Chapter 181: Retrieving a Maddening Book

Shen was left dumbfounded after hearing his words but then the demon lord’s aura exploded while laughing loudly, making Shen instantly form a barrier around so the demonic aura won’t destroy William’s villa.

Woah woah woah! That was too sudden!

Thin strings of sweat fell down Shen’s forehead as he observed thin cracks on the wall behind him.

[Also, you wished to learn just how powerful I am? Let me teach you not to bite more than you can chew, little immortal.]

“O-oy, hold up. This is not my home!”

S***! I can’t close the spatial connection! If this continues then the entire villa will get blown to pieces!

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With some sweat filling his forehead, Shen tried to focus and keep at bay the demon’s aura which was making the entire room shake violently, while at the same time controlling his own aura to not add on the damage.

[Hahaha~! I see panic in your aura! Are you already afraid of me? Immortal Shen!]

“Who the Hell’s afraid of you?! I’m just worried that your stupid aura might destroy the villa of a subordinate of mine! You know how much it would cost to rebuild it from scratch?!”

[Hoh~? So to understand that my wall and tower won’t cost much? Then let me show you some more.]

A vein pulsed on the demon lord’s forehead after thinking about the bill he’ll have to pay for the reparations, making for his irritation to soar even more. Small tremors started to shake the room and small cracks appeared on the walls inside Shen’s room, even more in numbers this time.

“Enough!”

Shen boomed with authority and the Demon Lord’s aura was pushed back once again.
While focusing on the confrontation, the Demon Lord suddenly hears some light whispers in his head, making him lose his focus for a moment.

-CRACK!-

The throne he was sitting on suddenly cracked, attracting his attention and making him concentrate once again, a small smile on his face.

[You said you’re controlling the devil inside of you just fine, but how come I can hear his voice in my head now?]

“What…?”

Shen asked shocked then the Demon Lord pushed Shen’s aura once again, using this moment of distraction.

Ugh! You’re bringing that insect up just to distract me? How dirty.

He pushed him back once again but the Demon Lord continued.

[You think I’m joking? The devil tries to tell me more about some things you’re not even aware of.]

“Yeah sure. For example?”

[For example how you met with your beautiful wife inside a forest with a night before raiding the fortress? Does it ring a bell?]

“?!?”

Shen’s expression froze and the Demon Lord used this moment to strike once again, cracking the walls and the floor even more. Shen then blocked his aura again and stared sharply at the Demon Lord.

“So the insect can communicate with you…? I thought demons are afraid of devils.”

[Hahaha~! I have my secrets. As for you, I’m slowly learning more from it. Also how you wished to love her but your own soul refused in fear of freeing it.]

“…”

Shen listened intently while holding his aura strong, trying not to be affected anymore by his words. Seeing his calm demeanor, the Demon Lord smiled amused and continued with a sadistic smile.

[Also, something you’re not aware of. That one night, you truly think that your wife went into the woods only to take a midnight bath in the river? Don’t disappoint me, Immortal Shen. You know that it wasn’t the case at all.]

“… What are you trying to say? Demon.”

Shen’s aura started to shake uncontrollably as his expression turned ice-cold.

[If the devil isn’t wrong, and I doubt he is, then your dear wife will be a great cause why you’ll remain into this world forever-]

-CHAW!-

[Hm?!]

Suddenly a raven flew past the window and the strong aura disappeared the next second, leaving the demon lord in confusion. Then an understanding glint flashed through his eyes, saying in a dark tone,

[I see you’re full of surprises, Immortal Shen. First you reach immortality, then you show powers comparable to the winged ones and of devils, get together with the legendary dragon Ignatius, and now you get the assistance of refuged gods. What will be next, I wonder? You turning into the main cause of this world’s destruction? I could imagine that now as well, haha~. I can’t wait our next meeting, Immortal Shen…]

“Eh? Wait, what refuged gods? And why do you say I’ll remain here because of Sylvia? Is it because I’ll fall for her? Also, who the Hell would cause this world to crumble again? Are you seriously the one who tells me that?!”

Shen felt exasperated that a demon lord who was poisoning Sario with negative energy was actually saying this to him.

[Fall? Something as idiotic as feelings won’t be enough to stop you from leaving as you are now, Immortal Shen-… I said enough. It seems I’m no longer allowed to continue.]

“Wait! Then what will hold me back?!”

But before Shen could ask anything, the screen was already shaking and closing on its own, leaving behind a baffled Shen with his arm reaching out to nothingness.

Not even able to calm down because of the twisted words he just heard, the door was pushed open and a white beauty rushed inside, grabbing onto Shen’s reached out arm in worry.

“Shen! What happened?! I felt a tremor then saw the walls cracking around your room. Also, I felt slight strands of monstrous energy sweeping outside the cracks. Just what were you doing?!”
“…”

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He looked at Sylvia quite surprised then a troubled sigh escaped his mouth.

Now I’ll need to explain all that?… But… Something tells me not to ask her about the demon’s words… I’m sure no concrete answer will be received…

He sighed out once again then looked around at the cracked walls and broken windows, feeling like a headache was starting to shake his thoughts.

Also, let’s wish the power-words will work on this villa even if I’m not using [One With The Universe]…

.

While everyone finally had some time to take a break after the mass migration of the white-heads, on a faraway port-city and inside the greatest villa with towers, Gregor looked from atop a balcony from one of the towers at the place nicknamed as City of Sins, then behind it at the sparkling ocean with great ships sailing atop of it, appearing just like little ants in comparison with this mighty vast blue. The sun was now high on the sky and the sea was now sparkling stronger than ever as there was no cloud on the sky.

“I can’t get enough of this view…”

He whispered as for himself while taking in a deep breath with a salty taste of the breeze. Then beside him stepped an elegant dragoon woman with a mulled red dress, long dark hair, and red deep eyes, also looking in the distance with a rare mild and calm smile.

“I can understand why. Is truly dreamy.”

Lissa stared in the distance while putting her dancing hair behind an ear, making Gregor unconsciously stare at the beauty beside him.

“Oy… Sorry for breaking your sweet atmosphere out there, but mind giving me a helping hand?”

Both of them then woke up from their respective daze after hearing Bururiba’s dissatisfied voice, turning around only to see him halfway under a royal bed, searching around like a burglar.

“”…””

Both Lissa and Gregor couldn’t help but feel like laughing at this view, but Bururiba snapped then rushed them again.

“Don’t laugh! Who said they wanna find some kinda’ book or somethin’?! Now get ye’r asses here and start searching! Goddamn, why is there so much trash under this bed…?”

Bururiba continued mumbling on his own and the two also started searching around the spacious room in a relaxed manner. After another 3 minutes, Bururiba snapped and lifted the entire bed while kicking a little mold of socks.

“F****** Babowang! Even dead you still annoy me with your stupidity-!”

But just as he wished to throw the bed outside the window from anger, the door opened and two beautiful women entered together, one dressed in a black and simple dress, with a white hair and frail skin, while the other one in captain clothing with a great cleavage at her chest and a silver chain on her waist that ended with a great sharp tooth of a huge shark.

“Hello~, have you found anything yet-…”
“Ah, how unlucky. Yet another miss. Guys, there is nothing as well, let’s continue searching.”

With a 180 turn, Bururiba immediately calmed down and placed down the bed with incredible elegance, calmly turning around and faking a surprised look.

“Oh~? But for what reason is Miss Sofia visiting us?”
“”…””

Gregor stared with a blank expression at Bururiba’s twist in moods, while Lissa tried her best not laughing.
Sofia also felt like chuckling but held herself back then took light and elegant steps toward Bururiba, making him feel more and more nervous but without showing it to the outside.

How well can you hide your emotions, I wonder~? Will I ever get bored of teasing him?

She then arrived right in front of his face and slowly she reached out toward his cheek with her long fingers, making for his heart to beat faster while his face to remain unfazed.

“Miss Sofia? Is there something wrong?”

Bururiba asked with a calm smile but Sofia only got closer to him.

“Bururiba…”

As she reached to the back of his head while with the other hand to his shoulder, Sofia whispered his name then-

“You have some dust on you.”

She patted his shoulder and the back of his head to brush off the dust, then she distanced herself with a light smile, observing Bururiba’s frozen expression. He then smiled calmly and said while also patting his clothes.

“Yes, thank you for informing.”

A slight shaking tone was heard in his voice, leaving the others with an even harder time to hold in their chuckles. She then looked at Lissa and Gregor and asked calmly.

“So? Have you found what you’re searching for?”

Gregor’s blank expression relaxed after sighing out once and answered.

“No. It seems is nowhere inside this room. So to understand, Miss Sofia has no idea where the book might possibly be?”
“I’m sorry but we, the 10 top dogs, are unaware of its whereabouts. We decided that only through the king can we have access to the book.”

Gregor thought for a while and something still didn’t add together with his thoughts.

“I’m still wondering… Shen called the book as a replica of [Solomon’s Lesser Key], Ars Goetia. This is knowledge from our world used by King Solomon to summon and capture 72 demons who worked for him in building the greatest temple out of sacred wood. This much even I know, but what this book contains, how is used and how can one control the demons, this is way over my area of knowledge and I’m amazed every time I think how Shen actually knows all of that.”
“…Now that I think of is, is he really a player? He knows just way too much for a normal human from Earth.”

Bururiba got closer and asked with a frown after thinking just how many ridiculous things Shen did on his own in the limited amount of time they know each other. Gregor also shook his head while shrugging his shoulders and answered unsurely.

“Just like Sario, our world is a big place as well, maybe even bigger. Although I heard of the saying many worlds in one, I start to give it more attention as I’m thinking that maybe what we’ve lived on Earth is but a little fraction of the real world out there.”
“If so, then why is our world that boring?”
“…I’m not sure myself. But I do know that we, who see that world as boring, are just toads in a wheel, seeing the world through a small hole. And I think Shen is someone who was able, or rather, had the courage to step out of the wheel and view the world as it is, and not how we make-believe it to be.”
“So I knew nothing all my life, eh?…”

As the two of them were deep in thoughts and starting to feel melancholic, Lissa started to play with Gregor’s whiskers from behind while Sofia raised Bururiba’s chin with one finger, making him look in her eyes.

“Huh?”
“Argh! Stop it.”

Bururiba looked confused at Sofia while Gregor grabbed both her arms then turned towards her in irritation.

“What’s the point of thinking about your world when now you’re here?”

Sofia’s finger slowly went up and down Bururiba’s neck, making him shudder for a moment.

“Exactly. There might or might not be a way for you guys to return, but I’m sure now’s not the time to think about such options~.”

Lissa then hugged Gregor to her chest, the usual naughty smile on her face.

“Uhm… Sis?”
“A-ah~ sorry sorry.”

After hearing a troubled voice behind her, Sofia finally remembered about her sister and hastily helped her move from the door towards the group.

“You always forget about me…”

Her voice sad as she pouted at her sister’s forgetfulness.

“N-not true! Mirabelle! I was always thinking about you when that idiot king was keeping you as a prisoner.”
“That was then, but now, just how many times have you forgotten about me every time we had to meet with Captain Bururiba? I understand the feeling of love, but please don’t forget about your family, sister.”
“Awawawa! Whatever you mean by that?! Anyway, I think we need to leave, yes? It is time for you to eat.”

Hearing her sister’s words and observing her behavior, Bururiba felt like actually finding a hole in Sofia’s iron defenses, trying to see if he could exploit them a little bit.

“Ho~? But what’s the rush, Miss Sofia? Leaving already?”

Bururiba got closer and gently touched her shoulder from behind and Sofia froze in place instantly, an eerie aura emanating from her.

Crap.

Bururiba’s survival instincts told him that he might have crossed the line, but it was already all too late as Sofia suddenly grabbed his wrist.

“A little fish playing the shark? I dare you to try~.”
“Ugh!”

She immediately slammed him on the nearby wall and placed her arm right beside his head, closing him with no escape. Seeing himself at the death’s doorsteps Bururiba hastily tried to talk it out but to no avail.

“W-wait a moment, please. I was just playing around, no need to take it so seriously to pin me on a wall.”
“Hoh~? Trying to escape? You think a prey will be able to escape when already cornered?”

Oh s***, I’m dead.

“Just let this big sis here teach you a lesson.”

Her eyes flashed dangerously that even Gregor felt a chill running down his spine, remembering that one night when Lissa assaulted him and provoked his bestial desires until he fell cold with waist muscle-pain for 2 days. Feeling his gaze, Lissa immediately knew what he was thinking and a devilish smile while licking her finger made Gregor evade any eye contact, his face neutral and pale white.
However, just as Sofia’s lips reached closer to Bururiba’s, Mirabelle hastily interjected with a serious expression on her face.

“Wait! Sister. Did you said wall?”
“Huh?”

Sofia turned around for a moment and Bururiba hastily escaped without wasting a second, being with two steps behind Mirabelle now.

“Damn it!”

Phew~…

He breathed out a sigh of relief but Sofia only stared sharply at him then sighed annoyed and asked.

“What is it, Mirabelle? Did you find anything?”
“Something’s wrong! Before Captain Bururiba had his fight with the mean demon captain, Babowang went around that place and made a sound as if a little door opened about where you just slammed the wood just now. So there is a wall? Not a piece of furniture? I said nothing about it thinking that it was just another wardrobe or something similar, but a wall? Isn’t that weird?”
“”….””

The fact that Mirabelle was blind has been already well known by everyone, but nobody expected for her memory to be this good as to remember a sound and its location without needing her eyes. Everyone looked at one another then Sofia slammed the wall once again and just like the first time, it reverberated with an empty sound, a sound that nobody minded because of the spectacle that was taking place.

“Hm~…”

-CRACK!-

Sofia immediately impaled her fingers and pulled out a little hidden trap which was hiding a great book with the cover made of dark scaled leather, and inside it with more pages made of different leather each.

““This is it!””

Everyone shouted together after feeling the eerie energy coming from it, together with the bloody letters: Ars Goetia: Sario.

S-so this is the book that defended our place for so long…”

Sofia stared with big eyes at the dark grimoire, feeling its powers, as if something was calling out to her. A glint of veneration shone in her eyes as she wished to reach out toward the book.

“Don’t even think, Sofia.”
“Eh?”

Bururiba’s deep voice woke her up and she turned toward him only to see a dark and serious expression, something unbefitting for him.

“If you wish to use that cursed book, then I believe you won’t be any different from the idiot king.”
“… And may I ask why is Captain Bururiba saying that?”

She crossed her arms at her chest with a rather questioning frown, bur Bururiba was unfazed while continuing with the same serious eyes.

“You know why Babowang had the guts to go against me after I left for an expedition? It was because of this book. When I became king, that idiot offered me the tribute necklace but said nothing of the book. We all know just how much of a coward he was. But just from where did he got the guts to do so? I asked myself quite a bit back then, but now I know that it wasn’t guts. It was madness. When he summoned that demoness, Babowang’s face twisted and showed so much madness, it made even me feel a chill down my spine, and I’m sure you know it all too well as you almost died because of him.”
“Ugh…”

Sofia actually had no comeback words then she strengthened her resolve and said.

“Hah! Don’t put me in the same boat as that idiot. You think a book will be able to control me?”
“Have you heard any voices?”
“?!”

At Bururiba’s sudden question, Sofia’s eyes widened in shock and Bururiba was quick enough to observe this obvious detail that was hidden the next moment.

“So you did.”
“…I suppose you heard that too?”
“Indeed. It offered me power and riches. You tell me you’ll be able to resist such weird voices without knowing what they are and how they’ll influence your everyday life?”
“… Captain Bururiba, I see your tongue has become more convincing with words.”

With light steps she walked toward him and gently held his chin, pressing her finger on his lips, a fiery glint flashing in her blue eyes, trying her best to hold back her own desires.

“I’m really curious if this little tongue of yours is also good at dancing in pairs. If you know what I mean…”

Bururiba’s heart was beating like crazy, but he was able to keep his composure through a titanic will-power, holding her hand such releasing his chin.

“Miss Sofia, this is not the right place for such actions. Please refrain from acting like this in front of others.”
“Oh my~ so you’d rather like me to do this when we’re just the two of us~?”
“That’s not what I meant…”

She giggled once then retreated while holding her sister’s hand, Mirabelle being already used with her sister’s ways and only shaking her head then walking by her side. Gregor however, still asked unsure of how the conversation ended just now.

“So in the end, what are we going to do with the book?”

Sofia didn’t even stop her steps as she answered nonchalantly while waving for goodbyes.

“I leave it to Bururiba to decide.”

Then the door closed and silence befell in the room.

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