The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat - Chapter 77
- The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat
- Chapter 77 - The assassin bargains
- Chapter 77 : The assassin bargains
I was reunited with someone I didn’t expect.
No actually, the reunion itself was something I did expect, but I never thought it would happen so early, and here of all places.
A demon participating in a party held at the royal castle was a fatal mistake. Only those who had made a name for themselves in this country could attend this party.
If she wanted to, the snake demon could massacre all the key members of the royalty and nobility of Alvan at any time.
In this situation, she had the heart of this country within her grasp.
Snake’s servant led me through a floor of rooms that were rented out to guests of honor.
People were gazing at me.
I, who had not only become a Holy Knight, but also earned the title of “Chosen One”, was gathering lots of attention.
And since I was going to visit a woman’s room late at night, and a beautiful widow at that, rumors would spread by tomorrow.
Even so, there was no way I could ignore her.
The servant knocked, the owner of the room answered, and the door was opened.
[Thank you very much for your invitation, Countess Granfelt.] (Lugh)
Since our last interaction, I did my research on the woman the snake demon was posing as.
The Count Granfelt of the previous generation was a capable man, but his incompetent heir dilapidated his fortune.
A picture-perfect fallen noble.
And this woman was the one who married into his family six months ago.
Count Granfelt died one month after that marriage. Following that, she ran the Granfelt domain, and dramatically improved the territorial management in just a few months.
Due to her beauty and skill, she was popular and highly regarded both inside and outside her domain.
…They could never dream that this same Countess Granfelt was in fact a demon.
No one would expect a demon to adapt to human society so well.
[Fufufu. I’ve been looking forward to your arrival, Sir Holy Knight. Please, come this way.] (Snake)
The dark-skinned, voluptuous and alluring lady smiled at me.
Her sex appeal was making me feel dizzy.
She was oozing pheromones just like Tarte did after using【Beastification】. They weren’t as concentrated as Tarte’s. Probably because unlike the latter, Snake was releasing them consciously.
She was synergistically using her sensual body and seductive mannerisms to draw me in against my will.
Despite having acquired drug tolerance through my training as an assassin, and consciously trying to withstand those pheromones I was aware of, even I was having a pretty hard time.
If any ordinary human took something like this, they would fall for her in one go and get gobbled up from head to toes.
[I have excellent tea, if you want.] (Snake)
[No, thank you. I’m not thirsty.] (Lugh)
[Please don’t be so cautious. I did not put any poison in it. I simply wish to make you feel comfortable.] (Snake)
[What great sense of humor you have.] (Lugh)
The same woman who was spewing pheromones in every direction, behaving seductively, and trying to charm me, was telling me to drop my guard?
[Oh dear, is the cat out of the bag? Still, there is no need to be such a stranger with me. After all, we’re all on the same side here. Instead of boorish and useless as a battlefield, I wish to see you as sharp as a knife. That would be much more like you, and much more arousing.] (Snake)
Countess Granfelt snapped her fingers, then all her servants turned into giant white snakes.
So they were shapeshifting monsters?
If there are no humans in this room, then I can speak as an assassin capable of killing demons. Let’s play her game for now.
[In that case, don’t mind if I do. …But if I called for people here, your cover would be blown, Countess Granfelt.] (Lugh)
[You are a wise man, so I know you will not do that.] (Snake)
She understood me well.
Her servants turned out to be monsters.
Which meant that there had to be monsters in disguise other than those servants.
If they felt like it, they could cause countless tragedies right and left.
I didn’t wish for that to happen.
That demon was smart.
There were other points where I could guess how smart she was.
Even though she had her demonic powers, she restored the Granfelt domain to its former glory in such a short period of time. Then back when I encountered the beetle demon, she reckoned that not saying anything and then revealing herself would make it easier for us to talk, and she delayed the topic until our next meeting here.
As a negotiation partner, that was rather sneaky, but at the same time, I was glad that she was getting straight to the point.
[I can’t believe a demon became a noblewoman notorious enough to be invited to the royal castle. Seriously, I didn’t expect the fight to be such a lost cause. You leak out the kingdom’s plans, and on top of that, you have the lives of all the key figures within your grasp. Besides… just how many people have you seduced so far? If you wanted to, you could take over the whole country.] (Lugh)
I managed to endure her pheromones, but it would probably be impossible to count the people who couldn’t.
I didn’t want to think about how many of the country’s central figures Snake might have made into her puppets.
Moreover, she most likely had other cards to play to make people yield to her besides her charms.
[I assure you, not that many. Although, I was hoping it would work on you too. I’m a bit hurt. To think there is one man who does not bend to my will.] (Snake)
Snake was snuggling against me and running her fingers on my torso.
[Sorry, but I know a girl who’s far more attractive than you.] (Lugh)
[My, is that so? Fufu. I wonder which girl you’re referring to. Is it that silver-haired doll? Or perhaps that golden-haired fox girl? They both look so lovely. A boy’s pure love is such a wonderful thing. I could just destroy it without thinking.] (Snake)
[If that’s how you plan to negotiate, then you’d better quit it. …If you ever lay a hand on Dia and Tarte, I’ll make sure to eliminate you, all benefits be damned.] (Lugh)
I directed my killing intent at her.
It was strong enough to cause any ordinary person to lose consciousness. I was capable of perfectly concealing my killing intent, so obviously, I could also do the opposite of that.
Snake’s smile was starting to stiffen.
I guess I’ve made it clear how serious I was.
[Look, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to anger you. I’ll stop with the jokes, so let’s move on to the negotiations.] (Snake)
We’re finally getting down to business, huh.
Snake retracted her crawling fingers and moved away.
[You don’t want the Demon King to come back to life. Am I right?] (Lugh)
If that snake was serious about it, she definitely wouldn’t have revealed herself to me.
If she could control this country to a certain extent at will, then she would’ve made the higher-ups give orders to keep me and the Hero away from her, allowing her to target large cities in the meantime.
She could’ve repeated that process several times.
…And most of all, she knew that the Hero and I, who could slay demons without being the Hero, were in this country.
Even worse was the fact that she had come to understand human nature and how the kingdom worked.
If she had targeted a country that had poor relations with ours, with the kingdom being unwilling to dispatch either the Hero or me, she would’ve been able to grow the fruit of life in any number of ways.
But the fact that she didn’t do any of that could only mean that she didn’t want the Demon King to come back to life.
[I’m glad that you don’t waste any time. The truth is, I don’t want the Demon King to be resurrected.] (Snake)
[For what reason?] (Lugh)
[If the Demon King is revived, we demons will die. And I, for one, don’t want to die.] (Snake)
[That’s crystal clear. But give me more details, will you? In that case, why do the other demons try to resurrect the Demon King? That doesn’t make sense. Do they all have a death wish?] (Lugh)
Snake yawned, looking annoyed.
[The condition for the Demon King’s resurrection is to offer him at least three fruits of life. Then once he’s resurrected, he will absorb all the demons. Except that the one who will serve as his foundation will be the demon who produced the most fruits of life. If they don’t want to disappear, they will have to produce more of those fruits than anyone else.] (Snake)
…In other words, the demons are nothing more than nourishment for the Demon King, huh.
They bring him food, and in the end, they even offer themselves.
[So why don’t you try to produce the fruits of life before the others?] (Lugh)
[Supposing that I do become the Demon King’s foundation, would I still truly be myself? The thought of having the fruits of life… the souls of tens of thousands of humans, and the souls of the other demons poured into me is absolutely sickening. I want to remain myself, and I will not allow anyone to enter my body. That’s why I have been sabotaging the other demons.] (Snake)
[That makes sense, but wouldn’t it be faster to convince the other demons then? They might share your opinion.] (Lugh)
[That’s impossible. Those fools only think about becoming the Demon King themselves. By nature, demons lust for power, and those idiots are nothing but animals who only follow that part of their instinct.] (Snake)
[And you’re different?] (Lugh)
[Yes, because I don’t need any more power than I already have. I’m enjoying my life among humans as it is. The management of my domain is going well, and I can manipulate some of the big-wigs, so I can indulge myself to my heart’s content. I have a lot of admiration, respect and fascination for human culture. I want to continue my current life and enjoy all the cultures and entertainments that humans have created. That’s my wish. Which is why the other demons are a hindrance to me.] (Snake)
One of the essential skills for an assassin is the ability to read minds.
“For the most part”, she didn’t lie.
[If so, then our interests align.] (Lugh)
[Indeed, that’s why I snitched on the demons to you. The Hero is too wet behind the ears, negotiations would have been impossible. Now it’s your turn. Fufu, I gave you plenty of information, so shouldn’t you provide me with some useful intel yourself?] (Snake)
At the moment, I was the only one who had gained something.
[You’re right. In that case, here’s the information I’ve been holding on to. If you don’t team up with me, the Demon King will most certainly be resurrected, and you will die. I learned of the future from a goddess of some sort. If nothing is done, the Demon King will come back to life, then the Hero will kill him, go crazy, and cause the destruction of this world. …And my goal is to change that future.] (Lugh)
[Oh my, so that part about you being a “Chosen One” was the truth?] (Snake)
[That’s right, I’m acting under the direction of the Goddess. By her will, I’m changing the incoming future. Without my intervention, the Demon King is 100% guaranteed to come back to life and be killed by the Hero. I don’t think you wish for that.] (Lugh)
Half of it was a lie, but the other half wasn’t.
[Ohh, I see. In that case, I have no choice but to cooperate with you, don’t I? Fufu, how interesting. I haven’t given you my name yet, have I? You may call me Meena. Normally, only my lovely “pet” slaves can call me by that name, but you are an exception.] (Snake/Meena)
She asked for a handshake, so I gave her one.
I got myself a great collaborator.
She could assist me with both politics within the royal castle and information about the demons.
And my assassin’s eyes could see through her lies.
This snake didn’t lie for the most part.
But there were a few lies mixed in.
True liars always mixed a few lies with the truth.
In that snake’s—… Meena’s case, what she said about refusing to absorb the other demons into her body, even if it meant becoming the Demon King, was the undeniable truth. However, she lied when she was talking about the tens of thousands of humans. Perhaps it didn’t matter to her how many human souls were involved.
And while she meant it when she said she was content with her current life and wished for those days to continue, she lied when she said she didn’t lust for power. Craving for it was part of a demon’s instinct.
Aside from that, everything she said was the truth.
There was only one conclusion to be drawn from this.
Meena’s goal was to become the Demon King after disposing of all the other demons, and create a situation where they wouldn’t be mixed with her.
And she was trying to use both this country and me to achieve that.
She was truly cunning.
That’s why she was more trustworthy and easier to use than someone who had no ambition whatsoever.
And if either Meena was the only demon left, or if she decided to kill the remaining demons with her own hands, she would have no more use for me and would try to get rid of me.
…Likewise, since I had figured out her true motive, I was ready to assassinate her as soon as I was done with her.
In other words, this was a game of using each other till the last minute, and then betraying each other in the end.
On the other hand, this meant that we could trust each other until then.
[It’s a pleasure doing business with you. How about we make out to commemorate the occasion? I can’t help but tingle when I see a good man in front of me.] (Meena)
[I told you, didn’t I? I already have my adorable girlfriend.] (Lugh)
[You are such a stick in the mud. What a shame. Even though I have a body that could satisfy you in ways no little human girls could.] (Meena)
[Hard pass, sorry. And let me point out one thing: nothing is all about physical pleasure. When I make love, I yearn for something more than that. And that’s not something I can get with you.] (Lugh)
[Oh my, hearing you say something like that with a straight face is making this lady feel so embarrassed. Young people are amazing, aren’t they.] (Meena)
After that, I left her room.
Use and be used.
Better keep this relationship going.
…Now, the question is what to do when I get back.
Dia was definitely going to be upset that I went to see a beautiful, sexy woman and sulk about it, and Tarte would stare at me with a sad look in her eyes, though she wouldn’t express her displeasure.
That would be a little annoying to deal with, but this was proof that they loved me.
Strangely enough, thinking about it made them prettier in my eyes.
For now, I should hurry back to them.
And then I’ll figure out what to do next.
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