The torturer Zuccho; a man that learned the ecstasy of torturing others by having been tortured in the past.
He was changed by his lack of compassion and his inability to see humans as anything but tools for entertainment.
Such a man was made to take the stage by the Archbishop Seraes.
No matter if he is an Earthling, Archbishop Seraes judged that it would be impossible to persuade Zuccho.
But that Earthling didn’t persuade him in the first place.
—“What is it you like about torturing people?”
This served as the trigger for Zuccho to begin talking about himself.
Just how to hurt humans and make them suffer, how their expressions would be dyed in fear.
— “I see. So that’s the reason why you love torture. Then…”
Zuccho should have tortured that human in the middle of this. But he took interest in the Earthling that understood his likes and thoughts, and put them in words better.
It is not like he intended to let him go. That’s why he decided to at least listen to him.
He thought that this would instead serve to learn how to make this man warp in even deeper fear.
— “But what’s forming those emotions are your memories of when you were tortured. You should be remembering the past through the torture you inflict.”
This is when the conversation turned ominous.
The face of Zuccho who was talking with glee began to stiffen, and denial began to mix into it.
But it was too late.
That’s because Zuccho had already acknowledged that the Earthling is someone who understood him well.
— “Now, remember the torture you have done until now. The faces of the people that you made suffer, feel pain, and instilled fear into. How is it? Can you remember them clearly? Aren’t those faces overlapping with yours?”
He led it into Zuccho overlapping himself with the people he tortured before.
It wasn’t magic.
He repainted the blissful days of Zuccho until now into hellscapes purely with words.
Of course Zuccho denied those claims…but he couldn’t deny them completely.
There was a part of him that felt this way after all.
Even if he wanted to shut him up, Archbishop Seraes ordered him strictly to not crush his throat alone.
The only one who can speak the correct intonation of the Demon Lords’ names is the Earthling after all.
— “Did you really wish to torture others? Now, go ahead and test it out. You have the right to.”
Zuccho began to torture the Earthling to shut him up. But that wasn’t even torture anymore. He was simply trying to shut him up. He couldn’t allow the monster to paint away all his own self-worth, so he began to attack without restraint.
— “…Zuccho-kun, you were a more proper person than I thought. Aah, so boring. You injured other people in order to escape from your past fear. To think you would regret it at this point in time.”
There’s no way.
But Zuccho was made to understand that he was that kind of person. And then, he broke.
He wailed as if trying to deny everything and continued to attack the Earthling.
The other people who heard those screams tore Zuccho away from the Earthling, but the Earthling was already seriously injured by that time.
It is actually a shock that he wasn’t dead yet.
— “Wrong! Wrong! I-I-I am different! Different!” (Zuccho)
Zuccho was instilled nonexistent good in his heart and was eaten away by guilt he shouldn’t have felt.
And then, he began to injure himself as if repenting for it.
At the end, he tore away his own throat to a degree where it was a complete mess.
He must have wanted to aim for the throat of the Earthling with a passion.
“But that’s way too excessive or like…I don’t know…”
The result was that the plan of Archbishop Seraes failed.
The Earthling was now unconscious and in a state where it wouldn’t be strange for him to die at any moment.
He couldn’t treat him with magic, so they couldn’t do anything with the medical techniques of this world.
He really is outrageously crazy when he is calling himself with me. He created a situation where I could move after all.
“As for the limitations…well, it is just on the degree where there’s a bit of regulations set by themselves, huh. Makes sense.”
Right now the one who is in possession of the Earthling is Archbishop Seraes.
By creating a situation where Archbishop Seraes wouldn’t want the Earthling to die, I indirectly managed to keep it barely on a line where I could interfere.
In order to create a justified cause to draw that man’s comrades so that he could be kept alive.
If the training had gone well, the desire of Archbishop Seraes would be ‘I don’t want to let the Earthling escape’. I would understand that bringing a comrade of that man would be a completely antagonistic action.
But the current desire of Archbishop Seraes is ‘I want to keep that man alive somehow’.
It is without doubt still an antagonistic action, but my limitations change greatly depending on what they are prioritizing the most.
“Just how well does he understand my limitations? Aah, so scary, so scary.”
I decided to send the subordinate of Purple Princess, Dyuvuleori. He excels in infiltration and he is someone who can find the Earthling in a short span of time.
Dyuvuleori hid the Earthling in his own stomach just as I imagined, and created a fake Earthling by using a part of his own body, and laid it down on the bed.
The effect of my spell has just ended and he has returned to his original location.
It is true that the spell I used teleports you to a random location, but it is not that difficult to tamper with the random coordinates.
I am such a scam artist.
But what would you have done if I hadn’t moved…? -It would be unrefined to think that, huh.
He did discover that I used his safety as negotiation with the Scarlet Beast.
Yeah, yeah, it would be troubling for me if you were to die since you are the substitute of Black Sis.
Also, there’s no one aside from me who can make a move in this situation.
So I had no choice but to move.
“But the limitations left by Yugura are harsher than you think, you know?” (Colorless)
I simply pushed the development of everyone wanting the Earthling to be alive, but in the end, this action benefits the enemy in the eyes of Archbishop Seraes.
There will be a penalty if I were to feel that even a tiny bit.
It is comparatively more lenient, but…well, it is to a degree where my organs stop functioning.
I have to manage them the whole time with magic thanks to that.
I would be a bit more free to move if it were related to the forbidden though.
If the Earthling thought he can get treatment from me, he read it wrong.
Me moving in the middle of a penalty from my limitations is pretty dangerous for my life.
It is a damn vague limitation, but I can instinctively tell the line I must not step over.
In that case, the only ones who can treat the Earthling right now are two people. Relying on the judgment of the king of Taizu is… Well then…
“…Aah, but is this that?” (Colorless)
Did I read too deeply despite myself?
The reality is that if the people of this world were to seriously attack the Earthling, he would clearly die.
There was an extremely high chance he would die from an attack of Zuccho.
It wouldn’t have been strange for him to have died before I moved.
This would be beyond a gamble if he understands his own frailty.
Hm, then, is it that?
Did he try to protect the Demon Lords out of self-sacrifice? No, but he was in his me state, right?
From what I know, it would be understandable if it were the Earthling in his me state, but the Earthling in his me state should have prioritized himself over the Demon Lords…
“It is okay if I move and save him, it is okay if I die and the Demon Lords get saved; I feel like he would think whichever falls into, it would be fine… Aah, damn it! My brain is running circles!” (Colorless)
I am done for if that man makes me swallow a bitter pill. It will make me feel as if he is reading all of my thoughts.
Am I currently moving by my own will, or…?
Seriously, this man is troublesome regardless of whether he is there or not.
I sent Mom to Mejis and get in contact with Marito who is in Taizu.
They still don’t know where Comrade is.
In that case, there’s one thing I must do next.
I went to the capital of Mejis where the holy grounds of Mejis are, and headed towards the military station where the Holy Knights are at.
“Ekdoik-niisan, are you going to be meeting Melia-san in the end?”
“Yeah… Mom is not here now, so you can call me as you usually do, Rakura.” (Ekdoik)
“About that, it is a pain to change my way of calling someone for every different instance.” (Rakura)
“…I see. Well, I don’t mind.” (Ekdoik)
I know that Rakura isn’t good at complicated stances. But due to most likely me having a stronger awareness that Rakura is my little sister…it feels kind of itchy.
That said, I can’t really force Rakura to call me the same way as before.
“I am thinking about showing myself at Ukka-sama’s place. Anyways, it has been a while since I have been back at Mejis.” (Rakura)
“You went to Taizu under an order of Mejis and have been by the side of Comrade until the present after all.” (Ekdoik)
“I can’t shake off the feeling that they just tried to get rid of a pain for them though…” (Rakura)
“It might have been the case at that time, but you are now an outstanding priestess with achievements to back it up. Just have confidence.” (Ekdoik)
“You telling me that makes it feel itchy. I miss the days when you shouted my full name.” (Rakura)
Now that she mentions it, we did have exchanges like that when we first met.
I don’t think about doing something like that now, but it is not like I didn’t feel fulfilled in my own way at that time, too.
“My evaluation of you was pretty low at that time after all. It is in part my own fault for not understanding your worth properly, but…it is also the fault of how you lead your everyday life, right?” (Ekdoik)
“Can’t say anything back to that. Well, it is true that I haven’t changed though.” (Rakura)
“I think you have changed from what I have seen.” (Ekdoik)
“Yeah. You and I have changed in some way by being by the side of Comrade.” (Ekdoik)
Even if Rakura’s self-indulgent personality hasn’t changed, she has certainly grown.
It is in a spot where I wouldn’t have noticed if I myself hadn’t grown, but I can tell that her way of being has certainly changed.
“…Right. By the way, was it okay to leave Blue-san at the place of Mother?” (Rakura)
“We can’t just bring a Demon Lord to a place where there’s the influence of Mejis, right?” (Ekdoik)
“If we are going by that logic, you are also a demon, Ekdoik-niisan.” (Rakura)
“—Now then, I will be heading off. Make it so that we can contact each other at any moment.” (Ekdoik)
“Ah, you blatantly diverted the topic.” (Rakura)
I am half-half about my awareness of being a demon. My awareness gets even thinner when Blue is not there.
It is most likely because the scenery I have seen as a human and the scenery I have seen as a demon are practically the same.
I could have been more proud as a demon if I had the personality of Dyuvuleori, but…let’s ask him next time about the readiness of being a servant.
The reactions of the Holy Knights were different in their respective ways.
There’s those who were directing eyes like those of allies having fought together against the Scarlet Demon Lord, and those who are evasive because they felt the shadow of a Demon Lord in the mana that flows inside of me.
But there doesn’t seem to be anyone acting upon it.
And so, I found Melia in the middle of training.
“Ah, Ekdoik-san!” (Melia)
“Is your body fine already?” (Ekdoik)
“Yes. It was hard to even walk for a while, but I am completely fine now!” (Melia)
“I see. I have something I want to talk about for a bit, but…go ahead and finish your training first.” (Ekdoik)
“Ah, I will end it here so it is okay! You came all the way here after all!” (Melia)
“We can’t be doing that. Training every day is necessary to become a great Holy Knight.” (Ekdoik)
I am happy for the consideration, but I am not in a position to deserve it.
Though it is hard to say whether she could get back into it even if she were to resume her training.
“Then, let’s have a spar. I can tag along if it is that much.” (Ekdoik)
“Is that okay?!” (Melia)
“Yeah, I was interested in your skills too.” (Ekdoik)
“I-I am nervous now that you have told me that, but…understood! Allow me to borrow you!” (Melia)
I decided to refrain from using my chains and borrow a training sword to spar with Melia.
Melia’s skills are pretty low within the Holy Knights. She has decent prospects for the future, but I couldn’t feel any outstanding talents.
Even so, I could still feel enough skills to tell how much training she has accumulated until this day.
“S-Strong… Ekdoik-san, do you specialize in the sword?” (Melia)
“No, it has been a few years since I have swung a sword. The range being short really doesn’t click with me.” (Ekdoik)
“And yet, you are this strong… My confidence is taking a hit.” (Melia)
“There’s no need to lose it. You just have to increase it if it is not enough right now. Your current skills are far from the limit of your talents. You should be able to win against me in the sword with time.” (Ekdoik)
“R-Really?! Then, I have to work hard!” (Melia)
But I feel like it has been a while since I have fought someone with proper swordsmanship.
I have sparred with Ilias a number of times, but clashing swords with her wouldn’t serve as any training at all.
It is practically no different from having a rock dropped from a cliff and having to stop it with your weapon after all.
Every single attack of the Taizu Knights is way too heavy.
“I will use any weapon you wish me to. Do you have any in mind?” (Ekdoik)
“Uhm, then, a spear!” (Melia)
I answer the requests of Melia and used a spear, a battleaxe, a battlehammer, a staff, and barehanded combat to spar with her.
I could fight without issues with whichever weapon, but it made me reconfirm that chains are the best. The versatility of normal weapons is way too low.
The gazes of most of the Holy Knights around were directed at us by the time I noticed.
I don’t want to stand out negatively here though… Let’s end this on the next one.
“Y-Your skills with any weapon are…no different from a seasoned Holy Knight…” (Melia)
“Just swinging around your weapon is no good. Think about what you can do with the weapon you have. You should be able to do about anything if you can do that.” (Ekdoik)
“I-I will do my best! Right, what’s the weapon you specialize in the best, Ekdoik-san?” (Melia)
I unwrap the chains from my arms and hang them towards the ground. I pour mana and spread them around.
Chains really are good. I can move them as I will and change them into the shape I imagine.
“Chains…? Can those be called a weapon?” (Melia)
“It would be faster to actually show you. I don’t know if it will be beneficial as training though. Forgive me on that one.” (Ekdoik)
“Eh, it feels as if their numbers have increased, extended—migyaaah!” (Melia)
It really wasn’t even a spar if I used my chains.
Melia couldn’t deal with the chains when coming from all directions, and ended up a tangled mess in just a few seconds.
An opponent who can’t destroy them in one hit wouldn’t be able to do anything.
Such cases have been happening pretty often recently though…
Melia changed to her plain clothes after finishing the training.
That appearance of hers was no different from that of a normal girl, and I couldn’t feel the atmosphere of a knight around her.
I wonder which one is better between her or Ilias who has her armor on all the way to coming back home. No, it all comes down to whether you are a knight until you go back home.
“Can I…really become a good Holy Knight…?” (Melia)
“I can’t assure you that you will. But it would be difficult if you don’t have the will to.” (Ekdoik)
“Right… What did you want to become that you ended up getting that strong?” (Melia)
“I…was expected to get strong. I wouldn’t have been able to live if I didn’t.” (Ekdoik)
I was expected to get strong as an avenger -as a tool to kill humans.
I myself was also made to train as if my life depended on it in order to unfold the instilled hatred.
I now can’t wield that power for the sake of that objective, but the experience I have built up is still alive even now.
“For the sake…of living, huh. That must have been a hard life.” (Melia)
“I lived only knowing of my own life after all. I can’t give a confident answer about whether my life was harsher than others.” (Ekdoik)
I have seen the lives of many people until now. They were all different lifestyles from mine, and they had their respective difficulties.
There’s most likely lifestyles that I can’t even begin to imitate.
“Ah, speaking of which, you said you had something to talk with me about, right?” (Melia)
“Aah, about that…” (Ekdoik)
Right, I should get to the main topic. That’s why I am here.
If I were to postpone it further, telling her in itself will grow more difficult and—
“Right! How about having dinner together with me? I can’t really say it would be the kind that would make you lick your fingers over, but…I am good at cooking despite appearances!” (Melia)
“No, that’s…” (Ekdoik)
“W-Was that a bother?” (Melia)
“That’s not it. It is not, but…” (Ekdoik)
“Then, please do! I want to hear a lot about you! Ah, is there anything you can’t eat?” (Melia)
“…I can’t eat…meat.” (Ekdoik)
I ended up getting brought to the house where Melia lives without being able to tell her.
Will I be able to tell Melia about Leishia?
I still don’t know the reason why the Colorless Demon Lord sent me there on purpose.
But I was given the opportunity, so there’s no reason not to take that opportunity.
I don’t know how long the life of this human will last, but right now what I have to think of is to hurry and bring him to Taizu.
Right, I should report to My Lord that I have brought this man back—
(…What will My Lord think after seeing the appearance of this human?) (Dyuvuleori)
My Lord said: ‘That person is basically how you view me. No, he is more than that for me’. If this human was My Lord, what would happen to me if I were to look at this tragic state?
Just imagining it would be sinful.
But…But…there’s no doubt she wouldn’t be able to stay calm.
The speed at which I flew to Taizu began to lower.
What would happen if My Lord were to learn of this human’s state?
I can’t understand all of the thoughts of My Lord. Even so, I am sure that it won’t be a good result.
I remember the appearance of My Lord before meeting that human.
That sublime being that created me.
Her cold looks that were worthy of being called a Demon Lord…
Why am I remembering this at this point in time?
Is this a presentiment? Or…expectation?
“…What am I hesitating about? I just have to perform the order My Lord has given me.” (Dyuvuleori)
Right, My Lord ordered me to bring this human back. I should be fulfilling this first and foremost.
There’s no room for my own feelings in it. There must not be.
And yet, when I imagine that human by the side of My Lord in the future…
Her coldness has thinned, but that peaceful expression as if she is always fulfilled…
“—! And what of it?!” (Dyuvuleori)
I must bring this human back to Taizu no matter what.
I shake my head and raise my flying speed.
But I couldn’t report to My Lord until I arrived at Taizu.