“What the hell are you doing!”
The shout was followed by killing intent. I immediately leaped towards my right, and as I expected, someone had tried to attack me.
I faced the perpetrators, and as I thought, the ones who had stopped me were none other than Sherry and Cecile.
“Well, good evening, both of you. I hope that your presence here means that you have cleared the Trial.”
I don’t need any more Michaels; one is enough of a headache.
“You think this a joke?” Cecile glared at me.
Uwaaah, she’s pissed. Like, at least listen to me- wait, that’s what she is trying to do right now, isn’t she?
“To answer your question from earlier- I was simply defending myself from that lunatic.”
I wonder how Sherry will react if I told her about Michael’s passion while calling my name.
“Lunatic?” Cecile glanced at the convulsing Michael. “Is this how you defend yourself?”
“Don’t give me such a scary look, Princess. My only options were killing him or decapitating him.” She continued to glare at me. “Why don’t you ask Lantz to fill you in on the details?”
About time that damned slacker did something.
Cecile looked over where Lantz was, and he waved to her with a wry smile.
“I see.” She muttered, and her gaze softened a bit. “It seems you were telling the truth.”
What the heck? Did they use telepathy or something?
“‘Course I was. I speak nothing but the truth.” Cecile rolled her eyes, which hurt me. “Anyway, since it seems you are not happy with my treatment of him, I’ll leave this dumbass to you guys.”
I turned around and started walking away. And as I expected-
“W-wait!” Someone stopped me.
After being healed by Sherry, Michael stood back up with his body as good as new.
“Do you need something from me, Michael?” I asked without turning back.
“I said take back your words!” He yelled with all his might.
“First of all, stop shouting.” I sighed as I turned around to face him. “As for taking back my words…. Hey Sherry.” I called the spectator who had been glaring at me from some while ago. “Tell me, why did it take you so long to get here?”
“Eh? Uhh, because I was looking for M- others.”
She was about to say Michael, wasn’t she? Really, a maiden in love is just so cute.
“Do you have something to say, Michael?”
“This has nothing to do with that!”
“I see. Well, as I’m sure you know, Sherry and Samuel were good friends, weren’t they?”
“Eh?!” Sherry exclaimed, perhaps because Samuel’s name came out of the left field.
“So what?” Michael frowned.
“Don’t you think it’s your responsibility to let her know the truth you found about him?”
“There’s no need for her to know!”
“The truth?” Their voices overlapped each other’s. Sherry turned to Michael. “What is he talking about, Michael?”
“Don’t worry, Sherry.” Michael smiled warmly. “You don’t need to know.”
But Sherry only frowned.
“And why……… is that?”
Michael’s smile vanished when Sherry asked him that. Clearly, he didn’t like being questioned. When he remained silent, Sherry looked at me.
“I’ll give you the general gist of his theory. According to him, Samuel Hayden……… abandoned you.”
“…………What?” She eked out after a brief pause. Cecile was also frowning.
“Yes. This fucking idiot- er, I mean, Michael said that Samuel chose that God’s job over you guys because he thought the job was interesting, and not because he wanted to protect you guys.”
“Is that……… so?” She tilted her head a little as her gaze alternated between me and Michael.
“You don’t seem too surprised.”
“Well, that’s…..” She smiled bitterly. “Because I knew that.”
*Sherry used ‘Crush thy heart’*
*It was super effective*
Okay, that’s it. Fuck this shit. I’m going back to Earth so I can cry in my mom’s lap and then commit die.
Why the fuck is everyone bullying me so much? What did I ever do wrong?
Damn, seems like my reputation was much worse that I thought. Like, dude. Just how frivolous did they take me to be?
“Eh?” Obviously, I wasn’t the only one who was shocked by this sudden revelation.
“Why do you look so shocked?” It was Sherry’s turn to be confused. “Did Susan not tell you?”
Et tu, brute?
Just you wait, Susan. Imma whoop yo ass the next time we meet.
“Eh? Huh, no wait, just, what?” Michael sputtered, and this his eyes widened. “Ahh, I was right. He did abandon us…………”
Hmm. Well, it seems like I’ll have to give up on changing his views of Samuel, and focus on making him think that I, Samael, am crucial to the Hero team.
“Hmm?” Sherry cocked her head in puzzlement. “You seem to be misunderstanding something. Sam did take on that job because he thought it was interesting, but he didn’t actually abandon us.”
Sherry’s words formed a really deep frown on Michael’s face.
“What do you mean?” He asked with a heavy tone.
“What I mean is, while Sam did take on that job because he thought it was interesting, it was only because of us that he actually considered taking it in the first place. If our life wasn’t on the line, then he would never have taken that job no matter how interesting it seemed. After all, he was someone who really hated things that were a pain in the ass.”
Woah, woah, woah! I swear if I wasn’t acting as Samael right now, I would have run up to Sherry and given her a tight hug. Well, since I can’t do that, I’ll at least make sure to give her a treat or something.
Phew, seems like my reputation wasn’t as bad as I thought. And as expected, Sherry really did understand me the best.
“T-then………” Michael bit his lips for a moment, and spoke again with a quivery voice. “What about that smile?”
“Ah, that?” Sherry smiled. “That was just his weak attempt to lift our spirits. He was trying to tell us that we need not worry about him and that he would be fine.”
Weak? That’s rude- wait, hmm, now that I look at Michael, maybe a sneer wasn’t that good of a method to reassure them.
But I didn’t lie, now did I? I mean, Meteron did cast me in Hell with just a sword in the name of a job (and that too right in front of a Tyrant damnit), and I did go through some really crazy things, but I still turned out pretty much fine.
Though some things happened, and I had to change my goals a bit.
“After all, no matter how cold and calculating he was, Sam was still the kindest person I had ever met.” She smiled bitterly, then looked at me. “Wouldn’t you say so, Sir Samael?”
“Hmm?” I tilted my head a bit. “If you say so.”
I thought my answer was perfect, but Sherry only sneered. She started walking towards, slowly, but with a fiery gaze in her eyes.
“What about you?”
“What about me?”
“What kind of person do you think Sam was?”
“Well according to your classmates, he was a bit of a gloomy kid, I guess.”
By now, she was standing right in front of me. She was a bit shorter than me, so she had to look up to me a bit.
There was a smile on her face, but clearly that smile wasn’t reaching her eyes. She opened her mouth to say something, but before she could, I stole the march on her.
“Hey, is he alright?” I pointed to Michael, and she turned around.
Michael had fallen to his knees by now, with his head drooped down. His bangs were hiding his eyes, but I could make out some movements from his lips.
He was muttering something to himself. By straining my ears a bit, I could make out some words.
“Not abandon…… was wrong? ………… smile………… eyes…… abandon…………… sacrifice………… no no no………… Susan and Sherry…………… but…………”
It was mostly gibberish, but it wasn’t hard to get the general gist of what he was thinking. He was questioning everything he had done and believed in till now.
And if I know him correctly…………
“Ahhh, I see.” Michael suddenly looked up at me.
His eyes were devoid of light, while there was nary an expression on his face. He seemed to be so…… liberated.
“You filthy bastard!” He glared at me as his expression contorted into wrath. “Just how much must you steal from me before you are satisfied?!” He hollered.
“M-Michael?” Sherry stuttered.
Heh, perfect. The fortress has been brought down and the King is making his final stand.
They say that the truth is bitter. But in Michael’s case, the truth was akin to poison. Sherry’s words were mighty enough to shake the foundations of his beliefs, especially because they seemed like the truth.
However, changing one’s fundamental values is not so easy, and that’s especially true for him. Because by choosing to believe in Sherry’s words, he’ll lose his criminal; he’ll no longer have someone to blame. When that happens, he’ll once again have to pick up and carry the responsibility of their deaths, along with the guilt and shame of falsely accusing his own friend.
For someone who was liberated moments ago, that is a burden too heavy to carry. His heart won’t be able to handle it and shatter.
And so, to protect himself, Michael chose to not believe in Sherry’s words.
“Since when have you been brain washing them!”
But he didn’t want to blame Sherry either, so he decided to make me the culprit.
“What are you saying?” Cecile asked. “Come back to your senses, you idiot.”
Wow, how helpful.
“Even the Princess…………!” He gritted his teeth. ” But don’t worry, I’ll save all of you from this Demon!”
Please don’t arbitrarily change my race.
Anyway, with this, the first stage is clear. The second stage is fairly easy.
“Now, I seem to remember that you were dissatisfied with my way of approaching things, so I’ll step back and let you handle this.”
‘Is this really the time to be saying this?’ was written all over Cecile’s face. But the opening act of the second stage must be performed by them- gotta push Michael over the edge.
Also, I want her to experience for herself the things I have to go through, so that the next time, she won’t straight up attack me or question my methods.
“Well, best of luck.” I waved to them and stepped back.
“You piece of shit!” But the one to reply was Michael. “So now that the truth has been revealed, you plan to hide behind them and use them as hostages?!”
I’m actually really interested in how he reached that conclusion. Just what kind of thought process must one have to jump to conclusions so much?
The only reason Michael hadn’t attacked me yet was that Sherry and Cecile were standing between us. Though I wonder how long that’ll last.
“Wait, you want us to handle that alone?” Sherry pointed to Michael.
“Well, if you won’t, then who will?”
My only options were killing him or decapitating him.
My only options were killing him or incapacitating him.
(decapitating him would ‘usually’ be the same as killing him…barring a goddess interfering).