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The Hero Is Revealed
“Now then, we will not be hindered by them if we’ve come all this way”
Inside the forest, somewhat separated from the place where Adel and Eleira confronted each other. Isvel was glaring at Phantom with a serious look, but he showed a smile, looking like he did not mind.
“Can you not look so angry? I am your subordinate, you know?” “ … You’re no longer my subordinate. If you were to take your leave immediately, I will overlook this” “That I cannot do. My duty is to bring you back after all”
Hearing those words, the temperature around Isvel suddenly fell greatly. Seeing frost coming down on the weeds at his feet, Phantom spoke in admiration.
“Hoh, that you could bring forth this much of a chill without the heart of the demon lord… As I thought, you appear to be exceeding the successive demon lords, if I look only at your experience in black magic” “I will say it only one more time. Leave” “ …I cannot do that, I――”
By the time Isvel noticed, Phantom disappeared from in front of Isvel. The next instant, something sharp was pushed closely to her throat.
“――have told you many times over didn’t I?” “ …An illusion”
Isvel’s neck was met with a knife. Perhaps the edge had slightly cut the skin, a line of blood followed her neck and disappeared inside her clothes.
“That is correct. You were late in noticing that however” “Making me talk with an illusion and silently approaching me, what a damn crafty one you are” “Now that I have won with this, I would rather like you to praise me. I remember rescuing you from your predicament many times over, but did you end up forgetting about them?” “Unfortunately, I can no longer remember that”
Phantom casually laughed at Isvel who responded with those words.
“Ahahah, is that so. Well, I suppose that is fine. You ought to remember it more properly for me after this. It would help me if you could allow yourself to follow me obediently like this, but… How about it, will you still resist?” “Of course I will. Don’t think you have grasped my life with only this much”
Isvel turned around to glare at Phantom. Simultaneously in doing so, the thrust knife was smashed along with breaking sounds.
“Wha-” “Ice bomb!”
Isvel held her hand over her head, and a sudden cold spread around her. Phantom broke away from the place that made him shiver, but Isvel’s surroundings transformed into frozen soil in the blink of an eye. The weeds broke each time he moved his legs and a cold air shrouded over the ground.
“Phew, now that was dangerous. I was nearly put down in ice”
Phantom showed up at a place somewhat separated from Isvel. His garments had been frozen here and there, but he himself would seem to be safe.
“You are only damned fast at escaping”
Isvel crushed the knife that had been frozen brittle with her foot.
“Area attacks really are trouble isn’t it. It doesn’t matter wherever I stand. That is why I have a counterplan for that however!”
When Phantom spread his arm greatly, he released magic power to his surroundings. Every tree that was basked in that magic power became noisy like when they attacked Adel before, and they began growing their branches.
“Wood Circus――Come, we start the public performance”
Each tree, unsatisfied with only growing their branches , stood up while stirring up the ground. While moving their roots as their feet, the surrounding trees went straight towards Isvel.
“Now milady demon lord! How will you cut your way through this!” “――Don’t get carried away with your jokes”
Just before the tree monsters attacked Isvel, all the trees stopped their movements. Everyone froze unawares, not moving even a twitch. Isvel swung her arm, and the trees surrounding her turned into tiny fragments and rolled on the whole surface.
“How long do you intend to continue this farce?” “Hum, farce you say?” “Your illusion spells are not like this. I am asking how long you are going to play around” “ … Difficult to get into things, aren’t you milady demon lord”
Phantom shrugged his shoulders with a look exclaiming disappointment, and raised both his hands.
“I have been defeated, I give in. I have no motivation to continue our fight any more than this” “…”
Isvel lowered her arms and dissolved the freeze around her. Around the time the temperature around her began to rise, Phantom quietly opened his mouth.
“――It is true that I was told to bring you back. That was the order. However, the truth is somewhat different” “ …” “Recently, there has been strange movements from the second unit. Putting in a single sentence, they are starting to take in outside forces. Especially humans and such” “Humans?”
Phantom nodded once and continued his talk.
“From that fact, we fear the second unit are gathering military forces to try to usurp the demon lord castle, you see. Before anything occurs, Lady Isvel, I would’ve liked you to return for the moment” “… The second unit. If I remember correctly, those people were shadier than you though” “How harsh! But, that is correct. The current problem of the demon lord castle is the point where they do not know what those people are doing”
Hearing his story, Isvel thought for a while, and then she raised her face and spoke.
“And so, what are you trying to do by turning back to me?” “I’d like you to hold the heart of the demon lord and manage the second unit together with us. Gidara said that as long as you can do something about this problem, you can be independent by way of formally handing over the demon lord title to another person” “ …”
Isvel cast her eyes down once again and bit her lip. And thus visited them a moment of silence. ◆
“I felt magic power from around here, but…”
I discovered the magic power of the two as I was walking inside the forest and so I was on my way there. As I approached them, I understood that the two were not conducting a fight, but… what could they be doing?
“――Oh, male human… no, Hero Adel. You are there aren’t you?” “Hk!”
I sprung up for an instant, and slowly walked towards the owner of the voice, Phantom. Once my vision, which was blocked by the trees, appeared to be cleared, I saw that there was a tiny plaza-like place. Leaves and branches were scattered on the whole ground, and it was just a little chilly. They were the traces of Isvel’s battle. The figures of the two talking to each other is a little doubtful considering they had fought, but――
“So you noticed” “The surge of magic power I felt when you were fighting with Eleira was extremely close to the Hero after all” “Illusion spellcasters have high perception abilities as well. I’ll remember that”
It doesn’t seem like he is hostile. I approached Isvel while being a little vigilant.
“Adel…” “What’s wrong?”
Isvel looked at me with a somewhat complicated face. Looking at this situation, she seems to have been approached with some discussion.
“I… am thinking about returning to the demon lord castle for a moment” “ …Is that so”
It would be a lie if I wasn’t surprised, but I did not receive a surprising shock. I guess it’s because I felt that was going to happen somehow.
“Can I hear the reason, just in case?” “There seems to be a group of people among the demon lord elite guards making suspicious movements. If I resolve the matter of those people, I will be set free in public or so it seems” “ …I see”
That’s good news. It means that she can sever her connection with the demons as long as she manages this. As far as I can see from Phantom’s behavior, he looks like he intended to bring out this subject from the beginning.
“If I am set free, then a new demon lord can be chosen. If so, then I should be able to spend my life here without any sort of ties of obligation… that’s why I will return for a moment.” “――Alright. I won’t object to your thoughts. I will at least tend to the fields at your house, Isvel” “Mhm, thank you”
Said Isvel, smiling a little sadly. She must be feeling anxious. She looked like she was forcing a smile to me.
“ …Huh? Hero, what are you saying?” “Heh?” “It’s already decided that you will be going as well, you know? This state of affairs was also created by you after all”
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