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Gears of Fate
So… a guy shows up looking like a clown and shouting some stuff about ruined plans or something.
I got it of course. This is all his fault. No question about it.
I mean, we didn’t even ask him, but he goes and confesses his crimes… is he an idiot?
Acting like some big shot while looking like that. Maybe he’s not dressing up like a clown.
Maybe he is a clown, so I concluded.
From what I gathered, he also led the Orc Lord here.
The Clown–Gelmudo-san seems to be very angry.
Moreover, he seems to be trembling and greatly flustered, so he’s very incoherent.
Is he just calcium-deficient? I guess devils need vitamins.
Then the clown said,
「What a useless blockhead!
It’s all because you haven’t evolved into a demon lord even after eating the lizards and the ogre trash!
Making this great Gelmudo-sama come out all the way out here!!!」
What a horrible manner of speech.
Waking to these words, Gabil called out.
「Ah, Gelmudo-sama! You’ve come to our rescue!」
Eh? This lizard… was he passed out the entire time?
You… he called you orc food, you know.
「Ah? Oh, what do you know, it’s Gabil. You should’ve been killed already!
Whatever. Since I came out here I might as well finish the job.
Rejoice! You are dying for my sake!!」
Saying thus, Gelmudo pointed his hand at Gabil.
And saying, “Die!”, he fired a magic bullet at him.
「Gabil-sama is in danger!」
Screaming their lungs out–Gabil’s followers.
A single magic bullet downed five lizardmen.
Well, maybe because hitting five targets weakened it, or maybe they were just really tough, but none of them died.
Gravely wounded, but still alive.
「Guys… what is the meaning of this, Gelmudo sama?!!!」
A panicked Gabil asks.
Figure it out already, you were used! However, this isn’t the right time to say it.
Betrayed by his most trusted person, Gabil’s face was pale despair.
「Ga… Gabil-sama, it’s dangerous here… please run away…!」
Even when on verge of death his subordinates worry about him. What great subordinates he has.
Soldiers that a commander yearns for… something like that?
「Lowly lizards! If you want to die that much, I’ll gladly kill you all!
And have the Orc Lord devour your bodies!!!」
While saying that, I felt him gathering a larger magic bullet in his hand.
That wasn’t magic, right? I didn’t hear an incantation. Feels more like he gathers magic in one spot.
I walked ahead, right in front of the lizardmen.
Right in front of the scared and trembling Gabil.
My expression hidden by the mask.
I wonder how I look to Gabil? A passing thought.
Why did I walk over here?
Gabil caught my interest. So I’ll save him. That was the only reason.
That’s all the reason I need. I’ve chosen to live as I please.
I live free!
That’s the kind of “me” that I want to show Gabil.
However, he looks completely lost. Maybe all the new information overloaded his brain?
But don’t worry. It’s not like I want him to say anything.
I’m just pissed at the clown.
Gelmudo, however, completely ignored me and fired the magic bullet.
「Fuhahahaha! I’ll show you the power of a high class devil!
Die! Shisha no Koushinenbu!!! (Death March Dance)」
A large magic bullet, split in mid air, and as if drawing a circle flew at us.
Unfortunately, it won’t be passing me.
In my child form, I lift my small hand as if to grab it.
And with just that, the magic bullet is absorbed into it.
I was immediately able to analyze it. It was a simple magic manipulation skill.
With low energy cost, it’s easy to change the output. Well, as long as the caster is within range.
If he went all out to fire this round, then he’s no threat to me.
Let’s make sure,
「Hey, did you really intend to kill me with this boring skill? To test your words, could you please show me how to die? 」
Saying that, I fired off a magic bullet.
If I wanted to, I could also split it like he had, but I see no need. Putting in more magic energy, I make it the size of a fist.
That got me thinking. The one he had fired was the size of a head, so was probably denser and more potent.
If I use the same magic theory with the fire bullet, I should be able to increase its strength even further.
Let’s not forget that the clown looks pretty tough, so he makes a great target.
And if I bore of this, I can just eat him.
I further accelerated the bullet and it made contact with the clown. And the moment it did, I released the magic energy.
Gelmudo was sent flying.
He had meant to evade, but couldn’t due to the sudden acceleration.
Rolling over, he desperately started to regenerate his wounds.
Heeeh. He’s got a regeneration skill. Isn’t that wonderful! I bet he tastes great.
Let’s enjoy (eating) my first devil.
As if understanding my intentions, Benimaru and Ranga are standing pleased, but on guard.
And Shion, despondent due to not being able to go all out… nope, that’s not how she looked.
Rather, her eyes were sparking in delight watching my fight.
No idea how she’ll be venting all the pent up later though, but it should be fine.
I leisurely walk right up to Gelmudo – who was still rolling on the ground.
「Just get up already. Weren’t you going to show me the power of a high class devil?」
I kicked the collapsed Gelmudo.
Seems like it was more powerful than I thought, since he was blown away again.
What a brittle guy.
「Y-yo-you! How dare you! To a high…」
Kicking the ground, I immediately appear right in front of Gelmudo.
Aiming at his solar plexus, I throw some punches. Punches that are reinforced with armor.
I don’t feel pain of the impact of course, but as my punch drives further and further into his flesh, Gelmudo’s face distorted in anguish.
Without care, I continue punching the guy.
And once again, I fire off a magic bullet.
Though I can regulate its strength, I was able to figure out that the bullet does five times more damage than one punch.
Unless I start infusing my punches with energy, of course. If I do, my punches also become quite lethal, and energy consumption grows.
However, as the bullet uses less energy, it is a more efficient weapon.
Seems like I can fight barehanded like a certain warrior race. Not that I will.
But anyways, this guy is clearly above an A rank, but still way weaker than Benimaru.
I wonder why?
≪Solution. It is based on ranking system as defined by humans that focuses on the amount of energy in circulation.
However, even if those with the same amount of energy battle, the one who is able to utilize it more efficiently shall have the advantage.
Moreover, since skill level is not included in the ranking, great difference of strength tend to occur among those of the same rank≫
So that’s how it was.
Level is not something I can just figure out by looking. Since this isn’t a game, if I don’t fight them, I wouldn’t know.
And that’s why Hakurou, who’s skill level was surely high, had obtained that powerful body.
Even if you possess a lot of energy, it’s meaningless if you can’t use it.
So right now, I know I cannot possibly lose against either Gelmudo or the Orc Lord.
「Hey, can’t you put on a good show? Or is that clown appearance just for laughs?」
What kind of skills does he have?
I don’t feel any threat from him. Rather, it’s like I’m asking a shopkeeper to show me his wares.
「Wh-wha-whaaat… you! Y-y-y-youuuu!!! Such words, to a high ranking devil, such… you…」
I hit him.
Can’t this guy properly respond when asked?
「Sto-stop! Please stop! I’m backed by the Demon Lords! For you to do such a thing!!!」
Seems like he’s saying something.
How annoying. Is he thinking that he’ll be able to cry about this to his patrons?
And… demon lord Leon is, well, my prey.
「And? How are you planning on going back to cry to them? You aren’t thinking that I’ll let you live, right?」
Hearing my question, Gelmudo pales and he begins to tremble in fear.
That kind of response was surprisingly amusing. As expected of a clown.
Gelmudo then used some kind of spell and flew into the air. Seems like he’s trying to escape.
But, all I could think of looking at that was: that magic looks delicious!
I could fly with by sprouting wings, but not at supersonic speeds. This guy, on the other hand was pretty fast. I want it.
And it’s not like I was planning on letting him go.
I shot him down with a fire bullet.
Well, even if it hadn’t hit, I had already tied some sticky thread around his foot.
Gelmudo fell crashing into the ground. He was so flustered that he didn’t even put up a guard.
Though I like those that yearn for subordinates, I hate the opposite type of personality.
Especially those who’d take advantage of and discard people–for them I show no mercy. But since he possesses various abilities, let’s at least munch on him a bit.
When I approach,
「Kieeeeeeeeeee!!! Stay away! You’re finished! The demon lords won’t forgive you!!!」
He blurted out while trying to crawl away.
Demon lords, huh. Seems like he knows a lot, and I’d certainly want to question him, but there’s a chance of him running away.
Probably need to interrogate him before he has a chance to.
Even if I eat him, I won’t get his knowledge. I can only get my hands on his skills. Though that’s also a bit random.
Though I can acquire the skills, there being too few of them is one of the flaws (if I can call it that).
I approach silently.
In utter terror, Gelmudo shoots magic bullets at me while crawling away. Not that they have any effect.
I repel them all with my barrier.
He doesn’t have enough power to break through my barrier. That much we already established.
After finally figuring it out, he stood up and tried to run away.
The Orc Lord stands there, does he plan to ask for help?
Whatever. I’ll let him do that.
In any case, I had planned to exterminate the Orc Lord later. If they both come at once, it save me some trouble.
I can easily beat them alone, but this is all so tiring.
I wouldn’t mind if the orc lord peacefully capitulates; I don’t hate him.
The easier this ends the happier I’ll be.
Though I do worry that orc soldiers will then be running around causing trouble in the forest.
While thinking these things, I let him distance himself from me.
「You blockhead! Don’t just stand there doing nothing! Save me!
Hyahahaha! I don’t know who the hell you are, but you must be able to see this orc’s power! Go, Orc Lord! Make the idiot who dared strike me regret…」
A head rolled.
Gelmudo’s body was cut up into a thousand pieces.
Ueh… He’s being eaten.
The Orc Lord, to whom Gelmudo ran with the intention of intimidating me, had lopped off his head with a butcher knife.
And ripping his body up, he began eating him.
What to say… he really died like a small fry.
And besides, the Orc had also been aiming to eat him? Or was it by instinct?
Whichever is the case, this has gotten rather troublesome.
His eyes glowing a pale light, he seems to have become intelligent.
At that moment, the Orc Lord, who had been moving on instinct alone, finally acquired self-awareness.
And released an aura that could not be compared with his past self.
≪Confirmed. The Orc Lord’s magical energy has greatly increased.
Evolving into a demon lord … success.
Individual: Orc Lord has evolved into Demon Lord Orc Disaster≫
I didn’t ask about that! I can do without an explanation.
Seriously, cut me some slack.
Without a care for my thoughts,
「Fuhaaaaa!I am the Demon Lord Orc Disaster. The Devourer of the World.
Call me, Demon Lord Gelmudo!!! Honor given to my first prey!!!」
Just cause I got carried away a bit. “That’s why I should have just killed him already!” I cursed. … well, it’s too late now.
Just like some alien with an M-shape bald spot, getting carried away and losing. Letting the enemy increase their power only to lose afterwards. Pathetic.
I always made fun of him when I read that, but now that I did it myself…
Let’s remember from now on. Kill them when you can. A golden rule.
What should I do about him? Thinking that, I got a little depressed.
The Demon lords silently observed the scene.
The girl muttered.
Gelmudo hadn’t noticed it, but the Girl had already made use of his eyes.
The moment he looked over at her.
After Gelmudo had left, she had his sight projected unto a water sphere she created…
And as expected, Gelmudo wanted to cheat by intervening in the conflict.
That much earned him death, but the demon lords had not expected a human to do it.
A human child wearing a beautiful mask.
Moreover, since they were following Gelmudo’s vision, they didn’t see the surrounding group.
The flustered and irrational Gelmudo had not noticed the large gathering of high class monsters.
The oni race. Once every few hundred years an elderly ogre could evolve into one.
Their ability unnaturally high, they are often said to be capable of crushing the heavens. And three of such oni were present.
Had he noticed, he would know that they weren’t someone he could handle.
And a fang wolf that evolved strangely was also present. Judging from his appearance alone, he was at least an A rank monster.
Thus, four rank A+ monsters were present. And they obeyed a single child?
A child wearing a beautiful mask. Certainly not a normal person. Probably a monster that took on the appearance of a human.
If not that, then a new “hero” had been born among the humans.
Those summoned or “World Travelers” were certainly strong, but none so as a child.
That’s because their souls have not yet developed so they can’t properly put their skills to use.
By a process of elimination, they demon lords figured out the correct answer.
A mimicking monster!
One capable of easily overpowering the A rank high class devil Gelmudo.
And four high ranking monsters serving him.
Power that they couldn’t ignore.
「Who would’ve thought that that Gelmudo would put on such a good show!」
The girl exclaimed happily.
「Seriously… That monster, should we crush it? Or raise it?」
「No getting a head start. Though negotiating to make it a servant is allowed!」
The demon lords thought.
If they could acquire that as their servant, they could surpass the other demon lords.
However, they also needed to consider the chance of it becoming a threat.
「Hey, about this, can we keep it a secret among the four of us? Since we finally got something to kill our boredom with!」
The real purpose was, of course, to gain a trump card against the absent demon lords. That’s how highly they valued that monster.
Should that monster selfishly proclaim themselves as a demon lord, they are sure to immediately lose interest and eliminate it.
However, that time has yet to come.
The four nodded, and thus formed a new coalition.
Had the demon lords moved at this time, then Rimuru’s fate would be very different.
However, the demon lords did not move.
That decision moved the gears of fate.
And, pushed this story onto an unalterable route.