Today as a Lich
Editor: Cannongerbil, Skythewood
On a certain sunny day.
While today was a rest day for the magic item store, there was a troublesome customer that made herself at home.
“Come on come on, I even brought snacks today! Wiz, bring the tea! Make it hot and thick!”
“Yes, I’ll go right now!”
Without regard for anyone else, the troublesome customer noisily dragged the table from a corner and placed it in the middle of the store.
“Hurry, I have a lot of time today, so let’s hear it!”
“Unlike thy who has an inordinate amount of free time, Moi actually have things to do.”
Seeing this hasty blue-haired goddess, Moi could only sigh.
––This goddess came to the store everyday to pester Wiz and Moi about our relationship. This goddess was such a nuisance that Moi finally decided to tell her.
“By the way, Aqua-sama, why are you so curious about our pasts? How should I say this, it’s not much of a grand story, you know?”
Wiz, who was pouring tea, smiled embarrassedly.
It seems that she was thinking about the past.
“Because, doesn’t the honest Wiz and this twisted cruel strange mask have polar personalities? I had my mind full with thinking how did you two got together and couldn’t sleep at all. Since there was no other way, I take a long afternoon nap every day.”
“Um, Aqua-sama, I think you are having trouble sleeping at night because you take afternoon naps…”
Moi pulled a chair and sat down. As usual, the two of them were having an idiotic conversation.
“To so much as compare the dishonest store owner who embezzles the store’s funds when Moi am not looking, with Moi who is well known as a hard worker in this town, how disrespectful.”
As Moi spoke, Wiz averted her gaze.
The blue-haired goddess glanced at Wiz and delightfully sipped her tea.
“In the first place, Wiz, I don’t know how you became the dirty existence that is a lich. Since you usually treat me to tea and snacks, I will hear your reasons first. If the reason for becoming a lich is justified, I will go with you to ask Eris for forgiveness when you are summoned by the heavens.”
In this rare moment, something decent came out of the tea-drinking goddess’ mouth.
“That aside, the skill needed to become a lich is forbidden in this era, and it isn’t simple to learn either. So I’m curious as to how you learned the spell in the first place.”
“Moi taught that to her.”
The rabid dog goddess suddenly threw her first at Moi.
To avoid being hit, Moi quickly turned Moi body to sand.
“Ahhh! Converting your body to sand is unfair you know!? What the heck did you teach Wiz!? Eat one blow from me for doing it!”
“Please calm down Aqua-sama! Though it’s true that Vanir-san was the one that taught me the spell to become a lich…”
Seeing Moi unwilling to return to Moi normal state, the violent goddess splashed the tea in her cup at Moi.
“Aqua-sama, if you do that you’ll not only make Vanir-san wet, you’ll also burn him!”
“Once I pour the tea on him, I can forcibly purify him. I think I’ll throw away this person’s mask, so go and bring the trash bag.”
It looked like this unreasonable goddess had thought of a good idea, so I returned to Moi body to normal.
“Just calm down you short-tempered goddess, if you exterminate Moi then you won’t be able to hear Wiz’s interesting story, you know? Are you fine with Wiz will not telling her inconvenient and embarrassing story?”
“What are you saying Vanir-san, I don’t… I really don’t have any embarrassing and inconvenient stories to tell!”
“…Anyway, after she’s done with her story, you’ll eat my holy fist.”
Then, the goddess picked up the overturned table and proceeded to pester Wiz for tea.
Wiz handily poured the tea, and happily looked towards Moi.
“Well then Vanir-san, is it alright if I tell the story?”
And so, with a nostalgic tone, she began to tell her story.
Shouts echoed through the dungeons.
“Damn it, they’re coming again! Rosary, use purification magic!”
The sword master Brad swung his sword at the ogre zombies.
“‘Turn undead’! ‘Turn undead’! We won’t be able to break through like this! Everyone, lets pull out already!”
Screaming with a tearful face, the archpriest Rosary repeatedly cast her spells.
“Don’t be an idiot, the treasure chest is right in front of us!”
While Brad and Rosary were arguing, I completed my chant, and released my flame magic.
In an instant, the dungeon was illuminated and the temperature rose several degrees.
At the same time, the ogre zombies that surrounded us were wrapped in scorching flames and collapsed.
Overcome with relief when the monsters were wiped out, the two of them fell on the backs.
Brad chugged the water in his knapsack and took a large breath. With a wide grin, he said.
“Hah~… you saved us. As I thought, you’re really reliable in these kinds of moments aren’t you, Wiz?”
“I-, I thought I was going to die… Eris-sama, thank you for allowing us to get through this unharmed!”
––This was recently discovered dungeon near the capital.
When we heard that one of the Demon King’s generals had hidden themselves here, our party of three rushed here, but…
“You two continue to rest here. While you are resting, I will use my magic to check for traps on the treasure chest.”
I looked towards the treasure chest that sat deep in the room that was cleared of ogre zombies.
For some reason, a treasure chest was placed here in this dungeon.
This was either bait to lure adventurers, or it was a chest that the monsters of the dungeon would use to keep their treasures.
Though there were different ways that this chest could’ve come about, there was no doubt that, for us adventurers, this was a great source of income.
“‘Trap Search’. ‘Enemy Search’.”
My hand which I raised towards the treasure chest showed no reaction.
“It’s safe, it’s not a trap or a mimic.”
“Oou, then hurry up and open it! Since this treasure chest was placed so deep in the dungeon, it must have something good!”
“Wait Brad, let me confirm the contents of the chest, you sit here and rest!”
I smiled wryly towards the two who argued over the right to open the chest, and stretched my hand towards the chest––
Before I could open the treasure chest, it opened on its own.
The treasure chest suddenly opened with a loud noise, and something appeared from within.
Caught off guard, I sank towards the ground, overwhelmed with fear.
The thing that flew out of the box stood up.
“Fuhahahahaha, Congratulations! Congratulations on your grand prize adventurers, for Moi was unexpectedly the one in the treasure chest! Now, Ye who hath received Moi prize, allow to see through ye brilliant futures!”
Before us, whom were dumbfounded by the sudden situation, stood a masked man.
Seeing my expression, the masked man quizzically tilted his head.
“Hmpf, was that too much of a surprise? Moi do not feel the rush of delicious negative emotions. Moi have already waited a month in this treasure chest. Moi have already put this much effort into scaring you, so Moi was hoping for a little bit more of a reaction…”
Hearing the masked man speak, I immediately rebutted.
“W-, What are you!? Why are you in the treasure chest… More importantly are you a monster!? So why did my Enemy Search have no response!?”
“How disrespectful to call the pure and forthcoming Moi a monster. Moi haven’t even introduced Moiself yet, oh lady who said ‘it’s safe, it’s not a trap or a mimic’, opened the chest with a triumphant look, and then proceeded to be so paralyzed in fright.
Though this was the first time we met, this person’s random acts made me want to strike him with powerful magic.
“Oh, why thank you for your delicious negative emotions! Moi am the Demon King’s general known as the duke of hell, the great devil Vanir!”
“““‘Duke of Hell!?’“““
While I had thought that he was a mysterious rare monster, but I never thought that he could be such an important figure.
Even though we had come to slay the Demon King’s general, we never thought that we would encounter an opponent of this level…
The figure before us is a duke-class devil, a great devil that had once fought against the gods with the future of the world at stake.
This type of existence shouldn’t be the subordinate under the Demon King that only fought against humans, but…!
“You said you are the great devil of the Demon King’s generals!? No one like that would be sitting in a box waiting to surprise people! Wiz, Rosary, don’t be tricked! This guy’s just a pervert!”
“Wait Brad, while it’s true that this guy is a pervert, but I recognize him! He looks the same as the picture in the wanted list!”
When I heard Rosary’s words, I hastily stood up and readied my staff.
“Demon King’s general Vanir! You will be defeated here and now!”
“W-Wiz!? Isn’t this opponent too much for us to handle!?”
“We’re fighting!? I-If Wiz is going to fight then as an archpriest of the Eris cult, I will also…!”
Seeing us get ready to fight, the devil named Vanir shook his head in resignation.
“Even though Moi said that Moi can see through your wonderful futures, why art thy have to be so barbaric? This is why the Eris cult fanatical believers and combat magician freaks are so…”
By combat magician freak, was he talking about me?
This was the first time in my life that someone that I just met had said something so rude, so I didn’t know how to respond.
“What do you mean by the Eris cult’s fanatical believers, how dare you say such a thing!? Duke of Hell, Vanir! Even if I cannot defeat you, I shall seal you on behalf of Eris-sama!”
Ignoring me, Rosary took out something from her pocket and began to chant her magic.
“Take this! This is the catalyst that I’ve been praying to every day since I became a priest!”
It was the necklace engraved with the symbol of the Eris cult that Rosary always carried with her.
She threw the strongest catalyst that had been cultivated for years at Vanir’s feet.
Receiving the magic words, the necklace began to release a brilliant light…
Without waiting for the sealing magic to activate, Vanir kicked the necklace at his feet away.
“Ahh! You will be cursed for that!”
Ignoring Rosary who tearily retrieved the necklace, Vanir raised his arms to indicate that he would not do anything.
“Please calm down a little you adventurers. Why don’t we first talk for a bit?”
Saying that, he sat down cross-legged on the floor.
After Vanir had finished what he had to say, Brad showed a complex expression.
“––So you mean, you, as a Demon King’s general, have been tasked with maintaining the barrier, and you have no intention to harm anyone?”
We sat in a formation that surrounded Vanir on all sides as we listened to him talk. Though we were troubled by what this strange devil said, we didn’t know what to do either.
“Like I would believe something like that! I mean, this guy a devil you know!? Things like Devils are cowardly and fiendish creatures that only think about hurting people, you know!? Devils must be destroyed!”
Since the beginning, Rosary maintained the stance that ‘he must be slain’.
“If you want to say that, things like goddesses don’t do anything, tell their believers that ‘you will be saved if you believe in me’, and advocate things like ‘If you donate, you can go to heaven’ to get money. Aren’t they also existences that hurt people?”
“You enemy of the gods, I will destroy you!”
“Wait wait, please Wait! Your opponent is a duke-class you know? Think about it a bit more would’ya? He broke your seal so easily, so this guy is probably the real deal!”
Brad abruptly stopped Rosary, who picked up her mace, and released a deep sigh.
“I understand your feelings, but we came here at the request of the capital with the task to slay the Demon King’s general stationed here. Though I don’t mean it in the same way as Rosary, devils are the enemy of mankind. I don’t think we can turn a blind eye to this.”
I looked towards Vanir.
“It is because this dense girl says such hard headed things that she doesn’t even notice the thoughts and feelings of the people around her.”
“D-Dense girl? What do you mean by ‘thoughts and feelings’…?”
“Wiz, now’s not the time for that! More importantly you two, this guy doesn’t even want to fight, so just should calm down already!”
Brad got between Vanir and I, and flusteredly waved his hands.
“Mhm, it is as the man who is thinking ‘it is about time to retire from being an adventurer and marry the companion whom I’ve always loved, and then pass my days peacefully’ says.
“Hey, what are you saying! Don’t say anymore of those weird things!”
“Brad? Y-You couldn’t be… A-About me…”
“No. Even you… what are you saying!?”
I don’t know what they were making such a big commotion about, but I can’t let this devil go.
Though I despised surprise attacks, I also understood that this was not an opponent that I could deal with gracefully.
“Then who is it? …Haa~~h, is it Karen who split from us to go chase the other Demon King’s general? You can’t do that you know? After all, that girl and Yukinori are in love with one another.’
“AAhh, just shut up already!”
Ignoring the two that continued to make a fuss, I secretly chanted my magic––!
“‘Light of Saber’––!”
I violently waved my arm towards Vanir, who continued to amusedly observe the two.
The spell I cast was the favored spell of the Crimson Demons. It was a spell which could cut through anything if the caster’s magic power was great enough.
Vanir, who had been careless, was decisively cut through by the white light. At the same time, the two who had been quarreling quickly picked up their weapons and assumed a battle stance.
It seems that the two adventurers that I had been with for a long time had noticed my chanting.
Vanir looked down towards his body with an astonished expression…!
“To think that Moi would be defeated by a surprise attack… Well done, adventurers…”
As he said that, his lips curved into a peaceful smile, and his body collapsed into dust…
“… Sorry. Demon King’s general Vanir, even though we only exchanged a few words, I swear I won’t forget about you…”
Though I was relieved that we were able to defeat him, using a surprise attack on someone that had no intention to fight left a bad taste in my mouth.
“…Wiz, that guy was one of the Demon King’s generals. As long as that guy remained, the Demon King’s fortress barrier would continue to be maintained. You did the right thing, so don’t feel bad about it.”
“Y-Yeah, destroying a devil is a righteous act! I’m sure Eris-sama is happy about it!”
I returned a small smile towards the two who tried to console me.
“It’s fine, I’m not that soft. Now, let’s return shall we? We should also go assist Karen and Yukinori on their mission.”
Right now, the other group of three were probably desperately fighting another of the Demon King’s generals.
Since we’ve defeated the general hidden in this dungeon, there was no reason to stay here.
To exit, I chanted my teleport magic––
Once the teleportation magic was cast, the mask on the ground began to gather the dirt under it. A body formed and stood up.
“Did ye think that Moi was defeated? Too bad! Well, please come again from the dungeon entrance! Moi will be waiting for you, adventurers!”
We heard his immense laughter.
Teleportation magic could not be canceled after activation.
Teleporting to the town that was saved as our checkpoint, we stood frozen in place, dumbfounded.
“It took us more than a week to get here…”
…I will absolutely not forgive that devil.
A week later.
“Fuhahahaha! Fuhahahahahahaha!! Delicious, how delicious! Thy negative emotions are truly magnificent!”
Returning to the deepest floor of the dungeon, we challenged Vanir to a fight.
“Wiz, Rosary! Do it! Kill that guy!”
The exorcism magic cast by Rosary was easily dodged by Vanir.
“’Light of Saber’!”
However, he wasn’t able to avoid my light magic that followed immediately after, and was cut across the body..
Vanir, whose body began to collapse like last time, said in a serious manner.
“To think that Moi would be defeated again… Well done, adventurers…”
“Shut up! It didn’t have any effect on you anyway! Rosary, now! Purify him before his body reforms!”
“One more time! ‘Sacred Exorcism’!”
Rosary chanted her magic again, and Vanir was struck with an exorcising light.
…But before the light could consume him, Vanir removed his mask without a care for his collapsing body and threw the mask into the air with one hand.
The mask flew towards Rosary, who had let down her guard after casting magic.
Vanir’s mask, as if it was vacuumed, attached itself onto Rosary’s face––
“Hmpf, for an Eris cultist, this body is quite well trained. It’s quite easy to move around in it.”
Rosary paced around the area as if to confirm her body’s condition, so that means…!
“Brad, Rosary’s body has been possessed! Avoid using your sword to attack!”
“A-Are you for real!? Rosary’s a high level archpriest you know!? How could she be possessed so easily…”
As if to confirm what I said, Rosary––, No, Vanir who possessed her, turned towards Brad.
“I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but Brad has the same smell as a goblin.”
“Brad! That’s not what Rosary said! It’s just what the body’s possessor said! Don’t believe it so easily!”
As I looked at Brad whose teary face was covered by his arms, I felt the terror of a devil.
This devil was dangerous. He was extremely dangerous!
If we don’t defeat him now, then there’ll be big trouble later…
“You know how you always massage your shoulders in front of me, Wiz? It makes me really upset~. I don’t know if your breasts are really that heavy, or if you’re purposely doing that…”
“R-R-R-, Rosary won’t say such things! Just get out of that body already!!”
Though Rosary’s body seemed to tremble due to the internal struggle for control, the opponent currently had control of the body.
So I can’t use magic to stop him…!
It was then––
“Hmpf hmpf, your negative emotions are mighty delicious! Well then, what negative emotions will Moi taste next…(As an Archpriest who is devoted to Eris, how could I allow this devil to do as it pleases! Brad! Wiz! Tie my body up with rope!)… Hm? She has quite impressive mental strength. She should be feeling immense pain right now.”
Although Vanir still possessed Rosary’s body, his tone of voice changed.
It was probably because Rosary was resisting his control.
Hearing what Rosary said, Brad threw his weapon aside and charged forward.
“Wiz, use sleep or paralyze magic now! I’ll hold down Rosary’s body…!”
Though he said that, he was stopped in his tracks by what Vanir did next.
“Oh wait, if you take one more step, I will strip off one article of this lady’s clothing (Noooooooooo! What are you doing!)”
Before our eyes, Vanir began to strip.
First he removed her skirt, and then reached for her top.
“Rosary, W-W-, What should I do…!?”
“(For starters, close your eyes would you!?) Well, then the Moi who is kind will say this. Stay where you are and obediently look towards Moi. If you close your eyes then Moi don’t know what shall happen to this lady. (Noooooooo! Nooooooooo!)”
As Vanir moved his hands and threatened to remove the top, her lips curled into a dirty smile.
“Kuh––, since Rosary is held hostage it can’t be helped! I can’t look away…”
“(Just look away! Devils have no gender, so as long as Brad doesn’t see it then there’s no problem!) Well then, this is some extra service. Look here, look at this sensational pose! (Stoooooooop! I will definitely make you pay! I swear I will!)”
Brad continued to look intently at Vanir, who sat on the ground and began to spread her legs.
As Vanir was playing around, I activated my magic.
At the same time, Vanir dropped to her knees with a thud.
“Hm… so the original is asleep now.“
Saying that, he threw his mask at the ground a distance away.
As Brad rushed towards Rosary, who lay on the floor, Vanir gathered the dirt on the ground to form another body.
Once Brad had retrieved Rosary, I began to chant my magic––!
“We’ll retreat for today, but we’ll come again! Demon King general Vanir, I will definitely defeat you!”
“Hmpf hmpf, that’s the spirit I suppose. Today’s negative emotions were quite delicious as well.”
Together with Brad who carried Rosary, we used my teleportation magic to return…It was then.
At the final moment, this devil began said needless things.
“Then Moi shall see you, magician who shows a serious personality that scares other adventurers, but is secretly afraid of being alone in old age and is in a bit of a hurry to get into a relationship. Moi will look forward to your next visit!”
After hearing what he said, the landscape before our eyes changed to that of a familiar checkpoint.
Brad fearfully spoke to me, who wordlessly faced the ground.
“…You’re in a hurry?”
I absolutely will not forgive that devil!
––Having told this long tale, Wiz gulped her tea and released a long breath.
“…Well, so that’s what happened. So after that, we would go to where Vanir-san was staying every week. One time, Rosary whose body was possessed again was forced to do some weird shake dance in front of Brad. Now that I think about it, there was this time where Vanir-san copied my appearance and starting confessing to Brad…”
As she said that, Wiz showed a nostalgic smile.
“Say~, do you want me to exterminate this devil right now?”
The goddess said such dangerous things.
“It’s in the past, so I don’t mind it anymore, Aqua-sama. Also, a lot of different things happened after that. Even I had begun to think whether it was a bit too much…”
“Moi will not apologize for it. Moi merely did such things in the name of proper self-defense. Moi did not physically harm any of you, so you should say that Moi has a kind heart.”
“Every time we retreated with teleport, Rosary and Brad would start sulking, you know? I’m sure that those two still hold a grudge against Vanir-san.”
Wiz lightly laughed as she spoke.
“It’s because this child is soft-hearted. But Wiz, you were really amazing before, weren’t you. When I heard that your personality and speech used to be so forthcoming, I was slightly taken aback. Well, you are like this right now.”
The slightly depressed store owner averted her gaze.
“While she is currently a good-for-nothing store owner whose ability to produce red digits far exceeds that of a NEET, she used to be quite a famous militant. The Demon King’s army even knew the name of the party she belonged to, and put a large bounty on her head.”
“…Say, is the bounty on Wiz still valid?”
“Sadly it is now invalid, otherwise Moi would not just leave her be as she is.”
“I guess that’s true.”
“Even Vanir-san! Right now, I’m just a kind-hearted lich!”
As Moi looked at the desperate and crying store owner, Moi wondered how Moi could bring back the brilliant store owner from before.
“If Moi am not wrong, she used to have the embarrassing nickname of The Ice Witch before…”
“Wow that’s cool, so was Wiz a witch? Was she an ice witch?”
“Please stop already, that’s enough of this topic!”
Seeing the embarrassed store owner who covered her face in her hands, the goddess grabbed Moi shoulders and began to shake Moi.
“Keep going keep going! Seriously, just keep going already! How did they eventually chase you out? Or how did Wiz become a lich!”
“Moi will continue, so don’t be in such a rush, it’s unsightly! Also, why must the kind Moi be chased out!”
As I flicked away the goddess’ hands, Moi began to recall the events of that time.
“…Without fail, this militant store owner would come see Moi every week, and at some point it had become a way to spend Moi free time. One day however, this defective store owner made a big mistake.”
Now that Moi thinks about it, Moi could already see a glimpse of the defective store owner from the Wiz back then.
––Having time to spare, Moi was once again attending the regular event that involved fighting the spirited magician named Wiz. Moi was enjoying today’s event as well.
“Fight me Vanir! I will defeat you today and send you to join your fallen companions!”
As usual, Wiz, accompanied by her two companions, pointed at Moi and announced her resolve.
“Didn’t you already say those lines last week?”
“… ‘Cursed Crystal Prison’!”
Reaching the breaking point of her tolerance, Wiz chanted magic without wasting a single breath.
Moi removed one of Moi arms, and threw it towards the incoming magic.
When the magic collided with Moi arm, it was immediately encased in crystal.
“Moi Moi what a magnificent object you have created. Not bad short-tempered magician, if Moi brought this back and sold this, it would surely fetch a high price.”
“Making fun of me again––!”
Though it was true that it would sell for a high price, Wiz looked as though she had been made fun of.
Ah, today’s negative emotions are truly delicious.
“Hey Wiz––, just leave this guy alone already. This isn’t someone who would lose to us.”
“Rosary is right. How should I say this… this devil defies common sense in a lot of ways. No matter how I think about it, I can’t imagine this guy being defeated.”
However, Wiz instead gave her two companions a confident, invincible smile.
“It’s alright. Did you think I would come here without a strategy?”
With retrieved a magic scroll from her knapsack.
The scroll was covered in magical text. It would appear that it was quite a powerful item.
“Regardless of who the target is, this scroll will forcibly teleport them to the underground prison in the capital. It doesn’t matter if you’re a devil or a great magician, anyone that is sent down there will not be able to easily escape.”
Seeing Wiz triumphantly announce the ability of the scroll, her two companions began to clap in unison.
“I see now. So the reason you went to the capital to see that famous person was to get permission to use the underground prison.”
“As expected of Wiz, with this scroll, you can send him there and lock him up!”
The two of them were visibly moved. Then, Wiz, scroll in hand, walked towards Moi.
“When this is activated, all living things in a 1 meter radius will be forcibly teleported. Don’t think you can escape!”
Hearing her triumphant speech, Moi stood in place without showing a hint of resistance.
Prepared to open the scroll at any time, she gripped the two ends of the scroll and approached Moi.
“Take this! ‘Teleport’––!”
With a large shout, she opened the scroll––!
And disappeared before Moi eyes.
Seeing Wiz suddenly disappear, her two companions shouted in surprise.
“The real body of a devil is always in hell. When we appear in this world, we merely use some method to create a body, and then take possession of it with our spirit.”
To two listened intently to what Moi said, but showed confused expressions.
“Basically, by the logic of this world, Moi am not considered a living organism. The worthless magician pointed it out herself, that ‘all living things in a 1 meter radius will be forcibly teleported.’”
So in the end, all living things in a one meter radius were teleported and imprisoned in the underground prison at the capital.
“Your groups’ leader is far too interesting. Does she come every time in order to entertain Moi? …Will you two fools be able to return to the surface safely?”
The two companions that seemed exhausted went to go fetch their useless magician.
Then, a few days after that––
“––Vanir! Today I will––! Today I will finally exterminate you!”
“So you came again, absent-minded magician.”
“A-Absent-minded magician…!? Brad, Rosary, prepare the thing that we brought!”
Wiz stood in front of Moi, as the other two surrounded Moi in some sort of triangular formation.
The three of them each brought out some magic item, and threw it on the ground.
Then, Moi was enclosed by a triangular barrier.
“We purchased this prized magic item directly from the Crimson Demon village! Though this was obtained at an extremely high price, anyone trapped by it cannot escape, and it is also impervious to all attacks! Furthermore, the effect will last for an entire month! It is an amazing item!”
Hearing what she said, Moi approached the barrier and poked it.
Moi see, it would be quite troublesome to destroy this barrier.
She must’ve paid an exorbitant price to obtain this.
“This way, you cannot attack us, nor can you escape. On the flip side, all we need to do is stay outside the barrier and rest until our mana is replenished. This will be a one sided hunt! Now Rosary, do it!”
Perhaps it was because Wiz felt like she would no longer have to put up with Moi actions, her expression was filled with extraordinary triumph.
“Say Wiz, didn’t you say that ‘it is impervious to all attacks’, and that ‘anyone trapped by it cannot escape’? Can my magic pass through and hit Vanir?”
Wiz’s triumphant expression froze as she took in the meaning of Rosary’s words.
Moi laid down on the ground with a plop.
“Moi see. In order to protect Moi from vicious adventurers filled with bloodlust, you spent a great fortune and bought this for Moi. Well then, Moi shall allow Moiself to be spoiled by this pleasant gift and temporarily indulge in a sedentary lifestyle.”
Seeing Moi lay down using Moi right arm as a pillow, Wiz grinded her teeth in frustration, and pressed her cheek against the barrier.
“Wiz… sometimes, I don’t know whether I should call you a genius or an idiot…”
“Say, Wiz, you said that you used half of your savings in order to get this magic item, right? Do you have enough left to pay for your living expenses? Do I need to lend you some?”
Wiz sent a sideways glance towards her empathetic companions. Just then, Moi deliberately shifted Moiself into Wiz’s line of sight and presented to her the entirety of Moi defenseless visage. Moi even added a long yawn to taunt her.
“The inside of this barrier is more comfortable than Moi expected. Would thy like to join Moi? …Oh Moi bad, Moi forgot that people cannot enter into this area, please do pardon Moi!”
Seeing Wiz furiously bang on the barrier in frustration, Brad and Rosary tried to pull her away.
Hmpf, the negative emotions coming from Wiz were a true delicacy.
“Calm down Wiz, your ‘always cool ice witch’ image is breaking.”
“How about we go home for today? This barrier will last for a month right? Since we can’t do anything about it, how about we go defeat another general somewhere else? Yukinori and Karen are having more trouble than expected as well.”
Having judged that doing anything more would be wasted effort, the two companions stepped in to stop Wiz.
“Oho~? Thy has a cool nickname like the ‘ice witch’? Moi is interested in your true power! How about this, Moi will not resist in any way so that Moi may witness your power firsthand!”
“‘Light of Saber!’”
Wiz – whose mental state had snapped in its entirety – quickly chanted magic and slashed at Moi. In the end, not only did the magic not hit Moi, it did not even leave a scratch in the barrier.
“Fuhahahahahaha! Even though the name of ‘the ice witch’ makes people think that she is cool, each and every time she comes to display her true talent, Moi cannot help but enjoy it in its entirety! Oh, amusing magician! Moi will forgive you for this ruckus today, so please come again after a month!”
“Demon King general Vanir! You’ll regret this in one month!”
Wiz, who frustratedly was bit her lip and held back tears, managed to say this line towards Moi, and as usual, she used teleport to return home.
––About a month after that amusing magician had returned home in tears.
As Moi flew out of the treasure chest, the adventurers shrieked in fright.
However, once they laid their eyes on Moi, they would stand still in stupor, and then–
“V-Vanir! It’s the Demon King general, Vanir––!”
“Kyaaaaa–! Don’t leave me behind, wait! Wait––!”
“Hurry up and run!”
“Uwaaaaahh! Wait, Wait for me––!”
How should Moi say this, the ‘Open and surprise! Vanir chest’ strategy wasn’t quite working. Until now, the only ones that did not run away at the sight of Moi was that amusing magician’s party.
As Moi saw the crying adventurers off, Moi murmured to Moiself.
Now that Moi think about it, it should be almost time for that amusing magician to show up.
What will Moi be able to enjoy this time?
Rather, how about Moi be the one to do something this time?
Yes, if Moi memory serves right, that amusing magician had spent half her savings last time.
Then Moi shall pose as a wounded adventurer that had been left behind in this dungeon, and ask for her help. Once Moi enter their party, Moi will use the excuse of ‘treating them to a meal as thanks and invite them to a high-class restaurant.
Finally, after Moi gracefully escapes without paying, Moi will appear in front of the magician-in-debt, and tell her this:
‘The ice witch ate without paying the bill? Though Moi am a devil, how about Moi treat you to a meal?’
Alright, then Moi shall do this!
“––Demon King general Vanir… Today I will fight you seriously.”
Just as Moi was about to transform into a wounded adventurer and play dead.
A cold, sharp gaze.
In the cold atmosphere that would surely remind one of ice, Moi stood straight up.
“Good grief. The ice magician whose spirit is different from usual, what’s wrong? Are you so indebted now that you don’t care how you look like anymore?”
“‘Cursed Crystal Prison’!”
Wiz rebutted to Moi joke with magic.
Though Moi had immediately retreated, Moi right foot that was caught by the spell and became frozen.
“Ah, another sudden greeting, oh lonely magician. Did thy forget to bring companions today?”
Moi cut off Moi frozen right foot, and regenerated a new one from the floor.
––Yes, today Wiz was alone.
The two that always accompanied her were missing. Furthermore, even though Moi had thrown a light joke towards Wiz, her tense atmosphere did not dissipate like usual.
“Though it’s regretful, I did not come around to play today.”
With a cold expression, she took out a small crystal from her bag.
Moi had seen that crystal before.
It was a forbidden fruit that would consume the user’s lifespan in exchange for an extreme amount of magic power…
At the same time that Moi had affirmed the identity of the crystal––
Announcing the beginning of our true battle, Wiz shouted with extraordinary spirit.
––How much time had passed since we began?
Wiz murmured in a small voice, and her right hand shone with light.
However, a dark lightning was not released from her hand.
Wiz powerlessly dropped to the floor.
The interior of the dungeon had been made barren by a barrage of amazing magic. It was to the extent that the dirt of the neatly formed path formed a natural cave.
“Ah, that was quite the impressive rampage. Just a little more and you would have depleted one of Moi lives.”
Wiz, who had staked her life without hesitation, left Moi at a loss for words.
This was the first time in several hundred years that Moi had been pushed to this extent.
Moi had decided not to use Moi power against a human opponent, but this time, Moi was unable to follow through with that decision.
Though Moi had nullified Wiz’s magic countless times, and forced her to consume all her crystals and magic items, Moi never thought that she would learn anti-devil curses for the sole sake of defeating Moi.
Wiz bit her lip in frustration, but as a result of depleting her magic power, she could only sit idly on the ground. She looked up towards Moi.
“Why are you such an unfair devil…? I used that many manatite and scrolls, and went so far as to use a forbidden item… Is there even a way to defeat you?”
“If thy want to at least deplete one of Moi lives, I suppose thy shall need to learn explosion magic.”
Towards Moi joke, Wiz began to laugh.
Of course, there was no one strange enough to learn that useless spell.
Existences with infinite lifespan like undead or evil gods may occasionally choose to learn explosion, but it was impossible for normal human that had already achieved a high-level to do the same.
Wiz, who understood this much, showed a small smile.
“You’re right… Then next time why don’t I learn explosion magic? If there is a next time…”
Saying that, she pulled something out.
It was a single piece of paper.
Despite going through such an intense battle, this paper was undamaged.
It seemed like a spell of protection had been cast on it.
Wiz pushed the paper towards Moi, and quickly closed her eyes.
Having roused Moi interest, Moi received the paper…
Written on the paper were the terms of the contract with a devil.
In exchange for her soul, she wanted the curse that had been placed on her companions removed.
“What are your intentions?”
To complete a devil’s contract was not simple.
First, you would have to gain the approval of the devil, then, you would have to pay the price decided the devil in order complete the contract.
“Is my power not enough for this contract? Even though I thought I displayed my true abilities…”
Basically, she had staked her life in that battle in order to gain Moi recognition towards her power.
“To be honest, Moi am impressed that a human was able to push Moi this far… however, Moi does not quite understand the contents of this contract. To lift the curse in exchange for thy soul?”
Wiz straightforwardly answered Moi inquiry.
––It was quite an innocent situation.
During the month that Moi spent pointlessly in the barrier, Wiz’s group accepted another request to hunt another one of the Demon King’s generals.
Though they managed to heavily wound the general in the fierce battle, everyone in the area was cursed with ‘premonition of death’.
They were given one month to live.
Even the greatest arch priests in the capital were unable to lift the curse.
In order to spend the rest of their lives meaningfully, her companions decided to live through each and every day, doing things without regret.
Then the one person remaining––
“For the sake of saving the lives of your companions, you came here alone.”
“I considered pursuing the Demon King general in order to lift the curse, but he had already escaped into the Demon King’s castle… Then… is my life not enough?”
With an expression that showed her fading hopes, Wiz laughed at her own helplessness.
Using the forbidden magic item, she had consumed most of her lifespan. She should understand that what she offered was not of equal value to her wish.
In other words, she had bet on a lost gamble.
Though she was called the ‘Ice witch’, she was actually an awkward and kind magician.
To the magician that had given Moi such enjoyment times in the last few months, Moi said––
“Of course, it is not enough.”
Moi clearly told her the expected reply.
Having too, expected such an answer, Wiz slightly nodded and smiled weakly.
“Moi am the duke of hell, Moi am Vanir, who is considered to be more powerful than the Demon King himself, the one who holds the first seat amongst the seven arch devils. A soul that has been consumed by a magic item is not a worthy compensation.”
Wiz gave a wry smile.
“However, it is not like there is no other recourse.”
However, she froze as Moi continued.
“T-That is…? If you give me such expectations, and then say ‘Too bad! There is actually no other way!’, I will do everything I can do bring you down with me, ok?”
Though she was able to show such an energetic response, Wiz – who used a forbidden item to the limit – did not have much time remaining.
Moi revealed an evil grin.
Moi, who does not easily call others by name––
“Thy name is Wiz right?”
––To the first human I have recognized––
“Moi am a devil. As should be expected, it’s is not righteous, nor is it proper. Even so, if thy still desires to cling to Moi, then––!”
One week passed since Wiz and Moi separated.
Moi had taught that amusing magician a forbidden technique.
If the forbidden technique was successful, then Moi will allow her to realize a certain desire.
It was the greatest of Moi many dreams.
It was the grand dream of creating Moi’s own dungeon. However, it was not something that Moi could do alone.
In order to realize that wish, Moi taught her a powerful technique, but…
Well, what Moi taught her could only be used by people of considerable power. It was a curse that had been sealed for hundreds of years.
Normally, it was not a curse could be successfully activated by someone nearing the end of their lifespan.
Even though it was destined for failure, Moi bet on the slim chance of success and light heartedly taught her, but––
For some reason, Moi had become bored of the adventurers who delved into the dungeon.
After Moi had tasted the delicacy that was the amusing magician’s negative emotions, that of others had become tasteless.
Right now, that magician was probably lying dead somewhere.
In other words, she was troubled by whether or not she should use the curse, and ultimately decided to end her life as a human.
If Moi decided to use Moi clairvoyant power, then Moi would know her conclusion.
However, for some reason, Moi decided not to use this power.
That said, currently, Moi was at the highest floor of the Demon King’s castle.
Moi had gracefully finished Moi meal in the lodgings reserved for elites, and was wondering what to do with Moi spare time.
“There’s trouble! Hey you guys there big trouble! Everyone, quickly prepare for battle…!”
A large demon rushed in.
“What’s the matter!?”
Seeing the Demon King’s army elite showing a blank gaze with its arms wrapped around its legs, the demon released a piercing shriek.
Since Moi post-dining atmosphere was abruptly disturbed by another incident, Moi inquired the demon with a sour mood.
“What have you rushed here for all of a sudden? That person have just become Moi afternoon tea. In other words, Moi transformed into the beautiful girl that person likes, played with him for a while, and then revealed Moi true identity.”
“What are you doing Vanir-sama! We already asked you many times to stop eating the negative emotions of the people in the castle!”
“Albeit you just said those words to Moi, who is a devil. Anyway, what has happened? Did the old and withered Demon King finally pass away? That person is already quite old, isn’t he?”
“Please don’t say such ominous things! We have an intruder, an intruder! The guards sent to intercept the intruder are being defeated one after another!”
It was rare for there to be such a tenacious invader.
“Well then, aren’t there quite a few generals here at the moment? Since they usually have nothing to do but laze around and eat, this would be a good time to use them.”
“That’s what I should be saying to Vanir-sama!”
This invader had roused Moi interest, and headed in the direction from where Moi would occasionally hear the sounds of explosions.
“Then what about the castle’s barrier? That’s not something that should be easily broken.”
“A-About that, the invader has a scary amount of magic power… and used light of saber magic to forcibly cut the barrier apart.
…That barrier was forcefully cut apart by magic?
It was something that Moi did not think even the Crimson Demons could do…
Anyhow, there was something odd about this incident.
“You said the invader was a magician right? Is it a single person?”
“Yes it is a single person! Even though the general with high magic resistance, Hans-sama, left to intercept the invader at the lobby of the first floor, he was frozen and has become unable to fight. After that, Sylvia-sama, who also has high magic resistance went to intercept the invader, but…”
The invader was able to defeat the ‘deadly poison slime’ Hans’ with powerful magic?
With some anticipation, Moi hurried Moi steps.
“About that, Sylvia-sama was unaffected by the magic, but then for some reason the invader charged forward. When Sylvia-sama’s body was touched, she suddenly collapsed and has become unable to fight, just like Hans-sama…!”
There was no mistaking it.
“If Moi am not wrong, then the headless middle-aged man is currently resting on the floor below. The invader’s target destination is most likely there, so follow Moi.”
“By the headless middle-aged man, you undoubtedly mean Beldia-sama, right? Ah, Vanir-sama, it is dangerous! We cannot allow any more generals to be defeated, so I will go first!”
The pale-faced ogre moved in front of Moi, and we began to move downstairs.
“By the way, is the invader a female?”
“Yes, the opponent is a brown-haired female magician…! …Vanir-sama, do you know this invader?”
Moi did not reply to this inquiry, and wordlessly continued to walk downstairs.
We arrived at the lower floor.
It was then––
“I-I understand! Please calm down, it was the curse right!? You came all the way here to ask me to lift the premonition of death right!? In recognition of your resolve to come all the way to the depths of the Demon King castle, I will lift the curse on your companions! That’s why, let’s just call it a draw for today… Hyaaaaaaaaa––!”
From Beldia’s lodgings, the sound of Beldia’s cries mixed with various magical explosion sounds could be heard.
At the same time, from the vicinity of the room, frightful screams could be heard.
“Beldia-sama has been done in! Who the hell is that person!?”
“I know! I know about that person! That person is the party leader of that capable party that had a bounty placed on them!”
The voices belonged to the Demon King army soldiers that had gathered to defend Beldia.
The crying voices were a considerable distance away from Beldia’s lodgings, and they appeared to be meekly observing situation from afar.
“Vanir-sama, this is bad news! For some reason, that magician has an unthinkable amount of magic power! I surrounded her with the other soldiers here, and we were blown away in an instant!”
Moi continued to walk towards the lodgings without a care for what the ogre said.
“…Why, that is quite a refreshing expression, oh amusing magician.”
“Can you stop calling me ‘amusing magician’? Since I gave up on being human, I’m no longer an adventurer.”
The figure that exited the burnt lodgings was unmistakably that magician.
She probably looked so lively because she learned a new skill, and had continuously used it to absorb magic power and life from the castle soldiers.
Moi wholeheartedly resisted the urge to smile.
“Then it would be it be correct to say that this is the first time we’ve met?”
Wiz’s usual tense atmosphere was nowhere to be seen. As if possessed by the devil, she showed a rather fresh expression. With a small murmur, she said ‘I suppose so’. And then––
“Nice to meet you Vanir-san. I am the beginner lich, Wiz.”
Due to the warm smile on her face, her newfound self didn’t seem strange in the slightest.
“I have come to fulfill our promise!”