A huge number of arched pillars were lined up endlessly around the magic stone while the long  history of the Demon Realm had been engraved on the ceiling that was high enough to exceed 20 times the normal height itself.

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On the other hand, a vast magic circle had already been spread out on the floor to suppress the power of the magic stone and whenever the crystal ball flickered, it instantly lit up in all different kinds of colors.
Even though it wasn’t alive at all, it still felt rather difficult to be repressing the power of the magic stone.

“Hmm, luckily enough, it doesn’t seem to be in vain.”

“Isn’t this just useless?!”

The two demons, who had just carried Julia away like luggage, were looking up at her with such hardened faces while being situated underneath the altar—far away from her.

It was then did Julia finally realize that she was already standing still right in front of the magic stone.
Estelle, the real key, had collapsed as she was unable to withstand the potent power when she first encountered the magic stone.
However, the counterfeit self of hers was simply admiring the surrounding landscape instead.

‘How did this even happen?’

The sense of fear had occurred extremely late but to the point where she could no longer breathe and felt completely suffocated.
She looked like she was about to collapse miserably at any moment, but she persevered with all her might.
It was due to her instinctive feeling that she would at least be able to live even a little bit longer if only she pretended to be okay at present.

And so, her prediction was ultimately correct.

The demons had been secretly searching for the key to the magic stone in the human world, but they failed every single time.
In some cases, they were crushed by the force and exploded to death even before they could be put down right at the Demon God Tower and the only successful case ever was that of a human who had eventually lost her mind before breaking down in front of the Magic Stone itself.

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After hundreds of chances just like that, the possibility of success was opened for the first time at long last.
A chance for their great Master to metamorphose into a Demon God!

The eyes of those two demons who gazed intensely at Julia were shining eerily—like a beast with such a coveted prey right in front of them.

* * *

Barbatos’ attitude towards Julia changed in an instant and it started right with the incident back in the tower.

He was still the exact same in treating all humans like those trifling inconsequential creatures, but at least, throughout the whole journey down from the Demon God Tower, he didn’t forget to take great care not to damage her frail body.

On the other hand, Lerazier’s attitude did not change that much.
He still treated her like a mere pretty toy and when his brother wasn’t looking, he put his hands completely in the air as he enjoyed watching Julia dangling on his back.

“This is too much…”

“If you don’t want to fall, you can just hold onto me even tighter.”

Despite the fact that Julia eventually felt a little better as she gathered her courage and protested, Lerazier only shrugged his shoulders yet again.

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Julia then moved to the room where she first woke up before she was washed, combed and dressed up in no time.
Ever since she fell into the Demon Realm, she was in an utter mess all along and finally, she had found her human form.
Not only Lerazier, who had adorned her all by himself, but even Barbatos—that rarely revealed his emotions—came to a pause as well.

“This is that key from earlier.”

“It’s great now, isn’t it?”

As she stood in front of the mirror, Julia blinked her eyes blankly.

The dress that she donned was all black.
However, the hem of her skirt had wrapped around her body and even with the slightest flutter, it could reveal the generous gush of delicate laces and splendid jewels.
Besides, the jet-black fabric went extremely well with that pure white, delicate skin of hers.

“Just before, you’re exactly like a beggar, but I’m sure the Master will finally believe that this is the key itself.”

“What do you mean a beggar, you bastard! You’re talking a bit too much to my doll, Brother!”

“……”

She wanted to proclaim proudly how she was never a key—even more so, a doll itself.
However, even for that kind of reason, Julia’s courage was still that of the size of a pea while the momentum of those demons in question was just so colossal that it seemed to have pierced the sky.

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Julia crouched under the table as she avoided the two brothers who were still arguing.

The prologue’s test seemed to have successfully been solved somehow, but it was just a mountain beyond another mountain.

[The first monarch to unify the Demon Realm, the Great Evil Bael]

Bael was utterly strong and cruel enough to completely reorganize the chaotic and disordered hell under his own name.
Nevertheless, his lust did not know an end at all as he started the Human-Demon war.
At the same time, he had also discovered a magic crystal that was buried deep in the abyss of hell before he eventually tried to directly swallow the mighty power all up.

‘But it wasn’t that easy even for Bael……’

Within the Magic Stone itself, the power of the Demon God was so strong that even the high-ranking demons, such as Barbatos and Lerazier, could not properly withstand it.
Bael was able to at least stand in front of it completely, but absorbing its power had failed every single time.
Thus, as a result of that reaction, he had to experience a terrible magic outburst time and again.

The cost of failure was different for each time.
There were times when it had been a one-time outburst, but in most cases, he could not really control his raging magic before wrecking all the surrounding area in an instant.

It was difficult even for a high-ranking demon to escape safely if they were faced with his outburst directly.
Given the circumstances, the demons’ fears were actually significant.
They eventually came to discover the old record of using ‘the noblest human’ as a key to quell the King’s wrath.

Such circumstances were apparently hidden in the fact that the demons had been constantly looking for a human who could be the key even though they failed every single time so far.

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“I hope that it will produce a good result this time.”

Just as Barbatos was muttering softly, a bat flew in through the slightly opened window.
Lerazier’s eyes that came into contact with it eventually narrowed.

“Agares is looking for you.”

“Why?”

“The Master’s outburst has already started.
If you don’t want to die, get the key right away.”

“…it had gotten rather complicated.”

Barbatos’ gaze while he was kneading his forehead eventually turned to Julia, who was all quiet under the table.

It was difficult even for himself to endure the Master in that outburst state and it was utterly tough to think of what to do if he were to be seriously injured or even killed while giving the key to such a Master.

Julia was also able to read the worries that had crept into his mind rather easily.
Actually, right from the point after she had just finished the prologue…

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