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Chapter 14 – Galtia [C]
—Around two hours later.
Most of the demon soldiers were already asleep within the Demon Army encampment.
Of course, there were still some soldiers who were awake as lookouts.
One demon soldier, who was standing at the entrance of the encampment, talked to his fellow demon soldier, who was also on lookout duty while enduring his drowsiness.
“…Hey… Isn’t it time to switch shifts yet?”
“Oi oi, we’ve only been standing for about 30 minutes, right?”
“You know why… I’m just tired from working all day today… isn’t it natural for me to feel sleepy?”
“…I get what you mean though.”
“Also… it isn’t like the enemy is going to come even if we stay on lookout duty here, right? We’ve already killed everyone who can fight back earlier today.”
“Aah — no, wait. Isn’t that insanely strong dude still alive?”
“…No, he won’t come. Where do you think this place is? It’s the Demon Army’s encampment, you know? If he really does come here alone, then he must be a fool. I’ll kill him if he comes.”
“—Well, then why don’t you try doing it now?”
“Okay — eh, ah?”
Suddenly, the body of the demon soldier was torn apart by someone. Blood sprayed, splattering everywhere.
The demon soldier’s life had ended before he could even understand what had just happened. The other demon soldier who witnessed that was stunned.
“?! E, enemy—”
Once again, the other demon soldier was killed before it could even cry out.
Those were the last words the demon soldier uttered as his life ended.
Their assailant heard it and snorted.
“Why, you ask… isn’t it obvious?”
Their assailant, the King of the Beast Galtia, proceeded to wipe the blood on his sword as he proceeded forward.
“—It’s for myself.”
“E, Enemy attack—!!”
“What did you just say?!”
Such a report was suddenly delivered to the command center.
Leonhart was still musing over why the mushi user boy was here when a certain possibility came to mind.
—If that was really true…
It was an unlikely possibility. But if it was really true, then it would be a ridiculously depressing story, so much so that his experience could be considered cute in comparison.
The surrounding demon generals stood up when they heard the report, but — it was already too late.
Leonhart’s senses were already keenly aware of it.
He was already nearby. Right as he thought that—
The door of the Demon Army command center crashed open.
The person who came in without hesitation was—
“—Hey, sorry to keep you waiting.”
As he casually greeted them, they noticed that Galtia’s body was covered with a few wounds. His actions astonished everyone in the command center.
You! How do you get in here—“
“Did you come here alone?! Eei, I’ll face him—“
“…No, cease your jabbering. Just shut up for a bit.”
As demon captains and demon generals started to put themselves forward in their excitement, Leonhart exerted some of his majin pressure into his words.
“You don’t have to be so scared. I’m just going to explain.”
“Explain, is it…?”
While the demon generals were confused, Leonhart told them the truth, or rather, a slightly distorted version of it.
Leonhart looked at Galtia.
“…He came to be turned into a majin.”
“How can this be…!”
“By the way, Maou-sama already gave her permission for it.”
“I, is that really true…?!”
The demon generals and demon captains were surprised — one of the demon captains was even slack jawed in their utter disbelief. It was hard for them to believe that someone who’d fought them for a decade had decided to become a majin. They all unconsciously looked toward Galtia.
“Well, that’s about it.”
However, Galtia, the person in question, easily admitted it. He talked so carelessly that it was almost unbelievable how this person decided to betray humanity and side with the demons.
“I was invited by that majin-sama over there. We got along well, so I decided to switch sides. Since that’s the case, let’s all get along.”
“Leonhart-sama! Is this person right in the head?”
On top of that, Galtia just casually gave his greetings, which further confused them, as if he was the one who was actually the demon.
Meanwhile, Leonhard’s gaze towards Galtia grew slightly fiercer.
“It’s okay to give your greetings and all—but isn’t there something you ought to do first?”
After Leonhart reminded him of this, the existence who was sitting on the simple throne inside the room unleashed her presence.
The demon generals and demon captains, who were being noisy just now, kneeled in fear.
She was the absolute existence who dominated over the demons—nay, over all existence living on the continent—Maou Ssulal.
As Ssulal directed her gaze and full attention toward Galtia, even that alone was enough to somehow enforce pressure over him.
When Galtia felt this, he was convinced. I see. This is indeed the Maou.
The presence somehow made even majin look cute, yet Galtia smiled as if he was looking at something interesting instead.
“Hahah, I see, so this is the Maou—no, it is Maou-sama. May I ask for your name?”
“Ssulal… okay, I will remember it. Well then, let’s turn me into a majin right away—but before that.”
Galtia suddenly looked at Ssulal with a serious expression.
There’s something I want to ask beforehand, was what Galtia’s expression seemed to say.
He shot a glance toward the demon general before immediately returning glancing back, as if to confirm something. Depending on the response, he might even fight for it. His expression filled with such resolve—
“—I know, it’s about that, right?”
“…Yes, of course.”
The demon soldiers didn’t understand what their cryptic remarks meant, and their minds were filled with curiosity.
But conversation still continued without waiting for their understanding to catch up. Galtia silently repeated Maou’s answer in his head for a while, before he laughed and decided.
“Then it’s okay. Then we’ll be comrades from now on, right?”
“…You sure betrayed them quite easily.”
“There’s no point in worrying about it, right?”
“That’s true, but—“
It was during Leonhart and Galtia’s conversation.
Suddenly, someone intruded in the room. It was the mushi user boy who was sleeping in the Demon Army encampment.
Seeing that, the demon captain let out a cry.
“This brat—he woke up before we realized it! Maou-sama, Leonhart-sama, I’m sorry. I’ll shut him up immediately…”
“Ooo, it’s you, boy!”
Galtia rushed toward the boy before the demon captain acted.
After confirming the boy was unscathed, he seemed relieved and pleased with the boy’s safety.
“I thought you might be already dead, but … anyway, I’m glad you’re alright. Hey, Leonhart. About this kid—“
“—Shut up!! You traitor!!”
Just when Galtia was about to call out to Leonhart triumphantly, the boy — spoke harsh words to Galita while crying.
The sight caused the command center to fall silent as if it was struck by a wave. Galtia’s expression also stiffened and didn’t move.
In that situation, it was the boy who moved first. He slapped Galtia’s hand away from him as he glared at Galtia with teary eyes.
“I heard from the Elder! That Galtia was going to switch sides to the demons!”
“I thought it was a lie at first…! But I did hear something to confirm it before…!”
“…What did you hear?”
“…When that majin talked to Galtia about something before he went away… I asked my mushi to pick up the sounds. Then… I heard that majin say ‘I’ll be waiting’ to you…”
“—Tch… damn it. What a blunder I made…!”
Leonhart clicked his tongue as he scolded himself in a whisper. At that time, they were separated by quite a large distance from the boy. It wasn’t a distance where voices could be heard. He did pay attention so nobody would listen in, but somehow the boy managed to.
Leonhart had no way of knowing what abilities that boy’s mushi had. It was but a vain thought.
But it made Leonhart feel like hitting himself. Because he had predicted this—the worst development that awaited.
“Galtia betrayed us all… you betrayed me, everyone in the settlement, even my papa and mama…!”
“! …Your parents, you say? What are you talking about?”
“Don’t play dumb!! Aren’t you the one who killed them—my parents!!”
He was stunned by these unexpected words. Galtia was so shocked it was as if lightning had struck him.
“Didn’t you say they were a hindrance?! So you use them as a shield against the demon! Yet without knowing that, I, I—“
The boy was seemingly confused due to the sadness and anger of being betrayed by Galtia, who was like family to him. He was the sole person who acted like a parent to him, despite him having no relatives. He truly felt betrayed from the bottom of his heart.
Yet without knowing that, he admired him all this time. It was no wonder he felt so—if only that story wasn’t true.
Galtia looked at the boy as he mind felt numb.
—Why did it end up like this? No, I know the reason why. What has already happened can’t be undone. Time is irreversible.
Then, what should I do—?
“Oi, brat. Enough of—“
Leonhart was unable to endure the situation that was unfolding in front of him, and tried to call out to the boy to stop—only to be drowned out by Galtia’s voice.
“Haha!! So you found out!!”
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