C225: The New Heavenly Four’s Efforts (First Half)

I am Aeshma, chosen to serve His Majesty as one of the new Heavenly Four.
Alas, I’m currently at the Saint’s Farm where I spend my days training my inadequate self.
Today’s story is about my hardships and growth here.


“Flame Brace! Become my sword, o’ flames!”

I’m in the middle of chanting a spell.
Striking a cool pose during this moment is essential for demon soldiers.

“Hellfire Spirit Slayer!!!”

A huge flame from both of my hands shoots up as if to scorch the sky.
It’s only a demonstration, so I have no specific target so to speak.

“Ohh!”
“Wow!!!”

The mermaid girls are struck with admiration at the spectacle of it.
I heard that they are also living here on the farm to study.

“This is the first time I’ve seen demon alchemy!”
“I guess it’s as flamboyant as they say!”
“B-But our Master Puffer is more amazing!”
“No one can beat Master Garra Rufa when it comes to being nuts!”

Discus, Veiltail, Heckelii, and Batrachus.
I like these four girls because they are genuinely amazed by what I do.
They’re more lovable than Batemy and Belena who have become jaded!

“Hahahaha! Marvelous, wasn’t it? Hellfire Spirit Slayer is my most powerful attack!”

I’ve even used this magic to kill monsters in three-star dungeons!
Pretty amazing, right?!
Demon alchemy is amazing, right?!

“Please don’t brag about your power to these innocent girls, it’s embarrassing!”
“And you’re a former peer and junior who has become jaded.”

Belena showed up.

“Who are you calling jaded? Anyone who lives on Lord Saint’s farm becomes like this.”
“What do you mean?”
“Advanced magic doesn’t surprise anyone here anymore.”

No way.
I’ve been chosen as one of the Heavenly Four, and this is the spell I’m most skilled at!
If this doesn’t surprise you, what will?

“I’d like to introduce you to the magic guru today.”
“Magic guru?”
“It’s by the kind offices of Lord Saint and him, so make sure you get something from it, such as learning your place.”

Hah-hah-ha…
Oh, Belena. I’ve been selected as one of the Heavenly Four, what else can I possibly learn from someone else now?
Lifelong learning is a noble aspiration, but too much of it can be despicable.
Isn’t that pathetic for the Heavenly Four, who should be feared by their enemies?

“Please make her understand, Sensei.”
“Mm-hm.”


Huh?

There’s an undead in front of me.
An immortal demon.

Something that’s both alive and dead and has received supra-rational power from the dungeon.
Moreover, the miasma emanating from this figure and its overall appearance…
Is he perhaps the most dangerous of all creatures, the Lifeless King?

“This is Sensei the Lifeless King. You can just call him Sensei.”

So, he is a Lifeless King!
How could I have just stumbled upon an evil being that is said to be one of the World’s Two Greatest Calamities?!

He’s real, right?
The four mermaid girls from earlier even ran at the speed of light!

“On the way here, I saw a huge flame…”

The Lifeless King spoke?!
He’s actually capable of coherent speech?!

“That was the alchemy spell Hellfire Spirit Slayer, wasn’t it? It’s an advanced spell that borrows the power of the elder spirit Efreet. I’m amazed you mastered a difficult spell at such a young age.”
“Huh?! U-Uh… Yes!”

Did he just praise me?
Even a Lifeless King recognizes my abilities. No wonder I’m a Heavenly One!

“Please stop trying to flatter yourself. Sensei is generous with praise.”

Shuddup, Belena.

“Therefore, what you need to learn now is how vast this world is and that the place where you stand now is not the top of it all.”
“Pardon?”
“Do so, and you won’t remain a frog in a well. You’ll be able to keep improving, like that magic I just saw, for instance.”

His words are wise.

“…Try and shoot me.”
“Pardon?!”

That’s too sick of a prank, even if it’s coming from a Lifeless King!
Hellfire Spirit Slayer is one of the most advanced alchemy spells in the world. You may be the strongest kind of undead out there, but you won’t survive unscathed!

“Don’t worry, just do it.”
“Ugh, don’t blame me if this goes south, okay?”

I invoked a lot of magic into my chant and released it.

“Hellfire Spirit Slayer!!!”

But…
I guess I underestimated one of the world’s Two Greatest Calamities.

The magic flames unleashed by the Lifeless King at the same time swallowed my strongest spell.
But it didn’t stop there and still surged toward me.

“AHHHHHHHHHHH!”
“Oops, I put too much power into it. Null.”

The flames were instantly extinguished just before they hit me.
Thanks to this, I was spared from being charred alive.

“…What tremendous power!”

My strongest magic had been completely overpowered by the same attribute.
It wasn’t even supposed to be a competition of sorts!

“The user’s powers make a world of difference even when casting the same spell!”
“Oh, no. That wasn’t Hellfire Spirit Slayer.”

Huh?
Don’t tell me…

“They’re just flames!”

The most basic magic spell that can be unleashed by borrowing the power of the lowest-ranking fire spirits?!
The same flame a demon child would use to kindle a bonfire exceeded my deadly magic?!

“You probably understand now that the spell’s power changes with the absolute amount of magic power. But the scale is much larger than you can imagine. If you keep this in mind and combine it with your desire to improve, you can become as strong as you want.”

But the difference in scale is so huge that I might wet myself!!!
How am I supposed to take that advice?!

“I’m not an expert in demon magic because I was a human before I became immortal, so I can only lecture you at best. I love to teach people and remind them of the human connection in this body that has ceased being one…”


Damn it.
Sensei’s class was so good.
I learned how to use magic efficiently and was able to make new contracts with plenty of elder spirits.

“How is demon alchemy still outside of his forte with that much knowledge?!”

The Lifeless King is a transcendent being.
I knew that in my head, but I didn’t really realize how transcendent he actually was!

“B-But I didn’t see Leviasa today… I couldn’t compete against her as a fellow Heavenly One!”
“Leviasa has already attended all of Sensei’s lectures.”
“What?!”

I was shocked when Belena, who is accompanying me for no reason, told me.

“She’s so competent, she didn’t even need to be told. She figured out that Sensei exists and went to his dungeon to ask for his lectures.”
“Drats! Competent, you say?”
“Yes, competent.”

I also heard that Demon King Zedan and Queen Astres have also improved under his tutelage!
How could I have been so nonchalant until now?!

“Ugh! Me and my foolishness!”
“I know, right?”

My former peer who I treated like my little sister doesn’t even try to console me!
My pride as a Heavenly One will crumble to pieces if this continues!
Is there anything, anything I can do at all to sustain my position?!

That’s when I found an innocent little girl playing with dirt.

“Oh, Lady Veil?”

I thought I heard Belena say something behind me, but I paid no attention to it.

“…A-Aeshma? Why are you glaring at Lady Veil like crazy? You’re giving me bad vibes!”

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