１６． Material World and Devil Sermon
It took quite a while before Ante left my body.
She seems to be enjoying it.
But, I, the host, was the one who couldn’t endure it.
If I had to describe the feeling I experienced, it was as if an unbearable foreign matter was shoved into my body.
『Don’t worry, just get used to it.』
「LIKE HELL I WANT TO GET USED TO THAT FEELING!!」
It felt like vomit that couldn’t come out despite already being on the verge of coming out.
And as I expressed that feeling in words, I felt that I got what I deserved.
I mean, since I broke the taboo by mocking a Demon God, I felt my strength was strengthened a little bit.
But, I might really die if she gets pissed off and conjures a taboo for breathing.
It was literally unfair when she could get into my body without even suffering the sickening feeling that I felt, right?
After leaving the palace, I crossed the desert with black sand under the red sun.
Though the journey felt really fast, the return journey felt like it was a never ending journey.
「It seems the distance is really far.」
Did it feel faster when you came?」
「Felt like it ended in a flash… maybe because the devil of guide showed me the way.」
「… Ah, that eccentric Odigos, eh.」
「You know him? And, what do you mean by eccentric?」
That was a surprise.
I mean, for an ancient and powerful devil like Ante, I thought that she wouldn’t even care about the name of your average devil.
「Though his status is far below that of a Demon God, Odigos is still one of the old devils.」
Ah, it seems Odigos isn’t 『Your average Devil』.
「Since you call him old, it means that Odigos is quite old too.」
「He already existed since the dawn of Hell.」
… Doesn’t that mean the fella was as old as the world itself?
「That fella is one of the rare, moderate devils.
He isn’t part of any faction, and he survived in Hell by becoming a guide for the others… Ironically, there’s almost no lost man in Hell.」
I mean, it was easier to travel in Hell since they only needed to think strongly about their destination.
「He existed since the dawn of the world, and yet, aren’t blessed with the chance to gain power.」
「Maybe that’s the reason why the first one to greet the visitor from outside world is him.」
「If that’s the case, he should just make a pact with someone to leave this place.
The people who lost their way in my world are a dime a dozen.」
「His authority seems to guide him to arrive right in front of the portal.
The reason why he has yet to meet a suitable contractor is maybe because his authority is most suited to guide the visitor…」
That sounds like the fella had no idea about his own authority, was what Ante tried to convey as she shrugged her shoulders.
「Moreover, his status is quite high too.
The magical power that one needs to pay for employing him is way too much.
It’s pretty much almost impossible for him to meet a suitable contractor.」
「Then, what about the contract in which Odigos is the superior one?」
「Then the contractor will turn into a mere guide that will guide every lost person they meet.
Do you really think your demon race has such a noble hearted person?」
That was an undeniable fact.
I never expected that the day for me, a hero of the human race to give my sympathy to a devil would come in this way.
Odigos was… if I had to express him, too natural.
Rather, I couldn’t even feel a shred of malice from him.
He felt even more harmless than Sofia.
「I’ve been trying to ignore it since a while ago but, what do you mean by 『Moderate Devil』?」
I tried to ask Ante as we crossed a huge, black river.
The thing that was flowing in the river wasn’t water.
It was a solid, undulating mud that was so solid to the point that we might be able to walk on its surface.
「There are three types of devil.
Virtue, Moderate, and corrupt devil, that’s the gist of the situation.」
「What the heck is a devil of virtue?」
「They’re on the verge of extinction, some did survive though.
Loyalty, Sincerity, Bravery.
Since the first two have already made a pact, they’re quite powerful.
You should be able to find them if you try.」
Yuck, I almost forgot that I’m in a world where you can literally find a powerful devil as long as you try it…
「But, guiding a lost person can also be considered as virtue, right?」
「Odigos doesn’t choose the kind of person he guides.
The other party might be a good person, or bad person.」
「I see now, come to think of it… which part are you, Ante?」
Do I look like a Demon God of virtue?」
Was her answer when I tried to ask her.
The rough ground was winding endlessly as if there really was no end to it.
I’ve never met another devil so far.
Maybe because a monster like Ante was right beside me, or maybe because I simply didn’t wish for that to happen.
「Come to think of it, Odigos saw me too.
Isn’t that a threat for us?」
There was the possibility that along the way another devil that I couldn’t see saw me too.
Doesn’t that mean I’ll be in a pinch once they discover a mysterious human loitering around in Hell.
「Are you afraid that your real identity is going to be discovered? Well, you don’t have to worry about it.」
Ante was folding her hand behind her head while walking as she replied to me.
「First, Odigos isn’t the kind of devil who talks too much, since the flow of time between Hell and Material World is pretty vague, I don’t think he can make a connection between you and a prince.
Though it rarely happens, the human race―― does sometimes stray into Hell.
Most of it happen because the failure in invoking summoning magic.」
I guess my secret is safe.
「… I’m looking forward to it.」
Suddenly, Ante revealed a really mischievous smile.
「I’m looking forward to see your life as demon race.」
「… Since you’re looking forward to it, stop doing something unnecessary.」
I won’t be able to get my compensation if your identity gets revealed after all.」
Her murky eyes shone brightly.
I’m your ally until you fulfill your contract.」
… It means that our contract concluded once I destroyed the dark portal.
After walking for who knows how far, the dark portal finally came into our view.
Due to how dark this god forsaken Hell was, it looked like a pitch black circle drawn in a dark background but, there was no worry about missing it since its presence was simply overwhelming.
「Well then, see you again later, He~ll!!」
Ante was waving her hand toward Hell as she pulled me to the dark portal.
Almost as if she was bored with Hell.
But then… Devil aside, I ended up returning with a freaking Demon God, eh.
You really have no idea what is gonna happen in your life eh…
Thus, I went into the dark portal along with a demon god.
Upon leaving the dark portal, my senses were welcomed by the whiff of the wind, sound, and the weight.
When I looked up, it was the familiar azure sky and the bright sun.
This was how light was supposed to be.
I could now feel the real feeling of my flesh.
… And more clearly this time.
The world that I felt so familiar with, now felt so narrow.
「Aah, come to think of it, this is indeed the feeling of the Material world.」
When I looked to my side, I saw the spectacle of Ante coming out from my body.
Maybe because I’ve returned to my physical body in this material world, I could feel her magical power now.
… Though I could feel her presence from her swirling magical power, she had no vital sign.
Sofia or imps were much easier to understand.
I mean, they felt like a whirlwind or small whirlpool.
But, this one… Ante wasn’t that easy to understand.
Rather than a devil, she―― almost felt like a demon race, her body was extremely stable.
She had a pair of horns growing from her head which might have caused her to be mistaken for a demon race from afar.
But, as long as one pays extremely careful attention, they would realize that she wasn’t a demon race.
Her presence is like an extremely high density of magical power.
That’s why I said that she was in a completely different class when compared to Sofia or the imps, Ante felt like solid steel.
A chill running down my spine the moment I noticed that fact.
I could explain her as a high-ranking demon with mimicry power.
Her true state aside, she was craftier than I expected.
That “Small” amount of her power was already so terrifying, eh.
「This is just the tip of the peak of the iceberg.」
Ante made a wide grin as she spoke.
What the heck do you mean by “Just”? I guess fate was such a mysterious thing…
「Well, I’ve to introduce you to my mother first.」
I’m looking forward to it…」
Fufufufu―― said Ante as she chuckled quietly.
Please… please don’t do anything stupid….
Thus, I’m looking around at my surroundings again.
City of devil and demon race―― Cosmolodge, had something like a coffee shop-like things, or stores around the portal for the relatives of the demon race who enter the portal to wait.
Maybe Platy had been waiting for me in one of those stores…
「Ah, there she is.」
It only took me a few seconds to find the figure of a woman in barbarian attire, sitting on the terrace of the coffee shop.
Her face was planted on the desk.
Did I make her wait for too long? I mean, for Platy who always held her head high to be like that, she must have wanted to take it easy when she wasn’t in the demon king castle.
She was way too formal, even from my perspective… I thought so as I turned around and walked toward her direction.
It was as if she was facing tremendous pressure.
「Mother, I’ve returned.」
When I called out to her, Platy’s shoulder twitched, and then slowly raised her face.
I was instantly taken aback.
I mean Platy’s usual cold beauty that was enough to send a chill running down my spine looked so thin, there was even a dark, shade under her eyes.
「… Who are you?」
Her question sent a chill running down into my spine.
I mean, Platy was asking that question with a vacant look on her face.
「Eh, what are you talking about, Mother!? It’s me, Jilbagias.」
My mother lost her memories when I returned from Hell, like hell I could accept that joke.
What would happen to my status in the demon king castle then.
Platy was staring dumbfoundedly at me for a while after that but, soon enough, vitality returned to her eyes.
Her eyes opened wide, seemingly surprised, her expression changing from happiness to that of doubt but,
「… What’s the name of your escort devil?」
Sofia of course.」
「The name of your first opponent?」
「That’s also Sofia.」
「And what’s the reason for your fight?」
「Because I didn’t want to study.」
Platy immediately stood from her chair.
She approached me, shaking from head to toes.
Uhm? Is it just my imagination or… Platy has become smaller now?
Why did the height of her line of sight… feel off for some reason?
「Are you… really… Jilbagias?」
Platy seized my shoulder.
「O-Of course I am… but…」
I, who looked around in confusion, received the greatest shock in my entire life when I looked at the window.
Reason being my figure that was reflected in the polished mirror.
Body that reminisces a drawn, beautiful sword blade.
The figure reflected in the mirror was that of a youth demon race which gave the impression of a sharp and fearless demon race.
In human terms, his age should be around 15~16 years old.
Moreover, the youth wore tattered attire.
「… I GREW TALLEEEEEEEEEER!!」
I let out a hysterical laugh.
「It’s you, right!? You, really are the real, Jilbagias!! Thank goodness!! Jilbagias――!!」
Platy shouted as she embraced me.
What the heck, we become the center of attention.
「It seems to be the effect when you leave the portal, Jilbagias.」
Ante was grinning ear to ear as if she expected this reaction..
… I wonder how much time has passed since I entered the portal?
I’m not inside the portal for a dozen years, right? My body didn’t grow in accordance with that, right? Or not, Platy’s attire was still the same as before after all.
「Jilbagias――! Thank goodness! Jilbagiaaas!!」
And, what should I do about this woman…
I was completely at loss while Platy was sobbing non-stop as she embraced me.
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