TL: Sevens ended at chapter 345 (Volume 18)
TL: 17.5k words…
The Lazy King Part 2 Chapter 5: Ira’s Resentment
Part 1: How Sad it Must be
“Oh… what beautiful crimson hair… this child will surely become a fine wielder of Ira.”
A large face with numerous wrinkles carved into it peered at me.
His height was twice my own, and it was likely that even if I squeezed out every ounce of mana in my body, my power wouldn’t even reach his feet.
Among the ruling Demons, he was a being with supreme power. With awe in their voices, those around him referred to him as such…
And even among them, this man’s might made him a Demon Lord amongst Demon Lords.
He was a rare Great Demon King within this warring era, who even survived through the battles with heaven.
His name was Fels Crowne, of 『Deceit』.
He was a wire-like man.
His thin stature was likely not graced by anything like muscles, and he had a characteristically kind expression one would think to be unthinkable of Superbia.
But even so, Fels was a long-lived Demon Lord.
… Even if that glory was a thing of the past.
“Ira… if you have that power, than perhaps you’ll even be able to unify the Demon World someday.”
While making light of all the other Demon Lords, but that being a case, the King who sat at the summit for much too long was already tired.
Desire wasn’t infinite. That’s why, while we didn’t originally possess lifespans, there are times when a longer life is the very reason for a decline in power.
He was severe, and vile, and merciless enough to earn the word 『Deceit』 in his name, and yet the one who had continued to pursue his desire all alone, the Lord Fels Crowne, was already dead.
Only because of his strong power, did he continue to sit on the Great Demon King’s throne.
Meaning in the end, that was the extent of his caliber.
His lukewarm bearing was enough to make me bear resentment just by looking at him, and yet, he was always nothing but kind to me.
Enough to make my Wrath grow hazy.
It was a tale of a time in the distant past, but even now, it remains vivid in my memory.
I would intently gaze up at his stagnant eyes, and wait for the next words to escape his mouth. And to me, the Great Demon King dropped to a severely dark tone.
The young me understood.
That was likely the reason an ordinary man like Fels was able to climb to the seat of Great Demon King.
“But this rate isn’t going to work out… we require the power of Leigie of Sloth, I guess…”
“Leigie… of Sloth?”
Unable to comprehend Fels Crowne… father’s words, I tilted my head, and he gave a grand nod, as if he had suddenly nodded off.
Only his silver pair of eyes continued to let off a dull light.
I’m not sure how much time had passed. Perhaps it was an instant, or perhaps there had been a space of several minutes of silence.
The Great Demon King slowly opened his mouth.
“Kanon. Henceforth… take up the name Ira Lord…”
It was a name much too full of pride. I was a freshly born Demon, and I hadn’t even gotten to Knight Class.
But Father seemed quite certain of it. That I was to become a Lord of Ira.
Deceit was an accumulation of fiction.
The nature of Fels Crowne was to remove what existed, and build existence out of nothing.
That’s why me understanding the meaning of those words required the span of the next few thousand years.
Even if there are many who know my name, there are few who know its meaning.
The Castle of Shadows.
It was a palace, where even the shadows slept silently.
The ramparts that extended beyond the horizon was merely boorish, and its size rose great enough to befit the term, ‘towering above.’ The fortress of a Demon Lord.
The Lord of Sloth was to refer to a Demon Lord who forged himself in depravity.
This peerlessly vast Castle of Shadows was nothing more than that Lord’s bedroom.
His subordinates, whose numbers surpassed the thousands, existed for nothing more than to protect his sleep.
Heard Lauder. Boasting a rare kind of power, he was a Pride Demon who would never prostrate himself before anyone.
“Hm… Kanon… Iralaude, is it? Useless… do what you will.”
The strange Demons who held no higher directive than to attend to the ambitionless Lord.
“Kanon Iralaude… well, as long as you don’t try to disturb his sleep, then…”
Acting on an incomprehensible principle, the way of life of these Demons I had no way of grasping was something I had never witnessed before, and they delivered a bit of an impact to my mentality, but that was blown away when I saw the Lord himself. Blown all away.
Even now, I can recall it clearly.
The quiet air covering the entire fortress, and the black door, an incarnation of darkness.
On the other side of the door I had opened to introduce myself, the Lord simply whispered to himself alone.
… I’m kinda tired…
He didn’t seem to pay any mind to me, as I was taken up in silence, as the jet-black haired man directed his dead eyes towards vacant space.
The Lord of Sloth.
Leigie the Depraved. The sole Demon accepted to have pursued the foundation of Acedia to its limits, an ancient Demon.
As if he were the air, he lacked a distinct feel to him, but just by existing before my eyes, the vast amount of Magic you could even call absurd was clearly something extraordinary, even from the eyes of a fledgling like me, and he had much too less of a will.
It was such that even when I compared it to the preposterously high power of my father, I could quite distinctly tell that it was much, much higher.
At a single glance, I could tell by intuition.
Ah, so this is… the man who crushed a Great Demon King by merely being there.
No offense, or defense, but mere existence.
No charisma, or fighting spirit, or even intent, but power alone he possessed. If you call one who’s thoroughly learned their Sin a Lord, then… yes, I see, he is surely worthy of being a Lord of Sloth.
There was status, and honor, and then, there was a gathering of Demons that showed no interest in either of the two.
Even I, having seen all the Demon Lords that came to kneel before father, found that lifestyle to be exceedingly rare, and it invited on my anger.
These Demons… just what are they searching for in life?
Even when, as Demons, they possess power great enough to warrant the envy of others.
The haves, and the have nots. Talent can be cruel. The gap between my father, whose wrinkles grew deeper with age, and the one who came on as youthful after living an even greater amount of rime was more than clear, and for some reason, it irritated me.
And my father that brought me here, with nothing but a worn-out expression, pleaded to that Lord with a single sentence.
To the Lord who, while he wasn’t even doing anything, had an expression much more worn-out than father.
Those words were, quite likely, not what a Great Demon King was to address to his subordinates.
“Leigie… I’ll leave my daughter to you.”
I didn’t known the resolve or weight behind his words.
But the Lord of Sloth gave a response anyways.
He let only his face out from beneath the blankets, and the slovenly tone he answered in held no ambition. I couldn’t see a fragment of the makings of a Lord in him.
“… Just do whatever you want. It’s not like I’m the one who’ll be attending to her anyways.”
The compensation he paid for his power was… depravity.
A man adorned with the polar opposite of the anger that fueled Ira.
Change and stagnation. Perhaps precisely because they were opposites, that a principle exist in them to heighten one’s Wrath.
Father likely saw through that.
While staring at Leigie’s lifeless eyes, I frantically tried to think of the meaning behind father’s will, and unable to think of anything, what entered my eyes as they turned up to father expectantly, were dark eyes of nihilism.
If another were to see his spiritless expression, they likely would have evaluated it as not falling short of the Lord of Sloth.
As young as I was, his speech delivered a considerable shock to me.
“Kanon… introduce yourself. He is the lone one to have spent his eternity in solitude. In this endlessly vast Demon world, the sole… Lazy King.”
He pushed my back, and I took a step forward.
But I was still frantically thinking.
His recklessness. The intent of the aged Great Demon King.
Even before the Great Demon King, the eyes of the Lord who didn’t pay any mind to it in the slightest, were horridly muddled.
And oddly enough, that was the vey answer to the question of, ‘for what sake is he living?’ I had thought the first moment I met him.
There was no meaning in this man’s life. No goal. No reason.
His life that couldn’t be worn by any other Demon Lord was the cruel meaning behind the solitude my father spoke of.
Just how sad a thing must it be?
That was the first time I felt an emotion opposite to resentment.
Just as father said, I lightly raised the edges of my skirt in the gesture that had been thoroughly beaten into me, and gave a polite bow.
I didn’t feel anyone’s eyes on me. Even while his pupils were directed ahead, this man wasn’t looking at me.
He must be staring at whatever he does every day.
“Kanon Iralaude. The Sin I govern is Wrath. I’ll be in your care, um…”
I hesitated for a moment.
Leigie-sama? No, as the daughter of the Great Demon King, it’s unthinkable for me to use such an honorary title for another.
Leigie…san? That sounds too reserved. It doesn’t settle right.
Should I just drop the honorific? No, he’s someone father spoke up to this extent. He must be deserving of some respect.
Being left with him meant that we would be becoming family.
I already have a father. But let that be the case, there’s no way this one’s little brother material.
The hesitation was only an instant. With as much affection as I could muster, and, with Wrath backing my tone, I called that name… the pitiful name of the Lord o Depravity.
That was likely the starting point.
And I, in the long life that followed… in spending a timeframe much longer than that which tormented my father before me, I came to know the significance of the Lazy King’s name.
But no matter how much time passed by, niisama was to stay as niisama.
And as if he were in hibernation, the way he would never leave the Castle of Shadows, was never to change.
Part 2: There Wasn’t a Single Decent Person in my Army
My auditory sense received a jolt, and my consciousness was pulled together once more.
The voice I heard at regular intervals sounded quite nostalgic for some reason.
Light entered my field of vision.
I held my head, and let my eyes scan the area. It was the same place as always.
The throne room of the Palace of Rending Flames. While it held the same mold as that of the one in the Castle of Shadows, the Great Demon King’s throne was soaked in a completely different atmosphere.
At that place where many Kings of History had entrusted themselves, I awakened.
“Kanon-sama? What seems to be the matter!?”
“… Yeah… don’t worry about it. Just… I was just reminiscing a little bit.”
‘Twas a failure. It seems I had sunk too deep into thought.
“Y-yes… if that’s all it is, then…”
The one looking at me with some doubt was my right hand Demon.
Lize Bloodcross. A Demon of Wrath like me, and a woman that somewhat reminded my of my past self.
Perhaps’t that’s why.
Of all things, I sent an inexperienced Lize to Leigie-niisama’s side.
Perhaps when father left me to him long ago, he experienced a feeling like what I feel as well. There’s no way to find out at this point.
The Lord of Sloth has no enemies. There’s no way niisama, who doesn’t even take any action, could bear animosity towards anyone.
Having power surpassing her age, the mildly unstable Lize was able to gain fine control over her emotions due to niisama’s influence. Rather than stating it as a report on her progress, perhaps it is simply an inevitability.
Because niisama has quite a lot of experience…
“Good grief, those Demon Lords are the same as always.”
“Yeah… but that can’t be helped. It’s precisely because they’re like that.”
I brought together the Demon Lords strong in Sin. It’s natural for there to be a level of friction between them.
It’s proof that the Great Demon Kings of old bent a large variety of powers to their whim.
And I’m the same.
I gathered together the wielders of all sorts of desire. I was more than prepared to be surrounded by potential traitors the moment I became Great Demon King.
Temperament. Wisdom. Brute force. Charisma.
The only thing those guys didn’t heed was… authority.
And at the same time, with them following me to that extent… I can’t have them lose their powers, and fall to some Angel, or the like.
“But… as I thought, Schitol went too far… to snatch from an allied soldier before my very eyes…”
“… Ah, Medea…”
It was only natural that a Greed Demon’s power depended on material possessions. Therefore, their basic battle power wasn’t all too high.
However, that Demon Lord had, of all things, chosen ‘Bodies’ as her target of desire. I haven’t the slightest idea what caused her to develop such a craving, but the power she possessed could likely easily pierce a Demon Lord’s body.
She was truly a troublesome Demon.
And there’s that personality of hers…
All the Lords had quite picky personalities, but even among them, she was top class in being hard to handle.
Medea Luxeliaheart was a considerable Demon.
I never thought she would be thrown into the army when niisama randomly picked her up, and I hadn’t the slightest notion that she would even reach General Class.
But even so, before Demon Lords, there was much too great a gap in quality.
“Looking at it from another perspective, could it be our luck that it ended with Medea alone…?”
“… Well, there’s some truth to that… but it sure has been a while since a casualty came up at a conference.”
Of course, if you mix together so many strong poisons, the damage to the surroundings is nothing small.
But at the same time, in this land swirling with various strong desires, they did hold the strength to show off their mettle, so it’s not like they’re to be killed off so easily.
If you want to look to the current trend, then most casualties don’t arrive during the meeting, but from the aftermath, and it wasn’t the Demon Lords themselves, but everyone around them.
“W-well, Medea was just a double, so…”
Lize let out a mournful sigh.
It must be painful to witness the Demon she dragged out be killed like that.
Truly, it may have been thoughtless to drag the girl over here.
I never should have compared her to Heard Lauder, who had always attended these conferences in niisama’s place.
Medea and Heard’s careers were different. Even if I was the one who ordered it, for her to have an insurance plan known as illusions… well, perhaps she was killed so easily due to the resultant negligence, but anyways, I should commend her for coming out in the first place.
I extinguished a cinder that as set alight in some corner of my head with a sigh.
To cover that up, I directed my eyes to Lize.
“As I’ve told you before, Lize, I’ll leave the role of reporting to Leigie to you.”
Lize’s figure as she gave her affirmation overlapped with my own form of the past, and for some reason, it gave me an excessively lonely feeling.
I shook my head to deny that. Such sentiment is unnecessary to my Wrath. Nothing will change from harboring such a feeling.
“But, Kanon-sama… whatever the case, I doubt there is anyone out there to target Leigei of Sloth.”
“Oh… why is that?”
“I mean, for the Lord of Sloth… there’s absolutely no reason to aim for his head, is there? Back when his territory was vast was one thing, but right now, Leigie Slaughterdolls has nothing but the Castle of Shadows… he doesn’t even have an army. Attacking Leigie will not earn anyone any status or fame.”
“… That’s… right. Truly, by assaulting niisama, there’s nothing to be gained.”
As long as he doesn’t take any active action, as long as keeps his hand from the world, as long as he stays holed up in his room, can he truly isolate himself from all else?
Can he merely sleep peacefully without receiving any evaluation from anyone?
Power is justice. Without doing anything, he spent his long lifetime, and like the sweet smell of a nepenthes, the vast power he cultivated would draw Demons to him.
Naturally, his obligations increase. That’s something that can’t be helped.
The ice he lowered on the world must have been a manifestation of the sentiment he was always been building up. How repulsing, and sorrowful.
Because of his very being, the Lord of Depravity is not permitted to gain a single thing in life.
Back in my own element, I gave more orders to Lize.
“Vanity’s report is… also uncertain. A Lord of Angels, and Zebul the Devourer, even if this land is constantly astir with turmoil, the timing is much too convenient. What’s more, that man isn’t one to trust.”
Vanity the Egoist’s words were soaked in deceit.
Superbia was largely divided into two categories.
Those like Heard Lauder, who gained Pride in their own ability.
And those like Vanity Seidthroan, who boasted not of their power, and used wit to accomplish their pride.
That was Pride of the same type as father’s.
“He’s scheming something here.”
As that man’s daughter, I understood.
That sort of Demon Lord was the most dangerous factor to the King’s seat.
I see, compared to all the others prostrated before me, that Lord is quite an irregular. I mean, I cannot see a clear form of desire in him.
But still, I didn’t think that the man was telling a lie. High ranking Lords could generally see through most lies on the spot.
If he were to report a falsehood, what merit would be in it for Vanity? Even if he may be Rank four, he’s not able to contest my Ira, and also, even if his report were to be a lie, that would just put Heard against him.
“… The truth of the matter aside, if the Devourer truly was defeated, yet managed to survive… then her destination will be niisama’s side.”
Long lived Demon Lords cared not for victory, but were stubborn in defeat.
Zebul Glaucus was known for her exceedingly high offensive power, and brutal nature. I’m not sure how long she’s lived for, but I doubt she has much experience in failure.
I folded a leg atop the other above the cold throne.
I felt a burning power from my prided long staff clasped in my right hand. As if to manifest the submerged anger in the depths of my heart.
As if it were eagerly awaiting for me to release power through it once more.
“Hm… I don’t think that niisama will lose, and… I can’t think that Heard will let her escape either.”
I mean, Zebul has already lost to niisama once.
No matter how heinous she may be, it would be difficult for her to oppose both niisama and Heard, with their exceedingly high powers.
“… Y-yes. Heard Lauder has already departed from this land. If it’s that Lord, then perhaps there’s no need to worry.”
“What an impatient man… but so be it.”
Even if there’s no defeat to be found, I can’t let such a trifling matter disturb niisama’s sleep.
In that case, there would have been no reason for me to take his rank and land and army. Heard should know that fact as well.
Heard Lauder’s power was undoubtedly top class within my army. I hated dealing with that man as a child, but when he’s my subordinate, he makes himself quite useful. Especially how he could roam as he pleased in this wide world that was hard to span even on a dragon. His agility like that of a clap of thunder was that man’s nature. It’s almost impossible to run away from him.
The more and more I thought, the more sighs came from my mouth. If he’d only actually listen to my orders for once, I wonder just how much my Demon World unification plans would have hastened.
“Good grief, the world just turns about as it pleases.”
And that will likely never end.
Even from the past… he was that sort of man.
Having spent many years alongside those niisamas of mine, they were my… bane.
If I became negligent, then even my desire would weather away.
A scene of a few thousand years past came up again, and I shook my head to rid myself of it.
“Well, fine. The main issue is that Valkyrie. Lize, I’ll assign you the duty of informing Heard of what we have on her.”
“… Yeah, he did leave before anything was said…”
Like that, just how does he plan on chasing after Serge…
Demon World unification is being held up by the existence of a single lone Valkyrie. How troublesome.
And sending representative to them rarely has any effect on those Demon Lords.
“But, even so, it’s already the end.”
In the end, there’s but one opponent. Because of her mobility, we were having a problem getting our hands on her, but as long as we know her location, taking her out is all too easy.
This is the Demon world. A land of dark miasma governed by fiends.
The miracle of God, those heavenly wings cannot fly too far through this abyss.
We’ll have to pound that fact into those foolish Angels.
“Yes, it is as you will it.”
With intoxicated eyes, the man who was standing behind me immediately kneeled.
He was the inspector Demon dispatched to the late Rank Seven, Ciel Afreide.
While the Lord was killed, my eyes on him remained alive. No, that alone is part of the role of an observer.
It was the end of her luck when she chose a Demon Lord of Envy to assault.
The observer’s intoxicated eyes, which would never stop envying all of existence, Angels included, had surely captured the Valkyrie’s form.
An Envy Demon’s nature was highly geared towards information. After being caught in the eyes of Envy, that girl was nothing more than a butterfly in a spider’s web.
Lize furrowed her brow in a sort of wonder, and began timidly probing through my eyes.
“… So where is Serge of the Silver Blue…?”
“Ah, what a girl… silvery white hair, and cyan eyes, wings of pure light, and… her strength, everything about her was simply beautiful. How does that lass manage to live such a vivid life!? Kuku, it’s a pity she’s to be destroyed… and at the same time, what a wondrous day it is. That I can witness the death of such a beautiful Angel with these very eyes!”
His figure took on a form of joy, as if to express the ecstasy running through his entire body, and Lize’s expression cramped up a little.
For her to make a disgusted expression at something of this level, is she not thrown about by her emotions a little too much?
Well, when you’re by niisama’s side, these sort of stimulus seem quite distant. Should I go dispatch her off to some repulsive Demon Lord for a time…
If this is enough to disturb her, she’ll never be a Lord.
I prodded the man with my staff to return him to his senses.
Finally noticing the phrase, ‘these very eyes,’ and understanding their intent, Lize blinked a few times.
“Yes, that Valkyrie is, at present… racing about the skies over red soil. From the Crimson Prison to the Dark Prison… at the speed of the wind.”
In this area, there’s no land soaked in such black magic besides the Dark Prison.
With an Invidia Demon’s 『Envy Eye』 Skill, it wasn’t possible to find exact location, but if we had the general idea, then the rest was simple.
If they enter a zone, then the Lord could likely tell their location. That white aura of theirs was like a splotch of white on a canvas painted black, and it really stood out.
“But it’s the Crimson Prison… again.”
The Crimson Prison.
Ruled by Vanity Seidthroan, a scorching wasteland.
That land wasn’t an important strategic point in any way, and the population of Demons in it wasn’t high. The army size was also standard.
It’s not worthy of being the first land attacked by Angels in such a long time. I mean, their goal is to eliminate as many Demons as possible.
But as of late, problems have surfaced there one after another.
The appearance of a Saint Lord.
The appearance of Zebul.
And, now a report of Serge.
I thought back to the General Class Demon who stopped by the Palace of Rending Flames to give a report on the Angels just the other day.
While he was General Class, he was a seasoned veteran who had crossed many a battlefield.
That’s what the man had said.
A Greed Demon given a reward was one of the few trustworthy entities in all of these lands.
Is this a coincidence?
Father… Fels Crowne was, rather than military arts, skilled in his insight. That was likely something that couldn’t be avoided to carry out his Deceit.
That’s why there must be some meaning behind this trend.
Father treated everything in his surroundings as part of his work, but to me alone, he was kind.
Even if that was just him considering profit and loss…
Should the Egoist be trusted or not?
Vanity does heed to my orders, but it’s not like he’s loyal or anything. From the start, his nature was opposed to devotion.
But the vanguard of God… those entities called Angels weren’t ones who would let themselves be manipulated by any form of Demon so easily. Zebul was a monster who could have eaten the man the moment they met.
Even if someone was plotting something, it would be too much a risk for the Egoist to play his hand.
Heard Lauder is strong.
But against two opponents, the Devourer and the Valkyrie, can he possibly come out victorious?
It’s unlikely that he’ll encounter them simultaneously, but his power should fall the more he uses it up. That doesn’t change regardless of how much of it he’s stored up.
Heard was niisama’s formed right hand man. It’s an impossible notion, but in the million to one chance he’s destroyed, niisama might actually be saddened. At that time, I’ll have to be prepared for the entire Demon World to be frozen over again.
So perhaps I should send in some reinforcements.
『Always foresee the worst outcome. Reality will always exceed that.』
Father’s teachings floated up in my head.
But even if I were to send backup, the Rank Two and Rank Three Demon Lords bear resentment against Heard Lauder, and the chances are higher that he’ll actually suffer an attack from behind.
Since Zebul was removed, Rank Five has yet to be filled, and with his nature, Rank Six is unlikely to even hear out my orders.
As the Great Demon King, I can’t have myself go out personally.
There wasn’t a single decent person in my army.
“? What seems to be the matter?”
“Hmm… no, I was just considering whether to play another card or not.”
“To send reinforcements? Is Heard Lauder insufficient for the task?”
Lize’s question was on the mark.
Even back when he was a General, Heard boasted exceptional power, but that was brought even further to the limit when he became a Lord. If it’s that man, then perhaps he could even rend the earth with his bare hands.
I’m sure he’s the greatest master in my army. If you think about it logically reinforcements would be unnecessary.
My dispatches to the Demon Lords haven’t been recalled, and if I sent out those numerous ones below General Class to a fight between Lord Class entities, they’d be there for no purpose but to make noise.
I scrutinize over the incessant notions passing through my head, and reached a conclusion.
… I’m being a little… too cautious.
I’ve not the leisure to leave my own subordinates on standby.
At that point, Lize furrowed her brow, and muttered.
“But… truly, even if Heard is not to face defeat… there’s the possibility he might let them slip past. Once they’ve entered the Dark Prison’s territory, the Castle of Shadows isn’t too far away…”
Castle of Shadows… niisama?
… Right, if they’ve already entered that land, then with Heavenly Wings, the Castle was but a stone’s throw away.
But just because she entered the Dark Prison, that doesn’t mean that Serge is set to head for the Castle of Shadows.
“Lize, prepare a Dragon. We’re off to the Dark Prison.”
“… Huh? Wai… Kanon-sama, you’re going out personally?”
There’s no time.
The Palace of Rending Flames, the Castle of Shadows, and the land of the Crimson Prison were lined up in a straight path. If I set out immediately, there’s a chance I’ll arrive in time.
I glared at Lize, who remained in a daze.
“Exactly. Now on with it!”
I gripped my staff strongly, and stood up.
In times beyond memory, when there was nothing but darkness in this desolate world, the Dark God was said to have passed this instrument to the Great Demon King. With my desire as its fuel, it gave out a steady pulse like a heart.
The feelings that came with my impatience circulated around my veins. Like the starting of an engine, heat began to spread through my body.
Valkyrie… Valkyrie, is it?
To stand before me, before niisama, how reckless must she be?
To try to slay Leigie of Sloth after killing off a measly Demon Lord or two is simply outrageous.
Well, well, well, I guess there’s no helping him.
I, Kanon will protect your peaceful rest, dear niisama.
Part 3: I am a Coward
Rage up, my flame.
My resentment shall birth dark flames greater than the cauldrons of hell, to do the Devil’s work of reducing the universe to ash.
You unsightly insects fluttering about the skies, before my ambition, you hindrances are all no greater than flies.
The heavens that looked down on the red blazing sun were simply high, and a realm beyond the reach from us beings forced to crawl along the ground.
But that’s how it should be. That’s why it’s perfect.
To us, wings are… unnecessary.
We don’t need those white bonds that tied us down to some inept God.
This lightless soil is the land we shall rule.
“You all will learn the meaning of that soon enough.”
I’ll have them regret setting foot here in jest. I’ll carve it into those bodies, those wings.
Otherwise… I won’t be able to feel satisfied.
A flying dragon’s wings ranked equal to those of an Angel’s in speed.
Boasting the greatest influence across these lands, my steed was faster than any ordinary dragon you’d find out there.
Because of the wind, there was quite a bit of turbulence atop the dragon. From up here, sitting on the gliding beast, that was letting off rough breaths from its nose in excitement, the boundary that marked the territory of Heaven felt horribly close.
What my ancestors… no, what me and my ancestos yearned for, a world of light.
It’s not that I don’t understand that sentiment.
This faint malaise I feel in my soul core, simply by looking up at the sky. That was probably… aspiration.
Even when it’s been less than ten thousand years since I first came to be, I could feel it. For those Demon Lords of old, forced to look up at it for hundreds of thousands of years, their yearning must be much greater than I.
But at present, I held no interest in such a thing.
There’s no guarantee that dazzling light is capable of bringing about any change to us. Just as it’s not certain our darkness will drop one to depravity.
I knew that all too well.
That’s why, it’s likely that even if some Great Demon King of old had managed to subjugate that world up there, I doubt anything would have changed.
Sitting aboard a flying dragon a little smaller than the oversized one I took as a steed, Lize sat with a grim expression as she flew to my lower left.
It’s been several of tens of minutes since we first entered the Dark Prison.
In this land constantly bathed by silence, while there still wasn’t a touch of sound, there was an unrest the likes of which the land had yet to see before.
It wasn’t by much, but niisama’s perception from his 『Abyss Zone』 was vaster than mine.
My zone was currently encompassing approximately three fourths of the Dark Prison’s vast land. I probed through the contents of that without leaving a stone unturned.
Through concentrating on all the faint traces of information I picked up, my head began to hurt.
But I can tell. I can see it clearly.
The presences of all shapes and sizes gathered around this land.
Apart from the countless irritating forces adorning the sky, there were three large powers. By size, there was no doubt they were Demon Lord Class, and for three powers of that extent to be in such close proximity was usually something that never came to be.
One of them was definitely clad in light. With the presence tracing the sky, and the flock following its lead, an overwhelming amount of divinity was being released.
Even if this isn’t heaven, that would be quite a debilitating factor.
The other two were ones I knew.
Two simple ones faithful to their sinful desire. At the summit of the Demons that governed the Demon World, two Lords of Demons.
『The Prideful Kaiser』, Heard Lauder.
『The Devourer』, Zebul Glaucus.
They were the presences of two Lords top class in this Demon world.
With those two presences at the center, the air sunk. Just by being there, their massive souls caused the world to creak and grate.
Strangely enough, both of them were specialized in attack, and their power transcended that of the other Demon Lords. In this den of beasts and monsters, their power that didn’t permit pursuit was much greater than any of the divinity coming down from above.
The level of power of Angels and Demons were decided by the souls embedded in their bodies.
With Heard and Zebul, the gap between them and the Angel was close to double.
While it’s not like the quantity of power directly correlates with battle ability, that gap wasn’t something to be overturned so easily.
Heard might be able to settle this with one hand.
Then was my anxiety unfounded?
The fact I can sense them means that they can sense my location as well.
Heard was a given. Also Zebul, and likely, the enemy Angel.
On all those forces swarming towards the Castle of Shadows like moths to a flame, I remembered a scalding crimson emotion, which I frantically clenched my teeth to contain.
“They’ve stepped a little too far out of line… of all things, to set foot in the Dark Prison…”
Lize’s prediction was correct.
The Angel’s destination was undoubtedly the Castle of Shadows.
I felt that my own decision wasn’t wrong.
There would be nothing I could do if I sent a representative, and they were to fail.
The Castle of Shadows was the Lord of Sloths bedroom, and his coffin.
I won’t allow a single one to set foot in there.
I remembered niisama’s eyes when I last saw him a year ago. All he wished for was a quiet rest.
“We sure are… foolish…”
As ones with power, we cannot help but attract stronger ones to us.
When I think of such a trifle disturbing niisama’s rest, along with a helpless feeling, I felt the sensation of my gut being burned through weighing me down. It was an emotion I’m sure I‘d learned to control before.
The flying dragon raised a low voice, and tis body swayed greatly. On the smell of something burning, I finally noticed that my own Ira was inflicting damage onto my steed.
With that small voice I hear below me compared to the beast’s large build, I can’t help but find it quite lovable.
… This is no good. At this rate, I’ll break into a smile again.
I took a deep breath. Little by little, I sink my Wrath back down to the depths of my existence.
Level-headed anger. Sharm rage, honed like a blade.
I already knew all the ways to swallow my anger.
I licked my lips. The beat has already quieted down. But it’s not like my resentment had disappeared.
It was merely left without eyes. It was constantly burning up my soul. All the parts of it I didn’t show on the surface were merely sharpening themselves. In order to bring ruin to my enemies.
We got closer to the battlefield, and the information I picked up grew more vivid.
There, was a scene that raised my concern.
“Tsk… Heard… just what’s holding him up.”
As if to show himself off, I witnessed a pulsating black flash… The wave of darkness that resulted from a clashing of mana spread across the sky like an aurora.
The mass of power came into contact with the other mass, and gave off an intense flicker like stardust. But there was no sign of either light going out.
The spectacle I could even see from a distant sky felt something like a premonition of the end of the world.
The devourer, Zebul Glaucus.
Blessed with an endless hunger, a witch of Gluttony.
She was conspicuously atrocious, and conspicuously sinful, even among the Demon Lords. All to devour all creation.
Even that Heard Leader won’t be able to knock down that perpetually lived gifted child of starvation.
Or maybe he’s just playing with her…
To blow away the gloomy feelings sticking to my head, I scoffed.
But that didn’t clear away any of my inner resentment in the slightest.
“Hmm… just do whatever you want. I’ve no intent to rid myself of either of you two. Go at it as you will.”
Annoying. It’s annoying, but… otherwise, there would be no point in me coming here.
If you were to look at Heard Lauder in terms of simple power, then he would be within the top three of all Lords.
It’s not like I conceded Rank One to him simply because he was an old friend.
Direct physical strength.
Absolute confidence in himself to lord over all.
Those were the qualities of Pride. He more than accomplished his own Sin.
I’ve no doubt in his victory. Even if it were to take a bit of time.
Even if I didn’t really like him all that much, I had at least that level of trust in him.
But still, the current situation is a little too rowdy.
Far behind Heard, there was an army of around five hundred racing over the land.
To chase the sky-bound Angels, a Legion atop flightless dragons was rushing over.
While kicking the ground at a speed that didn’t fall behind those of the Angels’ wings, the ominous army that seemed uniform enough to gain a constant measurement with a meter stick was one belonging to Vanity.
I’m not sure if they were even focused on the Angel flock, as without even a sign of them using a Skill, they quietly continued their dash. Their presences were exceedingly light, and for some reason, they brought about a psychologically unpleasant feeling with them.
Lize let her shoulders tremble.
“As always, that’s a repulsing army he keeps.”
The army with such a fleeting feel to it was a rare one among the Demon Lords’ forces, which had been given a specific name.
Vanity himself had tacked it onto them, the 『Ravus Persona』.
Even from this distance, the lost individuality and colorless grey souls I felt may be the origin of the name.
It’s not like there was a gap of power between that army’s Demons and others, but their somewhat ominous atmosphere made it so even I couldn’t tell for what purpose they had come into being.
Originally, I should have been analyzing the Angels. But rather than them, I found myself naturally concentrating on the army trampling the ground.
Quite different from than those holy messengers, who were irritating from their nature opposing ours, it was that army’s lack of nature in its entirety that made them all so irritating.
In that Legion advancing over the wasteland, the presence of their Lord Vanity was… absent.
I can’t feel him anywhere in the extent of my perception. Within my Zone, there are but three existences of Demon Lord Class apart from myself.
Was he annihilated? No, even like that, he’s Rank Four… he’s not of the caliber to go down so easy. Even if he were up against a Lord of Angels, he should have held out no matter the case…
There are too few characters on this stage. It’s a strangely ominous sensation.
I can’t think that Vanity’s army would act without its master.
At the conference, he clearly declared that he would bring death to the Angels.
At this point, I’m even beginning to doubt those words of his. The warning I heard from my father long ago threw my analysis of the situation out of line.
In the first place, no matter what sort of army it may be, there’s no way that Demons could pull off such coordinated movements with no one leading them.
My thoughts, stuck in a ditch, were snapped back with a thunderous sound.
Now’s not the time to think of such things, I see.
By taking a deep breath, I calmed myself down.
An army of Angels. And army of Demons.
Zebul Glaucus. Heard Lauder. Serge Serenade…
And Kanon Iralaude.
It’s quite an extravagant lineup we have there, but to Leigie-niisama, we’re at quite a disadvantage.
No matter how strong he may be, Heard Lauder’s but a single Demon. What’s more, of all things, that lone Demon was up against another Demon Lord who should be part of my own army.
Without their master, Vanity Seidthroan, that army was… a meaningless gathering.
While five hundred was nothing to scoff at, that level would find taking anyone of Demon Lord Class on to be difficult.
A low ranking Demon Lord may be one thing, but to one who took down the Rank Seven, they won’t even be a hindrance to Serge.
A Lord for a Lord. Those were the bare bones of anti-Demon, and anti-Angel tactics.
God dammit, if only Vanity was here, I’m sure it would work itself out one way or another.
Racing like shooting stars above the ether, the Angel forces weren’t all too high in power, but they were numerous, and anyways, they were fast.
The number of them Vanity reported was ten, but this time, their forces pretty much equal the man’s army. I’m surprised they managed to get such a large army to infiltrate this place without triggering a single Lord’s zone. A strange smile started to come across my face.
The heat I should have kept confined started singing my thoughts.
Are we unlucky, or incapable? The enemy’s numbers are beyond expectations. We’ve too little hands here.
For all the enemies I imagined to be gathered here…
Just like Demons, Angels were few in number. A few of them was one thing, but it’s been a few thousand years since several hundred of them appeared at once. However, my urge for battle wasn’t worked up at all.
I had no physical enhancements born from the urge to do battle. All that was in me was simple impatience.
No matter how many Saint Lord Class Angels unify themselves, this scale isn’t going to make the Demon World fall. Rather than that, if we had an honest clash of power, it’d all be settled in an hour. It’s just a way to pile up corpses. These guys are merely needless casualties.
It’s a perfect form of harassment, mind you.
This is all just an inconvenience.
Perhaps I should have taken along another Lord.
First of all, defeat ain’t happening here, but there’s a chance of letting them escape. Once they’ve gotten away, it would be difficult to give chase.
The main point Angels overlooked Demons in was their speed.
Hard to catch even aboard a mount, the flight of an Angel’s wings was of the highest speed, and with their stamina, Demons were no match.
If there’s something out there called fate, then I can’t just spend my life placing curses on it.
Power naturally flowed to my hand, and my nails sunk into my upper arm.
Why do they head for the Castle of Shadows?
To the side of the Lord who without accomplishing a single thing, spent his peaceful time in a deep slumber.
An abyss of sorrow. Always clad in a deep and dark sea of gloom, the most sorrowful existence of this world.
Even if you look upon him as one with power, I could only see it as saw.
And at the same time, I was certain.
If that’s the burden my niisama is to carry, then it must be my role to assist him.
I smiled at my own cowardice.
Fine… it’s something I knew from times long passed.
This world will make a fool of me.
Inconvenient? Too numerous? Absurd.
Fine. I’ll swear it here.
“With my name Iralaude on the line, I’ll leave not a single one of you all alive.”
From far away, along with the sound of the collapse of a mountain, a large fissure emerged in the earth.
Right over the horizon, I finally got a view of the battlefield.
The numerous holes dotting the ground and as if lines had been drawn in, the countless cracks.
In the center of that stood the arrogant Heard Lauder, and a Demon of small build, with black miasma circulating all over her body… Zebul Glaucus’s miniscule form.
The ground rumbled, as if trembling before them. Lize’s face was colored with fright and surprise as she strongly gripped her reigns.
For a brief moment, Heard Lauder’s mana swelled up. But with just that, it felt like a normal Demon would be rendered unconscious.
So she’s an opponent he has to let out that much power to defeat. I didn’t think I would arrive in time to actually witness Zebul’s destruction.
With that much force going around, there’s no way he isn’t serious.
The wind that blew across this land was violated with a thick magic, to suck in each and every desire.
This was the wind of a battlefield.
Birthed by the clash of desire, a wind of chaos.
As if it were actually suffering wounds, the mana that soaked into the Dark Prison… niisama’s zone was torn asunder.
While it was cut through a couple of times, it’s not as if the Zone itself was effected as a whole.
But that truth was irrelevant to me.
Those that get in my way… be they Demons or Angels, or Valkyries, they’re my enemy.
Finally capturing the battle scene in her pupils, Lize opened her eyes wide.
“Absurd… what… power… They’re equal? No, Heard has the advantage, I see.”
There was affinity between Demons.
With high offensive power, it’s quite rare that a clash of Pride and Gluttony would turn into a drawn out battle.
Affinity-wise, Pride was the stronger of the two, but the gap was not a great one.
Lize’s discernment was correct. Given the time, it would likely be Heard’s victory.
But there’s no longer the time to wait for such a thing.
I cannot match the speed of those heavenly wings. No matter how proficient a dragon I ride, I cannot overturn that biological deficiency.
While I looked one, I could do nothing but measure the velocity of the encroaching Angels. That was the pure physiological difference between the Angel and Demon race.
If there was a single Demon out there to oppose it, then it would be the Superbia Demon who saw time as stagnant.
And that truth was likely what dulled Heard’s fists.
The malice the man released wasn’t only directed at the enemy before him.
Heard was a battle maniac, but he was also once niisama’s follower.
While he once waved a banner of rebellion, I don’t see his devotion weakening at present.
Battles between Demon Lords were where desires ate into one another. Each and every blow exchanged was potentially fatal, and the Lords put their very existences behind each and every one of those blows.
Zebul’s life was too powerful to be taken down so simply, even with Heard’s unfollowable speed.
She wasn’t an opponent that could be defeated merely by finding a gap in her defense.
On the other side, the holy flock was, to their natural archnemeses… to the Legion marching along the land, and to the large-scale destruction raised by the warring Demon Lords, they showed no signs of even paying the slightest attention. With what one could call pure honesty, they headed at full speed towards the Castle.
Their powers weren’t as high as I had heard. While there surely was a Saint Lord Class there, if you were to ask whether she would be capable of destroying Rank Seven, I would be left in doubt.
But that doesn’t change that it’ll become a pain if I let her off here. At the very least, it wasn’t a level of power those middle class Demons at the castle like Lorna or Medea would be able to deal with.
Me revoking his army in order to protect his silence backfired on me.
Leigie of Sloth lacked high offensive power, or dexterity, but his defense and vitality alone were extraordinary. That’s why even if he were hit around left and right, he wouldn’t die too easily, but that Angel’s actions weigh heavy on my mind.
She bore an undaunted will, as if she had some sort of scheme to surpass Leigie-niisama’s needlessly high defensive ability.
With the million to one, billion to one chance that he’ll be killed in mind, I cannot let her pass.
Even if that wasn’t the case…
“… I shall not let her disturb his sleep.”
The distance between us was but a few kilometers. But as if to avoid us, the flock had altered its path.
My luck lay in my Palace’s location in relation to the castle of Shadows, making it so they were forced to head in my direction. If that had not been the case, then I wouldn’t even be able to confront them.
My misfortune was in that my Wrath was mainly of Skills for single targeting use. With five hundred on their side… that’s a little high to capture them all.
Burn up their souls. Converge my entire being on my desire to further hone my blade.
One of my unconsciously clenched teeth snapped, and fresh blood scalded the back of my dragon. From its mouth, a small groan was audible.
I wiped it off with my sleeve.
Perhaps too much blood had rushed to my head. My footing was unstable.
Even so, while swaying, I stood upright on the dragon’s back, and silently held my staff in front.
It was the greatest treasure of the Demon Race, a gift handed down from the Evil God to the very first Great Demon King. Its height was about a meter and a half. The lumber that formed its main body was tougher than any material found in this Demon World, and its tip was garnished with an ornament made in the like of a beast’s jaw.
(TL: Its height is given as 5 Shaku, which converts to 1.515 (repeating) meters)
The inscription on it read, The Emperor of Destruction’s Staff, Weydhe. Among the countless treasure littered around the world, it was an item with the opposite nature of a holy relic, a treasure of the Evil God.
Within the reptilian jaw was inlaid a golden crystalline eye to direct at mine enemies.
The reflective surface of the finely cut jewel caught the sunlight to give an ominous shine.
Ira was the manifestation of violent emotion.
A heartless sin to burn away all other sentiment.
I took a deep breath. I let out the resentment I had been building up all these years.
Right now, I’m likely making an expression I would never display to another.
My vision is died a bright red, and viscous fury swept over my mind.
But still, I could remain calm. That was what Leigie-niisama taught me.
It’s what he sacrificed his body to teach me.
Anger isn’t something to release so recklessly. It’s something to control, and hone.
I give a short incantation. What dyed all I saw in red was channeled through my prized possession into the sky.
Countless crimson lights raced across the air.
At the speed of light, those crimson comets burned up the sky, and in the next instant, they had reached their targets. They pierced through the Angel flock from the side, and continued to go through one body after the other.
Like scraps of paper, the divine robes were bore through. No sort of defensive wall holds any meaning before me.
Several dozens of Angels were instantly reduced to nothing, leaving not but faint afterimages in the air.
I heard the ominous sound of something breaking resound through my skull.
An impact to my taste buds, the flavor of iron. I completely ignored the pain I felt, and clicked my tongue.
Having been pierced through, the Angels were halted for but a moment, before restarting their flight once more. That gesture made it feel as if they were following a set program, and there was barely any lag. An army prepared for death.
I subconsciously spat out my crushed tooth.
While I had not experienced the wars of old, I knew enough about those beings called Angels. At least, I thought I had known.
They are our sworn foe, and brutes whose tenacity lied only towards hunting us down. Their bodies themselves didn’t differ from ours at all.
That’s how it should be.
Then in that case, what is this supposed to be?
If the attack was ineffective, that would be another matter, but after so many of them had fallen, for their flock to continue to go on like that should be heresy to an Angel.
Wrath Skills weren’t suited to rapid fire.
The Angels spread out. It was likely a plan for them to not all be taken out at once. That wide formation showed off their clear knowledge of how to deal with Ira Skills, and their narrow area of effect.
And as I thought, those heavenly wings still didn’t have me set as their destination.
They didn’t fight back, and they didn’t use any Skills.
Before my wrath, these Angels’ flight… their march was surely backed by some form of strong will. Something that exceeded their innate instinct to oppose Demons.
“Even with me before their eyes… they’ll still head for niisama…”
Then there’s even less reason to let them through.
I spread that dark heat across my mind again. My instincts and emotions raged up to burn through my entire body.
In proportion to my anger, the incessant violent waves of Mana weighed down on my psych, And I only gathered them at the head of my staff.
Put all my fury into a single attack.
Useless. It’s just a pain.
Then I’ll just have to burn up everything in the world.
I just have to turn heaven to ash in one strike.
Niisama is the King of Despair, and the most sorrowful Lord on these lands.
With just a few hundred Angels, to stand before dear niisama… it makes me sick.
Foolish Angels. Decay away on these dark lands.
Just like all that have come to oppose niisama before you.
I poured nothing but directionless Mana into the staff, dying it a strong red, and point it at those foolish heathens. The moment I was about to use a Skill, Lize, who was moving right below me, let off a shrill shout.
My subordinate’s face seemed to be at its wits end as I looked down upon her.
“Kanon-sama, is this… not the time to use Heard Lauder!?”
Those words released from an unexpected position made me instinctively suppress the powers I was to bring out.
Having become the Great Demon Lord, there were few out there to contest my opinion. For those that hadn’t even become Demon Lords yet, I could count them on the fingers of one hand.
Lize’s opinion often found itself to be leaning on one side, but her devotion was quite high, even among my direct subordinates.
In this land of warring powers, she was one of the few who had sworn loyalty to me. Her words held some worth in considering.
Perhaps sensing a shift in my will, the flying dragon dropped its speed a little.
“That army is moving at a considerable pace. There’s some distance between us, and when they’re spread out that vast… to burn all those Angels in the sky… Even for you, Kanon-sama, it is in my humble opinion it would be too great an expenditure of power.”
As one governing the same desire, she understood.
The sin of Ira that scaled in proportion to anger was the one boasting the highest offensive potential among the seven attributes, and… the one with the greatest consumption of power.
But I was also well aware.
Regardless of the mere dozens of minutes that have passed since we entered this Dark Prison, the heat that was currently scorching my body, and frothing at my skin was… anger.
Too great a power expenditure?
What of it? Regardless of what I use up, even if I’m to run dry, and be mocked by my subordinate Lords, I haven’t fallen low enough for me to hesitate over such a matter.
My desire… the path of my Wrath is something I’ll decide for myself.
The clear display of emotions on Lize’s face barely changed upon looking at me.
Her complexion was turning a little pale. We’ve known one another for years, and she should know me well enough, but there was no hesitation in the words she spewed.
“For Heard Lauder, and the Pride he governs, it would be a simple matter for him to overtake them.”
If you were to ask whether she was sound, well sure, she was.
But Heard is returning fire with Zebul. He’s no leisure to shoot down angels while taking her on.
On top of that, I cannot count on Vanity’s forces. Five hundred Demons would just be a nice snack to that Devourer.
That’s where Gula’s troublesome point came in. To those of them that boasted Sin deep enough to eat up their own race, going at them with numbers was nothing but a waste of resources.
A proposal to maintain the status quo.
I read what Lize had wanted to say.
I looked down upon the impertinent lass I had known from her childhood.
At some point, she had climbed up to General Class, this gifted subordinate of mine.
“So to summarize, it’s something like this. You’re proposing an exchange.”
“Yes, the right man in the right place. That Heard Lauder can keep up with any Angel.”
“You do have a point. But there’s a single problem in that.”
If you’re looking at power usage, that plan does have a greater efficiency… if you look at it like that.
But Lize has forgotten a single point.
Her opinion is grounded solely on the assumption that I would be able to destroy Zebul oh so easily.
Her Gula and my Ira have a bad affinity.
Naturally, I don’t have any intentions on losing. But fighting her will be a large power expenditure all the same. Perhaps much greater than what would be required to burn up these Angels.
That’s just how strong Zebul is.
She’s the ultimate predator, and a natural-born warrior.
With her at an affinity disadvantage against Rank One’s Heard Lauder, she has the might to persist at almost an equal level, a world apart from any standard Demon out there.
Having eaten on through ancient times beyond memory, her abilities as a Demon, her battle experience, and her ability to devour others were all realized in her extraordinary power.
I mean, the sin she holds dear, the Gluttony to even eat other Demons was… linked to the pure and honest desire to bring malice to others.
I somehow suppress the shout that was about to escape me, and try talking in a soothing voice to persuade her. This girl is smart, and naïve.
“Heard is Leigie’s former subordinate. Before him is a stain on Leigie’s record. He’s sure to shake his head.”
“But if you consider efficiency, that’s the best option.”
If Heard were to take them on, then Angels of that level would be close to woodchips. He’s be able to destroy them all without using much power at all.
But if I take Zebul on, an energy waste is unavoidable.
Even if you call me the Great Demon King, at the end of the day… I’m just a single Demon girl, you know.
I hesitate to let out words.
Even as we speak, the Angels are putting up more and more distance.
But I had to say something. To my cute, cute subordinate.
Perhaps those were the words my father once imparted on me, or perhaps their contents were the same.
Even if their exteriors were to change, at the very least, the sentiment in my heart should be similar.
“Lize, we are by no means… monolithic, you know.”
“!? T-that is…”
Let me be honest here.
I am… not able to fully trust the man known as Heard Lauder.
He was Leigie-niisama’s right-hand man. But he’s also a Demon who once Overruled niisama. I don’t know when he’ll lash out again.
Leigie-niisama’s power is… strong. But at the same time, he isn’t suited to battle. His nature was the complete opposite of Heard’s. Even that power of ice I caught a glimpse of… there’s a possibility it won’t work the next time.
And the only one who can suppress that is me. I cannot trust another.
As it is, my power was around a level to compete with his.
If I were to have a loss in strength here, then it’s likely I would eventually face defeat to that man.
Rather than Zebul, who eats her kind, or Vanity, who father directly warned me about, the one I feared the most was niisama’s greatest follower, Heard Lauder.
Desire was something that ate up the soul over time. The emotions held by a Demon Lord were in no way something that could be held back by one’s rationality.
“So will you laugh upon my foolishness, Lize Bloodcross?”
I’ve always been a coward.
People say I have intellect unbecoming of the Wrath I govern, but caution is the other face of cowardice.
I can’t kill off niisama’s right hand man, nor can I let niisama get killed. I can only pray to the Demon World’s God, and wait… just as father long before me, I can only pursue a hopeless dream, and learn of an unreachable summit while I protect the seat on the empty throne.
But still, I cannot stand still.
Until some day, I’m swallowed up by the name of Ruin I carry.
Even having received my words, Lize’s gaze had yet to change, and she merely looked up at me in silence.
“… Have I become a little too sentimental?”
Her look told me that word held no lies or scorn.
Just as I found her long ago, her eyes, her heart, showed no distortion.
Then so be it.
I’ll offer up my Ruin to you, niisama.
Angels and Demons, and even God will turn to ash.
That is… the authority of my Wrath.
To hold hatred and resentment for all of creation.
On top of the dragon racing through the sky, I fell to one knee.
The land of the Demon World mainly consisted of spread out deserts of pebbles, and the Dark Prison was no exception.
When I looked down from the sky, I could take in the infinite expanse of land in a single glance.
That land enveloped by darkness that simply seemed to go on, and on. This jet black earth that had never changed from ancient times.
To that ground basked in the Mana of Acedia, I only ever held a single thought.
The distance to the Angels was already beyond my field of vision. But that’s no problem. I could get the particulars of their location from my Sone Skill.
At regular intervals, the ground shook to remind me of the clash of Heard and Zebul.
I drove that all out of my mind.
I put power into my staff once more. My fury acted in kind to make the entire body of it emit light like a miniature sun.
The moment I was to let it burst out, Lize’s dragon suddenly cut up in front of mine.
“… What is the meaning of this?”
What I was about to reach was far above all the power in her body.
Even if she may be one who bears the same desire, that was hellfire that wouldn’t even leave her ashes behind.
“… Hanon-sama, as I thought, I am… opposed to this.”
Her downcast face rose a little.
The blazing fire in her eyes blazed with a strong emotion much removed from resentment.
“This is a role you should leave to Heard Lauder.”
That idiotically repeated line was just barely able to push down my emotions.
The remnants of my anger drifted out of the staff, and the coat I wore let off a light luminescence.
It’s fine. From the Wrath I once held against niisama, something of this level is… something I can bear.
I wanted to tell her to shut up and follow. But Lize’s frantic eyes were painful for some reason.
“Truly, that man may betray you one day. I can understand your anxiety. But you should consider the present situation. Out enemy is… the Angels, and Zebul.”
Her quivering voice pierced my ears.
My enemy was present in the entire Demon World. While Heard did his share of work, the Demon World wasn’t small enough for that to let me gain control of it.
If I were to consider my army as a while, it would be a bad play to exhaust him here.
But once more, it’s a matter of future prospects.
Merits and demerits.
If I don’t use up Heard’s strength here, that man will surely be able to deal with all the opposing Demon Lords. The time to Demon World consolidation will certainly be shortened.
But at the same time, regardless of whether Heard’s power is to weaken, or if those Demon Lords out there are to survive… niisama won’t notice any of it.
Niisama’s Vitality was nothing normal. Even against Demon Lords, that remained unchanged.
Let’s say that there were some who could pierce through that. That would only be the few Demon Lords like Heard or Zebul, who specialized themselves on pure offense.
Sharpening power. Killing enemies.
There’s no right and wrong. Even if it is just to buy a little bit of time.
I must trim the sprouts of calamity.
That was something that transcended both Merit and Demerit… the initial prerequisite.
The basic standard I decided on the moment I became Great Demon King.
As long as that’s accomplished, then I won’t grieve for my power.
I don’t… need the world.
“Lize, step aside.”
While you’re standing there in my way, those Angels are just building up more distance.
My flame of impatience were already escaping my body to raise the surrounding temperature. With their high heat resistance, the dragon’s scales let off an offensive smell, as they burnt down. Letting out a low cry, it thrashed out left and right as if to drop me to the ground.
Even if you call it a dragon, in the end, it’s just a beast… no, but… Ah, this will work out.
The wind scattered my hair.
By the unrest in the dragon’s movements, Lize was far separated from me, and she raised a scream from far below my eyelevel.
I give her a single glance.
You are… a good subordinate.
With the excitation of my Mana, and the manifestation of my spirit, the song of my mind was finally satisfied.
From the depths of hell, where the light of day would never reach, the hardships in the furthest recesses of the earth, carved into my very soul, the song of a Demon Lord.
I naturally began to hum it.
From the vestiges of my widely swung staff, vivid flames continued to pour.
“Dawn Blaze. Oh jet black rain. Let the flames of creation enter my hands…”
I am a coward.
That’s why, my enemies, go to hell.
Destruction is my reprieve. So you can just dissapear to the world beyond.
How many years has it been since I chanted the incantation of that Skill on the highest tiers of the Wrath Skill Tree?’
To carry out my Ruin, I activated it.
I feel the color seep from my world. Demons are being of soul, and their corporeal bodies held little meaning. Their existences were largely centered around their minds.
That was slipping away. A large portion of my thoughts had taken form and expressed itself.
The power collected at the head of the staff shined as a single light, before spreading explosively.
This was the abyss of Ira I had reached.
These flames of creation to rid myself or the rabble resembled the wrath of a form of God, and it was merely beautiful. A power to reset the world to create anew.
The expanding light cloaked the heaven and earth, and cleared away the sky into a crimson aurora.
The growing heat wave condensed to a single storm, and the ground calmed. Taking on the resultant wind, the flying dragon swayed greatly.
It was a wave of light.
Just as niisama once sealed the land in ice, an opposite force to bake everything in the world bathed the land.
No matter how much agility those wings may grant them, in the end, they cannot match up to light.
It was only an instant before the flames coming at them at the speed of light swallowed them up without a single one left remaining. Without the time to raise a scream. Without even the time to form a thought.
My resentment burned the sky.
Be they Saint Lord Class, or Demon Lord Class, before my Ruin, they hold no meaning.
The flames cleared.
The sky was a pure red, and in it, not a single thing remained.
Of Serge who flew ahead, and the angels that followed, there wasn’t a single particle of ash.
To niisama’s enemy, that disappeared before I had ever even seen her face, I held not a single deeper emotion.
The strong display of power was always accompanied by compensation.
A nihility enveloped my head. The power leaving my body caused me to kneel over the dragon. But I won’t unhand my weapon.
Until I drop all my enemies into ruin.
“Hah hah hah…”
I gripped the reigns, and had the dragon descend. The hands of the battle below, which had stopped for a moment at the flames in the sky, restarted themselves once more.
The sound of destruction echoing across the land was on a different scale from before.
I’ve cut off Heard Lauder’s hesitation. If it’s now, he should be able to give it his all.
If he’s to lose here, then… I’ll be the one to kill Zebul. That’s all there is to it.
Part 4: …What Luck
“Kanon-sama, are you alright!?”
When I dismounted my dragon, and landed on the ground, Lize rushed over to me.
I’m a bit unsteady, but there’s no problems. It was a slight overuse of my powers, however, that should heal up just fine, given the time. It’s not a quantity I’ll recover over a night or two, but it’s nothing fatal.
I could even wage a war right now.
It seems that when I wasn’t watching, my level had unexpectedly risen.
There’s barely a hindrance to my body’s movement. I used much greater an amount back when I liberated the frozen world.
“It looks like all the Angels have been wiped out.”
“Yep, I’ll bet.”
There wasn’t a single thing left in the sky. They’ve disappeared from my Abyss Zone’s perception as well.
Lize’s expression indicated that she wanted to say something, but in the end, she remained silent.
Desire means you must have your own way with things. The more you’re in control, the easier it is to use power.
And that’s exactly why, even if I were to use too much energy and ruin myself, I wouldn’t hold the slightest of regrets.
For some reason, I became excessively mindful of the Castle of Shadows.
I let out some rough breaths, and put myself in order. Supported my staff… Weydhe, I began treading across the ground.
I can only hate how narrow the extent of my own Zone is.
My perception couldn’t extend all the way to the Castle. From here, I cannot discern how niisama fares.
“Will you offer assistance to Heard?”
“As if I could assist a Pride Demon.”
If I did something like that… Heard’s power will drop.
That will only result in me making an enemy of him. There’s nothing more trifling than earning his hostility with good intentions.
All I can do is the aftercare.
I watched the cloud of dust rising over the horizon… the army racing forth on grounded dragons.
“Lize, tell Vanity’s army to abate. The enemy they chase after no longer exists.”
Lize receives my will, and urged her own dragon to take to the skies again.
I don’t know that man’s will, but there’s no doubt Vanity’s goal lay with those Angels.
To chase those flying bugs by giving chase on the earth was a foolish notion to begin with.
The running dragons that existed for ground movement could put out speeds equal to flying dragons, and they existed in much greater numbers, so they did make for an exceedingly proficient means of transportation, but they were less than worthy to chase those leaping through the sky.
As long as their power is insufficient to go up against Zebul, those guys will have no part to play here.
Just in case, I closed my eyes, and searched every nook and cranny of my Zone.
As I thought, the only Demon Lords here are Me, Heard, and Zebul; the three of us. There’s no question about it.
Vanity… just what the hell is he doing?
I couldn’t see him anywhere. And that made me feel somewhat suspicious.
Father’s words of warning echoed in my mind, and ate into my heart like a wedge.
“… It reeks. I can’t think that Venity would take any meaningless action.”
Premonition… no, it wasn’t something to the extent of calling it a premonition.
This is… merely unease. I’m just a coward. It’s a topic that will draw to an end if I leave it at that.
But at the same time, it’s true that it’s unnatural, the off feeling that one of my chess pieces had suddenly disappeared.
I forcefully shake off that notion.
“… Well, whatever the case, that’s something to think over at a later date.”
I pushed down the emotions that were still smoldering in my heart, and looked to the distant battlefield.
Even with my eyes, Heards movements weren’t something I could follow.
The distance was around a thousand meters.
With that space between us, I could only see each step of his as instantaneous movement. His speed truly was akin to thunder.
To one constantly clad in a wave of starvation, that would eat into you on mere contact, going at Zebul barehanded was a poor move.
But he didn’t even pay any heed to that.
His tactics were simple and clear.
No tricks to play.
Suppression through pure force. That was the very form of his combat. Without any smoke or mirrors, his hands tore the earth, and made mountains disappear.
What’s more, from what I can see from afar, even against Zebul, Heard shows not the signs of using a Skill.
He’s an idiot.
“Is he preserving his energy? No, it’s just his Pride again.”
I don’t even have any intent to say something about it.
Maybe he’s actually stronger without using anything, but… the nature of Superbia’s power was something that could only be understood by Superbia Demons. No matter how much I mulled over it, it would be a waste of my time.
Whatever the case, it’s already over…
I’ll confirm Zebul’s death with mine own eyes, and go home.
In the first place, I have more than enough things I should be doing right now.
I’ll have to take another look over the Angels’ peculiar movements. I’ll have to ascertain the reason they aimed for the Castle of Shadows.
When I think of it like that, perhaps I should have spared an Angel or two.
Well, all of it’s already passed. And those guys aren’t once I could think of to spit anything out under interrogation or torture.
More importantly, Serge’s death will be a huge asset.
The fact that an Angel of that level was able to take down Rank Seven is already a point of concern, but there would be nothing I could do by thinking over that one.
I carefully laid out my worries in my head. My biggest headache has gone away, but that doesn’t mean that everything’s been resolved.
I’ll have to question Vanity as to why he vanished at the critical moment.
Because my greatest goal isn’t suppressing heaven, but unifying the Demon World.
But it’s fine if I take my mind off that from time to time, right?
I mean, I’m on the road home anyways. How about I stop by the Castle of Shadow for the first time in a while…
The next moment, when I had just grown a little lax, it occurred.
My zone naturally captured those presences.
It definitely wasn’t anything so important.
I didn’t hold any fear of my own death, nor did I sense the presence of anything strong.
The only emotions I held were slight hints of resentment and resignation.
Ah, this really is… a pain.
I took my eyes off of Heard and Zebul’s battle.
In the direction Lize set off in. I don’t have a clear sight of it, but of all things, there’s no way that I would mistake those presences.
How many of them are there… they really just keep coming forth like cockroaches.
I can easily destroy them, but there’s no helping them ruining my mood.
I unintentionally clicked my tongue.
“Tsk… so they appeared again. Just how many of those guys did they send out, anyways…”
They were certainly the presences of Angels.
As if launched, and propelled, a white light came down vertically from up high. Within it, I saw a swarm of Angels.
The distance wasn’t far. It’s as if I could take them in my hand.
The number was five. Their power wasn’t great. They didn’t even reach General Class. It’s possible they were even below Knight.
But to be honest, it was really quite depressing.
It would be simple if they came at me of their own accord, but when they thoughtlessly fly about like that, it’s truly a pain. No matter how low class they may be, if I let them free, there’s no doubt it would become troublesome.
It was annoying, but I reluctantly raised my staff.
If it’s only five, then I doubt I even have to deal with it personally. They aren’t even that far away, so Vanity’s army should be able to handle it one way or another. Lize’s more than up to the task.
But without their Lord taking command, it’s unknown whether Vanity’s Legion would even engage in battle in the first place. There’s also the report of an ordinary Angel suddenly climinb up to Lord status.
Then it would be more reliable if I just did it myself.
I need not anything to high class. I select the lowest Skill on my tree, and activated it.
It’s a lower Wrath Skills to shoot out flaming arrows of rage. A trifling one normal non-Lord Demons could use as well.
I made a few dozens. The red lights that came forth in the air around me shot forth.
I’m not sure what those Angels were trying to accomplish, but I shot them all down, and left not a single one behind.
If I just have to target them before they gain any speed, then I barely use up any power. No matter how you look at it, they’re mocking me. That was completely pointless.
Unsure of whether more would be coming, I remained poised with my staff, but there was no sign of another wave of Angels. Have I shot them all down with this.
Just what were those last five supposed to be? Was there some meaning to that?
Are Angels merely idiots? Even for that, that was much too foolish.
It only elicited useless questions where I didn’t even know if an answer existed. If that was supposed to be psychological warfare, I must admit it was quite effective.
Is it best if I just assume their actions held no meaning?
“It’s a pain…”
The painful thing is how I don’t know my enemy’s forces.
Should I just retreat already, or is it best if I remained? I want to head for the Castle of Shadows with all due haste, you know… at the very least, I have to see to the end of Zebul’s battle.
In the worst case, if it’s Angels of that level, I could easily repel them, even from the castle.
While I thought that, there was still no signs of the ground to stop shaking.
“… How long do they plan on going at it…”
While feeling restless at the battle that showed no signs of ending, I looked towards Heard once. The Demon’s fight… the contest of desire seriously didn’t seem to be ending any time soon.
Heard… he better not be biding his time, having finally found a worthy foe.
Zebul’s face was covered with her hunger-turned-dark-aura, so I couldn’t’ make it out, but I can see Heard’s.
I don’t have that much spare time, you know…
I took in one deep breath, and glared at the battlefield.
“That’s enough! Heard Lauder!! Finish up already!!”
At the very least… use a Skill!
The more time you try to buy… the more my time at the Castle of Shadows decreases!
Of course, I won’t voice those concerns.
My scream swept over the expanse of the obstruction-less wasteland.
Heard’s movements stopped for a moment. I get the feeling our eyes met briefly.
Without even paying any heed to the Wave of Starvation covering Zebul, the kick he lowered from above came down, and sent her body flying.
It held an energy I couldn’t think of coming from an ordinary kick.
While carving a deep fissure along the ground, the Devourer’s body flew accompanied by a cloud of dust.
The brushed past me a few meters to my side.
The wind loaded with those black pebbles surged up like a tornado, and spread out in a wide radius.
I instinctively covered my face from the black storm suddenly expanding before my eyes.
I take no damage. That was just that aftermath. I’m not sure about an ordinary Demon, but a Demon Lord wouldn’t have gotten any wounds from that.
But it’s as iff he were making fun of my lack of preparation.
The wind died down in a moment.
I silently brushed the hair that came down on my face to one side.
I put my unkempt locks in order with a hand comb, and remembering the scene, my vision was dyed bright red.
I’ve had it.
“DON’T DRAG ME INTO IIIIIIT!”
From here on, I’m totally going over to niisama’s place, okaaaay!?
The anger that should have been used up sprung forth again like a fountain to fill my body.
Calm down. I just have to put it in order again.
I doused my thoughts, and pushed them back deep inside.
The flames of Wrath birthed from my Soul Core flare up as if to cover over my entirety.
It’s a sensation I’ve felt time and again from the moment I was born. A state that Wrath Demons often fell into.
The space around me was baked by my sinful blaze, and let off a blood-red luminescence.
I don’t even need to hold the staff.
My raging Ira was merely taking shape.
Black lustered armor. What spread around my body was light and durable, and hot enough to burn through my soul.
I don’t have a recollection of having used a Skill.
No, I’ll bet I did.
What I had unconsciously put on was a phantasmal armor worn by Demon Lords of Ira.
A manifestation of malice to bring as much destruction to the masses as possible. Its meaning for existence was merely to lead all those that made fun of me to ruin.
I glared at the body that was lying a few meters from me.
A mass of countless poisonous purple tentacles. The liquid dripping from the ends of every one of them, and the ink-black Mana coating her entire figure.
Being dragged along the ground, a number of those tentacles had been destroyed, but she seemed to be healthy enough.
A voice came out. A tired voice.
Her tone was like that of a young boy. But it was a female voice I remembered.
“… Good grief, that Vanity… this is completely different from what he told me, is it not… that’s some courage he has for him to be getting in my way.”
As if bursting open, the tentacles disappeared.
All those protrusions covering up her form disappeared, and the monster of endless appetite finally showed her form.
It took on the shape of a giel, but I knew she was more than what she seemed.
There’s no way she’s just any brat. There’s no way a brat could stand so calmly before Kanon.
The young girl’s lips were formed into a cynical smile.
“What’s more, fufufu… for even Kanon-sama to be in attendance. Even with Heard here, I’m already full, and sill, such a splendid menu is set out before me. Have I perhaps been a good girl?”
And even like that, her expression held no fear, and her gestures, no waver.
Her deep green eyes simply continued to observe me.
J-just whose fault do you think it is… that this pain-in-the-ass situation came to be…
Even when I know I’m wide open, I hold onto my head. I can’t help but hold my head. If I don’t I feel as if I’ll explode.
I let out a rough breath. I’m not fatigued. It’s to let out as much of this enormous heat in my body as possible. In order to wash over my waves of emotion as much as I can.
My rationality and emotions were having a bout in my narrow skull.
There’s no sign of Zebul raising a hand.
Only the red that painted out my thoughts continued to hone itself.
My instincts for battle started calculating the information around me.
Heard’s location. Zebul’s. Lize’s. Vanity’s army’s. I understood it all.
Ah, dammit. This world can go to hell.
I prodded my staff into the ground. It let off an explosive sound.
The earth below it melted.
The high temperature earth splashed onto my armor, and let off a peculiarly bad smell.
I raise my face.
All that was left was a single point of resolve.
It’s fine. I’ll just deal with all of it, and return as quickly as possible.
My trembling lips produced a voice. I’m not thinking of anything. I’ve no time to think.
That’s the declaration I made must have been a cry straight from my soul.
“… I condemn you to ruin.”
“… So you’ve no intention to talk this out…”
I shot down the countless tentacles she sprouted with flames.
Burn through her? Naïve. Ruin isn’t anything like that.
My inexhaustible stream of emotion passed through my staff to birth physical phenomena in the world.
I don’t need an aria. Ira is my entirety.
The moment those humble tentacles were to touch my countless lights of Wrath, they disintegrated.
Zebul has a lot of them at her disposal. But I could bring forth just as much fire.
The attacks coming at me from all three hundred and sixty degrees were met by the flames produced by the armor, and erased.
I’m not sure what extent of control she had over them, but at some point, they even started coming out from the ground below me. Even those were easily dealt with by the fire. Those hands of hers are never to touch me.
Having finished burning through all her tentacles, the flames onverged to delete the girl herself.
The swirling wave of fire caused her face to turn a little pale, before she took a large leap back to avoid it.
Reflexes, and experience. I can’t deal with her through ordinary means. Perhaps she even has the experience of devouring a Wrath Lord of my level.
But I know. I knew this would never be so straightforward. Then I’ll just destroy that spirit of hers.
Without learning a thing, the tentacles came at me from all directions again, to be erased by the flame.
I saw her form a slight grimace.
“Oh my, could it be that thing runs on auto? How unfair…”
Flames spiral up my staff, and emerge as a blast to burn up the air.
My power is grinding away, and all that was shaved off was supplemented by the beating of my soul core.
If you’re going to get in my way, then you’ll have to pay for that with your body.
“Fufufu, I won’t hold up like this… I never thought that I would end up being personally scrapped by Kanon-sama…”
As she said some irritating lines, Zebul directed the palm of her hand downwards.
The number of feelers extending from her decreased. Did she give up on offense? No.
With her right hand at the center, I felt a fearsome amount of power amass. It was of the same nature as what she had been wearing up to now. But it had a greater depth than anything she had displayed.
Even within this armor of Wrath, I could feel chills enough to pour water over me. There was no doubt she was to show her fangs.
What appeared was a blade.
Its height was close to two meters, and its body was colored in a sinister black miasma. An oversized longsword.
It was a form of disruption that came forth from a series of Skills specialized to attack.
The ominous feeling from it made me forget my anger for a moment.
Zebul Glaucus easily brandished the great sword that exceeded her own height, and pointed it at me.
It was as if to make a proclamation of war.
“Have you ever seen this one before? This is… my 『Fang of Origin』.”
“Like I care.”
It’s strong. A feeling of death lingers over my trembling soul.
I shuddered at her power, that exceeded my expectation.
Especially that blade… is dangerous. The alarm bells wrung by the experience I had stored up to now were telling me that.
It was of the most feared line of Demon Lord Skills.
To materialize an equipment with one’s cravings at the base, a Phantasm Armament Skill.
It was of the same sort as the 『Ruin Robe』 I wore, but that blade was clearly on a higher tier.
I can’t see myself being able to block it.
It wasn’t a problem with the quantity of power amassed, but of its nature.
I’m pretty sure that’s a Skill to ignore defense. One blow would be fatal.
In my mind, painted out by anger, only my thoughts turned at a level pace.
I calculated the damage that blade would afford me. If it ate into me, it would most likely be fatal.
And after a few seconds of calculation, I threw the result out the window.
As if I care.
I licked my lips to wet them.
I looked at Zebul Glaucus, and smiled.
“… A guaranteed fatal blow… what luck.”
Ah, I’m thankful for having met you here.
I’m thankful I can bring about your end here.
That power… has the worst affinity with niisama. At some point, it would likely bring calamity to him.
As if my fighting spirit acted as oil, my flames blazed higher. In proportion to my feelings, the armor around me scattered sparks to my surroundings.
Zebul made quite an obvious grimace.
“Damn, I would have been happy if you pulled back there… why is it that each and every one of you have to be so quick to fight…”
I don’t want to hear that from you!
There’s a distance of ten meters between us.
That great sword has an extensive reach, but even so, she’ll need a few steps to be able to cut at me.
My Ruin Robe is a Skill that autonomously carries out attack and defense to intercept enemies. There’s no set reach to the intercepting flames.
I have the advantage.
Is what I should be thinking. Normally, that is.
But there’s no way the blade in her hand is an ordinary sword. She can likely alter its reach at will. Common sense doesn’t apply to Phantasm Armaments.
No,, even if she can’t change its form, I should expect such a thing. Predicting beforehand, or taking it as it comes will create a large gap in reaction timing.
I concentrate on every step and action of my opponent.
She has no openings. She should have just carried out an intense battle with that Heard Lauder, but let alone fatigue, I couldn’t see a single scratch on her.
I tried to fathom the reason for the fighting spirit in her eyes. What was there was the very same as mine… impatience.
She had just used the word ‘scrapped’.
As I thought, her goal is… the Castle of Shadows. It’s an idiotic tale, but the target of her gaze passed right through me.
Why is she so panicked? Why is she in such a rush?
“Kanon, that over there is my prey.”
I looked to the other devil who came to my side at some point in time.
Pure black eyes to look down on everything.
Just as with Zebul, there wasn’t a wound carved on his body.
Without a single weapon, or the use of a single Skill, yet regardless ot that, I felt an oppressing weight pressed over me.
And whose fault do you think it is that I ended up fighting her!?
Zebul’s frown intensified.
But still, there was no sorrow in her expression.
All that shined was her intent to kill. Before me, and the Rank one, her unclouded will was worthy of praise.
But at the moment, that was detestable enough for me to want to slay her.
The devil of hunder directed a dumbfounded look at the two of us.
“… Fufu, now, now, I can’t say I approve of bullying the weak, you know? 『Prideful Kaiser』.”
“Hm… I’ll admit it. Your desire is splendid. You are… my enemy.”
Heard raised his power even higher. So the requirements for his pride were met.
Just how high does it go? I can’t understand that man.
Compared to that, Zebul seemed much better behaved than what I’d heard of her.
“… I’ve no business with you guys. Are you sure there’s no way you’ll let me pass?”
“Hm… a foolish query.”
She’ll pay the compensation for bringing shame to Leigie.
That’s what his earnest eyes were telling me.
There was no starting signal.
Perhaps Heard’s fighting spirit made her give up on negotiations, as Zebul’s Mana swelled.
At the same time, her small stature kicked at the ground with all her might, and she flew forth like a bullet. In a single step, she surpassed the speed of sound. An impact rocked my body.
That blade of dusk that ate up light itself, extended like a snake. Its tip was aimed at me.
Is she looking down on me? Wrong. Even with Zebul’s speed, it would be impossible for her to land any normal attacks on Heard.
“That’s the same as looking down on me…”
I pushed the staff’s body into the floor, and back stepped before jumping into the sky.
The sword’s body shaved away at the ground I had been at before. The land broke down without the slightest of sound, and I found certainty that my own hypothesis had been correct.
A dragon composed of fire spiraling around the body of my staff was released towards the ground to confront it.
The jaw of that dragon made to turn all to ash closed down on Zebul and Heard altogether.
And it was all sucked into that Fang of Origin. Without a clash of power or anything of the sort, a portion of the power I released was simply shaved away. As always, there’s no doubt that Gluttony is a step ahead when it comes to eating.
But my fire wasn’t just a straight line.
Sensing she couldn’t block it with the sword alone, before she was devoured whole, a black wave was released from Zebul’s body.they competed for a moment.
After going through the slight bit of resistance, my flames reduced the darkness to cinders.
“Tsk, what a pain!”
Zebul retreated even further.
The flames follow her, but their output decreases the more waves she releases. She was eating them.
She just couldn’t take them all in at once. Knowing that was plenty.
Inferring my will, my flying dragon took off, and caught my back in the air.
I directed the staff below. I’ve no time to play around. I’ll just burn it all away from up high.
“Looks like it’s unavoidable.”
Having easily evaded what was akin to a surprise attack from the stream of fire, Heard appeared behind Zebul.
Hi lowered his locked fists like a hammer.
It wasn’t a metaphor, the desert literally split apart. The earth let out a rumble incomparable to all the quakes I had heard before.
Even from the sky, a massive and deep fissure had been carved into the ground.
On the unexpected spectacle, I swallowed my breath.
“That can’t be…”
Heard is scary.
The man who could do that barehanded was scary, but more than that…
“Oww… you’re way too merciless…”
Even after receiving an attack tat split the ground like that, Zebul’s continued existence showed off her extraordinary endurance.
It’s not like she didn’t take any damage. Her head had caved in, and her blood had stained the surrounding pebbles a dark red.
But even that… her broken cranium started regenerating as if rewinding a tape.
Regeneration is fine. That’s a single skill of Gluttony. They could use the power they had eaten as a means to heal themselves.
But I can’t see the reason why she persists on. That one blow would have easily destroyed the cores of even Demon Lords above the average.
Just… what did she eat?
And I realized it. Heard had not been playing around.
Because of her tenacity, he wasn’t able to take her out despite his advantage.
Like a tempest, consecutive attacks from all sides made sport of her small frame. Even when she brought out a sword, she was losing in a pure battle of close quarter combat. The one-hit-kill blade in her hand was completely pointless if it didn’t hit.
Each and every one of those blows seemed to be accompanied by a flash of light, and even I couldn’t determine how many hits he had put into it.
But it’s not like Zebul was just quietly taking them. She received them by converging the tentacles sprouting from her body on single points.
She blocked them. The fact that she could do that meant her endurance wasn’t endless.
I won’t let the chance Heard created get away.
“I’m not sure where you got your hands on it… but I’ll reduce you to ash all the same.”
Even if that Vitality is… something you gained upon eating a slice of niisama.
My Ira can even burn away that Lord of Sloth.
I summon countless bullets of fire, and pour them onto the ground like meteors.
Each and every one of them should be lethal. They’ll turn all to ash without even leaving a Soul Core behind.
They’re not at a speed she couldn’t dodge, but their numbers made her extend her tentacles to knock them down.
I already know you can’t eat it all at once.
Zebul raised a scream.
Her burned tentacles already regenerated. But I was sending down my fire at a rate exceeding that.
“Go to hell!”
The feeling of raining these down from the sky was truly the worst. The way she was barely dealing with all of them was all the more irritating.
As I thought, that blade is dangerous. After sucking in fireball after fireball, it shows no hint of breaking or melting.
It’s a weapon that causes them to dissipate with a single touch.
There’s no doubt it’s a physical manifestation of her hunger.
Zebul used that sword, and dodged with as little movement as possible. Heard exceeded her, and got out without even being grazed.
He easily avoided the flames that would have burned through regardless of enemies or allies, and in just a step, he closed in on Zebul.
Only a tremor was left to prove the result.
Heard’s eyes pierced through me. He was clearly pissed.
That malice of his would usually make my fighting spirit blaze up in order to try and stop him.
But fine, so be it. What a wonderful day it is.
That I can eliminate my enemies all together.
“… Fine. I knew it would come to this one day. There’s no problem if I take care of it here and now.”
It’s fine as long as niisama isn’t to find out. Given the time, even this matter will eventually be forgotten.
The Devouring Lord lying flat on the ground leisurely rose.
Her arms bent in an ominous direction and her crushed skull set off strange cracking sounds, as her small form returned to normal.
What a monster.
As I thought, my power is necessary.
There’s no way I can let this monster enter the Castle of Shadows. As long as she lives, niisama’s peace will never be attained.
After coming this far, I could understand. Annoyingly enough there was barely any difference in power between us.
With the sins we embraces differing to this degree, the battle wasn’t something to be decided by size of power, though.
I summon my flame bullets again.
I can’t call a single one my comrade. From up high, I looked down on the two Demon Lords.