༺ An Incredible Misunderstanding ༻
It was an unprecedented event. Frey, the Hero’s descendant, had challenged Dmir Khan, the long-standing Second-in-Command of the Demon King’s Army.
“You guys… Who do you think will win?”
While everyone was reeling from the shock and excitement of a major event that would go down in history, one of the combat executives of the Demon King’s Army muttered a question to his colleagues.
“Well… I don’t know.”
The snake-headed man, sitting to the left, replied in a low voice.
“They haven’t shown anything yet… So how would you know the outcome?”
Saying so, the man stuck out his tongue as the sheep-horned woman next to him sighed and said.
“Aren’t you stupid? Of course, that human boy will win.”
“Huh? How can you be so sure?”
Then, a woman with cute eyes next to her interrupted the conversation as she drooled while gawking at Frey.
“That’s right… It’s a common cliché that such frail, handsome boys usually hide their power… Definitely…”
Before long, even the rabbit-eared woman standing opposite to her chimed in while blushing profusely. Seeing this scene, the snake-headed man heaved a sigh and muttered.
As the nonsensical chatter continued, the man at the edge of the desk quietly opened his mouth.
“If I fight that boy, the duel will be decided within a minute.”
At that remark, the combat executives, who had been chatting for a while, all turned their gazes towards the man.
“Commander… is that true?”
“Really? Reaaally? The Captain will win?”
“What… Then he’s weaker than I thought…”
“He’s still cute, so if he loses, should I raise him?”
“I want to gobble him up.”
Eventually, the other combat executives realized that the owner of the voice was the Commander of the combat executives and their direct superior, so they began to glare at Frey and murmured amongst each other…
“I will lose.”
When the man bearing numerous scars briefly uttered those words, everyone began looking at him blankly.
“… Then should I ask him to raise me?”
“… I guess he will be the one gobbling me up.”
Soon, the rabbit-eared woman and the woman with charming eyes, with a blank look on their faces, broke the silence and mumbled.
“Uh… Commander, have you ever challenged Dmir Khan?”
The orc, who had surrendered to Frey earlier and returned to his seat, timidly inquired. The Commander nodded his head.
“Then… the duel with Dmir Khan…”
The orc then tried to ask curiously, but the women who were murmuring stopped him from speaking.
“Do you want to get pummelled to death? Not even your bones will be left.”
“You’re brazen because you’re a rookie… and it’s good to have that kind of ambition, but shouldn’t you know your place?”
When the two women began to radiate killing intent, the orc quickly lowered his head. He then quickly began apologizing. When the Commander noticed this, he opened his mouth again.
“I was defeated in less than a second.”
Everyone began looking at the Commander with their mouth agape when they heard those words.
“H-How’s that possible? You’re so strong…”
“Did you let your guard down? Or were you in poor condition? Or—”
“The duel was decided by just one punch.”
The Commander eventually opened his eyes and stopped the women who were asking questions. Simultaneously, he looked at Frey, who had unsheathed his sword and muttered solemnly.
“…That boy, we’ll see how long that boy will last.”
“I never imagined that you would challenge me.”
“I couldn’t imagine being promoted to Chief Executive of the Demon King’s Army either.”
I stared at Dmir Khan, the Second-in-Command of the Demon King’s Army, who was standing at the center of the arena.
“Well, as you said, having two people with the rank of Second-in-Command is quite problematic for multiple reasons… such as the possibility of orders getting mixed up, and different values.”
He was warming up with a relaxed expression on his face, even though I was emanating my mana in full force.
“By the way… I’ve been paying attention to the management side of the Demon King’s Army, so I haven’t fought any battles lately.”
“What are you trying to say?”
I asked, confusedly tilting my head, and he replied, his eyes turning cold.
“I apologize, but I think it might be a little difficult to control my power.”
Immediately after he said those words, the space distorted and the room began to expand rapidly.
“…Will our duel take place in this isolated space?”
I could already guess his intentions by watching him distort the space. Meanwhile, Dmir Khan nodded and started to smile.
“Alright, that’s what I wanted as well.”
“It’s good that we are in agreement.”
I also responded with a smile and used my ❰Inspect❱ skill while looking at Dmir Khan, who had a composed look on his face.
Mental Strength: 9.1
Passive Status: None
Disposition: Second-in-Command of the Demon King’s Army
Goodness Stat: -90
‘… As expected, his stats are heavily focused on magic.’
In reality, Dmir Khan’s strength was at an insignificant level. Of course, a strength value of 7 was quite high in normal circumstances, but people with high strength stats were numerous in the Demon King’s Army.
However, the reason why he was the second most powerful demon and most powerful figure in the Demon King’s Army was because of his overwhelming magical abilities.
His spatial magic ‘ruled’ the designated space itself rather than controlling it. It’s the pinnacle of magic… that slaughtered countless brave heroes.
“Are you ready?”
“I’m still preparing.”
Dmir Khan was gathering his strength in order to unleash the most powerful spatial magic on me.
‘His fighting style hasn’t changed at all.’
As expected, Dmir Khan’s attack pattern seemed to be the same as mentioned in the prophetic book and memories of the previous timeline.
Dmir Khan was usually serious and calm, but when he fought, he would change completely.
As testament to that fact, he decided to unleash his most lethal move, ❰Spatial Influx❱, which distorts the space in all directions at once and forcefully bends, then crushes the opponent.
– Crack! Crack!
Behind Dmir Khan, the surrounding area progressively twisted.
He would most likely focus all of his strength into the first attack.
That was because he despised long fights so much that he was willing to put all of his might into a single attack just to win swiftly.
However, I was the same as well.
That was because ❰Stellar Mana❱ specializes in generating instantaneous explosive power akin to a supernova.
As a result, I was disadvantaged in a long fight, but I felt confident in a short duel relying on explosive power…
“I’m ready. How long will it take you to get ready?”
With that thought in mind, I began gathering mana in my body as Dmir Khan asked a question with a smile.
“Why? Will you wait for me?”
“Of course. When you’re prepared, you can attack right away, and you don’t have to tell me when you’re ready.”
When I asked that question while smiling, just like him, he replied condescendingly.
‘…Well, if it’s that guy, he’s strong enough to spout arrogant words like that.’
If it was said by an ordinary person, I would have laughed it off as bluff, but the story was different in the case of Dmir Khan.
Dmir Khan has never lost a single battle.
The secret to this terrifying achievement lied in his magic, ❰Spatial Domination Magic❱.
Because the magic he used governs the ‘space’ itself, most attacks are blocked by his magic and disappear on contact.
In the previous timeline, the only individuals I knew who had broken through his magic even somewhat were Irina and the Master of the Magic Tower.
Of course, I would soon be added to that list.
“You seem pretty confident.”
“Well, if you die before you can even react… it’s going to cause a lot of damage to the Demon King’s Army.”
When I replied with a smirk, his eyebrows twitched briefly. Even if he pretended to be polite, he couldn’t hide his evil nature.
“Then… let’s get started.”
After taking a deep breath and glaring at each other for a while, we unleashed our attacks simultaneously.
Dmir Khan’s arms stretched forward vehemently.
The distorted space crumbled as fractures began to form everywhere.
The space, which had been compressed until it was distorted and torn, suddenly expanded and exploded with a bang.
‘…He shot space itself.’
Using the same principle as a sword slash that pushes air in all directions at high speed, or a magic missile that pushes water or fire at high speed to generate a bullet. Dmir Khan’s special move was finally unleashed.
At the same time, I gripped my sword firmly and took a deep breath.
With that breath, I mustered up the stellar mana contained in every corner of my body at once and channelled all of it into my sword.
The space strike slammed into me as I was forcefully channelling stellar mana into my weapon. I then slashed with everything I had.
It was just one slash.
The terrifyingly fierce sword slash, imbued with stellar mana, collided with Dmir Khan’s space strike the following moment.
An ear-shattering roar filled the engulfed conference hall.
And at that point, Dmir Khan let out a brief exclamation.
His space strike was devouring my sword slash.
“I apologize, Lord Frey. I don’t think there will be a winner.”
However, at the same time, my sword slash was also swallowing up his space strike.
In other words, our attacks were devouring and threatening to annihilate one another.
‘… He’s cunning.’
It was only then that I understood his intentions.
He seemed to want me to remain as the ‘Joint Second-in-Command’. In other words, he hated the idea of going down to third, but he didn’t like being the only Second-in-Command.
After all, he hid his power because he hated being bothered, and after a series of challenges, he rose to second place. However, his loyalty to the Demon King was superior to anyone else.
Perhaps his plan revolved around the fact that if our attacks cancelled each other out, he could declare a draw and use the rules to share the post of Second-in-Command between the both of us.
Then he could keep close contact with the Demon King he was loyal to, and could continue to maintain his position as the Second in Command without worrying about being disturbed by others. He could also use me to reduce his own responsibilities and take care of annoyances.
Truly, he was Dmir Khan, the Second-in-Command of the Demon King’s Army. The one who was called the ‘Cunning Evil Incarnate.’
‘But, I can’t let that happen.’
The moment I raised the corners of my mouth slightly with that thought in mind, a refreshing sound resounded from the place where our attacks collided against each other.
After a while, the twinkling sound filled the conference hall with a radiant light, as I looked at Dmir Khan with a victorious smile.
He just stared at the scene in front of him in astonishment. In fact, the scene unfolding right in front of his eyes is so strange he must be terrified.
At that moment, my sword slash and Dmir Khan’s space strike, which were devouring each other, completely vanished, and a dazzling flash of light rose from the dust and flew towards Dmir Khan.
Then, Dmir Khan hurriedly distorted the space around him and tried to block the stellar flash, but he was only able to stop a part of it.
He had already distorted so much of the surrounding space with his initial strike that even if he tried to influence the space around him now, he could only distort so much.
‘After all, I thought this would work.’
Of course, this was based on the flaws of Dmir Khan’s obsession with ending his battles in a single attack using his spatial magic.
I, who was aware of the loopholes in advance by looking back at the spatial magic setting mentioned in the prophetic book and through my memories of the previous regression, deliberately delayed my attack preparations and waited for the surrounding space to be sufficiently distorted.
And as a result, excessive the surrounding space was compressed and distorted.
In the end, Dmir Khan fell to his knees, pierced by radiant flashes of light, giving birth to a chilly silence that soon descended upon the hall.
“Cough… Cough… I have a question.”
Soon Dmir Khan, who was staring blankly at me with blood dripping down from the corners of his lips, broke the silence that lingered for a while.
“How did you destroy my space with just a slash of your sword?”
He inquired as such, with a pale, haggard face, as I replied to him nonchalantly.
“I swung my sword really hard.”
Then the executives in the back began to murmur.
‘…Well, I’m not lying.’
The reason my sword slash was able to break past his spatial magic was because of the ❰Hero’s Power❱ that I inherited from the First Hero.
In exchange for life force, it’s possible for me to draw out transcendental power. Power strong enough to cut through his space.
Of course, I was about to die because I used up almost all the life force I had left in order to use the ❰Hero’s Power❱.
I coughed up blood dozens of times as a result, but I swallowed it all and endured the severe pain by depending on my mental strength.
Should I have to suffer that much even if the impact was powerful enough to cut through space?
“Let’s say that part makes sense… Then, what was that flash of light?”
As I kept swallowing the blood that I was about to cough up, Dmir Khan asked a question with a trembling voice.
“I infused mana in my sword slash.”
It seemed that blood would ooze out of my mouth if I talked for too long, so I gave another brief answer as the executives who were buzzing behind me went silent.
Meanwhile, upon hearing that, Dmir Khan looked astonished.
‘…Well, it’s pretty surprising.’
With the skill I previously got from the forest near the Duke’s residence, I was able to cast ‘stellar magic’.
That alone was remarkable, but combining magic with a sword slash was unheard of on the continent.
That was because, until now, no one had ever been able to combine ‘sword’s aura’ and ‘mana’.
In other words, I was the sole ‘Magic Swordsman’ in the world.
My sword art made use of ❰Hero’s Power❱, and the magic I wielded was the ❰Stellar Mana❱ which was formerly used by my mother, the strongest star mage in history.
So in conclusion, according to the term my ancestor preferred to use, I’m now a ‘fucking cheater.’
“From now on, I’m the Second-in-Command of the Demon King’s Army. Those who are dissatisfied, feel free to step forth and fight me.”
Thinking like that, I gulped down the blood that gathered in my mouth. And as soon as I calmed down, I spoked coldly to the executives behind me.
‘Please don’t come out… Please…’
Of course, I inwardly prayed that no one would come out.
In my half-dead state, anyone here could easily defeat me.
For example, if the orc guy who confronted me earlier decided to challenge me again, he would easily knock me out and take the position of Second-in-Command.
But fortunately, they all averted their gazes, trying not to make eye contact with me and remained silent.
When I saw them behaving like such, I heaved a sigh of relief and attempted to go calmly to my seat…
“One more question… just one more question.”
Dmir Khan, who was gasping for breath, asked another question with a frown on his face.
Dmir Khan continued to speak in a quivering tone. Apparently, having never been hit by an attack, his body seemed pretty weak…
“… Are you the Demon King?”
He spouted something insane out of his mouth as I heard people quickly take a deep breath from behind me.
Thinking about the meaning of those words, I froze without realizing.
Only silence lingered in the conference hall.
“Um… Kania. Frey will be fine…”
“The Young Master will be fine. So don’t worry about anything.”
“No… that’s not it. I was just trying to comfort you… sigh…”
Irina tried to comfort Kania, who seemed anxious as she kept opening and closing the lid of her pen while chewing her nails. She looked out the window upon hearing Kania kept mumbling that Frey would be fine in a trembling voice.
“As I’ve said over and over again, the Young Master will be fine. So…”
Realizing that the carriage had already arrived in front of the Duke’s mansion, Irina informed Kania, who was completely zoned out, and got off the carriage. She then asked her a question.
“Uh… Do you remember what Frey ordered us to do?”
“The Young Master will be safe. So stop…”
“No, do you remember what Frey asked for earlier? You idiot ‘Young Master’ stammerer!”
Eventually, when Irina screamed at her, Kania snapped out of her daze, and quickly changed her expression to one befitting of a Duke’s butler, and stepped out of the carriage.
“… I remember it perfectly.”
After that statement, she headed towards the main gate of the Starlight mansion. When she entered the Duke’s residence along with the commoners who were hesitating in front of the gate.
“All servants, please gather in front of me.”
After a while, Kania, who had called all the servants in a line, declared with a cold expression on her face.
“As of today, all of you are fired.”
Kania, who looked around carefully, added a few more words in a hushed tone while the servants reeled in shock at those words.
“… until the vacation is over.”
Then, the servants became confused, trying to understand the meaning of her words. Meanwhile, the commoners, who were looking at the scene in bewilderment, realized that Kania was now staring at them.
“From today onwards, you are the servants of the Starlight family.”
After hearing Kania’s words, the students began to doubt their ears.
“All women will wear maid clothes, and all men will work as servants, cooks, and gardeners.”
Kania, who once again reminded the commoners of their situation, declared with a calm expression on her face.
“This is the Young Master’s command.”
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