【3rd person’s POV】
“Good evening, members of the Church.” Solomon smiled.
One day after their decision, the Council had set out to invade the demonkind’s territory and end the Demon King’s life once and for all. With 1000 of their elite soldiers, they had covered the distance to the Demon country within mere hours, and were now standing atop a cliff overlooking that country.
Just as Lucia was wondering how to launch their attack, a teleportation portal had opened in front of them, and from it popped out their target, Solomon El Maxwell. His stride held a majesty reserved for Kings, while his clear crimson eyes overflowed with conviction.
If Solomon had been a human, Lucia would have recruited him right away; that was the first impression he had formed on them.
“I did not think that you would respond to my letter so soon, and personally at that.” Solomon looked around at the army, and locked eyes with Lucia. “To think you would bring such a large entourage with you. Had you informed me of your arrival, I would have sent someone to pick you up.”
Hmm, interesting. Lucia smiled to herself.
“Thank you for the warm welcome, Mr. Solomon El Maxwell.” She decided to play along with Solomon’s charade. “We received your heartfelt greeting, yes. We welcome you, but we would have preferred if you had sent the message through more… conventional means.”
“My deepest apologies for that, Pope Lucia.” Solomon’s eyes glinted, but his smile didn’t waver. “It just happened that I was incredibly busy with the matters of the State, so I had no choice but to send you my greeting in that boorish manner.”
I never told him my name. Lucia noted; he already had information on them.
“You need not worry about that.” She gave him an amicable smile. “So, since we are already here, would you not invite us to your home?”
“Ohh, it would be my pleasure to have a tea party with humans as great as you.” Solomon chuckled. “But, to my chagrin, my home does not have enough space to house your army of 1000, so you may have to ask them to… leave.”
His intentions couldn’t be more obvious, she snorted.
“That… would not be possible, I’m afraid.” Lucia made an expression of sadness. “You see, my men have been feeling pent up recently, so I brought them here in the hope that you would allow them to have their way with your women and children to help them relieve their lust.”
The soldiers around them cackled in disgusting laughter.
“Oh my, to think that the enforcers of the church of Meteron would be so unpopular that not one woman will lay with them. I didn’t want to believe it, but it seems that the standards of the Church have fallen considerably.” Solomon shook his head with a condescending sigh. “But I’m sure that the overstretched holes of you and your professional escorts would be enough to handle the pent-up lust of 1000 men. I mean…” He chuckled. “You wouldn’t feel anything even if 5 of them inserted it at once, and none of them would last more than once anyway.”
“My johnson is 1 foot long, you stupid shit!”
“Why don’t you bend over so I can show you just how many times we’ll last, huh?!”
“I bet they call you needle-dick!”
The soldiers around them protested, and Solomon made a surprised face.
“Oh? To think that humans would not be able to handle jokes made in good nature. Maybe I should have gone along with ‘Yo mamma’ jokes.” He stroked his chin as if pondering over something of great importance.
“Insulting someone’s ‘thing’ is taking it too far, buddy.” Aidan retorted, politely of course.
He didn’t want to let the situation escalate any further. Solomon was clearly picking up a fight, or at least he wasn’t afraid to get involved in one, which meant that he must have the skills to back it up.
“Ah, my apologies.” Solomon courteously bowed. “I did not know that you humans were so insecure about your clearly inferior reproductive organs. I’ll keep that in mind next time.” He finished with an amicable smile.
“Shut the fuck up you little shit!” Nora cursed.
“I’m not so little down there, you know, and my techniques have been polished beyond perfection.” He winked. “Why don’t you come to my place and I’ll show you how a real man feels?”
“You…” Lucia frowned.
“Oh my. How rude of me to invite another woman when the Pope herself is here. I’m terribly sorry.” Solomon put his hand forward. “Would you like to spend the night at my place, Ms. Lucia? I guarantee you that would be the best night of your entire life.”
“You bastard!” Conor roared; insulting the Pope was simply inexcusable. “This is enough!” He took out his sword and within the blink of an eye was slashing at Solomon’s neck.
“How violent. Perhaps that’s the reason why human women don’t like your men?” Solomon exclaimed from behind Lucia.
What?! Her eyes widened. Solomon had moved, and none of them saw him do it. It must be a teleportation skill. That was the only possible explanation.
Before any of them could attack Solomon, he placed a knife on Lucia’s neck. However, the smile on his face didn’t vanish; he seemed to be enjoying this situation.
“Alright, that’s enough.” He sighed. “I think this is enough for today’s roleplay, so let’s get to the matter at hand, shall we?”
“Go ahead.” She calmly replied.
Blowing him away from this position would be incredibly easy for her. Even if she didn’t, it would be equally easy for the others to send his head flying before he could even move his dagger. So she decided to humour him a bit more in order to get information out of him.
“Let’s talk about you and your army of one thousand men.” He started. “Surely, you haven’t come in peace, have you?”
“Of course, we haven’t.”
“Why? Didn’t I send you a message to convey my intentions of forming a cooperative relationship?” He furrowed his brows.
“Wait, that wasn’t a joke?” Aidan inquired.
“Of course not. I would have liked to personally visit you, but I was too busy and sent you a video message.”
Thought so. Aidan rolled his eyes; he was right, yet his comrades had ignored him. And judging by their reactions that included mere scoffing to downright snickering, it seemed they would continue to do so. But what’s ‘vidio’? He couldn’t help but ponder over that unfamiliar word.
“You were serious about that?” Lucia asked in amazement.
“Of course. Why else would I send you a message when I could have set a trap in your conference room?”
“Oh, so you knew about the possibility of setting up a trap?” Conor chuckled.
“Unlike my brethren who are muscle-brained and honest to a default, I lean on the intellectual side. That is the reason I seek a peaceful relationship.”
Demons, unlike humans, didn’t really know how to scheme or trick. That was like a default setting for them, because most of the demons were like that. The main reason was that the demons rarely needed to trick others; any disputes they had could be settled with their fists, and any enemy could be annihilated by their superior prowess.
“What do you hope to achieve by this?”
“The survival of both the species, of course.” Solomon replied immediately. “Of course, I realise that it would be impossible for both the sides to instantly forget their deep-seated grudges and get along like old friends, but I think we can take steps so that they don’t start fighting the moment they encounter each other. Cultural exchange such as festivals, tournaments et cetera would certainly help. Commerce and trade are a bit unrealistic at the moment, but they can be considered in the future.”
“And what if we don’t agree?” Lucia asked in a playful tone.
“That would be regrettable. In case cooperation is impossible, I’d like a policy of non-interference; you don’t know any demons, we don’t know any humans, as simple as that.”
“Non-interference… right.” Doherty scoffed. “That’s just an excuse to prepare for another war, isn’t it?”
“Fortunately, we demons have more interesting things to deal with.”
“Say, do you really want to talk about peace while holding a knife on my throat?” Lucia asked.
“Well, the moment I remove my dagger is the moment everyone else will rush for my neck. Given that, I’m grateful you haven’t blown me away yet.”
“You are smarter than you seem.” Lucia giggled.
“Thank you very much.” Solomon smiled. “So, what do you think of my offer?”
Utter bullshit. Every single person other than Solomon and Aidan thought this.
“I have a better alternative.”
“Oh? Go ahead.” Solomon showed clear interest.
“The conflict between humans and demons has been going on for a long time. The war stunts the economic growth, wastes valuable human resources and stops us from developing as a species. It is clear that war is detrimental, and must be stopped. In that regard, your proposal is like a ray of light for us.”
“Precisely.” Solomon’s lips curled upwards.
“However, let’s look at this a bit more realistically.” Lucia paused for some moments. “Is it really possible for humans and demons to reconcile? The wars between humans and demons have been going on for several millenniums. The hatred between both the races run deep and cannot be eliminated. Sure, some of us might be open to the idea of uniting with the demons, but most of them will oppose it. Forcing it would create an unstable, explosive society where both the sides will continue to discriminate against each other. The situation will escalate beyond control and will start a civil war one day, thus reverting to the current status quo.”
“That’s what would happen if they are not managed properly, yes, but-”
“So, I have my own proposal.” Lucia interjected. “The Council will utilize its full might and eliminate the new Demon King, Solomon El Maxwell. After that, they would gather all their forces and launch an all-out attack on the remaining demons, thus successfully wiping them out from the face of this continent.”
“… That’s the literal definition of putting the cart before the horse.” Solomon sighed.
“Perhaps, but it guarantees actual results.”
“So you say, but you just hate demons, no? The Council’s job is to eliminate demonkind, not protect humanity, after all.”
“Oh? So you realise that?” Lucia raised her eyebrows. “Then why did you even bother with trying to form a cooperative relationship?”
“I was trying the diplomatic route. But why do you hate demons so much?”
“What isn’t there to hate?” Lucia lied as naturally as she breathed. “You are vile, filthy, inferior, dumb creatures that try to destroy everything you don’t like. You are no more than monsters, so must be killed.”
Everyone, other than Aidan, nodded, and Solomon noticed that.
“Is that what Meteron told you when he turned you into Demigods?”
He even knows that? Lucia shivered at the extent of Solomon’s information network; people who knew that could be counted on their fingers, after all.
“He doesn’t need to; the very fact that only we humans were given this power shows that our Lord has chosen us.” Lucia replied proudly. “That aside, how did you know our true identities?”
“You guys don’t even understand how the system known as ‘God’ works, huh?” Solomon scoffed. “Meteron doesn’t discriminate between humans and demons; to him they are all equally worthless.”
“Say one more word about Him and we’ll show you what Hell truly feels like.” Ivo snarled with a chilly tone.
Along with her words came the combined bloodlust of every member of the Council. It was so intense that most of the 1000 elite soldiers started shaking in their boots, while the rest foamed at mouth and fainted. All the animals and birds, regardless of whether they were predators or prey, quickly ran away from the vicinity. Solomon even felt the sky darkening and ground rumbling.
But of course, to Solomon, this was nothing more than a puny mosquito’s bite.
“Hell, huh?” He chuckled and pulled back his dagger. “So, does this mean that we have absolutely no hope of working together?”
“Your only hope is that we’ll give you a swift death.”
“I see.” Solomon sighed, circled around Lucia, and slowly walked back to his original position.
Facing the Pope and the Cardinals of the Council, he declared.
“Alright then. If I can’t solve the problem, then I’ll eliminate it.”