My men opened a path of blood as I walked towards it. I thanked them just as I arrived at the door.
But just as I placed my hand on it, Fuma Kotaro appeared like the wind.
“Demon King. Are you going inside?”
“Yes. I’m going to kill Decarbia. Well, I may accept his surrender as well.”
“I see. Then I shall help you.”
Kotaro changed from the maid disguise into his ninja attire.
“Thank you. Let’s see what the strongest ninja can do.”
I grinned and then destroyed the door.
I could have just opened it, but these kinds of theatrics were important. It might scare him, at least. Unfortunately, he turned out to be less of a coward than I thought.
Not only did he look at us expressionlessly from his throne, but he didn’t even speak.
…Also, he was floating.
This was because Decarbia wasn’t a person. He was some kind of object that was shaped like a pentagram.
“What is that?”
I asked. My walking database and maid replied.
She should have been with the rest of the men in the town square, but she had followed us into the castle at some point.
Damn it. But it was the right decision.
She quickly explained before I could demand why she was even there.
“Demon King Decarbia is rare amongst Demon Kings. He is not human.”
“That thing, is really him? Decarbia?”
“It is. He is special among the 72 Demon Kings. An aberration among aberrations.”
“I see. I can only hope there are not more of them. So, can this starfish thing talk? Can we communicate with it?”
It was the starfish that answered.
“To call a Demon King a ‘starfish.’ You are quite rude, Demon King Ashtaroth.”
“I see that you can.”
“Yes. I may be an aberration, but I am just as intelligent as you.”
“And yet you were very quick to fall for my little trick.”
“…I was blinded by gold. Besides, your imitation magic was very advanced.”
“Well, it was made by materials from a Demon King and the best craftsmen worked on it.”
“And I doubt I would have thought of such a plan myself. You are a tricky one, you are.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
I bowed as if I was asking a lady to dance with me.
Then I pointed two fingers into the air.
“There are two actions you can take now. You can have the honor of dying against me in battle. Or you can work for me. Now, make your decision.”
“Neither of them are desirable.”
“And so I shall take a third action.”
And with that, Decarbia’s body began to glow.
Apparently, he meant to beat me in battle.
It was likely a decent option for him.
Of course, the castle had all but fallen. But he could still turn things around if he killed me in battle.
The tide would turn in just one stroke.
While I couldn’t blame him, I wasn’t about to lose to a starfish.
And so I enveloped my body with magic and prepared to fight.