○ Lesser Demon King Melvis’s Country
Melvis was sitting on his throne with his eyes closed, deep in thought.
There was no one nearby. His Adjutants would not allow anyone to get close.
And so the throne room was very quiet.
Suddenly, Melvis opened his eyes and asked in a suspicious voice.
“What is it?”
However, there was nothing. No one was there.
“We were beaten.”
The voices were from his Adjutants, Jikae and Manny.
They were Eternal Invisibles, and no one but Melvis was able to see them.
“By Farneze? She must have grown significantly in just a few hundred years.”
In Melvis’s memory, there had been a wide gap in strength between Farneze and his two Adjutants.
“But she hasn’t.”
“Yes, she hasn’t.”
The two frantically tried to make excuses as Melvis glared at them.
“You challenged her and lost. Now stop warbling like the weak.”
The voices became quiet.
Melvis knew that it was they who had antagonized Farneze.
They had always been like this. They would challenge others and often kill them.
—They died because they were weak.
That’s what they would say, indifferent and without remorse.
In that case, they should take their own defeat very seriously. That was what Melvis thought.
“She isn’t stronger.”
“Yes, she isn’t.”
But they continued to try and explain, and so Melvis suddenly became interested, and asked, ‘what do you mean?’
“There was one other person.”
“Yes, someone else.”
Apparently, one of her men was with her.
Melvis could not remember any names in particular.
“He said his name was Golan.”
“He was called Golan.”
“Hmm…Golan. I’ve never heard that name.”
It must be someone who wasn’t around when he was awake then.
“He could see us.”
“No, he couldn’t.”
“He couldn’t see us.”
“He did see.”
“Our attacks landed, but didn’t.”
“They didn’t, but did.”
It seemed like they wanted to say that they landed at first, but then they were unable to hit him later on.
(Did he learn while he was fighting?)
As Melvis pondered on this, another figure entered the throne room.
It was Farneze.
“Silence, you two.”
“What? I don’t want to.”
“Yes, I don’t want to.”
But he glared at them, and they quickly closed their mouths.
Farneze walked up to Melvis and knelt in front of him.
“The corps that was sent out to Demon King Tralzard’s country will be returning soon. Their Commander returned ahead of them with a message from Demon King Tralzard.”
—Let us continue to be friends.
Farneze repeated the words she had heard from Golan.
“I see. …And? What is the name of this Commander?”
I made a report about my return and relayed the message.
And since I had no business at the castle, I headed back to my homeland.
The Ogre village was about five days away on foot.
“I suppose I’ll run then.”
But due to my fight with Jikae and Manny, my body was covered in small wounds.
“They sure worked me over. I’ve been pierced and crushed.”
I had tried to return the favor, but I wasn’t sure how effective it had been.
After all, I couldn’t see them.
“Well, better not run at full speed.”
I was injured. And so I decided to hold back a little as I ran.
“Hah…ha…hah… This is not a bad pace.”
And so I jogged for the entire day.
By night fall, I had covered more than half of the distance.
But I would have to sleep outside. Which just meant rolling over under the shadow of a tree.
And so I ate some of the food I had bought in town and then lay down.
“Still, that was a tough fight.”
Recently, I seemed to have gotten used to fighting in the Demon World, and so I rarely thought outside of simple terms. Were they strong or weak? That was it.
“But that’s no use.”
In order to survive in the Demon World, I’d need to acquire a more all-encompassing type of strength.
So that no matter the situation, and no matter how much of a disadvantage I have, I could either win or run away.
That was the secret to survival.
“I’ll have to train from square one again.”
It was with such thoughts in my head that I closed my eyes.
The next morning.
The wounds on my body had mostly faded away.
The larger ones were still there, but the bruises and gashes were hard to see.
“Alright, I can increase the pace so that I’ll arrive within the day.”
And so I ran down the road.
My body felt lighter than it did yesterday. It was proof that I was recovering.
As I skipped lunch and kept running, I was able to arrive at the village before sundown.
“Who the hell are you?”
Two Ogres glared at me near the village’s entrance.
“Ah, Ben and Dadas. It’s me. Golan.”
“Eh? How do you know the name of our chief… Wait, are you really Golan?”
“That’s right. Don’t you sense the connection through our mana?”
“…Ah, yes. Maybe.”
Everyone in this village was my subordinate.
We were connected through the Orb of Control.
If you were close by, you could follow the mana in your own body and see that it led to mine.
“As you can see, I’ve come home.”
“I see. So all the others must have died then.”
“They’re alive! Well, not all of them. But I just came back ahead of the others.”
I had forgotten how quickly Ogres accepted the deaths of their friends.
“Well, welcome back. So, why do you look like that?”
“I know that, you idiot.”
They called me an idiot. An Ogre called me an idiot.
“Well, uh. It happened after numerous and dangerous battles.”
But I had also fought many dangerous battles after it… Was I cursed?
It was too late to complain.
“Indeed. That must have been hard.”
Ogres died easily.
Experiencing numerous battles would lead to evolution, but they often died before it could happen.
Yes, almost all of them died.
Surviving all of that and evolving was like winning the lottery in a way.
And so it was no wonder they felt that it ‘must have been hard.’
“In any case, I’m going to my house in order to rest.”
And by that, I meant sleep.
I had been running ever since I left Tralzard. And then I fought some weirdos and ran all of the way here. I was tired.
I would want to rest for at least two to three days before inspecting the village.