Konjiki No Moji Tsukai - Chapter 138
Chapter 138: The Heroes and the Demon Lord, Face-to-Face
The 【Evila Capital: Xaos'】 palace was a large castle that was commensurate with the scale of the country. Although it can be said that the palace is located within the heart of the country, high walls were erected, existing as if to protect the castle.
Below the palaces seemed to be a flowing river. However, if one were to fall in, they would be soon be able to understand it's nature within a single glance. The river, that appeared to be connected to the sea, was flowing into the country.
Of course, in order to enter said castle, one would be required to pass through its gates. If you were to try and enter the castle from elsewhere, you would be regarded as an intruder, captured, and be met with the fate of being sent to prison.
Although there was a large bridge established for the purpose of crossing the valley, a hefty soldier was standing there acting as a gatekeeper. Even though Hiiro Okamura's party had crossed over the bridge and were currently entering the castle, they had, as predicted, felt various feelings from the soldiers' gazes.
That was to be expected. Although Hiiro, who was active in the war, was an exception, there were 『Evila』 that they had clearly not seen before, as well as beings of other races that had dived through the gates. Usually, they would attempt to apprehend such subjects.
In addition, the stares directed towards the human Shuri and Shinobu were particularly hostile, any possible hint of friendliness being undetectable. However, that could not be helped. After all, this time, the humans had betrayed the 『Evila』.
Following this, they had also conspired with the 『Gabranth』 in order to destroy the 『Evila』. As the humans had also assaulted them with complete disregard, they committed such acts believing that they were just.
Although it was undetermined whether or not the soldiers had understood their place or they were issued a strict order by the Demon Lord...no, it was most likely that both had occurred. If they were to handle this situation poorly, it was highly likely that another conflict would arise. Thus, they could do naught but merely glare as they restrained themselves.
As Shuri and Shinobu had a sufficient understanding of the meaning behind those stares, they held downcast, anxious eyes as they contracted their bodies while walking behind Hiiro.
Due to the guidance of the soldiers, Hiiro and co. were brought to a place called the 《Ruler's Room》. There, red carpet was spread out onto the floor, and, further in the back, a chair that looked like a throne existed.
Starting from the throne, a straight road was lined with soldiers on both sides, as if enclosing it. In addition, within close vicinity of said throne, individuals that Hiiro had seen previously were congregated together.
Eveam: 「You did well to make your way here, Hiiro!」
The one who hospitably welcomed Hiiro was the Demon Lord, Eveam. Although under normal circumstances, she would be planting her waist onto the throne with a dignified demeanor, Eveam was currently standing in a similar manner to the others.
Eveam: 「I apologize. Originally, I was planning on heading out, yet, as you can imagine, Marione and the others had objected.」
Marione: 「Of course! Her majesty is the Demon Lord. To have to perform the labor of stepping outside just to show appreciation for a single, mere 『Evila』 is a mistake.」
As Marione spoke thus, Eveam's mouth distorted into a pout.
Eveam: 「That is inexcusable, Marione. Hiiro is not only my lifesaver, but he is also an individual that displayed a great amount of effort for the sake of this country. To express courtesy towards him is only natural!」
Marione: 「Mu(1)......that may be, but.」
As Marione had witnessed the scene where the seriously injured Eveam was instantly cured, he could no longer express any sort of objection.
Shublarz: 「I heard it from her majesty, you know~, you're really strong, aren't you?」
Seeing Shublarz speak seductively while moving her large breasts with a *purun*(2), Liliyn's cheek twitched.
In a small voice-「What the hell's with those breasts......did she stuff something in them? No, it's most likely that those aren't real. If that's not the case, then I......」 - Lilliyn had muttered thus.
Hiiro: 「Stuff like that is irrelevant.」
This was Hiiro's 'slogan'. Obviously, everyone froze as their eyes spread wide open.
Hiiro: 「You've prepared a meal already, yes? Then hurry up and let me eat. I'm hungry.」
It was his indifferent, 'my pace' attitude. As expected, even Marione possessed a blank expression on his face. However, only Eveam and Aquinas had faintly loosened their cheeks.
This was the proof that they had been able to slightly grasp Hiiro's personality, even though they had been exposed to it for a short period of time.
Eveam: 「Aa(3), that's right. Preparations will be finished in a little while longer. However, before then, would it be alright if you were to introduce me to your comrades, Hiiro?」
Hiiro: 「I don't really care, but two of them are not my comrades, you know?」
Eveam: 「......Nn?(4) Eh? Not comrades? What does that......」
As Eveam returned such a question while tilting her neck to the side, Shuri and Shinobu stood before Hiiro and fell onto their knees.
Shuri: 「It is an honor to meet you in this way, Demon Lord, your majesty. 」
Even though Shuri issued such words, she was clearly trembling. Her voice was also shrill and imbued with nervousness. One could grasp that she was tense to quite a large extent.
And as they saw the two girls slowly raise their face, tension ran rampant through not only Eveam, but each and every single one of the 《Cruel》.
Marione: 「W-Wha-!? Y-You bastards are heroes!?」
At Marione's cry, the soldiers simultaneously surrounded Hiiro and the others.
Hiiro: (As I thought, it's come to this......now then)
Hiiro was wondering what would now occur- no, he had already assumed the position of idly observing how the two girls would survive this.
Marione: 「What's the meaning of this, Red Robe! Why are the heroes here! Depending on the circumstances......」
As Marione's thirst for blood smashed into Hiiro, Nikki stood in front of Hiiro as if to protect him while a distraught Mikazuki grasped onto Hiiro's clothes.
Nikki: 「Depending on the circumstances, what will happen? If you are saying that you will injure Shishou, I will not forgive you desu zo!(5)」
A furious Nikki face Marione with hostility.
Marione: 「What's with this little brat......」
Shuri: 「Please wait-!」
At that point, Shuri raised a resolute shout.
Shuri: 「Please......please listen to my story, Demon Lord, your majesty.」
Marione: 「How can you so shamelessly......」
Eveam: 「Marione, please quiet down for a bit.」
Marione: 「B-But, your majesty, these people are heroes!」
Eveam: 「It's fine, this is an order.」
Eveam silenced Marione with a single glance. Following this, she spoke while looking down upon Shuri.
Eveam: 「I believe in Hiiro. They were brought here by that Hiiro. I wonder if there is a reason.」
Although Eveam looked towards Hiiro, he simply had his arms folded and his eyes closed. It was a gesture that expressed that Hiiro had no intention of answering. After glancing at Hiiro, Eveam once again returned her gaze towards Shuri.
Eveam: 「You, you said that there was a story?」
Shuri: 「Thank you......very......much......」
However, Shinobu, who was also on her knees, had noticed that Shuri's physical condition was poor. In addition to the wounds that she had received previously not having been fully cured yet, Shuri was currently being assaulted by a wave of murderous intent from the surroundings while in such a tense-filled scenario, a scenario where their lives could be lost at anytime.
It would not be strange if one were to be both physically and mentally exhausted. Furthermore, originally, Shuri did not possess such a personality that allowed her to easily expose herself to such a situation. It was understandable that the mental load place on her was considerably strenuous.
As Shinobu thought thus, she placed her hand on Shuri's shoulder.
Shinobu: 「I'll take care of the rest. Please rest for a bit.」
Shinobu: 「I've also made my resolve, you know?」
Shuri: 「............I understand. Please take care of the rest.」
And following in Shuri's footsteps, Shinobu began to speak.