The Devil Princess Volume 1 Chapter 9

Chapter Nine – The demon’s Blessing
 

“Ahhh, Lady Albertine!!! Nooooo!”
 
Seeing the unbelievable scene unfolding before his eyes, Zumana let out a blood-curdling scream.
 
Albertine had lost her mind and was unleashing her emotions onto the young child who had triggered it. While Zumana had somewhat noticed what was weighing on his beloved’s mind, he had avoided facing her feelings directly, not wanting to hear the woman he loved expose them. But now, moved by the compassionate actions of the young child, Albertine was on the verge of being persuaded.
 
Still, Zumana thought Albertine wouldn’t change. But maybe from now on, she might stop hurting herself.
 
That hopeful thought was betrayed in the next instant.
 
Albertine neck is snapped off by the infant.
 
In that moment, Zumana’s mind went blank. His head refused to comprehend the unbelievable scene.
 
Why did she do that? How could she do that? But realizing it was reality and quickly replaced with anger and hatred, as Zumana moved to draw his sword, his legs shook from an enormously vile and sinister “presence.”
 
Something happened. The raging fury filling Zumana was forcibly frozen as if by ice, paralyzed to the bone by a ghastly chill. Through it, Zumana witnessed something even more hideous.
 
The lovely pupils of that child…the white parts were being eroded by “jet black,” the faint gold parts turned to an eerie, ruby-like “crimson” brilliance.
 
Though there was no wind underground, her golden hair swayed gently like strands of gold thread. Bathed in a radiance almost divine, tender peach-colored lips parted to reveal fangs the color of red crystal, the same colored claws extending from tiny white fingers.
 
The overwhelming violence and intimidation oozing from that adorable child like an angel clashed horrifically with her beauty.
 
Sensing the absolute difference in status, Zumana was bound by the overpowering presence, unable even to move as the creature sank her fangs into Albertine’s still-warm white throat and feasted.
 
Witnessing actions no human could commit, Zumana broke into a cold sweat of terror.
 
What was she doing? Though Zumana’s head formed the answer, his instincts rejected it.
 
What was that child doing?
 
As Albertine’s rosy cheeks paled to wax and withered away before Zumana’s eyes, she unleashed silent screams of rage and terror.
 
The creature gazed upon Albertine with a bright smile as she collapsed, her broken neck leaving her like weathered timber.
 
” …… Sucking…… Blood demon……Vampire? “
 
Vampires, bloodsuckers ─ they are supernatural monsters that even legends remember, hungering beasts detested by other creatures of the darkness, fellow minions of the shadows.
 
In the past, a nation was brought to ruin by the ever-increasing number of vampires, and in other countries, numerous victims fell prey to just a few vampires.
 
Monsters that slurp blood and absorb life force. Is the child before me such an evil existence? When and where did a human child get replaced by a monster?
 
Perhaps hearing the raspy murmur of Zumana, the creature that devoured Albertine, for the first time seemed to notice the presence of Zumaña, tilting its head in curiosity.
 
“…Vam..pire?”
 
Echoing Zumana’s words but with different implication, the creature licked her lips sensually as if savoring the afterglow of a fine wine, exhaling hotly before smiling coquettishly with eyes far too sultry for a child.
 
Witnessing this, Zumana understood with a shudder of horror. That for the creature, casually feasting on a human’s blood and life force was merely a “meal.”
 
That the eyes surveying Zumana saw not an enemy, but simply more “prey.”
 
The flames of anger reignited within Zumana realizing Albertine hadn’t been killed but merely consumed as feed. Overpowering the fear that had bound him,
 
“───Tch!”
 
Biting down on her teeth until blood oozed from her mouth, Zumana seized that brief moment to turn away from the monster and sprinted.
 
But it wasn’t to escape or hide.
 
It was to seek “power,” to avenge the beloved woman, to regain her dignity, to risk her life and repay the debt even if it meant sacrificing everything.
 
Even if that meant becoming a creature more horrifying than a vampire──
 

 
“There’s a ‘monster’ here! Be vigilant!”
 
Calling out to soldiers and knights he passed racing through the underground tunnels, seeing Zumana’s face twisted in rage and hatred with blood dripping from his clenched fist, everyone made way in confusion though without objection, allowing him to arrive at the center where he called out to one man.
 
“Lord Brunel!! Activate the summoning circle, hurry!!”
 
“Zumana?! What’s happened?”
 
Bursting in making demands out of nowhere, his extraordinary behavior startled Brunel, who still rushed over to him.
 
“What on earth happened!? Is this related to the kidnapping!?”
 
Brunel also noticed the abnormality. Several mages had been complaining of chills, and he had just started investigating when something seemed off.
 
“There was a ‘monster’ among the kidnapped children. The true identity is not confirmed, but it is likely a vampire.”
 
“What!? What happened to you Zumana-kun? Is Lady Albertine okay!?”
 
“About Lady Albertine… she…”
 
As Zumana hesitated and blood leaked from her clenched fist, a mix of anger and distress contorting her face, Brunel’s own fist trembled.
 
While he and Albertine each had hidden objectives, but they shared the same convictions. Still, Brunel respected her nobility and strength, grieving over the cruel destruction of the beautiful crimson rose, filling him with rage.
 
Brunel gazed at the summoning circle he had created then turned back to Zumana shaking with anger.
 
“Is the vampire an enemy we cannot defeat without calling a ‘demon’?”
 
In this world, hostile beings like vampires and demons existed against humanity.
 
The foundations of magic lie in mana, and creatures that absorb it become violent monsters called magical beasts, feared by all.
 
In the central continent holding this Holy Kingdom sightings were rare, but the northern mountain ranges inhabited by magical races teemed with magical beasts. And the beasts threatening humanity were classified by the level of Cataclysm they could cause.
 
While common magical beasts and vampires didn’t qualify, if the creature Zumana had suggested summoning a demon against was that powerful, Brunel needed to know.
 
“It’s likely a ‘Calamity’ grade or higher class.”
 
“What the …… “
 
Evil beings that harmed humans were ranked once exceeding a certain threshold. ‘Calamity’ class posed a threat that could annihilate a town of over a thousand, requiring national military or knight intervention.
 
The demons this summoning circle could reliably call were of the ‘Elder demon’ rank, also Cataclysm class, but differences existed within it as well.
 
For demons, strength varied based on time alive, and summoning mainly called younger, weaker entities compared to ordinary calamities.
 
Rumors told of vampires in neighboring countries, aged individuals laying waste to thousands of soldiers before being suppressed. If the suspected vampire Zumana witnessed approached that level, even elder demons might fail to defeat it.
 
“Indeed…with this circle, high-ranking demons can be called, however…”
 
It had been designed to call golden demons, the symbol of power Brunel admired, but years of preparation and experimentation were needed to attempt that feat.
 
“Lord Brunel, we should assume the worst case. If calling multiple elder demons or even one aged greater entity is possible, I will negotiate.”
 
“You can negotiate? It would be at the risk of your life. Are you…resolved for that?”
 
“Yes, of course.”
 
Brunel understood Zumana’s determination from his eyes.
 
For one woman, for their objective, to protect this country’s future, they would take the drastic step of fighting evil with evil. Transcending factions, Brunel and Zumana nodded to each other as comrades-in-arms.
 
“Let’s do this, Zumana. While we move against the state, it is out of love for our homeland. We cannot leave be an existence that would destroy our birthplace.”
 
“Yes!”
 
“First to third knight squadrons, take half our troops to handle the expected calamity-class vampire! Keep them away from this place! Fourth Squadron guards us! Should uncontrolled demons appear, be ready to stop them at all cost, including myself! It’s life-threatening either way! Is that clear!”
 
“Yes Sir!”
 
Knights and soldiers tightened expressions, gripping weapons.
 
The enemy was a monstrous calamity. Deterring it could mean death.
 
Even moving against the state, for knights like Brunel’s extremist faction, their goal was to protect this kingdom’s people and land without relying on vague godly beings.
 

 
“Target sighted!”
 
Hearing the soldier’s report, knights and troops inspired by Brunel’s orders steeled themselves, channeling courage to grip their weapons.
 
While the situation was dire, some luck remained. As their base of resistance, quality spears, shields, swords, and more were stockpiled. Knights and troops alike wore heavy combat gear, shields and long spears for battle. Confident fighters took greatswords over spears and shields to decisively kill instead.
 
Knightly one-handed swords were just decorations. To reliably kill armor-wearing enemies on the battlefield, bludgeons and greatswords saw use. Such equipment lifted morale slightly – with this, how could magical beasts beat them?
 
But something felt off. Had the underground always been so dark? So cold…?
 
And from the heart of the dark depths ahead, that “being” approached.
 
“Hiiiaaa…”
 
The instant they perceived its presence, one of the younger soldiers broke, collapsing to his knees wailing like a babe.
 
Yet none could mock or laugh. Drawing closer…its excessively oppressive “aura” felt like a massive “beast” unleashed from the fetters of hell.
 
“What? “
 
What emerged from the darkness was still a small, golden-glowing child.
 
The knights’ minds went haywire with confusion and madness. Wrapped in a lovely white dress like delicate flower petals, the lovely sight like a fairy just born from flowers glided weightlessly nearer.
 
Unable to reconcile the angelic, adorable appearance with the ravenous evil “aura,” their brains rejecting recognizing it as an “enemy.”
 
Without prior warning it was a man-eating monster, perhaps the knights and troops couldn’t have raised arms against it.
 
“S-Stop…it right there! Don’t let it get any further!!!”
 
the squad captain leading the three divisions shouted to shake off fear. “Don’t let it through!!” Hearing his yell, the frozen subordinates also moved, brandishing weapons.
 
The child smiled innocently at the humans’ actions.
 
The child had crimson eyes, claws, and fangs that could not be human, an evil presence that could not be human.
 
A merciless “reality” twisting beautiful dreams of “unreality,” stealing even basic cognitive function, the troops clinging to superiors’ “orders” as their last lifeline against the shattering of their hearts and minds.
 
“Hiiiiii!”
 
Howling, a soldier thrust his spear.
 
But the blade frozen in the child’s grasping fingers wouldn’t budge despite his full strength. Casually flicking away the spear as if shooing an insect, the shattered bones and organs of the soldier and those behind him smashed wetly into a pillar.
 
Chunks of what was once human spilled messily, blood and gore scattered everywhere.
 
“Uooooooo!!!”
 
As another knight roared, swinging down with all his might, his greatsword likewise halted by a tiny finger. Effortlessly deflecting it, the shattered metal fragments peppered the knight and several others behind him, bursting them into chunks of flesh.
 
“Fire! Dammit, fire!!”
 
Perhaps the first volley should have come from archers and mages.
 
But arrows and fireballs swerved unnaturally like fearing contact. Then the child inhaled deeply, gently exhaling to engulf the archers in a massive churning vortex, crushing them into dust.
 
“─Hi!”
 
Watching in horror, one mage swallowed hard, stepping back. Seeing this, the smiling child hurled the shredded lower half she held, the spiraling corpse smashing not just that mage but all those behind and around into the blood-splattered mural covering the wall.
 
“Stoooop!!”
 
A large soldier wielding a massive hammer charged bawling. But the hammer-wielding arm was torn off at the elbow as the child gently touched his belly, a mere pat disemboweling him in a spray of viscera.
 
Drawing close brought death. Reaching out brought death.
 
The child’s waves brought the suppossedly invisible giants batting and smashing into walls and ceilings. Her steps trampled all below unseen massive feet.
 
With playful gestures, hardened veteran knights and troops were shredded, twisted, pulped without resistance as blood sprayed, mists of red filling the air, blossoming grotesquely across ceilings, pillars and walls to drip down, forming seas of blood.
 
But those who fought and died were luckier still.
 
“─Tch!”
 
“─?!”
 
Kneeling in despair before her brought a fate more wretched.
 
Heads gripped in blood-red nails collapsed instantly into dust. Pierced by crimson fangs, their spirits drained, they were consumed as mere foodstuffs.
 
But then─
 
“[Flame Spear]──!!”
 
A direct hit from the massive blazing spear engulfed the child-shaped monster along with the corpses of subordinates in surging crimson conflagration. However─
 
“This is…”
 
The squad captain who had launched that desperate [Flame Spear] now knelt in shock.
 
He had spent two decades dedicated to training. He honed his skills in both swordsmanship and magic, believing that his strength could serve the nation. In this particular case, he joined with a sense of his own justice. Sacrificing children was not something he wished for, but he rationalized it as a small sacrifice for the greater good, abducting several refugee children.
 
To demonstrate his determination, he had once failed to abduct a refugee, only to strike again, wiping out a small mercenary group and taking the child after inflicting harm.
 
He believed he had the power. Believed he could guide things in a better direction.
 
But the moment that child smiled emerging unscathed from his raging flames, he realized the difference in their “status.”
 
Seeing her lovely white dress untouched – not even a fleck of blood – when his strongest [Flame Spear] failed, his heart shattered like glass.
 
” …… ah…… “
 
“I…I made a terrible misunderstanding.”
 
No, this was different. That thing was no mere vampire or other such mundane creature affiliated with their side.
 
He finally realized he had laid hands on something he should not have.
 
In his despair, fear, and sorrow, the squad captain could only weep, incapable of any other action. Stroking his damp cheek with a compassionate smile was the beautifully young “monster,” gently stealing his life.
 

 
“UwaaaAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!!?”
 
The knights massacred, the few surviving soldiers abandoned duty and honor, discarding their weapons to flee for their lives.
 
Dying in battle would be fine. They were resolved to risk death for another. Still, the terror of being reduced to mere “feed” by the overwhelmingly ravenous predator shattered their minds.
 
Covered in sweat, tears, and snot, crawling desperately as they escaped, upon reaching the others they were elated to see the familiar figure of their waiting “butler.”
 
“Help─”
 
Slice!
 
In that instant as the soldiers returned, Zumana, who they thought their comrade, slit their bellies to cut them down.
 
“Lord Brunel, the sacrifices are ready, hurry if you would.”
 
“Zumana…”
 
Desertion was a grave offense, but understandable given the situation and his feelings. For Brunel to think so already showed his desperation.
 
While Brunel’s usual conduct seemed nonchalant, he still led a knight order. The monster’s aura reached them even here, fully deserving of Zumana’s “calamity” designation with its wicked miasma and chilling dread.
 
“Tch…”
 
Feeling Zumana’s somber gaze, the researchers lacking combat ability worked desperately.
 
Attempting escape would certainly mean death. Sensing that, half mad from the approaching horror, they arranged the surviving soldiers, just barely alive after being cut down by Zumana atop the altar. Pouring their all into activating the summoning circle with desperate haste.
 
Using spirit glyphs, this summoning circle could store mana built up over days in advance. Now filled to capacity by the mages draining themselves near empty, the gigantic magic circle engraving the summoning texts began faintly glowing.
 
Just then, the lamplight swayed though there was no wind, the gloom intensifying.
 
An uncomfortable sensation of thickening darkness clinging to their skin heralded the emergence of three warped figures from the deep, bog-like abyss at the heart of the pitch black shadows, mana and the dying soldiers used to fuel their summoning.
 
With distorted bestial faces and hulking frames over two meters tall.
 
Sporting twisted black horns and long serpentine tails, they were the mortal enemies of all life that brought terror and despair – existences called “demons.”
 
As expected, at the successful summoning of high-class demons the mages breathed sighs of relief. But the one with a scar on its brow was clearly somehow different.
 
Larger than the other two with a silhouette nearer a human than an ape-man. Its armor of bone and tanned hides, the black wings on its back – everything marked it as an aged elder demon.
 
Noticing as well, Brunel broke into a cold sweat at the bad feeling. But there was no use worrying now when they had called it specifically to oppose a potential calamity. This should be a welcome boon, Brunel opened his dried lips to speak.
 
“demons we have called! Obey us who summoned you─”
 
The three demons turned their attention toward Brunel’s voice. But then─
 
Splat!!
 
“Gyaaaaaa!?”
 
Before Brunel’s eyes, the loose demon effortlessly slaughtered the nearby mage despite lacking free movement.
 
“It… can’t be…!”
 

YOU ARE READING STOLEN TRANSLATION. READ THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION AT GADGETIZEDPANDA.COM


The summoned demon couldn’t move from the magic circle. The magical power embedded in the circle not only determined the size of the gate but also had the effect of binding the summoned entity.
 
The plan was to negotiate a “contract” using strategic maneuvers from there. However, whether it was due to using an experimental summoning magic circle or perhaps the magical power in the circle was insufficient for this demon, it broke free from the magic circle’s restraint on its own and proceeded to kill the magicians around it one by one.
 
[─Foolish humans. Do you believe a meager offering of sacrifices and mana enough to form a “contract” with I?]
 
It spoke fluent human tongue, turning a cunning gaze full of intellect toward Brunel to mock man’s foolishness with its fiendish countenance.
 
Witnessing the demon’s wickedness, Brunel deeply understood why summoning high-ranking demons was taboo.
 
While summoning low imps earned some scorn, compared to proud “spirits” they were convenient for traveling mages, requiring only meager animal sacrifice to bind contracts.
 
So why were high demon summons [forbidden]?
 
It wasn’t because of the difficulty of summoning demons or the negative impression people had of them; it was due to the destruction of an entire country caused by the only demon ever summoned on this continent. Tens of thousands of people sacrificed, leaving the land barren to this day.
 
The demon in front of Brunel, now an advanced demon, felt like a chosen entity destined to evolve into an even higher being.
 
Certainly, Brunel understood the threat posed by demons. That’s why he meticulously prepared to control it, offering fifty innocent children as a price. It wasn’t easy, and it weighed heavily on his heart, but he steeled himself, considering it a necessary sacrifice.
 
However, Brunel had miscalculated. Unbeknownst to him, he had become complacent.
 
He had judged the demon, this otherworldly “monster,” based on the norms of this side.
 
As a result, not only was his own life in danger, but also the lives of comrades who shared his ideals and subordinates, and the very country he sought to protect.
 
Just this one demon posed a threat worthy of being classified as a “Cataclysm.”
 
“I won’t let it happen!!”
 
With an uncontrollable dangerous demon appearing, the fourth knight squadron and troops previously positioned to handle such a situation immediately attacked as planned.
 
The other two elder demons remained bound by the summoning circle, unable to act. Knowing they couldn’t miss this chance to defeat it, the squad knights charged recklessly into the circle.
 
“Stop that─”
 
Too slow to halt the knights, Brunel could only watch as the lead’s steel armor was pierced along with his body by the demon’s fist.
 
[Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaaaa!!!]
 
Laughing loudly, the demon continued slaughtering knights and maiming troops. As their blood sprayed, fouling the summoning texts, the movement restraint on the two elder demons weakened gradually.
 
Without making deals, summoned demons couldn’t leave the summoning circle. The mana invested in it determined the scale of summoning and also bound what was called. While the ancient one had killed mages by overpowering the binding force through insufficient sacrifices, it still couldn’t exit the confines.
 
Therefore it had provoked the humans to stain the magic circle array with their blood, seeking to weaken its effects.
 
[─Still not enough…But I should be able to kill you at least]
 
Despite still bound, the demon marched on, straining against invisible bonds seeking to shatter them as it slowly approached Brunel to use his flesh and blood to break its shackles completely.
 
Comprehending yet immobilized by the sheer intimidation exuded by the demon, Brunel stood frozen stiff. Friends killed, subordinates killed, aspirations crushed – he had lost the will to resist.
 
But then─
 
[Tch…]
 
The summoning circle rebrightened, its restored power inhibiting the demon’s stride.
 
[You─]
 
Channeling mana into the array was the figure of Zumana.
 
Perhaps the mana itself wasn’t enough. Draining his own life force to power it, Zumana’s complexion had blanched as if one step from death.
 
“If sacrifices are lacking, then feast upon me.”
 
Calmly─yet resolutely, that voice and eyes caused vigor to return to Brunel’s as the demon narrowed its own.
 
[Hmph…You believe you have value enough for that?]
 
“I do. The souls of those bonded by contract have special meaning for your kind, no?”
 
demons fed upon souls. Yet it wasn’t arbitrary. The more intelligent living beings with stronger sentiments were preferable.
 
Even in death not all the soul’s power could be claimed without action.
 
To “contract” with a high demon meant humans pledging their all to the demon’s service. Mere lip promise wouldn’t compel a demon’s power nor fulfill wishes deemed worth staking your very soul.
 
Therefore demons sought “contracts”
 

  • through intimidation, cajolery, whispered affection, promising one’s heart’s desire, temptation from the most sincere of all creatures for that chained soul…
     
    For the soul bound by contract belongs to the Devil forever. …….
     
    “demon, feast on me and accept this contract to obey, accept my orders! If more compensation is needed take the fifty children in the next room! All this I offer if you swear servitude to Lord Brunel!”
     
    “Zumana…”
     
    […………]
     
    Strengthened by his noble determination, vigor returned to Brunel’s eyes as the demon sought to crush that determined will to better profit from their contract, leering intimidatingly into Zumana’s own – yet finding not the slightest trace of fear.
     
    […… And then? What’s The contract’s terms?]
     
    “Serve Lord Brunel. Smite our enemies.”
     
    […Understood]
     
    As the demon agreed, black chains manifested from the ether to bind and stain Zumana’s soul as proof of his “sin.”
     
    Confirming this, the demon then impaled Zumana’s heart with its arm to swallow his soul whole, completing their “contract.”
     
    [─Hehe…Bwahahahaha!!]
     
    Crack─!
     
    With the contract formation fracturing as the binding shattered, the demon having already fed on several humans further devoured the contracted soul, sensing an awakening inner power elevating it to a new level of existence.
     
    Bathed in Zumana’s blood, countless fissures split the dark, apelike fur covering its body. Laughing loudly, peeled skin sloughed off the emerging horror in a putrid miasma.
     
    Miasma was the festering accumulation of powerful negative emotions radiating from sentient beings. Its exposure rotted life instantly, perverting even corpses toward undeath.
     
    ” ────! “
     
    Unable to withstand the proximity, Brunel spilled his guts. He survived, however, only because he was the devil’s first master.
     
    But Brunel couldn’t care about the agony or pain. All thought of recovering his nerve vanished, painted over in terror of the odious being born before him.
     
    [We meet at last master …Brunel]
     
    Zumana’s corpse disappeared…in its place, clad in a butler uniform eroded by the horrid miasma, standing with distorted black horns and a red scar on its brow was some”thing” wearing Zumana’s face.
     
    But its corpse-pale skin was ulcerated and rotten, insides writhing with untold masses whenever it spoke.
     
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“…What is this?”
 
Legends told that its emergence was heralded by sinister aura and a tattered noble’s garb.
 
That which had once manifested on this continent, destroying a nation and haunting all human psyche.
 
Transcending elder demons…the fiendish nobility of demonkind.
 
The mortal enemy of all that lived. Rivaling world-calamity class greater spirits – it was…
 
“……an Archdemon……”
 
To defeat the legendary archdemon, humanity had cooperated beyond borders with hero and saint eventually striking it down.
 
And now something so terrible had manifested within the Holy Kingdom. Born by the hands of its people, evolved through their sacrifice.
 
Newly born, still the overwhelming dread and power exuded already surpassed Cataclysm rank as a “Cataclysm” class menace.
 
[“What a delightful feeling…! Let me give you some power too.”]
 
The archdemon wearing Zumana’s face smiled twistedly. Granting a fraction of its power to the freed elder demons elevated them to stand equal to the prior ancient one, the burgeoning might drawn out in bellowing roars.
 
[Gifting power does not increase intellect, though. h well…]
 
Adjusting its tattered butler coat’s collar, the archdemon regarded Brunel still kneeling powerless before it and whispered insidiously with its grating voice.
 
[You have my gratitude, Brunel. For that alone the summons were worthwhile. I’m in a terribly good mood. Shall I destroy this country for you too?]
 
“Wha─?!”
 
[Come now, don’t be shy. Are we not friends? With this power everything is possible! We can annihilate and devour that “thing” utterly this time, no?! Bwahahahahahahaha─!!]
 
The archdemon cackled insanely. Alongside the two elder demons mocking Brunel the foolish man they had surrounded.
 
Then abruptly halted, all present alerted unprepared to the mammoth aura of magical energy and appearance of a ghastly oppressive “pressure” in the dim underground.
 


 
I’ve done it…What have I done!
 
The beauty had spent long years bottling all her love, hatred, jealousy, suffering…Overwhelmed by her charm and tenacity, I couldn’t restrain my love…!
 
I remember it all clearly.
 
Bewitched by the exquisite fragrance of her ripened love and sorrow intertwined, forgetting myself in a moment’s weakness…Unable to stop once tasting that “delicacy,” before realizing it I had gorged on her life and soul alike…!
 
Forgive me beautiful lady! It was simply too delicious! Never did I dream such refinement possible – human passion distilling love, rage, hate, anguish to perfection.
 
Oh why didn’t we forge our “contract” beforehand! Fool that I am! So close, with but slight added pressure she’d have been mine for eternity!
 
But I mostly drank my fill since your heart had begun opening…So no true lasting regrets at least…Still, ’twas not enough to sate me in the end. I went ahead and indiscriminately preyed upon those other humans who arrived after…
 
It was my first proper “meal” since coming to the physical realm…
 
I don’t have any particular interest in meat or blood. What I wanted was the sweet “karma” of human deeds condensed into a luscious “soul.”
 
Humans think demons prefer innocent souls, but… they’re wrong. Innocent souls are food for low-level demons with unsophisticated tastes. There’s no way such things could satisfy a high-ranking demon.
 
Souls steeped in the karma of committed sins, aware of their own guilt… they had a rich, mellow aroma…
 
Offering innocent souls to high-ranking demons is like serving plain juice at an important business meeting.
 
I got too excited and bit down too hard…
 
“Haah…”
 
I’d better calm down a little.
 
“But still…”
 
Even after all that, I’m surprised at myself.
 
I ate a human and didn’t feel anything.
 
My heart… my soul… I thought to be “human,” but I’ve realized… I was completely mistaken. Having random human memories misled me into believing I was originally human.
 
There were hints from the beginning. I watched events unfold from the perspective of a sick girl who died in that “dream world,” so I assumed that girl was me. But I never referred to those dream world memories as “[past life] memories.” Unconsciously, I felt something was off, that she wasn’t really “me.”
 
Those were just “recordings.”
 
Now I understand… that poor girl who died in that world was reborn as “Eurushia” in this one.
 
But her soul died before she was born… Cursing the gods for her cruel fate, she fell into the abyss, was crushed and shattered. What remained of her soul and recordings were used to reconstruct the “demon” that is me.
 
Having nothing is what made me mistakenly believe I was human… Well, since my soul is based on that girl’s, I guess she is “me,” but my soul isn’t “human.”
 
I’m a demon who understands human “knowledge” and the “heart.”
 
That’s why I genuinely love and respect the thoughts and culture of humans.
 
However… in essence, I’m a demon who feeds on humans.
 
“Haah~”
 
Faced with shocking truths, I let out an stupidly huge sigh.
 
No wonder my body adapted to my soul. Because it is “me,” after all. With no human innocence to taint it, my body harmonized without being burned by sacred magic.
 
“But still… What are those people doing over there?”
 

 
As some comical spectacle seemed to unfold, I watched while devouring the barely-alive knight’s soul. The handsome butler was beating up the soldier who ran away, and started seriously discussing something with the fancy gentleman.
 
That gentleman does have a nice face, but… he’s not really my type. I mean, if I popped out of nowhere, would they say I’m not reading the atmosphere…?
 
On the other side, magicians were pouring impure power into what looked like an absurdly gigantic summoning circle. Could they really summon anything properly with such low quality “oil”? Just like machine performance suffers with bad oil, it can’t be good for the summoned party either… Oh, something came out.
 
Despite the circle’s size, only three monkey-like creatures appeared. Ahh I see… These sensations… They’re “demons.”
 
But wow, they’re huge demons. I’ve never seen the like in the demon realm. Well, the demon realm is unfathomably vast, so I’m sure there are demons I don’t know about… Huh? Hang on, doesn’t that one with the red scar on its forehead look familiar somehow…?
 
Hmm, I can’t remember. While I was thinking, the magicians were getting crushed on the other side as an oppressive pact with the demons began. I see… so that’s how demons make contracts. Educational.
 
Then the butler offered himself up as a sacrifice. My appetite is sated at the moment so I’m not inclined to take him up on it, but he looks tastier than the knight.
 
…Oh well. Just as I was thinking that, the big monkey powered up with a vessel to the next stage.
 
It looks super strong… no, very demon-like now.
 
Even from here I can tell its magical power multiplied. Since most of a demon’s strength comes from the difference in magic power, the gentleman’s face was also looking rather strained.
 
Well then… shall we wrap this up?
 

 
When I revealed my demon form and unleashed my magical power to intimidate them, the gentleman and demons finally remembered I existed.
 
[You…!?]
 
The evolved butler demon tensed up warily when he saw me. Hmm? Do we know each other after all? I shouldn’t know any demons other than “him” and the kiddos…
 
“Demon! What are you doing! Kill that one!”
 
Maybe because I look like a child, the gentleman frantically ordered the demons to kill me while looking utterly bewildered.
 
[Shut up…! You two, go!]
 
[GWAA… GWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!]
 
At the wary butler demon’s command, the two demons accompanying it let out shrieks as they charged at me.
 
Big, huge, strong… but not scary at all.
 
If I got punched by one of those log-like arms, a toddler would be smashed to bits instantly. But for some reason, like with the knights earlier, their movements looked to me like they were in slow motion so I didn’t feel threatened at all.
 
Is it because I can use demonic power now? I realized my previous total inability to use any power was simply due to insufficient magic. It seems I recovered a fair bit around age two, but still far from my original self, so I felt powerless.
 
That person’s soul quenched my thirst, allowing my true “self” to manifest its power.
 
It’s not as much as my original strength… but my fighting style hasn’t changed. Rending with my claws, devouring with my fangs.
 
I infused my manifested crimson claws with magical power, then slashed horizontally as if tearing through space itself. The two charging demons were ripped apart by invisible gigantic hooks, vanishing on contact…
 
Huh?
 
Gone just like that? What? Why? They looked so strong!
 
As the black miasma from the dissipated demons wafted toward me… this “taste”… the mini monkey from the demon realm!? Hang on, that’s not my snack! When those little mini monkeys come to the physical plane, they turn into something way less cute than that! Not that they were ever very cute but… what a shocking revelation.
 
So does that mean before evolving, that butler demon was also monkey-like…?
 
“Hey… You’re, um… the little monkey I chased around in the demon realm… right?”
 
That slightly big monkey that ran away shrieking when it saw me in the demon realm. Now that I think about it, the red scar on its forehead looks familiar.
 
[Ngh…]
 
My words seemed to hit the mark, as the butler demon made a choked grunt.
 
“What… do you mean…”
 
The gentleman made a completely flabbergasted expression, disbelief and dumbstruckness mixed together as he shifted his gaze between me and the butler demon.
 
Ah jeez… Sorry about that. Went and ruined your big chance after finally evolving and everything…
 
[UWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!]
 
The butler demon, who had been trembling as if enduring something, suddenly screamed and created a ton of fireballs.
 
The fireballs shot out, raining down around me and exploding, scattering flames everywhere.
 
I was surprised but threw up a magical barrier to block them. But with pillars crumbling and the ceiling collapsing, this is going too far. Hey, cut it out! If you keep wildly attacking like that─
 
“─ [Stop it]! ──”
 
My yelling “voice,” filled with anger, became a physical “shockwave,” blowing the butler demon into the wall on the other side.
 
With the underground ceiling collapsing, the moon floating in the night sky became visible… Honestly!
 
“What will you do if Father’s dress gets dusty!?”
 
My magical barrier should protect me, but with the ceiling collapsing enough to see outside, won’t it kick up a ton of dust!? Get a hold of yourself!
 
For some reason, neither the gentleman nor demon consented to my extremely reasonable protests.
 
Honestly!
 
“And why are you using such sloppy magic? You’re supposed to be a demon!”
 
I don’t understand why he attacked me with such “human-like” methods.
 
A demon’s existence comprises mind and magical power, with all actions imbued with magical power, becoming “magic.”
 
With just intent, simply raising one’s hand creates a [magical barrier], exhaling lightly fires off a [shockwave] spell. So demons have no need for the “sorcery” framework used by humans.
 
In fact, I’ve been wondering why the human race uses magical power filled with so many elemental impurities.
 
But I finally understand. The ancient elves degraded the spirit tongue for human use, creating incantations so the human races’ messy magical power could handle magic.
 
So if a demon tries to destroy another demon, it’s more effective to either directly strike them or use the spirit tongue’s [Words of Spirits] with pure magical power… I wonder.
 
“Why don’t you use pure magical power…?”
 
[Ngh…]
 
He’s a demon, so it’s not like he can’t use pure magical power. Could he simply be lacking in demonic capability because of evolving too much without adequate ability? I condescendingly posed the question.
 
Kind of like an amateur hero challenging the demon king with a paper fan. Odd analogy, but it makes no sense to me either.
 
“For a Vampire… to be a demon…”
 
Mumbling something, the gentleman uncle crumbled to his knees.
 
Oh… That butler made the same mistaken assumption. No idea why they imagined such a thing.
 
“What are you talking about?”
 
Flap, flap.
 
Brushing aside my golden hair draped over my back, five meter wide golden bat wings with the same color spread out on either side.
 
Gently flapping those enormous golden wings, I rose into the air, looking down on them coldly with the moon at my back, a demon’s smile upon my face.
 
“Because I am… a “demon.””
 
Faced with my words and form, their faces filled with despair and awe.
 
Tremble, humans. Weak demon. I shall bestow upon you the ugliest, most dreadful death.
 
[GWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!]
 
Discarding elegance, the butler demon charged at me with a feral shriek.
 
[I have grown stronger! No longer will I cower before you! I will devour you, then consume this entire world with my power!]
 
“Ugh… Annoying.”
 
I effortlessly crushed the butler demon into the floor as he swung at me with his massive gorilla-like arms, then grabbed him by the wing’s claws and ripped his arms off.
 
[GWAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHAHAHAGGGHH!]
 
” …… Aha.”
 
I smiled at his screams of agony, then stabbed my crimson claws into the butler demon’s chest, tearing it open to expose the “core.” Baring my fangs at the revealed core,
 
[S-Stop… Please spare meeeeee!]
 
Still smiling, I bit into the screaming demon’s chest, chewing through the core and devouring his despair and terror along with his existence.
 
They say demons taste better after growing this much. Basking in the thick, honey-like richness of the butler demon’s lingering flavor, I faintly heard a whimpering voice.
 
“Aah… Ahhh… “
 
…Oh right, the human is still here.
 
Yet for some reason, there was little fear in his eyes. With a utterly enraptured expression, he gazed at me reverently.
 
“Ohh… My god… Please grant me your divine blessing…”
 
“……”
 
…What is he saying? His gaze looks less like one seeing a demon and more like those children who worshiped me like a saint, filling me with annoyance.
 
I have no intention of making a “contract” with this person or “blessing” him, but the melange of “extra flavors” in his soul sparked a bit of interest.
 
“Come here.”
 
At my command, he crawled over with an intense look on his face. Creepy.
 
Curiosity killed the cat, but…
 
“I humbly partake…Bon appétit!”


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