A Night at Manesh
Having returned to Manesh after the course of events at Jaeburg, they decided to rest right away.
By the time Serge woke up, it was evening.
In the bed prepared for him in the royal place, he thought about various things.
But they weren’t about the Millennium, nor were they about the Great Collapse. They were all about Chris’ choice.
“It’s not like that, Chris…”
Although perpetual youth wasn’t true immortality, it was considerably close to it.
Living for hundreds, thousands of years, why would she choose that?
Serge thought that it was because she herself lacked power.
That she gained perpetual youth to acquire strength, the same as him.
He was misunderstanding her.
Around that time, there was a knock at the door.
“Serge, are you up?”
It was Chris’ voice.
Tidying up his bedhead, Serge opened the door.
Chris stood there wearing a tunic over thin silk.
“Dressed like that… for now, just come in.”
Chris entered, he closed the door behind her.
Just as he was about to turn back around to inside of his room, he felt something soft.
It was Chris’ body. Her breasts, warmth and scent all assaulted Serge.
“Serge, please… make me your wife.”
The girl spoke in with a passionate voice.
Turning towards Chris, Serge placed his hands on her shoulders.
“Be it a millennia or even longer… will you stay by my side?”
“If it’s you, yes.”
Tilting her head so that her glasses wouldn’t get in the way, she leaned her head forward.
The two kissed… clumsily.
That day, Ria slept with Carla.
They didn’t do anything, they had only slept.
Therefore, when one of them noticed, the other had noticed as well.
“It looks like someone’s here.”
“Who is it?”
The Manesh royal palace’s barrier was created by Carla and Guinevere using magic essence, so it wasn’t something that one could simply enter. Moreover, for them to practically not even leave any traces…
“The Demon King…?”
“That would be good.”
Quickly changing their clothes, the two made their way out to the courtyard covered in the moonlight.
There was an expressionless man who didn’t have many discerning features there.
He wore ordinary leather armor. The only thing that stood out was an elegant long sword that hung at his waist.
“Who are you?”
Ria asked, taking Nagasone Kotetsu into her hand. The man extended his arms, showing he meant no harm.
“Would you know who I am if I said Black Cat’s Company Director, Yamato?”
It was an immediately recognizable name for a reincarnator. This included Ria, of course.
She wanted to hear his true name.
“May I hear your real name as well?”
“Let’s talk first. I’ll tell you if you seem trustworthy.”
They were in the courtyard of the royal palace and he was talking to the queen. Despite him being the trespasser, his attitude was as though he hadn’t done anything wrong.
Ria liked cheeky people like that.
“Good then. But do you mind if we get some more people?”
“I don’t mind, but you should limit it to only those you trust.”
“Of course. Alright, let’s move to a better spot.”
Ria herself guided Yamato to the arbor, asking Carla to round everyone else up.
As an aside, this put a stop to Serge and Chris’s passions.
As for who all had gathered in the arbor, first there was Yamato. As well as Carla and Ria who had been there from the start.
Guinevere, Serge, and Chris joined them.
Among them, Guinevere had also realized that a person invaded the barrier she herself created, so she knew that he was no ordinary person.
And Serge simply knew him.
This man’s face was deep within the Great Sage’s memories.
“Saint Emperor… Ryuke Shifaka…”
He was a human from three millennia before. Among those he’d met thus far, this man was the longest living person he’d met save for the God Dragon, Valis.
As everyone was surprised by Serge’s words, the man smiled wryly. His smile looked as though it were forced.
“So there’s a Great Sage successor here? Indeed, I am Shifaka.”
“What is your business?”
Even facing her ancestor, Ria’s attitude didn’t change.
“I’ll get straight to the point. I would like you to cooperate in the fight against the demons.”
“To prevent the Great Collapse?”
“If you know that much, why are you not fighting?”
The others watching the proceedings uneasily, Ria spoke confidently.
“Because I don’t want to.”
“Don’t want to?”
Shifaka’s expression didn’t change even with her frank statement.
“I… we, are too connected to the demons. And now that we know they aren’t evil, we can’t just murder them.”
“Even with what happens in the Great Collapse?”
“Yeah. What exactly is this Great Collapse thing anyway? There’s only bits and pieces about it even in Serge’s memories. Valis kept her mouth closed about it as well. Just what is the Great Collapse?”
“I see, so you heard about it from Valis…”
Shifaka looked like he was thinking. As for what he responded with, it wasn’t something that met Ria’s satisfaction.
“If that’s how she responded to you, I shouldn’t answer either. However, I’ll ask once more. Will you not be fighting against demons in this Millennium?”
“So persistent. Besides, I don’t intend to show good faith to someone who won’t tell me anything.”
“In that case, there’s no reason for me to stay here…”
Shifaka stood up, causing Ria to grip Nagasone Kotetsu in her hand.
“Don’t misunderstand me. Now that the Great Collapse is unavoidable, there is no meaning in depleting this world’s fighting strength.”
Even so, Ria did not take her hand off of the katana. She realized just how dangerous this man before her was and wouldn’t risk it.
Despite that, Shifaka took it as natural and walked out of the arbor.
“We will fight together in the Great Collapse. Once that time comes, I’ll be relying on you.”
“I still have a lot of things I want to ask, but feel free.”
With that, Shifaka took to the skies.
“We didn’t learn anything in the end, did we?”
Ria muttered. Carla told Guinevere what had happened with Valis.
“If we met Gonbei-sama, we might understand something…” 
For Guinevere, the Demon King was still Gonbei.
At that moment, a court lady came into the arbor.
She had been told not to come unless there were an emergency, so it was obviously urgent.
It turned out to be news of Magic City’s surrender.
Chris weakly fell back in her chair. A preliminary report had already arrived, but the details were still unknown.
However, there was information that the Earl, her father, had survived.
“My brother? Do you know what happened to my brother?”
Unfortunately, the information they had was limited. Once again, Chris sat limp on the char.
“Nee-chan, I’ll take her…”
Leaning against and entrusting her weight to Serge, Chris left.
“They can coexist with us, but it seems something didn’t go so well there.”
Feeling a wave of exhaustion, Guinevere leaned back against the backrest.
“It’s easier to rule after defeating them first, after all.”
Just after Ria finished saying that, another report came in. It was a preliminary report through magic.
The first battle at Falsas was the allied forces’ victory.
“Isn’t that… bad?”
Carla was worried that this might spur humans into being even more aggressive against the demons.
“We’ll head back to Jaeburg. Can we leave the rest to you?”
Ria and Carla stood up. Guinevere nodded.
“But you should at least look at your children’s faces.”
Ria and Carla shared a look with each other.
These two were barely present as parents.
- Just to note, the last—and only—time this name has ever been used was way back in Chapter 57. Return