“I don’t know how soft and easy-going the world you came from was. I don’t even want to know. But know this, the cruel reality calls upon everyone equally. What’s unreasonable is how suddenly it comes. Nothing will change if you just lament, scream and go mad about it. And that’s exactly why you need to act to change it. Do you understand? Ignorant hero-kun?”
“If you want to change this situation… if you want to save her, then take action. If you just keep on screaming and grieving, it will all be over in an instant, you know? A human’s life, that is…”
Hearing those words, feeling their weight, Taishi actually felt his body become heavier, as if gravity was doubled on him.
Taishi gritted his teeth, and raised his head.
“…What do I need to do? What do I need to do for you to release Chika?”
Taishi resolved himself, that that is the only thing he could do. Of course, he didn’t trust Avoros. But even still, he thought that even if there was a slight chance of helping Chika, he had to take action.
Avoros’ expression distorted to a smile and he said,
“You do know that war will break out soon?”
“I will also have you join that war. There, I will have you fight the person I tell you to.”
“….Who is this person?”
“Is there a need for you to know that now?”
“Kuku, well, I guess it’s fine. Then I will tell you. Your opponent will be…”
Taishi just looked at Avoros without even blinking and with a tensed expression. And Avoros just silently said,
“…the remaining heroes.”
“….?! ….You really are the worst.”
“You know that from the start, right? But, even still… you won’t decline, will you?”
They looked at each other for a while. One with a gaze full of bloodlust and the other with an amused gaze.
But in case of Taishi, if he rejects now, his position will only get worse and, in the worst case scenario, he might get Chika killed too. And of course, he also knows that Avoros knows.
And that’s exactly why, even while he was burning with anger, he was not going to let it explode.
“…..I understand. But, if you break your promise, I will kill you!”
“Kukuku, that’s interesting. I don’t think you would be able to do that but what I am saying is the truth. It’s not a lie.”
“Also, I won’t kill Shuri and the others. I will go back to our previous world with them!”
“Hmmm… well, that is fine with me. I don’t think we will be able to kill the heroes in the war in the first place and I am only asking you to capture them.”
“Then……. I accept.”
“But, they are now a member of the demon lord’s army. As such, they will also fight us seriously, you know? Can you fight them with all your strength?”
“That’s what you want, right? Then, I don’t have a choice.”
Although he was talking as if he had affirmed his resolve, his expression looked like his heart was being overwhelmed by pressure and he was enduring it all.
“Ahaha, alright then. Then, I will have you show me your resolution. According to my predictions, they will probably make a move soon. How they will move–that’s not for you to think about. You just need to be prepared to fight whenever. I also gave you… that, right?”
Taishi looked even more frustrated.
“Well, it’s up to you whether you use it or not but don’t forget that your death might also lead to that child’s death.”
After saying that much, Avoros left the place with a smile.
Taishi, who was left behind, looked at Chika again, who was floating inside the crystal.
“I will definitely save you… no matter what happens… definitely.”
In this war, he will also probably meet Shinobu and Shuri, whom he was wanting to meet…… but as enemies.
It would be great if they just quietly follow him but judging from the fact that they have also joined an army, they are also probably not allowed to act selfishly.
He might have to actually fight them in the battlefield. If that happens, there was a need for him to restrain them without hurting them.
But, if Taishi is up against the two of them, there was a chance he would get captured instead. That would risk the success of the mission and would threaten Chika’s life. In other words, he couldn’t lose.
Taishi put his hand into his pocket and brought out something after searching for a while. It was an irregular-shaped, deep-red crystal.
While gazing at that stone, he closed his eyes.
“…I will just have to do it.”
In that quiet space, only Taishi’s will of firm resolution reverberated.