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Alleya wasn’t really a demon. She was a minion of mine, and I could give minions the ability “Female Demon” which would transform them completely into a demon. I had done so for Diana, but so far, she hadn’t shown any of those signs. It might be because she is a child, or maybe there was something I was missing. Either way, I wasn’t going to put Diana on the spot, and it wasn’t my intention to turn Alleya into a demon either.
I was the only one with the ability to create female demons, and such a thing was troublesome. Why would I even bother taking on such a responsibility?
No, my true purpose was to lay out the groundwork for Diana. She was the first and only female demon. From the moment I created her, I had been thinking about how I was going to the demon population to accept her. The solution to that dilemma turned out to be laughably easy. I’d lie.
Alleya may not be a demon, but what defined a demon anyway? Some demons looked barely any different from humans. Why couldn’t a human-like demon exist, and why couldn’t that human-like demon be female? My goal wasn’t to convince them but to merely throw a wrench in their thought process. They would have their doubts that Alleya was a demon, but as long as they no longer could say she was a human, then it didn’t matter what was decided afterward.
Alleya got off of my lap. The other girl, the dog girl, whimpered slightly, lifting her hand like she wanted to grab the other girl. After Alleya fed her, it seemed like she had become extremely attached to Alleya. It was that simple, huh? I wondered how quickly she’d grow as a minion when a loyalty that was so easily earned. Well, that loyalty wasn’t to me, but a fellow slave in the same situation she was in. I ignored the girl shifting on my knee, and instead kept my eyes on the same person everyone else in the room was watching. That was Alleya, who calmly stood up and walked into the middle of the room.
“What is this?” Sal demanded, an incredulous expression on his face.
“You said you wanted proof that women could be demons.” I responded, gesturing with my free hand.” I’ve provided proof.”
A few demons chuckled, unsure if this was intended as a joke. Sal’s face twisted into an ugly grin.
“Are you suggesting that this girl is a demon?”
I grabbed a glass on my table that had been filled with wine. “Of sorts.”
I took a sip and then put it back down. With my casual behavior, there was a great deal of murmuring.
“That’s not a demon.”
“Is this a joke?”
“She is pleasing to look at though.”
As the muttering started to die down, I continued. “She’s not a complete demon. You could say the process has only begun. However, she is as strong as a demon. Feel free to test her.”
The muttering grew again, but Sal spoke up quickly. “Don’t be ridiculous! This little thing is as weak as a kitten.”
“Are you afraid of being overpowered by a little girl?” I cocked an eyebrow. “How embarrassing for you.”
His expression turned red, and a larger demon next to him slammed his hands down and stood up. “Very well. Do you wish to compare strength? Let’s see what this so-called female demon is made of.”
The demon was seven feet tall, and he had a chest like a barrel. Even if I was honest and she had more strength than normal, testing her strength against such a demon was asking for trouble. After all, I was a demon, and I wouldn’t say my strength was necessarily that great. I was probably stronger than I was as a human, but I’d say there probably were humans in my old world as strong if not stronger than the current me. I could pick up a girl easy enough, which was convenient when I wanted to play with her in bed, but in a fight, I wouldn’t survive against most of the people in this room. Then again, I believed Sal wasn’t in a much better position.
When it came to Alleya’s strength, I didn’t know how it compared. We’d never tested her limits. I knew she could defeat Charack with ease, and he was the strongest guy I knew. This guy looked stronger though, so I was a bit concerned. I wasn’t the only one. As his mass moved out from behind the table, his feet thumping with each step, the girl on my lap tightened up. Alleya was the first person to show her kindness, so she probably didn’t want to see Alleya hurt.
I was certain about two things though. First off, Alleya was deceptively strong. Second, she had a regenerative ability so even if she was hurt, I believed it wouldn’t put her down for long.
Everyone in the room watched as the demon walked up to Alleya, towering over the petite princess with a menacing glare. He had tusks jutting out of his bottom lip that made him look even more intimidating as he grinned. Alleya looked up at him defiantly, although it was clear to me that she was shaking a bit. Alleya was afraid. That was perhaps one of the other reasons I had tested her like this. How could her strength ever help me unless she was willing to fight demons? It would all be wasted if she froze up the first time I was in danger.
This probably wasn’t the best time to put such a thing on the line, but things had already come this far, and I was confident in my chances. The demon put out a single hand. His palm was large enough he could grip Alleya’s entire head with it. After a moment, she raised her palm. He chucked and then pressed his palm to hers.
It seemed like he was going to go easy on her. My biggest concern was that he was going to go all out. As long as he didn’t attack her suddenly, then I wouldn’t need to move. I had already given the lieutenant a look. His face looked concerned, and he had nodded in acknowledgment. Hopefully, he understood what I meant by that look. If something happens, step in and protect the girl. The demon grinned, and then his arm flexed slightly. He was pushing down on her hand.
This contest of strength was laughably simple. It wasn’t arm wrestling per se. One side just had to push the other down. Well, Alleya already lost here, as his height meant that she would never be able to push him down. Still, as long as she could hold on, it would be enough. His smile flickered slightly, and I could see his hand shake a bit as he applied more pressure. Ever so slowly, his pressure grew and his smile started to leave his face.
At this point, murmuring started to run across the entire room. For a demon who prided himself on strength, he had approached the girl expecting to easily embarrass her, and me by extension. Now, after clearly trying to push her down, Alleya had resisted. More than that, she didn’t even look stressed.
“Here’s the big one,” I whispered under my breath.
The only one who heard me was the dog girl, who nearly jumped at hearing me speak. Feeling slightly embarrassed, the demon would likely put all of his force in the next push, risking squashing Alleya so that he didn’t appear weak. He shoved down, but the only thing that changed was that Alleya’s arm bent. Her lips were pressed together like thin lines, and she was pushing back. It was clear that she didn’t have the upper hand here, but she hadn’t lost either.
The demon looked, his eyes looking around the crowd with confusion and embarrassment. More and more demons started whispering in shock and surprise. When his eyes landed on Sal, Sal shot him a dangerous look. The demon quickly swallowed and nodded his head. I caught their look and immediately made a gesture to Dire to get involved. However, the demon moved faster than I expected.
“Ahhhhhhhh!” He let out a roar and then slammed his fists down onto Alleya.
I cursed, standing up, and sending the dog girl onto my plate in front of me. Dire stood as well, but it was too late to do anything. The dust cleared quickly, and there was a crater under Alleya, she had fallen to one knee, her face red, her body shaking, but she had resisted his blow. No, there was something off. Something was wrong.
It took a moment to realize that when he had attacked her with everything, he had used his entire weight. That entire weight was now being pushed into her small hands. The demon’s feet were no longer touching the floor! Alleya was technically picking him up.
“Ahhhhhhhh!” Alleya gave a scream, far higher pitched and less booming, but she stood up and shoved.
The shocked demon was tossed away, stumbling back several feet until he fell on one of the tables, knocking the remnants of food onto the demons sitting there. They didn’t react to having their food knocked on their laps. They were too busy staring in stunned silence. Everyone in the room was.
I straightened my coat, letting my momentary panic slide past unnoticed. “Any questions?”