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Chapter 75 – The Sage Discovers the Inventor’s Personality
“So you’re John Doe. We can finally converse.”
“You are… the Demon Lord.”
John Doe sounded nervous.
His breathing was a little disturbed.
I couldn’t see his face since we were speaking through magic tools, but I got a weak impression from his voice.
Was this really the inventor of those weapons?
While I had my doubts, I decided to tell him my intention.
“Return the mystical stone that you stole from the empire. The Great Spirit is on a wild rampage and it is very troublesome.”
“That’s… I can’t do that.”
John Doe replied flatly.
He spoke without any hesitation.
“Why is that so?”
“Because it is absolutely necessary. I tried to search for other candidates, but only the mystical stone matched my requirements.”
Since he expressed that it was a candidate it seemed that there was a purpose for its use.
Considering it was something which required the mystical stone as a catalyst, it was likely something amazing.
The scale would exceed even the great magic.
I couldn’t imagine the purpose of its use since it needed to go that far.
Because technically, anything could be done by using it.
“What’s it a candidate for?”
“…I can’t tell you about it.”
John Doe replied after a short pause.
He sounded firm on his will and wouldn’t be convinced through words.
As expected, I needed to meet him in person in order to have a proper conversation.
However, the fact we could converse was a unique opportunity in and on itself.
If we met in person and had a conversation, a calm exchange was almost impossible.
I wanted to get all the information I could now.
Depending on his answer, I would decide whether I would invite him to join the Demon Lord’s army or not.
Logan and I looked at each other.
Logan nodded, closed his eyes, and began to concentrate his senses.
He would try to find the location of both John Doe and the mystical stone during the conversation.
We wouldn’t waste a single moment.
We must be ready to anticipate any sudden developments.
I decided to keep talking to buy us some time.
“Very well, it’s most likely going to be used as a magic catalyst for something capable of killing me. I know that.”
“Regardless of your plan, I’ll put it to a stop. I’ll kill ten thousands of citizens if it is necessary to do so.”
I said my declaration, which also served as a provocation.
However, it wasn’t an empty threat.
I would do it if I deemed it necessary.
The damage to various parts of the capital had already occurred by the hands of the Demon Lord’s Army.
Numerous undead also swelled, and they would begin to devour the living right around this time.
Most of the Magic Kingdom’s army would be busy dealing with that.
The fact that nobody came to attack us despite us leisurely chatting here was proof of that.
Their division of roles wasn’t sufficient.
Perhaps due to my magic interference, they had communication troubles with their whole army.
“… Stop it. The people who live in this nation are not guilty of it.”
John Doe said so, sadly.
That wasn’t an act.
He truly felt heartache for the citizens’ pain.
That was why I spoke to him with a cold tone.
“Do you think you could convince a Demon Lord? You guys are at fault for stealing the mystical stone to begin with. Didn’t you consider that the damage would eventually reach the citizens?”
“Even I only got to know its origin after I got the mystical stone! If I knew it was the mystical stone of the Great Spirit, I would have stopped it, as best I could! But it’s already too late…”
John Doe’s voice sounded dented.
He seemed to be mentally cornered.
He must be aware of how wrong his choice was.
However, he also knew it was too late to turn back.
It was clear that he was suffering from a heavy burden.
“Don’t decide if it is too late on your own. If you have any regrets, quickly hand it over. I’ll give it back to the Great Spirit.”
“…So that you can use the mystical stone for yourself?”
“You’re wrong. I just want to quickly settle troublesome matters. I’ll return the mystical stone to the Great Spirit. That’s why, hand it over to me.”
The three days of grace given by the Great Spirit were about to pass.
I would go to the empire’s territory at dawn and return the mystical stone to the Great Spirit.
If I did any of it wrong, the damage would also extend to the Demon Lord’s Territory.
It was possible for the Great Spirit to do so.
She might go on a rampage without thinking of the consequences.
She was the kind of existence that I would avoid being hostile against if it was possible.
John Doe remained silent for a while.
It seemed that he was considering whether or not he would take my offer.
Eventually, he gave his answer.
“As expected, it is impossible. You are the Demon Lord. It is hard to trust you.”
“I see. That’s too bad.”
I responded innocently to him.
I was already expecting him to reply like that.
The action of handing over the mystical stone to the Demon Lord was nothing but dangerous- if one was not aware of the circumstances.
Even I wouldn’t hand it over in his position.
John Doe’s judgment would generally be a correct one.
There was nothing wrong about that.
As we talked like this, I could tell that John Doe was a man leaning towards the good side.
It didn’t seem like he developed those weapons for pleasure.
He was just forced into the situation and suffered from extreme anxiety.
He was a person who constantly struggled.
I glanced at Logan, who was still concentrating next to me.
He was still trying to sense it.
I expect that a more precise location would be told to me later.
Once I knew that, I could forcefully take away the mystical stone by transferring it away.
I wished to end it before the other side noticed the anomaly.
For that reason, I need to naturally continue the conversation.
Putting the struggle of my old friend aside, I spoke about another topic.
“By the way, what do you want from me? You must want something from me because you talked to me without meeting me in person.”
“That’s right… I have one request for you.”
“What is it?”
As I urged him to continue, John Doe appealed in a mysterious tone.
“Could you stop threatening this nation?”
I was silenced by the words I heard.
My thoughts stopped for a moment.
When I returned to myself, I confirmed it with John Doe.
“…Do you mean what you just said?”
“Yes, I mean it… with your existence as the Demon Lord, the conflict will never end. Eventually, the whole world will be dragged into the war.”
John Doe said so with a resolute attitude.
I almost felt like I was holding onto my head.
In the first place, this whole situation wouldn’t have happened had the Magic Kingdom not requested the imperial nobles to steal the mystical stone.
In fact, I had no plans to invade the Magic Kingdom’s Army.
This whole conflict was caused by the mystical stone.
John Doe spoke as if the fault for the entirety of the conflict originated from us.
Some of those claims were correct.
I admitted that the Demon Lord brought conflicts.
However, it was the Magic Kingdom who’d chosen foolishly and enraged the Great Spirit.
As a result, the Empire was obliterated.
And here I was, trying to mitigate the damage as much as possible.
John Doe’s denunciation was perhaps due to being convinced that he was on the side of justice.
Or rather, he couldn’t afford believing so otherwise.
If he didn’t push all the faults to the Demon Lord, he would have to admit his own mistake.
His current mentality was unable to tolerate evil.
With that in mind, I proudly declared to John Doe.
“I wish for that to happen. I will destroy the world.”
“Is that so? As… expected, you… are… guh.”
John Doe’s voice was melancholic, but he suddenly sounded as if he were suffering.
He began coughing violently and moaned as if he were being squeezed.
I could hear the sound of something scratching the wall or floor.
“Ah, no good… damn… why… at this place…”
John Doe’s voice faded away.
After the anguish, there was complete silence.
I couldn’t hear any voice or any noise for that matter.
I felt suspicious and began to speak to him.
“John Doe, can you hear me? Give me a reply.”
What came to me was a light sneer.
That voice began to speak in a frustrated manner.
“I’ve listened all this time, but you sounded like you’re the one in control. Who do you think you are?”
“And who are you?”
The voice snorted as I asked him.
Then the sound sighed deeply.
“Oi oi, did you forget who you were talking with all this time? As expected for a being with only bones and without any brain.”
“… Don’t tell me, you’re John Doe?”
I asked with some doubt.
The voice happily affirmed it.
“Exactly. I am the inventor of the century born in the Magic Kingdom— THE John Doe-sama.”
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