In the depths of the biggest castle in the Mork Continent;
"Go on!! Leave us! Complete the task you were called here to do!"
The man in the shining silver armor hesitated leaving his four companions behind. Facing, the last barricade of elite demons before the throne room of their sworn enemy.
"What the hell are you standing around for!? Go! We can take care of ourselves! Don't let the eight years we've been doing this for go to waste!"
"Die Invader!" one of the elite demons shouted as it launched an attack.
He gripped his sword but before he could defend, another one of his trusted companions rammed his shield onto the incoming threat. It flew and slammed directly into the stone wall leaving cracks surrounding it.
"Haha! You're still the green little brat despite all the power you've gained! Fulfill your destiny and become the hero you've always wanted to be!"
Looking onto the familiar and calming smile of the person whose shield has saved his life multiple times, the silver armored knight finally made up his mind and strode towards the large door at the end of the hallway.
"Good luck my hero! May the gods shine protect you"
Girl in white robes cast her protective spell on him as he glanced at her with eyes full of warmth.
"Hmph! Still trying to flirt with my man? Just because I can't use support magic doesn't mean you can take advantage of him every chance you get"
"Save it! I'll listen to your excuses after you do your job!"
He looked straight into the girl's fierce glare and sighed. This was the first time he was actually looking forward to her scolding. He did not know whether they would actually see each other again but to make sure that the four of them will make it out of here alive, he had to push through.
"Take care of your selves, we'll see each other after this is all over!"
He dashed towards the tall doors as his companions blocked the demons path to support him.
Inside the room in the depths of the caste, two shadows were sitting across each other.
"You should leave, he will be here soon"
"It's still not sure whether I'll die. If this doesn't work then you know what you have to do"
"You're not even wearing any armor! I don't want to lose you again!"
"It is the same for me, but the circumstances are already upon us. That guy will not even listen if I don't go this far. The chances are close to none, but I must try. My only regret is not finding you earlier and give you more happiness"
"Be well… please don't die…" Biting her lip she lowered her head and left through the secret passage at the far side of the room. She however, was not able to hear the whisper of the that was meant for her.
"I won't… at least not in vain…" she was not able to hear the last line and looked back at her father with teary eyes.
Loud and heavy footsteps sounded moments later as the heavy doors burst open revealing a silver armored knight with a long blade.
"Greetings Hero Gabriel… or should I call you Sir Kazuya?"
The figure sitting in front of the table was slowly illuminated by the lights that turned bright after the doors were opened. The well-dressed figure excluded a noble air and was smiling at the person who just trespassed to take his life.
"How did you…"
"This doesn't seem to be a secret no? Why do you sound surprised I know your name from your world? Were you not called as thus until you were given your identity as a knight?"
"Who are you!? Where is the Demon Lord?"
The silver clad hero was surprised by the mysterious person that was clearly a demon. He looked like a person dressed to welcome a guest rather than the current predicament which was his group making their way to assault his castle for the sole purpose of eliminating him.
"Demon Lord? If you're talking about the king of the Mork Continent, then that is none other than myself Sir Kazuya"
"You? What are you planning? Why are you—"
"Dressed as such? That is a simple way of showing you that I do not have the slightest intention to battle to the death like you expected. (Truly like the intelligence presented. He really is as chivalrous as they say. Letting his guard down as soon as he saw me without intent to battle)"
"No intent to battle!? I won't fall for such an old trick! You have caused a lot of deaths and I was summoned here to put a stop to you!"
"I am aware of that which is why I thought of presenting myself like this to show my sincerity in having a serious chat with you. Will you humor this demon whose life is already in your hands?"
Looking into each other's eyes, both trying to get a read on each other, the two stared at each other both concluding that neither planned on making the first move. This made the warrior slightly uncomfortable since this was not in his expectations when he blasted through the doors.
"If I see or feel any tricks then don't blame me for slaying…"
"Please tell me what would put you at ease and sit with me. Do I need to wear magic sealing restraints? Should I swear on my core that I have no other intentions than to have a discussion with you?"
Kazuya couldn't figure what this demon lord wanted but he could feel that he was not lying. This put his mind into more confusion since he had heard all sorts of stories and legends of the man sitting there smiling at him. He could only sigh and lower his sword and carefully strode towards the seat he assumed was meant for him.
"(I don't know what this guy wants after everything he's done but since he has no plans to battle then I cannot slay him but rather convince him to surrender)" he thought.
"Thank you, Sir Kazuya. I hope that you will forgive me for being blunt. Please keep an open and calm mind because I would not have gone to such lengths just to mislead you. At first, I had every intention to fight you to the death, but in the recent years, I have found a reason to want to avoid that and even risk the life I recently did not want to lose to provide that specific reason a better future"
"Are you talking about a peace treaty after everything that has been done? After all the lives have been lost? I'm sorry but that is not…"
"I'm afraid you are gravely mistaken Sir Kazuya. I am not here to negotiate about another peace treaty that was broken by you humans in the first place"
"What a bunch of lies! You're telling me that it was--"
He slammed the table but was startled when he looked into the clear and truthful eyes of the king before him. He was blessed with godly intuition which was very accurate and combining it with his observational skills, he decided to silently sit back down and listen.
"You've met a lot of demons and races in your several years in our world correct?"
"What does that have to do with anything?"
"Have any Demons or Beast Race people you've come across with ever broke oaths and promises to you before?"
"How about humans?"
The answer could be seen on his face. The best example of this the royal palace and the inner courts where hypocrisy was at its highest. Even his original world was full of politicians and businessmen that were either worse or on the same level.
Compared to them, demons, especially beast races were easier to trust since most of them lived and took pride in their promises. This was an undeniable fact based on his experiences and interactions with them for the past few years.
"That is of course excluding dwarves, imps, and the like"
Kazuya tried holding back his laughter at the sudden comment. Who didn't know that most common greedy dwarves would turn their backs on you as long as there was a better offer?
"That was not meant as a joke though"
""Hahahahaha!"" Finally, unable to hold back. The two of them laughed dispelling the tense atmosphere altogether.
"Fine… you win. I'll seriously listen what you have to say"
"I didn't plan on discussing much about the war but since you seem to be under the impression that it was us who started the war then I am sorry to inform you that you have been fooled by them as well. The war was started in order to take advantage of an unexpected success of an experiment"
"Experiment? What experiment?"
"Well… it was the sudden success of the hero summoning"
"What!? Because of me?"
"Not precisely because of you. It was to test the legend of summoned heroes. Since no human has ever lived from the generation of the previous hero Natsu otherwise called as Uriel"
"You… knew him?"
"Not only did I know him, he was the one who granted peace for all races that lasted until the current scheme that broke it. I may not look that old to you, but I was once a young and ambitious demon lord that wanted to conquer everything before I met him during that time"
"This is… all a little too hard to take in…"
"I know it is, but we do not have a lot of time for discussion, so I want you to be able to listen to the truth before you make your own decision. The previous hero was a close friend of mine and since you came from the same world as him, I decided to try and put my trust in you as well"
"Why? Why would you go so far just for that?"
"It was because of something Natsu once told me about. Unlike you, he was in this world for more than two decades before he was able to return to your world. Thus, he made me make two promises; First, If another hero was summoned with the purpose of war then I would at least talk to you like I am now and come to a peaceful conclusion. Second, to inform you of what he found out during his research and his own theory regarding it"
Kazuya looked calm on the outside but his mind was currently in disarray. Things have really been taken a sudden turn after listening to the humble demon lord in front of him. The fact that he appeared as he currently is right now and not the described crude and bloodthirsty demon lord he was portrayed to be gave enormous doubts on the human side of things.
He hated to admit it but a lot of things made more sense the longer their conversation went. What was he here for then? Was he just a pawn to feed the human's ambition and greed? Demons were truly vicious and fierce but every single one of them he has slain, especially the high ranked ones always reminded him of the heroes and valiant warriors he admired from his own world.
A quiet murmur coming from him reached the demon lord's ears.
"What do you mean?"
"Why didn't you try reaching out to me before all this? We could have avoided an all-out war if we had talked earlier"
The demon lord looked at the serious expression on the hero's face and gave a deep sigh.
"Did you think I didn't try? Not only have I tried, but I've done so multiple times to the point that in almost all your campaigns, I was present. Do you remember the letter you found on your tent at your first campaign? The merchant who wanted to discuss the price of sulfur privately? The slave trader who insists on protecting client's preferences privately? Those are just examples, but you have
been tightly under guard and observation which foiled all my attempts"
"Then that was… you?"
"Indeed. I've neglected to tell you that I myself travel freely to live amongst the races these past few decades. I do not like being held up in this stuffy castle all the time and it gives me a better understanding on the current news and events on each race's circumstances. That is why I've tried communicating with you even before the so-called war escalated where you had to take action yourself"
Still in a state of confusion, the hero was panicking and hardly understood the explanations of the demon lord. His mind came to a certain realization when they talked about the attempts of communicating with him.
"I've been under close guard and observation… That should be wrong since most of the time I've only been…"
"I need not say it myself since you yourself have come to the same conclusion. My attempts were foiled every single time by the same group of people. I am sorry to say that you have indeed been under close watch by your so-called aides and companions"