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The Closed World
I let out a sigh, as I looked at Diablo, who was going "Kufufufufu".
He's totally getting carried away. It felt like he was saying 'Thank you very much!'.
That bulky pierrot who was Diablo's opponent――I think Footman was his name――I can't help but feel sorry for him.
He's pretty much insane now, having only the motive to kill every other moving thing in his immediate vicinity, but it's not like I'm actually worried about him.
The one who I need to worry about, was Leon who was now collapsed before me.
I walked over to Leon's side, and placed my hand onto his chest.
Leon's subordinates were looking at me all surprised, but I put a finger on my lip, as a sign for them to keep quiet.
Now wasn't the time for a vocal dispute.
I took out a Full Potion from my chest pocket (which was in fact my『Imaginary Space』) , and I used it to close up the gaping hole in Leon's chest.
But, the potion only did that much. Leon had yet to wake up, even though his body had been repaired.
But, there was no need to panic.
This was still, the closed off world inside of Mizari's barrier.
You could say, that Leon was really lucky. Just because, if I had not come he would have been in real danger.
In the first place, if I were to give a reason as to why we are here――
I'm letting Velda assume that I'm dead, as I observed everything happening in the world while lurking in the shadows.
The mini Moss clones stealthily dispersed by Diablo, were greatly convenient. They provided some of the best spy information, as always.
My observation magic, and Moss' spy intel.
Understanding what was happening anywhere was easy peasy, no matter where I chose to hide.
Well, transferring the information into the alternate dimension I was hiding in took some work, but I got Ciel to do this so this problem was solved.
Using some magic theory I totally didn't understand, she created a comfortable space for where we did our spying.
As expected of sensei. She's almighty as always.
We collected all sorts of information in that space, and as I was looking through it all with Diablo...
Velda's presence was detected, in Leon's territory.
《There is a very high chance, that it is not his main body. But, the chance to gain some much needed intel is also there――》
If it's sensei's words, it must be true.
And that, was pretty much the gist of why I'm here now.
Well, it's not like the situations in the other locations can be ignored, but this war ends when Velda is defeated, so what I will prioritize was pretty obvious.
Over at Guy's place, his battle with Chloe was growing in intensity but there were no big changes just yet.
Ruminas' side was also on a pinch, but there's Adalman and Albert, along with Shion too. They'd be able to hold out for awhile.
It would have been the best if I could defeat Velda when he appeared here, but that's just wishful thinking.
It looks like Velda's objective, was to recover the power that he had given to Kazaream.
He gave his projection physical mass, which meant he linked a portion of his actual body as part of the projection's data with an ability similar to『Parallel Existence』.
Parallel existence, was an ability that let the user control clones of himself, but needed Energy to be divided for each copy.
What he did, was that he only overlapped his consciousness with the projection data so as to allow him to recover the power as data, that sounds about right.
『Parallel Existence』which there is always a 'main body', or『Multiple Existence』in which every copy is a 'main body'.
Which one is more of a pain to deal with, depends on the person using the ability.
But, in terms of ability classing,『Multiple Existence』 is definitely one of the highest tier abilities without a doubt.
Even now, as Ciel-sensei is analyzing it right now, I can say that with confidence.
But I digressed.
The moment I arrived, was right when Velda's『Multiple Existence』copy had finished recovering the power from Kazaream.
I had just missed him.
Nothing I can do about that. By the time I teleported over after detecting him, Velda had already finished what he came here for.
Information was delivered at the moment of cognition. That was one of the annoying things about『Multiple Existence』.
It's impossible to overpower that transfer speed, unless you use some ability to stop time.
To quote Ciel-sensei, the speed at which data was transferred, was practically faster than the speed of light.
It was word for word, "at the same time".
So, there wasn't anything we could have done to prevent Velda from slipping through our fingers this time.
In any case, this was but a portion of him as data so it's not like we could have given him a finishing blow anyways, so I was not going to lose sleep over this.
The real problem happened after that.
Mizari repaired the hole in the barrier that Benimaru and Kazaream's battle opened.
That was likely as attempt to cut off Velda's data body, but that was impossible even with the reaction speed of a demon.
Rather you could say it was a valiant attempt, with the situation being what it was.
Me and Diablo snuck in through the hole too, but now we're stuck inside too.
For us who were painstakingly avoiding getting found by Velda, breaking the barrier to leave was a no go. We'd definitely be found out if we did that.
This was a slightly embarrassing situation, so me and Diablo were completely hiding our presence and observing the others instead.
So, we sat back for awhile, and Leon collapsed soon after that.
It looked like it would be a "death confirmed!" if this went on as is, so I decided to lend a hand and made my appearance.
That was after getting the green light from Ciel, after confirming no data could be transferred in or out of Mizari's wonderful barrier.
If, there was any chance at all that I would get found by Velda, I would have left Leon to his own fate.
Don't think too badly of me, the important thing now is defeating Velda. This may seem cold but this was just me setting my priorities straight.
But, this was good luck for Leon, as our current location was completely shut out from the outside world.
I immediately strengthened Mizari's barrier, in preparation for making my appearance.
――and here we are again, as I started treating Leon.
At a glance, his soul seemed intact, but his Core had taken damage.
It was the source of power, that an awakened hero attained. If this was damaged, they became unable to properly control their powers.
That was what was reported, after Ciel sensei did a calm analysis.
Fumu fumu, what should I do now.
But, the remainder are making a ruckus which is a problem.
Benimaru seemed to be very drained after his bout with Kazaream, and couldn’tt defeat that blob in a single attack as he was now.
As expected he understood that he shouldn't waste energy in attacks that don't get him results, so there's no sign of him trying to do such things.
Souei and that devil Laplace too, lack the firepower to cause any decisive damage.
Mizari was putting all her effort into her barrier, which is the right decision.
They looked to be stalling until Benimaru recovered his energy, but that wouldn't give me much peace of mind to carry on with treatment.
I kinda felt bad for Benimaru, but I judged that this is time for Diablo to make his appearance.
「Alright! Can't help it huh. Go for it, Diablo-san!」
The moment I gave my order, Diablo who was standing by sprung into action.
「Kufufufufu. Leave it to me, my master!」
He gleefully and grandly makes his appearance, grabs Footman by the head and slams him into the ground.
That was quite the outset, were my thoughts when I saw what happened.
The rest who were shocked, and Diablo with his smug face.
From there on, the situation was expected to become one sided.
I focused on treating Leon, and when I snuck a peek at what was happening――
「Kufufufufu. What's wrong? Is that all that your power amounts to?」
It had turned into a situation where I wanted to say "Just what kind of a villain are you!".
Well, was it because I also gave him orders in a somewhat villainous tone? Nah, that's *probably* not it.
Diablo diced Footman up with the claws on both of his hands, showing the difference in power between them. Naturally, the parts that were cut up slowly dwindled away.
Diablo was chopping him up at a pace that overpowers his regeneration.
Huge flashes of light and impacts happened every once in awhile, was the barrier going to hold out like this?
I'm worried, even though I did strengthen the barrier.
(Hey hey, is this going to be okay? Has Diablo forgotten that we should be trying to stay off of Velda's radar?)
《It is judged to be under control. On that point, Diablo has his bases covered.》
Ciel confidently replies.
Oh I see it now, I didn't notice when, but Diablo had used his『Temptation Lord Azazel』and activated『Temptation World』.
As expected of Diablo, his combat style was as shrewd as ever.
Diablo wouldn't be committing the same mistakes that Benimaru had done, huh.
(Hmm, looks like it won't be a problem. Don't think I'll need to worry, and just leave that to Diablo...)
《It'll be fine. It doesn't seem like he will fail to divest Ultimate Skill『Evil Dragon Lord Azi Dahaka』.》
You meant that part!? I was not worrying about that!!
Without me knowing yet again, the main prerequisite became stealing the enemy's ability.
I'd just let you guys do that.
I have went beyond being shocked, and just half heartedly went back to doing Leon's treatment.
As I moved on with Leon's treatment, I overheard Benimaru and co.'s conversation.
「...ya know, I've been thinking... But that demon, ain't he just plain nonsense?
How is he――he's just brute forcing his way through, but how is he not showing any signs of fatigue?」
「Ahh, right. He's just that kind of person...」
「As expected of Diablo-sama... Looks like I, still have a long way to go.」
「Don't go thinking of him as the standard. That's not a battle style that we can learn from, that's why he's just boldly showing his hand.
It's suicidal to even think of trying what he's doing.」
To Laplace's question, Benimaru tosses a reply back.
Mizari simply gave her honest feedback, while Souei calmly analyzes and gives a warning.
I don't think there was a need to explain in such detail to someone who was only a temporary ally, but maybe Souei was slightly shaken up from the situation.
It's not like that can be mimicked easily anyway, so he probably didn't care all too much.
He was surprised enough by the appalling spectacle to have lost all words for a while, but seems like he had calmed down enough.
From the previous pinch they were in, the situation probably felt like a joke to him now.
Accepting the facts that have just happened must have been troubling for him.
「Kufufufufu. Oh my apologies. I seem to have put in a little too much force, I seem to have ripped an arm off.」
His enemy cowered as though being trampled by the strong, as the demon chuckled.
This was all too one sided to even call it a fight, even the spectators felt uncomfortable as they watched on.
Diablo was so overpowered, it looked like he was playing around.
But, contrary to his tone, Diablo was making use of extremely high level skills and was progressing his battle calculatingly.
Destroying parts as he went on, he slowly sapped Footman's energy.
The claws that his hands were clad in, was the Energy of『Turn Null』in a super compressed form.
He was using the Energy he borrowed from me in a focused style. Such a feat was only possible, with his exceptional battle sense.
Firstly, from what could be deduced by looking at the remains of the battlefield――of course Ciel sensei was the one doing it――, the Energy that Benimaru had borrowed from me, he released all of it in one instant.
Controlling these vicious void energies then dumping it on the enemy, this certainly works against most beings.
Most would probably be destroyed without being able to resist.
But, there was always a price to pay.
You would have to use a massive chunk of your own Energy, and become unable to continue with a prolonged battle like how Benimaru is right now.
It's great to keep as an ace in the hole, but it wasn't something to be used carelessly.
On that point, Diablo's method of using it is more reliable.
His special training to kill time in the past two days, certainly bore fruit.
It was a method of circulating Energy thought up by Ciel sensei, while we were hiding in subspace.
Aptly named, the "Torus Secret Art".
That's just an awesome name for it, but essentially, it's just using any space control type ability to create a situation to prevent energy from dispersing, then absorbing back the energy that was used.
To quote an existing example, when Diablo was in his『Temptation World』, he was able to recycle his own energy constantly.
This logic was as hard to understand as magic, but Diablo was able to understand Ciel's words.
Let's say, there was your energy and the energy of another being, in a closed off world.
Your aim would be to neutralize the opposition――or, mutual dispersion was okay too――, but strictly speaking, the idea was to seclude one of the energies and release the other one from that closed world.
Then, you absorbed back whichever one that was your energy.
The opposition's released energy was then used to maintain the 'world' that was created for this purpose.
By using this cycle, it became possible to one sidedly weaken your opponent.
Honestly, I couldn't understand any of that stuff, but Diablo managed to pull it off.
Even now, the spectators were probably thinking that he was brute forcing his way, but the truth was far from that.
Looking at their reactions, the few who actually understood what was going on, were probably only Benimaru and Mizari.
Well, saying that they understood felt like a stretch. It's more that, they didn't fully understand the inner workings, but could tell that something's up.
It's probably a good idea to teach Benimaru about this afterwards, but would he be able to understand this?
I have Ciel with me, so there's no problems even if *I* don't understand this.
Mm, the only support I could give him would be to get around that with fighting spirit or something.
As expected even if this was a closed off world(within a barrier), it's not exactly able to withstood the full powered single instance burst of void energies, so some extent of adjustment was required.
If you were to ask who could do this right after hearing the theory, Diablo was most likely the only one who was able to.
As I watched Diablo's battle in the distance, Leon's injuries fully healed without me noticing.
In the midst of it, I dumped all the work onto Ciel!
That's how much my motivation amounts to.
If it he was a bishoujo things would obviously be different, I could care less about guys, much less an Ikemen.
It was honestly, "motivation, dropped!".
That was why while in the middle of it,
《To fully resurrect, there is a need to turn him from his current state, to that which is similar to Hero Chloe's Almighty state and manage the flow of his holy aura, for that――》
(I'll leave that to you!)
And so, I let Ciel do all the work without any intent to listen to all the explanations.
It was mostly into one ear and out the other, but I think it was some stuff about his Hero Core being damaged, so a substitute is needed.
Reviving him normally would cause a drop in his combat abilities, so I chose to heal Leon without causing that to happen.
What's with all the permissions she's asking me for.
So I just diverted all that away with a "Ciel sensei is cautious as always!"
But, when I looked at the revived Leon, I was half suspicious of my own eyes.
Huh? Isn't it like, he got strengthened a little too much... I almost shouted out "C-Ciel sensei, just what did you do!!".
An analysis shows, that he has become a Demi-God.
Before this Leon had generous amounts of holy aura inside of him, now he has become the very holy aura that used to be within him.
Simply said, he has become a spiritual entity.
He didn’t have a Core now, so to adjust the flow of Ki, he was remodeled to work without the need of a core.
I see... That's not it!
Though he wasn't hostile to us, why did you go and power up this fellow who wasn't exactly an ally!
......Well, I was the one who diverted the information away.
Doesn't make sense for me to complain now.
Good grief, it's all good if we don't antagonize him.
In addition, the change was kinda forcefully done, so it's gonna take awhile for him to become able to fully utilize his new powers.
So we just need to finish up Velda, before it comes to that point.
Well, things will work out somehow. I won't be letting this bother me.
As i mused over such things, Leon began to regain consciousness.
He slightly opened his eyes, looking at me. And,
「Shizu, huh... Heh, have you come to get your revenge on me?」
Somehow, he seemed to be going on with some half asleep nonsense.
「If I were to be destroyed by you, then I shall accept. Now, do your worst.」
Leon prattled on.
It looks like, he is mistaking me for Shizu-san.
That's mighty annoying.
I threw Leon, whom I was cradling. (TN: no homo)
Why should I care so much, for someone who has fully recovered.
「――! Is that you, Rimuru?」
「Ahh, finally woke up? You better thank me, worship me too!」
「I... I see, so you are the one who revived me――」
I swirled my hair up and nodded.
I practiced this secretly, a pose where I (supposedly) look awesome.
「Many thanks, Demon Lord Rimuru.」
「Umu. Thank me more!」
He's properly thanking me, guess I have nothing to worry about for the time being.
As Leon and I were doing our short skit, Leon's followers in unison,
「「「Leon-sama!! Thank heavens, you are alright!!!」」」
So, they all came over as they said that.
Some were even bawling, but none of them were unscathed.
I have already done so much, I'll just add this in as a bonus.
I take out one Full Potion for each person, and break them on each individual.
「What are you-!?」
The surprised ones said that, but then they noticed their injuries disappearing almost instantly.
This is even more effective than magic, can't help that they'd be surprised.
Right when all their injuries are healed,
「「「Demon Lord Rimuru-sama, this great favor you have given us, shall not be forgotten!!!」」」
All of Leon's followers got down on their knees, and lowered their heads to me.
Mmm, this kind of stuff doesn't really mean much to me.
I feel slightly embarrassed, so I'm hoping they would stop with this formal stuff.
Now that Leon has revived, and with his followers making a big fuss over this, naturally Benimaru and co. have noticed me as well.
Benimaru and Souei came rushing over.
「So you really were alright!」
「See, what'd I say? There was nothing to worry about!」
「Isn't that, what Zegion said...」
「I'll have none of that. I believed from the very beginning!」
As expected, they panicked somewhat when news of my destruction reached them.
Zegion noticed almost immediately――he was totally unfazed too――that my divine protection has not disappeared, which helped calm everyone down.
「Uh, sup. You guys doing okay? I was thinking of getting Velda to lower his guard with this.
Additionally, the plan was to smoke out any rebels too.」
I tried to smooth my way out with this explanation.
But, this was more than enough apparently.
「So that really was the plan, huh.」
「As expected of Rimuru-sama. Now then how should we(your followers) go about with this?」
Benimaru looked convinced, while Souei inquired for details with the intention to take action immediately.
Now just hold your horses.
There's still somebody smacking Footman around, let's not forget about him.
With my appearance, you guys are feeling either too relieved or too enthusiastic.
「Hold on a sec, we got to end the battle here first. Diablo, you all good there?」
I had been found by them anyway, no need for me to be reserved now.
I decided to defeat Footman as soon as possible.
「Kufufufufu. The preparations are mostly complete, Rimuru-sama.」
I nodded, and walked towards Footman.
「Dangit, damnnnnn! Just what, what the fuck is going on!!
Y-you insects! To do this, to me the great Footman-samaaaa!!」
To Footman who couldn’t even tell what's left or right now, Diablo delivered one final attack onto him.
「You're being noisy, shut your trap.」
As he said that.
Footman became unable to speak, as his lower jaw was blown away.
Eww that looked nasty. I'll do this quickly.
「I shan't cause anymore suffering unto you. You too, shall find peace within me.」
And I devoured him, after saying that.
Due to Diablo's work of weakening him, consumption of Footman was completed pretty much instantly.
It went so easily to the point where he didn't even have the chance for a final struggle.
And just as Ciel planned, I also successfully obtained Ultimate Skill『Evil Dragon Lord Azi・Dahaka』.
「Kufufufufu. As expected of Rimuru-sama, that was splendidly done!」
「Oh no, this was all you Diablo, you helped weaken him a bunch. And also, good work there Benimaru and Souei.」
The 3 of them kneeled, and acknowledged my commendations.
Them doing this every time feels kinda inconvenient to me, but formalities are important to them.
And so, the present threat disappears all too easily.
「This is hard to take in so suddenly, but seriously, just what the heck are those two...
Well, we can put the demon aside, but that Demon Lord is way too unbelievable...
Anyone who would actually pick a fight with him, can only be foolhardy or downright insane.
This puts the nail in the coffin. I'm now sure Kazaream-sama was definitely brainwashed in some way.」
「I think so too.
Kazaream-sama had always been cautious, he'd never antagonize that kind of monster.
He would even go out of his way to sneakily push for an alliance in the shadows, that much would be certain.」
「I know right? He was the devious type who wouldn't think twice over this kinda stuff.」
The two of them were really letting it all out as though they have realized something important.
One of them, the devil Laplace, was a dangerous fellow who is at least equal to Souei.
It might not be a good idea to leave them be.
If that's the case,
「So anyways, you two there. Come work for me, 'kay!」
I'll just make that decision for them.
「Wait a-! What are you deciding on your own――」
「Kufufufufu. Are there, *any* problems with that?」
「Eh, ah... You know――」
Laplace looked like he wanted to object, but is at a loss for words before Diablo's "smile".
He ended up fiddling with his fingers.
I was rooting for the girl beside him(you can do it!), but she could only quietly say, "This is impossible for me~".
This made me feel kinda sorry for them.
「Err, well... You say you're hiring us, so does that mean we can expect to get paid?」
「Ah! No, that's not what I meant...」
「Hooh? Then, mind if I ask what you really meant?」
「Errr, that's uhh...」
Come to think of it, back at Tempest it's mostly been something like a material reward system, we don't actually have a salary system.
I did want to think about it some time back but it got forgotten with all the stuff that's happened. I'll need to discuss with Myourmiles about this.
「Hey, those little details can be discussed at a later time. So, what are your choices then?」
「Understood! Then I shall be in uhh, your care!」
「Ah, me too!」
Laplace and Tear, these two devils are now in my custody.
There's no salary just yet, so it kinda looks like they were threatened into being hired, but you lose if you think too deeply about this sort of thing.
There's also Diablo who won(threatened) them over with his "smile".
After all that, we had a little conference, together with the revived Leon.
Firstly, for them to keep quiet about me as I'm in hiding.
It's obvious, but the alliance will be called off the moment information about me is spread out. This essentially means I'll let their country be destroyed if that happens.
This got most of them pale in the face and they nodded in agreement, no worries here for me.
Me and Diablo are going to go back into hiding after this, so it's important we don't let Velda notice anything.
As for Leon's country, they will still continue to battle with the forces which were led by Kazaream.
They should be able to at least manage this much. I went and fully healed all the key appointment holders, and the opposition leader has been dealt with too.
Benimaru will be returning to Tempest to lead our side again.
Souei will be supporting Benimaru.
As for Laplace and Tear, I ordered them to stay in Leon's country and help with the defense. They'll help bolster the country that they originally attacked――but the losses weren't as great as initially thought to be――as reinforcements.
It's not like there won't be any lingering hatred at all, but I ordered them to keep that stuff to the minimum.
I pushed the gratitude they have for me into Leon's face too, to get him to forgive them.
It's awfully selfish of me to do this, but that's how I roll.
I got them to promise to cooperate, though it was limited to this time only, but this is good enough for now.
What comes afterwards, can be decided when this great war has been won, and that we survive.
Also, though I feel slightly bad for Leon and co., this is also meant to be a test for Laplace and co. . I didn't want to divide Tempest's forces anymore than it already is, so it's a win-win condition for me.
I want them to work hard, and focus on the defense of the countries.
Just in case, I get Souei to keep an eye on them.
Whether I decide to fully trust Laplace and co. or not, will depend on Souei's report after everything is over.
At the bare least, there won't be problems if they don't betray me during the duration of the great war.
There's also the thing about Velda brainwashing Kazaream――it's probably his Thought Guidance――which Laplace is pretty mad about, so I don't think he's going to betray me at this point in time.
So our plan of action is more or less decided as so, though the agreement from the others have mostly been forcefully smoothed over by me.
And thus, the ruckus in Leon's country, came to its eventful end.