Chapter 1: Disappointment and Choice
The shadow figure was sitting at my table looking quite amused.
「I am a carrier that can be anywhere, anytime. I will not force you to decide. If you are fine with your current situation, I will certainly understand it. 」
My eyelids are trembling. I am looking directly at this shadow creature covered in black, but at the same time, my eyes are not capturing anything. Maybe it is because of the darkness surrounding me.
Who is this figure? What does he want? He appeared abruptly out of nowhere and suddenly started talking as he pleased, saying that he would give me an opportunity.
Why? What is the purpose and meaning of this?
「I understand why you are asking that question. Well, the answer is quite easy to answer. However, I apologize. I cannot tell you the reason why at this moment. I really can’t. 」
He heard exactly what I said on my mind. This figure is indeed a supernatural being.
I can’t move my body as if it’s frozen. I can’t even make any movement on my fingertips. My mouth is sealed. But he got my attention and kept talking.
「I understand your hesitation. There is no way you will immediately trust me; I’m sure you wouldn’t like to be a sheep blindly following the words of a wolf. But well, I am neither a persuader nor a negotiator. I’m just a carrier. 」
Of course. How can I trust a mysterious figure who appears here out of nowhere and professes such strange words? That’s right. I cannot trust this occurrence.
Consequently, he read my heart but continued with his monologue.
「I am a carrier. Therefore, I can give you the possibility to redraw your life. You have the freedom to choose either you want to take this opportunity or reject it. However, I need to tell you one thing first. 」
His distant voice was coming from the dark shade of my room; at first it seemed cold, undirected to me, but right now, this figure’s voice became quite clear in my head.
「We are trying to give you an opportunity, but like any gift given, there is an interest of sorts. That is the reality and of course, it should matter. We never give something that is useless to God. I came here to give you an opportunity that will be beneficial for us as well. 」
At first, I thought all this nonsense talk was some sort of joke. Now, it seems his words are sincere and unquestionable. Even so, that doesn’t mean I can trust his words yet.
「It is only once. This is a one-time opportunity. You are lucky to have the right to choose what your heart desires. Now then. 」
This annoying figure finally stopped talking, but it demands an answer; what should I say.
It makes me feel pressured to give an answer. I have no information, no facts. I’ve been confronted by this situation out of nowhere and it requests an answer just like that, abruptly. There is no way I can trust any of this.
My mouth opens. I can feel the air pressure through my throat. It seems I will be able to talk. If I make a loud voice right now, my party members might notice. But if I do that, I will have to withdraw faster than usual. I might be killed by this figure instantly. Either way, it’s my team and my role to play.
Ah that’s right, I have a role to play. I have to protect the team if the members are in danger… I had already accepted it… Eventually I will die for that cause. That is my duty to perform. Therefore, my answer is decided.
「Fear not, as I’ve told you before I’m just a Carrier, your party is safe. 」
The Shadow’s words came naturally.
This cannot be trusted. This may be a trap. If I behave suspiciously, it might strike me back with some sort of magic. Even so. Ah, even so. I don’t think I can do anything to escape this.
「Very surprising! You seem to be quite conflicted, even though you are a very straightforward man. Then, I should assume that you will obviously refuse this opportunity. 」
On that moment, that shadowy form regained its momentum as if he heard my heart.
Certainly, this is what I should be doing. I will not sacrifice my party members, even if that means losing my life. However, I noticed something.
「…I understand. I finally figured it out. This situation won’t change at all, I’m just wasting time for the inevitable ending. I am a disgrace. 」
My body started to move slowly. However, I did not have enough energy to grab my sword. I am such a disappointment.
「You will eventually give up. However, I do not know how much time that will take. 」
He didn’t say any words after that. My mouth is also silenced, though there are unanswered words, I could no longer speak. Therefore, the conversation just stopped.
I took a step back and closed my eyes. I could imagine Ariene’s* face. There is no better treasure or better beautiful sight. Only her appearance is reflected on my eyes. During this journey, I was able to notice the various aspects of her personality.
A beautiful profile; a healthy and brave woman displaying an affectionate smile.
Moreover, her gaze followed this man called Hero, showing signs of fondness.
I did not give up. I was never going to give up. Certainly, someday my feelings would be answered. In my heart, I always had hope. Yet, it never truly happened.
There was nothing in me but a broken heart; I felt inertia towards the party just by the fact that she is with him and not with me.
I will certainly give up on this journey. Give up on everything.
「If I give up on everything, I will not have to bear a painful feeling anymore. 」
「You will have to take someone’s hand. Be it either a wolf’s hand or a demon’s hand. 」
The shadow figure approached me gently.
That’s right. I no longer have anything. If I can’t have Ariene*, then I don’t have purpose in life. If I can restart my life, then let’s do it, even if I have to make a contract with the devil.
「Prepare yourself, Lugis. This is a great chance for you. I will give that new opportunity! I am the one that will carry you! 」
Mysteriously, that shadowy form that I could not see before is standing right in front of me, illumined by the moonlight.
I might be hallucinating, but I could no longer see a shapeless shadow. Nonetheless, the light reflected on the shape this Shadow.
It was a figure with an unmistakable human form; he looked at me with a wicked smile across his face, just like a devil.
Translator Note; *Ariene: In the Japanese Novel she is actually called Arieno, but to not confuse the western readers into thinking she is a he, we will continue using Ariene.
EN: Did you notice the shadow mention that he is only a carrier?