Two men walk down a long corridor.
One is a large man dressed in a swallowtail coat with a lion’s head.
The other is a boy as small as an elementary school student.
「So, I guess Léna didn’t agree to help after all…」
The boy walking ahead murmurs in disappointment.
「Yes. Apparently, she found friends more important than us.」
「Huh… I see, that’s good.」
This time, his tone sounds a bit happier.
The conversation stops there.
Only their footsteps echo down the long corridor.
When they cross the corridor, there is a large door in front of them.
The man with the lion’s head — the Demon King’s army executive, Zahak, slowly opens the door and steps aside for the boy.
Inside the room, there is a round table with all seats filled except for the head of the table.
The boy confidently takes the head seat.
As the boy sits down, everyone else at the table stands up and bows their heads in a subject’s salute.
Yes, this boy is their lord.
He is the calamitous beast, “Emperor Beast,” and the ruler of the demon race, Agil Dakar Reynolds.
However, this is not his true form, but a temporary one to contain his power.
In his true form, he is “too large” to fit in this conference room.
「Everyone is here. Let’s start the meeting.」
Zahak takes the lead as the facilitator, and the reports from each executive begin.
The Demon King’s army executives number eight in total.
There is no hierarchy among these eight; all are given equal right to speak.
「The first division reports. The installation of the teleportation gates is proceeding as planned. In ten days, all areas should have their gates in place.」
The first division leader, Spenta, reports in a businesslike tone.
True to his looks, he is one of the oldest executives in the demon army.
He is also one of the most powerful, after Agil and Zahak.
As Spenta sits down, the man next to him stands up.
「Hoo-Hoo, the second division is unfolding without any issues…」
A skinny man with dark skin.
He wears a dirty robe that covers everything above his nose.
The second division leader, Vohu.
He is the lord of the undead, commanding zombies and specters.
「The third division also has no issues. My subordinates have infiltrated the humans quite successfully.」
Next to report is the third division leader, Harlot.
She is a succubus with revealing clothing, possessing a bewitching body.
The demons, especially skilled at disguising themselves as humans, have been successfully infiltrating human society since the dungeon seals were broken.
Afterward, the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh divisions finish their reports.
「The eighth division reports. There is no issue with the division itself. However…」
The leader of the eighth division hesitates.
「What’s the matter?」
「It’s… that man, Kirishima Aoba, his mind is still not stable.」
The leader of the eighth division, Mulder, is a demon man with horns on his forehead.
Despite his bold appearance, his personality is terribly timid, and even now, he’s sweating from the brow, anxious under the gaze of Agil and the other division leaders.
「Can you tell us more?」
Urged by Zahak, Mulder answers while wiping his forehead with a handkerchief.
「Yes. The treatment of his arms went almost without issue. However, he seems to be quite troubled by the loss of companions when capturing Lady Léna… He hardly eats or sleeps…」
「He’s always been thoughtful of his comrades, that one. Well, let him rest for now. When the time comes, he’ll stand up even if he dislikes it.」
Mulder nods, his face showing a question mark at Agil’s words.
That concludes the reports from the executives.
Next, Agil looks over at the leader of the first division, Spenta.
「Spenta, how are the demons we released outside doing?」
「They are currently deployed in the magic city, the Borhelic Kingdom, and the Hà Giang Empire. Adventurers and knights from each country seem to be responding, but it will take some time. After all, organized and trained demons are beyond their expectations.」
Five hundred years ago, when they roamed the earth, this would have been a common sight. But it seems that even this is a significant threat to humans of the current era.
Humans have become considerably weaker during these five hundred years.
It’s troubling that they’re even struggling against the demons released as a diversion.
「There are only a handful of humans who can be called a clear threat to us.」
「Hoo-Hoo, ‘World Piercer’ is dangerous, Hoo-Hoo…」
「Then there’s the traitor Silver Demon and the current Emperor of the Hà Giang Empire, and maybe the Dragon Slayer? Should we take care of them first, Lord Demon King?」
Agil falls into deep thought.
「Harlot, can you sneak into the Hà Giang Empire and retrieve ‘that’? If possible, kill the Emperor and the Silver Demon too.」
「If it’s your command…」
「Then do it.」
「As you wish.」
Harlot nods, a look of ecstasy on her face at the Demon King’s order.
「Spenta, release more demons into the Borhelic Kingdom. Pin down ‘World Piercer’ and the ‘Dragon Slayer.’」
「In three days, I will launch an attack on the Holy Kingdom. Without a doubt, Harsha will activate the barrier. That’s when the real game begins.」
If Harsha activates the barrier, there will be only one path to the holy land.
The teleportation gate in the dungeon ruled by the son of the Divine Catastrophe Dragon King.
First, we must take over this gate.
And if we can take this, the rest will be easy.
A battered Harsha, Jibru.
Their followers are not as strong as when I was among them.
Against them now, with our increased power, we can defeat them without a problem.
That’s why this first dungeon is the greatest hurdle.
Therefore, we must face it with all our might.
「Isn’t it better to send an envoy? I’ve heard that her son is not so close to either the Divine Catastrophe Dragon King or the Holy Dragon Harsha. If we talk it out—」
「No. Kill Earth and all of his followers. This is a settled matter.」
Agil dismisses Spenta’s suggestion with a flick of his hand.
「I’ve told you the reason. It’s no longer meaningful to kill only Jibru. I hear more than half the seats are already filled… I bear them no malice. But it must be done.」
At Agil’s words, Spenta, along with the other division leaders, shows a complex expression.
They all understand.
That they are in a situation with no way out, and for their own convenience, they are about to kill those who bear them no grudge.
Still, their resolve does not waver.
「Then, let us go. To fulfill our long-standing wish.」
With those words, everyone nods.
The meeting is over.
And so, Agil returns to his private chamber.
He relaxes the tension, locks the door, and a man inside speaks up.
He’s a blond young man in his twenties, lounging on the sofa with an air of looking down on everything, including me.
Books that he probably read to kill time are scattered carelessly around him. There’s a bookshelf nearby, but he doesn’t seem to have any intention of tidying up. I wish he would keep things in order; it’s a sight that would make my subordinates faint.
Agil sighs once more.
「You should have joined the meeting.」
But Agil lets that breach of etiquette slide with a laugh.
Because in a way, “he” is much closer to Agil than anyone else in the demon army.
They’re beyond being bothered by such trivial matters now.
「Hah, what’s the point of sitting through such a boring affair? The action plan is already set, isn’t it?」
「Don’t say that. I have a position to maintain. The title of ‘Demon King’ is heavier than you think.」
「Is that so?」
「Yes, it is.」
Agil makes tea and offers a cup to the blond man.
He pours one for himself too and sits down on the opposite sofa.
「So, when do we attack?」
「In ten days, I guess. I want everything to be perfect.」
「Aren’t you going to see Léna? I bet she knows you’re here by now.」
「What’s the point of talking to that witch now? Besides, if she gets provoked and intervenes, it’d be trouble.」
「Ha ha, true enough. But I must say, I was surprised you agreed to help.」
「Our interests align. I have my own reasons.」
With that, he drinks his tea.
No complaints; although he’s particular about his tea, he must be satisfied with the quality of Agil’s brew.
「Are you really okay with this? …She’s your favorite, isn’t she?」
At that, he clicks his tongue openly.
「The situation being what it is, now that I’ve heard everything from Harsha, I have no intention of forgiving Jibru. Harsha neither.」
「So you would kill Earth and his followers for that cause?」
「Killing only Jibru has become meaningless…」
「It really is… depressing.」
「But there’s no other choice. Otherwise, the deaths of Mýrus and the others would be meaningless.」
「Yes. Let’s end this. With our own hands, we’ll finish everything.」
Agil extends his hand again.
「Let me say it once more, I’m counting on you, Celestial Dragon Yamu.」
「Ah, fine, Emperor Beast Agil.」
Yamu grips his hand in return.
The worst alliance is formed here.
And ten days later.
The war between the demon army and Earth’s dungeon begins.
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