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Chapter 067 – Truth [A]
“—So, what is Leonhart doing in a place like this—?”
Majin Leonhart was kneeling on the ground and being scolded.
He had gone back to the house, gotten dressed, and told the two kalar to also get dressed. Awaiting Leonhart when he went outside was Ssulal with a terrible look in her eyes.
Although she was smiling, such a smile wasn’t reflected in her eyes. Leonhart wondered why she had such an unpleasant expression.
… Ssulal shouldn’t have known about that yet—
Or so he thought, and he turned his gaze to the side, where he saw Hunty’s slightly red face with an expression like she’d bit a bug.
When he saw that, Leonhart understood.
…That woman… She snitched on me…!
Hunty had witnessed some of the various things they were doing when she entered the house. She must have reported what she saw to Ssulal when Leonhart had gone back to get his clothes. She sure did things properly for someone who knew his dirt.
Even though I didn’t know it was her house, doing those things on her bed must have really bothered her. I’ll make sure to apologize to her later, thought Leonhart.
But since he was called out by Ssulal before that, he needed to deal with Ssulal first.
But, even if he said that, there wasn’t much he could do right now. He had no choice but continue to do seiza and receive Ssulal’s interrogation obediently…Rather, if he did anything else, his body that just barely finished recovering would likely become battered once again. Therefore, he obediently waited for Ssulal’s words. When he looked up at her, he saw Ssulal crossing her arms while looking down at him.
“Hey, Leonhart… What did you come here for again…?”
“…To-to climb Rising Dragon Mountain…”
“…Indeed, that’s also what I’ve heard. —Yet,”
With that said, she looked into his eyes. Her smile disappeared and she became expressionless,
“—Why are you here then?”
“No, well………I got lost…”
He turned his face away as he spoke the thing he didn’t want to admit in a tiny voice. However, Ssulal’s pursuit didn’t stop there,
“…Even if you got lost, that’s not a reason to stay here and relax, right? There are kalars accompanying you, so they could have easily guided you, right?”
“What’s up, Leonhart? You got lost? Hahah, so you’re bad at directions.”
“Galtia, you bastard—“
“—You’re talking to me right now, you know?”
Even if Leonhart wanted to stand up when Galtia teased him, he had no choice but to stop due to Ssulal’s words, which were filled with pressure. He resolved to hit Galtia later. It was said that Galtia was the one who suggested they go on this trip to find him, which led to Leonhart’s current suffering. The majority of the cause was his conduct, though.
“Ah, err, that’s…”
There was someone who meekly raised her voice. It was the timid kalar chief, Pale. She and Kesselring had been listening to their conversation from a distance.
And it seemed she didn’t have the heart to stay silent. She bravely faced the maou,
“Ah, no, that’s… Leonhart-san was seriously injured, so—”
“…I can tell that by looking at him.”
“Ah Of course you can I’m sorry I’ll stay silent!” 1
Feeling the pressure of Ssulal’s gaze, Pale proceeded to apologize with rapid sentences and hide in Kesselring’s shadow to escape from Ssulal’s attention. As expected, it was too much to ask her to argue against the maou. She was scared of majin after all, so it couldn’t be helped.
He thought Pale could have helped him calm Ssulal’s anger a little, but it failed due to her fear of the maou. Although Ssulal’s expression was close to normal, her pressure didn’t subside at all.
Rather, she said she could tell I was hurt—
“…Anyway, explain properly why you ended up like this.”
She asked him why things had ended up this way. He understood what she meant, though barely.
But it wasn’t something he could explain quickly. At the very least, he wanted to avoid trying to do so in his current situation. Just as he was thinking about what he should do, a certain person moved into his field of vision. And that person was,
“…hah! I understand, Leonhart-sama!”
The person who believed she had solved the mystery was Leonhart’s apostle, Carol. Her voice gathered the attention of the people around them.
…I had a bad feeling about this…
Since she said she understood, it meant she thought she noticed something. Carol made a serious face and,
“Climbing the mountain is a metaphor! That’s why both of them have big boobs… I almost missed it! As expected of Leonhart-sama!”
“Like hell that’s the case!!”
The things she said were completely messed up. Leonhart proceeded to scream in retort before such absurd suspicions befell him.
“…Fu~hn. So that’s what you meant by mountain climbing…”
“Don’t believe her, okay?! I meant literal mountain climbing! So on my way up the mountain, I dueled with a dragon, then things happened, and then we fell from the mountain—”
“…Dueled with a dragon?”
The one who responded with those words was Hunty. She raised her eyebrows and asked for confirmation with a confused expression. Leonhart nodded to her remark.
“Aah. If I recall correctly… he’s supposed to be one of Four Great Saint Dragons—“
“Fo-Four Great Saint Dragons?!”
Hunty had an astonished expression, while Ssulal was looking at Leonhart with an expression that said “don’t tell me he really…” Although Leonhart understood the reason for Hunty’s expression, he had no idea why Ssulal wore such an expression. Leonhart nodded and continued his story.
“It’s true. It was Raizen, a dragon with diamond-like scales… we fought a few days ago— and we’re in a truce now.”
“You even know his name and race…”
Although he only spoke a few words, it made his words more believable since he was giving such details. Both Hunty’s and, more importantly, Ssulal’s pressure were relieved. Instead, Ssulal became silent and had a subtle expression. Just as Leonhart was about to ask what she meant by that,
“Heeh, to think it actually happened for real. Back at the castle, Ssulal was—”
“—Oops, that’s right. Sorry, it’s nothing.”
Galtia almost forgot and told Leonhart but, when Ssulal angrily called his name, he immediately corrected his words. While Leonhart was still feeling confused because he didn’t understand what they meant, Ssulal collected her thoughts and looked at him again,
“…Well, I understand that part. But you still haven’t told me why those two kalars are with you though?”
Ssulal pointed at the two kalars. Pale leaked a tiny scream and hid in Kesselring’s shadow once again. Kesselring didn’t seem to be affected.
…I guess it’s amazing for her to not be frightened by the pressure of an angry maou.
Perhaps her gut is as big as her bust? It’s very different from Ssulal— Ah, I shouldn’t be having these kinds of thoughts. For some reason, Ssulal is very perceptive about this kind of thing, to the point I suspect she might have some sort of special ability—
“—Hey, did you think of something weird just now…?”
“?! I-I didn’t…”
…Right after I thought about it?! Maybe she really has such an ability?!
The sharpness of her senses made Leonhart suspect she could actually read minds. As he began to seriously consider the possibility that Ssulal might have developed that kind of magic, there was something else he noticed. And that was,
…Aah? Normally, she would have proceeded to punish me with some pain, though…
Her pursuit was quite light today. Normally, if he did something wrong, it was usually followed by magic being shot at him, with a firepower that depended on how guilty he was. He was already half-cautious and half-resolved all this time, but nothing came his way.
…What does this mean…?
Leonhart tilted his head as he pondered what this meant. There was the possibility that it was simply a matter of her mood. It might be wishful thinking, but he couldn’t help but think so, especially when it came to her.
However, there was someone who made her move at that moment. And it wasn’t Ssulal.
“—Excuse me, can I say something?”
A dignified voice echoed there.
It was the previous kalar chief who had stayed silent all this time. It was the King of the Night, Kesselring. As she spoke, she stepped forward to close the distance a little. As Pale, who hid behind her, became confused, Kesselring spoke out once again.
And the person she talked to was,
It was Ssulal. While carefully watching Ssulal’s face, Kesselring proceeded to approach her, but stopped while there was still distance between them,
“I’m sorry for interrupting your conversation. However, the things he will be telling you about will mostly involve me. Therefore—”
Kesselring spoke while gracefully bowing to Ssulal,
“—I wish to talk, just the two of us… Is that alright with you? — oh Lord of Demons.”
Everyone there was surprised by her words.
The person Kesselring asked to just speak alone with was none other than Maou Ssulal, Lord of Demons. She was requesting to have a conversation with someone who was generally considered to be a symbol of terror. Although everyone except Pale was aware of Ssulal’s personality, it took an extraordinary amount of bravery to interrupt a maou.
Moreover, Ssulal was in a bad mood right now. Although she wasn’t as violent as her usual angry self, she was still angry. It was a highly dangerous act, which was likely to endanger one’s life.
And it was up to Ssulal, whether she was willing to accept Kesselring’s request or not. The people around them had no choice but to be filled with tension as they awaited Ssulal’s response.
Ssulal and Kesselring were looking into each other’s eyes with serious expressions. Neither of them made the slightest movement.
They both spent a long time just staring at the other. It was as if they were conversing through their gaze—
And then that silence was broken. It was by Ssulal who had received the request.
A meaningless sound leaked from her mouth, then she took a light breath to relieve the pressure that was surrounding her, and walked toward Kesselring.
“—Okay. Let’s talk, just the two of us… Where should we talk?”
“—Thank you very much… Well then, please come this way.”
With that exchange, the confrontation between the two women had ended for the time being. Then, with Kesselring as guide, Ssulal began to walk away from the group. Everyone swallowed their saliva and saw them off but, just as Ssulal about to walk away,
“A, …Aah. What is it, Ssulal?”
She glanced at him,
“…Wait over there properly. Don’t eavesdrop on us — the others too.”
About the same time that Leonhart managed to nod, the others around him also voiced their agreement. Pale was still in a panic and couldn’t speak properly, so she could only nod her head in silence.
“…hm, it’s okay then.”
With that said, Ssulal followed Kesselring.
And the place they entered— was the hut where Leonhart and the two women had been staying.
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