Chapter 380: Heart’s Fear and Devil’s Words
I strained my eyes to peek through the gap in the window frame of the barracks. The special “thin cloth” of the spirited arts that covered us had changed shape.
Near us was a crowd of about a hundred magical beasts. Next to them were humans who were probably more than a hundred. Those humans didn’t look like soldiers or mercenaries. They were probably just villagers. They were kidnapped from the surrounding villages.
As proof, they still hadn’t erased the fear from their faces. Those who were originally from the royal capital didn’t have those expressions. The citizens from the royal capital showed a deeply rooted resignation rather than fear.
For magical beasts, humans were food or slaves. I was sure those new humans were nothing more than fresh tools. The expressions of the magical beasts were full of endlessly hateful smiles.
However, those expressions were now tense. A blurry voice lurked inside. There was only one reason for those anxious expressions.
「You don’t have to be polite. It’s okay to relax when I’m around. You’ll get tired if you push yourselves too hard.」
The magical devilish being. The Controller Drigman. It was the demonic being said to be the embodiment of the horror that glared at the devil. I forced my teeth to avoid gripping them hard. Otherwise, the roots of my teeth would clash and make a loud noise.
The mercenary city of Belfein. The puppet city of Philos. On those cities I used my blade against entities that were either a beast or a dead person, or even something close to a demonic being. Even then, I felt afraid, but it didn’t compare with what I was feeling at this precise moment.
There was a clear sense of fear in my heart right now.
There was a strange sense of tension and excitement. My eyelids blinked sluggishly, and my throat swallowed great amounts of saliva. At the same time as my forehead became sweaty, my hand naturally touched the treasure sword.
Was I going to kill that thing? Could I really kill it?
The magical devilish being put his hand to his long ears and muttered lightly.
「Is this the harvest? What about what I was talking about? Did you find it? 」
Drigman spoke as he looked at the crowd of humans along with the spoils of war made of money and goods that had been gathered. They didn’t just raid the aristocrats’ mansions. They invaded the small villages and stole from the farmers’ houses. Silver plates were packed in a few boxes and even candlesticks were brought.
Most of those goods were expensive. But they didn’t look like something a magical devilish being would want. Or rather, what did he want? Was it human flesh or something else?
Drigman narrowed his gaze as he surveyed the spoils of war. My chest felt ablaze. I felt like I was breathing straight into my airway. At that time, Drigman suddenly asked the other three magical beasts if they brought anything else. I was wondering if those magical beasts were equally frightened.
Then, Drigman’s eyes distorted greatly.
Caria, Filaret and Eldith. All three of them had nervous eyes, and it seemed like they were feeling something akin to fear.
However, they didn’t show their fear. No one turned pale. They only bit their teeth harder.
Oh, how disgusting. Too tough.
Everyone seemed to have become even stronger than before. The heroes I once admired and envied. Wasn’t that where the brilliance lay?
With Eldith, when she was imprisoned in the tower, a weak spirituality could be seen. Now she behaved so fearless in front of a great foe. She had become a Queen, and she no longer had any semblance of weakness.
There were complicated thoughts in my heart like entwined threads.
How could they be that serious in front of the magical devilish being? How could they not be frightened when seeing an unmistakable heinous enemy?
Was it the quality of a hero? If so, did I have one or not?
I exhaled three times to calm my emotions. Then, I inhaled strongly. I tried to stop my hard breathing.
In the silence where only the sound of my heartbeat echoed, I could only see the magical devilish being in front of my gaze. I tried to swallow everything that polluted my heart.
What should I do? In my thoughts, I remembered the time when I visited this place.
My Lord. Drigman was starting to get used to being called that way. Even in ancient times, there were people who used such words. He didn’t really pay much attention to it, but back in the days of his glory, the word “great demon” was still an honorific title and a much preferred one.
While looking at the demonic beings that bowed their heads, Drigman lightly grabbed what they had acquired from the surroundings villages.
Silver tableware, money made of gold and silver. A sculpture that had enshrined something. He looked at a ring for a moment, but it wasn’t what he wanted either. He gave Velg a look and told him to share those goods as he pleased.
The gold and silver workmanship created by humans was also desired by demonic beings. A magical beast who wore lots of those precious materials conveyed its strong qualities.
Drigman didn’t take this as a bad thing. It was actually pleasing.
If a rational magical beast just lived, it would be no more than just a wild beast. Whether it was for money or personal gain, their lives would shine brighter because they lived for something other than just life. That’s what Drigman believed.
Despite being called a Controller, desires, emotions, and even a strong sense of self were values that Drigman affirmed.
He believed that the existence of demonic beings, who stood at the top of all kinds of species, had to behave like that.
It was rare for him to extend his tolerance to anyone other than demonic beings.
「I apologize. I think it will take a little longer to get what you want. After all, some magical beasts don’t understand the value of wealth.」
Velg made a small sound with his hooves. It seemed that a species like him couldn’t calm down unless it moved its legs a little. Drigman smiled at those words. His smile showed goodwill. His ferocious look was also slightly wavering.
Certainly, he wanted to collect what he desired as soon as possible. A magic tool inherited from Lord Zebrililith and used to control humans. In the past era, a stigma was created when the hateful Altia snatched that ring with her fingers.
Drigman wanted his subordinates to search for it during day and night. His thoughts of the past made him impatient. However, it would be a mistake to force that upon his subordinates.
Besides, magic tools were cursed. No matter how much time passed, or the place changed, the curse never altered. It would definitely come back to him at some point.
「Don’t put too much effort into it, Velg. You don’t have to be so formal. Be at ease. 」
Velg suddenly saw Drigman’s gentle smile and thought that this was his usual expression. Velg responded to Drigman’s words. His non-human features softened when he opened his mouth in a playful manner.
「However, Lord Controller. We’ve been taught since we were younglings that if we offend our Lord, our bodies will disappear. I could even walk with my hooves shortened.」
Saying that, Velg lightly raised his hoof. It was probably just a lame joke. Drigman laughed out loud, exposing his teeth. His laughter echoed through the surrounding magical beasts.
They were beginning to understand how was their superior.
Drigman said as if to grab his subordinates’ minds.
「You were undoubtedly born in an era of misfortune. The human hero Altia’s breath is certainly deep, and the almighty Zebrililith is still asleep. Demonic prosperity is at present a thing of the past.」
Everyone raised their passionate eyes as they stared at their master. They looked at him as if they were looking at an appearance that resembled that of a God.
「Then, let’s get it back. Put yourself in the lowest position to reach the highest position. Behind us, tens of thousands of happiness will follow. We are at the forefront of history.」
A quiet yet strong voice. There were no barriers between the rational demons and common magical beasts in this moment. There was only a burning breath. Velg’s hooves made a sound.
Someone started pouring ale on fresh meat. All they had was excitement and vigor. Meanwhile, the only people who could not accept that energetic force were the group of humans who had been taken and held captive.
Someone suddenly asked about the humans. What should they do with them?
Should they be used as slaves, as livestock, or as food? They needed guidance. Drigman looked at the humans in the eyes and said the following words.
「Yes. Their eyes are still vigorous. It’s better to use them for food. Please make arrangements, Velg.」
It was a very direct speech. Drigman had no intention of wasting a life. Every life should be used to the fullest. They should not take things for granted.
A sobbing that resembled a scream leaked from the humans. They understood very well that their lives were now in the hands of the demonic beings and that they were about to lose them. As they passed through the city to the royal palace, they saw countless people screaming as they were being dissected.
The hands of the demonic beings were approaching the skulls of the captive humans.
A premonition of death appeared in their eyes, saying that such tragedy was going to befall them too. On that moment.
A flash of light knocked one of the demonic beings’ hands away. White hair was slightly bouncing from the barracks.