The Black Demon King 482
Edited by Enki
“Please allow me to introduce myself once again, my name is Kuroe. On this occasion, I’m filling the role of the Priest of the 202nd colony. I’m officially a temporary successor of Priest Nicolay, I pledge to do my best at executing the Holy duties?. Thank you all.”
Our introduction began in a big way, in front of the great number of people who had gathered at the church.
That’s right, I’m actually hiding in this village as a priest when in reality I killed a lot of the Crusaders’ soldiers, had sex with the Seventh Apostle Sariel, and even gained the Demon King’s protection.
However, I can’t help but do this. To be honest, I can’t even think of any better ideas.
So I’m now impersonating a priest while dressed in a pure white priest’s robe. It seems that Nikolay, the priest who died during the raid, was a person of advanced age, large build, and fortunately, wore a size that fits me perfectly.
I’m also wearing those ‘Coloring eyes’ that change my eye color and make me look more intellectual, at least I hope they do. Please don’t call me an intellectual gangster.
Besides that, I can’t calm down. I can relax my body more than when I’m using my cursed equipment, but I still need to adapt to the Cross Church that symbolizes this robe.
I managed to flawlessly finish the greeting I had frantically planned even through my suppressed discomfort. Even I noticed that I was nervous as I expressed myself. The stiffness induced by my nerves makes it physically impossible to show a calm smile.
And now, the villagers’ reactions…
“Oh, that person was the Priest…”
“Then, have you passed God’s judgment on those violent Crusaders?”
“Priest Kuroe, thank you.”
“We’re counting on you, Priest Kuroe!”
They tried to sully God’s name. It appears that my slaughtering of those Crusader Soldiers was well received, as the villagers seem to be relieved and satisfied.
Moreover, I’m pretty sure Randolph has already laid the groundwork in advance.
“I’m Yuuri. I devote myself as a nun along with my brother.”
“As you can see, Yuuri has lost her limbs and is disabled, but she has never lost faith in God. She’ll definitely carry out her duties as a nun sister.”
She’ll appeal to the hearts of those who don’t have faith in God. With Sariel’s beautiful face and her pitiful condition, it turned into a moving atmosphere quite easily.
“Getting to the point, I think we should hold a ceremony for the victims of this raid. Randolph, do you agree?”
“Yes, the arrangements for the cremations have already started.”
This had already been decided since the start.
In order to further introduce myself as a priest and increase my persuasiveness, I’ll start my first task as soon as possible.
But that’s not the only reason for the ceremony; it’s necessary to hold funerals for the villagers that were killed and to bury the Crusader soldiers quickly, as the untreated corpses may give rise to plagues, monsters, or undead.
And so, we hurried the preparations on the outskirts of the village and carried everything to the graveyard.
Even though it’s a graveyard, what I see in front of me is the Fairy Garden, nothing but a snowy field. And in the middle were a large number of remains arranged in a line and covered with cloth, alongside with the firewood for the cremation and the wooden crosses to be used as markers for their graves.
In this new graveyard, surrounded by many sad villagers, my first task as Priest Kuroe begins.
“Oh, our Father who art in heaven…”
God had never received a more heartfelt prayer.
That utterance that passed the lips of almost all those hateful Crusaders; a prayer to God. As they attempted to kill me they shouted out to their God, asking for salvation.
I was now speaking those lines that were the most foreign to me.
“May God give you his Blessing!”
However, there wasn’t any lightning falling on top of my head or wrath coming from the White God from this cleared up winter sky,
Nothing is going to happen, after all, this is all about words.
“Aha… God’s Blessing…”
“May God bless us!!”
However, at least for the Sinclairs, these words do have a mystical effect that might cause miracles. For them, if you say those words there’s a real meaning to it.
That’s right, back when their families and close ones died, their lovers, their friends, their acquaintances, and neighbors: no one said any of these lines when they had to part ways forever.
They are crying as they make their prayers to their God.
I managed to somehow swallow a sigh that was about to slip out.
I must calm down and remain silent, this is just my work, I must concentrate on my acting.
The actual preparations were all already managed by Mayor Randolph himself, I just have to pretend to pray and read the Bible in my hands; a very simple job.
“Gospel of Levier, Chapter 5, verse four. Page 1 until the 12th line.”
“We are all sad. However, God’s love will surely comfort us…”
Besides, Sariel will only listen to me and indicate what I have to read. She’s a perfect support.
Even though the meaning of everything written there is pure gibberish, I’ll solemnly read aloud this other world’s language’s citation with all I’ve got.
I have a family sobbing in front of me, and the others were all wearing grieving expressions. I can’t even tell if they heard that I’m going to read aloud from the Bible, but even so, Sariel stated that I must think of it as BGM required for the Cross Church funerals, so I started reading.
Despite all that, the funeral went on smoothly.
“This pure soul will certainly be led to the paradise of Eden in heaven, may you reach our God…”
As I spoke those lines the great number of deceased villagers piled up, and the remains of the 27-man Crusader Army I killed myself were being carried into the fire afterwards.
It seems that for the Cross Church, burial is ideal, but if the church doesn’t take responsibility for the aftercare, then there’s a risk of them becoming undead. Therefore, cremation is chosen when the church isn’t fully operational. After all, it’s not as if cremation was prohibited in the Cross Church doctrine; so as long as the funeral is held there’s no problem at all.
“Sacred song, chant in unison.”
It seems there’s a custom of singing along with the roaring flames. As you would expect, there’s no way I can improvise a song, so this is where I’ll leave it to Sariel.
I carried Sariel like a ventriloquist’s dummy and shifted my posture as the acapella song began.
From Sariel’s mouth came out an elegant singing voice. It is a chant in unison, but no one is noticing I’m not even singing. The villagers reunited here only stared at Sariel as she sang alone, wearing an expression as if they were seeing a real miracle, and held their hands in prayer.
I wonder what’s going through their heads as they listen to this song being sung so beautifully. Perhaps the feelings induced by the song help them clear up their minds. Or do they perhaps feel as if they were being saved by it?
And then, I wonder what Sariel feels when she sings this song that praises God, the same God that left her alone and that she has already abandoned.
I’m no telepath, so I can’t know anyone’s feelings, I can only wonder like this.
Moreover, the only feelings I can understand are mine.
Just like them, I had once stood in this very place, grieving over the burning bodies of Nyareko, Nino, and the others, and all of the villagers of Ils, swearing revenge against the Cross Church for what they had done.
And now I’m here dressed as a Priest of the Cross Church, mourning along with the Sinclair people. Merely for form’s sake, but what the heck went wrong in this world for things to turn out like this?
In my surroundings, there’s not a single trace of truth, as if I were in a world where everything is coated with lies, where every corner is filled with emptiness.
Ahh, damn it. I wonder what I’m actually doing… I kept listening to Sariel’s sacred song while suppressing those self-deprecating feelings at the bottom of my heart.
After the funeral ended without incident, we gathered again in the church for another fake sermon; another passage of the Bible I have to read out loud, that kind of ceremony. At last, a greeting from Mayor Randolph and this day of work is finally over.
How should I put it? It was a very tiring day. I’d have an easier time fighting against Crusaders all day than doing this. Pretending to be a priest gives me a lot of mental fatigue.
Anyway, with this, I was released from the pressure of the first day. I went to the chapel of the church and took a breath, completely relieved that it went smoothly. Huh.
Sariel and I are Priest and Nun, so of course, this church is our residence now. There’s no reason for traveling one hour to repair Lily’s hut.
If we are the only ones here, the church would be a completely private and perfect residence and that would help us relax… but to be honest, there’s another person living with us.
“Hey, Kuroe, it’s me, Reki! I’m counting on you!”
One of them is a girl that speaks like a foreigner for some reason.
Her kinky, short, blond hair resembling dog ears bounced left and right with energy, she talked as she wore a bright expression on her face, she gives me an impression of being extremely lively.
A glaring girl with red hair that resembles an elf, that’s Reki.
“…I’m Ursula, nice to meet you.”
The other one is a girl that acts more grown-up.
A gentle light fills her blue eyes, although she’s a kid, she wears a mysterious expression. She has an exotic dark indigo skin tone which enhances her mysteriousness even more.
Ursula is a silver-haired dark elf with two ponytails.
“Kuroe, thanks for helping me yesterday!”
Yes, those are the girls I helped at the beginning.
They’re wearing the same deep blue habits I saw them in yesterday. In other words, I hear from Randolph that in this church reside the sisters, those that are apprentices.
Priest Nikolay made them both move to Pandora. It seems that even at the end there wasn’t a single caretaker so they had to bring someone for the orphanage out of necessity. Poor kids, I wonder if thinking like that is disrespectful in this situation. Anyhow, there’s no doubt that they had to go through more than their share of hardship.
“Don’t worry, I did what had to be done.”
Speaking of which, I hadn’t seen Ursula back in that storage shed, but perhaps Reki was hiding her. I can only remember that back when Reki was running away, Ursula was there too, making for a memorable black-and-white pair.
Even though they had to go through all these things, they express their gratitude in this way, so I’m sure they’re good girls.
I reflexively matched their line of sight while bending my knees, and stroked their heads.
“Huh-huh-huh, Kuroe, you don’t have to act in front of Reki!”
“W-what are you talking about?”
“Wait, I’ll protect the village, if you talk to me in that way it’s okay! You don’t need to hold back, no more!”
Reki’s voice sounded embarrassed but, still, her thoughtfulness reached me.
“Kuroe’s true form, Reki and I know it already… That’s why, now that we’re going to live together, you don’t need to act in front of us.”
Ohh, they sure are good children. I’ve been struggling to put on an act as a priest, I must look like an idiot.
“… I see, thank you Reki and Ursula. I’m counting on you from now on.”
And this is how our residence at the church with our lovely roommates started.
“Well, after all, we have to sleep together…”
The bedroom is the same as the one that Priest Nikolay used to use. The size is about four and a half tatami mats, there is a bed and a closet, and then a small desk with a chair, it truly feels like a bedroom that was only used for the purpose of sleeping.
During the apprenticeship of Reki and Ursula, they use the same room. It’s a small one like this one and the bed already occupies most of the space of the room.
Every room is small, as this is a small church in the remote countryside, so it can’t be helped.
In other words, we can’t have separate rooms with Sariel. Moreover, if you line up two beds in a room, there wouldn’t be any space left.
“I’m okay even on the floor.”
“So you would have the little sister on the floor while I take the bed all for myself? What a devilish big brother.”
If by some chance someone sees that scene, I wouldn’t have any excuses. At the best of times, it’d look like thin-ice trust, that’d certainly crack and collapse.
“… I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry, I don’t really care that much about it.”
I showed courage by saying that, to be honest, I have a rational reluctance towards sleeping together with Sariel. Of course, I can say for fact that I wouldn’t get carried away with lust for Sariel ever again, but… I can’t say that I don’t feel anything at all.
If we huddle together in bed, and I end up getting get sexually aroused even a little bit, I’d feel that horrible disgust again.
However, avoiding Sariel more than necessary would be unmanly. It’s a single room, and there’s only one bed. So, I’ll just go along with that. As long as I can resist my natural urges, there’s nothing to worry about.
“Alright, then let’s sleep.”
Sariel, dressed in a simple white robe, lay down with a flop onto the bed. I joined in and covered myself with a blanket. When I turned off the lights, the room became completely dark.
It’s a quiet night, I can’t see or hear anything. That’s why I can feel even more keenly the warmth that Sariel’s body transmits.
I said so while staring at the ceiling in the middle of the darkness.
“Starting tomorrow, teach me more about the Cross Church. At least as much as you can without getting us exposed.”
The only thing that came back as a response was that single cold word. She can’t say no.
I hate the Cross Church, but I don’t pretend to keep away from it for that reason. I should learn more about my enemy, otherwise, I’d be acting like a fool.
I’m Sariel’s ally… although I’m still unsure, we are together and beyond that, I probably need to learn more about the Cross Church by now.
I have heard that the United States studied Japan during the Pacific War. In short, study your enemies and learn more about yourself, that kind of cycle.
However, it’d be good to leave it there for today. It’s not that late yet, but I’d rather get to sleep early today. I’m gonna do my best tomorrow.
And I closed my eyes with those half-hearted feelings.
“There’s also something that I’d like to learn from you too.”
It was unexpected from Sariel.
“What would that be?”
Why would she ask? Such a stupid question. That’s something she doesn’t even need to know. Especially for her, who let me live and who I didn’t let die.
“Where should I start…”
“From when you first came to this world. Anything about you when you lived in Japan I can still see in Shirasaki Yuriko’s memories.”
“But I don’t recall talking to Shirasaki-san.”
“The Kurono from high school, Shirasaki Yuriko already knows Kurono Mao really well.”
“… She really is honorable.”
It seems that Shirasaki really liked me back then. She might have heard about me in the literary club. Maybe she asked that Saika guy about me… No, he wasn’t the type who could keep a secret.
“That’s why I want to know about the Kurono Mao of this world.”
Except for the final battle in Galahad, I’ve only met Sariel twice. That time when I escaped from the laboratory and when I climbed Daedalus’ wall. And I didn’t have any spare time to say a single thing about me on either occasion.
Sariel doesn’t know a single thing about me.
“There’s one condition.”
“What is it?”
“Tell me about you.”
I don’t know about Sariel either. I had a glimpse of her memories because of the Back Door, but I could only see fragments. I don’t know any details.
Sariel didn’t have any objections. As for me, I can’t say there isn’t any reluctance.
Still, if I’m going to be with Sariel this much, I’d better get to know her better. And I should tell her more about myself.
If we do that, will we understand each other better?
Would I be able to forgive Sariel? And would she forgive me?
I don’t know, but that’s something I must do.
“But I’m going to sleep today. I’m tired after everything.”
I said so one-sidedly and finally closed my eyes. The drowsiness immediately began taking my consciousness to another world.
“Alright, good night.”
Sariel’s calm voice echoed comfortably.