“Don’t you think that it’s far more sound to put in great effort and gain a future for the demons on the battlefield rather than a destiny of perishing in a closed world like this?” (Agathion)
Agathion chose a separate room with a lounge suit, and not the throne room, making it possible for him to sit opposite of Hifumi.
With the reasoning that Hifumi isn’t even a demon, let alone a retainer, there are matters which Agathion deemed acceptable to discuss while sitting on the throne, but there are also matters which shouldn’t be talked about in front of many retainers.
And, his first statement was a bombshell announcement at the level of making Phegor jump up vigorously.
“K-King! That is…” (Phegor)
“Calm down and listen up, Phegor. Aren’t you in front of a guest?” (Agathion)
Beaming with a refreshing smile, Agathion crossed his legs and raised his eyes to the ceiling.
“After all, the state of resentment accumulating in this miniature garden can’t be expected to be normal. Since it’s too lonely for us to give up and rot away, it would be best if it goes smoothly after trying to do something about it, otherwise it’ll be the end of the demon race. And I think that’s fine.” (Agathion)
Correcting his posture, Agathion suddenly gulped down around half of the coffee in the cup.
“Pheew. Human-san, what is your name?” (Agathion)
“It’s Hifumi.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi is drinking his second cup today as well.
“More or less I became a noble in a human country. However, I’m in the process of touring this world.” (Hifumi)
“That’s great. I’m very envious. It’s a very fantastic story.” (Agathion)
Once he tells the maid, who was nearby, to bring some sweets, Agathion smiles at Hifumi.
“Although I’ve never seen them personally, there are dwarves and beastmen in addition to humans and elves as well, aren’t there? Did you happen to meet them, Hifumi?” (Agathion)
“I did. I met with many beastmen before coming here. There are dwarves amongst the bunch I got to know before that. There are the elves, too.” (Hifumi)
“Oh, you encountered the elves as well… but that’s only natural since you should have passed through the place of the elves if I go by what you’ve said.” (Agathion)
Vepar is sitting next to Hifumi as if it was the usual.
Though it’s an impossible situation for a retainer if it was a human country, Agathion doesn’t seem to mind it.
“What were your impressions of the elves? They hate the demons after all, don’t they?” (Agathion)
Hifumi addressed Agathion, who is somewhat excited, with a serious look.
“I had the impression that they feared the release of you demons. Somehow they treat you as “enemy of the world.”” (Hifumi)
“What! Just what the heck did we do!?” (Phegor)
Agathion only nodded in silence, but Phegor got indignant.
According to their story, the time where the demons confronted the humans and elves continued for a long time and finally the demons were sealed in this place after being pushed into it by the elves.
Since that’s a story from several generations ago, the demons were amassing resentment for being imprisoned undeservedly as result of a past they have no knowledge of. On the other hand, the elves’s side, which is the one doing the sealing, was able to succeed in maintaining the barrier as “act of justice.”
“After all, just the elves have to be defeated by any means necessary! King, shouldn’t we accomplish our revenge by seeking Hifumi-dono’s cooperation here?” (Phegor)
Vepar makes a face as if being fed up with it due to Phegor roaring intensely.
And, Agathion also has a look of not being too enthusiastic about it.
“Mmh~ … What do you think, Hifumi?” (Agathion)
Watching Phegor who stood up, Hifumi smiled due to the question of Agathion who pondered while moving his mouth with a *monyo monyo*. (T/N: Though not easy to express the words, he has a feeling of being vexed by that, originates from 2chan, no idea for an English counterpart)
“Fighting is a good thing. Even if you clearly know your enemy, I believe it to be proper to also regard your further ambitions. But you know…” (Hifumi)
“Is there something bothering you? Are the elves incredibly powerful or such?” (Vepar)
For the first time Vepar has a seriousness reflected in her eyes. Usually she is absentminded, but she is also in a position of having to look after the lives of many soldiers. Even she has no intention to expose her subordinates to danger pointlessly.
“I killed several elves, but they weren’t that particularly strong either. I saw the battle with the monsters and the demon wielding a large sword, thus as far as I know the demons are superior in regards to fighting strength, I guess.” (Hifumi)
“I don’t know your individual abilities though”, Hifumi changed the topic completely.
“Won’t the barrier vanish or become weaker in a while?” (Hifumi)
“Oh? Why do you think so?” (Agathion)
Agathion bent himself forward.
“The majority of elves will leave the forest. I don’t know about their destination, but they became aware of meeting tragic deaths if they stayed in that forest. For them the forest is nothing more but a target of fear, I suppose.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi talked about the forests’ characteristic of being the cause of the elves dying by changing into arbour without concealing anything. Once he mentioned that he dissected elves in the process, Phegor’s and Agathion’s grey faces became pale, though Vepar listened closely.
“I see… our enemies will be gone before we realize it, is what you mean, eh? Far from swinging our fists at them, our targets might be gone before we can even clutch them, right?” (Agathion)
While rolling about on the sofa, Agathion groans.
“Ah~ I give up! I thought we would be able to solidify the unity of the demons one way or the other by having them vent their stress if it’s a battle.” (Agathion)
“If you want to fight, it’s fine to do so though.” (Hifumi)
“… What do you mean?” (Agathion)
Agathion was laying face-down while clinging on the cushion, but he turned one eye towards Hifumi.
“That’s simple. It’s fine if you aim for someone else than the elves. There are others as well, you said so yourself, didn’t you? There are dwarves, beastmen and humans as well. Aren’t there other races, not just the elves?” (Hifumi)
“D-Does a human propose to fight with humans…?” (Agathion)
“I don’t think that something to be surprised about.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi lifted the edges of his mouth.
“Humans are constantly fighting amongst each other, aren’t they? However, as the details of the battles had a fixed style, they haven’t grown up.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi stood up and clapped Agathion’s shoulder.
“If you are going to rampage anyway, think about doing it on a larger stage. If you want to make the name of the demons known, it’s just right to at least target the whole world and not only the elves.” (Hifumi)
“If you are going to be hated anyway, you don’t have to hold back against anyone, right? If you are unable to live in the elven concession, you have only two choices: remain here or search for a dwelling in a distant place.” (Hifumi)
Placing the katana at his waist, Hifumi put his finger on his hakama and fixed a crease.
“Where are you going?” (Agathion)
Hifumi, who turned around while opening the door answered Agathion’s question,
“Depending on your guys’ answer, I will decide whether I will cooperate with you or not. I plan to stroll around the city for a while, therefore it’s alright if you call me again once you came to a conclusion.” (Hifumi)
“Ah, then let me guide you through the city!” (Vepar)
Chasing Hifumi who left the room, Vepar swiftly stood up and ran off.
“King-sama, please excuse me~” (Vepar)
“Yea, teach him about the things which can be enjoyed in the demons’ city.” (Agathion)
The door is closed with a small sound.
The standing Phegor faced Agathion and kneeled.
“My king, it was obviously careless of me to have brought that person along.” (Phegor)
“No, it was good that I heard the stories from an outsider after all. You did well to find him.” (Agathion)
Once Agathion made an exaggerated nod, Phegor stated his feelings of being sorry while unable to move his body.
“The elves’ place is dangerous, huh? If we assume that it’s really true that the barrier will vanish… it doesn’t look like we have overly much time left to care-freely ponder about things. It appears I have to make a large decision, Phegor.” (Agathion)
“Oh king, you are great. All of the demons will follow that decision.” (Phegor)
Agathion looked up to the sky due to Phegor who answered with completely clear eyes.
“Aren’t you just putting me under pressure with that?” (Agathion)
Agathion, who sighed “Well, it’s fine”, expressed his own thought in a small voice that couldn’t be heard by Phegor.
“Fighting with humans and beastmen, eh? Anyway, even if it’s only a single opponent, it’s something I want to begin with a proper victory.” (Agathion)
Having suffered a close to a half dead injury by Origa, Balzephon defeated the strengthened monster while barely escaping alive.
Dismantling the magic tool which was embedded in the monster, he lost consciousness for a long time after forcing it into his own chest resolutely.
“… Uuh…” (Balzephon)
He intended to mutter that at the beginning when he opened his eyes faintly, but what came out from Balzephon’s mouth weren’t words but only groans.
He doesn’t know in what kind of state he is.
While his mind was confused, his sight finally became clear.
He rises his body sluggishly while exhaling.
Apparently I’m surrounded by trees.
The sunlight, which spilled through the branches with their thickly grown green leaves, seems to have woken up Balzephon.
He eagerly recalls the situation until the point he lost consciousness.
Although he should be covered in wounds all over his body, he doesn’t feel any pain.
Realizing that his field of vision is unnaturally high, Balzephon timidly looked down at his body.
He unintentionally leaked a moan.
Having trained properly, he should have a firm physique, but on top of his body being covered in muscles all over he has changed into a giant. Hair grew thinly on his whole body and his clothes were tattered and torn.
While being confused, he looks at his limbs one after the other.
His feet and arms have become as thick as logs and were wrapped in muscles which were as hard as rock. His nails are massive and sharp, matching small knives.
Once he turns around due to the voice he heard all of a sudden, there were two men, who appear to be swordsmen wearing armour, and a robed woman, who seems to be a magician. They looked at Balzephon with surprised faces.
“Have you ever seen such a monster!?”
While retreating 2-3 steps, the magician tells the two men to escape.
“No, it will be lucrative if we can sell it to the guild as it is a new species. A human type is troublesome, but we will be able to manage one way or the other if it’s only one.”
Once one of the swordsmen drew his sword, the other became silent and prepared his weapon likewise.
“Geeze! Protect me properly, will you!?”
As the woman set up her wand while cursing, the two swordsmen are slowly closing the distance to Balzephon.
In the time the adventurers talked amongst each other, Balzephon calmly observed the humans in front of him while leaking a groan and hot long breath since he wasn’t able to properly close his mouth due to the grown canines.
His brain doesn’t work. His mind is simply dominated by a violent urge.
“Hee, it looks to be afraid. Is it the first time it saw humans?”
One of the swordsmen laughs foolishly while closing in.
Balzephon shook his sharp, grown nails.
(I want to kill.) (Balzephon)
A voice as if he had clearly heard that reverberated in his mind.
At that moment Balzephon had a feeling as if his body was controlled by something. When he suddenly noticed that, one swordsman sprouted blood from his throat while writhing.
The other swordsman comes attacking with his sword raised overhead.
Raising his voice completely like a beast, Balzephon’s arm stretches out.
The sharp nail was faster than the sword which came swinging down. The swordman’s eyeball was pierced.
The swordsman, who dropped his sword without even raising his voice due to the pain and impact, had his head cut by the nails even more and was killed quickly.
Forgetting even her spell chanting, the woman closely hugged her wand and trembled.
What was fortunate for her was that Balzephon didn’t attack. Balzephon himself was bewildered by his own actions. Staring at his bloodstained hands, he stood stock still.
The woman, who left the scene slowly, desperately ran away while carrying the deaths of her companions in her confused mind.
Afterwards the woman, who returned to the city while barely escaping alive, reported to the guild. Catching sight of the “fiendish human type monster” which sometimes appears in Orsongrande and the vicinity of Vichy, it causes many victims.
As many of the victims were adventurers, several guilds, which are located in the Vichy direction of Orsongrande, finally requested support from Fokalore.
“Good grief, they are forcing troubles onto an old man.” (Reshi)
Arosel’s guildmaster, Reshi, who arrived in Fokalore at last by using a carriage from Arosel, rubbed his waist which had a tingling pain because of the long sitting in the carriage.
“It’s been several years since I came to Fokalore, but it changed quite a bit.” (Reshi)
He, who came several times to Fokalore, which was past the national border, as adventurer in his early days, was surprised by the rate of growth of Fokalore which has been evaluated as “more of a city than the capital” and was completely different from the past.
Establishing wide roads and laying out rails in the middle of them, rail wagons blaze through at great speeds.
There are also many people walking. Even Reshi, who is proud about his vigour in relation to his age, is feeling sick by the crowd of people.
While taking a rest sometimes, Reshi stopped for a bit in front of the feudal lord’s mansion he finally reached.
“Well then, what to do…?” (Reshi)
He remembered that the girl, who previously visited Arosel’s guild, called herself military director.
He has felt awkward to request a fight from a girl who has no more than a fraction of his age.
However, it was something they decided as guild.
“If I name myself Reshi who is the one in charge of Arosel’s guild, will I be able to meet with Military Director-dono.” (Reshi)
“Yea, if that’s the case, please try asking at the reception after entering inside.”
A soldier, who is at the side of the mansion’s entrance, pointed inside as if it was something usual.
Once he entered inside as he was told, he saw the figures of staff members who are noisily and busily dealing with the inhabitants of Fokalore.
While he thinks I’m sorry, Reshi called out to one of them.
Being told to wait for a moment, he was led to a room on the second floor after around 5 minutes.
“Thank you very much for waiting.”
He waited in the room for several seconds. Then a single man appeared in front of Reshi.
“I’m called Caim and I’m working as civil official in Earldom Tohno. Since the Military Director is out of office currently, I shall listen to your business in her stead.” (Caim)
Talking in a calm voice, his expression lacks any emotions as he makes his greetings. He is expressionless as if he had a mask on his face.
“I’m called Reshi, the guildmaster of Arosel’s guild. Please let me excuse myself at this occasion for suddenly visiting.” (Reshi)
“So, what’s your reason for deciding to come to Fokalore?” (Caim)
Caim, who sat across of Reshi, got straight to the point from the start.
“I was previously visited by the Military Director. There was mention about the human type monster in our conversation at that time, but since the victims are centred around adventurers in the last few days, I came immediately visiting thinking that I might ask you kindly for assistance.” (Reshi)
“A human type monster? I see…” (Caim)
“I really want to move towards its extermination, but this monsters is extremely powerful. While it’s disgraceful, there are currently no adventurers who can deal with it.” (Reshi)
Even while being bewildered by Caim’s looking directly at him with a serious look during his statement, Reshi explained everything about the damage caused by the monster without hiding anything.
“I grasped the situation.” (Caim)
“Let’s attach a large number of guards to merchant groups and the travelling of important people. By dispatching soldiers from Fokalore as well, we shall increase the guard duty on the highway.” (Caim)
However, Caim doesn’t mention the coping with the monster itself at all.
“B-But, if we leave it alone as is, the damage will further…” (Reshi)
“Our Lord, Earl Tohno exceedingly hates himself and his own things being used in a beneficial way. Let us help in order to solve the problem. However, we won’t do it in the shape of sending soldiers to cooperate with the guild.” (Caim)
No emotions are shown on Caim’s face who stated that.
As Reshi is looking for his next words, Caim continued further,
“… But, if it’s unrelated to the guild, we will be able to move upon our own judgement.” (Caim)
“E-Excuse me, but I wonder if this method doesn’t have dangerous aspects…” (Reshi)
Based on the incidents occurring in an area close to the national border of Vichy, Reshi conveyed his worries that if they mobilized their troops, it might end up triggering an unwanted stimulus.
“I wonder if it isn’t fine if we simply convey the request to the guilds in the surroundings, but…” (Reshi)
However, Caim’s answer surpassed the category of Reshi’s understanding.
“While keeping the enemy army in check, we will deal with the fiendish monster. It’s a two-fronts strategy. It should become a good exercise.” (Caim)
“I-In that case, a conflict will occur once again and also…” (Reshi)
“There’s no problem even if it turns into a war. Rather, our Lord wishes for that. And, naturally we abide to his wishes. A vicious monster is a wonderful thing. If it turns into a war, it will be even more wonderful.” (Caim)
Reshi became afraid of the man in front of him.
This time is similar to the time when Hifumi showed up and sent one adventurer after the other into their oblivion.
“Thank you.” (Caim)
Due to Caim bowing abruptly, Reshi didn’t get the meaning.
“Because of the information you brought, we will be able to head into even more battles. And we will be able to wait for our feudal lord’s return while growing even further.” (Caim)
Reshi wasn’t able to say anything else anymore.