15-42. MastermindNot from Satou's perspective
"So you're back, Parion."
A boy-like voice greeted the being that teleported in with light.
The light from the shining little girl illuminates a black-clothed boy within the dark eerie hall.
The light disappeared before long, eerie darkness returned to the even eerier hall.
"Touya-sama, please don't call me that."
The tone of the little girl who was called with the name God Parion contained respect toward her superior.
"Then, stop assuming that form."
When the boy in black clothes--the one called Tactician Touya in Weasel Empire ordered that, the little girl turned into a glamorous woman along with faint light.
The beautiful young face of the God also changed into a plain one with no special characteristics.
After she was done transforming, she untied a pendant-like thing from her neck and the light disappeared.
"Touya-sama, I'm returning the 『Thief God's Mirror』."
"I still have something for you to do. Take it with you."
The pendant she has, [Thief God's Mirror] seems to be a <<Shape Change Artifact>> for transforming.
As if waiting for the two to be done, a tune that has an eerie intimidating aspect to it echoes in the hall as if it's the appearance of a bad guy.
"Looks like the Chief has come."
The two people kneel toward the throne that looks like it's assembled from humans bones situated at the depth of the hall.
A blue and a red gems on the back of the bone throne begin to blink, and then a groan-like sound comes from them.
"--What happened to the Irregular?"
The groan sounds changed into a human voice before long, the voice of an old man with strange dialect. <TLN: Kansai dialect.>
Tactician Touya raises his face and talks to the gems on the bone throne.
"We can assume that the Estrangement Plan has failed."
The woman with plain face bit her lips in vexation when she heard the word failed.
Apparently, she was involved in the [Estrangement Plan] thing.
"Did he get swallowed up in the Divine Punishment?"
"According to the spy in Shiga Kingdom, it appears he's safe."
"Safely escaping from the Seven Gods' Divine Punishment 'ey. Ain't he a tough."
The words of the guy called Chief sounded like he was astonished from the depth of his heart.
A slight awe seemed like it was mixed in it.
"Then, what 'bout the Anti-God Mine?"
"It had some effect, but it lacked the decisive factor."
They're talking about the Dragon Fang Nuclear Mine, the trump card that the Great Weasel Demon Lord used on God Zaikuon.
"Guess a direct confrontation 's impossible 'fter all, mite' work if we had 10,000 lesser dragons more as the ingredients tho'."
"That's an empty theory. Furthermore, I don't think the same thing will work again against Gods."
"Ain't that tru'. Guess we've gotta leave it to our Lord-san to fite' Gods 'fter all."
For them, the Seven Pillar Gods are opponents that must be defeated.
The [Lord-san] spoken by the chief seems to be a God other than the Seven Pillar Gods--or perhaps a being that can match Gods.
"I have a report for your excellency."
Hearing the Chief, the woman with plain face spoke while still falling prostrate.
"What's it? Lemme 'ear em 'k?"
"According to the one who had infiltrated Weasel Empire, it appears a woman from Irregular's faction critically wounded the God."
As an addendum, she said that the infiltrator has ceased sending reports.
"That's amazin'. Did she turn into a True Demon Lord?"
"No, she was still a human."
The chief's voice sounded as if he heard some unbelievable thing.
"Y'kiddin' me.... Think we coulda take 'er to our faction'?"
"Let us not, that's clearly a trap--a death flag."
"Ain't yer' rite'. Best not to have anythin' to do with the Irregular 'ey."
With a pale face, Tactician Touya hurriedly stopped the chief who seemed excited.
Perhaps his tension was transmitted along, the chief's voice sounded nervous too.
"Since Shin should 'be in the Irregular's faction, d'ya think he'd be strong eno' to defeat a God in time?"
"That's not possible. He's just a normal human. He transcended humanity precisely because turned into a demon lord with the Demon Lord's Orb while he had Hero title."
"Ain't that rite', 's fine s'long as Shin has enough power to live normally."
The Chief murmured as if he was a parent worried about his child, after a moment of silence, the gems blink.
"O, yea, guess Weasel Emperor-han has really?"
"--He was hit by the Seven God's Divine Punishment. There is no way he survived."
The subject changed and Tactician Touya shook his head at the Chief's question.
Silence drifts about in the eerier room for a while.
Contrary to their concern about the emperor of another country, it seems there's no one here worried about Hero Meiko who should be from the same place as them.
"Touya, y'can take a break fer' now. You've just losta friend n'all."
"That I cannot do. For as long as I've lived, this isn't the first time I lost a friend."
"Ain't no way you can get used to that."
At the Chief's friendly concern, the Tactician Touya's declared that there was no need for it.
The woman with plain face seems worried about Tactician Touya while she's still falling prostrate.
"I'm gonna have Emperor Rugan-han and the army work hard fer' a while, so my side--Intelligence Bureau'll be alright."
"Is it about the continuation of the chaos on the continent's west?"
The Chief spoke of Saga Empire's Emperor's name familiarly.
The woman with plain face clearly looked perplexed when the Chief stated the name, [Intelligence Bureau].
From her viewpoint, it was odd for the Chief to purposely state the obvious like the name of his department.
"Won't the Irregular intervene?"
"No worries tere'. I'm gonna have the Saga Empire's heroes deployed before' the Irregular came. He's a KY guy who likes ta' crash in other's turfs 'fter all." <TLN: KY= Kuuki Yomenai, can't read the mood.>
From the flow of conversation, you can infer that the existence called Irregular is a menace whom he, who controls the entirety of Saga Empire's Intelligence Bureau, really cannot ignore.
More importantly, heroes--the Chief certainly did say that.
It seems that Saga Empire has summoned not only Hero Meiko but multiple heroes right after Hero Hayato defeated the demon lord in Dejima Island and returned home.
If academicians were to hear this, they would probably rack their brain hard as to where they got the enormous magic power needed to summon heroes and at what cost.
"Gotta be extra careful 'bout things related to Irregular."
"Yes, we have taken an extreme caution against the Irregular's proxy organization, E Firm. We're concentrating our effort in lowering E Firm's influence in the continent's west through amicable means, please don't worry."
The woman with plain face answered the Chief's question.
"And, how 'bout the plan there?"
"Then, in regards to the Labyrinth Highway Plan's progress--"
The woman with plain face stood up and answered the Chief's question.
"--About the Miasma Level at various places, they're extremely low compared to our expectations."
She displayed a screen using Force Magic in front of the bone throne, and spoke about the detailed information.
According to that display, the miasma in Dejima, Selbiraa and Seryuu are especially low.
"It's the Irregular's fault ain't it."
"There is no shred of doubt."
Tactician Touya affirmed the Chief.
"The channel to Dejima has been completely cut off. We have no choice but to stop the Labyrinth Highway Plan. We have to wait for the next opportunity."
"Yeap, dunno if it'll take 100 or 200 years, but waitin' for the Irregular's natural life to end would be the wise choice 'ere eh'."
"Umu, in 66 years the Demon Lord Season will come anyway."
"Bein' born as a long-living race 's convenient at a time like this 'ey."
It seems the 'Opportunity' they speak about is connected to the [Demon Lord Season].
Their objective probably requires the miasma to thicken.
"Then next, we're just gonna be careful 'bout Emperor Rugan-han's senile demands."
The Chief spoke as if he was persuading--no as if he was guiding someone.
"Babysitting the emperor is your job."
"Touya-han 's always strict ain't ya."
After exchanging relaxed words, the gems lost its light once the Chief said, [Then, C'ya] and stopped speaking.
"Touya-sama--will you be visiting the health resort in Buchi Forest?"
"Yes, that's right."
"T-then, could I come along with you? J-just now, I felt like having a vacation."
"Yes, that's right."
Tactician Touya answered the nervous woman with plain face as if his mind was somewhere else.
Without noticing Tactician Touya's state, the woman with plain face jumped up in delight.
"I-I must get ready and buy some clothes! Cute clothes and attractive underwear--"
When the woman with plain face was muttering her delusion with her hands on her face and her back turned toward Tactician Touya, the gems on the bone throne suddenly shined.
"--Looks like he's gone."
At the bone throne's words, the woman with plain face twitches.
"Yeah.... It felt like my heart got frozen still."
Touya collapses with his knees and hands on the ground, gasping.
Sweat run on his boy-like face like a waterfall, the light in his eyes is like that of a returned soldier who has seen hell.
"It was far more terrifying compared to when I stood before God Zaikuon, as if my life--no my soul was going to be erased.... "
"Ain't that rite'. Even tho' he shouldn't know where I was, I still got scared to death 'ey."
While Tactician Touya was wiping his sweat with a handkerchief, the woman with plain face is going around restlessly in askance between the bone throne and Tactician Touya.
"....He was here until a bit ago."
"Who was--could it be?!"
The woman with plain face, who couldn't follow the Chief's and Tactician Touya's conversation, hit on a certain guess.
"Yeap, the Irregular came."
"No way. My Space Perception didn't--"
The woman with plain face spoke in dismay about how her always-on passive space magic couldn't detect anything.
"Since mine's detection skills only sensed something incorrigible, it wasn't just Mana Camouflage 'ey."
"The High Elves and Ancestor King Yamato are on Irregular's faction too. They must have techniques we aren't aware of."
The Chief and Tactician Touya continued to exchange words while ignoring the woman with plain face.
"Guess we really hafta' give up the Godbeater girl 'fter all."
"Yeah, when were talking about taking her to our faction, his presence shook even only for an instant."
"Don't poke the bear eh. The risk's just too high."
Apparently, that was the reason why they went pale and quickly changed the subject.
"That's right. We have a higher probability of surviving raiding the God's Realm with white swords in hand."
"Hahahaha, ain't that rite'. Once Lord-san is restored, we're goin' into full swing."
The woman with plain face drew her cheeks when she heard the two talking about the final war in the God's Realm as if they were going to a pleasant quarrel.
"I didn't brin' it up before, but 's the Seryuu City's Labyrinth Highway Gate safe?"
"Yeah, the Labyrinth Highway--the gate to hell is safe." <TLN: Makai=hell can also be read as Demon Realm.>
Tactician Touya replied the bone throne.
"I was panicking when I heard the report about the Irregular appearing in the 『<<Dungeon Master's Room>>』, but he left just like that after confirming Douma Third the 『<<Dungeon Master>>』."
"Really, all's good then 'ey."
The Douma Third that Tactician Touya mentioned is a cricket monster that became the next [<<Dungeon Master>>] succeeding the Black Greater Demon.
"That's the labyrinth created from the important 『Dungeon Seed』 we got from Tarou-han 'fter all."
"Yes, you're right.... Either way, without the passage beyond the gate, we cannot go to the moon to release the seal."
Tactician Touya's eyes had a sorrowful look for an instant, but he quickly regained his calm.
"'s it impossible even for the elf sage Trazayuya 'ey?"
"Don't call me with that name. The foolish Trazayuya had chosen to erase his self when he turned into a demon lord."
Tactician Touya spoke as if vomiting.
"I discarded my name and sealed the memory of my former life when I reincarnated, that guy--the me of this life was an elf through and through. He even gave up life rather than living as a demon lord...."
This was in a book left by the elf sage Trazayuya.
--We elves have poor attachment to life. When we're driven into a corner, the struggle we do is surprisingly weak compared to other races.
Apparently, that included him.
"Can't Touya-han make' a Space Engine by slowly learnin' and drinkin' some good liquor this time?"
"It's impossible. How far do you think the moon is. Using Jules Verne and this girl's space magic have a higher probability of success."
Tactician Touya implied that even the Sub-Dimensional Ship Jules Vernee and the woman with plain face's space magic can't be used to go to the moon.
"The Irregular's Unique Skill could probably do, but that's not allowed 'fter all."
"Yea, that is the only thing we have to prevent no matter what."
The woman with plain face looked at the Tactician Touya like she wanted to know the reason, but he didn't speak further about that.
"Someone! Anyone come hereeeeee! His Majesty is! His Imperial Majestyyyyyyyy's!"
The next morning, a Saga Empire's lady's maid's scream tore off the morning quietness.
Guard soldiers and senior servants who sensed the abnormality rush into the Emperor's bedroom.
The naked bodies of the aged emperor and beautiful young ladies who have come of age are exposed in the large bedroom.
"Eh, Your Majesty."
Yet the gazes of the people who had rushed into the room weren't directed at the bodies of the beautiful young ladies, but at a huge blue sword hanging on top of the bed.
The huge sword is fixed in the air through either space magic or force magic, hanging one foot above the pale emperor's forehead.
The emperor is staring at the huge sword without blinking, his body is trembling like he's convulsing.
The emperor doesn't move an inch even though his eyes are tossing about from the tip of the sword.
"Save His Majesty!"
Someone stopped the guards who were going to move as instructed by a senior servant.
"Empress Wilyan-sama? Why did you stop us!"
"His Majesty is paralyzed. Moreover, that big sword is linked with the paralyze magic, it will likely take His Majesty's life if you untie it carelessly."
Empress Wilyan is the mother of Princess Maryest who served as a Hero Hayato's follower.
She is an outstanding magician like her daughter.
The royal court magicians whom she called take more than two days trying to release the huge sword aiming at the emperor's forehead, during that time, the emperor has to shiver in fear without even being able to blink.
Even after the emperor has been rescued, that huge sword continues to stay at that place, any kind of magic is unable to remove it.
And dreadfully enough, it seems even the holy swords brandished by Saga Empire's heroes couldn't break that huge sword.
And, despite the gag order, this story is spread among many people.
"Did you hear?"
"Yea, about the Sword of Damocles right?"
Since the huge sword's creator's name is Damocles, people call the huge sword made from Adamantite alloy [Huge Sword of Damocles].
However, there is one thing that remains a secret here.
That is the words written on the huge sword.
Which are--[I'll overlook it this once. There is no next time.]
Those words were conveyed to the next emperor of Saga Empire and the prime minister by the Empress Wilyan, not Rugan Second who abdicated the throne under the pretext of bad health.
'Who wrote that', from a highly reliable guess that would be....
※ Next update [15-43. New World] is planned for 2/5.