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Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist, Editor: Krizzeir
Chapter 3:Let's Establish Peaceful Relations with the Native Tribes , Part 4
「What an utter nonsense.」
Aur stopped strangling the old woman, but he did not loosen his grip on her throat either.
He didn't believe her in the slightest, but if there was any possibility of her words being true, he judged that he shouldn't be so rash about offing her.
「Nonsense or not, only the Lord Almighty can know it for sure.」
Lilu didn't deny her words. So at least she wasn't lying, or she was so good at it that she was able to deceive even a demon.
「What is your objective? Just what do you want?」
Aur clicked his tongue and took his hand off her neck.
「Would you believe me if I said that I only want the girl to be safe?」
Tena rubbed and ma.s.saged her sore throat.
「Because that person is a threat. Both to my people, and to you as well.」
Tena nodded at Aur who looked at her with a puzzled expression.
「A Devil King who razes anything and everything in his sight to the ground. That is who that person is.」
「Do you know the name of that "Devil King"?」
「I know, but even uttering it in hushed whispers makes him grow in power substantially.」
「Just by uttering his name?」
It was a concept that was not able to grasp very well. He has never heard of such magic.
If he could use such magic himself, then he would have had his subordinates by his True Name every day.
「Well, whatever. If he really is that powerful, all we have to do is to stay out of his way.
After all, Aur's visit to the New World is not an invasion, but rather a survey of the potential threats. He had no obligation to engage in a conflict with someone who was supposed to crush everything and anything with his presence alone.
「I'm afraid you cannot do that.」
「Oh, care to enlighten me why is that?」
「It is your destiny to fight him. Your fates are undoubtedly intertwined. That is what the foresight gifted to me by the Lord told me.」
Aur looked at her for a while, and then took the stone cube from his pocket. It formed itself into the shape of a chair as he sat down, contemplating what he just heard.
「Explain that to me in more detail, if you would.」
Aur urged Tena as he crossed his legs.
「Once every year, he who calls himself the Devil King demands a sacrifice of a young, beautiful girl.」
Aur's face tensed up. He used to do that sort of thing himself.
「If the sacrifice is not offered, the Devil King will destroy everything in his path until his anger will be quenched.」
「What a foolish thing to do.」
That was his honest opinion. No matter what, destroying the whole village because of one girl was outright inefficient. Aur would have never done something like that.
「And Yutsu is the only fitting candidate in this village.」
「You want to offer your own granddaughter as sacrifice?!」
Aur stood up and shook Tena violently.
She could no longer be considered pure. Not after what Aur had done to her.
In other words, the village was in danger because of what he did.
「Demon Lord, sacrificing this child would be much better than silently accepting our own demise.」
Aur could never forgive such selfishness. In his eyes, children should not get mixed up in the affairs of the adults.
「Mister Hero, please, wait! This is what I also wanted! I agreed to this!」
Yutsu wrapped her tiny hands on Aur's tightly clenched fist.
「I've been listening to grandmother's stories about the Devil King since I was little, and I decided that if it is for the good of the entire village, then I don't mind being sacrificed!」
「And that was not a mistake, my child. This is how it should be.」
「YOU SHUT THAT WH*RE MOUTH OF YOURS OR I'LL DO IT MYSELF!」
Shaking off Yutsu's hand, Aur sat on the chair again.
「What does Mari had to do with this whole mess?」
「You are destined to fight the Devil King, and that young lady is destined to die in that battle. This is what fate has decided.」
Aur finally understood what ticked him off so much about this whole situation.
「Decided by fate, you say?」
That was what he hated the most, the notion that everything in this world had been already decided and there was no point in fighting against the tides of fate.
「Who exactly said that, your G.o.d in his Heaven?! If so, then let me speak to him, I'll make him change his mind. Believe it or not, I can be pretty persuasive when I want.」
Aur says angrily, but Tena just shook her head.
「All is decided the moment we are born, and no one can change it. If it is my granddaughter's fate to be sacrificed, then this is how it must be.」
At this very moment, Aur regretted that this woman was not his enemy.
「What you want to say is… that you won't take your fate into your hands and you'll just blindly follow what someone else had decided?」
As for that "Devil King" guy, it was understandable that the two of them would clash sooner or later. From what he heard, they had totally opposing personalities and viewpoints, just like night and day. So in order to prepare for that confrontation to come, he and his forces would have to become stronger.
「What if we took Mari back to our Home Base at the Old Continent? Is he still going to kill her?」
「No, that way that tragic outcome can be avoided.」
Hearing that he felt somewhat relived, but only a little.
「Even with all your power, you can only escape from him, you cannot hope to defeat without casualties. If you choose to oppose him, disaster will be unavoidable. That is why we should cooperate with each other. To conquer this threat and save as much of what we love as possible.
That was a reasonable offer, and Tena's ability was very tempting. It would be a huge help for Aur's policy of exploring the continent while avoiding needless conflicts.
「If your ability is real, then you should already know my answer.」
「To use your own words, because fate wills it so. It wanted you to ask me that question, and now it wants me to ignore it. That, and I just don't care about that story of yours.」
Aur stood up, and folded the chair back into its cube form.
「We're done with this sh*t.」
Aur shook Yutsu's hand off when she reached out to him.
「Don't you ever call me that again. I'm not a convenient puppet for your pathetic prophecies.」
And he began to walk away with Lilu and Mari.
When they left, Tena began to breathe erratically, and her whole body broke down into a cold sweat.
「Those bones of mine are getting old indeed.」
That was the price she had to pay for meeting with the Demon Lord on equal footing.
「Are you sure it is okay, grandma? He refused our offer.」
「For the time being, that was the best possible result.」
The result wouldn't be any different, no matter what they might've tried.
「The die has already been cast.」
But it still was exactly like they wanted the events to unfold, all in accordance with the unchangeable destiny.
「Lord Aur, why did you refused to cooperate?」
Mari asked Aur when they were on their way home.
「There are various reasons… but most importantly I do not trust that woman.」
「But she never once lied, did she not?」
「Yes, there's no doubt about that.」
Lilu took over from there.
「When you say it like that, it makes me a little worried.」
Mari looked at Lilu suspiciously.
「Because you tend to be careless when it comes to that kind of stuff.」
「If Lilu says so, then it must be the truth.」
Aur extended a helping hand to Lilu, who was quite offended by Mari's statement.
And unsurprisingly, Mari believed him. After all, he always was good with honeyed words.
「Of course, she's my right hand after all.」
Mari was full of admiration towards his words.
Of course she would be his right hand. Out of all of Aur's minions, she was by his side practically from the very beginning, she helped to create the Dungeon, and now she was responsible for helping with the governing of the conquered continent.
「So Lilu was actually such an amazing person?!」
「Well at the very least she makes for a good lie detector.」
「You bet I am! Oh, wait, that wasn't…!」
「But anyway, does this all mean that that granny can really see the future?」
「I know it's hard to believe, but I'm afraid that that is exactly the case.」
Her abilities seemed to be genuine, but that is exactly why Aur refused to cooperate with her. He just couldn't bring himself to trust someone who claimed to know the future. Having someone like that for an enemy was bad, but being friends was equally as frightening. In both cases, you could end up having your deepest secrets exposed while not knowing anything about the other party.
「But whether I believe her or not, what she said is far too important to just ignore it.」
Rather, they needed to come up with a countermeasure against such a grave outcome.
「So you really think that I'm going to die?」
「You're not going to die if you return to our Home Base at the Old Continent, that's how I interpret what Tena said.」
「Eh, you really think so?」
In reality, Aur was worried about Mari as if it was his own life and death.
「At least no harm should come to you once you'll be back in the Heavenly Dungeon. No one would dare to attack us there. And even if there was someone like that, we have Yunis and Melizand there, so there's nothing to worry about.」
Lilu is Aur's right hand, Yunis is a hero, and Spina is Aur's apprentice in learning magic. And Melizand, who's now acting as Aur's advisor, was not to be ignored too.
All the girls that live in the labyrinth had excellent fighting capabilities and in one way or another were essential to the Dungeon's proper functioning.
Among them all, only Mari didn't have any remarkable achievements. She thought they were all equal, but she finally understood that it was not the case.
Aur opened the door to the Dungeon and urged Mari to come inside.
「Welcome back, mama!」
Sofia hugged her as soon as she saw her.
「Welcome home, master.」
Spina, who was charged with looking after Sofia while they were gone, greeted Aur with quite a shabby appearance.
Aur was puzzled because normally Spina always kept a stone face and perfect attire.
「Nothing you need to concern yourself with. It's just that this girl, she really wanted to go see Mari, her mother, and things got a little out of hand.」
Judging by how messy her hair was, it surely got more than just "a little out of hand."
While lifting Sofia who clung to her skirt, Mari turned towards Aur.
「I… I can't go back after all. I need to take care of this child.」
Mari's face right now, it wasn't a face of a girl who wiped the tears off a little kids face because it was the right thing to do. It was the face of a mother ready to do anything to protect her child. Aur saw that face before. It was the same face that Yunis made when their son was born.
「I see, now I understand.」
「I doubt that.」
Mari will not die if she returns to the Heavenly Dungeon, that's what the old lady said. But she didn't say what will happen if she decided not to return to the Dungeon.