Sila still showed a serious face as he glared at the three monsters . Soon, Clute was the first to submit to the pressure and open his mouth .
“I’m sorry . I’m in the wrong . . . ”
Mamon quickly added, “That’s right . I don’t know what you are talking about, but I’m sure he is the one at fault . Punish him . ”
Sila lowered his voice as he asked, “Clute, what did you do? Tell me . ”
Clute nodded and took an egg out of his clothing . “I went against your request to kill dragons . This child seemed pitiful, so I kept it . ”
Clute then told Sila what happened . When people—including Clute—were watching Lomyok heroically fight against Eleanor, fate seemed to play a prank on him . Lomyok, who had been maintaining an advantage so far, suddenly slipped on a banana peel and fell over . His head knocked against a sharp rock and his defense temporarily fell . It was at this exact moment that a giant dragon soared toward him and swallowed him whole, leaving nothing behind after his death .
Meanwhile, Eleanor was at the border between life and death . Just a single light attack would kill her . Clute pitied her, so he activated the rune of birth to turn her into an egg and secured it .
Mamon laughed . “Kiekkiekkiek! Caught you, you thief! What a hypocritical bastard . You deserve to be severely punished . ” He shifted his gaze to the egg . “Aside from being a thief, you are also stupid . A dragon egg can’t be hatched unless it is given warmth from a female dragon . You better let me eat it rather than keep it . ”
Clute quickly hid the egg in his embrace . “You can’t!!”
Lookhin drooled, staring at the egg in Clute’s hands . She restored her calm expression a moment later and continued to act innocent, though her gaze still lingered on the egg .
‘I have to get my hands on it, then put the blame on Mamon,’ Lookhin thought as she formed a plan in her mind .
Sila sighed . “I didn’t mean the egg . I meant the disappearance of dropped items . ”
Mamon quickly blurted out, “Why don’t you ask this glutton bird? I saw what she did . ”
Lookhin abruptly turned to Mamon while transforming back into her human form . “Psycho frog . Snitch . You have no friends . ”
Hearing that, Mamon immediately realized his secret had been leaked . Only a handful of beings knew his original identity, and one of them was in this room . He turned to Clute and roared . “There is no way this glutton bird would know about my genuine form! You told her, right? You damn blabbermouth golem!”
Clute nodded . “I did . Lookhin asked me . I told her since it doesn’t seem to be a secret . ”
“It’s my business, not yours! It’s me who gets to decide whether it’s a secret or not!!” Mamon viciously glared at Clute .
Sila asked what was going on, and Clute quickly recounted how he had told Lookhin that Mamon’s original form was a frog, though his appearance evolved as he ranked up—from Squire, Knight, Marquis, Lord, to Emperor . In the end, his genuine form changed from a frog to a human—a creature full of greed .
Sila then realized that Mamon’s human form wasn’t due to him having reached Lord Rank, but because it was his genuine form . Thus, he couldn’t transform back and forth like Lookhin . Come to think of it, there were some monsters who resembled humans, such as Elves . Unexpectedly, Mamon was one of them .
“Easy, easy . Don’t fight,” Sila said while interfering, “By the way, Mamon is right, Clute . You shouldn’t have revealed someone’s secret to another person without their permission . ”
“I’m sorry,” Clute said as he turned to Mamon . “I’m sorry, Mamon . ”
“My name is MAMMON, the prince of the demon world! The great ruler of devils!! Even you plan to call me by that name, huh?!!”
“I noticed everyone else calls you this . I thought you would like it, Mamon . ”
“I hate this fucking name!!” Mamon roared .
“Mamon, Mamon, Mamon,” Lookhin muttered to no one in particular . “Mamon, psychotic frog . ”
Mamon frowned, but a smile soon emerged on his face . “ . . . You shitty omnivorous glutton bird . I saw you eat something during battle . I guess you are the reason behind the disappearances . You must have eaten all of the items, right?”
Lookhin flinched . She didn’t expect the conversation to come back to her . She turned left and right, trying to find a helper . “Clute?”
Clute made eye contact with Lookhin’s pleading eyes . He swallowed his saliva as he turned to Sila while avoiding eye contact . “I . . . Er . . . I was wrong . I . . . saw dragons and thought they seemed delicious, so I ate them all . . . probably?”
Mamon laughed, high-pitched . “Kiekkiekkiek! An innocent boy trying to lie? What a joke . Lying requires practice, you fool . Take me for example—”
Sila frowned . “So you lied, Mamon?”
Mamon’s laughter came to an abrupt stop as he made a serene expression . “I did not . I have never told a lie even once in my lifetime . I’m hailed as the most honest and upright demon in the entire demon world . You can verify my words by asking any demon . If anyone dares to— Ahem, I mean, no one will ever contradict my statement . ”
“Really?” Sila asked, his pitch raising toward the end of the word .
“Absolutely,” Mamon replied confidently .
Sila smiled inwardly . Of course, he thought Mamon was lying, or at least hiding something from him . There was no demon around for him to ask . No, even if there were, he wouldn’t be able to believe their words .
Mamon was playful with his words, changing subjects so fast that Sila almost lost the flow of the conversation . As expected of an eloquent demon prince .
“Lookhin . . . obediently confess your crime . Don’t place the blame on Clute . ” Sila stared into Lookhin’s eyes . Finally, she gave in and told the story with her awkward speech .
During the battle, she happened to feel hungry as she fought . Thus, she took out a handful of bananas—which she had snatched from Indigo’s kitchen—and ate them . She was still unsatisfied after eating them though . It was at this moment when a dragon collapsed in front of her and was burnt by the flames of another dragon, sending a nice aroma into her nose . She couldn’t resist it as she tossed her banana peels away, abandoning her duty of providing protection for the players, and plunged into the grilled dragon, savoring it to her heart’s content . A brief moment later, a scream rang out, and Lookhin noticed Lomyok being eaten alive just because she was too busy eating . Mamon saw all of this from start to finish .
“In conclusion . . . you were busy stuffing your belly and neglected your responsibilities, right?” Sila asked to confirm, and Lookhin nodded weakly .
‘I was wondering how a banana peel happened to be in the Dragon Kingdom . Unexpectedly, Lookhin was the one who dropped it . Wait . . . Does this mean Lookhin was responsible for Lomyok’s death? How bad could that guy’s luck be?’
“Now that you have pinpointed a criminal, punish her! You’re wasting my time here, you know?” Mamon urged .
“Umm . If Lookhin was the one at fault by unconsciously eating the items altogether, that mean I have to take responsibility . ” Sila pressed his thumb on his temple, massaging it . Items dropped from dragons didn’t sound cheap . He was concerned about his wealth after compensating everyone .
“Hm? Wait! This story is strange!” Sila exclaimed .
Sebastian asked, “Pardon, sir?”
“Mamon is the sole innocent person . . . This is close to impossible,” Sila muttered to himself .
“What do you mean?!!” Mamon argued, “Why is it so unlikely for me to be guiltless?”
Mamon showed the saddest expression he could make . “I’m greatly disappointed . I did nothing wrong . . . yet I’m suspected purely because I’m the lone white sheep among the two black ones . . . the sole innocent amidst the gang of vile bandits . Oh . . . To think that doing only good deeds would lead me to this . . . Poor me . All gone . . . my trust and my loyalty are all gone . If this is the case, I shall leave . . . I shall leave to take my chances on my own . I shall leave for the place where there are people who trust me and receive my trust . ”
While Mamon was slowly walking away, Clute quickly interrupted, “Err . . . I’m so sorry that I also suspected you . ”
Mamon shook his head . Each of his steps were firm and resolute . “It’s too late . Once spilled, water can’t be put back into the glass . They are gone . . . my hope and trust . . . I have to leave . ”
Sila swiftly took action by flicking his hand toward Mamon . However, his hand bounced off an invisible armor that was hard enough to bring pain to his wrist . Apparently, Turtle Cage—Mamon’s new armor—could block Sila’s attacks to some degree .
Sila changed his approach by gently grabbing Mamon’s ankle and holding him upside down .
“What the hell are you doing to me?!!”
“Mamon, you are hiding something under your shirt, right?” Sila’s statement caused Mamon to flinch .
Six or so small rectangular boxes fell from Mamon’s body . Sila seized one of them and inspected it . It turned out that the box was an item storage device . It was quite useful for monsters like Mamon, who didn’t have a system window for item storage . Each box had an illustration of a fish engraved on it .
“Put my Fish Tank down!”
Instead of listening to Mamon’s order, Sila opened it . A pile of items then came flowing out of the box in his hand, with each item seeming to be high quality .
Julia opened the remaining boxes to inspect .
“Some of the items belong to Master . I suspect Mister Mamon took them from your treasure room . Oh? There are also weapons from Lost Grea City’s warehouse, dragon ingredients, and a great number of Soul Crystals . ”
“Mamon . . . ” Sila placed the boy on the floor . “Do you have anything to say to me?”
“They are all mine! You said it yourself that I could charge for my labor, which I did! My condition is that I keep eighty percent of total revenue . ”
“Eighty percent!!” Sila exclaimed .
He blankly looked at the piles of items . For the record, Mamon always kept a number of his creations to himself . He would do the same even if he didn’t personally take part in the production and was only the one responsible for the idea . Apparently, while Lookhin ate one dragon in the Dragon Kingdom, Mamon seized all of the remaining items dropped from dragons to compensate for his labor . In fact, more than half of Sila’s items had already been claimed by Mamon .
No wonder Sila felt his personal wealth was decreasing lately . He always thought he was simply bad at using money .
“You once told me that I was free to use your items like they were mine . Remember?” Mamon asked .
Sila replied, “In that case, your items are mine as well . Sebastian, please take all items from the Dragon Kingdom and split them among participating players . Julia, from now on, please help with the books . Record every item Mamon has . ”
“Yes, sir!” Both the head butler and the head maid replied simultaneously, ignoring a certain person’s arguments .
“You can’t!!” Mamon shouted . “Some of them came from my own hard work!” He pointed at a pile of Soul Crystals .
“I equally charge eighty percent of your total assets as my labor cost, then . It’s fair now . Sebastian, take them all,” Sila closed the deal .
“What?!!” Mamon exclaimed, “But I was the one working the hardest!”
Clute wondered about that . “But . . . in the Dragon Kingdom, I saw you doing nothing but grinning . ”
“I was cheering on everyone in my own style!! You could only reach that kingdom thanks to me! Did you expect me to help in the fight as well?”
Sila didn’t want to drag the conversation on . “Let’s say everyone has to work to atone for your crimes . ” He shifted his gaze to the butler . “Sebastian, handle this matter as you see fit . ”
“Yes, sir . ” Sebastian politely bowed .
“I didn’t do anything wrong!! I’m innocent! I refuse to be cheated!” Mamon groaned, though no one seemed to care .
Sila exited the room . Asava and Vlad were waiting for him .
Asava gently smiled at Sila . No matter what happened, Sila always saw a smile hanging on this person’s face, making it difficult to read his thoughts .
“Being able to properly handle internal conflicts is a necessary skill for the Wulin Lord, I must say . ”
Sila nodded at Asava’s words . “We have to invest our time in the most important matters and leave trivial things like this for later . Do you have any other missions?”
“None . Our only task is to help you become the winner of this war event . The rest are not important . Right, Vlad?”
Vlad nodded . “Exactly as Asava said . ”
“In that case, let’s go immediately . Every second counts . ” Sila placed one hand on Asava’s shoulder and the other on Vlad’s, then spoke the incantation . “Go to the Slime Kingdom . ”
The light enveloped the three before moving them to a different location in an instant . The trio appeared in the Slime Kingdom, which was quite different from the last time Sila had visited . The sky was bright . The wind was strong . The kingdom was full of high-spirited slimes .
“Our Hero has returned!!” A similar-looking orange slime, who Sila always spotted hopping around the kingdom, came to greet him . It roared, “Our Savior! Our Venerable! The Most Handsome One! The Coolest and Strongest in the Universe!”
Compliments bombarded Sila from all directions, to the point where he was getting embarrassed . He immediately raised his hand and told them not to praise him anymore .
Many of the slimes stared at the two new visitors . Sila quickly introduced, “These two are my brothers . They are guests . ”
“The Hero’s brothers are our brothers, ya . They’re welcome, ya~”
Sila couldn’t help but smile . “Where are His Majesty and the three Slime Guardians?”
“They are in the palace, ya . I will be responsible for leading you to them, ya . ” The orange slime made a solemn expression and Sila felt that, if it could, it would’ve saluted like a soldier .
“I know the way, so you don’t have to go out of your way . Please make yourself comfortable . I will see you again later . ”
“Don’t forget to join us at the celebration party tonight, ya~ We are excited to show off our abilities . These abilities have been sealed for a very long time . ”
Sila wasn’t sure he would have the time for that . Still, he nodded in response . The three people walked toward the stone castle located in the deepest part of the kingdom . The slimes that encountered them along the way showed respect and welcomed them with the highest level of hospitality .
The gate leading to the palace was swung open, showing the Slime King sitting on a throne while the Three Slime Guardians were standing on his right .
“Hello, Your Majesty and the Three Slime Guardians . ” Sila bowed and gestured to the two people beside him . “These two are my brothers . Their names are—”
“Asava and Vlad . . . ” Poluk interrupted, “You sure have grown a lot . What about Himeko? She didn’t come with you?”
Asava stared at the Three Slime Guardians . He hardly recognized them, especially the vibe they gave off . However, he could easily deduce who they were .
“As I expected . There was no way the three of you could die that easily . It turned out that you faked your deaths . Please accept this disciple’s respect, Teacher Tetsu, Teacher Raizo, Teacher Saya . ”
His teacher—Tezuka Raizo, the Eminent Immortal—turned out to be a polite gentleman with a weak physique . Meanwhile, Vlad’s teacher—Kisaragi Tetsu, the Earthbound Reaper—gave off a different aura but some of his facial features resembled the one he knew . Lastly, Heaven’s Heiress—Minatsugi Saya, Himeko’s teacher—looked absolutely nothing like the teacher he remembered . Still, he believed he got her identity right based on the three of them being together . Without this clue, not to mention him, he was certain that even Himeko wouldn’t be able to recognize her own teacher . Saya was a master of disguise . Even the way she moved or reacted was subtly different from the Saya he had known since childhood .
“Teachers?” Sila wondered . His brain then proceeded information at an incredible rate .
“The Three Slime Guardians are Kimon’s Heirs of the previous generation?”
An alarming truth suddenly struck Sila .