Sorry for the late release! Enjoy~
Chapter 44: Hero Ruti and the Contract Demon
In the outskirts of the northern end of the central region of Zoltan.
Stood the mansion of General William, the barracks and stables for the 40 dragoon cavaliers under his command, and beside it, Zoltan’s prison.
There was an interrogation room in the Guard Station as well but that was only a facility to house suspects after their arrest.
Even if the trial was still ongoing, it was a convention to imprison them in the prison once the suspects have been determined to be criminals.
Albert and Big Hawk and his gang have already been imprisoned there.
Zoltan’s prison functioned to hold the criminals and through William’s guidance … however, in reality, William had thrown that duty entirely to his subordinates so he wasn’t involved at all but … they would be made to participate in pioneering teams or crushed and tamed to the extent that they could be used as militia.
That said, they couldn’t afford the food expenses for the majority of the criminals so most of them were sold as criminal slaves after all.
The only criminals that remained there would be those with ample financial assets or individuals that William’s subordinates have determined to be strong warriors which would be a waste to be sold away.
“Oi, Big Hawk.”
The voice of a prison guard with a baton on his waist rang out in the prison.
The prison guard was faced with the terrible spectacle of Big Hawk seating cross-legged in a brazen seating posture.
“There wasn’t a schedule for one today though?”
“There was a change in schedule.”
“For what circumstances?”
“Nothing you bastard need to know. Hurry up and get out.”
The prison guard took his baton in his hand.
Big Hawk obediently stood his enormous body up with great effort.
Big Hawk was hand-cuffed along with finger cuffs as measures against magic and martial techniques and was made to seat in the interrogation room partitioned by sturdy steel doors.
Invocation of magic or martial techniques required a specific set of movements. Finger cuffs were meant to prevent such movements.
Well, there were plenty of skills capable of dealing with such circumstances but magic tools would be required to prevent such skills.
But that was Zoltan prison’s actual state as it could not afford a single handcuff that would cost a couple thousand Peryl.
“Shut up and stop complaining.”
“This is a waste of time even for you. I would prefer if you brought me over once the other party was present.”
The prison guard sighed.
He heard that this man had committed quite a serious crime.
The jury would probably sentence him to capital punishment. It was believed that the Thieves Guild would interfere but they did not.
Instead, the atmosphere seemed as though they were feeling relieved at the removal of a nuisance.
Big Hawk had risen up the ranks using high-handed means and was a heretic that deviated from the ways of Zoltan. He was even shunned by his own companions.
The prison guard wondered until when would the man’s complacency continue … and that he would have to overpower that obese body if the man came to a realization of the fact that he would not be saved and went on a rampage.
Having that thought, the prison guard looked forward to seeing the instant his arrogant expression crumble but on the flip side, he became depressed imagining just how much he would have to struggle to restrain him.
The knocker on the steel door banged loudly.
“We’re okay here.”
The prison guard replied.
It was a procedure to prevent the situation in which the door was opened when the criminal had gotten out of his restraints.
A key was inserted and unlocked the door with a click.
Two men entered. One of them was a prison guard. The other was …
“Could you wait outside as well? I wish to speak to him alone.”
“There’s no way that can be done.”
“I have the authorization permit.”
” … Understood. Call out to us from the inside once you are done.”
After the young man told them that, the two prison guards exited the door and locked it.
The young man … the Adventurer Byuui faced toward Big Hawk and grinned.
The cool expression that Big Hawk was sporting distorted with surprise.
Beriel was the Contract Demon’s real racial name, his true name.
A demon’s name fundamentally comes from the nature of their race, it was not something simple like the names that humans and Elves arbitrarily name themselves with. It was a common practice among demons to only secretly use their true name with fellow demons and to never reveal it to other races.
“Don’t be surprised. I have eaten Contract Demons in the past. We practically know the true names of all demons.”
“Yo-you, why are you here!?”
“I’m glad Red faced you before I did. It would have been foolish of me if I revealed your true identity on the spot.”
Byuui … Shisandan grabbed the neck of the Contract Demon who was about to call out his name to silence him.
“You guys have been acting without thinking of the consequences. You even brought out the ‘Devil’s Divine Protection’. What would you have done if the humans realized that the drug doesn’t actually need demon hearts? That is a drug that can unleash the true potential power dormant within humans. Although the Gods forbid it too.”
“In-in order to destroy you heretics … the Gods will forgive my sins.”
“A familiar spirit that controls human sins commits a sin. How amusing.”
Sweat formed on the face of the Contract Demon.
(Shit, this guy knows the method to kill me even if I’m hiding inside …!)
It was no longer a situation where he bothered about a drop in his Divine Protection level.
“I, Inmanu! Annul my contract with Big Hawk!”
The Contract Demons declared with a hoarse voice despite having his throat tightened.
The contract document appeared in midair. Then, the contract document shattered with a sound.
A magical tornado appeared around the Contract Demon.
Shisandan lightly stepped backward and escaped from the influence.
The Contract Demon’s true appearance was revealed, a human face with horns as well as goat legs.
The demon scattered and restrained the flames as it immediately headed toward the door.
The prison guard called out from the other side of the door after hearing the disturbance in the room. … That was his misfortune.
The demon used its superhuman strength to slam into the door.
The steel door was crushed without being able to withstand it and was sent flying.
The prison guard standing directly in front of the door was caught by the flying door and was blown away a few meters before he was trapped below it.
The bones on his neck was broken by the impact and he died instantly.
However, he did not feel any fear or pain due to the sudden event so that might have been a slight reprieve.
The demon roared as it fled.
The prison guards were trained to deal with prison breaks but in front of a sprinting Senior-rank demon, they were in chaos and their thought processes ground to a halt.
Nobody stopped the demon but the demon was not heading outside.
The demon was heading toward another prison cell.
Hearing his name, the man with bandages on his right hand, disheveled hair and cloudy eyes stared at the demon through the gap.
“Albert! Make a new wish! To leave here and reach the heroes!”
” … I don’t care anymore.”
“No! You promised to devote your life to subjugating the Demon Lord! The contract will not allow you to rot here like this! Now, make the wish!”
This was the reason the Contract Demon had composure.
Even if the initial contract did not require his soul to be dedicated, if there was no other way to subjugate the Demon Lord, Albert would have no choice but to pledge his soul for the contract.
Albert’s soul was superior compared to Big Hawk’s soul.
The penalty for breaking the contract was large but the Contract Demon calculated that he could compensate for most of it this way.
” … All right, do as you wish.”
Albert felt a compelling force and he nodded without resisting it.
“Good! I, Inmanu! Sign a contract with Albert here!”
Normally, it would go through all kinds of procedures to ensure there were no loopholes but there was no time to do so.
It had to escape from there immediately.
It must transport the operational data of the ‘Devil’s Divine Protection’ from Zoltan to the Resistance.
The contract magic activated despite being incomplete, causing the contract document, a pen, and a knife to appear.
The Contract Demon urged him but Albert slowly picked up the pen, recorded his name and took the knife before he …
“Is it all right to use my left hand?”
“It’s fine so hurry up!”
He pressed the thumb on his left hand to the knife on the floor, producing a small cut and pressed that thumb to the contract document.
“The contract is made! As compensation for that wish! Your soul is mine!”
It made it! The demon was relieved.
But why was it able to make it?
Even though enough time had passed that it should have been able to catch up to it normally.
The demon was doubtful but the magical power from the contract caused a tornado to form and nobody remained in the cell the next instant.
Byuui peered into the interior from the entrance and smiled happily.
“It went well.”
Revealing its true identity as Asura was the most troubling.
Of course, he would normally not be believed. It would be laughed off as the ramblings of a criminal.
However, in this town, there was at least one person who would surely arrive at the truth with just those words.
Shisandan was cautious of that.
“Byuui! Are you all right!?”
“Unfortunately, it escaped.”
Byuui, who was called out to by the prison guard, replied with a regrettable expression.
But he would probably not be blamed for the escape of a Senior-rank demon.
After all, that was an existence that Zoltan, which lacked even a B-rank adventurer, could not deal with.
There was a possibility that he would even be evaluated as having chased it away.
As he explained about the Contract Demon to the gathered prison guards, Byuui thought about the issues he would have to investigate in this town.
Having suppressed the Demon Lord Army’s camp, Ruti was collecting the spoils of war when one emancipated man … Albert and the Contract Demon appeared in front of her.
The demon activated a skill before Ruti drew her sword.
“Shift of Mind Plains!”
Ruti found herself not in the Demon Lord Army camp within the forest but on top of a cracked deserted land.
The man that should have been beside the demon was no longer there.
Ruti tilted her head slightly.
“Hero Ruti-dono, a pleasure to meet you for the first time. I am the Devil’s contractor, please call me a Contract Demon.”
Ruti stared at the Contract Demon that was speaking in superficial courtesy with frosty eyes.
Ruti drew the sword on her waist but the Holy Sword of Demon Slaying had transformed into a shabby copper sword.
“This is the Spiritual World. I brought you here because I have something I wish to talk to you about. Please forgive me for my rudeness.”
“I forgive you. So, what is it?”
“You’re very calm. If you are actually aiming for a chance to retaliate, I will explain in advance. This is a simulated world made through my and your spirit. However, any wounds suffered here will be reflected on your actual physical body so please be aware.”
“I am certain that you are strong in reality but this world places a restriction on most skills and magic. So you need to be accustomed to be able to fight here, for example.”
The Contract Demon concentrated.
“Something” “Like this” “Can be done too.”
Clones of the Contract Demon appeared one after the other.
Before she knew it, the Hero Ruti was surrounded by endless Contract Demons that covered the entire deserted land.
“How is it? Are you surprised?”
“I do not get surprised.”
“Is that so? It’s received well by everyone else though. Well, I hope this showed that it would be better if you don’t defy me in this world. I didn’t bring you here to kill you anyway. I am hostile toward the Demon Lord Army. So let’s have a peaceful talk.”
The Contract Demon was relieved that it could gain the dominant position.
In order to survive, it had to conduct itself well here.
It might even be able to pull the Hero in and that would dispel the defeat it faced in Zoltan.
Ruti tilted her head and lowered her gaze to the copper sword.
The Contract Demon was amazing at that sight.
The copper sword shone and she now held the Holy Sword of Demon Slaying.
(Im-impossible!? To reproduce an Artifact-grade magic item in the Spiritual World!? Even I can’t …)
“I see, I roughly get it.”
Ruti muttered and raised her right hand holding the sword up to the sky.
Then, silver rain started falling.
“U, ah … Hi, hiiiiii!!!”
The Contract Demon was in horror. In its centuries of life, it was the first time it experienced its thought process stopping due to fear.
What it saw everywhere in the deserted land were countless holy swords inexplicably stabbed into the ground. To the demons that covered the deserted land, it was a scene whereby the countless Holy Sword of Demon Slaying that appeared in the sky rained down on them and annihilated them.
“Im-impossible! There’s no way this is possible! To be able to reproduce uncountable numbers of artifacts! I have never heard of a Hero or Demon Lord capable of something like this!!”
Before one realized, the dry deserted land had transformed into a red swamp filled with the drifting stench of death from the demon’s blood.
“By the way, what did you want to talk about?”
Ruti asked the Senior-rank demon, that was grabbing its head as it screamed in despair, without any change in her expression.