I Favor the Villainess 241

The Final Chapter – The Future of Humanity

Promise

‘Hand over Claire François. Otherwise, I shall destroy the countries of the world one day at a time.’

The Demon Queen said something outrageous.
But considering her immense power, I understood that she wasn’t kidding.
However, I wondered how many people would accept it as true.
In the first place, most people in this world don’t even know that there is such a thing as the Demon Queen.

While I was lost in thoughts, the Demon Queen said something even more ridiculous.

“I shall demonstrate my power to convince those who haven’t heard of me. This is a mountain in Bauer’

I saw a video in my mind.
It showed Mount Sassal.
It was said to be over for thousands meters high, and its very sight filled me with awe.
What sort of magic the Demon Queen used to show it to me, I wondered.

‘Watch closely.’

At that moment, rumbling could be heard from the east.

“… Wha!?”

The image changed, and I saw a blue wave surge from the Imperial Capital Raum.
It flew over the border of the distant Bauer and struck the side of Mount Sassal.
The ground rumbled, shaking the buildings, and the temperature suddenly dropped.
Everybody got down and protected their heads.

The earthquake lasted several minutes.

“Oi oi… What sort of bad joke is this.”

As soon as the earthquake subsided, I heard Rod-sama’s dumbfounded voice.
His confusion spread to everybody around in no time.
No wonder.
The scene we had seen was just that shocking.

The wave the Demon Queen fired had frozen Mount Sassal.

I understood the theory behind it.
I was sure it was the water-attribute attack magic, Absolute Zero, that I could also use.
It’s a top-grade magic that instantly freezes the target.
But, freezing an entire huge volcano hundreds of kilometers away was completely absurd.
At the very least, it would be an impossible feat for me, no matter how hard I tried.

Although the details were different, I felt like I experienced first hand the quote – “It’s not Kafrizz… It’s Frizz.” [TLN: An iconic quote from Dragon Quest. The Demon Lord made that remark after the basic version of a spell he used was confused for a much stronger spell due to its power.]

‘You can see that what I’m saying is not a lie. I repeat. I have the power to destroy humanity.’

The calm, emotionless voice continued.

‘I shall give you two weeks. Deliver Claire François to the Imperial Capital Raum of the Naa Empire until then. This is what she looks like.’

The image changed once again, showing Claire-sama’s appearance.
It looked just like a wanted poster.
In fact, that was what it was.

‘I hope for prudent decisions from leaders of each country.’

With that, the telepathic connection cut off.

The reaction of the top brass gathered here was swift.

“Hilda, prepare to telepathically contact the citizens immediately!”
“I’m on it!”

Philine quickly gave Hilda instructions.
Hilda ran out of the assembly room as if she was on fire.

“Sein, return to Bauer for now. The citizens must’ve seen that scene firsthand. They will panic for sure.”
“… However, what about the battle with the Demon Queen…”

His Majesty Sein frowned at Rod’s suggestion.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, Sein-niisan, but you haven’t fought for so long that I believe you’d be a liability in the fight against the Demon Queen.”
“… Ugh.”
“Can you leave this to Rod-niisan and me?”

When His Majesty Sein hesitated, Yuu-sama urged him to face reality.

“Your Majesty Sein. This is something only Your Majesty can do. The people place a great deal of trust in you. Please calm down Bauer.”
“… I understand. Yuu, I leave the policy of our country regarding the Demon Queen to you. Dor, come with me.”
“Certainly.”

With those words, Sein-sama and Dor-sama briskly left the assembly room.

“Manaria, what will you do?”

His Majesty William posed a question.

“I’m staying. I know it’s singing my own praises, but I’m sure I’ll be needed to fight the Demon Queen. I’m worried about Soussa, but it’s a matter of priorities.”

“I have no choice but to believe in royalty and nobility back in Soussa,” Manaria-sama further answered.

“Likewise, what will you do?”
“Me? Let’s see. After we decide what to do with the Demon Queen, I’ll return to Appalachia.”

“I’m hopeless at fighting,” joked His Majesty William.

Even at a time like this he didn’t stop his clownish behavior.
Perhaps, he was trying to loosen the mood.

“The problem is how to respond to the Demon Queen’s request.”

Misha’s words made everybody fall silent.
I spoke in a fluster.

“We don’t. There’s no way we can respond.”

Responding to the Demon Queen’s request means handing over Claire-sama.
There was no way we could do that.

“Rei, the situation isn’t so simple.”
“Claire-sama…”
“Everybody here thinks like you do. However, do you think people around the world will be easily persuaded after seeing that footage?”

I couldn’t say anything to that.
The video shown to us was without a doubt shocking.

Mountains have intrinsic presence.
Just by being there they overwhelm people.
Moreover, Mount Sassal is a large volcano.
And the Demon Queen instantly froze it.
It was a feat beyond human understanding.
Just how many people would have the courage to fight against a being who could do something like that as a threat?

“Then Claire-sama, do you just intend to meekly surrender yourself to the Demon Queen!? You know you’ll be killed!”

Claire-sama becoming a sacrifice? Gimme a break!
In the first place, if Claire-sama was killed, mankind would really perish.
The only reason the Demon Queen hadn’t destroyed humanity yet was because Claire-sama existed in the loop.

“Since it’s come to this, let’s run away! I will serve you forever.”
“Just where to? That telepathic broadcast probably covered the whole world. There’s no place to escape, is there?”

After saying that, Claire-sama smiled.
I wondered if Claire-sama was demonstrating her self-sacrificing attitude again.
However–

“Don’t make that face, Rei. I have no intention of dying, okay?”
“Eh…?”

Claire-sama’s smiling face had no hint of resignation.
Rather, it looked full of will to fight.

“Rei, I will fulfill my promise to you this time.”
“Promise…?”
“Remember the oath that I broke during the revolution? I’d promised to never give up, right?”
“Ah…”

It was a promise she’d made with me during our two matches.
Claire-sama was saying that this was the time to fulfill her vow to God to never give up.

“Claire-sama…”
“There must be some way. I won’t die like a dog.”
“Yes!”
“Hey, Rei! This is not the place… Let! Go! Of! Me!”

I was so happy I clung to Claire-sama.
Claire-sama became flustered.

“Ahaha. I’m relieved. As long as you two don’t break, things will be fine.”
“Rod-sama…”
“No matter how much I want to help, if you two broke, that would be the end of it.”
“You will help us?”
“Yeah. I now have a reason to strike the Demon Queen too.”
“That is?”

I asked him while still hugging Claire-sama.

“She damaged Sassal Volcano. The mountain of my father’s death. I was thinking of going against it in the near future.”

Rod-sama had a complicated expression on his face as he said that.
It was an usual look for the always cheerful Rod-sama.

“Rod-sama… Hey, how long will you keep clinging to me!?”
“Eeh, just a bit more-”
“Ahaha!”

While Rod-sama laughed, I had my fill of Claire-sama and then let go of her body.

“Jeez… But really, what should we do…? As things stand, it would be difficult to convince people even for people at the top like Onee-sama.”
“That’s true…”

Even if they weren’t convinced by it, having been shown the origin of everything by TAIM, Manaria-sama and others understood it would be all over if Claire-sama fell into the hands of demons.
But, how could that be explained to ordinary people?
It would be extremely difficult without the virtual reality used by TAIM at least.

While we were worrying…

“Should I lend you a hand?”

I heard a help offer.

“TAIM…”
“It may be possible to persuade people with the authority of the Spirit Church.”

Possessing Lily-sama like always, TAIM gave such a suggestion.
Indeed, that was certainly a possibility.

The Spirit Church was the largest religious organization in the world with believers all over the world.
Thanks to continuing activities like helping poor people or offering medical care for a long time, it was a moral authority for people.
While the governments were far above the people, the Spirit Church had always tried to live together with the people.
People might listen to their words.

“But, won’t it be difficult? There are only two weeks until the deadline. How can you convince the people around the world until then?”
“We will use telepathic transmission. On a global scale, just like the Demon Queen did.”

“Our system has enough power for that,” added TAIM.

“Of course, it won’t be particularly persuasive if done by a cardinal like Lily Lilium or Yuu Bauer, who are only known in Bauer.”
“Certainly…”
“Ah. Then, will you show everybody the virtual reality from before?”

I thought of that possibility.

“I can’t do that. The truth of this world will be difficult for the average person to understand, and some people will have adverse reactions to it. In the worst case, you might be blamed, Rei Taylor.”

“It’s too dangerous,” remarked TAIM.

Certainly, it wasn’t not easy to understand that this world was looping.
And even then, it was another me who was trying to end that looping for personal reasons.
The situation didn’t allow for me to just take responsibility if demanded either.

“Then, what will you do?”

Claire-sama asked a question to which TAIM answered.

“Let the Pope – Claris Répète III – make the address. She’s another person who knows the truth of this world.”


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