“My Lord. What is the matter?”
Laila looked incredibly confused. For this long awaited day, she must have thought it was only natural that I would approve. But as long as the dangerous word ‘war’ was concerned, I needed to first figure things out.
‘Uriel Diablo’ wasn’t the only Demon Lord within the abyss. I came to know that truth when I killed him, and perhaps this war mentioned by ‘Laila Diablo’ may also be related to him after all.
‘I need to find out before going back to my original body.’
Roughly 48 hours were given to me, after which my transfer would end and a change would occur. I would most likely return to my original body. That’s what I strongly felt, an instinct to return.
That’s why I had to make good use of these 48 hours to crack the secrets of these powerful existences called Demon Lords, Uriel Diablo included, since there was no guarantee of coming back to this body again.
More than anything, the ‘Colossus’ she mentioned bugged me.
‘This is an opportunity.’
I was surprised at first, but I recovered my usual composure. I studied the situation thoroughly with calm. Who knew when such an opportunity would come by again? The chance of a lifetime to better know my enemy and myself.
“First tell me of the matters I need to know.”
But I had to cautious because Laila Diablo was an ardent follower of Uriel Diablo.
One wrong move, one wrong word could raise her suspicions!
‘I mostly remember his manner of speech and behaviour.’
It was fortunate that I had been the one to kill him. I was well aware of Uriel Diablo’s tyrannical ways and his pride. That being the case, all I had to do was behave in a similar manner.
I sneaked a glance at Laila.
Thankfully she wasn’t suspicious but instead realized her own blunder and cried out,
“Truly! Truly a personage of prudence! When waging war, ‘knowing’ comes first. This girl had forgotten such a simple thing. Forgive me.”
Thank goodness. Laila had a flair for interpreting things on her own. A common case of being blinded by love. She had the most dazzling, dangerous kind of imagination.
I continued to wait, and Laila nodded her head, continuing to explain.
“It has already been a hundred years since my Lord went to slumber. During that time, Carpediem the Destroyer and our-.”
“From the beginning.”
“From the beginning, you mean?”
I refrained from speaking as much as I could without breaking character. What I wanted to know was his background. I wanted to confirm the history of Uriel Diablo and the other Demon Lords.
‘Just what exactly are you all?’
Perhaps, I would be the first of humanity to arrive at the truth. The truth behind the abyss. The cause behind the emergence of Demon Lords and monsters. I intended to get to the bottom of the circumstances that lead to them targeting Earth in order to prepare a countermeasure.
This was literally a ‘war against myself’, one that I alone would prepare for and fight in. A war of utmost secrecy, deceiving myself in pursuit of ‘perfection’!
In the past I acted as the hero, and this time I would be a villain.
Laila was lost in thought for a while.
“The day I was born, my Lord gifted me an eternal blue flower. My mother had said that on that day, unicorns danced in the heavens showering down blessings.”
She pushed out her chest straight, revealing a small blue flower from which emanated a queer blue colored energy. She proudly gazed at me with softness in her eyes, as if implying it was a precious treasure to her.
Sure, it was touching, but the beginning I wanted wasn’t about Laila’s birth.
“I mean from the beginning of the war.”
“The start of the war was….”
Laila was slightly blushing.
What in the world! To think that the Queen of Terror could feel embarrassed!
I barely managed to keep my mouth gaping from the shock.
Laila continued to speak,
“There was chaos within the abyss. Every being in existence struggled against one another with their lives on the line. It was then that the ‘Great Star’ arose. The Great Star spoke, that it would grant its ‘prestige’ upon the strongest. And then everything changed.”
Was the ‘Great Star’ that tempting? To the extent that even the powerhouses of the abyss would make a move for it?
Finally, Laila waved her hand once, causing the space to shake, and the surrounding background changed to show a vast expanse of barren land. The number of corpses lying nearby was numerous beyond imagination. It wasn’t at the level of a mere ten thousand or hundred thousand.
A hundred million…or perhaps more.
And yet, the war didn’t end. Uriel Diablo was at the center of it, along with the most powerful beings.
“We fought, and my Lord was entered among the ranks of the ‘Final Seventy-Two’. The ‘Great Star’ bestowed castles upon them, and they were given the right to become a true god. My Lord came to inherit the name of ‘Diablo’ and, of course, I did too.”
She appeared proud of having the name of Diablo.
Seventy-two. It meant that there were seventy-one more like him. It took all we had to take down one, yet there were another seventy-one!
Overwhelmed, I burned with silent indignation.
Was that why you said this was the beginning? That it wasn’t the end, and I should keep on despairing?
Opening her small, full lips, Laila continued to speak.
“However, only we are of the true ‘bloodline’ of the demon god. It is on a whole different dimension compared to succeeding the name of small fishes like Carpediem! Among the imposters… Bruxelles, Arheim, Zero, Falcon are the only ones to have at least managed to borrow legitimate names.”
I knew those names.
Diablo, Bruxelles, Arheim, Zero, Falcon. The names of the ‘gods’ that monsters and those other races worshipped.
“The gods of all dimensions are closely observing the ‘abyss’ to witness the emergence of a god among gods should our war end: the birth of the Dimension God! This girl has complete faith that my Lord will rise to that position of glory.”
I could see her hoping and believing that she could rise to that glorious position together.
In any case…was the act of Diablo lending his name, simply put, an investment?
The relations between gods and monsters were still unclear to me.
But one thing was certain.
‘Their war spread to Earth.’
I had personally experienced how intense the last vestiges of their war was.
It wouldn’t happen yet. Perhaps their plan was to advance to Earth only after somewhat settling their war within the abyss.
However…Uriel Diablo. He was completely alone. He hadn’t allied with the other Demon Lords.
I suddenly recalled the words he’d spoken then.
ㅡYou shall despair. You shall suffer anguish and misery in the great chasm of chaos that is to come. For I am but one fallen king….
One fallen king.
Was that an implication of the threat even he had felt from the attack of the other Demon Lords? Was he suggesting that he had run away from them?
“Only, my Lord went into slumber in order to heal the wounds sustained in the war 100 years ago. During that time I governed the territory in the place of my Lord; however…recently, ‘Carpediem the Destroyer’ has been acting with fierce hunger to take over this land and consequently, I lost many of our troops.”
There was a gloomy look on Laila’s face. She appeared to be aggrieved, as if having suffered a blow to her pride. Nevertheless, she soon showed a bright expression: as expected, to ‘me’ alone.
“Now that my Lord has returned, how could the likes of Carpediem the Destroyer dare to oppose my Lord. We must announce your return and attack and in doing so, put those other false kings on their guard.”
It seemed like she had kept her emotions bottled up all this time, for the past 100 years. Indeed, she didn’t possess the ‘prestige’ to act in place of Uriel Diablo.
But war. War, huh.
Uriel Diablo lost in the end. I was almost certain of my guess that he was defeated in battle and fleed to Earth in order to escape. Him walking down the same path would no doubt end up in a repeat of defeat.
From my standing, the later he came to earth the better. Even better if he died in the abyss together with the other Demon Lords.
I had despaired once. But it wouldn’t happen again. I would utilize this opportunity to the fullest.
A moment later the background turned back to normal, and I rose from my seat.
“I will take a look around.”
Truthfully, it would be a lie to say that I had no expectations as to how grand and magnificent the ‘territory’ of one such as Uriel Diablo, who held the prestige of a Demon Lord, would be.
Looking around the place, I had thought that I would at least catch a faint glimpse of it, but I couldn’t help being disappointed by the result of my examination. I couldn’t find any treasure, gold, or silver no matter how much I blinked. No portraits or swords befitting the medieval age.
Indeed, this place was the very definition of empty.
Really, truly empty.
I supposed the one compliment I could offer was that there was not a speck of dust anywhere. The castle was big, its spire towering, but that was all.
I secretly clicked my tongue.
‘Isn’t he basically a beggar?’