“I’m Chloe Evans, also Sam’s friend. Nice to meet you two. And thanks a lot for healing me, Ms. Cornellia.” (Chloe)
The human named Chloe bowed after saying that.
Yesterday, she had been gravely injured and driven to the brink of death by a commandment, which, if I were to say it in lukewarm terms, pissed off Sam. His real name is Samuel Hayden, but the people around him have shortened it to Sam, and he doesn’t seem to mind it. Truly a mystery.
But what I’m more interested is in Liera. This wretch is still alive huh. This must be because of that damned Phiria. I want to rip her neck right now, but I unfortunately cannot do that due to that promise I made with Susan 5000 years ago. Susan is the First Hero, and she’s also the first human I had formed a contract with. Sam is the second one.
“I need to go now, Chloe. I have to report this incident to the higher ups. I’ll come meet you tomorrow. Have plenty of rest till then, as we will start our training then.” (Liera)
Yeah go and never come back!
“I’m also going. I’m tired after all that fighting, so I’ll be sleeping in my room. Liera, can you please prepare a room for both Drache and Cornellia?” (Sam)
Yes. Sam introduced me as Drache.
Just what kind of name is that?
He said that he wanted to hide my true identity, so that I can be used as a trump card against the Holy Kingdom if the need ever arises. I don’t understand why he’s doing that though. There’s no need to be so sneaky when he has me by his side.
“Of course. Cornellia is the princess of a friendly nation, so I’ll need to do more than just prepare a room for her. As for Drache, since she’s your comrade, I’ll make an exception and allow her to stay the night here.” (Liera)
And Liera also hasn’t recognised me. Well, she has never seen me in this form after all. She turned towards me and the elf named Cornellia and spoke.
“You two will have to stay here for a while. I’ll call for you after making the necessary arrangements.” (Liera)
She and Sam went out together after that, leaving me, Cornellia, Chloe, and this mysterious person alone. What was his name again…..? Chloe called him Jack, and so did Sam. But Sam also called him Hargreev. What’s his true name then? I should just ask him directly.
“You are?” (Shiggurath)
“Ah! Where are my manners? I’m Jack Hargreave, Sam’s friend and trusted confidant. And you are… Shiggurath, correct?” (Jack)
He bowed slightly while politely introducing himself.
Though it’s quite easy to tell that his politeness is just a farce.
“Huh? Shiggurath? As in The Ancient Dragon Shiggurath, the one who rules over dragons?” (Chloe)
“Yes, that’s the one.” (Jack)
Hooohhh…. So, he knew about my true identity, but still didn’t display any confusion when Sam introduced me as Drache. Looks like he completely trusts Sam.
“Hahaha what are you saying, Jack. Just how would Sam find, and partner up with someone like th-” (Chloe)
Chloe tried to laugh it off. But unfortunately, the reality is harsher.
“Hmmm, interesting. So, you know my true identity. Then I guess I should reintroduce myself. Just as this boy said, I’m the Ancient Dragon Shiggurath. And I’m Sam’s comrade.” (Shiggurath)
Chloe’s expression froze. It was as if she had stopped functioning, and her soul had left her body.
I waved my hand in front of her face to check if she was still alive, and she came back with a jerk.
“Sh-sh-sh-sh-sh-shiggurath?! Really? But she looks like a human! And I thought that Shiggurath was a male!” (Chloe)
“Yes Chloe, she’s speaking the truth. She is Shiggurath. I don’t know how he did it, but Sam managed to form a contract with her.” (Cornellia)
Cornellia then explained about everything that happened before and after Sam met me. But she did with a certain passion, and her tone always had a gentle affection while speaking Sam’s name.
Does this elf love Sam? Probably not. And even if she does, she probably hasn’t noticed it herself.
Chloe went speechless after listening to everything that Cornellia had to say. I ignored her, and focused on Jack.
“So? How did you know that it was me?” (Shiggurath)
Yes, that’s the most interesting thing here.
“Ha! As if I’ll ever forget you, Shiggurath!” (Jack)
Huh? His tone, which had been cold and apathetic till now, was now even colder.
And what did he mean by not forgetting me?
However, he stopped speaking as if just realised something, and then said in a polite tone.
“Err…. I mean, who wouldn’t recognise you after feeling the power and majesty that the great you exudes. And since I specialise in sensing magic, I was able to feel it more clearly.” (Jack)
Hmmm, I was trying to suppress my presence and power, but I guess it was useless against a Hero’s sensing magic. But what he said earlier still bothers me……
“Anyway, it doesn’t matter who you are. The only important thing is that Sam has allowed you to be his comrade, which means he has placed a certain level of trust in you. And if he trusts you, then so do I.” (Jack)
“Hmph. You are speaking as if you know everything about Sam.” (Shiggurath)
Huh. I’m the one who has seen the emotions that lie at the very depths of his heart, and I had a glimpse of his innermost desires. Although it’s true that out of all of the people present here, I’m the one who has spent the least amount of time with Sam. But time doesn’t mean understanding.
The amount of time one spends with someone is irrelevant with how much they understand them. Sure, one might be able to understand the basic habits and thought processes of the one they are close with, but it’s almost impossible to get a true understanding of them.
“Of course. I know everything about Samuel Hayden.” (Jack)
For the first time since I’ve seen him, he showed some emotions. His face, which till now was apathetic and cold, was now filled with pride. Moreover, he placed special strain on ‘Samuel Hayden’ while speaking, as if saying that Sam and Samuel Hayden are two separate entities.
And he knows everything about Sam, he says. Is that even possible? No matter how much humans- No, no matter how much all types of living beings try, they can never truly understand each other. That’s something I’ve witnessed myself over my lifespan of tens of thousands of years. And he said that he understands everything about Sam? Interesting.
“Well, he was Sam’s friend from way before I even met them.” (Chloe)
Chloe, who had now recovered from her initial shock, spoke.
“Is that so? Then…. how about you tell us something about Sam? Like, his basic nature, or maybe you can give us tips about how to understand Sam better.” (Shiggurath)
If he is so confident in his understanding of Sam, then I suppose it won’t hurt to know just where his confidence stems from.
“Oh yes, that’s a good idea!” (Cornellia)
You are doomed, Cornellia. The one who falls in love loses.
“Yeah. Please, Jack!” (Chloe)
Even Chloe is onboard with my idea. Good. Let’s see what Jack has to tell us.
“Hmm…. Well, due to certain circumstances, I’m restricted in what I can tell you. But if you want to know so badly…….. then I’ll you the things I can.” (Jack)
Jack accepted our request.
But why does it seem like he’s enjoying it?
“First of all, let me ask you three. What do you think Sam is?” (Jack)
Why is he asking that question?
But Chloe answered readily.
“Hmmm, I’ve only known him for a year. He’s a very good friend. He’d always been average in the school, be it academics or sports. But he suddenly became a genius after coming to this world. He’s also kind and caring, but I am still unable to understand him. I’m always stuck at the question: Just who is the real him?” (Chloe)
The real him? Why would she say that? Maybe she experienced something that made her think that way?
“It’s my turn. Sam is…. someone awesome. He’s very strong, and also very intelligent. He’s also very kind, since he agreed to endanger his life to help me. And seems like he also cherishes the people around him, as he was really angry when Chloe was hurt. It’s all thanks to him that I was able to talk to Alice once again, so I’m indebted to him for that.” (Cornellia)
She spoke passionately.
Well, there’s nothing noteworthy about Cornellia’s answer. It’s my turn now.
How should I describe Sam? Based on what I felt while making the contract, my answer would be……
“If I don’t mince my words, then Sam is a……………. Monster. Yes. There’s no other way to describe him.” (Shiggurath)
Human? Hero? These terms cannot describe the real him. He’s a monster through and through.
Jack smiled after listening to my answer.
He’s showing a lot of emotions now, isn’t he?
“I’ve listened to all of your answers. And I must say, you people know very little about him. That’s kinda disheartening, so allow me to take in you lost lambs, and shed light about what our Lord and Saviour Samuel Hayden actually is.” (Jack)
He said that very excitedly. Seems like I should look forward to what he’s going to tell me.
And wait, why did he just call Sam his lord and saviour?
If by that you mean something other than Human… maybe yes, maybe no.
It’s very clear (to me at least) that he’s lived a very long time, as has Jack, and that wherever they are originally from, it isn’t modern Japan.
They may or may not have originally been from our world, but they’ve spent time elsewhere.
Based upon various things that Sam has thought and that Jack has let slip, this isn’t the first time they’ve been to this world; somehow Shiggurath hasn’t clued into that as of yet, although Jack dropped a major clue when he said he’d never forget her; one might even suspect them of having been there when the First Hero was alive (various things indicate that’s possible, and one wonders what Sam’s relationship was with Susan, the First Hero.)
If by Monster you mean someone who doesn’t embrace the various norms of civilized behavior, who feels no attachment to a given society or group of people, or even individuals on the whole, and who bases his decisions and actions entirely upon how they further his own agenda with no real consideration for others… sad to say, that could be very accurate. He does attempt to behave such that he’s tolerated within various societies unless it becomes expedient to act otherwise; that’s purely because it does make it easier to operate if they aren’t actively out to get you.
To say that his view of society and power structures is jaundiced and cynical would be putting it mildly.
There have been indications that he was betrayed by those in power somewhere along the line in a horrific way, resulting in a lot of his attitudes since. Once you’ve been stabbed in the back by those you thought were your allies you tend to be a little less willing to trust blindly; the level of betrayal will impact the level of future distrust.
How are your character sketches so accurate? Is it an inherent skill, or does it come with experience? Please teach me.
Anyway, the reason Shiggurath called him a monster was different, and you’ll know it by the next week.
However, I won’t reject your theory for Sam being a monster. As Jack said, Sam will do anything to achieve his goals.
But I believe that the personality trait of not trusting anyone blindly doesn’t necessarily stem from being betrayed in the past. For example, if you take logic to the extreme, you’ll find that there’s no real guarantee that the person in front of you is saying the truth. We’re all humans after all: beings capable of complex thought processes and feeling both positive and negative emotions.
As Robert Greene said, the world is based on an inescapable power play, so it’s better to be an artist than a victim.
Moreover, a betrayal you can see is trivial.