“The other two Demons of Ruin are in the process of retrieving the Hyutlle’s horn and the Ghiraph’s wing. They should make their way back here upon succeeding.”
“…What about that other thing?”
“As far as the Endard’s Eye is concerned, and I can’t apologize enough for this, we have yet to ascertain the Endard’s location. A group of demons has taken it upon themselves to investigate. They will retrieve it the moment they discover its whereabouts.”
I make a silent prayer, hoping that it’s never going to be found.
Should we, after all, have all four and meet the requirements to create this ‘Black Mist,’ then humanity’s destruction is pretty much guaranteed, isn’t it? Before any of that can happen, I have a duty to improve my public image until I can bring about coexistence between humans and demons.
“Peta, that reminds me. Reports claimed that you should have made it back two days ago. What kept you?”
I can’t say for sure if it’s just her being sore about losing every single round of rock-paper-scissors, but Anri’s question comes out just a little too pointed.
“Well, ya know, I thought it’d be kinda boring if I came back with just the story of how I got the Gandol’s Horn. That’s why I took some time off and destroyed a couple of villages in the human lands. Sure set me back though, huh?!”
WHOOOOOOOA THERE! How can she even say that with that cute face?! That’s just going to make my whole plan go up in smoke!
“I jus’ wanted to make Yuuto-sama happy, ya know? I did my best!”
“Well… If that’s the case, I suppose I can bear to forgive you. Nothing satisfies Yuuto-sama more than exceeded expectations.”
What part of me looks satisfied?! Don’t you dare put words in my mouth!
“Yay! I got Yuuto-sama to praise me! I’m so happy!”
No, come on, I didn’t even say anything, did I? I feel light-headed, almost enough to keel over, but I find it in me to resist.
“…I must admit, Peta. You did fairly well. But do abstain from destroying human villages from here on out.”
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“Huh? Why, what’s wrong with that?”
“…You already know that I plan to render all of mankind extinct. If you keep being so eager, then there’ll be so few left for me to destroy. I wish to hear the screams of as many humans as I can.”
Sure, let’s just go with that.
“Oh, I get it! Sure thing!”
“You never cease to astound, Yuuto-sama. I must admit, I’m looking forward to their agonized melody myself.”
Once I’m sure that they’re both satisfied with my answer, I calm down.
“Seriously though, Yuuto-sama! You’re super popular right now! I was so surprised when I saw demons lining up to join your army!”
Peta opens a window and leans forward, dipping her upper body low. Crap. I’m this close to seeing the inside of her skirt. I make it a point to avert my gaze, but I can’t keep my eyes from darting over at random. Are those… light blue…?!
“It’s only to be expected, considering Yuuto-sama’s natural dignity and splendor. I wouldn’t be surprised if our forces have more than doubled at this point.”
“Woah! Now that’s what I call exciting! Huh?”
Peta plants her feet to the floor, and her gaze moves to the sky. The inside of her skirt is no longer visible. I admit, that leaves me a little disappointed.
“What’s the matter, Peta?”
“Dunno, looks like there’s a bunch of crows flying towards us.”
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“Hold on; I don’t think they’re actually crows. I mean, they’ve got white wings and everything – oh! That’s a whole flock of angels!”
Anri and I follow her gaze, staring up into the sky. And, just like Peta said, a large flock of angels is flying straight towards out castle. There’s a lot of them, too. About five hundred… no, more like a thousand. The demons outside finally take notice, turned on their heels, and scattered.
“Really now. First that Uriel, now a whole army. These angels sure have a lot of time on their hands.”
A good moment to remind myself that I’d been doing nothing but playing Jenga and Dominoes. The door to the Great Hall swings open, and a lone demon rushes in, looking frazzled.
“I-I have a report! A swarm of angels is closing in on us! We think there might be up to a thousand of them!”
“I know. Get to the demons outside, tell them to take refuge in the castle. Anri. Peta. We’re going.”
“I hear and obey.”
With the castle entrance completely overrun by panicked demons, Anri, Peta, and I just jump through the window and let ourselves fall, finally landing right outside the castle grounds. The body of a High King sure is something, though. I’d fallen a good ten stories before hitting the earth, and I’m not even grazed.
“There she is! That’s the woman Ceal-sama told us about!”
“Would ya look at that?! She’s doin’ us a favor, comin’ right out to see us! Guess we won’t have to force her out!”
“Don’t kill her! Take her alive and bring her back to the Luminous Fort!”
That’s the general gist of what I can pick up from the conversing masses. I’d always pictured angels as these soft-spoken, articulate creatures, but it doesn’t look like this world operates on that kind of logic. I’d thought something similar during my encounter with Uriel, namely that I’d have preferred it if he’d taken a more angelic tone to heart.
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“These angels appear to be here for me.”
“…You’re right. I wonder what they’re planning.”
“I assume they mean to take me hostage. After all, I’m the one who is closest, to you, Yuuto-sama. They likely wish to use me as a bargaining chip, or perhaps they’d rather torture me to extract information, likely pertaining to your weaknesses. Something along those lines, I’m sure. Little do they know that you have no weaknesses, foolish as they are.”
I’m not entirely sure if it would qualify as my personal Achilles’ heel, but I do have one shortcoming I know of, and that’s the fact that I’m still a human on the inside… and the only one who knows about that is Rina, my ‘sister.’
My point is, capturing Rina instead of Anri would probably be much more beneficial to these angels, but I doubt they have any way of knowing she even exists.
“Hm… Looks like they’re all lesser angels. Doesn’t look like any of the Seven Angels are here, either.”
“They’ve learned from Uriel’s demise at my hands. The Seven Angels will make no move of their own, but they still have it in them to send a horde of their inferiors, do they? Then I will show them that even an army of ants is no match when faced with elephantine might…!”
“Please, Yuuto-sama. Still your hand.”
Anri interjects before I have the chance to unleash one of my spells. Shame. I’d been so close to looking cool…
“I am the one they want. So please, leave them at the mercy of our own magic.”
Both Anri and Peta stand in front of me.
“Oh? You want me to leave it to the two of you, then?”
“While I won’t say the same for one of the Seven Angels, there is no need for you to sully yourself with these pawns. It would be quite the predicament for us, were we to leave everything in your care.”
“You heard her! You just sit tight, Yuuto-sama! You can play one-man rock-paper-scissors to pass the time!”
“…Very well then. Anri, Peta. I’ll leave you to it.”
That reminds me. I’ve been with Anri ever since I came into this world, but this is the first time I’d be seeing her actually fight. This is as good a chance as any to take a look at what these girls can do.