Chapter 99: The Gods and the People (2)
Before I knew it, Seiya and I were in a dark space. The whole area had an evil atmosphere and reeked of blood.
…Wa…Was this place the Demon King’s Castle…? Ugh…What a nauseating feeling…!
Suddenly, Seiya pulled my arm. He hid us behind the stone pillars that stood beside us. Although our voices, appearances, and movements were concealed and couldn’t be felt by a third party, Seiya was still a cautious hero. Therefore, he hid us behind the stone pillars as a precaution.
I took a small peek at the scene from behind the stone pillars. At a considerable distance from us, I saw that the Demon King Artemaeus of Exfolia had already transformed into his final form. He had a horrendous and monstrous figure with four arms raised to the sky.
「This power…What a fearsome devilish power! So, this is the power of the evil god! With this, I can finally change Exfolia into a demon world!」
He must’ve killed the hero and received the blessing of the evil god. The Demon King Artemaeus laughed wickedly, and then, he left this chamber. After observing the surroundings for a while, Seiya approached the place where the Demon King laughed victoriously. I followed Seiya closely behind without making a noise.
Unexpectedly, Seiya signaled me to stop my movement. It seemed that something fell a bit further away from us.
…Do…Don’t tell me…that was…!!
Seiya approached it alone. Then, he came back after a while.
「It seems the reckless idiot just died over there. 」
「Do…Do you mean that… 」
「Yeah. My old self. My head was crushed and my heart was gouged out. 」
Even after seeing his own corpse, Seiya spoke calmly as if he were talking about someone else.
「More importantly, Lista. How do you feel? Is there any change in your body? 」
「Cha…Change, you say…Hmm…I feel like throwing up…! 」
「That’s not what I was referring to, but. Hmm…It’s strange. According to what I’ve heard from Aria’s story, the Demon King killed Princess Tiana and then he killed me immediately after eating the child from her belly…」
Seiya nodded positively as if he figured out what was going on.
「Which means…I see. So, she’s still alive. 」
On this moment. My heart almost froze when I heard a painful thin voice coming from the other side of the dark chamber.
「Ri…Right now, whose voice is that!? Is someone else in here!? 」
「Over there. 」
I followed Seiya’s slowly steps. I took a long and deep breath.
「Seiya…Where… Where are you? 」
A bloody Princess Tiana stood right in front of me! A large amount of blood was coming from her abdomen and she bled from her eyes and mouth!
…Im…Impossible…!! Her abdomen was ripped apart and the baby was eaten…And yet I…Princess Tiana was still alive…!?
「It’s dark…It hurts…I’m scared… 」
How sad. Her eyes were no longer clear. She was losing consciousness. Even so, she battled against the fear of death, and crawled in the cold floor of this dark space.
「Seiya…It hurts…This is so painful…Seiya… 」
I couldn’t watch it anymore, so I turned my eyes away from Princess Tiana. And, when I turned around for a slight moment, I became utterly surprised.
It was because Seiya took off the cloak that Chronoa offered us.
「Se…Seiya!? Princess Tiana will see you!! There’s going to be a Time Paradox…!! 」
「This woman’s death is certain. She won’t tell anyone that she saw me because she is about to die. The paradox won’t happen.」
And then, Seiya approached Princess Tiana.
「…Tiana. I’m here. 」
Princess Tiana, who heard Seiya’s voice, relaxed her painful expression a little.
「Seiya…? Seiya, is that you? 」
「Yes, I am. 」
「Seiya…I’m relieved… 」
Seiya silently took Princess Tiana’s hand.
「Listen, I…I am going to die, right? 」
「That’s correct. But, death is only a mere state where all of us will have to return to. A state that existed before we were born, and that it shall continue to exist after we perish. Don’t be scared.」
「I see… 」
「I’m going to die eventually as well. Let’s meet again then. 」
And then, Princess Tiana stopped moving.
…Before I knew it, tears fell from my eyes without stopping.
The cautious Seiya. He wanted to avoid actions that could cause a Time Paradox by any costs.
…But…Even so…He couldn’t leave Princess Tiana to die alone with that much suffering…!
I was watching Seiya and Princess Tiana with tears in my eyes! At this point! An evil spirit spread away from my body!
Eh!! Thi…This is!?
The devilish aura that left my body gained a humanoid form! Then, the creepy Ceremonic with crushed eyes and nose approached Princess Tiana, who died on the cold floor of the Demon King’s Castle!
「Ohhhhhh…The soul of the goddess went to the heavens! Dead! Dead! The goddess is dead! The curse was fulfilled, fulfilled, fulfilled…」
After Ceremonic murmured with satisfaction, she suddenly disappeared as if she melted into the darkness of the surrounding area.
…Seiya stood up and silently stared at me.
「The evil aura has disappeared. Apparently, this worked. 」
「Ceremonic’s curse has been released…? But, how? 」
「Princess Tiana, who has the same soul as you Lista, was killed. Therefore, Ceremonic sensed this was the place when your soul went to heaven. As intended, Ceremonic fell for this illusionary trap and the curse lifted away.」
「So…So, that’s what really happened, I see…! 」
「There was a possibility that the curse itself could have the power to hear our conversation in the almighty world of the innermost gods. The risk was high. That’s why we didn’t tell you the details.」
A few minutes later, I felt that Chronoa’s magical powers were ending. It was almost time we returned back to the almighty world of the innermost gods. In the meantime, I spoke with Seiya.
「Seiya…Thank you. 」
「I don’t need your thanks. I told you that it was my fault that you were cursed this time.」
「Wrong. That wasn’t what I meant. Thank you…for taking care of Princess Tiana’s last moments.」
「I just wanted to make sure that Ceremonic really thought that you were dead. Besides… 」
Seiya said the following words after looking at the corpse of Princess Tiana.
「On that state. Well, I don’t know if my words reached her. Most probably not. 」
「…That’s not true. 」
「How do you know that? 」
「Because…Because I…She…looked very happy in her last moments…! 」
I answered him while I cried my eyes out. After a brief silence, Seiya finally said the words.
「I see. You’re right. 」
Eventually, the space around us became distorted. The time had probably come for us to leave this time space. We returned from the Demon King’s Castle from one year ago to the almighty world of the innermost gods.
Damn the feels, too many feels in this chap.
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!