“Indeed. But why would I need to escape?”
“I am about to bring this place down with an explosion. But you cannot teleport away with magic.”
“Is that right?”
Gottlieb said with a grin and then he began to chuckle.
“…You intended to die from the beginning.”
“Yes. Your plan with the explosives is great, but you do not know how to handle them. It must be me who remains here.”
Gottlieb said as he pulled out an amulet from his pocket.
It was some kind of remote control device.
He pushed it, and the other exit was closed.
The monsters witnessed this with shock.
They had finally realized that they had been lured here.
I watched as they swarmed around Sharltar and seemed to discuss what to do.
Sharltar was gritting his teeth and looking at me.
I felt rather good, but I didn’t want to look at him.
I just had to ignite the bombs, but I couldn’t do that with Gottlieb around.
I clenched the amulet that I had prepared myself, that would be used to trigger the explosions.
“Oh, is that an amulet with Ignition magic?”
“It is made to trigger with a slight delay.”
“And so you can teleport away in the meantime.”
“Yes… Though, I can no longer do that.”
“Why is that?”
“You know why. It is because of you.”
“Demon Lord Ashtaroth is supposed to be clever. I had heard that he was a realist.”
“It is my opinion that those who believe being a realist or Machiavellian means being stone cold and ruthless; they will one day fall.”
“I see. But that is what I believe. Perhaps that is why I will die here.”
“I won’t let you die so easily. We can continue to fight here. When one of us can no longer fight, that is when I will trigger the explosion.”
“No, I cannot allow you to do that. You must live longer than that, Demon Lord. You cannot die in this dark cave. One old man is enough.”
Gottlieb said. Then he pulled out a crystal sphere from his pocket.
It was filled with magic.
“Only I can use this crystal ball. It was something left to me by my ancestors. The truth is, the explosives here carry much more destructive power than a hundred-meter radius. You will not be able to escape it even if you teleport.”
“…Gottlieb. Did you know from the beginning…”
“You overestimate me. I had no feelings towards you, a Demon Lord I had only just met. I was fine with your death, if my people would be saved. I suppose it was the wrong type of Machiavellianism, as you would say.”
The dwarf laughed with self-deprecation.
“However, I saw you as you protected complete strangers. The compassion you showed while shielding the dwarves on the battlefield. I could not help but be moved.”
Gottlieb said and then ended with,
“Perhaps it is not right of me to request this, as I was false to you. But please, take care of my people. Take them to your castle city and protect them. They are good fighters, good architects and craftsmen. They will have a future under you.”
Then he crushed the crystal sphere.
It shone brightly in his palm.
When that glowing hand came to rest on my shoulder, I knew.
He had left his people under my charge.
I would teleport from here.
He would stay and die.
I knew it all.
But the cry only echoed in the hollow place that I had teleported to.
Gottlieb looked peaceful during my last glimpse of him.
I could hardly believe that it was the face of someone who was about to die.
I don’t think I would ever forget that face.
Tears ran down my cheek.
It had never happened since I was reincarnated.
Demon Lords could cry.
They could feel the pain of losing a friend. They cried.
It was thanks to Gottlieb and the dwarves that I learned this.
I gritted my teeth and listened to the faraway explosion.
It sounded almost like the bells of heaven as they greeted my friend.
Translator: Thanks for reading. That’s it for the second arc. Please rate/review etc if you enjoy the series.