TN: Central Nations -> Central Countries
Chapter 0314 Hunting for the Demon Lord
‘There is only one hero in any age.’
When he dies, another newborn baby becomes the hero.
The principle of the birth of the hero is fairly well known.
While that of the Demon Lord, quite frankly, is completely shrouded in mystery.
Sometimes the Demon Lord appears in the western countries, and sometimes in the central countries.
Rumor has it that they sometimes appear in the eastern countries too….
Also, according to the doctrine taught in the Central Temples of the Central Countries, one of the four Demon Princes spawned by the Devil would become the Demon Lord… or so they teach.
The same Devil Prince that Ryo chopped up on the 40th floor of the Rune dungeon.
But is it true?
In fact, no one knows.
Probably just another wild theory.
To begin with, the only humans who have had contact with the Demon Lord are… the heroes who defeat him.
From the human side of things, they have no idea where, or why the Demon Lord appears, or even what the Demon Lord is in terms of biology.
What they do know is…
The Demon Lord can control monsters.
It is a being that brings harm to humans.
And fairly strong… apparently.
There is no record of anyone other than the hero defeating him…which means that even if someone other than the hero had challenged him, they were all crushed.
So he can’t possibly be weak.
“But the Demon Lord was defeated by Roman three years ago, wasn’t he?”
Ryo muttered to himself.
That’s right, the Demon Lord was defeated by the hero Roman.
That information was conveyed to the central countries as well.
Even Ryo, who was not well versed in the affairs of the world, had heard about it, so it must have been spread widely.
“Yeah. It was announced by the Western Church.”
Priest Zeke answered.
“If the Demon Prince became the Demon Lord after that, then it hasn’t been that long, and shouldn’t be too strong… right?”
“Well, I don’t know about that. To be honest, some priests are not sure that a Demon Prince will really become the Demon Lord.”
Priest Etho answered Ryo’s question with a small shake of his head.
“That aside, the Demon Prince isn’t weak in the first place…”
The vanguard group of Amon, Harold, and Gowan chuckled at Niels’s bewildered retort.
It was late in the evening when Hugh, who had once again gone to the Papal Palace to sort out some stuff, returned to his quarters.
DeLong, the leader of the B-rank party ‘Coffee Maker’, spotted him and called out.
“I heard. About sending those guys to search for the Demon Lord.”
DeLong asked in a quiet voice from the corner of the dormitory lobby.
“Yeah, that’s right. I just came from the Papal Palace to try and get them something that can prove their identity and they mentioned the ‘Holy Seal’, so I’ve been negotiating with them to issue that. I managed to get them to issue it, so they should have no problems moving freely within the western countries.”
The ‘Holy Seal’ is more like a letter of guarantee issued by the Papacy of the Western Church rather than Van De Vie Theocracy.
Therefore, it is an exception to the rule to have it issued to a foreigner, as was the case this time.
Or so, the cardinal in charge of their case, Cardinal Oskar told Hugh.
Cardinal Oskar was the one who persuaded the Papacy, which was reluctant to issue the seal, and Oskar himself had been on Hugh’s side from the beginning.
And Hugh was really grateful for that.
If it had been an inflexible person or someone that would say something like, “The raid on the storage facilities? Sorry, but that’s an entirely different matter”, had been their liaison personnel, it would have been much more difficult.
“Getting the ‘Holy Seal’ is all good and all, but still…”
“Yeah, I know. It’s going to be an extremely difficult quest.”
DeLong said with a frown, to which Hugh replied with a frown as well.
A group of people completely unfamiliar with the geography of the western countries must search for an entity with no clue as to where to begin and is one that is most certainly proactively hiding from the outside world too.
No one thought it’d be easy.
“Still, we have to do it. Since the ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’ can just go off at any time.”
Nothing happens for a year after receiving the spirit curse, but past that point, there is no guarantee of anything. Once the spirit curse is triggered, Harold’s body will literally burst.
Although he still needs to grow as a person, it doesn’t change the fact that he’s a direct descendant of the precious royal blood.
The Kingdom wants to save him at all costs.
“I get that, but…. ‘Room 10’ is a B-rank party, same as us. And even though ‘Room 11’ is led by Harold, who is still inexperienced, he listens to Niels, so they should be fine. And with Ryo tagging along, they can’t hope for more in terms of strength. Moreover, they’re going to remain in the western countries until they find him, right…?”
In three month’s time, after the Pope’s inauguration ceremony is over and the mission from the central countries returns home, if the Demon Lord’s blood has not been obtained and Harold’s curse has not been lifted…the seven will remain in the western countries and continue their search….
Of course, Room 10, Room 11, and Ryo realized that much as they took it up.
Such a harsh quest….
“Basically, they can’t expect any assistance from the Theocracy.”
“Eh? What do you mean?”
“Although we got the ‘Holy Seal’, it’s a kind of goodwill from His Eminence Cardinal Oskar, who was in charge of our case. For not being able to lift Harold’s curse on account of the raids on the storage facilities. So we can’t expect any support from the Theocracy itself, as well as the Church. On the contrary, they could even turn against us.”
“Since the Church also wants the blood of the Demon Lord. Quite a few people are afflicted with the ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’ in the western countries. They have to do something about it. They will probably start looking for the Demon Lord soon. Or maybe they have already started. In which case, the church may see the seven of them as a thorn in their flesh.”
Hearing Hugh’s words, DeLong became speechless.
After a minute of silence, DeLong replied.
“The real question is, even if they find the Demon Lord, will they be able to defeat him?”
“Only the hero can defeat the Demon Lord. And the hero Roman is missing.”
“I’ve got a few ideas. Once they leave, ‘Coffee Maker’ will be the only B-rank party. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’ll be relying on you.”
“You got it! You can count on us.”
Hugh bowed and asked, and DeLong nodded vigorously in reply.
Compared to his fellow adventurers who were searching for the mysterious Demon Lord, it was no trouble at all.
DeLong thought so and sighed in his mind at the difficulties ahead of the seven.
Two days later.
The ‘Holy Seal’ from the Papacy was issued without a hitch, and they were ready to begin their journey, well almost.
“Except for the horse-riding part…”
“What can I say! How are we supposed to be able to ride a horse in two days!”
Ryo said, Niels countered, and Etho and Amon chuckled.
The three from Room 11 and Ryo could ride, but the three from Room 10 couldn’t….
The ideal would have been for all of them to be mounted for mobility, but since that was not possible, they ended up with a larger eight-seater carriage.
Niels, who is a big man, was in the carriage, but Gowan moved to the coachman’s seat, so it wasn’t so tight.
Both Harold and Zeke are well-toned, but they aren’t exactly stout.
Ryo initially thought it would be nice to move around on horseback.
He likes riding horses after all.
But… a word from the A-rank adventurer king in his ear made him give up the idea.
((Riding in the rain is hell, you know.))
“Well, riding in a carriage too has its merits. Since we were able to carry quite a bit of cargo.”
Ryo decided to look only at the positive side of things.
Such flexibility is a must-have to survive in society!
“We’ve got tons of Kona coffee on board too!”
“W-Well…I suppose you can’t get Kona coffee here…”
Niels nodded in agreement with Ryo’s assurance.
A cup of coffee is a precious, enriching part of life!
“Also, the delegation provided us with a substantial amount of funds for our quest.”
Priest Etho added.
“Even if we run out, we can just stop by the delegation again to replenish our supplies.”
Adding some more desirable information.
“Well, our first order of business lies up north, the Eastern Kingdom of Lasha.”
“That’s Graham’s place, isn’t it? I hope we can get some leads there. About the Demon Lord and Hero Roman.”
Niels confirmed the destination, and Ryo confirmed the objectives.
Thus, the party headed for the Eastern Kingdom of Lasha, the place where Priest Graham was appointed.