1033: Unacceptable Feelings
The negative feelings pouring in from Fannabelta finally calmed down.
『I’m okay now.』
Fran held me in her arms as she glared at Trismegistus.
「This was our reward?」
There was no emotion in Trismegistus’ voice, even though he had just lost his beloved sword, his lifelong partner.
I couldn’t even feel anger anymore.
There was only pity.
For Fannabelta, who was called unnecessary by the one she had served for so many years. For Trismegistus, who showed no grief despite losing his partner.
Was there anything in those eyes? Just a tiny bit of emotional turmoil? Maybe he was grieving after all? Did he want to put Fannabelta to rest before she went completely mad? Or was it just my desire and Fannabelta’s emotions making it seem that way?
Fran’s ears drooped. She must have thought something similar. Her earlier anger and killing intent had vanished, and she seemed to feel sympathy for Trismegistus and Fannabelta.
It must be horrifying how utterly different they were from us. Like an encounter with the unknown. She tightened her grip on the arms holding me.
「I know your sword has the Cannibalize ability. Thus, I decided to grant you power.」
『Do you have a spare of Fannabelta somewhere? Like a backup of her memory or something?』
「There is no such thing.」
In other words, he’ll serve out his divine punishment alone for the rest of eternity? I know the guy deserves it, but that’s just……
Trismegistus’ figure suddenly blurred after he answered our question.
「Hmm. It seems I have reached the limit of――」
Trismegistus suddenly dissipated into nothingness. There must be a limit for the amount of time he could remain outside the barrier. At about the same time, Izario regained consciousness.
「Fran… that you……?」
「Izario, are you okay?」
「……A lot better than I thought I’d be. Why?」
『Thanks to Trismegistus.』
I explained to Izario about how Trismegistus used Original Sin Envy to save him.
Izario seemed to accept my words without doubt.
「I’m a valuable asset to him, so it makes sense.」
『He apparently stole a few hours of your time, but how do you feel?』
We checked out Izario’s condition. He still felt the wear and tear from before we arrived at the castle, but was otherwise completely fine. After quickly getting back up, he was able to walk without issue.
Or rather, he even regained the levels that should have been lost as the price of divine sword usage.
He might even be able to fight in this condition. Afterward, I explained all of Trismegistus’ actions behind the scenes.
『Izario, what do you think of Trismegistus now?』
It’s not like my sense of justice is telling me he needs to die. But I also don’t have the tolerance to forgive him just because I feel a bit sorry.
I think I’d prefer him gone, but it’s not like we can kill him or anything. Isn’t there even a possibility of divine punishment if we interfere with his mission? So there’s really nothing we can do?
『I don’t have any clue what to do with him anymore……』
「I know it’s frustrating, but you have to understand that’s how it is and give up. No matter what we say, Trismegistus won’t change, and there’s literally nothing we can do about him. Besides, we’re technically the ones trespassing on the continent.」
「He said that only those who can fight are allowed to stay.」
「I suppose that’s one strategy.」
『But we need a source of production to support the military, right? That means we need towns, and any large gathering of people will result in the birth of children and population expansion.』
Sure, Trismegistus might consider a lot of those people pointless. But there are blacksmiths, alchemists, cooks, etc. Aren’t such craftsmen necessary to support the dragonkin fighting within the barrier?
「Trismegistus has no need for supplies, and the dragonkin are capable of passing through the barrier. There’s no reason we absolutely require frontline bases on the inside. Trismegistus must have calculated that having such a huge population feeding the antidemons was making things less efficient.」
Gordicia was originally the land for Trismegistus and the dragonkin to atone for their sins. Moreover, the gods said that those without the ability to fight should not enter.
And if anyone dares to interfere with his atonement, they risk getting eliminated. Basically, all who pass through the barrier must live with the danger.
「Consider Trismegistus and antidemons to be natural disasters. You won’t make it long here if you can’t accept this fact.」
『……That may be true, but I just……』
「That’s fine too. Accepting things that easily will make you cynical. Like me.」
Izario laughed in self-mockery. Even he wasn’t as detached as he claimed. However, it’s certainly important for someone living on this continent.
That’s probably what he tells himself at least.
『So Trismegistus was the only winner in all of this?』
「……There’s no doubt this incident shaved off a great deal of the Abyss Eater’s power, and the legendary monster’s escape would mean the end of the world. I hate to say it, but he contributed to world peace. Think of it that way.」
『Yeah, true…… Besides, he lost Fannabelta. It’s not a flawless victory.』
As I was sighing, I saw someone running up to us.
「Izario, Fran! You okay!?」
「You guys alright too?」
It was Mea. The others with her seemed to be capable of moving as well.
The sphere form’s collision attack and everything afterward was really hectic, but it seems many managed to survive. They all naturally gathered at Izario’s side.
Everyone was in shambles. Even Orfalve’s high-quality dwarven armor was covered in holes.
Urushi carried Sophie, while two adventurers carried Ashwrath. Both of them were still unconscious.
That said, their numbers have dwindled. Adventurers, soldiers, and knights alike probably had less than half of their original members.
Still, we defeated the giant antidemon and ended the crisis. Many were busy mourning the dead and celebrating victory.
Also, there was no sign of the Holy Nation’s main forces. It seems they withdrew on their own. Well, they would have been useless without Adol, so not like it changed anything……
As much as we’d like to call it a day too, that’s not happening just yet. This army came here to check on the antidemon anomaly.
The better off members of our forces gathered to discuss our future course of action: Orfalve, Izario, Hagane’s Sakaki, the Knight Captain of Silard after returning, and finally Seliadot, who seemed to have a topic in mind. It’d be best if we could talk to Trismegistus too, but he literally tried to kill us a while back.
Well, I doubt he cares anymore, but just in case. I mean, there’s always a possibility he’ll attack us out of the blue for some reason that doesn’t make any sense.
And after his goal is accomplished, he’ll praise us again without any display of emotion.
I just can’t get along with Trismegistus. If possible, I’d rather not see him for a while. I need time to come to terms with these feelings.
Fran probably hates him even more than I do. Even if he didn’t kill anyone directly, his plan caused the death of many innocents, and he even tried to destroy me. She wasn’t angry enough to swear vengeance or anything, but seeing his face again would be more than enough to piss her off.
As I was thinking about this, Fran and Izario suddenly turned up to the sky. I noticed it too, just for the record.
A powerful vortex of mana far above us.
「Hey, what……? Is this divine energy?」
A burst of light suddenly descended upon us.