Melia’s house was simple. It felt a few sizes smaller than Ilias’s house.
It seems like she is living alone. I can’t see any other housemates.
I was made to sit in the living room and there wasn’t anything to do until the food was made.
Melia was making food just by the kitchen, and the scent of cooking was tickling my nose.
“Is there anything I can help out with?” (Ekdoik)
“It is okay! The share of one or two is not much different!” (Melia)
I told Rakura and the others that I would be returning after eating.
Is Blue worried?
It is even possible she would point a sword at me after all.
“Sorry for the wait! Let’s eat before it gets cold!” (Melia)
Melia finished a light prayer and began eating.
I was watching that as someone who isn’t a Yugura believer, and brought the food to my mouth when Melia began to eat.
It is similar to the dishes that Leishia taught me in the past, but they all have their own distinct differences.
“…It is tasty.” (Ekdoik)
“Yeah, I don’t say this as lip service. I can tell you are well-versed.” (Ekdoik)
“I was taught by Onee-cha—my sister. But my sister was busy with her work as a Holy Knight, so I ended up becoming skilled at it once I began cooking in her stead.” (Melia)
“What about your parents?” (Ekdoik)
“My mom died from an illness soon after giving birth to me. My dad was a Holy Knight too. When I was young, he and my sister were doing their job as Holy Knights and…” (Melia)
Melia must have been making food every day for the sake of Leishia. But Leishia was taken away by an intermediate devil in the middle of her mission and killed.
“I see. You aimed to become a Holy Knight despite that.” (Ekdoik)
“My dad and sister weren’t that famous. But they were proud of being Holy Knights, and fulfilled their duty. I want to protect what those two tried to protect in their stead.” (Melia)
“Haven’t you thought about taking revenge?” (Ekdoik)
“…I have. But I am unskilled as of present. I am sure I won’t even be able to become decent if I were to concentrate on something else aside from wanting to protect the country and the people as a Holy Knight. That’s why I am currently just thinking about becoming a Holy Knight that my family can be proud of.” (Melia)
The words of Melia made it feel like my chest was being squeezed.
I lived only for the sake of revenge and became strong just for the sake of that.
Melia has a wonderful human heart contrary to the warped me.
“You may not be strong, but I think your heart is that of a wonderful Holy Knight already.” (Ekdoik)
“T-That’s not true! My heart was on the verge of breaking when I lost to you today, Ekdoik-san… L-Let’s change topics! The soup of today was taught to me by my sister. What I am especially proud of are the preparations for this vegetable—” (Melia)
“Soak them in water right after chopping them, right?” (Ekdoik)
“Y-You knew?” (Melia)
“Yeah, I was taught that by Leishia.” (Ekdoik)
“…You knew my sister?” (Melia)
I thought about playing it off.
But it seems like I can’t do that. I at the very least can’t bring myself to lie to Melia.
I have become quite the honest person.
“…What I will be telling you now will be about my life…and about how I met Leishia.” (Ekdoik)
I tell her everything without hiding a single detail.
About how I was raised by the Great Devil Beglagud; about how Leishia was captured in order to make me learn about humans; what conversations I had with Leishia; and the last moments of Leishia.
Melia didn’t say anything in between and continued listening to my story silently.
“That’s all.” (Ekdoik)
“So…that’s how it was.” (Melia)
“Melia, I must apologize. Leishia wouldn’t have been kidnapped by a devil if I hadn’t been present. Leishia basically died because of me. You have the right to blame me -the right to take revenge against me. But I can’t afford to die right now. I can’t give my life to you. I have already given my life to someone else. I am sorry.” (Ekdoik)
I lower my head deeply.
I promised I would bring the desire to live to Blue. I can’t break that promise.
I haven’t paid back my debt towards Comrade either. I have increased the reasons I can’t die way too much compared to the time when I said I didn’t mind dying for the sake of my revenge.
Even so, I plan on taking on the grudge of Melia as much as possible. I have already prepared myself for that.
But Melia didn’t show any signs of moving, and I can’t feel a trace of hostility from her.
“…Please raise your head. I don’t have the desire of wanting you dead, Ekdoik-san. My sister guided you after all. And you have now become a hero that has saved the nation.” (Melia)
“I am…not a hero.” (Ekdoik)
“You are. You stayed back and fought alone in order for the villagers -that got invaded by the devils- to escape. You placed the lives of your mother and those of the villagers on a scale, and prioritized the lives of the many. If that’s not a hero, we wouldn’t even be considered knights. Even if you are not human, you are still a hero in my eyes. I am the one who aimed to become the same as my sister after all.” (Melia)
I would have been fine with giving her an arm or two if she were to come at me with her sword.
I planned on shouldering whatever curses she flung at me for the rest of my life.
But Melia is not blaming me.
That was more painful than any attack or abuse.
“But I have cursed you with loneliness. I took away your important people.” (Ekdoik)
“You told me this despite knowing full well I would hate you for it. The last moments of the sister I am proud of. She managed to fulfill her duty as a Holy Knight until the very end. There’s no need for repentance. I am fine with just hearing about it. That’s why, please don’t lower your head anymore.” (Melia)
I couldn’t say anything.
My eyes are burning. I could feel something flowing down from my eyes.
I have never felt this much pain from being forgiven.
I know the meaning of living in loneliness. I understand the loneliness Melia tasted, even if not all of it.
“Geez, I would be troubled if you lower your head that much! Come on, the food is going to get co—ah.” (Melia)
My face was forcefully raised, and I saw the surprised face of Melia in my blurry vision.
But Melia smiled kindly soon after and wiped the corner of my eyes.
“Thanks, Ekdoik-san, for feeling that much pain for the sake of me and my sister.” (Melia)
Melia said this and tears began to accumulate in her eyes.
The food had grown cold by the time I calmed down.
I entered a room in the Taizu Castle.
The ones there were the king of Taizu, Marito Taizu, and Salvet Ragudo who is teaching the sword to Ilias.
Salvet showed a wary stance when I was confirmed in vision, and Marito looked over here with a silent expression.
“Even if we are in a cooperative relationship, I don’t really respect the fact that a direct subordinate of a Demon Lord has showed in front of a nation’s king.” (Marito)
“This is outside the order of My Lord. I have come here under my own jurisdiction to ask for your opinion.” (Dyuvuleori)
“I have found that human and secured him.” (Dyuvuleori)
“Really?! Where is he right now?!” (Marito)
Leeway disappeared from Marito’s face the moment the talk was about that human.
I heard he is friendly with that human, but is it something to be this agitated about?
“He is inside my stomach. He is alive, but in a dangerous state. Is there anyone who can treat him?” (Dyuvuleori)
“…I have doctors always on standby. There’s also a room ready.” (Marito)
“Then, let’s move there. Guide the way.” (Dyuvuleori)
There were already people that looked like doctors inside the room and a variety of tools ready.
You could say this preparation is natural when considering he was already pretty injured when coming out of Gahne.
I take out the human from the Stomach of Perplexion and lay him on the bed.
The doctor saw his state and began the treatment with a changed expression.
“There’s something I would like to ask you—” (Dyuvuleori)
I turned around and looked at Marito, but the moment I did, my whole body shivered when I saw his expression.
Marito’s battle prowess is -at highest- on the same level as My Lord and far below me.
I have fought many enemies until now, but this is the first time my body has cowered despite knowing that this anger is not directed at me.
“Your Majesty, the hands of the doctor will be hampered. Please restrain yourself.” (Ragudo)
“…Sorry, Lord Ragudo.” (Marito)
He must have returned to his senses with the words of Salvet, Marito exhaled heavily and faced me.
“I will continue what we were talking about. I saw the tragic state of this human and was hesitant as to whether to show this to My Lord. But performing the order of My Lord is my duty, thus, I would like to confirm with you as a 3rd party: in the case My Lord sees the state of this human, what would happen to her?” (Dyuvuleori)
“…To be blunt, your instinct was correct. There’s no guarantee the Purple Demon Lord would be able to stay in her right mind if she were to see the current state of my friend. That was a good decision.” (Marito)
“Explain to me in detail about what you refer to as ‘not being able to stay in her right mind’.” (Dyuvuleori)
“I don’t think I understand the Purple Demon Lord on the level of my friend, but…she at the very least wouldn’t forgive the ones who made my friend suffer this. She would be thinking about giving retribution by whatever means.” (Marito)
I have thought that far. But that’s not the answer I want.
“That’s natural. This human is the one she prioritizes the most. That has been trampled upon, so there’s no reason to forgive them.” (Dyuvuleori)
“The problem is the part about ‘whatever means’. The Purple Demon Lord doesn’t have much of a desire to live as a human like the Blue Demon Lord and Gold Demon Lord do. She would be moving as a Demon Lord depending on who she is dealing with.” (Marito)
“What’s the issue with that?” (Dyuvuleori)
“My friend wouldn’t wish for that. My friend tried to avoid the Demon Lord from becoming an enemy of the humans. But right now my friend is in this state. It would mean there’s no one who would be able to stop the Purple Demon Lord. If she were to be equally or more angered than I am, and she were to move freely, everything my friend has been working for would come tumbling down.” (Marito)
The anger Marito showed just now was quite the thing.
If My Lord were to get even angrier than that, and she were to wield her own power…there’s no doubt she would become a threat comparable to that of the Scarlet Demon Lord.
“I understand. But I have the duty to report to My Lord.” (Dyuvuleori)
“…I plan on telling the Gold Demon Lord anyways. There’s a high chance she would learn about it from there. I don’t plan on stopping you. But if the Purple Demon Lord goes out of control, I will have to stop the Purple Demon Lord as a king of the humans. Understand the meaning of that.” (Marito)
It should be fine to leave this human to Marito. But being injured to this degree in a body that can’t be affected by magic…it should be safe to assume there’s almost no chance of survival.
“Your Majesty, how should we tell the others?” (Ragudo)
“We will tell them, but don’t let anyone see him.” (Marito)
“As you will.” (Ragudo)
“Especially Lady Ratzel. She would definitely step in the wrong path.” (Marito)
I have heard about a knight’s way of life to a certain degree.
People who live while maintaining the justice they believe in; people who live with pride.
The strength of Ilias has been built up with that.
Marito said someone like that would be stepping in the wrong path.
Then, what would happen to My Lord?
I don’t know what the path of that personage is, but what kind of conclusion will it get when she takes the wrong step?
“Right, I forgot to say this. Dyuvuleori, where was my friend?” (Marito)
“One of the facilities in Mejis. I felt the scent of one of the Archbishops that was based in Kuama who had come to Taizu before.” (Dyuvuleori)
“—Archbishop Seraes, huh. I will report to Pope Euparo. Lord Ragudo, contact the others. Can you explain the details when that time comes?” (Marito)
“Got it.” (Dyuvuleori)
If this human were conscious, he would have thought of the best action to take for My Lord as someone who understands her better than me.
Human, what should I do?
I look at this human while thinking that -at this being that is just heading to his death.
“Ooh, Haakudoku, there was a call from Lord Ragudo of Taizu. That man has apparently been found.”
“Wa?! Even though we finally moved the adventurers?!” (Haaku)
I returned to the place of Bro Gestaf and was pumped up to investigate the whereabouts of Brother though. What’s up with that?
Well, it is great that he has been found though. But Bro went out of his way to return to the capital when he was making moves in the Kuama Nether.
We are really being thrown about by Brother.
He is the guy that defeated Demon Lords, so you could say that it can’t be helped.
“About those adventurers, let them search for a while more.” (Gestaf)
“Heh? Why?” (Haaku)
“The culprit hasn’t noticed that the man has been taken away. This is in order to not let him notice.” (Gestaf)
According to Bro, Brother is in a pretty dangerous state where he can’t even move from his spot.
Dyuvuleori created a clone with the appearance of him and left the place.
They can’t use magic on him, so it won’t be possible to check him with magic.
“Can’t I alone go back to Taizu?!” (Haaku)
“The one who kidnapped that man was Raheight -the people of Leitis. You are one of the Illegitimate they are searching for. It is possible they are observing your movements from afar. You shouldn’t move when there’s the risk of information leaking.” (Gestaf)
My Instinct-sama is sensitive towards threats to my life, but it is pretty silent when it comes to just watching from afar.
I have no means to deal with it if I am being observed from outside the range of my detection magic.
But just biting my nails and waiting when Brother might die is just way too horrible.
“Well, I can understand how you feel. I will prepare the means.” (Gestaf)
“Be ready by tomorrow. Finish instructing the adventurers, so that you can hole yourself up in here for a while.” (Gestaf)
“Understood! I will finish it up in a jiffy!” (Haaku)
As expected of Bro! He can plan stuff I wouldn’t even begin to think of in the blink of an eye!
But I can’t just stand here doing nothing.
I will be leaving Kuama tomorrow, so I have to perform my job properly.
I dash off from the residence and move to the headquarters of Riodo. I found a familiar face on my way there.
“Oh, isn’t that Haakudoku?”
“Heya, Masetta. You got back to Kuama, too?” (Haaku)
A priestess of the Yugura Church affiliated to Morgana, Masetta.
She helped me out with a variety of things in Kuama and the matter of Natora-san.
Speaking of which, I haven’t told her in proper detail about the request.
“There was the talk about that person having been kidnapped by Leitis, right? I was told to help out in his search by the Yugura Church, too. I am a part of the Morgana guild, so I was thinking about using my connections there.” (Masetta)
Brother said Masetta was someone that we can trust. Masetta herself seems to like Brother too, so it should be okay to tell her.
“Aah, about that…lend me an ear for a bit.” (Haaku)
“Okay…but don’t breathe too closely on me, okay?” (Masetta)
“What, is your ear weak or something?” (Haaku)
“…That’s right. Problem?” (Masetta)
…I am now getting embarrassed here too.
Oh well, fine.
I used detection magic around just in case, and told her about what Bro Gestaf told me.
It seems like her ears really are weak. I was being careful, but she is fidgeting.
“Right… Hey, can you bring me with you?” (Masetta)
“I don’t mind, but why?” (Haaku)
“One reason is because I am worried about him too. The other one is because I did something bad to Rakura, so I want to do something to make amends.” (Masetta)
“Rakura is currently somewhere else though.” (Haaku)
“You will be regrouping soon anyways, right?” (Masetta)
“True. I will ask Bro Gestaf about it later then.” (Haaku)
“Yes, please do. Let’s go then.” (Masetta)
I have already told her I am leaving tomorrow, so what is she saying?
I tilted my head wondering about this, but she instead got closer and whispered in my ear.
It is ticklish.
“You idiot. It would be unnatural if our conversation is being listened to right now, right? I am telling you to show up at the headquarters.” (Masetta)
“Aah, right.” (Haaku)
So Masetta was thinking about how her words were being taken. This girl is also pretty sharp. No, maybe I am the one that’s no good?
“You are impressive.” (Haaku)
“What’s that all of a sudden?” (Masetta)
“I was just thinking your way of acting is skilled.” (Haaku)
“What’s that? Sarcasm?” (Masetta)
“It was pure praise though.” (Haaku)
“…Fine. It is my first time entering the headquarters in Kuama, right? Is it true that when someone aside from a guild member enters, they get caught up in incidents?” (Masetta)
“50-50. They will just jeer at you if you are with me.” (Haaku)
“I said that as a joke though…” (Masetta)