The large enterprise called tourism had started, and the Zadark Kingdom had taken a new step forward.
Friendship with mankind, and peace for the Mazoku. The Zadark Kingdom had started to see the future that Demon King Vermudol desired, but right now, within that nation, there was a strange rumor floating about.
It was a sort of ghost story. However, as the days passed, there gradually started to be people who discussed that rumor with serious faces.
And then, today as well, in a bar in the Zadark Kingdom’s Western town of Aizaido, there was a Norm and a Beastia talking about that rumor.
「I’m tellin’ ya, it seems to come out.」
「So you’re talkin’ about that story again. You’re not drunk already, are ya?」
Maybe because he believed that he already knew what the Norm woman was starting to talk about, the fox Beastia man had a fed up look on his face as he leaned his back onto the chair and looked up at the sky.
The Norm woman was a bit irritated by that man’s attitude, and hit the table with a *ban*.
「Grock. I’m talkin’ seriously here. Besides, I still haven’t had even a single cup yet today.」
「Ou, of course ya are. You’re always sober and deadly serious. Not too long ago, you made a serious face and said that Margaret-sama had gigantified and grappled with a Dragon or something, didn’t ya. At that time, how many cups did you have?」
When the Norm woman hit the table again, Grock breathed a tired sounding sigh.
「Alright, alright, I got it. So, who are you sayin’ came out this time. Is it Deddedo-sama? Or is it Iifon-sama?」
「I told you to listen to me seriously.」
「And I am listenin’ to you seriously. If i wasn’t I would have long started drinkin’ already. Ah, sorryー, she and I will have some Ringil Alcohol. The biggest size you’ve got. Also, some snacks to go along with that. No, not somethin’ like skewers, some deep-fried food like -gue!」
「Ya want me ta fry you up! Huh, dammit! I told ya ta listen ta my story!」
The Norm woman jumped over the table, got onto Grock’s lap, and pulled his nose.
What she was trying to talk about was one of the rumors, and the names that Grock brought up were the names of people who might be related to that rumor.
That rumor was something that was extraordinarily simple.
I saw a guy who should be dead. It was a story that could be finished up with that single sentence.
Since it was way too absurd, most people who heard that would say this.
You were either drunk, or that was actually an Amoeba.
If one was an Amoeba, they would resuscitate when given enough time. Plus, there might be cases where an Amoeba would borrow the appearance of a dead Mazoku when they resuscitate.
For example, 「Arum the Explosive Flame」, who was famous in the East, had changed their appearance several times, and was said to currently have the appearance of a little twin-tailed girl.
Even if Arum, who still revived after being turned to small pieces by the East’s strongest, 「Fainell the Thunder Blade」, was special, Amoebas were creatures that were extraordinarily tough and capable of having an ever-changing appearance.
That’s why it wasn’t strange whatsoever for an Amoeba to be hanging around with the appearance of a dead person.
「Gueh, gegoh, st, stop it, Chaktuu! You’re gonna warp my prided nose!」
「Shut up! Polishin’ up yer nose whenever you have the time each and every day!」
「Gueー, my, my nose is gonna be pulled off!」
Even now, when Chaktuu was pulling on Grock’s nose, the Norms and Beastia around them were cheering on saying “keep on going”.
The two of them fighting was an everyday occurrence, and the two of them also knew when to stop.
That is why there was almost no one who tried to stop them……but on this day, it was a bit different.
「Now, now, can we leave it at that?」
Chaktuu, who was still grabbing Grock’s nose, turned around to face the voice that she heard……then unconsciously let go.
The one who was standing there, was a single young man that was expressing a gentle smile.
No, his height wasn’t tall enough to be called a young man.
He had blue hair and blue eyes, and his looks that still had some childishness remaining in them were also cute.
Feeling that warm and gentle atmosphere that the young man possessed, Chaktuu unconsciously had her malice removed.
The young man had enough charm to make her do that, and even the female employees were doing their work while turning around to look at the young man several times.
He had a casual appearance, but a black sword with some sort of flashy design was hanging on the young man’s waist. Although that was a bit unbalanced, just the fact that he possessed it made it seem like it was vaguely a charming type of fashion.
「I am sorry for that, even though I don’t even know the circumstances. I might have instead caused a bit of trouble for you.」
「Eh!? Ah, no. Th, that ain’t the case at all! A, ahaha! Sorry ‘bout that, showin’ ya somethin’ so disgraceful!」
「O, oi, Chaktuu……」
Grock unconsciously extended a hand out towards Chaktuu, but due to her jumping off of his lap, that hand fruitlessly cut through air.
「Ahー, I thought that you were small for a Majin, but it looks like I’m still the shorter oneー」
「Ahaha, looks like it. But for me, I really would like it if I were a bit taller though.」
「That so? It’d be a bit troublin’ if there were nothin’ but huge guys around here though. Besides……」
Maybe because he couldn’t take it anymore, Grock stood up from his chair and pulled Chaktuu close.
「What the heck, Grock. Don’t just shout all of a sudden. Yer bein’ a bother, ya know.」
「Don’t you go tellin’ me that! Rather, oi oi! Why did ya suddenly calm down with some unknown guy!」
「It’s not really something that you should be bothered about, right, Grock?」
「Ah, erm. This is troubling.」
The young man scratched his cheek, and displayed a look that said he wasn’t sure what he should do.
Grock sternly glared at the young man, then stepped up in front of the young man.
「Ahー, well. Sorry about earlier. It was our bad for startin’ somethin’ like a fight at the shop. So, I’m a craftsman called Grock, but who are you. You’re not from around here, are ya.」
Certainly, there was no one who had seen the young man’s figure in this area before. If a young man like this were in the town, putting the men aside, he was confident that the women wouldn’t forget him.
「Ah, now that you mention it, I haven’t introduced myself.」
After saying that, the young man sent a smile with no hostility towards Grock.
Seeing that look, Grock, who was completely showing hostility, unconsciously went “ugh” and nodded.
Feeling as if he had come to realize how small his own caliber was, Grock ended up sinking into silence just like that.
And then, the young man held his hand out to Grock as he was like that.
「My name is, Lumon. Part of the Eastern Army’s unit in charge of the Lulugal Forest……I was the commanding officer. Ah, I’m off duty for today though.」
Hearing the name “Eastern Army”, Grock’s wariness loosened.
When speaking of the Eastern Army, there was a rumor that it was mostly comprised of guys in the 「Fainell Fan Club」 who idolized the Eastern General Fainell.
Of course, the truth was different, and Fainell would undoubtedly fly into a rage if she were to hear that, but having believed in that rumor without any particular basis, Grock breathed out a breath of relief.
He thought that in that case, this man that introduced himself as Lumon wouldn’t steal Chaktuu away.
Having his vigilance undone, Grock made an insincere smile to Lumon.
「Ahー, is, is that so. Sorry ‘bout that, gettin’ belligerent and all.」
「No, I don’t mind. I was the one who poked my nose into the conversation after all.」
「Is, is that so. It really helps for you say that.」
While scratching the back of his head, Grock made an apathetic laughter.
When he did, Chaktuu came out from behind him, and grabbed Lumon’s hand that was still being held out.
「Well, in any case, thanks. I’m Chaktuu. I’m this idiot’s senpai as a craftsman. Ya sure are a weird guy to come to the West while off duty. There’s nothing here, right?」
「Th, that’s right. You’re a weird guy, haha……kuh, you…hahaha!」
Grock did his best to try and tear away Chaktuu’s hand that was tightly gripping Lumon’s hand, but he was glared at by Chaktuu and had no choice but to fall silent.
Seeing that Grock had become submissive, Chaktuu suddenly let go of Lumon’s hand.
「Erm……That’s true. My business here isn’t because I had something in particular to do. It’s just, look. The tourism had started, right?」
「Ahー, pretty much. But the West isn’t related to that, right?」
「That’s right, that’s right, if you’re gonna go sightseeing, you should go to the South and -buah」
After Chaktuu grabbed Grock’s nose again to shut him up, she then shrugged her shoulders.
「Well, it’s just as this idiot says. The West has been left out from the tourism plan. What’s there to see in a place like this?」
「Well, I came here thinking that I’d instead try going to a place that’s quiet and isn’t a tourist attraction.」
Chaktuu unconsciously burst into laughter at Lumon who was laughing with an “Ahaha”.
「Ya sure are a weird guy, aren’t cha!」
「Ahaha, I’m told that often. So, I’d like you to tell a weird guy something weird. Is that alright?」
「That way of sayin’ that is also weird, haha. That’s fine, what do ya wanna hear about?」
After Lumon gave a nod to Chaktuu, he made an order for his own juice to the employee that was straining their ears to listen.
Seeing off the employee as they hurriedly withdraw to the back, Lumon returned his gaze to Chaktuu.
「That story that you were trying to tell earlier before you two started fighting, I’d like you to tell me about it.」
Lumon smiled at Chaktuu who had unconsciously asked that in return.
「What I’m saying is that rumor from earlier. Won’t you please let me hear it?」
Saying “I really like those sorts of stories……”, Lumon pulled up a nearby chair.
「Do you know a Majin called Meshram?」
「Nnー……No, I don’t. What kind of person was he?」
「Nah, I haven’t met him either.」
After Lumon shook his head sideways, Chaktuu also said that and shrugged her shoulders.
It was there that Grock opened his mouth with an “ahー”.
「That’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. By Meshram, it’s that, right? If I remember correctly, that’s a person that Iifon-sama really didn’t get along with.」
「I don’t really know who that person called Iifon-san is either……」
When Lumon said that looking troubled, Grock breathed a sigh with an exasperated looking face.
「Oi oi, that’s a famous person in the West, ya know? This is why you Majin-samas are so.」
Putting his index finger up and swinging it side to side, Grock made a boastful face.
It was an expression that said that he found himself cool for knowing something that this effeminate man didn’t know, but he himself didn’t noticed that rather than raising his favorability with Chaktuu, he instead lowered it.
「Listen up, here’s the thing about Iifon-sama and Meshram-sama. They were self-proclaimed Demon Kings that were here before this country was made, and were Majins who offered wonderful workplaces that had met the three important conditions of being dumb, have good pay, and easy work. Well, at any rate, now that the new Demon King-sama is here, they -idadada!」
「So you were working in a place like that, you good-for-nothing!」
「Guehー, wait, wait! You’ve got it wrong! I only heard the rumors about them!」
Snapping immediately, Chaktuu grabbed and twisted Grock’s nose, and Lumon hurriedly cut in to stop them.
「N, now, now. Let’s get back on topic. So what is it about that Meshram-san?」
「Eh? Nn, ahh. There was a guy who said they saw that guy who should’ve been dead. They originally said that it was an Amoeba that looked exactly like the guy, but it’s now a story sayin’ that they were actually an Amoeba all along.」
Going “I see”, Lumon nodded.
It seemed that that Majin called Meshram really was dead as well.
It was either just as Chaktuu had said and they were actually an Amoeba Majin……Or maybe, it might have been like a part of rumor where an Amoeba had taken up the figure of a dead Majin.
No, by some chance, there was also the possibility that they were made out to be dead but were actually still alive.
If that were the case, there wouldn’t be any particular problem with it. It wasn’t anything that Lumon had to be concerned with, and he didn’t think of proactively being concerned with it either.
But……if it was just as Lumon had imagined, the story was different. In that case, they would need to be crushed with maximum priority.
「Come to think of it, that Meshram-san……why did he die?」
「Nn? Nnー……Now that you mention it, why did he?」
Having the talk thrown to him by Chaktuu, Grock answered after grabbing one of the deep-fried potatoes that were brought over and throwing it into his mouth.
「Hafuh, hahoh……mugu. It’s a really boring story. Eーveryone was killed, see. Well, it couldn’t be helped. That time was a huge uproar for the entire Dark Continent after all.」
The Four Cardinal Generals deciding matches. Thinking that they had died within those fights that were called as such, Lumon nodded.
That was certainly something within his memories. It was a fight where the Majins that wanted to show the new Demon King Vermudol that they were the strongest were split up into north, south, east, and west, and opened up fierce disputes to decide it.
If it was reported that they had died in the midst of those battles, would they be unable to deny the possibility that they were actually alive? The West in particular, since he heard that there were many shut-in Majins, he didn’t think that guys like that would proactively fight.
「……Is that, so. However, if that were the case, making people think that they were actually dead……that possibility seems high as well」
「Ahー, trueー. Look, do ya know that El Darkness (the True Darkness) rumor? There’s talk wonderin’ if that actually exists or not.」
El Darkness (the True Darkness) was rumored to be an anti-Demon King organization, but this was also another baseless rumor.
After all, there was no reason to rebel. Through Demon King Vermudol’s reign, it was now an era that was much better than before.
However, Grock nodded back looking like he was in agreement.
「Yeah, that’s not an impossible story.」
Hearing those unexpected words, Lumon reflexively asked that in return.
However, Grock didn’t notice that and continued talking.
「I mean look. All of the guys that appear in the rumors, they’re all that, aren’t they. Guys who were self-proclaimed Demon Kings. It wouldn’t be strange if they were to have formed El Darkness (the True Darkness).」
「Well, it would be a stupid story if that were true.」
「Pretty much. There’s no mistake that they’d be crushed the moment they took action. Right?」
「……Yes, that’s true.」
Lumon said that, expressed a smile, and thought “……However”.
If it were a bunch that would proclaim themselves to be Demon Kings, it might not be strange if they were to start a rebellion.
However, for such guys to still be surviving today, was that really possible?
Demon King Vermudol.
The man who created the order called the Zadark Kingdom in the Dark Continent.
The new Demon King that brought about happiness and rich lifestyles to the Mazoku.
……But, that wasn’t all.
The Four Cardinal General deciding matches. Lumon thought that those were unmistakably something that Vermudol had started.
Most likely, he had probably predicted that Mazoku would die to some extent in those matches, and there should have been a meaning of sorting the necessary Mazoku and the unnecessary Mazoku in the Dark Continent from now on.
Would a man able to do such a thing really leave factors of future anxiety alone as they were? Would he turn a blind eye to those who had the possibility of opposing him?
If Lumon were Vermudol, he would definitely kill them.
Even if guys like that were to die within chaos, he didn’t think that anyone would be suspicious of it. There surely wasn’t even anyone that would be pained over their deaths.
In other words, there was no reason to not kill them.
In that case, Vermudol should definitely be covering it up with some sort of method.
Then, in that case──
「Oi, look at that. That’s some amazin’ armor.」
「Oohー, that sure is amazin’. Wouldn’t Olred-sama be burnin’ with rivalry if he were to see it?」
Having the words of admiration from Grock’s group enter his ears, it was there that Lumon’s thoughts were cut short.
When Lumon turned his eyes towards the direction that the two were looking at, the figure of the back of flashy silver armor could be found there.
That full body armor had a fiendish design that looked like it had blades attached all over it, and if one were to wear that while in a congested town, there was no mistake that there would be a thunderous amount of criticism.
「No matter how ya look at it, they’re affiliated with the army. Are they with the Western Army?」
「Dunno. Might be with the Southern Army.」
While watching that figure from behind gradually become more distant, Chaktuu and Grock whispered to each other.
Seeking his opinion, the two of them looked at Lumon……and were startled.
It was because the smile had disappeared from Lumon’s face, and he was staring at the direction that the armor had left to with a sharp gaze.
「O, oi? What’s wrong?」
「……Eh? What is it?」
By the time that Grock called out to him with a timid look, Lumon had already returned to having his smile.
「No, um. How should i put it, ya had a terrifyin’ face.」
「Eh? Ahh! Ahaha.」
Hearing Grock’s reserved words, Lumon laughed sounding embarrassed.
「Well, I was just thinking that it was armor that looked trouble inducing to wear within the town……see.」
「Ahhー……Well, yeah. That’s true.」
After Lumon nodded while expressing a smile to Grock, he put down a small gold coin and stood up.
「Thank you very much for the interesting story. I also do feel bad about bothering the two of you……So it’s about time that I go.」
「Eh? Even though you don’t really need to mind that.」
Hearing Chaktuu say that sounding a bit reluctant to part with him, Lumon smiled looking a bit troubled.
「Thank you very much. If there is another chance, then we will see each other then.」
Saying that, Lumon turned around and walked away.
Chaktuu saw him off until she could no longer see his figure……and then pinched Grock’s hand that took that opportunity to slowly extend out to the small gold coin that was on the table.
「It’s like, he was a person with a strange charm, wasn’t he.」
After Chaktuu swiftly put the small gold coin away into her pocket, she once again looked to the direction that Lumon disappeared to looking reluctant to part with him.
While looking at Chaktuu as she was like that with an expression as if he had swallowed a bitter bug, Grock blew on his pinched hand.
「The heck are ya sayin’. That guy, no matter how ya look at him, he’s the type you don’t wanna get involved with.」
「You saw his eyes earlier. That was probably his true nature.」
In response to Grock who said “ya just don’t get it”, Chaktuu turned a cold gaze towards him.
Certainly, Lumon’s eyes earlier weren’t normal.
They were cold eyes that were like a penetrating cold and would bring about fear.
However, what did that matter?
「Same to you, what the heck are you sayin’. We’re Mazoku, aren’t we.」
Whether they were big or small, Mazoku possessed that sort of aspect.
Rather, it was to the point that Chaktuu was relieved that the young Majin man called Lumon wasn’t a man that was only kind.
「It looks like he’s affiliated with the army after all. There must’ve been somethin’ that provoked him as a military man.」
「……I wonder if it’s that simple of a story.」
「It’s the end if a simple guy like you says that.」
Seeing Chaktuu looking displeased, Grock fell silent deciding that he should stop talking any more about this.
They would probably never meet again after all. That’s why it would be fine to just forget about it.
It’s because that’s there all there was to it.