There were several documents in the envelope, and my aunt’s last request was written on the first document.
"Huh?" I had been worried about what annoying request she would make, but Aunt Talaria's request was completely different from what I’d expected.
Hestia noona looked at my expression and asked me curiously, "What did Aunt ask you to do?”
I replied, "In summary, she told me not to stand out and to stay in a safe place.”
To be precise, she had asked me to stay in the safest place I knew, so the Demon King summons in my head wouldn't be taken away. In other words, she was telling me to go abroad or return to the Olympus Forest.
It was a very natural request, since I was the key to summoning the Demon King. However, I had expected my aunt to ask me to help stop my great-grandfather, or to kill Libra, the Demon King worshipper.
Under normal circumstances, I would have listened to her, since I didn’t want to be involved in troublesome things such as summoning the Demon King.
"Well then, aren't you adhering to her request well?” Hestia noona asked, throwing the last macaron into her mouth.
"Well, it is safer to be next to Father than to be stuck somewhere else,” I remarked.
He wasn’t called the ‘Disaster from Heaven’ for nothing. Unless something significant changed, there was no place safer than my father’s side. In addition, wasn't my father's pet dragon called the strongest of the four great demons, and wasn’t it also currently going up to the Demon’s Territory?
Convinced, I put the documents back in the envelope. Arietta, who had been observing the inside of the train, approached me with a smile and asked, "What are you having so much fun talking about?"
After hearing about the summoning of the Demon King, Arietta had said she couldn’t sit still and followed us. I didn't know the exact circumstances, but the Demon King was said to be the natural enemy of the Holy tribe. I’d heard that the first body eaten by the Demon King was a great and special figure to the Holy tribe, which had only deepened their enmity.
"It's nothing much; we were just talking about my safety,” I answered.
"Hmm! You're definitely in a weakened state from mana depletion, so it's worth worrying about,” Arietta said.
No, I wasn’t that weak. Even without mana, I could hunt an average demon.
“But don't worry. I’ll protect you,” Arietta said.”
"That's very reliable of you,” I answered with a smile.
Arietta was embarrassed and responded, "I’m serious! I’m not so weak that I can’t protect my savior."
Certainly, Arietta was strong. Few people were on her level, considering she had the essence of the Holy Queen’s mana that was passed down through generations.
However, the problem was that she lacked practical experience, and couldn’t use her full power due to the wounds she had suffered before being sealed.
Of course, aside from that, it was clear that she was one of the world's strongest people, especially considering even my father had shown interest.
"I know,” I said.
In response, Arietta thumped her chest and said confidently, "Ahem! Don't worry! As long as I’m here, you won't be in danger.”
"Then I’ll be in your debt,” I answered.
Arietta nodded, satisfied, and went to the back compartment to go see Hillis.
Hillis was unable to move freely due to the Consecrated Paladins escorting her. In the first place, as a saintess, she couldn’t just go to the Demon’s Territory.
However, thanks to my maternal grandfather’s request, I had easily been able to get permission under the pretext of having her lead the priests. Albatoss didn’t know the situation, so he seemed to be unhappy, but he followed Hillis' orders nonetheless.
"But didn’t the council of elders say they were still chasing a great demon?" I asked Hestia noona after Arietta left.
She breathed out a sigh and nodded. "It seems it's not easy to chase the great demons because they move too fast."
"Well, the great demons have to run for their lives if they want to live. The day they fight with those old battle-hungry people will be the day they die,” I said.
Never mind the fact that someone was an elder, it would be difficult to deal with a great demon one-on-one. However, if dozens of elders got together and raided the great demon, catching it wouldn’t be that difficult.
Come to think of it, I felt sorry for the great demons. They had been living well in their territories, but they were provoked into moving south due to the summoning of the Demon King. In the end, all that waited for them were battle-crazy maniac elders. I felt terrible just thinking about it.
"Uhuhuhu. I know. I feel bad for them. Once we go up to the Demon’s Territory, we'll get everyone to gather, since the top priority isn’t to hunt the great demons,” Hestia noona said.
I nodded and added, "It's definitely more important to get rid of the root cause of the great demons running wild." Personally, I wanted the mana stones and byproducts from the great demons, but I couldn't help it.
Next, I asked, "To that end, we should tear down the Demon King worshipping organizations right away, but do you know anything about their branches?”
Third Sister got up from her seat, took a map of the Demon’s Territory from her bag, and put it on the wall. The map was very detailed, like the maps made by the Big Mama Information Agency.
"First of all, this place, this place, and this place have been confirmed, and the suspicious areas are this place, this place, and this place..." Hestia noona marked the map with locations that had been confirmed, locations that were suspected, and locations that had been destroyed. "This is roughly all the info that’s been verified."
After Third Sister finished marking the map, I got up from my seat and added some extra marks. "There are more. Geographically, here, here, and here… These places are suspicious. The Demon King worshippers’ goal is to summon the Demon King, so I'll look at this in terms of magic."
"Then this is how the troops would need to move." Hestia noona plotted troop movements by connecting the places marked on the map with lines.
"By the way, how much of this information was shared with the Butterfly tribe?” I asked.
"For now, I only told them about the confirmed locations. The current leader of the Butterfly tribe seems quite cautious,” Hestia noona said.
I smiled and said, "Even if he is cautious, there are many ways to use him.”
Hestia noona also smiled and nodded. "I agree. Shall we devise an approach to best use the magicians’ power?"
Third Sister and I began to devise a strategy, thinking about how to make the most of everything.
* * *
Talaria sighed as she looked into the distance, where she could feel a goosebump-inducingly horrifying clash of mana. "In the end, it seems he failed to persuade Grandfather.” Without hesitation, she smashed her pink mask.
Beside Talaria, Flam also took a brown mask out of his pocket and broke it.
"You don't need to break it just because I broke mine, right…?” Talaria remarked.
Flam frowned and said angrily, "Then you want me to be in the same organization as those who want to summon the Demon King? Above all, you didn't tell me that the Twelve Zodiacs were that kind of organization!”
Talaria grinned and asked teasingly, "Where's the kid who said he would even sell his soul to the devil if he could take revenge on the empire?"
Flam blushed and coughed dryly. "Ahem! That's something I said when I was immature. Besides, if I had known there was a religious leader among the worshippers of the Demon King, I wouldn't have taken Aquarius there."
"No, it was best to take him. It’s darkest under the lamp. More importantly, you were able to receive Sagittarius’s protection. That's why your teacher brought Arwen,” Talaria said. Flam fell silent when Arwen’s name came up. Talaria sighed at Flam and asked, "But are you really not going back to the capital?”
"How could I be shameless enough to go back?” Flam replied.
"Aren't you chickening out too much just because Den found out you were Taurus?" Talaria asked, dumbfounded.
Flam said sadly, "Den was my first friend. I deceived such a friend, so it's natural to feel guilty."
"Hey, do you think my damn nephew hasn’t deceived you? He would've deceived you several times more. I don't know why you need to feel so guilty about this guy who even stabs his family in the back,” Talaria said, but Flam still seemed hesitant.
Talaria added, "Arwen won't abandon you because you ran away." Flam only flinched and remained silent.
Talaria sighed and took a sword out of her pocket space. "Okay, do as you please. What else can I teach a grown-up adult? Tsk tsk."
"I'm ashamed,” Flam said apologetically.
Talaria sighed and shook her head. "If you're not going back, just help me with my work. Let's just go subdue some Demon King worshipping organizations."
The two wrapped their swords in powerful aura and began to ambush the Demon King worshipping organization hidden in the mountains.
* * *
Selina stood in front of a huge altar and looked at it with great interest, her eyes glistening with greed. "Hmm, is that the famous Holy Grail? I heard the temple of the Empire is looking furiously for it. You did a good job getting it.”
Libra shouted, "That Holy Grail is a must for the ceremony! Don't you dare look at it with such greedy eyes!"
Selina said softly, locking her hands behind her head and appearing disappointed, "Tch, I know that. Of course I know." Still, she had a joking smile.
Libra was uneasy as he watched Selina. However, despite the fact that she was the Witch of Greed, she didn’t truly show that greed; she knew that if she interfered with the ceremony, she would really die at Galak's hands. Even though she seemed to have infinite lives, the fact that she would die if her main body were killed remained unchanged.
"Wait a moment,” Libra said. He went up to the altar with Selina, kneeled reverently, and injected mana into the altar. The center of the altar opened, and a large magic stone slowly floated into the air.
When Selina reached out to the magic stone filled with black mana and death aura, it flew smoothly into her hand. "Heup!" she exclaimed as the powerful mana traveled through her hand, leaving it numb.
Selina laughed crazily, excited by the shockingly powerful mana. "Ahahahahaha!"
The many vindictive souls in the magic stone surrounded Selina and tried to consume her. However, it wasn’t difficult for her, someone who could control disaster class spirits, to dominate such low-quality spirits.
"Awesome! How can this be so great?! It feels like I'm wearing something that actually fits my body now!" Selina exclaimed as the vindictive souls surrounded her.
Libra sighed, seemingly despairing. "Who would see that and think you were a spirit magician who’s loved by nature? You're a perfect necromancer."
"Ohohohoho! Necromancer! I like it. Eat away the madness, my spirits, my vindictive souls!" Charged with explosive mana, Selina was drunk on her newfound feeling of omnipotence.
In this state, she felt as if she could even win against the Crow of Death. Not only that, she thought that even if the Demon King from 120 years ago were standing in front of her, she could defeat it.
"Come to think of it, there's necromancy in the Demon King summons, right? Uhuhuhut! Shall we go collect the Demon King summons?” Selina hummed and took out a magic wand from her pocket space.
* * *
The train arrived at Asteria Station. The air in Asteria, which I hadn’t felt for a long time, was still chilly. But since it was in the north, it couldn't be helped.
"It's been a while since I was last here." As my father got off the train, looked down at the entirety of Asteria from the station, his eyes filled with memories and emotion.
"Now, since we don’t have much time, let's save the appreciation for next time and head straight to the Demon’s Territory,” I said suddenly, breaking the immersion. My father pouted and grumbled.
On the way, Hestia noona had put our heads together to discuss ways to annihilate the Demon King worshippers in the shortest period of time. My heart was fluttering at the thought of showing the Demon King worshippers the worst hell conceivable.Previous Chapter Next Chapter