|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2629 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1332 words|
My name is Ditoner, a confidant of Trianf, one of the Demon Kings in what the humans call the Haunted Lands. Our land has been going through a hard time lately, with conflict brewing between the Demon Kings. All because of the weird occurrence of multiple Demon Kings appearing at once.
Three hundred years ago, Demon King Agster was defeated by the Hero, and when he fell, all the remaining influential demon lords began fighting over who would rule over the land. Everyone wanted to take the lead and rule over everyone else as the new Demon King, spending a century of bloodshed and constant conflict. But when only a few remained alive, they realized it was foolish to continue slaughtering each other, so they chose to divide the land so each one could rule over a smaller territory.
There were still smaller conflicts, but in general, it was a relatively peaceful two hundred years, but during that time everyone had been secretly amassing power to become the next Demon King. Then out of the blue, Agster returned from the dead. He went and removed all the troops standing watch on the spot where all four portions of our lands met, then summoned forth large mobs of monsters and attacked all regions at the same time.
He wanted to take back control of the entire territory, starting with Trianf’s by using his own immense power and that of his strong monsters. If Trianf fought back with all he had, he would win against Agster, but if he focused all his efforts on that, then the other demon lords would use that opening to also attack Trianf, so he had no choice but to retreat for the time being.
As a result, five regions were born, Agster took control of the central area, Trianf kept the southeast area, Aprila of the northeast, Piagio of the northwest, and Dukite ruled over the southwest. At the same time, all of those rulers began calling themselves Demon Kings.
They believed it was proper to be called that, considering it was them who ruled there since Agster’s passing, and they believed they had grown more powerful than Agster was back then. Obviously, not even my master Trianf could even dream of having the same power as Agster, and all the others were even more inferior. If they decided to foolishly challenge Agster and fell, we would celebrate it here, but something else got in the way. Over on the human world, multiple heroes began showing up as well.
Heroes, the natural enemy of demons and the most powerful humans. It was one of them that defeated Agster three hundred years ago when he tried to move out to conquer the entire world. Humans have a short lifespan, so we forgot about them when a century passed since Agster’s failure, figuring the hero had died by then. But now there were multiple of them? We had our hands full dealing with the other Demon Kings, but now there were heroes to worry about as well…our land was truly cursed.
That was the situation around us, so if we took a wrong move and showed an opening, we would certainly fall. Whether we tried attacking the humans or another Demon King, the other one would attack us from behind. But we also could not sit idly without doing anything. If we wanted to win this conflict, we had to figure out a way to make Trianf’s name more known without risking an attack.
“Listen now, Ditoner. Go and figure out how powerful modern humans are. If they’re strong, then we’ll attack another Demon King, if they’re weak, then slaughter them all in my name. I won’t be like those other demon lords afraid to step out of this small land, we’ll wage war against these humans and show everyone what a true Demon King is.”
“Understood, sir. I’ll accomplish my duty and make you proud.”
That was an easy enough task, I just had to go intimidate a few humans. If I found a girl, I could just kidnap her and bring her back with me, or if I found a man then butchering him would be simple. I took a few of my subordinate demons and monsters I had control over, and we headed towards the wall separating our lands from the human side.
We traveled east from Trianf’s stronghold for a few days, until the wall separating us from our destiny came into view. It was fortified with many weapons ready all over it, with human guards regularly patrolling over it.
I heard the humans call that wall the “Monster’s Lament” or some stupid name like that, which sounded like a joke to me. They say that no matter how many monsters try to destroy it they just turn around crying? That’s just how mindless and weak monsters always act. If we demons wanted it, we could destroy as many walls as these just like paper.
But before we could reach the wall, we spotted some strange fellows in front of us. They were all girls, a group of four humans and one elf. They were armed and were fighting against monsters. If I had to guess, they had to be those ‘adventurers’ who pop up at random places, kill a few monsters and then get paid for it.
Usually, no one dared to go inside our land like that, but there were a few exceptions. Those who came in here would always get devoured by monsters without a chance to fight back, but this group seemed to have a bit of fight in them as there were piles of dead monsters around them.
“Hey everyone, let’s get those b̲i̲t̲c̲h̲e̲s̲ before we break through the wall. Just don’t kill them, that would ruin the fun of it all.”
Hearing me, my subordinates smirked. We would never assault a fellow demon around these parts, but they were humans so we could do whatever we wanted. Once the excitement for battle settled, we went to capture them to relieve some of the built-up stress from the boring trip so far.
I sent some of my demons to surround the group of girls, not to ambush them, but to cut off any escape routes. I would never let such a rare opportunity go by, and I was already too excited knowing I would get to vent all my stress soon.
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Some time after I came to live with Lapis, for some inexplicable reason she suggested we go into the Haunted Lands. I could only think she was going crazy to willingly decide to step inside a place overrun with monsters like that. I knew the day would come when I had to go there as a hero, but I really wanted to be more prepared first.
But talking about Lapis’ mental state, what was that training of hers in the first place? I had been in the army for a long time, but nothing I did there ever made me want to cry. I could see how that training would make me stronger, but anyone who tried to run away from it would get caught and brought back by Lapis. I had a strong hunch that it was Lapis alone who got that training school to be regarded as the best in the country.
I truly hated that training, but I did notice improvements in a really short time frame. I was still a far cry from getting closer to Lapis’ power, which was obvious given she was both my master and instructor, but my body was getting almost as resilient as Luvias’, and my magic power had pretty much doubled. Now I could also hit my target without having to rely on my luck, so I felt like I was getting to the baseline of what a hero is.
“Some help Luvias!”
“Diaria! Cover me!”