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Dolls

Chapter 35.3 – The Curtain Falls

 

[Phillka’s PoV]

My goal was to fuse Asklasua’s feet with the ground, so that we could torture and interrogate him later, but… The alchemy tattoo in my arms went out of control, and the output ended up far higher than what I intended it to be.

The result was that Asklasua’s whole body merged with the ground. He was completely petrified… And then, a few seconds later, his body became dust.

Did I kill him?

… Somehow, I have a feeling that this isn’t it. Or rather, I feel like I didn’t even harm him.

(His soul probably escaped. To that man, his body is nothing more than a replaceable vessel.) Kajero explained. Seems like he was able to talk again, now that Asklasua was no longer here, (Also, I have a feeling that the sage is an existence that is similar to me. Though I’m not quite sure why.)

So, he is a spirit of sorts? That would explain his mysterious powers and knowledge to some extent, (Do you know anything else, Kajero? Don’t you two have any history together?) I asked him.

(He most likely knows me, but… As far as I recall, this is our first meeting.) Kajero replied.

(Don’t get me wrong, but it’s hard to believe you’re being truthful when considering how much hatred you were showing for that guy.) I told him. It just didn’t make any sense for the normally calm Kajero to be that hostile to someone we had just met.

(I don’t understand my own reaction in all honesty.) Kajero simply said. I felt as if he was shrugging his shoulders now.

(I see…) Was all that I could say. I didn’t know if Kajero was lying or not, but I could understand that there was no point in pressuring him on this matter. I’m talking to Kajero after all, he won’t say it unless he wishes to.

Though this much is fine. Part of being a genius includes knowing when I shouldn’t dive too much into other people’s matters. It’s better to just wait until he is ready to talk.

Therefore, let’s stop worrying about it and focus on the matter at hand. I’ll collect this sand that was once the body of Sage Asklasua, so that I can analyze it when I’m home… And then, I’m leaving this prison.

***

Once I finished collecting the sand, we started our escape. My arms were in a horrible state due to the alchemy going a bit wild when petrifying the sage, so I needed to hurry home to get it treated… Nonetheless, it was still easy to bend the iron bars of the cell with the help of Kajero’s power.

Like this, I escaped my imprisonment and started running. I was far faster than I had ever been, faster than even a horse perhaps.

In the middle of my sprint, I saw a man in robes who was probably part of the kidnapping group. I swiftly approached him and grabbed his head, putting sleep magic on him by borrowing Kajero’s powers.

(I’m gonna be hiding out presence deep within our consciousness, this will make it harder for them to detect us.) Kajero told me.

(That’s quite convenient… As expected of the King of Evil Spirits.) I replied.

(How did you know that name…?

(Ah, of course, the sage called me that.) Kajero answered his own question.

(I knew you weren’t just a normal spirit, but still, it’s quite the honour to know you.) I told him.

Though his actions now don’t seem to fit his fame much… The legends say that the King of Evil Spirits was once summoned by the kind king of Nephil. Once the summoning was completed, the personality of the king was completely changed. He became a ruthless slaughterer, killing any who dared defying him.

He also became paranoid and killed all of his loyal retainers due to fearing their betrayal… Eventually, he even killed the queen due to suspecting her of having an affair.

After that, he burned the main temple of the kingdom. And only then, he realized all that he had done… Which led to his suicide, as he was unable to cope with his evil deeds.

If the legend is to be taken as truthful, the summoning of Kajero destroyed Nephil in less than a year… And yet, he hardly seems like someone who’d do this kind of thing.

But at the same time, he did not deny the title of ‘King of Evil Spirits’…

(You scared?) Kajero suddenly asked me, (I can break your mind and take your body away at any moment if I wanted to.)

(But you won’t do it, for I am useful for Altirea.) I instantly replied, (Though I can imagine that you wouldn’t even hesitate to kill someone that tried harming her, right?)

(But of course. My world revolves around the young lady.) Kajero said.

(I see… It’s love.) Those unexpected words came out of my mouth.

I lived my entire life dedicating myself to alchemy, I was a recluse who couldn’t be compared to the people my age, and that didn’t bother with making contact with others… And yet, a word like ‘love’ just came out of my mouth… It really doesn’t suit me, does it?

And yet… It doesn’t feel bad to say it. And I feel like I might be right.

I remember that a small while ago, Kajero said that my biggest rival in love would be Feria… I don’t think that’s true. The biggest obstacle would definitely be Kajero.

(A deep love that comes from the bottom of your heart… That’s it, isn’t it?) I asked him.

(It’s different. I have a lot of respect and loyalty for the young lady.) Kajero replied.

(Is that so? But Altirea is still a human girl in the end. She’ll move through her days, one by one, and before long she’ll be an adult… At that point, it wouldn’t be strange for her to marry someone.

(Would you be fine with that?) I asked him.

(As long as the person is someone who deserves to stay by the lady’s side, then I’d gladly congratulate him.) Kajero replied.

(And if he don’t deserve it, you’d eliminate him?

(Isn’t this a case of ‘nobody will ever deserve the hand of my lady’?) I asked him, but he did not reply.

… Perhaps in the future, I’ll have to duel Kajero if I wish to be together with Altirea. My opponent is a spirit with the same kind of power that the ancient gods had… Definitely a worthwhile challenge for a genius!

With this in mind, as I moved through the cave and made short work of the enemies in it by borrowing Kajero’s powers, I paid extra attention to how his power worked as I used it. Right now, I have a golden opportunity to analyze Kajero’s powers while I have access to them myself, I’ll make the most of it, so that I can make use of this information in the future to defeat him!

And like that, as I ran in extremely high speed while searching for the next opponent, I bumped into a fat priest. He ended up flying away and hitting his head, (Did I kill him?) I asked.

(He’s just unconscious.

(We should take him home with us, Phillka.) Kajero answered.

(… Is there anything that this fat man can offer, that will make it worth the trouble of carrying this obese body all the way home?) I wondered.

(He definitely has something, for he is High Priest Rofen. The mastermind behind the recent troubles we went through.) Kajero explained.

… I couldn’t believe it. This guy was the mastermind? Not some incredible mage that would be a proper rival for the genius me, but this…?

It was just so easy to settle this… I couldn’t help rolling my eyes at this conclusion.

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