Mistral had his body cut and slowly fell to his knees. And then, silence came… A normal knight would have instantly died from this.
But for an Agarm, this doesn’t have to mean it is fatal.
I was breathing heavily as I raised my dragon longsword.
“I am gonna cut you into pieces till you are dust…” (Solje)
If I do that, even you would go to the otherworld, right? …If even that doesn’t work, at least stay in place till we defeat Arianrhod.
“Bye, Mistral—?!” (Solje)
At that moment, I felt something. Right before my body could react to that chill, a wolf had jumped into my vision.
“Watch out, Captain!!” (Jean)
Jean shouts and jumps onto something that was at my back.
Jean is floating in the air?! No, that’s it. Arianrhod? She was going to help Mistral and tried to kill me from behind! That’s scary, I couldn’t react till the very moment she was about to do it!!
“Damn it, a Zeruaga getting ahead of themselves! Riel!!” (Solje)
“Okay, leave it to me!! …Crystal that holds the true light of knowledge! It is time, use your light and clear away the tremor of the Spirit World!! [Aqua Aura]!!” (Riel)
The Forest Elf used her massive amount of mana that’s proof of her royal lineage to replicate the spell that the ancestors of the Diaros created in their Anti-Zeruaga sacred treasure!!
Light blue patterns hiding the knowledge to solve all puzzles appeared with Riel in the center, and spread on top of the floor. The training hall of Yukris Zahart was being illuminated in light blue.
“Grrrrrrrr!! Gyaa!!” (Jean)
A dull sound of being punched resounded, and right after, Jean’s body flew in the air.
But Jean twisted his body midair and managed to land on the floor with his legs. There shouldn’t be much damage with that. He was baring his fangs energetically and glaring at ‘her’.
Right, I can ‘see’ it too, you know?
Even though I haven’t gotten into direct contact with the Zeruaga, even though I haven’t been touched by her Authority…
The sacred treasure of the Diaros, and also the thing that the Bandit King, Yukris Zahart, wished for behementhly, the Zeruaga Killer, the Possession Crystal. It is right now being used in his own hideout and was showing its miracle.
Being basked in light blue light, that shadow was being edged into the world.
And then, with the mana of Riel Harveld that has inherited the blood of the Elf King, her existence will be forcefully planted into this world.
“Hm, that’s an ugly figure, Zeruaga!!” (Riel)
The girl speaks out exactly what she thinks.
Due to the Aqua Aura, Arianrhod had been dragged into our world, and that visible figure of hers was like that of an ugly mass of muscle.
They are indeed Twin Gods.
She looks exactly like Aggraias when she released her full power. Hideous swelled muscles, a size like that of a bear…and the feature that stands out the most is that she has four arms and legs.
“…Ara ara, so you made it so that you can see me, huh.” (Arianrhod)
“Yeah, we borrowed a bit of the knowledge of our predecessors.” (Solje)
“Oh my, you did well.” (Arianrhod)
The creepy wicked god opens her mouth into a grin.
Yeah, it is just as Jean said. She has a stench. A Goddess that has the scent of corpses. Her being the mother of the undead must be shown in that form of hers.
However, contrary to her appearance, her voice was beautiful. It may be crazy, but I feel motherly love from this Zeruaga.
“…Solje Strauss.” (Arianrhod)
“Why are you trying to get in my way? What is it you dislike?” (Arianrhod)
“…My original objective is to save Vashiri-jiisama and the others.” (Solje)
“Ara, my beloved Vashiri? What a good boy, Solje Strauss.” (Arianrhod)
“You could say that. You have the souls of Vashiri-jiisama and the others imprisoned, right?” (Solje)
“They promised that, you know? It was a proper exchange to borrow my Authority.” (Arianrhod)
“I am sorry, but can you revoke it?” (Solje)
“Why? Vashiri has obtained eternity, you know?” (Arianrhod)
“Eternal suffering, right? Become an undead and live an eternal hell.” (Solje)
“Really? The man who made this fortress, Zahart-kun, sought for the sacred treasure of the Diaros because he wished to meet me though.” (Arianrhod)
In other words, it wasn’t that Zahart…wanted to defeat a Zeruaga, he wanted to meet Arianrhod in this way? Probably in order to become an undead himself to live an eternity… A greedy man.
“It is true that undead stink, it hurts, and it might be tough. But you know, you won’t die anymore… In this world where only cruelty is present, you can obtain freedom.” (Arianrhod)
“But they will be bound to you.” (Solje)
“True. You won’t be able to get too far away from this Zakuroa. There will be times when you have to obey my orders no matter what. It will only be every now and then though. Is that a problem? They weren’t against forming a contract with me at all, you know?” (Arianrhod)
“It was a sacrifice to protect their homeland. They must have thought of it as an honor.” (Solje)
“That’s right. You know that much, and yet, why do you want to kill me that much?” (Arianrhod)
The giant and ugly head of Arianrhod tilted to the side.
That’s funny. Her expressions are plenty. It is a creepy monster, but you…can easily make other people like you.
“…I bowed to Vashiri-jiisan that I would free his soul.” (Solje)
“Oh my, so you were thinking about Vashiri? Thank you.” (Arianrhod)
An evil god thanks me. It really throws me off.
“Hey, Arianrhod. The souls of people should be free.” (Solje)
“Free? You mean lonely?” (Arianrhod)
“No, that’s not true, Arianrhod. Binding them with your Authority and maintaining their existence, that act is an insult to the death of people.” (Solje)
“…That may be true. But you…” (Arianrhod)
“Your important…and lost souls, I can provide a life where you live with them as undead. If I said that, what answer would you give? …That’s right, the very person you thought of in your heart.” (Arianrhod)
“…You can read minds?” (Solje)
I ended up thinking about Cecil. My 7 year old little sister…
“No, I don’t have such a power. I looked at your eyes, and noticed that someone like that existed. I am not wrong, right? …There’s someone, right? A small soul that has been sacrificed by this cruel world… You also have one. Ufufufu.” (Arianrhod)
A voice filled with affection.
It probably is. This Goddess is indeed filled with motherly love and mercifulness. With her Authority, she might be able to call my little sister to this world as an undead…
How appealing of an offer that is.
An exchange with her would easily solve an unbearable pain.
For example, the fear of death?
You can even lose something like that. That’s why Zahart-kun must have sought her.
And for me, this offer is much more enticing, but…she came to me telling me that I can even meet again with lost lives.
If I could live again with Cecil, even if she were an undead, I wouldn’t be able to reject her.
What divides people from people; the line of life and death. If you become the slave of Arianrhod, that disappears… Depending on the person, that would be a difficult invitation.
“Now, Solje Strauss. It is not as if I make a contract with just anyone, you know? Only people who have kindness and power. That’s why I didn’t do it with Zahart-kun.” (Arianrhod)
“I see, Zahart was a bandit. In the end, he would only be a man that would go for killing while following his own desires.” (Solje)
“Yeah, if you are going to kill, you need mercy. If not, it would be pitiful for the children that die, don’t you think?” (Arianrhod)
“…It is those kinds of parts from you that are crazy.” (Solje)
“Ara? What part?” (Arianrhod)
“…Even if it is children who have gotten a tragic fate. You invite them to death… Why does someone kind like you do something like that?” (Solje)
I know that you awakened the beastkin of Jean in the orphanage he grew up in, and slaughtered all the orphans and staff there.
“Because there’s only pain in this world.” (Arianrhod)
“Weak children can only be abused, exploited, dyed in pain, and regret their very birth as they die in front of me.” (Arianrhod)
“…Is that why Mother gave me the power?” (Jean)
Jean returns to his human form and stands up. The smelly and merciful Arianrhod opens her four arms wide for Jean.
“That’s right, Jean! You did well!! You saved the children from the suffering, and managed to save them from the evil adults!! Come here, let me give you a hug!” (Arianrhod)
But Jean didn’t walk to her.
He didn’t walk to the side of the only one that he has called Mother in his life.
Her four arms retract in dejection.
“Ara, don’t want to be pampered then. What a shame.” (Arianrhod)
“…Yeah. At that time, I was about to die from fever, and you saved me. I thank you for that.” (Jean)
“You’re welcome. You are a strong boy, so you managed to live for the share of all of them.” (Arianrhod)
“…Yes, I managed to live on. Thanks to the help of everyone.” (Jean)
“That’s right, that’s fine, Jean.” (Arianrhod)
Jean grows tearful at the words of Arianrhod.
Riel got pissed by that attitude of his and was about to go punch him, but I stopped her with my arm.
“‘It is okay’. Our comrade Jean Redwood said that, you know. Let’s leave this to him, Riel-chan.” (Solje)
Riel-chan simply nodded back.
“I see, you are happy? I am glad that your life was a worthy one. You were able to enjoy life together with the children that you ate, didn’t you?” (Arianrhod)
“…Yeah, I was saved by you. You did. But…even so, Mother…” (Jean)
“Ara, what is it?” (Arianrhod)
“What I did at that time…what you made me do at that time…was a bad thing!” (Jean)
“Really? What part?” (Arianrhod)
“I k-killed everyone!! The children that were raised together with me, sinless children!!” (Jean)
“Right. Everyone was crying about how much it hurt and how painful it was… But the pain was only at that moment. After that, those children never cried again.” (Arianrhod)
“T-That may be true… We may not have been happy there… We might have passed a tragic life there forever…!” (Jean)
“That’s right, I have seen so many children like that. Punched, stolen, abused, killed. I can feel the fate of the unfortunate children. That’s why I stay by their side, and in time they meet an unfortunate fate, and when they die, I turn them into undead and let them play in this forest.” (Arianrhod)
That’s…most likely not something she did out of malice. Riel is also biting her lips. She is troubled.
This Goddess is providing deep love to the orphans in a way that we can’t.
That in itself isn’t wrong. The Mama that the children drew was pink or yellow.
Even when hugged by those hideous arms, everyone smiled. They probably didn’t have those moments of respite in their lives.
“…But Mother…” (Jean)
“What, Jean?” (Arianrhod)
“I managed to be happy.” (Jean)
“Because you are strong.” (Arianrhod)
“That’s not it! That’s not what I am trying to say!!” (Jean)
“What is it, then? For someone like me who has seen 10,047 people like that, I can’t understand.” (Arianrhod)
She has seen that many unfortunate children’s deaths? And she counted them all without forgetting it. That definitely is something that would make someone go crazy.
“Even a sinful person like me…with encounters, coincidences…effort, and a bit of luck…I was able to arrive at a place where I could be happy!!” (Jean)
“Isn’t that great, Jean? I am happy about that.” (Arianrhod)
Arianrhod claps with her four arms. She is celebrating the life of Jean. Jean probably feels happy about this.
But even so, he wipes off his tears and clenched his teeth.
“Even I managed to be happy! T-That’s why…!! The children that you killed might have had a…happy future!!” (Jean)
The applause of Arianrhod stops at the shout of Jean.
“Why are you saying something like that? …Jean, that’s an impossibility. The weak and pitiful children wouldn’t have been able to be happy. Only you. It is because of your great strength that you managed to push away the misfortune.” (Arianrhod)
“Wrong!! It isn’t only about strength! There’s no way someone can become happy with only something like that!!” (Jean)
“Then why is it that those 10,047 didn’t manage to be happy?! Not a single one of them!!” (Arianrhod)
A bitter shout.
Arianrhod, that anger, that sadness; what you direct to the children is most likely true love. But…even so…
“Y-You are incredibly intelligent! You held overwhelming power!! Y-You lived a truly long time…got warped by pain…as you watched the children face their suffering.” (Jean)
“That’s right!! The world is crazy! Broken!! This world is WEIRD!! Why are there so many unfortunate children?! Why are the adults of this world dropping them into misfortune as if nothing?!” (Arianrhod)
“I know! I also know the cruelty of this world!! Even so…listen, Mother…” (Jean)
Those words are probably ones that the merciful Arianrhod wouldn’t be able to go against.
Calling a four armed ugly monster as Mother…and coloring her in pink and yellow with crayons; children wouldn’t do that so easily, right? Even that drawing had you smiling with that big mouth of yours.
Arianrhod’s smiles in motherly love.
“What is it, Jean…?” (Arianrhod)
“…The world is incredibly cruel. There’s a lot of people that want to be happy, but can’t. Even so…even with that…Mother…you must not take away the future of the children!!” (Jean)
“T-That’s right! A future where they might be happy! 10,000 might not have managed to be, but what about now?! What about the children that come after?! Those children could be the ones!!” (Jean)
“Jean…those chances are incredibly…incredibly low…” (Arianrhod)
“Regardless of that! Dorothy…told Captain and I that she believed in the future, you know?!!” (Jean)
…I see. You saw Dorothy at that time too…No, even if you couldn’t see her, I wasn’t the only one who heard her?
…Maybe the one she wanted to tell that to wasn’t me…but Jean. The same child of Arianrhod, Jean. So that’s how it is, Dorothy. Then watch. Jean will tell Mama what you want to say.
“Do-Dorothy…N-No way. No way…!!” (Arianrhod)
“It is fine already, Mother! You don’t need to suffer anymore!! Please don’t kill anymore children! Believe in them, believe in the future of the children you love!!” (Jean)
And then, Jean activates the last resort.
A giant wolf.
He transforms into it.
The form that he showed Garf and I the first time we met him.
“…Mother!! I will end the painful kindness that you have continued on for many years!! My name is Jean! Jean Redwood!! With this life you gave me, with this power!! …I will at least give you a merciful death!!” (Jean)