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Chapter 126: The Sage Listens to the Answer of the Previous Demon Lord
We entered the forest of the World Tree.
There was a straight road ahead.
It was something that hadn’t existed before, but was currently being used by the elves who came to and fro from the village.
Since there were no foreign enemies in the vicinity except for wild animals, it was set up without taking measures for invasion.
However, it wasn’t like we were being careless either.
There were innumerable magic spreads around the area.
There were varieties of them, from easily visible ones to cleverly disguised ones.
Even an expert magician would have a hard time breaking through all of them.
If there were any people with vile intentions, only death awaited them.
All these magic spreads had been jointly set up by me and Logan.
They basically weren’t activated yet, and were only prepared for just in case scenarios.
In fact, it has never been used before, not even once.
I could only hope it would stay that way forever.
Diella looked around as she walked down the road.
She was dazzled as she held her hand to cover herself from the sunlight shining through the gaps between leaves.
“It is a beautiful forest as usual. So much so that it makes me regret not having invaded it back then.”
Diella was talking about the time when she used to be the Demon Lord of the era.
The Demon Lord’s Army at the time had launched their attack on the entire continent.
It had been a very chaotic situation with the demonkin rampaging all over the place.
That was why that person and I had traveled around the world to defeat the demonkin.
In the process, we had also been looking for a way to block miasma.
Unless we took measures for that, we wouldn’t have been able to fight in the main base of the Demon Lord — now known as the Previous Demon Lord’s Territory.
That time was full of a series of ordeals.
It was a period where no amount of life we had could be enough to accomplish that duty.
It was amazing that we had managed to survive that.
On the other hand, as to whether the Demon Lord’s Army back then had also maintained their victories like the current Demon Lord’s Army, that was actually not the case.
Compared to the current Demon Lord’s Army, they were not as organized, and there were even cases where demonkin fought against each other.
The demonkin’s invasion route was also irregular, and many of them were clearly done without thinking.1
This forest of the World Tree was a rare region that was barely exposed to the threat of the demonkin.
The fact that it was adjacent to the Empire was also a great reason for that.
For that reason, the demonkin were unable to carelessly attack this place.
Although the Empire has already been ruined, it used to be the owner of tremendous power back in the day.
Their power had been great enough to make it hard even for the demonkin to approach.
In addition, the previous Demon Lord Diella had a great weakness.
When I recalled that, I muttered in a nostalgic tone.
“You’re weak against spirit magic after all.”
The draconic race had superior magic resistance for most types of magic, but they were weak against spirit magic.
It was something similar to my affinity with holy magic.
At that, Diella smiled bitterly.
“Even if you phrase it as a weakness, it’s not fatal to me. However, the elves gave me a series of regrets. I can still list them even now.”
The bases of the elves, who possessed control over her weakness, were located at geographically troublesome locations.
It must have been very annoying for Diella.
However, she had overcome such weakness at this point.
Her physical nature had changed after two revivals.
If the Diella of back then was as powerful as she was in her current state, the damage around the world would have been more serious.
As I was reminded of events from decades ago, I asked Diella.
“Do you still hold a grudge towards the elves?”
“If I did, I wouldn’t have asked them to hold the feast. I never held any grudge towards them. Back then, they had their own creed, just like I had mine. Just because our creeds clash, it doesn’t make the other side evil. If one were to objectively speak, then I would be evil for affirmed slaughter and conquest.”
Diella stated so as she walked.
It was a serious tone, unlike her usual one.
That might be the basis of her thoughts.
Despite understanding herself as evil, Diella chose to bear the title of the Demon Lord.
She did so to give momentum to the revitalization of the demonkin.
The way she did things was similar to mine.
I pointed out what Diella had just said.
“Does the Demon Lord speak about justice and evil?”
“That’s the one thing I don’t want to be told about by you.”
As Diella laughed, she looked toward Grom.
She then asked him.
“Grom, what do you think about that? What do you think about the existence of the Demon Lord?”
Grom stopped on his feet as he looked at the ground and thought.
His orbital flame turned smaller and smoldered.
Eventually Grom spoke with a biting tone.
“I support the spirit of the Demon Lord-sama. I chose to serve him because it was this person. I wouldn’t swear my loyalty to a person just because they made me and were unable to convince me to do so. Predecessor, if you had been the one to make me, I might not have chosen to serve you.”
“Ugh, it sure hurts my heart being told so bluntly…”
Diella painfully held her chest down.
As she saw me not give any particular response, she cleared her throat and resumed talking.
“I got quite hurt by that, but that’s basically it.”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s about the way of life as a Demon Lord. Didn’t you ask for my opinion previously?”
I was reminded by Diella’s words.
I had asked her about it a while back.
She had given me an irresponsible answer back then, so I could only be stupefied by her answer.
Perhaps she was just being playful before, but this time she had seriously thought about it before she gave her answer.
“It was about being blessed by subordinates. That was the greatest thing to have. Unless you abandon your original goal, everyone would naturally choose to follow you.”
I was in total agreement with those words.
I wouldn’t have been able to create the current situation with my power alone.
I was able to manage the Demon Lord’s Territory because my subordinates supported me.
They were reliable people.
Diella suddenly stood in front of me.
She gently reached out to me and touched my face.
Diella smiled kindly as she told me.
“You are wise, unlike I was. You must face more trouble because of that, but you can just move forward even if you hesitate. Since you’ll live for a very long time, you should relax moderately.”
Her words reminded me that the person before me was the Previous Demon Lord.
Although it wasn’t like she exuded her magic power or killing intent, she still gave out an overwhelming presence.
That was the power that drew people in.
That was the factor that made her the Demon Lord.
The usual Diella didn’t appear to have any good points, to say the least.
She was like a prime example of how lazy people could be.
However, the glimpse of this side of hers reminded me that she was once our former nemesis.
As Diella took her hand away from my face, she looked very excited.
As her atmosphere from before disappeared, she asked me in a cheerful tone.
“How was it?! Didn’t it sound Demon Lord-like?”
“I won’t deny that.”
“Fufun, you may worship me for that. Also give me extra allowance on top of that.”
Diella extended her hand as if asking for an obvious thing.
I immediately shook my head.
“…I refuse that one.”
“Why?! Did you lose your human heart already?!”
Diella lamented as if the world had met its end.
As she fell to her knees, she began to tearfully beg.
I instinctively looked towards Grom.
Grom put his hand on his forehead and looked in the other direction.
He tried his best to not let Diella enter his sight.
Can I consider her as emotionally unstable?
This previous Demon Lord can give very different impressions at times.
It seemed it was still difficult for me to fully understand her.
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