There’s bad news, and really bad news. But at least we have each other.
Author’s comments: Shun’s perspective.
「The representative of the demons has arrived.」
The nervous chamberlain called out. Little wonder. After all, this is probably the first time in history that a demon has set foot in the Holy Country of Aleius, the furthest human place from the demon territories. When I then saw him, he turned out to be much younger than I had expected. While I have heard that there’s no visible differences between demons and humans, by seeing one in the flesh, I’m forcibly shown that they simply look like ordinary humans.
「I am Balto Fisero. Pleased to make your acquaintance.」
However, considering that demons have a longer lifespan than humans, I’d bet that he’s older than he looks. He named himself in a dignified manner, and despite being in a place that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call enemy territory, he didn’t show a hint of being afraid or nervous.
「You are most kind to come all this way to visit us. I am the Pope of the Divine Word Religion, Dustin.」
The Pope returned a greeting. Then, once Balto-san had taken a seat, the conference began.
「Now then. We cannot afford to postpone matters much further, so let us curtail the introductions and so on. We shall proceed under the assumption that everyone has assembled here with the intention of cooperating with us.」
The Pope begins to speak as our representative. Beginning with Balto-san here as a representative of the demons, the representatives of many countries are assembled here. The headquarters of the Divine Word Religion is the Holy Country of Aleius, and has established links with many countries via teleportation rings. In addition, there are those here thanks to Ronant-sama rushing around. This is how representatives of so many countries have assembled here so swiftly. That being said, there are also many countries who have decided not to participate, due their internal discussions not being finished. My home country of Anareich is also absent. In our case, due to the civil war stirred up by Yuugo, it is still split between the Queen’s faction and Leston-nii-sama’s faction, despite it being not the time for that sort of thing. I’m sure that Leston-nii-sama and co fully understand that this is not the time for that when a battle is going on to decide the fate of the world. However, considering that the two factions were fighting against each other until just now, it would surely be difficult for them to immediately put aside their differences. Maybe if we had a bit more time it could have been rushed through, but unfortunately we don’t have the time to take things easy.
Considering that, the rapid response of the demons could be said to be amazing. At the time of the declarations from the Demon King and the Pope, they took action the moment it was over after all.
It seems that Balto-san first attempted to get in contact with the Empire by a fast horse. Or rather, that Balto-san himself rode on that fast horse. Then, he announced himself to the Empire, and so proceeded on to this place immediately. I don’t know how far it is between the demon’s capital city and the teleportation ring in the Empire that connects to here, but there’s no way that such important equipment would be close to the demon territories. He likely had to rush all the way here, without even time for sleep. That also shows just how seriously he views the current situation. Along with his strong determination to make a temporary ceasefire despite the long history of war between them and the humans.
「Our objective is the prevention of the System’s collapse by the Demon King Ariel. For that reason, we must bring those people who possess the special skill known as a Ruler skill to the innermost place on the lowest layer of the Elro Great Labyrinth.」
The reason why I am participating in this conference is not because I’m the Hero, but because I possess a Ruler skill. Which is why Katia and Sue are also seated either side of me.
「However, Demon King Ariel has already reached the Elro Great Labyrinth, and has laid out a defensive formation.」
According to the scout units of the Divine Word Religion, at both entrances to the Elro Great Labyrinth, on the Kasanagara continent side and on the Dazdoldia continent side, a certain type of monster has been stationed. And that monster is……
「The Queen Taratekt.」
On hearing that monster’s name, those in attendance abruptly gasped. It is a mythical class monster. There is one of those powerful monsters stationed at each of the entrances. In addition, spider type monsters believed to be kin of those Queen Tarateks, are being summoned one after the other it seems. Their number… cannot be determined by sight. In other words, there were such a large number of monsters there, that they couldn’t be counted.
「Not only that, but it is almost certain that the subordinates of Demon King Ariel have already been stationed inside the Elro Great Labyrinth. Unless we break through them, we humans cannot win.」
The Queen Taratekt is said to be a mythical class monster that cannot even be subdued by humans. In the past, in order to subjugate a Queen Taratekt, a large army with a previous Hero in the lead went to battle with one. The result was… a draw. Despite gathering together as much fighting power as it was possible to scrape up, despite the Hero and majority of those called the champions of mankind participating, even so, the most they could manage was a draw. And now, there’s two of those monsters.
「To take on two Queen Tarateks at once is reckless. Therefore, we shall focus on one of them, and a select few will force their way through into the Elro Great Labyrinth. I wish for everyone to partner with the army that will take on the Queen Taratekt. 」
Small groans can be heard here and there. The opponent is a Queen Taratekt. This is no easy job. We must even consider the possibility of annihilation. Or rather… perhaps it is something that must be considered – whether or not it is acceptable for the representative of a country to take such a risk.
「We depart in two days. From here to the front line.」
However, to forestall the contemplations of the representatives of each country, the Pope makes that announcement. An abrupt departure. However, there is another reason for doing so.
「During this time, the countdown to the System’s collapse is progressing moment by moment. In two days time, those who cannot hasten here in time will be left behind, and we shall depart with only those gathered here.」
Even during this time when the god called Black Dragon-sama is fighting with Wakaba-san, it appears that Wakaba-san is pushing the System towards collapse. There is no way of knowing what the time limit of that is. However, if you take it easy then that time will definitely come. It’s possible that it could occur at any time, even right now.
「If you cannot participate then do not be concerned. After all, whoever wins will be the side the world choses.」
Will the people die, or will the gods die? That is the sort of battle it is.
And so, two days after the conference. At last, the battle that will decide the fate of this world… began.