Chapter 84 – Mercurius Ignored Orders And Used Double-Edge!

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Author: Firehead Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Hands of Vecna English Source: Hands of Vecna
Editor(s): TpstT, Keii

—As Mercurius was being cornered, he remembered something that had happened before he came to this country.

The demons were dancing to a tune. Mercurius always thought so. Originating from somewhere, they were hostile to the humanoids for no reason. That was what the demons were.

And if they were to stop fighting the humanoids, they would turn into mana and die. It was like how magic that did not do its part would dissipate. He was certain that they were dolls. These dolls were born with the role of attacking the humanoids…They were just tools given human-like shapes with no free wills.

But why? For what? Who would create such deficient dolls?

While walking through the dim castle, Mercurius muttered to himself as he pondered the meaning of his own existence.

Assuming we have won the war against the humanoids, what would we do after that? We would disappear after killing the humanoids, so if we were to drive them to extinction, it would be the end of the line for us. In the end, we have no choice but to self-destruct. A tool that has finished its role will be destroyed…Are you kidding me?

“Mercurius!”

“Luna?”

A girl with honey-colored hair called out to Mercurius. On top of her violet inner clothes, she wore light armor which emphasized mobility. It seemed that the person in question had tried to cross-dress as a man, but it was honestly impossible for her. Only idiots like Mars would be fooled by this. Although she seemed to be binding her chest, Mercurius knew for a fact that she was well-endowed.

As Mercurius looked at her running over, he had a shocked expression.

“Luna…What happened to the color of your eyes and skin?”

“Eh?”

The racial characteristics of demons were blue or green skin and eyes with inverted black sclera and white pupils. Luna was no exception and should also have these characteristics. But currently before Mercurius, Luna had white skin and eyes similar to normal humans. Mercurius asked merely out of curiosity, but Luna visibly panicked and answered as if to make an excuse.

“Ah, no. This—This is…for infiltration! Yes, for infiltration! You see, when you infiltrate into a human city, wouldn’t it be suspicious if you don’t look like a human?”

“…I don’t think a disguise is necessary under normal circumstances.”

“Oh, that…B—By doing this normally, I can make sure that I won’t be exposed when I’m actually out there!”

…Liar. Internally, Mercurius called out her childish excuse.

A disguise would be needed when going to a human city. He understood that. This was what Jupiter did as well. Mars was the only fool who would venture close to a human city without a disguise. However, it made no sense to always maintain a human disguise, since it was possible to be mistaken as a human and attacked by fellow demons.

Well, since she was one of the Seven Luminaries, there shouldn’t be any disrespectful demons who would attack her. If there was one, Mercurius would have buried that demon.

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There must be another reason. Probably…she was conscious of Terra who did not look like a demon. In order to get closer to him, she changed her appearance to match his. Mercurius pushed down the jealousy surging inside him and forced his stiff facial muscles into a smile.

“It looks good on you. I don’t like humans, but their skin color isn’t bad.”

“Oh, is it? That makes me happy.”

“By the way, what do you want? Surely you did not come here just to show me this?”

He raised a question to Luna while thinking deep in his heart how happy he would have been if that was the case. “Ah,” Luna cried as she remembered the reason she called out to Mercurius.

“Oh, right. Terra-sama is summoning the Seven Luminaries. Saturnus is already in the conference room.”

“Terra-sama? …I understand. I’ll be right there.”

“Hmm. We’ll be waiting.”

Looking at the back of Luna who left first, Mercurius let out a small sigh. That ended quickly. He did not like it one bit. She did not have eyes for him and was always thinking of someone else.

Romantic rival…That would be wrong. He was not even a rival since the matter was settled from the beginning. He knew that he was just reaping what he sowed. Since he was introverted and not eloquent, he could not say it out loud. He could not show the other person the unrequited love that he felt.

If he behaved in an obvious manner like Luna, the other person would probably figure it out, but it was impossible for him. He always acted “cool” to hide his true feelings.

“…Explode already. Just Terra-sama alone though.”

With soft yet disrespectful words, Mercurius headed for the conference room.

When he opened the door, there was a heptagonal table which symbolized the seven attributes. There were already people at the seats of Moon and Earth. However, the seats for Fire, Wood, Sun, and Metal were empty.

It couldn’t be helped. Mars and Jupiter had died, while Venus had betrayed them. The one who governed the Sun, the man who was supposed to be their leader—a demon by the name of Sol—was excluded from the conference because he was being suspected of having been brainwashed by Venus.

Mercurius took the seat of Water and looked at Terra, who remained unseated as the superior of the Seven Luminaries.

“There are fewer of us now.”

The woman at the seat of Earth, Saturnus of Earth, said while resting her chin on her arm. The relations among the Seven Luminaries were not good. They were an uncooperative group which would kick each other down if given the chance. Even so, if four out of seven people were gone, there would surely be some concerns.

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If they had cooperated with each other without trouble, would this have happened?

…No, that would be impossible. Thinking about it now, the reason for this was because the bomb (Venus) had already infiltrated into their midst.

“Is everyone here?”

Terra glanced at everyone, making sure that everyone was here. That being said, there were only three people.

“Some of you may already know, but Venus has betrayed and left us. No, perhaps she was originally on the other side to begin with. We have been dancing to the tune until now, losing so much in vain.”

Recently…Until a few weeks ago, the demons had an absolute advantage over the humanoids. The Seven Heroes were indeed terrifying existences, but since Aigokeros, Scorpius, and Aries of the Twelve Heavenly Stars were on their side, the demons did not need to fear the guardian beasts and the heroes, except for Benetnash.

However, if one were to think about it now, it was probably another trap of Venus. Because they had the situational advantage, Mars and Jupiter became conceited and were defeated. Meanwhile, Aries, Aigokeros, and Scorpius were taken. By the time they realized it, the situation had already been reversed. With Ruphas and company, they were pushed to the point where it was doubtful if they could even win against the humanoids.

As such, this was no longer the time for them to be in conflict with each other. The three of them listened to Terra with serious expressions.

“We can’t afford to take any more losses. Therefore, all of you will take note of Ruphas’ movements so that you don’t come into contact with them by mistake.”

Originally, this should be a situation where they dug themselves in and watched for further developments. Perhaps, the humanoids and Ruphas would defeat each other. Even if they did not, Benetnash and Leon would surely clash with her.

However, the situation did not allow the demons to do such a thing. They were deficient creatures that would disappear if they did not attack the humanoids…They simply did not have the option to stop the war. Their only option was to smartly attack others while avoiding Ruphas, Benetnash, and Leon.

“I would do this even if you didn’t say so. I don’t want to be the opponent of such monsters. Well, we’ll just do the boring tasks of crushing small villages.”

“Saturnus…Attacking non-combatants is a little…”

“As stubborn as ever, Luna. Even if you say that, we demons would be the ones to die if we don’t do it. Anyway, what’s with your eye and skin colors?”

“Eh? No, this is…”

Terra coughed lightly to interrupt the unnecessary bickerings between Luna and Saturnus. The conference resumed again. Originally, the purpose of this conference was only to discuss a plan of action regarding Ruphas, including issues like her current whereabouts and how much combat power she still possessed.

Her current location was unknown because all of the demons who were sent out for reconnaissance were taken out by a long-range sniper. This was probably done by Libra of the Scales. Although it was possible to estimate her location by using the scouts that were taken out, it would take a lot of subordinates to do it. And if Libra’s range was too long or Ruphas was moving too fast, the accuracy of the information acquired would not balance out the sacrifices which were made.

Although it was just a speculation, it was believed that Ruphas and company were moving at more than one hundred kilometers per hour. Furthermore, if it was just Ruphas herself, it could be inferred from the speed at which she flew from Gjallarhorn to Lævateinn that she could fly around Midgard itself in about thirty minutes. No, if the battle with the Demon King was taken into consideration, her top speed could be several times to tens of times more than this…What kind of monster was she?

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If it was limited to short distance, she might even be able to move by teleportation. In that case, even if her “current location” was pinpointed, the information would no longer be useful by the time it reached Terra. After all, Ruphas could travel around the world several times before Terra’s familiars could return to him, therefore such information could not be expected to be accurate.

After the conference, Mercurius went straight to the throne room of the Demon King.

Fight while avoiding Ruphas. That would be fine. However, it would not solve the fundamental problem that the demons would vanish even if they won. In order to change this, the very existence of the demons themselves must be changed…In other words, it was necessary to change the rules laid down by the Goddess. If they could not do that, there would be no future for the demons.

“Your Majesty, pardon my intrusion.”

Mercurius entered the throne room and knelt before his master. Apparently, the Demon King had a major fight somewhere recently and was currently recovering from his wounds. But his wounds must not have been severe as he calmly sat there as if he was not wounded. He narrowed his eyes in interest at Mercurius’ visit.

“Mercurius, what’s the matter?”

“Your Majesty…Please lend me Your Majesty’s power.”

“Hmm. Let’s hear it.”

“Yes. I am aware that I am being rude. Your Majesty’s Key to the Heavens…The item officially known as GM Key. I wish to use it once for all of us.”

The Key to the Heavens.

It was a divine artifact that appeared only in legends. It could change divine providence and only the agents of the Goddess were allowed to possess it. It was said that the Goddess gave it to the original human Aeneas and it was handed down to the heads of his clan for generations.

In addition, the Goddess told all races and creatures that to seek possession of the key, other than by her agents, was the greatest sin directed towards her. Therefore, aiming at the key was nothing but a declaration of war on the Goddess. As a result, no villain, no magical beast, and no demon ever raised its hands against the agents’ clan throughout history. No matter how foolish, nobody would antagonize the Goddess. Nobody wanted to antagonize her.

But more than two hundred years ago, there was someone who directly challenged this providence.

That was Ruphas Mafahl.

She invaded the sanctuary of the agents in a dignified manner and took the key from Parthenos, the head of the clan. The key was later entrusted to Gemini of the Twins, who had the largest fighting force in the form of the ship Argo among her followers…or so it was thought.

But Mercurius believed that it was no longer on the ship Argo. Yes, it was due to the Demon King’s expedition after the battle with Ruphas. There were only a limited number of opponents that would require such a large fighting force to challenge.

One was the army of Leon, the Lion King.

One was Mjölnir, which was led by the Vampire Princess, Benetnash.

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And another would be Ruphas Mafahl and her Twelve Heavenly Stars.

But all of them were alive and well. There was no evidence of them having fought the Demon King. No, Ruphas fought the Demon King, but that was before the expedition.

Therefore, there was only one candidate left. That would be the ship Argo, which had a lot of heroic spirits. In other words, the key was already in the hands of the Demon King. That was what Mercurius speculated.

“… So you knew already…that I have that on me.”

“Pardon me, but I conducted a great deal of research.”

“Hmm. Let’s hear it. What do you wish to do with the key?”

The Demon King was in a good mood right now. He seemed to be looking forward to what Mercurius had in mind.

In that case, he should cut to the chase before the Demon King’s mood changed. Mercurius gulped and answered with a nervous expression.

“The demon race…No, even just one person is fine. Please free her from the destiny of demons. Nobody else can do this, except you who holds the key.”

bossv1p06

Image from Light Novel Volume 1



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