*Translator’s note: I had mistranslated Krem’s name. It should actually be Krum and Krebskrem should actually be Krebskrum. I will continue to use the “u” and will eventually correct the previous instances. I am sorry for any inconveniences that this may cause you.*
Long before the church’s bell rung five times──
It was immediately after getting separated from Diablo and Shera in the Central Plaza.
Rem was in the gap between two buildings, a back alley.
「……What is the meaning of this?」
Chasing after two people, although she lost sight of them several times, she finally caught up to them.
Unlike the bustling Central Plaza, this was a place that was gloomy and had trash scattered about.
Trash was thrown out from homes into the back alley, and it stayed like that.
Because the air had gotten dry, there wasn’t that much of an offensive smell, but it wasn’t a place that one would visit on purpose.
Ahead of Rem in that back alley, Alicia was standing there.
She was pulling Krum’s hand.
As for Krum, she looked like she had absolutely no understanding as to why she was brought to a place like this. Her cheeks were stuffed with a biscuit.
「Nn? You, did something happen?」
「……Erm, I don’t know why you were brought to a place like this. Alicia, why did you do it?」
Alicia expressed a faint smile.
「Truth be told, I hoped that I would take only Krum-sama along, and then I would later call out Shera-sama but……Well, it might be alright if I were to take Rem-sama along. I don’t know what will become the key after all.」
Her presence was different from the usual Alicia.
Rem became vigilant, and extended her hand to the pocket of her leather belt that her crystals were in. She stood at the ready so that she would call out her Summoned Beasts at any time.
「……What are you talking about?」
「Why do you think Krum-sama had lost her memories? According to a Demonic Being Priest, what is required for Demon King-sama’s revival isn’t just magical power……That’s what it means.」
「……Demonic Being Priest?」
Now that she mentioned it, she remembered that was the one that Edelgart borrowed her wisdom from.
The nervous feeling increased.
「Yes, after that……I went outside of the town, and asked this to Edelgart-sama. Just what should be done for Demon King-sama to regain her memories, and fully, awaken.」
「What are you saying, Alicia!?」
「If Demon King-sama hadn’t lost her memories, I could have told you the truth much earlier though……」
「……Alicia, are you saying that you wished for a Demon King that would kill the people of the Races?」
「Did I not mention that?」
Rem voice started to shake.
「……Alicia……you……in that case……It’s as if you’re a Demon King Worshipper, isn’t it!?」
「Yes, that’s how it would turn out to be.」
Alicia delightedly expressed a smile.
Unlike the smile that tended to be restrained that she showed up until now, it was a cheerful expression. Maybe it was because of a sense of liberation from the fact that she could divulge her true feelings.
Krum looked up at Alicia.
「I do not understand what you are saying -noda. Maou is revived. This is my flawless, complete, and perfect form -nanoda.」
「However, you will not kill people of the Races, correct?」
「Umu, I cannot remember the reason to do such a thing. And then, the ones that can make biscuits are only the people of the Races after all!」
「That’s why……I thought I would try to awaken you to become the Demon King-sama……To try and open your eyes……」
「How annoyingly persistent! Do you want me to burn you!?」
「Yes, if that will awaken Demon King-sama, I can handle being the first one you burn, in fact, it would be the highest blessing.」
Krum made a reluctant looking face, and took some distance from Alicia.
However, Alicia didn’t release her hand while still expressing a gentle looking smile.
「Enough! Maou is going back!」
「For that to happen, you will surely have to kill me, and anyone that blocks your way. At that time, Demon King-sama should awaken.」
Rem took out a Summoned Beast crystal.
It seems that Alicia’s knowledge was obtained from the Demonic Being Priest via Edelgart. They weren’t baseless, reckless remarks.
──So in short, the moment that Krum kills someone of the Races, she will awaken as the original Demon King?
She absolutely needed to prevent such a thing!
「Alicia, why are you trying to do something like awakening the Demon King!?」
「It is because destroying the unsightly Races, and making this a beautiful world of Demonic Beings is my desire.」
Her appearance wasn’t any different from usual.
However, as if she were confronting a monster that took the shape of Alicia, it was nothing but ominous.
This was no longer the time to be talking.
「……I will have you return Krum.」
Alicia is a State Knight. She should possess befitting ability.
──Can I win against her?
Rem tightly grasped a Summoned Beast crystal.
It was an enemy that was difficult even in just one-on-one, but even more companions on the opponent’s side were appearing.
The ones that turned up at the back alley were some familiar knights.
And then, while making footsteps that were kicking the ground, a single man leisurely came walking up. He had thick armor, and carried several swords.
「Cristela-dono, so you were here. I was doing a bit of searching for you, you know?」
The young man that expressed a refreshing smile to the point that it was suspicious looking was the Holy Knight Sadraa.
In those eyes dwelled a flame that was several times darker than when she had seen them before.
The time she saw them before, there was an irritating composure as if he was scorning them, but now they were like that of a hungry beast.
Alicia cast an icy glance this way.
「I am terribly sorry. Seeing as how you were under house arrest, I was opposing this Adventurer……No, this Demon King Worshipper.」
Rem’s eyes went round.
「Wha!? The Demon King Worshipper is you, isn’t it, Alicia!?」
「As if that would be the case. At the end of my infiltration investigation, I ascertained that you all were Demon King Worshippers, and am now safeguarding this little girl that you took from somewhere.」
「……So it is that kind of plot. You are selling me out to the Holy Knight, aren’t you?」
「No, I am only saving this child.」
Rem started thinking.
It seems that Alicia’s objective is to destroy the Races, and make it a world of Demonic Beings. For the sake of that, she is trying to awaken Krum as the Demon King.
At the moment that Krum kills a person of the Races, she will awaken as the Demon King──is what the Demonic Being Priest told her.
However, while that may be true, what was the reason for her to hand Rem over to the Holy Knight?
To begin with, what was the reason for involving the Holy Knight?
She didn’t understand.
Rem had piled up experience as an Adventurer, and wasn’t ignorant about strategy. Even so, she still couldn’t read Alicia’s true motives.
「……The one thing that I do know, is that I won’t hand Krum over to you guys! That is the only thing!」
Rem threw a crystal.
It called out a Summoned Beast.
「……Come forth! 《Aslau》ッ!!」
It was a bull that possessed three horns. It’s gigantic size far surpassed the size of natural cattle. Excelling in its charging power, its striking power in a single attack was the strongest among the Summoned Beasts that Rem possessed.
In regards to Sadraa, she had taken a blunder at the 《Triangular Ears》, but she couldn’t allow herself to lose here.
She needed to take Krum back!
Winning against a Holy Knight and a State Knight, and furthermore, four Subordinate Knights, it would be considerably difficult.
However, if she were to make showy sounds and fight, people should come.
The possibility that Diablo would notice would also rise.
That is what she calculated.
《Aslau》 charged at the Holy Knight.
Sadraa gave out an order.
「Become a shield.」
With that one sentence, the Subordinate Knights simultaneously came out in front of 《Aslau》.
One of them was stabbed by a horn and sustained a considerably serious wound. However, being held back by the other three, the gigantic Summoned Beast’s charge lost its power.
Rem found it difficult to understand.
「No way!? Why would they abide to an order where they might die!?」
「It is because God wishes “for this to be” that I am able to live. The thing called dying is namely only an invitation to heaven from God……And then, those that abide by God’s honorable will while they are alive will be approved after death. Those that disobey that honorable will will receive retribution and fall to evil. Above all, protecting me is equivalent to protecting God. Infidels that would refuse my order out of fear cannot enter the Subordinate Knights.」
Sadraa calmly drew a sword.
And then, he thrust it into the nape of 《Aslau》’s neck.
Keeping that sword as is, he drew a second sword and a third sword from his waist, and violently thrusted at it.
「Fuha! Fuhaha! This is quite a sturdy Summoned Beast!」
《Aslau》 struggled, but the Subordinate Knights desperately held it down.
The Summoned Beast that had accumulated damage was finally annihilated and returned to becoming a darkened crystal.
No matter how much of a condition where it couldn’t oppose them it was in, that was way too fast.
Although she was surprised at how the Subordinate Knights became a shield, Sadraa’s true strength that could take down the gigantic Summoned Beast this fast wasn’t common.
Did his true strength as a Warrior type draw near the Feudal Lord Galford’s strength?
When it became this high of a level, Rem was no longer able to make a conjecture.
He had a strength that was completely different from the Adventurers that would normally go around patrolling the town or harvesting medicinal plants.
──Moreover, a Holy Knight can use magic.
「Kuh……Come forth! 《Stoneman》!」
She brought out another Summoned Beast.
By all rights, she should have started running away.
Even if she were to have Sadraa alone as an opponent, Rem’s chances of winning with the Summoned Beasts that she possessed were low.
In addition to him, there were four Subordinate Knights──No, there were only three that could fight now. And then, there was also Alicia.
Since Krum looked like she didn’t understand the situation, she was simply making a displeased looking face and gazing this way. To her, was this an unenjoyable side show? She just might have a feeling of that level.
《Stoneman》 swung its gigantic stone fist.
It blew away a Subordinate Knight.
Alicia narrowed her eyes.
「Perhaps, do you require some assistance, Sadraa-sama?」
「No no, that is unnecessary.」
「However, people will gather if you take too much time here. If feel that will be an inconvenience in one way or another, you know?」
「Fufu……How unexpected. Cristela-dono, I thought you felt it was better if I didn’t work.」
「The idea on not leaving Demon King Worshippers is something I approve of.」
「Is that so. I am terribly sorry for being suspicious of you the other day. State Knight Alicia Cristela-dono, it would seem that you truly understand God’s honorable will and are a wonderful personage. God is watching over your deed.」
「Thank you very much.」
「Well, even so, your worry is unnecessary. It is about time to end this……She is a companion of the man that bestowed humiliation upon me. I will show no mercy.」
Sadraa gave an order to the Subordinate Knights.
「Hurry up and capture her! Do it carefully, and without injuring her. That way, the pain that she will taste after this will become vivacious.」
Their answer was good, but with the Subordinate Knights’ ability, they seemed to have difficulty bestowing lethal damage to 《Stoneman》’s tenacious body.
During that time, Rem called out another Summoned Beast.
Consecutively calling out powerful Summoned Beasts, and moreover, using them simultaneously, it consumed a considerable amount of magical power.
However, this is where she needed to fight back!
Krum asked a question.
「What? Could it be, do you want to kill those fellows? In that case, you should rely on Maou. These armored guys are of no relation to biscuits after all. In an instant, they will turn to ashes──」
Krum jumped with a start and drew her body back.
Rem’s own feelings, which were complexly entangled, were finally settled, and she noticed.
About how she herself felt, and turned those into words.
「……Krum……Please don’t kill anyone……Please eat biscuits, smile with everyone, and sing with Shera……That, is my desire.」
「Are you serious? With just you, you cannot with against these guys, you know?」
「……I, do not want you to kill anyone of the Races. Please, that is the only thing I want you to never forget.」
「I do not really get it, but I got it -noda. I will make that promise -noda.」
Krum breathed a sigh.
「……To tell the truth……I, was afraid of you, and I think I probably hated you. But, these past few days, it was as if you were family……And I didn’t hate that. Right now, I believe that I don’t want to lose you. Even at the cost of this life of mine!」
She threw a new crystal.
Summoning 《Shadow Snake》──It hurled itself towards the Holy Knight.
It was a snake that was black like a shadow. It looked to bind him with entwining movements.
And then, Rem equipped claws onto her fist, and made her assault as if chasing after 《Shadow Snake》.
The ends of Sadraa’s lips curved.
「Fufu, as expected of an Adventurer of Faltra City with is the foremost line. You truly are brimming with fighting spirit. Having courage, having such ability, it is extremely magnificent.」
The opponent drew the sword that was on his waist, and swung it.
He cut the 《Shadow Snake》.
Rem struck at him with the iron claw that was attached to her right fist.
However, right before then, she was glared at by Sadraa.
「You should prostrate yourself before God, corrupted one that worships the Demon King!」
The freedom of her body was stolen.
Rem’s hands were on the ground. She couldn’t put any strength in her body.
As if she were lowering her head towards Sadraa, she became unable to fight.
So it was 《Stun》 again.
He whispered close to her ear.
「You are extremely wonderful. After all, if you didn’t have hope, you wouldn’t despair either. How you embraced that foolish hope that you might win against me, it was truly wonderful. And now, you should fall into deep despair.」
Sadraa’s hand touched Rem’s head.
Magic that could be used only when in contact was powerful. Among them, there existed magic that could snatch away one’s consciousness.
A shock as if she were struck at the back of the head ran through her, and Rem felt her field of vision become darker.
In the middle of her fading conscious, she extended her hand out.
Krum opened her eyes wide.
Alicia whispered close to Rem’s ear.
「What is required……is hatred.」
When Rem’s consciousness ceased, the Summoned Beast 《Stoneman》 had its magical power supply cut off and returned to being a crystal.