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Those who move in the dark
After being recognized by the other demon lords without any problems, I returned to the Monsters’ Country Tempest.
Coming over here was one thing, but returning was a quick leap via Spatial Movement.
“I came back and the country wasn’t there!” Scenario didn’t happen and seeing everyone’s happy faces put me at ease.
As I ordered, various divisions have dispersed in a defensive formation.
And thus improving their skills, they are even contributing to the safety of the region.
Truly, our country’s defenses are so superior to other countries’ that they can hardly pose a threat to us.
After all, our average soldiers are mostly B ranked.
Such that surrounding magic beasts and youma steer clear.
And while it’s great that the vicinity has gotten rather peaceful, I worry that the monsters chased away from here would wreak havoc elsewhere.
I guess we need to investigate that some time.
While thinking these things I brought Veldora and Shion into the city.
When I entered the city, the citizens and the patrolling soldiers bowed on the the edge of the street–opening a road.
Maybe they were practicing while I was away at the Walpurgis Banquet because they moved as one.
Just what are they doing, I thought, and then saw the Department Heads coming over.
「Hither we sought to honor Your ascension to the seats of the demon lords!
We are filled with endless joy that You have returned to us!」
Rigurdo exclaimed as the representative.
Well, this has gotten rather embarrassing.
Every time, every single time, his performance gets even more grandiose. Honestly, I’m happy, but far more embarrassed than happy.
And since every time we have a banquet follow so hasn’t nearly every day of this month been spent in festivities? At this rate every week will attract tourists.
I guess it’s fine?
Our lord (well, me…) had officially become a demon lord.
So I do understand if they wanted to celebrate. Though I guess the humans disagree, right~?
And because of this and that, before returning to my house, we held a banquet.
On the day following my return I decided to hold an urgent meeting with the department heads.
In the mean time, I ordered Souei to observe the movements of monsters in the region.
Souei accepted, albeit added that「There’ probably no longer a reason to worry about that」
What does he mean there’s no longer a reason to worry about that? Are they all coexisting happily now?
Well, I’d be happy if they were.
Eliminating the brainless monsters is probably a good idea. And besides, since so many of us radiate powerful auras, the chance of a youma appearing has decreased.
After all, we need to insure that the human merchants are able to traverse our roads safely.
Moreover, the weaker monsters could also be a threat to the humans. So I guess exterminating the said groups is our only option.
In response to my worries,
「In that case, how about we set up an anti monster barrier along the roads?」
And as if planning this in advance,
「Danna, we have succeeded! A magic tool that creates barriers!」
Kaijin exclaimed with a satisfied smile on his face.
These old geezers are too amazing.
I did know that they were developing this in secret, but it’s a real shame that it didn’t come in handy during the earlier incident.
But to be able to create test products in less than a month, aren’t they just geniuses?
Kaijin, Bester, and I guess Gabil have developed quite a few things already.
By now, Kaijin had completely left the smithy to Kurobee and wholeheartedly devoted himself to research.
Well, as someone who represents our entire Development Staff, I guess he can’t spend all his time on research.
From what he said, the magic energy concentration around here is now able to gather easily. Moreover, superior auras tends to drift freely around here.
Even the concentration inside the cave, where B+ ranked monsters tend to spawn, has gotten denser. In other words, our country is rather abnormal.
As a result, they have been analyzing the effects of change in atmospheric magic energy concentration on the formation of demon crystals.
It seems that at the same time as magic concentration decreases, “Demon Crystals” tends to appear.
Moreover, as the concentration decreases, the chance of a monster or a youmaspawning also decreases, thus rendering my worries meaningless.
It’s a truly wonderful discovery.
This is crucial for our country to release competitive products.
And as a byproduct of their research, we have now obtained a way to obtain Demon Crystals and have also discovered the creation methods for Magic Stones.
Seems like the Magic Stones I acquired in the Ingracia Kingdom came in handy.
Well, they did tell me that creation of magic stones involved various large instruments, but it truly is an arduous process.
Even if we had discovered the method for creating them, it will take time for us to produce any.
On the other hand, we can easily use demon crystals alone as fuel.
Unlike the more purely concentrated energy sources that the Magic Stones are, using Demon Crystals is easy.
Now, what was recently developed was a barrier inscribed on top of Demon Steel.
It uses the artificial “Demon Crystal” as a fuel source.
It’s currently shaped like a cube with a volume of 1 meter. The thickness of the barrier is 50 cm.
Thus, it’s pretty heavy and hard to carry.
But, once you start it, it will naturally absorb magical energy from the surrounding and continue functioning indefinitely.
It would be great if we could reduce it to a single sheet of demon steel, but at least it’s easy to use.
So when we put this simple magic circle – we named it “Barrier-kun” by the way – into operation along the 10 km long road we will ensure security along the route.
But I guess adjusting it so that it runs just along the route of the highway is the most praiseworthy part.
I’ve been told that it took the combined knowledge of not just Bester and Kaijin, but also Shuna and Kurobee.
It wasn’t something they’ve been designing for the last month but something they were imagining for that long.
It’s a bit moving.
I quickly gave my approval and had them plan to set it up along the highway.
I altered the order I gave to Souei to include observing the effects the barrier will have.
And so, the Monsters’ Country Tempest has been steadily trying to become the center of this world’s commerce.
Next, I heard the current state of affairs.
I really should have heard this first, but people speaking out of turn got us sidetracked.
Things have gotten rather quiet.
There have been no changes in the region and no country is taking any visible measures.
I also heard Youmu’s circumstances. The King we released is also moving according to our expectations.
It really would be impossible for Youmu, who had never been a king, to control the nobles. So, it might be fun to watch the old king try to befriend us and use us to his advantage.
If he does befriend us, it might come in handy to Youmu later on.
While hearing the report I made this mental note.
Thus the report paused.
Everyone has been trying really hard to secretly resolve all my worries, so I just asked whether there were any new problems.
「Not a problem, but I want to let my brethren know about Rimuru-sama’s ascension as a Demon Lord.
Would it be acceptable for me to visit every village as transportation skill practice?」
Gerudo raised his hand and asked.
Now that he mentions it, we’ve been so busy with the creation of the highway that I have no idea how the High Orcs are doing.
I had heard that the food situation was solved as expected but nothing after that.
I permitted his journey. And,
「Oh by the way. I hadn’t mentioned this, but I have been given the Jura Forest as my domain.
Which is why – and I don’t think it will happen – but if anyone comes to invade, we’ll need to repel them.
Oh and how should I declare my reign over the region? Or should I just leave it as is?」
My words caused everyone to stare at me.
What? Did I do something wrong?
「Umm… the whole forest? Really?」
Rigurdo asked hesitantly.
「Hey, hey, seriously? This area had been treated as neutral zone!
The treants being our acquaintances and them being mostly immobile is not a problem…
But how the secret villages of the Elves react could be problematic.」
「Well, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Unless they decide to fight us.
I mean, all the rights of the forest have been bestowed upon Rimuru-danna by the demon lords.
Which is amazing.
Until now, cities and villages have been developing into the forest taking the resources as they pleased.
We have done the same and didn’t ask for permission. Because we didn’t need to.
But now, even the Elves would have to ensure that they can still continue living in their hidden villages.
They will have to ask permission from Demon Lord Rimuru.
So this will be big you know?」
Kaijin said, full of anticipation.
As he says, no one needed permission to live around here until now.
「But, will that go as you say? They’ve been living here for so long, so isn’t their presence already recognized?」
「No, no, the question is: will they come seeking the Demon Lord’s protection or choose to live as they please.
Of course, they’ll decide that by themselves.
But that would mean that they are opening themselves to an invasion.
If anything, our race will come to greet you. I will let my father know!」
Panicked, Gabil said.
Somehow, I feel like this might become an important event.
Ignoring the carefree Veldora, Shion for some reason has a very proud look on her face.
If it was this important, I wish you’d tell me earlier… not that Shion would have noticed it.
By the way, Shion, this domain was not earned by any of your efforts, you know.
Seriously, unlike her secretary-like appearance, she can’t do that job at all.
「Fufun! That’s only to be expected of Rimuru-sama!」
And other similarly haughty lines Shion said with a proud expression.
In short, in order to get the Demon Lord’s protection, you have to come meet him first.
From now on we will be conducting an investigation of the Jura Forest to find out what kind of intelligent races live here.
Even though we had just finished building the highway we’ll be busy again.
Well, we haven’t built one leading into the Sorcerers’ Dynasty Sarion yet, so we have a lot of work left over.
As for Rigurdo, being sure that guests would come soon, he issued orders to our city’s citizens to begin preparations for their welcome.
Seriously, I had expected that becoming a demon lord would be a pain, but to think that I was right to such an extent!
After ending the Department Heads’ meeting, I remembered a question I forgot to ask.
Right, did we get a response from Hinata yet?
「By the way, did the messenger we sent to the Western Saint’s Church safely deliver the message?
Did we get a response?」
To my question,
「Kufufufufu. My master, of course it arrived safely.」
「Right, the region’s defenses are impregnable but we didn’t see anyone approach.
We have yet to receive a response.」
Diablo confirmed the message’s arrival and Benimaru noted the lack of a response.
Well, they might be still busy thinking.
I wouldn’t want to fight Hinata, but that depends on her.
I don’t think I would lose now, but I won’t be letting my guard down against her.
Honestly, and I know this is impossible, but I would rather they just apologize.
I want to focus on expanding as a country already.
And thus, facing problems the same way I did before I became a demon lord, I ended the department meeting.
In an unknown land of perpetual night, into a deep burial chamber, a single beautiful silver haired girl ventured.
Her name was Ruminas Valentine.
She is the ruler of this land and a demon lord known as the Queen of Darkness.
Inside a chamber sealed behind Ruminas’ powerful barrier sleeps her beloved girl inside a coffin of holy spirit energy.
There were few people who could venture this far and no one who could dispel her barrier. Or at least there should have been no one…
Her heart throbbing loudly, she proceeded towards the girl’s burial chamber.
And the moment she entered she noticed that something was off.
The chamber had been disturbed, and there’s a left over smell of another human along with that of her beloved girl.
It was faint but her Vampire nose could not be deceived.
But that was a trivial fact…
Hidden within the burial chamber, the coffin of holy spirit energy had been erased.
Confused for the first time in her life, she couldn’t accept what she was seeing.
As a demon lord, Ruminas thought this situation completely impossible.
But, her logical part winning over, she was able to recognize the situation at hand.
No matter how much she wanted to emotionally reject what she was seeing, calm reasoning displayed otherwise.
That her beloved coffin had been stolen.
And soon her expression turned to one of anger…
While screaming her lungs out in anger she released all her hidden magic energy.
At the same moment, the burial chamber collapsed forming a whirlpool of raging magic energy.
One that no being could enter, a space of death itself.
And separate from her displaying her anger, she was calmly analyzing the situation.
Only she could break the barrier erected here.
No, truth be told… ones like her. In other words, Demon Lords could dispel this barrier.
Or perhaps those beings that could rival demon lords in power.
And, it had to have been someone who knew of the holy spirit coffin that was here.
Otherwise, there was no need to enter.
Moreover, they would be unable to achieve their goal while Ruminas was present.
In other words, to take advantage of her absence, they had to know of the Walpurgis Banquet.
There’s no way they invaded the moment she was away.
If so… the culprit is…
The current seven other demon lords; should she also include the no-longer demon lords too…?
But after thinking about each one of them, she couldn’t find any grounds to suspect any of them.
「Wait a second… aren’t I forgetting someone?」
That was the currently dead demon lord.
He was so weak that she had already forgotten about him.
What was that he said before he died?
That… “Cursed Lord” Gazalim was now reborn or something?
He wasn’t a demon lord but someone that rivaled them.
And if it’s Gazalim, then he would probably know of the Walpurgis Banquet from Clayman.
And if that’s the case… then his real objective was to acquire the coffin all along…
「He ordered Clayman to hold a Walpurgis Banquet and sought to obtain the coffin in the meantime…?」
So it didn’t matter who called the Walpurgis Banquet.
He manipulated Clayman thinking that if he managed to subjugate any of the participants then that would be great.
So if that’s his real objective, then the rest was just for show?
Ruminas’ anger turned redder as a sense of humiliation filled her heart.
She was certain that her conjecture was correct.
Anger towards he who stole her beloved, anger towards the demon lords who kept her away from home.
She lamented the fact that she didn’t want anyone to touch her beloved and thus kept all the guards away.
But perhaps the guards would have not changed the outcome in the slightest.
Whichever the case…
「Unforgivable. I won’t forgive you. When I find you, I’ll tear you limb from limb!」
The dark ruins of the burial chamber were filled with the silver haired girl’s screams and her rampaging power.
That anger was not at all like the time Veldora had turned her country to ash, as this time her own heart had been torn.
And her unfulfilled lust caused Ruminas to change.
≪Verified. Conditions have been fulfilled.
Unique skill『Lust』has evolved into ultimate skill『Lustful King Asmodeus』≫
The Voice of the World declared to the silent Ruminas.
「I don’t care! I don’t care about that!!!」
Evoking one of the ability’s skills: Life and Death.
She was truly fortunate that there was no life in the near vicinity.
In an unknown land of perpetual night resounded the never ending screams of a silver haired girl.