The Demon Saint is Missing, so I Ran to Another World Vol. 13
While my companions took their time to catch their breaths (as well as remove the dead minotaurs, for their burned flesh smelled), I dropped the empty carbine, pulled my own bolt-heater revolver, and entered the Lord Haya’s room.
“Took you long enough…I expected you to drop for a visit. After all, the ruckus you caused in my garden was heard all over my palace! What barbarity, coming from a human like you!”
Sitting on the bed, which was illuminated with several candles surrounding him and with a gun—an M1911—in his hand, Princess Noir’s infamous brother greeted me with a smile on his lips. As he waved the pistol like he was playing with it, he asked, “The Lord Greg Santos, I presume? Such lovely uniform of an officer of the Goblin Legion you have!”
“And you’re most likely the Lord Haya,” I replied, aiming the bolt-heater at him. “Nice meeting you, I guess. Now, where’s Her Highness?”
“By ‘Her Highness’, you mean my dearest little sister, Noir? Why do you ask? Who are you? Don’t you know I’m her brother; her only home? Filthy, pure humans like you have no business with her!”
“I’m her teacher,” was my defiant reply.
“As far as I know, teachers only teach, not murder the families of their students,” the Lord Haya’s eyes went from me, to my companions, who finally showed up behind me. They also got their bolt-heaters trained on the hated demon lord.
“Back off! Let’s us talk for a while,” I ordered them, before turning back to the Lord Haya. “If someone like you is ‘family’ to my students, then I’d gladly pick up a gun to kill them. Your kind has no right to live anymore. Now, tell me, fucker, where’s Noir, or I’ll shoot!”
“Ah, such righteous conviction! Such noble intentions!” the demon lord mocked me. Nevertheless, he pointed his gun towards the bed and said, “She’s here.”
The Lord Haya then removed the blanket that covered Her Highness. Much to everyone’s shock and disbelief, Princess Noir was there, chained like an animal to the bed, and her body was full of bruises, scratches, and lacerations. She was conscious, yet her eyes had that ‘thousand-yard’ stare, and she would not respond to her brother’s provocations.
All that I can say is that, she is utterly broken.
I heard the Lord Haya’s triumphant laugh. “It’s over, human!” he declared. “I know that your kind values the virginity of your women! And I took that from my dearest sister! You won’t have it! She is mine! Noir is mine—”
I never let him finish. One shot to his right arm was all that it took for him to drop the M1911 pistol. I pulled the bolt of my revolver as I took a step forward.
“Are you angry?” he grinned. “Why did you shoot me, a demon noble? Don’t you know your place—gah!”
A second bullet, this time meant for his other arm, though it hit his shoulder instead. The Lord Haya was screaming in pain, though he couldn’t run away as his legs were paralyzed. I cocked my gun for another shot, and stepped closer.
“S-Stay back, you fool!” the demon lord, desperate to defend himself, summoned a creature that tried to attack me—a basilisk. They say that its gaze turned anyone to stone, but I simply turned away from its eyes, and dispelled its apparition using the anti-succubus amulet that I had.
Your magic tricks won’t work here, anymore, fucker.
Another step, and I was almost an arm’s reach to the Lord Haya. At that point, the demon lord’s façade that he had built all this time crashed. As a ‘lowly’ human in his eyes, the moment his magic was dispelled by my amulet—a simple tool—was enough for him to realize the gravity of his situation.
“W-What are you d-doing?” the Lord Haya shouted, in a vain attempt to intimidate me. But, I was unfazed. I continued on my ‘menacing’ walk, savoring each moment his face displayed despair and hopelessness. “I-I’m the L-Lord Haya of H-House Usarved! You should f-fear my name—gueh!”
One slap was all it took for him to fell silent. The demon lord was yet to recover from his shock; though I never let him. I followed that with a bash of my gun to his skull. He couldn’t run, and his arms were disabled to put up even a minute struggle. The only thing the Lord Haya could do was to stare at me with his fear-filled eyes…
Yes, that’s right. I will kill you, but slowly…
Seizing one of his horns, I dragged the demon lord to the floor, went over him, and let my other fist flew straight to his face. I hit everything that could be hit; blackened his eyes, bludgeoned his nose, broke his teeth, and bloodied his lips. When those were too ‘broken’ to punch, I focused on his cheeks, causing those to swell beyond recognition.
I could hear his voice. He was trying to plead for mercy as I delivered to him my punishment. I was never a violent man, or at least, I tried not to become one. Nevertheless, I ignored those. In my mind, only one thing remained: the Lord Haya should pay for harming my student, and his younger sister.
I continued pounding on the defenseless demon, never minding that my fist was also swollen and wounded from hitting some bones. All the anger I had in my heart flowed out; those frustrations stemming from being far from my loved ones, those anxious moments of when I wondered if I would even return alive, and those happy memories with the people around me that would never come back, simply because a stupid demon decided to put value on someone’s ‘virginity’ rather than their life.
When the Lord Haya went limp, I picked my gun and shot him twice on the head and on the chest, in accordance to Shevaun’s information on how to kill Usarveds like him. As his blood splattered on my body, I felt no remorse. This fucker got what he deserved…
“The humans are our enemies. They are barbarians who sought to evict us from our rightful lands, envy of our prosperity, with the help of the heavens, and the god, Gaius.”
Noir looked at her father, the demon lord, Hurion Devras III, as he read to her a book about the history of their people. Her bright young eyes sparkled as he narrated to her ‘stories’ about the demon heroes that fought against the ‘evil humans’ and triumphed against all odds. Scenes of soldiers and knights dueling to death, warriors standing their ground till the last, and towering castles lit aflame by siege engines filled her mind.
But, whenever his father would say…
“Now, Noir, listen to the history of our greatest hero, the Lady Cassandra David, and how she saved a city of goblins from destruction.”
At once, the little princess’ heart would be filled with joy, while the Lord Hurion read the anecdote of their most revered champion from the past. She idolized the Lady, and would often dream that she would lead an army of demons of her own to fight against the humans one day. Though the Lord Hurion Devras wanted his children to know the facts on the demons’ history, yet, for Noir, Cassandra David’s exploits were like a fairy tale.
And Noir wished to have her own ‘fairy tale’ someday…
In fact, the story of the Lady Cassandra David was so ingrained in her mind that she asked for a sword as a gift for her excellence in her studies. What she was given though, was a wooden sword, fashioned from the design of the rumored ‘rapier’ of their hero. It delighted her so much that Noir never wasted time in showing that off to her mother, who usually stayed in their bedroom, even after the hours of long sleep.
“Mother! Look! I got a sword like the one used by Lady Cassandra David!” the young Usarved showed her skills in swordplay.
“Really now?” the Lady Herriane smiled and clapped. “With that, you can be a hero, Noir!”
“Am I, mother? With this, I can smite the humans and make them submit to us!”
The Lady Herriane fell silent, and Noir saw that her smile vanished. Worried, she asked her, “What’s wrong, mother? Are you not feeling well?”
However, the human noblewoman gently held her daughter’s ‘sword-arm’ and said, “Noir, please swear to me, this hand of yours…you shall only use it to defend your loved ones.”
“It’s alright! I will do that!”
“And also, those who can’t fight and protect themselves.”
“Sure thing mother! That’s why I’ll be a good princess and fight the humans!”
The Lady Herriane chuckled, as she shook her head, “My sweet child, human or demon, elf or beastfolk, you shall defend them when they are weak. You want to become like the Lady Cassandra David, right?”
“Then you’ll be impartial to all, just like what she did. She fought for the good of humans, demons, beastfolk and elves, until she decided to leave this mortal realm. That’s how a hero should be!”
“Eh? Even to those human barbarians?”
The Lady Herriane nodded, “I’m a human too, you know?”
“But you are a good human, mother!”
“Exactly! Not all humans are bad, and not all demons are good. See, if you just get to know my people, you’ll find them exactly like you…ordinary folks wanting to live peacefully with their loved ones.”
“If we’ll have the chance, Noir…I will show you the kindness of humans. We may not be perfect, but we still have the goodness in our hearts. And someday, I hope you’ll love my people, too!” the smiling Lady Herriane slowly vanished into a bright light that eventually filled Noir’s vision. She tried to reach out to her, but it was all too late.
“Mother!” was the first thing that Noir said when she finally opened her eyes. What greeted her was the dull brown cloth that served as the ‘ceiling’ of the tent she was in, whose walls were being gently shaken by the wind outside. Her hand was still stretched towards her mother, though by now, the white light was changed into the relative darkness that made up the interior of her shelter. Realizing that she was just dreaming, Noir sat up, and looked around her.
The person sleeping beside her, Shevaun, was awakened as well. And the demon chamberlain couldn’t hide her joy when she saw that her mistress was back to herself. There were tears welling up in her eyes, “Milady! You’re finally…awake! Are you…are you okay?”
Noir examined her body for the meantime. She was already clothed, and the bruises, scratches and lacerations on her skin were gone, as if those never happened. She also tried moving her limbs; all were perfectly fine. But then, her ordeal with the Lord Haya suddenly passed her memories, and she shivered, shrinking back on her bed.
“It’s alright, Your Highness!” Shevaun was quick to reassure her. “The Lord Haya is dead. The Lord Greg saved you from his hands…that deviant won’t bother you anymore.”
“Shevaun…” at that time, the feeling of relief and freedom overwhelmed the Usarved princess, and she broke down in tears. Her chamberlain moved closer to hold her, and they remained like that until the Noir calmed down.
A few moments later, two other maids came in, and much to the Usarved princess’ delight, it was Angelli and Leiver. There were no words said; the servants just jumped towards her and wrapped their arms around their mistress.
“Leiver! Angelli! You guys…you’re alive!”
“Heh, remember that explosion in the castle before?” Angelli proudly narrated. “We escaped because of that!”
“And the Tambara clan helped us, too!” Leiver added.
“Yeah, and Leiver’s arm got cut off when the elves ran after us!”
Noir’s head fell downcast, “I…I’m sorry for what you went through…”
“No! No!” the shy maid showed her limbs, “I’m already fine, milady! Look! The Lord Greg healed me with his god-powers!”
“But still…the other servants died because of me…” the Usarved princess revealed. “I followed my brother’s whims, until he broke me…however, they were killed in the end.”
“I don’t think it’s your fault, Your Highness,” Shevaun gave her a pat on the back. “Yes, you may feel guilt about it, but don’t let it get it through you. Angelli and Leiver told me that George planned their escape, with the tacit approval of the others, and he sacrificed his life in the end.”
“When we accepted the job to serve you, milady,” it was Leiver, “we know the risks of serving the demon lord. And of course, we’re willing to go down with you! You’re someone worthy of our lives, see?”
“If you’re doubting us, milady,” Angelli’s headstrong attitude was showing, “then look at the Lord Greg! He’s human, and he’s your teacher. Isn’t it the norm that the students are the ones who should serve their mentors? But no! He didn’t care that he’s a human (thus he shouldn’t be involved with you), and risked his life to save you from that asshole Haya…err, I mean…ahem…th-the Lord Haya!”
“Don’t worry, Angelli,” Shevaun was all prim and proper. “That demon deserves all the insults we can hurl, even though he’s the brother of our mistress. Please continue.”
Noir could only laugh at their conversation. While the suffering she went through would probably remain in her heart forever, at least, her nightmare was over…
I heard that the Princess Noir finally gained consciousness, and her sanity was back. I’d say, the god-powers of the Human Saint was more potent than I expected. Well, I guess, considering that it was a power from the gods, it could cure or heal any conditions or injury.
I just don’t know if the traumatic memories are included in that…
In any case, as long as there were no problems with the Usarved princess, then it’s all good. The allied clan elders from the goblin, orc, and Tambara clans sent representatives to her, to check on her well-being, as well as to show their submission to the undisputed demon lord of Cherflammen. I had no idea of the Biorno clan’s answer to our proposal before, but the Lord Gracchio told me that the Lord Sargdhenerri was considering our offer.
Well, it’s still a positive sign that we can end this conflict peacefully.
While waiting for the official Biorno response, we didn’t waste our time in repositioning our forces within the striking distance of the city of the Saint’s Tower. As Darkmoor had fallen to Shevaun’s forces, we had one less enemy to deal with…and if the Lord Sargdhenerri wished to continue the war, then he would now face the combined might of the Usarved, Tambara, goblin and orcs armies.
And not to mention, the forces of the Ghoul ‘clan’ of the Lord Vitalis…
As for me, I already decided on what I would do. I’ll just make sure that the conflict with the Biornos would end in ‘our terms’, and return to Chersea as soon as possible. I already left to Shevaun my proposals on how to set up a ‘better’ government that represented all the demon people, and it’s up to them to decide if those have merits, given to the type of society they had.
After all, I guess it’s time for them to upgrade their ‘feudalistic’ mindset into that of a modern one, just like in the world I came from.
Well, I made it clear, however, that my preferred ruler was the Princess Noir. She knew well of my aspirations for Cherflammen, and I guess she would agree to the idea of an ‘elective demon lordship’. Think of it as something like a ‘demon presidency’, only that her term ends when she dies, or when the Senate of Elders (which was to be formed after the conflict) decided to ‘impeach’ her.
Yep, a president-for-life system. The ‘fixed-term limit’ mechanism that was common in my world’s governments was difficult to apply here, for the demons’ time-reckoning was similarly chaotic as that of Chersea’s when I first came there. Not to mention, they were pretty rebellious and long-lived, so a succession of different demon leaders with different ideas on how to govern in such a short time (relative to the demons’ lives) could prove counterproductive in the long run. Another unstable government, and the system we worked so hard to put in place would be undermined, and eventually fall.
I rarely showed myself to Princess Noir nowadays. Aside from the fact that she was busy with governing her subjects, she had to coordinate with the allied clans in their efforts against the Biornos. And I never wished to show my face to her, if possible. I mean, I realized that if she only hadn’t told Shevaun to stay with me during the crisis at the Conclave, Princess Noir would never suffer the trauma she experienced with her brother.
As such, if there’s someone who should take the blame for what happened, it was me.
So, I tried my best to keep myself away, though it was subtle so as not to make her feel that I’m purposefully avoiding her. The good place I could think of ‘hiding’ was at the frontlines, where I took the time to organize the allied armies’ defenses against the Biorno positions in the Saint’s Tower.
The Lord Sargdhenerri, though he was taking his time to answer our proposals, never attacked us either. The Biorno soldiers would sometimes go out of their fortified lines, searching for something, but they didn’t go on the offensive. If anything, there came a time when they were just talking with our own forces, starting from small chit-chats until there were regular visits from their trenches to us, and us to them.
Err…conventional military wisdom dictates that there shouldn’t be ‘fraternalizing’ with the enemy…
But well, as long as they won’t be hostile to us, we’d answer in kind. It’s not only the Biornos who were tired from all the fighting, anyway.
By the third week after I arrived in the frontlines, the Lord Sargdhenerri finally broke his silence on our proposals, and he sent an emissary to our camp. While he made it clear that they won’t give up on the Conclave, as well as the assassin of their master, he wished that a ‘lasting peace and harmony’ among all the clans be observed, including his own. Taking that as another positive progress in the negotiations, I asked if they would accept the ‘overlordship’ of Princess Noir of House Usarved.
Two more days passed before the Biorno camp returned with an answer. The Lord Sargdhenerri would recognize Princess Noir as their demon lord, in return for a promise that she would uphold justice for their slain master. Because of that demand, we had no choice but to ask the Usarved Princess and a Tambara representative to come over and negotiate with the Biorno elders.
Princess Noir arrived immediately, and the Tambara elders sent the Lord Naru as their representative. Another three days passed with the talks, and everyone reached a compromise:
The assassin of the Lord Emile Biorno will be given a hundred lashes for his deed, and a perpetual disqualification as a scholar in the Conclave.
Well, the failure or disqualification as a scholar in the Conclave was enough to ruin a demon’s life, like the example (almost) of Lady Srexe. I guess with that, the Biorno elders deemed the blood of Emile Biorno avenged, and they just let the Usarveds rule over them…since their population was exhausted from the war. It was a major breakthrough, and soon thereafter, a peace treaty was signed between the Biorno clan and the allies.
Peace has finally come for Cherflammen.
For reference, the Usarved historians recorded that the ‘second phase’ of the Demon Unification Wars lasted 10 weeks and four days. By contrast, the ‘first phase’—where the forces loyal to Prince Hurion Devras IV/Princess Noir, the armies of the neutral demon clans, and the ‘Knights of Cassandra David’ clashed—went on for almost 210 weeks, before the ‘lull’ in which I came to the demon realm.
I guess with that, I already did my part, and fulfilled my duty to my students in this land.
Having assured of the peace in Cherflammen, I requested to the Lord Sargdhenerri if I could get my things inside my office and room in the Conclave. My plan was to slip away while celebrations were being held for the end of the war. The undead dragon, Rosita, and Giraud, were already waiting for me outside the city of the Saint’s Tower, ready to fly me to the border crossing of Chersea and Cherflammen.
The Biorno vassal gave me the permission, and as I walked across the empty corridors of the demon school, my eyes fell on Alexa’s tower, just on the other side of the street dissecting the city. I had no time to drop by for a visit, but I do hope that my old student was fine. I never got to see her again, while all the conflict was raging, and—yes, I’m aware of her punishment not to go out and intervene, I’m wondering about her complete silence at all.
I gathered my things in the office, including Alexa’s urn and letters, which I kept inside a secured locker and concealed with magic from the Lord Gracchio. Ah, and speaking of the two head scholars, they were to return to the Conclave in the next few days, and continue their mandate, as per the peace agreement. We also secured ‘academic freedoms’ from the Biornos, for the Lord Sargdhenerri reasoned that…
“I don’t know anything about education and related matters, so I guess I can’t be a head scholar, even if we hold on to the Conclave.”
Well, they also wanted me to return and continue my rule. However, my concern right now was to return to Lady Madelaine’s side, so I guess the Lord Gracchio and Lady Capaldi would be entrusted the reforms we planned to implement for the demon education system.
“I knew I would find you here.”
I stopped on packing my things when I felt a presence and heard a familiar voice coming from behind. Turning around, I saw Princess Noir, standing at the doorway, wearing all her ‘princely clothes’ as her ‘brother’, the Prince Hurion Devras IV. As I didn’t expect her to appear, I couldn’t find any words to say…
“Why are you avoiding me?” she asked.
“Don’t fool me, Sir,” the Usarved princess countered. “Not only did I live longer than you, I also experienced a lot in my life, and encountered many people. In many respects, I can tell when someone is avoiding me or just coincidentally missing each other.”
“Why do you apologize?”
“I…” I don’t know if I should bring up her ordeal about her brother. So, I just told her the other reason for my decision to leave, “I have to return to Chersea as soon as possible, Your Highness. The Lady Madelaine is having trouble there, too, I think?”
“Is this about the Seductress?”
I fell silent when the Usarved princess said that. So she also knew of the condition of the Human Saint.
“I understand that. The Lady Madelaine is putting a valiant fight against that creature from our hero’s past,” the demon princess slowly walked towards me. “But, let’s be honest, Sir, you’re not even planning to say goodbye to me, at least.”
However, the princess quickly stopped me from saying anything else. She put a finger over lips and said, “I know why you’re hiding from me, Greg Santos…you think you’re responsible for what happened to me, right? Well, if that’s what you’re thinking, then the feeling of guilt you have is in my favor. With that, I’ll have you take responsibility.”
“Wha-What do you mean? How did you—”
“I told you I’ve been mingling with people even before I met you, as I am the demon lord,” Princess Noir winked. “Coincidentally, my father is also a good ‘reader’ of a person’s actions and behavior, that’s why he was so good at seducing human women, and kidnapping them later on. And I’m his daughter, so…”
“Err…princess?” I tried to make sense of what she was doing, as her hands slowly unbuttoned the collar of my goblin legion uniform, as well as the undershirt. Then, with her blood-red eyes, she gazed at me with an intense look I’d never experienced before, as if she was pulling me towards her. And then, the pain that I suddenly felt…
She bit me in my neck. I can only stare at her in utter shock.
“There’s another thing I didn’t say about myself, Lord Greg…or should I call you Kuro?” the Usarved princess slowly wiped the trail of blood from her lips with her fingers. “…like the Human Saint, I’m also crazy about you. And I won’t let you off easily…”