It’s been three days since I’d given Uriel a taste of oblivion. Right now, I’m back to form and sitting in my throne, making use of my Clairvoyance spell to take a look around several villages in the human lands. I have just one, clear goal in mind, and that’s to find something, anything I might use as a foothold to up my image.
There’s only one way, I think, to do this as quickly as possible, and that’s saving the people from some maligned influence. I’d be ecstatic if I could find a case similar to that of the villagers and the mountain bandits that had happened not too long ago, but I’ve been having tons of trouble just finding one.
There’s another thing that bears mentioning. The MP I’d lost in my fight against Uriel had finally been restored to its fullest this morning. I’d spent 100,000 MP when I’d used Death Sentence, and I wouldn’t call it much of a surprise that it took me more than one night of rest to recoup my losses.
I’d also come across another revelation: eating restored my HP. All thanks to that Uriel, really. He’d whittled it down enough. Now, this is purely conjecture on my part, but I’m willing to bet that eating something that appealed to my tastes would be more likely to speed up my recovery. That actually gives rise to another question: would eating something I personally deemed ‘bad’ decrease my total health? This isn’t a situation I’d come by just yet, so I really couldn’t tell you either way.
An idea pops into my head while I use my Clairvoyance. If you really think about it, isn’t this spell basically the ultimate peeping power? So far, I’ve only been using this spell to take in the village scenery. But it certainly doesn’t seem impossible to focus on something much more specific…
Whoa there, let’s not walk down that road. What am I even thinking? Peeping is, by all accounts, a crime. I hadn’t been blessed with these powers just so I could play the peeping tom.
That’s exactly the point where my gaze wanders all the way to some girl who’s washing herself clean in her tub. I don’t think I need to reassure you that she’s in her birthday suit. She’s also pretty cute. This… This is…!
“Yuuto-sama? Is something the matter?”
Anri’s still kneeling in front of me. The second she speaks, I deactivate my Clairvoyance and spring out of my throne against my better judgement.
“No! Why do you ask?”
“Well, that’s certainly a relief to hear… Your breathing was starting to turn shallow. It worried me a bit.”
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Did it really, I think to myself and place a hand on my face. I decide, more out of repentance than anything else, to keep myself from using the Clairvoyance spell any more today. I’d also like to blame the sheer compatibility of the spell itself with the worldly desires of your average male. Of course someone was going to use this spell to peek!
“Just forget about that. It’s a bit noisier than usual outside, isn’t it?”
Since I’m already standing up, I take the opportunity to walk over to the nearby window and take a look outside the castle grounds. The first thing that jumps out at me is the enormous queue of demons lined up at the castle gates.
What’s going on? Did my castle turn into a ramen shop or something? Can anyone just line up here now?
“Anri. What’s all of this commotion about?”
“They’re all volunteering to join your armies, Sire.”
“The rumors of you defeating an Angel of the Seven Stars have spread like wildfire in the last few days, specifically in the demon lands. Many stray demons that have come across this story wish to serve you, Yuuto-sama.”
Of course. So that’s what it’s all about.
“That’s not to say that anyone can be enrolled into your army, Sire. They’re all thoroughly checked to see if they have the power necessary to join and if they’re at all liable to incur some sort of rebellion. Should they pass, they will join our ranks.”
“I see. It must be hard for everyone else.”
“Oh no, not at all.”
While I’m not against the idea of my rule having a greater reach, I can’t help but worry that the castle rations won’t be enough to sustain everyone. Well, I suppose that, worst-case, I can just use my Creation magic to make some more. Bearing that in mind, I venture to sit back down in my throne.
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Doesn’t really change the fact that I’ve got time to kill, either way. I already decided that I wouldn’t be using my Clairvoyance spell for the rest of the day, at least. This’ll probably just turn into another full day I spend in this hall.
Is there anything I can do? I’ve played so much Jenga I’ve gotten sick of it. I should probably just find a different game to play. After giving the matter some thought, I finally strike my palm when something comes to mind.
“Anri. Why don’t we play some dominoes?”
“…Dominoes, my Lord?”
Anri tilts her head in confusion.
By way of demonstration, I use my Creation spell to conjure up heaps and heaps of domino tiles. It’s decided. I’m playing dominoes with Anri now. Just look at how huge this hall is; there was practically no end to how we could arrange them. I think I’ll use them to make a huge tulip or something.
“So these are ‘dominoes,’ are they?”
With great interest, Anri begins to arrange the tiles. It looks like dominoes don’t exist in this world either.
“But I fear I don’t quite understand, Yuuto-sama. Why would you play these games?”
“The domino game is an extreme one. It pushes your level of focus to its utmost limits, and if you can’t keep up, you will never see it through to the end. I have no doubt that this focus will benefit us greatly when we confront the enemy. I could say the same about Jenga, you know.”
“I understand. Yuuto-sama, you continue to amaze. I never would have guessed that there was such depth to these games.”
It goes without saying that I’d just improvised and said the first thing that came to mind.
“See that you don’t trip over them; they’ll fall over. Everything will have been for naught if you do.”
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“I hear and obey.”
While I give Anri her instructions, I’m already dead set on lining up these domino pieces. If an outsider were to see their High King like this without any given context, they’d probably be in for a really surreal experience.
Hours go by. I wipe the sweat off my brow and take a look at how far we’ve gotten. We haven’t had any sort of major toss-up yet. I can feel us getting closer to completion.
“Anri. Just hold out a bit longer.”
Her response is rather lively, full of energy. So far, Anri’s been nothing but completely respectful of my orders. I’d ask nothing less of my closes acquaintance.
But just the thought of being so close to the end makes my hands shake. Oh boy. I’m getting nervous. Just calm down. Concentrate. Take your time. Just line them up, nice and easy. Just a little more and I’ll have the greatest feeling of accomplishment I’ve ever –
That’s when someone decides to open the door to the great hall with no warning, their voice flying in alongside them. Taken by surprise, I mess up my next domino placement and tip over the line of dominoes in front of me. And here comes the punchline: the falling dominoes kick-start a chain reaction that spreads across the whole domino chain, each of them hitting the ground.
“Ah…! No, wait…!”
No, this isn’t the end! I can still make it! My hand swiftly rushes forward, intent on impeding the reaction. Just when I do that, however, my foot strikes at a piece that had been behind me. Now the other side of the line’s falling over too.
Everything I’ve done! All of it for nothing! Isn’t there some kind of spell for this?! Well even if there is, it’s much too late now. Every single domino falls over before I can snap out of my stupor.
My shoulders slump and I despair. This is the first time since my reincarnation that I’ve been hit by such irrevocable damage to my psyche. My DEF rating of 99,999, as it turns out, does zilch to ward off psychological scarring.