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Chapter 12: The Sage Offers the Prisoner a Bargain (Part 2)
I calmly observed Henry.
I could kill him if I was serious.
I could simply use my nearly inexhaustible magic power to launch a series of large scale magic spells capable of changing the terrain.
If I attacked with a force that could annihilate the entire capital city, even Henry would not be spared.
It was possible for me to do that.
In the first place, Henry was not able to kill me.
No matter how good he was at physical attacks, it wasn’t enough to make me disappear.
Even if he destroyed this body, I could easily take control of another undead’s body and revive.
In the long run, I would inevitably win.
But I was beginning to take an interest in the man called Henry.
It would be a pity to kill such a capable person here.
Fortunately, he was extremely capricious.
Since he was already a near-villainous character, I had a feeling that I could negotiate, and persuade him to join the Demon Lord’s Army.
With that in mind, I decided to make a suggestion as he braced himself for my next attack.
“Henry Blakin. Would you like to make a bet with me?”
“…What did you say?”
Henry loosened his stance and gave me a puzzled look.
He was indeed not expecting it, and he seemed intrigued.
It was not a bad reaction, seeing as he didn’t attack me even though I was full of openings.
He assumed an attitude of being willing to listen, at least for the time being.
“Let’s have a prize for the winner of our one-on-one combat. If I win, I want you to join the Demon Lord’s army. If I lose, I’ll grant you a wish, within reasonable limits.”
“W-Wait, Demon Lord!?”
This time, it was Luciana who was surprised.
She tried to run up to me, but I stopped her with my gaze.
It was a critical stage.
I knew how she felt, but I didn’t want her to interfere.
Luciana nodded with a meek look on her face and returned to her position, where she observed calmly.
She seemed to trust me for the time being.
She would have forcibly interrupted the conversation if she thought it was really dangerous.
Meanwhile, Henry was lost in thought.
He was seriously considering my proposal.
After a few moments of pondering, he gave a fierce smile.
“—If I defeat you, give me the Demon Lord’s Army itself. I’m not sure what to do next, now that my time as a prisoner is over. It could be fun to go to war with the world.”
I stiffened at Henry’s words.
It wasn’t an answer I anticipated.
I knew he was a moody sociopath, but I truly didn’t expect this.
Suppressing my emotions, I spoke to Henry in a nonchalant tone.
“The Demon Lord isn’t a role you can hold with half-hearted resolve. I don’t think you’re up to the task.”
“And you have that resolve?”
I answered immediately.
At the bottom of the Valley of the Dead, I decided to bear all of it.
There is no one who can replace me.
It was certainly not a role that you could casually take up.
Henry stared at me intently.
What was he thinking about? I couldn’t guess.
He looked serious, unusual for him.
“Are you going to accept the bet or not? Tell me your answer.”
When I prompted him, Henry folded his arms and pondered further.
A different emotion began to grow in his eyes.
It was neither hostility nor fighting spirit.
In fact, it somehow felt familiar.
Before I could figure out what it was, Henry gave me his answer.
“Of course I will. I can’t miss such an interesting turn of events. Let’s get on with it.”
Henry stated happily, then laughed as he readied his fists.
He then charged towards me.