“Oh my, Cain-san, you haven’t shown yourself all this time, so I was worried, you know.” (Nevia)
Queen Nevia wasn’t showing much surprise at the fact that Cain who is a Demon Lord was together with us.
She was talking to us cheerfully.
On the other hand, Cain continued his silence.
Not only Cain, everyone else was also avoiding the gaze of the Moon Queen.
The reason is her Charm.
The Charm of the Calamity Witch bewitches everything.
If you talk to her carelessly, you will be captivated by her voice.
In the Demon Lord battle of before, I learned that even the Light Hero Anna-san isn’t immune to this.
In that case, the one talking to her should obviously be…
“We will be in your care today.” (Makoto)
I answered shortly.
I was the Guardian Knight of the Moon Oracle, Furiae-san, so I do have the previous record of her Charm not working on me.
“My, so you are the only one who will speak to me, Takatsuki Makoto-san. I am sad.” (Nevia)
“Everyone is shy.” (Makoto)
“Fufufu, then, let’s use today as a chance to get along.” (Nevia)
We were having such light talk.
“That personage is waiting with anticipation to meet you all. Please follow me.” (Nevia)
Saying this, Queen Nevia rode the back of the Taboo Dragon.
We didn’t feel like sharing a ride with her, so we had Mel-san in her dragon form carry us there.
We advance through the dim sky with her leading the way.
There was no need to ask where we were going.
We could already see it.
—The Floating Castle, Eden.
The castle of the Great Demon Lord.
This floating island appeared in the sky of the demonic metropolis last night.
It was hard to tell how big it was from the ground, but…
As the White Dragon-san ascended, the massiveness of it grew more vivid.
I observe that thing that was at the same altitude as the Pitch Black Clouds with my Farsight.
I think it is as big as an airdrome.
It is shaped in a crooked elliptical shape, and its surface is made out of some sort of black ore, metal, and materials I can’t discern.
It looks manmade, but even in my previous world, it would be impossible to shoot an object this big into the sky.
The moment we drew close by 200-300 meters to the Floating Castle…
I felt something off.
The air changed.
I felt a pressure and it grew difficult to breathe.
Something similar to mist was obstructing my vision.
Is this miasma…?
It reminds me of the similar atmosphere that the Demonic Forest had in Spring Log.
(A barrier that the Great Demon Lord has placed, huh.) (Ira)
The voice of Ira-sama resonated.
I see, we have entered the territory of the Great Demon Lord.
“Looks like we have entered the barrier of the Great Demon Lord. Everyone, are you feeling okay?” (Makoto)
When I asked, everyone nodded to demonstrate they are okay.
Seems like the barrier itself doesn’t have offensive capabilities.
The Taboo Dragon of Queen Nevia landed at the island floating in the sky.
The White Dragon-san follows that.
We carefully landed on the ground.
“This place is…” (Makoto)
It was a strange place.
The ground wasn’t made of earth, it was more as if cracked glass was spread all over.
There were no trees or grass, and there were things lying about here and there that looked like bones of animals I have never seen before.
And what drew my eyes the most was…
“Master Makoto-sama…I don’t feel good.” (Momo)
Anna-san at the side was also making a similar face.
A slime that had veins popping out from its whole body.
An orc with several heads.
Goblins that had no skin and their muscle tissues were in bare sight.
Giant snakes that were shedding their scales and their skin was rotten.
There wasn’t a single proper creature here.
(Taboo Monsters…) (Makoto)
Monsters with warped appearances were moving around the whole island.
Even among the Taboo Monsters I have seen until now, these ones were especially ugly.
It was as if they were failures of some kind of inhumane experiment.
“Ufufu, cute, right? They were made by that personage.” (Nevia)
Only the Moon Queen was finding these strange creatures cute.
As proof of this, she was gently caressing those creepy creatures.
“I-Is that so…” (Makoto)
I just say this as I feel my own face stiffening.
Of course, I don’t think of them as cute even one bit.
I observe the state of the island in order to not look at those grotesque creatures as much as possible.
What entered my vision was the giant tower that’s in the middle of the island.
Or more like, that was the only building.
I heard it was the castle of the Great Demon Lord, but there was no castle-looking place here.
Is the Great Demon Lord there?
(But…a tower, huh… Hmm.) (Makoto)
(You are worried about something, Takatsuki Makoto.) (Ira)
(Ira-sama, is this a trap?) (Makoto)
(Well, when speaking of towers, it is more normal for them to be magic amplification devices after all…) (Ira)
Most mages carry magic tools that increase the power of their own magic.
Lucy was always carrying a staff.
Moreover, the mother of Lucy, Rosalie-san, used magic circles to increase the power even further.
Also, when a mage is going to activate a large-scale spell, they would build a tower to activate massive spells.
It reminds me of the time when the Immortal King used a godlike ability that reversed day and night.
If we were hit by something like that over and over, it won’t even be a fight.
(It is okay! From what I see, that tower is a building to protect what’s inside.) (Ira)
Ira-sama denied my worries with full confidence.
(I am worried…) (Makoto)
(You mess up a lot after all, Ira-sama.) (Makoto)
(I-It is okay. Believe me!) (Ira)
Well, there’s no point in worrying so much.
If anything happens, we run.
(By the way, do you know the appearance of the Great Demon Lord, Ira-sama?) (Makoto)
I would like to know beforehand.
Even when I ask the White Dragon-san and Cain, they would just avoid it.
Just how do they look…?
(Even I as a Goddess don’t know for sure… In the original history, Hero Abel-chan lost his right arm and one leg, defeating them in a situation that was close to them striking each other down at the same time. Because of the Pitch Black Clouds, Althena-oneesama could barely talk with Abel, so she couldn’t hear it out from him apparently.) (Ira)
(I am impressed he managed to defeat the Great Demon Lord in that state.) (Makoto)
I glanced at Anna-san.
I…must not allow her to experience such a thing.
“Makoto-san? What’s the matter?” (Anna)
She must be nervous. She directed an awkward smile at me.
“It is okay. Let’s act calmly.” (Makoto)
I answer with strength in order to reassure her as much as possible.
I had Anna-san wake up early in the morning to charge herself with the sunlight plenty enough.
She should be able to show more power than at the Demon Lord battle of before.
My job is to support Anna-san so that she can show her full power.
(Hey, Takatsuki Makoto, you will be facing the Great Demon Lord soon, so speak to the others as well.) (Ira)
(Yeah, you are right.) (Makoto)
I follow the advice of Ira-sama.
“Johnny-san, how are you feeling?” (Makoto)
“No problem.” (Johnny)
When I called Johnny-san, he responded while properly walking with both of his eyes closed.
That’s because Cain warned us that most of the people who have met the Great Demon Lord for the first time couldn’t maintain a normal state of mind.
He also said the White Dragon-san and the vampire Momo will most likely be okay since they are monsters.
Anna-san has the Divine Protection of the Light Hero.
What can Johnny-san, who is not a monster or has the Divine Protection of a Hero, do?
“Then, I will have my eyes closed from the very beginning. The Spirits will tell me the state of the surroundings.” (Johnny)
That’s what he said.
Looks like Johnny-san can fight even with his eyes closed.
He really is skilled in many fronts.
I find it hard to believe that he is the great grandfather of Lucy who is clumsy in a lot of areas.
“Momo, how are you?” (Makoto)
“I-I’m okay…” (Momo)
She says so, but her face is telling a different story.
“Don’t push yourself.” (Makoto)
“Yes, Master Makoto-sama.” (Momo)
I did think it would be rough for Momo to participate in this time’s battle.
But this time around, I wanted Momo to participate, not as a battle member, but as a retreat member.
The only ones who can use Teleport are the White Dragon-san and Momo.
If things get hairy, the more Teleport users the better.
Most of all, Momo herself wants to accompany me.
I gently held the hand of Momo.
“Mel-san and Cain are…” (Makoto)
“No worries.” (Mel)
“I have come here multiple times already.” (Cain)
No problems with these two.
I can leave it to them without worries.
(Are you yourself okay? The space-time in this island is warped, and the miasma should be pretty dense.) (Ira)
After Ira-sama said this, I looked around and took a deep breath.
(Don’t really feel anything of note.) (Makoto)
(You are one shocking blockhead.) (Ira)
What a rude thing to say.
I would like you to praise me for being able to maintain a normal state.
(Well, being cheeky like that does make you more reliable though. Be ready to activate God Rank Magic at any given moment.) (Ira)
(It is okay. I had Dia prepare too. How is it, Dia?) (Makoto)
(Our King…I don’t like this place…) (Dia)
I heard a weak voice from the Great Water Spirit.
Looks like the inside of the Great Demon Lord’s barrier is hard to live in for Spirits.
Well, that was expected.
Spirit Magic relies on the environment of the surroundings.
(Got it. I will call you when we are in trouble.) (Makoto)
(…Yes, be careful, Our King.) (Dia)
Dia’s voice faints out.
With this, I have spoken to everyone.
What’s left is to face the Great Demon Lord.
The Moon Queen walking ahead of us was facing forward as if she didn’t hear our conversation.
I thought she would for sure disrupt us in some way.
I noticed after looking at the way the Queen was walking…
Her steps are slightly heavy.
(An injury…? No, I would say it is more…fatigue?) (Makoto)
I don’t know the reason, but it looks like the Moon Queen is tired.
But I don’t know what that means at all.
We arrive at the center of the island where the tower is.
There was a big door in the tower.
I was wondering how to open it when…
That door opened slowly on its own.
The inside of the tower was dark and I couldn’t see anything from outside.
“Go ahead.” (Nevia)
Queen Nevia crossed the giant door and continued on inside.
We followed after her.
We cross the door.
This feeling that something is off…I felt it the moment we approached Eden too.
—We have entered a barrier.
Looks like the tower had the role of a barrier as well.
It seems like it was as Ira-sama said, a tower for the sake of defense.
Two layers of barriers; that’s quite the security.
There was barely any light inside the tower and it was dark.
Also, there was a sweet scent filling the inside of the building.
(This scent…) (Makoto)
I remember it.
It is the scent of weed that filled up a bar I visited before.
I look around with Night Vision.
The inside of the tower was empty.
It was different from the time with Astaroth, there’s no subordinates in sight.
Instead, there was something that caught my eye.
On the whole floor there’s magic circles with complex patterns, and there was a mess of several drawings.
Just looking around was making me nauseous.
It was as if it were drawn in a clutter, and a magic formula was written that had the clear objective of gathering mana to the center of the building.
My eyes were naturally drawn to the center.
I could hear the beating of my heart.
I am finally facing the ruler of this world, the Great Demon Lord Iblis.