The Lazy King Chapter 8: Melancholia
Part 1: I Met a Single Hero
This is perhaps the oldest memory I have.
Of when I hadn’t even become a Demon Lord, and was just a bit of a Lazy Demon.
I met a single Hero. She was a Hero with lovely silver hair, and her strength… looking back now, I can say she wasn’t particularly strong. Anyways, she had transparent courage like a diamond, and her eyes held a strong will honed like a blade. Including my past life, she was the most beautiful thing I gazed upon.
Serge of the Silver Blue. That was the Hero’s name.
Just a little bit stronger than others, just a little bit talented, and incidentally, a little bit courageous. The name of a girl with nothing but that to her name.
The name of a warrior, who, even though it was the most she could do to defeat Demons of the lowest rank, she held reckless dreams, and descended into the Demon World by her lonesome self.
Compared to Humans, the Demon World’s Demons are transcendentally strong.
Therefore, a teenage girl challenging the Demon World was, without any discussion, simply foolish, and it’s probable that her luck was exceedingly good for me to have been the first one she met. I won’t move.
My fight with Serge was the height of violence.
Against me, who simply remained limp and sprawled out, the aloof Hero continued to swing her Holy Sword alone.
Her will, and spirit were sufficient in themselves, but the difference in power was clear as day. Those attacks were only barely able to scratch me, and those wounds instantly disappeared. I didn’t have any Skills that could kill Serge, nor did I have the will, and Serge’s power was only barely able to overcome my VIT.
It was a foolish repetition of the same act over and over again, a death match that would never end. Perhaps it wasn’t something that could even be called a battle. If I had to say, I had the advantage, but even with it, I lacked the means to issue a decisive blow.
Even so, the girl who didn’t take a step back even after encountering a situation that would go on for eternity’s way of life was definitely that of a Hero, and it made me recall that this was indeed another world.
And at the same time, I thought. If I worked hard enough that I oozed blood, if I trained my heart out, if I became strong, I could defeat this Hero.
That might be fine for me.
Demon Lords are ones who eventually have to subjugate Heroes. Even for one who rarely played any games in my past life, I at least knew that. For the Demon Lord, that was the Happy Ending. It’s not like I’m living here because I like it. It’s just because I hate death that I continue to live on…
… But even that, if it’s for this Hero’s sake, I thought I could endure it.
Our reunion happened five years later. I had counted the days, so I remember it clearly.
Serge had grown.
From a girl who, while strong for a human, compared to Demons, wasn’t particularly strong; who couldn’t kill a single Demon of Sloth, and where the only thing that excelled in her was her courage, to one who, could take on a General Class Demon who was born, raised and trained in this great warring era one on one. Top Class within all of humanity… their supreme blade.
In game terms, perhaps she was a broken character.
No, that would be an insult to her. I have no idea just how much training she put in. Enough to make her spit up blood, where if a constantly enervated individual like me were to undertake it, I would give in in a few minutes. There’s no doubt she repeated a training like that. In those five years, how many adventures has she had? For someone who did nothing but sleep like me, I had no ways of knowing.
What I know is but two things. Two simple truths.
She had become a Hero who could evenly match blows with a General Class Demon.
And I had become a Demon Lord.
This age, this world is cruel, fleeting, and useless.
The Demon World obeys the laws of the jungle. My Sloth had surpassed Serge’s effort. That is all.
The fighting spirit Serge devoted her life to, the blade that was once able to deliver the slightest of scratches to me, couldn’t even cut a strand of my hair by the time we met again. An insurmountable gap had been born between us.
It’s not always certain that hard work will be rewarded.
That miserable and desolate law from my past life applied to this world as well.
This is something I can only say after having seen the result.
Even though Serge could barely scratch me in the first match, she didn’t feel she had to retreat. That as long as she could injure me in the slightest, it was her duty to kill me. That was her first, and last chance. And as she was a human, she was unable to escape the shackles of her lifespan. She had lost that opportunity for all eternity.
She shed tears as she held her sword aloft. That Hero’s eyes were, just as when we first met, beautiful, and ephemeral, and looking at the edge of her blade that sparkled like a shooting star, I became sleepy, and dozed off.
When I awoke, what entered my eyes was the form of a kneeling Hero with large tears streaming down her face.
The Holy Sword had lost its light, and having been reduced to a normal hunk of iron, it had been casually pierced into the ground.
There wasn’t a single wound on Serge. That’s obvious. It’s because I haven’t laid a single finger on her. But the Hero who would always fight on, no matter what serious injuries she suffered, even if an arm or a leg were blown off, had been reduced to a sobbing little girl.
Not a fragment of fighting spirit remains in her hollow eyes.
It was as if I had broken something within her.
From the moment I first met her, what I felt probably was love. Probably. I don’t remember it anymore, but looking back, I think it might have been something like that.
However, in the end, I cannot remember what became of that Hero. All I know is that the exploits of the one called the overworld’s shining star of hope, Serge of the Silver Blue came to an end that day.
… The King of Depravity.
It had always been strange.
It was always one of the questions I had from the time I reincarnated.
Why do the other demons have that fiery black glint in their souls? Why do they rage and seek and despise and violate and eat and envy?
Why can’t they just quietly sleep?
If they want power as a Demon… just sleeping would be more than enough.
Why do they try so hard to be active?
A Demon’s body, if it does nothing but sleep, unlike the humans who can live a hundred years at most, can live hundreds and thousands and millions of years. An endless time, it seems.
I realized that that was a mistake a long time later.
An uncountable number of years passed. I put a countless number of Demons, Heroes and even Angels to sleep, and eventually, someone started calling me some useless name like the『King of Depravity』. When I had become widely acknowledged, I finally realized it.
Ah, this is their nature.
To them, raging, and seeking, and despising, and violating, and envying is their very reason for living, and the validation for their life.
What a useless talk. It’s not that they can’t sleep. They can’t bring themselves to stay sleeping. In order to refine their souls.
To summarize, our resolve was different, and for the Demon Lord of Sloth who simply lived without any meaning, it was likely something he would never be able to understand in his entire overly-long life.
I was never thinking of anything. Power never really mattered. I never had any plans to prove my existence.
From the time I lived in peaceful Japan, I barely had any desire. No hobbies. In the space left by my lack of purpose, sleep was the only thing that could fill my heart.
Apparently, this isn’t an uncommon story for youths living in modern society. If they were to be reincarnated into this world, they might all end up as Sloth Demons like me.
I never had a goal. If you forced me to say it, then Sloth itself was my goal, and compared to the Demons who were longing for the power that lay at the end of their desires, that is probably the reason I was able to become a Demon Lord more quickly.
A Boring story.
A world where idleness turns into hard work.
To me, who did nothing but sleep… to me, who did nothing but sleep meaninglessly, Demons and Humans and Angels got on their knees. Within them, there were even other Demons of Sloth.
Depravity? Wrong. To me, this is just my life style.
I’m one who will do what I must when the time comes. It’s just that that time never came for me.
Just by closing my eyes, I could gradually feel my own power increasing. I didn’t care.
The skills I could use, the things I could do gradually increased. Proportionally, the scope of my activities gradually narrowed. With the power of my Skills, I didn’t need to eat or use the restroom. Even breathing became unnecessary. But I didn’t care about that either.
… Please, just let me sleep.
A break of a week can put your sense of time in a mess. At the very least, that’s how it was for me.
A week became a day, and I started to feel them as seconds. But I didn’t need time. Only years started passing. The enemies and allies around me change.
I wasn’t counting, but probably after around eighty years had passed.
When even sleeping started to feel like a pain, I noticed. No, perhaps it’s something new I obtained at that time.
A power to put myself to sleep.
Just as the Sloth Skill Tree had awakened in me, like an adjoined tree of interlocking branches, a single new Skill Line.
Of Sloth that governs cold despair, and anxiety, a Subtree.
And once more, the meaningless loser was able to lie around like garbage.
Where effort and training and even emotions held no meaning, a world covered in pure darkness.
It was, like a thin layer of ice, cold, fleeting, and beautiful.
Part 2: I’m Not Satisfied With This World Yet
“It’s really… depressing.”
Making a small sound, the air loses its heat and freezes.
It’s cold. Nothing but cold. As if from the depths of my body, the depths of my heart, heat was stolen away.
But at the same time, Sloth’s cold resistance isn’t one that can be breached by temperature of this level.
It was a lovely silver world.
Everything was white and frozen solid, and the air that had lost any speck of dust was as serene as a high mountain peak.
Before my eyes, a man had completely frozen.
A black-haired, tall man. Even from over his clothes, I could clearly see his trained body and magic. In his eyes that had been suspended in an open state, what was reflected was resignation and anxiety, and at the same time, strong delight. His mouth had curved into a smile.
I extend my legs from the armchair, and gently stand up. From my feet, I feel a piercing cold like never before, but I grit my teeth, and endure it.
My power of Sloth has declined. Sloth doesn’t even permit standing.
It’s not that I don’t stand up. I can’t stand. I can’t move. Such is the curse of Sloth.
But to someone like me who doesn’t care about power, I don’t care about that concept either.
Perhaps because the origin of my power has shifted to Melancholia, my heart was simply heavy.
I gently put my hand on the man’s solid expression.
It’s a familiar face. He’s a man who’s attached himself to me since times long passed. I don’t remember his name, but his appearance had been firmly etched into my mind.
“… Are you satisfied yet…”
With a cracking sound, through my finger, the power from the right of my chest, from the second Soul Core that manifested upon me unlocking Melancholia expanded.
Around the man whose figure had been frozen, water circles, and he’s encased in a block of ice.
It’s a 『Melancholia』 Skill to birth a coffin of ice.
I walk past the man who had completely become a pillar of ice.
I guess it’s been around a hundred years since my birth, and never have I properly fought or even trained.
Even so, why is it that in this world where strength is everything, I have yet to face a single loss?
I like sleeping.
I like lying on top of the bed without any purpose, and wasting time on nothingness.
Being able to eat without doing anything is wonderful, and I’m relatively pleased that the cleaning gets done without me.
It was something I could never get my hands on back when I was living in Japan.
Even so, I relatively like the thing called hard work. No, more than like, I believed in it.
I’m not going to do it though.
Even so, I can believe in whatever I want, right?
“What a worthless world… this Demon World…”
More so than the Demon World, this entire world is worthless.
This world is harsh and cruel.
Earth had its fair share of cruelties, but this Demon World is much more brutal.
I just didn’t pay mind to it.
No, I didn’t forgive it.
That Serge, who repeated severe training and sharpened her fangs to take down a Demon Lord was defeated by a man who never did anything.
My broken Sloth Soul Core leisurely restores itself. In proportion to that, my head got heavier.
It’s depressing. It’s just depressing.
The cold darkness that had piled up in the depths of my heart.
That feeling I occasionally felt even while I was sleeping was probably the reason behind me unlocking Melancholia. In the past, I always felt depressed before stepping out to go to work or to school, so perhaps that could have been the cause, but I have no means of confirming that, and I don’t care.
My vision grows darker.
I pass through the door that had been frozen open.
The floor that had been lightly dusted with frost was instantly covered in ice. With a crunching sound below me, I ran down the corridor.
My perception that extended over my entire territory was extremely troublesome, and no matter how much time passes, I’ll never get used to it.
Because of my muddy stream of emotions, I slumped with my arm against the wall. Centered around the point I touched, a white power expands. Without a single sound, everything is covered in perpetually constant ice.
In the past, when I first reincarnated into this world, there was one who taught me about Skills.
If you’ll let me be honest for a moment, I didn’t know what they meant.
Of the powers Demons possessed, there were ones that, of Skills themselves, they stole and copied and nullified and ate and annihilated, and other incomprehensible stuff, it seems. There were unfathomable powers with which in one hit, everything would be over. It was too much.
I thought it was impossible.
Nonsense. I don’t want to die yet.
And there shouldn’t be anyone out there that wants to. I mean, it’s not like the world of hell is certain to be easier than the one we live in.
Those feelings were ones I held in my previous life, at least up to the point I died, and even after having lived a long life as a Demon, they haven’t changed a bit.
And so, I didn’t lose. And so, I’m still alive. Without thinking anything, I took down those incomprehensible powers.
Separated from the flow of time, I shut myself in with nothing but the Acedia Card to protect my body, and the one that would indiscriminately suspend my functioning and bring me into that dark world, the Melancholia Card.
I’ve only ever wished one thing from those two trump cards.
… Please, just let me sleep. In silence. In sloth.
“Wha… Leigie…sama? What… is…”
The one who appeared around the corner was the Ira Demon. Lize Bloodcross.
She’s probably the greatest anti-thesis to my being. An attribute that scatters shining flames.
One incompatible with me, who likes to hide away in damp and dark places.
“Why… Leigie-sama is… walking…”
“There… are even times when I want to walk.”
Even like this, I generally commuted in the swaying train to work every day.
It’s stranger to… think I can’t stand. In the first place, it’s common sense that all Demons have basic physical abilities surpassing humans, so when the human me could walk, there’s no way the Demon me would be unable to.
Her body is cloaked in an armor of flame.
She’s using her mysterious Wrath Powers to stand against this freezing land.
I turn my gaze to the left. A golden-haired Demon who’s trying to stay hidden in the shadows.
Step by step, I quietly move my legs forward.
We’re about thirty centimeters apart. In a trance-like state, Lize continued to look at me.
“Wai… Lize-san! It’s danger…”
She’s thrust away, and my hand touches air.
But in her place, my hand brushes the gold-haired Demon’s hair.
“Why are… moving… it’s a fraud… kusu kus…”
In an instant, that girl’s time stopped.
With eyes that were about to burst into tears, and warped lips as if she was forcing herself to laugh.
“… I see.”
Even me, based on how I feel… there are even times I think about going out for a stroll.
Is that a fraud? Why a fraud?
Who out there decided that it’s no good for Demons of Sloth to move?
Lize hurriedly runs up to the frozen Demon.
“Hiero!? Leigie-sama w-why… to an ally…”
Why? For what reason? That’s simple.
“Because I want to sleep peacefully.”
“Hah!? Eh? You want… to sleep?”
“… Also, this… I can’t actually control it.”
“Eh? What an annoying…”
My outstretched hand grazed Lize’s shoulder.
Her flames go out in an instant, and like that, she ceases.
With an idiotic expression unthinkable for one who governed Wrath, she doesn’t move anymore.
And even if it’s something I brought about myself, I feel endless sorrow and emptiness. At the same time, I feel the Melancholy Tree advancing onwards.
Just how fleeting is this world…
Just how fragile is it…
Is that the very reason why the Melancholy Tree within me slowly continues to advance?
An unsightly emotion. For me who lived in nothing but depravity, I should have no right to despair for the world.
In some quiet place, I just want to be alone.
Within this fortress, there are no longer any Demons that can move. But even the icy pillars of their existences are annoying.
Right… I’ll climb the tower.
The highest place in this castle.
In the past, someone once carried me to its top. Perhaps about ten years ago?
The uninterrupted sight of the black fortress expanding to a bright red horizon in the distance.
If I were to look at it now, I’m certain I would experience a sentimental feeling.
Part 3: Something Good will Definitely Happen Tomorrow
For some reason, tears came out.
Before something that truly moves them, can people truly do nothing but let the tears flow out?
Even those tears turn to ice the moment they touch my skin, and fall to the ground in beads.
Clad over the black earth, a ridiculously large structure. Limitlessly sturdy, boorish and glass smooth stones were stacked up to make the fortress, and even for me who hasn’t the slightest familiarity with architecture, I can see it wasn’t built in a matter of a few years.
Differing to what I had become accustom to on Earth, the Demon World’s pale blue moon, and red sky were frighteningly captivating, and simply beautiful.
As if to clearly speak that this was a Fantasy World, and without any discussion, I knew it spoke the truth.
The top of the tower was constructed so that from it, you could look out in all directions.
The large four glass windows installed in a circle looked down upon the ground, but for me, one window was more than enough.
Upon being exposed to my sigh, the window’s glass cracks without a sound.
The fortress without the presence of a single lifeform was cruelly quiet, and cruelly empty.
White grains start falling from the sky.
Even if I didn’t reach out to catch one in my hand, I understood. There is no snow in the Demon World.
So for me, it was my first snow in several decades.
Looking at it like this, I’m forced to remember.
“I want to get under a kotatsu…”
AS if in correspondence with my feelings, the glass froze over, and shattered into even smaller pieces. The snow starts falling harder, and a snowstorm overtakes the castle.
… It’s not like I’m wishing for any of this, you know.
Snow falls. The Sloth Core that should have been crushed into small pieces has mostly recovered.
For someone like me who possesses Sloth Skills, something like the coldness of snow isn’t enough to affect me. But perhaps the fact that a cold sensation comes over me when I touch it is due to my memories from back on Earth.
The moment I thought that, the momentum of the snow increased further. Gray and ominous clouds swirl in the sky, and a vast number of beads of ice knock against the ground. From here, I can’t even see over the Fortress anymore.
And that was sorrowful.
As I thought that, the clouds become heavier, and the gray completely turns to black. As if a blackout had descended, the world was wrapped in darkness.
… And of that, I simply felt extreme sorrow.
Piercing cold wind circles.
The Melancholia Tree… was the guy who created this world a complete idiot? This is an infinite loop, isn’t it?
No matter how you look at it, this isn’t a desire, or a longing, or anything…
The power of Sloth starts to mix in with Melancholy.
Well, that’s yet another thing I don’t care about.
All things in creation are equally a pain, and all action holds no meaning.
Perhaps because it was the first time I had walked on my own feet in a while, my legs felt heavy.
I sat down on the spot.
Drowsiness soon came over me. It was, continuing on from when I was a human, my greatest companion.
My heart is heavy. My eyelids are heavy.
When I opened my mouth, a small voice leaked out.
“… I’m becoming quite sleepy…”
Returning to the bed is a pain. In the first place, a bed sealed in ice is nothing but hard.
I lied down, and took a big yawn.
There is neither a trace of movement, nor a presence anywhere. For the time being, I should be able to sleep at ease.
I folded my arms, and closed my eyes.
The black darkness I had become accustom to. If I may pray, then I hope that by the time I open my eyes once more, peace and repose will have fallen onto the Demon World.
AS those noble and pure intentions filled my chest, I heard a strange voice.
“… Without any interest for anything in creation, the Lord of Depravity who merely lies at the top… is it? Leigie’s past redemption, is he not?”
“Yes. But… I wonder why it is that this man never turns Friendly Fire off…”
“It’s exactly because he is Sloth, Lize. I’ll… talk with Leigie for a little. You go check the others. If you find anyone still sealed in ice, free them. With your Ira!”
“… Yes, understood.”
Of the two powers, the smaller one separated away.
But that doesn’t matter. What has captured my senses isn’t the large presence before me, but the the countless number of ones appearing within the fortress.
Simply annoying presences.
What suddenly appeared before me as if it had abruptly come into being was definitely one I had completely frozen.
At some point… no, that doesn’t matter either. It matters not when it happened.
… Yeah, it’s nothing but depressing.
Why is it that whenever I try to sleep, everything tries to get in my way?
Everything should be in a distant hell, in the depths of a silent ice.
I forcefully open my heavy eyelids.
I was shocked. I slowly observed the surroundings.
… This can’t be…
“… It’s… morning…?”
When I closed my eyes, it was definitely night. At the very least, it wasn’t a time of day where it could have become morning in the next few minutes. That didn’t change from that world to this one. A shared system.
For night and day to flip instantly, someone able to accomplish such an absurd act shouldn’t exist in this vast Demon World.
“… I see, so even before me, you can take on such an attitude…”
… Great Demon King, Kanon.
The strongest Demon Lord who governs Wrath and destruction.
With my memory space that falls a bit short when compared to humanity, it’s one of the few names I remember.
I turned onto my back, and looked up at her shadow.
“Could it be… you…”
“… Ku… you haven’t changed in the slightest, Leigie. Even when we’re meeting for the first in a long time… Well, fine. So be it. Right, I was the one who liberated the world you sealed.”
“… By turning night to day!? … when did you get that sort of…”
What a dreadful Skill…
While I’ll sleep regardless of whether it be night or day, if I had to say, I’m a night person. It’s nothing but my natural enemy.
I cover my eyes with my arm to intercept the sun’s light.
“W-wait. What are you even talking about?”
With my arm not being enough to block it all, I rolled my body to the wall, and closed my eyes again.
Now I can finally take a rest.
… No, if you think about it calmly, I’ve been doing just that for quite a while…
“No, it’s nothing…”
“Nonono, as if it could be nothing! Ku why is it that Leigie-niisama’s always like this!”
The room temperature rises all at once.
It’s just a bit hot. To get as much shade as possible, I pressed my body to the wall.
Kanon annoyingly lowered her staff onto the ground, letting out quite a nostalgic sound.
“… And what business do you have… Kanon of Ruin?”
The first response that came to my question was the sound of the floor breaking.
Just what is getting this girl so angry…
“What business… you say? Leigie, you… do you even understand what it is you’ve done?”
I’m Sloth. There’s no way I would do anything.
“Ku… ah, fine. Fine. Leigie. That’s just the sort of man you are. Let me give you a special explanation of just what it is you’ve perpetuated.”
“No, I’m not particularly interested.”
“Just shut up and listen!”
Countless fist-sized balls of fire impact my body. I don’t take any damage.
For some reason, I’ve been attacked by Demons of Wrath quite frequently, so of the many resistances I have, my resistance to flame is the greatest.
“Listen, Leigie-niisama. You… You completely froze over the entire territory you had been granted! … In perpetual ice that would never melt by natural means.”
“… I see.”
My sadness, my despair is higher than mountains, wider than the sky, and deeper than the oceans.
That’s all it means.
Well, for the time being, I’ll apologize.
“It wasn’t on purpose, please forgive me.”
“… Forgive!? How many years did you think it takes to thaw frozen soil?”
There’s no way I would know something like that.
Thinking about it was pointless, so I gave up, and rolled around. I have no pillow to hold, so my arms are feeling exceedingly lonely.
Kanon’s staff pierced the cuff of my clothing. I kept rolling back and forth regardless, so the edge of my shirt was ripped.
I blankly looked up at the Great Demon King.
Flaming crimson hair, and deep red eyes like pigeon’s blood. The King of Destruction.
Seriously, just what did she come here for?
“… Be quiet. Talking to you drains my energy.”
“… Were you my sister?”
“!? … Ah!”
Kanon’s face is dyed bright red. I feel Wrath from her.
I shouldn’t have any siblings. Now and in the past.
… No, could it be I’ve just forgotten them? Come to think of it, perhaps they existed.
“L-Leigie… what you’re thinking right now is probably wrong.”
“… I see.”
Then why am I a niisama?
I closed my eyes, and started to think, but it became a pain, so I gave up. That doesn’t really matter.
Call me whatever you like.
Kanon awkwardly clears her throat, and bends her hips to match my eyelevel.
“Leigie, I came to clean up after you. No, in the first place, I came because of a report that Heard was going to dispose of your army’s generals, but… finding the entire territory covered in ice was unexpected…”
It’s more unexpected to me that you personally came for such a trivial reason.
Is the Great Demon King really just bored? Please share your good fortune with me.
“Why did you seal your territory, the Castle of Shadows, your people in ice? Why did Leigie-niisama, who left everything to Heard Lauder, and never actively moved perpetuate something like this at this point in time?”
Anything and everything doesn’t matter. Talking is a pain.
But if you force me to say it, what sealed them may have been me, but it wasn’t me.
The only ones I actively froze were Lize, and that gold-head, and that single man who’s served me since times long past.
The rest of them… simply received the side-effects of Melancholia.
They were merely frozen by that. They couldn’t withstand the very fact that I existed there.
I don’t care about the surroundings, but how sad of a truth it must be.
“Leigie-niisama, I’ve heard that Father was in your care in the past. Father’s father as well, and even the father before that were in your care. I myself, when I was a child, I’m aware that you often looked after me. So if possible, I don’t want to have to dispose of you.”
“Your welc… w-wrong. I wasn’t looking for your thanks! The army is yours, niisama, and it’s not like I came to ask you what you would do after losing your generals or anything. The freezing, and the skill you used that I have no recollection of, right now, that doesn’t really matter. All I want to ask is but one, a single simple question…”
Kanon has a serious expression as she looks into my eyes. As if the answer was lying somewhere deep inside of them.
But that’s probably a mistake. I’m sure my eyes are as empty as ever. Looking for it is a waste of time.
“Niisama… do you plan on rebelling against me, against Kanon?”
Those words triggered a vivid flashback from the depths of my memory.
Kanon of Ruin.
One who was able to injure me, a rare Demon Lord of Wrath specializing in attack power.
Regardless of enemy or ally, all that came into contact with her Wrath were reduced to ash; the King of Destruction.
And that was something from quite a while ago. Her current power should be greater than it was back then.
Perhaps even great enough to pierce through my Sloth.
What… a pain.
I’m in despair.
Kanon hurriedly lifts her face.
On her beautiful Glossy hair, and her ruby-like eyes, and everything else, a thin layer of frost descended.
“Could it be… you really plan on opposing me!?”
Flames dance, and cover her figure. Through the flickering crimson flames, I see an expression of shock.
The frost instantly melts and disappears. Flames to melt the ice. Meaning this was what melted the ice on this land, is it?
Kanon’s eyebrows lift for a moment, before going back down. She spoke, as if to reassure herself.
“No… that’s wrong. There’s no way a Lord of Sloth would ever do something so troublesome… right, of all things, niisama wouldn’t do anything that required so much activity.”
That train of thought is strange. Why does everyone keep saying its so strange for Sloth to move.
That’s wrong. The reason I don’t move is, considering the merits of moving, and the merits of not, the latter offers a higher strategic advantage.
And so, if an enemy comes, I’ll fight, and it ends up that moving will get rid of troublesome things easier, I will move. In Tokyo, I would die if I didn’t work, so I worked. To summarize, everything… depends on the situation.
It seems that among Sloth Demons, there are many who will quietly let themselves get destroyed.
Could it be that they’re idiots? Resist, man. Are you guys supposed to be shellfish or something?
No, even a shellfish would offer some resistance.
In particular, Melancholia offers some offensive power to the defensive Acedia. As if to offer that melancholy, that dark depression onto others. It covers Sloth’s weak points quite nicely.
I reach out my hand, and touch Kanon’s.
On that gesture, Kanon’s movements stopped.
… Just like this.
Kanon raises a stupid sound, before being sealed in a coffin of ice in the same position she was in.
Her expression was somewhat innocent, and it’s hard to think of her as the Great Demon Lord, the recipient of everyone’s awe.
Even if you call her the Great Demon King, she’s only at this level.
And of that, I felt sorrow. I let out a sigh.
Just what is to become of this world.
“Hah… how depressing…”
“Wai… W-what the hell are you doing! K-kanon-sama!?”
Lize, who had just come through the door, frantically runs over to the sealed Kanon.
She touched the transparent high-quality ice that enclosed the suspended Great Demon King. Her cramped face looked down on me.
“Leigie… of Sloth. Like hell… this is a fraud. Even the one who dominates destruction and flames, Kanon-sama was… even if it was a surprise attack, in a single blow!? Lord of Sloth, why is it that you continue to resign yourself to Rank Three!!?”
I don’t want status. I don’t plan on becoming some Great Demon King, and I don’t need the world. If I can continue living without it, then I don’t even need power.
… I merely ask for a rest deeper than all.
My mood lowers. Nothing matters at all.
It was Sloth along with Melancholy. Nihility is truth, and depression.
That is the longings that I govern.
Depravity and resignation, escape and decay, suspension and stagnation, inertia and dejection.
The Melancholy Soul Core that had grown within me some day or another covers my body in a chilling, cold power.
Something like this has never happened before. Is it because my Sloth has grown dim, or that they’re out of balance? Well, that is yet another thing that doesn’t matter.
What’s done is done. The power that had flowed out once, as if the dam had been broken, sinks everything into a hell of depression.
Answering to my feelings, ice spreads out, and the fortress Kanon thawed was iced over once more. The moisture solidifies, and the air turns cold.
The Flames of Wrath Lize had hurriedly let out wrap around my body, but without being able to break through my Sloth’s resistance, they disappear without giving me a single wound.
In this annoying world, at least a little peace and quiet.
I manifest a fist-sized ball of white light on the palm of my hand.
It’s a Skill I’m using for the first time, but I can understand. The power coming from it is incomparable to before. Melancholy Skills can’t even save the User from being part of their target.
I guess even I’ll be locked in Ice that will never melt. But I won’t die from it. Perhaps that’s fine, in and of itself.
Oh world, fall into depraved suspension.
The ball of light lets off a silvery flash as it’s deployed.
Now sleep if you will.
Lize, who tried to deploy flames, was sucked in by the power, and frozen in the same posture.
The silver arrows pouring out from the rising ball of light spread over the world like shooting stars. Its scope far surpasses the extent of my Zone.
Wherever the arrow sticks into, the cold air deployed around it automatically takes control of the area without a sound, and changes it into a white world.
It didn’t take long for all moving things to have disappeared from the world.
It’s not like I can perceive the outside of my Zone, though, but its influence should extend beyond it.
The only thing I didn’t expect was…
“… So my Sloth’s resistance is the stronger of the two…”
… In a world where all creation was put to sleep equally, I was the only one who didn’t experience the effects.
Well, so be it.
If that’s the case, then I’ll just sleep normally.
Alone, in solitude, I’ll sleep quietly.
When I was about to close my eyes, I noticed.
It seems the world won’t let me sleep so easily.
“… I. Get. It… I got it, I understand, niisama. Your goal is…”
The ice that Kanon was locked in had silently melted. The Great Demon King’s slim figure was wrapped in a thin layer of high heat. It’s a heat that even exceeds my Melancholy.
But in her eyes, there’s no anger. Kanon’s Wrath is only ever pointed at enemies.
Does she not see me as an enemy yet? Well, that’s true. I have no enemies.
… No allies either.
To escape from reality, I turn my face away.
But what a pain.
She broke it. The ice seal.
So she can break it by herself. My power.
As I thought, Wrath is the power to deal with Sloth and Melancholy. I myself have no enemies, but Wrath can be called the natural enemy of the Sins that I govern, I guess.
“Niisama… you just want to sleep, right?”
Those were eyes filled with pity. A transparent voice.
Nothing really matters.
And her niisama, niisama is getting annoying. She has no intentions of healing that habit, does she.
“T-that doesn’t matter right now, does it!? Ah, dammit. Why is it that after all this, I don’t feel any hostility or killing intent from him!? Niisama always has to… dull my Ira.”
“… I see.”
If it really feels that way to you, then it’s simply because I have no hostility or killing intent.
Up until now, I have never killed another of my own distinct will. Probably, it should be like that.
I mean, in order to spend days in Sloth, I don’t need to kill others.
Having completely recovered, Kanon stabbed her staff into the ground. Her body has no injuries.
And after hesitating for a moment, she made an announcement with a clear voice.
Her tone held a strong will in it. Just like the Flames of Wrath she governed, with bright energy, power on the level that I could understand why she was the Great Demon King.
And miraculously, it was what Serge possessed, long ago.
“… Leigie of the Slaughterdolls… As the Great Demon King, I hereby declare. You are a failure as a Demon Lord. Even if you may be a Demon, doing something as outrageous as freezing over your own land, and covering it in ice and snow is something difficult to forgive.”
“… I see.”
“As punishment… niisama’s rank will be demoted to the very lowest.”
“… I see.”
“Your land will also be confiscated. All you’ll keep is this Castle of Shadows.”
“… I see.”
From the start, that was all unnecessary to me. I don’t have any particular feelings for it.
Ranking and place, go give it to someone worthy who actually wants it.
Without a sound, golden flames flow out of her staff. It isn’t hot. But the Fortress’s ice melts, and it touches all the earth as it expands. It’s a volume of power worthy of the Great Demon King. I feel power equal to or exceeding the Demon Lord I fought not too long ago.
In a voice tinged with fatigue, but without letting it spread to her expression, Kanon continued on.
“The seized land will go to the new Demon Lord, Heard Lauder… The Prideful Kaiser… I thought it wouldn’t be strange if he became a Demon Lord at any moment, but it sure took a while. That’s just how strong he built up his 『Superbia』, I guess…”
Exactly. That’s exactly how it should be. Not that I really know.
He’s a Demon that could keep up with me over the years. There’s no doubt his way of life is a cut above other Demons.
“So just sleep in silence, Lord of Sloth.”
I’ll do just that.
And there, I quietly closed my eyes. Within my sinking conscious, it felt like I heard the Great Demon King’s Voice…
… Something good will definitely happen tomorrow.
Part 4: Iyo
And once more, my daily life continued.
“Leigie-sama, it’s time for your meal.”
I eat the food Lorna made, and let her clean the room.
Once the room has been cleaned, she makes the bed, and in that time, I leisurely doze off in the armchair.
My soul is at peace, and I barely have any stress.
Without a need to work, even the enemies that had invaded at regular intervals stopped coming. It sure is nice.
“Eh? Hya…? L-Leigie-sama… this is…”
But today, Lorna raises a rare scream.
She had cleared away the covers, and her facial expression had become stiff. Her body had solidified in that position.
No, this isn’t my Melancholy at work.
On the bed was a small girl. Stark naked at that.
Embracing my pillow, she slept with a peaceful expression.
I don’t know her name.
“W-why is Medea… inside Leigie-sama’s bed…”
“… No idea.”
No, I have a vague recollection of her coming in, but I didn’t have any interest, so I let her be.
It’s not like she was going to harm me, or do anything, and the bed is more than large enough. I had no reason to refuse. No wait, it was just a pain.
I don’t know the reason, but just go wherever you want.
“Medea? Medea!? Wai… Wake up!!”
Being shaken left and right, the female Demon named Medea painstakingly opened her eyes.
Her eyes were quite clouded and stagnant. She rubbed them in a sleepy gesture.
“…W … what?”
“D… don’t what me! W-w-why are you in Leigie-sama’s room…”
“I’m a pillow. That’s all. Sleepy. Good night.”
“Hah? Wai… wake up~!”
The form of her embracing the pillow again as she tried to sleep no longer held a fragment of her pride as a Demon.
Lorna tries shaking her again, but this time she shows no signs of getting up. And from her body, I feel a deep and quiet presence.
It’s one that I know all too well.
It’s nothing other than the power of 『Acedia』.
And as long as that’s true, I doubt Medea will be waking any time soon.
Sloth gives bonuses to sleep. No, it isn’t a Resistance, just…
“Lorna, leave her be.”
“Eh? A-are you serious?”
I can understand the feeling of Sloth Demons all too well.
Waking her up forcefully won’t work. And it’s not like she’s causing any trouble.
After shifting her gaze between me and Medea for a while, Lorna eventually let out a deep sigh.
It was quite a rare expression from her.
“Understood. Leigie-sama… but as I thought, for a man and woman not in a relationship to sleep in the same bed, I cannot recommend it…”
This Demon sure says some ethical things.
Well, I don’t have any particular objections to those words. I’m not approving either, but to me, it was actually something that didn’t really matter all too much.
“I will be carrying Medea to another room’s bed. Is that alright?”
It was a bloodcurdling expression I couldn’t say came from the living.
She’s not letting out any anger by any means, but her rare words backed by a strong will made me nod immediately.
As if she were carrying a large package, She hoisted up the unmoving Medea, and bowed before departing from the room.
It must be hard, being a maid.
As I faintly considered such things, I shrunk my body inside the chair.
It’s a new chair Kanon sent over. The previous one suffered too much ice-related damages, and became unusable, but this one isn’t bad in itself.
At that moment, the door opened, and yet another Demon stepped in. It was an everyday occurrence.
A Demon that governed Wrath, and one that seems to be observing me: Lize Bloodcross.
I don’t get what’s so fun about observing me, but if you’re just going to quietly watch, then observe all you want.
“Leigie-sama, so you were awake…”
She usually moved around with a suprising amount of vigor, but now, on her face, there were some rare signs of fatigue.
And as if her body was collapsing, she lowered her body into the chair by the table. Without saying anything, she slumped down.
“… You look tired.”
“… Yes. Observing both you and Heard Lauder simultaneously is going to make my bones break some day…”
I see. It seems she’s been charged with two subjects this time.
My deepest condolences.
“… Can I complain?”
Do whatever you want. I doubt there’s any meaning in complaining to me, but I’ll at least quiet down and listen to your words.
It’s not like I’ll take it to heart, and rather than listening, it’ll just be entering my ears, though.
“That Heard Lauder is a monster. Perhaps more so that Leigie-sama… on top of that, he moves around way too much. Even though he’s barely become a Demon Lord, He’s managed to annihilate all Demon Lords who set even a foot in his territory without fail… Even if they may have just wanted to rile him a little, he personally marches to the enemy headquarters, and perfectly destroys them.”
“On top of that, he seems to be intent on finding a chance to aim for Kanon-sama’s neck… He never gives me a single moment’s rest. Do you know just how many inspectors have been dispatched to his place? Ten. Ten people! Even if Pride is the most dangerous by nature… this is too much. It’s as if I can just see the anxiety on Kanon-sama’s face…”
“And he’s really loud, protesting to get her to raise Leigie-sama’s rank.”
“I mean, in an instant, he overruled all the Demons above him, and he’s already Rank One.”
“For the unmoving Leigie-sama, there was barely anything I had to do in the means of inspection, but having this much to do is troubling…”
I see. You’ve got it rough.
Then you don’t really have to come observe over here, you know.
I mean, I don’t have any enemies, and I don’t do anything but sleep. I don’t even move.
Even though I didn’t say it, as if she felt my will, she directed a tired, and stiff smile at me.
The power I sense from her body is incomparable to the Lize of my oldest memory of her. It’s truly increasing.
“… No, I’m just here for a little rest, so…”
“… I see.”
Then do whatever you want.
If you’re not going to get in the way of my sleep, then I mind not whatever you do.
No, if there’s something you have that can get in my way, then just try it.
“… I’ll ask just in case, but have there been any problems on your side?”
“I see… that sounds about right.”
Her face changes in relief.
that’s a lie. Just a single one, it’s not really a problem, but a bit of a change. A single thing has happened to the stagnant me.
I only noticed it quite recently. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but it was probably after I was deprived of my territory, and I returned to my quiet life.
The truth is, I’m not a Demon Lord anymore.
Class: 『Evil God』
My Demon Lord Class changed, and that’s my new one.
I never thought that was what came after Lord, and Evil God isn’t even a governmental position anymore.
Well, even if my class changes, what I’ll be doing stays the same.
I just live by existing as I am. Up ‘til now, and probably from here on as well.
Until the day someone annihilates me.
To change the topic, Lize spoke.
“… Come to think of it, recently there’s been a strong one among the Assassins Heaven’s been sending to provoke the Demon World.”
As if she sensed a change in my thoughts, Lize shook her head.
I don’t even have to let out words anymore. The perception ability to be able to pick up everything. Lize is quite a hard-to-get existence for me.
“No, well… it seems they have the frightening power to even be able to annihilate those of Demon Lord Class… additionally, they can use their wings to soar through the sky. Their mobility is high, so perhaps even that Heard would let them slip by. Right now, Kanon-sama is preparing countermeasures, but I thought I would at least spread what’s become common knowledge…”
“An angel strong enough to kill Demon Lords…”
That definitely is a frightening existence.
In the first place, an Angel’s powers are the natural enemy of Demons. The magic wafting around the Demon World is said to give high enhancements to a Demon’s abilities, but even so, there are angels strong enough to kill Demons repeatedly. It’s a pain. That’s also the reason why, while Heaven occasionally invades the Demon World, Demons rarely go up and attack Heaven.
On my words, Lize slumped her body over the table, and turned her head to look at me.
“No, it’s not an Angel… Well, they’re still classified as angels, but… do you know about 『Valkyries』?”
Nope. Never heard of it.
Well, I may have heard the word once or twice in my previous live, but… It was a terminology from the fantasy genre, I think.
On my attitude, Lize let out a sigh.
“『Valkyries』 are a form of Angel, and a special type of unit that comes when the 『Einherjar』 called to Heaven experience an aberration. Compared to Demons and normal Angels that store up power over many years, they’re born with a vast amount of battle experience, so they can be quite troublesome… well, there shouldn’t be that many fallen warriors that can knock down a Demon Lord, though…”
Hmm, so there are things like that.
Good for them.
Seeing I had absolutely no motivation, Lize shrugged her shoulders.
“The Blade of the Silver Blue, Serge Serenade. She’s confirmed to be the strongest 『Valkyrie』 up to date. I think it would be best if you at least store the name in your memory banks.”
An unexpected name. I try to lift my body for a second, but it won’t move, so I give up.
But the sight of battles long past revive in my head all at once.
I can’t believe it. Why is she still alive?
Dammit. So unlike Japan, the Dead can come back to haunt you in this world.
Even death is reversible. No, this time might be a bit different from reversal, but whatever the case, what a Fantasy.
I looked at my own class once more.
It’s probably the highest class a Demon can attain.
“? You seem happy.”
But so be it.
I’ll wait here for you no matter how long it takes. That’s my field of expertise, and probably, as a single Demon Lord, as the Last Boss, my obligation.
Can you match up to the Evil God?
Show me your gallant figure.
Satisfied, I close my eyes. I dozed off soon enough.
I am the Lord of Depravity.
Who lives just by being there, a Needless King.
And I bring Depravity unto others, an incarnation of evil who will sink all of God’s creation into an abyss of despair
By the time I realized it, I had reincarnated into another world.
I kept sleeping, and at some point I became a Demon Lord.
Even though I never wished for it.
But for me to not have to work, this world is the best. It must be true that good things happen to good people.
The flavor of Sloth is as sweet as honey. Glory, diligence, virtue, or honor. I have no interest in anything like that.
What’s there to hide? The Lazy king is… none other than me.
End of Part 1