Chapter 190: A spark, from which a flame is ignited


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


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「I know. I know, for I have experienced it. I was in that cell…」, muttered the prisoner to himself.

The right arm that had been severed by Aimée may no longer be attached to its rightful owner, but its memories still remained — memories that were now shared with the prisoner. Held alone in a special cell beneath the castle, the prisoner had been thoroughly blindfolded. He knew not whether someone would come, or when.

For now, he had managed to keep his hunger at bay. But all he knew was the maddening silence that had persisted since his incarceration, broken only by soft footsteps that came every now and then. When they came, their maker brought a torch, allowing him to perceive a sliver of light that shone through his blindfold — light that he had come to crave.

This time, the visitor also carried a gentle scent. After being deprived of the senses for so long, the prisoner’s heightened olfactory system could sense the tiniest hint of it in the air.

The scent of a lady.

He heard the sound of metal grilles being raised, then that of footsteps growing louder. The scent, too, grew stronger.

「Water. You may drink it.」

The voice alone told him plenty about who had come. In fact, he had no desire to have his blindfold removed or to take a look at her face, for he already knew her well. He opened his mouth, allowing water to drip from the spoon held by the visitor and bring patches of moisture into its parched interior.

「Elvi?」, he said.

「…」

「You don’t have to hide it. Your voice speaks for itself.」

「It has been decided. You will die tomorrow, in secret, and be forgotten thereafter.」

「I see.」

「But we still want to know. If your answer is satisfactory, I promise that your last day on this Earth will be free of thirst and hunger.」

The prisoner hesitated. He swallowed the words that had formed on the tip of his tongue, then decided to set them free.

「I」, he began, 「am a clone of Roland. I know how he and all of you are affiliated, as well as what you have done together.」

「You possess the knowledge… but not the experience.」

「Mhm. You’re not wrong.」

「If you have nothing more to say, then I will take my leave.」

The visitor struck the floor with the solid heel of her shoe. He knew that she had begun to walk away.

「But I can offer something else」, said the prisoner.

She stopped.

「Meaning?」

「We… I mean, the Heroes’ Party which included Roland, defeated the Demon King.」

「Ok, and?」

「The Demon King still lives.」

「I believed you had something important to say, and yet, you jest. I saw the body with my own eyes.」

「But did you defeat her? No, that was ‘me’ — that was Roland. He ‘killed’ the Demon King with a magic collar that he had received from Seraphin. In short… he let the Demon King go. She is still alive.」

The visitor was silent, more likely from shock than anything. She’s exactly as I remember, thought the prisoner. Straight-laced, serious, prim and proper. Almost foolishly so.

He could hazard a guess at what she would do after this.


The prisoner was executed in secret the following day. Among the many ways that an assassin’s life could end, this was barely remarkable — such was its frequency.

Elvi, who saw the process to completion, was haunted by the revelation he had uttered on her last visit. It clung to the back of her mind like glue.

「The beautiful demon lady with crimson eyes and scarlet hair.」

Believing that further efforts to obtain the information that Roland wanted would be futile, she had been about to leave.

「Does that ring a bell? That’s the Demon King.」



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