I was currently lecturing Dobroy’s subordinates as they sat on the ground.
Dobroy wasn’t here anymore. They had taken him away on a stretcher.
“Listen. It’s absurd for the strong to torment the weak.”
Dobroy’s men listened to me seriously.
My message was incredibly simple.
It wasn’t hard. It was something that the residents of the Demon World should have no trouble understanding.
—The strong were supposed to protect the weak.
That was all.
However, it might be difficult for people who believed for their whole lives, that the strong were allowed to do whatever they wanted. And so I had to repeat it to them firmly.
After all, hadn’t my mother done the same thing with me?
And I was able to understand it. I believed that I was doing the right thing now.
Some might say it was imprinting…and I couldn’t really argue with that.
However, this incident by the lake… I wasn’t such a mild tempered person to let it pass.
“Do you understand!”
I wondered if they were being honest.
But before I had started, Stomel advised that I ‘show restraint.’ And this wasn’t my country.
It was not good to stick out too much.
“As for how you deal with them, you better not cut any corners. If you do, I’ll hit you twice as much as I did your leader!”
I threatened them quite a bit, which should suffice.
If I said any more, it would just get annoying. I would have to leave the rest to the people of the town.
“I hope this can turn into a town that protects its own.”
I wasn’t sure if Stomel really felt that way, but the matter was now settled.
…However, I was now forced to go and eat once more before we could leave the town.
Exercising just made me hungry.
“Sir Golan. I think you’ve grown again.”
“Huh? Really? I can’t really tell myself.”
After we left and started walking to the next town, the conversation turned to how long I would have to keep eating like this.
“It’s the mana, isn’t it? It’s gone up a lot compared to when we first started the journey.”
Before we had left, Saifo had said that it was ‘ten times higher.’
I thought he was exaggerating, but now it had gone up even more.
“Well, perhaps that is something else you can ask the Demon King about.”
Demon King Tralzard had lived a long time, and so he knew about many things.
He knew and understood the Demon World so well that he didn’t need councilors. And his strength was just as impressive.
He sounded like some kind of multi hero who could do anything. But he was a Demon King.
“Yes. There is a lot that I want to ask him… However, surely the mana increase is going to stop soon?”
I didn’t get as hungry as I did before.
Before, it was like I was hungry 24/7, but now I only needed about five meals a day.
Uh, was that still a lot?
“That’s true. Things seem to be slowing down.”
“Maybe my body is getting used to it. I also feel like it’s much easier to move now. Like, I’m finally getting back to how I used to be?”
Up until now, it felt like I was wearing an extra skin.
I might as well have been wrapped up in a raincoat. There was a feeling of discomfort, as if I didn’t know how much of it was actually my own body. But it was gone now.
“So, Sir Golan…”
Stomel looked at me seriously.
We had traveled together for quite a while now, and so I was able to read the changes in his face.
“That shield…are you sure it was the right decision?”
I was still carrying the Mana Drain Shield.
I didn’t want Dobroy to keep it.
The mana had seeped out after a few days, and it was now light enough to carry with one hand.
And so I now held it in one hand and the hexagonal staff in the other as we traveled.
They were both weapons I acquired on this journey.
“Well, why not? Spoils of war.”
Perhaps you weren’t supposed to do such things. But I doubt Dobroy was going to go crying to anyone after he lost it during a duel. Of course, I would be amused if he did.
Speaking of amusing, this shield would absorb any mana I sent into it.
Obviously, that made it heavier. It was probably harder as well, but I couldn’t really tell since it was already so hard.
But I was going to meet Demon King Tralzard. So I might need something to defend myself.
And this would be useful if that time ever came.
…No, I had no intention of fighting the Demon King. Really. Do I look like someone who would do that?
However, I’ve always been taught to prepare for the unexpected.
A prevention is better than a cure.
And so we continued to travel like this until we went through the next three towns.
By the time my hunger reached normal levels, we had arrived at the town where Demon King Tralzard lived.
I doubted that General Miralda had foreseen this, but the increase of mana stopped just as we arrived. The timing couldn’t have been better.
“I will send my subordinates to the castle. We can wait at the inn.”
“It will likely take a few days for us to gain an audience with the Demon King. So we’ll have to stay at an inn for awhile.”
“I sincerely hope that you will stay out of trouble until then.”
Stomel looked at me with suspicion.
“Sir Golan. Do you know what it is that you’re wearing?”
Was this a quiz? Well, it was certainly an easy one.
“Dragon scale armor.”
I probably looked pretty smug. But I wasn’t sure why Stomel was asking me such an easy question.
“…It suits you very well.”
“Doesn’t it? After all, it’s the Delphyne’s treasure.”
“The scale that shines on the chest was from the chief. I saw him crying as he sewed it on.”
“I was so grateful for his dedication.”
Perhaps it was no surprise, as we were so close to the Demon King’s castle.
We had wandered into a Dragon settlement before coming here.
And since the Delphynes attacked us, with the intention of turning us into their supper, I helped myself to this armor.
In fact, it was apparently made of scales from the best warriors. But it was unfinished.
Of course, I had them finish it in a rush before we left.
When the chief came to see us off, I could see the mark on his chest where a scale had been removed. Yes, I was very, very grateful to him.
“So, don’t worry about anything.”
I said while giving him a thumbs up.
“A desire for recognition, is it?”
“Where did you learn to say something like that?”