Peerage-holding, high-ranking Demon. Its the term that refers to a very small percentage of beings in the Demon Realm, but unlike peerage-holding nobles of the Human Realm, they didnt particularly need to have territories or belong to a specific country.
In fact, the term “peerage-holding, high-ranking Demon” was created by the “Phantasmal King, No Face” and it had spread out around the Demon Realm.
In the Demon Realm back then, there were only two broad categories of Demons: Ordinary Demons and High-ranking Demons who possessed a certain level of power.
Thinking that such a system was inconvenient in managing the information of the Demon Realm, No Face created the “peerages” for those who had superior power among the high-ranking Demons, and quickly spread it throughout the Demon Realm with her overwhelming intelligence department.
Only No Face and a few of her confidants knew of the criteria for judging high-ranking Demons. They were appointed by the Phantasmal King Corps.
However, for No Face, this naming was just for administrative purposes and to make it easier for them to classify, so there is no appointment ceremony or any sort of award.
For those who have been judged by No Face and some of her confidants to “have power above the set standard”, the Phantasmal Kings subordinates would suddenly appear before them and simply orally tell them that they have been judged to have this given peerage.
However, their peerage rank had become a proof of great power in the kraterocratic Demon Realm, and had become a kind of status.
(T/N: kraterocratic/might-makes-right government)
It is even said that becoming a high-ranking Demon will change your world. Even if you dont try to gather them, Demons wanting to be your subordinate will gather around you, and wealth and fame will start coming your way.
Therefore, every Demon dreams to receive the title of being a peerage-holding, high-ranking Demon one day. However, those people that can obtain that title within the vast number of races that the Demon Realm had…… Only a handful of them really exist.
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The Viscount-level, high-ranking Demon, Caraway, was also one of the chosen few.
She was born in a race that wasnt naturally very powerful, but she was born with a talent that was unparalleled in the history of her species.
As she grew older, her skills rapidly improved, and eventually, she became the first of her kind to receive a peerage. At that moment, her race extolled her as a “hero”, and gave her unreserved praise.
(T/N: Hero here is “eiyuu”, just like how Laguna is called hero/eiyuu.)
For Caraway, being called the hero of her race was a source of pride, and it became a guiding principle that inspired her to live up to that title.
But at the same time, being a peerage-holder brought her pleasures as sweet as honey. Many demons wanted to become her subordinates and wealth gathered in her hands.
As she rose from the baron to viscount, the sweet nectar she received increased even more, and she relished in the peak of happiness.
She was indeed a genius…… but her natural talents…… could only get her that far.
There is a barrier between Viscount and Count that only an even smaller number of “monsters” among geniuses could cross, and Caraway could not cross that barrier.
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Perhaps, she should have just given up there. If only she knew her place and had been satisfied with where she was…… She would never have lost sight of her initial resolution.
However, once she tasted the supreme nectar, her heart yearned for more. She began to think about how much happiness awaited her once she reached Count-level.
She wasnt thinking about standing at the top of the Demon Realm. She knew that even if she spent her whole life training her abilities to get stronger, she would never be able to reach even the tip of any of the Six Kings strength. She just wanted to be as close to it as possible……ascend to the highest place that she could.
What was most ironic was that she was onlyslightly out of reach from Count-rank…… which, on the other hand, also meant that if she could get the factor to move one step forward, she might have been able to reach the Count-rank.
Thats why, she reached out her hand…… to him who isnt from this world, the person who would help her make great strides…… filled with selfish desires, she reached out her hand…… and she failed.
However, she was “glad that she failed”…… Because she had failed, she was still able to keep her life.
If she had succeeded in kidnapping Kaito, she would have been immediately beheaded by No Face for causing chaos in the world.
Her vision was so narrowed at that time that she couldnt even notice such things.
……Building things up is difficult, but losing it could only take an instant.
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Caraway lost everything in that one incident. She was warned by the Six Kings and her reputation within the Six Kings was severely diminished.
In a way, it feels as if her sentence was just suspended for later…… and the loyalty of her subordinates wasnt high enough for them to want to follow her.
She didnt blame them for that. If the situation was reversed, she would have done the same. Thats how absolute of an existence the Six Kings were.
All of her subordinates left her, and even her own race began to look at her negatively. From the hero of her race…… She became the disgrace of her race…… The speed at which everything rolled down was so fast that she couldnt help but laugh.
At that moment…… When she was finally free of her burning desires, she wept profusely, regretting her actions.
Where was the hero of her own people, the one who had worked so hard as to not shame that title When did she become such an unsightly fool……
However, regret would not erase the mistakes of the past. She had fallen so far that there was no hope of a second chance, and Caraway herself accepted it.
Since the Six Kings had pardoned her, albeit with a warning, no one was criticizing her on the surface, but the sneers and scornful looks never disappeared.
It was agonizing…… painful…… Unlike the Demon Lord Vier, she didnt have the strength to carry all her sins and to still keep walking through life.
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Over and over again, she shed tears of regret for her past and for what she had lost.
It was so painful that she wanted to run away, but she couldnt forgive herself for not doing anything to make amends.
At least not until she said a few words of apology…… even if the victim, Kaito, doesnt forgive her.
She heard the rumor about the Six Kings Festival, and was allowed to help with it on the condition that she wouldnt be allowed to participate in the main festival. After pleading with them, she was also given the opportunity to apologize to Kaito, and with the invitation in hand, she came to visit where he lived.
The Six Kings Festival was drawing near, and Caraway was cleaning up the grounds where the event would take place. Not being a subordinate of the Six Kings, she was not given any important work to do, only random chores, but she continued to do them without a single complaint.
She was a celebrity in the Demon Realm, but what she had was mostly infamy, and she couldnt help but notice the strange gazes that fell on her.
Some of them used to be her subordinates, but now that theyre following another Demon, the way they looked at her was very cold……
As she continues to work in this suffocating atmosphere, a shadow suddenly appears in front of her eyes.
[……Stop for a moment. Phantasmal King-sama has a message for you.]
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[P- Pandora-sama! A- A message from Phantasmal King-sama…… Y- Yes…… W- What is it]
The one who appeared before her is Phantasmal King, Pandora, who was known as the strongest among the Counts. When Caraway heard her words, her back straightened as she fearfully looked at her.
A messenger from the Six Kings came to visit her…… It didnt seem like shes going to talk about something simple. Could it be that she has done something wrong again The other Demons seemed to think so as well, and they looked at Caraway with gazes mixed with contempt.
But the words that came out of Pandoras mouth were something that no one in that area expected.
[You…… are to guide Miyama-sama, who will come visit tomorrow. You can stop cleaning now, but make sure that you thoroughly ascertain the path you will be going to tomorrow.]
What she said was something really unfitting. It was a known fact to many Demons that Kaito was someone important to the Six Kings.
As for guiding him…… Putting aside if it was left to one of the Six Kings subordinate, its hard to believe that this task is entrusted to Caraway, someone treated as a sinner.
[P- Please wait! W- Why is this…… being entrusted to me……]
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[You were nominated by Miyama-sama himself. You dont have the right to refuse, so just respectfully accept it.]
[……Eh M- Miyama-sama…… appointed…… me…… Why]
Its true that Kaito told her that he forgave Caraway when she apologized at Lilias mansion before. However, this was only because Kaito was kind, and that didnt mean that all grudges disappeared.
For Caraway, being personally appointed by Kaito was like a bolt out from the blue.
However, the shocking development continued.
[Ahh, youre also to receive this……]
[Wha! T- This is…… the badge of companionship W- Why……]
[Miyama-sama appointed you as his companion. Make sure you thank him.]
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Caraway couldnt understand Kaitos actions at all. Why is it that he has no resentment towards her……
[……I will now convey Miyama-samas message.]
[“Im sorry for suddenly asking you to guide us. Also, Im sorry for making you my companion without asking you first and only telling you after you had already become one. I know it may be brazen of me, but as a “friend”, I would be happy if Caraway-san could enjoy the Six Kings Festival as well. If its not too much trouble, please accept it.”…… End of message.]
[Well then, I will tell you the time they will arrive later. Make sure youre not late.]
After Pandora told her just what she needed to know before leaving her alone, Caraways shoulders shook. With tears shedding from her eyes, she carefully wrapped the badge within her hands.
[……Calling this foolish me…… as your friend…… Ahhh…… Why did I…… do that to such a noble person…… It couldnt be helped if even I get embarrassed of myself…… Thank you very much…… Miyama-sama…… Thank you……]
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With large drops of tears in her eyes, Caraway expressed her gratitude to Kaito who isnt here.
At that moment, she hadnt realized it yet. That Kaitos message that day was the salvation that would change her current situation……
Yes, as long as Kaito called Caraway his “friend”, she would be recognized as such.
If anyone were to speak ill of her…… of “Kaitos friend…… That would be an act equivalent to suicide. Kaitos single word became the shield that protected her from the unpleasant gazes.
However, it goes without saying…… Kaito himself hadnt thought about it, and he just asked Pandora to give her that message in a very normal way.
After she realized the influence of Kaitos words, Caraway misunderstood that Kaito did this to protect her. She was so moved that she shed tears to the point that she couldnt cry anymore, secretly pledging her loyalty to Kaito in her heart…… that would be a story for another time.
: [I never expected that Author-san would just give a whole chapter that had just popped out for a moment! I- Isnt this a bit too preferential Are nekomimis really that great Even Alice-chan is a nekomimi when she wears that stuffed costume, you know Shouldnt this be an intermission chapter about the Transcendental Beauty Alice-chan, who has established herself as a capable secretary]
T/N: No bonus chapter today.
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