The Spirit Kingdom, Lucretio.
In the past, there was a country that was called like that.
It was said that that was the country that the race known as Elements who believed in the God of Darkness Dagulas lived in.
Unlike the other races of mankind, the Elements did not possess bodies of flesh.
It was said that they had immaterial bodies that were composed with magical power, which were called magical power bodies.
Maybe due to that, Elements were extraordinarily proficient with magical power techniques.
A Golem Creation technique.
A technique to dwell in things like armor and move them as if it were their own body.
A technique to increase the concentration of their own magical power and strengthen various abilities, which could be called Strengthening Magic.
They were able to handle various magics and abilities that the other races couldn’t use.
They always had freedom.
Due to possessing lifespans that were longer than any other race, there was no need for them live in a rush.
Due to not being bound to bodies of flesh, they could easily fly through even the sky.
Due to being extraordinarily susceptible to the influences of magical power, their bodies were changed to fire and water as well.
If there was any problems at all, it was the fact that their population size was small. And then, due to the fact that they did not possess flesh bodies, it was inconvenient to interact with other races.
However, the Elements considered those problems to be trivial and didn’t mind them.
For them, they had a long time.
They thought that there was a great number of things that could be resolved during that time.
But, that calm attitude of theirs was seen as arrogance to the other races.
The Elements did things that they themselves couldn’t do, and could go to places that they themselves couldn’t reach.
Moreover, they didn’t even have to work hard to carry out those things.
No, they were scorning their efforts.
That sort of jealousy had created a crack within mankind which should have had equality under the Gods.
And then, at the same time, fear was also born within the other members of mankind.
The Elements possessed power similar to the Gods.
With that power, wouldn’t they eventually bring about harm to us?
If they were to attack, would we be able to oppose them?
They look down on us.
No, there’s no mistake that they feel that they already rule over us.
Come to think of it, I heard rumors that they killed someone that ruined their mood.
Ahh, how scary.
The rumors that came from such fear spread, and gradually, the Elements became something to avoid within mankind.
Some were openly obsequious with them, some would raise screams the moment they met them, while others devotedly fell prostrate to them.
It was at this time that the Elements started to harbor a sense of impending crisis.
However, there was no one that would tell them just what in the world was going on.
Even so, the Elements desperately thought.
They didn’t know the reason, but they were alienated.
Just what in the world did they do wrong?
They didn’t flashily break anything, nor did they hurt anyone.
In that case, just what was the cause?
They desperately thought, but the answer didn’t come to them.
They didn’t consider at all that it had started from trivial jealousy.
It was because the Elements were long unrelated from that sort of emotion.
However, even so, they thought.
First, they decided to endeavor in communicating with the other races more than ever before──however, there was no one that would open their hearts to them.
How about inventing useful magic and trying to spread that──They were suspected of having some sort of ulterior motive, so the magic didn’t spread.
Going “in that case”, the Elements went to various places, and set out to solve various problems.
The people that had their problems solved were delighted, and the Elements were convinced that this was it.
However, the ones that were grateful to them were only a handful of people.
The great majority of people that were unrelated to them feared that the Elements had finally started their invasion of them.
A mountain of protests came to the Elements from the upper echelons of every nation.
Saying that if they continued interfering with the domestic affairs of other countries anymore than this, they would send their armies.
The Elements reluctantly stopped solving the problems of other countries.
There was no longer anything that they could do.
There was no longer anything that they should do.
And so, they gave up and stopped interacting with the other members of mankind.
For them who didn’t possess bodies of flesh to begin with, that wasn’t even a hard blow to them.
Even for the faint voices that reached them seeking help, they no longer responded.
Even the people that said their thanks to them had forgotten those debts of gratitude before they knew it, and ended up supporting the irresponsible gossip.
Finally, it started to become a trend to push the causes of bad events all onto the Elements.
And then, time flowed, and the Spirit Kingdom Lucretio broke into an era of a single young queen.
The Spirit King Ystia.
The Elements were delighted at the birth of the young queen that was overflowing with talent and had received strong divine protection from the God of Darkness Dagulas.
However, the Elements hadn’t even noticed.
That the birth of the Spirit King Ystia was the start of their end.
For them, who let the races other than themselves precipitate to the bottom of their hearts, and had severed their relationship to others and to emotions that could seethe and boil like magma, there was no way they would notice.
And then, at this time, not even the God of Darkness Dagulas had noticed.
No, there was no way he could notice.
It was because he was also a being unrelated to that sort of emotion.
「……Just what in the world happened?」
Gordy calmly asked that.
She understood the dissension between the Elements and the other races of mankind.
Even what would happen after this, she could somehow imagine it.
But, like this, it should still not be enough.
Now that they were thinking of killing and eradicating the Elements, there should have been some sort of decisive cue.
Vermudol answered that question that had that sort of meaning put into it.
「It was a plague. It seems that something considerably nasty was spread.」
The plague had its menace flourish in the Shutaia Continent of those days, attacked those that possessed bodies of flesh, and altogether led them to death.
The spread of the plague was quick, and with there being many countries that could no longer attain an effective countermeasure on their own, the many nations took on harmonic attitudes and strove to eradicate the plague.
Mankind gathered all of the knowledge they possessed, but even with that, the plague didn’t settle down so easily.
At that time when anyone would despair, the one who saved the people was a single wise man.
Having visited a certain small village, that wise man was said to have been a single knight that wore full-bodied armor and mantle and even their face was unknown.
The knight taught the villagers a single secret formula and several countermeasures, and had them put it into practice.
And then, it was said that he left behind words saying that the plague would settle down if they were to spread those and then he left.
The secret formula and countermeasures that the knight left behind suppressed the plague’s spread and eradicated it.
The many nations rejoiced at the end of the plague uproar, and praised the wise man’s achievements.
But however, there was a country that wasn’t included in those 「many nations」.
The country of those that didn’t even possess bodies of flesh that the plague would attack.
The country that avoided relations with any other country, and also didn’t try to hold any interactions with other country.
It was the country of the Elements, which had ended up being called the Cursed Country Lucretio by those of the other countries.
Everyone feared that country, and even stories saying that the Elements weren’t a part of mankind started to appear.
The Elements were beings that possessed techniques that they themselves couldn’t understand, and didn’t possess bodies of flesh.
They were different from them.
Wouldn’t that make them enemies of mankind?
And then, after the plague uproar had ended, a rumor that sounded plausible started to spread amongst the people.
That this plague was an experiment done by the Elements of the Cursed Country.
That preposterous rumor rushed through every country in a flash, and exaggerations were gradually attached to it.
This time’s case wasn’t actually a plague, but heresy that the Elements developed.
According to the wise knight, the Elements are wicked beings planning to kill mankind.
The wise knight was the figure of a manifested God who was saddened by the Element’s tyranny.
Everything was contrary to fact, and were groundless rumors.
If the aforementioned villagers had observed closely as well, they would have noticed the knight’s unnaturalness.
That there was nothing within the full-bodied armor knight’s helmet.
They should have reached the conclusion that that knight was an Element, who feared being said to have interfered with the domestic affairs of another country but couldn’t overlook the dilemma of the other members of mankind and acted like a Human.
But unfortunately, no one had pointed out that possibility.
Now, the Elements were wicked beings to the other members of mankind, and there was no way there would be anyone that would connect them to the wise knight who was their benefactor.
Even if there was anyone that noticed that fact, they feared that it would be taken as slander against the wise knight, and so they probably kept their mouths shut.
And then, what was a disaster to the Elements was that the true identity of the wise knight was their young queen Ystia.
Due to her not yet feeling that mankind was hopeless, she moved to save her fellow members of mankind.
Normally, the queen’s virtuousness would have been an action to be praised.
However, the situation had already surpassed the stage of being called normal.
There was no telling which country it was. It might have been one of the current four major countries, or it might have been some other country. However, some country had made a suggestion.
Namely, it was the suggestion that they should eradicate the main cause of this time’s plague.
In order to prevent the next tragedy, they should destroy the Cursed Country Lucretio with all of mankind’s efforts.
The citizens of every nation raised voices of support towards this invitation.
Now was the time for a sacred war.
Mankind had their hearts become one, and it was a time for them to cooperate.
The 「holy war」 that happened like this was no longer something that could be called a fight.
The Elements had a small number to begin with.
Even if they had the magic techniques that they excelled in, even if there were Golems that possessed strength that surpassed that of the normal person, none of it mattered.
Even if they didn’t have bodies of flesh, there were many ways to annihilate them.
The Elements had believed that they were fellow members of mankind, and they were originally not proficient in fighting techniques.
The Elements were abnormally weak. The people who were exhilarated with fighting spirit didn’t even notice this fact.
Rather, they perceived that to be something due to the blessings of the Gods and due to justice.
The victory song of mankind’s allied forces reverberated throughout the blazing streets of Lucretio, and the streets were also filled with the voices of grief and resentment of the Elements.
Even the Spirit King Ystia, who tried to reconcile with mankind right to the very end, was attacked, and the allied forces invaded her castle.
The allied forces discovered research documents in the Spirit King Ystia’s private room that she had made in order to eradicate the plague, and they had taken this as proof that the Elements had something to do with the plague.
They should have understood that it was a misunderstanding if they had done a bit of checking, but naturally, no such investigation was made.
What they needed was proof of evil, and anything other than that was unnecessary.
「And so, the Elements perished.」
Both Ichika and Gordy had no words to say.
It was because they knew that any words they could say would be useless.
Words would be nothing more than a criticism of the past, and even if they, who weren’t even member of mankind, were to say something, it wouldn’t save the Elements.
「Now then, here is the question. Why do you think I talked about this final queen……about Ystia?」
「……So that, is how it is. That is……what you are saying.」
As if to affirm the answer that Gordy deduced, Vermudol nodded.
「Right, that’s exactly it. The Goddess of Life’s first victim, the Spirit King Ystia……That is Ykslaas’s true identity.」
「Does she……does Ykslaas know?」
「Of course she knows. I had induced her to after all.」
Saying that, Vermudol took an unprocessed document into his hand.
It was the document related to the Demon King Castle’s restoration project that Ykslaas had submitted.
Flipping through it, Vermudol nodded looking satisfied.
「Although she looks like that, Ykslaas is a capable person. If possible……I want to construct a favorable relationship with her.」