In a corner of the summoned city of London, the three-headed dragon was sitting, coiling itself like a snake. The golden flames released by the Roc Demon King reduced the entire city to ashes, but this city here was an imitation created by a Host Master privilege. Since the city itself was a hint for clearing the game, it was set to automatically repair itself. No matter how many times it got destroyed, it should return to exactly how it was before.
The distinctly european stone roads and buildings were cold, they were robbing him of his body temperature through his white skin.
To a reptile this climate and environment is harsh, but to the three-headed dragon, whose blood was like lava, it was rather soothing.
While entwining his three heads and re-coiling itself, he started to sleep.
This is a digression, but —— Aži Dakāha’s outward appearance closely resembled a dragon, but his spiritual power was closer to a spiritual existence such as a Divine Spirit or a Devil. In reality, he didn’t have any need to sleep. Even if he did sleep sometimes in order to waste time, he didn’t need to do it in order to satisfy a need.
Therefore the three-headed dragon was now sleeping for the former reason.
The type of Host Master privilege that summons a game board doesn’t allow anyone to leave until the game is cleared. So until the time comes, the best choice is to sleep, he thought.
Twining his three heads he recounted the contents of the Games.
As a natural-born Demon Lord he doesn’t like the relaxed type of Game solving. A Demon Lord should fight and trample everything with overwhelming power, that’s how it shows its majesty.
Overpowering stalwart champions with force, seeing through petty strategies with vicious ingenuity, covering the hell that envelops the world with an even deeper hell. That is a Demon Lord.
However the Games this time are a little different.
The Games this time were designed to use his ‘Demon Lords should behave like this’ views against him. If he were to make a move first, penalties would be inevitable. It’s unknown what poet wrote songs about it, but they managed to analyze it annoyingly well. Carelessly making a move would be playing right into the hands of the Host side. Twisting his three heads, Aži Dakāha was looking at a different Geass Roll with each of his heads.
– Gift Game Name: Jack the Monster –
- The target has killed, hurt, or performed evil deeds against a child
First: The defeat of the Host, Pumpkin The Clown
Second: Unravel the history and solve the mystery of ‘Jack’
First: Player is defeated when the Player is killed by the Game Master
Second: Whenever a part of the Game Master’s identity is exposed he loses strength, which ultimately leads to his defeat.
Oath: The legality of this Game is assured as long as it is carried out on a participant who has fulfilled the Participating Requirements.
‘St. Peter’ Seal
– Gift Game: GREEK MYTHS of GRIFFIN –
- The target has to be an invader (The definition of an invader will follow the conditions that are described in the contract)
First: Defeat the Protector of the Treasure from the Host side.
Second: Discover the location of the treasure and display your courage.
First: Destruction of the Treasure (In case the Host destroys the treasure on purpose, it means Victory for the Participant side).
Second: When everyone on the Participant side is defeated, and is unable to fight.
First: Participants attacking the Host side outside of the Place of the Treasure is forbidden.
Second: If the Participant side breaks the rules, the Host side is allowed to seal one of the Gifts possessed by the Participants.
Third: If the Participant side breaks the rules three times, they will be restrained indefinitely.
Fourth: These Penalties will be rescinded when a Winning Condition is fulfilled.
Rewards for winning
First: The Participant is allowed to request any sort of reward from the Host (as long as it is within the boundaries of their spiritual power to give).
Second: The Host is allowed to prosecute the Participant as an invader.
Oath: The legality of this Game is assured as long as it is carried out on a participant who has fulfilled the Participating Requirements.
The Temporary Representative of the Greek Gods, ‘Kerykeion’ Seal
– Gift Game: GROUND COVER on the MOON SEE –
I have twenty-eight brothers who are very shy.
They show themselves when the veil of the night descends.
Brothers with the same face despise, curse and claw at each other.
They shake the surface of the sea with their snarling, and with the breaking of dawn they disappear.
Two disappearing means the sinking of the sands.
Four disappearing means the devouring of stones.
Six disappearing means the consumption of rocks.
Eight disappearing means the burying of the earth.
Ten disappearing means the withering of forests.
Twelve disappearing means the covering of the mountains and rivers.
When fourteen disappears the only ones left in heaven and earth are only us.
Grieving the heavens and earth we open the Heavenly Rock Door, and invite new brothers in.
Inviting two creates mountains and rivers.
Inviting four enrichens the forests.
Inviting six yields earth.
Inviting eight piles up rocks.
Inviting ten stacks stones.
Inviting twelve pours sand.
When we invite fourteen, my brothers once again curse and snarl at each other.
Till we truly separate heaven and earth dawn will not come again.
Pierce through our formless selves and break the cycle of reincarnation.
‘The One Who Envelops the Seas’ Seal
A Triple Game created by using three Host Master privileges at the same time.
One of the current Games —— the Game held by Sala Doltrake, using the Gift bestowed upon the Gryphon by the Greek Gods as the motif, limited the actions he could take.
The gryphon, called the King of Beasts, has the aspects of a lion and the King of Birds, the eagle, who pulled the chariot of Zeus, King of the Greek Gods, was entrusted with the role of guarding gold, qualifying as a Divine Beast.
Throughout the annals of human history it was used many times as a motif in national flags and family crests, its divinity was higher than an average Divine Spirit. However after coming to Little Garden, their numbers increased, and with that their divinity was distributed, currently leaving each individual with the power of a mid-level Mythical Beast at most.
Created for the purpose of gathering all the divinity in an individual was the Dragon Horn of the Gryphon.
Beasts that possessed a horn were regarded as sacred in every part of the world, and were viewed as the symbol of strength.
The Gift that empowered their individual divinity and the divinity they received from the Greek Gods, that is the true identity of Draco Greif’s Horns of Dragon and Eagle. A gryphon in possession of both the horns gains a spiritual power equivalent to wielding the Thunderbolt of Zeus, the activation of a Host Master privilege should be trivial at that point.
(If the Game was constructed based upon Zeus’s Gift, then the most famous one of the Gryphon legends was the pulling of the chariot, or perhaps the guarding of gold. Taking the ‘Treasure’ keyword written in the winning conditions into consideration, it should be fine to assume the latter was used here.)
The ‘Treasure’ in the winning conditions probably symbolizes the gold. The next one to think about is what ‘invader’ means, but with all this information the question is already practically answered.
In Greek Mythology the ones who were aiming for the Gryphon’s gold were mostly identified as Giants.
And by comparing the western european mythologies with human history, the Giants were in most cases savage tribes or foreigners. This Game was originally constructed as anti-giant Game, but underwent a Game Remake by expanding the interpretation.
(There should be a poet named Aesop in greek mythology. A Game Remake of this degree should be no problem for him.)
After analyzing the Game this far, the answer is clear.
By interpreting the ‘Treasure’ as ‘Gold’, the identity of the ‘Treasure’ that needs to be obtained could only be one thing.
(The Demon Lord ruling over the boundary between Gold and the Stars, Queen Halloween. Assuming her Flag is the Treasure is the most logical.)
In that case it’s real simple.
The hiding place of the Treasure is none other than the enemy stronghold, the airborne citadel.
The Host was boldly flying the golden flag. Then as Demon Lord, brazenly raiding the enemy camp and blowing away their pride is the most majestic course of action.
But Aži Dakāha just coiled himself once again and narrowed his ruby eyes.
(But if they did a Game Remake, they probably wouldn’t leave contents of the anti-giant version. Should it be viewed as a mislead, or they just couldn’t change it for some reason? This Game’s purpose is probably simply to stall for time, but even then this is too easy.)
The basis for thinking that is not just intuition.
Draco Greif also participated in the battle against Aži Dakāha 200 years ago. However, he only had one horn and showed no signs of activating a Host Master privilege.
(If this isn’t just a gamble, then are two points that need further consideration.)
First. The possibility that one of the Horns of the Gryphon is already lost and it can’t exhibit its original power.
Second. The fact that even with this being the case, they managed to hold the Game of the Gryphon.
(That means the backer of this game is not Zeus, but a different faction….. Maybe Kerykeion, who was the one to put their Seal of Approval, should be viewed as the Game’s main focus.)
——The Temporary Representative of the Greek Gods, Kerykeion. One belonging to the group of gods called the Twelve Pillars of Olympus, the God of Commerce, Hermes was the one that ruled that Community.
He is a Divine Spirit that, as the God of Couriers that connect cities, walked along every major roads in the world, from ancient times to modern times he was recorded in human history in many different forms.
Spreading its Flag from western europe to even a place called far east, Kerykeion was a huge Community that was considered highly important among the Greek Gods.
And what is even more important is the model that was used for their Flag.
It was a snake coiled around a staff, a Golden Divine Staff as it was described in folklore.
(Divine Staff, Kerykeion as the backer. The Legend of the Gryphon. The Treasure mentioned in the winning conditions. And the stage set in London in the year around 1890. Putting all these together there is something that starts to appear.)
There was two incorrect answers that came with penalties in this Game.
Then one … nay, two will be fine.
Thinking that, the three-headed dragon cut the tip of his clawed fingers and let his blood drop, and with that he summoned his heralds.
In an instant the stone pavement made of bricks started pulsating and throbbing like a living being.
“Need information. Search the city. Kill those that try to interfere.“
Dokun, the bricks pulsated. That must have been the answer.
The heralds left while making a scraping sound on the bricks without showing themselves. After this exploration is done with, there is no need to carefully prepare. When the preparations for the raid of the enemy base are done, all that’s left is carrying the raid out.
Until then he thought of taking a nap, but just when he closed his eyes —— katsun, a high-pitched footstep resounded.
yurari, one of his three heads was raised in a sickle shape.
Then, from the other side of the deteriorated street, two sets of footsteps were audible. At first he thought it was an action of the Host side, but it was too early and too careless for that.
Tilting his left head, he pondered what could it be.
When the owner of the footsteps showed itself, it started shouting in a cheerful voice.
“Ah, there he is, Master!”
“Yes, I can see that. Settle down a bit, Carla. You are standing before His Excellency.”
A cheerful girl with gorgeous blond hair dressed as a maid, her sweet looking hair gently fluttering, pointed her finger at the three-headed dragon with an almost humming tone.
Her strawberry red lips further enhanced her attractive and charming appearance. However, contrary to her appearance and maid clothes, from her waist an enormous greatsword was hanging. There was no way the greatsword, that was about as long as tall she was, could be swung even once with the thin arms of a woman.
Yet the blond maid —— the girl called Carla, not caring about the weight of the greatsword, was doing a little dance. Not an average superhuman strength. Can’t even be mistaken for a human.
By narrowing his eyes and taking a good look, a set of gleaming fangs could be seen in her well-featured mouth.
(…..a pure-blood vampire, huh?)
The famous Knight of Little Garden, a pure-blood vampire.
Their clan was destroyed by internal strife within their Community even before the Dystopia War. They were once the protector of peace, but with the internal strife their numbers greatly decreased, so it’s said that the remaining members live in hidden villages, and rarely show themselves.
There was one in the battle yesterday, but this one is a different type.
In contrast to her beautiful appearance and cheerful behavior, in her gaze a dark, devilish light was shining. That glint in her eyes, rather than a knight’s, it was fitting for a witch. The true nature of this woman was undoubtedly a devilish creature. Rather than a knight’s, her ambiance was closer to the image that humanity has about vampires.
But the three-headed dragon was vigilant towards not the beautiful vampire, but towards the other man.
He narrowed his six ruby eyes with distrust.
The appearance of the man called as Master was somewhat hard to describe.
His attire couldn’t be described with ‘from where’, ‘what’, and ‘why’.
Its place of origin, its manufacturing method, or even its purpose couldn’t be ascertained. This wasn’t a Gift like the Helm of Hades that renders its user invisible. The man in front of him, he himself had an exceedingly thin existence.
After a slight bow, the mysterious man greeted him like he was an old acquaintance.
“It’s been a while, Your Excellency. It’s good to see you in good health as always.”
“…..that voice. The Poet of Grimm?“
“Indeed. When Grim Grimoire collapsed I lost my spiritual power you see. Well, as you can tell.”
“Nonsense. As if a No-former who lost all its spiritual power could still be alive.“
“That’s not really true. There are backdoors and exceptions to everything. I’m being employed as a Storyteller right now —— ah, we should be talking about you right now instead of this. You sure are taking your time with the game solving. Your old self would have raided the enemy camp knowing full well that it’s a trap and would’ve murdered everyone despite the trap anyway.”
The mysterious man shook his head sideways to express his disappointment —— The man known as Grimm defenselessly approached the three-headed dragon and narrowed his eyes with criticism.
“Your Excellency is not the type to adopt a wait-and-see approach just because of a short 200 years nap. You have something in mind, right? I won’t interfere so tell this old friend about it.”
Hyun, a sound of cutting the air.
In the background the city of London was engulfed in strong gale. One of the wings of the three-headed dragon appeared to have been spread wide, aimed to cut off the head of the man like a sharp blade.
But the man known as Grimm only shook like video noise with his head and body still connected like nothing happened.
Shrugging his shoulders the laughing man showed a snake like coiling smile and said.
“It’s no use, Your Excellency. You can’t kill me right now with a childish trick like that. With Your Excellency’s Avesta there might be a slight possibility, but …. care to take a chance?”
The man known as Grimm was provoking him with a wide smile. However the three-headed dragon didn’t respond and coiled around himself once again, trying to go back to sleep. It seems he got mixed up with a bothersome fellow.
Waving the end of his tail around, he said with an emotionless tone.
“Scram, the Poet of Grimm. I have no interest in you today.“
“That’s cold, man~. Don’t just shoot down your zealous fan? Should I help with the mystery solving if you’re in a tight spot?”
“Don’t need. The mystery is mostly solved.“
….hohh? The man, Grimm, grinned with the edges of his mouth curving upwards. That smile looked just like a snake’s with its prey right in front of it.
Even without seeing the exact shape of his face, there is no hiding the malice oozing out from this man. This not the malice of a devil or the menacing malice of a Demon Lord.
Indulging in vices in the world of man.
Toying with grief in Hell.
Taking the hand of the God of Death on the battlefield and dancing on the precipice.
Even with housing such malicious intent that truly deserves to be called malevolence, this man’s smile had a charm that prevented one from looking away.
“Is that so? As one would expect from Your Excellency. As a fan I feel relieved. Me and my maid will act as a spectator, so Your Excellency should enjoy the fight with your kind.”
Due to the unexpected words, he asked back with those same words. He knew that he shouldn’t take anything this kind of person says at face value, but he couldn’t help but ask back.
The ‘same kind’ this man said did not refer to the Demon Lord qualification. He said ‘same kind’ while referring to the essence of the three-headed dragon at his core.
The man known as Grimm, enjoying that reaction, he held his laughter and answered.
“Yeah, that’s right. In this Triple Game, there is a single one of Your Excellency’s kind. One with the same trial as you, the Demon Lord carrying the flag of ‘Evil’, Aži Dakāha.”
“I wonder how you will respond with your mirror image in front of you. What kind of tyranny will you display. ….I’m waiting for that moment so much. As a Demon Lord who fought for years as a Last Embryo, what kind of judgement will you deal on your kind?”
Grimm laughed obscenely.
That smile had an eeriness to it, like he already predicted how the battle will end.
“If there is someone that can defeat His Excellency in this battle, will it be that man, or the daughter of Koumei….. or maybe the most likely candidate, Canaria’s pawn that will win? Carla, what do you think?”
“Well, let’s see. As a dark horse, how about His Highness-kun, as the representative of Ouroboros?”
“Nah, no way. That kid is 10 years too early to confront His Excellency. He is missing that essential hero-ness.”
It was denied immediately by the man known as Grimm.
‘That’s true’, the two of them giggled as they turned their back on the three-headed dragon.
“Well, that’s all I wanted to say. It seems the top management is already flying the white flag and given up. So whether your win or lose, this Game will be the last for Your Excellency. I’ve only came to advise you of that. —— So don’t leave any regrets. To me you are the only true Demon Lord in this world.”
The man known as Grimm and the vampire left only those words and disappeared like mist.
What remained was the dry wind, blowing through the empty London.
The three-headed dragon narrowed his six ruby eyes, and turned his three heads towards the sky.
“….I see. This is my final battle.“
The far past was reflected in the ruby eyes of the three-headed dragon.
Last Embryo —— Before he was called that, Aži Dakāha was much different than the current Divine Spirit with monstrous appearance.
The legend and warning about Aži Dakāha that was recorded in Zoroastrianism is surprisingly simple.
Some country’s king lost himself in his greed, hatred, and ill will, and in the end he turned into an evil draconic monster and became a being bent on destroying the world. Even small children know this tale.
It was a cautionary tale about how people in power that are swayed by evil intentions could end up.
There is no limit to human karma. Their brutality can’t be compared to even a devil. Especially when bad karma of a person in power gathers without end, it could easily destroy a country, a race of people, or even stars.
The more power that gathers to stop those deeds, the Demon Lord, Aži Dakāha becomes that much more sinister.
Scales grew on his human skin, the tip of his finger sharpened into claws, his jaw opened up so much he could devour the earth, his skull split into three and each part turned into a vicious dragon.
There was no trace of his human self left in the current three-headed dragon.
So sinister it makes strong warriors sick in their stomach.
So foul that innocent nuns would scream in terror.
The number of curses and abuses that fell upon him easily exceeded the number of stars, and with each, his monstrosity increased further.
His thoroughly distorted appearance was fitting for the name of evil god by anyone’s definition.
—— “Thou shalt be evil.”
In other words rewarding good and punishing evil.
Not single bit of justice is needed for the enemy that needs to be defeated. Evil should be repulsive and foul. That wish is the basis of this appearance. So, according to the wish of the people he kept exerting his tyranny.
He fought, he fought, he kept fighting.
He fought for thousands of years, waiting for the ‘hero that will someday appear’. There were strong warriors that managed to seal him, but he never met a hero that could defeat him.
He kept fighting battles like that not knowing when they would end. The moment he thought that those seemingly endless day would come to a close —— the shadow of a single woman reflected in his ruby eyes.
His six eyes were gazing at the starry sky.
Thinking back, everything started with the tears of that woman.
That woman was born unrelated to Zoroastrianism, she was born in Little Garden as a being that shouldered a fragment of the world.
Light and darkness, yin and yang, good and evil, creation and termination, man and woman.
Due to a part of the Paradox Game, Omnipotent Paradox, the gods of Little Garden are forbidden from creating a cosmology that is based on monism or monotheism. That is the reason why the biggest sect that existed in the 2000s era can’t exercise its power in Little Garden.
On the other hand, Zoroastrianism, that is based on the duality of good and evil, is the one that filled the requirement for creating a cosmology the earliest by having the least common multiple, and with that monopolised one of the biggest Paradigm Shift.
That woman, who was born to fill the role of least common multiple of the cosmos, had a name and the position of a Divine Spirit that was burdened with every kind of misery at the dawn of the world forced upon her.
Destined to fight for thousands, ten-thousands, hundreds of millions of years, that woman always wept, not being able to bear her fate. She cried while she fought. Piercing through the hearts of heroes that challenged her, she always wept, covering her face with blood drenched hands.
…..at the time, the three-headed dragon, who was born for battle, couldn’t understand the reason she, his Creator, wept. In the first place, if she didn’t want to fight all she had to do was stop fighting. She had the power to do that, something like running away, deserting from battle should have been easy. But she said she didn’t hate fighting.
Then is she sad because she killed the enemy, he asked, but she she shook her head weeping.
Is it because she is the enemy of every being in the world, he asked, but she shook her head once again.
Then why are you sad?, he irritatedly asked —— she then quietly answered.
He closed his ruby eyes. Even after countless years there was no way he could forget.
The reason for the tears that endlessly poured from those gem-like eyes.
If he could wipe those tears away, he strongly felt he wouldn’t mind risking an eternity.
He fought, he fought, he fought for a time close to eternity.
That battle….. is finally almost over.
“——It’s the time of Judgment. Heroes of Little Garden. Now is the time to show your true worth….!!!“