World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 33: Intermission End of March
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April 1, 5:30 pm, London, England
"And so, at the end of the month..."
As Ms. Kang started her slideshow, I pretended to listen. I knew everything she was about to say anyway; it was just a recap on how everything went with the storylines. It was the first month of operation: something to celebrate, as well as an opportunity to improve.
But I had other things on my mind.
First of all; Ms. Watanabe was trans? Since when?? Why didn't I know about this???
I asked Ms. Kang if she knew about this, but she seemed just as blank faced about it as ever.
"Does it matter?" She had said. "It's not like it changes the story itself much."
There was a truth to that. But it did change how I felt about the character.
But then again...should I really let that get in the way of my entertainment? It's not like it was affecting the plot that much. And I did enjoy the latest developments in the thriller storyline...
The dream sequence was Ms. Kang's idea. It was a way for her storyline to grow in tandem with the other ones. As much as I personally enjoyed Ms. Watanabe's struggle against my company, I did have to admit that there was something missing.
The dream sequence, in turn, had two purposes. First, it saved her from her little predicament with the guards. Second, I used the opportunity to give her a little something to help her...catch up to the other storylines.
While I was at it, I also may have planted a little something to add a little drama. After all, it wasn't like I was helping Ms. Watanabe to actually save the world. I just liked watching her struggle, and in order for her to struggle, she did need a little power. Just enough so that I could crush later on, of course.
Plus, even Ms. Kang approved of the little drama I added. I would go so far as to say that she even seemed a little excited.
Which I guess was all that really mattered. Did I enjoy the story? Sure. So what did it matter if the main character was a boy or a girl? Sure, I could wish for one or another...and I guess I could just make another storyline if it bothered me that much...
Eh. Maybe after this one is finished. Managing three storylines at once is hard enough.
Especially if one of the characters simply refuses to act how you want them to.
I'm talking about the gamer storyline, obviously. Oh Irade. What did I do wrong?
Why did she just stop reacting after the first story mission? She seemed to enjoy it a lot. Plus, with the whole mystery of her parents dangling in front of her, I thought she would jump at the chance to learn more about what happened to them!
But she didn't. She just...stopped using the HUD. It was almost like she was mad at it.
When I asked Ms. Kang, she simply sighed and told me I was being too forceful. When I asked what she meant by that, she could not give me an answer that I could understand, repeating that I was being too forceful.
Still, the latest development in her story was quite...interesting. Since she wasn't engaging with the story, I simply moved the story to engage with her. I had it all planned out; a breakout sequence, her being confronted with the truth about her parents, how the monsters were connected with something higher...it would've been perfect!
She didn't engage. She ran again. I was so annoyed I may have said some things I slightly regret.
Ms. Kang simply shook her head when she heard what I had done. She had even made a slide on it on her presentation.
"Too forceful," she repeated.
I guess I would never really understand women.
Still, the storyline was interesting, if only to see what exactly what Irade would do. I wonder what it would take fo her to get caught? For her to look into her parents? Apparently, she didn't want to do that. Did she simply want to protect her memories of them? Or was she just scared of the government?
Who knows? But I would love to find out.
"By the way," said Ms. Kang, snapping me out of my thoughts. I looked up to find her on a slide about the gamer storyline.
"Was the government always supposed to come in? Or was that something you added in later?"
The implied insult stung a little. Of course I had planned it. Did she not see the fake letters I made? The ones that pretended to be from her father? I had put a lot of thought into this.
Instead of voicing this thought, I simply folded my arms and grinned.
"You will see," I said cryptically.
Ms. Kang simply stared at me for a while, before getting back to her presentation.
Well whatever. She would soon see the greatness I had envisioned for Irade. It was going to be awesome.
And then...there was the superhero storyline.
Relatively speaking, they were actually moving quite fast. They already had a battle, and were now slowly getting used to their powers. I was actually quite proud of the clues and lore I had put into their storyline.
That said, they were taking a little time to take stock now it seemed. After all, the plan was to go back to the library underground, where they were expecting to find a monster waiting for them. It would be foolish not to prepare a little.
As such, it looked like they were training their powers for a little. Gadiel would probably want to train for at least a month, whereas Tarik would probably want to get in as soon as he mastered fireballs. Despite my initial reaction, the more I got to know them, the more invested I became. Was this what it felt like to be a writer? Getting invested in your own characters, even if no one else knew or cared about them?
Maybe I should take some writing classes. They might have some tips on how to improve the storylines.
"And so, this leads us to the future," said Ms. Kang, clicking on the slideshow. This next slide simply had one word on it: FUTURE.
Right. It was my turn to speak.
"First off, I just wanted to clarify something," I said. Ms. Kang nodded politely.
"What are the chances that out of all the people we chose in the 7 billion people on earth, that 75% of them would be LGBT?"
"Very low," Ms. Kang replied immediately. "I tried to do the math myself but..."
"I was just curious. It doesn't affect anything, not with how well the storylines are moving," I waved it off.
"Are they moving well?" said Ms. Kang. "It is my understanding that the gamer storyline has been running into some issues."
Wow. Straight for the balls. How unsportsmanlike.
"Trivial issues," I said. "In any case, this gives us more time to understand Irade's character. It seems we do not completely understand how she feels."
Ms. Kang raised an eyebrow. From her, that was the equivalent of becoming slack-jawed with surprise.
"That is true," she said. "However, trying to understand her in her current state would be quite difficult. She has no friends, no diary, nothing to consult to see how she feels about things."
"Then she probably doesn't know how she feels about these things herself," I mused, turning around in my chair. "We'll just have to tease them out with the plot...make her show us who she is through her actions."
"Like a character study," said Ms. Kang slowly.
"Yes," I said, turning all the way back to find her writing all this down furiously. Well. It looked like she liked that idea.
"Very well," she said. "In that case, we'll need to adjust the plot for her more...she is currently dodging the police, trying to find a safe place to stay."
"We can keep it like that for a while," I said. "I have an idea on how to go about things."
We discussed my plan, and Ms. Kang added a few ideas. In the end, we decided to shelve her for a little while, give her some breathing room, while we prepared for her storyline.
"The superhero storyline has finally started, and it looks like the boys are making some progress," I said. "They have taken the planted lore and are running with it quite nicely."
"If I may just add," said Ms. Kang, "that the lore is quite fun. I'm looking forward to seeing how it will be incorporated more into their storyline."
I grinned. Straight praise from Ms. Kang? That doesn't usually happen.
Guess I needed to come up with some more lore for that storyline. Plus, it was fun to make up stuff about the Sun and Moon. It might all be fake, but it made the world the boys were inhabiting feel old and mystical, which was the vibe I wanted to go for with them.
"For now, they're training in order to go back to the Library," I said. "Just according to plan."
"In that case, no changes for them?"
"Not for now, no," I said. "However..."
I trailed off. Should I mention it? It was probably nothing…
Wait. It was that kind of thinking that always got the Demon Lord killed in the end. And more importantly I hated stories where Demon Lords brushed off something they thought was unimportant but it turned out to be the one factor that undid them. I didn't want to be that kind of stupid Demon Lord.
"There seems to be some sort of irregularity with the pendants," I said.
"In what way?"
"Well, when I created them, I had envisioned one man and one woman taking them, and that their powers would get stronger the more they worked together," I explained. "Of course, I was able to change the spell to accept any gender, but it seems the growth function has gotten a little...wonky."
"Is that why Gadiel is so much more powerful than Tarik?" asked Ms. Kang.
"I believe so," I said, nodding. "However...there may be other side effects. I had implanted a system in the pendants that would sort of...correlate with the dynamics of the relationship, and so-"
"I'm sorry, what does that mean?" asked Ms. Kang bluntly.
I threw up my hands. Right. Non-mage.
"Basically, their powers would grow and change according to their relationship," I said. "If their relationship gets stronger, so will their powers, and vice versa."
Ms. Kang nodded along slowly.
"I see..." she said. "That is definitely interesting..."
"The problem," I continued, "is that I based the changes in male/female romantic relationships."
"Well, to be more accurate, I had based it on ideals I had on what a male/female relationship should be like. With the woman supporting the man emotionally, and the man physically providing for the woman; that sort of ideal."
"However, with two men…"
"...the dynamics are different," Ms. Kang finished for me. "They provide for each other both physically and emotionally."
"So it seems," I said. "So far, Tarik and Gadiel have both comforted each other emotionally in different ways. And we've not had anything physical yet."
"Even if they were man and woman, wouldn't they both be physically protecting each other with their powers once they started fighting monsters?" said Ms. Kang. "Wouldn't that have made the same problem?"
"...when I meant physical..."
Ms. Kang looked at me, uncomprehending for a moment, before going completely red. Her expression didn't change, her face simply became red. It was the most expressive I had ever seen her.
"Well, we haven't really reached that point yet," said Ms. Kang in a normal voice, despite her red face. "There is no telling what the dynamics would be. It is possible that they will be as rigid as in male/female relationships."
"True," I admitted. "For now though, the emotional relationship is a little..."
I went on for a little bit about how their emotional dynamic could cause more problems, before Ms. Kang interrupted.
"I believe that with the system you have installed, the same thing would have happened for a good male/female relationship too," she stated. "After all, any good relationship is built on supporting each other emotionally. Women aren't the only ones that need emotional comfort, and men aren't the only ones who need some physical comfort sometimes."
I stroked my chin as I thought.
"Could it simply be that Tarik is just bad at his power?" Ms. Kang suggested. "It may not have anything to do with the relationship dynamics."
"I guess...we'll just have to wait and see," I sighed. I still didn't have enough information it seemed. Still, better that Ms. Kang know now rather than once they killed themselves due to unstable power.
With that, we moved onto the last storyline
"As for the thriller, we've planted quite a lot for future plot developments," I said. "Now we just need to see which one Ms. Watanabe will take."
Ms. Kang nodded, and I could see just a hint of pride.
"Well done Ms. Kang," I said. "You truly have work hard."
For the first time since I met her, Ms. Kang smiled.
A genuine, happy smile that came from the heart. It twisted her face in a way I had never seen, reaching her eyes and making them glint.
"Thank you, Sir," she said, bowing. "I look forward to working more with this world's first Demon Lord."
My heart skipped a beat. For a moment, she looked absolutely terrifying.
She was beautiful.
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