Declaration of War – Deranged Lion
—The Archive Empire’s capital city, the imperial capital of Lemuria in Laguna’s HQ.
The strongest and most fearsome underground organization, Laguna. It contained over a hundred underground families; a giant organization in the shadows that covered the four criminal fields. They had enough military might to assassinate VIPs from various countries and trick the governments. They also dealt in the dark trade of human trafficking and brothels, and they committed fraud, larceny, as well as burglary.
Some even said that they secretly traded with various countries’ VIPs, high-ranking nobles, and the upper brass of the Commerce Guild to amass over a hundred trillion G a year.
Thus, nobody knew just how much influence they held over the various countries’ governments, and as the great Archivian Empire, one of the three largest countries in the world, was in decline, the empire had to keep some consideration towards Laguna’s subordinate families.
“And so Mountain was released?” asked a large man with a mane of golden hair to the hooded women who seemed to serve as a facilitator.
They were sat around a marble round table in a room so luxurious it even surpassed its own name, the Royal Palace.
He was the supervisor of Laguna’s military affairs, the Deranged Lion. He had enough physical strength to go hand in hand against the well-known S-rank adventurer, Caesar, and was even the organizations strongest magician, capable of casting several high rank spells.
“Yes. After placing pressure on the imperial government, we safely liberated Mountain, Feces Family’s boss, who is currently stationed further inside.
Despite the tension slightly dying down, an anger so intense as if to shake the fool who dared defy the strongest underground organization, Laguna, to his very core filled the room.
“Which country boy defied us?” asked Poisoned Alcohol, the supervisor of the property crimes division, as he stroked his long, white beard.
“It’s still unclear.”
“What? Wasn’t he released!!?”
The leader of the dark trade, Dead Butterfly, knit her eyebrows and yelled at the facilitator.
“I’ve been conscious as to only speak in front of you four supervisors……” the guide replied, tilting her head to the side. And of course she had. The boss of a mere small family could only hope to meet with the four supervisors.
“Did you make him confess?”
“According to my reports, he didn’t spill anything even under the effects of magic and drugs. Someone probably casted a spell on him that prevented a confession,” answered a man dressed from head to toe in black in the moderator’s stead. He was Black Owl, the man in charge of the organization’s assassinations and schemes.
“I’ve never heard of any spell like that……” said Dead Butterfly, placing a hand over her well-proportioned jaw.
“Hohoho. That must mean the one who did it is a Magic Knight Academy alumnus, a teacher, or a professor.”
“Do you have some sort of lead?”
Black Owl shook his head no in response to Deranged Lion’s question.
“I see. Then we’ve no other choice but to ask directly. I presume you all have no objections?”
Deranged Lion looked around, but nobody raised an objection.
“Bring Mountain over!”
The facilitator bowed once and exited the room.
After several minutes, she returned with a giant man with a crew cut who had his hands heavily tied behind him.
“State your position.”
“I am Mountain, the leader of Lunette’s human trafficking division of the dark trade.”
He monotonously replied to Black Owl’s question.
“Then let me ask you straight up. Who was aiming for your family?”
Mountain stopped his sentence short and began flailing his mouth.
“What’s wrong. Answer.”
“That……that……tha, that, that, that, thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt……”
As soon as he lost his ability to articulate his thoughts, his eyes rolled back.
“Wait, that’s clearly strange!! Hurry up and bring him over!”
The squad of four soldiers next to Dead Butterfly walked over to Mountain and picked him up.
Four heads flew into the air.
“Careful! We’re under some kind of attack!”
The four supervisors stepped back from the round table and placed their guards up.
“O FOOLISH HUMANS. LISTEN TO MY MASTER’S WORDS.”
It was an emotionless voice, no, it was a voice completely devoid of any intonation, and it sent of chill racing down the spines of the four supervisors who had waded through death hundreds of times.
“Hello, nice to meet you. Let’s see, it’s probably better if I have a name. You can call me Investigator.
I hereby declare that I’ll strangle you all to death in the most horrible and cruel way you can imagine. Why? I don’t really have any need to tell you, so just think whatever you’d like.
In short, you can take this as a declaration of war.
Now then, let’s fight fair and square.”
After the voice flooded in, Mountain began trembling all over before letting out a hideous scream.
Then, along with his death throes, his body split apart in two, and a monster with the head of a spider and the body of a human slowly appeared.
“Supervisors, please stay back!”
Several bodyguards placed themselves in front of the supervisors, but thin, white threads came out of the spider person and rampaged about.
Countless lines formed over their bodies before they slowly split apart until they finally fell to the floor in pieces.
“MY MASTER GRANTS DESPAIR AND DEATH TO THOSE WHO DEFY HIM.”
“Don’t let your guard down! This monster’s insanely strong! Get in formation!”
Deranged Lion spewed out his orders, and the soldiers of Laguna moved as if they were a single entity.
It was a fierce battle. This was Laguna’s HQ, and the guards cut no corners in their training to the point where they could even fight against the emperor emeritus’s own personal soldiers.
And yet over 60% of the guards had perished, and the ones who had managed to keep their lives were on the brink of death.
But that wasn’t all. The spider’s flaming insides were hollow, an empty shell of the monster it once was. They had probably cornered only a part of the spider; they knew it wasn’t the real body, at the very least.
“The last time I’ve felt this drained was when me and Sieg went at it,” said Poisoned Alcohol as he collapsed to the floor, not even bothering to wipe the sweat off his face.
“Stop joking around! Why would a catastrophic class monster appear in the middle of this town of all places!?” Dead Butterfly wailed as she scratched at her deep red hair.
“We’ll need to look into that as soon as possible if we don’t want to die.”
Poisoned Alcohol had hit the nail on the head. If they couldn’t track down the mastermind, it wasn’t hard to imagine them getting attacked by a second or even third monster, in which case Laguna would surely perish.
“We’re changing our base at once. Refrain from anything conspicuous! And Black Owl, investigate the mastermind!”
“Are you to say that there’s a human related to all of this?”
There was no way a single human could employ a catastrophic class monster. Deranged Lion had heard of cases where someone had kept evolving a monster until they had obtained the throne. If this were at all similar, then he could understand a human mastermind.
However, there was no way the monster would naturally or even accidentally take interest in a human—in an underground society, nonetheless. It was highly likely there was a human involved.
“That person is a disgrace to all humans, employing that kind of monster!”
Poisoned Alcohol nodded in agreement to Dead Butterfly’s scathing disdain.
“In any case. The mastermind has some kind of relation to the monster. A magician, perhaps. Look into that.”
“Will do,” Black Owl said before disappearing.
Deranged Lion glared at Dead Butterfly who continued to spew curses out left and right and slammed his foot on the ground to shut her up. His foot sunk into the ground which fissured out like a cobweb.
“This is war, and they’re trying to get rid of us. We can’t lose.”
Yes. That bug monster was probably just a disposable soldier. No, it might have merely been a messenger to declare war. That’s how little their opponent probably cared for a catastrophic class monster, which meant the enemy must have been a true monster.
“I’ll crush them.”
Laguna’s Deranged Lion had stepped of countless corpses to come this far. As he quietly muttered the same phrase over and over, he tightly clenched his fist which was covered in blood and sweat.