Chapter~ (so long…). I don’t have time to read it over right now, so I’ll ninja edit stuff tomorrow. If you’re patient, then wait for tomorrow, if not, then read ahead. I’ll bbe translating a chapter of Isekai Ryouridou for next week (weekend), sso depending on the chapter size, it might be a week to 2 weeks until the next MnGs chapter. Enjoy the wait~
Summary of previous chapter:
Gerbera “What, a peeping tom!?”
Kudou saw the entire thing.
I knew that Kudou and I would meet again someday.
However, I couldn’t imagine that it would be at this kind of timing.
“It’s been a while”
With a smile on his slender face, Kudou greeted us in a friendly manner.
I had no words to reply.
Our relationship is not one where we can just laugh and exchange greetings with each other.
Another monster user.
A boy with the same origin as me, but a different path.
As opposed to me, who leads monsters that have a path connecting our hearts through my power, he chose to get monsters to obey him by placing collars on them through his power, he was an unmistakable enemy.
‘Misfortune does not come singly,’ this must be what that meant.
Even the current situation is too much for me to handle, and now he’s showing up here?
No. He appeared, because it’s a time like this, huh.
Did he come to take advantage of our weakness?
At that moment, Gerbera grabbed my hand.
She gripped it unreservedly. Even to the point of it being painful.
That might not have been girlish, but it was a strength very much like her.
With that, I pulled out the extra strength from my body.
“I’m alright now”
Now that I had more time to think, my head was starting to turn.
That he talked to me like this, means that it seems that Kudou wasn’t going to attack immediately.
If that’s the case, then we might be able to get through this somehow.
Kudou was looking at us being hand in hand somewhat joyfully.
I looked back at him head-on.
“It’s been a while, Kudou”
The first time in two months?
He hasn’t changed from when we separated……no. Has he lost a bit of weight? Or, is it because he changed into local clothes, and he just has a different impression?
It’s something obvious but, the time of two months is flowing equally for Kudou as well. I turned my line of sight to the monsters that were following Kudou.
They’ve also slightly changed.
Because I couldn’t see the giant body of Anton, the queen who created them, within the army of Shadows, I didn’t know about her, but as for the two-headed wolf Berta, unlike before, it had five tentacles extending from all around its waist.
Originally, Berta was a deformed Fire・Fang, a monster from deep within the sea of trees.
Its degree of deformity deepening, is it a characteristic of this monster? Or, maybe it’s because it was discovered through a method similar to kodoku, in which many monsters devour each other?1
“……Seems like you’ve been pretty active huh”
Kudou smiled and nodded to my words.
“Yes, well. I have a purpose after all”
“……A purposes, is it”
A rough bitterness remained on my tongue as I repeated what he said to show my attention.
一一I am the [Demon King]. Humans are not to be saved. They are to be destroyed.
Being oppressed, being hurt, losing their dignity, and in the end after all that, even their lives may be taken…… .
‘I, who control monsters, am a demon king. Humans are a resentful existence.’ The boy who could barely keep himself together by thinking like that, can already no longer live in any other way.
In a way, he’s continued to straightforwardly take action for that for the last two months I guess.
Parts of the results of his efforts, were in front of me.
Namely, in the form of Berta and other selected family members.
“There are some here that senpai hasn’t met before huh. I’ll introduce them. This here, is the [Dirty・Sludge] Caesar (ツェーザー)”
From the cuffs of the clothes Kudou was wearing, something that looked like sludgy green mud appeared.
It’s a monster I haven’t seen before. I guess it’s not a monster that lives around here. The fact that he bothered to give it a name, means that it’s likely more than just a rare monster.
“Next, this here is the [Nightmare・Stalker] Dora”
Prompted by Kudou’s words, the girl beside him stepped forward.
“It is a pleasure to meet you. The other king”
She bows her head in greeting.
Her shadow-like hair, skin, and eyes were all black……however, unlike the Doppelganger army that follows behind Kudou, this girl wasn’t a Shadow herself.
Although her appearance was clearly far from human, she could still be called as human-like within the members of Kudou’s family.
“Dora is a mutant of my offshoot”2
The figure of one of the Doppelgangers changed into that of a boy and spoke.
The tall, solidly built boy was Juumonji Tatsuya一一an offshoot that reflected the will of Anton, the Doppel・Queen, who had copied his appearance along with his monstrous abilities.
Unlike the real Juumonji, the Anton whose fearless face had a machine-like inorganic feel, placed his hand on the black girl’s shoulder.
“It doesn’t have a single ability as an offshoot. It’s a defective terminal for me. However, instead, it has good combat ability. ……Perhaps, it might be able to kill you now that you’re injured and weak, white spider”
“Thank you for the kind words. Well then, as a sign of our acquaintanceship, shall we try it once?”
The air was tense between them as they checked each other out.
Seeing the two of them, Berta raised one of his wolf heads.
“……Stop, Anton. You are in the presence of our king”
Anton’s offshoot, in the form of Juumonji, shrugged his shoulders and pulled back.
Gerbera snorted, and Dora lowered her black eyes.
“It seems that you’ve finished your greetings”
After giving a glance to the brush between both of our family members, Kudou turned his head to me.
“I apologize for not showing myself right away, even though it is senpai’s crisis. After all, the [Idaten] Iino Yuna was there”
Thinking that I was Kudou’s accomplice, Iino had followed me here. If she’d known of Kudou’s existence, she would’ve probably mercilessly beaten him up.
Now that Iino couldn’t move, Kudou decided to come in contact with me like this huh.
“……No, wait. How is it that you know my current situation?”
I was about to be convinced, but I suddenly noticed something strange.
“In the first place, how did you get here? I couldn’t mean that you’ve been having some monster under you tailing me the entire time, right?”
“I wouldn’t act like such a stalker”
“I do not know about that”
Gerbera murmured softly, but Kudou continued without paying attention to her.
“I learned of senpai’s crisis in the town of Seratta. When I was gathering information there, I came upon a fishy story. I luckily even obtained information on [Idaten], so I followed after her. Fortunately, she wasn’t using her own feet, but a horse, so simply chasing her wasn’t all that difficult”
“I see. That’s how it happened huh”
While I was convinced, at the same time, one of the things Kudou said stuck with me.
I wonder, was that also one of the activities that he has been doing for the past two months?
Same as me, Kudou, who leads monsters, has difficulties moving in the human world. And also has a family that can’t easily blend into human society.
Anton, the Doppel・Queen that controls a large number of offshoots.
Her offshoots are able to copy human figures. Unlike the Mimic・Slime Lily, they don’t even need to prey on their targets. Considering that remote control is possible, the convenience of using her abilities for espionage is immeasurable.
Perhaps, the reason that Anton’s body isn’t here, is because she’s in the middle of such activities.
Even though remote control is possible, there’s a distance limit, so the reason why the main body isn’t here being that she can’t reach this far, is quite possible.
Or, considering that there isn’t any sign of any monsters other than the selected family members Berta, Caesar, and Dora here, Anton might’ve gotten some other kind of mission with the other monsters.
“I understand the situation”
Once I had a general grasp of the situation, I decided to get into the main subject.
“So, why’d you go through the trouble of chasing after her?”
“Oya. I believe I told you about that earlier”
I frowned my eyebrows at Kudou’s reply.
True, Kudou spoke about the reason why he came here at the moment he appeared in front of me.
“……You’re here to lend a hand in order to save Lily, is what you said huh”
“Yes. I came here for the sake of helping senpai you see”
Kudou laughed with a smile, seemingly not caring about my doubting attitude.
“I heard about the situation. Senpai’s important slime, was taken away by Takaya, right? If senpai is okay with it, I can lend you the family members I have here”
“……Do you know what that means?”
My opponent is a cheat, the Warrior Takaya Jun. In battle, there is the danger of death.
It’s not a situation where you can just lend your family with a simple ‘pon.’
However, Kudou nodded plainly.
“Of course. In the fight with Takaya, senpai can treat them as his arms and legs”
He didn’t seem the least bit hesitant.
“If you’d like, it’s even okay to use them until they break you know”
His tone, was as if he was talking about expendable items……no.
The truth is that for Kudou, the monsters that serve him, are nothing more than expendable items.
He has a different attitude to his family than me.
Even at Fort Tillia, Kudou threw away hundreds of monsters.
At that time, all of them were monsters without a will, but even if they were special family members with a will, his stance probably wouldn’t have changed.
If Lily and the rest of my family are gems for me, they are rocks to Kudou.
As long as the opponent is hurt when they’re thrown at them, it’s fine. Even if you don’t bother to pick them up, stones are lying all over the place.
When I thought that, I pitied the family members serving Kudou.
However, right now, I can’t afford to hold any sympathy for them.
I lightly shook my head.
“……So, Kudou. What do you want in return?”
Even though they’re rocks to Kudou, they still take time to collect.
He has no reason to give them away for free, it’s only natural for him to ask for something in return.
If so, then it’s probably……
While tucking the thick, muscuous Caesar back into the cuff of his clothes, Kudou searched for a moment.
“Does senpai remember the proposal I made before?”
……As expected, there it came.
It was predictable, but I couldn’t help but frown.
“What you want in return, is for me to join forces with you?”
It was a proposal Kudo had brought up in the past, at the time when we were leaving Fort Tillia.
With me leading the monsters, and Kudou as my follower.
Our stances are different but……no. It’s exactly because we’re different. Me and Kudou’s abilities have excellent compatibility. We can fill each other’s gaps.
That being, the possibility of being able to save, or destroy, this world, which holds the monster-infested sea of trees.
It was only natural that Kudou would be fixated on me.
And, in this case, Kudou’s proposal itself wasn’t ridiculous.
I’ll lend you a hand, so join forces with me. It was actually a fair deal.
I know very well that Kudou’s ability is strong. If I can get his help here, I’ll have a greater chance of success in saving Lily.
However, at the same time, to join forces with Kudou, also means separating from the human world.
Ultimately, that wasn’t something that I could swallow.
However, as if reading my inner thoughts, Kudou opened his mouth before I did.
“I don’t believe that it’s something bad to senpai either though”
His tone was slow, as if trying to tell me something.
“Since coming into contact with the human society in this world, it’s already been more or less two months hasn’t it? Senpai must have figured it out by now as well haven’t you? Which is the correct one to join forces with”
一一Just for the sake of getting something like a monster back, you’re going to kill somebody else!?
In my mind, I remembered what Iino had said to me.
From my point of view, it was an awful thing to say.
However, the real problem, is that she isn’t the only one who thinks like that.
For example. Let’s say that there are two humans here.
One of them has been captured, and will lose their life if left alone.
However, if you offer the life of the other one, the captured human will be saved.
Let’s suppose such a situation.
If an acquaintance of the captured person were to learn of this situation, and they had any sense of decency, they wouldn’t tell the other person “give up your life,” they couldn’t.
They probably wouldn’t arrive at the opinion that it’s inhumane to not give up the other person’s life.
However, what if it wasn’t a human, then what?
If the condition was to offer a monster’s, something non-human’s life, the conclusion would be different, wouldn’t it?
Not to mention, this world is under constant threat from monsters.
That’s the kind of world we’re trying to live in.
It’s true even in the current situation.
If someone heard that someone’s beloved pet was taken away from them, and that they chased after the criminal who stole it with weapons, ready to kill each other, many people would frown, no?
What is a gem to someone, isn’t necessarily so for another someone.
Living with monsters, means living with these countless differences and holding the incomprehension and friction accompanying them.
Sooner or later, something like that will have happened.
The fact that the other party was Iino, who has a strong sense of justice, might have rather even been a lucky thing.
“If you think about the girls in your family, shouldn’t senpai join forces with me?”
There was a certain persuasiveness in what Kudou said.
There was no doubt about that.
“一一Halt thy words”
That’s why, Gerbera’s immediate reply was so heartening to me.
“Thou art on the Path of the Shura. Slay thy enemies, slay thy allies, slay thyself”
Gerbera was glaring hard at Kudou.
“Art thou telling Milord to become like thee? To treat us as stones?”
“……I’m sure it would be easier that way, though”
It must’ve been an unexpected interruption, but Kudou quickly recovered.
“If you’re also one of senpai’s family, then shouldn’t you be happy even to sacrifice yourself for his sake?”
“Nonsense. Even if it may be easy, ‘tis not a joyful path”
Gerbera said bluntly.
“Do not look down on me. The man I have fallen in love with, is not the kind of coward who would turn away from happiness because of difficulties”
“……So you say, white spider”
Anton gave Gerbera, who arrogantly raised her chin, an inorganic look, as if looking at a bug.
“No matter how much you want to, fighting a cheat holder in such a miserable state would be too much of a burden for you. If you’re alone with your master who can’t do anything on his own, wouldn’t you be unable to help that slime?”
“Fun. Miserable thou say. In thy eyes, it may seem like so huh”
Taking a glance down at her reduced number of legs, Gerbera snorted.
“However, that is a big mistake”
Immediately after saying that, from the slender girl’s body, overflowed a torrent of thick murderous intent.
It was just like a spider’s thread. Anton, entangled in it, could not help but tense his body.
“The current me, is strong yes?”
Gerbera said while showing a bewitching smile. Even though she’d lost several of her spider legs, her greatest weapon, she had nothing to do with the misery that Anton spoke of in her provocation.
“After all, my dearest wish has just come true. This is the best condition I hath ever been in. Also, ‘tis because of Milord, that I can bring out my power. Flap not thy mouth as if thou know that he cannot do anything by himself. Milord is not of only that much worth”
“Only your mouth is skillful huh”
The one who opened her mouth in place of the silent Anton, was the mutation of her offshoot, the dark girl Dora.
“Is the white spider’s weapon not her claws, but rather her mouth?”
In response to Gerbera’s murderous intent, both of her hands had transformed into the shape of jet-black swords. Dora said that she doesn’t have the Doppelganger’s ability to copy appearances, but it seemed that she was able to change her body shape freely to some extent.
Seeing Dora’s battle-ready figure, Gerbera breathed out with a ‘hou’
“For the girl birthed by a mere bashful small fry, she came out rather well huh, Lord”
“H, how dare you mock my mother!”
“Rather, I simply intended on giving a compliment to your Lord, who treats thee as a failure though. In Milord’s world, they call this a kite giving birth to a hawk I believe?”3
“You……” (TN: Kisama)
Invisible sparks flew between Gerbera, who became aggressive from me being taken for an idiot, and Anton’s offshoot Dora.
They couldn’t continue their talks like this. In the end, the two Lords decided to step in and stop them.
“Stop it, Dora. Who told you that you could fight?”
“You too, Gerbera”
Looking back at me chiding her, Gerbera shrugged her shoulders. Dora on the other hand, held her throat and fell to her knees. Kudou probably used his power.
“……This has become a strangely murderous development”
Taking away his gaze from the crouching Dora, Kudou turned it towards me.
“Shall we start over?”
I nodded back.
‘Fu,’ a laugh came out.
“But, I feel like Gerbera has said most of what I wanted to say though”
“……that’s to say, senpai as well?”
I declared to Kudou, who had narrowed his gaze.
“Aah. I have the same opinions as Gerbera”
It was kind of refreshing.
There are some parts of Gerbera’s argument that seem to overestimate me, but underlying it all is trust.
As long as that’s the case, responding with mainly that……no. That’s not it. As a man who has feelings for her, it’s natural.
“In the first place, I should’ve already told you before. I’m not a [Demon Lord]. I just Lily and the others’ [Master]”
I can’t follow the same path as Kudou.
That, isn’t the path I should take.
As long as we couldn’t join forces with Kudou, it was decided that I would refuse his offer. In a way, it could even be said that this had been decided since the start.
So, here was the problem.
“If you could, I’d be a great help if you’d let us through here peacefully”
If we’re going to try to get Lily back, it’s highly likely that we’ll have to fight Takaya.
Since that’s the case, it’s best for there to be no unnecessary wear.
I’d like to avoid a battle with Kudou here if possible.
Fortunately, thanks to Gerbera, we were able to show that we have enough strength to fight, even if we get hurt.
If we fight, a corresponding amount of damage will be inevitable, so if there’s nothing to be gained by fighting, even Kudou should have no reason to fight us.
If you think only in terms of gains and losses, Kudou has no choice but to pull back.
……After that, it’s a matter of emotions.
“Yes. I see. ……But, we can’t just back down quietly you see”
In response to Kudou’s words, Berta, who had been quiet up until now, started growling.
Anton, who had copied Juumonji’s form, drew the sword at his waist, and the green sludge Caesar oozed out from the cuff of Kudou’s clothes. Dora, while slightly staggering, stood up, and again transformed hertwo hands into swords.
Looking at them, who had completely entered combat readiness, I sighed.
“……Is that so. It’s a shame”
As I held my sword, Asarina, who had been resting in the back of my left hand, grew long and bared her fangs.
Gerbera cracked her fingers and folded her legs to gather the strength for a leap.
It was a battle I wanted to avoid if it could be avoided, but it couldn’t be helped that it was like this.
Fight and pull through. That’s all there is to be done.
There’s no need to annihilate the opponent. Or rather, to avoid exhaustion, it would be best to escape by force through the gap when Gerbera kicks them around.
It’s okay. I should be able to do this.
It’s not exactly what Gerbera said earlier, but I’m in such good shape that I can’t believe I was so exhausted up until now.
I could even say that I’m in great shape.
The magic power circulating in my body seems to be more active than usual.
This may just be a temporary feeling of powerfulness stemming from the rise of Gerbera’s spirit, but these kinds of emotional things surprisingly can’t be underestimated.
High spirits are great. We’ll break through Kudou’s family here, and then we’ll move on to chasing Lily.
I glared at the obstacle standing before me一一and then, Kudou’s expression suddenly caught my eye.
Kudou was staring at me, with his mouth in a shallow smile, and his eyebrows ever so slightly down.
It looked a bit different from the smile he usually wore.
And yet, envious.
A complex expression, as if all of those were mixed together.
I didn’t know what could make him make a face like that.
After I blinked, Kudou’s face had already changed to his normal pasted-on smile.
“Fu, fufu. Please don’t misunderstand”
With a smiling expression that couldn’t be seen into, Kudou raised both of his hands up in front of his chest, and turned his palm towards us.
“It isn’t that I intend to fight with senpai”
As I was puzzled by his words, Kudo called out to his family members.
“Berta and the others as well. Stop it. Senpai isn’t an enemy”
“My King. What are you saying……?”
Berta, who was even now ready to jump at us, looked back with one of his two heads in confusion. His other family members were more or less the same, and couldn’t hide their confusion.
I felt the same way.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s not that hard to figure out”
Kudou said in a matter-of-fact tone, shrugging his shoulders.
“It’s not like I’m saying that I won’t lend a hand because you’re saying you won’t join forces”
I was drawing blanks.
“It’s a shame that you won’t be becoming an ally, but that’s not a problem. As I said earlier, I’m here to lend you a hand”
As expected, this was strange.
Even that Gerbera, looked a bit let down. I don’t know what Kudo was thinking when he said that, but I can’t grasp his intentions at all.
Those inner thoughts probably showed on my face. Kudou chuckled.
“Don’t be so suspicious. There’s nothing hidden after all”
“Then, you’ll lend me your power, even with no rewards at all?”
“Can you not believe me?”
“……Speaking bluntly, yeah”
“Fufu. Well, to senpai, I suppose I’m an enemy huh. It’s no wonder that you have your suspicions”
Even when he was told up front that he was being suspected, Kudou didn’t seem to particularly care.
As if he had already anticipated that I would say something like that, he continued at his own pace.
“However, to me, senpai isn’t an enemy”
“For me, I would be troubled if senpai were to die because of something so trivial you see”
“I believe that I’ve said this before, but the one I want to join forces with is only the senpai who awakened the same power, at the same place, at the same time, in the same situation, as me”
Kudou’s voice, carried a faint heat in it.
Could that heat have been the obsession of a madman who had reversed his values? Or, was it the last remnants of his empathy, of his decent human sensibility?
Kudou continued in a fervent tone.
“You’re wonderful. This is without exaggeration. You being killed in this place mustn’t happen. So, it’s only natural for me to lend you a hand”
Gerbera, who had finished listening to the end, whispered out.
“Perchance, could this one be a good person?”
“……That’s, no matter how you put it, a little too simplistic”
However, it wasn’t unreasonable for Gerbera to say such a thing.
That was just how open Kudou’s favor was towards me.
Of course, Kudou is definitely not a good person.
But, his willingness to lend me a hand, was genuine.
Thinking back, it was the same even when he revealed his identity at Fort Tillia in the past.
He offered information that I didn’t know, and asked if we could join forces. When his proposal was rejected, he didn’t fly into a rage and attack us, but quietly backed down.
Kudou’s attitude, was rational and sincere.
There’s nothing hidden.
There’s nothing of an evil scheme.
Right and wrong, profit and loss, they don’t exist in Kudou Riku.
There is only empathy for the only one of his kind in this world, and the bottomless obsession it has created.
Kudou was genuinely trying to help me.
And, to save Lily, the more combat strength we have, the better.
I exchanged a glance with Gerbera.
Gerbera nodded her head.
I nod back, and turned to Kudou.
“……Okay. I’ll take your offer”
At that moment, I couldn’t deny that there was a glimmer of hope mixed into my heart.
At the same palace, at the same time, in the same situation, awakening the same power; another possibility that I may have had.
If Kudou feels sympathy for me, the opposite is also true.
Somewhere in my heart, I’m probably feeling that I don’t want to kill this boy who has gone astray from the path.
However, my and Kudou’s way of life are incompatible.
If we stay as we are now, we will clash somewhere at some point. I have such a premonition.
What would happen then would be a bloody competition for survival.
I will lead my family, and fight to the death with Kudou.
The only way to avoid that, would be for either one of us to change our way of life.
That is, either I will fall to where Kudou is, or Kudou will come back to here.
If there was any chance that Kudou could be pulled up, it would be me. That’s how obsessed Kudou is with me.
‘This unexpected contact, may perhaps be the thin thread to make that happen.’ That was what I thought.
……Of course, I knew.
This was just a fleeting hope.
Just because it was a possibility, doesn’t mean that it was a future that will happen.
Even though I knew this, it was my weakness, that made me think of this. And, that was probably the difference between me and Kudou, who chose to be a [Demon King].
Gerbera spoke to me.
She seemed to still have some caution towards Kudou and the others, but battle preparations were complete.
“Since ‘tis decided, should we not set out immediately?”
A long amount of time has passed.
It’s a good thing that we didn’t have to fight with Kudou, but even though, on the contrary, I was able to get his help, there’s nothing we can do if we don’t catch up.
“Ah. That will be fine”
Kudou opened his mouth. It’s hard to read his inner thoughts, but he was now clearly in a good mood.
“I’ve already taken care of that one after all”
I tilted my head at Kudou, who was raising a finger.
“What do you mean? Tell me in detail”
“The truth is, I have sent the rest of the monsters I brought along that aren’t here, to where Takaya is”
“Aah. So that’s why you only have a few monsters with you”
“I too haven’t finished replenishing my combat strength, and I didn’t bring all of them here, so I only had about thirty of them chase after Takaya. If the attack goes well, we might not even have a need to catch up though~”
“‘Attack’ you say……I wonder if Lily will be alright”
“There is nothing to worry about. At the very least, I’m sure that they will be able to stall them”
Thirty normal monsters huh.
Even against a warrior with a magic tool, depending on how they fight him, they have enough combat strength to put up a fight. If they focus on stalling them, then they could buy some time, and they could also force him to tire.
“Also, if you’re going to chase him, it will be faster if you use Berta”
I looked at the two-headed wolf.
Unlike Ayama and the others, Berta’s body was solid. It would be enough to ride.
“Is that okay?”
“……It is my King’s order. I don’t care”
Berta shook his tail and five tentacles loosely. His appearance has a big impact, but looking at him like this, he might have some cute parts too.
“Ah. But in that case, you will have to ride tandem with me”
For some reason, Gerbera looked unamused by Kudou’s words.
Maybe she doesn’t like me riding Berta, or maybe she hates that Kudou is riding together with me. It may also be both.
I feel bad for Gerbera, but to increase our chances of getting Lily back even by a tiny bit, we should use everything we can…… .
“……Things that we can use, huh”
When I murmured so, Kudou tilted his head.
“What’s the matter, senpai?”
“No. I just had a little idea”
I decided to have a brief strategy meeting right then and there.
Listening to the strategy I devised, Kudou was dissatisfied. Gerbera didn’t look too happy either.
But when I persuaded them both, they finally agreed.
I finished my preparations, and started chasing after Takaya.
Now then, let’s go get Lily back.
- Poison bug jar
- The term used is “分体”. The direct translation would be “split body”, but since I couldn’t find the official translation for it, I just went with offshoot.
- To have a talented child despite being untalented oneself.