The Incident at the Demon Castle (Before)
The bottom of a dark, deep hole.
The world of darkness that was full of harmful energies that corroded the Saint and became the food of evil spirits.
It was not the world where apostles and God reigned, nor was it the world where humans ruled over demi-humans.
That’s right, this place was where the beings of evil prevailed, Makai.
It was a world where the sky was covered with dark clouds, and the land was polluted with blood and poison swamps.
In that repulsive world, that structure was different.
It was something that was beautiful to the point that one’s hair would stand on end, yet gave a precise image of death to those that see it.
Formerly the Demon Castle that the Demon Lord reigned over, it is a jet black castle whose lord was sealed by the 『Bearer』 three years ago.
『Demon Castle Solomon』.
In the deepest part of it, a black shadow squirmed about.
「Fufufu……Though this is the second time, it has gone quite well if I do say so myself.」
That thing that wore a robe to make it look like a shadow was a heretic Mazoku that did not join the Six Blade Generals despite possessing Duke-class power.
It was the former Human that, long ago, was enchanted by the radiance of the souls of people and fell into heresy, Umbra.
That body that could be dimly seen from his robe had turned into white bone, and it was understood that Umbra was a Living Dead that was able to move despite having his flesh rotten and fallen off.
「Leaving the soul behind and taking only body out from this firm seal……Most likely, it isn’t possible for anyone besides me.」
The deepest part of the Demon Castle, the Throne Room.
Gazing at the existence that sat upon that throne, Umbra nodded seeming satisfied.
「And then……What do you plan on doing with that body?」
From the darkness, a flame suddenly flared up and in the next instant, a girl with red hair that looked like it was on fire appeared in the Throne Room.
The color of her skin was blue, her eyes were golden, and horns were growing from her head.
It was the Mazoku woman that could freely manipulate flames, Agniera.
And then, that Agniera alternately glared at the shadow of a person that sat on the throne and Umbra.
「Though, dependin’ on the matter and circumstances……I might have no choice but ta completely burn up yer existence, got it?」
Agniera talked without energy, but what was released from that gaze of hers was unmistakably a thirst for blood.
「Fufufu……That would be troubling.」
Compared to Umbra who was fearlessly making a *Kutsukutsu* laugh, Agniera was became more ill-humored the more the time passed.
「However, since this is also something that I cannot fail to do for the fulfillment of my dearest desire……」
「So if it’s fer the sake of your dearest desire, it’s alright ta fiddle around with the “Demon Lord’s” body? ――Don’t fuck with me, ya defective failure.」
Her angry appearance was like that of a raging fire, that Agniera was feared by the humans as such, but now, she was quietly, and cool-headedly angry.
That’s right, the “something” that sat on the throne was without a doubt the figure of the Demon Lord that Agniera knew of.
「I didn’t like ya, and I thought that I wouldn’t ever like ya, but ta think that ya had gone this far. You, just die already.」
Having produced a halberd of flames, Agniera slowly started walking towards Umbra.
Umbra and Agniera, although they are in the same Duke-class level, there was a world of difference in their true strength.
To begin with, the court rank of the Mazoku wasn’t simply about the person’s strength, but was an approximation of how much military force they possessed.
Therefore, there were weak Mazoku even though they had a high court rank, and there were many without a court rank even though they were strong.
However, only the Duke-class had beings that greatly deviated from that framework.
They could bring down a country alone, they could change the terrain alone……Being a match for a thousand, their individual existences themselves were worth an army corps.
On the other hand, Umbra himself did not possess that sort of strength.
Although he had transcended being a Human, he was much too weak to be a Duke-class.
Well then, why was Umbra considered to be a Duke-class?
「Fufufu……, scary, scary. It looks like it cannot be helped……Reincarnation.」
That was because the military force that Umbra possessed was a level or two different compared to the other Mazoku.
A low-ranked Mazoku was ten units, and a high-ranked Mazoku was several hundreds of units, but in contrast with that, the military force that Umbra was in possession of easily surpassed one hundred million.
When Umbra raised up one hand, a lump that looked like a black shadow had changed into a physical substance had appeared in the space between Agniera and Umbra.
The shadow, at the beginning, was small, but it “took in” something and started to swell.
Seeing that, Agniera’s reaction was something plain. Even that strong spirit that made her try to do a fair and square fight didn’t come gushing forth.
Agniera stopped walking, and swung her flame halberd as if trying to mow something down.
When she did, flames flared up, and a flame ran towards Umbra like a snake that crawled on the ground.
In an instant, the shadow ran, and obstructed that flame.
The corners of Agniera’s mouth lifted up.
That shadow had the shape of a person.
With black armor that was made to be easy to move in despite being a full plate armor, and holding a spear that easily surpassed its height in one hand, it was a figure that seemed like a knight.
「Fufufu……This is a pawn that I prepared for anti-Hero use but, is it to your liking?」
Agniera replied to the fearlessly laughing Umbra with silence.
However, that facial expression of hers was that of a wolf that discovered new prey.
When Agniera, who suddenly became motivated, took her stance, that black knight also prepared its spear.
And then, with a space of a few seconds opening up, right when Agniera was about to break out into a run, a voice went into Agniera’s ears and made her stop.
「What might you be doing, Agniera.」
「Aquadine……This doesn’t concern you.」
The Mazoku woman with beautiful blue hair that seemed like it was flowing and possessed horns like that of a sheep, Aquadine had made her appearance.
Being called out by someone in front of her new toy, Agniera’s mood went bad all at once.
「That isn’t the case at all. There are many things that I need Umbra to do for me. He doesn’t have the time to be occupied with the likes of you.」
Aquadine said that with an admonishing tone, but maybe because that irritated her instead, Agniera’s facial expression became even more stern.
「Ah? You sayin’ that you’re interruptin’ my actions?」
「I’m telling you to not get in my way, you muscle brain.」
「……Kill. I’m going to kill you, Aquadine.」
「Hah, saying “kill, kill” whenever you open your mouth, you really don’t amount to much.」
In response to Agniera who created another flame halberd and took a stance with both hands, Aquadine laughed without preparing a weapon.
The moment she was about to start running with her flame halberd at the ready,
A flash of lightning ran over Agniera’s head.
Having defended against that lightning with her halberd, Agniera roared. Having her fight obstructed twice, Agniera’s mood had fallen to its worst.
「Affirmative, my name is Tonitrus.」
Making a *bachiri* (electric spark) sound, that Mazoku made his appearance.
The one horned Mazoku, Tonitrus. He was the Mazoku that boasted of being the fastest.