[„Asley… Asley, boy… „]
[„Asley… Asley, boy… You can keep on sleeping.
Just listen to what I have to say.
[„…Excuse me, Asley „]
[„Ah- I assume you are aware that my Master would never willingly wake up in his own dream, sir „]
[„Ngh… You are Asleys Familiar „]
[„Heh heh heh heh…” „]
[„What- What are you laughing at „]
[„What could you be referring to „]
[„Identify yourself, intruder~~” „]
… Goodness gracious, what a rowdy bunch.
[„Oh, I see you are finally awake.
[„Ill excuse myself as well, then! Good night, sir! „]
[„Hold it right there! What could have compelled you to ignore Me so „]
[„Bad luck.” „]
[„Ho ho ho ho, but the others would say that you have started scoring well in things, would you not agree „]
Even with my new-and-improved appraisal magic skills that I had attained with the help of Melchi, I still couldnt get a read on this Gramps.
[„I see the depth of your curiosity hasnt changed at all.
[„So… what business do you have with us this time, sir Im feeling like a water fountain like now, so Im not exactly in my most comfortable state!” „]
Thats got nothing to do with this, doesnt it Im also not having the most comfortable sleep, what with there being no Pochi Pillow for tonight.
[„You have met up with young Warren without issue, I take it „]
[„I dont know how you even knew that… Seriously, its not very nice to eavesdrop on peoples daily lives, dont you think” „]
Just like last time, Pochi brought us cushions, and we all sat down cross-legged on them.
And I, just like last time, materialized a low table, complete with a ready-to-serve set of tea.
The three of us sipped tea in the flat, pure white dimension.
As bizarre as it may look from the third-person perspective, I would consider it a scene worthy of nostalgic sentiments.
[„Anyways, how exactly does Warren play into this business Did you also appear to him in his dreams or something „]
[„What do you mean, Gods Will „]
[„It is in the message he delivered to you.
Was the part where hed told me to head tothe place of my beginning Wouldnt that mean the Divine Messenger also knew of its significance
[„Then just tell me.
What does that place have thats so important „]
[„That, I cannot say.
Go there yourself, and it will be revealed to you.
Bah, can this old-timer afford to be this carefree
With the Devil Kings resurrection coming in the near future, I dont understand why hes talking at such a leisurely pace.
Ahh, that reminds me… Ive had one thing in mind that Id like to ask this Gramps in case I got to see him again.
But before that, I suppose I ought to get his business out of the way first.
[„Hmm, very well.
The Devil King will be entering his Fetal Stage four years from now.
[„Surely the world will be wrapped in conflict from then on.
Monster activity will increase greatly, and many towns and cities will fall to ruin in the face of powerful adversaries.
That was quite a bit faster than Id expected.
The Devil King in his Fetal Stage would infuse monsters all over the world with arcane energy, turning them ferocious and fortifying their strength.
When that happens, it would no longer be safe for an average person to live outside of fortified settlements.
And then, a few years later, the Devil King would be born in all his glory.
[„I offer Our apologies – Until now, We havent been able to get a feasible estimate of how long it would be.
[„When you said monster activity will increase… how much of an increase did you mean… „]
[„The already-existing monster would be elevated to a higher rank of strength.
That, and the long-lost ancient monsters would appear in this world once again.
…Wait, wouldnt that mean…
I just remembered something.
When it came to monster ranks, I thought the highest to be doc.u.mented was SS, but in several passages of certain ancient texts, a certain keyword had stood out as quite mysterious.
Right – I think it was…
[„They are far beyond what one could classify in relation to everything else.
Their time is an era in which the Holy Warriors fight to the limits of their wisdom and power.
They shall be called- „]
[„The Apostles of Despair…! „]
I see, so thats why it seemed so intentional that the keyword stood out.
But in this day and age, where one would rarely catch a glimpse of an S-ranked monster, theres no way in hell I could imagine how strong monsters above Rank SS could be!
Or rather, they didnt want to… Could that be why humanity had kept it away from their memories and historical records Absolute fear wasnt something one could necessarily prevail over, after all.
The Devil Kings existence was that big of a deal.
Could it be that… could it be that, by knowledge of the Devil Kings existence, humanity has…
[„That is right, Asley.
Faced with the Devil Kings dreadful existence, humanitys innovations have stagnated.
They could not progress onward with such an absolute power in their way.
Under normal circ.u.mstances, God would have blessed them with His power – so that there may be some progressive minds to lead the advancements of technology and culture.
However, the Devil King was, and still is, such a major spanner in the works.
That is one reason why there is not much difference in now and the age in which you had been born.
The Divine Messenger, as if hesitant to say what he was about to, took another sip of tea.
[„Looking at the big picture, it ultimately traces back to the Devil Kings existence, but…..
[„Please tell me about it – and dont be vague.
Gramps, seeming to have realized the seriousness of the tone I took, set his cup down on the table.
[„It concerns the deeds of the Devilkin in the Nations upper tiers.
[„…Damn it! I feared that would be the case! „]
[„M-Master! Im not getting what that means at all!! „]
The Nations upper tiers – Grey, Ishtar of the Black, and Lloyd of the White – was not the Devil Kings advance party, however…
[„The Nation… its already being ruled by the Devilkin.
(Xemul: And here we have somewhat plausible explanation, why tech.
level does not progress in fantasy worlds.
The Devilkin Conspiracy Theory.)
[„What! Then that means-! …What does it mean, sir „]
[„Quit trying to act cute! Okay, listen up – it means that… What does it mean „]
[„See! You dont know it either, Master! „]
[„Shut up! At least my cute act was actually cute, unlike yours! „]
[„Oh, good gracious… I am starting to worry for you two.
Listen well – the Devilkin are not as simple creatures as the monsters.
The people placing their faith in the Black and White Chain is no different from them worshipping the Devilkin.
With every voice of worship toward them, they grow stronger.
During the time without the Devil King to lead them, those of the Devilkin instead strove to become the Devil King themselves.
This is it – the organization intends to use Devilkin worship to face off against the Devi King directly and with no reservations.
One misunderstanding after another.
We had been helplessly operating on a misunderstanding this whole time.
Thats right – it had been written so in the Black and White Chain Contract, of all things.
– On the occasion of the Devil Kings invasion, [„the First Party„] shall agree to participate in the battles to defeat the Devil King and provide complete support to the Holy Warriors.-
Back when Id thought the Devil Kings advance party was hiding within the Nation, Id also doubted the content of this particular clause.
I was certain that Id looked cute while doing that, unlike Pochi when she did it.
I had wondered – why would they have a clause specifically dictating that they would fight against the Devil King Would that not clearly put the Devil King at a disadvantage
And now, the Devil King was definitely at THAT disadvantage.
The Nation was already under the Devilkins control, and the same Devilkin strove to defeat the Devil King.
In this era, the Devilkin was receiving peak levels of worship, so much so that the Holy Warriors could not be born into this world.
Their power could be considered THAT great and dreadful.
I had made a miscalculation.
Never would I have expected this quest to defeat the Devil King to turn out to be a three-way struggle.
Well, no – they were using humanity as disposable chess pieces.
The Devilkin probably would not be against us, given that the circ.u.mstances were not thrown off the rails.
[„You could say that the Devilkin has finally taken direct action to take this world for themselves.
[„Eh – what do you mean by- „]
[„Well, discussing that topic now would not do anyone any good.
Besides, Asley… I thought you had something you wanted to ask Us „]
The Divine Messenger said as if hed seen through me.
He took a sip of tea while waiting for me to shoot out the question.
And yes, I DID have something I would like to ask him.
I had gotten my level to 100, and had started to acquire some positively-influencing titles.
From my training under Tūs, I had learned a new method of using magic, and also attained a great deal of strength not tied to my level and numbered statistics.
…BUT – a big fat BUT at that…
What Gramps had said to me during our first encounter in this dream world, that I mustdevote myself to my studies – had I been going in the right direction thus far Had I disappointed him Would he say that it had been no good at all I had a feeling that it had been one major cause of my worries.
That was why I would like to ask him, right here and right now.
[„…Gramps, am I getting stronger „]
[„You still have a long way to go, Master! Your abilities arent even on MY level yet! „]
All right, that totally ruined the moment.
(Anna: Lol, that sure did!)