Epilogue – To Speak of the Certainty of the Human Mind
By the time that Basara returned to the Toujou household, it was already late at night. While everyone finished dressing their own wounds, bathing, getting dressed, and doing other necessary things, some people decided to rest as soon as they walked through the door. That was the succubus mother and daughter who had long been under the coercion of Zolgear, and were even treated as hostages — Maria and her mother. Right now, Toujou Basara was watching their sleeping faces.
The moonlight coming through the window cast a faint blue light into Maria’s room while the mother and daughter were asleep on the bed. It wasn’t easy for the mother and daughter to finally reunite safely, their minds which had been under so much stress seemed eager to relax, and the breathing of those two was calm.
…It must have been a long time since they could sleep at ease like this.
Although that did make him feel sad, in front of his eyes — seeing their sleeping faces, Basara felt like he was able to help somehow. At that time, while Basara was watching, Maria crept closer to her mother on the bed while still peacefully asleep—
She gently called out to him in her sleep. This made Basara cast his eyes onto Maria, with a look of affection—
“…Ah, I’m here. Not only me, everyone else is also by your side.”
After saying that, he gently caressed her cheek, and then softly wiped the tear at the corner of her eye, as if he was telling her that she no longer needed to cry. —After finally reuniting with each other, Basara decided to postpone speaking about the future arrangements for Maria and her mother. Tomorrow, Basara would ask Maria to contact the demons of the Moderates Faction, so that they could send someone here to pick them up. Although he heard from Takigawa that the leader of the Moderates Faction was against Mio and didn’t listen to dissuasion, they were searching for Maria’s mother; as soon as they knew that she had been rescued safely, someone would definitely come to visit. As for Zest, Basara planned to hand her over to the Moderates Faction to handle.
At Yuki’s insistence, she was currently being monitored in the living room, and there shouldn’t be a problem. Zest did not have any intent to resist, and said that she would listen to any of Basara’s commands. Basara personally wanted Zest to leave the control of Zolgear; after freeing her from the shackles of death, she wouldn’t be limited to the Current Demon Lord Faction or the Moderates Faction, she would be able to live her own life freely, but she had just lost the master that she absolutely obeyed, so the purpose of her life was uncertain and she couldn’t be left on her own. Therefore, although it wasn’t to protect her as a witness, Basara still thought that it would be better to hand her over to the Moderates Faction. However, it was a faction that she was previously hostile to, so there were doubts about her safety. In this regard, he had an arrangement with Takigawa to assist if necessary. Also — regarding the matter where Maria was threatened by Zolgear and obeyed him, Basara hadn’t yet decided on whether to tell them. To conceal the truth, or to speak the truth plainly, it was a difficult decision.
—But there was something that Basara, Mio and Yuki had already come to a consensus about, and made a conclusion. That was to protect their family member Maria at all costs. Maria betrayed Basara and the others as well as the Moderates Faction, only because she was under the stress of her mother being held as a helpless hostage, and no one was could punish her for that. Like in the past, Jin gave up his identity as a hero to protect his child. It was like how Basara vowed to protect Mio, who had been targeted unfairly and without reason. It was also like how Yuki gave up her mission so that she could protect Basara. This time was also the same, everyone would definitely work together to protect Maria. No matter how noble the purpose or mission was, by sacrificing precious people, people would suffer both physically and mentally, and that was something that Basara could not accept. The desire to protect Maria wasn’t because of a mission — but because she was a precious person in the hearts of everyone.
“…We will definitely protect you.”
Basara promised that with a whisper and then exited Maria’s room. When he walked up to the unlit corridor, he noticed that a girl was standing by the door to his room. Thus, Basara walked towards her and then softly asked
“What is it, Mio…you don’t need to rest?”
“…Un. I don’t really feel like sleeping.”
Mio calmly replied to Basara’s question. Seeing her quiet expression—
Basara naturally realised the reason why she was here, and said
“Well…then just chat with me until you want to sleep.”
Following a brief moment of silence, Mio nodded as a response to Basara’s suggestion. After Basara asked her to wait there for a moment, he went downstairs to the first floor. He then walked towards the living room where the lights were switched on.
The living room was shrouded in the heavy silence of the night; the source of it was Yuki and Zest who were facing each other as they sat on the sofa. Yuki noticed that Basara had appeared, so she turned her head to ask
“Basara…how is it upstairs?”
“Ah, Maria is sleeping soundly, but it seems like Mio can’t sleep yet…”
Upon hearing Basara’s words, Yuki expressed her understanding with a murmur. Perhaps, like Basara, she had also realised why Mio wasn’t able to sleep, because she was worried about Mio.
“…Yuki, won’t it be fine for you to take a break for a while?”
“Its fine, I’m the person in charge of keeping an eye on her. But—”
Yuki then asked
“Aren’t you going to rest…? Your injuries should be the most severe, right?”
That’s right — after enduring successive attacks from Maria, he also fought against Zolgear; and even before that, there was the fight with Takigawa that Yuki and the others didn’t know about. The one who suffered the heaviest injuries this time was undoubtedly Basara. However—
“There’s no need to worry, these probably aren’t critical injuries, or perhaps the wound medicine that you gave me is really effective…these injuries aren’t as serious as I thought.”
When he was enduring Maria’s punches, his whole body was in so much pain that it seemed like even his ribs were broken, but the pain was lessened greatly before he fought against Zolgear. After examining it when they returned home, he discovered that his ribs only had some slight fractures, it seemed as though the injuries that he received from Zolgear were unimaginably light. Since he drank the medicine that Yuki brought from [The Village], he should be fully recovered after resting for a few days. Even though Yuki also knew this, Basara had told her himself that his injuries weren’t serious. Then—
“I see…that’s good then.”
A tinge of comfort emerged on Yuki’s face, and she turned her gaze back towards Zest. Basara gently placed his hand over her shoulder, and said
“You don’t need to force yourself so much…I also won’t be sleeping tonight, so just call me if there’s anything.”
“—Instead of wasting your time on watching me, perhaps it would be better to get rid of me a bit earlier.”
Zest hadn’t given up on her own life, but she simply stated what the most realistic approach was. So—
“Zest, haven’t I said this before…you need to find your own way to live in the future, and we will help you to gain the time that you need. During that time, you should think carefully about what you want to do in the future.”
After listening to Basara’s persuasion, Zest fell silent for a moment, and then replied
“……I understand. I’ll do as you say, Toujou Basara.”
After expressing her compliance with a soft voice, Zest closed her eyes, and did not say anymore. Hence, Basara left Zest under the watch of Yuki, and returned to the second floor after preparing some drinks.
“In here…just find a place for yourself to sit.”
After Basara said that when he invited Mio into his room, Mio followed and sat on the bed. Then, Basara handed the mug that he was holding to her.
“I prepared some hot milk for you, you’ll find it a bit easier to sleep after drinking some to warm your body up.”
After Mio thanked him, Basara asked her
“My room — is it really better?”
Talking in Basara’s room was Mio’s own request. Talking in the corridor wasn’t very good, but if they went to her room, she could sleep whenever she wanted, so it should be more convenient for her. But—
“Yes, I think that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep in my own room.”
“Well, since you’ve said that…”
Basara then walked over to the chair beside his desk—
The hem of his T-shirt was suddenly grabbed by Mio. Turning around, he saw that Mio had her face down. Seeing that, Basara scratched his cheek, and had no choice but to sit beside Mio. The springs of the mattress absorbed Basara’s weight, and firmly supported him — it originally felt that way, but Basara could feel the edge of the mattress shaking slightly. Looking closely, Mio was shivering whilst sitting beside him. Thus, Basara gently put his arm around her shoulders, so that she would not spill the hot milk.
“—It’s okay now.”
Basara repeated those words again in order to reassure Mio, and Mio then ‘Mn’ nodded.
“…Sorry, to make you accompany me…”
She leaned her head onto Basara’s shoulder. —Mio, who had been kidnapped and fell into the enemy’s hands, had an uneasy mood before Basara and the others had rescued her, so it was not difficult to imagine. That’s why Basara was happy to lend his shoulder until Mio had completely calmed down. Before long, Mio finally calmed down, and started drinking the hot milk that Basara had prepared for her. When the bottom of the mug became clear, the two of them moved on to speaking about what would happen next. Finally, Mio placed the mug onto the bedside table, and said
“…I understand. We just need to speak with the demon from the Moderates Faction who’ll pick up Maria’s mother next, hopefully they won’t have to hurt the female demon called Zest, and it’ll be best if they don’t do anything strange to her.”
Mio quietly nodded, and confirmed idea that Basara brought up. In regards to this, Basara would also seek assistance from Takigawa, since having more insurance would be better.
“I’m sorry…to ask such a thing of you.”
Basara said apologetically. Protecting Zest, and protecting Maria were not the same thing. For Mio, forgiving the enemy Zolgear who had killed her parents was already difficult for her, and having to help his subordinate now was just rubbing more salt onto the wound. However, since this was something that only Mio could do, there was no choice but to ask her. However…the problem didn’t just encompass this. This time, Basara and the others had defeated Zolgear, who was a high-ranking demon of the current Demon Lord’s Faction. If they made more contact with the Moderates Faction, they would probably be seen as an even greater threat to the current Demon Lord Faction. Even if Mio gave up on getting revenge on Zolgear, Wilbert’s power which was inside her still did not disappear. In regards to the Moderates Faction, aside from the Mio’s uncle, who was the leader of the faction, it was highly likely that Mio, who defeated Zolgear would be considered as Wilbert’s successor; the worse scenario — would be if everyone became caught up in the middle of the dispute between these two demon factions. Considering this possibility, Basara couldn’t help but show a serious expression. At that time, Mio gently placed her hand over Basara’s hand, and said
“Basara…it’s okay, I don’t mind.”
The look in her eyes revealed her deep trust in him.
“Because, I have you guys accompanying me right now — right?”
Mio replied with a clear expression and tone, which caused Toujou Basara to look at her perplexedly. It was because the girl and her smile that he had vowed to protect were right in front of his eyes. Right now, the Mio who was smiling in front of him was proof that he had successfully protected her. But—
At the same time, some dark emotions welled up inside of Basara.
Mio seemed to notice that something was amiss, and worriedly raised her head as she looked towards Basara.
Basara also watched her silently. To gain Mio’s trust — although he was happy, it also highlighted a truth that couldn’t be concealed. That was the danger that Mio didn’t have before she became involved in this, as well as the enemy, Zolgear, who had a countless number of girls as his playthings. If he had departed even a little later — Zolgear may really have taken Mio, with underhanded tactics that Basara couldn’t even imagine, tearing her apart until she was no longer human. —Also, the situation still hadn’t been resolved, in fact, it was just the beginning. There were definitely a lot of people who would try to act against Mio because of Wilbert’s power. There might even be some people who would be even more devious than Zolgear. But Basara would not allow them to act violently. No matter who wanted to take Mio away, Toujou Basara absolutely would not allow it. If such a day really came, it might be better — along with such thoughts, Basara’s consciousness had drifted to an unknown place. After grabbing the shoulders of Mio who was in front of his eyes—
Toujou Basara stole Naruse Mio’s lips.
At first, Mio didn’t understand what had happened. All of a sudden, she was kissing Basara. Such a sudden move— …Eh? Mio was momentarily unable to understand that it was a kiss or do anything else. However, in front of her was Basara’s face, with his eyes closed, and on her lips was the sensation of his warmth, so—
Mio finally understood that she was kissing Basara right now.
In the middle of the night, and on the bed in Basara’s room — this was the scene of Naruse Mio’s first kiss. Mio clearly knew that she would one day give someone her first kiss — and she also had a feeling that that person would be Basara. When the master-servant contract activated, and Basara helped to relieve her, she also wanted to feel Basara on a deeper level, and almost kissed him on her own. If Mio really asked for it herself, Basara definitely would have responded to her request. —But in Mio’s imagination, she thought that Basara would be gentler when kissing her. Basically, Basara would not do anything that Mio would object to. Although he had once strayed into the dressing room and bathroom, and actually rushed over to cover her mouth to stop her from screaming, that was just a one-off thing. So even if Mio was angry then, she would forgive him. However — Basara was not like that at all right now, it was as if he couldn’t control his feelings and kissed Mio.
Being so surprised that her whole body was tense, Naruse Mio thought in her mind that Basara was becoming more and more irrational. That was because Basara had done something similar in the past. —It happened just after they had made the master-servant contract, during the first time that they had a bath together. Back then, Basara had just reunited with Yuki; Mio listened to Maria’s suggestion in order to solidify herposition, and used her breasts to wash Basara’s body; Maria brought the cake that Basara had bought into the bathroom, and when it accidentally spilled onto Basara’s body, Mio and her licked the cream off. Thinking about it now, that was something really bold. Only then, Mio blindly wanted to deepen the relationship between Basara and her — in the end, that caused Basara to lose his rationality, and he put all of the remaining cake onto Mio and Maria’s bodies, and then forcibly licked the sweetness off their bodies. Although Basara fainted in the middle of that situation from becoming overexcited, neither Mio nor Maria knew what would have happened if he didn’t faint, because Basara was that irrational at the time. After discussing it with Maria, they decided to tell Basara that all of it was just a dream. But — ever since that day, nothing like that happened with Basara again, which caused Mio to think that she had misunderstood…and she even thought that she might have been the one who was dreaming. But right now — Basara, who had lost his sense of rationality was before her eyes, taking possession of her lips. …W-Why…? This time, it was completely different to the daring things that she did with Basara in the bathroom. Mio simply didn’t understand why Basara suddenly became like this.
Mio shrank back as she panicked, but she was careless and fell back onto the bed, and Basara then placed both of his hands on top of her chest while she was wearing her pyjamas —
Without being given a chance to finish speaking, the buttons on the front of her pyjamas were undone and her breasts were exposed. She wasn’t wearing a bra, so her breasts bounced out, and lay in front of Basara’s eyes.
When Mio realised that this was reality and cried out in surprise, Basara pressed her body down. He then held her tightly, and pressed his lips onto hers again. Mio, who was pinned down on the bed and being kissed—
Her entire body suddenly quivered underneath Basara’s as she let out a sweet voice, because Basara’s hands had started rubbing her bare breasts that had been exposed when he tore her pyjamas apart. Even if the aphrodisiac curse didn’t activate, after Mio’s breasts were caressed several times, she had already become so sensitive that she was afraid. As Basara rubbed and squeezed her breasts into lewd shapes while kissing her forcefully at the same time, Mio’s mind and body became completely paralysed, and she was unable to resist.
“!…Yah, waa…mnh, uh…ah…mn!”
Like in the past, Basara became even more forceful, and Mio didn’t dare to resist. Aside from the first time that they met, Mio had already submitted to Basara countless times, so even if she knew in her mind that she shouldn’t, she still closed her eyes naturally, and her body obediently accepted Basara. Then— …Ah…Mio suddenly felt Basara’s tongue trying to invade her mouth. Although Mio understood the consequences of accepting, she was unable to resist right now — she meekly parted her lips. Just a small slit was more than enough for Basara. Basara’s tongue instantly pried open Mio’s lips, and pushed straight into her mouth.
“Ah…mn…fu…um, nu…ya, mn…chu!”
As soon as she felt the heat and sensation of Basara’s wet and sticky tongue — Mio’s will almost faded. Before she realised, Mio’s tongue was also intertwining with his, and she became lost in kissing Basara. After a long kiss which nearly depleted her lungs of oxygen, Mio pulled her lips back slightly, and when she was finally able to breath—
“…I won’t let anyone take you away.”
She suddenly heard Basara’s whispered words.
Mio couldn’t help calling his name out — which caused Basara to quickly regain his consciousness, and notice Mio—
“! —S-Sorry! …I just…!”
Basara seemed to have returned back to normal, and he continued to apologise with a flustered face as he realised what he had done. The Basara who quickly turned around on the bed was the Basara that Mio knew.
“I’m really sorry! My mind suddenly went blank, and then…”
Mio covered her breasts as she stood up, and looked with surprise at the shape of Basara’s back as he desperately apologised—
A slightly playful smile drifted onto her face, because she heard it.
…Won’t let anyone take me away?
Basically, Basara wouldn’t do anything that would cause Mio to object. For Basara’s emotions to lose control to such a degree — it was because Mio was abducted by Zolgear, and almost reached the point of no return that such worries and desires were generated. Thus—
“……No. I will never forgive you.”
Mio held her laughter in as she said that. She had been given quite a surprise by Basara’s sudden actions, so making him think a bit wouldn’t cause the master-servant contract curse to activate. Finally, Basara asked with a distressed expression
“T-There’s really no way for you to forgive me…?”
“Well…fine, there is one way to make me forgive you — do you want to hear it?”
“O-Of course I do!”
Basara’s vigorous nodding caused Mio to laugh even harder; she then moved closer to him, and put her arms around him from behind as she said
“—Then kiss me one more time.”
After saying that, she pressed her lips against Basara’s back, and gave her reason for not forgiving him.
“In time you will know, in fact that you — don’t have to apologise for these things.”
She then closer her eyes—
“Please, Basara. If you don’t want others to take me away…then you should take me away again.”
She waited for Basara’s response. After this kiss, the relationship between them would definitely change. Unexpectedly, Basara didn’t turn around.
Mio curiously opened her eyes, and saw the reason why Basara hadn’t turned around. Not knowing when it happened, Yuki was standing in front of Basara expressionlessly.
Mio couldn’t stop herself from being shocked at this situation — Yuki quickly grabbed Basara’s collar and then forcibly kissed him. Wanting to compete with Mio, she extended her tongue into Basara’s mouth, and kissed him while intertwining their tongues. When Yuki finished kissing him and moved her lips away, Basara collapsed onto the bed fearfully, as Yuki began breathing heavily. Why was Yuki manlier? At that time, Yuki glared.
“…I thought you hadn’t gotten over your scare from being kidnapped, it seems there really isn’t a single moment to let my guard down.”
“W-Why did you come here…don’t you have to watch over the female demon called Zest?”
Mio was finally able to overcome her panic and asked that.
“You don’t need to worry, I also brought her over here.”
After Yuki replied as such, Zest quietly appeared from behind her.
“H-How did even you…how long have you guys been there!?”
“Since you said ‘I have you guys accompanying me’, Naruse Mio.”
“! …Then that’s a long time!”
“? You took advantage of my kindness and secretly seduced Basara, and now you have the nerve to get angry — what a fox.”
After Yuki dismissively said that, she wrapped both her arms around Basara’s neck, and with passionate eyes she said
“Basara…take me as well.”
“What kind of strange things are you trying to say in this confusion—!”
Yuki’s actions caused Mio’s anger to erupt, and she forcibly separated Yuki and Basara. When Basara’s room had suddenly become the location of a heated argument — Maria was silently standing outside the room. The succubus was particularly sensitive to the excitement in her surroundings. Her mother, who had been held hostage for a long time and still had a weakened mind was still asleep, whereas Maria had woken up before Yuki and Zest entered Basara’s room. —If this was in the past, Maria would have rushed in as a host to play around with everyone. That wasn’t just to protect Mio, but also to cheer Mio up, as her mind was always fixated on the sadness of her parents’ death, even if she didn’t show it. Maria knew that this wasn’t enough to redeem herself for betraying them under Zolgear’s coercion, and also hoped that she would be able to cheer Mio up more often. However, Maria, who was used to joining in—
She stood at the door without saying anything. Since it had come to light that she betrayed Basara and Mio, she no longer had the right to join them.
…I think looking is…
Although Basara had said it in the past, that Maria could continue to stay around everyone like in the past; she planned to return to the Demon Realm along with her mother when the Moderates Faction came to pick her up. By Mio’s side right now was Yuki, who was more useful than her, and there were also guards that the Moderates Faction could send who would be stronger and more reliable than her, so there was no need for her to stay behind. After thinking about such things, Maria turned around to return to her own room — Basara rushed out into the corridor at this time, and as soon as he noticed Maria—
“M-Maria, you came at a good time! Come here!”
Basara grabbed hold of the bewildered Maria’s hand, and dragged her into the room.
“Right now, their minds are in full drive, and they won’t listen to anything I say. Can you please think of a way to help me stop them?”
“What? No, you need me to do something in this kind of a situation all of a sudden…”
Mio and Yuki were facing each other; violent sparks were flying out in the air between them, both of them wore murderous expressions, and remedying this situation was simply a joke. But just thinking about it—
“—Please help me, only you can do it!”
When Basara said this, he probably wasn’t thinking about much. But, that wasn’t because he thought of her as a demon, rather, he said that because he thought of her as an indispensable family member. It wasn’t because she was the succubus Maria, it was purely because he saw her as Naruse Maria. Therefore—
While Maria couldn’t help but feel surprised by Basara’s words—
“Hee, this is interesting. Maria, you’re on my side, right?”
“You don’t need to be afraid of her threats. If you stand on my side, I’ll help you do erotic things to Mio.”
Neither Mio nor Yuki treated her as if she was an outsider. Showing that she could continue staying here — because everyone was a family. So — after both Mio and Yuki asked ‘Who are you helping?’ at the same time—
“! …Ah, well. W-Who it is…”
Maria rubbed the tears which were beginning to form in the corner of her eyes—
Then, while taking advantage of the moment that Basara had turned his head towards her, she took him by surprise and kissed him.
As if to create a truly unexpected situation, Maria wrapped her tongue around Basara’s in an even more intense way as she kissed Basara while Mio and Yuki looked on in amazement. Maria — no, Naruse Maria smiled with all the effort that she could. —Perhaps her redemption would remain unclear for some time. But, she had come back here after all. So she needed to atone bit by bit, until one day, this would a true family of her own. Maria embraced this pledge in her mind—
“I’m not helping either side, because Basara-san is my onii-chan!”
When she said that with a wide smile on her face — an even more exaggerated cry and ruckus resounded within the Toujou household.
—In this place, was a very heavy atmosphere.
It was dark, and none of the noise from outside could be heard — at the same time, it was also the cruel truth that none of the sound in here would leak to the outside. Thus —
No matter how much Zolgear groaned in pain while he was on the floor, there would be no one to rescue him. —After Lars attacked Zolgear when he fled, he didn’t take his life straight away. In order for him to get revenge for his comrades that he treated as siblings, Lars used a device which could restrain Zolgear by preventing him from using magic, and then took him to a place without any people, a place that seemed to be located underground. This was the hideout that he had prepared in case anything happened during his mission to observe Naruse Mio. Like this – Zolgear had been here for a few hours now. After going through both physical and magical torture, he was already on the verge of death.
Zolgear was crawling on the ground, and his entire body was in so much pain that it felt like it was on fire. He had lost his right arm because of Naruse Mio, and his abdomen had been injured by Lars before he reached this place; that was nothing compared to his state right now in which many of his bones were broken and he was heavily bleeding everywhere. While in such an agonising state where it was difficult for him to move—
…I-It’s not over yet…
Zolgear still had not given up on escaping from this place. Perhaps Lars wanted him to feel pain for just a little longer, and did not continue to torture him. Thus, Zolgear gathered strength in his body, and became vigilant for an opportunity to escape. At that time.
Lars suddenly said that with a low volume, and then turned around. Then, the sound of slow footsteps reverberated throughout the silent space.
“! …Who is it…?”
His imprisonment and torture here was only for Lars’ personal revenge, there was no need for a third party. After Zolgear moaned this question—
“No…actually, there was someone who said that they absolutely wanted to watch you die.”
Lars shrugged with a smile as he said that. After hearing that—
…Could it be…
Lars had previously said that there were many people in the Moderates Faction who admired Mio’s parents, among them, there should be who had adoptive parents like Lars, who were from the same orphanage. It was highly possible that he called people who similarly hated Zolgear to this place. —On the other hand, could it be Zest? Did she come to witness the fate of the man who called her trash and attempted to kill her?
It couldn’t be.
Zolgear suddenly felt a sharp feeling of anxiety in his heart. No matter who it was that came, there would be another pair of eyes watching him, which would greatly reduce his chances of escaping.
…No, not necessarily…
Nevertheless, Zolgear still did not give up on his chances of survival. If there were more people on the other side, it would also increase the opportunities for confusion when he made his move. If they came here with hatred, then they would be easily manipulated, and could lose their cool.
…I’ll wait and see.
The blood covered Zolgear secretly laughed and vowed to escape from this place, then slaughter all of the people who put him in this miserable state. Then, the visitor that Zolgear welcomed because he treated them as an opportunity—
He was stunned by the person who finally appeared. That person wasn’t a demon from the Moderates Faction, nor was it Zest. In fact — it wasn’t even a demon. The one who appeared before his eyes was—
Zolgear cried his name out when he saw something that was unbelievable.
But Basara made a quick glance towards the dying Zolgear who lay on the floor and then walked over to Lars’ side and began talking to him whilst ignoring his existence.
“Sorry, Takigawa…I’m a little late.”
“As you say, Bassachi, I almost couldn’t stop myself from finishing it.”
“I’m sorry…getting away from Mio and the others was more difficult than I imagined.”
Seeing Basara’s apologetic expression, Lars made a wry smile as he said
“Come on…you were definitely doing some erotic things right? Geez, this handsome guy really makes people envious.”
“…Let me make it clear first, I was nearly killed by them.”
Basara then sighed. The scene of the two people having a natural conversation—
It caused Zolgear to raise his head from the floor in surprise. He was able to understand the reason for Lars’ actions. That was because Lars was the one who brought him here, and beat him up. —But Basara was different. Zolgear was stained with blood, his arm and legs were twisted abnormally, and he looked as though he could die at any time. Yet, Toujou Basara was still conversing with Lars calmly. It was simply too strange. Zolgear was unable to comprehend what was happening in front of him. At that time—
“I said before, I told you about the secret place where Naruse Mio was imprisoned and also rescued Maria’s family member, in exchange for the chance to personally kill you — but in reality, we had another agreement.”
Lars then began to explain what the current situation was.
“After this incident, Naruse Mio will eventually find out about my true identity, it’s just that — I accidentally stimulated her in the past, causing Wilbert’s power to go out of control, and also gave Bassachi a bit of trouble. Afterwards, although that guy started seeking my cooperation because of that incident, Naruse-san and Nonaka-san who adore Bassachi couldn’t do that. So, taking this into account, I needed someone to help cover me; and for that, it was most effective for Bassachi to take on that role.”
“In contrast, Bassachi wanted to eliminate the enemy that he let go because of the possibility that he would be threatened again — with this guy’s words, that probability would drop to zero.”
In other words—
“He wants to use his own eyes to see you when you’re completely dead.”
“! —You…you, how…!”
Zolgear raised his head in amazement. At that time, he finally made eye contact with Basara.
The look in his eyes was cold. The stare emitted from his eyes seemed to completely deny his existence—
Zolgear’s heart almost froze, and he couldn’t stop himself from shivering.
…There was actually…such a thing…!
Zolgear began to curse his own miscalculations. I was too careless, I was completely wrong, how did I underestimate Toujou Basara — no, I completely misread him. He believed that he was just a good-hearted, and kind youth with a strong sense of justice — but that wasn’t the case, that youth wasn’t just kind. Zolgear had the opportunity to perceive this possibility.
Zolgear really wanted Basara’s unknown elimination ability, and would naturally request that Maria tell him all of that information. He once allowed his power to lose control, which eliminated the bodies of his comrades, and also caused him to be exiled from the Heroes. After meeting the successor of the former Demon Lord who had inherited his blood, Mio, he picked up his sword again in order to protect her. Then — Basara, who had once suffered a tragedy, vowed that he would never lose anything precious to him again. In order to protect things as he had vowed, he would be as cruel as he needed to be, so he made this promise with sorrow. If someone with such determination joined hands with Lars—
“S-Since it’s like this…Toujou Basara…do you want to make a deal with me…?”
Zolgear desperately tried to win Basara over to his side.
“…If a high-class demon like me is kept alive…I’ll be able to get all sorts of information from the current Demon Lord Leohart-heika, or the other high-class demons who are part of the Council, I’ll be able to obtain secrets that would be impossible even for Lars here.”
“As long as she still has Wilbert’s power, Naruse Mio will not be able to have a single day of peace…since protecting her is your first priority, you should realise that my information will be—”
Very useful. That was what Zolgear wanted to say, but he couldn’t say it. That was because Basara stared at him with such cold eyes that he found himself unable to continue. Next—
“Well, I’m already tired of seeing that rotten face, it’s about time to kill him — may I, Bassachi?”
After Takigawa obtained Basara’s consent, he slowly walked towards Zolgear. The moment of Zolgear’s death approached him step by step. Despite this—
Up until this point, Toujou Basara still had not spoken a single word to Zolgear. Cursing, contempt, ridicule, he didn’t give any of that. He simply watched Zolgear with silent, cold eyes; it seemed as if it was just as Lars had described, that he was here only to witness his death.
…Damn it! Then there’s no…there’s no way…!
Zolgear desperately looked for a chance of survival, but death was already in front of his eyes.
His eyes were filled with despair. The next instant — the shockwave that Lars released from his hand ended Zolgear’s long life.
“—Zolgear’s spiritual reaction has disappeared?”
The Demon Lord Leohart had just visited the western region, and received this unexpected news when he returned to the palace. After Zolgear determined that there was value in digging up the newfound ruins, he thought that he had already fulfilled his responsibility and returned to his home; while Leohart continued to inspect the surroundings, he didn’t imagine that such a thing would happen.
“Could it be that…Zolgear is dead?”
Leohart walked down the corridor and asked with uncertainty.
“That is just the latest news that we’ve received, we’re still unclear about the details of the situation.”
The trusted Balthier who came to report this replied after standing up. —As the new Demon Lord, Leohart established the current Demon Lord Faction, which was currently the largest faction in the Demon Realm, but the interior was not united. Some people saw the young Leohart as a boy who couldn’t do anything, so they tried to manipulate him, and Zolgear was one of those who belonged to the hostile group. When Zolgear was the observer of Naruse Mio and took action against her, Leohart originally planned to sentence him to death, if his indulgence in greed and ambition continued to grow, he would one day become a threat that was impossible to ignore. Unfortunately, the Council that Zolgear belonged to protested against this proposal, and ultimately, he could only give the light punishment of suspending him from investigation. Then—
…What exactly happened?
According to Lars’ reports, Zolgear had some suspicious actions, but high-class demons like him were careful and powerful, so they weren’t people that would die so easily, which meant that there was definitely a large problem behind the scenes.
“Make a detailed investigation immediately, and report back at any time — go quickly.”
“—As you wish.”
As soon as Balthier received those orders and nodded, he immediately disappeared. Leohart continued to advance; he was saluted by the guards when he arrived in front of the doors to the throne room, and then pushed open the large and heavy doors.
After Leohart briefly said that, he stepped into the room. He then walked further into the room following the sound of the closing doors—
But on the way, he suddenly stopped, and then frowned. That was because he had discovered a situation within the room. —All of the guards in the room had collapsed on the floor, without a single exception. They weren’t dead, they had simply lost consciousness, and even their breathing was normal. But—
…More than twenty members of the guard had actually been defeated…
They weren’t just ordinary soldiers, they were bodyguards who specifically guarded the Demon Lord, and all of them were elites; these bodyguards had actually been completely defeated without the guards outside the room even noticing. It showed that this person’s actions were very secretive, and also that it happened in a very short period of time. As Leohart knew, there were only a handful of people who had such power.
Just as Leohart increased his vigilance, and was considering whether or not to call the guards outside the door— he suddenly saw something — there was a man sitting comfortably on the throne that only he could sit on. Under normal circumstances, it would be impossible for Leohart to ignore such an offense, but the man in front of him was able to avoid Leohart’s attention while doing such a thing. It was complete stealth which even Leohart was failed to detect. With an ability like that, it would really be possible to defeat all of the guards without revealing his appearance or presence. At that time—
“You finally returned, new Demon Lord…huh? How strange, isn’t the Demon Lord too young this time?”
The man sat on Leohart’s throne, and said that with surprise after seeing Leohart. —In the Demon Realm, there wasn’t a single person who didn’t recognise what Leohart looked like. But this man clearly had a reaction which showed that he had never seen him before. Also — although it was their first meeting, Leohart was able to recognise the name and appearance of the man who didn’t know him.
“Heh, you know me? Even the new Demon Lord recognises my face and name, I really am honoured.”
Jin gave a soft laugh as he spoke after Leohart softly mentioned his name, and then—
“—Well, do you know why I’ve come here?”
Jin stood up front the throne, and stretched his neck as he said
“But what I have to say right now has nothing to do with me…my cute son, it seems like he fought quite hard over there, which makes me want to help him out as a father, so it would be nice if he could see me show off a bit. This is the so-called fatherly love.”
Subsequently, Leohart moved towards Toujou Jin. The man known as the strongest Hero in history then made a ferocious smile and said
“Thank you for looking after my kids — I came to return the favour.”
(Part 3 of 3) (1/3)