Categories: Living Safely

LS – Chapter 268: As such, I am demotivated

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My King is isolated.

He was more intelligent than adults at a young age, and his view extended far and beyond. 

All the people that supported My King would say ‘if it is this personage’ and would trust him without doubt. 

But the amount of people who understood his outstanding talent were way too few. Our vision was only arm’s length in this war ridden era, and couldn’t share the same perspective as My King. 

The result was that the fools would put him up as an arrogant evil guy that doesn’t understand the hearts of the weak, and ended up being assassinated by his little sister. 

We were swamped by sadness. 

That personage could have guided this country…this world. 

I was disappointed in the world and even tried to take my own life. 

But My King resurrected into an inhuman being. 

He showed up in front of us and declared his farewell. 

— “Achieve what you can as a human. I will achieve what I can as an inhuman being.” 

This personage is trying to go even further beyond. 

In that case, we also abandoned our humanity and pledged to walk that path together with My King. 

We wished for the demon flesh that lives for eternity. 

Now that I think about it, this was the only time when My King looked at us with sad eyes. 

— “Why, My King?! Why should we -chosen beings- have to disappear from the sight of humans?!” 

I don’t know who was the first one to break. 

If you try to live as a demon, your heart as a human will begin to crumble. 

Our hearts were slowly eaten away by a nameless disease the moment we became demons.

— “My apologies…My King… I can’t walk together with you anymore…” 

There were people who would oppose My King, and also those who pleaded for death. 

No matter in what manner they would break, My King would just silently end their lives. 

— “I am sorry, Nektohal. It seems like this is as far as I go…” 

My best friend that promised to support My King together with me whispered this with a face devoid of emotions. 

He already couldn’t even maintain his human form anymore and had been swallowed by his demon power. 

I couldn’t say anything to him. 

By the time I noticed, I was the only one remaining by the side of My King along with Niruryates. 

Just what was the resolve we pledged to have in the past? 

I began to feel disgust towards me, who can’t even imagine the ideal country which My King was aiming for anymore.

— “Nektohal, you are shouldering way too much. You will end up walking the same path as them at this rate, you know?” 

Walking the same path as them.  

I thought that’s true and I didn’t want that. 

I vowed to stand at the same peak as My King, and walk together with him. 

I don’t want to end everything without being able to fulfill the promise I went as far to make after throwing everything away.

But being a demon ate away at my heart more than I imagined.

I was sure that it would all be too late at this rate. 

I reached a single conclusion after comparing My King, who has continued living for a long time without changing, and me who had my heart eaten away with the passing of years: that maybe I would be able to cure this disease if I were not a demon, but something beyond that. If I were to become a being at the peak… A Demon Lord. 

But My King simply spoke words of rejection once he heard that from me. 

— “Nektohal, I prohibit you from getting involved with resurrection magic from here on.” 

I will eventually break completely unless I become a Demon Lord. 

When that happens, I won’t be able to fulfill my past promise. 

I was on the verge of giving up the path and ending up the same as my comrades. 

That’s why I must become a Demon Lord. 

For the sake of standing by the side of My King and for the will of them—

“Didn’t I tell you, Nektohal? You are shouldering way too much. You are trying to shoulder even the things that the others gave up on. You think you have become a king or something? You are just one subordinate, you know.” 

“…Niruryates, huh.” (Nektohal)

I was dreaming? An ephemeral dream that people see for the last time once they welcome death. 

Right, I should have been aiming for the same peak as My King. And yet, why am I about to reach this conclusion? 

Is it because I had the foolish idea that My King didn’t want me to reach the peak after he rejected me? Or because I didn’t want him to think that that was all I amounted to? 

I can’t even think about the answer to that anymore. The core of this body has already been destroyed and my body has begun disintegrating. 

“There’s no words from My King -just like how it was with everyone else.” (Niru)

“—I completed the resurrection magic…but with the body of a demon, resurrection magic—” (Nektohal)

“I know. No, it would be better to say that I guessed that was the case. There’s no reason for My King to prohibit it if it is to stop the deterioration of your heart after all.” (Niru)

So that’s the reason why he tried to get me away from resurrection magic. 

If I had learned that a demon can’t become a Demon Lord there, my heart would have been completely broken on the spot. 

“What…should I have done?” (Nektohal)

“Didn’t you tell me that at the very beginning? ‘Accomplish what you can as a human’. If we could live in the same manner as My King, My King would have extended his hand towards us from the very beginning.” (Niru)

“So wishing to become demons…was a mistake in itself, huh…” (Nektohal)

That’s right. 

That’s why My King looked at us with those eyes. 

It is because he saw this happening -he saw the conclusion of the ones trying to live as the inhuman. 

“…Aah, please forgive me, My King. Forgive the foolish me that went against your order.” (Nektohal)

◇◇

The humanoid Nektohal showed up from inside the mass of meat after destroying the core.

Niruryates is whispering something to Nektohal who is on its way to death. 

Is it a message from Green? Or farewell words between aides? 

I have no interest whichever it is though. 

“—You could have lived like a human even if you were a demon. Even I could do it. You really are all hardheaded.” (Niru)

Nektohal’s body eventually crumbled and turned to dust. 

I knew that the body of demons is closer to that of monsters than humans, but witnessing it here makes me think. 

If I were to turn Dear into a demon and he were to die, would I also be watching him turn into dust in this manner? 

“My Lord, Nektohal’s mana is completely gone.” (Dyuvuleori)

“I can tell just by looking, you know? You concentrate on healing your arm, okay?” (Purple)

“Yes!” (Dyuvuleori)

I look at Dyuvuleori who is healing his arm. 

He was born as a monster, got a sense of self, and grew to become a Unique Great Devil. 

However, his way of living has become more human-like. 

Dyuvuleori was like a tool that continued fighting emotionlessly no matter who he worked together with. 

But the face of Dyuvuleori, who praised the work of Wolfe and directed passionate words, was without doubt the very same as that of a human. 

“…This isn’t that bad of a thing if I just think of it as the influence of that man, huh?” (Purple)

“Is something the matter?” (Dyuvuleori)

“Who told you it is okay to interject when I am speaking to myself? Put the energy you are using to move your mouth into healing instead, got it?” (Purple)

“…My apologies.” (Dyuvuleori)

It is easy for me to say the words ‘you have become better’, but those would be words that would weigh heavily on Dyuvuleori. 

I have to properly think of when to give him candy. 

“You did well there, Wolfe. Your contribution was really big, you know?” (Purple)

“But the one who put his body on the line the most was Dyuvuleori…” (Wolfe)

“That’s the job of this, you know? If you were the one who put your body on the line the most, I would have been making this a shoe cleaner, you know?” (Purple)

“Dyuvuleori…” (Wolfe)

Wolfe continued training in the time Dear went to Torin, but there’s no extreme changes in her physical strength. 

What changed was her way of facing battle. 

She has learned the meticulousness of always thinking no matter the situation. 

What Wolfe lacked was actual combat experience, but she has completely overcome that now. 

It is questionable whether even Dyuvuleori would be able to win. 

“I will contact Dear and the other teams, okay? I leave the investigation of this room and the surroundings to you, alright?” (Purple)

Dear said that Nektohal needed to leave the way to construct resurrection magic to Raheight and Ritial in order to be able to use it on himself. 

Judging from the developments, it seems like Nektohal tried to use resurrection magic on himself, so it should be better to assume that he has already prepared the way to obtain the construction of resurrection magic. 

I think the intrusion from both sides has been taken away considering that both teams have gotten through the mid layer though… 

But considering what we are dealing with here, we should be careful. 

◇◇

Battles are always unsatisfactory for me.

It is because I know how to counterattack the opponent to kill them as long as I witness their attack. 

The master that taught me the sword was no exception.

— “…What a saddening talent. There’s nothing more you can obtain after all.” 

The words master told me at the end…I thought at first he said them because he was a sore loser. 

But those words were like a stain in my bed that I couldn’t remove. Creating discomfort in my heart over and over. 

I wasn’t satisfied at all no matter how much I fought. 

The only thing I got when fighting an opponent whose name reverberated in the world was the sensation of moving my body a bit. 

But it is different now. 

Those words are now squeezing my heart in a different way from the emptiness until now. 

“Fuuh…Fuuuh…Fuuh…” 

This is the first time I have sweated this much from a battle. This is the first time I feel like holding a sword is heavy. This is also the first time I have felt this impatient against an enemy. 

“You look awfully out of breath, Arcreal.” 

“Shut up…!” (Arcreal)

On top of that, it is also my first time feeling so displeased about being observed by creepy eyes! 

Damn it, even a dead corn on the foot dreams more of the future than those eyes! 

It is clear that this man has given some sort of instruction to Ilias. 

But what did he do? 

Why is my body this tired?! 

“It is nothing to be wondering about. You have been one-sidedly winning until now thanks to that singular talent of yours. In other words, you have rarely experienced any prolonged battles.” 

“…!” 

“Also, your arms would get tired if you were to hit a hard object endlessly, you know. Whenever Ilias took on your sword, she would adjust the way she would take it on so that the impact would transmit more easily to both sides.” 

So that’s what felt off. 

Even though Ilias was taking on my attacks as usual, that impact was being transmitted to my arms to an abnormal degree. 

So she was receiving them purposely in a way that would reverberate towards me…! 

“What’s incredible about the knights of Taizu isn’t only how high their swordsmanship is. It is their stamina that allows them to continue fighting without drinking, eating, or sleeping. This battle is already not one where you compare physical specs or technique, but one where you compare guts.” 

My breathing is shallow. 

Even though I know I should be breathing more deeply, my body is hurrying my breathing. 

This is instead making me suffer more, and yet, it is not listening to me. 

My arms and even my legs are trembling now. 

I want to sit down, I want to lay down, I want to take a bath, I want to shout my lungs out…! 

“Are you happy winning like this, you esteemed knight?!” (Arcreal)

“…” 

Ilias didn’t answer me and just continued directing her attention at my sword. 

Even though my lungs are drumming just from talking… At least have the courtesy to reply! 

I have long since thrown away the naive thought that she should be as tired as me since I am tired. 

The sweating of Ilias and the sound of breathing I hear from her hasn’t changed one bit since the moment we began clashing blades. 

“Damn it—?!” (Arcreal)

I must have reached my limit a long time ago, my knees buckled despite having stepped in. 

It is not something clean like my posture crumbled. 

I tripped pathetically to a degree where it would warrant scorn.

My sword also escaped from my hands. 

I hurriedly grabbed my sword again, get up, and—

“—?!” 

I fell down.

That fall just now was completely an unexpected opening. 

The resident of Yugura’s planet should have been able to tell this wasn’t an act.

And yet…Ilias continued watching me with her sword at ready. 

This woman…she has no intention of attacking me no matter how big of an opening I make. 

She is obeying that man’s order adamantly…! 

“You threw away that rare chance…?!” (Arcreal)

“Arcreal, I have no intention of having Ilias attack you even if you lose consciousness. Haakudoku can activate his danger detection even when unconscious. I am working on the assumption you can pull off the same.” 

They are way too thorough. 

These two are not thinking at all about the small possibility of winning against me. 

There’s nothing in their brain aside from buying time until the very end. 

Can this be called a battle? 

No, this is just labor at this point…! 

I use my sword like a cane to get up. 

I have to fix my breathing as much as possible or I won’t be able to swing my sword properly. 

“—About the question of before, let’s just say I am happy. I am making you -who is on the same level as the legendary hero- struggle with the defensive techniques that I learned from the other knights.” (Ilias)

“Haah… Haah… You are not thinking about winning with your own skills…?” (Arcreal)

“I do feel like that as a knight of Taizu. But right now I am his sword. I am standing here purely for the sake of bringing about his desired result. He left this place to me because he trusts me. There’s no desire greater than answering that trust!” (Ilias)

“—!”

No good. 

I won’t be able to shake the heart of this woman no matter what I say or do to her. 

There’s only one way left to have this woman swing her weapon…! 

“Haaah!” 

I hold my sword again and dash. 

This is pretty much my limit to go on the offensive with the stamina I have left. 

But this is enough to kill the target. 

Because the one I am aiming for right now is the resident of Yugura’s planet! 

I admit that I can’t break through the defense of Ilias with my attacks. 

However, I have no intention of admitting defeat. 

Ilias will have no choice but to swing her sword at me with this. 

If he doesn’t, this man will die after all…! 

Now, swing your sword to protect this man! 

Give me a pathetic victory—

“—?!” 

I had no intention of stopping my sword. 

I rushed at this man by squeezing out every fiber of me with the full intention to kill him. 

But, even with that, my sword stopped. 

Even though I slashed at the resident of Yugura’s planet, Ilias didn’t take a single step from where she is. 

Blood is flowing down from the tip of my sword. 

I said I stopped my sword, but I couldn’t completely stop my sword that I put my all in swinging.

It still had enough power left for my sword to be driven slightly into his shoulder. 

I looked at Ilias again, and she was just watching me silently just like the time when I tripped. 

But she must have bitten her lips, I could see blood flowing down from there.

“—Arcreal, I have no intention of giving you the win no matter the form. Even if you were to try an underhanded move like trying to kill the powerless me so that Ilias swings her sword.” 

“…Were you the one?! Were you the one who ordered her to do that?! Did you order the knight that protects you to not protect you?!” (Arcreal)

This man shouldn’t be a threat at all.

If I were to put a bit of weight into this stopped sword, I would be able to kill him right here. 

The reality that I won’t be able to defeat Ilias on the defensive won’t change even if I kill this man. 

But that also means it is irrelevant whether I kill him or let him live. 

It won’t affect me whether I kill him or not. 

Yeah, I would just be losing some cheap pride—

“That’s right. I will throw my life away if you throw away that cheap pride you are so attached to. And then, I will carve into your soul the fact that you can’t ever get back what you have thrown away.” 

“Oi oi, you are calling it cheap pride already. For the sake of something like that—” (Arcreal)

“And yet, it is the one thing you continued protecting to the point of tripping pathetically, right? It should at least be the most important thing to you.” 

“…You really are insane.” (Arcreal)

No, I am the one that’s insane. 

I have killed people over and over even when I had nothing to gain from it. 

And yet, I have stopped my sword just because I am about to lose my cheap pride. 

Aah, damn it…! This is the most dispirited I have ever been in my life! 

—–

-Flashback-

Protagonist: “It is alright, Arcreal will definitely stop his sword.” 

-Present-

Ilias: (He didn’t stop it!) 

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