“And so, Haakudoku, did it go well?”
“Yeah, I couldn’t change her feelings of wanting to meet you, but I managed to properly make her understand that a novice wouldn’t be able to meet you.” (Haaku)
Judging from the tone of Haakudoku, things must have gone as planned. It really was worth talking to him thoroughly.
“I see, that was a great help.” (Ekdoik)
“It is really okay, right?” (Blue)
The voice of Blue rang from deep in the room. She is hiding there for the sake of Haakudoku. It is really great that they can talk to each other as long as he doesn’t see her directly.
“Yeah, don’t worry. But Natora-san tried to make contact with Rakura too, you know?” (Haaku)
“So she went there… And how did it go?” (Rakura)
“I don’t have any contact with Morgana. There’s you though. There’s a good deal of Yugura Church people who are registered as adventurers, so I just found a random person that’s a member of Morgana and threw everything to her.” (Haaku)
“I see. I didn’t do any work as a Morgana member to begin with anyways.” (Rakura)
Rakura and Wolfe registered in the guilds for the sake of investigating Gestaf and the others who were helping out Raheight and his group. They should be able to accept quite a lot of requests with their skills, but they probably don’t plan on building themselves up as adventurers for now.
“Speaking of which, Rakura~, there’s an acquaintance of yours who wants to meet you~.” (Girista)
“Hm? Who is it?” (Rakura)
“Uuh, I forgot~.” (Girista)
“You shouldn’t!” (Rakura)
“That person glared at me because I am wanted by Mejis~. But it is someone who is acquainted with Boss~.” (Girista)
“Hmm, someone acquainted with Counselor-sama… I think that narrows it down quite a lot… Is it Ukka-sama?” (Rakura)
Rakura is from Mejis, so her face must be known decently well around here. But if it is someone who is acquainted with Comrade, the possibility is high. I doubt Girista would forget the name of Pope Euparo or the Holy Knight Captain Yox.
That’s when someone knocked on the door and the voice of a woman rang.
“Rakura, are you there?”
“Oh? A familiar voice… Aah, must be her. Yeah~, I am here. I will open now~.” (Rakura)
“Hm? I feel like it is a familiar voice… Hmm? But that’s… Ah, wait—” (Haaku)
Rakura opened the door.
The ones standing there were a woman in priestess clothes of the Yugura Church and a female villager… No, this face…Rakura and Haakudoku are frozen in place.
“Masetta-san and…Mother.” (Rakura)
“You are…Rakura, right?” (Natora)
I heard a dull sound from behind. Must have been Blue. It is as if she headbutted the wall herself and also a sound as if a horn pierced something.
“…That’s right.” (Rakura)
“Also…the one there…could it be…Ekdoik?” (Natora)
Disappearing right now would be pushing it. She has obviously seen me, too.
I kind of understand the development here. The priestess here, Masetta, is most likely an acquaintance of Rakura, and the woman that spoke to Girista. And also the person that Haakudoku randomly found…
I directed a gaze at Haakudoku and he was stealthily trying to escape into the room deeper in. I see, he has understood everything. But his hand was grabbed by Blue while he was moving and he let out a pitiful voice as he was dragged deeper in.
Now then, I could play it off with a lie, but those eyes are most likely eyes of certainty. I can somewhat tell the reason why.
“…That’s right.” (Ekdoik)
“Aah, how can this be… To think you were really…really alive…” (Natora)
There’s faint tears building up on the corner of my mother’s eyes. This is my first time seeing someone cry in happiness, but…it is giving me complicated emotions. But the first one to move here was Rakura. She ignored Mother and Masetta, and tried to go out.
“Well then, I will be going out for a bit.” (Rakura)
“W-Wait, Rakura?! Your mother came to see you! At least tal—” (Masetta)
“Even if you tell me that, there’s nothing for me to talk about with her.” (Rakura)
“Wait, I want to talk to you!” (Natora)
“I don’t want to be apologized to. See ya.” (Rakura)
Rakura left the place without changing her expression at all. She gave no room for objections and it was basically an ignore. It is not an action Rakura would take normally. Even Masetta seems to have noticed how strange this was and couldn’t stop her.
It is most likely going to be difficult to persuade her. Now that it has come to this, I have to do something about it.
“…That’s how it is, Mother. We heard that you were here, but we decided not to meet you. That’s why Haakudoku and Blue deceived you. I apologize for that.” (Ekdoik)
“But now that things have turned out like this, it can’t be helped. I will at least hear you out myself.” (Ekdoik)
I invite Mother to the living room and have her take a seat.
Masetta said she would go search for Rakura and left the place. Girista had disappeared by the time I noticed. The only ones remaining there were me and my mother, and also Blue who is looking awkward. Haakudoku is most likely collapsed in a room somewhere.
There are times when I would feel silence to be heavy, but this is my first time feeling I am the center of it. Let’s open the conversation.
“Did you notice I am your son because you saw traces of my father in me?” (Ekdoik)
“Yes, especially your eyes. They are exactly like your dad’s.” (Natora)
“Is Father alive?” (Ekdoik)
“…He was killed the day you were kidnapped.” (Natora)
“…I see.” (Ekdoik)
I did feel that was the case. If my actual father was still alive, he would have been able to help out even if the situation was somewhat rough. She probably wouldn’t have thought of entrusting Rakura to an orphanage.
I can’t feel anything noteworthy compared to the time when Beglagud was killed. Cold-hearted… No, considering the hatred Beglagud instilled in me towards the humans, it is better than being happy about it.
“So you are working as an adventurer now.” (Natora)
“That’s right -is what I want to say, but I am working with Comrade.” (Ekdoik)
“He is not in Mejis right now. He is currently thinking of a plan to go against the army of the Scarlet Demon Lord in Gahne.” (Ekdoik)
“Is that so… So it is a dangerous job.” (Natora)
“I wonder. Our enemy encounter rate is low compared to the soldiers keeping the enemies at bay in the frontlines. We will fight when the time comes though.” (Ekdoik)
If we are speaking solely of combat power, it goes without saying that we would be able to defeat more enemies if he were send us to the frontlines and have us fight. But Comrade would never use us as expendables.
“Uhm…I heard that you were raised by the devils that took you away…” (Natora)
“Yeah, I was raised by the Great Devil Beglagud, who ruled over the devils that attacked the village, as a killing tool that hates humans for being offered as a sacrifice due to their desire to live. I believed that Beglagud was the one who gave me the name of Ekdoik.” (Ekdoik)
“That’s wrong! It was your father that gave you your name!” (Natora)
“I already know he lied to me. But it is true that I believed it not that long ago. However, that Beglagud has been defeated and I have infiltrated the human realm.” (Ekdoik)
I explain the simple details of how I ended up working under Comrade. She must have been told the rough details from Maya, she was barely surprised by it. But she was surprised by the fact that I tried to kill Rakura.
“Aah…siblings trying to kill each other… That’s horrible.” (Natora)
“Rakura had no intention of killing me at that time. I was the one who had a one-sided vendetta on her. But I am present here thanks to having lost.” (Ekdoik)
“Rakura…has also become that strong, huh… But I don’t want you two to participate in a dangerous battle.” (Natora)
“Sorry, but that can’t be changed. Even if my life is cruel and pitiful, I have been living it all until now. I have amassed power. I will be losing all the life I have led until now if I don’t do what I can right now. I wouldn’t be able to endure that.” (Ekdoik)
Even if Comrade were to say the same thing, I would still take the path that accepts battle. I am standing here because of the skills I have polished and experiences I have had until now. I can’t throw away that foundation if I am to aim for higher heights.
“You have…grown strong.” (Natora)
“No, I was desperate to not lose my own worth not that long ago. I am here thanks to Comrade guiding me. I want to answer that debt and go further ahead.” (Ekdoik)
“…If you pay that debt back and are satisfied, at that time…can you come back?” (Natora)
So that’s what she goes for. I feel like Blue trembled there, most likely unconsciously. But I can’t accept that proposal.
“I can’t promise that. Rakura and I are already adults. We have our own lives.” (Ekdoik)
“Right… I really…hate devils…and Demon Lords…” (Natora)
This time around I could definitely sense the agitation of Blue with my skin. Her complexion is bad.
But it is not like I don’t understand the anger of Mother. She had the life of her husband taken away and her son stolen, and because she had to leave the village, she ended up losing Rakura, too. Her hatred towards the devils that stole away her treasured son and husband, and the Demon Lords that created them, was welling up below her sad face.
“Demon Lords were originally people. Their bodies may have changed, but they still have hearts.” (Ekdoik)
“I can’t believe that! Demon Lords are monsters!” (Natora)
I figured she would react this way. Even I thought of Demon Lords as inhuman despite having been raised by devils. But that’s fine. I have made my decision here.
“I see. Then, even more so the reason why I can’t live together with you, Mother.” (Ekdoik)
“I am currently fighting together with Comrade. That Comrade has acknowledged Demon Lords as allies, too. It was announced in Mejis, right? The resident of Yugura’s planet has seized the Demon Lords and are now in a neutral position. Comrade is that man.” (Ekdoik)
“Within those, there’s the Purple Demon Lord, the one who created the Mejis Nether and the devils. I am fighting together with the Purple Demon Lord.” (Ekdoik)
Even if the reality that Demon Lords have resurrected is spread, it hasn’t been spread in detail just what kind of group we are in this war. It is possible that people overflowing with personal grudges will come to get in our way after all.
The one who created the devils that killed her husband, stole her son, and made her have no choice but to let go of her daughter; I can’t tell Mother to forgive the Purple Demon Lord. Therefore, it can’t be avoided that we will never be able to look each other in the eye.
“You must not…Ekdoik! If you are in a place like that…” (Natora)
“It is because it is me that I can be there. Also, I am not a human anymore.” (Ekdoik)
“What do you mean by that…?” (Natora)
I grab the shoulder of Blue and look at Mother. A small and slender body compared to that of a man. I can feel with my skin that she is trembling slightly.
“I have become a demon -the demon of this Blue Demon Lord here.” (Ekdoik)
“Blue…Demon Lord?!” (Natora)
“I have pledged to live together with her -for the sake of finding worth in life. This is the path that I myself thought of, chose, and crossed. Mother, I have no intention of telling you to forgive Demon Lords. You have the right to hate them. But that’s exactly why I can’t live together with you. I will be by the side of this Demon Lord until the end of my days, and will stay her ally.” (Ekdoik)
Mother didn’t say anything after that and left the house. There was no anger or hatred in that face of hers. She was simply spaced out and empty.
I look at Blue at my side. It seems like her trembling has stoped, but what should I say to her?
“Uuh…it seems like I ended up revealing everything.” (Ekdoik)
“…What is it?” (Ekdoik)
“…You idiot!” (Blue)
A sudden headbutt -no, it is more like she smashed her horn on me from above. The impact was quite the thing, but it didn’t hurt that much. The complexion of her face is still bad, but I can tell that she is clearly angry.
“But rather than hiding it superficially, it would be better to—” (Ekdoik)
“Why are you always like that?! Cutting off your own life and your own family without any hesitation! Why can you be so nonchalant despite all that?!” (Blue)
“…Simple. I chose to walk together with you in this life. That’s what I should prioritize the most and protect.” (Ekdoik)
“Do you think I have that much worth?! I fell into despair, stopped being human, made a mess of the world, killed many humans, infringed upon their souls; I am an actual monster just like your mother said!” (Blue)
“…That would make me a monster, too. I lived for the sole purpose of killing humans, and even threw away my humanity for my own selfishness. But I have no regrets. I believe you have that much worth.” (Ekdoik)
“There’s no way I would—” (Blue)
“If you don’t, just create it. No, I want you to create it. Even if it is not possible right now, we have all the time in the world.” (Ekdoik)
If I hadn’t met Blue, I would have reunited with Mother as a human and might have accepted her. But I thought from the bottom of my heart that I didn’t want Blue to wish for death at that time. That’s why I am satisfied with this result.
“You really don’t know how to draw a line at all!” (Blue)
“…Right. Sorry. Please give me time if you want me to fix that. I will try to.” (Ekdoik)
“There’s no way you would be able to fix that personality of yours! Stay like that for the rest of your life!” (Blue)
Blue said this and walked off to the room deeper in.
It really must be my fault for having promised to hide it yet I broke that promise. I broke a promise, so it is natural to be angry.
I am a bit worried about Mother, but I have to appease Blue in the future for angering her… I should consult with Comrade.
“What’s most important right now is to win this war.” (Ekdoik)
Haakudoku is currently haunted by nightmares.