“Fufufu, ahahahahaha, wahahahahahahahahahah!”
The demon lord raised a grand laugh. Baring his canines, his attitude was one where he had broken into laughter after simple and innocent intrigue.
It was such a healthy and refreshing laugh, a mysterious incomprehensible air spread across the courtroom
The demon lord lowered his face, grandly waving his right arm as he continued to hit against his knee in laughter.
“What’s so funny?”
I scowled at the demon lord. There, the laughter came to a sudden stop, and with leisurely motions, the demon lord raised his head to look at me.
“It’s not funny. It’s amusing,” he raised the corners of his mouth, letting out a voice like a whisper.
“The truth is, I’ve never lost before in my life. In fights, or games, or sports or studies. In every possible field, I was number one.”
… I’m perfect, said the demon lord.
“They always say if one sibling’s no good, the other’s a genius. I was often called a prodigy.”
… What’s he talking about?
If what he say is true, it was a historic new truth about the war. Thought I seriously could care less.
“Yet what’s with you.”
He stood from his seat. I could hear the sound of his footsteps as he took a few steps towards me. Eventually, leaning over the witness stand, he spoke.
“A mere lawyer? A third rate in it for the money. So why is someone like you opposing me? Naturally, someone of your level shouldn’t go about standing in the way of my life.”
… Whap! The gavel sounded out, and the judge spoke. “Witness, keep your theatrics in moderation.”
It was somewhat mismatched. There’s no doubt he was a witness, but before being a witness, the one grinning triumphantly before us was first and foremost, the demon lord.
… No, that’s wrong. He’s just a witness after all.
“There are loads of them.”
The demon lord recalled his grin. I continued.
“You didn’t fight this country fifty years ago, right? Then it’s only natural you don’t know. There are loads of things far stronger than you in these lands. When you don’t even know the world, don’t be talking so high and mighty, fool.”
The boisterous court went silent for that moment alone. No one said a word as the quietly listened to mine.
The gallery, the judge, Claudia, the prosecution, even the demon lord wouldn’t open his mouth. So for that moment, it felt as if time had stopped.
But as expected, the first person to break the silence was the demon lord after all.
“Ah, so I see. Then shall we have a contest to see who’s stronger?”
He had been expressionless for a bit, but his usual triumphant face had returned.
… No, it was a boorish face, it I really had to say.
“Why do you think I accepted it?”
On the sudden question, my head went white.
“Why did I go out of my way to break my fifty years of silence, coming all the way here only to admit to the fact that I am the demon lord?”
Come to think of it, why? In the first place, I didn’t have a basis to conclude he was the demon lord in the first place. I just inferred from the situation, and asked if he was the demon lord or not. That’s all there was to it.
I hadn’t a shred of evidence. It was all vague conjecture, and nothing certain.
So if he wanted to refute it, he could’ve done it however he wanted. Yet this man expressly admitted he was the demon lord.
… It’s as if…
“Because it won’t trouble you, right?”
Prosecutor Schaefer spoke as if seeing through my heart.
“Fifty years ago, our country did not take part in the war. This was the result of a decision in accordance with the principle this nation’s constitution was written under, and nothing has changed since then. From times long gone by, our country has never intervened in any sort of conflicts, and we don’t side with anyone. Our constant neutrality is in itself Grimbeld’s standing within the international community.”
“Hmm, that’s why our country is the sole non-signatory of the allied nations, and among all the nations of the world, the length we’ve spent without war against another nation is longer than any other… is that related to this case?”
I answered the judge’s question. “It fits right in, m’lud.”
“Grimbeld did not take part in the war fifty years ago. Meaning we have no right to try the demon lord for his war crimes during it.”
“Exactly, my good people.”
The demon lord continued with a grand attitude.
“I’m the demon lord? And what of it? You all didn’t join in the war, did you? Then that’s no good. You have no qualifications to take me to an international trial, my good fools.”
… That’s why it’s so amusing, he said.
“B-but now that we know you’re the demon lord, that’s irrelevant. As long as a country of the alliance prosecutes you, the international court will be opened at once.”
The demon lord asked.
“Oy, oy, while I was working as a guard, I properly did my homework on your country’s system of law. You haven’t tied any treaties to hand over foreign criminals, have you? Then you won’t be able to hand me over. At present, you have no laws that allow you to restrain me. No one here can judge me.”
… Because I’m being protected by the laws of Grimbeld, chanted the demon lord in a thick voice that resounded well through the air.
… This, this, this bastard.
Bang! I slammed the desk before I had even realized it.
This man knew it would come to this.
How peculiar. Every part of it was peculiar. In this country without any ties or relation to the Great War, did this crime of heroes and demon lords and all other sorts of incomprehensible things happen? It was too peculiar.
But now it finally hit me.
This man planned to abuse it from the start. He had explicitly come here to waste all this country’s long years of effort on his evil deeds.
Go step on a Lego, this is getting to my head.
… Then there’s no meaning to it at all!
Whether he’s the demon lord or not means nothing. As long as he was in this country, this man was no demon lord. He was just a witness.
… What can I do?
“Ahahahahaha, hah. Then now that you all know who I am, let’s get on with the testimony.”
The demon lord stood at the stand.
“The trial isn’t done yet. Let me tell that little girl over there her precious truth.”
His eyes with a fiery glint, the demon lord made a grin across his face.
Claudia quietly sat in her seat. But her expression wasn’t calm, it looked as if she was terribly afraid and surprised to me.