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Chapter 132: The Sage Encounters an Enemy at the World Tree
At midnight that day, I visited the World Tree alone.
The crystalline flower field and magnificent World Tree was in front of me.
I stood there silently as I felt the cool breeze brush by.
The banquet ended a while ago.
It was a very enjoyable time, and I think my subordinates were satisfied by it.
Most of them were drunk and had collapsed into slumber.
I just left them alone for the moment.
We could just return around noon.
It was boorish to wake up those who were sleeping comfortably.
There was no need to hurry.
If something were to happen, I could just rush back alone.
I looked up the World Tree.
It had an air of majesty.
It made those who witnessed it feel how small they were.
I can understand why the elves continue to protect this land.
The World Tree was something that should never be seized.
It would be an act of blasphemy for those who were greedy to touch it.
The World Tree was an object of worship.
Currently, it was treated as an object of mine on the surface because the World Tree forest, and the elves that lived here, had fallen into the hands of the Demon Lord.
Of course, I had no intention to treat them as personal possessions.
I completely intended to leave the management of the forest to the elves.
However, defending them from outside enemies would be my responsibility.
Many nations were vying for this place.
They couldn’t attack the forest since it bordered the Empire back then, but it was currently a part of the Demon Lord’s territory.
It was likely they would openly attack under the excuse of saving the world.
Not only must I thoroughly strengthen and stabilize the Demon Lord’s territory, I must also protect this land.
As I was thinking about what specific facilities and equipment I needed to achieve that, I sensed an unusual presence.
I immediately concentrated on my senses and was astonished.
Somebody was trying to destroy the barrier that protected the forest and break in.
The protective magic that was put up was also being destroyed one after another.
I immediately reinforced the barrier and protective magic.
However, both of them were quickly dismantled.
As it failed to resist the extreme oppositional power, the barrier began to collapse.
If it was simply broken through brute force, it would have been impossible for them to have broken the barrier so easily.
It took an extraordinary amount of power to instantly destroy my protective magic.
Perhaps our foe was using some specialized spell.
To think the enemy had prepared such an extremely troublesome thing.
And this happened right after I swore to protect this place…
From the magic they’ve used, I could roughly determine the capabilities of the other party.
This appeared to be space magic.
It seemed the opponent intended to enter the forest through teleportation.
I immediately deployed spells to hinder the teleportation.
I increased its power to prevent the opponent from entering the forest.
After a short battle of magical strength, I realized my counter spells failed to serve their purpose.
I had a strange feeling that the opponent slipped through the magic.
Considering the opponent’s capabilities, it was no longer possible to interfere with the teleportation.
As I heard a creaking sound in the air, something dropped into the bushes behind.
The person who shook off the vegetation and came out was dark-skinned.
His upper body was bare, with his body densely decorated with bluish spells.
His white hair shook along with the movement of his head.
Through the gap of his bangs, a pair of muddy eyes looked at me.
The man brushed off the leaves and branches that stuck to his body.
After a breath, he muttered with a calm voice.
“—I’m surprised. To think that the target of my transfer was greatly shifted. As expected of the Demon Lord.”
“Who are you?”
In response to my question, the man scratched at his white hair.
He was seemingly defenseless as he stood there but his eyes calmly observed my movements.
I could feel his inscrutable gaze.
Although I couldn’t read his emotions, I could feel something swirling in the depths of his eyes.
The man then answered plainly.
“I am not something worthy to name myself, but people around me called me a ‘demigod.’ It is a general term for people who attained godhood, but it’s too much of an exaggeration for me though.”
I repeated the man’s words.
I had some knowledge regarding the term demigod.
Although it was infrequent, they also appeared in myth and hero epics.
It was a term to refer to a person who attained godhood, or a person who almost became a god.
Demigods had the common characteristic of possessing supernatural power.
Regardless of which stories they were depicted in, they were all shown to bear overwhelming power.
However, there were no true examples of demigods in reality.
It was more of a title given to those who possessed overwhelming power out of fear and praise of the people around them.
The scholars were more receptive to that interpretation, and I also agreed with their views.
However, the man in front of me, who called himself a demigod, clearly exceeded that notion.
The fact that he managed to overcome my interference and got in was clear proof that he possessed power beyond the human limit.
Regarding his proficiency over space magic, he surpassed even me, the Demon Lord.
…I’m still superior in terms of pure power though.
Yet this man managed to overcome that difference in power through his outstanding skill and aptitude for magic.
Space magic users were only few to begin with.
A caster with his ability was unheard of.
I was convinced that his title of demigod was well-deserved.
I asked him while remaining cautious.
“Why did such a person come to this place?”
“Of course to kill the Demon Lord…or so I’d like to say, but we can’t fight here. The damage would be too great. We can’t destroy the World Tree’s forest and bother the elves due to our battle.”
The man said that as he looked around.
It was surprisingly a conscientious answer.
He didn’t say it as a lie or joke.
This man had the strength to back it up.
The identity of the other party was unknown, but he didn’t seem to like needless destruction.
However, he did come to kill me.
In other words, he was one of the heralds.
It was unexpected to me that there were other heralds other than Valkyrie and Steel Knight.
Since we got no such information from the spy, then he had either awakened only recently or was raised in secret.
Regardless of the situation, he wasn’t someone I could ignore.
As I thought that, the man continued to talk.
“I came today only to declare war. I ask for a duel on a day that eventually will come. I hope you will accept.”
“What will you do if I refuse?”
“I will begin to attack the Demon Lord’s territory indiscriminately. It pains me to slaughter innocent people, but it can’t be helped. They would be sacrificed for the greater good.”
The man declared so in the same tone.
It was not an empty threat.
This man was actually resolved to carry out mass slaughter if it was necessary.
It was not an act of madness.
It was a hardened conviction which came from an extraordinary mentality.
He would suppress his emotions and focus to achieve his goals.
He was a type of human I had never met before.
He was probably weird even among the heralds.
He was willing to commit evil to achieve his purpose.
It was a principle that was similar to my current self.
As I felt a pang in my chest, I asked the man.
“You’re going to leave just like that?”
“Indeed. I’ll come to you at a different time and place.”
The man calmly answered.
Immediately after, I activated a myriad of spells.
Vines of ivy grew from the ground and wrapped around the man’s limbs.
An air blade was summoned, split into hundreds which surrounded the man.
Amplified seismic waves attacked the man, causing him to sink ankle deep into the ground.
Meanwhile, the man didn’t resist at all.
He was just looking silently at me without a shred of panic.
It was an aloof attitude.
I spoke to the man with my spells ready.
“—Do you think I’ll let you get away?”
“I’ll ask you this instead: do you really want to fight here? The damage would be great, you know? Your dominion might be reduced into a wasteland. You should be able to tell by my power.”
I was at a loss for words.
The man was right.
Having a battle on this land was also something I wanted to avoid.
The opponent possessed extraordinary power.
I was sure I couldn’t fight him properly if I had to mind my surroundings.
This user of space magic was capable of tremendous destruction.
His range of magic covered a wide area.
Based on the man’s abilities, it was likely the World Tree’s forest would be gone before I managed to defeat him.
Exactly because he was aware of that, the man could declare that I wouldn’t attack.
Just as that person thought, I cancelled my spells.
As he confirmed the state of his limbs, the man glanced at me.
“Don’t worry. I wouldn’t kill you in vain. I only aim to dismantle the Demon Lord’s Army.”
“Dismantle, you say?”
“I thought that it was the right thing to do. Therefore, I will do it.”
The man said so in a flat tone.
For a moment, I could sense a strong obsession in his gaze.
It was a firm will to accomplish his goal.
However, he quickly hid it.
As the man turned around, he went straight to the bushes.
“When we meet again, one of us will die. Don’t forget that. See you later.”
The man one-sidedly declared this to me and then walked deeper into the foliage.
I chased after his figure and searched the bushes.
The man was gone.
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Also, Tsukii has picked up a new series called “A Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious!” The title really says it all. Early access to more chapters for this story is available on Patreon.