“What he said is true. The First Hero, Susan Invern is alive. She was the captive of Azell all this while.”
“Huh? She was imprisoned by Azell?!”
Liera cried in disbelief.
“Yes. And he was using that as leverage to manipulate me. I wanted to attack him, rip him to shreds and feed his remains to the dogs, but killing him would have meant killing Susan. He had placed a curse on her, where Susan would suffer the same amount of pain as him. That meant killing him would have also killed Susan.”
Regina supported mine and Phiria’s statement, along with an explanation of why she did what she did.
“So…… you never died or betrayed us?”
Olivia asked her.
“Of course. During those past 5000 years and 6 Holy Wars, we were being used by Azell. He turned us into villains each time so that he could summon new Heroes. And then he forced us to act weak and lose to the Heroes. I even lost 6 of my Commandments in that process.”
She lost 6 of her precious subordinates yet still continued to fight. Her devotion to Susan is commendable.
Reygus murmured ruefully. Perhaps he was feeling guilty for falling in Azell’s trap and fighting against the one who was on their side this whole time. He remained silent for a moment, but regained himself and asked.
“So, what does that have to do with Samuel? Were you two in cahoots this whole time? If so then why did you fight? In fact, just how did he come to know about Susan? Did you tell him?”
Regina smiled wryly to that question.
“He’s a monster whose genius cannot be comprehended by the likes of us. Whatever doubts you have, address them to him.”
Monster? How rude! I’m a human through and through.
⟦A human? What a joke.⟧
Simone inside me snorted in displeasure.
⟦Hey don’t say things like ‘inside me’! It’s gross!⟧
⟦Well, it’s technically the truth. That aside, why do you call me a monster?⟧
⟦Just don’t do it! Anyway, you are a monster because a human wouldn’t do the things you did. Because a human would never be able to accomplish what you did.⟧
⟦That’s where you are wrong, Simone Zestringer. Humans are without a doubt one of the weakest races in existence, yet they have the most potential. Do you know? Back on my planet, they have weapons which can wipe out entire countries at once.⟧
Hey don’t shout inside me.
⟦And don’t say I’m inside you!⟧
⟦Ok ok geez. Anyway, yes, they can blast the countries into oblivion. Humans are actually those who can achieve anything. They might take very long to do it, but they’ll do it nonetheless.⟧
⟦Sounds bullshit, to be honest….⟧
⟦You don’t have to believe me, of course. You are free to believe whatever you want. I don’t have any right to change that.⟧
⟦Hmph, what a roundabout way of saying ‘It would be too much of a pain to explain to her’⟧
⟦How nice of you to understand me so well.⟧
⟦Understand? That’s the point, Samuel Hayden. After living inside you- uwaah this still sounds so awful- I learnt one thing: I don’t understand you, and no one, probably except Jack Hargreave and Maxwell, does. Your entire existence is composed of so many lies, so many façades, that you might as well not exist.⟧
⟦You are clearly learning some good things. However, the concept of understanding someone itself is relative. What we-⟧
⟦Yeah yeah I don’t need a lecture on understanding others and all that crap. My mind is too exhausted to engage in a philosophical debate with you right now. Just talk to Phiria and get me out of this place.⟧
⟦Your wish is my command, princess.⟧
Our conversation stopped at that. Or it should have.
Does she still want something?
⟦Answer a question for me, will you?⟧
⟦That would depend on the question, I presume. But ask away.⟧
⟦…….. Look around you. Look at the battlefield, where so much blood has been shed. So many soldiers and dragons were killed. Yet their deaths were in vain, for the cause they were fighting for never existed to begin with. And you, you could have averted this disaster, couldn’t you? If not for your convoluted way of doing things, this much blood wouldn’t have been shed. How do you feel about it?⟧
⟦Oooooh, that’s a really nice question.⟧
Maxwell also chimed in.
Huh. The soldiers and dragons who were killed because of me. Simone is right: this much bloodshed could have been avoided if I had used other riskier methods. So in that sense, these soldiers and dragons died because of me. They perhaps had their own families they wanted to protect, friends they wanted to meet after the war, their own ideals they wanted to devote their lives to. Yet they had stood on this battlefield to protect their beloved ones. And I just used their lives as sacrificial pawns and discarded them, like spare parts.
I looked through the battlefield once again. Although their corpses had been covered by the grass, the smell of blood lingering in the air blown away, I could still feel them. Due to who I was, I could feel their pain, suffering, resentment, despair. I could still clearly see the scenery of hell that had been painted here.
I know that I’m responsible for their deaths. I know that a day would come when my conscience would be unable to handle the guilt of killing them and be crushed under it, when I would lose myself in madness and despair because I caused so many deaths for my own selfish desires. I would probably suffer a fate worse than death. But-
⟦Nothing different from usual.⟧
That day is not today.
She muttered sadly and cut the connection.
Just then, I heard Chloe’s voice and my attention shifted to her, only to find her close to me and peering into my eyes. I could even hear her breathing. Panicked, I stepped back, only to feel something soft and bouncy. Fearing for the worst, I turned my neck to look behind and saw Regina, her breasts pressing on my back.
“……… What are you guys doing?”
“Because you suddenly stopped answering our questions.”
Shiggurath replied from my left.
“And didn’t answer when we called you.”
And Cornellia replied from my right. In other words, I was surrounded on all four sides by women.
⟦What a sinful man.⟧
⟦What a sinful man.⟧
“What a sinful man.”
Maxwell, Simone and Phiria commented from the sidelines. Come on guys, it’s not what you think. And hey Simone, just what happened to your serious demeanour from before!?
“Sorry, I was in deep thought. So, you can let go of me? It feels kind of stuffy here.”
Regina giggled and stepped back, and others followed suit.
“So, we were asking how you knew about Susan.”
“Ah, that? I knew about it from Shiggurath.”
Reygus asked, confused.
“Ah, right. Actually, my dragon is Shiggurath.”
Nope, I never heard Shiggurath’s panicked squeal.
“Y-Yes. I am Shiggurath.”
“What?! Where did you two even meet?!”
“That’s a long story. I’ll tell you some other time. Right now, we have a guest we shouldn’t let wait on us.”
“Guest? Right! Lady Phiria!”
Liera exclaimed and turned to Phiria, however she was currently standing with Bahamut. They were facing each other, and Bahamut was practically glaring at her. After some glaring, to which Phiria just gently smiled and remained unfazed, he sighed, shook his head, smiled and extended his hand.
“Been a long time, Ms. Phiria.”
Phiria took his hand and shook it.
“Yes, it’s been some time since we last met, Bahu-chan.”
Bahamut’s smile stiffened.
“I-I’m no longer Bahu-chan.”
But Phiria smiled even more playfully.
“You will always remain Bahu-chan, the cute little brother of your elder sister. There’s no going around that.”
Cute? From what angle is he cute? And why is she even using Japanese? Has she also been watching anime?
Bahamut didn’t reply this time.
“Anyway, we’ll catch up later. I have some important matters to attend to right now.”
She turned to me then.
“Well then, Sam- ah, can I call you Sam?”
“Feel free to call me anything.”
“Okay. Then womanizer Sam-”
“I’ll amend my statement. Just call me Sam.”
“Okay. Then, Sam, what do you wish of me? Or that’s what I would have liked to ask but I want to free Susan first. You don’t mind, do you?”
That would of course be better. Liera and the others were already getting restless.
“Understood. Let’s go free my senpai.”
Let’s go free Susan.