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Chapter 6: The Sage Accepts a New Subordinate (Part 2)
Grom, Luciana and I entered the castle.
I chose a drawing-room that was no longer used as a place for conversation.
The room was in good condition.
Grom must have cleaned it up in his enthusiasm.
We sat on the sofas facing each other with a low table in between and started the conversation.
“I’ll ask once again, why are you here?”
“Don’t threaten me like that. Aren’t we friends, Dwight? “
“I-Impossible, this lass and the Demon Lord…!? “
Grom trembled in shock.
The flames in his eyes seemed to intensely flicker.
It seems like her words were quite the shock to him.
“Grom, calm down. While Luciana and I are acquaintances, we are no close friends. We were mutual enemies.”
The follower of the Hero, and one of the Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon Lord’s army.
It was our inevitable fate to kill each other, and we had had many life and death battles.
With the final outcome still undecided, we subjugated the Demon Lord while she was out sabotaging the human armies.
“We ‘were’ mutual enemies, huh…For you to use the past tense, does that mean you believe it to be different now? “
Luciana had a malicious expression.
I agreed without a thought.
“The Demon Lord you served is dead. It has been ten years since then. There is no reason for us to spar.”
“You’re quite pragmatic. I might have come for vengeance of the Demon Lord for all that you know.”
“If that were the case, I would have crushed you and turned you all into undeads. I’ll make good use of your corpses.”
I declared with an air of intimidation.
It wasn’t just an empty threat.
If need be, I could put it to practice.
It was possible to accomplish it with little effort.
Sweat ran down her cheeks as Luciana gulped.
She let out a breath and calmed down, slowly leaning on the sofa.
“…I’m joking. I only want to become the new Demon Lord’s subordinate.”
“What do you mean?”
When I asked, Luciana began talking of her circumstances.
After the Demon Lord’s death, it seems like the humans trampled upon the remnants of the Demon Lord’s army.
Even if they tried to fight, due to the absence of the Demon Lord who reigned at the top, they could not effectively counterattack.
In the meanwhile, the leadership of the remnants collapsed, and their command on the organisation slipped.
Eventually, they split into several factions, each taking a different path.
Luciana, who held the position of one of the Four Heavenly Kings at that time, went to the frontier with the ones who supported her.
They seemed to have been called the “moderates” amongst the remnants.
These moderates decided to scrape by, living in places where human eyes did not reach
Believing that a new Demon Lord would appear someday, they overcame a ten-year distress.
“I had intentions of taking over if you had been a cowardly imitation with intentions of becoming the Demon Lord. But it seems like my worries were needless. Because you are stronger than the previous Demon Lord.”
Luciana gave me honest praise.
Her words seemed tinged with amazement.
It seems that my strength was somewhat beyond her expectations.
“But still, I never thought you’d become the new Demon Lord, Dwight. I know you and the Hero were executed, but what really happened? “
Luciana leaned forward and asked.
She seemed very curious.
I didn’t particularly want to keep it secret, and I had also asked her about her situation.
It wasn’t as if I wanted to return the favour, but there was no harm in explaining it to her.
Having made such a decision, I talked about the events from the subjugation to the present.
The contents weren’t all that complicated.
It didn’t take long for the talk to end.
“In other words, the humans who despised the heroes who killed the Demon Lord ended up giving rise to a new Demon Lord and brought about their own ruin!” Ahahaha, humans truly are irredeemable fools!”
Luciana laughed atop the sofa.
The contents of my story seemed of great delight to her.
I didn’t feel like laughing, but it seemed like I touched her heartstrings.
But on the other hand, I disagreed with her opinion.
“Sure, humans are fools, but they aren’t irredeemable. I intend to give them eternal peace.”
“Aren’t you the honest one. You aren’t thinking of completely annihilating them?”
“I want to devote my strength to make the world peaceful. That had been my objective right from when I was alive. It was her dearest wish.”
It was only that my path to peace had changed.
The base of my feelings was unwavering.
Because I thought that the current approach was the best, I was executing it without hesitation.
Correcting her posture, Luciana gave a gentle smile.
“Well, I understood your reasons and motivation. So, what are you going to do? “
Her gaze sought out my real intentions.
She continued talking without waiting for my reaction.
“We seek a land of peace. In exchange, we shall offer skill and strength. You seek excellent subordinates. You could offer the entire kingdom as a reward.”
“You mean to say our interests go hand in hand?”
“That’s exactly it! I think it’s a win-win situation. “
Luciana spoke coolly
Her expression seemed to betray her conviction that I would be sold on this.
At that moment, Grom whispered into my ear.
“Demon Lord, I have something to say.”
“What is it?”
“Please come here.”
I was led by Grom to the edge of the room.
There he created a soundproof wall using magic.
It was to ensure that our voices did not reach Luciana.
“Do you believe that succubus? “
“It’s true that Luciana is excellent. She has an untrustworthy personality, but it should be fine if you’re on guard for that.”
No matter what the other side’s real intentions were, it was important to be on guard.
If they began destroying humanity under my watch, it would be too terrible to even look at.
As long as I was careful about that, it wasn’t that bad of a thing.
It didn’t matter what our past fates were.
All that mattered was their current utility.
“The army of demons she leads is fascinating. Even though they were a mere five hundred, they are a great addition to my subordinates. We are both using each other. That is all.”
“If the Demon Lord says so, I cannot object…”
Although Grom said so, he seemed to have some lingering regrets.
I knew that he was seriously thinking about my future.
I shouldn’t disregard him.
I placed my hand on Grom’s shoulder.
“Whenever I am in crisis, I will rely on your power.”
“…Hahah! This Grom will work hard for the sake of the Demon Lord, even if my body becomes dust! This Grom is privileged to be of use to the Demon Lord! “
Grom’s spirits returned in a blink of an eye.
The flames in his eye sockets were blazing to the point that they seemed they would scorch the ceiling.
This should be fine for a while.
I returned to the sofa.
“Sorry to make you wait. We’re done with our talk.”
“So, what are you gonna do?”
“I’ll be taking you in. I promise you a land of peace. In return, you have to take part in the war against humankind.”
Hearing my answer, Luciana smiled brightly and held out her hand.
“That’s not a problem. I did this ten years ago too. I have nothing to hesitate now.”
“Alright. The negotiations are done.”
When I grabbed Luciana’s hand, she happily jumped up.
“Yes! I’ll be in your care then, Demon Lord? “
She approached me, wrapping her arms around my neck.
She pressed against me like that.
“…And what is this for?”
“I like strong men. Even when I followed the previous Demon Lord, I fell for his overwhelming strength. That’s why, now…I’m like that. Hey, you know what I mean, right? “
Luciana spoke, looking up at me coyly.
Her eyes seemed to overflow with emotion.
Her plump red lips approached.
She’s the same as ever, huh.
I produced magic from my hand.
I won’t kill her, but I’d be troubled if she continued this in the future.
To be frank, it spelt nothing but trouble.
I should give her a warning at the beginning itself.
The moment I decided to use my magic, eight bony arms grabbed Luciana.
The arms tore her off my body.
Of course, they belonged to Grom.
“The likes of a succubus to seduce the Demon Lord of all people…! It’s useless, you cannot deceive him! She’s a bad woman!”
“My, that’s not a very nice thing to say. You also seem quite nonstandard, but you’re not nearly as good as the Demon Lord. I’m sorry. I go for nothing but the best.”
Luciana replied triumphantly.
Her calm words included many provocations.
“—Watch your mouth, you vulgar succubus. You’ve touched my reverse scale.1. I will make sure you never again see the beauty that you pride yourself in!”
Grom was enraged.
He returned to his original form, not bothering to hide his bloodthirst.
“Come on. I’ll entertain you just this time.”
Opposite him, Luciana seemed to take a battle position for some reason.
Because she emphasised on strength as one of the criteria for choosing a partner of the opposite sex, she took a belligerent attitude.
Perhaps it was because she had finally let go of the restraints that had held her back all this while and given her reaction.
“Bwahahahaha! Let me give you a taste of my magic…! “
“Try me! I’ll utterly crush you!”
The two, at last, began exchanging magic spells.
The reception room was destroyed as a consequence.
Observing them, I placed my hand on the door.
I couldn’t be bothered by everything.
Even this body got tired.
Since they had agreed to become allies, if the two had some brains, they wouldn’t kill one another.
I’ll leave them alone till they’re satisfied.
…Should I go tell Luciana’s subordinates about the details of the matter?
Leaving aside the battle unfolding behind me, I left for the audience room.
Hasr: I know some of you find the story a little slow, but trust me it really gets good once we get to the second arc.
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