Published at 11th of November 2020 01:26:05 PM
We continued our nighttime patrol every night ever since then, but the terrorist never showed up. Since no other victim appeared either, we were probably just racking up useless overtime. Or, that terrorist got tired of killing people. Maybe they already fulfilled their original goal as well, that’s a possibility. Honestly speaking, I really don’t care. As long as these hellish days finally end… Sadly, the most hellish event of all was still awaiting—The Seven Crimson Deva Meeting.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh I don’t wanna go me don’t wanna go can I just stay at hoooooooooooooome!?” I screamed like a little child.
It was morning, as I laid on my bed, hiding inside my blanket. That cursed perverted maid suddenly barged into my room, saying ‘It is time for us to depart’. To me, she looked like a death god bringing me to my final supper.
“Komari-sama, I will fully support you, so do not worry. Most likely, you will not die under my supervision.”
“That ‘most likely’ isn’t very reassuring!”
Vill shrugged her shoulders.
“What happened to you? The other day, you embraced me, saying ‘I put faith in you, Vill!’. I still remember your warmth.”
I don’t remember saying or doing that.
“I mean, I do trust you…But, we’re dealing with the seven strongest people of the Empire, so it won’t go as easy as what happened with Johan!”
“I understand. So your worries have grown because you kept thinking about it…However, I want you to rest assured. The chances of you exploding have disappeared, Komari-sama.”
“Did you see that with your Nucleus Liberation?”
“No, the effect ran out before that.”
“‘Zat so.” This time, I averted my face, and buried it deep inside my dolphin hugging pillow.
I really should stay at home today. I’ll just sleep through the day, and visit the land of sweets in my dream. Nobody talk to me, thank you.
“Komari-sama, are you not planning on going?”
“Not at all.”
“I will read another novel of yours out loud.”
“…Strawberry Milk? Go right ahead, I don’t care anymore.”
“Not quite, I was talking about your new novel.”
“W-Why?! You said you wouldn’t forcefully read it! Also, I locked up the drawer of my desk, you know!? How did you read that!?”
“Since this is a very important issue, I took the freedom to destroy the lock and forcefully take it.”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!?” I rolled around on top of my bed, letting out a groan.
God damn it! I figured this would happen! Vill’s a perverted maid who really loves reading my novels after all! Go ahead and read it then.
“I had planned to release this either way, so read it out loud as much as you want!”
“Is that so. Then, Sakuna Memoire-dono, if you would.”
“Eh? Ah, okay…’The Orange Season of Love’.”
“Hold on a damn seccccccccccccccccooooooooooond!” I jumped up.
Right as I did, I spotted a single girl with silver hair—Sakuna Memoire. This sense of atmosphere she gave off, it’s the real person. I looked over at Vill, who gave me a glance which basically said ‘If you don’t get your butt out of here, I’ll have Sakuna read this’.
“Ah, Terakomari-san, good morning. Let’s do our best for the Seven Crimson Deva Meeting.”
“I-Indeed! Let’s do that! …But before that, why are you here, Sakuna?”
“I thought we might as well go there together…”
Didn’t Sakuna live in the dorm? That’s gotta be a super detour for her…Then again, she can use magic, so she probably used some spatial magic to teleport here.
“S-Should I not have?”
“N-No no no! I’m more than happy!” I directed my gaze at her hands. “Um, about that manuscript…”
“This? What exactly is this even?” Sakuna turned towards Vill, who answered with a shit-eating grin.
“It is the legendary new work of a future author. Since you liked books, Memoire-dono, I wanted to have you read it, assuming that you might like it.”
That bastard, she’s using this for her benefit…!
“Is that so. Terakomari-san, did you read it already?”
“Fueh!? Y-Yeah, I sure did…” Since I was the one who wrote it after all!
“Was it interesting?”
“If I had to say…It was super interesting!”
“Waah, I’m looking forward to reading it…Also, who wrote this?”
I froze up. I had planned to eventually release this novel into the world—but I really didn’t want Sakuna to read it at this point in time. It’s super embarrassing after all. That’s why I hid it.
“That’s…A relative of mine wrote it. They were confident about it, so they let me have a glance. Once you’re done reading it, tell me about your impressions, I’ll let them know.”
Sakuna nodded happily…Wait, isn’t this the best possible solution? I can avoid the shame of having this read out loud, and Vill can’t threaten me anymore, so I don’t have to leave. Not to mention that I can have Sakuna read my manuscript, and hear her impression as a fellow book reader. Man, now I’m even excited.
“Komari-sama was the one who wrote this.”
“Are you kidding me!?”
“Eh? …Is this really something you wrote, Terakomari-san?”
“Y-You’re wrong, Sakuna! That perverted maid just has to lie at certain times during the day, or she won’t be able to relax! This really is a book my relative wrote!”
“Is that so…that is a shame.” Sakuna dropped her gaze on the manuscript, seeming slightly disappointed.
This is too dangerous. If I leave that perverted maid alone, she’ll do something unnecessary again. Just when I thought so, that very perverted maid clung to my arm, and smiled.
“Now then, if you don’t want me to reveal it for real, let us head out, shall we.”
“D-Don’t touch me! I planned to sleep for all eternity today!”
“However, you will die as a result.”
“That just helps me fall asleep faster! My decision is set in stone!”
“Don’t be foolish, have you forgotten about Memoire-dono?”
I actually did for a second. Now Sakuna was looking at me with a bewildered expression. Now I get it, that perverted maid used Sakuna as a means to pressure me, and that’s why she let her inside.
“Terakomari-san, I understand that you must be tired from working so hard, but I still believe that you have to attend this meeting. I will try my best to support you, so let’s go together.”
Seems like there’s no way for me to escape from this. I technically am her Senpai after all, so I have to show my reliable side in front of her. That’s why I stood up straight on my bed, and declared the following.
“Very well! I shall meet the other Seven Crimson Devas! You needn’t worry, as I am a vampire worthy of being called one of the ‘Empire’s Strongest Seven’! Indeed, nobody possesses more right than me to be called like this!”
I regretted saying that later on.
The location was the ‘Blood-drenched Room’ located in the Mulnight Imperial Palace, the same room where I had met my subordinates for the first time. I still vividly remember the scenery of these vampires wearing the military uniform, staring at me as I entered, but now the large room only had a round table in the middle. And, they were sitting around the said round table.
I’m scared. More accurately, terrified. Every single one of them looks dangerous. These commanders, the Seven Crimson Devas, looked ready to kill.
“My my, Gandezblood-san! And, Sakuna Memoire-san! What wonderful attendance at work you show us! Everyone has been waiting for you.”
The second we entered the room, ‘Black Flash’ Frete Masquarelle gave us a provocative gaze. She really felt ready to murder me. I mentally prepared myself to get slaughtered, and looked at her.
“H-Hmph! We aren’t late as of yet, so I don’t see any reason why I would have to care about your complaints! What about you? Do you have that much time to spare to wait endlessly for us?”
“…! Now you’ve said it.”
Not good, I’m sweating like crazy. Why did I go and have to say that? I know…this is a tactic, so I can’t help it. I have to do what Vill told me before.
“You have to put on airs.”
“Put on airs? In what way?”
“Basically, you need to act very arrogant. Become a Cockymari.”
So basically, the same as always. Honestly speaking, I highly doubt such a method would work against the strongest people of the Empire. But, acting arrogant and cocky makes me feel at peace as well. Then again, if I look at Frete, she already looks ready to murder me.
“Komari-sama, let us hurry to your seat.”
Vill pushed my back, and I moved around the round table on wobbly feet. Ahen, I realized. On the seat belonging to the captain of the 1st corps (basically next to me), a certain perverted blonde-haired big breasted perverted beautiful Empress sat.
“…Empress, what are you doing?”
“Observing the scenery. I’m interested to see how this meeting will end, Komari.”
Why do you have such an excited look on your face? Are you that excited to see someone possibly die in front of you? Stop joking around.
“Wahaha!” The empress let out a healthy laughter. “Now now, don’t give me that greedy look. We’ll leave that for our private time together.”
“What are you even talking about!?”
“What are you referring to!?”
My voice overlapped with Frete’s, who raised one eyebrow as she looked at me.
“Take your seat already! Sakuna Memoire-san as well!”
“Y-Yes!” Sakuna sat down on wobbly feet.
I panicked myself, and sat down as well. This is bad. This is very bad. All the Seven Crimson Devas are looking over at us. I feel like they could kill me with just a glance. However, getting afraid means that I will lose. I can’t let them think that I’m some weakling, because that could be the final trigger to get killed. That’s why I tried acting tough, playing like I couldn’t care less about this meeting.
Next to me sat the Empress, as she took a sip from her tea cup. Normally, that would be the seat of the 1st Corps’ captain, so it is really okay to just occupy that? Well, I’d rather have her next to me than some super berserker during our first meeting.
Following her was the 2nd Corps’ captain, Heldeus Heaven. He is a Seven Crimson Deva, as well as a manager for an orphanage and a priest for the holy church. He was the only one wearing a religious robe instead of the military uniform. He glanced over at me, painted a cross with his fingers over his chest, and clapped his hands together…Hey hold on, you don’t need to pray for me yet. I’m still alive, you bastard.
Next to him sat the captain of the 3rd Corps, Frete Masquarelle. She is the one who probably holds the most killing intent towards me out of this bunch. On a side note, the Masquarelle Family apparently was always in a rivalry with my own Gandezblood Family, so I guess her hate for me might originate from that.
After Frete sat the 4th Corps’ captain, Delpune. She—No, maybe they’re a man judging from the clothes? Either way, they’re wearing a foreign mask on their face, as they had their arms crossed, leaning against the chair, which gave them quite the mysterious atmosphere. Then again, just the mask alone tells me that I shouldn’t put too much trust into them.
After them was the captain of the 5th Corps, Odilon Metal. From his looks, I judged that he possessed quite the experience in battle. His age seems to be around forty, as he possessed a muscular stature, wrinkles between his eyebrows, a flashy beard, and more than anything—a sharp gaze enough to leave me terrified.
Following him was the 6th Corps’ captain, Sakuna Memoire. She is the only person here who gives me some sort of comfort. It wouldn’t be too far to call her the only pillar that supported me. Whenever our eyes met, she tightly formed fists with her hands, as if to cheer me on. Thank you, really.
Lastly, we’re back at the seat of the 7th Corps’ captain, Terakomari Gandezblood. In other words, me. Showered by the severe gazes of the other Seven Crimson Devas, I tried to act tough—As I almost collapsed from the stress, unbeknownst to everyone. I can’t take this. I glanced at my back, at Vill. She seemed calm, but I had no idea what she was thinking about…Please, I’m putting my trust in you, don’t let me die…!
“Now then, leaving aside the captain of the 1st Corps Petrose Calamalia, everyone has gathered. The condition to hold this meeting was for ‘At least six Seven Crimson Devas to gather’, and as you can see, we have fulfilled such, so the Seven Crimson Deva meeting will now begin. No objections towards that, I assume?”
Everybody nodded in unison at Frete’s words. It seems like she will be taking the leading role for this meeting. Looking at the other Seven Crimson Devas, I was surprised to find quite the variety in color. Since our title is Seven Crimson Deva, I was expecting red clothes and uniforms, but each captain had their own colorful appearance. On a side note, Seven Crimson Deva doesn’t mean ‘Red Commander’, but rather ‘Commander who colors the sky red’.
As I was thinking that, Frete spoke up again.
“I only have one topic for today. Namely, the question of ‘Is Terakomari Gandezblood worthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva or not’. Ever since she has become a Seven Crimson Deva during this 5th month, she has achieved victory after victory, and finally managed to gather a consecutive row of 10 wins during her battle with the Laperico Kingdom the other day. I think we can all agree that her achievements speak for themselves.”
“Indeed, they do! It must be the result after praying to God for success!”
“Heaven-sama, could you keep quiet when you’re not asked? Anyway, looking at these accomplishments, nobody would find fault with her, correct? However, only if you look at her accomplishments!” Frete glared at me. “Everyone, have you never seen her fight in an actual battle? I am almost certain that you have not. During battle, Terakomari Gandezblood only sits on her chair inside her safe headquarters, giving out orders. As her subordinates fight for her, she leaves everything to them, and apparently has yet to kill an enemy commander herself.”
“I do remember hearing that indeed!” The captain of the 5th Corps, Odilon Metal (the scary old man), raised a roaring voice. “A Seven Crimson Deva should be symbolic of a weapon! My trained body has the duty to defeat the enemy! Are you aware of this concept, Gandezblood-dono?”
“O-Of course I—”
“By all means she does!” Heldeus Heaven interrupted me.
The heck is wrong with you?
“The one who does not understand anything is you, Metal-dono. The true strong do not fight the weak! Gandezblood-dono is aware of such, and does not fight of her own!”
“Then she should search for stronger opponents! At least four out of these ten battles, Gandezblood-dono has fought these chimpanzees, has she not! I accept the idea that you disagree to fight the weak, but why doesn’t she look for stronger opponents then!”
“You really don’t get it! This is the proof that you are a savage non-believer!”
I feel like I heard a vein pop inside Odilon’s head. He must be pissed beyond belief. But, Heldeus continued nonetheless.
“Gandezblood-dono holds a great weapon like our holy God does. You cannot swing it aimlessly. That is the teaching of our Lord.”
“That doesn’t make any sense! Explain it to me more easily.”
“Then, let me explain it so that even an uncultured person like you can understand it. In the event that Gandezblood-dono is challenged to a battle by another country, she can accept this with the kindness of a heart wide enough as the ocean. In other words, she does not choose her opponent. Hence, all her opponents just so happened to be weak, and that was not something she could control!”
“Hasn’t she fought the chimpanzees too many times!?”
“Since they are brainless beasts, they probably declared battle again and again without thinking. Can you not understand them? It seems like you are the closest to them out of everyone here!!”
Bang! A fist was slammed into the desk. Sakuna let out a scared shriek, and even I was really close to letting mine out. Following that, Odilon screamed.
“Say that one more time, Heldeus! I’ll cut up that dirty robe of yours, burn it to cinders, and feed it to the pigs!”
“What insolence! It seems like there are still people in this world unaware of God’s grace…I understand. As a faithful of the Lord, it is my duty to correct the savages of this world. I’m sure that even a beard-face of a barbarian like yours can be saved!”
“You shitty priest!!!”
“—Stop it at once, you two!”
Odilon was about to pull out his sword, and Heldeus was already standing up from his seat, so I figured they’d soon start killing each other, when Frete used some black magic that passed between the two. As if that wasn’t enough, that black beam (?) passed by my cheek, hitting the wall behind me.
“Such an attitude is not welcome at a place like this. Not to mention that a private duel between Seven Crimson Devas is prohibited. On top of that, you are in front of Her Majesty the Empress, so cease this instantly.”
“Tsk…right. Private duels were not allowed.” Odilon clicked his tongue, and put away his sword, whereas Heldeus showed a smile as he sat down.
As for me, I was baffled at the current situation, my mouth open in shock.
“Komari-sama, your expression looks dead.” Vill played with my face from behind me.
There, I finally managed to regain my arrogant smile.
“Hey, Vill. Am I going to die?”
“I won’t let you.”
I definitely will, just look at this.
“Let us return to the topic at hand. As I have stated, I am doubting Terakomari Gandezblood’s true strength. Do you have anything to say about that, Gandezblood-san?”
“I am the strongest, yes.”
“That does not turn into an argument.” Frete said with a cold voice. “That reminds me, I have heard that you killed the terrorist Millicent Bluenight, who seemingly belonged to Inverted Moon, but can I have some more details concerning that?”
Don’t ask me, I’d like to know more about that.
“Oh my, we are talking about you, and you don’t have an answer for us? Or did you forget?”
Rattle! Sakuna stood up from her seat.
“P-Please wait a moment! We don’t need to listen to that! Terakomari-san just has to show her true strength…right? For example, some high-tier magic…”
Sakuna, I’m very happy that you managed to build up some courage and spoke up like that, but I can’t even use low-tier magic, so this just put the noose around my neck…
“I’m sure she can’t use it. Right, Gandezblood-san?”
“O-Of…Of course I can use it!”
“Go ahead then.”
“I-It’s not time yet…”
“See, I knew it.” Frete let out a sigh.
I felt a sharp gaze coming from Sakuna at my side, as if she was questioning me. Sorry, Sakuna…I’m sorry to hurt your trust like this…
Bang! This time, Heldeus stood up.
“Masquarelle-dono! A faithful believer such as Gandezblood-dono would never lie!”
“Then she just has to show that she is not lying. And, Heaven-dono, you have the wrong idea about something. Terakomari Gandezblood is not a believer of the holy church.”
“Huh…? That…is impossible…”
“Feel free to check the name register later. Her name should not be found anywhere. Adding to that, the Gandezblood Family is known for not being religious in the slightest, ready to always spit in the face of any believer.”
“W-What did you say!?” Heldeus glanced over at me.
He looked like a puppy betrayed by its owner. Why are you acting like this? You just assumed that on your own.
“—Now then, Gandezblood-san, tell us how you defeated that terrorist.”
I spoke up with a quivering voice.
“…H-How could I forget, it was a fierce battle…Specifically, a lot of magic flew everywhere, and we jumped around…fighting…”
I heard someone’s disappointed sigh. It was Odilon.
“In what way is that specific?” Frete spoke in disbelief. “I really do not like that about you. You give vague answers to my questions…What do you mean by ‘a lot of magic flew everywhere, and we jumped around?’. Can you not use more specific words? You are a Seven Crimson Deva, this isn’t an excuse.”
“You’re wrong, I made a mistake. To be more accurate—”
“There’s no meaning in correcting yourself if there’s nothing to tell! You should read more books to develop a more eloquent vocabulary—Right, I recommend using ‘War Chronicles of Andronos’, which actually had been written by my older sister, and it is often used to teach children technical terms. Should I lend it to you? If you read all the volumes, you might be able to express yourself better than this.”
“I-I read books!”
“Be quiet. As I have stated, you are not worthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva. I have sufficient proof as well. Please take a look at this. These are her grades when she attended the Imperial Academy. She had 1s in magic and physical abilities. How could such a drop-out become a Seven Crimson Deva?”
“What…where did you…”
“Using the influence of the Masquarelle Family, I had no problems whatsoever. Either way, you were a hopeless irregular student. You even dropped out of the academy, right? What were you doing these three years? You were not shutting yourself in, were you? Are you telling me that the daughter of the Gandezblood Family spent her life as a shut-in?”
“Who cares about that…!”
“You are right. Nobody cares. What I don’t like is the fact that you became a Seven Crimson Deva. You must have used your connections, did you not?”
“The Gandezblood Family is a prestigious family after all. Using your influence, you should be able to become a Seven Crimson Deva even with your lack of strength and achievements. ‘Please Father, make me a Seven Crimson Deva!’, that’s probably how you begged your father to make you a Seven Crimson Deva commander, right? How despicable!”
“You wanted to gain popularity, right? You wanted to be admired, did you not? Look at all your goods being sold right now. I’m shocked you have the audacity to do such a thing. Are you not ashamed of yourself!”
“………” I was starting to tear up.
I felt like a criminal during a trial. If I started crying now, I’d definitely get executed for real, so I tried my best to hold back the tears, and continued listening to Frete’s insults. But, I was nearing my limit. Her words started to stab into my heart like sharp blades…That’s right, there’s nothing wrong with what she’s saying. Of course, there’s a lot of parts to her words that are not correct, but it’s not enough to allow me any room to argue back. I can’t take this.
“Why are you only looking down like that? You will be dismissed soon, but as of right now, you still are a Seven Crimson Deva. Hold some more confidence. This is why you were—”
“Leave it at that.”
Frete’s words were interrupted, as all gazes gathered towards the smiling big-breasted blonde-haired girl sitting next to me. Frete doubted her eyes.
“K-Karen-sama…? What do you…”
“She is only 15 years old. It’s not very mature of you to hammer down on her like this.”
“However…She is a Seven Crimson Deva. That’s why…Um…I thought that saying this would be…I was just telling the truth! What is wrong with that!?”
“Is that really the truth? Did you really confirm everything? Are her school records really enough proof to confirm that ‘Komari used her connections to become a popular Seven Crimson Deva’?”
“T-Thats…it should be…”
“It’s not like you can read hearts, can you. If you’re going to call together something grande like a Seven Crimson Deva Meeting, you should have collected some more proof and information.” The Empress started to calmly reprimand Frete.
I realized that I was protected. I felt happy, and relieved. But at the same time, I felt pathetic. I should have learned from that incident a month ago. The entire incident with Millicent happened because I had no backbone.
I really am happy that the Empress is my ally. That being said, I hate being protected all the time. I should be fighting back myself.
“Karen-sama…it is just as you say. However, that does not change the fact of me having proven that Terakomari Gandezblood is unworthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva. Looking at her grades, that is proof enough! Not to mention the fact that she has never shown her true strength! I can only see this as her misusing her connections!”
“I told you to quit speculating. Also, I was the one who decided to make her a Seven Crimson Deva, so—”
“Empress, that’s enough.” I mustered up all the courage at my disposal, and spoke up.
The Empress looked over at me in shock. I wiped my eyes with a handkerchief, and glanced over at Vill.
“Vill, I won’t explode, right?”
She looked surprised herself, but eventually flashed an invincible smile.
“Believe in me.”
Then, there’s no need for me to worry. I mean, I’m terrified to speak up here, but I want to put my trust in Vill. If not, nothing will happen. I took a deep breath, and glared at Frete, who showed me a surprised reaction. The Empress raised the corners of her mouth, like she was watching something interesting. All the other Seven Crimson Devas had their attention on me.
I crossed my arms, stood on the table, and spoke with a provocative smile.
“Feel free to chirp on like that, Frete Masquarelle. The words of a small chicken like yours is not something I will lend an ear to.”
Frete froze up, not moving an inch. The Empress let out an intrigued ‘Hmm’, and the other Seven Crimson Devas were staring at me as well. As for me, I was assaulted by despair like the world was ending in front of my eyes.
I said it…I said it…I went ahead and said it…! Never in my life did I act more cocky than this! I’m clearly provoking every single person here! I can’t even complain if I get beaten to a pulp! That Frete looks close to immediately chanting some magic, that’s how pissed off she seems.
“…Fu…Fufufufufu…Gandezblood-san, what kind of joke is this supposed to be?”
“Joke? You must be kidding yourself. Are you not even aware of my strength? Do you think you’re something special just because you can use some black magic?”
Slam! I heard a worrying sound. Frete’s fist had slammed into the desk, opening a hole.
“You…You dare ridicule me, the heroic Seven Crimson Deva ‘Black Flash’ with your words…!? Take them back immediately!”
“Then you start! I won’t stand being insulted and doubted just because of such a vague proof that you showed us! I will not forgive you until you apologize!”
“Who would apologize to someone like you! I was only revealing the secret you’ve been hiding! You are the one at fault for doing so! But, who could blame you for hiding it, looking at your rotten personal record!”
“R-Rotten personal record…” No. Don’t cry. Hold back, me…! “If something is rotten, then it’s your brain!”
“Excuse you!? Unbelievable! That is the perfect example of a groundless accusation!”
“Shut up! Shut up! Weren’t you the one who started with groundless accusations!? What do you mean ‘Black Flash’!? The heck is a heroic Seven Crimson Deva!? Don’t just give you two nicknames! Are you not embarrassed, you narcissist!?”
“You…damned brat…! What about you then! Everybody laughs at your self-proclaimed ‘Unparalleled Beauty’ title! How are you any better than me!?”
“What’s wrong with stating the truth!? My father tells me every single day, so it must be true! I’m different from you, who gives herself weird nicknames!”
“Are you really taking that doting father of yours serious!? I will let you know, the two of us couldn’t be more different! After all, I have the necessary strength and accumulated achievements that gratify me being a Seven Crimson Deva! I have confidence, and the high evaluation from everyone around me! I am different from a fake Seven Crimson Deva such as yourself!”
“How exactly are we different!? I never even heard about you until a few days ago, and I never saw you fight on the frontlines either! You’re so plain I didn’t know you even existed! Aren’t we the same then!? If we talked some more, we might have found out that the other person is actually pretty amazing! Yet, you immediately pulled me into this trial! Your thoughts are rotten to the core!”
“Whose thoughts…are rotteeeeeeeeeeeeen!?”
Shing, Frete drew her sword. Ah, I might have gone too far.
“Since you keep boasting like this, why don’t we have a fight to confirm everything! Then we will know if you are worthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva, or not!”
“S-S-S-S-S-Sounds fine by me! Come, Frete Masquarelle! My powerful magic will turn you into omurice! …or so I‘d like to say, but I need to confirm your strength first, so you will have to fight my maid Villhaze first. Take care of this, Vill!”
“No thank you.”
“S-Seems like we won’t be fighting today…”
“Stop fooling around!!”
A swirl of black magic started gathering around the tip of Frete’s sword, and right when she pointed it at me, the Empress got between us. Frete seemingly couldn’t disobey the Empress, so she put down her sword, looking at her with tears in her eyes.
“Karen-samaaa! Do something about her! Why are you protecting such a brat!”
“Is that not clear as day? Komari is such a cutie.”
“T-That’s…such a personal reasoning! But, aren’t I plenty c-c-cute as well!? When I was younger, you told me the same, did you not!? So, won’t you consider my opinion as well…”
“Every single citizen of the Mulnight Empire is my cute little child. You aren’t special at all.”
“And, I’d like to correct a misconception you have. I’m not protecting Komari in the slightest. Your actions and words have been going too far, that is all. Frete, remember where we are. This is a Seven Crimson Deva Meeting.” Frete opened her eyes wide.
She observed her surroundings, and cleared her throat.
“…Excuse me.” She lowered her head.
But, I could tell that this apology was only directed at the Empress and the other Devas, not at me in the slightest.
“I shouldn’t have started a fight like that. There is no need for a fight to begin with, since Gandezblood-san will be dismissed now.”
“D-Dismissed, you say? That’s not something for you to decide!”
“I know that! That is why I called together this meeting! Anyway, I would like to proceed, and start our majority vote. Of course, you don’t have any vote in this, Gandezblood-san.”
I figured this would happen. That’s about the same development that Vill guessed. I turned around, and whispered to her.
“What should we do about this? She’s talking about a majority vote.”
“According to my
“Don’t act like it doesn’t concern you! What should we do about this!? At this rate, I’ll—”
“No whispering over there!”
I faced Frete again.
“I’m not doing anything! Just get that vote over already!”
“Very well. I’d like to confirm something first, but after the exchange the two of us shared, is there still someone who thinks that Gandezblood-san is worthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva commander?”
“H-Here!” Sakuna raised one hand.
Thank you, Sakuna. Your kindness really warms up my cold heart…But, that won’t be enough. Is there nobody else? Another ally in the rows of the Devas…
“—I also believe her to be worthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva!” It was Heldeus Heaven.
I was surprised to see that perverted priest on my side. After all…
“…Heaven-sama? Have you forgotten that she is not a religious believer?”
“Do you judge people solely on that fact, Masquarelle-dono? That is what a savage would do.”
“That is something I do not want to hear from you.”
“It does seem like Gandezblood-dono is not a religious believer, but she appears to be faithful to our teachings. As she just stated, by talking more with the other person, you can understand how amazing they are. She chose to use words over her blade, which greatly resembles the teachings of our holy church. In the face of this, I cannot discard her.”
“We are holding a majority vote to decide if she is worthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva. Religious beliefs and whatnot have no importance here.”
“Indeed, they do not. However, it does not matter, as I have taken a liking to her!”
“My, isn’t that wonderful. Anyway…” Frete showed an annoyed expression, and looked over at Sakuna next. “What about you, Sakuna Memoire-san?”
“T-That’s…Because I think Terakomari-san is worthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva.”
“I am asking for the reason.”
“Eeek…I-I’m sorry…Um, because I think that Terakomari-san is kind…reliable…and treats me normally…”
“Hah! So in the end, both Heaven-sama and Memoire-san have their own personal reasoning behind this! It seems like Gandezblood-san is quite popular with irregulars.” Frete glared at me, and showed a snicker. “However, with this, Gandezblood-san’s fate has been decided. Only two people have vouched for you. Do you understand what this means?” Her words tightly held onto my heart.
Only two people…only two think that I deserve to be a Seven Crimson Deva. This is bad…this is exceptionally bad…! I often managed to avoid the worst-case scenario with pure luck, but this time, I’ll definitely die! Wait, isn’t it already decided? Vill, do something about this!
“Fufu…Gandezblood-san, you best be prepared. Very soon, you will be removed from your rank as a Seven Crimson Deva.”
“My, what happened? Do you dislike the idea of that so much? Ahaha, this is what you deserve! A little brat like you should be working in the countryside!”
I know that better than anybody. I’m more than aware that I deserve to be removed from my position. I want to work at a cake shop, make delicious cakes everyday.
“Glaring at me like that won’t do you any good! This has already been decided! Now then, Karen-sama, we have gathered the consensus of us Seven Crimson Devas, and we have decided that Terakomari Gandezblood is unbefitting of being a Deva! Please, give us your approval!”
“I see. If it’s already decided, then it can’t be helped.”
I looked at the Empress in shock. I was hoping that she was my ally, but I guess I was expecting too much.
“After participating in this meeting, I’ve come to the realization that Komari indeed has not been acting like a Seven Crimson Deva during actual combat. Indeed, I shall remove Terakomari Gandezblood from the position of a—”
Ahh, it’s over. I’m going to die. I at least want to leave behind my final words… ‘Soaring through the sky, Blooming like a flower, Is that Komari?’…Yup, that poem turned out pretty great if you ask me. I will explode, and scatter through the sky like a blooming flower.
I heard a loud voice from behind my back. It was Vill, with a rarely serious expression.
“I have an objection, Your Majesty. The majority voting has not ended yet.”
“What right do you have to speak here, you maid!”
“Sit down, Frete. Villhaze, what exactly might you be referring to?”
“There are two people who wish for Komari-sama to stay as a Seven Crimson Deva. I fully understand that. However, we still do not know the number of people who are against this.”
“Isn’t that obvious? It’s three people!”
“Hm…Since not all of these three openly stated that they were against Komari, you can’t exactly count them.”
“Karen-sama!? You cannot accept the words of that lowborn maid!”
“There is no social standing when it comes to opinion. And, there is nothing we can lose here, so why don’t we hold another vote.”
“Karen-sama…if you say so.” Frete looked dissatisfied, but nodded along. “Then, let us hold another vote. Those who support Terakomari Gandezblood, please raise your hand.”
Two hands went up, belonging to Sakuna and Heldeus.
“Hmpf, the result does not change. Then, please raise your hand if you agree that Terakomari Gandezblood is not worthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva.” Right after, Frete raised her hand towards the sky.
You don’t need to stress it like that, okay. I know that the other two are going to join in any—Hm? Wait…
“Please look at this, Your Majesty. It is 2 versus 2.” Vill spoke proudly.
It really was 2 versus 2. The other person besides Frete who raised their hand was Odilon Metal. I figured that he would be against me, but…what does this mean? There are five Seven Crimson Devas here except me, so…
Everybody focussed their attention on a single person. Ever since the start of the meeting, this masked vampire had yet to speak a single word.
“…Del, raise your hand. You must be annoyed with Gandezblood-san, right?”
That is some rude phrasing, punk.
“Del! You are not asleep, are you!?”
Delpune showed no reaction.
“Del, give it a rest already—”
“Wait, Masquarelle-dono.” Odilon stood up.
He walked next to Delpune, and took the right wrist of Delpune with a ‘Excuse me!’. After a short ten seconds passed, Odilon roared.
“Delpune is dead!”
Several voices overlapped. He (She?) is dead?
“I can tell without having to check the pulse, Delpune is dead! The body is frozen stiff like a rock!”
“W-What did you say!?” Frete screamed.
Even I was close to joining in. Sakuna next to me let out a shriek, as she grew pale. Odilon returned to his seat, whereas the Empress showed a grin. Rattle! Heldeus jumped up from his chair, screaming ‘It’s the devil!’.
“Ahh, how could this happen! This must be the work of the devil! Delpune had been alive when the meeting started…I think…Yes, only the devil could have done this!”
“The devil does not exist! Is Delpune really dead!?”
“Are you doubting me, Masquarelle-dono!? Confirm it for yourself”
“I-If Delpune really has died, then I don’t want to touch that corpse! It’s disgusting! Sakuna Memoire-san, you confirm it!”
“Ehhh!? W-Why would I have to…”
“You fools! You can see from the magical flow that Delpune died! What’s more important is to find out who the killer is!”
“The devil did this! This has the devil’s fingerprint on it!”
“Cease your worthless blabbering! This has to be the terrorist’s work!”
“I-I don’t think that’s the case…”
“What exactly do you understand!? Anyway, we have to find out who killed Dell! The first person who entered this room was—”
A rough battle of words started between the Seven Crimson Devas. The killer must be the terrorist, it must be the devil, it must be an assassin from another country—countless accusations were thrown around, as they started talking about the time of crime, what the victim did yesterday, asking for each other’s alibis, emitting killing intent towards the other, until Frete announced ‘The killer is amongst us!’. The heck is going on.
“…What should we do, Vill, this is turning into some mystery novel.”
“How comical. They don’t even know that I am the killer.”
“Eh? What did you just say?”
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be using the word ‘comical’ towards the Seven Crimson Devas.”
“That’s not what I meant! There was something more important in there!”
“About how I was the one who killed Delpune-dono?”
“Right, that…Wait, huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh!?” I screamed in disbelief, when Vill covered my lips with her index finger.
“Quiet. Things will turn difficult if they find out.”
“Of course! Why did you even kill them! I don’t get it!”
“The reason is simple. Delpune-dono was against Komari-sama being a Seven Crimson Deva. Hence, by killing them, I could balance the voting from 3 versus 2 to 2 versus 2.”
“Isn’t that a bit too forceful!? And how did you even kill them! We’re talking about a Seven Crimson Deva!”
“With deadly poison.” Vill showed me a wink.
Heldeus was right, it really was the devil’s work.
“Leaving aside the method, let me explain something else. I actually had left Delpune-dono’s corpse here in the Blood-drenched Room after I killed them. Since this meeting would not have been accepted if two people were absent, I had to leave Delpune-dono here or we would not have reached that number.”
“You can have a corpse participate?”
“Nothing states against that.”
“But…wouldn’t it have been even better if the meeting never took place? Then I wouldn’t get killed…”
“Knowing Frete Masquarelle, she would postpone the meeting and hold it another day. And then, the captain of the 1st Corps, Petrose Calamalia would be back. She is a muscle brain like Odilon Metal, so she would surely vote against Komari-sama. In other words, this meeting had to happen during the time Petrose Calamalia was absent, otherwise you would have died for certain. Luckily, everything worked out.” Vill spoke with an arrogant grin.
With all this sudden influx of information, my head could barely keep up. Apparently, I barely managed to come out of this alive, that’s all I knew. That’s the perverted maid for you, she’s not just a pervert.
“Now then, Komari-sama, we cannot celebrate too quickly. There is one final step left.”
“So, what should I do?”
“You are the strongest ever, Komari-sama. But, during this pseudo-trial, you will be killed before you can show your strength. Hence, we have to use something else.”
“What are you even talking about?”
“Komari-sama, use this magic jewel.” Vill handed me a small stone.
I’m at a loss here, but I probably should just put faith in Vill for once. With light feelings, I activated the magic jewel, when a loud explosive sound rang out, almost bursting my eardrums.
I thought I was going to die, but I didn’t. It was just a loud sound. If I had to guess, that was probably low-tier noise magic
“…Gandezblood-san? What kind of joke is this supposed to be?” Frete asked.
“…Vill? What kind of joke is this supposed to be?” I asked.
“…Who knows?” Vill played dumb.
In a panic, I faced Frete again, and just went for it.
“T-This is…Because you were all wasting my time, I thought of warning you like this!”
“Wasting your time? Wasting…your time!? A Seven Crimson Deva was just killed!”
“You are not wrong, but right now we’re in the middle of a Seven Crimson Deva meeting! It’s 2 versus 2!”
“Please wait a moment, Gandezblood-dono! I have to agree with Masquarelle-dono, we have to search for the killer of Delpune-dono! The terrorist might be nearby!” Heldeus howled, and he was right.
But, Odilon joined in, saying ‘Not quite!’.
“The terrorist you are talking about has killed with their bare hands, correct? Sakuna Memoire-dono, can I have your opinion?”
“Y-Yes! I…probably had my stomach pierced by bare hands…” Sakuna panicked for some reason.
Odilon nodded in satisfaction.
“Take a look at this, Delpune-dono has no exterior wounds. In other words, they must have been killed by poison. Hence, this cannot be the work of that terrorist.”
“Then who do you think did this?”
“I personally think Gandezblood-dono should know about that more than anybody.” The scary old man showed an arrogant smile.
At the same time, I almost died because of the fear alone. Hey, Vill. What should I do about this? Should I just comment with ‘I don’t know’? Or should I act like I do instead? Can I just go home? As I hesitated with my answer, Frete put one hand on her mouth, and grew pale.
“D-Don’t tell me…you were you the one who killed Del!?”
Why would things end up that way?
“You would have enough of a motive to kill! Without Del’s opinion, you’d be safe during the vote!”
“Hold on a second, that’s just jumping a gun!
Bang! Odilon Metal slammed his hand on the desk.
“Only you have a reason to kill Delpune-dono! Delpune-dono was probably objecting to your position of being a Seven Crimson Deva. That’s why you killed! Since they normally rarely talk, and wear that mask all the time, we couldn’t even tell between alive and dead! Thanks to that, the meeting took place after all!”
Indeed, you are absolutely correct. Vill, they figured it out. That old man isn’t just a muscle brain.
“That’s right! There is no doubting it that you were the one who killed Del! You must have put poison in the food, so that even a weakling like you could kill a Seven Crimson Deva!”
“G-Give me some proof, then! These are just harsh accusations! Hey, Vill!?”
“My deepest apologies, Komari-sama. I left the bottle with the deadly poison inside Delpune-dono’s room.” She whispered into my ear.
“That’s enough proof, huh!”
“It says ‘Komari’ on there.”
“You’re doing this on purpose, aren’t you!?”
“I keep telling you not to whisper like that!” Frete screamed in rage, as she slammed her hand on the table.
I know it doesn’t really matter, but I’m starting to feel bad for this table.
“Karen-sama, I still believe that Gandezblood-san is not worthy of being a Seven Crimson Deva! I have never heard of such reckless action!”
“I believe that Komari being the killer is just mere speculation, but…Let us assume that she was the one who killed Delpune, what would you do then?”
“I would do this!” She pulled off the glove on her hand, and threw it at me with full force.
“Bleh!” It hit me right in the face.
If that was even a small stone, my nose probably would have been obliterated. However, I only had a brief second to think about something nonchalant like that. Looking down at the glove which landed on the table, I felt despair assault me. This was an all-too familiar situation.
“It was my mistake for trying to handle this situation with reason! This is the right way to deal with an insolent vampire such as you!
This is the worst.
“H-Hey, Frete! Private battles between Seven Crimson Devas are not permitted, right! Didn’t you say so yourself before?”
“This is private no longer. I propose an official ‘battle’. Karen-sama, the law doesn’t prohibit two commanders fighting against the others, correct?”
“I don’t see any problem.”
“So it’s fine!?”
This is bad. Now I don’t have any more escape out of this. Save me, Vill.
“Very well, Masquarelle-dono! Komari-sama, let us show that weakling of a noble who she’s dealing with!”
I was forced to accept that this perverted maid was my ally no longer. As for Frete, she showed a confident smile, and turned towards me.
“If I win, I will have you quit as a Seven Crimson Deva. If you win, I will listen to one request of yours.”
“My, Gandezblood-san, you’re not going to reject my challenge, after accepting these chimpanzees’ all the time? There’s no way you’re going to disregard the declaration of battle from the heroic Seven Crimson Deva known as ‘Black Flash’, am I wrong?”
I observed the people sitting at the round table. Vill behind me nodded. The Empress sipped on some tea like none of this was her business. Sakuna looked at me with an expression full of expectation. Heldeus looked at me as he was praying. Delpune was still dead. Hmm…I really don’t have any way to get out of this.
“O-Of course! I am the strongest after all! I won’t back down, no matter the enemy! I will accept this ba—”
“Wait a moment, Masquarelle-dono!” A loud roar filled the room, coming from Odilon Metal. “You gathered us for a Seven Crimson Deva meeting, and this is the result!? A one-on-one duel!? How lukewarm of you, Frete Masquarelle! You used our precious time, I won’t accept a result like this!”
“What are you trying to say, Metal-sama.”
“Indeed, Metal-dono. Wouldn’t everything be resolved fastest if Gandezblood-dono and Masquarelle-dono fought it out? Think first before you speak up, you savage!”
“Silence!” Odilon screamed like a demon. “I have thought about this. Since we’ve gathered the Seven Crimson Devas, why don’t we use this chance to certify Terakomari Gandezblood’s and Sakuna Memoire’s true strength, and hold a ‘Seven Crimson Deva War’!”
“What did you say…?” Frete narrowed one eyebrow.
Seven Crimson Deva War? I haven’t heard about that before.
“I wholeheartedly agree with that!” Heldeus raised his hand.
What do you mean, you shitty old man.
“I was worried a bit as to what such a savage could come up with, but I am pleasantly surprised. A war is the easiest way to solve this situation, and Sakuna Memoire can show her true strength in battle! What a truly wonderful idea!”
“Shut up you damned priest…Hey, Elvesias, you don’t mind, right?”
Called out by Odolin, the Empress let out a short ‘Hm’.
“Sounds interesting, so why not.”
“K-Karen-sama…? I don’t think we need to create such a hassle because of a mere duel…”
“The hassle is what makes it more interesting. In this day and age where the Seven Crimson Deva commanders are always changing, it might be a great idea to show the public just what kind of beings these Seven Crimson Devas are, and gain greater reputation. Very well, it sounds wonderful indeed, Odilon Metal!” The Empress stood up as she let out a roar of laughter.
She didn’t even care about the other Seven Crimson Devas staring at her in disbelief.
“Very well! I will give permission to the Seven Crimson Deva War! Additionally…Frete! Since this is supposed to be a form of entertainment, you will take care of the rules!”
The Empress showed a rare fierce smile.
“The weak prey upon the strong in this Mulnight Empire. The weak get stepped on…so why don’t we arrange it so that the one with the lowest rank after this Seven Crimson Deva War will get removed from their position. But, no need to worry. As long as you show your strength, you won’t lose. And, by doing so, we can accomplish the original goal of ‘Having the most unworthy Seven Crimson Deva explode’…Komari, you are okay with that, correct?”
There, the Empress suddenly asked for my opinion. Since I was asked, I had to respond no matter what. Honestly speaking, I was absolutely lost, but in the heat of the moment, I nodded.
“Yes, I am.”
Seven Crimson Deva War…I really don’t get what that’s about, but it seems to be another type of entertainment. If I had to guess, everyone probably will gather for some quiz show or cat’s cradle tournament. There, I won’t get killed, and it’s better than killing each other one-on-one.
—Oh how naive I was to think that.