Chapter 39 – Chance meeting – Part three

“To begin with… I see…”

The demon casually approaches Number Thirteen, like he’s going out for a walk.

Number Thirteen seems wary, but he’s caught before he can even react.

The demon grasps the slave mask and pulls, leaving under Number Thirteen an opening as big as their height difference.


Is that an explosion of magic energy?

I can feel the concentrated magic energy on my skin, like the air itself is shaking.

And then, I can see what looks like a layer of magic energy, even though magic energy is not supposed to be visible.

After a shrill cracking noise, Number Thirteen falls to the ground, leaving the broken slave mask in the hand of the demon.

“What was that?”

“I hit the slave mask with magic energy to break it.
It’s not a technique everyone can use, and if you want to safely, and definitively undo this, it’s faster to kill the contractor.”

The demon says like it’s nothing.
More like no one else can use it.

“Well then, should we do the restrictions next? Are you ready?”

The demon is right in front of me before I can even begin to answer.

It’s not like it’s at all unexpected, but I can only laugh at just how much stronger he is than me.

“What should I do?”

“Just stand there, I’ll handle the rest.
The restriction itself… You’re prohibited from harming the demon king.”

The demon announces, and then chants some words I don’t understand, before capping it off by sending magic energy into me.

Thickly concentrated magic energy is released from the demon’s fingertips and coils around my body, before being sucked into my heart.

“Can I ask something?”


“I can’t harm the demon king.
Are you basically telling me not to treat the demon king as an enemy?”

It means you’re not allowed to hurt the demon king.”



“Nothing, it’s just different than I expected.”

I figured I’d be bound by all sorts of rigid restrictions.

“It’s not magic I’m very good at using.
Rather than applying all sorts of restrictions, it’s better to keep it simple.
That means the restriction will be stronger, and also, more complicated ones tend to fail.”

“Is the demon king that important to you…”

Did I say something weird? The demon looks surprised.

I guess I accidentally said something strange.

“So what should I do now?”

“Whatever you want.
As long as you don’t break your restriction.”

It sounds so simple.

“So I can keep hunting monsters?”

“It’s not like they are under our control.
Do as you like.”

“What about your fellow demons? If there are others, what happens if I meet them?”

“You can treat them as your enemies if you don’t like them.
We generally do whatever we want.”

I’m having trouble following this train of thought.

I had restrictions put on me, but aren’t I basically free?

It just feels weird.

“And is that all right?”

I point to Number Thirteen, who is still on the ground and hasn’t moved for a while.

“That’s probably recoil from having the mask forcibly removed.
Leave it be, and they will eventually regain consciousness, although I can’t say what happens then.
Some have their hearts broken, some continue to follow orders, and sometimes nothing happens.
It depends on the person.”

The demon says very plainly, but that sounds terrible.

Worst case scenario, he could become disabled.

“Well then, it’s time for me to leave.
I doubt we will see each other again, so honor your promise.”

I still have questions.”


“I heard you appeared during the orc hunt.
Were you leading the orcs?”

“That was just a coincidence.
I felt the waves of a summoning, and went to take a look when I saw that large group because I figured an otherworlder might be among them.
Ah, and I fought because I was attacked, and they needed to be put in their place.”

“Does that mean you don’t attack humans unprovoked?”

“That is the case for me.
Others are probably different.
Different people have different ways of thinking.”

People? I guess we’re the ones who decided to call them demons.
They probably have a different name for us too.

“One last thing.
When I was summoned into this world, I was told that if I defeat the demon king and use the demon king’s magic stone, I can go back to my world.
Is that true?”

I’ve never heard of such a thing.
At the very least, I’ve never seen anything like it.
I mean…”

“I see…”

“You don’t look surprised.”

“It’s not unheard of.
People saying you need to do this and that to make your dreams come true, or using something as bait to make someone else do what you want.
But, I see…”

They really are sly.

“Sorry, but can I ask a favor from you?”

The demon looks fed up.
Then again, I get how all these questions might be annoying.

“If you can, can you safeguard the other otherworlders if you meet them?”

The demon’s expression changes into an intrigued one, but it shouldn’t be that strange.

I get annoyed at some people when I remember their faces back then, but considering the situation we were all in, it couldn’t be helped.

“They were summoned here without their consent, and are being tricked into doing what the ones who summoned us want.
So if you get a chance to talk and they stop fighting, spare them.”

“I can’t promise you anything, but I can try, otherworlder.”

“Yes, thank you.
And I’m Sora.
I’m counting on you, Ignis.”

The demon… Ignis seems surprised at first, but it seems like he understands, and he flies away without saying anything.

Flying freely through the sky… I’m jealous.

But now I have a mountain of things to do.

I use Presence Detection after activating Map, and enlarge it as much as I can.
I can see a group moving on the edge of the map.
It feels like they returned to the village and are evacuating.

I approach two of the orcs, the ones killed with gunshots, and put them in the Item Box along with their weapons.
I need to cover my tracks.

First, I take off and rip my bloody robe and throw it.

I leave my broken sword where it is, break off the clasp of my spare pouch, and throw it near the orc corpses.

Inside my pouch are a broken potion bottle and my guild card.

I leave the broken slave mask where it is, and rip the tunic off Number Thirteen and throw it too.
Wait, she’s not wearing anything underneath.

Her small chest is moving up and down, so she’s still alive.
Wait, so she’s a girl.
I figured her voice was a bit high, but I figured it was a boy whose voice hasn’t changed yet.
I quickly cover her with a spare robe.

I feel more tired than when I was negotiating with Ignis.

Ah, and I also collect Number Thirteen’s knife.
It’s a useful item.

I need to get moving before the sun really sets, so I carry Number Thirteen on my back, and step into the vast forest in front of me.

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