Volume 8, Chapter 1: I became a Hero
“……well, what do we do now?”
Rinne was distressed. As a high-ranking demon [Demon Beast], or rather, because he was the Demon Beast, all of the contracts that he’d made were either [Quick], [Expensive], or [Delicious], and usually ended only because the summoner was either killed, defeated, or eaten.
After all, the people who would even call a Demon Beast in the first places were all looking for “destruction”, so there were no problems then.
But, now… they didn’t want destruction, but protection. It was vital that they get rid of all the danger around the two girls who had formed a contract with them.
For a Demon Contract, it wasn’t enough to just do what the contract said at that particular point in time.
Instead of signing contracts on parchment, they were signed between hearts and souls, and the outcomes would change depending on various factors.
That [Demon Lord] Heraness had also been trying to draw out as many concessions as he could in his contract with Geas, delicately manipulating him as he pleased like a poker game.
But that overzealousness had instead drawn the attention of that [Devil] upon him, destroying him as the [Contract] was taken from him.
And perhaps because of her human intelligence and sensitivity, that Devil ー Yurushia, was able to act like much more of a “devil” than him, who had been living in the Demon World.
So, what was different from then and now?
Yurushia and himself…… how were they different as Demons?
“………Maybe we should try taking on human forms as well.”
* * *
“We did it, Rimi…”
“We did it, Nefi…”
After disposing of their elder brothers, the twins had returned to their room in the Dark Elves’ Castle looked at each other with expressions that didn’t fit their youth.
After the two of them had contracted with that extreme existence that they wouldn’t have hesitated to call an [Evil God], who had sent them their two right-hand Demons, their circumstances had changed.[Gau.] [……(struggle)]
The twins were hugging them like plush toys…… but in reality, the rabbit and the bear, while only looking like soft toys, were having some sort of conversation that they didn’t understand.
In their hands, they were squeezing a small, glowing fruit-like ball. It was very adorable, but knowing that the ball was the knights’ souls, the twins couldn’t stay calm.
The souls of their elder brothers, and the beastmen royalty had already been offered up to the [Evil God] along with the [Original Arts]. Certainly, they’d asked to be saved from their plight, and knew that their siblings were in the way of the faraway “peace” that they truly wanted.
“Let’s get food……”
Thanks to the plushies, they were able to have proper meals.
As per usual, the twins’ meals were poisoned, but the stuffed bear ate all of the poisoned bits, and the twins could eat in peace.
The amount of food was decreased, but the rabbit helped them manage.
It would occasionally disappear and return, having procured meat from somewhere. The twins were surprised to hear that they used the [Subspace Storage] used by the Hero, and at the size of the unidentifiable “meat” that they took out.
They once spotted a small dragon flying around in the underground cavern, but nobody seemed to have cared that its tailed had been shortened.
The rabbit and bear were surprisingly dexterous with the use of the charcoal brazier for meat, and it’d become their main dish as of late.
Sometimes, they’d bring some sort of dried fish or some other marine product that the twins had never seen before as a snack.
And they seemed to be having conversations with someone mysterious while the twins were sleeping.
Once, when Rimi was awake just by chance and had roused Nefi, they’d seen the silhouette of a boy who looked about 15 in the darkness.
He was wearing a well-tailored butler suit that was obvious even in the dark, with a handsome face that couldn’t be found even among the elves.
He looked just like a “prince” that they’d read in picture books, and their hearts fluttered for a moment. But, as the boy gave the “smile of a Demon”, the twins quickly returned to bed, and swore to themselves to never wake up in the middle of the night again.
“Something” felt wrong the next morning, when they felt the “presence” of that “youth” there.
As if they had magically attained sleep-learning, they had knowledge of things that they should never have known. Thanks to that knowledge, they were able to protect themselves thanks to the Hero’s Secret Arts.
All of a sudden, all the maids and caretakers, that had distanced themselves from the twins up to that point, began to pay lip service to caring for the twins with a look of terror on their faces.
They held a deep fear that “something” was going on that they didn’t know about.
But they found relief in the adorable stuffed animals.
The teddy bear would sometimes cause the aristocrats who held the twins in contempt to simply disappear, and its mouth would be coated with blood, but it was very gentle with young children, almost treating them as if it were a “grandpa”, which didn’t quite match its cute appearance.
The stuffed rabbit didn’t move much, but when danger approached the twins, it would kick away the enemies like an older brother protecting his younger siblings.
These frighteningly reliable soft toys caused the twins to laugh when they saw the toys drinking over dinner.
So thought the two girls,
““I wish I could live peacefully like this……””
But being involved with that Golden [Devil], one could never hold such hopes…
* * *
Nefertia, First Princess of the Dark Elves, couldn’t shake the feeling of bitter regret.
Her little sisters should long have been offered up as sacrifices by her brothers, given that shady tradition that her servant had heard of from somewhere. She’d intended to eliminate them in the same fell swoop for the crime of murdering their own, but they went missing, and only the twins had returned before she’d even caught on.
She had no idea what had transpired.
Even if she’d asked the twins, who had been there, their young age would surely have made their accounts useless.
Although Nefertia thought of the twins as a threat to her plans, but she didn’t think for an instant that they were any more intelligent than typical five-year olds.
“You, what are your thoughts?”
“Ma’am, I-I don’t think I could have considered anything that Your Highness hasn’t……”
“Just tell me.”
The female knight that by Nefertia’s side averted her eyes a bit, but turned to face the First Princess, her mistress, again.
“……Maybe it was the peasants who defended the two of them?”
Nefertia sighed internally at the words of her knight even as she carefully nodded.
The knight was the daughter of her nursemaid and her childhood friend. Thanks to her good looks and the Princess’ favor, she was employed as the Princess’ knight, even if she was slightly dim. There hadn’t been anything that Nefertia hadn’t considered in her words.
“Ah, and recently, I saw maids returning to the side of the twins.”
“…… Is that so?”
The twins’ caretakers should have been afraid of Nefertia and her brothers’ displeasure.
What could have happened to change their minds?
She wanted to ask them, but given that they didn’t fear Nefertia right now, she would have to torture the answer out of them.
She didn’t want to engage in torture, especially if the twins had a collaborator. If that person knew that Nefertia had tried to take the initiative and eliminate the twins, she feared that they would leak the secret.
They would also know that Nefertia was opposed to the twins.
“…… If we’re going to do that, then should we use “Plan 2”?”
The knight shrunk back at Nefertia’s dark smile.
“Go to the army. Notify them.”
Nefertia thought of her Plan B.
Had she failed to charge her brothers for the sacrifice of the twins, she would entice some of the hawks in the army to have her brothers become flagbearers to clash against the forces of light and the hero.
She knew how strong the Heroes were.
14 years ago, had the Hero of Wind not have been betrayed, the Dark Elf King would definitely have been killed, and the forces of darkness would have suffered a massive blow.
With such power, even if only one Hero came to meet the charge, it would make all her future plans much easier.
There was the slim possibility that her brothers would succeed in beating the hero and return gloriously. However, if the plan were to go through, she would ensure that they would not return alive.
After all, the royalty were merely “decorations” for the advancing army.
“The twins won’t matter……”
It seems that the male team is also doing serious work away from the girls. It’s also about time for the animals to get human forms.
Next time, it’s a return to Yuru.
Fun chapter, a good look at what’s happening behind the scenes.