The bar was located down a corridor that stretched out on the left hand side of the inn’s reception desk.
The ceiling, the floor, the counter, the tables that were arranged to have moderately sized spaces between them……All of that was made from dark colored wood that had a smoked luster. The walls were made of stone.
As for the present guests, there was no one but them.
But the bar that Diablo knew of in the game was one that was crowded with NPCs and players and where chat windows would restlessly be flying about.
It would seem that Celes had the place cleared out.
Sitting on one side side of the table was Diablo, Rem and Shera. Celes sat on the opposite side.
In addition, there were two people that stood diagonally behind Celes and were vigilantly watching Diablo’s group.
Both of the young men were magicians that wore light brown robes that went down to their feet, and each held a long staff in one hand.
The man that was standing in front of Diablo had a thin body that looked like a wire, had a high-strung look, and, moreover, was bluntly glaring this way.
——Is he being vigilant? No, disgusted? Is it disdain? This should be the first time we’ve met, right?
Since they were the Magician Society’s escorts, they didn’t sit down.
Celes wryly smiled.
「I’m sorry. Since I also have a high position, I can’t casually be by myself……」
If something unexpected were to occur to her, the barrier that protects this city would disappear. He had never seen a city that was in such a state but——if demonic beings or demonic beasts were to attack, he didn’t think that the regular people would get away without any injuries.
Rather, to bring along no more than two guards, respect could be felt for this side——or rather, in regards to Rem.
Diablo largeheartedly nodded.
「I don’t mind.」
It would seem that answer was offensive. The escort that was standing in front of Diablo warped his facial expression as if he were having a cramp.
「Oi, you bastard? What is with that way of speaking towards Lord Bordorel? I won’t pardon you if you lack respect.」
What an arrogant sounding voice, is what he thought.
Celes, looking troubled, pacified the man behind her.
「Galark-san, that’s rude……They are the ones who kindly went out of their way to accompany us after all.」
「Lord Bordorel might not mind it but being made light of by this Demon whose origins we don’t know of, it will affect the Magician Society’s dignity!」
Diablo shrugged his shoulders.
——Oi oi, so a simple escort is lecturing Chairman Celes about the what the society’s dignity is?
He was over sensitive over other people’s conduct, but it seems that he’s insensitive to his own rudeness.
It looked troublesome to have to deal with him.
Diablo’s real self, to be clearly said, had no communication skills. That had not changed even after coming to another world. When he tried to speak normally, the words wouldn’t come out very well.
It was troubling to be despised but, though he wanted to pay his respect, he did not happen to possess the advanced art of conversation that would allow him to preserve his majesty.
Even if he didn’t want to cause discord, firing off words flat-out was only his Demon King role play.
It would probably be safer to ignore him for now, is what Diablo concluded to.
The wire man didn’t seem to consented but……
Celes change the topic.
「Everyone, before we talk, let us have a meal. Since today is my treat, just keep on eating, okay?」
「Is that alright!? Really!?」
「Yes, have as much as you like.」
Shera raise both hands in joy, and to the poster girl that came to take our order, she asked for this and that.
Before long, several dishes of food were carried over.
Large and small sausages with boiled potatoes, soup with mostly no ingredients, and white bread. There was also vegetables that looked like lettuce and eggplant and fruit that was shaped like apples and grapes.
The drink that was placed in front of Diablo looked similar to beer. In front of Rem and Shera there was fruit juice and wine was placed in front of Celes.
Shera extended her hand to the food.
Looking at her reaction, he thought, even though it’s like this, I guess this is a pretty great feast.
——It doesn’t look all that delicious though?
Diablo tried biting the sausage.
Taking a moderately sized bite, the flavor of the rich meat spread throughout his mouth.
——Huh, this is delicious!?
It was a powerful flavor overflowing with rusticity.
*Baku baku*. Shera was eating with incredible vigor. It was enough to make one wonder where it all went in that thin Elf body. So that’s it, that’s why her chest is like that……
Rem glared with a sidelong glance at the appearance of that Shera. However, without making reference to that way of eating, she cut to the main question.
「……So, Celes-san…By some chance, is it a talk about “that” again?」
It was a fed-up sounding voice.
Since she said something to Celes with a rude way of speaking, he thought that the wire man behind Celes would pick a fight again, but the man didn’t have any particular reaction.
——Does that mean that for those men, Celes and Rem are of the same rank?
That would mean that from the people belonging to the Magician Society’s viewpoint, she is a being that is seen as an equal to the Magician Society’s Head.
Rem’s situation was on the verge of bothering him.
Celes put both of her hands together as if she were begging for something.
「Rem-san, I was thinking “it would be nice if I could become your strength”, you know? I’m sure that you’ve had various hardships and that you might not be able to trust me but, could you at least understand that those are my true feelings?」
「……I don’t want to go to the Magician Society Headquarters nor do I want guards given to me.」
「But it’s been dangerous recently. In other towns, there has been an outbreak of incidents where demonic beings have been tricking people to try and enter the barriers……Though, if you were someone of the Magician’s Society, I don’t think towns that have been taken advantage of by the demonic beings would impose any trouble on you.」
「……I am grateful for your consideration. But, I can protect myself on my own.」
「Do you, hate me?」
Celes made a sad looking face.
Rem breathed a sigh.
「……I’m sure that I have said this before but……in regards to your personality, I possess no distrust of you. However……I do not know of any means on how to rely on others. It is because I manage things on my own……Even from now on, I will continue on only using my own strength. With my own power——I will exterminate Demon Lord Krebskrem」
「The Magician Society might be able to investigate some means on how to deal with the slavery choker as well.」
Rem touched her choker.
「It’s not like it’s attached because you want it to be, right? I don’t think that a person such as yourself would be forcibly made into a slave……Wasn’t the slavery choker attached due to some kind of accident that not even you could have possibly imagined? And then, the owner of that choker is, Diablo-san over there——Am I mistaken?」
Diablo unintentionally let his voice leak out.
——That’s some amazing insight.
To be able to guess the events of how the choker was attached, they shouldn’t have said a single thing about it yet.
She probably speculated it from little conversation between the three.
That would supposedly mean that one cannot be the Society’s Head with magic power alone.
Celes looked at Diablo.
「Please, I beg you. Could you please release Rem-san? She is an important person for this world. Naturally, we promise we will give you a suitable expression of gratitude.」
He had the feeling of wanting to release her.
However, something like the method of cancelling the slavery choker which was only something that existed as a setting, not even he himself, who had played the game quite a bit, knew how to do it.
Diablo shook his head.
「I have no interest in making others obey me using magic but……as one who does not know the method, I cannot release her even if I wanted to.」
This should probably be conveyed clearly.
Celes breathed a sigh looking disappointed.
「Is that so. Since you seemed to be fairly skilled magician, I had thought that you might know things that I didn’t but……it would seem that we have no choice but to investigate from scratch.」
Shera made a displeased face.
「Nn~……Since it was reflected by Diablo who is considerably strong in a magical power sense, even if you found a method, it feels like normal magicians wouldn’t have enough power, doesn’t it?」
「It was reflected? I see……Then that would mean that we might require Diablo-san’s assistance as we investigate the method.」
Diablo sighed at Celes and the others’ conversation.
「To not be able to cancel your own magic, really, what an incompetent bunch……Well, it’s fine. If you know the method, say it. At that time, I shall lend a hand.」
*Dan!* The sound of the floorboards being hit was heard.
He turned his gaze towards it.
At Celes’ back, the wire man had struck the floor with the end of his staff.
「You……You bastard! What right do you have to refuse Lord Bordorel’s request! Moreover, you enslaved this Rem Galeu-sama, you say!? Just what right do you have to do that!」
Hell if Diablo knew……
Just now, they should have been talking about how there was an unfortunate accident and how it was impossible for Diablo to cancel it of his own will.
——There weren’t any NPC that were as bothersome as this, were there?
Celes stood up.
「Since it would seem that anymore than this would become a bother for you……I’m sorry, everyone, even though I’m sure you’re all very tired.」
Diablo didn’t think that the conversation would get interrupted due to the guard’s hysteria.
She might have a busy position, but it’s too bad since it seemed like he was about to obtain just a little bit more information.
Rem looked downward.
「……Celes-san……Having declined going to the society and declining the talk about the guards, you might scorn me for being selfish. However……could I have you investigate……the method to cancel the slavery choker?」
「Of course. I just want to protect you.」
Celes sweetly smiled.
It was a kind smile.
Rem lowered her head.
「Don’t worry about it. But, if you ever change your mind, you can rely on me whenever you like, okay? The Magician Society has the need to protect you for the sake of the world……And it’s also because I think of you as something like a little sister.」
Celes turned her heel and left the bar.
The guardsmen also followed suit.
However, just as he was about to leave, the wire man glared at Diablo with hateful eyes.
——Well, I’m sure that we won’t have many chances to meet again.
Rem had a significant secret with her.
Surprisingly, it was a secret that had the head of the Magician Society saying “to protect you for the sake of the world”.
There was no mistake that it would develop into a bothersome problem.
I should get to know about this, is what Diablo thought.
「……What is it?」
「The secret that you hold, it would seem to have extraordinary circumstances. My interest in it is surging up……I shall allow it, tell it to me right here.」
「I……can’t do that……」
She hesitated to say it.
It looks like she won’t say it so simply.
Getting her to talk about the significant secret that she held to someone that she had known for only half a day was something that was pretty unreasonable.
However, this wasn’t the time to withdraw.
——My intuition as a gamer is saying it. What Rem is holding is a “make-the-story-serious type” problem!
Usually, there’s things like “the country’s high positioned person went out of their way~” or “it can’t really be said to people”……
Those kinds of hidden circumstances are things that are revealed after several story quests have been achieved and the tale has its finale.
And then, there are a lot of times where “If I had known about this at an earlier stage, I could have settled this a lot easier, couldn’t I?” could be said.
Hidden circumstances are presented after things have gotten worse. That way might make the story more exciting but……
It’s fine if it were talking about a game.
However, even if this place is another world, it’s still reality.
He wanted to avoid risk as much as possible.
For Diablo, he wanted to resolve things before that something that Rem held appeared in front of him as a story quest.
——Even if I have to do it against her will, I’ll listen to that secret, and destroy that story!
When he thought of things as part of a game walkthrough, he became assertive to the point that it was miraculous.
「……What is it?」
Diablo left his seat.
When he grabbed Rem’s arm, who looked like she wasn’t going to continue her meal, and made her stand up, he held her waist under his arm and lifted her up.
「You sure are light.」
「Wha!? Wha, wha, what are you planning to do!?」
While stuffing her cheeks with who knows how many sausages, Shera looked up this way.
「*Hangungu!* *Gokuh!* Where are the two of you going? There’s still a lot of food left, you know?」
Come to think of it, Rem had paid undue attention to Shera and seemed hesitant to talk. If he was going to listen to the secret, it would be more convenient if it were just the two of them.
Diablo headed towards their room.
「I’m going to torture her.」
The two of them became speechless.
For the cool-looking Rem to be astonished to this extent, it’s kind of unexpected.
After Shera had stopped moving for a brief moment while having some white bread gripped in her hand,
「……I, I’m, going to eat the food, okay!」
She averted her eyes.
Rem raised a crying-sounding voice.
「Y, you……You……Aren’t we companions that travelled together for a little while!? Aren’t you going consider even a little bit about the thought of trying to save me……!?」
「Even though it feels like you’ve been saying that I’m a stupid Elf this whole time!? Actually, just a little while ago, didn’t you call me something like mold on the wall!?」
「……To not be tricked despite being stupid, what’s the meaning of this!?」
「You said it again!? You called me stupid again! I’m not going to save you anymore!」
「Th, those are words that only people who have the will to save are allowed to say!」
She was way too frightened.
The breaks on the Demon King speech didn’t work. It’s because, if he were able to do something that skillful, he would have conversed with them normally from the start.
Nevertheless, in order to try and relieve her just a bit, Diablo thought up some words. It’s not like he’ll take her life. He just wanted her to be frank with the circumstances she had.
「Ku ku ku……There is no need to be frightened. I won’t do anything like kill you…….Though, that’s only if you quickly spit out your secret.」
Did that change the nuance a bit?
He saw a smile come up.
Rem had closed her eyes as if she had accepted it, and muttered.
「……Would this life of 14 years be considered long, or short……Otou-sama, Okaa-sama, it would seem that I will be heading to the other side as well tonight.」
It seems that it had the opposite effect.
Since there was nothing he could do about it, Diablo rapidly headed towards their room, carrying her under his arm.