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At the Banquet
Clayman felt himself to be triumphant.
The old generation which looked down on him now looked with utter surprise.
From only hitting one arrogant brat.
So when these stubborn geezers would fall prostrate before him, then he could finally create a world for monsters.
So Clayman thought in his heart of hearts.
But… was this fine?
This question came to mind.
That honorable person had mentioned not to stand out, but here he was at the center of attention.
This thought, Clayman quickly dismissed.
It’s alright. Recommending a subjugation was a matter of persuasive power, after all.
Besides, by showing Milim as his follower surely he would dissuade them from opposing him.
What demon lord would oppose the strongest demon lord Milim?
But is that actually the case?
Did he go to far? Why is he feeling anxiety?
Truly, there was no need to hit Milim.
Moreover, thinking about the Walpurgis Banquet and the possibility of failing to garner the demon lords’ support made him truly uneasy…
No, wait. Isn’t something off?
Why were alarm bells going off in Clayman’s head?
If the current plan failed, the following one would be jeopardized. And that was no good.
He had to get advice from that honorable person…
But he was currently forbidden from contacting that person.
Besides, he still had the trump card called Milim.
And, thank to his unique skill『Puppeteer』she was currently completely under his control.
In front of her overwhelming power even that Karion was eliminated without offering a hint of resistance.
And after calming his fears thus, a smile appeared on his face.
「Now then, let me thank you all from the bottom of my heart for gathering upon my summons.
Let’s begin my banquet.
Thus I declare that the Walpurgis Banquet has begun!」
As per his rights as the one who gathered them, Clayman declared the start of the banquet.
And so, for the first time in many hundreds of years, begun the banquet attended by every demon lord.
Guy was observing Clayman with a smirk on his face.
He almost started laughing looking at this joke of a man, and was truly proud of himself for holding it back.
Clayman is completely misunderstanding.
Rather, he just doesn’t get it.
Though they are called the ten great demon lords, that’s a name the humans selfishly decided for them and not one Guy recognizes.
Whether there are ten or hundred matters little to him.
But, the Holy Demon Great War 500 years ago left less than ten of them.
And then, the new demon lords suddenly decided to fight for dominance and decided to keep the number at ten.
The humans must have been overjoyed to hear that the number of dangerous beings would decrease.
So this rule is more of an unspoken agreement, if anything.
Guy is the first demon lord.
He granted the wish of his powerless summoner and destroyed an enemy nation.
As payment, he destroyed the summoner’s country.
And with this, though it was unnecessary, he noticed his awakening as a true demon lord.
The two Arch Demons he summoned to destroy the first country evolved into Demon Officials after destroying the latter one.
And, he permitted them to continue serving him.
There was another being who awakened as a demon lord at the same time as Guy.
One of the four “dragons”, the first among them, created a child with a human.
Interestingly enough, most of the “dragon’s” power was taken by this child.
Thus, the “dragons” declared the making of children a taboo.
The “dragon” who lost his power took on flesh, and became the founder of the dragon family.
From then on, the mass of natural holy spirits came to be called the Dragon Race.
Presently, the many dragons who inhabit the world can trace their roots to this founder
The “Dragon Race”, Star King Dragon Veldanava.
That dragon reincarnated as his daughter’s pet dragon and was killed by some country.
Thus, these fools came to know the meaning of imperial wrath.
In her anger, Milim destroyed the country.
And awakened as a true demon lord.
Unconscious, she fought with Guy.
That battle continued for seven days and seven nights, transforming the bountiful lands in the west into a wasteland.
Eventually, the battle concluded.
Milim regained her consciousness and the battle ended.
The one who returned her sanity was none other than Ramiris.
In the process, the ruler of spirits Ramiris absorbed the evil magic of demons and the powerful aura of dragons and began to change.
But, she was able to stop Milim’s rampage.
And the three settled this dispute.
These three were the first demon lords.
The decided that each of the three would be different than the other two.
One would pursue the ultimate power.
One would live as one pleased.
One would judge the world.
And that was fine.
Because their objectives were different, they could recognize each other.
Later, the protectors of Heaven’s Gates the Giant, the ancient Vampire, and the being who fell from heaven itself increased their numbers to six.
They were the second generation.
Demon Lords inferior to the oldest.
The Giant, due to holy power ingrained in his body, rejected the Demon Lord Seed.
But, he had unbelievable power and was an amusing guy.
Due to the many wars the demon lords started to eliminate the giants and the fairies, he awakened as a true demon lord.
Even so, he has yet to acquire an Ultimate Skill–that Guy and Milim possess.
But, he did see the chance for such awakening for the Vampire and the Fallen Angel.
It was a matter of time. And Guy patiently waited for it.
That fool thought he could control Milim.
It’s so impossible that it’s hilarious.
There’s no way an insect like Clayman could do something that Guy never managed to do.
Those who possess an ultimate skill are not affected by lower abilities.
Every rule of the world is ultimately reduced to this unique level.
In other words, they will not be affected by any form of magic–highest or not.
And since ultimate skills do not require an incantation, merely wishing for something can produce results.
A series of attacks of certain affinity could have an effect, though.
Spiritual Attacks, however, are completely meaningless.
A soul weak enough to be affected by such an attack could never acquire an ultimate skill.
So to counter an ultimate skill you need another ultimate skill.
Therefore, Clayman can do nothing to Milim.
So right now, he’s dancing in the palm of her hand.
What a fool.
Thus with a smirk, Guy was awaiting the conclusion.
What a fun banquet this could become, he thought.
Clayman proudly began his explanation.
So, according to human informants, I have killed Demon Lord Karion.
Though to me, it’s more of a: who the hell is Karion?!
I know that he’s something akin to a father to Grucius, but I had never met him.
Oh and Clayman’s explanation is dragging on forever.
Though I don’t need to sleep, I feel sleepy. Could this be a spiritual attack?
In a word… annoying.
Can’t he cut me some slack here.
「Umm… can I ask a question?」
When I asked, he looked over irritated and,
「Nah, just… do demon lords fancy these kinds of pointless conversations?
I mean… aren’t we more into… Power Rules and Talk with Our Fists type of thing?」
I said, provokingly.
At this line, a silver haired girl began to laugh.
She had looked at me with anger until now, so was I able to diminish it a bit?
Oh, and when she laughs, she looks very cute.
「Clayman, it’s as he says.
Your speech is tiresome. State your point」
The girl told Clayman.
Upon hearing these words, Clayman turned red in anger.
He’s that simple? Or that much of a small fry?
Though if this is an act, then he’s truly impressive
「Ku… don’t underestimate me, you lowly slime!」
「Eh? Is there something wrong with me being a slime?
You know, I came over here not to listen to your shitty speech.
Oh, and what were you trying to achieve by hitting Milim?
I put up with it in the beginning of the conference, but isn’t it about time?
Just say what you want to say; those will be your last words, anyways.」
His face convulsed upon hearing my words.
Rather than anger, I saw an ominous black aura float around him.
As expected of a demon lord. It is intimidating. A tiny bit.
And at that moment, the doll-like Milim, for a split second, looked as she wanted to fist pump me.
Nah, I probably just imagined it.
Seriously, how pitiful. I’ll free you soon, Milim.
I swore in my heart.
「Ku, everyone. Did you hear that?
This lowest of all beings acquired the Demon Lord Seed by chance and after becoming a demon lord, behold how haughty he has become.
Besides, they even began a war with the humans!
I do not believe we can leave this being as is. I propose we purge him, what are your thoughts about it?」
He waved his hands flamboyantly, trying to measure the demon lords’ response.
「Hey, is taking control of one’s spirit during Walpurgis Banquet permitted?」
I said, kicking the table into the air.
The huge round table flew and crashed far behind him.
Creating an opening in the middle.
「Nay. At this place, overtaking your opponent with words alone is considered just」
A red haired demon lord – the most dangerous looking one of them all – responded.
Amused, he lightly laughed.
I glanced at Shion, who immediately launched a barrage of attacks at at Clayman.
Filling her fists with aura, she landed about thirty hits in a split second.
And with a truly refreshed face,
「Is this fine?」
Seriously, girl, shouldn’t you ask that before you hit someone?
Besides, I only glanced at you for a second!
True, I did want you to shut Clayman up…
But I didn’t think you’d beat him up the very next moment.
Well, what’s done is done.
Besides, Wisdom King Raphael picked up the effect of some activity in play during his speech.
I bet he was trying to set things up to his own convenience, but that plan I foiled.
So when we shut Clayman up a second ago, that was a legitimate case of self-defense.
So if there’s demon lords who get mad at me and decide to fight me, then nothing can be done about that.
The ominous black aura released by Clayman quickly regenerated his wounds.
This ability far surpassed the one displayed by the Orc Lord.
Well, that much should be expected from a demon lord.
Clayman cried out taking out five dolls from within his cloak.
Each doll transformed into a devil and attacked Shion.
Each a high ranking devil.
Chances are, that ability allows him to make dolls out of devils whose soul he stole.
Wisdom King Raphael was able to analyze that skill with just a glance, and so explained.
But, frankly… what of it? That’s what I want to say to him.
As expected, with her herculean strength and her beloved sword, she cut the devils down.
「Hahaha, aren’t you a little skilled! But, it’s no use.
Marionette Dolls can immediately regenerate and continue to attack!」
Clayman called out, while beginning his incantation.
Shion just shrugged in response.
And, the dolls did not move at all.
「N-no way… why aren’t they being reborn?」
Clayman cut the incantation short in a panic.
I really want to tell him that instead of saying such pointless things, he should have continued his chant.
「Yeeaaah. It’s a pain, so I’ll tell you.
Shion’s odachi is a soul eater.
Those dolls, of course, aren’t protected against attacks to their soul.
So since they were so poorly made, they fell from a single hit」
I explained as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
I mean, since he’s become my grub in the end, I’ll teach him whatever he wants to know.
There’s no reason to hide this much either.
「A sword that hits the soul as well!?」
「It’s not rare, right? The humans have these too?」
「R-ridiculous! That’s a treasure sword, isn’t it!」
「Hmph. I wouldn’t know. Cause we made it」
Shion’s odachi I improved using Hinata’s sword as a reference.
Though I did remove that foolish seven-hit feature. It eats the soul from a single strike.
As a result, though it’s not a certain-kill weapon, it does do both physical and spiritual damage.
So you need to be on your guard as otherwise you’ll be devoured.
And if you don’t protect yourself against physical attacks, you’ll end up a bloody mess.
「Huh. So this was “Hercules’ Edge Revised” huh!」
Did you yourself not know…
Haven’t I explained it on our way here? Ah, whatever… It’s Shion after all.
At that moment Clayman stood up.
He desperately completed his incantation and set off his spell.
「I’ll add that impudent swords woman to my collection.
Devour her, Demon Marionette!!!」
That ominous light attacked not me, but Shion.
And seeing this,
「Kukukukuku. Be glad, it’s the ultimate incantation that can even control a demon lord!
It’s shame to have someone like you as a devil, but whatever.
Surely you are sick of serving a lowly slime?
After all, for someone who had so much trouble killing a lowly Orc Lord, to die by their subordinate’s hand is a fitting end!
After you dispose of your master, I’ll make you my pawn」
Pointless. For a second I did want to say『Oh no! I’m doomed!』to get him riled up a bit, but this is too annoying.
This guy… is too weak.
He’s someone who’d be taken out by Hinata in a moment.
No, rather than weak, maybe I’m just accustomed to seeing Benimaru, Souei, and other department members who are overly strong.
By magic energy alone, he’s weaker than Shion.
Besides… Shion has that skill『Perfect Memory』that preserves her memories even after death.
In other words, she can exist as a soul alone.
So Soul Control Archive abilities are completely ineffective. Moreover, spiritual attack damage is also largely ignored.
In other words,
「Yo, what kind of attack is this? I don’t feel pain or anything.
How long are you planning to keep me waiting?」
I could hear Shion’s slightly irritated voice coming from the darkness.
Raphael had analyzed the effect and predicted that Shion would be unaffected; seems like he was correct.
So even though he introduced this as some grand secret technique, this is all it amounted to.
「T-this cannot be!!!
A skill that even put Milim–demon lord Milim under my control cannot possibly have no effect on someone like you!!!」
Shion blew away the aura.
Seeing this, Clayman fell into a state of panic. The match has been decided.
「Everyone, will you permit this one to continue her rampage?!
They are looking down on all the demon lords. We must punish them at once!
In fact, let’s remember the fate of poor Karion!」
His eyes bloodshot, he sought support from the other demon lords.
The moment I entered battle mode, a barrier was erected isolating the room.
Well, I had expected this much when I kicked the table away.
But what a troublesome guy he is.
The moment he realizes he can’t win he runs to get help from others.
Dagrule and Dino opened their mouths as if to say something.
They are probably trying to come to my defense. It’s a good thing I spoke to them earlier.
But at that moment,
「Hey, hey. Who said that I kicked the bucket?
And that’s the first time I’m meeting this monster named Rimuru?」
A low, elegant voice resounded.
From one of the subordinates of the winged woman who came in along with Clayman.
He was wearing a cool mask, so I couldn’t see his face…
But at that moment the mask fell off and a violent aura gushed forth.
And transforming his clothing, before us appeared the Beast Demon Lord Karion.
Like my “Anti-demon Mask”, his held back his aura.
Had I paid attention I could have realized this ahead of time, but since I hadn’t met Karion before, I had no way to know.
Um, so… what does this mean?
「N-no way! Why are you alive!!!
If that…. You’ve betrayed me! Frey!!!」
His eyes bloodshot, he shot the accusation at the winged woman.
By the looks of it, rather than betraying him…
「Ara? Since when had I become your ally?」
She nonchalantly replied.
Women are scary.
「D-d-don’t screw with me! You wretch!!!
Whatever. I got it. No forgiveness for any of you」
Clayman quickly regained his composure.
Does he have a trick up his sleeve?
With a smirk on his face, Clayman loudly declared
「Milim, slaughter everyone here!!!」
The air tensed in the room, and everyone’s expressions froze.
Most, like I, were in the middle of calmly preparing ourselves.
And we all looked at Milim.
His trump card.
I was sure Milim was being controlled.
And I guess she was…
Well, this is certainly bad. Clayman is an insect at most, but Milim is dangerous.
Even now, my chances are not so good. Even so, I want to save her.
No, I will save her!
I will release…
The moment I thought so,
「Why should I do such a thing? Rimuru is a friend you now?」
Milim replied without a care.
Ummm, eh? What???
I wasn’t the only one confused.
The demon lords as well had a face that said: “Eh? But she just took a hit from him a second ago!”
What does this mean?
Without any care for our confusion,
「Hey, Frey! Did you take care of that thing for me?」
「Yes, yes, this, right?
But seriously… trying to fist pump people, grinning like an idiot…
You can’t act at all. Well, I guess I should praise you for allowing those attacks.」
「That was natural. Rimuru getting angry for my sake made me really happy.
And if we weakened Clayman’s resolve a bit more, the truth would come out by itself!」
While thus talking, Frey took something out from her bag and handed it to Milim.
The dragon knuckles that I gifted her.
Happily taking the knuckles, she immediately put them on. And a wide smile appeared on her face.
「I had wanted to get a bit angrier, but this is fine. I hope you’ve said your prayers, Clayman!」
She said, shooting a glance at him.
So, in other words… they performed this script?
The other demon lords have by now started to catch up to the event.
As I thought.
That’s just how it is.
I thought I heard a voice say within me.
「W-wait a second, Milim. Y-you weren’t being controlled by him?
So you tortured me on a whim?
And you blew away that holy mountain on your own free will?」
Demon Lord Karion asked, with a vein popping on his head.
「Hmm? Don’t sweat the small details!
Come on, Clayman has been cornered. Let’s have him spill the beans!」
「What small details! If you handled that poorly we’d all be dead!
But whatever. Not like you’re listening anyways~」
For some reason, I felt some pity.
Seeing a crying Karion made me want to pet him.
Everyone is quiet, probably deep in thought.
Well, Grucius is happy, so I’m glad he’s alive.
By the way…
Milim played the part of a marionette to foil Clayman’s plans.
Why did she do that? I thought for a second, but decided that Clayman comes first.
We can solve that problem after we deal with him.
The event is spiraling towards a conclusion.
Only finishing touches left now.