Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken (LN) - Volume 15 - Chapter 4.3

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Out of the seven Demon Peers who currently existed, Veyron was the second most powerful. He had achieved the rank of duke, having been undefeated for over four thousand years. Despite this, though, he was now on the floor, humiliated by Marco, standing before him in the guise of a warrior.

Marco’s unique skill Adapter allowed him to mimic the appearance of Kondo, and he combined that with consummate usage of the ultimate enchantment Alternate to give himself Kondo-level abilities. Nothing went to waste in his approach, and while Veyron was a titan, Marco was one step above him.

Only because of Veyron’s own great experience was he merely brought to his knees instead of killed outright. All of his combat skills, honed over many years of demon-dom, seemed to do nothing. It was a vaguely frightening reality to face, but Veyron had no fear. If anything, he was enjoying this situation, deep down. Of course he did. After all, he had declared in front of his master Ultima and all the officers that he could win. Thus, he must.

“Demon… Your name is Veyron? Well, I congratulate you on your excellent attempt, but there is no use in trying this over and over again. I have seen what you’re capable of well enough, and it is within my ability to handle it.”

“I…am sure it is. And your assessment is correct, for I have not shown my own true potential yet.”


Marco was about to recommend he surrender. Veyron’s reaction gave him second thoughts. In his view, there existed an ability gap between himself and Veyron that could be described as heaven and earth. Kondo’s strength was proving overwhelming to the demon, after all—but to Marco right now, that functioned as his own strength.

That’s why Veyron’s words angered him so much. Here he was, a Demon Peer, but his magicule count was under a quarter of his. Things were a bit tricker before since that wasn’t a one-on-one duel, but right now Veyron was alone. Nobody was swooping in to interfere, which gave Marco an overwhelming advantage.

Still, Veyron stood up and laughed. “Offering me an impersonation of someone else will not beat me. It is that type of mimicry, after all, that I’m good at.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

“A counterfeit can never approach the real thing. You understand that to be the truth, do you not?”

“What do you mean?” Marco asked, a tad agitated.

Veyron had a little internal laugh at this, wishing he could just slash away instead of having this chat.

“Well, let me tell you. The thing I consider to be the best possible work of art…”

And as he shouted this, Veyron activated his newfound skill.



Veyron was Ultima’s butler. He had served her for a very long time, entrusted with all of her personal care, and it was his job to deal with whatever his master asked of him. The more specialized field of cooking was left to Zonda, but everything else was in Veyron’s domain.

Along those lines, he had developed a unique skill known as Imitator that allowed him to become whoever he wanted. With Imitator, Veyron could turn into anyone he caught sight of—very similar to Marco’s Adapter, but Imitator was a more precise ability. However, Marco’s skill was now enhanced by the borrowed power of Emperor Ludora. Keeping that in mind, Veyron didn’t have a chance; it didn’t even need to be said.

Why? Because what Veyron was Imitating was far stronger than the Kondo that Marco was Adapting. Marco could reproduce something below 80 percent of Kondo’s actual strength. As someone with a similar skill, Veyron knew it was impossible to recreate someone who was far stronger than you. But he still decided to turn himself into the demon lord Rimuru, a supernatural being who had successfully charmed even his master—doing that, he hoped, would give him at least a bit of that power for himself.

But then Veyron heard a voice.

I cannot allow you to do that. Instead, I will give you another power.

The voice was something akin to the World Language. It puzzled Veyron at first, but once he understood the meaning of its message, he was almost moved to tears.

I… Yes, I too am being watched over with that love!

Veyron offered his thanks, as if praying to a god. Then he realized that his skill had evolved. Even if it was counterfeit, an imitation, it could still be art if it truly moved people—and as if to prove that, he could certainly feel something new within him: the ultimate gift Artist. And with that, he was convinced he could defeat Marco.



Now Marco was confronted by a young warrior with keen, sharpened eyes.

“…Who are you? No, wait—I don’t care. I don’t know any swordsman better than Lieutenant Kondo. You are free to copy anyone you like, but you still don’t stand a chance.”

The young warrior Veyron imitated looked quite a bit like Agera—which makes sense, because it was Byakuya Araki from his younger days. It was the very epitome, the ultimate in imitation on Veyron’s part.

I suppose, he thought, a truly talented forger could copy paintings from the pinnacle of an artist’s career, not their lesser years.

He had come to this conclusion precisely because he had tried to master every field of art in response to Ultima’s requests. Even if he had never met the person, the Artist skill could recreate the full power of his glory days—truly akin to cheating.

To this Veyron now added his own unleashed power. Ultima, his master, had evolved through the force she received from Rimuru, and by her graces, Veyron had expanded his force as well. Veyron now possessed enough magicules to match up with an awakened demon lord, not just your garden-variety one.

“Wait… What?! You even feel like a different person from before.”

Marco was astonished. Veyron ignored him, instead materializing a sword in his hand with the demon-specific Create Material skill. It was just an imitation of the Blade Transform Agera had, but it had the ultimate gift Artist applied to it. There was now no doubt that it performed as close to the real thing as possible.

Veyron glanced at Marco. “Indeed. There is no underestimating this man, Kondo. But you know…”

“But what?”

“Now that Lady Carrera is setting off to fight him, I fear his fate may be soon at hand.”

“Ha-ha-ha! Ridiculous!”

Marco laughed off the nonsensical idea. He could never imagine Kondo being defeated.

The two sides stared at each other. They were at irreconcilable odds, and so there was no choice but to settle the matter by force. Both sides moved at once.


“Gallery Fake—Multilayered…Blossom Flash…”

Here and now, the forgery had become the real thing. Veyron’s eight sword strikes batted down five slashes from his opponent, the remaining three amputating both of Marco’s arms before he stopped the tip of the blade right against the nape of his neck.

“Ah, ah, ahhh…”

The intense pain caused Marco to shut off his mimicry. He tried to stop the blood from spraying out, but that wasn’t going to happen now that his arms ended at the elbows.

“Hee-hee-hee! I’m not going to kill you.”

“Ngh… Taking me hostage, then?”

“Oh, goodness no.” Veyron went back to his own form as he grinned. “I serve Lady Ultima as her butler, and I am willing to do anything in order to please my lady.”

It wasn’t much of an answer to Marco’s question. But it did give him an inscrutable fear of what was to come. “What are you gonna do to me?” he couldn’t help but ask. But that reaction already proved he had fallen into Veyron’s trap.

“My lady is quite cruel,” he replied. “She loves nothing more than the pain expressed by those who dare to oppose her—letting their bodies rot slowly over time, for example, rather than kill them immediately. It is my duty and responsibility to admonish her over it…and yet, and yet…!”

I don’t want to hear this, Marco thought. But Veyron was heartless.

“I must admit, I love it as well. In fact, I find nothing more pleasurable than to watch the great and powerful plead pitifully for relief!”

And that, Veyron was implying, is why you are the best toy possible.

“S-stop! Please, stop. I surrender. In fact, I’ll swear to you that I’ll never disobey your will again. So—”

Marco began pleading with Veyron, and nobody could blame him for that. He had never known defeat before in his life, so being put on the defensive like this made him feel vulnerable indeed. There was no denying his solid abilities, but his inner spirit had never received the equivalent training. His ultimate power had only been lent to him; it wasn’t something he had mastered. And as a demon among demons, Veyron was an expert at making opponents like that experience true fear.

“Mmm, sorry, my friend! No need to fill your head with that possibility. I refuse.”


“If a war is underway, then we must never accept surrender. Isn’t that wonderful? If you were truly that weak, you should have submitted fully from the beginning. Trying to bargain after defeat is simply shameful. The mere idea is impossible for me to consider.”


“And it’s not wrong of me, is it? After all, it’s exactly what you’ve all done up to now. I don’t want to hear any back talk just because it’s our turn. So…”

Veyron’s lips curled, his mouth splitting open until his grin stretched from ear to ear as he laughed maniacally. The display, paired with his gentlemanly demeanor, was like fingernails on a chalkboard to anyone who saw it.

“It is time for you to take responsibility…and to please Lady Ultima.”

Now he revealed his true nature. As Ultima’s first servant, he was a cruel, brutal, merciless demon.

“H-help me… Help me, Lieutenant Kondo!”

Marco’s cry for help would never reach Kondo.

“Hmm… Yes, a very pleasant kind of wail there. But it might disturb the others, so please be quiet for a while.”

With that, Veyron unceremoniously pulled out Marco’s tongue.

“Grrk?! Nn, nnn-nnnnhh!!”

So Marco’s silent voice echoed away in this alternate dimension, cut off from the world we know. As for what fate had in store for him…

Soei was in high spirits. He had been watching Rimuru’s battle in secret, one that Rimuru had just won in crushing fashion. It was a lucky break for him.

Despite taking on Veldora and Velgrynd at the same time, Rimuru seemed to have the upper hand throughout. He even consumed Veldora and evolved himself mid-battle. That let him overpower Velgrynd in the end, despite an onslaught that Soei would have been helpless against.

But it seemed that the extent of Rimuru’s newfound strength wasn’t something visible to the naked eye. Even through the soul corridor that connected them, Soei couldn’t sense anything. He was sure he wasn’t the only one curious about that.

Regardless, Diablo hadn’t made any moves right up to the end. Even now, Soei was sure, he was by Rimuru’s side. He wanted to call him a bastard for hogging the best seat in the house, but he also understood that Diablo had a valid rationale for his actions, so he couldn’t openly complain about it.

Testarossa, too, was pretty angry about it. She had flatly declared her intention to stay, but when Soei thought about why, it gave him a lot of mixed feelings. Even so, he still didn’t object to it, because he knew what her motivations were. The Velgrynd here, perhaps realizing her disadvantage, had moved to protect Ludora even as she was fighting Rimuru. There was no guarantee that she’d stay obediently in her Gate until the other seven were destroyed.

As cunning as Testarossa is, there’s no way she didn’t see the possibility. But if she didn’t point it out, that suggests she believes she can handle her alone. I can hardly see her defeating Lady Velgrynd, but she’s certainly confident, at least.

Soei had an accurate grasp of Testarossa’s intentions. She was quite likely positioning herself for a rematch with Velgrynd. That was someone Soei knew he couldn’t beat, so he thought being a bit jealous of her was perfectly valid.

Besides, he thought, Benimaru must’ve read Testarossa’s thoughts and given them at least his tacit approval. Not even he was a match for Velgrynd, after all—she was the very incarnation of fire, and Benimaru’s fire-based moves would do nothing against her. He may not even stop her for very long—and so Testarossa was much more qualified for the job.

Soei, by the way, would likely be able to stop Velgrynd for a few seconds at best. With her spatial control skills, none of Soei’s trademark techniques would work at all. He wouldn’t even be allowed any escape—none that didn’t involve immolation in the flames. He fully understood that, which didn’t thrill him, but he still had to give up his seat to Testarossa.

So he devoted himself to his work with a complex mix of feelings. He was overjoyed to see Rimuru win, but increasingly dissatisfied with his own lack of power. He had absolute orders from Rimuru to kill his enemy, though, and he wouldn’t hesitate to follow them. For Soei, that was just the natural thing to do.

Let’s get this over with so I can hurry back to Sir Rimuru’s side.

His loyalty to Rimuru soaring higher than ever, Soei obeyed his racing heart’s desires and ran through the Gate.

The enemy was in sight. Soei went right for him. All of the Gates had the same battle arena inside, and in the center of this one stood his target.

“Hey. I’m fighting you, then?”

This was Gardner, the fourth-ranked Single Digit.

“Since you’re here and all, let me introduce myself. I am Gardner, entrusted with the protection of Emperor Ludora. I don’t think we’ll be together for long, but I hope you enjoy it, huh?”

Gardner eyed Soei, trying to gauge his worth. He was tingling with a cruel, hidden desire, wondering just how he could best torment this target.

Soei met him with silence. But not entirely. He let out a sigh after a short pause.

“So I am losing precious time in order to dispose of you?”

He spat the words out in disgust. Gardner wasn’t about to let it go unaddressed.


“My name is Soei. If you say that you’ll surrender, I’ll accept it…but you won’t, will you?”

“Of course not!”

This chip on Soei’s shoulder incensed Gardner. This only locked him in Soei’s trap before the fight even began, but he was unaware of that.

“Soei, was it? I’ve heard of you. Kondo was looking into you before, but you’re trying to run your own little intelligence bureau over in the land of monsters, aren’t you? Which means you’re not suited for direct combat!”

Of course, Kondo’s research wasn’t as vague as all that. Gardner knew that Soei had a certain level of ability—but, even knowing that, he was taunting him right now. He didn’t think he needed to in order to win, but if it made this Soei lose his cool, then all the better. It was, of course, a shallow tactic, and one that was meaningless if he tried it against someone like Soei.

“Imbecile. Enough of this nonsense. Let’s get on with it.”

In this short period of time, Soei had already identified Gardner’s full abilities. Gardner, unaware of this, recklessly slashed at him. His weapon of choice was an azure dragon blade held in both hands, thicker and larger than a knife—difficult to handle, but powerful in the right hands. He made it flow in a magnificent dance-like motion as he unleashed a flurry of strikes, a mixture of strength, sharpness, and Gardner’s own polished skills. But it didn’t work on Soei.

Without warning, he dove into the shadows, Gardner’s sword slicing through the air. His momentum threw him off-balance, and Soei was ready. The bullet that flew out from the shadow at Gardner’s feed lodged itself in the chest of its prey.


He collapsed, coughing up blood.

Appearing from the shadows to finish him off, Soei revealed the small Walther P99 handgun. He had recently obtained one of the prototypes that Rimuru had Kaijin build for him, practicing how to fire it from shadow space, and now the results were as clear as the bullet that shot through Gardner’s heart.

“Hmph. Too easy.”

No matter how strong a fighter someone was, if you caught them off guard, you could finish them off with a single blow. That was Soei’s pet theory, but he understood that this just wasn’t possible for some opponents. Gardner, however, was not one of them, and his plan had just worked brilliantly.

The bullet he just fired, after all, was infused with all of Soei’s own skills—the Ultraspeed and Insta-Kill from his unique skill Shadow Striker, but also poison, paralysis, and corrosion effects. Ultraspeed made the bullet begin its journey at dozens of times the speed of sound, and with Insta-Kill added to its already lethal effects, it could even destroy the spiritual body of a life-form. Between that and the various status ailments, Gardner’s death was absolutely certain. Everyone, not just Soei, would have thought so.


“You let your guard down, fool!”

A voice shot out from behind Soei as he started walking back toward the Gate. Before he could react, his head was severed, the azure dragon blade emerging from his chest.

“Ah, these tricks are such a pain… They’re fine for killing clever bastards like him, but it’s no fun if everything gets decided in an instant, you know?”

These words were spoken, needless to say, by the supposedly dead Gardner. The corpse was still lying on the ground, but he was still standing here, perfectly fine. That could be chalked up to the special ability he acquired—for Ludora had used Alternate to grant him the skill Parallel Existence.

Unlike Velgrynd, who boasted a vast amount of magicules, Gardner’s was about average for a Saint-level person. That put him up there with an awakened demon lord, but he couldn’t create multiple replications of himself at once. Just one at a time was his limit, but that was still enough.

Thanks to that, no matter how cunning his opponent was, they’d never be able to tell the “fake” from the real thing—they were both “real” by definition. So Gardner’s typical winning strategy was to lure his foe into a trap, then use a replication as a decoy while he attacked with his main body. It was a proven tactic, but he didn’t like using it much. He was more into tormenting people as they begged for their lives—this approach killed them before things even got to that level.

“Hey, you alive? …Psh, as if, right?”

Despite his complaints, Gardner didn’t forget his job. He had to ensure that anyone who went through this Gate was killed, so he needed to check up on Soei.

But as he was about to, a cold voice said “I knew it” in his ear. Soei’s body, still decapitated and pierced through the heart, dissipated into a black mist.

“Damn it!”

By the time Gardner noticed and shouted out, it was already too late. If he hadn’t lost his composure during his first engagement with Soei, he might have realized that he was dealing with a Replication the whole time—but no point debating what-ifs now. What mattered was that Gardner failed; that, and the consequences he would see from it.

“A simple Replication is good enough to use as a decoy. It appears you are wasting a great power there.”

Soei’s voice echoed coldly. It was a valid criticism, one that stabbed Gardner in the heart.

Gardner had, in fact, met Velgrynd before. Not long after he became a Saint, he learned that the Marshal was a beautiful woman, a bit of info that convinced him he could win in a fight. He instead tasted abject defeat by one of her Parallel Existences as she sat elegantly on the throne, serving as little more than a diversion for her. But it was this skill of hers that Gardner was amazed by. He craved it badly, and now he had a form of it. Even the azure dragon blade he loved was a gift from her.

But Soei had known all of that. Gardner had been dancing on his palm from the beginning.

“God damn you!!”

Gardner screamed at him. This extreme situation was shaking him to the core. If you begin to doubt your abilities, it’ll start to affect you—and the more “ultimate” that ability, the worse it becomes. It was a given that Soei would aim for that.

“If you understand now, then die!”

With that, Soei tried to summon his unique skill Shadow Striker. Then Gardner took out one of his hidden moves.

“Hrrrrr-rahh!! H-how about that? Each one is my real body. I will die, too, but now I can take you with me!”

Multiple Parallel Existences began their attack at once. All were the real thing, so defeating any given individual would be meaningless. It was the ultimate attack, one Gardner burned his very life away to execute. It happened in the blink of an eye, too, making it hard for Soei to evade as he tried to finish the battle with Shadow Striker.

The greatest weakness of Soei’s Replications was that only his own main body could activate unique skills. Soei could control multiple Replications at once, but there was no way to compensate for that weakness. Such was the difference between a Replication and a Parallel Existence, so it was to be expected. Soei could make it look like he could pull that off if he was close enough to a Replication, but even that would come at a time lag that could be lethal against a stronger opponent. With someone like that, only Soei’s main body could strike the final blow.


Soei thought he had been caught off guard. The most dangerous moment of a fight, as everybody knew, was right when you were about to finish the job. You could never let your guard down then, and his failure to do that even though he knew better was a shameful mistake.

Forgive me, Sir Rimuru! I promise you I will survive this and make amends later…

Soei prepared for Gardner’s final onrush. He was not allowed to die—he had to survive this.

But then:

You are not forgiven, Soei. Thus I will grant you power as well.

Soei thought he heard a strange voice.

Wait, that voice… No! Don’t!

Instantly he understood—this voice must never be thought over or pursued in any way. Perhaps it was an unwise thing for the leader of an intelligence department to do, but Soei made the decision without further hesitation.

That is fine. The name of the ability you will gain is…

At once, Soei understood this power as if he were born with it. At the same time, within this field of consciousness that seemed to stretch out a million times over, he realized that his Replications were now Separate Bodies. It only meant one thing—Soei had also acquired Parallel Existence.

“Hyah-ha-ha-ha-ha! I’m going to die, but it’s the end for you, too! Taste my—”

“Is that the end of your will, then?”

“What? N-no! This has to be your main body…”

“That it is. And so is this one. If you understand that, then die.”

“God damn you!!”

This time, Gardner truly had nothing left.

“Thousand Shadow Death.”

Soei’s shadow stretched out, turning into a thousand arms that promptly seized Gardner.

This was the effect of Eye of the Moon in play, one of the skills offered by the ultimate gift Tsukuyomi, Lord of Moonshade. It granted Soei the ability to manipulate shadows at will, and nothing could have matched him better. He could use shadows to investigate any part of the world he wanted, and wherever shadows existed, he could easily “Move” to them instantly. Combine this with Parallel Existence, and he could create multiple pairs of arms to attack people freely from the shadows—an effective battle tactic.

“Go ahead,” Gardner shouted as he was held down. “Gloat over your victory! You will never beat Lady Velgrynd or Sir Granit—”

But his life came to an end before he could finish the thought, snuffed out by Soei’s Insta-Kill.

“Sir Rimuru already took care of Lady Velgrynd. This ‘Granit’ you mentioned is being attended to by Benimaru, one far stronger than I. I suppose, much like me… Ah, but that’s no concern of yours.”

Without further comment, Soei melted away, allowing Gardner to be swallowed by the darkness.


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