Three winged people descend at my surroundings.
Fire Demon Lord, Michael.
And there’s also Gabriel and Uriel.
The Demon Lords have all gathered here.
“The one fighting is… Raphael?!” (Gabriel)
“Why? Isn’t it already unnecessary to fight humans?!” (Uriel)
The battle still continued to unfold in front of us.
After losing Kukulkan, Hyue had no choice but to rely on En no Ozuno, and Raphael had disassembled his body again to fly around and attack.
But the battle was already at its climax.
Both sides are completely exhausted and their speeds are already quite lower than at the beginning.
But the wind long gun techniques that Hyue had trained for long years are still sharp, and she managed to accurately shoot down the armor parts.
“Raphael! That idiot! Isn’t he getting beaten up?!” (Uriel)
“If both sides have run out of divine power and it turns into a battle of wills, the humans who have overcome many difficulties are in the advantage. Raphael doesn’t understand that!” (Michael)
“It is because he underestimates humans that things have turned out like this! We are stopping this before they can deal the finishing blow!! Geez, that broken Demon Lord really causes trouble at every step!!” (Gabriel)
Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel try to jump into the middle of that maelstrom in order to stop the battle.
There’s no doubt that if these three world-class powers were to go there, they would be able to restrain the those two that are lacking in breath.
But I lifted my arm and stopped the Demon Lords.
“Kuromiya Haine! Why are you stopping us?!” (Michael)
Michael was confused, but I ask.
“Why did you guys come here? How did you guys notice something like this was happening?” (Haine)
“We Demon Lords have a kind of instinct that allows us to sense the other Demon Lords. Thanks to that, we were able to sense that Raphael was in some sort of danger.” (Michael)
We Gods have a similar kind of thing between us, so I could accept it pretty easily.
In that case, these guys are the only ones who noticed. I don’t have to worry about whether Shiva and Karen-san have also noticed at Rudras Metropolis.
“Don’t interfere.” (Haine)
“You can’t get involved in that fight. That fight is a fight for only Hyue and Raphael. No other people can get involved.” (Haine)
The Demon Lords looked like they couldn’t accept my words.
The same as me a few moments ago.
“What are you saying?! We Demon Lords have already decided not to fight humans!” (Gabriel)
“Since this has been decided, there’s no point in fighting anymore. Pointless things should be stopped at once!” (Michael)
No, there’s meaning.
“It is too late already. Raphael is different from you guys. He already began his confrontation with humans. Once something has begun, it can’t be stopped midway. There’s no choice but to do it till the end.” (Haine)
“What are you saying?! Michael, Uriel, and I have also fought the humans at first! But at the end, we understood each other, isn’t that right?!” (Gabriel)
I said the same thing as them. But now, I can tell that it is different.
Something that one can’t go back from.
Because something like that happened, you can say that the battle had truly begun.
“Raphael was the first Demon Lord to meet humans and fight them. And in all that, he broke a human and drove him into an unrecoverable state.” (Haine)
It cannot be taken back.
“And Raphael himself as well. Most of his body was erased by me and it is now in a state where he can’t regenerate completely. Even if he is a Demon Lord, there was apparently a limit.” (Haine)
It cannot be taken back.
“When there’s things that can’t be taken back. Hatred is the only choice to fill that space that has been lost. There’s no other way to fill that space than to hate the one that stole it, that broke it. That’s why those two have to fight. Until the hatred that seeps into the cracks of the heart are withered without leaving a single bit behind.” (Haine)
That is what I have understood as a spectator.
That’s why the two wanted to fight on their own.
“Hyue, and most likely Raphael as well, are fighting on their own and have rejected assistance. That’s probably because they don’t want their hatred to leak to the outside.” (Haine)
“Hatred…to the outside?!” (Michael)
“It is true that there are times when fighting can allow the parties involved to understand each other. In order to win, they analyze their opponent, and they learn about their strengths and weaknesses that go beyond friendship, and that changes into a connection.” (Haine)
But in the end, by fighting, there will always be hatred rising up as well.
After hurting and breaking each other, it is a matter of fact that they would end up hating each other.
“Michael, Gabriel, Uriel; if you guys were to participate in that fight as well, you would definitely end up hating humans.” (Haine)
“Impossible! Something like that is just…” (Michael)
“Hate can transmit to others.” (Haine)
When a loved one is hurt, hatred is born.
Just like how Hyue couldn’t not feel hate when her brother Shiva had been gravely injured.
There’s only one way to be unrelated to that. To not participate in the battle.
“Those two most likely understand this instinctively. Now that there’s hatred in their hearts, they can’t simply not fight. They can’t let that hatred leak to the outside, that’s why, they are fighting on their own.” (Haine)
That must be the reason why they chose this day for their fight.
In order for Shiva to not notice, she thought that there was no other day than in the day of his wedding.
“This is to settle things. Something that only they can end. For the sake of ending the circle of hate, they have to fight by themselves!!” (Haine)
Even by going to the lengths of refusing the help of Gods —refusing the power of a God Hero.
“If they understand that much…! Then why don’t they stop fighting?! If they are intelligent, why don’t they think of a different way?!” (Uriel)
Uriel says this as if he were raising a scream.
True, he does have a point.
“Even with that…they just can’t not fight. They most likely have a reason that is estranged from matters of intelligence or foolishness.” (Haine)
The two fought in order to spit out the emotions they couldn’t do anything about.
Flying armor, and wind bullets shooting them down.
It was truly a battle akin to a storm, lacking all sense of order or anything else. As spectators, we had no choice but to silently watch over it.
In time, there were the sounds of a bell ringing at the direction of Rudras Metropolis, and big loud cheers that reached all the way here echoed.
The wedding of Shiva and Juo-san must have started.
Hatred with hatred, happiness with happiness; they were being divided as if being two completely unrelated matters.
- 368: Friend of mine
Then, the battle finished.
It wasn’t a clear thing like one winning against the other.
It was just that both of them ran out of strength.
Their stamina had long ran out, and there’s a limit to how long one can fight with willpower alone.
They continued fighting even when that limit was reached, and the two ceased fighting at the same time.
The power of the two is wind.
The surroundings have turned into a mess because of the windstorms that raged in the fight of these two, and they were in the centre of that.
Even with that, there was proof of who was victorious.
The Wind Long Gun of Hyue.
A sharp wind blade extended from the tip of the gun, and piercing Raphael with it was what decided the end of the battle.
The gun was still stabbed in the torso of Raphael.
Unable to stand it any longer, we all run to their sides.
I went to Hyue, and the Demon Lords went to Raphael; each side separated them and pulled some distance.
First, how’s Hyue!
“I…I am in your debt…” (Hyue)
She is quite exhausted, but it looks like she is okay.
There doesn’t seem to be any danger to her life.
On the other hand, Raphael was…
“Raphael! Get a hold of yourself, Raphael!” (Michael)
The agitation of Michael was not normal.
The wind gun pierced in Raphael had already been taken out, and the hole that was at the trunk of the armor was hollow.
But that shouldn’t be related at all to the life or death of Raphael.
That’s only the shell that Raphael uses as shelter after all.
The few remaining cell insects simply reside within it.
No matter how much the armor is destroyed, Raphael himself should be safe and he can just move to another shelter.
That’s how it is supposed to be, but…!
“Why?! Why is the divine power of Raphael thinning?! If it thins even more than this…!” (Gabriel)
“Oi, get a hold of yourself! Concentrate and stop the dying out divine power!! If you don’t…!!” (Michael)
Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel were unable to say the words that came after.
Demon Lords can die.
All living beings in this world are destined to die at some point in time. All things that have a beginning also have an end; this is how the world works.
But these guys that have just been born are not prepared to accept that natural thing.
“……It is fine… I will die.” (Raphael)
Raphael easily says.
He was accepting the fate that was approaching him.
“I understood this since a while ago. Looks like there really was a minimum amount of cells required in order to maintain my existence. I passed that limit after my body was erased, so even if I didn’t disappear immediately, I would disappear slowly as time went on.” (Raphael)
“…..Because of me?” (Haine)
I ask him while holding Hyue’s body.
“…That’s right, Kuromiya Haine. You defeated this Demon Lord Raphael and saved many of your people. That’s something to be proud of. Isn’t that right?” (Raphael)
“‘If we can’t coexist, there’s no choice but to fight until one side or the other disappears’. Those were the words you spoke. That wasn’t wrong.” (Raphael)
The shine of the armor covering Raphael was rapidly losing luster —as if his life was escaping from it.
“Hyue…! Wind hero, Hyue…!” (Raphael)
Isn’t this the first time…Raphael has said the name of Hyue?
“You said it, right? That we are the same. It is true that we both held hatred within, and we had to fight in order to put an end to it…… However, there was a part that was slightly different.” (Raphael)
“……And that is?” (Hyue)
“In the end, I could only hate you guys for my own wounds. But yours wasn’t for yourself. You felt anger for the sake of another, and directed that hatred.” (Raphael)
Get angry, not for yourself but for someone else, and hate someone for it.
“That’s most likely the foolishness of a human, and also a strength of them.” (Raphael)
In the remaining time of Raphael that felt as if it would end anytime soon…
“But Michael, Gabriel, Uriel; if you guys are to walk together with humans, make sure not to be engulfed by hatred. Don’t be like me. That idealistic idea of coexistence cannot be spoken about without overcoming hatred.” (Raphael)
“That’s a lie! There’s no way you would die! You are the most stubborn out of all the four Demon Lords!!” (Gabriel)
“You disappearing is some kind of joke, right?!” (Uriel)
The Demon Lords were crying.
Being in the face of an unimaginable farewell from a comrade, their hearts were breaking to pieces.
“Even if you guys are sad, you must not change that into hatred. The empty space that is created after losing something, it should be possible to fill it up with something that’s not hatred. I was unable to do that, but if it is you guys who aim to coexist with humans, you must learn how to…!” (Raphael)
Raphael’s gaze connects with Michael’s.
“…My friend.” (Raphael)
“Yeah, we are friends. We are without doubt friends!!” (Michael)
“I am satisfied. Even if my heart was imprisoned by hatred, I could to put an end to it. Thanks to that aggressive hero over there.” (Raphael)
Raphael’s gaze was directed over here now —more precisely, not me but Hyue who was in my arms.
“Wind hero, Hyue…..I have one last request to make you.” (Raphael)
- 369: Returning on dry wind
The ceremony continued without any problems, and the figure of a man and woman appear from the main gate of the Wind Church headquarters.
One was the Wind Founder that was wearing the formal outfit of Founders, Toreido Shiva.
The other one is Brastor Juo-san in her pure white dress —no, from today on, she will be Toreido Juo, the wife of the Founder.
The wedding has ended and they are now officially married so, in order to have everyone in the Wind capital know, there’s plans of having them ride a convertible ethereal car to have a parade in Rudras Metropolis.
“Congratulations on your wedding!!”
“Let there be good blessings for the husband and wife!!”
“May you both have a happy married life!!”
The people that were surrounding them from the sides of the parade course were sending them their blessings and applauses without holding back.
The confetti was dancing in the sky, and Rudras Metropolis, that normally gives out an impression of having a heavy atmosphere, was now lively as if they had been reborn.
Everyone was smiling.
Everyone was in joy.
The new married couple were waving their hands from the convertible ethereal car.
Everytime they do that, cheers rose up.
Today is without doubt a day of celebration.
“How is it? ……Can you see it?”
Hyue and Raphael were at the roof of a building in Rudras Metropolis that was faraway from the parade.
“I can’t show up at the parade with this beat-up look, so this is as close as we can get. Forgive me.” (Hyue)
“It is fine. I can see it plenty well.” (Raphael)
With the wind long gun technique of Hyue, she is able to bend the wind and amplify objects to see clearer from afar.
Even in a distance where you would normally only see specks, they were able to clearly see the joyful smiles of the people.
“Why are they making such a content expression? Even though his body was destroyed to a point of not being able to recover, just like me.” (Raphael)
“Aniue-sama has a treasure that surpasses that. That’s why.” (Hyue)
Hyue was also looking at her happy brother and the woman that was at her side.
The two that will be walking together forever from now on.
“In order to protect that, Aniue-sama threw away his body. Even if he were to break, if what’s truly important for him is safe, he wouldn’t feel remorse.” (Hyue)
“I see…… So that’s the difference between him and me huh…” (Raphael)
Raphael already only had the head of the armor left.
It would have been impossible for the exhausted Hyue to carry the whole armor to Rudras Metropolis and move it all the way to where they are.
Hyue refused to have someone take her place in carrying him.
Saying that this is a duty that only her as the person that fought Raphael is allowed to do.
“It is because he has things that are more important than himself that he doesn’t worry about he himself breaking. I didn’t have any other thing aside from me that was important.” (Raphael)
That’s why, when he broke, he was caught by hatred.
“When seeing it from that perspective, that guy was the winner and I was the loser.” (Raphael)
“That’s right…” (Hyue)
‘I want to see the state of Shiva’, that was Raphael’s last wish.
And Hyue fulfilled that wish.
“You have my thanks, wind hero Hyue. You were the most fitting opponent for my last fight. More than Shiva, and more than Kuromiya Haine.” (Raphael)
The end of Raphael was already arriving.
He had already lost his remaining strength, and the helmet that served as his head had lost its shine and was rotting.
“You accepted my heart that was trapped in hatred. By fighting you, this ending of mine…well, it won’t be that bad.” (Raphael)
“I feel the same. I also brought out everything that was lurking inside of me and struck you with it. If I hadn’t brought all of that out, I wouldn’t be able to become a true hero.” (Hyue)
In order to separate from her past self, that was simply chasing after the back of her brother, into a hero that walks forward on her own in order to protect the people.
“There was no other way than settling the anger and hatred, that I felt when I couldn’t save Aniue-sama at that time, by fighting you.” (Hyue)
“And so…did you manage to do that?” (Raphael)
“Yeah, if it is now, I can say this without any worries in my heart.” (Hyue)
Hyue says this to her two important people that are faraway.
“Aniue-sama, Juo…..congratulations on your wedding.” (Hyue)
“……Congratulations on your wedding.” (Raphael)
The helmet that Hyue held said the same thing.
Hyue asks while making a wry smile.
“Why are you saying it as well?” (Hyue)
“Who knows. I simply felt like saying it. Maybe because, thanks to my fight with you, I was able to settle my anger and hatred as well.” (Raphael)
His heart was empty now.
That’s why any kind of emotion can come out.
“You accepted my hatred by fighting me. You allowed me to take out the pathetic sides of my heart.” (Raphael)
“It goes both ways.” (Hyue)
“As I thought, I am glad you were my last opponent. I admit it…..” (Raphael)
The light of life dimmed…and disappeared.
“You are a true wind hero…” (Raphael)
Death arrived for the Demon Lord.
This is a natural thing for all living beings.
“Heroes…are the ones…to defeat…the Demon Lords…” (Raphael)
Within the arms of the hero…the Wind Demon Lord made his last breath.
I left the matter of Raphael to Hyue and I -Kuromiya Haine- stayed at the place where the battle took place.
I cannot leave these guys alone after all.
Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel were broken by their first experience of losing a comrade.
“Lies…! This is a lie…! There’s no way Raphael would die. The most stubborn within us…!!” (Gabriel)
“Why…! Why couldn’t I be more kind to him! I couldn’t notice the pain he held. If I had encouraged him, this wouldn’t have…!!” (Uriel)
Their hearts were currently in a state they couldn’t do anything about.
I can’t leave them on their lonesome, and it is also in case they go out of control.
“…..I end up thinking stupid things.” (Michael)
Michael was trying to comfort his comrades together with me, but even so, he couldn’t hold back his own feelings.
“At that time, if I had been more attentive to Raphael’s state of mind…if I had used better words when interacting with Raphael…would things have ended up in a different manner? Truly foolish. Even though I can’t change the past no matter how much I think about those kind of things.” (Michael)
“Everyone is like that.” (Haine)
I stand by his side.
“Everyone lives by while shouldering those regrets. There’s not a single living person that has died without experiencing this at least once.” (Haine)
“Regret… Death…” (Michael)
Michael raises his head as if he noticed something.
Of course, his expression was not cheerful.
“It means that gaining a heart comes with having to face such scary things huh. Raphael has taught us that. And Raphael himself faced that straight-on.” (Michael)
That’s exactly right.
“In that case, we also have to face what’s in front of us. Kuromiya Haine, the reason why we were late here was because we were heading to the castle. At the Cocoon Castle where the Great Demon Lord Lucifer sleeps in.” (Michael)
He did say something like that when we separated last time.
“Raphael disappeared and, unless he releases a big stream of emotions, we had no means to find him. Thus, we prioritized the audience with Lucifer-sama. I do feel some regret in whether that was actually the right choice, but we are in the present now. Anyways, we returned to the castle of Lucifer, however, we saw something unbelievable.” (Michael)
“There was nothing…!” (Gabriel)
Gabriel exclaimed, still unable to stop her overflowing tears.
Uriel as well.
“At the place where Lucifer-sama’s castle was…there was nothing, and only a leveled ground remained. Everything disappeared like smoke. Lucifer-sama, the castle around Lucifer-sama, and obviously, that woman as well…!!” (Uriel)
They did say that before in between lines but, just who in the world are they referring to?
Does that mean there are other monsters that have obtained a will of their own aside from the Demon Lords?
“She said that she was a proxy to relay the will of Lucifer-sama. That she was ‘Lucifer-sama’s priestess’. She took the side of the monsters even though she was a human, and offered to help in eradicating humans. If I remember correctly, her name is…” (Uriel)
When I heard that name, I was shocked.
Is that even possible?
Calling herself as Lucifer’s priestess and approaching the Demon Lords…
The previous light hero…