Pashuro eventually collapsed on the ground and breathed his last. It is impressive how, even though his heart was taken out, he still managed to live for this long though.
Girista has lost both arms, and Ekdoik is injured in his whole body and he seems to be barely managing to stand here. Well, most of all, these two have completely lost their will to fight.
Now then, let’s put the finishing touches. Ilias came back to her senses and ran my way, and I also approached her.
“Just what in the world happe—mgh.” (Ilias)
I ignored Ilias who was about to say something, sandwich both of her cheeks, and stare at her.
“W-What are you…” (Ilias)
Stare at her.
Look at her eyes, pupils, and continue staring even deeper in.
I take a deep breath and exhale. —Alright, this should be enough of a change of mood. I want to end this in a neutral mindset after all.
“Now then, Girista and Ekdoik. Is it okay to assume that you two don’t intend to fight anymore?”
“…Right, my motivation is kind of completely gone. Pashuro threw cold water on it after all.” (Girista)
“The knights must be encircling the place by now. If you are going to run away, aim for the time when we join up with them.”
“Wa, what are you—” (Ilias)
“However, I would like you to accept the conditions I am about to put out even if it is just a verbal promise. If you can’t, I won’t stop Ilias.”
Ekdoik and Girista looked at each other’s faces and looked over here again.
“Let’s hear your conditions.” (Ekdoik)
“The first one is to not be a threat to us anymore. I can trust Ekdoik because of the previous instance, but we have to deal with your battle mania somehow, Girista.”
“That part is fine. Even if I heal my arms, it would take time for me to be able to wave my greatsword like I have done until now~.” (Girista)
“Once your arms heal and you can swing your weapon again, and you bare your fangs once more, we won’t be able to ignore you. There’s the chance you will learn some other fighting style after all.”
“I get it. I won’t put a hand on you in the future.” (Girista)
“Girista, stop that. It will end the negotiation.”
That’s my trade. There’s no way I would fall for it.
“…I won’t be a threat. That fine with you now?” (Girista)
“Yeah, thanks. The second one is to break off connections with Raheight.”
“No issues with that. We have failed, so we are not in a position to show ourselves in front of him.” (Girista)
“If I can achieve my objective, I will accept the condition.” (Ekdoik)
With this, we have reconciliation with Ekdoik and Girista even if just on the surface. It is not clear whether these two will keep their promise, but we have made a promise.
Judging from how Rakura is not interjecting, it must mean that they are agreeing truthfully here. Meaning that we have secured safety with that just now. Depending on what happens in the future, they might go against their promise. There’s no need to hesitate when that happens.
“Wait a moment! Do you understand what you are doing here?!” (Ilias)
Ilias interjected when we were proceeding.
“What, you ask? I am simply letting them go. Girista simply wanted to have a deathmatch with a strong person, and Ekdoik was planning on restoring the honor of his father. They are both matters that can be solved, right?”
“But they kidnapped you and tried to kill you, you know?!” (Ilias)
“Yeah, that’s why there shouldn’t be an issue if I make the decision to let them go, right?”
“The objective of Pashuro was the rebellion against the authority. That’s why he designated Pope Euparo. He could have affected the surroundings, so I had him eliminated.”
“Isn’t the killing desire of Girista the same? There might be more casualties in places we don’t see!” (Ilias)
It is easy to imagine that. That said, when you go that far, I can only say that’s none of my busi—no, no, looks like I still haven’t switched completely. I smack my face and switch.
“Girista, how long will it take for both of your arms to heal?”
“Right. If it is just attaching them, it wouldn’t take long, but if it is the same as before…more than a month.” (Girista)
“Then please endure killing people in that time. I will find a way to hold down that impulse of yours. If it doesn’t seem like you can, Ilias, you put an end to her.”
“Fine by me. I can endure a bit if you promise me a rematch. But can you trust me?” (Girista)
“Yeah, I can.”
“…I see, then I will do my best to keep the promise~.” (Girista)
Ilias directed her gaze at Rakura. She nodded profusely.
“Now then, let’s disperse. If we talk for too long, who knows when the knights will come pouring in.”
This is how this matter was wrapped up.
Pashuro died, and Girista and Ekdoik escaped. The gauntlets Pashuro had on and the greatsword of Girista she left behind were transported to the castle.
The knights chased after the escapees, but they couldn’t get their whereabouts. They couldn’t catch the people who lived in the darkness. There were some unsettling rumors going around, but the Harvest Festival resumed, and we safely reached the last day.
Marito called for us after that, and we are currently in the guest room. The other ones that were called are Ilias, Rakura, Pope Euparo, and Archbishop Ukka.
We explained what happened there.
“That damn Raheight. To think he would aim for the Pope-sama as if he were an afterthought!” (Ukka)
“Don’t make a ruckus, Ukka. But it is great that the harm was kept to a minimum. Pashuro was the disciple of the Holy Fist Gradona. I am impressed you managed to come out fine.” (Euparo)
This is the pattern where there’s going to be some sort of crazy backstory added afterwards. He actually managed to fight on even grounds against Ilias, so I won’t be surprised.
“But why did you let the other two escape? The chances of them becoming enemies again is higher.” (Euparo)
“Judging from the personality of Raheight, he won’t be sending the same people twice. At the very least, we have dealt with them as the assassins of Raheight. The other reason would be in order to get information.”
I say this and look at Archbishop Ukka.
“W-Want something from me?” (Ukka)
“I am grateful for your cooperation in scooping out information, Archbishop Ukka. There was no important information per se, but it has served in learning of Raheight. I have let those two escape for a similar reason. Those two were not controlled. They were facing Raheight in their natural state, so we should be able to peek at a different side from him.”
His way when he interacts with a brainwashed target, the way he usually interacts; by learning those differences, we will be able to get a more three dimensional view of Raheight.
Of course, making direct contact with him is the fastest shortcut, but it should be safe to assume that Raheight won’t be showing himself in front of us personally.
“That might be true, but I don’t think they will spit out that information honestly though.” (Euparo)
“There’s no issue there. I plan on meeting with Ekdoik at a lair of the bandits at a later date to exchange information. The condition to cooperate is to do something about Rakura though.”
That’s where I tell them about the objective of Ekdoik.
Ekdoik had been raised by a devil. He hated the humans that threw him away and admired the devil who raised him. With Rakura having defeated that father of his, he directed his attention at Rakura. However, Rakura is normally airheaded, so she is evaluated lowly, and that irritates him.
She not only has a low evaluation among humans but devils too. Due to him being the son of a devil that lost to someone like that, his self-respect was in tatters.
“And so, we just have to improve the reputation of Rakura.”
“But…isn’t that an extremely difficult thing to achieve?” (Euparo)
“Yeah, honestly, it is on the level where I want to puke.”
“But it is not like there’s no avenue. The reputation of Rakura within the humans is in a realm that can’t be done anything about, but the story is different if it is within the devils. She just has to show that she is a threatening existence to the devils after all.”
Actually, the biggest reason why I accepted this proposal of Ekdoik was because I learned of the strength of Rakura.
The result was that Ekdoik couldn’t deal a single scratch on Rakura and lost. On top of that, it was after she was complaining so much about ‘not wanting to kill’ so she was holding back. His internal evaluation of Rakura must have increased by quite a lot with that. Honestly, it is on the level where it might be fine to just raise that one to the extreme.
“Fumu, so it is fine to just send Rakura to the Nether.” (Euparo)
“That’s not fine!” (Rakura)
“I would like you to do that, but it should be fine to just send her to the frontlines where she can show her true strength. Or rather, why is it that you have been moving her away from the frontlines when she has shown so much results in subjugating devils?”
I threw the natural question at them.
The battle prowess of Rakura is actually being evaluated highly. If all her other points are useless, she is basically asking to be used in the frontlines.
The one who can answer this is most likely Archbishop Ukka who is her direct superior.
“About that, it is because when awarding her the medals for her achievements, she strongly requested to be away from the frontlines…” (Ukka)
Everyone looks at Rakura with judging gazes.
“No uhm…the food in the frontlines is not tasty and there’s no bathtubs, you know. The beds are also hard and it is unhygienic…” (Rakura)
“At least talk about the fear and emptiness of battle or something like that.”
“Ah, let’s go with that.” (Rakura)
She has been crushing her own chance to show her potential for the sake of her own peace.
But it must be true that it is harsh on the frontlines. You are exposed to danger and can’t even lead a satisfying lifestyle. Couldn’t you say Rakura is quite the big deal for only thinking about the quality of life there?
“Alright, I will entrust Rakura to you. I am sure you will be able to reform her!” (Euparo)
“Wait, the one with the highest responsibility shouldn’t be pushing the problem to others and running away!”
If Pope Euparo says that, no one in the Yugura Church can go against it. That’s not fair.
I did expect to get involved to a certain degree, but it would be troubling if you throw the whole life of someone to me.
“No, I am not running away. We couldn’t put Rakura to full use. I am now sure that you will be able to guide her into becoming a wonderful cleric! I have decided to convince myself of that!” (Euparo)
“You are spilling out your real thoughts at the end!”
“Now then, I will leave the future of Rakura to you under the orders of the Pope.” (Euparo)
No fair. No, I do understand how he feels, but that’s not fair.
It is so horrible that he is using his authority in such a blatant manner. How can you stand above others like that?!
“Wait, please wait, Pope-sama! Rakura is not an object. She has the right to choose her path!”
Now that it has come to this, I will latch onto the rights of Rakura and stick her to the side of the Pope! It should be possible. Turn your gears full power!
“Fumu, you have a point. Then, let’s ask the person herself. Rakura, I shall respect your will above everything else. Where would you want to stay from here on?” (Euparo)
“Just for your information, if you are left to me, I will be merciless. Don’t think you will be able to lead the same lifestyle as you have until now.”
“Uuh, in that case, the Pope-sama would be better…” (Rakura)
“By the way, I plan on sending you straight to the Nether by today.” (Euparo)
“To the Counselor-sama please!” (Rakura)
“Not fair! No, isn’t it horrible for the Pope to throw a threat?!”
“Threat? What are you saying? Isn’t that the best way to make use of her abilities to the fullest? Didn’t you say just now that you wanted to do that?” (Euparo)
“T-Then, here too.”
“You would need the permission of Mejis in order to enter the Nether that is connected to the territory of Mejis. There’s no way we would permit you to push a young one with a bright future to their death, right?” (Euparo)
“Can you please remember what you said just before?!”
If I say this, he says that. In order to face this person, I need to make proper preparations. I can’t win against him with adlib. We have way too much of a difference in social status.
Anything goes for his side, but there’s a limit to what I can do.
“It is not only because I want to push a problematic person to you. I have also heard from Archbishop Maya. You apparently found a job for Rakura.” (Euparo)
“Even though it was a given after being told, we couldn’t notice it. Due to this, we have been burying the talent of Rakura and wasting it. Our heads are way too hard. That’s why I thought from the bottom of my heart that I wanted to entrust her to you with your flexible mind.” (Euparo)
If you tell me that, I can’t say anythi—I obviously have a lot to say back! Why are you trying to wrap it up nicely? Now that it has come to this, I shall debate to the end.
“That’s how it is, so I would like you to ask him for my stead too, King of Taizu. For the sake of an amicable relationship between Taizu and Mejis too.” (Euparo)
“If you put it like that… I am sorry, my friend.” (Marito)
“Et tu, Marito?!”
Being faced with the power of the Pope and the King, there’s no way the complaints of a commoner will be effective. Rakura Salf has become a resident of the Ilias house in name and reality.
Due to the decision of the Pope-sama, I am now going to be polishing myself under the guidance of the Counselor-sama.
That said, they are horrible people, pushing the custody of someone else like a hot potato.
I am aware that I am just eating my just desserts and that I am being seen as a troublesome person.
Even so, anyone would dislike being treated like that.
Counselor-sama was returning dejected after having been talked into submission by the Pope-sama and King Marito.
“Counselor-sama, please don’t sigh that much. I am the one who is being treated the worst here after all!” (Rakura)
Even if I say this, I am sure of what he will be saying next. ‘You just dug yourself into that one though’, ‘I have been caught in the crossfire here’ or something like that.
“Think about how I feel as the one who will be shouldering your life. You are the second after Wolfe, you know?!”
Oh, that wasn’t it. Even though the words of the Counselor-sama are normally ones I can predict, he would sometimes come out with things that I can’t predict like this one.
The way Counselor-sama dotes on Wolfe-chan is something I am really jealous of. It is in part because Wolfe-chan has earnest loyalty towards Counselor-sama, but it is most likely not only that.
“If you treated me like Wolfe-chan, I would also be more motivated though…” (Rakura)
I said something I didn’t really mean. Changing my lazy nature isn’t that easy to do. I have barely changed in these 20 years after all.
“As if I would treat you the same. Wolfe is Wolfe and Rakura is Rakura. In the first place, your personality wouldn’t change that easily!”
His point exactly.
I want to live freely and in comfort. When I think about too many things, I always end up causing terrible things, and cause trouble to my surroundings.
If I am going to be doing proper work, devil hunting would be a lot more relaxing. Well, devil hunting doesn’t hold a candle compared to just living a lazy lifestyle though.
“If you think I can’t change, you should just give up and accept it… It is impossible to reform me.” (Rakura)
“Listen here. Even if your core doesn’t change, your environment can. We create a method that can make the best of you even as you are.”
“Isn’t that a lot of work?!” (Rakura)
“That’s why I am sighing here. I know the difficulties awaiting me after all.”
…This is it. Why is it that Counselor-sama doesn’t give up on me? Even though he should have noticed my true self a long time ago.
I normally try to act decent, but I have stopped doing even that recently. And yet, he would just make a displeased face but doesn’t abandon me in the end.
“It is okay to not go through so much work for someone like me. I also just want to take it easy.” (Rakura)
“I will throw you away when I have to. The only reason I don’t do it right now is because there’s still a way.”
“So you would throw me away if that doesn’t work either, right? That’s rough for me too as someone that has to tag along with it.” (Rakura)
“No need to be so negative about yourself. Even if you haven’t changed, the eyes around you have changed bit by bit, right?”
That’s simply because you are moving me in a way that’s useful after understanding me. It is true that, even if it is a hassle that work is going my way now, I am also a bit happy about it…
“Even so, I think there’s a limit. I feel like it would be impossible to reach a point Ekdoik-san is satisfied with.” (Rakura)
I have apparently killed the devil that raised him. I have almost no regrets about it. I at most feel ‘So that’s how it was. It was at a bad time’.
It seems like he is angry that I am not worthy of being the killer of his father. That’s seriously a pain.
According to Counselor-sama, he would be satisfied if I became famous, but I have barely changed.
I am a lazy cleric; this won’t change. I won’t become serious and it is not like I will become a hero.
“There will be no end to the hardships with how you are right now. But humans are not immutable. Even if you don’t change, if the eyes around change, even the small developments internally will provide proportional developments to the outside too.”
“I don’t think I will change though.” (Rakura)
“I will tag along until you do.”
…Geez, can’t be helped.
I can’t deny it with him having shown results. Also, if he tells me that with honesty, someone like me can’t push him away.
I don’t plan on changing, but I will at least do my best in tagging along with it.
“Does that mean you will be looking after me for life?” (Rakura)
“If nothing works, I will modify you physically. What would you prefer for an arm: a claw or a sword?”
“I don’t want a change like that!” (Rakura)
He is foul mouthed and treats me horribly, but I don’t know of a place that’s this comfortable despite me being myself. That’s why let’s be under the care of this person in the meantime.