Saint Demon Confrontation Arc
085. The words that reached
Storm Dragon Veldora has been reborn.
This report caused a great panic within the Western Saint’s Church.
The connection that was lost with the subjugation team was quickly discovered.
They were strictly ordered to report at regular intervals, so a loss of connection indicated some misfortune.
So upon hearing this report, Hinata immediately decided to set off to Tempest.
But, at that moment came the surprising news of Storm Dragon Veldora’s revival.
Which resulted in Hinata, who was preparing to set off, to be summoned by the Holy Empire Ruberion’s most influential officials.
The Seven Celestial Sages these wisemen are called.
It is said that each has transcended a hero-class existence and is a legendary being that is often in charge of rearing new heroes.
These beings are completely secluded and never appear in public,
And are only discussed as legends in fairy tales and other such stories.
Nor are the Seven Celestial Sages an existence that Hinata could talk about.
Obviously, they are not an existence that the Templar Knights would know about.
So why does Hinata know of them…
Because she is the last disciple of the Seven Celestial Sages.
They typically train their successor personally, and no one knows when the successor takes over.
In other words, the fact that they all trained one person is beyond unusual.
Hinata was just that excellent.
And because she was so excellent she was able to learn all the skills and battle abilities that they could teach her.
In a sense, you could call her a work of art.
Few people from the Holy Empire of Ruberion could order Hinata around.
In other words, you could even say that all power was vested in her.
After inheriting her post from her predecessor, she began her reign in the top echelons of the country.
Who could order her?
The current emperor and the Seven Celestial Sages.
Furthermore, only the Seven Celestial Sages can directly meet with the emperor, so Hinata has never met him.
Nor has she even heard this voice.
Which is why, when discussing beings who can order her, only the Seven Celestial Sages remain.
This time, she was summoned directly by them via telepathy.
And she was told about Storm Dragon Veldora’s rebirth.
Thus, though she had prepared troops to set off to Tempest, she decided to put that order on hold.
As a result, her attack on Tempest while Rimuru was away did not occur.
Which was fortunate.
Had she attacked Tempest along with her Knights Templar while he was away, there’s a high chance the battle would have went in her favor.
Anyways, Monsters’ Country Tempest narrowly escaped death.
Was this a failure on Hinata’s part? By no means.
What surprised her, that is, wasn’t only the report she received from the sages.
As a messenger she sent to Tempest, Reihim, has returned.
But his appearance was completely different. A thin layer of dirt and tattered clothing covered his body.
His eyes darted, his body vehemently convulsed.
He looked as if he tasted unimaginable fears.
100 trusted Knight Templars guided Reihim into the main chamber.
Cardinal Nicholas also came to hear his report.
Reihim was brought into the chamber as he was. He was offered to change, but he adamantly refused.
And, insisted that he had urgent information that had to be shared.
Thus he stood in the main chamber, inside the towering cathedral in the center of the Holy Empire Ruberion.
In all of the empire, this was the most holy and impregnable place.
And there he knelt.
Hesitantly, he lifted his face to confirm Hinata’s presence.
He seemed a little relieved seeing her there. And then he stood, his expression quickly turning into even a deeper despair.
Reihim removed the tattered clothing that covered his body.
Seeing what was beneath, the Templar Knights covered their faces.
Even Hinata looked repulsed.
Everyone’s gaze was focused on Reihim’s exposed body.
As a myriad of faces were protruding from it.
Still alive, some showed anguished expressions, others of despair. There were even some mad ones smiling…
As if mocking the holy land upon which he stood.
「First… behold my body. It is the punishment for evoking their King’s wrath…
I was a fool. A terrifying, a truly terrifying enemy I have made!
A demon lord.
By our hand we gave birth to a new demon lord!」
Perhaps even proudly, Reihim declared in a loud voice, his eyes bloodshot.
And thus he told them of the terrifying demon lord and his birth.
Without concealing any of Reihim’s wrongdoings.
He was not ordered to do so. Rather, he himself was obsessed to disclose all this.
To free himself from the torment, to be forgiven by god.
He thought he needed to confess his sins. But… surely he could not be forgiven with just this much…
The templars trembled upon hearing of a new demon lord’s birth.
And when they heard about his absurd power, they could no longer hide their astonishment.
Before his light attack, every anti-demon barriers, large scale magic barriers, and even holy barriers are utterly foolish.
And none have ever heard of such magic.
If faced with an attack that cannot be blocked, even those gathered in the room could not survive it… perhaps.
But Hinata did not tremble.
Based on what Reihim reported, it was an attack that used the rays of the sun, she figured.
And if you understand the nature of the attack, it’s easy to counter it.
Seeing the stoic Hinata reassured the Templar Knights; thus, they calmed down.
If their commander Sakaguchi Hinata did not fear the demon lord, then there was no chance they would be defeated.
Their confidence was directly tied to their unwavering faith in her.
The report continued.
The news that Arch Demon had appeared again provoked an uproar.
This wasn’t something they could ignore any longer.
It is absolutely crucial that an arch demon, which harbors the Demon Lord Seed, be immediately destroyed.
Besides, if it was a simple Arch Demon that was born depending on abilities, three Knights Templar should be able to destroy it.
And if they brought five knights, there was no way they could lose.
But this would prove difficult if they allowed it to continue existing and accumulating experience.
They had to destroy it now. Such was the rule regarding dealing with an appearance of an Arch Demon.
「Hinata-sama, this is an urgent matter. My team will subjugate this demon. Please order us!」
「In that case, we shall also go. Please order us to attack!」
The young templars exclaimed following their elders example. The others too, in lieu with common sense, did not oppose the measure.
After all, the sooner they subjugate the Arch Demon the better.
Reihim’s story did not end.
He still had things to say.
… Rather, he hasn’t even mentioned the main points yet.
But the templars could not have known of this.
Which is why they could discuss such pointless things as subjugating an arch demon.
「Please wait a moment. Do not pay any heed to the Arch Demon subjugation.
The light magic I mentioned. As I just said, when it hit us, we were completely wiped out.
However, that doesn’t portray the scene appropriately.
There were 15 thousand of us. And this elite force was completely destroyed by a single monster’s terrifying attack.
I meant that literally.
Not as an army, but every single individual…
Massacred. That’s no exaggeration. That’s exactly as it happened」
Silence enveloped that holy room.
A heavy atmosphere in which no one could utter a single word.
A monster which could massacre 15 thousand men. It made them recall a certain legend.
A legend speaks of a monster which became a demon lord after destroying a city.
Truly, the monster fit the description of the word “Demon Lord”. The monster sowed chaos and destruction.
Beings that exceed human capabilities are usually limited to the Special S Class Dragons.
Currently, three of them remain and one has been sealed until now.
These three beings are designated Special S class.
But in reality, it wouldn’t be unusual to recognize two more special s ranked individuals from among the demon lords.
The reason they are not recognized so is simple.
They were mostly active before the church has been formed and have yet to produce any further causalities.
In other words, should they resume their rampage, they will be recognized as Special S ranked beings.
They will be recognized as a being that cannot be defeated by human hands. That’s what Special S rank means.
As for their activity before the church had been established, that’s a tale of a thousand and a few hundred years ago.
According to traditional records, it would have been a thousand and two hundred years ago.
Even then, two beings called demon lords and which would now have been recognized as Special S rank existed–Lord of Darkness Guy Crimson and Destroyer Milim Nava.
Furthermore, some believed that other demon lords awakened as true demon lords, but none of these openly wrought havoc.
Which is why, in order not to increase the people’s anxiety for no reason, every demon lord has been classified as S ranked.
A being that can’t be opposed with human strength alone.
Because when a generation lacks a hero, they had to declare that humanity would not lose against demons.
But, this new monster…
Just became a demon lord but may be immediately recognized as a Special S rank.
Heavy silence continued to rule the room.
A silence which displayed a desire to reject accepting the birth of a new demon lord.
Simple demon lords and true demon lords are an existence that towers over humans.
「Hmph, it’s pointless to stand here in silence.
Hey, Reihim. Did you see it awaken?」
Ending the silence, Hinata asked.
「Yes. I believe an offering of 15,000 lives was sufficient…」
He replied, confident.
「Is that so…」
Hinata muttered and began to think.
As things stood, she was fortunate not to have gone to Tempest yet.
If her opponent was an awakened, if he turned into a True Demon Lord, then the number of troops didn’t matter.
Even if you gathered powerful soldiers, should they lack the strength to oppose that monster directly then they are useless.
The subjugation army’s disaster only proved this point.
Moreover, even though the monster hasn’t awakened by then it was still capable of destroying the army alone.
From time immemorial a hero and her carefully selected team would venture to defeat the demon lord.
And since that’s the case…
「I guess I’ll have to go, huh?」
If the opponent is a demon lord, Hinata would have to go herself.
And since there was no need to further increase the number of corpses, there was no need to send out normal soldiers.
An elite few.
Perhaps… a hundred knight templar could win this battle and have a higher chance of victory than a larger force.
Hinata accelerated her thoughts.
Again and again and again.
Because she had to ascertain her victory.
And as if interrupting her thoughts a pained expression appeared on Reihim’s face.
And, from within his chest a new face arose.
Reihim’s pained expression quickly turned serene…
「Ah ah, test test test. Can you hear me?
(It’s already recording)
(Eh? Already? Seriously?)
… ah, whatever?
Should I say: pleased to meet you? I am the lord of Tempest, Rimuru.
I’ll say this in advance, this is a message.
Even if you address this messenger, I won’t hear you, so keep that in mind」
The face said.
A number of soldiers came at Reihim sword drawn but were stopped by these words.
That’s a speech they probably had to hear.
The Knights Templar couldn’t hide their surprise.
Whereas Hinata’s expression did not change. She was merely awaiting the next words.
Her head was calculating various possibilities. But her expression did not show it.
That’s just how much control she had over her heart and mind.
「Did the messenger suit your tastes?
Good taste, right? Oh, but I didn’t design him.
Don’t get any weird ideas.
(Umm~ this wasn’t my idea either…)
(Shut up. They might be listening in on this!)
(Is that so. Good thing they didn’t hear this)
But let’s forget about tastes.
Let’s get to the question at hand. I’m wondering how much you’re planning to pay me to end this fight.
I’ll say this in advance: you started this fight.
I have witnesses so you can’t overturn this fact. So what will you do?
Personally, if you apologize for this incident, I am willing to forgive you this time.
But, should you refuse to make amends with “monsters”, then we will crush you with our entire force.
Without any reserve, without any mercy, without a second thought we shall crush you.
(Eh? Even if a time to rethink this comes up?)
(Didn’t I tell you to shut up? What will you do if they hear you? I won’t look cool anymore!)
Which is why, I ask you to carefully consider the next step
That being so… is Hinata there?
This message will only be played if your presence is recognized.
But that aside, here’s what I wanted to say.
Well done attacking a person without listening to a single thing they had to say.
A wonderful funeral you planned for me! But, too bad.
I am alive.
The next time you come at me, I will respond with my true power.
But… I want to hold a serious conversation before that.
So I’d appreciate it if you gave it some thought.
If you still desire to fight me after that, then that’s that.
Let this messenger know your response.
The ones embedded in his body are the Blood Shadows–I think they are called.
They killed my friends so I cannot forgive them.
So, I killed them and embedded their heads into this guy.
This messenger is also dead. Yet I made him undead so that “they” continue to suffer.
After receiving your reply he will come back to me, so don’t worry about that.
Should you decide to dispose of him, he’ll automatically disintegrate thanks to your skill that I analyzed.
But if you choose to only half kill him, that’ll only increase his suffering so keep that in mind.
Currently, I’m headed off to the Demon Lords’ Walpurgis Banquet.
So if you want to talk, decide upon it, and we’ll talk after I return from there alive.
Chances are it’s going to be a week from now, so keep that in mind.
Well then… I’m looking forward to your reply!」
And ending this monologue, the message conclude.
The templars, their mouths agape, looked at their trusted Hinata.
Without being perturbed by it, she met their gaze.
She was busy processing the newly obtained information.
There were a few things worth of note but there was not time for that.
Though he had an aloof attitude, the message’s content could not ridiculed.
The most important point was that “Disintegration” had been analyzed.
Now, should she fight, she probably wouldn’t be able to use it on him.
Perhaps he was only bluffing, but she could hardly depend on such empty optimism.
Her biggest mistake was that she didn’t notice his survival during their last battle.
She felt a sense of… regret! Yes, that rare feeling burned in her chest.
He also mentioned other important things.
When he spoke of making amends with monsters, he must have had the Church’s doctrine in mind.
So he’s probably searching for a chance to make peace with them.
But that’s something that everyone, Hinata included, would describe as naive.
That, monster Rimuru was most definitely not lying during their last meeting.
The fact that he was also a World Traveler and that he reincarnated as a monster.
That… was probably true.
His Japanese was far too natural.
That was the nostalgic Japanese that could only come from that world.
At some point in time Hinata had opened her previously closed eyes.
And, without a word, she erased Reihim with Disintegration.
If Rimuru’s words were true, then quickly erasing him would be his salvation.
「Do not be tempted by him. Our creed is absolute. We should pay no heed to some lowly monster!」
She declared to the knights.
Though she may have just contradicted herself, that wasn’t something she could admit to.
That is, if they were to ignore the monster’s words, there was no need to disintegrate Reihim.
It was because she believed him that she did it, but the knights didn’t notice it.
She was the “Emperor’s Personal Guard Captain” and led the knights herself.
As their captain she had to serve as the absolute example.
Thus leading the hardened templars was the reason for her previous words.
(Now then, what should I do…)
She wasn’t sure she could win this time.
Though Hinata fell into melancholy, her face did not show it.
What a difficult dilemma befell her!
But for Hinata, this was something she could just solve by continuing her calculations. So she thought.
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