In the Demon World, there were two Great Demon Kings and eight Demon Kings who owned land.
And it was said that these Demon Kings hated each other greatly.
“Maybe it’s to keep them in check.”
In order to become a Great Demon King, you had to rule over several Demon King countries.
In other words, you had to be quite bold. However, that was also a good way to earn the wrath of the surrounding Demon Kings.
So it was difficult to act boldly, even if you really wanted to.
“They must put a lot of thought into deciding who they will fight.”
Let’s say you just happen to be able to defeat an enemy Demon King. That alone won’t cause the surrounding countries to act.
In the meantime, you acquire one Demon King’s country.
It was a quieter way of extending your territory, compared to invading small country after small country, or antagonising multiple Demon Kings.
Every Demon King had to keep the others in check and wait for the right opportunity.
It was a rule they adhered to.
I was currently in the audience hall and waiting for Demon King Tralzard’s arrival.
This meant that I was kneeling with my head lowered. Why was he taking so long?
Apparently, I was to be the first person to gain an audience today, and so the Demon King was still resting.
Lucky you. I thought with annoyance. Then there was suddenly a commotion towards the back.
I braced myself for the long awaited moment, and then a presence suddenly appeared behind me.
I jumped back and held up the Deepsea Dragon Sword. It was all instinct.
The languid atmosphere disappeared in a flash.
I was confused.
An old woman wearing a hood was walking towards me slowly.
She slowly walked past me…and sat on the throne.
Before I knew it, she was surrounded by guards.
I felt something in the pit of my stomach. It was overpowering.
And it had nothing to do with mana levels.
A kind of overwhelming pressure that only came from the strongest.
This was the real thing.
Someone who could extinguish my life in an instant.
I understood this immediately.
People who are under such a spell usually have three options. Go mad, fall into despair, or run away.
I quietly exhaled and then put away my sword.
I had come here today with the hexagonal club and Mana Drain Shield on my back, and the Deepsea Dragon Sword at my waist.
And after much consideration, I wore the Dragon scale armor.
It did occur to me that this could be a bad idea, since I was going to meet a Dragon. But it was a risk worth taking.
I had to protect myself if something happened.
“May I introduce myself.”
“I am Golan. I have come from Lesser Demon King Melvis’s country.”
The overpowering aura from earlier was gone.
Ultimately, it seemed like Demon King Tralzard just wanted to test me.
It happened a lot in comics and cartoons, but I didn’t think it would actually happen here.
In fact, the reason that I was able to stand it, was because of my knowledge.
There would be no reason to fear if you knew the gun that was pointed at you was a blank.
It was because I quickly understood that I was being tested, that I was able to stay calm.
That’s all it was.
“I am grateful that you’ve granted me this audience.”
I said in as calm a voice that I could muster.
“Good. I heard that you evolved into an unusual race. Indeed, this is very interesting.”
This old woman who appeared to be in her seventies was none other than Demon King Tralzard.
I had assumed that she would be a man, but I was wrong.
“I used to be an Ogre. And after I evolved, the name ‘Susanoo-no-Mikoto’ came to me.”
“Every once in a while an Ogre will go through a rare evolution, but… No, there is something more important to deal with first.”
“I’ve received the reports. There were quite a few. I’m sorry for all the trouble you encountered on the road.”
“…! You are too kind.”
“And not only are you forgiven, but you can use them.”
I suppose she knew everything then.
According to Stomel, most of the work was done by her subordinates, and Tralzard didn’t keep track of what was happening. But I suppose she actually did receive detailed reports.
In any case, I did not have to return the shield or armor. At least, I think that’s what she meant.
I felt pretty lucky to have that affirmation.
“…That being said, you will definitely have to pay for the trouble you caused in my town.”
The old woman laughed mischievously.
Damn it. This hag was going to kill me.
I quickly took off my shield and put it in front of me.
Just as expected, a wave of magic shot in my direction.
“…Wait. This isn’t magic. A Dragon’s roar?”
My ears were ringing.
I had only ever heard rumors about this roar.
Among the Dragons, there were some who were able to make their roars have a physical power.
The mana was so thick, that there was an actual, physical and destructive force behind it.
It was said that it could destroy anything. So even this shield would not be enough. I would only be able to guard my front side.
Iron melted at something like two thousand degrees.
If this was ordinary iron, it would have melted already.
I felt like I was in a giant furnace.
Raising my shield like this was only delaying the inevitable.
And the overwhelming destructive force.
My body was being destroyed. Was it atomic resolution?
No. My mana was being taken away.
Just like how your body temperature lowered in the parts of the world that were freezing cold, I was submerged in mana that was too thick, and the mana inside of me was being drained out.
“If this continues, my body will die.”
I was frantic. My very existence would come to an end.
Shit. Shit. Shit!
(Hey, you! We’re in trouble. Can you do anything?)
I called the other person inside of me.
There was no answer. But I didn’t care.
I couldn’t do anything while I was being robbed of mana.
The other me had more mana. Perhaps we had a chance if we switched?
That’s the situation that I was in.
And so I had intended on giving over my body, but my consciousness remained.
The mana around me just grew thicker and more vicious.
And like that, while my consciousness remained, the consciousness of the other me suddenly started to surface.