Chapter 22:

A Jellyfish, a Good Witch, and a Bad Witch Walk into a Tree…

Why Kill? When Witches Can Be Tentacled!

The words Demon Lord echoed in the minds of Maribell and Snazzy.Bookmark here

“What? How could that-?! I mean, he is special, but-?!” Maribell sputtered as she tried to connect how Seraphina had come to that conclusion.Bookmark here

Snazzy simply stared up at the sky, wondering what the hell kind of job Kami-sama gave him. Surely, he didn’t mean for Snazzy to save the Witches by adopting the persona of this world’s villain!Bookmark here

Grrr! This tentacle fist shakes angrily at you! Kami-sama!Bookmark here

Still, the sudden event had turned the crazed, dominating Witch, Seraphina, into a docile creature bowing before him. Could I use that to my advantage? Bookmark here

Snazzy shook his head. The very thought of it felt a little scummy, but at least, it was a good icebreaker to start some kind of amicable relationship.Bookmark here

“Hmph, not sure what you are going on about, but reborn Demon Lord? What makes you so certain of that fact? Care to explain?” Snazzy said. Poking around to get a better understanding was needed before he could dive right into that role. At least, it sounded more appealing than being turned into a jellyfish. I am not going to make that same mistake!Bookmark here

Getting up from her kneeling position, Seraphina showed them her grimoire, pointing to a bunch of strange symbols that Snazzy couldn’t read.Bookmark here

“What’s up with this? Looks like gibberish to me…” Snazzy scoffed, shrugging with his tentacles.Bookmark here

Maribell looked over at the text, which were reserved only for the eyes of Witches.Bookmark here

“To thy future self. One who wieldth power. He who bring forth power to those of thy covenant. Shall rule the land once again for their sake.”Bookmark here

The words that Maribell slowly read made her scrutinize every part of them for hidden meanings. Her hand went to her mouth in surprise.Bookmark here

Was that not what Snazzy did normally?Bookmark here

Each time he willed himself into a pepped-up state, Maribell could feel a tremendous blessing granted to her. Her body healed, magic gushed forth, and she felt like she could take on any opponent.Bookmark here

She had glanced over the horrible spells in her grimoire, but her fear cast aside all else as they only reminded her of a cruel fate. Truly, the same words had been inscribed in her own book, calling for the tome’s wielder to seek one who empowers her.Bookmark here

However, she was not compelled to submit to Snazzy as the Demon Lord. That appeared to be Seraphina’s own will. She couldn’t wrap heads or tails around this strange Witch, but at least, she had become more cooperative.Bookmark here

Deciding that this wasn’t the place to discuss such matters. The three of them stepped away from the resulting battlefield and headed to a more secure location. Seraphina told them about her hideout, the hidden village of Salutis.Bookmark here

All throughout the trek, Snazzy played around with the idea of being a Demon Lord in another world in amusement.Bookmark here

Who has heard of a Demon Lord being reincarnated into something as silly as a jellyfish? Well, if a slime can do it…Bookmark here

Certainly, he shouldn’t be comparing fiction to his current situation. He had no overly powerful game character that was transferred over. Just the divine blessing that Kami-sama gave him. While it seemed pretty powerful in its own way, that was totally a support role, compared to a big baddie sitting upon the dark throne.Bookmark here

What kind of Demon Lord goes around buffing Witches and healing with slime-covered tentacles!?Bookmark here

They passed deeper into the forest, where the trees became overgrown, and the underbrush made it hard to walk through. Seraphina waved her arms and blew away some of the foliage, revealing a thin path cut between it. After passing through, the wind died down, and the path was covered once again. Bookmark here

“Ooo, neat trick, Seraphina,” Snazzy commented, clapping his tentacles. He pondered if he should absorb her wind magic too and become more versatile. There would be plenty of time for that later though.Bookmark here

“To be complimented by Lord Snazzy, it is an honor. I shall work hard as your servant to ensure our prosperity.” Seraphina lightly bowed.Bookmark here

Maribell looked at them with a tired expression. She had not forgotten how the Witch of Orphans treated her at first. This gap in personality felt quite jarring. But perhaps, the smooth talker, Snazzy, could coax a better understanding of her.Bookmark here

Up ahead, a cool fog blanketed the area, darkening the ambience as if to invite fireflies toward it. Seraphina created a gust that fanned away the cloudiness, creating another path.Bookmark here

“Careful that you don’t stand around this for too long. You’ll soon lose interest as to why you were here. And eventually, you’ll start losing other things important to you.”Bookmark here

Seraphina had cast a veil with wind magic, combining it with one of the spells in her Grimoire of Lust. The fog in question was a medium of magical droplets of water. And within each of those droplets was the forbidden spell, Damnem Autem, which caused those who walked through it to drop whatever impulse or desire they possessed at the time.Bookmark here

And since people were normally a giant cluster of self-proclaimed desires, being affected by the spell for long periods would slowly rob them of their will to do anything. And then, their identity. That spell kept the kingdom’s guards from venturing by.Bookmark here

Snazzy wondered if whoever unlucky enough to be lost in this fog would end up like some kind of Buddhist monk, abandoning all desires as he ascended to Nirvana.Bookmark here

I like my tastes, thank you very much! he thought as he made extra sure not to let a single drop touch any of his freely dangling appendages. What is a Snazzy? A miserable little pile of desires!Bookmark here

He felt like throwing down a wine glass for good measure from upon a throne.Bookmark here

“Where are we anyways?” Maribell asked.Bookmark here

Seraphina turned back and gave her a suggestive wink. “Pamiek Forest. A place that no one dares to visit as the Witch of Orphans resides here. This is the one place where not even the Kingdom of Roswalia can take control of. We are safe here.”Bookmark here

“So, if you’re safe here, why are you venturing outside and risk being attacked? Lack of supplies?” Snazzy guessed, which Seraphina nodded.Bookmark here

“Isolated out here, there is only so much we can get. But that isn’t the only thing.” She pointed out the fact that she wasn’t carrying anything with her. “Occasionally, I feel a faint trace of new magic entering the kingdom. My grimoire has a spell to help me locate the little ones to save.”Bookmark here

Hidden in her grimoire was another forbidden spell that allowed her to detect people of certain qualities that suited her taste. Currently, she had the spell active to seek out signatures of girls that had awoken to magic powers. But it apparently detected Maribell’s strong signature also, especially after she was boosted by Snazzy. Seraphina had left the protective barrier to search out this strange signal that entered the kingdom borders.Bookmark here

“But there’s only so much I can do.” A hint of anger flared from Seraphina’s eyes. “You’ve heard about the situation in this kingdom, have you not? The lies they tell, the torture that happens, all because people are paranoid. Of what? Some cute, little girls that could do better than the men in power?!”Bookmark here

She turned towards Snazzy, taking one of his tendrils gently in her hand.Bookmark here

“You have come here knowing these dangers. That is why I ask: Will you not give me your aid as the new Demon Lord? If what this grimoire says is true, then you are the key to trampling those infidels posing as just and almighty do-gooders!”Bookmark here

Snazzy and Maribell were taken aback. Underneath the hatred and cruelty, they saw in her actions a heartfelt reason. Seraphina was the Witch of Orphans, shielding those who were targeted by a kingdom gone mad. To her, cruelty was fought with cruelty. Those who struck first and mercilessly came out on top. That had been her way of handling things since she became a Witch at a young age.Bookmark here

“Still… what can I even do for you as a Demon Lord….” Snazzy pondered, rubbing his chin. Especially against an entire kingdom. It seemed like he would have to go on a quest to collect the other Witches of the covenant or something.Bookmark here

Ack! A standard RPG hero quest! But as a Demon Lord! Please tell me it’s not a ‘by our powers combined…’ kind of thing!Bookmark here

“Hmm? But there’s something you can do immediately. Now, isn’t there?” Seraphina drew close to Snazzy, smashing her chest into the mass of tendrils that hung from him. She rubbed against his body up and down while lightly moaning. “Can you not bestow your great powers upon me too?”Bookmark here

Since Snazzy had become excited from the sexy scene before, getting him aroused was apparently the ticket to access his powers. Offering up her body seemed to be the fastest way to get that response.Bookmark here

“Ahem! Can you two please not flirt in front of me?! Especially not with this stuff still around us!” Maribell pointed to the white mist all around.Bookmark here

“Oh, that’s right,” Seraphina said with a hint of amusement. “I simply just forgot.”Bookmark here

As they finally passed through the fog, the area ahead of them brightened up once again. The sun shone upon a small village that was created at the base of a massive tree. With a trunk that stretched hundreds of meters high and a girth that could fill an entire lake, small houses were constructed upon the many roots that dangled in the air.Bookmark here

Likely from the gradual erosion of age, the dirt that once was had long washed away, leaving an interconnected pathway for its inhabitants to walk upon. The houses themselves were resting along these massive roots, which were tens of meters above ground. Thankfully, nets had been strung up below each area to catch clumsy people who fell.Bookmark here

Seraphina, Maribell and Snazzy looked up from below, the latter two amazed by the tree houses stacked in such a manner. This was truly a village hidden away to keep invaders out.Bookmark here

“Oh, and be sure to watch your step. It gets a little hot around these parts,” Seraphina said with a wicked smile.Bookmark here

Maribell and Snazzy looked further ahead, where the surroundings seemed to be playing tricks on their eyes. But after several more steps forward, they could see why. The ground itself was red hot, almost molten. Naturally created by dense mana heating up magma stones in the ground, it was yet another trap to keep people out. A few of those who managed to march past the fog of forgetfulness ended up too absentminded to avoid this next danger.Bookmark here

A glance around the tall roots showed no easy path up to the village. Maribell realized that most people would have to climb up them, leaving themselves defenseless against attacks from above. Even if they were merely struck while trying to do this, the resulting impact could knock them off and into the fiery pits below.Bookmark here

Of course, that was no problem for a floating creature such as Snazzy. He drifted off before Maribell could ask him to hold on. Left alone with Seraphina, a whisper brushed against her ear, causing her to shiver.Bookmark here

“Shall I give you a boost?” Seraphina said seductively, before scooping Maribell into her arms. She was in no position to reject the bridal carry as Seraphina chanted a spell silently.Bookmark here

Wind gushed from her feet, and with a single leap, the two of them bounded up the nearest root, ten meters up. They continued these giant steps, until finally, the main root in which the village rested was before them. Not until they landed did Maribell realize just how massive the tree actually was. A single root like what they were standing upon was twice the width of the main street through a city. The tree trunk itself, from this distance, took up her entire vision.Bookmark here

Then, she realized. This was an ancient tree that she read in stories. Yggdrasil was its name – the tree of legend, the tree of life, whatever you wanted to call it, mana ran rich through the area. And Seraphina had claimed such a spot for herself as a hideout. Maribell would be impressed with her if she wasn’t casually stroking the side of her thigh.Bookmark here

“Shall we continue forward so that I can carry you through the threshold? I promise you that I’ll be gentle until we reach the bed.” The smirk on Seraphina’s face couldn’t be trusted.Bookmark here

“No, you put me-”Bookmark here

“ONEEEEEE-SAAAAAN!!!” Snazzy came back screaming. It was like that time in front of The Scratched Glass all over again. But then, she recalled who Seraphina had gathered here.Bookmark here

Snazzy was somehow pulling a wagon with three young girls sitting upon it. Likely, they were the orphans who possessed magic that Seraphina saved from the kingdom.Bookmark here

“Onee-san! Hauuuuu, aren’t they so cwuuute?! I want to take them home with me!”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.