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The Victory Ceremony ended without a hitch.
There were some who had evolved in unexpected ways, and others whose evolutions were put on hold, but none who had gone berserk.
All in all, a success I’d say.
But we didn’t have time to relax. We were still at war after all.
The troops that invaded Tempest were all taken care of, but there were still the Aircrafts coming in from the north by the sea ―― or rather, air ―― route.
I’ve already contacted Ruminas and Hinata.
“Hmph! I’ll just turn the tables on them!”
Ruminas had declared.
I didn’t think that that she would go to that much trouble just for humans.
But the Council and the Holy City Ruberius were in a cooperation pact with us.
A north western army was stationed around Ruberius acting at the Western Nations’ interception force.
In other words, Ruberius, being on the western edge, was the best place to position those troops.
In addition, many Holy Knights were deployed by the Religion HQ, and Ruberius also had their its own forces.
Hinata, who was head of the Committee, and Ruminas didn’t show that much hostility towards each other, and in fact, the latter was probably helping out in earnest.
Well, it enough just to be cooperative.
Ruminas may just want to be of help to Hinata, but her reasons didn’t matter.
After contacting Hinata, I sent the reserve troops, who had come as out reinforcement back, to Ingracia.
If they were being maintained as an army in Tempest, food and lodging costs would bury a hole in our funds.
They would be swiftly deployed to Ruberius as support in case Ruminas was in a pinch.
Tempest had become the convergence point between the Council and the Committee’s activities, so the other countries were busy preparing.
Soon enough, the majority of travelers would also flow through Tempest, but at present, Ingracia held that role.
But of those travelling independently, many took the opportunity to pass through Tempest.
Around a third of the soldiers and adventurers, rather than returning to Ingracia, had opted to lodge in the kingdom of Brumund and surrounding towns to see how things would play out.
They couldn’t move to Tempest as the not many trade routes had been established yet, but they expected that this country would become the center of culture and economy in less than 2 years time.
They were wise to observe the situation.
For this reason, only the armies form other countries were sent to Ingracia, as they would be deployed as reinforcements for the north west army when the time came.
Though, if we could expect 300 Aircrafts coming fully equipped, that would mean around 100,000 troops.
Considering logistics, filling them up to maximum capacity was not probable.
Consulting with Calgurio, Aircrafts ―― or rather Airships, he insisted ―― could each carry 400 troops.
A minimum of 50 Mages were necessary for a ship to be operable.
The transport of the Beast Corps was left to an individual called Major General Xam’d.
“In all likelihood, the remaining of the Aerial Fighter Legion members would likely be scientist.
Most of the elite Mages were deployed in the Invasion Force in hopes of ousting Veldora-dono.
Therefore, including some extras, the ships should have around 100 Mages each.
30,000 for operations, 30,000 Beast Troops, and 30,000 Beasts.
In total, 90,000 was the likely number of troops approaching.
Also, Xam’d wouldn’t put the scientists on the frontlines.”
That was what Calgurio predicted.
Their plan was a simultaneous invasion, and the Airships had already been deployed, so they were left in charge of themselves.
Well, the prediction was probably right.
If the rest were scientists, they wouldn’t be of any offensive help even though they were brought along.
And there would probably be a number of repairmen.
100,000 will be a piece of cake, Ruminas boasted.
300 Holy Knights, and Ruminas’ own 400 Blood Knights.
The Blood Knights were the strongest of the Vampire Knights who were all A ranked themselves; They were an Elite Knight force.
However, as they were Knight-class, the lowest of the Aristocratic classes, their power was on par with the Holy Knights……
Vampires, similar to Demons, gained higher levels of strength with increasing classes of Aristocracy.
High Nobility were said to have strength comparable to whole armies, they usually never came in large numbers.
Having 700 troops that broke though the ceiling of power known as A rank was, in itself, a great combat force.
Furthermore, there were Ruminas’ protégés: the ‘Seven Celestial Sages’.
These were apparently human Paladins who had evolved.
They were not Vampires, but their lifespans were greatly increased making them demi Spirit Forms.
Paladins were fostered in the Holy City of Ruberius, and then deployed in combat by the Western Saints Church.
After overcoming many of life-threatening situations, one of them would evolve in rare occasions.
When humans evolved, they became Sages.
Hero’s were yet another thing, but Sages would attain strength on par with Arc Demons.
The highest Aristocratic class of Vampires had combat strength comparable to the old Demon Lords, and Ruminas had a decent amount of them too.
With 7 of these High Nobles under her, if Ruminas got serious, she could easily handle this fight.
Well, just in case, I opened up a transfer gate and sent her the Holy Knights, led by Arnaud, who were residing in Tempest, as support.
As of late, Arnaud had been training with Albert, and had been killed many times by Apito without loosing heart.
He had gone to take Apito’s abuse again and again, so much that one would worry if he went and developed any weird fetishes……
But thanks to that, couldn’t he ascend into that ‘Sage’ thing now?
His swordsmanship already being good enough to hold its own against Arc Demons, ascending would take him to Albert levels of strength.
By the way, as for Albert himself.
He had died a martyr while on the brink of Sage-hood; But becoming a Death Paladin, he attained monstrous strength.
The method was different, but basically, he got powers comparable to a Sage.
On top of that, his magic power had cultured for over a thousand years.
Along with Adalman, and under the effects of Holy-Demonic Reversal, they could ascend from Sage to Saint-class and attain Sacred Power…… to be honest, it was a rather non-standard power up.
Albert had let Arnaud peer into the ways of true mastery, and was clearly better than the latter in swordsmanship.
His thousand-year training had resulted in extreme specialization in a single art.
Like that, I received a confident reply from Ruminas, and didn’t worry too much about the matter of support.
And with that out of the way, the Victory Ceremony was done under a clear conscience.
The other side weren’t done yet, and here we were relaxing, but there was no need to think about ‘what ifs’.
Even time-wise, we had a lot of leeway; But anyway, the Ascension Rituals all ended successfully.
Now, it was the time for each of them to work on truly getting a hold of their new powers.
“Kuhahahaha! I’m glad it went well. I’ll head back to the control room now.”
“Yeah me too ~!”
Veldora and Ramiris went back to the control room with jolly faces.
Hey, that’s a place we use during the war, and not a play room you know?
It’s true that we’re at war now, but these guys just wanted to mess with the Large Screen to look for places they wanted to go play in.
The surveillance magic was low cost, and was continuously activated.
It wasn’t much of a problem, so I made it so that anyone could easily use it.
While it didn’t show every part of the world, it had quite the range.
Those two had recently been enjoying the scenery from different parts of the world using this magic.
After the war is over, let’s go have fun! Is what I had said before, which triggered this behaviour.
They were carefully researching what places to go beforehand.
A good comparison would be, as if doing a field survey before going on a trip?
These two had been living for so long, yet hadn’t properly experienced the world. They were looking forward to it much more than I was.
Well, they’re having fun, so It’s all good.
“Okay. I’ll join you guys later.”
I said as I saw them off.
Jeez, I guess I’m going to have to properly guide their research.
It’s because I feel responsible as their guardian.
It is certainly not me also wanting to have fun.
Veldora and Ramiris went back into the Labyrinth, and the Executives also went back after their salutations.
Some of them were still desperately trying to control the powers gained from evolution, and I asked them not to rush it as I saw them off.
The ones in charge of domestic affairs like Rigrudo or Myourmilles started the cleanup. I was very grateful.
Myourmilles was even managing the affairs of all the ambassadors visiting from other nations.
And he didn’t forget to put in a word about our planned yearly events, or about the specialty products of the Labyrinth.
He was a truly useful investment, and now had become an indispensable person to us.
As I gave them my words of appreciation, they all smiled broadly.
But then it happened.
“Alert. Detecting entity with high density Energy fast approaching. Arrival at this location in 3 seconds.”
Wisdom Lord Raphael issued an emergency alert.
I hurriedly set up a force field to protect everyone here.
Raphael’s presence detection range is around 20km.
To arrive only 3 seconds after being detected meant that it was going at an unthinkable speed.
It was coming at more than Mach 20, and it wasn’t possible to warn anyone verbally.
Now was not time to be impressed with the insane speed.
Just as I set up an Absolute Barrier with Covenant King Uriel, a single man descended following a shockwave.
The stone floor of the arena, that was 10,000 times stronger than concrete, now had a large gash on it.
What a guy. The destruction was not caused by any Skills or techniques; it was simply from the impact with his body.
For Demon Dukes, it was possible to ignore the laws of physics and travel at super sonic speeds without causing shockwaves but……
This guy came in without using any law manipulations just because it was cumbersome.
There weren’t many who can afford to do something insane like this.
Three to my knowledge.
Veldora, Milim, and Demon Lord Guy Crimson.
Veldora was out.
And Milim was also careful in her own way when she came over.
I realized this later, but even the first time she came, she had tried her best to be careful.
If Milim had flown over with her full strength, it would be enough to blow away any weak monsters.
She may seem like a tyrant, but she had a surprisingly kind side.
Well, now that Milim was also out, we’re left with the last option.
Sure enough, when the dust had settled, there stood the Demon Lord with blazing red hair.
Demon Lord Guy • Crimson.
A ruler in this world probably stronger than myself.
The scene was submerged in tension, and civilians like Rigrudo and Myourmilles were being evacuated by Souei’s Shadows.
What’s up with this guy?
I don’t wanna fight right now okay?
“Yo, it’s been a while, Rimuru. By the way, what the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“What am I doing? What are YOU doing!?”
What can I say, Guy was just casually talking.
He just suddenly came over with no reason I know of.
“Mm? I see, you’re the type who cares for their underlings.
Well, sorry about that. And ―― Napalm Burst!”
As he said some words of apology, Guy suddenly shot out a Heat Explosion type magic.
The Infernal flames swelled into the shape of a dragon and weaved into the direction of the ones who were closing in on Guy from behind him.
Testarossa, Ultima, and Carrera.
The dragons split in into three, and entangled the girls.
Unbelievably, the Demon Dukes who had strong resistance to magic could not defend against Guy’s attack.
Eating through multiple layers of Magic Barriers, the Infernal Dragons dealt decisive damage to all three of them.
Though I myself am also able to do it, casting this strong a magic without any incantations somehow didn’t sit well with me.
“Awawa. That’s surprising.
The last attack didn’t kill them meaning, they’re Demon Dukes?
Are there still more of those in the Underworld, or are have they evolved here?
Well, its fine.
Demon Dukes are stronger than unawakened Demon Lords.
But the awakened Demon Lord presences I felt a while ago, what’s up with those?”
Ignoring the three, who lay on the ground having failed to defend against his magic, Guy spoke.
Are you kidding me? He sensed the awakening from that far away?
Is what I was thinking when,
“Solution. If connected to the Voice of the World, an instance awakening can be sensed form any location.”
I was reassured with Wisdom Lord Raphael-san’s words.
So that also meant that when someone attains an Ultimate Skill……
“Solution. It is possible. However, sensing may not be possible when in possession of multiple Ultimate Skills.”
I had easily sense it when Yuuki got one, so that must be the reason.
I kind of wanted to be informed of these kinds of things, but it seems Wisdom Lord Raphael’s policy was to only answer when asked.
Ruminas also seemed to possess an Ultimate.
However, the type of power couldn’t be determined without collecting information about it or seeing it directly.
I thought that Guy somehow found out about my Ultimate Skills, but hiding them was actually impossible.
So if there was an Ultimate Skill already present, new ones would not be detected.
Which mean that, Guy hasn’t realized that I have multiple Ultimates?
“Solution. There is no cause for concern. Gluttony King Beelzebub has been put out as the only one, and the rest are being hidden.”
As expected of sensei.
If we leave it to her, even Guy can be easily fooled.
Though I still can’t relax thinking he doesn’t know.
The previous conversation with Raphael only took an instant, and it was time to think about handling Guy.
The three who had attacked had sensed his dangerously high power level, quickly moved to eliminate the foe.
Indeed, he had an abnormal amount of high density magic, and the arena had also been damaged.
Considering that he was an unknown in both combat ability and relations, the option to pre-emptively strike was not necessarily unwise.
They were probably thinking of me, and attacked without mercy.
However, their enemy a bad matchup.
The surprise attack of the three Demon Dukes, wasn’t even near the level of being a problem for Guy, the strongest Demon Lord.
If it was me, I might have landed a hit.
That aside, it was the matter of magic.
What in the world do you have to do to cause magic damage to Demon Dukes?
“Solution. It is Effect Overlap. It seems that he is overlapping the effects of an Ultimate Skill with that of magic.”
Is that possible? It must be possible.
After all, I saw the result with my own eyes.
Well, if it’s possible, I want to try it.
Leaving that matter to Raphael-san, I needed to focus on answering Guys question.
“What’s going on? Well, even if you say that……
Those three felt you were a danger and attacked, please forgive them.
But, suddenly appearing like this, you share the blame too you know?
I’ll ignore the broken floor, so no hard feeling alright?”
“Mm? Ah, yeah sorry about that.
I can just teleport to places I’ve already been to, and its been a while since I went flying.
Put in a bit too much power, and couldn’t stop. My bad!
I don’t really care about those three, so don’t worry.
Demons can’t help but fight.
Rather, I need you to explain the ascended ones over there okay?”
I could comfortably work with those conditions.
In any case, I had dodged starting a war with Guy.
Or rather, I’m seriously glad, he didn’t come over to destroy me or something.
Diablo had already sensed that Guy didn’t have an enmity, but the Demon Dukes still needed to work on that.
We didn’t have the option of immediate elimination with everyone. Now they were in Diablo’s care, probably already sitting in his severe lecturing course.
And it’s good that most others were unable to move from his pressure, or were in the Labyrinth undergoing their evolution.
It would be a pain, if the lot of them wanted a fight too.
That being said, Shion who’s always looking for a fight, was now close beside me paying attention to Guy.
She had understood the different in power, and decided to at least act as a shield for me.
That was really surprising; She has truly matured.
Anyway, Guy looks to not have any blatant enmity, so everyone should be more relaxed.
With that in mind, I went about guiding Guy to a guest room.