Volume 4, Chapter 12: Becoming an Idol, Part 1
“…Wh-what, is that shaking now……”
Alfio, feeling the slight tremors, raised his head.
They were in the treasure vault of the Daemon King’s Castle. The [Hero], that [Self-proclaimed Man of Valor] that had come this far had been defeated in battle, and was in the place where the Daemons kept weapons that couldn’t be used.
So, it might have been more accurate to say that it was a [Storeroom] rather than the treasure vault.
“Hey… Al. I wonder if we can use these weapons that the Daemons possess……”
Staring at the gorgeous magic sword that had been adorned with a holy symbol, Swordswoman Cheria murmured to the Hero Alfio as he searched through the treasure box.
Alfio, who wasn’t expecting such a thing let out an undignified sound, but glossed over it fluently…… putting on a somewhat stiff smile spread across his face.
“It-it’s only natural that the Hero picks up new equipment in the hideout of the Daemon King. This is for the sake of the world.”
The hero of Shiguresu, Alfio, and his companions, who had been, just like the [Template], preemptively attacked by the mercenaries of Kolkopo before they turned the tables on them, had been protested about by the cowardly feudal lord, and had been chased by the military police all the way as they headed to the Daemon King’s territory to defeat the Daemon King.
They didn’t run into too much trouble on the way to the Daemon King’s Castle.
They had considered that they would encounter the Daemon King’s Army, but such a thing never happened.
Even in the Daemon villages, as long as he showed a little bit of [Strength] without subjugating them, he was able to receive food, and even the rare encounters with the Daemon King’s Army were of small units that had food and were easily defeated.
The trouble was the fact that the female brigade had been complaining about not having a place to stay in, because Alfio rejected every Daemon village.
Even as they proceeded towards the Daemon King’s Capital, they did not encounter strong Daemons. On the contrary, those Daemons that they met along the way to the Daemon King’s Castle were weak, and it hurt his heart to knock down the old man that was barely standing, even as Alfio cut down the Daemons that wielded weapons without mercy.
That’s why when they were surprised when they, who had arrived at the Daemon King’s Castle without fighting a single strong Daemon, had suffered a crushing defeat under the large warrior that guarded the gates.
Judging that soldier as an [Event Boss], Alfio ran for dear life, and leading his companions in a so called [Dirty Trick], they vaulted the wall and entered from the back door.
If they defeated the event boss, you would definitely get strong equipment. So he figured that if he got his hands on that equipment first with [Exploits], he would be able to defeat that warrior easily.
For Alfio, who had the memory of a previous world, and who read so many novels about transmigration, it was important and only-too-natural that he use any means to deprive the enemy of their abilities and take their equipment.
Even when he himself had provoked them, Alfio declared justice upon his opponents the moment they called him names and pulled out their weapons, as robbing them of their equipment and money should have been permitted.
“S-See, Cheria. Is this not a good weapon?”
Cheria received the longsword that Alfio held out to her, and nodded awkwardly.
Although she was watching Alfio robbing the items of unrelated parties under some unknown pretext, she had convinced herself that the opponent was a bad person.
As a childhood friend, Cheria had longed for Alfio, who was knowledgeable in various things ever since she was a child, and tried to tell herself that he was right.
However, as the daughter of a knight, Cheria innately resisted the idea of robbing and thieving even for the sake of triumphing over an enemy.
Of all the equipment that they were trying to steal, most of them weren’t necessary. The majority of them were just very well-decorated and would sell for a high price. Practical items almost didn’t exist.
Furthermore, Cheria began to feel something like a sense of anxiety and discomfort while watching Alfio, who was gathering all these items gleefully.
Her best friend, the Elf Anteikowa, and the noble sisters couldn’t do anything like [Stealing] the items of others, so they kept a lookout at the entrance of the treasure room, the three of them constantly talking, occasionally casting a cold gaze at the two.
“Cheria, what’s the matter?”
Alfio raised his voice as Cheria breathed a sigh. It’s good that he noticed these fine details, but……
“Alright, now then, let’s get out of this castle quickly and leave this town.”
Was he not imitating a thief to defeat a mighty enemy? The moment Cheria tried to open her mouth to say so,
They felt an ominous, mighty, and terrible [Presence] coming from underground.
It was a power so huge that it would be absurd to measure, a mighty presence filled with an overwhelming killing intent…… Anteikowa that felt the [Wickedness] in particular and turned blue in the face, while Athena and Ophelia ran towards each other.
“Th-the Daemon King…?”
While Athena soothed Ophelia, who had been frightened, Athena realized that that [Presence] wasn’t something that they had felt for the first time, but hesitated to speak.
It wasn’t possible……
Athena pushed this feeling that caught on the corner of her mind, which would have been the answer to that [Uncomfortable Feeling] that she had felt all along, in fear of the [Truth], directly into the deepest corners of her heart.
“……Al-sama, everyone, I think it would be best if we retreated now…”
“Ye-yeah, that’s right! Let’s retreat”
“Yes, that’s right…Let’s retreat like Atty says. Even if it is not the Daemon King, I can feel the evil of a thousand Demons.”
And so, just like that, the Shiguresu Hero’s party decided to withdraw from the Daemon King’s castle without even engaging in an honest battle.
Whether this was lucky, or unlucky for the world, cannot be known.
“……What is…… this…”
Daemon King Hebrad drank in the sight of the intimately-familiar [Daemon King Territory], and murmured in blank surprise.
The Kingdom that he had seen since birth, the Daemon King territory that had been covered in black clouds regardless of day or night, was exposed to the dazzling sun under the blue sky.
He stood there in mute amazement for a couple of minutes, but when he saw the half-destroyed Daemon King Castle, and the Daemon tribes that were gathered there in worship, Hebrad flew over to the Daemon King’s Castle.
Hebrad descended into the garden of the Daemon King’s Castle, and as the Dwarf girl sprinted over with a thundering [dodododododododododododododo], Hebrad cast [Impact Absorption], [Physical Defense], [Physical Barrier], [Inertial Dampening], and [Body Strengthening] magics, so he was able to catch the Dwarf girl even as he was pushed back only 5 meters, tearing up the ground below him.
“You’re alright, Francois”
“Uho… uho, uhouho~”
“Is that so…? I’m sorry, I made you worry.”
“Uho, uho, uhoho, uhoo”
“What…!? Such a thing……”
“Uho, uho, uho~”
As Francois described the circumstances, she twisted herself with a *mojimoji* as if a little shy.
“A human girl…? Is that so, I see.”
“It’s useless. There might be danger in the castle. Francois, leave the castle and take a look at the circumstance of the people”
“Don’t say such things. …I know your feelings, but please understand.”
Francois had just a little bit of sadness on her face, but she nodded her giant, boulder-like head to Hebrad’s words, and, shouldering her beloved elephant that was frightened by all the events, she walked gracefully toward the gates of the castle.
Hebrad sent her off while gazing at her big back, filled with adoration as she walked off.
According to Francois, pillars of [Gold] and [Jet Black] destroyed the Daemon King’s Castle as they ascended into the air, and after they scattered the [Clouds of Malice], the [Demon Beast] was followed behind [Golden Angel] as it descended into the Daemon King’s Castle.
The Dwarf language was hard to fully understand for anyone that wasn’t a Dwarf.
She didn’t know their name, but Francois spoke about a female friend that she had made for the first time, and was very worried about her.
Francois was pure of heart, and although he was happy that she finally had a friend of the same age, even if it was a human being, Hebrad also felt the loneliness of a father with a daughter of that age.
And so, Hebrad had sent Francois, who was a mighty warrior, outside of the castle, as judging by the state of the castle, it was highly unlikely that a human girl would be able to survive where the [Demon Beast] was involved.
“It’s a pity……”
For Francois, that human girl was a very important existence.
Those words that she left behind ……
Everything had been put into that single word.
Hebrad pulled himself together with a heavy heart and headed into the castle.
Expecting that the [Demon Beast] would have started to move…… and that unknown [Golden Angel]…… their presences were…… no, he had to make sure of what they [Intended] for the whole Daemon race.
It gradually becomes relaxed again from here on in.
Francois’ words were full of love.
The protagonist will return next time.
We are still awaiting your straight-man corrections.
Thank you for all the corrections and critiques.
App’s Notes: I loved the needless amounts of buffing necessary for that hug. Just priceless (I’m just imagining a gif of it in my head)