The next time Yunisu woke up, she was as expected, in the same dark room surrounded by stone, and she was still lying on the bed. The bed sheets were supposed to be sticky with all the sweat and other bodily fluids, but right now it was silky smooth, for a moment she even thought that everything that happened was just a dream.
However, she vaguely remembered the fact that her secret place was pierced and that she raised a loud moan of satisfaction, there was still a little hot and throbbing sensation which alluded to the fact that it was no dream after all, Yunisu was troubled with regret and shame.
She realized the fact that she was at wits’s end.
As expected, there was no weapons or armor within her sight, and although she seemed to be prevented from casting magic, her body was not currently being restrained. The door to the room was wide open and the corridor led to the path she previously came from.
If it’s now, can I run away…….?
As if Yunisu’s thoughts were being read, Aur’s figure appeared from within the corridor. Yunisu instinctively stands on guard and quickly leaves the bed.
「You don’t have to be so afraid. I’m not going to add to your injuries anymore」
Aur clicks his fingers, the floor at the center of the room distorts itself and as if it had a will of its own it started to form into the shape of a table and a chair, it soon returned to being a stone as it hardened in place.
「You’ve been sleeping around for the whole day. You must be really hungry by now, right?」
After saying this Aur places the plate he held in his hand on to the table.
「…..Did you put poison in it?」
「If I wanted to do something like that to you whilst you are already awake, I might as well have killed you when you were sleeping, right?」
Yunisu was dubiously eyeing him, Aur quickly takes his seat in front of the plate. It seems that Aur also wanted to eat a meal, there was two plates which had food on it.
「…….I suppose that’s true」
Yunisu was convinced as she walked up to Aur and took a seat facing towards him. The dish that was served on the plate, was the kneaded form of wheat flour which looked like long and slender noodles that was boiled, additionally on top of it was minced meat covered in sauce.
「Is this pasta? How unusual」
「You know about this dish?」
Yunisu nods. In the provinces around here, flour is usually made into bread and she has eaten plenty of these types of things, however it was quite unusual for it to be manufactured into something like noodles. Although it was also related to the fact that it just wasn’t that popular within the culture, it was also a fact that the wheat grown around here was not really suitable to be formed into a noodle like shape. If you make it in the usual methods, the flour would not form properly and would crumble.
「Nn, but it’s really delicious. Is this perhaps a recipe from Deingurado? It is also the first time I’ve seen a sauce like this, it really suits the dish. Is the wheat also ordered from Deingurado?」
「No, the wheat is ground around here. It’s just that I have invented a device to process it into this shape. The sauce is also part of my original recipe」
「Don’t shout out so suddenly. You surprised me」
Aur complains with a face that seemed like he wasn’t surprised in the slightest.
「Eh? This, you made it yourself!?」
「That’s right, is that a bad thing?」
Aur grumbles as if he was disappointed.
「Eh? Well I mean, a Wicked Magician is able to cook and such is……」
「Whether someone is evil or whether they are a mage, we all need to fill our stomachs. Because Lilu is a demon, she doesn’t need to eat human food, and since she doesn’t eat, she doesn’t really know how to cook. Right now we have a shortage of people and there is no one else to cook, therefore there is no other choice but for me to make it, right?…..Moreover, making food is kind of like a magician’s experiment. Don’t you think that it tastes pretty good?」
He puckers up his brows regrettably, as he puts his own dish into his own mouth.
「……Yeah, it’s tasty」
Yunisu uses her fork to twine around the pasta as she carries it into her mouth and honestly appreciates the dish. At the very least, when she compared it to the travelling rations she had to eat, or the wild animals she had to hunt and then parch it using fire, this meal was many times more appetizing.
Aur finished his meal and stood up, Yunisu takes her guarded stance again. Seeing her be so defensive, Aur just sighed in amazement.
「You don’t have to be to guarded. Didn’t I tell you that I won’t hurt you anymore?
The thing yesterday was “punishment” for the fact that you tried to kill me. I don’t have any intention to mete out more punishments」
「Ah…..Is, is that so?」
Yunisu mind’s was puzzled. Hearing Aur’s words she felt a huge sense of relief. However, in her inner most thoughts just for a little bit, she felt a little disappointed that he wouldn’t do anything more. Yunisu was still conflicted as Aur continued to talk.
「However, if you still try to aim your blade against me, it will be a different matter」
Aur was staring at her sharply and Yunisu was not able to return her answer as she just kept silent.
「If you promise me that you won’t try to obstruct my path any longer, then I can even let you go straight out of this labyrinth. I will even return your armor to you, and lift the seal so that you can cast magic again. Nevertheless, if you still want to oppose me to the bitter end, than I won’t give you any mercy」
「……Why are you doing this?」
Yunisu’s gaze was wavering as she looked towards Aur.
「You are….supposed to be a wicked magician, and yet I don’t feel as if you are a bad person…. You did do a really bad thing to me, but after all I was the one who went and cut off your head, It’s inevitable that you would want to punish me for such a thing……But, then why are you one-sidedly threatening the innocent villagers who have done nothing wrong?」
Yunisu raises this question to Aur, and Aur puts his hand to his chin and takes a thinking pose as he spoke.
「It appears that you are misunderstanding something here」
Yunisu’s mind was slowly being swayed by Aur’s words and was starting to believe in him more easily. It was unfortunate that she could not see the smile he was hiding behind the hands which covered his mouth.
「Aur-sama! I am so sorry, the preparations for the offering is not yet complete….. We will be sure to provide it to you by tomorrow night, so please forgive us!」
「It’s fine, don’t worry about it. In the first place the original date for offering was to be the first of every month. As long as you keep true to your promise, everything will be fine」
The villager before him was already prostrating down on his knees, and Aur replied in a magnanimous way. Yunisu was also accompanying him, standing next to him. Although her armor wasn’t returned to her just yet, there was also no bindings on her body.
「In that case, is there something you need for today….?」
「Umu. I’ve come to see the state of the fields. And I also have something that I was curious about, you see」
Hearing such an unexpected conversation, Yunisu blinks her eyes in disbelief.
「Is that so?! In that case please come this way, although we are but a humble village, we hope that it is not too crude for your liking, Because Aur-sama has blessed the fields with his power, the crops have grown beautifully, and even though winter approaches, this is the first time our harvest has been so abundant!」
The villager guided him towards the fields and they went past through various crops which were growing rich and plentiful with fruits. The crops were much larger and fresher than the ones that circulated around the general populous.
「For it to take just one week to grow into something like this, is truly astonishing If it’s like this, we will be able to pass the winter season with ease. Not only that, thanks to the gargoyle placed in the entrance of the village, goblins and the likes do not dare to approach, We truly would like to thank Aur-sama from the bottom of our hearts」
「Umu. That’s is good to know. Plant some turnips during the winter. If your plant turnips, they should thrive even during the winter, they hold good nourishment value, and they can also be used to feed the domestic animals. Because food can be obtained quite readily even during the winter, it is not necessary to slaughter the pigs for ham and meats」
「I understand! I will immediately tell the other people in the village about this matter!」
「Umu. And one more thing, since a while back I’ve noticed that your complexion isn’t that good. Is your body alright?」
「Ehh……? Recently a cold has been going around. But it’s nothing to worry about, I should be completely fine in two or three days」
The villager was trying to put a strong front in front of Aur. Aur extends his hands and a golden colored light flows out of the palm of his hands shining on to the villager.
「…..Hmm. This is a vicious disease that has been spreading about recently. There has been a shadow of death looming around the vicinity of this area, as I thought this must be the cause」
Aur takes out a bottle from within his robe and hands it to the villager.
「For the time being, I will hand this to you. It is a medicine that will increase your physical resilience. If your condition worsens, take one spoonful of this liquid and mix it with water before drinking it. Although it won’t be enough to cure you from the illness, it will be sufficient to save you from dying. In the near future, I will concoct the cure to this sickness and bring it to you villagers」
The villager’s eyes opened wide and the medicine bottle was received with trembling hands, the villager went down on his knees and prostrates to Aur then and there.
「Th….Thank you so much! Aur-sama is the benefactor of this village!」
「You don’t have to stand on ceremony, it’s fine. As long as you continue to repay me, I will also continue to protect you guys」
After hearing Aur say such a thing, the villager could only lower his head even further, after that Aur and Yunisu both returned to the dungeon.
「I’m sorry, Aur I was mistaken about you!」
After returning to the dungeon, Yunisu bows her head towards Aur.
「I thought that you abused your power and threatened the villagers exploiting the innocents…..But, the look on that villagers face as he saw you was one of respect…….No. Most feudal lords no matter how impartial, they would still take taxes, and none of them would ever protect a small village like that. And in no way would they help with the agriculture and increasing the number of crops. After seeing all of this I believe that I was mistaken, Aur isn’t evil in the slightest」
「……If you are going to evaluate me so highly, even I will start to feel it will be difficult to meet your standards. I wouldn’t kill innocent people meaninglessly. However, if someone were to resist me and try to cause me harm, I would obliterate them without mercy, and this doesn’t change the fact that it puts me in the category of an evil person」
This was just half of my true feelings. Nevertheless, Yunisu shook her head rejecting my statement.
「That is…..If they try to do something bad, then it is natural to give some sort of punishment. Besides, the fact is Aur didn’t kill me in the end, right?」
『If someone does something bad, it’s natural to give out punishment 』The words and thoughts coming out of her mouth, were implanted into her deep consciousness via my hypnosis. In the first place, she had a strong sense of justice, so it wasn’t hard to make Yunisu agree to such an idea.
「That’s also true…..But are you really the one at fault?」
「That is….Of, course… I told you yesterday, didn’t I?」
「But, you had no knowledge that I was peacefully dealing with the villages. If you were able to kill me, the villagers would still be able to obtain the benefits of the blessed fields and the protection from demons without giving any sacrifices to me. Isn’t this why the villagers sent you kill to me?」
「That because….It’s probably because I rashly jumped into the fray that they didn’t have time to explain it in detail to me……」
Yunis was still trying to defend the villagers but her intent was nowhere near as strong as it was yesterday.
「……In that case, Let’s confirm this fact, shall we?」
The real thing starts from here. Aur muttered this secretly to himself.
After that about three days passes by. Yunisu was holding a sword in her hand and Aur was brought to the village which requested his subjugation.
At first Yunisu refused to disclose which village had actually sent out the request, but, he promised her that he wouldn’t harm the villagers unless she gave her approval, and if he were to break his promise than she could do with him as she pleased, after saying that he handed her sword and she reluctantly agreed to his plan.
「Well then. I will wait here. You should go and confirm with your own eyes and ears」
They were on the outskirts and Aur pushes Yunis’s back encouraging her to enter the village.
Yunis was suppressing her anxiety as she walked towards the village chief’s house. She did not want to believe that the villagers had deceived her and only tried to use her for their own benefit. However, at the same time she also wanted to believe in Aur’s words. She was hoping that this was just all some sort of big misunderstanding…..
Believing this to be true in her heart, she headed towards the village and what she encountered was a countless number of people looking at her in a menacing manner.
「This bitch……How dare she return to our village!」
「Do even you know what you’ve done wrong!?」
The villagers started to boo and jeer and soon more villagers gathered around her.
「Because you tried to kill Aur-sama, the field has all withered and the domestic animals have been killed by the monsters!」
「The village is ridden with some sort of disease, even the children have died!」
「It’s all because of you! Because you pretended to put on the airs of a hero, you caused this unnecessary mess!」
The people of the village gathered around Yunis and hurled their insults and jeers at her.
「What are you saying…..?」
Yunis had originally thought that this was just a misunderstanding between the villagers and Aur……But it truly was just like Aur said, the villagers had only tried to make use of Yunis. Encountering such an unexpected situation, she was shocked and instinctively took several steps backwards.
「Are you trying to run away!? Don’t joke around with me!」
One of the villagers picked up the stone at his feet and throws it right at Yunis. Although that particular stone didn’t hit her, as if it set a chain explosion, all the villagers started to pick up stones and chuck it towards Yunis.
「Give us back our fields! Return my cow to me!」
「Bring back my poor child!」
「Bring back Aur-sama to us! You vile murderer!」
「Aur hasn’t died yet, he was with me just a moment ago…..」
Yunis was desperately trying to explain herself, but to the mob of angry villagers, her words didn’t get through to them at all.
The man who first started to throw rocks at her, picked up a rock as big as a fist and threw it at Yunis. It was easy for her to avoid such a thing, but she thought that if she avoided it, it would only make them angrier and aggravate the situation. Thinking such a thing, Yunis grit her teeth and prepared for the incoming pain.
「What are you doing?」
However, instead of experiencing a huge wave of pain, what she heard was Aur’s voice.
「Aur-sama! You were alive and well!?」
Seeing that Aur stood in front of Yunis to protect her from the stones, the people of the village immediately stopped throwing the stones.
Yunis could not grasp what was happening right now, so she questioningly asked Aur.
「…..I don’t even need to ask you to see, that these villagers are set on hurting you. Although the gargoyle’s I set at the entrance of the village is used as a method to protect the village, it is also one of the ways in which I monitor their actions, it’s give and take……..However, I bet that these villagers didn’t even tell you such a thing」
Yunis was staring with blank surprise as she saw a red line of blood streaming down from Aur’s arm. It was the arm he used to protect Yunis from the stone thrown at her.
「They were trying to put all the blame to you, so that they could save their own skins. Yet for that, I made them pay, I stopped supplying my magical blessing to the fields and the gargoyle set to protect them is also taken away, The medicine which I concocted to fight against the rising sickness which I have given to the other villagers, was not given to this particular village……All this is the retribution they received for trying to send you to kill me」
「Au…..Aur-sama! We have never had the intentions to harm you in the slightest!」
「Everything was this woman’s arbitrary decision!」
「Aur-sama, please show us your compassion! Even after we pleaded her to stop, that woman still went off on her own!」
The villagers started to shout one after another. When she was useful the villagers used her, when she was no longer useful, she was thrown away like some sort of trash, and not only that, they were trying to rub off all the crime and sin and blame it on her.
「……..Yunis. This is the kind of people you desperately tried to protect, even going as far as betting on your purity to cover for their sins」
It was unbearably ridiculous that she couldn’t help it. She released a laughter of disgust without any hesitation and pulls out her sword.
「I’m sorry, and thank you, Aur….I was the one that was mistaken. For this “Crime” It is necessary for me to give out the “Punishment”!」
Yunis faces the villagers and runs towards them like a whirlwind. If she ever felt like it with her abilities, the number of enemies or even the stones they threw were nothing to her. For villagers like them who had absolutely no training in combat, slashing them to death would take no time at all.
Before her drawn out sword was able to mete out “punishment” to the villagers, the villagers were already wrapped in an intense flame and with a shout of death, all of them were annihilated in an instant.
Seeing such a spectacle before her eyes, as the flames slowly dissipated, Yunis could only turn around to face Aur.
「Even though the other party may be guilty, killing them like that is something only somebody “evil” would do. Yunis, you should remain just the way you are. ……Anyone who tries to hurt you, I will be the one to eliminate them all. Therefore, you should stay on the side of righteousness」
Yunis shed a large amount of tears as she ran up towards Aur and embraced him.
「Only I will be the one that will never harm you. Therefore, do you think that you can swear to never cause me harm as well?」
Hearing Aur’s words, Yunis continued to cry deeply as she nodded her head.
「……In that case, By my name Ain Sof Aur, I swear to never hurt you or cause you any harm」
「In the name of Yunisufinia Meredith Ruera Grandera, I swear to never cause Aur any harm, and to continue to love him for as long as I live!」
「…..What did you say?」
Aur’s stupid voice was let out instinctively after a golden colored light had already began to surround the two people signifying the formation of their binding oath towards each other.
「Thank you for the hard work. With this we can say that the first stage is complete, right?」
In the interior of the dungeon. “Next time, I want you to embrace me as proof of our oath, and not as a punishment”.
After she said such a thing towards him, Yunis was made to receive his “energy” three times in a row deep inside of her, and she was already acting like she was his wife and she slept really peacefully next to him. It was at this moment that Lilu approached Aur.
「…..Ahh, well for the time being… Yunis’s “Hero’s star” has degenerated into the “Fallen Hero”. Although her mind hasn’t been fully corrupted, she has become a hero who prefers the dark. With this development, it is unlikely that she will ever rise in order to strike me down, right?」
He created a condition with the oath so that the heroine who has great strength and is governed by the “Hero’s star” will not be able to harm him, not only that but he was able to make her into his ally thereby obtaining her power. Nevertheless Aur’s facially expression wasn’t bright.
「The amount of troublesome things have increased substantially, hasn’t it….?」
The fact the Yunis would pledge her love to him was something that was completely out of his expectations. Although it was his aim to make her trust him to a certain extent, Aur did not think that it would create such a profound connection for her to depend on him so deeply. However, if it was only up to here, it would still be manageable.
「How could I have known that she was also a part of royalty….」
The name that Yunis spelled out was, without a doubt a name that signified her to be a royalty in direct line to the Grandera country. Well the fact that she was wandering around as an adventurer probably meant that she didn’t really have a claim to the throne, however, this raises a legitimate cause for the country to pull the trigger against me. After all my dungeon was able to be cleared by just Yunis alone. If the people of her kingdom were to send an army to invade my dungeon, it was currently impossible for me to defend against such an attack.
For these many reasons I really want to just sever my connection with her and get rid of all these troublesome matters, but that is no longer possible. Yunis herself will dislike the idea, and compelling her to do something which she dislikes by force is technically causing her “harm” which is prevented by our oath.
「Well let’s just think about all that a little later…..For now, don’t you think that I have done a really good job? 」
Lilu was grinningly as she asked. But her eyes were not smiling.
The reason that Lilu did not accompany Aur this time around was because she had to run around behind the scenes. Succubus was a different existence from mages, they had certain special abilities the moment they were born.
For instance, the first village in which Aur went with Yunis. The reason that the villagers were so friendly towards Aur was because Lilu had actually transformed herself using her magic to look like Aur and then consistently visited them and built up an amiable relationship with the villagers.
And then reason that the people of the village that requested Yunis to kill Aur was so aggressive with her to the extent of throwing rocks at her was due to Lilu’s ability to manipulate their emotions and stir up their angry mob mentality. It was impossible for Lilu to manipulate someone that was born under the “Hero’s Star” but manipulating weak defenseless villagers was like taking a candy from a baby for Lilu.
In the end, if Yunis herself agreed with Aur’s way of thinking than it was possible to cast a curse of “compulsion” to bind her actions. If she herself desired the outcome of the curse, then in the end it can only be counted as a blessing. This “oath” that Aur made with Yunis was precisely just like how a man a woman will swear to each other by a pledge before marrying each other.
「Soo I want a reward〜 Master」
「I know, I get it. ……Come」
Yunis destroyed a countless number of demons and golems that he summoned, not only that the process to brainwash Yunis took a huge amount of magical expenditure. Even the curse of compulsion he cast on her, was something that he put as much magical energy as possible, so the magic consumption required was a terrific amount.
Whilst looking at the dungeon core which was greatly depleted in magic compared to its former glory, Aur embraced Lilu. Right now there wasn’t even any magic left to use the physical strength recovery, so for now he could do nothing but manage with his own physical stamina.
「We need to do it at least four times okay? Otherwise I’ll get mad〜」
「Why are you trying to compete with her…..」
For some reason Aur starting to have a feeling that his troubles would only increase further from now on, Aur let out a sigh.