Makai Senki Disgaea: Revelations
1: The Decisive Battle of the Netherworld
"Prince! Prince, I said!!"
Above the thunderous roars and tremors that seemed to boil up from the depths of the earth, a loud voice was calling.
"Uhnn, I'm still sleeping......" came the sleepy reply from inside a polished black granite coffin.
The girl who had apparently come to wake him was scantily dressed in black leather clothing that could only just be said to cover her body. But, her chest was completely unremarkable. Without even looking at the black wings extending from her back or her tail, she was clearly a demon. Her red hair was gathered tightly on either side of her head, and stuck out like twin explosions.
"Maybe I'll change my plans and stick him while he's sleeping~"
Her fang-like canines glittered, and the girl pulled a dagger out of nowhere.
And, perhaps having heard her voice, the boy lying in the coffin gave a low groan and sat up. He seemed not to have woken up yet. Rubbing his eyes, he stretched.
Judging by appearance, his age was not much different from the girl's. He was perhaps 12.
His deep-blue-tinted black hair stood up from his head exactly like two antennae, and his entire body was hidden by the long red scarf wound about his neck. As he sat up, though there was no wind, the scarf lifted up of its own accord and fluttered about the boy's shoulders.
"What is it, Etna? I can't even settle down for a nap!"
As though he had finally realized that there was someone beside his coffin, the boy raised his voice in annoyance. But then, he did not seem as angry as his words implied.
"Forget about that. Something awful's come out and is messing up the town." The red-haired girl he had called Etna clicked her tongue and, hiding the dagger, told him the disturbing news as though there were something fun about it. Behind her, her heart-shaped tail waved in delight.
"What did you say?"
"I said, the town's being turned into a total mess!" Turning to the side, Etna muttered, "Why is it he's so slow to get this?"
"Did you say something?"
"Nope, not a thing," Etna replied cheerfully, playing dumb, and then she continued to herself. "Anyway I wish you'd stop taking these naps already. Next time it won't be just two years, but I might make you sleep for two hundred. And if I do that, I'll rule this Netherworld completely."
"Did you say something?"
"Nope, I was just muttering a little about my ambitions."
"Hell, you can't keep dreaming about something you're never going to accomplish." Acting the completely lenient boss, he shrugged it off lightly, and the ruler of the Netherworld, Overlord Laharl, flung out his scarf and leapt to his feet.
"At this rate, it looks like I'll realize it in another 10 years," Etna said.
"Like you could. There's nothing that I'm afraid of." Taking the time to let out a loud laugh, Laharl leapt nimbly from his coffin. "So, what've you come for?"
"Oh, that's right. Forget about all that!"
Etna clapped her hands together, and at the same time the door was flung open with a loud bang.
"Prince, we're in trouble, dood!"
Those who had come in were, any way you looked at it, a bunch of good-for-nothing stuffed penguins. They were lesser demons called prinnies, a lot which specialized in household chores and battle support—essentially, they did odd jobs. It was said that inside them were the souls of sinners.
"Even you lot, it's not 'Prince'! It's been 10 years since I claimed the throne, and I'm a full-fledged king!!"
"It's probably because you don't have any dignity, Prince. Well, it's only been 10 years, so that's to be expected. Until you've been Overlord for 5,000 years like King Krichevskoy, you just won't have the same majesty."
For something so difficult to say, Etna said it bluntly.
"Oh, Etna-sama is here, too, dood."
Not the least concerned with Laharl's anger, the prinny squad saluted Etna smartly.
"And your height hasn't changed at all," Etna added.
"I've grown two centimeters," Laharl boasted, puffing out his chest.
"But, you're not gaining on me or Flonne-chan at all."
Laharl glared sullenly at Etna, but just then, another tremor roiled up like an earthquake. From above, dust and fragments of the ceiling rained down in a patter.
"Well, what is this? Explain it to me fully."
"Showing would be quicker than explaining," Etna said. She gave Laharl a push from behind, and they left his room.
On the way to a castle tower, a voice called out from behind Laharl and the others.
The owner of the voice wore frilly, pure white clothes, and a large red ribbon bobbed atop her head. Just like Etna, she had black wings.
"If it isn't Flonne. What's going on? You're out of breath."
"What's going on— Laharl-san, don't you know about the commotion outside?"
"I'm going to have a look now. Hell, I'd only been napping for two days at the most, how did this problem come up?"
"Laharl-san, you sleep too much!"
"You can't call that a nap!"
At Flonne and Etna's double-scolding, Laharl scowled.
"Don't get so upset. It's much shorter than two years. And that time was someone else's fault," Laharl said, throwing a glance at Etna.
Etna had poisoned Laharl, and thanks to that he had not woken for two years; it had already become a well-known incident throughout the Netherworld. The mastermind, Maderas, had become a servant in the castle, and had been completely forgotten.
"Prince, everyone in town has been clamoring for you to do something, dood," the prinnies cried, raising their voices.
As it was the prinnies' job to do every chore, handling the complaints of the Netherworld's inhabitants also fell to them.
"I get it, I get it. I'm going to see from the tower. You come, too, Flonne," Laharl ordered her coolly, and climbed on to the tower.
She accompanied him, and they began to hear loud noises from outside. At intervals came tremors like an earthquake.
In a space some distance from the castle sprawled a town. As it was common practice for demons that a lot of them did not much like to live in buildings, it was not a large town. The shapes of the buildings, too, were a considerable hodgepodge. One might see a zombie graveyard right next to a building made of stone, or towers rising from the trees where winged gremlins and gargoyles nested.
From the very beginning, everyone outside oneself was an enemy. With the demons never thinking of anyone else, it was a miracle that the town had grown even this big.
Right in the middle of that town stood an enormous demon.
His stature reached the height of the castle tower, and with every step of his two legs he awoke earthquakes. With his strong arms, he toppled towers, and his cloak stirred up tornadoes. Two horns rose from his head, and his eyes burned with the pure red of a furnace. Moreover, he seemed to be headed straight for the castle.
"What the hell is he doing to my town!? Who is that and where did he come from!?"
"There's no record of him," Etna said.
"Did you even check?"
"We checked all the records in the Netherworld library, dood!"
The prinnies put their voices together as if to say 'please believe us.'
"Hm, an attack from an unknown enemy. Somehow it seems like the climax," Laharl said, and even so he let out a loud laugh.
"Why would the climax come this early?"
Etna tilted her head, and Flonne, her eyes brightening as though Etna had voiced her thoughts exactly, began to explain.
"Well, let's see, with this pattern, the hero's special move is repelled, and, temporarily beaten, he undergoes special training in Hell to learn a new special move."
"'Hell'— Flonne-chan, this is the Netherworld......"
"Why do I have to undergo special training?"
Disregarding Laharl's apparent displeasure, Flonne declared, "That's the thing, you'll use that new special move to gain a comeback victory."
"So, what? You, you're saying I'm going to get beaten here, and then it's going to be one long scene of special training?"
"It isn't 'you,' it's Flonne."
"For someone who's going to talk about such pointless crap, 'you' is plenty!" Laharl let loose in response to Flonne's complaint, and then as if the thought had just occurred to him, he addressed the prinnies. "Ah, that's right. Call Gordon, too."
"Right now?" Etna asked curiously.
"I'll punish any manservant who won't come immediately during an emergency."
"That's our Prince, right at home being a demon."
"A demon among demons, dood!"
"Hmph, of course. Don't make such a fuss." Laharl brushed at his bangs. It seemed he was decided.
"He's come right on into the hall, dood."
"Prince, that... sounds indecent."
Etna turned an intense stare on Laharl, and Flonne tilted her head.
"Um, which part sounds indecent, Etna-san?"
"It's fine for you not to know. Now, let's get going!" Dodging her question, Laharl pumped his fist assertively.
"This guy's amazing," Laharl spoke up in admiration as he looked at the upheaval of the town.
"Which part is amazing!? He's made a disaster of the town that we've worked so hard to build!" Flonne flung out her arm to indicate the town.
Towers were being broken off in their middle, and houses were being kicked flying, their roofs landing atop other houses. The stone-paved streets were caving in, huge footprints stamped into them like seals.
"No, it's really artful the way he's breaking things," Laharl said.
"Eh, I don't think he measures up to you, Prince," Etna laughed.
"Don't flatter me. It's embarrassing."
"I don't think it's flattery," Flonne said sullenly, shaking her head. "Destroying such a creation is not something that can be forgiven."
"I don't want to hear that from someone who's obsessed with stories about giant robots fighting each other in the human world."
"There is love in those fights!" Flonne replied indignantly.
"Wasn't your love for those brats piloting the robots?"
"T-that's not it at all!" Flonne cried, shoving Laharl with both hands.
Her outstretched hands hit Laharl in the face. The impact sent him flying back.
"Flonne-chan, since you fell to the Netherworld, you've really become extreme. Laying the Prince out like that, I can't even do that."
"I- I didn't mean to......" Surprised herself, Flonne appeared somewhat puzzled by Etna's teasing.
Laharl returned from the 20 meters' distance that he had gone flying, and declared to Etna in irritation, "S-she's always been extreme. Don't go blaming it on the Netherworld."
"Yeah, yeah. But, for Flonne-chan's attack to send you flying, you've really gotten weak, Prince." Gleaming in Etna's eyes was an unmistakable bloodlust.
"Don't be stupid. I just wasn't in combat mode, that's all."
"Is that so? Then, shall we test that out?" Etna said in provocation, and the two glared at each other.
"Um, Prince?" Recklessly, the prinnies broke in timidly.
"What?" Laharl responded, his temple twitching.
"He's coming your way, dood."
With their penguin-wing arms, the prinnies pointed towards the huge demon just before their eyes and noses. He was close enough that with his next step, he could crush Laharl and the others.
With his legs speeding along, the demon approached.
As though it had been arranged, everyone scattered right and left, and ran.
Spreading his scarf and flying into the air, Laharl rose up in front of the towering demon's face, and jabbed a finger at his nose.
"Oi, you there!"
"Me?" The dark-blue-skinned demon continued for a few steps, until he finally noticed Laharl and stopped.
"Who else is there besides you?" Laharl said.
"You're so tiny I can barely see you."
"By whose permission are you destroying this place?"
"I'm not destroying anything. I'm only kicking down the obstacles to get to the castle."
"That's the destruction I'm talking about!" Feeling that he was being made a fool of, Laharl's tone became demanding. "Who are you?"
"My name is Baal. I've come to settle a score with the Netherworld king who sealed me away."
Laharl grimaced. "By Netherworld king, you mean my old man?"
"You're his kid? Where is Krichevskoy?"
"Too bad for you, but my old man's already dead. I, Laharl, am King of the Netherworld."
"What did you say!?" The demon called Baal grew purple in the face, and his whole body quivered. "He sealed me away, and then he just up and died!? That's unforgivable!!" he declared, and took a deep breath. He sucked in air in a whirlwind, and his chest expanded like a balloon.
In the next moment, he let loose a howl of anger.
A sound so deep as to make one think his cells were splitting apart shook the area for 10 kilometers all around. Everyone who had gone flying now fell like leaves in their state of shock, and in the midst of it, Laharl plugged his ears and cried back, "Stop!"
Laharl delivered an open-handed smack to Baal's forehead, knocking him back. His balance destroyed, Baal took half a step back.
"Aah, now you've done it," said Etna. "This is getting interesting."
Although Etna's eyes had brightened, Flonne raised her voice in protest.
"Laharl-san, you mustn't use force!"
"And that from the one who delivered the final blow to the Defender of Earth," Etna said.
"T-that was in the heat of the moment! Please don't bring up things that happened 10 years ago!!" Flonne objected, turning beet red.
"Sins aren't erased in just 10 years." Etna laughed unpleasantly, and she looked sideways at Flonne.
"Flonne-san, once you've let Etna-san catch on to a weakness of yours, she'll toy with it for a hundred years, dood. You'd better brace yourself, dood." Too late, the prinnies offered this insight.
Meanwhile, Baal's great bulk had been staggering about, and he now regained his balance.
"Oi, you big lout!" Laharl thrust out a finger and declared, "This is my town and my kingdom. I can't let you continue to do as you please."
"What did you say?" Baal growled in displeasure, gripping his forehead.
"I'll force you to stop."
"What do you mean to do?"
"This." Laharl laughed through his nose, and, just as when he had struck before, he brought his hand down on the crown of Baal's head.
With a boom and a deeply-reverberating crash, two nearby towers the height of Baal's head broke apart.
"What was that just now?"
"Oh, just a shockwave," Etna said in reply to Flonne's question, as if it were no big deal. "Got it?"
Baal remained standing where he had been. His skull had not broken open, nor was there even blood flowing from his forehead. He had only lost consciousness for a moment and staggered.
"You... brat!" Having recovered from his faint, Baal let loose a roar of anger. "I'll pulverize you so that not even atoms will remain!"
Baal brandished his right arm. Flames whirled around his fist, and he let out a howl.
"Wasn't that your intention from the beginning?" His arms folded, Laharl calmly withstood the heat of the flames.
"I'll smash you to pieces!" Baal cried out, and struck at Laharl with his fiery fist. Together with the flames, the huge fist twice Laharl's size closed in on him.
"Laharl-san!?" Flonne shrieked as Laharl did not seem about to dodge.
The fiery fist struck just in front of Laharl's face, and a loud noise shook the air. The shockwave thrust past Laharl, and three houses went flying.
"What was with that rookie punch?" Hovering in midair, Laharl had stopped the punch with nothing but his left hand, and without moving one millimeter.
"W-what did you say!?"
Indifferent to Baal's astonishment, Laharl clicked his tongue. "A punch is like this, as if you mean to gouge out someone's side." As he lectured Baal, Laharl drew back his right arm and, twisting his body, shouted, "This should do it!"
All at once, his right fist thrust upwards.
Laharl's tiny fist flew for Baal's face, 10 meters or more away.
No, it didn't just fly, Laharl's fist literally shot forward with a demonic strength.
His fist drew closer, and thrust into Baal's jaw in an uppercut. Not even able to avoid it, Baal took the blow and went soaring high into the air.
"I wonder if he'll become a star?" Etna said.
"Ah, he's falling back down, dood."
During Etna and the prinnies' conversation, Baal came crashing back down to the earth. Tremors like those at the epicenter of an earthquake shook the ground about him.
Not even looking at the fallen Baal, Laharl ordered the prinnies, "You lot finish him off."
"Roger that, dood!"
The prinny squad raised their voices in unison and saluted, and as one they commenced attack on the toppled Baal. Showy attack raids, explosions, and bombardments rose up in succession, and screams continued like the rumbling of the earth. Once that died down, silence reigned over the town.
"Hmph, that didn't take long." Laharl dusted off his hands with a loud clap.
"Well, Prince, you haven't gotten any weaker." Although Etna's voice sounded impressed, she was thinking, I wish he hadn't been so reckless just now, and deep down she was relieved.
"Have you forgotten that I'm younger than you? There's no way my power would wither in just 10 years."
"Oh, is that it?" Etna replied, laughing.
"By the way, weren't you saying something earlier, Etna? About defeating me, or something like that?"
"Huh? Did I say that? I don't remember." Etna's laughter faded. To escape, Etna took some distance from Laharl.
Meanwhile, Flonne was staring dumbly at the fallen Baal. "Um, is it the end already? What about the humiliating defeat? The special training in Hell? The new special move?"
"There is none of that! There's no way I could ever lose!!"
"Ohhh~......" Flonne lowered her voice, sounding disappointed. "And it was going to get really good from here......"
"You, you've had a real personality change, haven't you?" Laharl muttered, throwing Flonne a sidelong glance.
"N-no, I haven't." Flustered, Flonne let out a small cough.
And then, behind the two of them, the fallen Ball rose to his feet. Seeing that Laharl and the others had their backs to him, he tried to sneak away making his great bulk as small as possible.
But, Laharl was not so soft as to overlook that. Finding himself glared at, Baal thrust out his chest and spoke with as much dignity as he could muster. "I understand that you all are strong. I will withdraw. Well, then."
The battered Baal turned as if to leave, but Laharl checked him with merciless words.
"Oi, you. When the guy who caused so much trouble to his subjects says he's pulling out, what kind of idiot would just say, 'Yeah, all right'?"
"Y-you're saying you won't let me no matter what?" Baal asked timidly.
"Fix the town back the way it was. And then I'll have you pay 100 billion in restitution damages."
"Ugh, this is so much worse than the previous generation..." Baal suddenly hung his head so that he looked as if he had shrunk to half his height.
"Just be grateful I didn't take your life. Now hurry up and get to work!"
So scolded, Baal tottered back in order to fix up the town which he himself had destroyed.
Seeing this, Laharl muttered sullenly, "My old man, why the hell did he seal this guy away and let him live?"
"See, Laharl-san? It's just as I thought," Flonne said proudly, clapping her hands.
"What do you mean, just as you thought?"
"Krichevskoy-san had love, too. That's why he let Super-Overlord-san go and decided to just seal him away."
"My old man had love? There's no way. He just knew this was well beyond his ability, so he sealed him away and left it to me to clean up his mess."
"Oh, Flonne-chan, you're the same Love Freak as ever. Why don't you give up already and become a demon, body and soul? It's fun being a demon~" Etna teased.
"Even if I've fallen, I'm still an angel!" Flonne declared indignantly to Etna, but then she tilted her head. "But, is it really true about the seal?"
"Of course it is," Laharl asserted, full of self-confidence. "All right, we're done here!" Laharl pumped his fist triumphantly.
Flonne was looking in the direction from which Baal had come. Maybe she intended to wait to see whether he would return again.
"We're going home, Flonne."
"But, I wonder why the seal broke now?" Flonne murmured curiously.
"Obviously it's my old man's fault. It must have been some sorry excuse for a seal."
Letting out a snort, Laharl took his leave. Flonne remained, staring at the sky for a while as though she could not accept that explanation, before she finally turned back to the castle.
"My, my, this is just no good at all."
From the top of a hill considerably far away, that is to say, so far that the battlefield could barely be seen, a disappointed-sounding voice arose.
"Once he enters combat mode, we simply cannot win. Big brother was the same way, but Laharl-chan is even worse."
A florescent pink cloak concealed the speaker's entire body. His deep voice had to be a man's, but he spoke like a woman.
"At this rate, the opposing faction won't be able to do anything for at least a thousand years. Well, now that I know a frontal assault won't work, why don't I try another method?"
With a wave of his cloak, the figure became a pink whirlwind and his shadow disappeared from view.
Next Time's Preview1
- ^ I'm glad Laharl and the prinny seem confused, too, because I'm not completely confident in the translation here. The words used here for "diviner" and "court musician" aren't ones I'm familiar with, and "court musician" especially is written in hiragana when the prinny asks about it, so they may also be uncommon to a native speaker.