So cold, so cold, so cold, so cold.
Have the world always been this cold?
Have the world always been this colorless?
A decaying deserted village along the coast.
Body covered in wounds all over retired on a driftwood, with skin that have come in contact with sun-baked sandy beach.
The blood flowing from my whole body is deprived of body temperature, a strong status ailment caused by powder poison, that was poured through a surprise attack, and even escaping using teleportation is not possible due to the effect of the curse poison.
Looking up at the clear sky, even the dazzling sunshine is just plain cold now.
It seemed almost as if I had returned to when I first came to this world.
The urging sensation that everything in the world is steadily crushing me entirely.
At that time, I felt like a murky mindless monster was going to cast heavy shackles on me as I walked through the swamp.
I ran, and ran, if I don’t escape from that monster, it will eventually drag me all the way down to a place where I won’t even be able to breathe, a hopeless world inside a birdcage.
「……Hahaha, no, this is even worse than that time huh」
Because the solitary cage of anxiety and loneliness that I had created was destroyed by Leticia.
Because I knew that this isn’t the world inside the birdcage.
「……I guess I should say, as expected, KAITO」
「After falling into your trap in my vulnerable state, you caught me off-guard, and only after the combined effort of the two of you, finally……, I didn’t think that you would give me this much trouble」
Which is why, the two people in front of me looked like ice monsters.
One of them is Leon, a lion beastkin wearing a martial arts uniform and fights with his fists.
One is Lilia, a beautiful demon wearing a violet dress-like robe, some sort of witch*. (TLN: Sorcerer/ sorceress)
Because I trusted them so much enough to entrust Leticia to them, the two of them looked as if they were strangers.
「A curse poison potent enough to render me unable to use teleport……, In addition to a status ailments that overcomes my resistance……, where in the world did you get your hands on something like this?」
「That’s『The Fairy Queen’s Curse Poison』」
Perhaps because he thought this was the end, Leon replied without hiding it. And, from that answer, another answer that can be inferred from it, again grates on my mind.
「I see, so it was a lie that you killed that lowlife worm*」 (TLN: Lit. Leaf beetle)
The fairy queen, the one who rules the fairies.
A fairy that does not have even a fragment of those cuteness told in fairy tales.
Humans are toys to them.
What they do, can’t even be made a jest as to be called mischievous. Starve humans who gets lost in the forest to death, summon hordes of monsters, and suddenly degrade equipments considerably, all these are still warm-ups for them.
Snatch a baby that was just born, turn it into a toy, and kill it. Erase memories of particular humans that catches their attention from the people around them to make them their belongings. Turn humans that were chosen on a whim into a vegetative state without any particular meaning.
And, those bastards brainwash the humans involved in order to continue such sick play. Except for the humans who have been damaged, their awareness is tampered with to appear as if that violence never happened, as if they had just suffered the consequences of something, as if what happened was only natural.
There are only a few that could counter them.
Which is why, even while performing such atrocities, only a small fraction is aware of this fact.
「That’s right, you were always so unreasonably obsessed with killing the queen」
There was a man who lost everything due to the whims of the fairies.
The man who had a normal ordinary life, was suddenly deprived of memories concerning him from his parents, his wife and children.
The man, who the fairy whimsically took a fancy to, refused the words of the fairy who says 『Become my plaything until you die』 like it was a matter of course.
Then, the fairy got furious and took away the sight from his right eye, the freedom of his left arm, and almost all of his life span.
The man, who had not yet clocked thirty, distorted his deep wrinkled face, held out his whitened hair, as he took his last breath while crying in front of me who just happened to come across him by chance.
Leaving behind a diary containing words projecting an outcry.
I, no, we, having read the diary destroyed the fairy village to rid off the culprit.
While I was wreaking havoc acting as a decoy, Leon finishes off the fairy queen, who is the main culprit.
That was the story. But, it’s no use talking about it now.
There is something I would like to ask now, rather than the reason he let the Fairy Queen live.
「I have always worried for you guys. You lot did well in making me waste my worries on you」
Spilling from the palm of my hands, along with lost warmth.
The blades, erected from the inside of both arms, with the sensation of cutting into the body.
「Come on, please tell me. What exactly you two wanted to achieve, Leon, Lilia?」
…… my cold sigh couldn’t help but freeze my sight. Reason being.
「Say, do tell me, Leon. You couldn’t even wait for Leticia to live out the puny little life she had left? Or you just couldn’t find it in yourself to believe me? Or is it that you coveted the honor of the one who defeats the demon king? In that situation, by doing that, did you think that would stop the war?」
Looking up, there lies the figure of Leon with an unfriendly expression.
「Now, please tell me, Lilia. Leticia adored you so much. Why then, why did even you too cross to the other side? Answer me goddammit, you’re kidding right, you gotta be F*CKING KIDDING ME!!」
Looking up, there lies the figure of Lilia with a calm, and cool face.
「And here I thought, her remaining time was less than expected. And the fact that you guys weren’t around, must have a reasonable explanation, and if that wasn’t the case, you guys must have been dragged into Leticia’s rampage, but!!」
Uttering the sound of grinding teeth.
Saying 『Tell me, please tell me』.
With a voice like from that of a squeezed and confused heart.
「Why was there no Magic Core in the Demon-Spark Tree!! Lilia, why do I feel the magic power of the Demon King from that manastone fitted in your wand!!」
I felt a tingling sensation in the back of my ears as if swelling up.
Saying 『It’s painful, painful, painful, painful』.
It was the screaming voice from the surface of a necrotized spirit.
「Why did you betray me and Leticia!! Leon, Lilia!!」
The voice roaring out from the bottom of my gut burns my throat.
「… Kaito, you don’t know anything. They should never be allowed to exist in this world, both the 『Hero』 and the 『Demon King』
That was the remark that came out of Leon’s mouth as he subtly opened it up.
「I feel bad for what I did to you. And I think what happened to Miss Leticia was very unfortunate. However, if this 『System』 is not broken somehow, this ridiculous farce will continue to be repeated, and the distortion that keeps getting worse gradually will eventually destroy this world. Even if the world is invaded by evil energy, it will eventually be purified, but a destroyed world will never be restored」
「What……, what are you talking about?」
「We have been working to make this world, the possession of the inhabitants of this world long before you came to this world. I have long been prepared for a long time to answer for my sins. No matter what I lose, even if I derail from the righteous path onto a treacherous path」
Wrong, as Lilia shook her.
「From the day I took my brother’s life, the moment I bore the sin of killing a blood relative, I knew there was no turning back for me」
「Br, brother……? Wait a moment, your brother, the one who killed your brother……, I thought that revenge was already……」
Leticia should already have taken care of that revenge.
But Lilia keeps talking as if she has no intention of speaking any more.
「It’s something that’s already happened. This was the only way to save the world. At one time I has second thoughts. However, neither the 『Devil King』 nor 『Hero』 can go against the scenario afterall. So, this demon king core, the『Diving Core』 was absolutely necessary. As well as the power of 「The Sanctuary」 in Kaito」
「Like I said, what the hell are you talking about, you’re losing me here!!」
I don’t understand, I don’t understand, I DON’T UNDERSTAND.
The words which I don’t understand evokes irritation in me as if they were trying to cook up some bull to confuse me.
「The 『Hero』 and 『Demon King』should not exist. Leticia would destroy this world. To save this world, you two absolutely had to die」
For the sake of the world? you killed her because both the 『Hero』 and the 『Demon King』 must not be allowed to exist?
「DON’T FUCK WITH ME!! Leticia would destroy the world? Someone who went so far as to plead that I kill her before she turns into the Demon-Spark Tree because she couldn’t bear to see anyone die anymore!! Yet, and yet!!」
「It’s no use……. The very existence of the 『Demon King』 itself is one of the stage settings that eats away at this world. In addition to you the 『Hero』 are the pair that makes up the foreign contamination of this world」
「At this rate, this world will eventually be completely ruined. Only to become a barren place of perpetual tragedies and comedies that only pleases god……, and whatever is left of the world will be cast away like garbage」
Stage setting? Completely ruined? Just to please god?
(Goddammit, there are too many things I don’t understand)
There is no single thing I’ve grasped in all that they’ve said. I don’t really grasp it, but I understood the gist of their story.
These guys probably ain’t lying. Their eyes aren’t clouded by greed, but reflects strong solid conviction.
Now whether it’s true or not aside, these guys believe that just by me and Leticia being alive alone, brings harm to this world.
As soon as that became clear, every other questions became irrelevant, and I suddenly became weak.
「……enough. That’s enough already, just let me ask you this one more time. Are you guys the reason why Leticia was engulfed by the Demon-Spark Tree much earlier than expected?」
「……That’s right, I was the one who extracted the 『Demon King Core』. Because only the evil energy remained after it was extracted, the evil energy that was being suppressed by the 『Demon King Core』 changed her body into the Demon-Spark Tree at once and went out of control」
Ah, that settles it. Just now, the part of my mind that was screaming, is dead.
In other words, I made a mistake with the people I entrusted with Leticia, and the people I placed my trusts on.
If these two had worked together to betray me, it would have been quite easy to do whatever they wanted to Leticia who had grown weak. In particular, Leticia was completely reliant on Lilia.
Magic power gathers around Leon’s fist as he poses with his fist on his waist, and radiates golden light.
Magic power swirls at the end of Lilia’s wand that is held up, and emits dark-colored light.
「……I don’t intend to make excuses. Kaito, I am going to kill you and raise my level. The 『Hero』 has to die for the world to be saved」
「Neither the『Hero』, the『Demon King』, the『Saintess』 nor the 『Princess』 are necessary in this world. Because we are not toy pieces, I will kill you for the sake of the world」
I could care less about something like that.
I really don’t care. I’m tired.
Because, I am no longer even sure what exactly this world that I, that we were so desperately trying to protect even is anymore. I tried, and tried, and tried my best, to achieve a happy ending where everyone can laugh in the end.
My reward for that, was getting betrayed in this way, by the very people I trusted.
On the surface of my rotten nerve, I felt a feeling of my nerves that was trying to convey something important to me cut off.
「That’s enough. You lot are, already, my」
――――――…… are already my enemies.
「Hh, 『Golden Lion’s Roar』!!」
「『Shadow Eclipse Erosive Thorn』! 」
A mass of magic power with the roaring face of a ferocious lion approaches while crushing the air.
A shadow claw that disintegrates everything it touches, approaches as it sharply cuts through the air.
The me right now, who is covered in different kinds of debuff, If I get hit directly, it could be fatal.
Although, that’s assuming I get hit directly.
「Devour all, 『Gluttony』」
Something that can only be described as a dark hole materializes in front of me. The hole swallows the attacks and disappears as if nothing had happened.
In my hand is a big fleshy sword with a vivid flesh color, the 【Sword of Deadly Sin・ Man-Monster of the Gluttonous Swamp】.
This is the first time that they’re seeing the sword-form 『Employ』 state in use, rather than the human-form 『Released』 state.
A technique I acquired to reduce the disadvantages and improve usability.
The Deadly Sin series, which is formed in the form of a sword, can be used without chanting, and no demerits, like with the other Spirit Swords
However, it possesses no outrageous ability and compelling force like the Spirit Swords that takes a human form in its 『Released』 state, and can only use its ability on a lower scale. A power that loses its might as a trump card in exchange for convenience.
However, what is important here is that the two people in front me knows about the convenience and the power of the human-form in its 『Released』 state.
「「 !! 」」
I poured a somewhat large amount of magic power and devoured the attack of the two.
I utilized the following Spirit Sword, aiming at the momentary opening caused by vigilance.
A slender sword carrying a sword blade that changes in seven colors, I wielded the 【Sword of Deadly Sins・ The Little Girl in the Coloring Box】, and a box which appeared from behind swallowed the two.
「Send them wherever you like」
The box containing the two disappears while making a whooshing sound.
They’re not dead. The Deadly Sins series do not possess enough power to kill them in the 『Employed』 state. But, they can forcibly teleport.
If I can’t teleport because of the curse poison, then I just have to send my opponents to the middle of nowhere. Anyway, it’s far away, because I sent them flying with all my might, so even I don’t know where they will end up.
「……At any rate, I have to move」
For the time being, I have to hide myself and rest my body. Now that I’ve used the Deadly Sins series, my location will be communicated to Meteria too.
―――――― The『Hero』 ought to die.
―――――― I will kill you, for the sake of the world.
「……Like I give a fuck」
I hold in my grip the bag containing Leticia’s magic core hanging from my neck.
There are those who will kill me because I became the demon king.
There are those who will kill me because I am the hero.
「I want to go home……」
The words that have been repeated over and over again spilled from my mouth.
Then the silence returns, and only the sea breeze, which blows the blazing sunshine and salt, returns.
…… Even the coldness of the world, was something I could no longer feel.