Chapter 35 – Aigokeros, Get!
Raw link: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n2211cx/36/ (2015/12/06)
Translator: twomorefreethoughts / TpstT (2018/12/20)
Editor 1: Hands of Vecna / Vecna (2018/12/24)
Editor 2: Keii (2020/09/17)
Translation link: https://twomorefreethoughts.wordpress.com/awlba-c035/
An underground realm that could be called the “hell” of this world: Helheim. That was the place where Aigokeros was born.
If the sky was where mana was the thinnest, then the place where mana would be the thickest would be in the depths of the earth.
The excessive amount of mana in the environment, which was incomparable to that above-ground, mutated every creature in that underground realm into hideous forms, similar to those of devils in myths.
They were transformed by the essence of magic into evil-looking existences. As such, they were called devils by others who feared them.
Those that became transformed by this place were mostly creatures that preferred to live in dark places or caves, such as bats, lizards and spiders.
If one were to think of it that way, they would not think that a goat would exist in this location. However, chances were, some humanoids who had decided to live in this location had probably brought livestock together with them.
But in this day and age, there was no way for anyone to verify whether that was really the case.
That was because, right now, there was not a single humanoid in Helheim. There were only a few remaining traces that suggested that, a very long time ago, they might have once lived there.
Even by the standards of this realm, Aigokeros was born with an extraordinary amount of mana and was known as the Mighty Grand Devil.
As a result of an ancestor who had preyed upon mutated bats, he inherited the features of those bats, namely the ominous devil wings on his back.
He had a goat’s head, a human’s body, and the wings of a bat. He was a hybrid composed of three animals – no, magical beasts – that would not normally have been mixed together. That was what Aigokeros was.
He believed himself to be the most perfect form of a devil.
He was the only one of his species in that underground realm. There was no other devil that had the same features as him, so he was the only one of his kind in existence.
Therefore, he did not question whether he really was the ruler of darkness.
From his point of view, even the demons were inadequate and incomplete. He believed that they were not existences who were loved (contaminated) by mana.
To begin with, they’re just an imitation. They’re created by an intentional concentration of mana.
I do not know who created them and for what purpose, but the demons are not a race that evolved naturally.
Someone had intentionally gathered and condensed mana together, and after ignoring the natural order, forcibly created those shams of an existence.
Without a single exception, the entire race is a deteriorated reproduction of the Demon King.
Having said that, the real Demon King is also something different.
It’s true that that thing is something magical… but there’s also something divine about it – something that could even be passed off as similar to that abominable Goddess.
That was why Aigokeros could not believe in “her” existence.
Although she originated from the sky, a place where a minimal amount of mana existed, her jet black wings did not contain a single strand of light.
Shrouded in denser mana than even that of the devils, she pushed forward on her own path as if to say that she had no need for any love from the gods.
She had looked at Aigokeros and sneered.
“I see, so this is a devil. I was also shunned and called a devil ever since I could remember, but… what a shame. Now that I’m looking at one, it’s such a faint existence.”
“Faint” was probably referring to how much mana he had.
Aigokeros could not rebut those words.
That was because she was… too dense.
How many demons had she killed? How many monsters had she taken down and devoured?
The amount of mana she had was so high and so dense that there was no other possibility but to think that she had taken in all the mana of every living thing she had culled. The amount was so high that even Aigokeros had felt fear. And she herself had her whole body polluted by that mana.
Living beings became affected and mutated from being exposed to mana. They turned into monsters.
Which meant that she was probably… a monster. Although she was originally a flugel, a species that was loved by the heavens, she had kept on taking in mana, and was in the process of mutating into a separate species.
A predetermined evolution path by Goddess, a form that one should be. She had ignored that path and was transforming on her own.
He had understood. This woman was someone that not even the Goddess could control.
She was an existence that moved independent of the will of the Goddess, the King of Mana… someone who was worthy of being called the Demon King.
By the time Aigokeros had noticed it, he had kneeled and bowed down in front of the Black-Winged Ruler.
“… My, lady is… You are the real… King.”
He had capitulated without even fighting. And he had not felt shameful about that.
It was simple. Things that should have been the way it was, became the way it was.
The disparity between them was determined from the moment they had first met. The difference in the rank of what it meant to be mana.
That had caused Aigokeros to bow down as a retainer.
And the King, seeing that, just simply laughed quietly.
Amongst the Twelve Stars, Aries and Aigokeros’s roles most resembled each other’s.
What was sought from these two Stars were “hindering” and “disturbance” of enemies.
Aries achieved this using his skills as a magical beast, while Aigokeros achieved it using arcane magic.
Although they differed from each other depending on the situation and the enemy, amongst the Twelve Stars, they sat in the two positions that were the most similar to each other.
The [Ram] and the [Goat]. The two had motifs that were also very similar. As such, it was inevitable that these two stars were intimate with each other.
However, their personalities were polar opposites of each other.
Aries was gentle and timid. Aigokeros was hot-headed and would use any means necessary to achieve his objectives.
And the consequence of those differences manifested themselves as differences in how they achieved their desired result.
Aries interfered with his enemies in order to protect his allies, whereas Aigokeros interfered with the enemy merely as a means to push them into a corner and harm them.
There, the question of which one was better was meaningless.
Whatever the reason, for Ruphas, there was no doubt that both had useful fighting prowess.
Notwithstanding, when it came to direct confrontation, the Goat, who used his power as a means to harm others, had an advantage.
Aries blew flames out of his hands and started flying all around.
Chasing after Aries were countless hand-like-tentacles made out of an incorporeal darkness.
It was a troublesome interference-type arcane magic where, once the target was caught by them, they would be stunned and affected with a speed-decreasing debuff. It was an arcane magic that could not be countered, such that Aries had no other option but to avoid it entirely.
If it were Ruphas, she might have been able to say, “Who cares about some debuff that lowers some of your stats?” whilst charging in, shredding the tentacles into a thousand pieces and taking Aigokeros down. However, such a feat was not possible for Aries.
No, rather than not possible, perhaps it was more correct to say that he would lose if he did something like that.
For Ruphas, who possessed exceptional combat abilities, interfering or hindering her abilities might not overly affect the fight. However, for Aries, it was detrimental.
After all, let alone someone of equal strength, the enemy was someone who possessed greater abilities than himself.
Suffering a decrease in his stats would directly lead to his defeat.
Aries dived towards the ground and slammed his flaming fist into it.
When he did, the ground shook greatly, as if an earthquake had occurred on that spot in the local area and was jolting everything nearby.
Earthquake. It was one of his signature moves that Ruphas had taught him.
It was originally an [Earth] attribute skill, but because the skill was quite useful, he had taken a liking to it.
The tentacles stopped moving all at once, and at the same time, Aries quickly dashed forward.
Even if it was Aigokeros, he would not be able to remain standing after repeatedly taking Aries’s ultimate skill.
As such, Aries again turned his whole body into a flame and tried to charge in.
Rainbow-coloured flames drew a track on the ground as Aries’s whole body flew in a straight line.
And putting all of his power into it, he struck his fist forward, piercing through Aigokeros’s body.
He pierced through him, and he thought.
This was not it….. This was not Aigokeros at all.
It was a fake created by a reflection of the moonlight, an imitation.
It was a trap that was laid out to hunt down pitiful creatures who might have been lured in by the moon of a beautiful night.
It was one of the Moon attribute’s arcane magic, resembling a hologram made from the shadow that was cast by the moonlight. This arcane magic, [Shadow], was used to toy with the enemy using an image with no physical substance.
If Ruphas was here, she would have explained the skill by saying, “Putting it bluntly, it’s just an arcane magic that decreases the enemy’s accuracy”.
“I caught you… Aries!”
Aigokeros attacked without giving Aries, who was still stuck in a delay after his attack, a break.
He used his unique skill [Deneb Algedi], a condensed Moon attribute mana cannon.
Not only did the skill come with very high damage, it included an added effect that made the victim unable to recover from the damage received by the skill.
As the name of the skill suggested, he put his arms together and started condensing darkness on his palms.
It was impossible to dodge. There was also not enough time for Aries to guard against the skill.
Thus, the only option left for him was to endure through the skill.
Aries tightly shut his eyes and prepared himself to take the pain that was about to come.
It’ll be fine, I’ll still be able to remain standing even if I take the skill.
If he strikes again, it might turn out quite harshly for me. And honestly speaking, not being able to use recovery skills to recover from it is very painful.
Having said that, it’s not like there’s no chance for me to turn it around.
Oi, he just said die.
Although Aries was thinking that, he also thought that Aigokeros was acting just like Aigokeros.
His true nature was really that of a devil.
Although it was normally held back, once he became emotional, even if his opponent was previously an ally, he could easily say unsettling things.
Of course, Aries couldn’t die for Aigokeros’s sake, nor could Aries afford to die.
Aries had to endure it and think about what would happen afterwards.
In front of Aries, who was thinking along those lines, black wings cut in with an irregular speed.
“You fool, what’s the point of killing your ally?”
Exasperatedly muttering a single line, she stopped Deneb Algedi with one hand.
A black flash surged on impact like lightning, and the resulting shockwave gouged into the ground. Nevertheless, the person who had stopped the attack did not even have a slight scratch.
In this day and age, there was only a very limited number of individuals who were capable of achieving such a feat in the face of Twelve Heavenly Stars.
One of them was the Creation Goddess. An omnipotent and almighty Goddess who might not actually exist.
One of them was the Demon King. An inauspicious enemy who was the dictator of the entire demon race.
One of them was the Vampire Princess. One of the legendary Seven Heroes who, even in this age, retained her full power. A queen who ruled over the night.
And one of them was – the Black-Winged Supreme Ruler.
With a shrieking sound, Aigokeros’s ultimate skill was punched away.
The darkness that was scattered into the surroundings left scarlet traces of destruction.
However, the darkness did not reach Aries, who was behind her. The attack was completely cut cleanly away by her.
“No… My lady is… Oh o, my lady is…!”
Aigokeros shouted out with a shaky voice which was filled with delight and great joy.
In response to that, she untied her hair, took off her glasses and removed the bad disguise she was wearing.
What appeared in front of Aigokeros was the appearance of his master, for whom he had waited 200 years to reunite with.
“Hmm, it’s great that you are also in good health. It’s been a while, Aigokeros.”
After seeing the smile of her subordinate who had the appearance of a devil, she herself smiled back.
The figure in front of him was that of his master whom he had sworn loyalty to, and her appearance was no different from 200 years ago.
Standing in front of Ruphas Mafahl, her retainer was shaking in delight.
…So what was even the point of me disguising myself…?
Yes, I’m that person who needlessly cross-dressed as a man, which was eventually completely meaningless to do. I’m that Ruphas.
Haha, go ahead and laugh, vegetable prince.
Even though I disguised myself before I came out, Aigokeros saw through me with a single look.
Anyways, hmm. Is that it?
I guess I should say that it was a close call.
It was so close that my arms were tingling, but in the end, it was not something important.
More than that, I was surprised that I had just punched away Aigokeros’s skill.
I’ll say it clearly. I don’t have any skills that are able to do that.
Fundamentally, the skills that I possessed were limited to attacks or self-buffs.
I had felt that defensive skills from the alchemist and acolyte classes were enough for me. Furthermore, if those were not enough, I could always be supplemented by my party members or the Twelve Heavenly Stars.
I was informed that, within divine magic, there existed some defensive skills that could defend against an enemy’s arcane magic, but I had no time to be using such a skill.
In other words, all I did was simply punch the attack.
As I thought, although this world felt like the game, it was not the game.
It was possible for me to do some things that could not have been done in the game, and similarly, it was possible that I would not be able to do some things that could be done if I was within the game.
To begin with, if this was the game, it would not be possible for someone to storm in front of an attack after the attack animation had ended and the spell had already been cast.
Anyways, for the time being, Aigokeros that I am currently looking at… Um, he really has that kind of ominous appearance.
He looked just like what society perceived devils to look like.
Yet, despite having such an appearance, he was on his knees and tears were pouring out of his eyes. He was praying to me as if his emotions were bursting forth.
What is this? Some kind of religious cult? Satanism?
Or more like, if you’re a devil, then don’t be praying like that. What am I? A Demon King?
… Ah, actually, I am something like that.
“Ahh – …you know, what is it? You really made me worried.”
I called out to him whilst he was sobbing and creating a small puddle on the ground.
No, um. I was thinking of giving him a good punch when I met him, but I lost the will to do so after seeing such a scene.
The appearance of him sobbing really expressed how much he had worried about me – or rather, about Ruphas, and as such, not even I could make myself hit him at that moment.
I gave Aigokeros, whose crying voice was starting to shave away at my sanity, a light pat on his shoulder.
“You were dutiful and loyal. Raise your head, Aigokeros.”
When I told him to raise his head, for some reason, he remained hunched back like a cat and only raised his head.
Is this what you call… that?
He’d probably wanted to raise only his head, but because he has no legs, he ended up looking like he was hunched backwards?
Aigokeros, I appreciate that you’re trying to follow through with the attitude and action of a loyal retainer, but that posture comes off as quite discourteous instead.
“I’m sure you’ve already heard from Aries, but I don’t intend on doing anything to the people of this country. I understand that you wanted to do it for me. However, it’s quite troublesome for me if this country collapses. Can you remove the Madness debuff from the people of this country? With that, I’ll overlook this incident.”
“Yes! If that is what my lady desires!”
Aigokeros lowered his head and started mumbling some kind of incantation.
He was probably reciting the incantation to remove the curse.
Listening to Aigokeros, Aries muttered with dissatisfaction, “Even though you didn’t listen when I told you.”
“If I may say something, Ruphas-sama. Even if I remove the debuff, the citizens of this country would most likely not calm down.”
“To begin with, my debuff only causes the enemy’s emotions to be amplified. That means I merely gave them the push. As a consequence, even if I were to remove the debuff…”
…That… doesn’t sound too good.
I remained silent in order to avoid showing agitation on the outside, but was flustered on the inside.
No wait, hang on, it’s fine. It’s still not the time to be flustered about something like this.
If it’s Libra… If it’s Libra, she’ll do something about it.
Chances were, Jupiter had already been captured by Libra by now. If we stuck Jupiter in front of the citizens, it might be possible to reverse the situation.
It was not possible for me to personally go out in front of the people, but I could leave the explanation to Dina or Libra.
“Hmm, there’s still a method. We just have to bring forth the person that was pulling the strings in front of the people and redirect their emotions towards him. Dina, it’s fine for me to leave the negotiations to you, right?”
“Of course. Please leave it to me.”
When I asked her the question, Dina, who was hiding in the shadow of a nearby tree in order to avoid getting caught in the fight, stuck her head out.
She seemed to always be on standby in a good and safe position every time. Was this what you called diligence, or was it something else?
With a “gu”, she gave me a thumbs-up with a face full of confidence.
“This Dina is not good at fighting, but is good with words. I’ll skilfully manage this incident that was caused by Aigokeros-sama for you!”
Aigokeros looked at Dina strangely first, then looked towards me.
Ah, this development seems familiar. I guess you could say that when it’s the third time, you get quite used to it.
Although I had already predicted what Aigokeros was going to say next, I decided to at least listen to what he was going to say.
In any event, he was probably going to say that he didn’t know who Dina was —
“Is this woman, perhaps, the adviser that skilfully used her stealth skills to always blend in with the background?”
G Master who turned into a monster “Kasakasakasa”
A spider that turned into a monster “Wasawasawasa”
Some random and unknown creator that turned into a monster “Kishaaaaaa!”
Ruphas “… Appearance-wise, that goat is the least objectionable of them all.”
(Author Note end)
 Play-on-words. Evil/bad in Japanese can be written as Aku (悪), part of magic/arcane/mana is the word Ma (魔), and combining them together is Akuma (悪魔), which means the devil.
 Ok so… similar to above, another play on word. Same word Ma (魔) is used to mean magic/mana. Mamono (魔物) = [magical] Monster, King of Mana/Magic (魔の王) Maou (魔王) means a demon/magic king, and the Demon King is also written the same.
 牡羊座, and 山羊. Both are animals, but one signifies the constellation. This is because, unlike in English, there’s no distinguishment between the animal and the constellation when written in Japanese. And the raw used the word motif.
 Delay Frame/Vulnerability Frame
It’s the opposite of the more well-known i-frame (invulnerability frame). In MMOs, unless within certain exceptions such as animation cancel mechanics or characters who specialise in combos and are able to loop perfectly, characters usually have “delay frames” after casting a skill. A user of a skill is often stuck in the skill’s animation, or there’s a small pause before they can use another skill or move their character. For a few “frames”, a user is vulnerable to receiving attacks and counters. There’s no “official term” like “i-frame” for its counterpart but it’s sometimes called delay or vulnerability frames, or even just cooldown, depending on the game. Not to be confused with input delay frames.
 Refer to “Ha” from chapter 32’s footnote.
 Referring to Vegeta from Dragon Ball
 LOL. Good on you Dina, you were remembered!! Where’s the fanfare at!?