World“s First Demon Lord Chapter 7: Slow Movemen
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I despise the elite of this world.
Smug, self-satisfied, selfish b*stards, the lot of them. They got their wealth from extorting the hard work of others, and they have the gall to say they did the most difficult of the work.
Of course, I am no exception. This is the world we live in, after all.
That didn't mean I had to like everyone else up here.
Though it did mean that I had to occasionally meet them.
Which was why I was on this yacht, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, watching the snow fall over the water. Truly, it was a magnificent sight. Even in my previous world, I hadn't seen anything like this, though I am sure it must've happened. We simply hadn't gone looking for it.
The people here were so powerful and connected, they could find beauty like this whenever they wanted. Such a small, powerless people, somehow able to discover things I hadn't.
How utterly infuriating.
"Doing alright there Rupie?" said a voice.
I put on my best fake smile, and turned to face Mr. Richardhead. His real name was Bill Doors, but to me he was always Mr. Richardhead.
Cause he was, y'know, a di-
"Told you it'd be worth it," he said, taking a sip of his whiskey. He was dressed in a simple hawaiian shirt and shorts. Absolutely terrible. Though, I suppose it wasn't his fault for being so aggressively American.
No, wait, of course it was. Now I had yet another thing to add to the list of things that annoyed me about Mr. Richardhead. Delightful.
"I suppose you were right," I admitted, begrudgingly, also taking a sip of my drink. I leaned over the railing, and he joined me.
"You ever just relax?" he asked. He seemed genuinely curious.
"I have a business to run," I replied tersely.
"So do I, but they can do without me for a night," he said. "Loosen up a little. Join us inside for a bit. Kim Kar is dancing for us all tonight."
"Isn't her husband also here?"
"He's fine with it," said Mr. Richardhead, grinning. "You know what a freak he is."
I'll admit...it was tempting.
What kind of ungodly timing was this? I took out my phone, annoyed.
Once I saw who it was, however, all my annoyance vanished.
"I'm sorry, old friend, it looks like I have to take this," I said, walking past Mr. Richardhead and patting him on the shoulder. I managed to see his shocked face before I walked past him. Probably because I actually called him 'friend' out loud.
"Y-your loss man," he shouted back at me as I walked up the stairs to the upper deck.
"Yes?" I said, answering the phone as I searched for an appropriate room.
"One week," said a very proud sounding Ms. Kang. "All goes well, the first lab should be opening next week."
Hmm...not bad. Quite a few colleges to work with.
"Beijing and Copenhagen are also doing quite well, though I expect Copenhagen to run into a few more problems," she went on. "Surprisingly, Tokyo seems to be going quite smoothly. The fact that your father's company is well established there made things much easier than expected."
I guess my old dad was good for something. He tried to have me assassinated the other week, the old fool. What he stood to gain from that I had no idea. He wasn't even in the will that I made up out of boredom.
"Dr. Larsson is looking forward to it then?" I asked. I opened a door to a room I thought might be suitable, only to find a couple inside. Whoops.
"Oh, he's ecstatic to finally start," Ms. Kang replied, oblivious to my plight. "In fact, he asked me bestow his personal thanks the next time we spoke."
As I shut the door, I snorted. His personal thanks? Wouldn't he have to do that himself for it to be considered personal?
Dr. Larsson was a post-graduate researcher who was looking into evolutionary biology at Stanford University. I picked him out because he had published some earlier papers on the evolution of humans that seemed quite interesting. His later work was more standard, more palatable evolutionary research, but I had a feeling that his real passion was the advancement of human biology.
My theories turned out to be rather spot on, as after a brief interview and demonstration of my abilities, Dr. Larsson became very interested in the potential for using magic on human subjects. Once I showed him my plans, as well as the magical tech we would be using to perform the experiments, he even had some suggestions for improvements.
Of course, he had some doubts.
"However, human experimentation...doesn't that seem a little reckless?" he had asked.
"Well, we have something called 'international law' here that can put people away for a long time for doing something like this..."
I laughed at that.
"Do you really think that mere human laws can contain me?" I said, amused. I made the chair the good doctor was sitting in float, with him still in it.
"How can they do anything when I can bend the laws of reality itself?"
With that, all of Dr. Larsson's doubts fell away, and revealed the true madness inside. After years of being shackled by ethics and morals, it seems that the idea that he could do anything he wanted without any consequences had made the man go mad with possibilities. He started suggesting ideas that even I had never thought of, asking for materials and tech that I hadn't even considered due to their gruesome nature.
"You have a lot of very...interesting ideas," I ended up saying. "I look forward to trying to make them come true."
"From the bottom of my heart; thank you, Mr. Hargreaves," he said, actually bowing. It seemed that I had made quite the impression on him.
"So we are deciding on Toronto for the superhero storyline?" I asked.
"For the first one," said Ms. Kang. "We are looking into Copenhagen and Tokyo colleges as well, but Tokyo seems a lot stricter when it comes to opening a store."
"It is good to have a backup."
She then went through a list of all the backup locations where labs were planned to open, which included cities in Australia, Egypt, South Africa, and India.
Meanwhile, I had finally found a nice, quiet room; the library. I took a seat in one of the comfortable chairs just as Ms. Kang was done explaining.
"Those should all be ready too, but I suspect they'll take at least three more months," she concluded.
I nodded for a while, staying silent, getting comfortable in my chair. Since we had labs opening in all those places, those would be the locations where I would be able to choose someone for the gamer storyline.
"I am still having some trouble with the spell," I admitted finally.
To be frank, I was at quite a roadblock when it came to the implementation of a HUD. Getting a person's own HP and stats being read out was easy enough, it was just translating biological information into numbers. Getting other people's names to be displayed on the HUD was also quite easy.
The problem was getting the HP bar for other people to be read out. The way it worked, the spell needed to scan a person, then they display their HP. Unfortunately, this method of reading and scanning was terribly inefficient. The HUD would get overloaded the minute there were more than four people in someone's vision, causing blindness.
"I have some ideas on how to overcome this, but it may take some time," I ended up saying. "But send me a list of candidates in each area anyway."
Having a goal always helps with motivation.
"How goes the thriller storyline?" I asked.
"There's quite a lot to prepare," Ms. Kang admitted. "It seems like I need to choose a candidate sooner rather than later."
The reason, she explained, was that she would need to establish a precedent from the get go. The protagonist of the thriller storyline needed a mystery to unravel, and so there needed to be something covered up.
"I'll need to establish a history of covering up dead bodies and such for the lab in question," she went on. "For that, it would be easier to establish lab practices that are wasteful in a certain way."
She mentioned cost-cutting practices that could be seen as corporate negligence or profiteering that could be uncovered by a dedicated journalist.
"Of course, I also want to establish some sort of...mysterious figure," she added. "Someone for the protagonist to puzzle over. I want them to build a whole board trying to connect them with the larger conspiracy."
"So do you have a location in mind?" I asked, cutting directly to the point.
"Tokyo," she said, after a slight hesitation. "I want Tokyo."
"Any particular reason why?"
"...not a logical one, no."
I chuckled, remembering that I was dealing with the world's Number One Death No*e fan.
"Fine," I said casually. "You can have Tokyo."
"Thank you, Sir," I could practically hear her bowing.
"I'll be back in time for the opening next week," I said, cutting the call.
Things were moving. Slowly, but they were moving. I figured that in about a month, maybe two, we would have our very first hero step onto the stage.
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