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Chapter 102: The Sage Hears a Nostalgic Name
After I destroyed the Previous Demon Lord’s Territory, I continued on my path of destruction.
Relying on information from spies, I traveled around the Republic and stole samples of the magic beast drug, one after another.
In addition, I moved the entire manufacturing facility through space transfer and kidnapped the people who worked there.
While it did seem like I went overboard, it also served for gathering attention.
With me going wild, the mastermind had no choice but to pay attention to my actions.
It gave the spies more leeway to finish their jobs.
We gathered information by using Luciana’s charm on abducted humans.
However, the crucial details regarding the mastermind weren’t available.
According to Luciana, there were traces of memory tampering on some of the victims.
It was something irreversible through magic.
Apparently, the only memories erased were ones involving that crucial information.
Memory tampering was a fairly advanced magic.
On top of that, it was practically impossible for an average magician to use them without leaving a physical sign and crippling the target.
Even if one searched the whole continent, it was doubtful somebody capable of this magic could be found.
Even I wouldn’t be able to tamper with someone’s memory with such accuracy.
Once it became that precise, it was a matter of aptitude rather than knowledge or experience.
Such an advanced level of memory tampering was almost unique on its own.
It wasn’t properly systemized and the users were few in number.
Even if I was aware of its magic construct and its chant, it still wasn’t something I could easily do.
During my time as a human, I only ever met a few people who were capable of this.
Even then, their subject would be crippled, or the memory alteration would be temporary.
I never saw memory tampering with this level of perfection.
There was also the matter of battle with demon beast, there were a lot of exceptional events that happened these days.
The mastermind sure was cunning.
He must possess great power.
I knew they were capable the moment they managed to produce the demon beast drug, but I never expected they would be this formidable.
As expected, is the mastermind that man’s successor…?
I began to wonder once again.
To be honest, I was almost convinced that was the case.
There was almost nothing that could make me doubt it.
Memory tampering was that man’s specialty.
By combining such capability with his speech skill and his behind the scene actions, he became a first-class instigator.
If it was the successor of that man, it wouldn’t be absurd if they managed to do the same.
Once I linked all these clues together, it was hard to think it was done by an unrelated person.
The problem was the fact that the whereabouts of this mastermind were still unknown.
We managed to find storage locations for the drug, one after another.
However, there was still no clue leading to the mastermind.
Even when I tried to use wide-range perception magic, I failed to sense any reaction.
The result was the same despite including neighboring nations in the search range.
As I failed to find a single clue, their dark maneuvering continued still.
Most likely, they hid their whereabouts using their original concealment method.
They were clearly wary of being captured by me.
They made preparations from the beginning so I couldn’t reach their foothold.
It seemed that the other party wanted to avoid a direct confrontation with me.
Perhaps they understood that they couldn’t win in combat.
Perhaps the other party wouldn’t reveal themselves until they could guarantee they could finish me off.
This was exactly why I wanted to catch them by surprise.
Fortunately, our side was beginning to get used to handling the demon beast outbreaks.
Even if they happened in cities within the Demon Lord’s Territory, we could swiftly eliminate them.
The damage was kept at a minimum.
On the other hand, I never heard news regarding demon beast outbreaks in any other nation.
The damage kept increasing within the Demon Lord’s territory.
The last outbreak that happened at the Slave Autonomous Region was the first and last exception of this.
The mastermind was clearly aiming for the Demon Lord’s Territory.
I could sense a clear hostility.
So much so that I figured the mastermind had some kind of grudge against me.
As of now, only the remote cities were targeted by the outbreak, but if left unchecked, the demon beast might eventually spawn in the capital.
Due to such circumstances, the other nations were feeling optimistic.
They had expectations that someone would defeat the Demon Lord.
I did think they were too carefree, but I understood why they thought so.
If the threat to their nation could be removed without spilling a drop of blood on their land, they would welcome it regardless of how it was done.
For the time being, I would keep identifying and destroying the stored demon beast drug.
I’d also like to grasp the whereabouts of the mastermind.
It was annoying to have this situation continue.
I wanted to have the solution as soon as possible.
One day, Luciana visited the audience room.
She had a peeved expression.
I had never seen her in such a bad mood before.
When she sat down on the chair, she sighed loudly.
“Demon Lord-sama, I have unfortunate news.”
“I expected so. What is it?”
“The Republic has collapsed. Their citizens were all turned into either demon beasts or demonkin.”
I stiffened for a moment as I heard the report.
It took me a long time to digest the words.
I looked at Luciana and felt something similar to a headache.
“…Tell me in detail.”
“Yes, I’ll explain it in order.”
Luciana began to line up the facts.
By this morning, the people in every city of the Republic, including their capital, were all transformed into either demon beast or demonkin.
It seemed similar situations happened one after another in the remaining cities.
The transformed showed no symptoms. It was truly a sudden phenomenon.
There was never an uproar of this scale before.
It was unlikely they administered the drug to every single citizen.
They must have mixed it into their food and drink in every city.
If the demon beast drug’s concentration was adjusted properly, it was possible to mix such things unnoticed.
However, there was one thing that made me curious.
I asked Luciana about that.
“Some people transformed into demonkin by ingesting demon beast drugs?”
“While the number was small, they indeed transformed into demonkin. Perhaps it was something regarding the constitution?”
There might be some composition difference in every demon beast drug.
That could be one of the factors.
It was originally a drug which transformed a human into a demon beast.
I wasn’t too surprised when I learned they transformed into demonkin instead.
…Perhaps the demon beast was the failure?
Considering it was possible to be transformed into a demonkin, perhaps that was what the enemy was aiming for in the first place.
It was no wonder to have such a thought.
A demonkin possessed great power, and also kept their reasoning unlike a demon beast.
Some of them would possess various magic aptitudes, and they were generally superior compared to other races.
If they could transform into one through the use of a drug, nothing would be more convenient.
Anyway, it was clear that the Republic had fallen into the hands of the demonkin.
Recently, there was an outcry to surrender to the Demon Lord, but those people were forcibly slaughtered.
I thought they did so out of an obsession to attack the Demon Lord’s Territory, but to think they would turn their whole population into either demon beast or demonkin.
It was practically an act of insanity.
“On top of that, the Republic had declared war on the Demon Lord’s Territory. And the name of their representative was…”
Luciana’s voice halted there.
Apparently, the next words were the reason for her disgruntled expression.
After hesitating several times, Luciana bitterly spoke.
“Baruch Wen Danian. It was definitely that man.”
I was deeply convinced.
I had my doubts, but it struck me to think that my most unpleasant premonition was true.
Baruch Wen Danian.
The name that Luciana said belonged to a man who was one of the Four Heavenly Kings of the Previous Demon Lord.
He was a shaman who was among the strongest in the world.
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