Ah, ever the same, Master Lazy remains.
With but a mere few minutes of conversation, fatigue settles upon me, and with a sigh, I take my leave from the bedchamber of the Demon Lord of Sloth.
Ever the same.
Such is the entirety of my sentiment.
It has been a decade since I became part of this Demon Lord’s army.
To a demon, a decade is but a fleeting moment. Indeed, I have lived for well over a millennium.
I, Deji Blindark, a demon overseeing “Greed,” believe I fare quite well upon the path of demons.
Leading armies has been second nature to me, even before I joined this force. My magical prowess, when compared to other demons, stands superior. All my life, I have embodied greed, and I have pursued its depths diligently. I am, moreover, quite confident in battle.
Thus, until now, I have vanquished every foreign demon army I’ve faced, accumulating both glory and treasured artifacts.
Yet, however, still…
The number of times I have paid homage to him exceeds the digits on both my hands, yet he still can’t seem to remember my face nor my name. A disgrace to the name of Deji the Usurper.
Kihkihkih, well, it can’t be helped, I suppose. After all, he is the Demon Lord overseeing both degeneration and sloth.
For hasn’t Master Lazy, after all this time, been the most indolent of all? Throughout my extensive stay, I’ve yet to witness him emerging from his chambers. It truly is the epitome of genuine sloth. Surely, being a “Demon Lord” does indeed make one extraordinary.
Though, I must admit, I’ve never encountered such a Demon Lord before.
Slumbering Shadow Palace
The massive fortress of Lazy Slaughterdolls, the Demon Lord aligned with the Great Demon Lord, Kanon of Ruin. Simultaneously, it’s the most critical point of the Lazy army, an immense castle. Its vastness and expanse far surpass Kanon’s dwelling, the Flame of Ruin Palace.
It isn’t particularly opulent, but, symbolizing the sloth overseen by the lord, the castle has been constructed so that all necessities are contained within.
In truth, all the demons bestowed by the Great Demon Lord reside within the Slumbering Shadow Palace. Even with its grand land that ranks amongst the top five in the Great Demon Lord’s army, it seems utterly wasted.
I open the door to the room assigned to me. A grand door it is.
My allocated room is far more spacious than the master’s bedchamber. The master possesses no desires. How can a demon thrive with such an attitude?
Ah, but that is precisely why Sloth and Greed get along so well.
Upon entering the room, I securely lock the door behind me and inspect the sword I received today as a reward.
The Magic Sword Celeste.
It’s one of the prime weapons possessed by the Great Demon Lord. A blade with quite the legend behind it. Its form is that of an orthodox longsword. A blade, seemingly manifesting the infernal flames, exhibits a deep red hue, with the hilt decorated in dragon motifs. Both the blade and the hilt, even the scabbard, are all dyed in a blood-like crimson.
I pride myself on having an eye for weaponry. Kihkikih. After all, it’s an object of my desire. Naturally, I have studied them extensively.
By my judgment, this magical sword is undeniably genuine.
A legendary blade said to cleave ancient dragons in a single strike. I draw it from its scabbard, tracing the blazing red blade.
Its true value doesn’t just lie in its function as a sword. While its capabilities as a blade are indeed top-notch, its primary significance is as a magical artifact.
Indeed, the magical power I sense from the blade, compared to other magical swords in my collection, is unparalleled. It’s not something a commander-tier demon like myself would typically possess. It’s truly of a Demon Lord’s caliber. The Great Demon Lord must have intended it for Master Lazy, thus its rank.
With this by my side, I have nothing to fear.
Oh no, this is not right! Pride is not my domain.
I chide myself. If my emotions, my desires waver, it will cause my powers as a demon to falter. I have not yet fully realized my greed.
With the utmost care, I utilize my skill of “Vault of Greed (Big Pocket)” to store the sword within an otherworldly space that I’ve conjured.
As long as my desires remain, this infinite vault holds boundless capacity. With this addition, the armaments I’ve been gifted since joining this army now number three.
And these are not mere trinkets. Each weapon, granted directly from the Great Demon Lord to Master Lazy, is first-rate. Not all are easily found, even if one were to scour the treasuries of other Demon Lords. And for good reason, for they are treasures bestowed from the vault of the Great Demon Lord, now flowing into my possession.
This very reason illuminates why I remain in this army. In the service of another Demon Lord, one not of “Greed,” the situation would be quite different. Verily, Master Lazy, the desire-less monarch of sloth, and I share a rare compatibility. This army is a perfect hunting ground for me.
Yet, today’s prize is not the SSS-rank magical sword. The real reason I joined this army lies elsewhere.
I place upon the table a skeletal doll I’ve just received.
He is the Demon Lord of inaction, a rarity even amongst those under the Great Demon Lord Kanon, ruling over sloth.
No one has ever witnessed this Demon Lord engage in direct combat. While the specifics of his sloth skill remain largely unknown, one thing is certain: the skill of the slaughterdoll and the combat capabilities of these dolls are widely recognized.
Indeed, I’ve encountered these dolls on the battlefield. During our clash, I became certain of their potential. I’m unaware of how many such dolls this skill can produce, but I’m convinced— they can take over the Demon World.
They were that formidable.
A creation that has gained such renown, a direct gift from the Demon Lord himself.
Though I am confident in my own strength, the capabilities of this doll are discernible even to a novice like me. Despite its recent creation, it is unmistakably— leagues apart.
In some respects, its power might even rival the magic sword gifted by the Great Demon Lord.
It’s still in its infancy, but with proper nurturing, it could become my right hand.
Kihkihkih, my greed is so profound, it feels as if I need another body to satisfy it.
The skeletal figure, once a mere candlestick, now stands firmly on two legs, gazing at me through its hollow eye sockets.
It indeed feels as if it possesses a will. While there are many demon skills that can create entities, this is indescribably the work of a Demon Lord.
Such an extraordinary skill, invoked without even a declaration, executed with a yawn.
Master Lazy is a terrifying man. Not in demeanor, but in power. The might by which he rose to prominence as the Demon Lord of Sloth without lifting a finger is simply chilling.
Despite the slight difference in our ranks, I can’t even fathom the tip of his power.
Ah well, someday… I shall claim that power for myself.
The skeletal doll kneels, adopting a posture of loyalty to me.
Very good, very good indeed.
Master Lazy has shown no interest in me whatsoever. Hence, there are no particular restrictions placed upon this weapon.
I lower my gaze to my newly acquired armament, and with a smirk, I say,
「Kihkihkih, I’m counting on you, Slaughter.」
In time, I shall seize everything.
For now, let us get along splendidly.
Upon my timely arrival to the war council chamber, the assembly is already complete.
The might of the Demon Lord of Sloth, Lazy Slaughterdolls, can be categorized into three distinct forces:
The First Legion, boasting the most significant number of members and pivotal for both offense and defense during wartime.
The Second Legion, smaller in number but elite, predominantly tasked with guarding Master’s fortress.
The The Third Legion, which I command, requires a moderate number of members. Utilizing their superior mobility and offensive prowess, they specialize in surprise assaults during wars.
There is also a separate faction led by the demon Liese Bloodcross, dispatched from the Great Demon Lord herself. However, they do not partake in our Master’s conflicts and are thus of little concern to us.
Such is the entirety of a Demon Lord known throughout the Demon World for necessitating such a formidable legion. Surprisingly simple, you might think? Perhaps, but in the end, simplicity often prevails.
Moreover, our continued victories suggest this structure needs no alteration. Fundamentally, demonic warfare is a clash of might against might, skill against skill.
Feeling the gazes of all present, I gracefully take my seat on the far-left armchair, positioning my confidant, Slaughter, to stand at my right.
When received from my master, this entity was merely the size of an artifact placed upon a side table. Yet, having drawn essence and malevolent energy from the demon realm, it has “grown.” The towering, two-meter skeletal figure silently standing is a sight to behold.
「Deji, you’re late.」
「Kihkihkih, my apologies. But I’m right on time, am I not? Forgive my slight tardiness.」
The complaint originates from Medea Luxuriaheart, the commander of the Second Legion, who, as always, seems to be in a rather foul mood.
She’s a petite female demon, her stern face framed by ruby-red eyes that bleed intensity, her rough-cut hair held back by ornate hairpins.
Quite the prim and proper missy she is.
However, one shouldn’t underestimate her. She is, after all, of the commander rank. Those deceived by her appearance will find themselves sorely regretting it; appearances and abilities often don’t align amongst demons.
Well, should we clash, the disparity in our weapons and natures ensures my victory.
Next, from the center of the room, an elegant man―Hard Lauder―addresses the gathering.
Though a tad shorter than myself, his slender frame and unassuming black hair are deceptive. He is, in fact, the supreme commander of this army, effectively Lazy’s right hand.
Many colorful characters serve under our master, but Hard is amongst the most dangerous. His strength is perhaps the closest to Lazy’s within our ranks.
「Very well, now that we’re all present, let us commence.」
Hard begins, his voice setting the stage as a map is projected onto the round table.
The map highlights the territories governed by our master in the Demon World, centered around his primary domain.
It’s a vast land, consuming the entirety of the underworld – boasting the most expansive territory even amongst the realms governed by Demon Lords aligned with the Great Demon Lord Kanon. The recently conquered Flame Abyss is also incorporated.
The vastness is truly admirable. However, it is also the frontline, bordering the territories of rebellious demons.
Kihkihkih, which, to me, signifies ample opportunities to annex lands. Then again, any lapse could see our lands snatched away. It would take a century before one thinks of usurping from Deji the Usurper.
Unless explicitly ordered by the Great Demon Lord, we wouldn’t initiate a conflict. After all, our lives are precious. Provoking Kanon, the Great Demon Lord who embodies wrath, would be a fool’s endeavor.
In truth, given the choice, I’d side with the Great Demon Lord over Master Lazy.
As Hard continues to present, he shares a crucial piece of intelligence.
「We have received orders from the Great Demon Lord to subjugate the Demon Lord of Gluttony, Zebul Gracos. Originally aligned with the Great Demon Lord, Zebul has now rebelled due to food shortages, slaughtering the Demon Lords Astel Zebedeus and Clad Astral, both allies of the Great Demon Lord. He is now advancing towards our territory.」
Upon the map, two radiant points penetrate through two circles, and the territories they touch turn a vivid red. These points, unabated, march toward the domain ruled by our Master.
Though there remains significant distance to the Slumbering Shadow Palace, where our Master resides, the trajectory is undeniable.
Kihkihkih, yet another predicament seems to have flown our way.
This situation markedly differs from the conflict I previously faced against Granza Estard.
Our adversary this time is the Demon Lord himself. During the time of Granza, we contended with his army, while the Demon Lord himself did not take the field. After all, a Demon Lord’s presence on the battlefield is a rare spectacle.
However, this time the circumstances have shifted. According to our intelligence, the Demon Lord himself marches with his troops.
「We’re talking about facing a Demon Lord who bested two of his peers here… are you sure, Hard?」
「Indeed, but while he did vanquish two Demon Lords, they were newcomers, holding no remarkable power. They pose no threat to Lord Lazy.」
Still, Supreme Commander Hard seems to be disregarding this fact.
Indeed, that’s quite accurate. Undoubtedly so.
For Master Lazy’s magical prowess is unparalleled, dwarfing that of any average Demon Lord. He was ranked third amongst the Demon Lords, wasn’t he? Being third simply implies — amongst the Demon Lords aligned with Kanon, Lazy stands as the third most formidable.
However, being labeled a Demon Lord means these two were significantly mightier than demons such as us, does it not?
Our adversary is a powerful demon who consecutively defeated two Demon Lords.
Such audacious confidence from Hard Lauder, the embodiment of haughtiness and supremacy. A tad overconfident, perhaps?
While I may be avaricious, I recognize the strengths of others.
Even I, who’s not particularly well-informed about other Demon Lords, know of Zebul – a name of great renown. Known by the title ‘Glutton,’ he was a formidable Demon Lord, holding the fifth rank in the army of the Great Demon Lord. And our Master Lazy wouldn’t make a move himself.
If the adversary were merely a demon, I’d have no doubt in my victory.
In a battle between legions, I’d trust in my capability to prevail.
However, when the adversary is a Demon Lord, even I, with countless victories under my belt, would be hard-pressed to anticipate a favorable outcome.
The answer seems obvious, but for confirmation’s sake, I inquire,
「What has our Master decreed?」
「”Act as you see fit.”」
I whistle softly, catching the disapproving glance from Medea.
As expected from the Demon Lord of Sloth, even the approach of another Demon Lord seems to barely pique his interest.
Such indifference makes Hard’s haughtiness appear almost childlike.
Medea, with her typical scowl, flips through the documents detailing Zebul’s actions. She soon speaks up.
「…It seems we’re at a slight disadvantage. Do we have any other pieces to play?」
「This command has been exclusively given to Lord Lazy.」
Master Lazy truly has his hands full. But pitting our third-ranking Demon Lord against their fifth makes strategic sense, if one disregards Master Lazy’s nature.
Medea, with her arms crossed and showing clear discontent, asks,
「Shall we trouble Lord Lazy?」
「Indeed. If our adversary is a Demon Lord, then we must respond with a force befitting such a challenge.」
What could qualify as a force befitting a Demon Lord remains a mystery.
However, a Demon Lord of decadence, like Lazy… remains immovable regardless of circumstances.
Just as I, the demon of Greed, would pursue treasures even if it means navigating life-threatening battles, his desire is insatiable, a relentless yearning akin to an inanimate object’s mere existence.
It is clear, and beyond doubt. This is a trial leading to glory.
Leading an army, and vanquishing a Demon Lord, shall elevate Lazy’s reputation to even loftier heights than ever before.
Furthermore, the reward for the feat of besting a Demon Lord who himself defeated two of his peers, might even exceed the magic sword, Celeste—a treasure beyond the SSS-rank, perhaps even reaching the L class. And that treasure should flow to me.
Once obtained, the yearning within me will ascend to an even higher plane. Perchance, it might elevate me close to the stature of a Demon Lord.
The risks are indeed worth the potential rewards.
「Hmph. We cannot let the name of our great Demon Lord be sullied… Deji, can you proceed as per the usual strategy?」
Hard stares at me intently, yet without a hint of impatience. He genuinely believes that he, on his own, can easily vanquish such a Demon Lord. His pride not only extends to himself but also permeates through the very legions he commands.
Indeed, by convention, the first strike falls upon the The Third Legion.
Kihkihkih, Supreme Commander Hard, ever so calmly, tasks me with such a daunting duty.
But I’m not one to overexert, you know? While I do crave glory…
「Kihkihkih, taking them on with just my army might be a tad difficult. While we can face an army, the gluttony skill of the enemy is specialized in area attacks. And above all, the opponent is a powerful Demon Lord.」
「I shall step forward.」
A petite young demoness rises from her seat.
What is this turn of events?
It’s rare for Medea, entrusted with guarding our Master, to volunteer herself.
Will tomorrows bring pigs that fly?
「…What’s this sudden gust blowing, young Medea? Don’t you have a duty to perform?」
If one had to choose, Supreme Commander Hard, who fares well against “Gluttony,” would be preferable to take the field.
Shouldn’t her duty be to protect our Master’s palace?
However, Medea responds with an unwavering gaze.
「Deji, Lord Lazy does not require the likes of my power.」
Oh, come now, isn’t that a statement one oughtn’t make?
It’s not merely about that, you see.
A Demon Lord’s skills are formidable. While there are variations based on proficiency, I can’t even begin to fathom the extent of the power of our Master’s skills, especially since he has climbed to the third rank due to our achievements.
But admitting that would render both Hard and me redundant.
The council chamber’s ambiance turns tense and volatile.
However, it gets dispelled by the next words of the young lady.
In a rare show of emotion, she fixes me with a stern look.
「Moreover, I haven’t had any significant achievements of late. I need a bit of… exercise.」
Such unexpected words from her, which normally would not be her domain.
Ah, I see. That’s the gist.
It’s not about logic or reason.
Our quiet Medea is more cunning than she seems.
Achievement. The reason why a young lady who is neither Greed nor Pride seeks.
With a smirk, I decide to prod a bit further.
「Oh? So, you’re saying… you’ve been feeling a bit pent up?」
Oh, how intimidating.
Her piercing tri-colored eyes seem to penetrate my very being, filling the chamber with a tremendous pressure.
Such a gaze alone feels as if it could take a life.
Kihkihkih, Medea Luxuriaheart, the demoness who governs Lust.
Well, what’s there to be embarrassed about? I too cannot deny my own desires. If the young lady struggles to suppress her lust, it’s only natural.
…Although, a demon of lust who still harbors such emotions is indeed a rarity.
「Deji, you can step back… no, you should step back. I shall handle this.」
However, her words are hard to ignore.
Smirking, I can’t help but retort,
「No, no, no! Isn’t the offense the role of my army? I can’t just step back. Remember, I embody ‘Greed.’」
「Hmph. Both of you can go.」
Hard dismissively suggests.
Indeed, he has a point. It would indeed be embarrassing if two of the renowned Master’s armies were to be defeated. The Demon Lord’s army is a gift bestowed upon us by the Great Demon Lord. If we were to lose it, we might invoke the “Wrath” of the Great Demon Lord. We must not give her a reason.
Although Medea seemed displeased by the statement, she refrained from further comment, perhaps recognizing the other’s capability or out of sheer loyalty.
The map that was projected onto the round table fades.
Although it’s called a war council, each demon has their own selfish agenda. The only consensus required is deciding who will confront the threat. The rest is up to the command of each legion’s leader.
Before standing up, I double-check with Hard,
「Are you sure you’re alright with this, Supreme Commander Hard?」
「Yes. There’s no need for me to intervene. I entrust this to Deji and Medea.」
His voice held a tone of genuine conviction. He truly believes that mere demons can overthrow a Demon Lord.
They’re all mad, every last one of them.
Kihkihkih, Pride indeed has its profound depths. Terrifying, really.
Well, from our side, we’ll do everything in our power to ensure we aren’t disposed of.
「Miss Medea, I dare say――」
「…Are you picking a fight? I’ll have you know I don’t come cheap.」
Already, the front-line base is in place.
The efficiency of Master Lazy’s army is unmatched in all the realms. While I, as the commander, am indeed exemplary, the quality of our standard demonic soldiers is on another plane. Having served in the grand armies of major nations, even I can discern the unmatched determination they possess. Naturally, this leads to unparalleled strength.
Kihkih, the leader here has no greed of his own. Even I, the embodiment of greed, find myself amply rewarded here. For the average demon, this is quite the lucrative assignment.
The army, poised across the expansive hill-bordering regions between two countries, numbers roughly a thousand. Nearly the entirety of the Third Legion.
Compared to the human armies, our numbers might seem diminished, but our quality is incomparable. A demon’s innate skills provide combat capabilities equivalent to overwhelming a thousand times their number in humans.
Our adversaries, led by the Demon Lord of Gluttony, have approximately three hundred in their ranks. Kihkihkih, while average in number for a single army, the morale boost provided by the direct leadership of a Demon Lord is nothing to scoff at. And Zebul’s army, being ranked fifth, has its fair share of renown.
The numerical advantage of our Third Legion is almost threefold. Normally, such a margin would ensure victory, but the presence of the opposing Demon Lord complicates matters. Gluttony inherently has skills tailored for wide-area annihilation. To what extent the Demon Lord can exert this power, I can’t even begin to predict. But considerable damage is all but guaranteed.
The outcome rests on understanding the enemy’s hand, discerning their capabilities.
Kihkihkih, but when it comes to morale, we aren’t lacking either. After all, we have the rare presence of Medea Luxuriaheart, who usually stands guard at the castle. Kihkihkih, she certainly looks the part, representing lust.
Perhaps there’s a chance to partake in some of the spoils. That alone can elevate spirits.
The very Medea in question, however, is clad in her usual stern-faced manner, donning a long, pure white robe without a hint of allure. She’s lacking in allure. She appears almost nun-like in demeanor.
「―― young missy, methinks you ought to dawn attire more beguiling. It has an undeniable effect on morale, you see.」
In response to my sincere counsel, she offers a scoffing snort.
「It’s none of your concern, Deji. I’ve told you time and time again… I find the very idea of being seen in that light utterly nauseating.」
Indeed, she has made such sentiments clear before. However, her declarations seem hardly fitting for one who embodies lust. Might there be some oversight here?
A demon’s desires are far from superficial.
When granted a class, a path of profession unveils before one. Yet this path is seldom linear; it often diverges, branching out, with the direction taken decided by individual will. Naturally, the skills available are determined by the chosen path.
A basic concept referred to as the Skill Lineage Tree, or the Skill Tree. By this definition, there are eight main branches for a demon’s class. Namely, they correspond to the seven cardinal sins: Sloth, Greed, Lust, Wrath, Gluttony, Envy, and Pride. Combined with the foundational tree that oversees basic demonic capabilities, there are eight in total.
These are, in a manner of speaking, signposts of fate. Following them sequentially grants increasingly powerful skills. However, the progression of a demon’s skill tree isn’t as straightforward as simply amassing experience or skill use.
The demonic Skill Lineage Tree requires the actualization of their inherent desires. This is the shackles imposed by the passive skill at the beginning of each tree: “Desire of the Original Sin”.
Due to this skill, mere leveling up doesn’t increase our available abilities.
By satisfying Greed, one can progress the tree of Greed. Likewise, by satisfying Lust, one can progress the tree of Lust.
In this regard, Miss Medea seems overly ascetic.
Kihkihkih, can she truly progress the Lust tree that way? Though I, not governed by Lust, can hardly comprehend.
Still, I should hold my tongue. After all, I wouldn’t want to upset her and meet a premature end.
「Kihkihkih, your path is your own. Just ensure you fight well.」
「Even if you hadn’t said so. I plan on claiming the reward.」
「Now, now, hold on. The army was my idea, wasn’t it?」
As strong as she might be, claiming the entirety of the spoils for herself is a bit much, even for my greedy self. Besides, her powers… they aren’t exactly suited for combat, are they?
The Illusionary Mirage, Medea.
The most infamous among demons are the Demon Lords. Yet even without that title, if one reaches a commander’s caliber, their name resonates far and wide.
Her name ranks among the top three in Master Lazy’s army. Kihkihkih, even I knew of her before joining his ranks.
I am clueless as to why a demon of Luxuria would join the fold of a demon of Acedia.
Ordinary demons would be no match, but our current adversary is far from ordinary. Facing the Demon Lord of Gluttony, the odds aren’t favorable.
Medea briefly casts her gaze towards the Slaughterdoll looming behind me.
Despite lacking even a name, the Slaughterdoll already boasts combat capabilities far surpassing an average demon. Armed with the rare weapons I’ve gathered, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
It’s a testament to the exceptional power of its creator.
Yet, Medea turns back towards me, showing genuine disinterest.
「I have no need for weapons, nor for treasure tools. I don’t need dolls, nor do I desire status.」
「Come now, then what, pray tell, do you desire?」
「I am Lust. All I desire is beauty itself」
Aye, indeed… most intriguing.
With those mere words, it becomes crystal clear. Her sin of lust, the very essence she craves, is far more profound and wicked than my simple desire for objects and power.
However, it matters not. Her yearning does not clash with mine. For now, I shall let such things be.
Delving deeper into the matter as business partners… is superfluous, methinks.
「Our desires do not conflict, it seems. Very well, I shall trust in your words. Being struck from behind and meeting my end would be most unsavory, after all.」
I offer a cautionary word.
Within the ranks of demons, allegiances shift easily, with allies turning foes at the slightest clash of wills.
Kihkihkih, and to add, Medea was one who opposed my inclusion into the army till the very end. One can never be too prepared, I reckon.
Still, in a head-on confrontation, she stands no chance against me, equipped as I am with weapons befitting a Demon Lord.
I do hope she exercises her powers to their utmost, avoiding a dog’s death. After all, she must possess a formidable strength, enough to boldly challenge a Demon Lord, no?
Zebul Gracos, the Demon Lord who reigns over Gluttony―the insatiable Zebul is among the most fearsome of Demon Lords.
Even amongst the vassals of the Great Demon Lord, Kanon Iralord, who boasts the most extensive dominion in the Demon World, Zebul surely ranks within the top ten. His rank, while not directly corresponding to sheer combat prowess, was fifth amongst the Demon Lords under the Great Demon Lord.
I ask loudly in front of the assembled legion in front of me.
「Do you know what that means, gentlemen?」
Common sense it may be, but not all demons resemble humans.
While the more potent demons often bear a humanoid form, their appearances reveal their very essence.
This orderly assembly, composed of various grotesque demons, emanates an unusual level of discipline seldom seen among the demon lord’s legions.
All of this is thanks to the skills of the master who governs this land. The land imbued with a Demon Lord’s power bestows strength upon their allies.
The universally known class skill of a Demon Lord, the renowned Realm of Chaos (Abyss Zone).
It is precisely this that determines the advantage in a demon’s battle. Not the size of the legion, not the land’s advantage, but the disparity between the ranks of the Demon Lords to which they belong.
Master Lazy may not be present on the frontlines, but an invisible battle between the Demon Lords is already underway.
Zebul’s unseen influence is attempting to corrode Lazy’s domain, striving to create an environment advantageous for his own army.
Kihkihkih, I wish him all the luck.
Well, I suppose I’ll have to pitch in as well.
「This means… the honor of vanquishing a Demon Lord… and a high-ranking one at that, has been bestowed upon us. Kihkihkih, our master certainly keeps us on our toes, gifting us such a grand opportunity…」
I wish he’d be a tad more considerate, but that’s wishful thinking.
Chances are, our master probably doesn’t even recall that Zebul is advancing upon us.
However, that’s none of our concern as we engage in direct combat.
One cannot be apprehensive about taking risks to satiate their greed. With such an attitude, one would remain a lowly demon in the hinterlands all their life.
I unsheath the sword at my side.
The Magic Sword Celeste.
A blade known to every swordsman, nay, every demon.
All eyes are drawn to the flaming blade.
Burning with a crimson aura akin to the sun, my power sends a beam of light piercing through the red skies of the demon realm. This power greatly surpasses even my own.
Kihkihkih, with this, I possess the strength of a hundred.
Furthermore, while it may be inferior to Celeste, I possess several other magic swords of almost equal rank.
「Forward, curs! Wealth, honor, power, women – all shall be ours for the taking. Unleash your desires, prove your worth to our Demon Lord, Lazy Slaughterdolls, and to the Great Demon Lord, Kanon Iralord. Let us remind the Demon Lord of Gluttony, on the brink of ruin, just who he dared to challenge!」
A thunderous cheer erupts from the monstrous assembly.
These demons are no fools. Powerful Demon Lords attract equally potent underlings. It’s not just about the blessings of the Great Demon Lord. It’s a power that attracts destiny.
Their fiendish, combative spirits resonate with the demonic instinct. The battlefield now surges with anticipation.
In the burning flame sky, a surreal blue moon emerges.
The territory remains under the dominion of Master Lazy. Far in the wasteland, shadows of the black army of Gluttony race forth.
Medea rises with an ethereal grace.
Her silhouette, akin to a dense mist, is intangible. Yet her sheer presence, laden with authority, makes her existence undeniable.
Our paths seldom cross due to the inherent natures of our legions, but even a mere movement from her speaks volumes of her prowess as a demon.
The skills of Lust are almost alien to me. While I’ve encountered its practitioners, encountering one of a commander’s stature is a rarity.
A high-grade illusion that targets the senses of demons blessed with strong mental resilience.
The gazes of the underlings, which once ogled Medea with lecherous intent, shift.
Kihkihkih. This one’s a fearsome dame, isn’t she? After all, she’s the sole woman and commander in our battalion. Underestimate her, and she might just snatch your very soul.
「I shall go first. Any objections?」
「Kihkihkih. Do as you wish, Mistress of Lust. You are our guest this day.」
She can have the first assault. What I crave is the final outcome.
Let us first gauge the might of Gluttony. Is that not Luxuria’s forte?
Medea’s form wavers once more. Though it mimics a fleeting mirage, there’s no reverting. Now, two identical entities stand, each echoing the same tones.
「Greed (Avarice), I am indebted.」
「…No need for thanks. Just ensure you aren’t struck down with a single blow.」
With a soft snort, Lust (Luxuria) laughs off my words.
And then, in a mere blink, her forms multiply, too numerous to count.
This… is the skill tree of Lust. The artifice of demons manifesting through seduction and illusion.
Unexpected. An illusion that can deceive even my perceptive gaze… and to manifest in such numbers?
By the gods, is she some kind of monstrosity? My mental resilience seems barely effective against her.
While my inner turmoil rages, I muster every ounce of strength to hide any trace of it on my visage.
In comparison to her, the abilities of the Lust demons I’ve previously encountered seem child’s play.
Skills have hierarchies. Without mastering the preceding skill, the next remains elusive. How much indulgence in Lust is required to attain such a mesmerizing illusion?
Medea licks her lips with a sultry gesture, their hue deepening to a blood-red tint, a gesture befitting the domain she oversees.
「I’ll be going now.」
The pure white robe flutters.
With each distinct movement causing the robe to sway, all the illusions of Medea dart forth.
Crossing the wasteland without so much as a whisper, unnoticed despite their prominent gestures. Yet, they move with a staggering speed.
Their shimmering presence, like a heat haze, is so faint that one might lose sight of them. They remain undetected by the senses or magical perception.
Foolish. Utterly foolish. This is dire. Her ability… it’s true to her moniker.
Just as rumors portrayed? Nonsense! She’s beyond that. If I cannot resist with my skills, it’s unlikely the members of the Gluttony legion can easily discern her either.
At this rate… they might be deceived and slaughtered.
No need for someone like me to intervene.
I’d heard of Luxuria’s unparalleled and terrifying high-tier skills, but I never imagined I’d witness them here. The world is full of surprises. I’m grateful she’s an ally.
Though, being an ally makes her a nuisance. At this rate, she’ll claim all the credit.
「Hey! This is no time to dawdle! Follow Medea and charge! We can’t let the lady take all the glory!」
My words finally seem to resonate, as my demon underlings rush forth. Yet, their gazes remain transfixed on the countless Medeas.
Good grief, they’re all deceived. If we had a demon of Lust as an enemy, it’d be a nightmare. Should I equip them with resistance gear?
Then again, can mere magical tools resist this level of illusion?
Raising a cloud of dust while descending the hill amidst the rushing demon legion, I turn to my sole remaining confidant.
The demon of Envy (Invidia), Liber Agens. Petite and lacking in brute strength, his unparalleled knowledge makes him a scholarly demon. He’s also my sworn ally since joining this legion.
In the wars of demons, discerning the enemy’s skills is crucial. The strategy changes accordingly.
I ask the knowledgeable demon, not about the enemy, but about our ally.
「Hey, that skill, do you recognize it?」
Liber, with his piercing purple eyes, had been unabashedly observing Medea. But he answers promptly. His childish form is deceptive, for this man has vast knowledge, recognized even in battles against the celestial beings.
Amongst my friends, he is the most informed about demons.
「I don’t recognize it, but I’ve heard… the top-tier skill of Lust… an SS-tier skill called ‘Veiled Dance Mirage’. It’s a skill that creates tangible illusions…」
He grits his teeth with a fierce expression, his voice echoing as if rising from the depths of hell.
However, his expression is the least of my concerns. His words were beyond my expectations.
「What? This must be a joke. An SS-tier skill? Isn’t that beyond even the capacity of a commander?」
「…It’s unbelievable. But… it’s undeniable. If an illusion can deceive even my eyes, which possess far superior mental resilience than yours…」
His words hold no falsehood. Given the nature of Envy’s skills, Liber’s resilience far surpasses mine.
Can this be true?
An SS-tier skill from the Lust tree? Without a doubt, it’s in the realm of a Demon Lord.
Even I, of the same commander rank, have only achieved up to the high-class… S-tier skills of Greed.
That seemingly impassive lady achieved it? How?
Or has she been concealing her innermost desires? Refraining from external display? Some kind of reserved lust? No, that’s absurd. A demon’s desires aren’t so superficial. What trick is she using?
More importantly, how did she achieve such a level and yet… hasn’t become the Demon Lord of Lust?
No, now’s not the time to ponder that.
The skill of a Demon Lord greatly surpasses that of an ordinary demon. I know not how many skills they might wield, but if Luxuria can freely command an SS-tier skill, even a high-ranking Demon Lord might find themselves hard-pressed in battle against her. Especially as they shouldn’t have any foreknowledge about her abilities. After all, top-tier demons of Lust are few in number.
This is bad, at this rate, the Demon Lord of Gluttony might be devoured!
From a different dimension, I draw forth my sword, grasping it with my left hand. Drawing out Celeste, I glare at the approaching Medea from a distance.
That pristine white robe of hers. Despite its conspicuousness, none seems to have their sights set on her.
「Tsk, very well. I shall step forth. Liber, use your ‘Envy’ upon her skill.」
「…But my capacity is already full.」
Oh, for the love of… This man truly knows not the value of things. Opportunities to envy Luxuria’s top-tier skills don’t come often.
The skill Envy (Invidia) is finicky. If one grows too greedy, they risk becoming a mediocre demon, blind to when and how to employ their powers.
「Liber, discard my ‘Usurpation’.」
「…I understand. It was quite useful, though.」
Liber nods in swift understanding. It’s this keen insight I’ve always admired.
That’s why he and I are such close allies.
「Kihkihkih. Worry not. Once your skill tree expands, you’ll have room once again. With access to top-tier skills of Lust, you’ll be able to rise swiftly. Fortunately, you’ve almost met the prerequisites, haven’t you?」
「Yes, I shall proceed thus.」
The skill ‘Envy’ allows one to perfectly mimic another’s skill, albeit with restrictions on usage and stringent prerequisites.
Such a handy ability. If the conditions are met, one could even utilize skills of a Demon Lord’s caliber.
This is a golden opportunity. Approaching the Demon Lord isn’t easy. Meeting the prerequisites is no simple task.
The skill that Medea showcased is formidable and versatile. Once I’ve mastered it, my strength will soar.
Drawing me ever closer to the Demon Lord. When Deji the Usurper teams up with Liber the Seeker, they become invincible.
Kihkihkih, it seems my luck is finally turning.
Let the usurpation commence.
「Young missy, my apologies, but I shall be taking that skill of yours.」
All power, honor, treasures – everything shall belong to me.