And well, after scraping away the lifespan of General Grades in that way, we moved to achieve our biggest objective.
“Why did you bring the Demon Lords to Apollon City in the first place?” (Karen)
A valid question from the accompanying Karen-san.
“Karen-san…..the Demon Lords are currently hurt by the shock of experiencing the loss of a comrade for the first time. They may have strong divine power, but they were born recently. They don’t know how to take the sadness.” (Haine)
“I see…” (Karen)
“It is because they are in that delicate of a state that there’s the need for fitting skill or it will be impossible to heal them. We need a specialist in handling the heart.” (Haine)
And from the people I know of, the one who is the best at this is this person —the Light Founder, Yorishiro.
The three Demon Lords and her were having an audience at the altar of the Light Church.
Karen-san was conspicuously agitated by this.
She closes in on me who is spectating this together with her.
“What’s going on?! Why are you having Yorishiro-sama face the Demon Lords?!” (Karen)
“Didn’t I tell you already? We need someone to treat the heart of the Demon Lords.” (Haine)
The one most fit to do this is Yorishiro.
“A specialist in evaluating the heart, diagnosing the wound, and has the best technique for it; don’t you think that’s basically Yorishiro, Karen-san?” (Haine)
“Well, yeah…” (Karen)
After all, religion is specialized in filling the openings of the heart.
And Yorishiro who rules over the Light Church is the best heart controller.
“Mind control is a necessary skill in religion after all.” (Haine)
“This is not a cult!!” (Karen)
But I have already brought them before her.
Now then, Yorishiro, heal the wounded hearts of the Demon Lords with that silver tongue of yours that brought you all the way to the top of the Light Church at a young age!
“…..I have a rough idea of things thanks to Haine-san.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro speaks in an austere stance.
A voice that could pull even us in. And for the spiritually wounded Demon Lords, this had great effect.
“What’s with this voice?! I feel as if I am being drawn in…!” (Gabriel)
“The divinity is…!” (Uriel)
The Demon Lords were all ears now.
“The first taste of separation. It must have been painful to even describe in words. Saying ‘I understand your feelings’ here, would be hypocritical. Your pain is yours only after all.” (Yorishiro)
The Demon Lords endured the words of Yorishiro that felt, at a glance, as if she were pushing them away.
“The death won’t resurrect. What’s lost cannot return. Even if you were to say ‘if I had done those things at that time, it might not have turned out this way’, time will still not rewind. No one can change what has happened in the already gone past.” (Yorishiro)
“We already know that!!” (Gabriel)
Gabriel rebutted as if she couldn’t endure it any longer.
“But that’s all we can do! We can’t stop thinking about how there might have been a chance to save Raphael!” (Gabriel)
“And what if there had been a chance?” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro asks cool-headed.
“We would only be carving that uselessness of us for letting that chance escape.” (Michael)
“That’s right.” (Yorishiro)
Michael mutters heavily.
“We are incompetent. No matter how much divine power we are overflowing with, or how big it is, we couldn’t even save one comrade. We are useless people that are only flung around by our own strength!” (Michael)
“That’s right, but…” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro stops her words for a moment and says.
“That’s how everyone is.” (Yorishiro)
Uriel raises his head.
Like a sinner that had noticed the existence of God in the middle of their prayer.
“The longer one lives…the more regrets one will surely shoulder. They painfully think ‘if I had done this’ while regretting a past that they can’t do anything about. This is something that everyone who has made decisions would experience.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro spreads out her arms as if accepting their faults.
“Like you people right now.” (Yorishiro)
The Demon Lords gulp their breath.
“The ones that don’t have regrets, the ones that haven’t failed, are people that without exception have not fought, have not struggled, at all. The ones who don’t fight, ridicule the people that do.” (Yorishiro)
That’s why, the people that fight, don’t laugh at other people that fight as well.
They know the pain of fighting, and they also know the grief of fighting as well.
“That’s why I won’t ridicule you people.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro brings back the spread out arms of hers to her chest, that simple action of hers felt as if it were bringing everyone before her into her embrace. Even from where I was, I could feel a warmth inside of me.
Everyone that knows that same pain…
“As people that know that same pain, we can understand each other as well. You can make decisions that won’t make you repeat that same pain. We call that wisdom.” (Yorishiro)
“That’s the only thing that serves as comfort in our loss after all.” (Yorishiro)
What has been lost won’t return.
In that case, if at the very least you can use that unbearable pain as a lesson for the future, that pain would have had meaning, and you can comfort yourself with that.
“I see…” (Michael)
“That’s right. For the sake of Raphael as well, we can’t just stand idly…!” (Gabriel)
The three Demon Lords kneeled.
As if the chain of pain had been released.
“Please don’t kneel. From now on, we will be having an equal standing as comrades after all.” (Yorishiro)
And Yorishiro properly strengthened the connection!
She doesn’t let a chance escape!
“…Uhm, Haine-san, it is true that Yorishiro-sama has managed to bring back the spirit of the Demon Lords, but…” (Karen)
Karen-san was showing slight signs of escapism.
“Aren’t we taking advantage of the opening in their hearts?” (Karen)
I also felt that way.
Maybe leaving it to Yorishiro was a mistake?
I began feeling regret as well.
- 375: The identity of the one acting in the shadows
And in this way, the Demon Lords managed to at least get back on their feet after the loss of their comrade.
“Hey hey! Now that I look closely, this building has quite the dignified style! The walls and pillars are filled with carvings, I feel a lot of culture in it!!” (Gabriel)
“But, doesn’t it instead make it suffocating with that many decorations? It surpasses the ‘muhyaaa’ feeling and ends up being overwhelming instead.” (Uriel)
Gabriel is in high tension with the city that’s brimming with culture.
Uriel has…increased his skills as a connoisseur?!
“Apollon City is also called as the City of Scholars. It is the city that has the most developed ideology culture.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro acts as the representative and explains it.
“History, philosophy, literature, psychology; those kind of things are what this city specializes in studying and polishing. The biggest library of the world, natural history facilities,academic conferences, documents of the world’s mysteries; this city is filled with those kind of things daily.” (Yorishiro)
“So the study of how to better yourself huh. How hot-blooded.” (Michael)
Michael mutters with his arms crossed.
“It is the kind of knowledge we need the most. What are we? We have to properly decipher this first. We have to move forward for the sake of Raphael who has departed before us as well.” (Michael)
“That’s right, Michael!” (Gabriel)
“We can’t stay idle looking back! Walking forward is the path to repay Raphael’s friendship!” (Uriel)
The three Demon Lords held hands.
These guys get along well…
“But before that, there’s a problem we have to solve.” (Haine)
Is what I add in.
“The Great Demon Lord Lucifer is still thinking of eradicating humans, right?” (Haine)
I didn’t bring these guys to Apollon City only to have them stand back up.
I want them to tell us something important.
The Demon Lord that is still shrouded in mystery and threatens the world as a whole…
And also the one behind that.
“And about the other person…” (Haine)
I was told about her by Michael and the others.
But before I could ask in more detail, the sadness of losing Raphael had sunk into them, and they were not in a state where I could ask them about it.
That’s why I wanted them to get back on their feet even if I had to use the silver tongue of Yorishiro that was borderline brainwashing.
“Sunnysol Ates.” (Haine)
In order to ask in more detail about this woman that is deeply connected with Lucifer.
“The Priestess of Lucifer. That’s how she called herself.” (Michael)
Michael answers me.
“She told us that she is the one who will speak the will in the stead of the still unawakened Lucifer-sama. The representative that will hear out the words of Lucifer-sama for the sake of accomplishing Lucifer-sama’s objective. That’s how she explained herself.” (Michael)
“And in reality, her ability to take action was good. She managed to find our hiding without any difficulty, and brought us to the castle where Lucifer-sama was sleeping.” (Gabriel)
“When I actually saw Lucifer-sama sleeping, I was flabbergasted. At that time, we were still looking down on humans from the bottom of our heart, but it was because we saw that that we were able to accept that woman.” (Uriel)
The testimonies of the Demon Lords were coming out one after the other.
The more they say, the more agitated I got.
She is definitely not a woman we don’t know of.
That’s because she was the previous light hero.
But just before the fight against the Demon Lords, she was defeated by Yorishiro, and fled from the Light Church.
After that, her whereabouts were unknown.
We didn’t know where she was, but no one imagined that she would be at the side of the Demon Lords.
“I can’t believe that!!” (Karen)
Karen-san shouts as if speaking out the feelings of everyone.
“It is true that Ates-sama…no, Ates is a person that possesses something that we can’t gauge. That she would be perpetrating something that we wouldn’t be able to predict…!” (Karen)
I was unconscious at that time so I wasn’t present personally, but Ates apparently acted in a way that would make one doubt their eyes in the battle that would trigger her escape.
Using a lost art of the light divine users —swinging a divine tool that governs over the shadow divine power.
Not only that, she had a level of light divine power that rivalled that of Yorishiro without the need of a divine tool.
They finally managed to defeat Ates by having Karen-san become a God Hero, but that in itself makes her abnormal among abnormals within the humans.
“But even with that…! To think that she was the one pulling the strings in the Demon Lord battle is just…way too abnormal. It surpasses the limit of what a human would be able to scheme!” (Karen)
It is just as Karen-san says.
No matter how good of a schemer Ates is, managing to control the Demon Lords to destroy the world is just not on the level that a single human can manage in terms of method and objective.
“What if she is not just a mere human?”
Those muttered words gathered the attention of everyone.
Yorishiro was the one who said this.
“Ates-san was a person that gave out an abnormal aura since before she left us. Resourcefulness that can’t normally be seen in humans, divine power impossible for a human to possess; it is as if she was something that surpassed humans.” (Yorishiro)
“What would that be?” (Karen)
Karen-san couldn’t help but question.
“Are you saying Ates is not a human? Then what? A monster? A Demon Lord?” (Karen)
“Karen-san, I have heard that in your fight with the Demon Lords, you have met people that were the same as her.” (Yorishiro)
“In Muspelheim, Phalaris as the incarnation of the Fire God Nova; at Hydra Ville, the Water God Coacervate; and Mother Earth Mantle that became one with Sasae-san. Didn’t you speak directly with them?” (Yorishiro)
“The Gods that were far away and were the object of worship in the five Grand Churches. They have all been approaching humans one after the other. And the personage that we light devotees worship might have been right close by.” (Yorishiro)
Oi, wait, Yorishiro.
What are you trying to tell her?!
“That’s right. Sunnysol Ates is the incarnation of the Light Goddess, Inflation.” (Yorishiro)