The fantasy MMORPG Cross Reverie—
There was only one person who could be called the true “Demon Lord” in that game.
The true Demon Lord was not one of the monsters in the game.
He was one of its three million players.
In this game, the player was able to create their own dungeon and reign over it as its boss. Anyone could become a boss character.
However, there was only one who was called “Demon Lord.”
He created dungeons that surpassed the official ones in terms of detail and quality. He possessed the most powerful equipment, and had the skill to leave those who dared to face him perfectly and utterly defeated. The true identity of the Demon Lord was shrouded in mystery.
His power alone was something to be feared, and as he became known among the highest-ranking players, he became a legend.
—This was because the Demon Lord was always holding back.
When he was serious, the Demon Lord was unimaginably powerful; so powerful that you would never think to challenge him twice.
Highly-ranked players who heard the rumors would challenge him with the intent to make him fight seriously.
The Demon Lord, however, made sure to give his opponent a performance befitting of a final boss. Ever the gentleman, he would never forget to entertain his guests.
And so, the players thought:
—What makes the Demon Lord get serious!?
Is it the rarity of the challenger’s equipment?
The title they hold?
Is he only serious against truly skilled players?
They were all wrong.
There was only one thing that would make the ultimate player, the Demon Lord 《Diablo》, serious.
“Oh, these guys are a couple. Time to murder them.”
The Demon Lord—otherwise known as Takuma Sakamoto—muttered this to himself after discovering a certain item in his challenger’s inventory.
He settled back, sinking deeper into his computer chair.
Displayed on his monitor was a dungeon he had built with explicit detail.
The designs on its walls depicted internal organs, with skeleton candle holders and bone-white candles eerily lighting the way. A battle was already unfolding on the expansive marble floor that made up the field.
Dressed in all black, the man who stood towering in front of the throne with horns growing out of his head was the character everyone called “Demon Lord.”
His challengers: a male sorcerer and a female healer.
Takuma’s mouth twisted into a look befitting of a Demon Lord.
“For those foolish enough to bring something as impure as real-world love into this game... I, as the Demon Lord, must pass judgment upon you!”
While it may have seemed that there were no girls on the Internet, especially in online games, it was clear that these two were actual lovers in real life. Which player was male and which was female in real life was not clear through their characters, and was beside the point.
In this game, there was an item called the 《Wedding Ring》.
It was said to have been implemented at the request of other players.
An item that could only be equipped with both players’ mutual consent, it boasted no parameter bonuses whatsoever.
The only reason you would even think to get it was if you and your partner were a couple while offline, in a relationship in the “real world.”
Takuma pressed the shortcut on his keyboard to change his equipment.
“Ku-ku-ku... If you must insist on using that ‘Wedding Ring,’ then I shall make you regret equipping such a useless item with a ring of my own...”
His heart becoming completely like that of a Demon Lord, Takuma equipped Diablo with the item that gave him his namesake.
《The Demon Lord’s Ring》.
One of the strongest items in the game, it was able to reflect all types of magic.
It was an extremely rare item, obtained as a ranking reward for being the first one to defeat the 《Demon Lord of the Mind, Enkvaros》 in an update from two years ago.
It also reflected healing and support spells, so you had to be careful when you used it.
“It shall be a massacre! You fools dare to challenge me, the Demon Lord, with an item that does not even raise attack or defense!? MMOs are not all fun and games. You normies living it up in the real world should just explode! And I shall be the one to make this happen, in spectacular fashion!”
And so, the one-sided slaughter began.
Using the most powerful of spells, he exploded his enemies into dirty fireworks.
His opponents’ offensive spells were all deflected, rendering them completely useless.
Takuma had once again instilled the terror and fear of online gaming into the hearts of yet another couple.
No other player knew.
The one thing that would make the Demon Lord Diablo get serious was not something to do with the game.
—Kill all couples.
It was through this sentiment alone that he became a symbol of terror known as the “Demon Lord.”
Never in his wildest dreams had he imagined that he would be summoned to another world as an actual Demon Lord.