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Chapter 041 – Banquet [B]
Carol’s words carried an ominous undertone. As Leonhart slowly realized what she meant, a chilling sense of doom spread throughout his entire body.
…No, no, no way, it can’t be…
To be honest, he felt scared to turn around now. However, he could sense a familiar presence moving behind him, and his doubt turned into conviction.
He even felt that there was no meaning in confirming it with Carol first anymore.
Leonhart followed Carol’s suggestion and slowly turned around. And as expected—
“Slurp…hm, this sara udon is delicious. The bean paste is excellent.”
“Ah, hey, Launea. Don’t leave your meal half-uneaten. Haven’t I always told you that?”
Beyond Leonhart’s gaze was, as feared, a brown skinned person, the mushi user majin — Galtia was there. Leonhart held his head in his hands as any relaxed feelings he had from the party immediately evaporated into nothing.
…Are you serious…?
Leonhart called out to Galtia. The truth was, he had no choice but to call out to him, or else Galtia might destroy the entire party. Galtia was focused on scolding Launea, but he reacted to Leonhart’s voice and turned around.
“Ooh, Leonhart. What is it? This sara udon tastes delicious, wanna have some?”
“……No, may I ask you why you are here to begin with?”
Leonhart realized the unpleasant premonition he had was correct as he saw the person who always acted like he did now. Leonhart didn’t shout in anger immediately and instead calmly asked Galtia, but it was impossible to hide the angry twitch of his eye. At Leonhart’s irritated gaze and expression, Galtia showed his casual smile,
“Well, Launea told me that a banquet would be held at this place today. So of course I couldn’t stand still and invited myself in.”
Launea folded her arms proudly as if to say “it’s all thanks to me!” As Leonhart somehow managed to hold back his impulse to punch Galtia, Leonhart continued his interrogation.
“…This banquet was specially held for my army only though. Do you have any excuse for that?”
“Hm, is that so? Sorry about that. Well, I won’t disturb you, and I’ll try to not eat too much, so forgive me about that. —So you guys, you don’t have to mind me-.”
Galtia spoke a bit louder so the demon generals who listened in could also hear him. Although they didn’t react to him, seeing that those demon generals felt troubled about how to deal with the situation, Leonhart sighed.
…I guess it’s useless to order them to do anything about this.
Leonhart was mentally weighing the amount of food intake that Galtia had against how much food the banquet had available. The thought of it made him feel dizzy, so as he touched his own forehead he tiredly said,
“…Then, I’ll believe in you. I intend to prioritize my subordinates, however, so don’t eat their portions, and I’ll let you stay here and feast.”
“…What is it?”
For some reason, Galtia looked at Leonhart and let out a surprised noise. Leonhart couldn’t tell what that reaction was supposed to mean. Galtia began with “it’s not a big deal, but-” as he continued speaking,
“…I just feel it’s a pleasant surprise. I thought you’d chase me out.”
“…The atmosphere would turn for the worse if I did, you know?”
He didn’t want to make his subordinates feel daunted by making a display of power, and wanted to keep the mood as lighthearted and merry as possible. Leonhart was taking that as his first point of consideration. Galtia nodded as he was impressed by Leonhart’s commitment,
“I see. As expected of the commander of the demon army, you take everything into consideration.”
“Shut it, just eat silently… ah, you’re welcome to leave voluntarily and talk outside all you want, you know?”
“Oops, spare me from that. I was looking forward to this.”
“Fuhn…I’ll go around for a bit, but… if I see you eat like you usually do, then I’ll chase you out regardless.”
“Okay okay…I guess I’ll just eat slowly then. Now…should I drink some liquor? This one looks like it’ll pair well with the udon…”
“…Okay, let’s go. Carol.”
Upon noticing Galtia pick out some liquor to drink, Leonhart looked at him in suspicion. The mushi user rarely drank, and he thought about questioning Galtia on the matter, but decided to let it go. Leonhart called out to Carol to follow him before leaving the scene.
Carol followed up behind Leonhart obediently, but then she looked up toward him, looking pleased,
“Leonhart-sama sure got along well with Galtia-sama.”
“Aah? That’s your conclusion after witnessing our exchange?”
Leonhart frowned as Carol suddenly said such a thing. However, Carol, on the other hand, kept smiling as she continued,
“Because when Leonhart-sama is talking to Galtia-sama, you do speak rough words often, but you always seem to be having fun!”
Leonhart awkwardly scratched the back of his head. Even as he let out a wordless sound,
…It sure is a troublesome topic…
His face twisted with an annoyed expression. Why is it that when other people tell me such a thing, I feel a little embarrassed? Although he didn’t need such thoughts to be answered. After all,
…It’s time to enjoy liquor for today anyway…
Given that it’s a special day today, and everyone is probably too drunk to remember anything, I guess I don’t mind blabbing a little, he thought. Additionally, it was his apostle who asked, and Carol wouldn’t go around spilling his secrets.
Therefore, in response to his apostle’s observation, which Leonhart could tell was worded in a way that was more like a question, Leonhart said,
“…Well, our previous situations were similar, after all. I just could sympathize with him, and I want him to enjoy his life right now. And of course, as a fellow majin, I want to get along well with him.”
He answered. However,
“……Somehow, it feels unfair!”
“…Why is that?”
Leonhart thought he’d given a reasonable answer, but it seemed like Carol was dissatisfied about something, since she suddenly shouted such words. She then shouted out her reason.
“I also want to get along more with Leonhart-sama! It feels like I’ve lost to Galtia-sama, despite being your apostle!”
“Get along… Well, we already get along well. And besides, Galtia and I are majin, while you are an apostle. Of course the dynamic would be a little different, but I think we’re still pretty close.”
He gently denied Carol’s words. Leonhart considered their relationship quite good for a majin and his apostle, but it seemed like Carol didn’t think so. She pouted and still looked dissatisfied,
“That’s true, but… muu, I wanted more, intimate relationships…”
As Carol mumbled such a thing mid-sentence, Leonhart tried not to react, even as he was amazed by her words. She was as her usual self, in a sense. Her initial goal never changed. And it made him think,
…Hm? Don’t tell me the reason she held this banquet, invited my fan club, and specified about that is because…
Leonhart thought about Carol, who kept mumbling behind him, and the fan club girls, who had been constantly looking at him from a distance this whole time. Then after he somehow managed to guess at the motivations and process that lead to this setup,
…No, uhm, I’ll try not to think about it…
At least, he shouldn’t think about it right now…maybe once he was drunk he could think about it. Leonhart put aside such thoughts to the corner of his mind and headed to his destination.
Around the same time as when Leonhart’s army banquet began,
A little shadow fluttered down from the sky at a distance from the venue.
Far away from the crowded bonfires, where the moon was the only source of light, the figure landed on the grass without a sound. A pair of glittering red eyes shone like a pair of rubies against the shadowy surroundings.
That existence had the form of a human, and it was a young girl at that.
However, her presence and pressure she emitted was not that of a human, so much so that it would make one believe that there was no one else alive in this world who could unleash a greater presence.
And currently, the pressure she emitted was far greater than she usually unleashed. Even those with her in her usual state would definitely be intimidated by her current state.
However, there must be a reason why she would lose control over her presence like this. While still staring at the faraway lights, her clenched fists trembled and her whole body shook with emotion,
She called that name. Her voice was clearly filled with resentment.
Yes, he was the reason why she was so angry. More specifically, it was because he held such a grand event without even telling her about it, which raised a strong feeling—
“To not tell me about this celebration…and about the kinds of people attending this celebration…I definitely won’t forgive you…!!”
Her rage caused the ground to tremble and the trees to shake violently. Her anger was directed at — Majin Leonhart.
To let him know of his fatal error, she immediately took flight once more.
—Regardless of the method, she would make him aware.
Her expression was filled with such determination.
Suddenly, Leonhart’s body quivered and he looked around frantically. Carol tilted her head curiously in reaction to her master’s sudden panic.
“Leonhart-sama? Is something wrong? To suddenly look back…”
“No, I just suddenly feel a chill…”
“Did you catch a cold? I heard a leek is effective for times like this!”
“Majin shouldn’t get sick… or at least I think so.”
“Is that so?”
“Aaah… well, it must be my imagination. Maybe I’m still worried about Galtia’s eating habits.”
Leonhart shivered for just a little longer because that unidentified chill triggered his survival instincts. However, nothing happened, and he couldn’t sense anything, so he quickly forgot about the whole matter and enjoyed the party to his full satisfaction.
Sudden next chapter preview!!
Galtia: “Stop! If a maou got jealous and burned down all the fan club members, all the food will suffer collateral damage!”
Carol: “Please don’t die, Leonhart-sama! If you collapsed here, what would you do with the promise you made to demon generals and Launea-san? The Invincibility Field didn’t exist yet, so if you manage to endure(?) you can still win against Planner!”
Ssulal: “Next chapter, “Leonhart’s death.” Duel Standby!”1
※It might be a lie.
This kind of mini postscript story will appear from time to time, mostly intended as a joke for possible interaction, trivial talk about a certain topic, or completely unrelated matter.
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