Volume 2 Chapter 4 Part 10

Historically, the era of Extreme Chaos has just come to a close. However, in reality, the concentration of Chaos had fallen only in the suburbs of Elam, where the demonic realm called the Great Dragon’s Nest had been opened up until the Founding Lord Leon appeared and absorbed its Chaos into his Crest.

Leon, who came to be called the Founding Lord, gathered ambitious young men and women in the land of Elam, formed the Order of the Free Knights, and nurtured the young Lords so that they could one day follow in his footsteps. In addition, the magician Mikhail, who was a member of the Magic University, gathered excellent Shamans from all over the continent and established the Mages Association.

Then came the era of the holy war known as the War of Restoration. Young Lords who grew up in Elam led Mages, Artists, Chaos Projections of otherworldly creatures and ordinary soldiers alike as they went on expeditions to various parts of the continent. They defeat monsters, open up demonic realms, and gradually reduce the Chaos concentration throughout the continent.

「I was also one of the people who moved to Elam, the land of hope for mankind, and joined the Order of Free Knights, longing to be the same as the Founding Lord Leon. 」

Adele exceled in swordsmanship and personality even among all the other Free Knights, and she was even called a model knight. The Chaos that still remained in the vicinity of Elam was gradually quelled one outcrop after another, and with each expedition, the power of her Crest was gradually growing. Finally, one day she left Elam and went on an expedition. The destination she chose for her expedition was a demonic realm called 「The Gate of the Demon World」. It was in the area of Artuk where the Demon Lord had invaded, sowing Chaos and killing innocent people together with his army of demons. Even Theo knew that Vampires, Werewolves, and witches were desperately fighting against it, but could not achieve a decisive victory.

When Adele entered Auk, she gathered the forces she had fought separately until now and challenged the forces of the Demon Lord to battle. The skirmishes that ensued lasted for years, but in the end, Adele managed to defeate the Demon Lord with her own hands.

「But as it turned out, the Chaos Core that was left behind by the Demon Lord was too big for me to handle. I absorbed it into myself, but unfortunately I was unable to turn its Chaos into the energy that would strengthen my Crest, and as a result, my Crest got shattered into million pieces…」

Adele let out a self-deprecating smile.

「As I continued to carry the unstable Chaos Core within me, I was honestly at a loss as to what I should do. Because the Chaos from the Demon Lord’s Chaos Core could have converged to create more monsters of Demonic Realms at any moment, I tried to turn it into a Crest numerous times, but what I wa sable to easily do before with other Chaos Cores was no longer possible for me. Maybe it was actually like that because while I was fighting against the Demon Lord, I actually became both fascinated and terrified with the strength that he possessed? After all, I was always taught that Demon Lords were cruel but absolute rulers. Power is the only authority they will ever heed to, and fear is their only means of governing their subjects. I could not reduce the density of the Chaos that I have already accepted into myself, but by that time I was already hailed as a hero, and the people of Artuk have already declared me to be their Lord and they obeyed my every order. However, what I did was not in line with the philosophy of the Order of Free Knights, the purpose of the War of Restoration or the Ideals of the Mages Asscociation. 」

And sometime after the defeat of the Demon Lord and Adele absorbing his Chaos Core, a certain Free Knight came to Artuk to pay her a visit. Back when they were still in Elam, she used to train together with him, compete with him in various things and occasionally made a fuss together with him.

「But the purpose of that Free Knight was no ordinary visit. He was sent to kill me. It was because even though I killed him, the Demon Lord was not dead yet and the gates to the demonic realms have remained open because of it… because the Demon Lord’s essence remained inside of me in the form of his unstable Chaos Core. The knight proclaimed right in my face that I am no longer a human, but a monster and a walking demonic realm, and that was why in the next second he slashed me, saying that it is his duty to kill me, take my Chaos Core and convert it into his own Crest… 」

Since that attack managed to catch her off guard, Adele ended up receiving a mortal wound as a result. However, at that moment, the Chaos Core which remained unstable inside her body, converged into something of its own volition. It was an Art. In that instant, Adele had become an Artist… and that sudden transformation caused her figure to greatly change.

Horns grow from the left and right sides of her head, bending inward and extending in front of her. Dragon-like wings spread from her back. her skin turned from snow-white into black as the darkness of the night itself, and her eyes burned bright red like the fires of hell itself.

「It’s exactly the appearance of a Demon Lord.. 」

Siluca’s voice trembled as she spoke her thoughts out loud.

Theo had heard rumors about it too, but of course, it was his first time seeing a genuine Demon Lord in person, and he had to say that the sight that was now before him was truly terrifying. But still, even though she transcended into a higher form of existence, her former human nobility could still be felt underneath her monstrous exterior.

「And that is how I became the incarnation of a Demon Lord. It was just like that Free Knight who cut me down said. At that moment, I instantly realized something. I understood that the Lords who would come to be in the future would fail to become absolute rulers because of all of their idiosynchracies. They are just going to start pointless power struggles thar are going to lead to nowhere. Maybe at the end of all that fighting the Grancrest will finally be created, but will the Emperor who is going to possess it truly be capable of ushering in the Age of Order? I do not think so. And if it was the ideal of all the Free Knights to create a Lord who was the opposite of the ideal, then would it not be the same as creating another Demon Lord, but this time with human hands? That is exactly why I embraced my new identity as a Demon Lord and challenged the whole of Elam to battle. 」

Adele, who has become a Demon Lord of her own volition, spoke loudly now.

「Destroy Elam, slaughter all the Lords that it wanted to create, and perpetuate the Age of Extreme Chaos. That would be a world that could only be called the Demon World. However, humans are not powerless lambs that would simply wait to be slaughtered. Every time a monster appears, every time a demonic realm opens, they would fight to destroy it, because that is the only way for them to survive. Anyone who wished to oppose my rule should kill me and become the new Lord themselves. That is a simple rule, and thus there should be no exceptions to it. 」

「And with such firmly held convictions in your heart, you should have been able to destroy Elam just like that… 」

Dimitri called out to the Demon Lord.

「But in the face of victory, you suddenly withdrew your army, and while regretting your own deeds, you sealed yourself up. Why? Why would you ever do such a thing? 」

「While fighting in Elam, I dealt with many young men who aspired to become Free Knights. Young men who purely believed that an Age of Order would come in the distant future, and resolved themselves to throw themselves into a hopeless battle against Chaos to make sure that this future will definitely come to be. That attitude of theirs was exactly the same one that I once had back when I was still my former self. And then I realized… 」

「And then you realized? And then you realized what? 」

Dimitri leaned forward slightly, demanding to know the answer to the most important question.

Theo wanted to know the answer to that question too.

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Record of Grancrest War

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