「Shironos, Brutus. Wake up.」
With Ykslaas’s call, the two knights that were shaken by Gordy woke up.
At the same time they woke up, they noticed that they were being gripped by a gigantic stone statue and tried to struggle to get out, but they then immediately turned their gazes towards the direction they heard their master’s voice from.
「Ykslaas-sama, so you were safe!」
「Yes, I am safe. If anything, I suppose I am worried about your current situation.」
「……We do not have a problem. However……!」
Captured within a gigantic statue hand, the White Knight Shironos alternately looked at Gordy, who was gripping him, and at Fainell who was holding Ykslaas in her arms.
He surely didn’t understand the situation she was placed in.
Presuming that, Ykslaas told him with a quiet, yet well-projected voice.
「The battle is over. Also, we have already lost the reason to fight.」
「What, do you……mean, by that?」
「It’s just as it sounds. I have regained myself. That is why there is no longer any reason to fight against Vermudol.」
Hearing those words, Shironos and Brutus silently looked down at their master.
After a bit of silence, they opened their mouths.
「……As your will commands.」
As if to match with that, a new voice resounded in this place.
「With this, the fight has come to a complete end.」
It was Demon King Vermudol.
「Demon King-sama……When did you return?」
In response to Fainell turning around with a surprised face, Vermudol, who appeared from the rear entrance, shrugged his shoulders.
「It was just a little while ago. Ahh, Gordy. Put those two down.」
Being released from Gordy, the two knights immediately rushed over to Ykslaas who was carried in Fainell’s arms.
「Ykslaas-sama! ……I am terribly sorry, but could you hand our master to us?」
「Yeah, I don’t mind. Here.」
While being prompted by Shironos, Fainell transferred Ykslaas into Shironos’s arms.
It was there that Gordy, who changed into her Majin form from the stone statue from earlier, came over and, *pakon*, hit Fainell’s head.
「Wha, what are you doing!?」
Fainell was surprised from being hit all of a sudden, and glared at Gordy.
「It is not “what are you doing”. Are you an idiot? What kind of person would obediently hand over the enemy leader to the enemy after being told to hand them over by them.」
「H, however! Demon King-sama also said that the fight has come to an end! If the fighting is done, then there’s no longer any reason to quarrel!」
「This is not that kind of problem! This is why you are always being told to use your head a bit more!」
The annoyed Gordy made small hits on Fainell’s head, making light *pakon, pakon* sounds resound.
Sancreed was gazing at that scene while making a wry smile, but Gordy then glared at him.
「You as well, Sancreed! To not stop this idiot despite being right next to her, you are equally guilty!」
「Ahh, sorry. But I didn’t sense any hostility from them. And since Fainell, who is particularly sensitive to that sort of thing, had let her guard down around them, I didn’t worry too much about it.」
「Do not speak of things based on a sense!」
For some reason, Gordy’s hand didn’t head to Sancreed but to Fainell and, *pako–n*, a noticeable light sound resounded.
Fainell, who became a bit teary eyed, was unable to endure it and flared up at Gordy.
「Eei, you! Going pakon pakon in hitting my head for a while now……I’m acting based on my own way of thinking!」
「Do not lie to me! Something like you thinking before moving, from my knowledge, you have not done that even once!」
「Ahー……Could you leave it at that?」
Vermudol coughed, and pointed at Ykslaas’s group that became wide-eyed.
Immediately, Gordy stood at attention as if nothing had happened, while Fainell clung onto Vermudol while having teary eyes.
「But Demon King-sama! Gordy is making fun of me!」
「Ahh, yup, yup. I understand. I understand so it’s alright.」
「Th, that’s true, isn’t it!」
「Yeah, it is.」
Vermudol didn’t say a single word about what it was that he understood, but maybe because Fainell calmed down after hearing that, she wiped her tears.
「Hmph……Do you see that, Gordy. Demon King-sama understands!」
「Yeah……Un, that is right. I am sorry.」
Gordy averted her eyes, and Fainell had completely regained her mood.
When Vermudol separated his gaze from those two, he turned back to Ykslaas.
「Now then, ahー……We had almost forgotten the real issue at hand, but with this, the fight between us has come to a close. This was originally a fight where there was nothing to be gained. Anymore than this would be pointless in various ways.」
Hearing those words, Ykslaas’s brow twitched.
「I had thought that you all had gained total control of the Dimensional Castle though. Does that not count as a gain?」
Hearing that, Vermudol made a face that said he found it surprising.
Seeing Ykslaas in a puzzled state, he lightly scratched his cheek.
「……I see. In that case, was that also Philia’s work……?」
「What do you mean by that?」
「Well, about that Dimensional Castle……it seems that its magical power vanished all of a sudden. I also took a look at it……but no matter how I look at it, it’s just a normal castle, you know?」
With those words, Ykslaas, Shironos, and Brutus all made surprised faces.
The Dimensional Castle went under their total control before the fight had ended through the efforts of the Western Army.
And then, they had immediately started the investigation of its interior, but at that time, it was said that all of the magical power that already covered the Dimensional Castle had vanished.
They had guessed that it was a trap that Ykslaas’s group had laid in order to prevent the castle from being stolen, but with this reaction of theirs, it meant that guess was wrong.
「Honestly……With the Demon King Castle being this destroyed, I was thinking that we might as well destroy everything and bring in the Dimensional Castle. Things really don’t go that well, huh.」
In response to Vermudol being in that disappointed state, Sancreed raised a question.
「Is it not a mechanism where it would move if magical power is poured into it?」
「There doesn’t seem to be a magic tool possessing a function that would correspond to that. I had Rokuna take a look just in case, but she ended up making the snide comment of “I ain’t an architect”.」
Imagining that scene, Sancreed unintentionally burst into laughter.
Rokuna played an advisory role in the Demon King Army, and it was no exaggeration to say that she was the Mazoku that was the most knowledgeable about magic. Although she had a bad mouth, she would be reliable in times like this.
Vermudol glared with half-closed eyes at Sancreed’s reaction, then placed his gaze back at Ykslaas’s group.
「Ahh, but still, it wasn’t like there was absolutely nothing gained. I had arbitrarily taken the Imitation Holy sword that you possessed after all. Incidentally, do you remember where it is that you obtained that?」
「I was holding it before I knew it.」
Saying “I thought so”, Vermudol breathed a sigh.
He didn’t hold many expectations in regards to that to begin with.
Since she was under Thought Control, she probably didn’t have much she was conscious of.
Even if she possessed some sort of information that was connected to the God of Life Philia, he didn’t think that the enemy would knowingly leave that alone.
After all, she was an ill-natured enemy that would plant a trap that would make it so that she could directly interfere with Vermudol who connected with Ykslaas’s Life Seed.
「……More importantly, is this alright?」
「Is what alright?」
「I am asking if it’s alright for you to not kill us. I had resolved myself for torture at the very least, you know?」
In response to Ykslaas who said that so matter-of-factly, Vermudol shook his head saying that that was nonsensical.
「What would I gain from doing that?」
「The end of someone that lost the fight is that sort of thing. The victor would gain as much information that they could get, and the loser would be condemned as evil. And everything would end happily ever after with that.」
「I don’t care about that sort of thing. How asinine.」
Sure enough, that was the truth in a certain way.
Fights were in other words matches to push the responsibility of being the evil one onto the other.
They would slug each other with fists that took the name of being a great cause, and the victor would obtain the trophy that was named justice.
That was a single truth that had never changed since long ago.
Wars between man and man.
Strife between man and beast.
And then, the fight between man and Mazoku was the same.
That was conflict caused due to defining one’s self as being justice.
「I have no recollection of taking the name of justice. Of course, I also have no recollection of taking the name of evil either.」
「……In that case, what are you?」
Vermudol answered that question without any hesitation.
「The Demon King. Therefore, I have no intention of taking the name of justice and not kill anyone. But, I also have no intention of taking the name of evil and do massive killings. That is simply all there is to it.」
If he thought that it was necessary, he would not balk at doing massive killings of those that were in his way, just like when he was uniting the Dark Continent.
Even with the Hero, he would accept the Hero’s challenge with all of his might if it looked like he would be killed.
But, if that wasn’t the case, he wouldn’t care about the Hero.
It would be fine if they went and saved the world on their own in a place he didn’t know about.
Vermudol seriously felt that way.
However, he also thought that it wouldn’t turn out like that.
That is why he sent the Intelligence units to various places of mankind’s territory, and also formed a friendship with mankind on the other hand.
Everything was for the sake of creating a situation where the Hero wouldn’t be summoned.
「……Now then, here’s the thing. Certainly, you all might have been enemies, but you three currently have no one that you directly murdered. We also know that the mastermind is the Goddes of Life. To begin with, if we were talk about this logically, this was her doing. And in that case, there is no reason to condemn you all.」
「But, we tried to kill you, you know?」
「That’s true. But, the Majin that I met first as the Demon King had suddenly made a flying kick at me after all. And when I asked him about it afterwards, he also thought that it would be fine if he was killed by me.」
Vermudol narrowed his eyes looking nostalgic.
Majin Orel. He, who was Vermudol’s loyal subordinate nowadays, was also originally an enemy.
「……Or could it be that you still want to kill me? That’s right, you did have one of your subordinates killed. I suppose that would be a reason for vengeance.」
Ykslaas understood that he was talking about Claude.
But, to bear a grudge for that would be barking up the wrong tree.
Ykslaas was the one who commanded him to buy time.
Claude dying as a result of that was definitely Ykslaas’s responsibility.
Ykslaas quietly shook her head sideways.
「……I no longer have a single reason to kill you. Rather, I am in a position where I need to pay a debt of gratitude towards you.」
It would have been justified for her to be killed.
However, far from not killing her, Vermudol released Ykslaas’s group from their Thought Control.
That wasn’t all.
Ykslaas herself was released from the thing that was ingrained even deeper in her.
The Sacrifice’s Cage.
That restraint that even she herself didn’t know about, Ykslaas had it destroyed.
Even other than that, she still had many things she wanted to thank Vermudol for.
If not for the fact that she felt guilty for causing mayhem in the Dark Continent, she might have shed tears and clung onto him.
「Repaying a favor……huh.」
「Yes, if you were to tell me to hand this body over to you……I would not mind that either. You have that right.」
「That is not necessary.」
「That isn’t needed.」
Immediately after Ykslaas said that, the two maids that appeared behind Vermudol rejected that proposal at the same time.
They were the Maid Knights that were under Vermudol’s direct control, Ichika and Nino.
Nino clung onto Vermudol’s waist, and Ichika stepped in front of Vermudol as if to cover and protect him from Ykslaas.
A dangerous atmosphere quickly hung in the air, and Vermudol was late in opening his mouth.
「Ahー……Putting the right to that aside, I wouldn’t say something like that. So be at ease.」
「No, that sort of right is unnecessary as well. Vermudol-sama would be stained.」
「That’s right. If Nino is around, Demon King-sama will always be perfect. Anyone else isn’t needed, you know?」
「That goes for you as well, Nino.」
Vermudol, who was held between Ichika and Nino who started glaring at each other, breathed a sigh and looked up at the sky.
After turning around to look at the destroyed Demon King Castle as if he had suddenly remembered it, he spoke to Ykslaas.
「Ahh, in that case……let’s see. About the repair and remodelling of that Demon King Castle, I will leave it to you all. Fainell and the Eastern Army will support you. How about it, a good idea, right?」
「……That’s, how should I put it……is that alright? No, we will do it if you tell us to do it but……」
「I don’t mind, I will allow it. Try to do it.」
Both Gordy and Ichika who wanted to say something were unable to interject after Vermudol went that far in declaring it.
Like this, the Demon King Castle restoration plan started.