At last, the day to meet [Despair] Demon Lord Belial was here.
I waited for his arrival in my estate. Together with me in the room were Kuina and Ruhe.
“Patron, I’m to detect any lies, right?”
“Yeah. Let me know whenever he tells a lie, no matter how trivial of a lie it is.”
“Ok. I’ll make sure to pay attention not just to the emotions in his voice, but also to the beating of his heart and to all the other sounds his body makes. No lie shall escape me!”
Ruhe, being an R’lyeh Diva, was nearly flawless when it came to matters about sound.
We had tried it several times, and each try was a success. Putting aside Kuina and Rorono who were both rather clumsy at lying, Ruhe was able to see through the lies of monsters who excelled at concealing their emotions, like Aura and Duke.
“…You know, I’ve always wondered: if you have this ability, instead of the flying dragon races, why not play a competitive kind of game like cards?”
In addition to the roulette games and the races, our casino was also offering games similar to blackjack and poker.
Given her ability to see through other’s lies 100% of the time, Ruhe should be able to win quite easily.
“Hmm, yeah, but then, that’ll be no fun. I want excitement, I want thrills! And games where no one can tell who’s going to win really gets my blood flowing. When I win, I get this most wonderful high. And even when I lose and get all depressed, I still crave for it. Winning a game with absolute certainty is no fun at all! And you can’t change my mind about that!”
“You really are a hardcore gambler, aren’t you?”
Upon hearing what she said, I realized she wasn’t playing for the money, but rather for the excitement that gambling brings. If one wasn’t willing to risk it all, they wouldn’t be able to gain it all, or so they say.
Besides, her win rate in the races wasn’t so bad. It was decent, even. The only reason she was broke, aside from her extravagant luxuries, was that she tended to go all in with her bets, meaning she was bound lose all of her earnings at some point or another.
“Fufun, so you finally understand the greatness of Ruhe-chan, the genius that descended into darkness!”
“Your tangent aside, I’ve always known you were great.”
I said so and then turned my head away from the smug-faced Ruhe.
Well, as long as she wasn’t bothering anyone in Avalon, she could do whatever she wanted. She was a monster and thus couldn’t starve to death, meaning she could forever be penniless and still be fine.
While we were talking like that, a knock came from the door. Upon receiving my permission, a maid Mythological Fox entered.
“Procell-sama, [Despair] Demon Lord Belial has arrived. …however, a powerful monster is escorting him. Should we let him in like that?”
“Kuina’s here, so there’s no problem. It’ll be weirder if he didn’t have someone to accompany him.”
“Yeah ♪ Leave it to Kuina! Anyone who dares to lay a hand on Oto-san would be burned to ashes!”
The last time Belial was here, he was alone.
Rather than for intimidation, I wagered that his escort was more to show the power he could offer.
Either way, with Kuina and Ruhe nearby, we could handle it.
The Mythological Fox bowed her head and then exited the room.
I wonder what kind of monsters he uses?
The Mythological Fox had guided Belial and his escort monster to the room I was in.
“Procell-sama, it’s been a while! I’ve been so, so, so excited for today, the day we meet again! Though I guess I’m more anxious than excited. I mean, I keep thinking what if I got carried away and said too much, then made you mad. I don’t know what I’ll do if that happens. Ah, but that is not to say that I doubt the vastness of your heart. It’s just, how do I say this, I’m quite the worrywart.”
Suddenly, a flurry of words came my way.
“Well, for now, why don’t you sit down?”
“Yes, sir! Ah, hello, hi, Kuina-chan!”
Even Kuina was getting pulled into his pace.
“Oh, that person wasn’t present last time, right? Woah, and she’s another amazing S rank monster, just like Kuina. And, wow, she’s beautiful! To be served by such a beauty, Procell-sama, I am impressed.”
“Fufufu. Finally, a Demon Lord with good eyes. Patron, did you hear that? He called me a beauty, a beauty! If only you were as honest and praise me like that…”
Ruhe’s nonsense aside, Belial had already known she was an S rank monster before I introduced her.
The higher a monster’s rank, the higher a Demon Lord’s level needed to be to see more of the monster’s Status page. In other words, for him to be able to know Ruhe was an S rank monster, that meant he was at least the same level as I was.
I had expected it, but this confirmation was a valuable piece of information nonetheless.
“It seems you’ve brought someone new as well. I’m curious, why bring a monster now when you were perfectly comfortable without one before. Mind telling me?”
I then shifted my gaze to the monster standing behind him.
It was a beautiful female monster who wore a black, seductive dress. She looked like she was in her early twenties. Her skin was snow-white; and her hair was as silver as silk except for one section that was as black as the darkest night. Rather than contrasting each other, her hair’s two colors complemented each other well. Her most eye-catching feature though was her jet-black wings.
At that moment, I also took a look at her Status.
Race: Fallen Angel Lucifer
- Physical Strength: C
- Endurance: C
- Agility: B
- Magic: A++
- Luck: A++
- Special: S
- Angel of Light and Darkness: Allows the use of Light and Dark magic, as well as magic that combined the two. The skill also boosts the output.
- Those close to Divinity: Boosts (small) all stats of ally angel-type monsters who are in the same dungeon room as the skill user. Meanwhile, all non-angel-type monsters suffer (small) penalties to all their stats.
- Fall From Heaven: By sacrificing one’s angel-related attributes as well as their aptitude for light magic, one will gain tremendous darkness powers. If this skill is used three times, from being a fallen angel, the user will become something else completely.
- Summon Divine Tools: Allows the summoning and use of the moonlight bow as well as weapons forged by the stars.
- ???: ???
Based on her level, she was most likely an A rank monster that could level up and had leveled up as much as possible. I had no idea if she was one of his [Monsters of the Covenant], but either way, the fact that she had a name meant that she was a special monster.
Her abilities were both easy to use and powerful. She would definitely shine as a commander of an army composed of angel-type monsters.
And then, there was that hidden skill. Maybe it’s an ability that’s connected to his [Despair] unique skill.
“Why, to give you a glimpse of the strength that I possess, of course! This girl is Ubel the Fallen Angel Lucifer, one of my [Monsters of the Covenant]! Also, we’re in love! Hey, Ubel, greet Procell-sama, too. And do it cutely, while you’re at it!”
Ubel, the angel who preferred to stand behind Belial rather than sit down, then bowed.
“I am Ubel. I am one of Belial-sama’s [Monsters of the Covenant]. I am his lover. And I am his blade. I look forward to the day I enter a battlefield with both you and my master.”
Even her bowing was elegant. Stolas’s Rozelitte was also an angel-type monster, but the impression they gave were worlds apart.
“Pleased to meet you. I’m Procell. [Creation] Demon Lord Procell. And this here is the otherworld songstress, Ruhe the R’lyeh Diva. She’s the top monster in other-dimension related business here in Avalon.”
“If ever there’s the chance, come listen to my songs! You called me beautiful, so I’ll make it extra special just for you guys. Moving on, did you say you were lovers!? Tell me more, tell me more!!”
Ruhe, perhaps without thinking first, asked bluntly.
I would have intervened, but to be completely frank, I was quite curious myself.
A Demon Lord and his monster being in a relationship was quite surprising to me.
“Yeah, Ubel and I are indeed in a romantic relationship. More than we are Demon Lord and monster, more than we are master and servant, we are one man and one woman, just two people who fell in love. Why are you so surprised, Procell-sama? Relationships like this aren’t so rare, you know?”
“Ah! Belial-sama, please stop. They can see us, they can see usss.”
Right after talking, Belial pulled Ubel—who was still standing behind him—close and kissed her.
Looking at the two of them, Kuina’s eyes widened and twinkled.
Meanwhile, I cleared my throat. Such a scene was a bad influence on my daughter.
“Oh, sorry, sorry. Force of habit, you know, ahahaha. I’ll just say this: if you focus on only one thing, you’ll fail to notice all the other things. But anyway, what do you think of her? She’s strong, isn’t she?! Those born from my [Despair] are what you might call reverse-type monsters. Like, a holy-type monster will be filled with darkness. Fallen angels and dark elves are good examples, I think. These monsters tend to be more offense-oriented than the “base” monster. And if I may say so myself, all of them are very reliable!”
The [Despair] attribute reverses the base attribute? It looks like depending on the combinations, he could make all sorts of monsters.
“She could level up and had leveled up to the max, so yeah, she’s impressive, alright. For such a strong monster to be one of your [Monsters of the Covenant], I think I now have an idea of just how powerful you are.”
It was rather easy to make errors in choosing one’s [Monster of Covenants].
There were a lot of Demon Lords that would understandably choose the very first monsters they had made, regardless of its strengths and merits.
However, Belial did not only choose an A rank monster—which he might have waited for first considering a monster’s rank was determined randomly in normal circumstances—but he also made her be able to level up more levels for the price of starting at level 1, instead of making her have an already high but unchanging level.
And then, her being at max level indicated that she had gained a vast amount of not just experience points, but also of actual combat experience.
It was probably then safe to assume that the rest of his war potential wasn’t too far off.
“Wow! I’m so glad you praised us! Wow! Ahem, well, as you see, I’m pretty strong, so Procell-sama, please let me fight side by side with you!!”
His eyes sincere, [Despair] Demon Lord Belial looked straight at me.
I looked back at him and them gave Ruhe a sideways glance. Ruhe nodded, which I took to mean that Belial was being serious and truthful with his offer to fight with me.
“Before I give an answer to that, there are a few things I’d like to confirm first, if that’s fine with you. I’ve heard that way back then, you had accomplished a lot. Perhaps too much because, like me right now, you had earned the attention of several Demon Lords to the point that they had decided to band together and target you. And to get out of that bind, I heard you asked for someone’s help.”
“My, you’re quite well-informed. It’s all true. Back then, I was weak and couldn’t handle the problem by myself, so using my parent Demon Lord as intermediary, I contacted another Demon Lord and begged for their help.”
“Can you tell me who that other Demon Lord is?”
My intuition was telling me that it was the [Black] Demon Lord. If so, it wouldn’t be surprising if he used that opportunity to turn Belial into a puppet of his.
[Black] and I were about to face against each other in a [War] when he got killed by somebody. It was hard to believe that such a thing was just a coincidence.
That led me to think that he was still alive somewhere and plotting against me.
…and if I were him, I would be doing something like offering a powerful ally to my target who was presently desperate for any ally.
“The one I begged for help was [Light] Demon Lord Marbas. He was a truly great Demon Lord. He wasn’t just strong, he was also a noble, deeply benevolent Demon Lord. I’d even say he was like a second parent to me. Without looking down at me for my cowardice and without asking for something in return, he saved me during those desperate times.”
I had heard a few things about [Light] Demon Lord Marbas from Marcho. According to her, he was incredibly strong. So much so that he was once regarded as one of the three strongest Demon Lords. But then, five years ago, he was killed.
When I glanced at Ruhe, she gave me a nod. It seemed that this time as well, Belial was speaking the truth.
“I only have one more question: are you a collaborator of the [Black] Demon Lord?”
It was brief, but there was definitely a pause.
And for some reason, I felt that the atmosphere changed.
After that pause, Belial, with a smiling face, answered my question.
“No, I am not a collaborator of the [Black] Demon Lord.”
“……sorry for all the weird questions.”
“No, no, don’t be. It’s important to doubt every single thing! That prudent nature of yours is one of the things that made me adore you, you know!”
Once again, I glanced at Ruhe, but again, no lie detected.
Am I just overthinking this? If so, it’s settled, I’ve made a friend.
“[Despair] Demon Lord Belial, please fight alongside me from now on”
I said so while extending out my right hand.
“Yes, with all pleasure. With you, Procell-sama, I feel like I can do anything! Finally, I can move forward!”
He then reached out his own hand and firmly grasped mine.
After we both smiled, we let go. He then took something from his breast pocket.
“As promised, I offer you my medal. I hope you’ll honor me by using it on something great.”
“And I’ll gratefully receive. Thank you.”
The thought of giving my [Creation] medal in return crossed my mind. I didn’t promise him anything, but I felt I like reciprocating his gesture was the proper thing to do.
Plus, it’ll let him create an S rank monster, if he hasn’t already. Which in turn meant he could buy [Maelstroms] for the corresponding monster that was unlocked. And because Maelstroms produced a monster a day, having it even a day sooner had impact.
I had already promised Ronove one of my medals and I only had one at hand, but I could just make another one next month. Besides, until Ronove gains another crystal, he couldn’t do anything with my medal.
Suddenly then though, Ruhe pulled my hand.
She herself was perplexed on why she did so. No matter how I looked at it, I saw no reason for her to stop me.
…unless it’s her gambler’s intuition that’s telling her to stop me.
I decided to trust her on this, so without getting out the medal from my pocket, I reached my hand out to receive Belial’s medal.
“Now, I’d say our business is concluded. Let me escort you out of the city. Or, if I could tempt you, I can guide you to a few splendid stores and restaurants here in Avalon. You know, to celebrate the formation of our alliance!”
It was a mere instant, but I was certain Belial’s face became distorted. It felt like a small amount of irritation leaked out.
Moreover, Kuina’s fox ears suddenly stood at attention. As I had experienced multiple times before, this was Kuina’s reaction whenever her extraordinary senses picked up something alarming.
“Sorry, but I think I’ll return back home now. All this excitement has made me want to make sweet love to Ubel as soon as possible. But if ever trouble comes your way, please don’t hesitate to call.”
“When that time comes, I will call. But if trouble decides to come your way instead, please don’t hesitate to call either. We are now allies, and I will do anything in my power to help you.”
“Oh, yes, please!”
Like that, I escorted him and his monster up to the entrance of Avalon and sent them off.
“Ruhe, earlier, you stopped me from handing him my medal. Why?”
“My sixth sense told me to. But it’s not just that. I have something a tiny bit more concrete. Patron, after you asked him if he’s a collaborator of the [Black] Demon Lord, he changed. You see, people, even us Demon Lords and monsters produce these rhythms—the beating of our hearts, and all the other sounds our body make—that are unique to each of us. When you asked him, his rhythm changed completely, as though he’s a completely different person.”
Ruhe said so, even though she only half-believed it herself. It was certainly a mysterious thing, but her judgment was most probably right. After all, even I felt the tiny bit of negative emotions that leaked out of him when I didn’t go through with giving him my [Creation] medal.
Moreover, what if the reason he gave me his [Despair] medal for free wasn’t because he believed in me and rather because he wanted me to feel I had to reciprocate and thus give him my [Creation] medal?
Normally, even if it was a trade, I would decline giving out my [Creation] medal. And so, this could be a roundabout method he thought up.
Thinking like that, his irritation made sense.
“We’ve already formed an alliance, so it’s fine even if I delay giving him a medal in order to observe him some more. I don’t think he’ll break the alliance off over something we didn’t promise each other.”
I decided to give him my medal only when I had confirmed he was a true ally.
If he proves even just once that he’s willing to fight until the very bitter end in a [War] against the so-called anti-Procell alliance, I’ll give him my medal.
Unlike Ronove, Belial was an incredibly strong Demon Lord. He should be able to fight just fine without my medal.
TL note: “the genius that descended into darkness” is a reference to Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness, which is a manga about gambling. Or mahjong, to be more specific.
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