There was no one except for one that could answer Vermudol’s question.
The unidentifiable Demon God. What that, whose objective was also unclear, was thinking was unimaginable even to the Gods.
No, rather, they had deemed it as a type of calamity, and there was even a part of them that had given up, feeling that it was pointless to think about it. By doing that, why could they say that they hadn’t given up on thinking about it.
If there was one person who had kept on thinking about the Demon God……then it would be Philia.
That is why Vermudol asked a question to Philia.
「……Philia. What do you think?」
「It’s a simple story. That thing doesn’t have a desire. It completely commits crimes for fun……It satisfies its own interests and curiosity, and does nothing more than meddle with the world in order to obtain amusement. That is why there exists nothing but makeshift solutions.」
「Hmph, and so that was why you tried to eliminate me.」
「It was the most certain method.」
Raidolg was about to stop Vermudol and Philia who had once again glared at each other……but the one who opened his mouth before that, was Vermudol.
「Well, I probably would have done the same. I can understand. I won’t approve of it though.」
In response to Ykslaas and Ichika who were turning reproachful eyes at him, Vermudol said 「calm down」 with a peaceful tone and pacified them.
「I said that I wouldn’t approve of it, didn’t I. But if it’s about having nothing but makeshift solutions, then I would do the same. Doing nothing when you know that there is a reliable method would simply be idiotic.」
That’s right, in the end, that was all there was to it.
When thinking about how to deal with the danger that was right before your eyes, normally, you would search for what to do to be able to resolve it.
If there were precedents in the past or a list of solutions, you could probably take as many peaceful methods as you liked.
But, what would you do if none of those were there?
A concrete example of that……is what Vermudol himself had.
「For me, the countermeasures I was able to take against the one who was unidentifiable and had unknown appearance conditions……against the 『Hero』, whose only point was identified to be the Demon King’s enemy, were limited. It was because the things that seemed like they would become clues, they had vanished from the Dark Continent……and from mankind’s territory. All that was left, were ridiculous fairy-tales.」
That caused, anxiety from being unable to see ahead.
At this rate, simply waiting to be destroyed by the Hero gave a vague sense of impending crisis.
Although he knew that he would come someday, he didn’t know when he would come……nor how he would come.
There was not even a fragment of a solution from the past history, therefore, he had no choice but to do something about 「now」.
In that case, as he thought, everything that Vermudol had done that he could possibly do since then, was nothing more than makeshift solutions.
He gathered the Dark Continent that was in a state of rivalry of local warlords into a single nation, and raised it up to a shape that would be able to oppose the Hero.
Starting from infiltrating in order to control the public opinion of mankind’s territory, he formed friendships with mankind with the information he obtained from there as the base.
He understood that the simple fact of being 「not an enemy」 would be the greatest countermeasure against the 「Hero」, and as a result, he contained he movements of the St. Altlis Kingdom who would become his greatest 「enemy」.
It was also true that he had taken some terribly high-handed measures up until he reached that point.
He had killed quite a number of Mazoku and members of mankind, and having taken rational methods and judgements in order to accomplish those objectives, Vermudol could be said to be 「evil」 in a certain way.
On that point, Vermudol didn’t have the qualification to criticize Philia.
It was a problematic story about who the target that should be eliminated for the sake of that objective would be, and since Vermudol was that person in Philia’s case, it just meant that the two of them were incompatible.
「Philia, I am your enemy, and it is only for that reason that I was your enemy. Up until we reached this stage, the personal reasons for me to recognise you as an enemy have tremendously increased, but in the end, that was the foundation of it all. However, as I am right now, I am also a king before I am an individual.」
「……What is it that you want to say?」
In response to Philia who was glaring at him, Vermudol indifferently continued.
「As a king, if we reach a conclusion where I should not eliminate you, then I will have to search for a path that will not be hostile against you. That should be the same for you, who is a God, though?」
「Your existence, that in itself throws the world into disorder. There is no reason to stop the hostility towards you.」
「I wonder about that.」
Philia said those stubborn words, however, Vermudol said that and expressed a smile.
Indeed, if the precedents of the past were to be looked at, Philia’s reasoning would be reasonable. The 「Demon King」 that the Demon God sent in disrupted the world’s balance, and as a result, it drove mankind of that time to destruction. That was most likely also for the sake of the Demon God’s enjoyment.
「The Mazoku and the Demon King have already been incorporated into the world. And it was none other than you, Philia……who did that.」
In order to maintain the world’s balance, in order to defeat the Demon King that the Demon God had sent in……Philia utilized the Mazoku and the Demon King. They were cast as the evil that should be defeated, but the existences known as the Mazoku were deeply engraved into mankind.
……That’s right, the current world kept the fact that the Mazoku and the Demon King exist in its foundation. It was already difficult to eliminate them, and doing that would be nothing but an act that would destroy the balance.
As for the political balance, Vermudol adjusted it. Diplomacy, circulation of goods, tourism……The Zadark Kingdom had been incorporated in the gears of the world in various aspects, and it was already hard to remove.
The ones who wanted to eliminate the Mazoku to the point of destroying those gears that were spinning so well were pretty much just the extremists of the St. Altlis Kingdom.
「I have no intention of following anyone else’s expectations. If you say that I am a game piece on top of the Demon God’s palm despite that……Then in reality, you could say that it is not limited to me, and that everyone who is here right now is in the same position. It’s because we’re dancing around in pursuit of the 『desire』 of a criminal who commits crime for fun that doesn’t have a desire.」
「I see. In other words, Demon King Vermudol, no matter what the Demon God commands of you from now on, you have no intention of obeying, is that what you are saying?」
In response to Wyrm who asked that, Vermudol gave a nod.
「I have no intention of accepting any opinions other than the ones with validity. Even if the other party is a god, I will reject useless suggestions. That is my duty as a king.」
「I see. That’s an extremely agreeable opinion.」
As if to agree with Wyrm who was smiling like he was having fun, Agnam also nodded.
「Yeah, that’s rational. Rather than imprudently insistin’ on justice and faith, that’s much more trustworthy.」
Putting his hand on his chin, Agnam continued with 「In other words」.
「You have no plans of opposin’ Philia any more than this……can we take it like that?」
「Only if that is appropriate. I have said this several times, but I have numerous personal reasons to kill Philia. But, I am merely saying that I have no intention of prioritizing that over the overall benefits.」
That was both his claim and his conclusion.
That is how Vermudol did things this whole time.
If he thought that they would be nothing but harm from now on, he had even killed Mazoku, and he had no hesitation to kill members of mankind either.
It was because he understood that not killing her now would be for the overall benefit of the Zadark Kingdom.
Agnam’s question was unable to do the work to reconfirm that, and so, the dialogue ended and the conversation should have moved onto the next stage.
──It would be a conversation on if that answer just now really were Vermudol’s own words.
「……Or something like that.」
The one who said those words with a tone identical to Vermudol’s was a single young girl that was sitting on Vermudol’s lap before anyone realized it.
Her black hair grew down to her shoulders, and her bangs were cut evenly at the same length.
Her red eyes had a slightly harsh impression. What covered the young girl’s body, who had curved her thin red lips into the shape of a smile, was a black dress.
As for who this young girl was──even if its current 「shape」 was unrecognizable, that magical power was something that Philia could never forget.
「Jeez. Going through the tedious process of a worthless questioning meeting. What you all want to do is that, right? That thing where it’s necessary that everyone takes each other’s hands and gets along. Let’s get straight to the point. Even if you all have this pointlessly magnificent talk, you guys didn’t bring in the most crucial members of mankind, did you.」
The Demon God spat all of those words out, got on top of the table, grabbed the hem of her dress, and gave a cute bow.
「And so, hello there. I am the criminal that commits crime for fun who is the current topic, the Demon God. Although I didn’t receive an invitation, hello~, hello~.」
A shining spear was created in Philia’s hand, and she threw it at the Demon God.
The spear, that had been fired without veering off from its aim, had been disintegrated into beads of light right before it hit the Demon God and vanished, and the Demon God smirked at Philia.
「Oi oi, the one who wanted to invite me to the point of creating this sort of place was you, wasn’t it, Philia. Isn’t it courtesy to bring out a cup of tea or something?」
Philia didn’t answer while glaring at the Demon God.
In other words, it probably meant that the Demon God’s words were correct.
「Created, huh. I thought that this was a strange airspace, but that means that Philia created it for 『your use』, right?」
「You probably guessed that already, didn’t you, Vermudol? Even you should have thought it. That it was an airspace that was way too convenient.」
In response to the Demon God who grinned on top of his knees, Vermudol affirmed it with silence.
That’s right, this airspace called the Dimensional Gap was certainly convenient.
Remphilia was fragile enough that its balance would be disrupted with a single magic spell that mankind could use called Ratil Rail.
Despite that, Philia had approved of a fight between the Demon King and the Hero who both possessed power that far surpassed the rest of mankind……Vermudol had a sense of discomfort over how this was setup to begin with.
Even if the aim was to straighten the world’s balance due to that fight, the degree of influence that a full powered fight between the Hero and the Demon King would bring about to the world was something that Philia shouldn’t be able to grasp.
……In that case, it was clear that a mechanism to calculate that and then bring the influence of such a worst case scenario as close to zero as possible would be required.
「Another dimension that was isolated from the world. It resembles the domain of the gods……Or, it seems to be something similar. If it’s something that is able to endure a fight between the Demon King and the Hero, it can also defend against the influence of the Demon God, is that what this means?」
Listening to Vermudol’s conjecture, the Demon God made an amused looking smirk.