“I…might be the most evil God of all.” (Shiva)
Toreido Shiva said.
“From the four Base Elements…no, from the six Gods of Creation.” (Shiva)
He was speaking as his other soul that resides in himself, the Wind God Quasar.
This God that rules over wind had trained in order to climb up to being the top of all Gods.
For the sake of that, he got involved with humans and learned from them.
He wondered if by having a God take in the potential of humans, that God would be able to become the top of the Gods —the way to get closer to the Dark God.
To achieve that, he incarnated as a human, moreover, he repeated that several times as he experienced life.
As a result, the Wind God incarnation, Toreido Shiva now exists.
“But as I repeated that, I ended up being charmed by the humans.” (Shiva)
Shiva speaks with a grave expression.
“That brave standing of the humans. Living their lives modestly. The simple smiles that come out from them at incidental things. The many small happenings that one would think are pointless, I began thinking that maybe that’s where the greatness of the humans lies in.” (Shiva)
Even when he is a God, he aimed to surpass Gods, and in a sense, Quasar was the more serious one out of them all.
“How ironic. Even though I got closer to humans seeking for strength, the humans taught me that the pointless is the strongest. And so, even as of today, I am residing in the body of a human, and enjoying the life of a human.” (Shiva)
Being born, growing, falling in love, have children, and raise them.
Shiva had a wedding the other day, and has reached the very definition of the pinnacle in human life.
“But…was that truly the correct thing to do?” (Shiva)
Shiva says while looking down at the helmet he was holding.
The beaten up and hollow helmet.
There’s obviously no signs of life in it.
“The Wind Demon Lord Raphael is the compilation of the wind element monsters that I as a God had created. Just like the other Base Element Gods, even if they were created at first as tools for the Gods, they should have been able to find their own reason to live.” (Shiva)
But he couldn’t.
Raphael is already completely gone. Only the helmet remained as if leaving a corpse.
“I enjoyed my life as a human so much, got so absorbed in my own enjoyment, that I might have neglected my duty as a God. Maybe I should have accepted the existence of the Demon Lords just like Nova, Coacervate, and Mantle did.” (Shiva)
But the Wind God had the duty of protecting his brethren from the Demon Lords as the human Shiva. And he even went so far as to destroy his own body to achieve this when he fought stubbornly against the Demon Lord.
Before he himself could be threatened by them, he threatened the Demon Lords.
“That’s why I might be the weakest within the six Gods of Creation. I got so absorbed in my own enjoyment that I forgot my side as a God…” (Shiva)
“You said ‘duty of a God’ before. But that duty is…” (Haine)
I -Kuromiya Haine- spoke.
I was the only one allowed to visit this sickroom, as a brethren of his, the Dark God.
“To create worlds. Create a world, create life, and that’s where the job of the Gods is over.” (Haine)
That’s why, at the moment when the world creation is over, the Gods are no longer needed.
“From there on, it is a matter of each Gods’ pride. How will you maintain your stance as a God? In what way will you act towards the living beings that you have created? All of those would just be the self-satisfaction of us Gods.” (Haine)
“There’s no duty for us Gods to love the lives that we created ourselves. And within that, you -Wind God- loved the humans more than anyone else. That’s why I respect you from the bottom of my heart.” (Haine)
And this love of his is reaching out to monsters as well.
“I think that loving more than two at the same time is incredibly difficult, you know. Especially when you are not only a God right now but a human as well.” (Haine)
Toreido Shiva has a family, a wife, and comrades that he loves deeply.
Because of that, he couldn’t avoid a battle with the Demon Lords as his human self.
“The decision you took at that time was correct. If you continue worrying like that, it would mean that you are also complaining about this girl’s fight, you know?” (Haine)
Both Shiva and I look down at the bed in front of us.
The one currently residing in this sickroom is Toreido Hyue.
She was lying in the bed to rest her exhausted body and treat the wounds after a hard fight. She is currently in a deep sleep as if to heal her wounds as fast as possible.
“To think she would fight without telling me.” (Shiva)
Founder and hero, and also brother and sister.
In order to settle matters with the Wind Demon Lord, she didn’t attend the wedding of Shiva that happened right around the same time.
“That was her resolve. Hyue and Raphael fought by themselves so that the hatred that comes out from the battle won’t leak out.” (Haine)
Shiva learned of this after everything planned in the wedding was over already.
Shiva, surprised by the fight that occurred against the Demon Lord and his death -which Shiva himself was unaware of- made him run to the place in question while still in his groom outfit.
“Even though I was prepared to make her a God Hero anytime…she even refused that.” (Shiva)
“That’s what resolve is about. The resolve from Hyue…and also from Raphael.” (Haine)
That’s right, resolve.
The only way to cut off the cycle of hatred that stretches infinitely. The need to cut the emotions that rose up without limit.
That’s what it means to put an end to things.
Hyue thought of her own way to put an end to it, and acted on it.
“This is something that only she could do, because…” (Haine)
The Hyue lying here is…
“She is the wind hero after all.” (Haine)
“Right. Hyue is a true wind hero.” (Shiva)
Shiva’s words felt as if he were also telling himself that.
“I thought she would stay as my cute little sister forever, but she has become quite the reliable one without my knowing. There’s already no need for Juo or I huh…” (Shiva)
“Not only Hyue. That’s how it is for all humans.” (Haine)
Humans are strong.
They are not so weak that they would need the help of Gods for everything.
On the contrary, there are times when humans have helped us Gods, and have made us learn and understand new things.
“Don’t get so worked up -as a human, and as a God.” (Haine)
“To think you would encourage me in such a way. I wouldn’t have been able to imagine that 1,600 years ago.” (Shiva)
Time changes everything.
Humans, Gods, monsters, and all other things.
“…Now that I think about it, what happened to those guys?” (Shiva)
Hyue asked about them as if he had just remembered.
He is referring to the three Demon Lords that came to Rudras Metropolis chasing after Raphael.
- 372: Within disappointment
Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel.
In the past, Gods created monsters to trouble humans, but after the long time of a century, they evolved.
They obtained a heart and a will.
As a result, the Lord of monsters was born, the Demon Lords.
That’s the same for the three here, and…the now gone Raphael.
And Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel were simply silent.
Even when we moved to the Wind Church headquarters and had them sit at the reception room, they had their heads down without saying a single word.
…..The atmosphere was incredibly heavy.
It felt as if I had all-nighters for a whole week.
“…Ah, Haine-san.” (Karen)
When I entered the room, the one who noticed me immediately was Karen-san.
She kept the Demon Lords company while I was together with Shiva, but it looks like her expression was already showing exhaustion.
“This is not good! I can’t do anything about this atmosphere!” (Karen)
“Looks like that’s the case!” (Haine)
The atmosphere tormenting Karen-san was all coming from the Demon Lords.
It is heavy, gloomy, and damp.
It is the kind of atmosphere that could crush you if you were to try fixing it.
That’s definitely something that was created from the sadness, regret, and loss of the Demon Lords.
“I should have…” (Uriel)
The first one to speak was Uriel.
“I should have payed more attention to Raphael. I was the one that hung out the most with Raphael within our group. And yet, I couldn’t notice the worries of Raphael…!” (Uriel)
Those words were filled with self-condemnation and regret.
“I as well, you know!” (Gabriel)
The next one to speak was Gabriel.
“I was going all culture this culture that… I was unable to see the ones closest to me. I can’t even notice the state of mind of my comrade. There’s no way I have the qualifications to talk about culture!” (Gabriel)
As expected, she was also filled with self-condemnation.
“…The leader of the Demon Lords huh.” (Michael)
And the last one is Michael.
“There was no higher or lower within us Demon Lords. That’s why I thought that it was presumptuous to be called the leader. But if I had taken that role more seriously, and had acted as the one who put order within the group, Raphael might not have ended up like that.” (Michael)
They were always filled with vigor, but now, they are weakened to a pitiful state.
“It was basically as if I had let Raphael die…!” (Michael)
“No, if I had been more level-headed…!” (Gabriel)
“No, it was I that…!” (Uriel)
And then, the three Demon Lords return to silence.
“…..It has been a repeat of this for a while now.” (Karen)
Karen-san said with a disheartened expression.
“They fall silent, say self-deprecating words every now and then, let out sighs, and fall silent again. It is a complete negative spiral.” (Karen)
It is true that anyone caught in this atmosphere would be dragged down as well with its heaviness.
“But to think they would be this discouraged. Looks like the Demon Lord-sans truly thought of each other as comrades and important existences.” (Karen)
It is true that it is unexpected.
At first, the Demon Lords were born from different elements, making them clashing existences.
I could tell that they were only in a temporary cooperation in order to eradicate humans.
“But camaraderie must have been born towards the partners they grouped with for the first time.” (Haine)
It happened so naturally that even they didn’t notice.
That’s why, when they lost one in their group, they noticed the camaraderie, and must have gotten even more hurt by it.
Noticing the importance of that something after losing it is sad, but it happens often.
“When thinking of it in that way, the Demon Lords are truly pitiful. I don’t know what to say to them…” (Karen)
Karen-san is easy to get influenced by nature, so she was on the verge of tears right now.
She also learned of everything after it was already over. Until then, she was in the wedding of Shiva and Juo-san, and she apparently had bloodshot eyes trying to catch the bouquet.
At that time, they got the report of Hyue and Raphael having a duel, and made strenuous efforts to clean up.
Karen-san was obviously really worried about her friend Hyue, but it was better for her relative Shiva-san to see her, and she herself would be caring for the Demon Lords.
“…Now that I think about it, where’s Juo-san?” (Haine)
Where’s the recently married Juo-san?
“She went to the battle’s location to retrieve the robot, and while at it, gather the armor parts…” (Karen)
…Well, she is a scientist, so she might be thinking something that we regular people can’t understand.
We should put our all in the problem in front of us.
In other words, how to make the broken Demon Lords stand up!
“Well, looks like it will be impossible for us.” (Haine)
“Haine-san?! Please don’t give up all of a sudden!” (Karen)
Even if you tell me that, healing the heart of someone requires quite the experience and technique.
And I only know one person who has reached that professional level.
“No other choice but to leave it to that person.” (Haine)
Is what I mutter when a new person enters the room.
The girl that came together with us from the Light Church.
“Reporting. The objective is at sight.” (Doraha)
Karen-san was confused by the report.
But the place we are currently in is Rudras Metropolis. A moving city that has the most advanced ethereal technology.
Even when we were standing by here, the city as a whole was heading towards a certain place.
This was a request from me to Shiva.
“So we finally arrived.” (Haine)
A nostalgic place.
- 373: Dear Light capital
The city where one of the five Grand Churches, the Light Church, is using as their base.
I am technically affiliated with the Light Church, so it is also my base as well, but since I have been quite absent from it lately, I felt pretty nostalgic about it.
“This is as far as we can bring you.” (Shiva)
After arriving at a place quite close to Apollon City, Shiva told us this.
“This was an agreement within the five Grand Churches. Our Rudras Metropolis can’t get more close to the other cities than necessary. I will bring out an ethereal car to send you guys there.” (Shiva)
“Sorry for the trouble.” (Haine)
“Even so, we plan on staying around here for a while, so if something happens, we will come help immediately.” (Shiva)
“No no, giving us a ride all the way here is plenty enough.” (Haine)
Giving our farewells, Shiva and I exchange a strong handshake.
“Uhm…! What about Hyue-chan?” (Karen)
Karen-san was still worrying about her friend Hyue.
“She is still sleeping, but there’s nothing threatening her life. I will have her greet you when she recovers.” (Shiva)
“Ah, yes!” (Karen)
And so, we left the Wind capital in this way.
We rode the car, but…
The ones who were inside first, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael were keeping their silence.
Because we are inside a pretty cramped space, the heaviness increased by a lot.
Karen-san and I were at a loss for words.
We have to endure this atmosphere until we arrive at Apollon City?
And there’s another one in the Light Church team, Doraha.
“You guys are depressing.” (Doraha)
“Stop it! Doraha, stop it!” (Haine)
“Right now, a straight ball is way too dangerous!!” (Karen)
As expected, Doraha can’t read the mood.
And so, we finally returned to Apollon City.
How many days have I been absent?
I don’t think it is more than half a month, but for some reason, it feels as if I haven’t returned for years.
Even though it hasn’t been a year since I moved from my hometown to Apollon City, I already feel like this is my second home.
“Oh, Haine! So you finally returned!!”
When we arrived at the Light Church’s headquarters, the first one to instantly welcome us was the Aurora Light Corps General, Grades-san.
He is a strong man that climbed his way to General, and his head lacking a single strand of hair was shining conspicuously.
“General Grades, I am truly sorry for being absent so long.” (Haine)
“It is fine! Your job is to get special designated work and go around here and there after all!” (Grades)
So that’s really how I was being seen as.
Well, can’t be helped.
I really have been leaving the Light capital almost all the time without even notifying after all.
“But you know, Haine, even I had it tough this time.” (Grades)
General Grades says as he places his arm around my shoulders.
Is this…the preliminary preparations for preaching and complaints?!
“The outside is dangerous with how the world is and the Demon Lords, right? In that sense, we had not only the hero-sama, we also had you and Doraha-chan, so our layers of protection were pretty tough. If they were to attack us, we would have peace of mind with you guys here…” (Grades)
Normally, the current and previous heroes are the ones commanding the military force of each church.
The retired previous heroes were brought back to duty temporarily for this emergency state, for the sake of dealing with situations that might occur.
“But you know…the previous hero Ates is missing, and you and the Founder-sama were missing together as well. Not only that, Karen-sama, Doraha, and you went to assist another city, so you guys didn’t return for a good while…!” (Grades)
The voice of General Grades is gradually growing more nasal.
“By the time I noticed, I was the one with the highest standing. The responsibility was crazy high. Just thinking about what would happen if a Demon Lord were to attack us in this state, I couldn’t sleep at all. Even so, I couldn’t show fear in front of my subordinates…!” (Grades)
Looks like, in the time we were gone, the stress he was under was incredible.
“I am already bald so there’s no hair that can be loss, but if I had hair, I would have certainly lost a hell lot from the stress. My pillow would be filled with hair. You can understand, right? Right?! I was in a middle-class position not that long ago, but I suddenly had the fate of the city resting on my shoulders!” (Grades)
“But…I heard that Grades-san was the one who had Doraha accompany Karen-san?” (Haine)
I was moved when I heard from hearsay of the decisiveness of General Grades when saying ‘If we are going to send reinforcements, we will be reinforcing with our all!’.
“That’s cause I had no choice but to do that at that time! I actually didn’t want her to go! I wanted someone I could share the responsibility with!!” (Grades)
As if releasing all the stress inside of him, Grades-san cries on my shoulder.
Taking all the fighting force when we don’t know when a Demon Lord would attack.
There’s no helping that you would be worried.
“Where did you go?! Don’t leave me alone~!!” (Grades)
“Yeah, good work, good work.” (Haine)
I soothe Grades-san who has regressed to an infant after being released from his responsibilities.
“Ah~, with this, I am finally released from my daily worries. If the Demon Lords attack us, we can have you guys confront them as well.” (Grades)
“Speaking of that, I want to introduce you to some people.” (Haine)
“The Demon Lords that came along with us on the way.” (Haine)
Close to my back, Michael, Gabriel, and Uriel line up.
‘If I had hair, I would have lost them all at that instant’, is what the bald General Grades said after.