Chapter 017 – Shichisei [A]
Just like its name suggested, it was a city of demons within the demon realm. It was something similar to human settlement.
Why was it called a tree city? It was because of this giant tree it was centered around.
This plant looked like a giant star, spherical in shape with hollow space inside. A lot of resources and food could be harvested from the surrounding area.
It was unknown why it was shaped like that. However, the demons managed to build a town in this region because of the benefits of this tree.
That was the reason why it was called a tree city.
In fact, there were several tree cities under control of the Demon Army, but this tree city here was something that the Demon Army hadn’t managed to discover yet.
Leonhart and Camilla were exploring it.
Mainly due to their judgment that there should be many demons within this city.
“Nobody’s here, which is surprising…”
Not a single demon could be seen in the vicinity.
While Camilla didn’t reply to Leonhart’s statement, her expression also questioned the same thing.
…There were traces that demons were here recently, though.
It was certain that demons lived here at some point in time considering the townscape of this place. If nobody had ever lived here, there wouldn’t be anything built here.
By the way, the inside of the tree city was bright because of its unique property which allowed light to pass through it. Still, the location was perfect for living since the giant tree protected the area from rain and natural disasters.
“Let’s try to venture deeper… Camilla—eh, hey!”
As I looked toward her, Camilla was already moving ahead.
…There was too little communication between us.
I had no choice but to chase after Camilla. It was better if I did just that. It was one thing if she just languidly searched, but it seemed that she was seriously exploring the place anyway. Even as I followed along, I could still look around and check.
As it was, Camilla went deeper and deeper inside the city.
Then, the scenery of the town gradually changed.
Camilla’s eyebrows moved sharply as she saw it.
“…It’s been demolished… no, something razed it.”
“Aah… this sure looks terrible.”
Yes, beyond our sight — was part of the city which had been reduced to rubble. We could see various traces of buildings that had collapsed, been destroyed, and covered with char marks as if something thrashed about.
It was a phenomenon which was unable to occur naturally.
There was a sense of tension between Camilla and I. Why was that?
It was because as we ventured deeper, the traces of destruction were getting newer and fresher. As if the cause of all of this laid ahead.
Even so, both of us weren’t particularly worried.
Even if the culprit who was responsible for all this destruction laid ahead, it was something we could handle. After all, there were two majins right here, and both of us were a part of the Four Elite Majins, which was proof of how powerful we were compared to other majins. If the both of us couldn’t handle it, that meant nothing short of a calamity was released upon the world.
Therefore, we continued to move ahead to satisfy our curiosity without hesitation — and that’s when we heard it.
“So it’s here…!”
We heard a tremendous roar. Along with that, a huge shadow appeared from the sky.
However, the figure that showed itself made me blink in surprise.
“Oi… isn’t that—“
It had shining white scales and bright jade on its underbelly.
Its long body had four limbs and sharp claws at its end. There was also a pair of horns attached to its head, along with its fangs protruding from its maw.
Its blue twin pupils looked at us, and it intimidatingly growled at us.
It was a member of the second generation of the protagonist race who once ruled the whole world.
I spoke the name of said creature.
“Isn’t that a dragon?!!”
And the dragon roared and attacked us.
—This bastard! So its aim was me!
I pulled out my demonic sword in a hurry and deflected the incoming dragon claws that aimed at me.
I then opened the distance and observed the dragon.
…Somehow, it feels like I have some strange connection with dragons.
I didn’t know whether I was lucky or unlucky to get involved with three different dragons, if I were to also include those who were majins, in the short time I became a majin. Considering normal humans would pretty much die if they met one, I guess I would consider myself as unlucky.
The dragon unleashed a series of attacks with its claws. Perhaps it was angry at me for deflecting them earlier.
I avoided the claw attacks of its right forefoot, left forefoot, and its bite attack using its mouth with back steps.
Perhaps it was due to my experience of fighting a dragon before, albeit it was a dragon majin, but it seemed easier to read its movements. Well, that wasn’t truly the case.
I had an easier time since I fought a humanoid dragon, but this time I fought a complete quadrupedal dragon. Which made it harder to read its attacks. However, it just moved slower compared to a majin so I managed to evade the onslaught of attacks.
…Well then, what should I do? Defeating it wouldn’t be hard to do.
However, there was its fellow dragon Camilla in the vicinity. I didn’t want to kill another one of her compatriots again in front of her. It would make my apology worthless.
Therefore, I turned my gaze toward Camilla to ask for instruction.
“I see, you are… no, you too…”
The situation seemed strange.
Camilla stared at the dragon, and seemed to have had a thought of some sort. Based on her expressions it seemed like it was something similar to pity. That was what I felt, anyway.
I looked at Camilla as I avoided the dragon’s attacks, but the dragon wasn’t stupid enough to stay silent as I kept avoiding them.
It raised its head and breathed in as if accumulating power. It was one of the dragon race’s specialty attacks.
—It was a Breath attack—!
I turned around and jumped sideways, and immediately after that, a ray of white heat passed through where I was.
The dragon roared and burned the town behind using its Breath. I guess I should have expected that this dragon was the reason why there were no demons in this tree city.
The demons, aware that the dragon was beyond what they could handle, decided to abandon the city. There might be another reason involved in such decisions, but I wasn’t interested about that, including the reason why a dragon was rampaging about in this kind of place—
Camilla called out to me, who couldn’t decide what to do. Rather, since when did she get so close to me?
“What is it? No, I wanted to ask you instead, what should I do with tha—“
“? About what?”
“…That one, I’ll make it my apostle.”
“…Eh? Are you really serious about that?”
“Fulfill your contract.”
Camilla spoke as a superior majin, as a person who stood above others as she commanded me.
I didn’t feel like subduing that thing, or rather, I had a complicated feeling about that. No well, that dragon didn’t look sane at all for rampaging about like this… and I couldn’t imagine that thing would swear its allegiance to Camilla to begin with.
However, I had no choice since Camilla said she wanted that. Did she prefer an untamed beast? I felt like a father who could only reluctantly nod at his daughter’s request of wanting a pet.
“…Is that really okay?”
“…I won’t say it twice…”
“Okay, okay, my bad. Then what should I do?”
“Beat it back to its sanity… I’ll permit you to wound it to some extent.”
“In other words, you want me to beat it down until he regains its sanity …Kukuh… then I’ll do it.”
“…Don’t kill it.”
“…I won’t, okay? I didn’t mean to say I’d kill it when I said I’d do it.”
“…That worries me…”
“…Well, I’m going but… you, just what kind of person do you think I am?
Oi, don’t look away there.
…No, I can somewhat understand what you meant, but let me say that it was a misunderstanding.
I just like to swing my sword a bit. I’m pretty much a normal majin besides that.
Well, fighting a strong opponent was indeed fun, and it did make me want to cut it down for a tiiiiiiiny bit, but it didn’t mean I was crazy enough to kill indiscriminately. I kept such instinct in check using my reason — though I did fail to do so during Galtia’s case.
Well, I guess I’ll just carry out the order. Although I did feel complicated since Camilla misunderstood that about me.
I didn’t feel convinced, but I switched my thoughts and focused on the dragon.
Camilla saw off Leonhart, with a little anxiety, as he headed toward the dragon.
…It should be okay since I reminded him that much.
Camilla considered Leonhart as dangerous among majins.
He gave off the impression of being blunt from his usual attitude and personality, yet he was also quite tolerant and did his job seriously. His personality was also not bad considering he obediently came to apologize for killing her compatriot. Even now, he was still trying to obediently follow her order.
However, once he began to battle, this impression changed significantly.
His red eyes shone brightly, focusing themselves at his opponents’ movements, his mouth gave off glimpses of grin due to joy he failed to hide, his words became provocative as he sliced his enemy, and once he lost interest his expression and gaze would immediately grow cold, only to unleash a swift death that even his enemy was unable to notice when it happened — the scene of that duel was still fresh in her mind.
Apparently, the new majin he brought along the other day, Galtia, was also dueled in the battlefield, and both of them were heated by the situation and had smiles of joy during the moment.
The subordinate demon generals, demon captains, and demon soldiers were making rumors about and feared him. Although his usual attitude was easygoing and was quite tolerant, they were afraid if they somehow went too far and angered him, it might cause their own lives to be reaped by his sword.
Even fellow majins were cautious about him. It was natural, since every single majin had witnessed that duel and the moment Leonhart changed. Therefore, they all had put some distance between them and him.
Kayblis instead chose to actively try to earn his favor and declared, “I was the first disciple of Leonhart-sama, that very Four Elite Majin and the Demon Army Officer!” to others. Nobody seemed to believe him though.
Anyway, Leonhart was known within the Demon Army as a majin who was serious about his work, quite tolerant to his subordinates, but also loved combat and duels.
Therefore, Camilla was quite worried about whether her apostle candidate might end up being killed. She did think he might be able to control himself, though.
In front of her, Leonhart was happily fighting the dragon.
“Oi! Is this all a dragon capable of?! Kuhah, if you don’t hurry and return to your sanity, your wounds will only increase!”
The dragon, which was wounded by Leonhart, roared.
…I guess I’ll stop him if it gets dangerous.
Although she was worried, since she could only depend on Leonhart, she had no choice but to keep an eye on them.
There was the choice for Camilla to do it herself, but this time, Camilla’s heart refused to do so. She wouldn’t mind doing so if the opponent were any other living being.
If only the opponent this time weren’t her compatriot who went insane due to what happened back then.
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