Jimberyl Merchant Association. A room in the warehouse that even the servants rarely approach, there was the figure of Julius ・ Jimberyl.
In front of Julius is a metal pot that was about the size of a head. The lid of the pot was half open.
Inside it was something translucent with a reddish tint that was bubbling. That was the Demon Attracting Incense.
Julius doubted the suspicious item’s effects at first. But now, Julius no longer held a sliver of doubt at its effectiveness.
「To think that it’s even capable of calling something like that here……. Oi, shut it off quickly. 」
With a grumpy mood, Julius ordered the old man who was wearing a servant uniform. The servant did what Julius said, he walked towards the pot and closed the lid. That should’ve been the end of the case.
However, when the time the three people in the warehouse including Julius turned around and left. There was a clattering noise came from their backs.
Julius who looked back without thinking much saw the pot of the Demon Attracting Incense. The lid that the servant should’ve closed tightly, it has popped open and the pot is opened again.
「Huh? Weird, I thought I closed it well……」
The servant man tilted his head as he walked back towards the pot. But, another clattering sound was heard suddenly.
In front of the servant man who was confused, the lid fell on the ground. Julius felt goosebumps at that unnatural phenomenon.
He had an ominous feeling. His instincts are telling him to run immediately. However, neither of his legs nor his gaze moved.
Under the three stares, something happened to the Demon Attracting Incense again. The translucent something that filled the pot. Even though the pot wasn’t tilted at all, it started spilling out of the pot.
It was obviously a phenomenon that ignored gravity. A completely ghastly scenery was unfolding in front of them.
The red gel-like object flowed out onto the ground and formed a translucent red mound. Under the gazes of the three whose expression hardened, the gel slowly rose higher, and eventually formed a shape of a person.
The translucent red humanoids gave off an impression of a woman with long hair.
「Could it be……, a demonic being……? 」
The mercenary spoke of Julius’s most feared outcome.
「Demonic being? ……Don’t kid me! If they know a demonic being came out of our warehouse……! 」
Even Julius was scared in the presence of the creepy creature. But, the moment when he realized its influence to the association, he started panicking in a different sense.
「Quickly deal with it! 」
It was natural that Julius quickly ordered the mercenary to subjugate it. Although the hired mercenary was confused by the unknown opponent, he couldn’t ignore his employer’s wish.
Although it looked like it was harmless as it just stood there without moving but, the mercenary felt danger at its appearance.
「It might get dangerous, please get in the corner. 」
After saying that to Julius, the mercenary unsheathed his sword and stood in front of the demonic being.
「It looks like some kind of liquid, rather than sword, magic would probably be more effective. 」
Unfortunately, the mercenary man wasn’t blessed with the ability to use magic, what he can use was only his sword. The man took a stance at the demonic being which didn’t even show signs of moving at all, before swinging down with all his strength.
The moment the mercenary thought that the sword would split the demonic being into two from its head, the sword was unexpectedly deflected away with a high-pitched metallic sound.
「What is this toughness!? 」
The mercenary’s eyes widened in surprise. And the figure of the red humanoid creature who started moving suddenly reflected in his pupils.
The demonic being that suddenly moved showed unimaginable flexibleness even though it had the toughness to deflect a metal sword, wrapping around the mercenary.
「Hi――! Hot! Hot―――――! 」
The demonic being gradually wrapped around the mercenary’s body. Only the cries of despair from the mercenary reverberated in the warehouse.
Eventually, his face was covered in the red gel, even his scream died down and silence came.
「Wha………, what is that!? 」
The demonic being reacted at Julius whose voice was trembling.
「G-Go away! 」
Without knowing whether the red woman humanoid was targeting himself or the servant, it slowly walked towards them with splashing sounds.
Even when fear filled his mind, Julius revolved his brain desperately to find an escape route. The exit is just five meters away. It would only take a few seconds if he ran.
But it’s doubtful that the monster would let him get away without doing anything. Depending on the situation, he can use the servant as a decoy――. Such thoughts passed through Julius’s mind.
Julius who was confirming the location of the exit saw something unbelievable fly in. Cutting down the door that was locked up, a woman with a crimson sword in hand came into the warehouse.
「W-What now!? 」
The intruder who came into the warehouse without notice to the owner was a young woman in a black robe. A long dark red hair flowed behind her back, she was a beauty.
Holding a crimson sword in her hands, after her pupils of the same color glanced at Julius for a moment, she directed a sad gaze towards the humanoid demonic being.
The black robed woman drew closer to the demonic being seemingly without the influence of gravity on her, all while a single word wasn’t spoken. Unlike『Running』 or 『Flying』, her steps was too quiet, it gave off an illusion of sliding on ice.
The black robed woman with the crimson sword closed the distance in an instant, before severing the demonic being’s neck.
Without ever being able to catch up with the chain of events, it took his all to ask a question that no one would ever answer. The woman who swung the sword didn’t move at all, her posture frozen after her swing.
On the other hand, the demonic being didn’t move at all too as if bound by something.
A short moment when the warehouse became totally silent came. Then, it was the demonic being who started moving once again first.
But it was not because of the demonic being’s will―― that is, if the demonic being had a will in the beginning. Its neck tilted, and eventually its head slid off the neck.
The demonic being’s head which the mercenary man could deal no damage to fell onto the ground with a thud. It was almost like a ripe fruit fell from a tree.
A beat after that, the demonic being’s body collapsed on the ground, accompanied by a sound that resembled a bucket of water spilled on the ground.
After watching over that, the black robed woman turned around and left the warehouse without sparing a single glance to Julius and the servant.
Having no time to ask for her identity nor her motive, Julius felt like he had just witnessed a nightmare. It was when the seconds hand had turned twice around the clock when Julius and the servant who was sitting there blankly finally regained themselves.
We……, we were saved……? 」
「It, seems to be the case……」
Sound finally returned to the warehouse that was silent before. Julius recalled the sequence of events that unfolded just a while ago.
「It isn’t a dream……」
The demonic being and the black robed woman who defeated it both never spoke a single word. Julius doubted his eyes at the events that seemed detached from reality but the aftermath on the floor of the warehouse was undeniable proof that it was reality.
The mercenary’s unbreathing body which had burns on his skin. The floor wet with a red liquid. And the head of the demonic being that can get mistaken with a head carved out of a red crystal.
「What shall we do……? 」
The old servant asked for Julius’s judgement. Hearing that, Julius was prompted to start thinking again, he thought about what he should do desperately.
「This is bad……」
The mercenary’s death can be covered up with all kinds of excuses. But, having the existence of Demon Attracting Incense known would deal unrecoverable damage.
Of course, it isn’t known that the incident this time is due to the Demon Attracting Incense. But at the very least, the black-robed woman knows that an unknown demonic being existed in the warehouse of Jimberyl Merchant Association.
Although the black-robed woman is the one who saved Julius, at the same time, she could be the one who destroys Julius’s life.
「It’s bad. Very bad. 」
After all, what Julius did was obviously a huge crime. Even if he planned perfectly for the subjugation army in advance, the fact that he was the culprit who invited the army of monsters to Reiten doesn’t change. There’re definitely many injured people and casualties amongst those who joined the subjugation army for the defense battle.
On top of that, Reiten’s deficit was huge. On top of the supplies used to form the subjugation army, Reiten must also pay a large sum hiring the mercenaries.
Above all, there was the effects of closing the city gates and shutting down all trades to Reiten albeit temporarily. For someone who doesn’t do business, they would scoff at the mere two days of inactivity, but they would probably go green after hearing the amount of loss due to the mere two days.
There’s the matter with Reiten’s reputation as well. Even if they won the defense battle, it would be known to other countries that an army of monsters came to attack Reiten.
The fact that they had no choice but to hole up behind the walls because of the beasts, if someone spread that kind of rumor, the reputation of the army would fall to the ground. If that happens, no one would be willing to travel to such a dangerous city.
After accounting such demerits, Julius had planned perfectly for the Jimberyl to be benefitting and controlled the situation from behind the scenes.
But what if the plans were to be leaked to outside?
He had dealt a lot of damage to the city.
On top of that, the city would’ve been destroyed by the demonic beings if even a single mistake occurred. If so, the city would most definitely charge him with terrorism. Under Reiten’s law, it is unavoidable for him to get the death sentence.
「Somewhere safe first……」
Passing by the servant beside him who had an anxious face, Julius quickly left the warehouse behind.