ZAP – Chapter 26: Eugene speaks to the Demon Lord

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“Fufufu, I have been waiting, Eugene.” 

“…What?” (Eugene)

When I went to the sealed underground prison, Erinyes welcomed me with a big smile. 

Her black wings were flapping and she seemed to be in a really good mood. 

As for me, this is my job as a member of the Animal Club, but…I am feeling a bit heavy today. 

This is the first time I see Eri since I made a contract with her after all.

“Come on, get over here, my Eugene.” (Eri)

“Who is—” (Eugene)

I wanted to refute that, but I was hit with mana that didn’t allow me to go against her words. 

I ended up sitting by the side of Eri. 

When I did, she pulled my shoulder and pushed me down.

I was made to lie down on the bed without being able to do anything, and Eri straddled me. 

That gaze of her looking down at me like a predator was more bewitching than usual. 

Normally, Eri would be tearing my clothes off here, or she would begin undressing all on her own, but…

She isn’t doing anything today yet. 

She simply pushed me down.

“Hey, Eugene…how did it feel to be connected to me with the contract of before? Did it feel good?” (Eri)

“D-Don’t put it weirdly.” (Eugene)

I felt weird again after being reminded of that. 

It is as Eri says. I was drunk with that strange feeling of being almighty. 

But…

“No, more importantly, I feel like my lifeforce was sucked out of me after that…” (Eugene)

“Aah, that’s because the miasma of a Demon Lord and the ether of an Angel flowed into you in one go after all. Your mind couldn’t take it. You blocked it with barrier magic after that, right?” (Eri)

“Yeah, you saved me there. Thanks, Eri.” (Eugene)

“Oh, is that so?” (Eri)

Eri grinned at my words. 

A smile as if admiring a small critter. 

“And so…what should I pay for the contract? Just to be clear here, it is impossible for me to get you out of here with my strength.” (Eugene)

I told her what I wanted to tell her the most. 

Eri most likely…wants to destroy the seal. 

And then, escape from the underground prison.

I personally don’t hate Eri that much. 

I have told her a variety of personal things until now and she has also given me advice. 

It may be slight, but I do have positive emotions towards her. 

But she is the Demon Lord Erinyes that ruled the South Continent in the past. 

Undoing the seal and letting her free is out of the question. 

But…it would have been impossible to win against the Divine Beast without borrowing the power of Eri. 

No, I can’t really say I won. 

I somehow managed to make Cerberus acknowledge my strength.

Can I really refuse Eri if she were to tell me to help her escape…?

In the first place, a contract with a devil is absolute obedience. 

In that case, I…

“Hmm…it is fine for now. I don’t have any wishes after all.” (Eri)

“……Huh?” (Eugene)

The Demon Lord easily said this contrary to my worries. 

“No no, you wouldn’t let me borrow your strength without a price, right?! Also, you always told me to get you out of here, right?” (Eugene)

“Yeah, because I was bored.” (Eri)

“Then…” (Eugene)

“You didn’t challenge the dungeon at all. But that will be different from now on, right?” (Eri)

“…”

I fell silent at Eri’s words. 

“You will be challenging the place that’s being called the Zenith Tower by the mortals, right? Then, I have to guide you. Fufufu, it is getting fun now.” (Eri)

‘Kusukusu’ -she laughed.

Erinyes laughed as if she were truly finding this fun. 

That sight of hers was like that of an angel. 

“But what should I pay you back with? Borrowing your strength just like that is kind of…” (Eugene)

When I muttered this, Eri looked at me dumbfounded.

“What are you saying, Eugene?” (Eri)

“What, you ask…?” (Eugene)

“I have been receiving it for a long time already.” (Eri)

“You have been receiving it?” (Eugene)

What is she talking about?

Could it be…

“My soul has been stolen by you…?” (Eugene)

“You idiot.” (Eri)

She smacked my head. 

“Eugene, what do you think I am?” (Eri)

“A Demon Lord?” (Eugene)

A being that anyone in the South Continent knows of. 

The legendary Demon Lord, Erinyes.

“That’s right, a Demon Lord. But I am not a Devil. There’s no way I would need your soul.” (Eri)

“But I can’t think of anything else…” (Eugene)

“Eugene, even though you are level-headed, you are also thick-headed… What do you think you are doing every week when you are coming to my place?” (Eri)

“That’s…” (Eugene)

An action that I find difficult mentioning. 

—A sacrifice to offer lifeforce to the Demon Lord. 

That’s my job in the Animal Club. 

The role given to me directly by King Uther. 

In exchange for being forced into doing this job that only I can do, I was granted full scholarship. 

Eri begins speaking as if she were having a casual chat.

“Don’t you come here once every 7 days to be embraced by me? I actually felt a bit bad about playing with your body for free.” (Eri)

“Eh…? I was being played with?” (Eugene)

A shocking revelation.

I once again look at Eri’s appearance. 

Long and beautiful hair. 

Pure white skin and crimson lips. 

Proportions more perfect than that of a mermaid. 

I was scared at first when I met her, knowing that she was a Demon Lord, but there’s times even at present when I have already gotten used to seeing her that I would gulp at her beauty.

“What’s the matter, Eugene? Spellbound by my beauty at this point in time?” (Eri)

“Nah, no way.” (Eugene)

I play it off with a dry voice. 

“Then, you are saying I have already been paying the price, right? That I don’t need to pay extra.” (Eugene)

“Yeah, but…” (Eri)

That’s when Eri licked her lips and said…

“It is okay for me to get a whole lot more than usual today, right?” (Eri)

“…”

I make an audible gulp. 

As Eri said…

—What we did today was more intense than usual. 

◇◇

(Aaah…my whole body hurts…) (Eugene)

I exited the underground prison and slowly advanced through the path leading to the dorms. 

I want to return to my room as soon as possible. 

I want to collapse on my bed. 

By the way, Eri is sleeping soundly on her own bed. 

I wanted to sleep together with her, but…keeping up a barrier while asleep is a lot of work. 

While I was thinking that…

“Ah!!” 

I heard a voice from afar. 

And then the sounds of someone approaching.

“It is Eugene-kun! Ooi!” 

“S-Sumire…?” (Eugene)

I wanted to take a break from dungeon exploration today because I had work at the Animal Club. 

“Hm? What’s the matter? You seem to be tired.” (Sumire)

“A-Aah…not really.” (Eugene)

I nodded once at the words of Sumire and then I played it off. 

I haven’t really done anything bad here though…

I avoided answering the question of Sumire about what I was doing. 

“Hmm?” (Sumire)

“What about you, Sumire? Didn’t you have an appointment with Leona?” (Eugene)

I tried changing the topic. 

“Yeah, I am on my way there. And so, I had an interview with the Academy Principal just now, but he told me to tell you to go to the principal’s office if I were to meet you.” (Sumire)

“Principal Uther did?” (Eugene)

What could it be? 

By the way, Sumire is duty-bound to have interviews with Principal Uther.

I have asked her before ‘what kind of conversations do you normally have with the Academy Principal?’.

According to Sumire, he would ask stuff like…

—Have you made friends?

—Are classes too difficult? 

—Anything you are dissatisfied with about the cafeteria’s menu? 

Are you her grandpa? 

I was surprised that he was opening up important time to make questions like that. 

You don’t need to ask that personally. 

It seems he wants to talk to an Ifrit personally no matter what. 

He is truly a scholar to the core. 

I find it hard to believe he is the king of a city-state.

“Got it, thanks. I will go check it out.” (Eugene)

I honestly want to rest quickly, but let’s ask what it is the Academy Principal wants. 

His time should be far more precious than mine after all. 

I also have a few questions for him myself. 

I turn my feet in order to head to the Academy Principal’s office and…

“Hn? …Wait, Eugene-kun.” (Sumire)

“What?” (Eugene)

Sumire pulled my sleeves.

“There’s something on your clothes. Is this a feather?” (Sumire)

“…Aah, yeah.” (Eugene)

Looks like it was on my shoulder.

What Sumire was grabbing with her fingers was a black feather.

It must have fallen off from Eri.

“I-It is indeed a feather. I wonder when it got on me… Haha.” (Eugene)

“It is a jet black feather. Is it a crow?” (Eri)

“Crow?” (Eugene)

“You see, it is a pitch black bird in my world.” (Eri)

“…It is not the feather of a bird.” (Eugene)

I answered seriously.

Eri…or more like, all the Angels apparently place a lot of pride on their own wings. 

That’s apparently the same for a Fallen Angel.

Eri got seriously angry at me when I told her it looked like the feathers of a bird.

That was scary…

“I will dispose of that feather myself. Give it here.” (Eugene)

“Okay.” (Sumire)

I received the feather from Sumire.

At that moment, Sumire made a dubious face. 

“Sumire?” (Eugene)

“Hmm…the same smell as the feather is coming from you, Eugene-kun.” (Sumire)

“Eh?!” (Eugene)

I didn’t notice it myself. 

Or more like, I don’t smell at all. 

But an Ifrit like Sumire has a better sense of smell than your normal person. 

There’s times when she would notice things that even I don’t.

“Could it be the feather of a rare creature you are looking after, Eugene-kun? Now that I look closely, it is a really beautiful black feather.” (Sumire) 

“S-Something like that.” (Eugene)

Sumire is being too sharp for a while now. 

“I would like to see that rare creature next time.” (Sumire)

“Y-You can’t. The sealed underground prison is dangerous.” (Eugene)

“I see.” (Sumire)

Sumire puckered her lips. 

There’s the chance that Sumire might be fine since she is an Ifrit, but I feel like I must not let Sumire meet Eri. 

“Well then, I am gonna go hang out at Leona-chan’s place, okay?” (Sumire)

Sumire ran off after saying this.

(…Haah.) (Eugene)

That was a scare.

There wasn’t really anything to worry about here, but I still did. 

I saw off Sumire who was hopping at each step. 

(Now then, let’s go meet Principal Uther.) (Eugene)

I once again head to the Principal’s Office. 

◇◇

The principal’s office is at the side of the teacher’s office of the Lykeion Magic Academy. 

But the Academy Principal is rarely there. 

He is normally shut inside his laboratory the whole time. 

But he is apparently present today.

I can feel the presence of someone inside the room.

I knocked on the thick and heavy door that you can visibly see the age of. 

“It is Eugene. I received the message from Sumire and came.” (Eugene)

“Come in.” 

I got a response. 

“Excuse the intrusion.” (Eugene)

I announced my entrance and opened the door.

What was there was Principal Uther sitting with narrowed eyes, looking at a magic book with letters I can’t read. 

There’s a mountain of magic tools I have never seen before piled up in front of the desk of Principal Uther. 

Not only that. There’s a variety of magic tools and magic books lying around the whole principal’s office. 

He is treating them as if they are nothing, but they should all be things that are worth more than a few millions. 

There was one day when I accidentally kicked a magic jar around here and broke it. 

I learned later that it was a magic jar that could create water infinitely. 

The end price would be around 5 million G. 

I panicked there and asked the Academy Principal what I should do as an apology but…

‘Aah, it broke? Just throw it away wherever’ -he said as if not sparing it any thought. 

The sense of worth of the Academy Principal is weird. 

I sat at the guest sofa in front of the desk of the Academy Principal in a way that I don’t touch the magic tools. 

I thought I would be made to wait until he finished the magic book, but he closed the book soon after. 

“That was a boring book.” (Uther)

“What kind of magic book was it?” (Eugene)

“Interested, Eugene?” (Uther)

The Academy Principal threw the magic book at me. 

“Uwa.” (Eugene)

I hurriedly caught it. 

A pitch black front cover with a strange texture. 

And most of all, it had a creepy slimy sensation.

W-What’s this?! 

“What’s this book?” (Eugene)

“It is the manuscript of a magic book by the title Necronomicon, but it is no good. The amount of missing information is terrible. If you want it, I can give it to you.” (Uther)

“…Is this book cursed?” (Eugene)

The barrier that I have been placing on my hand holding the book has been falling off for a while now.

I have been reapplying it countless times now. 

It is not a normal magic book no matter how you think about it. 

“Aah, right. It is cursed.” (Uther)

“…I will have to decline.” (Eugene)

I slowly left the magic book on a shelf nearby. 

Don’t give me a cursed book…

“And so, what did you call me here for?” (Eugene)

I sighed lightly and asked. 

When I did, he looked at my face and grinned. 

“Hoh? You don’t know why I called you here?” (Uther)

I was startled at those words.

…I of course do have an idea of what it could be. 

And I was also thinking of consulting about this. 

But I don’t know how to report it to him yet. 

I feel like there’s the chance of me being imprisoned as a criminal if I mess up. 

Or more like…that shouldn’t be permissible, right?

The Academy Principal speaks as if he had read my mind.

“Eugene, you made a contract with the Demon Lord Erinyes, didn’t you?” (Uther)

“…”

I was troubled about what to say. 

Looks like the eyes of the dungeon city’s king saw through everything. 

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