Diablo looked at him as if he could see right through his skin, and yet Godama did not seem to be moved as he replied.
And so Diablo had continued bluntly.
“Hahaha. It is true that we received funds, but that is a separate matter! In fact, it offends me greatly that anyone could suggest that our opinions were bought. Please refrain from insulting us further. I believe that learning about how to act towards nobles is necessary. That is why I agreed to it!”
Godama explained. His face had become a little red, but he was still composed.
It was true that the nobles of Ingracia had offered funds for research, but it was not related to the talks between the three schools. That was what he was insisting.
Even when looking at him with his Demon Eye, he could see nothing unusual in Godama’s breathing or heartbeat.
He was either saying all of this from the heart, or there was an entirely different motive for accepting the money.
Yes, for instance–putting the blame on the nobility of the Ingracia Kingdom, etcetera.
Diablo had already looked through Souei’s investigation data and confirmed that Godama was not suffering from a lack of funds.
All of this suggested that the latter theory was the correct one.
There wasn’t likely much more to be learned by talking with Godama, and so Diablo asked his final question.
“We’ll talk about that in depth some other time. I have just one more question. The thing is, something rather important has happened…”
He prefaced, then Diablo laid out the scenario that he and Souei had agreed upon.
It was a made up story that he had repeated many times at the Tempest Development of Human Resources Academy and Ingracia Academy.
–On the surface, it was just some entertainment for the Great Demon Lord Rimuru, while in fact it was training for the students.
And so the students had to be protected, and they explained to everyone that there was no need to worry.
But things were different this time.
“We had already contacted you about that before, so you must be aware. But this is where things are different. The thing is, we have lost contact with them.”
He said, then inspected Godama with the demon eye.
“What…!? Is that true?”
Godama asked in amazement.
But in spite of his words and attitude, Godama was quite calm.
(So he isn’t moved at all. In other words, he knew. I see…)
Anyone else would have been fooled by his acting surprised, but it did not work on Diablo.
Godama was a former warrior who had conquered many trials in the past, and he had a personality that was not easily shaken.
That was the kind of man he way, and now, he had made a terrible mistake.
If he wasn’t surprised, he should have accepted it and moved along.
But acting like this had made Diablo’s suspicions turn into conviction.
Perhaps this just meant that this was the limits of Godama as a man.
At this point, while Diablo didn’t think Godama was the mastermind here, he did believe that he was part of the ‘Humanity Emancipation Alliance.’
Godama’s mistake was thinking that he could fool Diablo.
He would protect himself with an expensive magic item and toy with Diablo with a skill he had honed over the years. He would lead him into thinking the nobles of the Kingdom of Ingracia were the enemy. That was what he thought, and it would end up leading him to his ruin.
“You aren’t surprised. Could it be that you know something?”
Diablo continued to smile as he asked this.
“Haha, hahaha. Lord Diablo, what are you…”
Godama finally looked a little flustered.
At the same time, he seemed to have become aware of that fact, and it shocked him even more.
He was supposed to have been perfectly protected by magic, and yet with Diablo in front of him, it seemed to not have any effect. Such were the anxieties that plagued him.
And it was true. As Diablo said, Godama had been informed of this news earlier.
Just this morning, Magnus and the others who were his comrades, had sent him a long distance message. It was a simple message that contained the information about the crime at the survival place and data showing their location. There was also a rescue request.
On the seventh day–in other words, tomorrow, they had plans to meet a mysterious pair known as the Greed Circus. They would defeat these two and steal their airship. However, there was a possibility that they could fail and the ship would be damaged. It was also possible that the Greed Circus had more than two people, and so they wanted reinforcements as well as a rescue team.
That was the summary of it.
Within this report, there was a line that said that they had gotten rid of those who would interfere.
It was because Godama had read this that he understood the meaning of Diablo’s question.
If this whole abduction was done spuriously under the Great Demon Lord Rimuru’s orders, that meant that the Greed Circus were working for Rimuru.
And as long as they acted under their watchful eye, it meant that the Great Demon Lord Rimuru would have been notified of the events.
This information had to be relayed to his comrades who were yet unaware. It was when he had been thinking this that Diablo had visited him.
(This was bad. Very bad…)
The likelihood of him being suspected was very low, that was what he had thought, and yet he had still brought his magic weapon as a precaution.
It was the ‘Staff of Heart Protection’ that he had carried for many years.
As long as he carried it, his heart would be protected. He had been so confident in that fact.
And yet now, the effects of that magic had been lost.
And there was enough reason here for Godama to lose ability to think calmly.
While this was happening, Godama received a message from his secretary.
–Diablo’s energy is estimated to be at 7,000–
Godama saw the message and returned to his usual calmness.
The arch demon who had plunged the empire into the pits of terror many times over in the past was at about 10,000. And so he had used a machine that calculated the energy of others to calculate Diablo’s energy.
And just now, he was informed of the results.
7,000–that was quite strong indeed.
However, it was not so strong that he was unbeatable.
In fact, the empire boasted royal knights who were strong enough to kill arch demons alone.
(What, so the rumors were just rumors then. I had heard that he was beyond comparison with arch demons, but that is hardly truel! So this is what I was afraid of all along? He is nothing. Still, at least it means I need not fear.)
And with that, Godama smiled mischievously.
And then he signed the order that would mean his own execution.
“Lord Diablo, no, Diablo. I think I want you to die right here.”
“Hehehehe. Is that a joke?”
“That pompous slime who calls himself a Great Demon Lord seems to have stretched himself too thin. I think it’s time we cut some of it away. Don’t worry, I’ll make up some excuse, so you can die in peace.”
He turned to Diablo and said exactly what one should never say to Diablo.
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