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The Summoned ~ those who are called heroes ~
The children directed a hostile gaze at me.
Filled with pure hatred.
It made me feel really out of place.
What in the world could cause them to harbor so much hostility towards a new instructor?
Misaki Kenya: Male, 8 years old
Sekiguchi Ryouta: Male, 8 years old
Gale Gibson: Male, 9 years old
Alice Rondo: Female, 7 years old
Chloe O’Bell: Female, 8 years old
None of them are older than 10.
I look them over while confirming the notes I picked up in the staff room.
They’ve been picked up from all over the world. Each one was called a monster.
Each country has requested a subjugation for them, but the adventurers took custody of them instead.
That’s what the documents said, but something is bothering me.
Why are their ages so similar? And, they’ve all been picked up in various circumstances from countries surrounding the Jura Forest?
Moreover, within three years of each other? There might be something going on.
They seem to have grown very attached to Shizu-san. Other than her, they only listen to Yuuki’s words.
Well, unless you see them for yourself you wouldn’t know how mischievous this bunch really is.
「Yo, what’s with the sudden aggression, brats!
I (Ore-sama) will be your instructor from now on; the name’s Rimuru.
I’m not as nice as Shizu-san, so prepare yourselves!」
I thought to start with a greeting, but…
「Shut up! You won’t deceive us!」
「Right, right! Even if we listen, you’ll just kill us anyways!」
「What did you do with Shizu-san! Did you kill her too?!」
「Yeah, we won’t trust an adult!」
「You’ll just dispose of us, saying that we’re good for nothing, right?」
Hmm? What’s with their response?
This is not at the level of classroom disruption. They are not just bratty–that’s real killing intent right there.
I mean, how did they even think that we’re trying to kill them, or that we killed Shizu san?
There’s something else at work here.
That day, we couldn’t continue the lesson.
I don’t know their circumstances, so I can’t just force my will on them.
So, that day ended with just a greeting.
「K-Ken-chan… are you okay?」
「Stay away! That mask wearing instructor… what the hell was that!」
「Hey! Calm down, calm down, okay!!!」
I could hear them making noise beyond the door, but I paid it no mind.
I only allowed another member to introduce themselves. Ranga, I mean.
He’s probably observing the class instead of me. How pleasant.
But the kids who clearly lack the will to solve the problems he handed out, seem keen on playing around.
So the fact that today’s lesson became Self-Study is something I could not have prevented.
So, leaving the rest to Ranga, I decided to visit Yuuki.
Inside the Freedom Association Chief’s room.
Yuuki and I are holding a discussion while sitting on the sofa.
A pleasant aroma drifts from cup of tea before us.
I continue the conversation.
「So…. please tell me the kids’ circumstances」
I get straight to the point.
Yuuki looked me straight in the eye, and after thinking for a bit,
「Rimuru-san, let me ask you a question…
How much do you know abut Sakaguchi Hinata?」
What’s that about? Did something happen between Hinata and the kids?
「Not much. She’s a fellow Japanese.
And that she remembers things quickly–so Shizu-san said…」
Hmph, he nodded in response,
「In that case, how about the difference between “Summoned” and “World Travelers”?」
Now that he mentions it, I don’t know much about them either.
They are guaranteed to possess a unique skill. And, the summoning success rate is low.
Also, they have a curse carved into their souls.
I told him that much.
「Yes. That matches everything that we have learned about them. You know a lot, don’t you…
Summoning requires very definite circumstances to be prepared as to allow you to summon a person with powerful abilities.
Someone whose will is especially strong.
Now then, what about summoning conducted under incomplete conditions?」
Yuuki’s following explanation made me feel sick.
The success rate with thirty magicians chanting summoning magic over the period of three days is a less than 0.03%.
Moreover, a magician who has used summoning magic, cannot use it during a set interval.
The rest period ranges from 33 to 88 years. Usually, the time is used to prepare the environment to better the chances of the summoning.
Now, what would happen if you ignored these rules?
If you do, there are less requirements to conduct the summoning and you can continuously summon.
According to what Yuuki said, summoning conducted thus usually results in children being summoned.
Children with strong souls or abundant magic are forced over here. Without being granted the ability befitting them…
Without a unique skill, the abundant magical energy causes their bodies to implode.
They are fried alive by the powers they possess.
「Eh? Wait a minute, then are those kids?」
「…. At the moment, the record is three years..
That is the lifespan of those improperly summoned.
And, those kids have been summoned like that…
Failing to become heroes.」
「Wha… Huh? Heroes? Why would…
Were they forced into this by Sakaguchi Hinata?」
Yuuki does not answer.
However, his silence only confirms my suspicions.
「The church is seeking a new hope, a new power.
The wish of all humans–light. Humanity’s messiah, the “Hero”!
I have secretly investigated many facilities and broke the children out…」
「What… the hell…」
「I have not found a way to prevent their deaths.
Children under the age of ten are no exception–if they do not possess a unique skill, they will surely die…」
「Aren’t the summoners bothered by the loss? Aren’t these “failures” dissuading them or something?」
「They calmly summon more and more. Since they can just continue doing so, they don’t care. That’s probably what they are thinking…」
「Are you kidding me? Why have you allowed the church to continue existing?」
「The church… the Western Saint’s Church if influential.
Surrounding the Jura Forest, other than the Heretic Country Sarion, every country is a devout follower of the church.
Do you understand? That’s not a power we can defeat even with the Government’s support.
There’s also believers among my associates.
If we make the church our enemy, the Association would fight with itself!」
Yuuki said, his expression pained and powerless.
Nor could I add anything. To think that those lively kids will…
And that’s why they met me with hostility and hatred.
「Hey. Why did you have me meet the kids? Why did you tell me all this?」
「… Why, indeed? Maybe I wanted to see if you could come up with a way to save them.
I don’t have anyone in the world I could rely upon. I’ve already lost Shizu-san.
If you hadn’t noticed, I wouldn’t have told you anything.
So why did you notice?」
If I hadn’t noticed, I could have sent them on their way merrily.
Now that I have, how can I be merry? What a bad joke…
「Isn’t it dangerous to have the school so close to a church?」
「Fufu. On the contrary, it’s the safest place. You’ve heard the expression: it’s darkest under the lamppost?
So, what will you do? Will you quit?」
I looked Yuuki straight in the eye.
And loudly declared,
「I will not quit, and will proceed as I wish from now on. Any complaints?」
「I leave them to you. If you can, please save those children…!」
He said, lowering his head.
No need to tell me.
That’s another task Shizu-san had left behind. I’ll see it through.
And, chances are, this whole conversation was planned by Shizu-san ahead of time.
Just a stray thought.
I leave the Freedom Association building and return to the classroom.
Now, now. Can’t greet them with a gloomy face.
I’ll do what I can. That’s all I’ve been doing thus far.
Shizu-san depended on me, Yuuki asked this of me, all I can do is to answer their hopes.
That was the worst day in history for the Beast Kingdom Yuurazia.
Demon Lord Karion nervously looked into the skies above.
A huge lump of magical energy was rapidly approaching.
Without even trying to hide her aura–Demon Lord Milim.
(Hey, hey, is this for real…)
She’s clearly intent on fighting and aiming for this country.
A fight with a serious Milim Nava. I guess this could also be called an opportunity.
Karion did not believe himself to be superior; in fact, he though Milim to be stronger.
(It’s more fun winning against a stronger opponent!)
His blood boiled and his heart beat happily.
The strongest, Demon Lord Milim. A senior Demon Lord, unlike her appearance, she deserves the awe.
He could face that Demon Lord. To say he was excited would be an understatement.
He had once asked his parents when he was but a child.
About the tyranny of the Dragon Princess.
Was that fairy tale based on Milim or some other model? This is what his parents said.
A dragon princess’s anger can erase a country!
Never fight against a dragon princess!
Though the military of the Beast Kingdom Yuuzaria is not particularly large, half of its population belong to a warrior race.
By no means inferior to any other country.
Moreover, he himself had evolved into a Demon Lord. There was no one he had to fear!
He headed to the sacred mountain behind the castle; and, while preparing himself, he planned to ambush Milim there.
His followers–devils and retainers, knelt before him, waiting for instructions.
「Listen! We only have one foe. Demon Lord Milim Nava!
Against a demon lord, if you devils fight together, you can put up a proper fight. But I will go myself!
As for you, erect a barrier and protect the people! Believe me, I shall win!!!」
Hearing their battle cry, he could feel their excitement.
Today, he had the chance to prove himself the strongest!
(I didn’t hate her personality. We could have become good friends… what a shame!)
At this point, her reasons did not matter.
For him, only the fight mattered. Not that his prudence would have changed the outcome in the slightest…
Slowly, he rose to the skies using〈Flight Magic〉.
Reaching Milim, he began the fight without a word.
First, a quick test.
Punch her with all his power. However, her body covered in many defensive barriers, the attack did not reach her.
He summoned the Hyakko-seiryuu lance, and felt his strength grow exponentially.
Letting out a small breath, he combined his fighting spirit with his aura.
And released an onslaught of slashes at Milim. Each slash was followed by an air bullet which violently assaulted Milim.
Though the bullets have broken through a number of barriers, they were unable to hurt her body.
Moreover, each of the slashes was caught by her demon sword “Evil God”.
It didn’t suit her at all, that long, curved, single-edged blade.
The sword was dyed in a pale blue light.
How many demon lords has this famous sword slain?
Tch! Karion distanced himself from Milim and regained his posture.
He had not looked down on her at all, but she far surpassed his expectations.
He had not used every ounce of his power, but Milim also seemed bottomless.
Nor was she an opponent he could fight conflicted.
He decided to go all out. Unfortunately, she seemed barely unconscious, as if she was being controlled by someone.
That, however, didn’t matter to Karion.
(I had wanted to fight the real you, not some puppet! But, even so, I will not lose!)
He unleashed his abilities.
Began assuming first his devil, then his demon lord form.
He is, after all, known as the Beast King, a lion lycanthrope.
Thus, he began transforming. Into a beast devil.
And thus his true form, Demon Lord “Lion King” Karion, had appeared.
Covered in a silver fur, his muscles bulged.
On his lion head a Vermillion Bird crown shone bright. And that body was clad in Black Tortoise armor.
The neighboring countries all specialized in warfare. So, for the sake of fighting for the dominance of the skies, large eagle-like wings were attached to his back.
Seeing that appearance a small light briefly flashed in Milim’s eyes, and Karion had not missed it.
Or maybe he had only imagined it.
「Now, then, Milim. It’s a shame, but now that you have seen this appearance, I’ll have you permanently disappear, okay?
It’s a shame, but goodbye!!!」
He screamed, and concentrated all his fighting spirit into the Hyakko-seiryuu lance.
If they had been on the ground, the earth would split from the force of his power and his surroundings would grind into dust.
Not that the air remained unaffected. The energy he had emitted set the air itself on fire.
This roar releases one’s magical energy at the opponent.
All his energy was focused on the tip of the lance, yet it remained undamaged.
Had he fired it on the ground, everything in the direction of the attack would be inadvertently erased; it is “Beast King” Karion’s sure-kill technique.
Normally, its power would not wane in the slightest for the first 100 meters. And, the actual range of the attack could go well past 2 kilometers.
Thus, the long range makes this a skill that is best used against multiple opponents, but it can be regulated to be concentrated on a single one.
This would be the first time he will use Beast Roar against a single opponent, but he could hardly imagine anyone being able to withstand it.
He will go all out.
Magical energy rapidly escaped his body. He could hardly sustain the flight magic.
However, that was a small price to pay for this attack.
Normally, he’d have to use it two or three times to become this tired; but, today he couldn’t be so reserved.
His opponent was covered in many high level barriers.
Taking a deep, and while falling towards the ground,
He dodged the return fire.
Blood trickled down from his back, but he closed the wound with spirit alone.
He looked up at her.
However, he didn’t want to see her, nor believe that such a thing could be possible.
A being who has so far exceeded his expectations.
Dragon wings spread wide, her blond hair fluttered in the wind.
And, though it was not there before, a beautiful crimson horn now adorned her forehead.
Her light Gothic dress has changed into jet black armor
(Ah… so this would be her real battle attire, huh…)
Though Karion was now exhausted, his opponent was unhurt.
“What a joke. Cut me some slack.” He was now experiencing a bizarre feeling–wanting to cry and laugh at the same time.
「Well done! That was fun!
As thanks, I’ll show you this!!!」
Milim spoke for the first time.
However, it was a monotone voice devoid of her personality.
Karion nonetheless felt impending doom from her words.
“I don’t want you to show me anything!” He screamed in his heart.
Using thought transmission he conveyed an order to his subordinates.
One word: run!!!
And, with the remained of his strength, he ran as fast as he could.
He felt it deep in his bones: if he stayed, he would die.
The dragon’s pupils dilated, and she stretched her wings.
Its brightness easily surpassed that of the stars.
The bright pellets that rained upon the earth erased not just the castle, but the mountain behind it.
The sound of destruction far surpassed the audible range of one’s ears, so the shockwave heralded it instead.
Those touched by the light disappeared without being able to offer any resistance.
The strongest magic.
And one of the reasons that Milim has for so long reigned supreme.
Luckily, Karion was able to escape receiving a direct hit, so he survived.
But that is Milim.
A demon lord you should never fight against. Nicknamed “Destruction” itself.
Now, Karion agreed with his parents’ words.
You can’t fight against that. It’s dimension different from everyone else.
「She..? Ara? What could possibly be wrong? Would you enlighten me?」
He felt a blade press against his neck.
And the presence of a single woman.
The supreme ruler of the skies–Sky Queen Frey.
「Tch. Frey, you too?」
「Ara? What about me? You’ll have lots of time to tell me…」
And so, Karion consciousness faded into darkness…