At that point, Merea naturally felt that the demon lords should be independent from both Lemuse as well as from Mūzeg.
It’s not like he did not believe in Lemuse. They were putting their lives in the line and he had definitely felt the strength of Hasim’s determination.
Hasim, himself, may be doing everything simply for the 『sake of Lemuse』 but, as the king of the whole country, that is a rather obvious thought.
More than anything, no matter where the emphasis of his thoughts are, it did not change the fact that they were putting their lives on the line trying to save the demon lords which was the main reason Merea decided that he couldn’t take their determination lightly.
However, Merea couldn’t get himself to distort the agreement he had with Hasim into something that was convenient for himself.
『This is an equal dealing』.
Those words had a strange power of making him want to respond to it.
However, if he was pulled too much by that then he would definitely end up with a bad result.
Hasim had probably thought as much when he decided to use those particular words.
Guess the hidden meaning. That was the kind of air he had.
――『accept』 or…『forsake』 huh.
At this point, Merea clearly understood that meaning.
――Unlike Mūzeg, we’ll deal with you as equals.
The first meaning would be just like they said, words of 『acceptance』. However, the other meaning,
――Since we’re equals, we won’t grant you 『asylum』.
It most probably had that kind of meaning of 『forsaking』. Due to that very assumption, they could be in a situation where they could save each other.
Demon lords now, belonged to an 『original community known as demon lord』. A race as well as land with the name of demon lords. The distinction that was very light in the beginning, with the passage of time ended up becoming completely separate entities.
Even if they thought of assimilating with Lemuse at this point, it would probably take a really long time.
The existence that was completely exterior to the beliefs of the land or the pride of the natives, would definitely have much more fragile bonds than those on the interior. It’s rather difficult to make ties.
Even the heroic spirits of old had told him that this was not very logical.
Not to mention, since it was the age of war, this problem would end up becoming a bottleneck.
Most probably Hasim as well as the one who created the pride that Hasim was currently trying to uphold――『Leilas』 understood that as well.
――It won’t go that easily.
It’s quite enough that they’re at least willing to do a deal.
However, simply due to the fact that they were willing to deal seriously, the demon lords should definitely be independent.
――You should never throw out hope for the outside.
Just being shut in and excluding everything else would definitely lead to the return of the 『Most ancient evil demon lord』. That has to be avoided at all costs.
――...It’s really difficult, Leilas, Flander.
Merea realised that he was at the crossroads to becoming a demon lord. The more he thought about it, the ideas and prejudices attached to the name demon lord was very troublesome and kept spinning around the inside of his head.
The demon lord is a nation. The demon lord is a race. The demon lord is single group.
In that case, where should that group aim at.
Just survive. He understood that. However, with just that, they would definitely stumble at some point.
They had to create the belief as demon lords at some point and in some place and the moment that they do survive this, they might just feel like disintegrating. (TLN: Don’t ask me why the author said that last part...I’m not even sure what he’s talking about half the time...dumb author trying to be all smart…)
Also, in order to create that belief, 『right now』 is the best possible crossroads.
The place where both 『Mūzeg』, which is trying to hunt demon lords, and 『Lemuse』, which is trying to save them, are present at the same time.
He listened to the thoughts of Lemuse. He understood their beliefs.
In that case, what about Mūzeg?
――Elma would probably be really angry and say, 「You’re an idiot」.
However, he felt that he had to listen to what Mūzeg had to say. He felt that he had to hear the thoughts of the man who stood as the symbol of Mūzeg. He had to know the thoughts of the nation that was so vehemently hunting demon lords.
For the first time, the demon lords would revolt against Mūzeg.
――Move with your own feet.
If you move with the shoes provided by someone else, then your gaze will definitely shift in the wrong direction.
――I want to know.
As a demon lord, as Merea Mea, as a resident of this world――he didn’t want to become blind. He should not be blind.
――That’s why, let me ask you.
Serius Brad Mūzeg. Let’s ask you, who is at the center of this world.
Why――do you hunt demon lords.
Also, what do you achieve by earnestly aiming for victory and domination.
The past and now. Has the pride of Mūzeg changed at all?
Over and above everything else,
――Your own thoughts.
He thought of it as his duty as the man who was the leader of the independent group known as demon lords.
「If it’s for that sake then I’ll put my body on the line. I’m even interested in your abilities since you were known as the darling child of the age of war. If it’s needed then I’ll even cross swords with you――and then give you 『peace』. However――」
Just this once.
While whispering internally, Merea increased the speed at which he ran. Before he knew it, he had already overtaken the retreating forces of Mūzeg and he felt his field of vision expand.
The gray hair that was dancing in the wind was clearly visible. He would arrive soon.
「Hahaha, the enemies do seem to use a rather cowardly hand huh」
Serius Brad Mūzeg reached that place several dozen minutes after Hasim did.
「However, that skill is commendable. Certainly, if our cavalry showed such movements then I would have also looked for an opening and used the same hand. Well then, I want to properly remember that face but...it’s too far so I can’t see it well」
Unlike Hasim, Serius had not yet realised who the commander of the enemy forces was.
Although he was able to realise that it was Lemuse based on the white flag but he wasn’t able to see as far as the face of the enemy commander.
「It’s probably that man with brown hair but, that hair colour is pretty common after all」
If he had seen those characteristic aqua blue eyes then Serius would have also understood that he was the man who he once had a confrontation with.
However, Serius who had no idea what the real name of Hasim was, had no way to know that he was actually the royalty of Lemuse, not to mention that he had instigated a coup d’etat and had now become a king.
The two of them had yet to 『meet』.
「Well that’s fine. The priority should be this side huh」
Instead, he turned his attention in the direction that the white light cannon had been fired in.
The one who had Serius’ undivided attention was the 『demon god』 moving in their direction.
「That was definitely a reversal technique. ――Damn Flander, so you really ran and hid on that sacred mountain huh. Even though he was poisoned, he was still quite fit after all」
Serius turned towards Merea and observed him with an even deeper concentration.
After seeing the white light cannon being offset a little while back, Serius had seen through two of Merea’s dispositions. Although it wasn’t to the level of having proof but he was around 80% certain that he was right.
「Those three obsidian tails have disappeared huh. ――There’s no mistake there right, Mihai?」
「Yes, I do believe that there were three tails on his back till right before the white light cannon was shot」
「Those were the three tails of the earth god. They’re made out of Godstone (Kusers). They won’t break down that easily, they can easily change their shape and over and above all that, they themselves move around like they have a life of their own」
「Are they like the 『Crimson Flames of Life』 of the〈Flame Emperor〉?」
「They’re not strictly living things to that extent」
Serius answered plainly to Mihai’s question.
「By the way, is that godstone (Kusers) the same godstone that the〈Rock Emperor〉was said to have created?」
「――Yeah. Though it’s the opposite, Mihai. The godstone created by the rock emperor was created after appropriating the technique of the earth god from the age prior to that. The creation of that godstone is from the 『Divine Soil (Lyrisis)』 created by the earth god. It seems to have been rainbow coloured soil that would respond to the thoughts of people」
「That’s a fable isn’t it?」
「I think so too. It’s to a point where I can’t help but feel a sense of respect for the poetic abilities of ancient people. Well, its usage seemed to lie more in agriculture than in combat but if information on such a convenient item were to be spread around then people all around would definitely want it. From there, it would of course, lead to war」
「I see. ――Even so, the fact that those three tails disappeared means that」
Mihai returned the topic back on track. Serius nodded, as if to reply to that.
「It’s just an assumption. Though, it’s probably accurate. He probably can’t use three techniques simultaneously while he uses the reversal technique」
He saw through it so easily, thought Mihai. If such a prediction had been made in advance then he could understand being able to see through it easily with the short situation earlier.
However, in this situation, the first and probably only point that anyone would notice and be surprised by would be that the white light cannon was stopped and nothing else would be noticed. At least Mihai was like that.
Along with the white light cannon being blocked, a black light was also shot towards them which was the only thing that their thoughts would go towards.
「I’ve practiced multiple techniques of demon lords so I can understand it, that isn’t something that can be used simultaneously. Just the fact that he’s using the white lightning and the wings of wind at the same time alone is quite strange. Well, we can just think of that fact as him having such high abilities but――」
Serius momentarily showed a sour expression but he immediately changed back to his plain expression.
「Even so, I’m skeptical. Beast, monster, demon god, when compared to us those names are not wrong. However, it’s a problem to be afraid of it more than necessary. ――You’ve heard the term false hide right? Though, fear is the most primitive of human emotions that could completely cloud one’s sights. I understand that. If such a primitive fear is involved then it is simple to have your nature covered up. However, if that were to be kept in mind properly then it is possible to create a gap in that fear」
「Ordinary people would have quite the tough time putting that to practice」
Mihai spoke as he shrugged. He said that with all the people different than Serius is mind. Of course, he himself fell under the category of different people.
「Well, if I didn’t have some amount of information beforehand then I myself may not have been able to put it to practice that easily. However, since I found such a thing out about him, it made it easier to be skeptical」
With his gray hair fluttering in the wind, Serius spoke.
「If I hadn’t heard that he had no fangs then the very assumption that he is actually human would have still been shrouded in fog. ...Though that particular information is already useless」
The point when he had reached the battlefield, after hostilities had already started, he saw the black snake like objects blowing people away.
Although it was too far so he couldn’t see it clearly but he was certain that normal human beings would die if they were hit by that.
When he knew that the owner of those black tails was that demon god then,
「――He seems to have grown fangs」
He was able to predict that.
Serius had originally been afraid of that in his mind.
However, oddly, the surprise he felt for that fact had completely vanished.
In fact, he felt like the heresy of the demon god faded a little when he took into consideration the 『providence that he believed in』, one of which clearly stated that killing on the battlefield was normal.
「I wonder if I’m abnormal. When I stand on the battlefield, I feel like everything would sort itself out, one way or the other」
The battlefield is my home ground.
Battle is what I pride myself on.
I don’t feel like I was devoted to raising the battlefield but,
「Well, it’ll work out somehow」
While looking at Merea, he thought that.
「Ahh, also, captain」
Serius changed the target of his words to the man who was standing on the opposite side to Mihai.
He was one of the men who had taken him to the sacred mountain and had additionally escorted him till here, the captain of the practitioner corps.
Though various wounds could be seen on him, he, himself had desired to be in this place.
「You did subtly change the power for the second and third shots right?」
「Yes, without fail. We made sure to shoot the third shot slightly weaker than usual」
「Alright, in that case, 『our assumption』 is also not wrong. Though the fangless monster assumption of ours depended too much on intuition but with the attacks done by the captain and his corps, I’ve figured out the oddity that I felt from him. ――His reversal technique is different from Flander Crow’s reversal technique」
Serius was a terrifying man.
The reason why the three kings and Hasim made such a big deal about Serius was about to show itself.
「That is an 『imitation』」
He had observational powers that were so potent that it even felt like he was supported by divine revelations.
「His technique can do nothing but shoot back the technique with the same power as the original」
His observational power had already highlighted the nature of Merea’s reversal technique.
Just three shots.
In fact, the first shot had been aiming at Elma so he had figured all this out with just the second and third shots.
Even if you said that he had some information beforehand but even then, being able to figure it out with just two shots is something that no one other than Serius would be able to manage.
「If it had been Flander Crow then he would have definitely realised the weakness of the third shot and would have shot his dark light cannon at the same power as the second shot. That counter attack would have definitely reached us」
Of course, if it had been like that, Serius had planned to use a defensive technique but the result had been a complete offset.
In other words,
「He’s probably not that proficient with the〈Magic Eyes of the Technique God〉. It could also be a result of being caught by another demon lord’s technique. Although it’s a threat that he can use techniques of demon lords with titles of god but as expected, the one to be wary of the most would be the magic eyes of the technique god huh」
Serius was convinced that the〈Magic Eyes of the Technique God〉would be the most useful power. There was a certain reason for that.
「It is too much to be in your hands」
It isn’t just that it was too brilliant an ability.
A rather 『special reason』.
「As I thought, those eyes should――」
「Be 『returned』 back to our clan」
Serius Brad Mūzeg held special feelings for Flander Crow. That was a mixture of respect, ridicule, contempt and various other complicated feelings.