The early chapters are up until Chapter 343 now on both Patreon and Ko-fi! Terribly sorry for the delays!
Chapter 0336 Regarding the Demon Lord
“Cardinal Oscar, this is the blood of the Demon Lord.”
Hugh McGrath placed an ornate metal jar on his desk.
Oscar was so surprised that he couldn’t continue his words.
“May I look inside?”
Oscar opened the lid.
It was half-filled with blood.
Oscar nodded once and told the clergyman who was beside him something.
Three minutes later.
The clergyman returned with a man.
“This person is under the Rupture Spirit Curse. May I attempt to dispel his curse?”
“Sure, go ahead.”
Oscar asked, and Hugh nodded.
Oscar placed the blood on his finger and dropped it on the man’s forehead.
At that moment, light flared out.
Seeing that, Cardinal Oscar nodded once.
“It truly is the blood of the Demon Lord. Thank you, Commander McGrath.”
Oscar lowered his head as he said that.
The next day, the secret order to the Knights Templar to search for the Demon Lord was canceled.
Archbishop’s office in the Church’s building in Bacirta, the royal capital of the Eastern Kingdom of Lasha.
Archbishop Graham asked without raising his head while writing.
“Wow, Graham. I thought I was able to erase my presence well.”
The person who appeared from the shadows was the former Hero party scout Maurice.
“Shouldn’t you quit being a priest and become a scout?”
“I can’t do that… So, did you meet Master McGrath?”
“Yes. I received this.”
When Maurice said so, she placed a clear, beautiful small bottle… actually, a rather large bottle, that appeared to be made of crystal or something similar… on the table.
It seemed to have a capacity of about 1 liter.
“That’s a pretty stylish bottle. If it’s made of crystal, it would be extremely valuable. Is it glass? Wasn’t it difficult to deliver it without breaking?”
“It’s not like that. It was made by that water magician. Made of ice.”
“Ryo-dono, huh… Then it definitely won’t break.”
Maurice replied with a sigh, and Graham said with a wry smile.
Then he tried to open the lid…
“Hmm? It doesn’t open?”
“Oh, sorry. He told me that you need to channel magical power into it while saying a particular chant. Uh…”
Maurice took out a piece of paper from her pocket.
Then passed it to Graham.
“Hmm? Open, sesame?”
When Graham chanted while channeling magic power, a cut was made and the lid could be removed.
“Is this alchemy? It’s pretty advanced.”
Graham muttered softly.
“I see… this is the blood of the Demon Lord. So, any message from Master McGrath or Ryo-dono?”
“Mr. McGrath said nothing in particular. Mr. Ryo said, if the blood of the Demon Lord stored in the church is lost again, please use this, take the credit, and secure a Cardinal seat.”
“… So the head Duke of the Kingdom is a schemer.”
Graham shook his head and sighed at Maurice’s message.
“Actually… what are your chances, Graham?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you think you can become a Cardinal? It’s been half a year since Gesualdo-sama passed away… that Cardinal’s seat is still vacant, right?”
“Ah… That was exactly why I went to the Papacy yesterday. Next month, I will be appointed Cardinal.”
Maurice was surprised by Graham’s words.
However, Graham’s expression appeared overcast.
“Why do you look so gloomy?”
“I can’t feel at ease in the Papacy. Thinking about it now, my heart was at peace during my trip with the Hero’s party and my life here.”
“Is it that hard in the Papacy?”
Maurice shook her head slightly as she asked Graham about his grumbles.
“Because I became too emotionally expressive while I was away from the Papacy. I’ll have to retrain my expressions…”
“What’s with that…”
Maurice commented while frowning at Graham who said it with a bitter smile.
Was the Papacy no longer an environment for humans to live in?
“Well, it’s fine. I’ve done it before. More importantly, it’s about Roman. I’ve always thought that I could have helped Roman a little earlier…”
“It can’t be helped. Even if you had become a Cardinal earlier, I don’t think you could have protected Roman… unless you became the Pope.”
“Pope? It seems like you are much more ambitious than I am, Maurice.”
Graham said with a wry smile and Maurice denied it.
“Well, regardless… Roman and Nadia wouldn’t have a safe haven in the Western Countries.”
“Yes. It’s a Hero and a Demon Lord after all… But in the Central Countries…”
“Yeah. If it’s Abel-dono, sorry, if it’s His Majesty Abel, I can leave them to him with peace of mind.”
Graham’s gaze turned distant.
He may already be imagining Roman and Nadia living in the distant Central Countries.
“I must make sure that someday… Roman can visit the Western Countries with peace of mind.”
He muttered really softly but with surprising vigor.
Hearing that, Maurice nodded slightly.
On that day, the former search party, that is, the seven people from ‘Room 10’ and ‘Room 11’ were having an off day.
Well, until the Pope’s inauguration, they were practically on break all the time…
Since morning, Ryo had been in the city of the Holy Capital West Dungeon on his own.
((Why did you come alone?))
((I have a lot of secrets that I don’t want people to know.))
Ryo answered with the air of a mysterious hero.
((What’s with that…))
((If the bad guys find out, they might capture and dissect me to find out my secret!))
((Ah, well… indeed, a person who does such a thing is a bad person…))
((Yeah. You never know when a person in power will bare their fangs, so you have to be careful.))
((Was that directed at me?))
((Of course. There is the possibility that Niels and the others would catch me and dissect me under Abel’s orders…))
((That won’t happen.))
((Well, probably not, but I never know when Abel will become a Mad King))
Ryo shook his head slightly.
((Usually, people don’t get dissected, even if it’s a country-backed arrest…))
((…Even in the Empire?))
((Ah… if it’s in the Empire, it might happen?))
((See! There’s no telling if or when the Kingdom of Knightley would start following the path of the Empire, so I must be careful!))
((… I guess Ryo has a lot to worry about then.))
Abel gave up on many fronts…
Ryo showed the ‘Holy Seal’ he borrowed and entered the dungeon.
Immediately he jumped to the 80th floor and said.
“Merlin, are you there~?”
He didn’t shout.
He didn’t think he needed to raise his voice anyway.
Merlin was like the ‘manager’ of the dungeon, so if he wasn’t away, he would probably hear his voice.
As expected, a slightly hunched old man with gray hair, a broad red hat, a red robe, and a staff appeared in front of him.
“Hmm? The Fairy King’s favorite. What do you want?”
“Yes. I have a few questions for Mr. Merlin.”
“… You’re human… maybe not, but probably human, and I’m a Djinn. Aren’t you scared?”
“… I’ve joined the Demon Lord’s Army and fought against humans for thousands of years, you know? Aren’t you afraid?”
“Ah, also the coffee you gave us the other day was really delicious, so I thought that if possible, I’d like to have it again. That might be the biggest reason.”
“I-I see… Coffee. Umu, it’s refreshing to know someone who can tell its greatness… Well, okay.”
After that exchange, the two transferred to the room they visited previously.
There were two chairs.
“There, sit down.”
“Yes, excuse me.”
Merlin suggested a chair, and Ryo politely sat down.
Even Ryo could do that much if he wanted to.
Before he was reincarnated on Phi, he was a member of society on Earth!
As soon as Ryo took his seat, coffee was served, just like the previous time.
Yes, he wanted to ask about that coffee as well…
“Thank you for sending Roman and Nadia to the Kingdom the other day.”
“No, don’t worry about it. I think that was a very good solution. I am the grateful one.”
Ryo thanked him, and Merlin thanked him back.
First, build relationships.
And if you want to quickly build a human relationship… well, even though one of them was a Djinn… praise the other person’s actions or express your gratitude.
That is the best way.
There aren’t that many people who would be offended by being thanked.
“King Abel was also extremely pleased.”
“I see, that’s good. You can contact the Central Countries thanks to the alchemy tool you have on your ear, right?”
Merlin looked at the ‘Soul Resonance’ that Ryo wore on his left ear and asked.
“Yes. A certain alchemist adjusted it to work only for me.”
“No, don’t worry, I won’t try to steal it.”
Ryo must have made a face saying, ‘I won’t give it to you’ as Merlin laughed and replied.
“As expected of a precious favorite of the Fairy King, you make others want to have a good relationship with you.”
Merlin sipped his coffee.
At that timing, Ryo also took a sip.
Again, the perfect balance of acidity and bitterness. It coated his mouth.
He leaked a sigh unintentionally.
Merlin observed happily.
Even without words, if the other party could see that you are happy, they would be happy too.
Ryo didn’t realize it, but that kind of honest and unpretentious behavior is very useful for building relationships.
After taking another sip, Ryo spoke.
“That… the Fairy King’s favorite is… no, before that, did we, by any chance, not tell you our names?”
“I remember the first time we met, you introduced yourself as Ryo Mihara, Duke of Rondo, but the others didn’t.”
That was careless.
From the beginning to the end, the search party didn’t introduce themselves other than Ryo…
Even though introducing yourself is the first step in building a relationship…
“Well, don’t worry about it. After living this long, I no longer care too much about names…”
Merlin said with a laugh.
“We-well… my name is Ryo.”
“Umu, Ryo. I will remember that. Well, no one is as loved by the Fairy King as much as you are… so I won’t forget you.”
Merlin laughed again.
“Is that so?”
“Umu. First of all, only one person in thousands of years is given that robe of the Fairy King… that’s about how often it occurs.”
“Furthermore, that sword of the Fairy King… and Ryo’s is water, isn’t it? It’s the first time I’ve seen a Water Fairy King’s sword in my tens of thousands of years.”
The fact that it was a rare piece of equipment was only now revealed…
“Ryo, you’re a water magician, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Umu… You learned magic from the Water Fairy King, didn’t you?”
“No… I wasn’t taught magic at all… he was my sword master.”
He recalled having a similar conversation before…
“We-well… the relationship between master and pupil is different in every case. That’s right. So, what is the purpose of Ryo’s visit today?”
“Is Merlin’s role to stop the Demon Lord?”
Merlin narrowed his eyes a little at Ryo’s sudden question.
“Why do you think so?”
“First, you didn’t instigate Nadia to confront the humans and urged her to escape.”
“Maybe I’m trying to raise the Demon Lord’s army by letting her escape and grow?”
Merlin said with a slight laugh.
Of course, he probably didn’t have that intent.
“In that case, there would be no need to migrate to the Central Countries together with the Hero Roman.”
“I previously investigated and found that Mr. Merlin has always been a staff officer by the Demon Lord’s side in the Demon Lord’s army, but there aren’t many records of the Demon Lord’s army inflicting a huge amount of damage on humanity.”
Ryo could go in and out of the Royal Castle’s Library.
And even the Forbidden Library!
Demon Lords have only appeared in the Western Countries for the past several hundred years, but they have also appeared in the Central Countries before.
The record at that time was left in considerable detail in the Forbidden Library of the Royal Castle Library.
Ryo told Merlin in detail.
Merlin, who was listening in silence, sighed and smiled a little.
“Well, you’re right to some extent…”
He muttered so.
And continued speaking.
“In the first place, Demon Lords aren’t that strong. Ah, well, compared to humans, they’re ridiculously strong, aren’t they? But, for example … yes, compared to the Dragon King, they’re not that strong.”
“Dragon King… Ruwin, or something like that?”
“What, you know the Southern Dragon King?”
Merlin showed a genuinely surprised expression upon confirming with Ryo.
“Ruwin-san is a neighbor.”
“The Dragon King of the South is your neighbor… Does that mean you live in the Rondo subcontinent?”
This time, Ryo was surprised.
For the first time After reincarnating on Phi, he heard the words ‘Rondo subcontinent’ or ‘Rondo Forest’.
Ah, of course, except for those who live there, such as the Dragon King Ruwin.
“Yes. I have a territory in the Rondo Forest.”
“What, well… that’s why you are Duke of Rondo. I see, that’s right… If you’re a disciple of the Water Fairy King, that’s reasonable.”
Ryo explained his territory and Merlin realized that he had overlooked his title.
“Oops, I’ve digressed from the topic. Demon Lords are troublesome, and they are the only being that can freely manipulate all monsters with the ‘Demon Lord Factor’ regardless of their will. Why only the Demon Lord? I don’t know either.”
“Come to think of it, the Centaurs also said that.”
“Is that so? They are also manipulated by the ‘Demon Lord’s Factor’ after all…”
Merlin shook his head slightly.
“Um… Is Mr. Merlin in this because of the ‘Demon Lord’s Factor’?”
“No, you’re incorrect. We do not have the Demon Lord’s Factor. In the first place, we don’t even have magic stones in our bodies.”
Those were shocking words.
“Even though you’re a ‘magic’ person, you don’t have a ‘magic’ stone…?”
Ryo muttered dumbfoundedly.
Seeing that expression, Merlin grinned.
“You must be surprised. Yes, we are called Djinns, but we don’t have magic stones. In the first place, we refer to ourselves as ‘Spellno’. That’s why dragons and other ancient creatures still call us ‘Spellno’. I think it’s probably humans who started calling us ‘Djinns’… but when did that happen, I don’t know why. It was so long ago that I don’t even remember.”
After saying that, Merlin finished the remaining coffee.
A new cup of coffee immediately appeared on the desk.
Ryo noticed and muttered.
Then, a new coffee appeared before Ryo too.
He took a few sips of fresh coffee.
It refreshed his mood.
In such a case, it was necessary to move to a new topic.
“Um, this coffee, you mentioned previously it was harvested in the Dark Continent…”
“Umu. That’s right.”
Merlin nodded at Ryo’s question.
“Where is the Dark Continent?”
“Is that right, do the people of the Central Countries not know? The Dark Continent is the land that spreads to the south of these Western Countries. No, to be exact, it’s considered a continent. Trade only happens around the coastal areas. It seems that in the last few hundred years, nobody from the Western Countries have gone into the hinterland and come back.”
A continent extending south of the Western Countries.
What dreamy words!
“The coastal areas are also divided into Eastern Countries and Western Countries, but… it is said that there are ruins of an ancient civilization in the hinterlands… by the way.”
Merlin said with a grin.
Maybe Merlin knew something.
However, it seemed that he would not answer anything about that.
“I would like to go there someday.”
In the end, they talked about various things after that, and it wasn’t until the afternoon that Ryo left Merlin’s side.
He entered at nine o’clock in the morning and talked for more than four hours…
Finally, when they parted ways, Merlin gave some advice.
“The Djinn who is sealed in the east of the Kingdom of Knightley… We call him Garwin, but be careful with him. He’s the one who put the ‘Rupture Spirit Curse’ on your companion. He created a lot of soldiers and manipulated them to destroy cities. He also has many high-ranking retainers who always follow him. Also, even among the Djinns, his urge to destroy is extremely strong. His tastes and ways of thinking are completely different from mine… well, I don’t know when his seal will be lifted, but I think it would be best to ask King Abel to pass the information down in the royal family for generations.”