoot Activate! Curse of Demon Armour! Hex of the Phoenix!”

Explosion.

East Fortress Base Commander: “What is up with these guys!”

Aide-de-Camp: “I’m just seeing a lot of bright lights?!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Now! I will destroy you, Black Knight! I am the Demon King! I will root out weakness! The weak one is especially weakened by poison, so anyone at all can kill her!”

The Hero: “What! That’s underhanded!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Die, you fool!”

Blast of magic.

The Hero: “Crap. Going by magical energy alone… This guy is Demon King-class!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Go! Take down that woman!!!”

Soldiers of the Pale: “Understood! Attack! Attack!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Horsemen?! Aide-de-Camp!”

Aide-de-Camp: “Yes!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Assemble the Khans, form a perimeter and protect the Demon King!”

The Baron of Steel: “Demon of the Pale! Where did all these soldiers come from?!”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Ohhhhh! This is too much!” Draws saber.

The Hero: “Demon Thrush, protect the Demon King!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Damn bird! Get out of the way!”

Swords clashing.

The Cyclops: “Ughh… Protect… the Demon King…”

The Demon King: “This body is too…”

The Chief Maid: “Your Majesty!”

The Female Paladin: “Don’t come any closer! I’ll kill you!”

General of the Pale: “Archers! Move up!”

Archers of the Pale move up.

East Fortress Base Commander: “There’s too many of them!”

The Chief Maid: “?!”

General of the Pale: “Move closer! Blot out the sun with arrows! All at one go! On my mark!”

Arrows fly through the air.

Archer of the Pale: “Eh?”

Bonk.

Archer of the Pale: “What was that?”

Bonk.

Archer of the Pale: “Hey, you… Pick up your bow.”

Bonk.

Archer of the Pale: “Your head! Where’s your head?!”

Bonk.

Archer of the Pale: “Where?! Where is it coming from?!”

Bonk.

Archer of the Pale: “I can’t see! My eyes! My eyes!”

Bonk.

Archer of the Pale: “Ahhhhhhhhh!”

Bonk.

Butler: “Hmm, second-rate soldiers. That’s all it took. Anyone who dares to point his bow at the Demon King is my enemy.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Just who is that old man, what did he do?”

The Female Paladin: “He shot them.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “But he’s not carrying anything!”

The Female Paladin: “I’ve never actually seen him carry anything actually.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Don’t tell me, he’s the legendary Archer?!”

The Female Paladin: “Yeah he is, but I’ve never actually seen him with a bow.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “What is the Archer doing here!”

The Female Paladin: “They died from his Phantom Arrows.”

The Hero: “Take this! Lightning Destruction Spell Class One!”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Hah! Wall of Ice!”

Explosion, ice shattering.

Cavalryman of the Pale: “Now! Attack the Demon King!”

Cavalryman of the Pale: “Restore the Pale to the throne!”

Horses charging.

The Female Paladin: “! This is bad. She hasn’t recovered from the poison yet, she’s already at her limit. And there are so many of them…”

The Chief Maid: “I will go.”

The Demon King: “No… You can’t…”

Cavalryman of the Pale: “Take this! Attack the Demon King!”

Horses charging.

The Fire Dragon Lord: “You damn fools! Shut up!” Roars.

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “Hah! Hah… I never expected you would be this good.”

The Hero: “Hah… Hah… That’s my line. And I thought you were just a candidate.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “But it ends here. Take this! I will gather all my Demonic Energy! For this final, ultra-killing move. Mass Destruction, Complete Annihilation Spell!!!”

The Chief Maid: “?!”

The Hero: “! You won’t make it! I’ll disrupt you first! Mass Destruction, Lightning Obliteration Spell!”

Air crackles with magical energy, explosions all around.

East Fortress Base Commander: “Even the air is burning?!”

The Demon King: “Hero!”

General of the Pale: “Your Highness!”

Explosion.

The Hero: “…Hahh.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “…Hah. Hah. Hah.”

Butler: “Hero, at this rate, the Scholar!”

General of the Pale: “Your Highness, no more.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “…Sound the retreat! Retreat!”

The Hero: “…”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “…I still have my life.”

The Hero: “The Demon King was protected, this is my victory.”

Sigiled Prince of the Pale: “We now enter a new era of warfare. Take pride because it will not last long. Soon, the curtains of hell will draw open and you will see! Hahahahahahaha!”

 

——– The City of the Gate, the Temple of the Lunar Willow

Disciple Engineer: “What is it, we’ve arrived too early.”

Disciple Bard: “We’re here to pay our respects.”

Disciple Engineer: “A temple? I never knew you were so pious.”

Disciple Bard: “I’m not really very pious. But since this is the God of Music, I thought we should stop by.”

Disciple Engineer: “Is that so?”

Disciple Bard: “The City of the Gate is a Holy Land for a large variety of gods.”

Disciple Engineer: “I see.”

Disciple Bard: “It is said that those who hope to do commerce in the City should pray here, to avoid misfortune. It’s not like we lose anything just by paying our respects.”

Disciple Engineer: “That’s true.”

Disciple Bard: “Let’s go then.”

Disciple Engineer: “There sure are a lot of Gods.”

Disciple Bard: “Yeah, the hills around the city are just carpeted with Temples.”

Disciple Engineer: “It’s really quite amazing.”

Disciple Bard: “Though the biggest ones are the God of the Ancients, the Lightning God, the God of Light, and the God of Darkness—”

Disciple Engineer: “And the God of Music?”

Disciple Bard: “Tada! Here he is!”

Disciple Engineer: “…That’s not a temple, that’s just a shrine.”

Disciple Bard: “They’re roughly the same thing.”

Disciple Engineer: “Their construction and scale are completely different.”

Disciple Bard: “All that matters is the faith of the believer.”

Disciple Engineer: “You yourself just said you weren’t very faithful.”

Disciple Bard: “Right then, you should clean it up a bit.”

Disciple Engineer: “What are you going to do?”

Disciple Bard: “I’m going to play a verse.”

Disciple Engineer: “While I do all the manual labour?”

Disciple Bard: “That’s right. ♪”

Disciple Engineer: “Well, I guess it’s fine.”

~ ♪  ~ ♪

Disciple Engineer: “That being said, you really went straight into this music thing even though you were pretty good at a whole lot of things when we were still students.”

~ ♪  ~ ♪

Disciple Engineer: “I suppose it’s all relative. I’m really into engineering after all.”

~ ♪  ~ ♪

Disciple Engineer: “Heh. She’s all caught up in it.”

 

——- The City of the Gate, in front of the Temple of the Lunar Willow

~ ♪  ~ ♪

Disciple Engineer: “You’re still at it.”

Disciple Engineer: (If you thought about it… This temple is really something. The City is completely enveloped by two rivers and nine hills, and on these hills, there are temples.)

Disciple Engineer: “There must have been a pretty ingenious architect to design this.”

Disciple Engineer: (Especially the temples. Temples have such gorgeous Parapets*, I’m really envious of a person who could design such a nice parapet…)

Disciple Engineer: “Umm, eh? Wait. There seems to be some paper… Oh, it’s the floor.”

Disciple Engineer: (These parapets are almost like the routes between towers. Rather than a Temple, this place more resembles a fortress. I didn’t think of it that way at first because it was so beautiful. It has ambush and choke points, along with clear fortified supply routes. Perhaps this was a sort of open-concept fortification line? No, rather than an open-concept… Perhaps in the past, they were all linked up to form a massive fortification?)

Disciple Engineer: “Just how old are these temples anyway? They look very resilient…”

Disciple Engineer: (…Hmm, now that I think about it, even the two rivers could have been some kind of ancient beachhead… To begin with, when we were crossing them on our boat, I always felt that the banks were piled too high to be natural. Perhaps, it was some kind of Dike*?)

Disciple Engineer: “Perhaps what used to be a brick and stone fortification was covered up by eons of mud and earth, and life sprung on top of it, leaving it looking like this. It’s possible. It’s possible… I’ve always felt that the City needed some change, but perhaps this is what it was originally supposed to be like…”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Hmm.”

Disciple Engineer: “If we did this—”

Draws on dust.

Disciple Engineer: “This is the North, so this is where the current main road is, it wouldn’t be strange to think that it led to that mountain there, I suppose. No, it’s more likely that the lifeline was to the South. That would make it for more coherent with everything else. In other words, the original main gate of the City is the South Gate.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “It’s there.”

Disciple Engineer: “Eh?”

Middle Aged Merchant: “There’s an old road in that direction.”

Disciple Engineer: “Really?”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Yes, though it stops halfway in the mountains. It splits off from the new road which leads to the Gate.”

Disciple Engineer: “How wide is it? And what of the construction?!”

Middle Aged Merchant: “I’m not sure about the construction, but I would say it is about three times wider than a person. As far as I can tell, it’s stone paved.”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Parapet: The protruding part of a castle or another construction. From these parapets, arrows could be fired at the enemy without exposing one’s body. They were hence originally made for defensive purposes.

Dike: A sort of defensive wall consisting of earth which is piled high to stop water from flowing through as a sort of ready-made moat.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Disciple Engineer: “Stone-paved…”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Are you interested in this?”

Disciple Engineer: “I really want to see it! An old road. It’s cut off halfway? Perhaps that is due to some sort of natural disaster. It would make sense that there was some kind of natural disaster which buried the old roads and hence new roads had to be conducted. That would probably explain why the new roads diverged from the old roads as well.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Mmhmm.”

Disciple Engineer: “Sorry, here I am gabbling on to a complete stranger.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “No, no, it was a very interesting conversation.”

Disciple Engineer: “I am the Young Disciple. As you can see from my horns, I am a member of the Banshee Tribe.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “I am the Middle Aged Merchant. I’m a traveling merchant in the City of the Gate.”

Disciple Engineer: “A travelling merchant. You must know the roads very well.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Well, I suppose I have been here and there.”

Disciple Engineer: “You must have a very deep passion for your work.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “…You are passionate about roads?”

Disciple Engineer: “Well, I am a civil engineer.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “A civil engineer?”

Disciple Engineer: “Not many know the term. I build roads and dams, fortifications, and castles, I also do projects like bringing water to crops for irrigation purposes or for growing trees and forests. I’ve even changed the shape of mountains to protect against natural disasters. Of course, these aren’t completely done by myself alone but they are rather large-scale projects.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Roads too?”

Disciple Engineer: “Roads too. You may have heard of wild roads, which are roads which naturally remain easy to walk on even after they have been neglected for a very long time. It is said that roads form where people walk. It’s really because the grass and plants are trampled and never have the opportunity to grow, while the ground becomes hard and compacted, making it easy to walk on. However, if you plan ahead and build well, the roads are even better and can be used for more purposes.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “What about bridges?”

Disciple Engineer: “Yeah, bridges are very important too! Bridgeworks enable people and goods to cross valleys, rivers, and other otherwise unpassable areas. There are bridges on land to cross uneven terrain and bridges over water too. Most are made from wood, but stone is really the most resilient material to construct a bridge from.

Wait, actually, at this time… Or even in the time before us, there were bridges made of metal as well right? Even if you just made the ropes out of metal, you would be able to support a great deal of weight.”

Paces around.

Middle Aged Merchant: “Umm, excuse me.”

Disciple Engineer: “In other words, there are extreme advantages to be afforded from a strength perspective…”

Paces around.

Middle Aged Merchant: “Excuse me?!”

Disciple Engineer: “Ah—sorry! I got too carried away, I was talking as if I was in a dream.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Well, if you’re into road and bridge building, I do have a contract that needs fulfilling.”

Disciple Engineer: “A contract?”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Yeah, there’s a place which needs a bridge.”

Disciple Engineer: “Really?! What kind?”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Well… I haven’t really seen it myself but it seems they need a bridge between a place where the sky and earth are reversed.”

 

———- The Kurultai, that Night

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “So, how exactly is Her Majesty?”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “I am concerned about that too.”

The Hero: “She will live, she must be left alone to recuperate for these two weeks. For the next few months after, movement will also be inconvenient for her.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “I see…”

The Baron of Steel: “And what of the Pale?”

The Queen of Fairies: “The Pale have quite a large number of troops in the area. As soon as they join back with them, they will probably head back to their lands.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “So it’s war.”

The Baron of Steel: “It’s clear that the Tribe of the Demons of the Pale have betrayed us.”

The Cyclops: “Betrayal… is bad…”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “The time to decide this is now.”

The Hero: “The Demon King is currently on her sickbed. We should wait a while before making a decision. After all, this whole thing is the result of the Tribe of the Pale going off and making their own decisions and stratgems.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “I agree as well.”

The Hero: “Furthermore, we cannot ascertain whether or not their retreat might have some kind of hidden ambush strategy behind it.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “We have also yet to completely examine the business of the Assassin.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Please believe me, the Tribe of the Fang had nothing to do with it!”

The Baron of Steel: “To think you would still say such things at this time! It was a member of the Tribe of the Fang who pointed that arrow at the Demon King!”

(This Merchant definitely met with the Tribe of the Pale… Hmm, he had a subordinate behind him… And to his side, there was someone wearing a thin hood… He had a very… strange breathing sound…)

(It was wet… Like a snake’s…)

East Fortress Base Commander: “No, there might just be something else about this.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “What do you mean?”

East Fortress Base Commander: “I have been receiving reports of a suspicious guy who breathes like a snake.”

Aide-de-Camp: “We were never able to arrest him, though.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “Was that the Assassin? But this is no proof that he is unrelated to the Silver Tiger Lord or the Tribe of the Fang. Even if we discount the intentions of the Silver Tiger Lord, it is clear that at least one member of the Tribe of the Fang has betrayed us.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “I am the one who was betrayed, please believe me!”

East Fortress Base Commander: “My investigation squads began their search four months ago. At the time, we thought he was human. After all, the human merchants would definitely have some sort of motive.”

Aide-de-Camp: “Sir… I don’t think it’s a very good idea to draw so many suspicions to us humans. It might fan prejudices.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “It’s fine. It’s better to tell the whole truth. After all, we have just joined. It would be wrong not to share what we know.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “…A human?”

The Hero: “Well… Alright. I’ve had enough with this helmet.”

Clunk.

The Silver Tiger Lord: “You’re a human!”

The Hero: “Yeah, I’m a Human. Even today, I don’t completely reside in the Demon World. To borrow the words of the Fire Dragon Lord, I am a Half-Demon.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Hmm. Hahaha! I see… That hair, those eyes. That’s right! That’s right! Hahahahahahahaha! That explains your power! And your courage! That’s why!”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “Why is a Human wearing the Armour of the Demon King?”

The Hero: “In the Human World, there are those who call me ‘the Hero.’”

East Fortress Base Commander: “…And I thought you wanted to keep it hidden.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “What!? The Hero?!”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “The mortal enemy of the Demons! The World’s strongest Human!”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Hahahahaha! I see now! That would explain the strength and the magical ability!”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “…And yet I clearly recall the words of contempt the Demon King had for you in that battle.”

The Baron of Steel: “You, the Warrior of a Million Blades, single-handedly slaughtered thousands of my Metal Brethren.”

The Hero: “Yes… I’m sorry. That was war. I won’t put it nicely. It is natural for most Demons to despise me. I killed many of them after all.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “…”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “And I was beginning to wonder just what kind of Demon, with such skill and dexterity, was hiding behind that Armour…”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Hmph. Hmph. How interesting.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “And just why is the Hero wearing the Black Armour of the Demon King? That Armour was once worn by older generations of Demon Kings. It is a treasure of the Demon World, not to be worn without the express permission of the Demon King.”

The Hero: “I was told to wear it by the Demon King.”

The Queen of Fairies: “By the Demon King…?”

The Hero: “—Three years ago, I charged into the Demon King’s Castle on my own, attempting to assassinate the Demon King. We were still at bitter war with the Demons, and at the time I believed that the Humans had been cruelly invaded by Demonkind, who were trying to pillage and slaughter us for evil.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “That is wrong, the ones who attacked were the Humans.”

The Hero: “I know that now. However, that was a war. War puts all sorts of ideas in your head, as well as misunderstandings and misconceptions. In any case, that was the going propaganda in the Human World, and to me, the reason why this was happening was inconsequential. Demons were killing Humans, that was enough for me.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “…”

The Hero: “In any case, I charged into the Demon King’s Castle. I found it strange but I never even saw the shadows of the Demon Guards and soldiers I had expected to be guarding the place. Without any backup, all on my own, I advanced into the Demon King Castle. And there, I met the Demon King.”

The Baron of Steel: “The Demon King…”

The Hero: “The Demon King had come to receive me all on her own, even though she knew I was here to kill her. As you know, she’s weak. I understood that as soon as I met her. Yeah, she was far weaker than any of the Demons I had previously encountered. However, she was waiting for me all on her own, ready to receive my attack.

“We fought bitterly — but not with swords. Rather, with words and ideas, she wagered everything against me. Even now, I still do not really understand. Had I killed her there and then, what would have happened to the Demon World? What would have happened to the Human World?”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “What do you mean…?”

The Hero: “The Demon King told me that the survival of the two worlds depended on each other. We hated each otherand were at war with each other but we needed each other too.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “…”

The Hero: “The Human World suffers from epidemics and famine… From here, all you can see are the metal and salt in the Human World, but to the Humans who live there, those are not important. There is always a lack of food and people die from starvation and malnutrition. I’m sorry to put it so bluntly, but it is likely that this was the reason for the war with the Demon World.”

Aide-de-Camp: “I suppose you could put it that way…”

The Hero: “On one hand, the Demon World is a blood stained chaotic world. However, if you looked at it simply, you would see rich and fertile land. Is that not the main reason for the chaos? If just for putting an end to this infighting and anarchy, it could be seen that the war with the Humans has its uses.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “…”

The Hero: “The Demon King hated that, even though it was logical. Because it was a warped logic. And because she was a very logical person.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “That’s…”

The Hero: “However, I fear that the logic was wrong. The Demon King hated it, and for good reason, because this sort of unsustainable logic is just unfeasible. That’s why she set out to solve it at its root cause. Demons—Well, not just Demons, Humans are guilty of this too, but shouldn’t we have something stronger to believe in than the value of the mere incidence of our birth? She wanted to believe that was true.”

The Hero: “And that’s where I, as a Human, came in. She said she wanted to stop that, that she wanted to see a different future.”

Aide-de-Camp: “I… see…”

The Hero: “I am the Hero. That is what they call me. I was supposed to be the saviour of Humankind. But operating solely on that principle, attacking the Demon World the way I did, I was just a murderer. But the Demon King is different. The Demon King has sincerely thought this through. She has considered the true methods by which to save the Demon World. The real hero is… the Demon King.”

The Queen of Fairies: “To think… the Demon King was that sort of person…”

East Fortress Base Commander: “…”

Aide-de-Camp: “…”

The Hero: “As I’m sure you have noticed, we have been at war constantly, right? How should I say it, this state is completely unnatural. It’s twisted. It’ll never get us anywhere. That’s what I think she’s been trying to explain to me. The truth is that she’s way too smart, and most of the time I only understand about half of what she tells me. The ‘peace’ and ‘prosperity’ she has in mind are definitely not as simple as a playground without conflicts… It’s just that war accomplishes little but the slow attrition of our future.”

The Demon King: “Ehhhh, what unnecessary things have you been saying in my absence?”

The Chief Maid: “…”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Your Majesty.”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “Your Majesty.”

The Demon King: “I couldn’t really fall asleep…”

The Chief Maid: “Your Majesty.”

The Baron of Steel: “How are you feeling!”

The Demon King: “As you can see… I’m definitely not one for combat. Go on, laugh at me.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “No, Your Majesty.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “I do not believe anybody wants to laugh at you.”

The Demon King: “I am sorry… I am weak and that is limiting what I can do. That’s why we’re in this state. The Hero has been trying to convey my intentions but it’s best that you forget about what he said.”

The Hero: “…Demon King, but I just said a lot of good things!”

The Demon King: “It was a good try. However, the Demon World and its traditions are as old as time. These Khans bear the responsibilities of their Tribes on their shoulders, and the many Khans bear the weight of the entire Demon World. I want to give all my powers as the Demon King to the consensus of the Conference.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Wh…What?!”

The Demon King: “It is as I said.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Yes.”

The Demon King: “I will rely on the Khans.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “I understand.”

The Demon King: “Queen of Fairies.”

The Queen of Fairies: “Yes.”

The Demon King: “I want you to consider the opinions of the other minor Tribes apart from the Nine Great Tribes.”

The Queen of Fairies: “Yes.”

The Demon King: “I will give you the Black Knight to help you with this task.”

The Hero: “…Got it.”

The Demon King: “For important things, as long as you have the majority vote, that should be enough. I would prefer if we did not hesitate about these sorts of things.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “Understood.”

The Demon King: “I should return in two to three months’ time.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Demon King! Demon King!”

The Demon King: “Yes?”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “The Tribe of the Fang really had nothing to do with this! I have never considered the use of such despicable matters as assassination. This is a misunderstanding! I will take responsibility. However, do not allow the name of my Tribe to be stained. I, the Silver Tiger of the Snow Mountains, offer you my head in recompense.”

Plants sword.

The Demon King: “Silver Tiger Lord, raise your head.”

The Chief Maid: “Your Majesty, you have not recovered yet.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Your Majesty, please! Please, cut it off! We, the Tribe of the Fang are a warrior people. We are a proud people. We do not care for dishonourable and despicable things like assassination, especially not on our comrades, we strive only for victory. Rather than allow my people to face this humiliation, I am willing to die. I offer you my life, only allow my Tribe, my people, to hold their head up high!”

The Demon King: “Silver Tiger Lord. I have never suspected you nor the Tribe of the Fang.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “!”

The Demon King: “More importantly, I must apologise for something to all of you. I used you in my scheme when I faked my own death. It was incorrect of me to use involve the honourable and proud Khans in my petty trickery. — I am sorry.

“I had no way of knowing who the perpetrator was, or who his sponsor was. And had the perpetrator known I was still alive, he might have come for me again. I had no way of making sure. I had to gamble it all on this. Without the help of the Khans, I would surely not be alive today… I should have trusted my Khans more, and it is all because I did not that we are in this situation. I had hoped to do everything on my own, I was too proud… I am sorry.”

The Baron of Steel: “No, it was a masterful strategy.”

The Cyclops: “You are… no longer… a small person…”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “We await only your return.”

East Fortress Base Commander: “Leave it to us, and go and rest!”

The Queen of Fairies: “If anything happens, I will be sure to inform you.”

The Silver Tiger Lord: “Your Majesty. Your Majesty… I have awakened. My Tribe and I owe you a great debt. Until we have saved your life three times on the battlefield, I will consider this debt forever unpaid. The Tribe of the Fang, hereby pledge our lives as the shields of the Demon King.”

The Demon King: “Thank… you.” Slumps over.

The Chief Maid: “Your Majesty!”

The Baron of Steel: “She’s at her limit, get her to her chambers.”

The Chief Maid: “Yes.”

The Witch-Queen of Banshees: “She’s really been through a lot.”

Demon King is carried away.

East Fortress Base Commander: “Aide-de-Camp, write a missive. You are to return to the City of the Gate and report all of these to the Self-Governing Council.”

Aide-de-Camp: “Got it!”

The Chieftain of the Tattooed: “And now… we will have a Kurultai without the Demon King.”

The Fire Dragon Lord: “That leaves one big question unanswered. How are we to defend this land and its people? It is just as the Demon King said. It is not yet the season for us to relinquish our responsibilities. Even though I’m already at this age, I have much to teach my children.

“…That being said, the Demon King and the Hero. In the thousands of years of the history of the Demon World, I have yet to hear of anything like this. Hahahaha. I see. Well then, Hero, Demon King, I suppose I haven’t seen everything just yet.”

 

——— The Kurultai, on the Roof of the Pavilions

Teleporting flash.

Butler: “So that’s how it is.”

The Hero: “Did you hear?”

Butler: “Well, you specifically asked me to listen.”

The Hero: “If I hadn’t told you to listen in, you probably wouldn’t have known how important it was.”

Butler: “Nyohohohohoho.”

The Hero: “Sigh—”

Butler: “What is it?”

The Hero: “I really am a traitor to the Human World, aren’t I?”

Butler: “Well…”

The Hero: “I’m probably wanted for treason! Hahahaha.”

Butler: “Probably.”

The Hero: “To make matters worse, I’m an outsider even to the Demon Race, right?”

Butler: “Yep.”

The Hero: “It’s only because I’m currently the Demon King’s personal sword, the Black Knight, that I’ve managed to escape from everything, otherwise I would have been done for, right? For the Demon King, I’ve just become her personal murderer, right?!”

Butler: “Why don’t you just run away, then?”

The Hero: “That’s not the problem here.”

Butler: “Hmm.”

The Hero: “Besides, if I did that, it would feel like everything has been a waste.”

Butler: “That can’t be helped.”

The Hero: “I’m not getting any younger!”

Butler: “I’m the one who should be thinking that way.”

The Hero: “Haven’t you been surrounding yourself with girls?!”

Butler: “That would not be me.”

The Hero: “You’re taking this womanizing thing too far.”

Butler: “I don’t want to hear that from you!”

The Hero: “Well…”

Butler: “You’re really depressed, aren’t you?”

The Hero: “Well…”

Butler: “Why?”

The Hero: “…”

Butler: “…”

The Hero: “Well, I suppose I don’t dislike this.”

Butler: “Indeed.”

The Hero: “I’m an ally of the Demons. To be honest, I wouldn’t complain even if you killed me right here.”

Butler: “Is that what you want?”

The Hero: “No, not really. I want to save everyone, the world.”

Butler: “Isn’t this good, then?”

The Hero: “Eh?”

Butler: “Being the Hero. Being the Hero who works in the Demon World to save the Human World? Actually, if you thought about it, the Gate is already gone. The Demon World is just underground, so since the beginning, there were never two worlds, right? There’s only one world, so you might as well just call it the World… Hero. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the Hero’s job is to save the world, right?”

The Hero: “—Yeah. That’s true.”

Butler: “Then, no matter how much you don’t like it, you can’t lose heart. It’s fine. It’s clear that we are but a small existence, that rather than being a nuisance and a problem to society, it’s more likely that we are just blind and dumb. Sometimes, I ask myself exactly what I do aside from hurting people because it is clear I’m not doing something as stupidly noble as saving people. But I’m sure that one day, someone, will eventually understand.”

The Hero: “Old man…”

Butler: “But, isn’t life a great thing?”

The Hero: “What are you talking about?”

Butler: “The thing?”

The Hero: “Eh?”

Butler: “The thing, that bouncy-bouncy thing with mass. That elliptical shape which provokes the frantic racing of the heart?! The stubborn, panic-inducing, squishy boobies!”

The Hero: “Uhh, what?”

Butler: “Hero, have you forgotten the Way of Bounciness which I thought you? Rule number one!”

The Hero: “The bounciness is the romance of the man!”

Butler: “Rule number two!”

The Hero: “If you meet it, you must see it, if you see it, you must touch it, if you touch it, you must squeeze it!”

Butler: “Rule number three!”

The Hero: “Boobies are a work of art! Boobies are the meaning of life!”

Butler: “Correct. So what about the thing?”

The Hero: “Well… I don’t really have the opportunity…”

Butler: “Nyohoho, what a cowardly Hero.”

The Hero: “You’re laughing at me really smugly?! What’s with that?!”

Butler: “You’re too far away from me.”

The Hero: “But (while she was sleeping on my arm), I was between them (she forced it on me)…”

Butler: “What?!”

The Hero: “…I (accidentally) touched them.”

Butler: “Well, what a traitor you are. Nyohohoho!”

The Hero: “What?! You hypocrite! That’s completely different from what you said just now!!!”

Butler: “Not to the Human World, to all men!”

 

——– The Hole in the Gate

Goooooong!

Disciple Engineer: “Well, what a splendid view!”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Hahahaha! No matter how many times I come here, it always catches my eye.”

Goooooong!

Disciple Bard: “How does that massive boulder float like that? It’s unbelievable. But what’s with this echoing gong-like sound!”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Well, that’s it.”

Disciple Bard: “The gong? And it sounds like a copper Banshee gong? It sounds like it’s cracked somehow.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “It’s probably the dryads.”

Disciple Engineer: “Yaaawn.”

Disciple Bard: “You’re yawning?! The undersides of your eyes are completely black. Didn’t you sleep at all?! Really?!”

Middle Aged Merchant: “How do you feel?”

Disciple Engineer: “Ahaha. No, no, I feel great.”

Disciple Bard: “Stupid!”

Gooooooong!

Disciple Engineer: “That’s right, this is a really wonderful place, isn’t it? It’s to be expected that I would be excited, right?”

Disciple Bard: “Well, it’s brilliant, I suppose.”

Disciple Engineer: “I can probably explain it!”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Hoho, what!”

Disciple Engineer: “Firstly, that massive floating rock is probably because of the gravitational pull.”

Disciple Bard: “Gravitational?”

Gooooooong!

Disciple Engineer: “Ahh, I suppose you haven’t heard of it before. It’s the force that makes things fall to the ground. The force works in opposite directions in the Surface and Underground Worlds. Imagine that we are all living on a big, flat board. This board attracts everything towards it, so no matter which side of the board you’re on, even if the board is turning, it won’t fall off.”

Disciple Bard: “I see…”

Goooooooong!

Middle Aged Merchant: “What do you mean… a board!? So which side is up?”

Disciple Engineer: “There isn’t an up or a down, there’s just an other side.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “How strange!”

Disciple Engineer: “Well, this large hole is basically a cylindrical portal. In other words, it’s a hole on this ‘board.’ The gravitational pull is weaker inside the portal and it pulls in all directions. That’s why this rock is stuck in a state whereby it is unable to fall in any direction, and hence continues to float.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “—Hmm.”

Disciple Engineer: “That boulder is about the size of a stable, but because it’s floating, you could say that it has zero weight. It may just be a minute amount of force, but the sound of the boulder bouncing off the metal inner walls of the portal is probably creating that gong-like sound.”

Disciple Bard: “I see.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Hmm.”

Disciple Engineer: “Avoiding that rock is definitely going to be the biggest challenge in constructing a bridge over the portal.”

Disciple Bard: “You can make up a proposal first?”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Yeah, sure.”

Disciple Engineer: “Oh? Didn’t I tell you? I’ve already done up a plan and a work schedule.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Wh-wh-what?! You didn’t tell me!”

Disciple Bard: “You fool!”

Disciple Engineer: “Stop, stop. I’ve got a really hard head. Your hands are really small so you might break them.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Well, I want to see the plan, will you show it to me?”

Disciple Bard: “Grrr.”

Disciple Engineer: “Here it is. And here is the work schedule. Well the plan is really just a rough sketch, but basically the dimensions of the most important bridge will be about 12 by 30. I’m sure you can imagine how the designs of the other bridges will look like but if you want me to do up plans for each of them, it’s going to take a bit more time.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Why are there so many scrolls?”

Disciple Engineer: “If you crossed it the way you did, by stringing a rope across and carrying goods over by hand, you would be able to cross it even right now. Caravans wouldn’t be able to pass, only pedestrians, and it would be dangerous, but even normal people could cross it. That’s why the real considerations for building this bridge are safety and ease of transport.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “I see, I’m counting on you for that then.”

Disciple Engineer: “I’ve scouted the area for possible routes… Please take a look at the summary. If we followed the red line, it would take about four months and require twelve bridges. One bridge will need to be made of stone but the rest can be wooden bridges. Using this plan will require minimal labour and medium-sized caravans will be able to pass.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Mmm.”

Disciple Engineer: “The second line is a different plan. This will be a fairly large-scale project. We will have to guard against landslides at every important point along the way. I also intend to construct a wider road. Thirty bridges will be required. All of them will be made out of stone and it will take eight years.”

Disciple Bard: “That’s a very large-scale project. It sounds expensive too.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Let’s go with the four month long one first.”

Disciple Engineer: “That’s a very quick decision.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Yeah, I’m not so worried about the financial cost as I am about the time it’ll take. I want the road to be completed as soon as possible. Are you sure that the route is still passable when it’s under constructions?”

Disciple Engineer: “I’ll make sure the engineers and labourers are safely secured before they go in. That should make things better. In any case, this project is supposed to make the place safer to pass through. If an accident were to happen on the job, that wouldn’t be good for its image.”

Disciple Bard: (Whoa, this guy looks really cool right now. Heh. I’ve kinda changed my view about him.)

Middle Aged Merchant: “Thank you! It was really good to have met you.”

Disciple Engineer: “You give me too much credit.” Beams.

Middle Aged Merchant: “Shall we head to the City of the Gate, then?”

Disciple Engineer: “Yeah, let’s get going. I’ve got to find some more people for this project, there are also some finer details that I’ve got to iron out with those people.”

Middle Aged Merchant: “I see, I’ll make contact with you in due time.”

Disciple Engineer: “It’s a deal then!”

Middle Aged Merchant: “Let’s bridge the two worlds!”

——— The Cosmic Library, a Temporary Warehouse

Tosses books around.

The Mage: “…Not enough.”

Tosses books around.

The Mage: “…Not enough.”

Tosses books around.

Star Sparrow: “Mistress, mistress. If you continue this way, you’re going to collapse.”

The Mage: “But it’s not enough.”

Star Sparrow: “It is enough, you’re the strongest. Chirp, chirp, chirp! There isn’t anyone in the world who has more magical ability than you do!”

The Mage: “…”

Star Sparrow: “There you go again!”

The Mage: “…”

Star Sparrow: “When it’s difficult to explain, you just go straight to sleep.”

The Mage: “…You noisy, chirpy bird.”

Casts burning spell.

Star Sparrow: “S-Stop! I’m going to be fried! At least give me some warning! Chirp, chirp!”

The Mage: “Pleadies is the Seven Sisters. The constellation represents control. That means consolidation. Authority is the consolidation of disparate power. The prerequisite to Convergence*.”

Star Sparrow: “?”

The Mage: “Convergence is the movement towards a single point. Or how about two? ‘A good question is often better than a good answer.’ I see, I see.”

Star Sparrow: “I have no clue what you’re talking about, Mistress.”

The Mage: “…”

Star Sparrow: “Don’t fall asleep, I still don’t know what you’re talking about.”

The Mage: “…Not enough.”

Star Sparrow: “?”

Throws books around.

The Mage: “…Not enough.”

Star Sparrow: “If you continue at this rate, you’re really going to collapse! I’m sorry, but do you really have to work until you start vomiting blood or something?!”

Throws books around.

The Mage: “…I promised the Hero.”

Throws books around.

The Mage: “…I won’t give up.”

 

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Explanation

Convergence: Mathematically, this refers to the value of an equation as the value of a variable approaches infinity. In Physics, it refers to the state where light reaches a single point. In general, it refers to the movement of many things towards a single destination.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

< Chapter 1                                                                                                                           Chapter 3 >

13 thoughts on “Volume 3 Chapter 2

  1. Oh dear. When did this chapter appear? You sneaky little robo boh! ♥

    It’s the best chapter so far, and huge, damn it, huge!
    The big reveal “sniff”, finally! I’m a little disappointed that grandpaxdemonking revelation took place off screen but the rest was wonderful.

    lol so it wasn’t king douche, poor bastard, i actually pitied him when he died. Dying by your own son….i sympathized with him at the end when i read he had nothing to do with the assassination : ( Old people are wiser than the young it seems.
    Also the young douche was getting power from the death palace? Does that make him the actual demon king? In terms of power i mean.

    It’s refreshing to see someone actually stand up to the hero for once. I think it ties nicely with the whole good vs evil thing we were led to believe this novel adhered to.

    Also it’s so mature…i was expecting some gasps from the tribe leaders and accusations and such, nope. Hero talked about the right way of solving things as opposed to the easy way. I’d tell a toddler of any age to read this novel just for that lesson alone, it’s incredible. At this point i just can’t call it a light novel anymore, it’s too badass!

    15/10 for the big reveal and grandpa’s insight about boobs. The bigger they are the more protagonistic the character. You go gramps!

    • Good thing I check on the link, its not announced on the home page yet…

      “Boobies are a work of art! Boobies are the meaning of life!”

      • The problem with that theory is that everyone you mentioned….is a boy. We were talking about women. Boys can be protagonists without big breasts, i guess, if they’re not in a gender bender genre.

        The idea with big boobs and women is (and don’t quote me here, it’s my personal opinion) that you look at a woman and you see the breasts, you assume she’s the main side character if not the heroine herself. You would like to actually confirm the truth, unfortunately you never get the chance to look at her face and by correlation her expression because the breasts are ALWAYS in your way. Poor you.

  2. Wow, this volume is getting more serious by every chapter, with the Hero finally meeting someone who can match his prowess.

    Also there were some editing mistakes –

    1. “Blot out the son with arrows!”

    It should be ‘sun’ instead of ‘son’

    2.Young Engineer: “Firstly, that massive floating rock, is probably because of the gravitational pull.”

    Young Engineer: “Gravitational?

    It should be Young Bard i think who asks the question “Gravitational?”

  3. Ok, at this point I’m starting to seriously think (and probably I’m not the oonly one) that the Mage is actually the current Incarnation of the Spirit of Light. This are the clues to my reasoning.

    1-. Around Gate City are the temples of 9 gods, including the Demon God of Light
    2-. The Pope says the remains of the spirit of light are at the holy land of Gate City, that’s his reason to try to conquer it.

    From 1 & 2 I infer that the Demon God of Light should be the Spirit of Light, just taking different names in different places, instead of being different deities with the same properties. I’ll call this A.

    3-. The Mage says she’s an incomplete backup of something
    4-. She also goes to visit an unknown temple at Gate City to try to get more complete

    From 3 & 4 you can Infer she has a strong relation with one of the Demon Gods. Her being a demon has no special meaning whatsoever, just as the Maid Chief joined the clan at some point, she could have done the same and originally be another thing altogether. I’ll call this B

    This ones are kind of weak, but not that bad.

    5-. The mage has some kind of obsession with the Hero. It’s not just some simple romantic interest, she bets on him as the saviour who will stop centuries of bad dreams (from what she has seen, probably) and tries to help him in all she can,
    6-. The hero says he has a special relationship with the Spirit of Light, something like friendship. But you can’t be friends with something that died and dissapeared, you should at least be able to converse with it. But the Pope seeks the remains of the Spirit, so it should have suffered some kind of disabling damage for it to leave remains. From this, we can also say that the Hero can speak with the Spirit but the Pope cannot, sinced it should not be telling the Hero one thing and the opposite to the Pope.

    From A & 6 I infer that in the past something caused the Spirit/God of Light to “die”. There are hints about a catastrophe around Gate City a long time ago (those unnaturally cut roads, for example) that also support this point
    From 5 & B I infer that the deity that the Mage has strong ties with should be one close to the Hero, and being his closest one the Spirit of Lights, that’s also the strongest bet.

    And from all of this my theory is simply that the Mage is something the Spirit of Light left behind when it “died”, most probably a part of itself, that being an avatar, a copy, a backup or whatever you would prefer to call it. And the reason it’s associating with the saviour of the world is to fullfill her duty as a benevolent God, bring peace, save the world and all of that.

    Either that or she’s Yuki Nagato who took a wrong turn at Albuquerque LOL

    • I agree with this. The pope part is a little far fetched though, religious figures have been hearing divine voices since the dawn of mankind and well all know it was actually just them releasing gas.

      The spirit NEVER talked to that bastard.

      • Yeah, that’s what I meant, The Pope might be hearing something/somebody or it could be simply a lie, but that does not even matter for this (although we get another interesting plot twist if he’s hearing the voice of another Demon God). The important part is the Pope is not the one who the Spirit converses with, but the Hero.

  4. Pingback: Chapters Completed in Recent Weeks | NanoDesu Light Novel Translations

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