Lord of the Demon Realm — Part 1
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix
Unlike the rest of the city, which was bustling with noise, the castle’s interior was deathly silent. It was decorated with all sorts of furniture, but the lack of sound made the long corridor Haloria guided me through almost seem lonely in nature. The still atmosphere stemmed in part from the fact that the castle was almost empty. There were so few people around that I couldn’t help but get the impression that there were barely any in its service to begin with.
The only other individuals anywhere in our vicinity were the hooded agent’s colleagues—or at least that was what I assumed they were. There were two of them, and they were both quite good at the whole stealth thing; both stayed concealed as they tailed us through the palace. That said, my magic eye allowed me to see them clear as day despite their best efforts. The sight of them making themselves out to be hidden despite obviously being right behind us was almost funny, in a surreal kinda way.
Another factor that contributed heavily to the complete and utter lack of noise was the fact that, guides and “hidden” escorts aside, I had come alone. Enne had literally fallen asleep on my lap while we were riding the oversized capybara. It was an adorable sight, but I knew that it meant the long trip had left her exhausted. I suspected that Leila was probably just as tired, so I had the two of them go on ahead. Specifically, I sent them to the room the demon king was lending us in order to let them get a head start on some much-needed rest. I wasn’t about to make them sit through a potentially lengthy audience, especially since I was the only one that the lord of the demon realm had asked for to begin with.
Not having Enne with me meant not having my main weapon, but I wasn’t completely unarmed. I had both my gun and my dagger mounted on the back of my waist, and I could always open up my inventory and grab something else even if push came to shove. Still though, I know I said this already, but man, bringing Enne along was a really good idea. I totally would’ve been screwed without her. Literally. And I’m not exactly all that keen on getting my shit kicked in by Lefi the moment I get home. No thank you.
Of course, I didn’t ever intend on letting myself get seduced by anyone but the woman I loved. I knew that, even if looks were to be completely put to the side, there was no better girl for me than her. Not in this life, nor my last. I had simply never met anyone else that was just so… perfect.
Haloria finally broke the silence as we reached a massive set of doors. One would normally expect the audience chamber to come equipped with at least one pair of guards, but there wasn’t a soldier anywhere in sight. In their places stood two gargoyle-shaped golems. The magic-infused statues seemed to do the job quite well, as they both craned their necks towards us the moment we arrived before the door. They focused momentarily on Haloria as if to confirm her identity before returning to their original positions and ceasing all further action.
Unlike me, the hooded agent seemed to be used to the sight, as she didn’t even bother giving them a glance before fiddling with something and opening the giant-sized entrance. The doorway slowly opened up to reveal an expansive throne room decorated in naught but red and black. Both the left and right sides were lined with demonic statues, ones that looked like they could spring to life and attack me at any given moment. In fact, dealing with intruders seemed to be exactly what they were meant to do, as, like the golems, they seemed to be enchanted with some sort of spell. Oh, maybe this place is only as empty as it is because everything’s just automated or something. They probably just have a bunch of golems guarding everything important.
A red carpet ran right through the centre and led all the way to the throne situated at the back of the room. And upon said throne sat a cheerful-looking young man with a head of blonde hair.
“Hey there,” he said with a smile. “You must be Yuki. I’m Phynar, Lord of the Demon Realm. It’s nice to finally meet you.”
Name: Phynar Leginerris Satalunia
Race: Weissel Demon King
Class: King of the Demon Realm
Eye of Foresight
Eye of Observation
Parallel Thought VIII
Future Sight ?
Command Mastery ?
I was expecting him to be rather powerful given his title, but it turned out that he was actually pretty weak. He was wearing a magically enchanted item that made it hard for me to see exact values, but even with the text garbled as it was, I could still get a pretty good grasp of his power level. According to the numbers, he was stronger than most humans but weaker than most demons.
I was fairly certain that even Enne could defeat him with ease. Though that’s probably not really saying all that much since she can easily butcher a fair number of the Wicked Forest’s monsters like it’s nobody’s business.
Another contributor to his lack of combat prowess was the fact that the demon king didn’t actually have all that many skills that would assist him in combat. His skillset was instead geared towards honing his mind. He was, as his titles described, a tactician. Phynar’s character sheet seemed to indicate that he was the type of guy that you would find in the commander’s tent rather than on the battlefield, which explained why the other demons hadn’t taken so kindly to his rule. That Devious Schemer title though. Yeah uhhh, I probably shouldn’t trust him too much. Especially since he’s handsome. Yeah, no, screw that. He’s definitely a fucking snake.
“My King, I have returned,” said Haloria.
“Thank you very much for seeing your mission through, Haloria. You’ve been an excellent asset.”
“I am undeserving of words so kind.”
I casually glanced at the agent, who had taken a knee, before turning back to the man on the throne.
“So, I guess you’re the guy that wanted to talk to me?”
“That’s right! Thank you so much for coming all this way just to see me! You have no idea how happy I am right now.” Again, the king spoke in a disgustingly cheery tone. If he were typing, then he most likely would have put a colon and a parenthesis at the end of every sentence.
Eugh… The thought immediately led me to grimace. The demon king was smiling at me in a way that I would have appreciated had he been a woman. But because he was a man, the only thing I felt was disgust. That’s just gross. Please stop.
“I’m sure your long journey has left you quite exhausted, so let’s get down to business right away,” he said. “The reason I wish to speak with you is because I hope to make use of your power, especially after hearing that you were even able to slay a dragon.”
Huh. Didn’t expect them to have figured that much out.
“Give it to me straight. What do you know?”
“Not that much, my dear friend,” said the demon king with another creepy smile. “All my men have told me is that the fiend faction came up with some sort of scheme in order to ally themselves with the dragons. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite seem to go as planned. The Dragonlord, who slew his predecessor in order to claim the title, ignored their plans and flew off somewhere all on his own. And then, he vanished, never to be seen again.”
Oh yeah, the retard did mention something about having subordinates. I always assumed they were dragons, but I guess not, huh?
“My people continued to watch over the situation even after he left, but they lost track of him soon after he entered your territory,” he said. “And as I’m sure you could imagine, losing track of a creature so massive is quite the difficult thing to do. Our understanding was that he was killed.”
“I still don’t really see why you’d think it was me,” I said. “Wouldn’t it make more sense to assume that the Supreme Dragon did it?”
“That’s certainly a possibility,” nodded the king. “But you see, my friend, one of my subordinates is quite the proficient analyst. He’s spent a lot of time raising the skill’s level, and it’s reached a point where it’s become quite the reliable asset. I had him take a look at you and report his findings.”
“And what did he see?”
“Nothing. His face turned pale and he told me that he couldn’t see anything at all, and that’s why we thought that you might have been responsible for the Dragonlord’s defeat,” said the king. “We have no idea whether you were always that strong, or if you had only grown as strong as you are now after defeating him, but the fact remains that you’re so powerful we can’t even tell just how strong you really are.”
I see… So basically what they’re telling me is that they think I’m strong because they can’t really see my stats. Makes sense. Analyze is pretty level dependent. And based on all the people I’ve seen around the castle so far, I’d say the guy using it probably needs at least level eight if he wants to even begin to see any sort of useful information.
“It doesn’t matter whether or not you defeated the Dragonlord,” said the king. “We still know that you are incredibly strong, and as such, we would like to make an ally of you regardless.”
“Alright, I get that,” I said. “But do you really even need me? It seems like you’ve got a good enough head on your shoulders to crush your enemies even without me.”
“So you do have Analyze after all! I thought as much,” said the king. “Let me just say this before you get any funny ideas about me, mkay? I know I’ve got the title, but I’m not really much of a schemer at all, let alone a devious one.”
The king shook his head before continuing.
“All I’ve ever done is just pull a few strings behind the scenes in order to avoid an unwinnable, head-on confrontation. And that’s it! I really don’t know where this terrible sounding title came from. It makes me look like such a bad person. Even though I’m really not.”
His “justification” left me completely speechless. Yeah uhh… all I’m hearing is that you totally deserve it.
“But let’s leave that aside for now and get back on track,” he said. “To answer your question, yes, I am good at coming up with all sorts of different strategies. Yes, I’ve made my enemies walk into traps, and yes, I’ve made them turn on and kill each other so I don’t have to. I’ve done plenty of other things too. But no matter what I do, I can’t win an all-out war.”
Phynar flashed a bit of a troubled smile.
“The problem is that there are more of them then there are us. And each of them is stronger than each of us too. My strategies will allow me to kill a great number of them, but not all in one fell swoop. It’ll be a long, drawn-out battle, and they’ll just keep pushing through everything with numbers and brute force,” he said. “And if that happens, we’ll both lose. Demonkind will lose. Victory will go to the humans. Fighting a civil war is no different from exposing our backs to them.”
The king’s logic was solid. It didn’t really matter which of the two factions came out on top if they were forced to fight a long, gruelling war. The country would lose out either way. Humans could come barging in during or after their conflict and mop up the exhausted demons before they had a chance to recoup. And if they did it well, the humans would be able to wipe the demon realm off the face of the map altogether.
As far as the demon king was concerned, the moment an all-out war began was the moment he would lose his chance at victory.
“Fiends and those like them like to believe in strength above all else. I’m weak, so they refuse to listen to me no matter how logical my arguments appear to be. And to make matters worse, they look down on humans and think that they’ll be able to fight them off with ease,” he said. “Most of the smarter demons have chosen to work alongside me, but demons, in general, tend to be on the dumber side, so I still have many more enemies than I do allies.”
Well, that’s what you get when you trade your brain in just to get more ripped. That said, I personally had yet to meet any muscle-brained demons myself. The only ones I knew were Leila, Agent McHoodface, Rouinne the MILF, and the king. Almost makes me wish I could run into a meathead or two. Just to see what it’s like.
“That’s why I’ve been working to make sure an all-out war doesn’t happen to begin with,” said Phynar.
“I get that. But what do you want me to do about all this?”
“I take it that you’re interested?”
“Depends. Tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll tell you what I think.”
“I thought you would say that,” laughed the king. “You see, Yuki, my friend. I would like you to become a symbol.”