Sadraa’s group approached the table.
「Thank you very much for your hard work, Cristela-dono. You said that you had some business to take care of but, was it to meet with these good people?」
Alicia expressed a smile. Her tensed mood from before had disappeared.
「Yes, since they are Adventurers that had assisted me when I came here before, I thought that I should give them my greetings.」
「I see. We Holy Knights do take along attendants, but it would seem that the State Knights often receive the cooperation of the local Adventurers.」
「Though, if I can settle things alone, that would be the best way of doing it.」
Since they were expressing smiles that made them look like nice people to each other and conversing, when seen someone that doesn’t know the situation, they would without a doubt think that they are on good terms.
In reality, the tension was swelling to the point that it feels like one could hear the air grating.
Sadraa turned his gaze towards Diablo’s direction.
「Nice to meet you, I am known as Holy Knight Sadraa belonging to the Royal Capital main Church.」
He couldn’t just keep silent.
He needed to at least give his name.
Honestly, Diablo was nervous.
He mustn’t provoke him. But, to abase himself, there was a problem with going with the Demon King role play. While he could be Demon King like, he needed to give his name without saying anything unnecessary. It’s fine to do it like normal. It should be fine to do it like normal.
「I am Diablo! A Demon King that has come from another world!」
──Ah, just now, I said that I was a Demon King, didn’t I?
Sweat spouted out.
Alicia opened her eyes wide in shock. This might be his first time seeing her facial expression this disturbed.
Rem hit her hand on her forehead, and Shera tilted her head.
Sadraa raise a voice of laughter.
「Ahahaha! As expected, there are a lot of interesting people among the Adventurers out in the countryside. I see, a Demon King, are you. Well now, you’ve got me there.」
Alicia smoothed over her facial expression, and expressed her usual troubled looking smile.
「Yes, Diablo-sama really does love to joke around.」
The smile vanished from Sadraa’s face.
He had the eyes of a beast about to sink its fangs into its prey.
「──Whether or not it was a joke, to think that you would be intimate with a suspicious looking man that would call himself a Demon King……This is a problem that I cannot shut my eyes to, you know, Cristela-dono?」
No way, to think that go in Alicia’s direction.
Diablo couldn’t just take back what he said at this point.
Still, just what would be the best thing to say……
Alicia was at a loss for vindication.
Sadraa looked as if he were tormenting his dying prey.
「No matter how deep His Majesty’s trust in you is, with how you seem to be having a secret talk with ones such as these, wouldn’t that instead be said to be betraying His trust?」
「They are Adventurers that had cooperated with me. I have not done anything shameful at all.」
「Well now……Do you really have nothing that you are hiding?」
「Do you intend on torturing me? If you were to try to make any false accusations about me in a place like this, how do you think His Majesty would think about that?」
「Hohou, so His Majesty would go as far as oppose the Church just to protect a single State Knight, is what you are saying.」
「Would the Great Chief Priest forgive the violence of a single Holy Knight that went as far as to make light of his Majesty?」
Even Alicia was making a stern facial expression.
She had become an unwomanly State Knight. Having a false accusation placed on her, she did not become weak-kneed.
The two of them glared at each other.
Sparks were flying as they glared at each other and it seemed like one would get burned if one were to lay a hand on either of them.
It was there that a third person cut in.
Rem came forward.
「……This is a ridiculous story. So what if Alicia Cristela-dono had come to meet with us? I have piled up achievements as an Adventurer, and even Diablo right here……Though he does say some strange things, has fought against the Demonic Beings and protected the town. Though she was praised, it’s just strange to threaten her from simply meeting and talking with us.」
Sadraa’s eyes became frenzied.
「A slave……should not talk to me!」
It was said with a vigor that seemed like he would kill her at any moment.
Rem faltered and placed her hand on her neck.
A 《Slavery Choker》 was placed on her. From the viewpoint of people that don’t know her, she was probably seen as a slave.
「……Kuh……I am not something like a slave. Alicia-dono has not done anything wrong. Rather, she is a splendid person that would risk her life for the sake of saving troubled people. As someone that has fought alongside her, I will not let any suspicions about her pass by me.」
「I told you to shut up, didn’t I, slave?」
「As I said, I am not something like a slave!」
「Are you admonishing me, a disciple of God, you lowly slave……」
Sadraa swelled up only on the animosity of being criticized, and did not lend an ear to Rem’s words.
Rem reacted to him right from the front.
「……No matter who you are, if you make unjustifiable suspicions, I will deny you.」
If one thought about tonight’s promise, or about the seal that was within her──Rem shouldn’t do anything to stand out. Rather, the one that absolutely needed to hide herself from Sadraa in this town should have been Rem.
However, Rem could not just overlook the situation where Alicia was being suspected. She always fought against distress.
Even in regards to Krebskrem, if she were to get married and give birth to a child without opposing it, she could have transferred the seal to that child. She should have walked a safe life.
However, thinking that she should end it herself, Rem became an Adventurer and sought strong power.
She was the same even now. Even though Sadraa’s eyes were turned towards Alicia, Rem personally stepped forward.
That Rem that does not mind the dangers to herself, that Alicia that did only the things that she considered important, and that Shera that was worrying about them as if praying for them……Every one of them, Diablo thought of all of them as precious.
Since he was poor at quarrels, he couldn’t step forward right now. Doing it like this had a higher probability of settling this peaceably. However, if the other party were to draw their sword, he would definitely protect them──Thinking that, Diablo stayed vigilant.
Sadraa glared at Rem.
「To admonish……me……this disciple of God……How incredibly foolish.」
「It is because you are mistaken that I am saying this. If you believe that you are correct, then give a reason that everyone can consent to, and not some arbitrary labeling.」
「So you insult God, you damned Demi-human slave! Receive divine punishment!!」
Sadraa warped his face and became ugly.
Magical power was felt.
Rem gripped hold of her own neck. The metal choker made a cracking sound.
She coughed violently sounding anguished.
Shera hurriedly rushed over to Rem, and supported her shoulders.
「Th, this is……Are you under 《Stun》!?」
Diablo was shocked.
Just now, Sadraa only glared at her.
No, he was pouring jeers on her, but there was no way that could have been an aria of magic.
There weren’t any signs of him using a magic tool or a unique weapon either. At the very least, from what Diablo saw, there weren’t any signs of him taking any special actions.
──So it was 《Chantless》!?
It was a skill that was learned if one extended their parameters to level 60 in the Magician series.
The Bad Status type magic that could cause 《Stun》 was the same as Chemical Elemental Magic in that it was classified as 《Chant Magic》. This meant that in order to invoke it, “speaking out the name of the magic” was required.
However, it would seem that if 《Chantless》 was learned, magic can be used even without speaking it.
In the game, it was only a skill that reduced the Cast Time──the time that it took to operate the spell to when the effect of the magic would appear.
Considering the settings, it was possible to make that guess, but in this world, was it represented like this?
It was really as if Rem was suffering from God’s divine punishment.
──So he’s greater than level 60.
Moreover, it seems like he possesses sword techniques as a Knight. Then that would mean, his synthetic level, is much higher.
Sadraa’s true strength was on a different level from the average person.
The Adventurers of this world gained “strength for the sake of living” and lived with safety as the priority. Even the military personnel, a majority were probably the same. If they did not treat their lives with great care, they would quickly die. And then, in this world, if you die, that is it. Respawning from a point and Reviving the Dead Magic didn’t exist.
However, Sadraa was different.
Just like Galford, he gained “strength for the sake of victory”.
There was no mistake that he was a formidable enemy. If possible, he wanted to avoid a fight with him.
Perfectly understanding the danger──
「You have made quite the foolish imitation, haven’t you, you small fry! Divine punishment, you say? That is nothing but magic!」
Sadraa opened bloodshot eyes wide open.
「To deceive people into believing that a power not of God is actually something of God’s, that is equivalent to making a disciple of God a pretension. In other words, it means that your belief is also questionable. Before placing suspicion on the surroundings, you should prove your own innocence.」
「D, did you just doubt my innocence!? You say this towards a Holy Knight!?」
「The social status of a foolish Church that bestowed such a position to a questionable fellow such as you, that doesn’t suffice as any sort of proof!」
「Guh, kuh……A lowly Demon dares to insult a Holy Knight!?」
「Since a mere Holy Knight had used a joke of a magic on my property, I simply said the truth. You aren’t even worth insulting.」
Since he had done so, Diablo finally realized his own feelings.
──I see, so I was angry.
When he had heard of the Holy Knight’s heavy-handedness through hearsay, he contracted that from the surroundings. When there were false accusations towards Alicia, when there was abuse towards Rem who had possessed the courage to protest, the use of magic in a way that was like foul play……
With all of that in front of him, Diablo got angry.
If one thought about the opponent’s position and true strength, it was probably wiser to not confront him.
However, due to those strong feelings that could kick away such self-interest, he unintentionally let out those words.
All at once, the tension rose, and the surrounding guests escaped to the walls of the store.
The employees as well, even the cats that were there, they drew back to behind the counter.
Sadraa’s shoulders were quivering.
「To doubt my piety……to doubt God……You have angered God.」
「Hmph, to have the likes of you act out their anger, that God or whatever isn’t anything great.」
「God’s divine punishment shall be bestowed upon you. You should learn of God’s salvation and regret it. After that, I shall bring the others back to the church, and thoroughly and carefully teach them about God’s salvation.」
Rem’s 《Stun》 status continued, and she still looked like she was in pain.
Shera was nestled close to her and was nursing her.
Alicia stood as if to protect the two of them, and her right hand was gripping her sword.
He couldn’t allow anyone to lay a hand on the girls.
Diablo, who had become somewhat calm, incited Sadraa’s next action.
「Hmph……God’s divine punishment, you say? How about calling it magic if it is magic? Something as useless as that, won’t be of any use against me.」
「You fool that does not believe in the power of God! Turn into stone and regret it!」
Sadraa glared at him.
Even though he looked quick tempered, he still didn’t attack Diablo.
Come to think of it, when Skills are used once, there is a fixed time of being unable to be used again. For this world, in a sense, it was something like feeling unable to concentrate on that action. For exampling, it was like doing something that required the concentration of making a thread pass through a pinhole, then becoming unable to immediately perform the same thing immediately afterwards──It resembled something like that.
Sadraa might have gone into a rest for the sake of 《Chantless》.
Even so, that didn’t matter.
What the opponent used, was without a doubt magic. Because that is how it should be.
A suspicious light that was emitted from Sadraa headed towards Diablo──
The effect of 《The Demon King’s Ring》 was activated.
Any and all magic was reflected.
Sadraa solidified with his glaring expression as is.
*Baki baki baki* (Crack, crack, crack)……He became a grey color.
He turned into stone.
The Subordinate Knights that could be seen at the back had gone into unrest and were looking at each other. They probably had no doubts of Sadraa’s victory. Certainly, a guy like that had a high level.
Diablo smiled scornfully.
「Hmph……So he used 《Petrification》 Magic. Even though I had informed him that it would have no effect on me.」
In his mind, he yelled “Thank goodnessー!!” and was relieved.
If he really was attacked with something miraculous like “God’s divine punishment, and 《The Demon King’s Ring》 didn’t activate, and 《The Curtain of Dark Clouds》’ Bad Status Prevention didn’t show any effect, he would have turned into stone.
──I wonder if there wasn’t any need to expressly receive that attack? But, if I were to attack with magic, he might have died, and I also didn’t want to destroy the store.
He didn’t have the time to take out the 《Trial-Made Great War Scythe》 he used to go easy on people.
Not knowing what had just happened, the guests and the employees were still afraid.
Only the cats unsteadily showed their faces from their hiding spots.
Alicia checked Sadraa’s state and gulped.
「This is!? He has been completely turned into stone.」
「This 《Petrification》 was most likely done with 《Cement Lock》. It is an Earth attribute Bad Status Magic.」
「How fearsome……So this is Magic Reflection. Seeing it with my own eyes, I am shocked once again. To think that it would be this overwhelming of an ability.」
「It would seem that did you not teach the Holy Knight of my power?」
「……If Sadraa were not an unexpected person that would place suspicion on sinless people, I might have thought about teaching him about it.」
「So you expected that he would have become hostile.」
And so, he wasn’t bestowed with information that would have been to Diablo’s disadvantage. Alicia had the position of a State Knight, but he could trust her. That’s how it felt.
「Is this 《Petrification》 irremovable?」
「How long it will continue for, depends on the caster but……eventually, the magical power will disperse and be removed. Though, that’s only if he doesn’t break, until then.」
「Will he die if he is broken?」
「Wouldn’t he survive if it’s just an arm or a leg? It’s impossible if it’s the head.」
Though he himself was saying it, Diablo felt a chill go down his spine. No matter what kind of person the other party is, imagining a person’s death gives an unpleasant feeling.
*Kehokeho* After Rem cleared her throat, she took a deep breath.
「Fuu……That was surprising. For him to have used 《Chantless》……」
「Are you alright, Rem?」
「Yes. Thank you very much, Diablo……You have saved me once again.」
Having such an honest smile turned towards him, he was a bit shy.
Diablo made a driving away gesture at Sadraa with his hand.
「You should take that fool that turned into stone on his own accord outside. Having an ugly stone statue inside the store will make the food taste bad.」
Alicia ordered the Subordinate Knights.
「Being suspicious of me, and inflicting harm on Adventurers that had performed no crime whatsoever, I shall report all of this to His Majesty. However, I am sure that no one desires the life of a Holy Knight that serves God to be taken away. Carry him and return to the Feudal Lord’s estate.」
To begin with, they were only people that Sadraa had brought along. With their leader in this state, they shouldn’t have been able to go against Alicia’s command.
Excitedly, they raised up the petrified Holy Knight, and carried him outside of the store as if they were running away.
──Don’t drop him, okay? He’ll die after all.
The guests inside of the store finally understood the situation. They enthusiastically threw out jeers.
「Takeー that, Holy Knight! Making fun of Demi-humans like that!」「We’ve got Diablo-sama with us!」「The next time you show up, he won’t show you any mercy!」「Get out of Faltra!」
Between the male and female Dwarves that talked about moving to their hometown a little while ago, the female looked this way, and her eyes were sparkling.
「How・drea・my! As I thought, men need to be strong!」
「Eh～, no way!? Didn’t you say that you liked men with money……」
The male Dwarf dropped his shoulders.
Go explode──is what he thought a little while ago, but when it becomes like that, it was a bit pitiful.
In any case, it was great that the trouble was resolved.
Having reached her seat, Rem, as if that 《Stun》 from a short while ago were just a lie, started to eat again.
Shera looked like she was still worried.
「Are you alright?」
「……Since it was a Bad Status through magic, there isn’t anything remaining. But, if you give me that meat, I’ll be even more healthy.」
「That’s fine but, give me that cheese over there, okay?」
Diablo also tried to restart his meal.
Alicia whispered into his ear.
「……Was it really alright to let Sadraa go like that?」
Did she think that it would be better to have killed him?
Certainly, judging from that personality of his, killing him might not be any distant future troubles.
However, he opposed killing people only because they “might be a danger”. He might be a peace idiot but……
Diablo made a Demon King-like composed nod.
「A small fry of that degree, I have no interest in whether he lives or dies. Though, if he challenges me once again, I will not go easy on him at that time.」
「……I understand. Certainly, he isn’t a threat to you, Diablo-sama. I had a needless worry.」
Alicia expressed a gentle smile and nodded.