Demon Lord & Aku
It had been a long time since the presence of humans had disappeared from this forest, but today there were two.
One was a suspicious, long-haired man, the other was a child.
“I, I’m… called Kunai. I’m not anyone suspicious. I’ve got nothing to do with any demon lord. I’ve got a few things I’d like to ask you. Is that alright?”
The man… no, the “Demon Lord” spoke while brushing his long hair back.
He worried a bit about what to call himself, but in the end, he decided to say his name was Kunai. In front of the child, he attempted to take the tone of an adult, but it was a thin veneer that seemed ready to peel off.
Although, to avoid suspicion, the demon lord spoke with his greatest smile, the child opened his eyes wide and his body trembled.
That was unsurprising, as after all, a high rank devil had been blown away, right before his eyes.
Considering what sort of an existence “that” was in this world, that was a completely natural reaction. Someone who could completely disregard a high rank devil – it could be none other than the “Demon Lord.”
Even his appearance was appropriate for a demon lord – frightening.
“I suppose I should ask your name first. Would you mind telling me what it is?”
“I, I’m called Aku1…”
At that reply, the demon lord snorted with a “Pfff!” and had a violent coughing fit. Well, his feelings were understandable.
“Demon Lord” and “Evil” – what a combination.
“Th, That’s a good name. So, do you know of a country called Japan? Or maybe even New York would be fine.”
“I, I’m sorry… I’ve never heard of them.”
“Thought so,” the demon lord murmured, while lighting a cigarette. He smoked too much.
No matter how he looked at it, the clothes Aku was wearing were not modern clothing. A clothing-like article, made of crude fabric, with just a blue pattern-like design. It was far from fashionable.
He was wearing some shorts that barely reached his thighs, and along with his pretty face, it made it hard to tell his gender.
His hair was short, but his bangs were strangely long and covered the left side of his face.
The demon lord almost, just straight up asked him his gender, but was barely able to endure it to keep his dignity as an adult. As one would expect, he was too embarrassed to ask a child he was meeting for the first time, “Are you a boy? A girl?”
If he was “Kunai Hakuto” he certainly would have used any and all means to thoroughly draw out information, but fortunately for Aku, his interior was that of a “different person.”
The demon lord’s questions didn’t end–
This world’s name? What is this forest? What was that devil just now?
Regarding those, Aku’s answers were confused and unhelpful.
Rather, it seemed as though Aku didn’t have much knowledge.
He seemed to know the common sense of this world, but didn’t have any general global information.
Judging from his clothing, he was just a villager.
Even if Villager A and Commoner A came together, there was nothing to be gained.
“I have some more things I’d like to ask… but before that, I think there was a lake over there. How about you go wash the dirt off first?”
“I, Is that okay?!”
“Hm..? Isn’t it fine? Wipe yourself down while you’re at it.”
“Th, Thank you very much!”
The smile that Aku showed made the demon lord catch his breath for a moment.
He had only seen his dirty face and clothes and mentioned it.
That’s right, he didn’t know how precious “water” was in this land.
In this land, water was so scarce the best they could do was provide water for drinking and cooking. If you wanted anything more, as a matter of course, it cost money.
To be able to use water to wipe down their bodies was a privilege afforded to only a portion of the population.
In this backcountry, water was an important source of funds and profit for the feudal lord.
(Sigh… What to do)
While watching Aku head toward the lake with a spring in his step, “I” let out a sigh.
Even though I thought I found a source of information, Aku was nothing more than a simple villager, and the amount of intelligence I was able to gather was too small.
The most I was able to learn about was about this country and the village Aku was living in.
(Kingdom of Holy Light, huh? There’s no way there’s a kingdom like that on Earth…)
It seems like it’s a kingdom that worships the cherub that sealed that devil. Below that are the three women called saints, the Order of the Knights of Templar, the Holy Church and the like. In response to the vocabulary list that I heard, I could only laugh in exasperation.
A fantasy world, how special.
It would be one thing to be a summoned high school student in the full bloom of youth, but who would want a working adult who was one step away from being an old man.
After thinking that far, an unpleasant thought crossed my mind – what if “I” wasn’t the one who was summoned.
(Instead, was this body the one who was summoned…?)
After having so many mysterious things happen one after another before his eyes, his everyday common sense was starting to break down. One of the player, Dynamite☆Shikoku had said while laughing, “Anything and everything is being transferred to parallel worlds.”
Whether it’s a game character, a statue of Buddha, or a Warring States military commander, it’s an era where it isn’t strange for anything to be summoned.
If I think about it that way, I can understand being summoned in this “body.”
I don’t know what kind of purpose they have, but – if it’s “Kunai Hakuto” there are many ways he could be used. It just so happened to be that I was “logged in” to the character that was supposed to be called.
(To put it simply, I was just “dragged into” this!)
As soon as my thoughts reached that point, anger came bubbling out.
Thanks to this damned old man, I was thrown into this incomprehensible world.
That has to be it, no mistake. Or more precisely, I won’t be able to go on unless I think that way.
(I have to hurry and find a way to go back.)
Should I say I was lucky this time? My parents have already passed away and I’m single. But no matter how you put it, my job is in trouble.
Being absent from work without notice at this age, I wonder what they’ll say…
(Now that that’s settled, should I head toward some town? Or should I look around this forest for clues?)
I looked around the area slowly, but there was only an eerie silence filling the woods.
This is not a place I want to stay for too long.
(At any rate, Aku is taking a long while… maybe too long?)
(It’s good to be alive!)
Aku was currently at the peak of happiness.
Soaking in a large body of clear water, he was able to wash his clothes and his body as much as he wanted. Even the village head wasn’t able to have such luxury.
Everyone could only wait for rain to be able to wash themselves.
And it would have to be a heavy rain, not just a light one. As a result of the devil rampaging here, the land had withered and most of the old wells were poisoned, so obtaining even the minimum amount of water was difficult.
Above all – he had a “dirty” body. He absolutely couldn’t let such a chance pass by.
(But, I wonder exactly who that person is…)
Aku took off his clothes and sank into the lake up to his neck while thinking.
Someone who was able to blow that high rank devil away with one attack. Was he the demon lord mentioned in the legends passed down in the holy capital?
That completely black appearance certainly didn’t appear to be that of an angel.
In the first place, it’s strange that he was in the forest all alone. Word was passed down in traditions that there was a sacred shrine in this forest, so most would not enter this place.
The reason that no one would come to this forest even though it had a beautiful lake was not only due to tradition, but because that devil was there.
(Could it be that he wants to eat me after I’ve cleaned myself…?)
A chill ran through his body.
He wanted to run away, but his clothes were wet and hanging from a tree.
If things went wrong, he would have to run away naked. Considering the possibility that there were other devils around, it would be suicidal.
“Hey, you done yet, Aku?”
“S, Sorry! I’ll be right out!”
“No, I’m sorry. I was just checking on you. Take your time getting the dirt off.”
Even after being told to take his time, he got chills when he thought of making the demon lord wait. For now, he might still have a reason to keep him alive.
But if he offended him even a little, he may be killed.
Even now, he was muttering something while moving his hands restlessly.
Was he doing some ritual for a curse?
“Alright! I can use the management functions now!”
What was Managem Entfunctions? Maybe the name of some ancient evil god?
It was a scary sounding name when he heard it. And then – it seemed his thoughts were true.
In front of the demon lord was a floating, jet black space, which he was thrusting his hand into without hesitation. It made him want to cry just thinking about what would come out.
Whether it was a dark scythe, or some dark, cursed equipment, or maybe “utensils” with which to eat him.
“Good, good, it came out… Here, soap and a bath towel. Use these.”
“Wha…? Could this be… cleanser!?”
“C, Cleanser? Well, that’s fine. I’m going to look around the area just in case.”
After saying that, the demon lord left the lake behind.
As he left, he was muttering incomprehensible things like “My SP is decreasing like crazy…” What was he talking about?
No, right now was the cleanser! A dreamlike product that he had wanted to try once before he died.
Normally you wouldn’t be able to get such a high class product unless you were nobility. Where did he get such a thing!?
“There’s no telling what will come in handy…”
While looking at the admin screen his thoughts unintentionally leaked out.
Just now, because of a certain incident, some admin rights had become accessible. It appeared to have become usable by the consumption of SP, part of the unique system within the GAME.
SP: Skill Points – they were used in the GAME for combat, counterattacks, and item usage.
In the GAME, you could use them to learn powerful skills or increase your defense. Conversely, you could weaken your enemies by stealing them.
It appeared that they could be obtained in this world through combat as well.
“But to think that even such trash items would use 5P…”
Low Grade Item Creation – 5P
Mid Grade Item Creation – 10P
High Grade Item Creation – 20P
Rare Item Creation – 50P
Because of his joy at having the admin rights made available, he had created some items, but the things he made were a bit too shabby. Soap was a trash throwing weapon, and the bath towel was a piece of armor, but their effects were both just +1 and not worth looking at.
In the latter half of the GAME, if you had such items equipped, you’d be insta-killed before 5 seconds had passed.
“About 30P left… I wonder if I save up, more functions would be usable? Or are there some other requirements?”
I wasn’t sure how strong the enemy just now was, but looking at the SP I got, his level must have been fairly high.
But, for that, he had been way too much of a small fry. The enemy’s strength and the results of beating him were way too mismatched.
“It doesn’t seem like everything is just like in the GAME…”
In the GAME, to make things balanced, the amount of SP received fluctuated depending on the level difference between yourself and the opponent. Which meant that according to the system, if someone low leveled attacked someone high level, they would get a large amount of SP, but when it was the opposite, only a small amount would be received. But, without exception, those that were high level were fiendish beings.
“So, maybe it’s that… Maybe it’s a monetary value based system.”
A monster from a national RPG came to mind.2 Weak and quick to run, but if you were able to defeat it, you could acquire an enormous amount of experience. If they appeared frequently in this area, maybe it would be best to hunt them all down?
“D, Demon Lord! Sorry to keep you waiting!”
“I said that I wasn’t a demon lord… I don’t care anymore. More importantly, that small fry just now, do they appear frequently around here?”
“O, Of course not! If there were more of something like that, the kingdom would be destroyed!”
“Huh… Was that thing that dangerous?”
Aku nodded his head vigorously in affirmation.
Maybe my understanding is really off… in any case, to be able to use all of the management functions, the acquisition of SP has to be prioritized.
If possible, I’d like to get plenty of SP before leaving the forest.
At this rate, there’s no telling what will happen once we go outside.
Above all, there’s the possibility that there may be a way to return to my original world if I earn enough SP and make all the management functions available.
“Aku, do you know where that thing had its nest or den? I’d like to examine it.”
“The devil king was… I heard he was sealed in the ‘Shrine of Desires’ that is in this forest.”
“Desires, huh… Sorry, but can you guide me there?”
“I, I’m sorry. I’d very much like to guide you, but my leg is weak…”
Looking closer, I saw that Aku’s right ankle had a large scar. It looked like there was a large laceration that had healed over without much treatment. It looked painful.
No, was it premature to arbitrarily decide that? It might be some illness unique to this world.
Unfortunately, I’m not a doctor. Among the subordinates that surrounded Kunai, there was a cheat-like existence that could cure any would or illness, but it was no use asking for the impossible…
“It can’t be helped… I’ll carry you, so get on my back.”
“I, Impossible! Someone dirty like me can’t possibly get on Sir Demon Lord’s back!”
“Sorry, but I don’t want to waste time. I won’t say it twice, hurry up.”
I crouched and turned my back toward him, but there’s no sign of him getting on.
On the contrary, his downward-looking face was full of distress and he looked like he was about to cry.
Hey, hey… do you hate it so much you want to cry? That actually hurts my feelings!?
“I, I’ve been a burden to my village for a long time. So I’ve always collected garbage and thrown it away, did jobs like collecting excrement and throwing it away, I tried my best in my own way…”
“… In short, garbage disposal and water treatment, right? It’s an important job.”
“The villagers always said I was dirty and smelled… And finally, I was made into a sacrifice for the devil…”
Haha… Aku made an expression of laughing while crying.
I don’t really get it, but it wasn’t a pleasant story to hear. Making a little kid like this do a job like that, and that sort of treatment on top of it…
“Everyone in the village says it. That if you touch me you’ll be ‘stained’… so”
It was like looking at elementary school level bullying.
The phrase ‘my opened mouth wouldn’t close’ was exactly for situations like this. I silently grabbed Aku by the scruff of his neck and placed him on my back.
“W, Wait! Please wait, if you touch me!”
“A human being won’t be stained by something like that. A human’s body will become brand new if you just wash it.”
“More importantly, the location of that shrine…”
The words I started to say, stayed in my mouth.
Because I could hear sobbing coming from my back.
(Wai… He’s really sobbing! More importantly, from an outside perspective, don’t I totally look like a kidnapper!?)
Thinking carefully, I look like someone who is forcibly abducting a crying child.
If this world has an organization like the police, I would definitely get arrested. Wouldn’t getting imprisoned as a kidnapper right after coming to a parallel world be too unheard of?
“Are you okay with touching me….?”
To that voice I hear from behind, I wondered how to answer for a moment.
Hearing about Aku’s circumstances, he’s probably been told that he’s dirty and stained for a long time.
In modern times, it would have become a trauma and he would have headed straight for a major depressive disorder. It wouldn’t be strange for him to try to commit suicide.
“Aku, you called me a demon lord, but… is a demon lord such a weak existence that he could be stained by you?”
Crap, was that too pompous sounding?
If my coworkers had heard that, I’m sure they’d be using it for joke material even ten years from now.
“No… that’s not the case…”
The tension left Aku’s body, and it felt like the weight on my back increased.
Even so, I feel like I could pick up a dump truck with one hand in this body, so the weight of a single child is no problem.
“Thank you… Mr. Demon Lord…”
Aku’s soft body stuck closely to my back… From him was the pleasant scent of soap.
“… You, aren’t you sticking a bit too close?”
“Th, That’s not true!”
□ □ ■ ■ □ ■ ■ □ □
One part of the data was made available.
Personal Belonging: Soap (Great Empire-made)
This world’s soap is made by a primitive manufacturing method and ingredients and is a crude product, but
aristocrats, the wealthy, and prostitutes will pay large amounts to acquire it, so it’s not available to the general public.
A product of a technological superpower that controlled the majority of the world, the “Great Empire-made” soap is made extremely well, with such a difference in quality that it’s foolish to even compare the two.
Personal Belonging: Bath Towel (Great Empire-made)
The Great Empire which was said to have showed “abnormal” pickiness and craftsmanship in every sphere, has made various improvements to even a single bath towel.
This bath towel had softness surpassing that made possible by fabric softener and its absorbency has no equal.
Armor: Cloth Clothing
Its defense is nonexistent.
But, since it was for a sacrifice for the devil king, it was high quality according to the villager’s standards. In the case of the poor, there are cases where they wear items made from hemp.
Magical Power: 1
Magical Defense: 1
Aku’s bangs are long and with that length, the left half of his face can be covered.
It was not for fashion, but because his left eye is green.
He was probably bullied even worse because of his heterochromia. His parents died of illness when he was young and that ended up spurring on the bullying by the entire village.