“Your Highness, it appears the Hero is invading.”
It was one of my minions approaching me while I sat on my throne, but he did so calmly and without a hint of panic.
I rub my eyes and think that it’s been a while since I’ve heard that.
“When was the last time the Hero came?”
“Probably the last time the moon was half-blue?”
Oh, it’s been so long.
Well, I’m not going to just let this transgression slide.
We’ve gone through this many times before yet I’ve never once had a decent fight.
“Let the Hero through.”
“Are you certain?”
Oh, I remembered this Hero.
This Hero did not last long during our battles.
This Hero’s magical abilities were significant, but nothing compared to the Heroes of the past.
The clarification wasn’t because my subordinate was wondering, “Is it alright to let such a dangerous enemy through?”.
It was to ask, “Are you certain you wish to bother with the Hero?”
That is the state of this newest Hero… a weakling.
And I should also mention, she was a woman this incarnation.
Then why bother dealing with her at all? you might ask because I’m certainly free to do what I want.
The answer is because it’s the Demon King’s duty is to fight the Hero.
“I will stop you, for I am the Hero!”
Ah, I remember hearing this line many times before.
When the Hero came before me for the first time, she said those exact words.
She hasn’t changed since then.
However, she doesn’t seem to have one of the strengths of the short-lived humans: their overwhelming growth rate.
Was she truly a Hero?
She seemed to just be a poor girl, misfortunate enough to be chosen to receive the Protection of the Light, kept from dying until she fulfilled her destiny.
“Don’t think this will go the same way as before.”
I’ve heard that many times as well.
It looked like her equipment was in poor shape and her magical capability was shockingly low.
She was so weak that I was impressed she even reached this deep into my castle.
Is she the worst Hero to have ever come before me?
Her eyes speak of a dark and heavy past, but her face still looks young and pretty.
Her pale blonde hair is darkened by oil and dirt, perhaps because she didn’t have time to care for it.
I continued to sit on my throne and gazed at the Hero holding her sword out to me, before I had a realization.
It seemed I was not yet fully alert.
“You, what happened to the Protection of the Light?”
The Hero is silent at my words.
Why was this Hero’s magic so weak, even if it that was their only advantage?
Which means that:
“A new Hero has been born.”
The Hero is silent at my words.
The fate of becoming “the one who would defeat the Demon King” only ever rests in the body of one human.
In other words, her time in this world was limited.
A Hero who has lost the Protection of the Light will never come back to life.
That is why they come here without expecting to return.
“… Do you mean to insult me? You must have a secret up your sleeve.”
I wonder if she came here to die, no matter what.
At least she would be killed by my hand rather than my minions’ hands.Oh, how many times has that happened before?
“… Fine, come to me.”
This is the duty of the Demon King.
If she wishes to die by my hand, why shouldn’t I oblige her?
Her sword hand wavers, she no longer looks like the Hero who would defeat the Demon King.
But there is a light in her eyes.
For a short-lived human, her determination in the face of doom is quite beautiful.
At the very least, it will take only one strike.
Until then, why don’t I keep silent and let her come to me?
It seemed the Hero thought she was invincible, a very human sentiment.
Then as she comes right before me, she throws away her sword.
The Hero’s wrists glowed a faint blue, she swayed them in front of her arms.
I looked at them warily, until the light wavered, faltered and eventually… disappeared.
The Hero looks like she just did something, wiped the sweat off her brow, and smiled for the first time.
What has she done? No, it does not feel than anything has changed in my body.
Even as she approaches me, completely defenseless, nothing has changed except the decrease in her magic stores.
Did she use a secret technique?
The power difference between me and the current generation of heroes is so vast that it is impossible. However, these short-lived humans have a habit of making it possible still.
My eyes light up with magic as I activate my “Demon’s Gaze”.
“It worked, right?” she mumbles quietly.
She came right up to me, still completely open to attack.
The Hero crouched and looked right into my face, certain that no harm would come to her.
I unintentionally dispelled the magic power in my eyes. If the Hero looked straight into them, she would have surely died.
“… Seeing up close like this, you’re very beautiful.”
What is she talking about?
I know I’ve been complimented as the cutest and most beautiful of all the Demon Kings. I have never particularly cared about such comments based on my appearance.
The Hero continues to stare right into my eyes, the Demon King’s eyes, a look of relief comes over her face.
“Haah… after a year of learning how to use it, I’m glad ‘Hypnosis’ worked…”
It has not.
More so, I’ve never heard of that technique. I’m certain I can use all the magic that has ever existed in this world, but that sort of technique is outside my repertoire.
This Hero has been fooled.
She continues to speak with a completely relaxed expression.
“… Your right hand, raise it?”
What is she talking about? At the same time, I understood what was going on.
That movement while she channeled magic. The idiocy of approaching the Demon King so carelessly and impulsively. And now her command.
It appears the Hero that is still standing right before me believes she can control my body with but a single word.
If that worked, it would certainly have been proper to call it a “Secret Technique”.
There was no such thing, however.
I feel pity at this Hero’s foolishness and slowly raised my right hand.
The Hero mutters, surprised, a stupid look on her face as she thought she’d just commanded me to move.
She seems to think this “Hypnosis” has truly worked.
That the Hero would even begin to think this made me furious.
I wondered what to think. I decided to give her a shot. I have spare time to kill. I was also curious.
Oh, I’m wasting my time. I regret doing this. I don’t know what to do now.
I don’t know what she will say, but it will be her last.
I will make this pathetic Hero die swiftly and painlessly as usual, at least.
I hope the next Hero will put up a better fight.
My arm stops mid-strike.
What is she doing?
“… Ehe. So, can you give me a hug?”
The Hero makes an exhausted smile as she puts a hand on my arm, the same one I was just about to kill her with, and tries to stop it from hitting her.
Wait, she’s not doing that.
I cannot do that.
I couldn’t find a way to strike her because the magic power in my arm has dissipated from the distraction.
Very gently, without force, my hand touches the Hero’s shoulder.
The shoulders of these short-lived humans were surprisingly small.
When I first came into the throne room, my legs quivered and I could not move.
Part of the reason was that I had exhausted all my strength getting there.
The biggest reason was that I, the Hero, saw the Demon King looming before me… and found her so beautiful and cute.
I fell in love at first sight.
I shouldn’t have fallen in love with humanity’s enemy, the Demon King.
However, it doesn’t matter as my heart is already hers.
I could do nothing, I was killed so fast it was only when I came to at the Basilica of Light that I finally felt it.
That pain in my chest was the first time I’d ever felt anything like it.
And when I realized what it was, my face felt hot and I collapsed once more.
I was in love.
“Ehehe, what should I do now…?”
The Hero kneels in front of me, the Demon King, and looks at my face without a single worry.
Her cheeks are slightly flushed, there’s a moistness in her eyes.
When the Hero makes sure we are alone, she explains the effects of the “Hypnosis” she has “put me under”:
One. I cannot harm the Hero.
Two. I will obey the Hero’s commands.
Three. The effect lasts only for one day.
If there truly was such evil magic, I would be using it myself.
It seemed this Hero has spent a year (a long time to humans, a short time for myself) to learn horrible magic that puts others under her control.
And she thinks this is acceptable. No, it is not acceptable for something like this to be happening!
I could not help but feel that I had lost my will to fight.
That spell seemed to have kept me from ending her life in an instant.
No, not that.
It wasn’t because of that, but because of two words.
“Oh, that’s right!”
The Hero suddenly shouted as she bounced around, happy look on her face.
What is she going to do this time?
“Your name, tell me.”
What if I told her?
The Hero carries the future of all humanity on her shoulders; she is standing before, me, her species’ archnemesis; and she believes that she has me at her command.
I took a breath, and said,
“Al’Dioma Liez Ryad Beaustis”
“That is my name.”
What am I doing?
I’m giving my name to a Hero who can barely hurt a fly.
The Hero muttered that with a worrying expression, her eyes locked on my face.
It was probably a nickname from the human world, but it sounds so awkward I can’t decide whether I like it or hate it.
The Hero seems to like it, at least.
I say, letting it roll off my tongue. The Hero holds her hands over her chest like she’s forgotten something important.
Was the stress too much for her heart? These short-lived species were so vulnerable to that.
The Light’s protection has disappeared, so now her physical abilities are that inevitable like that of the average human.
“Ah, I’m—I’m Mel. Mel Kistill.”
What does she look like she’s expecting something?
I mean it’s not like I wanted to know her name.
I couldn’t be bothered to remember the names of these short-lived species.
Oh, her eyes.
It’s the first time I’ve seen them gleaming like this, not from fear, hostility, or envy.
I don’t like these eyes. It must have been Light magic or some other spell.
I whispered those words, the Hero staggered backward, then suddenly found the strength to make a fist and thrust it skyward.
What kind of Hero was she to recover magical power like this?
Then, she came before me again, put her face right in front of mine.
Too close, you’re too close. I’m going to kill you.
“Say my name again, Allie.”
Oh, don’t look at me with those sparkling eyes.
How weak does she see me, the strongest demon of them all, to look at me with such a gaze?
“I like you.”
The words that stopped my arm echo in my mind.
I wonder if this Hero spent that whole year learning this suspect spell just to say that.
I wonder if this current situation is just an opportunity to kill me, the Demon King.
If I can see even a little murderous intent or just the tiniest sliver of malice, I will kill her so effortlessly she wouldn’t even notice.
But the Hero before me spoke so honestly when she said “I like you”.
Is that even possible?
My words almost sounded resigned and pathetic at the same time, only audible to the Hero before me.
Then an offensive spell strikes her from the side, instantly fatal to a human who had lost the protection of the Light.
I witnessed in great detail her flesh getting torn apart, heard her screaming, her crashing into the far wall.
I soon noticed one of my minions standing in front of the doors.
“Your Highness, my apologies. I believe it was inappropriate for me, but the risk was too great.
“… Oh, I see.”
For some reason, the blood splatters on my hand look vividly bright.
This Hero has been disposed of.
I am unharmed.
“Oh, she’s still breathing.”
Huff, huff, I could still hear her laboured breaths.
The Hero, half-dead, torn apart, likely to die in a few seconds, looks at me is trying to say something.
“My sincerest apologies, Your Highness. I will eliminate this problem immediately.”
“… I see.”
However, I wonder what this piercing pain in my chest is.
What has this weakest Hero—no longer even the Hero—done to my chest?
My loyal minion raises his hand up and harnesses a pure mass of magic.
As with the previous spell, a human being cannot hope to survive it, it will be sure death.
Her laboured breathing gradually grows quieter.
Oh, how pathetic she is! We didn’t even need to finish her off.
“… Oh… Al…”
The spell is cast.
There is no way she will survive, even if we left her alone.
“Al… lie… I…”
Why did I hear her so clearly?
Her last words pierce my chest:
I was weak.
My sword arm was comparable to a regular soldier of the kingdom.
I had a little more magic power than most humans, but I did not grow that much.
So why did I gain the Protection of the Light?
How many times have I asked myself this?
I did not want to do this.
However, all those who have been called to become the Hero did not do so of their own will.
I knew this well, so I could not protest.
The demons now control 60% of the world, far surpassing all of humanity.
The way humans can beat the demons who are long-lived, strong and have great magical ability, is through their descendants.
It is said that a wise sage from ancient times developed this technique, of gathering the power of innumerable human beings little-by-little then imbuing them into a single human.
After his death, the Light Clan maintained this technique to ensure humanity could oppose the demons.
The efficiency was tragically poor, but it was massively effective.
They call this forcibly raising a human far beyond all others the “Protection of the Light”, and the one who receives it “the Hero”.
“Oh, were you attacked also?”
The minion who had just killed the hero with his finger bows his head, thinking nothing odd about my actions.
… What am I doing…?
“No one is to enter this throne room unless I call for them.”
He bowed again and left my throne room.
With only one dying human left, he thought there were no more problems.
However, there was one.
“… Are you still alive?”
There is no reply.
Her breath has stopped.
Her heart is silent.
It was clear the Protection of the Light had left her.
The smell of blood lingers in my nose.
My chest aches.
It’s the first time I’ve experienced such pain.
Ah, it seems this Hero was the strongest Hero after all.
After all, she had hurt me like this.
Though it was useless, I put my hand on her.
“… I will obey the hero’s commands.”
As I expected, there was no answer.
It has been a long time since I’ve died.
Aside from the ancient dragons and greater demons, there is hope for revival for the small vessel of one human.
I held her arm and channeled magic into my own.
Oh, that’s right.
This is the first time I’ve ever used reincarnation magic.
“… Blurgh…! Gurk! Gu-hok…!?”
She comes back to life, spewing up blood and vomit.
Her breathing is so erratic, I check her arm and body to see what’s going on.
It’s the first time I’ve used it, but it seemed to have worked just fine.
It seems that this kind of spell is known as “Supreme Level Magic” among the human nations. Its difficulty is well known.
The Hero sat up, her eyes wide, I found myself speechless.
She instinctively put her hands on the floor, she slipped on her own blood and yelped.
“Wait, wait? Demon…?! What…?”
However much it hurt me deep inside, it was an expected reaction: “Run away from the Demon King”.
I’ve shot so many humans in their backs as they fled in terror.
The successfully revived and bloody Hero looks up at me, trembling like a newborn fawn.
I turned away from her trembling golden eyes.
It felt as if she had gripped all three of my hearts.
This was certainly some form of magic.
I ultimately decided it was not a threat as it only affected a third of the target’s body.
The Hero’s words eased the pain in my chest.
I’m certain it’s that kind of magic.
“Yes, it was me. I used a spell…”
There may have been temporary memory loss due to the trauma of death and resurrection.
My healing magic should be flawless, so it was definitely due to death.
I patted my chest.
Why do I feel so relieved and why?
I revived her and now what?
“D-Did you help me, Allie?”
The Hero’s eyes shine as she looks up at me from the pool of her own blood.
I remember reading somewhere that abandoned puppies have much the same gaze.
With that, I looked away.
“I see… is this an effect of the ‘Hypnosis’…?”
My absurd and unacceptable behaviour is probably due to that suspect technique.
As the Demon King, I could never revive the Hero.
Though it should have been soothed, the pain in my chest does not go away.
What do I call this feeling bubbling up inside me?
I do not know.
I do not know this feeling.
I do not want to know what this feeling is.
The Hero struggled to stand up, so I held my hand out to her.
With a sigh of relief, she took it with a bloody hand.
It was the same size as mine and felt quite warm as well.
“… Thank you, Allie.”
Why does my face feel hot?
Is the Hero’s body heat seeping through our hands now that her heart is beating again?
I can’t seem to take my hand back.
I can’t seem to shake her hand off, either.
Surely this is just pity for a creature not unlike an abandoned puppy.
It was a desperate technique used by demons with inferior abilities, to make others think they should be protected.
This Hero must have had such an ability.
Otherwise, she couldn’t have affected me, the Demon King.
In that case.
This pain in my chest is not because of me.
The Hero’s equipment was broken and blown apart, leaving her almost naked.
That fragile body that had been shattered with one blow is left totally exposed.
Her limbs are so weak, I could easily imagine biting them off.
But the Hero did not let go of her firm grip on my hand, even as she returned to her feet.
“My clothes are gone.”
The Hero’s cheeks turn red as she gives a voice to my thoughts.
The ensuing silence is heavy and awkward, it seemed impossible to break it.
The Hero, vulnerable without Protection of the Light, easily leaps over such a hurdle.
One unexpected, impulsive step was all it took to close the distance between us, I could feel our bodies pressed right up against each other.
I can feel the heat of the Hero’s body.
I took a step back.
For the first time since I was created in this world, I felt the need to escape.
Without knowing why I took off my cloak.
It was an item that had not been touched by anyone except the Demon Kings, passed down from generation to generation.
I gave it to the Hero.
“Ah… thank you.”
What am I doing?
Using the Demon King’s Cloak, which neutralizes all physical and magical attacks, just to cover up exposed skin.
And the skin of my archnemesis, the Hero, at that.
“… I will obey the Hero’s commands.”
I muttered the words like they were a cheap excuse, but the Hero has an unreadable expression.
She was so happy to speak whatever came to her mind, but now her eyebrows are curving down and it looks like she’s about to cry.
I do not understand human emotions.
I’ve never observed them so closely.
“Amazing, it feels so good to wear, huh?”
To hear that from the Hero was inevitable considering the shabby equipment she was wearing before.
The past Heroes were equipped with far better armour, but the half-naked Hero before me now wore something that they would have balked at the sight of.
I believe this is for the best.
“… What is it?”
Why do you make my chest ache when you call my name?
Why do I hesitate to answer when you call my name?
Why do I want you to call my name again?
The hand that the Hero holds me with makes me suddenly frozen and numb, in spite of all my care and attention.
What does this Hero want me to do?
I gained the Protection of the Light when I was 10 years old.
Age, gender, and experience have nothing to do with how the Light chooses.
There is no time nor reason for the blessing of immortality to be passed onto the next chosen hero nor would it ever be known.
They were as young as 3 years old. They were as old as 12 years old.
But even if when is never clear, the Hero will always challenge the Demon King with this power and their undying body.
After all, according to the stories of the Light Clan, the only way that the Hero who walks the line between life and death would ever find rest was through battle.
Back then, I was so certain.
I thought I was the happiest chosen one in the world.
This throne that is decorated so lavishly and without thought for practicality is still much smaller than the thrones of the past Demon Kings. (I believed its size was an advantage to me, rather an unnecessarily large throne that would give more places to hit and serve as a disadvantage, instead.) It was comfortable if there is just one body sitting on it.
But now it’s too tight.
The Hero is sitting next to me.
“It’s so tight.”
“… Should I get off?”
Her face is so close.
Our bodies are in such close contact.
The Hero said such words with a face that says “I don’t want to leave.” with a voice that was much louder than it needed to be when we could already feel each other’s breaths.
“… It’s fine.
I can’t risk pulling my body away from the Hero’s, I’m completely pressed against her body, now fully warmed up and alive once more.
The reason was simple.
The fear I could break this fragile Hero.
When I finally realized what I felt, a chill ran down my spine, I was frozen.
This fear is the opposite of what a demon should feel, much more the Demon King.
This fear leads to defeat, defeat leads to death.
This fear must be eliminated.
Those which cause you to fear must be killed.
This fear is slowly killing me.
Now thoroughly cleaned by my magic, a lock of the Hero’s pale golden hair touches the skin of my shoulder.
She leans into my neck, she looks at me with eyes of the same pale gold, and something inside me cracks.
“What is it… Me-Mel…?”
She laughs so warmly I thought I might melt, the Hero puts her face even closer to my own, I can only wonder what is going through her mind.
I frown at her, but she pulls herself up by my shoulders and brings our faces right in front of each other.
There is no escape on this tiny throne.
The Hero’s golden eyes sparkle. Her breath is hot.
I felt she would break if I moved even a single muscle, I froze in place.
My emotions run amuck.
Fear. The fear I will break her.
Something. Something I do not understand. Something I do not want to know.
Something. Something I can not understand. Something I do not want to understand.
Impatience. I do not understand what she is doing. I do not understand why she is doing this.
Fear. The fear I will break her.
Something. Something I do not understand. But something I do not hate.
I am the Demon King. I am said to have been the strongest in history.
With that, I close my eyes.
It’s unfathomable for me to abandon my thoughts and my free will like this.
However, the Hero’s warm body did not come as close as I expected.
When I took a peek, the Hero was tense, her bangs touching her eyes, her soft lips puckered up.
My body trembled, my cheeks were so hot I thought they were set aflame.
I am the Demon King, yet I have been cornered.
I saw the Hero quivering from nerves and fear, something inside me began to ache.
This pain is certainly sweet.
But if I let it run free, it might turn into burning venom.
I am the Demon King, she who has all other demons under her command.
It is unfathomable to exchange a kiss with a member of the short-lived species.
It is impossible for me to lose to the Hero before me, the one who has lost the Protection of the Light, who is now so fragile.
The Hero’s gaze was unbroken, her lips were relaxed and half-open.
I could not begin to understand what was going on, my own thoughts at that moment.
So it was that an excuse quickly came to mind.
Our lips touched each other for a moment, a little longer than a blink.
The Hero’s were so soft and sweet.
But that sweetness was a lie, as I felt a chill running up and down my spine that left me numb.
I will obey the hero’s commands.
Yes, this is due to that suspicious technique.
This is because I have no control over my mind nor my body.
I’ve only obeyed her due to the spell’s effects.
The heat in my cheeks, the haze in my mind, the numbness in my body, and the sweet pain in the pit of my gut are all because of the Hero.
The Hero murmured this with eyes half-lidded, her cheeks red.
Her voice echoes loud inside my mind, I blink slowly.
A mysterious phenomenon has left me breathless, kept my eyes locked on the movement of the Hero’s lips.
What did I just do?
The reason for my actions and its implications were clear, but I refused to acknowledge them.
The Hero’s breath caressed my cheek, her golden eyes were moist as she looked into mine.
The distance between us is growing smaller and smaller.
It’s so slow it’s agonizing.
She puts a finger on the tip of my nose.
The Hero blows out a hot breath.
I am paralyzed.
Until now, there was no one who could paralyze the Demon King.
And so it seemed that the Hero before me might have been the Strongest Hero of all.
Even without the Protection of the Light, both her eyes shine bright as she corners me once more.
She looks so happy, I cannot look away.
When I learned that a new Hero had been born, hopelessness washed over me and gripped my heart.
I could not rejoice in being released from this fate.
I knew what it meant.
I could not see her again.
She always kills me in a single blow without a word.
But it’s always so instantaneous, it doesn’t hurt.
It was only after I revived that I would ever feel pain.
It had become a habit of mine to hug myself as my chest throbbed, I recalled the image of her burned into my mind.
I don’t know why you always welcomed me into your thrown room.
Even if I gave my best, I could not reach it on my own.
I may have just been a way to relieve boredom for you.
I want to see you.
The only one who made me feel like a Hero.
The Protection of the Light leaves slowly.
It was also this gentle when I received it.
I had heard that this is because it does not destroy the body it used to inhabit.
I have one year left.
Nothing will remain of me after this radiant light disappears.
“Tell me about yourself.”
So orders the Hero as she nestles her head on my shoulder.
This throne which felt too large for one person is now too small.
I still don’t know what this Hero would do, so happy as to smile, press her body against mine, and relax so completely.
Ultimately, I could not think of what else to do and spoke as requested.
I told her about this Demon King’s boring half-life.
I have never stepped foot outside this castle.
I have lived for over 300 years.
The many Heroes that have come here were all killed.
I have never lost once.
And this is the first time I’ve had this kind of interaction with humans.
While I spoke, the Hero held my hand, closed her eyes as she kept her head on my shoulder.
The Hero nodded and smiled, she seemed to be so entertained even though I told several human lifetime’s worths of words in such a short amount of time.
What I thought should have been boring and forgettable instead felt quite strange and made me a little uncomfortable.
I wonder what has happened.
I had always wanted to battle the one they called “the Hero” to death.
The Hero said as she held my hand, interlaced her fingers in mine, clearly no longer listening to my stories.
I felt so many emotions in that touch.
I ignored all of them or pretended not to notice, and continued speaking.
“… what do you want to say?”
She grips my hand more strongly, she makes her order for me to answer clear as day.
I can understand without looking at her expression. It seemed this Hero can easily communicate her desires.
What do I want to say so badly?
I let out a little sigh and asked,
“… Mel, why did you come here?”
If she was a Hero, there was only one answer to this question:
To defeat the Demon King.
This the Hero’s sole reason for existence.
A Hero who carries the future of all of humanity on their shoulders all by themselves.
However, the Hero sitting next to me, the Hero who has lost the Protection of the Light, the Hero who still laughs so warmly answers differently.
“To see you.”
I was expecting those words, but I cannot just leave it at that.
Before I knew it, the pain inside my chest disappeared.
“You’ve seen me many times.”
Each time, we only spoke one word.
The Hero has visited me many times, died in an instant, then was revived in the distant human territories.
The Hero was weak.
“I still wanted to see you”
For one last time. As the Hero muttered those words, I couldn’t think of what words to say back.
Since the Protection of the Light disappeared, I thought that she was only preparing to die.
How much thought did she put in those words?
I did not know.
“Are you the Light Clan?”
The voice was so cold, it was enough to freeze a man to the core in spite of the hot sunny day.
This kingdom was at the heart of the human territory’s most prosperous land.
The intruder had appeared right in the Basilica of Light–magnificent and fortified like a castle–without any prior warning.
It was unprecedented.
The Demon King, the strongest one in all of history, had come directly and alone.
“… Hmph. Short-lived species are so weak.”
They had the wisest sages collected from all over the world, the paragons among magicians, but not a single one of them could speak.
The Demon King looked like a young lady, but with just those words and a wave of magic power radiating from her, she had completely broken their spirits.
The difference between them cannot even be measured.
They cannot fathom the size, simply despair in the face of it.
They did not have a sliver of an idea of what they were up against.
“It’s a well-thought-out plan, for humans.
“By making the Hero an object of worship, you can siphon other human’s magic.
“The skies shine bright as the truth is shrouded in darkness.”
So the Demon King said as she flew to the center of the Basilica, casting dark shadows beneath her.
The shadows grew in size then exploded.
Three tall, blue-skinned demons appeared.
“I ordered you not to follow.”
“We apologize, Your Highness. But we also wished to see it.”
The minions turn their backs to the human wizards and kneel before the Demon King with bowed heads.
They were completely defenseless in the heart of the enemy territory, but the magicians did not dare lift a finger.
They were paralyzed.
The demons that had appeared from the shadows were a more, dire familiar threat to the humans, than the Demon King who had never once shown herself.
“An ancient secret? What foolishness.”
The Demon King’s gaze was full of contempt.
The Light Clan’s members can only watch in confusion.
Why is the Demon King here?
Why did she come directly here with her subordinates?
Why did she know the secret of the Protection of the Light…?
“Do you know of the Hero named Mel Kistill?”
Already trying to hold back on their magic, the Light Clan could not react to the Demon King’s words.
They feared for their lives.
The Demon King sighed, a very human expression on her face.
“She was strong.”
The Demon King lifts her right hand.
Her minions look up at her in envy, longing, and worship.
She opens her hand then closes it, the humans in the Basilica die.
In the innermost sanctum of a Basicila was a chalice on an altar, prismatic light radiating from it.
This was the culmination of tens of centuries of work by the Light Clan: pure magic crystals.
Even with the power of hundreds of millions of human beings combined, the hero was too weak.
They were without question sacrifices.
To be able to receive and harness the magical power of the world: that was who they called the “Hero”.
The vessel was secondary. As was the “Revival”.
Filtration is the removal of impurities mixed in with another substance.
Impurities gather in the vessel forcibly infused with this “Supreme Control Magic” they called the “Protection of the Light”.
When the impurities become too much, they simply prepare the next filtration vessel.
It was empowering humans then throwing them away when they were no longer useful.
Even if it was incredibly inefficient magic, it was the best option they had.
“What do you wish to do, Your Highness? This seems to have some use still.”
For the demons, the Protection of the Light was the perfect substitute for harvesting the magical power of humanity.
If the Demon King corrupted it, it may even be possible to deprive all humans of magical power and kill them in one swoop.
“I have no need for this.”
So the Demon King murmured as they picked up the chalice then threw it away without a second glance.
The Demon King disappeared into a shadowy void, her minions knelt, bowed their heads, then disappeared into the blackness as well.
At a glance, the bodies of young humans lay on the Basilica’s floor, positioned so the light from the windows would always shine on them.
No one witnesses them rapidly begin to pale and wither away to nothing.
My voice echoes in the empty throne room.
No one answers.
A girl lies limp on a too-large throne.
Wrapped up in the mantle that had been passed down for generations, she appeared to be asleep.
I pressed my lips to the empty chalice and tilted it back.
Such pure and clear magical power felt incredibly unpleasant to absorb.
I drank all of it then tossed the chalice aside.
With the sound like gushing water, hundreds of magical spells are infused and activating inside my body.
The air trembled from all the magical power now radiating from my body.
What was eating away at the Hero’s body couldn’t be stopped by the power of the Demon King.
It was neither poison, nor a curse, nor a wound.
It was not just death, as the Protection of the Light had distorted her mortality, so there was no point in healing magic.
So, for the first time, I wished for power.
“I will obey your commands.”
The spell I was casting was by my hand, for just one purpose.
I knelt in front of the throne and touched the Hero’s cheek.
She was not breathing.
Her skin was cold and rough.
I put my lips to her dry, half-open mouth.
The humans who lost the Protection of the Light no longer had the means to fight against the demons.
Although the demon’s campaign was slow, the humans still sought heroes when they could not hold onto their territories.
“Mourn the Fallen Heroes, for you will never create a Hero again!”
So were the words of the Demon King, spread to all of humanity.
And so it fell on the “Last Hero” to protect the human territories.
The fervor against the demons was massive.
The people thought that the Demon King feared the Last Hero.
However, they became silent as word spread that an uninhabited castle was wiped off the face of the earth with but a single blow.
The Demon King offered a pact.
For the humans that thought it was impossible to even speak with the demons, this first and last agreement had sweeping changes.
Though the fighting did not completely stop, there was much less bloodshed, villages and towns were no longer wiped off the face of the land.
And an era of relative peace began, long in the eyes of the humans, short in the eyes of the demons.
She blinks as a strange light fills her chest.
Her mouth quivers as her cheeks regain their colour.
A muffled sigh is trapped in her chest, she couldn’t breathe for a moment.
A line of drool drips down the side of her half-open mouth.
The Hero sat up and wiped it off with the cloak wrapped around her.
The light returned to her golden eyes, she focused them on the image of the Demon King before her.
“So we meet again.”
The Hero stiffens from the stern look I am giving her.
Tears spilled from her now-open eyes.
I waited patiently as her she struggled to make words with her trembling lips.
Even though her body should have been dead and limp.
The Hero hugged herself as she choked out those words, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“I’m… I’m alive…”
The Demon King’s cloak that nullifies all attacks is now being used to wipe up tears.
As I watched the teardrops falling on the throne, I felt something swelling up inside me.
Something warm that I could have never felt by myself.-
“… Why did you save me?!”
The Hero shouted those words, I found I could not react.
So many emotions played out on the Hero’s tear-stricken face, it seemed impossible for me to tell what she was feeling.
“It would have been troublesome if you died so easily.”
My answer was a pitiful excuse.
At my words, the Hero leans forward.
“… That seems quite strange to me.”
The Hero was looking at me suspiciously through her tears before she let out a hearty laugh.
Her expression was changing so fast, I found it difficult to figure out what to say.
“Until I solve the mystery of your secret technique, I cannot let you die.”
It was a terrible excuse.
As soon as the words left my lips, I deeply regretted it, but nothing more would come out.
To let out the feeling that swelled up inside me, I would have to level one or two mountains.
The mantle slips from the Hero’s shoulders, revealing smooth, white skin.
The Hero slowly lifted her arms, baring her modest, naked chest.
She smiles, but her tears have not stopped.
The Hero’s wrists shimmer with a pale blue light.
She raises her arms and crosses them, the light fades without any lingering effects.
The Hero wipes her forehead before she lowers her arms, looked at me, and stood up with a mischievous expression.
… What did she do this time?
After all, nothing in my body had changed.
“I have another secret technique.”
It has not worked.
It seemed to be similar to the Hypnosis.
Perhaps she tried to dispel the technique again instead of casting it again.
The Hero looks at me and speaks.
Her tears have stopped.
“Is there a way for you to love me?” she asked.
I have to let out a laugh. Because:
“I already do.”
TN: “Oh, I’m tired of the all the serialized web novels, I’m just going to translate something nice and short, maybe just a one-shot,” I thought. “This’ll be a nice, quick break from the process of uploading chapters and blog navigation hell. It might even be relaxing.”