The Lazy King Part 2 Chapter 4: Superbia’s Arrogance
Part 1: Abnormal, and Foolish
This was back when I had just developed awareness.
There was something I tried asking oneechan.
“Why is it that we only have first names?”
All of those Demons out there were made of both a first, and last name.
The first that proved their individuality, and the last that defined their way of life.
If they hadn’t decided on how they were going to live on, then in most cases, they took on the last name of their ancestors.
That’s why, as Demons, it was unthinkable that those of a house that’s served a Demon Lord for generations couldn’t have a last name.
And to me, the sister that boasted an identical appearance offered a short answer. Kindly, as if to caution me.
“The way we live our lives is decided by our Lord. That’s why our predecessors have no last names.”
I simply couldn’t believe it.
Once in a distant past…
Me, and my parents, and the parents before that and in the generation even before that lot was born, our continuous line was something you could call a form of legend.
It’s not like we performed service on the battlefield, and it’s not like we successfully followed our desires.
If I were forced to say, then our family’s last name was 『Shadow』.
The Lord of Depravity who, as a Demon, boasted a providence much too undemonlike. For us, who continued to nestle ourselves close to him, we could be nothing but pure shadows.
We weren’t weak, but you wouldn’t be able to call us strong either.
Strength was unnecessary to a shadow. All that we wished for was to serve, and it wasn’t the sort of service we were rewarded for.
The existences that continued to serve the Lord who spent his time meaninglessly, were likely just as meaningless.
I remembered back to my ancestors.
I didn’t know what had happened several tens of thousands of years ago. I couldn’t even hazard a guess.
But killing off the cravings that dwelled in their bodies, they spent an eternity accompanying their Lord, and living while concealing their breaths. They were likely more abnormal than any of those third rate Demons lying around out there, and much more foolish.
That’s why, oneechan included, I sneered at my predecessors.
On that day, rained poured to the ground, as if the heavens were weeping. The violent sound of the rain drumming against the glass window, and the reverberating rumble of thunder.
In the darkness, the figure of my body reflected back at me was identical to oneechan, but only my eyes were a little different.
My ancestors, my patents, my siblings, and even the Lord I was to serve. I sneered at them all.
And as if even to sneer at the girl who did all of that, the blue eyes I saw were earnestly probing my expression.
Lightning lit the scene.
On rainy nights, the miasma would grow thick. Among the Demons of the Demon World, the holders of strong negative souls, that was passed as a simple superstition.
But on the other side of the glass which interrupted the darkness, I saw my figure putting on a smile so dazzling even I couldn’t believe it.
There wasn’t a hint of miasma in those lips.
All those pitch black emotions were enclosed within me, and not a fragment of them was to leak out.
That must be my 『Superbia』.
Not to raise myself to a higher platform, merely a heinous vice to scorn all others.
Effort was unnecessary.
Strength was unnecessary.
Friendship was unnecessary.
All of it, everything was… just stupid.
Even if the result were to isolate me, if I’m just to quietly find my spot in the grave without even a name, then I choose the path that would shine some light onto myself, as temporary as it may be.
Within the polished, mirror-like class, the gold-haired woman giggled to herself.
That should have been me, and yet, she lacked a sense of reality.
“Kusu kusu… no matter how you look at it… holding yourself back too much…”
A somewhat sweet, and slovenly tone poured out of my mouth.
Right. This is the shape of Hiero’s soul.
If you desire it, then seek it.
If your Lord is idle, then take action.
Overrule everything in this vast Demon World.
In order for me to stay as me.
If desire is what’s to decide the power of Demons, then…
There’s no doubt that my Superbia is the mark of the world’s strongest Demon.
Within the darkness, my lips bent into the shape of a smile.
… I mean look at just how brightly I’m shining.
My image swirled around the frame of the window. The light caught onto my golden hair, and glistened.
It was as if it were the portrait of a fairy, yet for some reason, it appeared tasteless.
“… Lord of Sloth, please look at me. Please remember me. My name, my form, my voice, my soul…”
Spending a pointless lifetime not feeling anything, without thinking anything, not recording anything to memory, for you, who never cared in the slightest for us, my existence will be…
Kusu kusu kusu.
Right. Then first comes introducing myself.
“My name is Hiero. Hiero of Superbia.”
No last name, no way of life, just a normal Demon
But I’ll accumulate my desire, and show you as I wash out the heavens.
I am Hiero of Superbia.
But you don’t have to prostrate yourself before me. You won’t have to kneel. I don’t need your worship.
I’ve no need to make you fools out there understand me.
I’m on top, and you’re at the bottom. That’s all.
It’s fine as long as you understand that.
But things went beyond my expectations in the blink of an eye.
Part 2: They are the Worst
It was the most famous power possessed by Pride Demons.
I think it’s pointless Skill. Something like that shouldn’t be necessary in the first place..
… If you’re truly Pride.
Because even if it didn’t appear to me as a Skill, I had already 『Overruled』 everything.
… Besides oneechan.
Before my eyes, Medea-san slowly toppled over. Within the swirls of the Demon Lords’ mana, the smallest present by far disappeared like the fleeting light of a lone candle.
Even for me, that sudden departure was outside my expectations, and I unintentionally opened my eyes wide to stare at Medea-san’s falling small stature.
A large hole had been opened right in the center of her body. It clearly showed that she had been pierced by something.
The hole itself was wide enough that if I looked through, I thought I might see the world beyond.
After meeting her for once in quite a while, Medea had become quite slackened. I wonder just what sake she was living for anymore. It was too much of a way of life for me to take up. In a way, it was worthy of admiration.
In that sense, I didn’t actually hate Medea-san all that much.
Even if, through her narrow escape it looked like Heard-san was going to kill me… well… Medea-san is… a pitiful Demon. Enough that just thinking about her existence was enough to elevate my power a little. Her being was able to contest for the first and second place of the most trifling Demons I had ever met, and even when her height exceeded mine ever-so-slightly, her chest was even more barren than me. There wasn’t even any comparison between her and oneechan.
That alone was enough for me to forgive everything.
And by forgiving it all, it also signified that I didn’t really give a damn, and that, to me, Medea-san was a genuine, tried and true, worthless existence.
But, even so, there’s always something that comes to mind the moment a Demon I was acquainted with was annihilated.
I let out a small voice so no one would here, as I muttered in a daze.
“Medea-san… how unsightly.”
Not even a dry laugh could escape my mouth. But at the same time, I felt that being dealt with before the conference started was quite suiting of Medea-san’s way of life. To fulfill her role to the death, we have quite a pro here.
… Though that would only be if she did it on purpose.
This is the land of death. Places where Demons gather draw death close to them. When that gets t Demon Lord Level, then that’s not even related to enemy or ally anymore.
Harming others came as simple to them as breathing. That’s why even I’m hiding myself behind Heard-san…
She didn’t get it at all. Even if she was a General class, her behavior full of openings made others want to test their powers on her. As a class even lower than her, I can only saugh scornfully at how ill prepared she was.
As I was simply staring at the scene from Heard-sans back, the sound of the clicking of a tongue entered my ear.
The Prideful Kaiser, Heard Lauder.
The Rank One Lord who had served the lone Demon Lord of Sloth lorded over the Demon Lord who remained collapsed over the table.
Before the Lord whose dislodged head had recovered itself at a moment’s notice, his Pride showed not the slightest of waver. His eyes, as if they looking upon garbage, were far different from mine, but they gave more than enough verification that he was Pride all the same.
I’ll bet there’s a bit of his complex towards the great and powerful Leigie-sama mixed into that.
And every time I see that, I think.
That way of life… isn’t it tiring?
A strong killing intent, as if those eyes alone were enough to bring all to ruin, lapped at the air of the conference room.
“Schitol, I believe I told you to stop.”
“? Stop what?”
Face up on the table, the female Demon answered.
The army Heard-san lead in Leigie-sama’s stead was said to boast the greatest fangs among all the Demon Lords.
With that sort of numerical power, the information did tend to gather around there, so I did have some recollection of the name Schitol.
As a Demon of Avaritia, she held the moniker of the『Collector』. Her Rank was just one above Leigie-sama’s current position, and Leigie-sama aside, she held the least land among those of the Great Demon King’s army.
But that being the case, in what was supposed to be her first round table conference, she picked a fight with her senior Lord of Pride. I guess that’s what makes a Demon Lord.
Of course, it was our first meeting, but seeing her nerve to stand before Heard-san, whose honed magic might even surpass the Great Demon King Kanon-san’s, even if it may be pure recklessness out of ignorance, it was an act worthy of praise.
But that’s all there was to it. She must be all bark, and no bite.
I mean Schitol-san… her appearance is decent, I guess, but her breasts are puny.
Schitol-san leisurely rose.
Her expression seemed to show true confusion, and her black eyes, with the gloss of obsidian, were directed at Heard-san.
With no anger for the one who personally crushed her head, her face was like that of a lost child. The purity of her expression made it all the more repulsing.
I doubt that was really the case, but her face seemed to seriously be wondering why it was that she had received an attack.
But that’s all there was to it. She must be all talk.
I mean Schitol-san… her appearance isn’t bad, but her breasts are much too pitiful.
As her size was just around the level of Medea-san, her worth as a person must be that of a single Medea Luxeliaheart at most. No doubt about it. A useless existence to me.
No need to think about it. The moment we met, with the form her desires made her take on, I was Overruling Schitol-san.
Heard-san furrowed his brow. A proof of his displeasure.
Despite this and that, while the Demon Lord known as Heard Lauder was powerful in body, his mind wasn’t as resolute. He was a warrior. It’s likely that while Leigie-sama was asleep, he had spent his entire life on the battlefield. That devotion to his study that surpassed tens of thousands of years of experience definitely had an impact on his personality.
But his power was truly absurd. As Demon Lords, each and every one of them had a ridiculous amount of strength, but even among that, Heard-san was a cut above the rest.
He was a typical muscle head.
Since he abducted me without telling me anything under the pretense of training, I had always been watching that.
The word patience didn’t exist in his dictionary. For whatever the reason, he had been overly sullen as of late, and his boiling point was getting exceedingly low. His pure physical strength that was, for argument’s sake able to knock down a Lord of Sloth once, was, to Demon Lords that were no match in defense, definitely fatal.
But regardless of being crushed by Leigie-sama afterwards, his Pride didn’t seem to have taken the slightest tumble.
To Heard Lauder, even if she was a former subordinate, the Envy Demon Medea-san was likely nothing but trash.
But to the Lord of Superbia, that wasn’t enough of a reason for him not to eliminate the Demon Lord who didn’t listen to his orders.
His words were the words of Pride. The words of god.
Unable to find satisfaction unless me made any Demon he met prostrate themselves before him, from my point of view, he simply looked like a narrow-minded man worried over all the finer details, but while I couldn’t sympathize, I could understand.
As if to support the thoughts in my mind, without any warning, Heard-san’s figure blurred for a moment.
At about the same time, Medea-san’s body that had been left in the corner of my vision faded away as if it had been an illusion.
In the span of the blink of an eye, Schitol-san’s head and limbs ruptured, and a bright red mist erupted out of her body. All that was left, an obsidian Soul Core the same shade as her eyes let out a dry sound as it rolled desolately across the round table.
His means of attack lay only in his fists. But his incomprehensible attach strength and speed gave off a power much too barbaric to be called Pride. I couldn’t even follow the slightest of it with my eyes.
And those apart from me probably couldn’t follow it either. I saw the Demon Lord who picked up Schitol-san’s disembodied arms swallowing his spit.
He should have been a Demon Lord of Pride as well… now that he’s seen those fists in action, the probability of him ever surpassing Heard-san has become close to zero.
How unsightly. If your heart loses, then there can never be pride. There’s nothing but a slow destruction in store for him.
The old withered tree-like Lord sitting right across from Medea didn’t seem to pay any mind to the ghastly spectacle, nor did he mind the wreckage of Schitol-san showering down on him. With a fed-up tone, he muttered.
“… Phantom Aliquot Dance… That girl… so she was a Luxuria Demon. A living illusion… no wonder it ended so soon.”
“… Dammit Medea… when you’re the substitute for a Demon Lord, for you to send in a phantasm…”
Heard-san’s eyebrows were quite clearly stiff. It was as if his anger was clearly visible. How scary…
Demons Round was also a place for Demon Lords to demonstrate their power. As it is, Superbia already detested those who would taint their pride.
Especially when Medea-san was just a replacement.
Originally, that was Heard-san’s role… no, more than that, while she was attending in place of her own Lord Leigie-sama, for her to submit an illusion of all things, there should be a limit to tomfoolery.
I can do nothing but secretly praise her needlessly high amount of guts.
She really is just a precession of failures. She was ignored by Leigie-sama, beaten left and right by Heard-san, and even after surviving all of that, I could tell from a glance her new slovenly take on life. That girl must be a genius at tragedy.
“Kusu kusu kusu…”
And being thrown around like this by the Lords, how pitiful.
A laugh flows out of me. Just as its name might suggest, those of the Demon Lord Class were strong. If it was just in battle ability, then no matter how many of those of my level you grouped up, there’s no way we’d be able to oppose.
But in exchange for that, they were completely hopeless degenerates.
One of the seated Demon Lords sent his eyes over here.
The pressure I could feel just from that, enough to rock my soul, made my shrink back behind Heard-san.
My instincts informed me of the power gap that surpassed whatever enhancements I could gain with my Overrule Skill, however, it was likely something that, if I were given the time, I could close all too easily.
The only thing I was lacking in was time. Time for me to grow with the desires of my soul as fuel.
Heard-san made a slight gesture of peering over here, but he corrected his field of vision immediately.
Kusu kusu. Right, right. I’m just a weak little girl. If you hit me, I’m sure to die…
It appears that the situation was out of Kanon-sama’s expectations. She scowled a little as she stared at the position Medea-san had disappeared from, but she soon took a deep sigh.
“… Well, so be it. Lize, as his inspector, you will be informing the Lord of Sloth of this matter at a later date.”
Receiving the will of the Great Demon King, Leigie-sama’s observer Lize-san offered her affirmation. She wasn’t surrounded by a tense air, and she held an aura you could call grand as she stood upright behind the seat that had become vacant.
They had found common ground. Whatever the case, with Leigie-sama holed up in the Castle of Shadows, perhaps the safest place in the entire Demon World, a large majority of things were unrelated to him.
Continuing on, Kanon-sama’s blood-red pair of eyes glared into the table, as if to pierce a hole into it.
At the one who should have received enough damage to return her body to just its Soul core, the Collecting Demon Lord.
I was swallowing my spit behind Heard, but neither Heard-san nor Kanon-san showed and disarray in their attitudes.
As if it was all a complete natural occurrence, they looked at the Demon Lord who had been reconstructed whole at some point in time.
“Schitol Tzuchaser… Then next time you lay your hands on an allied soldier, I will dispose of you in the name of my Ruin. Know your place.”
“…? What place?”
Her conduct was as if nothing had happened at all.
Schitol-san’s sharp gaze didn’t seem to hold any care for the force that seemed to try to wither her away, as she returned to her seat.
The Pride Demon Lord who still had both his arms stolen tried to stand, but when Heard-san shot a look at him, he silently sat.
To regain control of the area, Kanon-san sent a silent glance around the table.
That burning pressure spread about to suppress the fighting spirit, the instincts, longings these Demon Lords had probed to their depths.
The Great Demon King position didn’t have the qualifications of wisdom or status, or charisma, or talent. It was a spot that came to be by pure power alone, and that display was plenty to demonstrate that fact.
Of the Demon Lords allied to the Great Demon King, there is said to be nineteen in all. But less than half of that number had gathered here.
As if that shameful sight hadn’t ever happened, Kanon-san offered her thanks to the Lords present.
That was the signal of the conference’s start. A weak Demon Lord had no worth. In that sense, even if she may have been an illusion, for her to have been killed before the start, Medea-san had done an insufficient job of filling the role of Leigie-sama’s representative.
“So we’ve all gathered… I thank you for making the journey here. Lords.”
“… Hm, so this is all that’s left. The numbers sure have dwindled.”
Heard-san’s head shook in lament.
The number of Demon Lords wasn’t something that fluctuated so easily.
The race known as Demons was one without a set lifespan, and they get stronger the longer they’ve lived. At Demon Lord Level, their survivability was overwhelmingly higher than other Demons.
“The two that the Devourer, Zebul, ate, and Zebul herself make up a loss of three. The other casualties were Angels. Hm… for them to be annihilated by something on the level of Angels… how deplorable.”
Heard-san sent around an intimidating glare to those present.
It was like he was offering to end them all before they faced defeat from such things.
Heard-san’s way of life was much too severe. I would never be able to imitate it, and I think it’s nothing but stupid.
So please don’t try dragging me into it. No, seriously.
“But we really have faced a considerable decline. It no one beyond Rank Ten is in attendance…”
The old man spoke.
His height wasn’t even half of Heard-san’s, and he was a Demon with a slim stature like a dead tree’s. His frailty made it look as if he would be sent flying with a breath of air.
But his glare held a viscous and sticky darkness.
The ranking system of the Great Demon King’s army wasn’t something based solely on strength.
While it was usually taken as an equivalent, the primary factor that influenced it was that Lord’s service to the army. That’s why compared to those below Rank Ten, the other Demon Lords simply lacked achievements.
They were young.
That doesn’t mean they had lived short lives, but that not too much time had passed since they became Demon Lords.
Even so, it’s quite likely they had lived longer than me, and with that life, they were anniohilated by Angels. What a pointless life.
“Yes, this is Rank Eighteen here.”
“Yep~ Rank Eleven over here.”
“Ho ho ho, my apologies. It looks like not all of them have perished…”
Schitol-san raised her hand, and raised a high pitched, tension-less voice towards the empty seats.
Her lack of nervousness made me feel a little power seeping from my body.
“Hm… facing defeat at but a single Valkyrie, they’ve not the qualifications to be Demon Lords. They were fated to die a dog’s death eventually. There’s no need to pay it any mind.”
“Don’t be like that, Heard Lauder. This time’s enemy is… quite capable. The reason I’ve convened you all is also about that matter.”
On Heard-san’s words, Kanon-san let out a tired sigh.
The Great Demon King had an enemy too great to simply be called treacherous within her midst. Her anger scorched the heavens, and reduced the ground to ash. Always under such an extreme amount of stress, it was said to be only natural that she became the Great Demon King. As I thought, the Ranking system is nothing but garbage.
Oh Kanon-san’s words, Heard-san’s eyes widened a little.
I noticed a faint fire burning in them.
The light of fighting spirit.
It was because Heard-san was Pride, that the stronger the enemy, the more likely he was to take the initiative.
It was in order to forge his own power, or so he called it, but I do believe that’s a little extreme.
It was likely because he lost to Leigie-sama. I was forgiven as a result, so that’s all fine and dandy, but that doesn’t change how troublesome it is.
Once more, in silence, Kanon-sama looked over all the gathered faces, and spat out words backed by emotions violent enough to make existences quiver.
“A few days ago, at the hands of the Valkyrie in question… Serge Serenade, the Seventh Rank was destroyed.”
It was the first death of a Demon Lord within the top ten.
Even when the death of a Demon Lord was a rare occurrence, it was even rarer for one of the higher ranks to perish.
On that note, the air in the conference room suddenly got heavier.
The old man opened his eyes wide, and scowled at Kanon-sama.
“Oh… Rank Seven… Ciel Afreide, was it? So the Haughty Youngun died…”
“… Hm, I see… it truly seems that she is sufficiently capable. Kanon, I shall approve of your anxiety.”
I’d never met her before, but apparently Heard-san knew her.
Even so, why does his arrogance act up so much whenever Kanon-san is concerned? I’ve not the slightest.
I don’t think there’s a single merit to come of picking a fight with her, you know…
Standing behind me, Heard-san’s one of Heard-san’s inspectors let out a long sigh, as if he had become accustomed to the man’s behavior.
The King in question has probably become accustom to dealing with his Pride as well. She ignored his dauntless wording, and moved on.
“Ciel Afreide was not a weak Lord. At the very least, no matter how many average Angels came at him at a time, he would never be at the risk of defeat.”
A Demon’s power was greatly chipped away in the Heavens where Angels lived.
But in exchange, our Demon Lords were transcendentally strong.
“And, what of it? Kanon-sama, all you’re saying is that a single Demon Lord has died, correct?”
With a bored expression, the balloon-like man sitting beside Kanon-san tried asking.
His swelled ball-like large torso was enough to surpass Heard-san’s height, and at a conspicuously high level, his sorry excuse for a head sent down a look with its white eyes, and colorless pupils.
“Just as you may have heard from your inspectors, on this occasion, where one within the top ten ranks has been killed off, we cannot simply let her violence reign free any longer. It will be a hindrance to my world domination.”
Kanon-san looked around again.
While she looked calm, the inside of the room was filled with a grilling heat, and even when she didn’t look directly at me, I could feel it.
… World domination, is it?
I think that’s just plain idiotic. For those out there, those fools out there, what point is there in gaining command of them?
If you’re going to do something like that, then… right, just skimming the top of the broth sounds best. Get everything under your control, find a way to scoop out nothing but the beautiful substance, and leave the rest of the meal to the wolves.
“Ah~… with the Seventh Rank being killed… does that mean I’m next~?”
Rather than… sitting in a chair, a young lady floating right above it raised a hysteric voice.
I secretly frowned, as I committed her form to memory.
Appearance-wise, she was a slim girl that didn’t seem like much a Demon Lord at all. More than uncertain, her bearing was one where she swayed back and forth in the air.
Hers was an uncomposed voice I couldn’t think of as coming from a Demon.
But she was one I had to be wary of.
I mean, even with that slim figure, how does her chest grow to that size…
Her pale-blue robe-like dress, and deep blue sash were, if memory serves, the traditional clothing of a peculiar province… it did fit the lines of her body quite well, but only her breasts swelled unnaturally from it.
As expected of a Demon Lord…
“There won’t be a next. That’s why we’ve been gathered. Right?”
“Yes, that’s exactly right. Up to now, we let her run free, believing whoever died by her hand was fated to die off either way, but… now that Ciel has been slaughtered, we can no longer postpone the matter. We can’t leave the Angels looking down on us like this…”
A gathering of Demon Lords wasn’t anything that happened all too often.
While her calm composure wasn’t thinkable of one governing Wrath, in truth, in her body, the Great Demon King was seething in rage.
Kanon-san was severe. What’s more, she knew how to use that fact.
“We’ll strike first. Other than that Valkyrie… I’ve also read the report of the skies showing strange movements. Right, Vanity?”
A steel-like body apart from Heard’s, wrapped around a mountainous build of a man roared out.
Next to Heard-san, the second strongest Demon of Pride.
Why are all these Prides these shameless masses of muscle…. It’s quite wondrous. It isn’t beautiful in the slightest.
Of course, that metal body over there is also out of the question.
Out. Of. The Question!
“Attacks… came twice. The enemy was five Angels, and ten the next. Our casualties… roughly one hundred.”
With uninterested expressions, the surrounding Lords listened in.
The number of one hundred wasn’t anything great, but it definitely wasn’t small.
But it’s not that we assembled a force, but that one of our forces was assaulted, and faced annihilation. An exception.
Among these Lords who gave their all to pursugin their desires, I doubt there’s really anyone who understands the meaning of those words. All these Lords are idiots.
And Heard-san was the same as always. While he might have known, his lack of interest made his disposition even more ill-natured.
With his arms crossed, he lorded over Vanity-san with a grim expression.
“Hm, have you grown soft? Even if it may have been just a hundred, while you were there, for you to have failed to destroy a measly five Angels…”
“… No… my army’s… the strongest.”
Vanity-shot down the glare with a look that didn’t fall short at all in terms of malice. There was no hesitation in him.
The class of wills between two Demons of Pride caused the air to shake.
As if to blow that away, Kanon-san let out a deep sigh.
“Please don’t make this any more of a pain than it already is. Heard, Vanity… Vanity, I heard that the enemies were of Saint Lord Class, but is that true?”
That was heaven’s finest. If Demon Lord was a Demon’s highest rank, then that was what took its place in the Angel race.
And at the same time, they were a rare sight to find in the Demon World.
I’ve only ever heard of them, and never seen one for real. No, I doubt even a majority of Demon Lords have ever seen one.
But on the other hand, with the appearance of a Saint Lord, having only a mere one hundred casualties became strange.
They’re supposed to be much higher up there than that Serge something something Valkyrie … and with but a hundred casualties, the Lord was able to repel them? Is Vanity’s Legion strong?
I’ve always been going through bridal training in order to serve Leigie, so I’m none to knowledgeable in that field.
Vanity-san gave his solemn consent.
With just that, the other Demon Lords began to stir. It sems they had finally begun to understand the abnormality of the situation.
The ones that didn’t change were Vanity-san, Heard-san, and Kanon-san. Those three. Those were the only ones who had understood what was going on from the start.
The balloon man sitting beside Kanon-san flailed his arms about as he gave his opinion.
How unsightly. It’s unsightly, but… that man’s Rank Two. That means he was the former Rank One Demon Lord. This world must be at its end.
“So that means… there’s a need for us to divide into two groups. What are your thoughts on the matter, Kanon-sama?”
Kanon-san had likely already reached her conclusion.
No, she likely had done so far before we had gathered.
This was just a dispatch order under the guise of a conference.
“I have no intent to mobilize us all. We still have the duty of crushing the Demon Lords of other territories. Right… two. Two is more than enough.”
“The Angels… I’ll destroy them.”
With fiery sparkling silver eyes, Vanity-san’s gaze pierced through Kanon-san.
That wasn’t… Anger. But his voice like the rumbling of falling thunder definitely had some power behind it.
On that voice, Kanon-san grinned.
“Hu… so be it, Vanity. Swing about your powers as you please.”
“Then on Serge’s matter… I’ll step forth.”
Before another Demon Lord could open their mouth, Heard-san made a declaration.
He had a somewhat unpleasant expression on his face.
It seems both of them had wanted to take on the previous matter. I’m not sure if they were afraid of Heard-san, but Demon Lords had stopped coming to attack our lands altogether, as of late.
Even so, he decided to take the initiative, and go forth to crush his enemies one by one, but they were all too weak for him to feel any resistance, apparently.
The frustration from that is making my training more and more absurd, and I was just at my wit’s end.
It’s impossible, I tell you… to split a mountain with my bare hands…
But could it be that… I’m finally free? I want to return to Leigie-sama’s side already…
I’m actually quite busy. I’ve no time to follow along with Heard-san’s games.
Whether she understood his state or not, Kanon merely nodded once.
“Yes, Heard Lauder. If it’s you, you’d definitely be able to handle it. Her station has already come to light.”
“… You already know Serge’s location?”
“Yeah, a Demon of Envy witnessed a scene of her battle. She’s now but a caged bird to us.”
“Hm… let it be so. At best, she’ll make for a quick snack.”
It didn’t seem the other Lords had any opinions to share.
Of course. Those guys had no incentive. Orders were one thing, but they wouldn’t choose to do something like opposing Kanon-san or Heard-san of their own volition.
Or so I thought, but the ghost girl went right into her fifty cents.
“Hey~ Heard-san. I don’t really have a problem with you going for the Valkyrie or anything, but… if she attacks me, I can kill her, right?”
“Hm… I mind it not, Rank Six. If she had the power to bring ruin to Rank Seven, I can understand your sentiment of wanting to fight her.”
Well I don’t get it at all.
“… No, no, no, no, I just hate it when people like that get in my way, you know~?”
And the ghost girl didn’t seem to get it either.
As if to say the conversation was unexpected, she crossed her arms. She needlessly emphasized her needlessly bulging chest.
How sly… as I thought, this woman is formidable.
“Are those Angels made of nice parts?”
On the other side, Schitol-san was, of all things, conversing with the Demon Lord whose arms she had stolen about some pointless topic, only to receive a flat out refusal.
How shameless… she really is the worst.
And what’s with this lack of tension discussing out arch nemesis?
Well… just do whatever you want. The ones who’ll pay for your unsightly display here is you guys after all…
In my eyes, I could clearly see the form of these Lords facing destruction at their oen negligence. You reap what you sow.
How unsightly. They’re taking everything in jest. Even if they may call themselves the rulers of Demon-kind, those gathered here are nothing but an extension of those third rate Demons scattered all over the place.
I can’t… even take them into consideration. The one I want to prove myself to is one man alone. Only Leigie-sama. That is the starting point. If I don’t get anywhere with that, my life won’t find its beginning.
For a while, the surroundings were astir, and when a moment of silence finally came about, Vanity spoke up, as if he had just remembered something.
“… Ah, come to think of it… that Devourer… survived, you know?”
The thunderous voice clearly reached my ears.
The hustle and bustle that had been resounding through the room, as if taken by the tide, died down in an instant.
His voice was one thing, but his tone was one where he seemed to be giving a trifling report over something that didn’t matter all too much.
But I did see it by chance.
Standing to the back right of Heard-san, I was in a place where I could pick it up.
That’s why, I may have been the only one to notice it.
For a moment, just a slight moment, Vanity’s eyes were colored in an eerie light.
Part 3: I Cannot Run Away
Hiero, you are… beyond help.
While those words lacked any clear killing intent, they were filled with a force that surpassed that.
They were definitely the words of a Lord of Demons, but they were on another level from that of the Lord of Sloth I had been watching up to that point.
No, rather than level… perhaps I should say type.
The difference between, without any stimulus, the large power that could always be sensed… the force of Sloth, and the heavy oppressing power of Pride to suppress everything.
Kusu kusu kusu, even when he was frozen as well, and had to be saved by Kanon-sama, he’s acting way too high and mighty…
But I could never voice such a thing, and if I did, regardless of how high I thought myself over Heard-san, without even a moment to feel it, I would surely die.
It’s no joke. My life doesn’t exist for something like that.
But the reason I’m still alive is likely because Heard-san lost to Leigie-sama.
That’s why Heard-san went against his own Pride, and refrained from killing me.
Without requesting a single armament, the Lord of Pride who took down the world with but his fists.
There are numerous cases where the source of one’s Superbia comes from the ‘self’ a Demon had trained up, but in Heard-san’s case, that wasn’t nearly enough to explain it.
His was an abnormal, and overwhelming conceit.
But his gaze that looked down on this Underground was something that I, who went in the complete opposite side of Pride’s spectrum, couldn’t understand.
(TL: After so many chapters… they’ve finally… given a reading for Demon World… as Underground.)
That’s why… I’d appreciate it if he stopped taking this out on me.
“Tsk… damn Egoist. What is he plotting…”
Heard-san’s blade like glare was locked onto a wall.
It’s probably that he wasn’t doing that intentionally, but the pressure alone was enough to weight down my body. It wasn’t that sort of weight of air type pressure, but rather a definite force of gravity.
Breathing became difficult. The inspectors keeping their distance from behind were looking at Heard-san with tired expression, and as if all of this was natural, they didn’t say a word.
Their job was to keep tabs on this Demon Lord. At times, they assisted, and at times, they gave advice, but they were generally neutral entities. As long as it wasn’t going to cause any real harm, they wouldn’t say anything about this level of pressure. This level of self-control makes me commend their professionalism.
Well… even if a gathering of ten General Classes were to challenge him, Heard-san wouldn’t even take the wave of a finger.
Perhaps the other Demon Lords finally collected themselves, as I was finally able to secretly take a breath of air in another’s Zone.
It wasn’t enough to prevent movement… but I was still in a bit of pain.
So the Devouring Lord, the former Fifth Rank Zebul Glaucus of Gula survived.
That fact stirred up the meeting quite a bit.
There wasn’t a single Lord who knew not the Devourer’s name.
And that wasn’t a complement there.
If it was in the number of Demon Lords she’d killed, that woman likely numbered within the top three of the Great Demon King’s army, and she was an incarnation of sin great enough to even swallow up this bleak and desolate Demon World. Of all else, the repulsive Demon even ate those of her same race.
She was likely more troublesome that a Valkyrie who wasn’t doing anything but challenging Demon Lords, and much more abnormal.
If her continued existence was true, that is.
… I mean, she should have been destroyed by the Lord of Sloth.
“Kusu kusu kusu, but… seriously, after all this time, why is the Devouring Lord…”
Wrong. That wasn’t the main problem. I knew that. And I also knew it wasn’t something I should put to words.
The problem was that Leigie-sama had defied Kanon-san’s words, and allowed the Devouring Lord to run free.
No, that likely wasn’t the reality of the matter. Leigie-sama would never do something so troublesome. But from an outsider’s perspective, how would it look…
Normally, it would be a failure more than deserving of punishment.
That was the important point here.
Even when I didn’t voice it, I’ll bet Heard-san guessed what I wanted to say.
He glared at me with strong eyes, and gave an answer as if it were nothing special.
“Hm… to Leigie of Sloth, Zebul merely wasn’t even worthy of a finishing blow. That’s all there is to it.”
And I doubt there’s any Lord here who would be satisfied with such an answer.
But, still, in this world, Rank and power was everything.
As long as the highest ranked Heard-san, and the one who stood above all, Kanon-san, didn’t say anything, any more words would put the speaker’s life at risk.
Just what was Vanity-san thinking when he suddenly proclaimed the Devourer’s survival in an atmosphere like that?
I don’t know his intent. Rank Four. His status likely wasn’t a mere decoration.
But there was one thing my instincts told me when I saw his eyes.
Vanity-san… gave off a scent somewhat like mine.
Even if they were both Demons of Pride, he and Heard-san were water and oil.
Whether there was ill intent or not, the two of them were incompatible.
At that point, Lize-san started jogging in our direction.
Since the girl she had guided here had disappeared, she was probably free.
Lize-san was generally a straight-laced person, and while she was occasionally out of it, she was a woman of valor. Ah, also, her breasts were quite considerable.
She directed a single look at the several inspectors behind us, before turning to the one much greater than her, and in the worst of moods, Heard-san.
“Heard Lauder, what do you plan on doing?”
“Hm… a foolish question.”
Using those words as a trigger, the vague mana emitted from his well trained body suddenly converged onto himself.
With just that action, I saw an illusion of the air around him warping.
Immense physical ability.
An unshakable will.
Having obtained all of those, his bearing was undoubtedly a Lord’s.
Heard-san had no losses, and no retreats.
Without ever fading, his assurance in his ‘self,’ high as the skies, was always there.
And as I thought, as if it were a trifling matter, he offered a short sentence of answer.
“… I’ll just destroy the Devourer.”
The meaning behind those words was likely something Lize-san couldn’t comprehend.
But as another Pride, I could feel them.
Even if it went against his nature…
“Why, at this point…”
… It was merely his Pride.
That was the only basis for Heard-san’s actions.
That was the reason for his strength. The meaning of his strength.
His longings wouldn’t allow it. Even if it no longer held any relevance to him, Heard-san would wash away the stains on Leigie-sama’s record.
It was a pain-in-the-ass way of life. But also a way all the same.
Lize-san hesitated for a moment, before posing a question.
“… Then what about the Valkyrie?”
“… The Devourer comes first. The Crimson Prison is close… and I doubt it will take much time at all.”
“No time…? The enemy is the former Rank Five, Zebul Glaucus, correct?”
“Yes, what of it?”
There was never a waver in his way of life.
It was likely that Heard would never hold doubt in his own victory up to the moment before his death.
Kusu kusu kusu, he really has no flexibility….
“I’ll head to the Crimson Prison.”
“Eh? Wai… that land is under Vanity’s domain. Are you sane?”
Heard-san didn’t even nod at Lize-san’s voice.
It was his resolution. Without listening to anyone else’s words, he would push through his path on nothing but his own willpower.
How useless. When he’s like this, he can’t be stopped by anyone. In that sense, he was still quieter back when he was Leigie-sama’s supreme commander.
Well, it doesn’t really matter to me.
I don’t need strength. I don’t need training.
The ‘supreme’ that Heard-san wishes for holds absolutely no meaning to Leigie-sama.
To me as well.
If Heard-san is to die, then all that will happen is that I’ll go back to serve under Leigie-sama. I still have something I have to accomplish there.
And wait, you don’t have to die, just hurry up and release me already…
I seriously don’t need this training. The land isn’t splitting anytime soon. It’s impossible. It’s not splitting, and there’s absolutely no one out there that wants it to split.
“Lize, you can just go scout out the Valkyrie’s station. After destroying the Devouring Lord, I’ll head there.”
“Wai… it couldn’t be that you’re going alone, right? At the very least, your army…”
“Unnecessary… Hm, damn Vanity. I’ll definitely make you pay for this one.”
Oy, that one’s a false claim. All Vanity did here was report the truth.
But he couldn’t come out and say that due to his nature.
At the very least, I couldn’t see that Vanity had that sort of disposition.
When I recall his boorish silver eyes looking our way, even I had shivers run down my spine.
His moniker… the Egoist means he himself acknowledged his own fault.
Vanity Seidthroan was apparently a Demon Lord who gave up on the King’s throne. His disposition was far removed from prim and proper Superbia.
It’s not my problem who dies where, and while Heard-san is messed up in the head, he’s no idiot. He likely has several tens of times more experience than me, and he should have noticed it.
“It’s quite definitely a trap, right…”
“Hm… trap… is it? Then I’ll merely crush it head on.”
As I thought, this is impossible.
I was sure he would say that…
This is why muscle heads are…
Heard-san has a large quantity of power, so perhaps it’ll work out one way or another, but I’m considerably lower in that department. The Overrule Skill is powerful, but it doesn’t have the ability to overturn a power gap too great.
But I’ve already given up on stopping this man long ago.
I stood a while staring at the inept inspectors standing about like scarecrows, before I made a smile and turned to Heard-san.
Smiles didn’t work on him in a different way than Leigie-sama. However, it’s more decent to make one than not… I think.
“Will you be heading straight for the Crimson Prison after this? In that case, I’ll go return the flying dragon…”
The Crimson Prison was far. From the Palace of Rending Flames, it was a few hours, even with a dragon.
And in Heard-san’s case, unbelievably, his own running pace was far faster than such a beast.
Then the dragon would just be in the way. Even so, the flying dragon was also his property, so we couldn’t just leave it here, so it was inevitable that someone was needed to return it to Heard-san’s base of operations, the『Castle of Shimmering Souls』.
But on my polite proposal, Heard-san directed enough anger at me to make my body shrink back.
“Hm… Hiero. This is why I said you were beyond help.
“Hii… n-no… I was…”
It was merely a locking of eyes, but the weight I felt was physical enough, and I unintentionally retreated.
Wrong. That’s wrong.
I-it’s not like I didn’t want to accompany you or anything…
No, you see, well, if you drag me along, there’s the possibility I might kinda die, you know…
Those observers, who were really just there for show, looked at me with eyes of pity.
I don’t need your sympathy.
Medea’s unsightly exit floated vividly in the forefront of my mind.
But only her face had been altered.
What was there wasn’t Medea-san’s but…
A dull heat started welling up from the depths of my brain, joining up with my bloodstream.
And once more, Heard-san let out the words he had spoken just a year before when he abducted me.
“You are unworthy…of your Superbia.”
His words were concise, but their meaning vanished as they were absorbed into me.
Lize-san let out some lines that were quite sensible in all regards.
She was a surprisingly hopeless person as she was, but she may have been the only sliver of conscience that existed around me.
“Heard, Hiero is a non-combatant, is she not…”
“Combatant or not isn’t the problem. Hiero is much too lacking in Pride. This one is different from… Lorna.”
I don’t get just what exactly he’s looking for.
But when a Demon Lord of Pride says such things, they hold quite a bit of weight.
Perhaps the reason I am unable to Overrule oneechan lies somewhere there. No, there’s no doubt that it does.
It was merely a coincidence that Heard-san took to me.
But earning his sympathy must be my failure.
What he felt towards me was likely an illusion, but anyways, Heard-san’s Pride was much too severe for me.
I have… no, we don’t even have a way of life.
In the first place power… isn’t even something I’m searching for.
But such excuses are rendered moot before this man.
No, just by stating my reason and will, I was unable to get him to recognize me. His annoyingly stern criterion had yet to be fulfilled.
“Lize, you are to take care of the flying dragon. Hiero… come with me. We’re going to destroy the Devourer.”
“… Kusu kusu kusu, there’s no helping it… I’ll follow you… yes, I’ll follow.”
I used all my effort to smooth the matter over, but the fatigue in my voice was so clear I could feel it the moment it escaped my mouth.
I don’t know if there’s anything for me, who can’t split the ground with my bare hands, to do, but from Heard-san… I cannot escape.
While feeling that I was gradually heading in a completely different direction from my will, the image of Medea-san’s departure grew stronger, and I prayed to the God of the Demon World, who all could say did not exist.
Part 4: Dear…
Heard-san’s speed was extraordinary.
As it was, Deon Lords of Pride were said to be able to make the world around them their own, and contract it to their will, but even for that, this was just too much.
While I was using a flying dragon as my means of movement, his speed on the ground could only be expressed with the sentiment, ‘ah, he disappeared.’
What’s more, according to the individual himself, he could put that out even before becoming a Demon Lord. He’s a monster, that one.
Of course, my Pride isn’t weak, but if you were to compare our running speeds, then it would be as if I were in stasis. My Pride wasn’t something that depended on strength, so there was no helping it.
Even when he told me to come with him, it seems he had no intent of waiting for me, so I frantically urged the dragon on. At a speed slower than Heard-san, but much greater than the norm, we headed towards the Crimson Prison, and by the time we reached, the sun had already set.
The temperature of the land ruled by Vanity was high. It’s rumored to be the lingering influence of a Lord of Wrath who governed the area in times past, but the truth of the matter is yet to be determined.
Even if it was now night, the heat was incomparably higher than that on the Dark Prison Leigie-sama once controlled, and the unbearable heat made me let out a single fevered sigh.
I gratefully patted the neck of the flying dragon, who had put out a speed beyond his potential, and lay myself onto the ground for a while.
Still, this place is… really hot…
I lifted my arms to take in my own scent. I checked for dirt on my garments.
Keeping my appearance in order was part of the standard curriculum for the house in service to Leigie-sama. No matter how pained, or fatigued I may be; even on the brink of death, I could not let myself be dirtied.
I feel the anti-heat resistance on the standard Demon Tree gradually starting up.
Just what came to their minds to have them build a town at a place like this? I can only wonder.
If they were going to raise one, it would be best off in a place easier to live in… Like in the Dark Prison that never had any temperature fluctuations year round, day and night.
This town, which seemed to be called Grey Rock was only a few kilos from the Dark Prison… it was right across the horizon.
The information that it was a town that defined the border looked accurate. It was relatively close to both Heard-san’s Castle of Shimmering Souls, and even Leigie-sama’s Castle of Shadows.
And wait, I even passed it overhead. I felt a strong urge to stop by, so please praise me for not taking a detour here…
Well, I can’t tell what Heard-san would say to me, you know?
I let out another deep sigh, and started walking through the town.
But even if it was night, it was still too quiet.
I was able to discern it from the skies, but the number of residents wasn’t anything great. Is the Devouring Lord really at a place like this… no, there’s also the possibility this is what’s left from that Lord’s dinner. I mean, the Devourer apparently eats other Demons for pleasure…
The moment I thought of the possibility, a chill ran through me, and I clutched my shoulders.
This is no joke.
According to Vanity-san, she was being quite well behaved, but he’s not a trustworthy source of information. Our opponent has a bottomless stomach. There’s no enemy I would like to take on less than a Demon of Gluttony.
Even if I was able to Overrule and nullify most of their Skills, I still doubt I’d have a chance of victory.
Well, from what I can tell by looking around, there are no traces of battle.
… Of course, there’s the possibility that all the town’s residents were devoured without being given the time to put up a fight, but if I thought that hard into it, I wouldn’t be able to take any action at all.
Whatever the case, Heard-san should have arrived here long ago. No matter how ill-famed an enemy Zebul Glaucus was, she shouldn’t be able to stand before him. Even if she were here, she was probably gone by now.
While I started forming my perfect theories on the matter, I strained my senses to feel for presences, and started walking down the path lit by the large red moon.
It was an ominous town. But I can’t figure out the reason for the chills I’m experiencing.
Likely the town’s namesake, the countless houses of grey stone gave off not a single sign of life, but still, some of their windows let off dim orange colored lights.
The only one walking about outside was me.
And there, I understood my discomfort.
It was too quiet. There was too little of anything.
As if white paint had been smeared all around me to paint out all the surroundings, it was an unnatural feeling of emptiness.
I wasn’t particularly skilled at picking up presences or anything, but I should at least be able to feel Heard-san’s. I mean, he never held any intentions of concealing that massive power of his.
I hurriedly looked around. The only one standing in the wide plaza of the town was… me.
But I couldn’t tell that. Even if I strained my ears, or concentrated my eyes, there was nothing.
That truth caused my Soul Core to quietly shake.
I put my hand to my chest. The beating pulse I felt on my palm was all I could feel, and all that made my being.
I need to calm myself. Making a ruckus at a time like this is… the work of a small fry.
Dammit! This is why I didn’t want to leave the Castle of Shadows!
I focused myself on the beating of my core, and encouraged myself, as I took a slow glance around.
“… Kusu kusu kusu, what could it be. This is… quite strange.”
It wasn’t that my life was in peril, or anything like that.
I’m not sure the reason, but I was feeling an immense sense of impatience. If reports are to be believed, then a Lord of Angels attacked this land before. Perhaps that’s the cause of my unease.
The possibility that the unperceivable marks left by my natural enemy were ringing alarm bells in my head.
Anyways, my best course of action would be to meet up with Heard-san. If it’s him, then whether it be a Saint Lord, or Devouring Lord, it will work out one way or another. And the reason I’m even here is also his fault, so it should be fine to have him take responsibility for this.
After I took a deep breath, I closed my eyes, and heightened my senses to a level I’d never felt before.
The negative soul beating within me stabilized. I have no Skill to take in everything around, like a Demon Lord’s Abyss Zone.
But my perception should be wider than any of those dime-a-dozen Demons out there. Despite this and that, Heard-san’s kidnapping/training did serve to strengthen me.
My five senses spread out into the surrounding air, and informed me of the world. My cold sweat fell to the ground in beads.
As if using that as a signal, I instantly started to grasp in the depths of my heart that I was indeed on hostile territory.
It was likely something like synesthesia. Not from my expanded five, but from a completely different sixth sense.
Like I was gazing into a mirror, and uncanny world reflected my own form back at me.
This town had already served its purpose. The reason for its scarcity of inhabitants was likely that as well.
And it was likely… not by Heard-san’s hand.
This is… right. A long time past. My sense of discomfort started to change.
“Hm… how useless…”
On the voice that suddenly resounded behind me, I unintentionally let out a shameful cry.
What entered my eyes was a man two heads higher than me.
Black hair, and black eyes. His overly arrogant expression was knit in obvious displeasure, enough to make my slight sentiment of wanting to meet up with him not too long ago flip over in an instant.
What was there was definitely the one whose reunion I had been hoping for, a certain Heard Lauder.
But even right before me, his presence was surprisingly faint, and if I took my eyes off him again, I bet I’d lose him again.
For how long has he been behind me?
The reason my perception doesn’t catch anything likely isn’t Heard-san’s power.
It’s this air. This magic, that seems to hang over like a mist to cloak any and everything.
On that air, as if an unknown fear had been eating at the base of my feet, caused me to raise my voice.
“W-what do you mean by useless? Heard-san?”
“… Tsk, damn Egoist… as always, he’s a crafty one.”
Heard-san didn’t turn his eyes the slightest bit in my direction, and merely lorded over the completely empty space. He wore the same grimace as always, but there was a slight color of conviction on it.
… I wonder what this is about.
When I was about to call out again, the blank space Heard-san had been staring at for a while suddenly began to warp.
And as if attempting to muffle the scream I almost let out, a gloomy and broken voice shook the air.
“Don’t… be like… that.”
Vanity the Egoist. Even taller than Heard-san, the mountainous man raised a roar.
His disposition was like he had been watching us from that exact spot the entire time, as he calmly looked down at the both of us. Behind him were numerous Demons with their faces covered in black masks. Their heights and bearings were various, but the platoon of Demons had a strange sense of uniformity.
It wasn’t… at some arbitrary point.
There was surely nothing there until a moment before. My eyesight isn’t bad. There’s no way I’d let pass an army of that size.
The abnormal situation made me begin to shiver.
It’s… not an illusion. There may be a high-level Luxuria Skill to reproduce this phenomenon, but this wasn’t something of that sort. Of all else, the power I felt from Vanity-san was definitely Superbia.
In that case, there’s a high chance it’s an ability of his subordinates, but for these numbers to be hiden away, it would be difficult for even a General.
Of course, Medea-san Class was out of the question. And she wasn’t even Lust in the first place.
Heard-san was calm enough to make one think he had expected all of this.
He calmly spat out his words.
“So even after living a life long enough to erode at one’s memory, you’ll still favor underhanded tactic, Egoist?”
“… Call it… what you will, Prideful Kaiser.”
The edges of Vanity-san’s lips did indeed rise, but is that really a smile?
I raised my evaluation of Vanity-san a level. His appearance and contents didn’t connect. A mismatch. He was much too mysterious. Despite his robust body, he went for roundabout methods.
For a Demon carrying the same sin as me, he remained unidentified. The unknown was the greatest enemy of Pride.
Vanity-san’s and Heard-san’s powers clashed.
Neither of them had moved a step. But I’m sure I felt their mana collide, and mingle.
Just by standing here, I can feel a wind enough to make my body cower.
“Where is the Devourer?”
“That girl… went to… the Lord of Sloth.”
The Lord that governs Sloth.
Those words could only indicate a single place in this vast world.
Leigie Slaughterdolls. The world’s strongest slacker, and the existence I was born in order to serve.
And at the same time, Heard-san’s birth parent.
I haven’t heard the specifics, but at the very least, the Lazy King held a great importance to Heard-san.
Did Vanity-san not know?
No, that’s not it. There’s no way that’s it.
Otherwise… there’s no way he could stand so calmly before Heard-san’s blatant ill humor.
“… You… bastard… so you knew from the start!?”
A short sound rung through the air, and dust whirled into the air to accompany it.
I immediately closed my eyes to handle it.
Vanity’s large build had slid back several meters. His large hand that was perhaps the size of my face saw spread open in front of him.
The scraped off portions of the road revealed bright red soil.
From his upheld hand, smoke quietly started rising up the heavens.
Heard-san was glaring at him with eyes as if to shoot him dead.
Heard-san had released his fist, and Vanity-san had blocked. That’s all there was to it.
But that simple truth was enough to beat me down.
That can’t be… there’s someone out there that can stop the Prideful Kaiser, Heard Lauder’s fist…
“You’re also… the same… incredible power.”
“What’s your goal?”
I can’t keep up with this.
Please don’t start conversing with your fists. I don’t understand that language.
His expression covered up with his audacity was simply quiet, and I couldn’t comprehend the feelings he held behind it.
… Well, of course, I’m going to pretend to understand them…
I thought for a moment, before raising a cheerful voice.
“Heard-sann, Leigie-sama is undefeated.”
The greatest monster I had ever met in my lifetime was not Heard-san, but Leigie-sama.
Heard-san was a monster in strength, but completely irrelevant to that, Leigie-sama’s existence was incomprehensible. If I had to say, he was like a deity. Just his existence made me feel awe.
Even when I’ve only ever see him sleeping…
Since he’d already taken down Heard-san once, for argument’s sake, I cannot think of a single one to win against Leigie-sama, and of course, the one who already faced an unsightly defeat at his hands, Zebul-san, is out of the question…
“Hm… I know.”
Unexpectedly, both Heard-san and Vanity-san nodded as if that fact were natural.
I don’t really get why everyone has such a high evaluation of that man when all he does is sleep, but it’s likely that’s just the way this world works.
Still, that makes the reason Vanity-san kept quiet about even harder to comprehend. There’s not a single merit for him in luring Heard-san here.
At that moment, as if the Egotistic Lord had read my thoughts, he warped his mouth into what was, this time, undoubtedly a smile.
A hoarse voice. He included in some sarcastic mimicry towards a sincere tone, and what was there was clearly malice, and at the same time, his will.
His arm that likely had a width three times mine pointed up towards the sky.
His thunderous voice resounded through the unnaturally quiet town scape.
“Like I care about the Devourer… My enemy is… heaven. Alone.”
As if it were waiting for those very words, a heavy wind blew.
The heavy deep-blue clouds covering up the sky split.
What remained was… a pure white light.
Countless strings of light poured through to sever the Demon World’s red moon, and I witnessed a scene I could not believe.
Heard-san made a rare display of gritting his teeth into a sour expression… with eyes full of malice, he looked towards the sky.
The light danced.
I could only watch it in a daze.
The natural enemies of us Demons, and the souls that dwelled in the heavenly realm.
Clad in shining garments of pure white, with large wings sprouting from their backs… their Heavenly Wings caught the wind, and let them race through the open air.
Of course, even I’ve at least seen an Angel before.
But… the number was different.
Even as I watched, the sky continued to clear, and the whole story was made true.
A single cloud still hung, but it was clear enough. Their numbers weren’t just a hundred or two.
I bit down on my quivering lip. As if a silk thread had been strung around my neck, my instincts began to suffocate me.
I had a clear understanding of it.
I was… scared of ‘them.’
“Kusu kusu… why, at a place like this, so many Angels…”
The opposite entity from Demons.
I naturally put an arm over the other to hide my own trembling.
The spectacle I observed for the first time was truly deserving to be called a miracle of god.
The Angels were his vanguard. Unlike Demons, that would never remain bound to any single entity, they held on to the will of the heavens.
The will to bring ruin to all of us.
Standing at the front of such an army was an Angel with conspicuously more luxurious attire. While the others had a single pair of wings on their back, that lone Angel had two sets.
It was only for a moment, but those cold eyes without a fragment of self-consciousness, definitely captured us.
I could clearly see the difference in power. Regardless of how far apart we were in distance, it was more than clear enough to me.
Without a doubt, if she were a Demon, she would be Demon Lord Class.
There, I recalled the name Kanon-san had presented as the meeting’s agenda.
The Valkyrie of the Silver Blue who acted to take down the Demon Lords all together.
“Could it be, that’s… Serge Serenade…!?”
Vanity-san stifled his own laugh.
It was only the span of a blink that their eyes met. But to me, it felt like several minutes. My cold sweat shows no signs of stopping.
But as if to say that he didn’t have interest in Serge anymore, he changed his field of vision.
To the horizon extending over the Dark Prison.
His mouth bent a little, and he formed up a slight grin.
“Heard-san, t-that is…”
I informed Heard-san, who continued to look up at the Angels with a grim expression.
At around the same time, Serge’s heavenly wings flapped grandly.
It was a white light.
Displaying a sudden extreme acceleration, the Angel’s body left a white afterimage in the sky as it disappeared. To accompany that, the other countless angels began to race through the sky without the slightest sound.
It wasn’t towards us.
Not to Grey Rock, where two Demon Lords of Pride had gathered.
To the land that was once ruled by the Demon Lord of Sloth… to the Castle of Shadows.
“So this is… the reason you lured me out.”
“My enemy… is… heaven. Alone.”
Letting out something that sounded a little like an answer, Vanity-san raised his right hand.
From all over the town, from the shadows scattered here and there, numbers upon numbers of masked soldiers started to appear. It was as if they had just come to being at this moment, Vanity-san’s presence-less Legion.
Adding on the ones who were there from the start, it was a considerable force. Even after seeing that number of Angels, their gestures showed not the least bit of unrest.
Vanity-san looked down at Heard-san. As if he were evaluating him.
“Kuku… Prideful Kaiser… go forth, if you must.”
If you were to compare Demons and Angel, the greatest differing trait would be mobility.
Heavenly Wings granted Angels air speed rivalling that of flying dragons. It was something an average Demon wouldn’t be able to follow so easily.
Vanity’s Legion was likely the same. Especially for high ranking Angels with experience on the battlefield like Serge, no normal Demon would be able to catch up.
But here, we had an extraordinary Demon.
The Lord of Pride, left behind by the passage of time.
The decision was instantaneous.
Heard-san’s body blurred for a moment, before a kick jutted out at Vanity-san’s bald head.
The ground shook greatly, and fragments scattered all over.
Blood danced around the air, and with a single wet sound, brown cuts of meat fell to the ground.
I grimaced at the terrible spectacle. I picked off a piece of meat stuck to my apron, and let it fall to the ground.
What was once Vanity-san was now left in ruin. With the attack against Schitol-san, her soul core still remained, but even that wasn’t left within the wreckage. It was likely thoroughly smashed.
Perhaps they were at a loss for words, as Vanity-san’s subordinates remained silent as they watched the blood.
I averted my face, waiting for the end of it.
I’m not sure what he was thinking, but… kusu kusu.
… It’s because you tried to look down on our Heard-san…
He can’t stand being made fun of. And I’m the same as Heard-san in that regard.
That’s why it was natural for Vanity-san to die.
With a bored expression, the perpetrator of all of this trampled over the bloody mess, and said but two words.
“… We’re going…”
“Yes. Will you be using the flying dragon?”
Of course. His feet are faster after all.
Stepping on the ground, Heard-san’s form vanished in an instant. Ah, he’s gone…
There really is such a thing as way too fast.
Well, if he’s not going to use it, I guess I will.
It’ll probably be impossible to catch up with those Angels on this dragon, But as long as Heard-san’s there, there will be no role for me even if I do end up catching up.
Then it would be more useful for me to simulate what to do, and how to appear on my reunion with Leigie-sama.
“Yes, yes, please move aside…”
I passed through the pitiful army that continued to stand frozen in silence, and headed for the flying dragon, as I thought to myself.
Oneechan, I wonder what you’re doing right around now… well, you’re probably the same as always, taking care of Leigie-sama… you’re probably carrying out the exact same routine you’ve been doing for the past few thousand years.
Yeah… it’s all gone to hell here, but know that I’m doing fine.
Please put in as much needless effort as you so desire.
I will, in you guys’ place, Overrule everything.