“Lesser Demon King Melvis has awakened, and Lesser Demon King Kyuka has fled. Out of the four countries that invaded from the south, Rous and Lubanga were killed. And the other armies also took heavy losses.”
“…! That is very…”
“Not only that, but it’s said that it was King Melvis’s Adjutants who destroyed Rous and Lubanga.”
“The Lesser Demon Kings who survived have already retreated to their own countries. Things have changed dramatically all at once in the east.”
Demon King Tralzard said with a stiff expression.
Between Melvis’s return and now, messengers had come and gone many times.
Sometimes, they came multiple times in one day. People from other countries would likely be surprised by this.
But right now, Lesser Demon King Melvis’s country was of the greatest interest to Tralzard.
“So, what am I supposed to do?”
“I’ve communicated with your General, and it was decided that we would call back the soldiers that we exchanged, and agree to continue to cooperate in the future… After all, if King Melvis attacked us, it would be a grievous blow for our country. And so I would like to maintain this cooperative relationship.”
Lesser Demon King Melvis’s return had sent shock waves all over the Demon World.
It was the old-timers who were particularly stunned.
You could say that it was those who were alive during his reign that felt it the most.
He was a Great Demon King who fought under the legendary Lesser High King Yamato.
And while he was only a lord of a small country now, he had once ruled over vast territories.
He was someone who was so dangerous that he would destroy countries every time he was angry.
“Call back our soldiers. So that means me.”
“Indeed… Now, haven’t you had enough?”
“Uh, I suppose. It seems to have worked.”
I pulled out my hand from the side of Tralzard’s stomach.
“…I couldn’t even see that last attack.”
“Well, it is my special move.”
I was currently using Tralzard as my training partner.
As I shook off the sticky blood from my hand, I saw Tralzard’s body repair itself.
The recovery ability of Dragons really was incredible.
Due to recent events, Tralzard was thoroughly shaken. And so I asked her to be my partner in ‘Kumite.’
“And what is that?”
“It’s combat training…I think.”
“Oh? Why do you need to train? Just crush your enemy when the time comes.”
“Well, I suppose you can.”
She did not understand its purpose.
In the Demon World, a person’s race was already a good indication of their strength.
It was difficult to understand when you thought of it in human terms. It was much simpler if you compared us to animals.
Bears were strong and rabbits were weak. No matter how hard it might try, a rabbit will never be able to beat a bear.
Similarly, no amount of training would allow a Goblin to defeat a Vampire.
This discrepancy that existed from birth meant that training lost a lot of its purpose.
Furthermore, like Tralzard said, one became stronger when they fought.
By killing an opponent, you would take a portion of their strength.
While it wasn’t much, if you repeated it enough times, you could have an advantage over others of your own kind.
And so it was much better to fight and defeat others than train.
Everyone believed this. Training was a waste of time.
Their very instincts told them that there was a wall that they could not overcome. And they knew what method they had to use if they wanted to become stronger.
No one thought to train for long periods in order to raise their strength.
After all, even intelligent animals like dolphins and apes do not train themselves.
I had never seen an ape do push ups or sit ups. And I doubted they were doing it in secret.
They didn’t train and create new moves in order to become the boss of their pack.
And so it took time for me to make Tralzard understand what I was trying to do. I just told her that it was ‘like a game,’ and asked her to indulge me.
After all, Tralzard now owed me a debt or two
I had uncovered the plot to assassinate Seitry, and stopped it in advance.
And then I had lived in the tower in order to distract the enemy and insure the tactician’s safety.
And when the Celestial World had invaded, I destroyed one of the barrier pillars.
That was the reason I was able to make the usually busy Demon King help me.
“Still, you’ve become much stronger.”
Tralzard said thoughtfully.
I had been completely at her mercy at first, but now we seemed evenly matched when fighting.
Well, she was still holding back.
“They do say, ‘start with the first step.’”
“What the hell is that?”
“…Uh, it’s like casting a spell?”
It was some fable where someone was asked, ‘what should I do to hire a great person?’ and the reply was, ‘if you treat an average person like me warmly, then someone better will come and be your officer.’
I didn’t think that things would go quite so well in real life, but I did feel that it was true that one must ‘start with things that are in reach.’
In my case, I had been poisoned by the Demon World’s way of thinking after evolving.
I had thought, ‘I’m strong as I am, so what would be the point of training?’
It was shocking. Was this how all high-ranking races thought?
Yes, it was no wonder that none of them trained.
And so I started to train with Tralzard. And when not training, I used my time trying to search for other ways to become stronger.
What I spent the most time on was trying to move the mana within my body.
Apparently, it was possible to freely manipulate your internal mana. If you charged your legs with it, you could jump higher. If you did it with your arms, their strength would increase.
And what was most convenient about this, is that it wasn’t a ‘special ability.’
The ‘techniques’ I had learned in my past life were very good when used in combination with these attacks and movements aided by mana.
And so I decided to train so that I could do it without thinking.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say.
Furthermore, by fighting with Tralzard, I was able to learn how Dragons moved and thought. I learned the secrets of their strength.
Surely things would have been different if she went all out, but I still had an understanding of their limits and what made them so amazing.
Up until now, I had seen a transformed Dragon three times.
Two of them were during an invasion from the Celestial World. And one was during the battle against Demon King Janius’s army.
The memories of Miralda and Tralzard were still fresh in my head.
Their overwhelming power. It came from absorbing the mana around them, which they used to temporarily store inside their bodies as they transformed.
It showed me the ‘possibilities of mana.’
That’s why I was practicing taking in the mana around me, and then unleashing it.
I was not likely to be able to use it for anything for a while, but it was my opinion that this kind of steady effort would pay off one day.
“In that case, I will return to my country.”
“Mmmm… You should do that. Send my regards to King Melvis. And do try and avoid invading my country.”
“Yes… But if it does happen, you should run. I doubt there will be anything that I can do.”
All it took was a little teasing, and her eyes grew watery.
I didn’t know why, but I found it adorable. Though I would never say it.