When Shin and Reno walked out of the Great Tree of Enyunien, they found the Conflagration King Eldmed waiting for them.
He was a tall man of slender build with purple hair and eyes.
He was wearing a long trench coat and a silk hat, and held a staff in his hand.
“Why hello, right-hand man of the Demon King, and Great Mother of All Spirits. Sorry to bother you at such a time.” Eldmed said in a lighthearted tone.
I was observing the three of them from inside the Great Tree of Enyunien.
“What brings you here?” Shin asked straightforwardly.
He vigilantly kept his eyes on the Conflagration King.
The battle between humans and demons was over. The contract of alliance between the Four Evil Kings and the Demon King was now null and void.
“Hey now, no need to look so scared. I’ve got some intel that should interest you guys as well.” (Eldmed)
“What is it?” (Shin)
“I, the Conflagration King, know the whereabouts of the Heavenly Father Nosgalia, the god hiding in the Great Spirit Forest.” (Eldmed)
Shin’s gaze turned grim.
“The Heavenly Father is after the Great Spirit Reno. That god is planning to conceive a Child of God using the Great Mother of All Spirits as a womb in order to destroy the Demon King Anos, who will reincarnate two thousand years later.” (Eldmed)
A blade was thrust at the nose of the talkative Eldmed.
It was Shin, who had drawn his Pillage Blade Gilionojes with blinding speed.
“Even Reno, who has the entire Great Spirit Forest as her ally, could not grasp the whereabouts of Nosgalia. So I don’t believe you should’ve ever been able to, Conflagration King.” (Shin)
It was highly likely that the only reason Eldmed knew where Nosgalia was and what he was up to was because he was his accomplice.
“Well that makes things much easier. That’s right, Nosgalia contacted me. He asked me if I was interested in the creation of a Child of God who would defeat the Demon King Anos. Obviously, my answer was ye――” (Eldmed)
As soon as Eldmed said that, fresh blood gushed out.
Shin had sliced his limbs.
The staff the Conflagration King was carrying fell to the ground.
By slashing his arms, he deprived him of the ability to wield a weapon, and by slashing his legs, he deprived him of his mobility. Eldmed was immobilized, and as good as naked.
But despite this, he was smiling in amusement.
“HAHAHA! Wonderful! Just wonderful! As expected of the Demon King’s right-hand man.To think you’d manage to take away the limbs of the Conflagration King without even giving me a chance to counterattack. This is my first time experiencing your sword slashes, and I must say, your lack of ambition despite possessing this much power is the reason why you can be content with being a mere lackey!” (Eldmed)
With his eyes sparkling like those of a boy, Eldmed shouted in excitement.
“I see the Demon King Anos is not only a man of great power, but also a man of great popularity!” (Eldmed)
I hadn’t seen him in a while, but he looked like he was having a blast.
I had a bit of a hard time understanding his feelings since he was praising me despite turning against me.
“But the Demon King has one fatal flaw. Surely you know what I’m talking about.” (Eldmed)
“My Lord has no flaw.” (Shin)
The Conflagration King nodded to that in satisfaction.
“Exactly, and that, in itself, is a flaw. The Demon King of Tyranny is flawless. So flawless, no one can rival him. He needs an opponent. One that will urge him to become stronger than he already is so he’ll become the true Demon King!” (Eldmed)
Sasha, who was right next to me and listening to Eldmed’s speech, looked puzzled.
“Hey, Anos. What’s up with that guy?” (Sasha)
“I’d say he’s a manchild. Ever since I gave him a light pat on the head once, he started expecting things from me that I don’t even understand. He would mess with me for no reason at all, and he always smiled with pleasure every time I beat him up.” (Anos)
“…I really can’t get a read on that guy. What about you, Misha…?” (Sasha)
Misha turned her Magic Eyes toward Eldmed.
Now how would Misha, who excelled at discerning people’s emotional subtleties, assess the mind of that man?
“…He’s a creep….” (Misha)
That’s her assessment?
Apparently, that man was beyond help.
“And that’s why I antagonize the Demon King at all times. But I’d never side with the gods!” Eldmed emphasized.
As if to say that this was the one thing that mattered the most in the world.
“A Child of God who could defeat the Demon King does pique my interest, but I have my doubts whether it will actually have the power to rival the Demon King. That’s why I’m telling you about Nousgalia’s schemes. If that Child of God is so favored by fate even both the Demon King’s right-hand man and the Great Spirit Reno can’t prevent its birth, then it should have what it takes to challenge the Demon King!” (Eldmed)
Honestly, what a childish thing to say.
To the Conflagration King, everything was a toy, and a game.
“As usual, I fail to understand the way you think, but in other words, you are saying that if the father is so weak he can be defeated by the two of us, then his child shouldn’t amount to much, is that right?” (Shin)
“Exactly. I knew you’d get it, Demon King’s right-hand man.” (Eldmed)
With a passionate tone, Eldmed exclaimed.
“I want the Demon King Anos to reach even greater heights! That’s what I want to see. That’s why I must first prepare an opponent, one worthy of the Demon King Anos. So why not use gods, spirits, and everything else as sacrifices to the Demon King!?” (Eldmed)
Shin sighed a little.
“My Lord does not wish for such rubbish.” (Shin)
“It doesn’t matter whether he wants it or not. This is the destiny of the Demon King, the one who was born a supreme ruler. He can’t avoid that. Which is why I know he will fulfill that destiny.” (Eldmed)
Eldmed followed with a subdued voice, and a serious expression.
“During the war against Azesion, the first thing I, the Conflagration King, did was screening the powerful humans to have them fight against Anos. But being human only took them so far. My selection was so thorough, no one but the Hero Kanon could get past me. And if even he was absolutely no match for the Demon King, then what other option is there but to borrow the power of a god?” (Eldmed)
He kept brazenly imposing his crazy ideas, as if they were the most natural thoughts to have.
“Let’s do everything in our power to prevent the birth of the Child of God. I’ll be on your side until God’s will surpasses ours.” (Eldmed)
Shin glared at Eldmed, who spoke in high spirits.
However, the latter was giving a smile that said he had nothing to be ashamed of.
“…Shin, I think this man is definitely insane…” Reno whispered to Shin.
“Do not concern yourself with him. He’s always been like that. However, compared to those who lie, the Conflagration King’s thoughts are far easier to read. If we prevent the birth of the Child of God, he will quickly lose interest in it.” (Shin)
“HAHAHA! You get me really well, Demon King’s right-hand man. Nothing you said was wrong. In that case, you should only have one answer for me, right?” (Eldmed)
Shin turned his gaze back to the Conflagration King.
“Take me to Nosgalia. I will cut him down before he can conceive that Child of God of his.” (Shin)
Using his Pillage Blade Gilionojes, Shin sliced both of Eldmed’s legs.
As soon as the power it had stolen was restored to them, the latter could immediately walk again.
“Follow me. It’s that way.” (Eldmed)
Shin and Reno followed after Eldmed.
I chased after the three of them while concealing myself using the spell.
Eventually, we arrived at a water spring in the forest.
“Is this where Nosgalia is?” Shin asked.
Eldmed nodded in response.
“I do not detect his presence, though.” (Shin)
“Gods act in accordance with their order, you see? There is a certain condition to meet for the Heavenly Father Nosgalia, who’s lurking in this forest, to appear. Now, Great Mother of All Spirits, go to the center of that spring.” (Eldmed)
Reno made eye contact with Shin and nodded. Then, she stepped into the spring.
Perhaps it was her power as the Great Mother of All Spirits, but she walked on the surface of the water without sinking in it.
And then, she stood in the middle of it.
“Is this good enough?” (Reno)
“Not a problem.” (Eldmed)
Eldmed turned to face Reno, who was standing over the spring.
“The order of the Heavenly Father Nosgalia is to give birth to gods. His philosophy of action will conform to it. In other words, the condition for him to appear is this.” (Eldmed)
Eldmed removed the silk hat he was wearing and put his hand inside it.
When he pulled it out, he had an hourglass in it.
Just as it seemed to emit a burst of ominous magic power for a moment, the red sand inside the hourglass began to drop at incredible speed.
Reno clutched her left breast with her hand, looking anguished.
Forty-three hourglasses filled with red sand, which may have been concealed using , were lined up all around the spring.
Those were the , owned by the Conflagration King.
Once all of the sand had fallen, whoever was cursed by the hourglasses would lose their life.
But something didn’t make sense. His arms were still under the curse of being cut by the Pillage Blade.
Normally, this should make the Conflagration King unable to use the .
“What is the meaning of this?” (Shin)
Shin quickly ran his Pillage Blade Gilionojes through all of them.
All forty-three hourglasses burst at once, stripping them of their curse.
The next moment, the hourglass in the Conflagration King’s hand was also destroyed with a bang.
However, he retained a nonchalant expression as he said the following.
“The Great Spirit Reno is meant to serve as a womb for the Child of God. If I kill her, then the Child of God can’t be born. In other words, if I kill her, then the Heavenly Father Nosgalia will have to show up!” (Eldmed)
“I do not believe some sham will be enough to trick him into appearing.” Shin replied with composure.
“Of course it wouldn’t, that’s why I’m trying to kill her for real. And if she actually dies from that, then her own weakness is to blame. As the Demon King’s most trusted henchman, you shouldn’t have any problem with it, right?” (Eldmed)
“If we kill the Great Mother of All Spirits, we can prevent the birth of the Child of God. If the Heavenly Father appears, we can slay him. Either way, we can remove the threat to My Lord. Is that what you’re saying?” (Shin)
“You were ordered to guard the Great Spirit Reno, but only on the premise that she could avoid becoming a womb for the Child of God. Is there really any need for you to risk protecting an entity like her that could bring harm to the Demon King Anos?” (Eldmed)
Reno turned to Shin with a pained expression.
The latter was focusing on the Conflagration King with the same cold look on his face.
The next moment, Eldmed threw his top hat, and several fell from it one after another. In the blink of an eye, there were more than a hundred of them, and in the next instant, their number reached three hundred.
Their curse bared its fangs and clamped down on Reno’s heart.
“Your reasoning is for the weak.” (Shin)
The moment Shin took a step, all the hourglasses around her were sliced off all at once.
The top hat fluttering in the air was torn to shreds, and the Pillage Blade Gilionojes impaled the Conflagration King in his heart.
“…Ngh…! Guh…!” (Eldmed)
The effects of the Pillage Sword curse varied depending on the body part it cut.
If the heart was cut by it, then the demon sword would take its life.
“My Lord commanded me to protect the Great Spirit Reno all the way to Aharthern. Therefore, her life is more important to me than anything else. Besides…” (Shin)
Shin pulled the Pillage Sword out from the Conflagration King’s left chest.
Eldmed tottered a bit and fell back before collapsing like a puppet whose strings were cut.
“The Demon King of Tyranny is certainly not so weak that he needs to risk her life to protect his own.” (Shin)