TL: Heard’s Hmms and hms are implied grunts of affirmation.
TL: Also, this chapter provides some readings for previous skills (In English no less), so preceding names will be changed in accordance. Usurping will be changed to ‘Skill Ruler’ and Predominate to ‘Overrule’.
TL: Ah, also please be over 14 to read.
The Lazy King Chapter 6: Invidia
Part 1: Become Someone
It was nothing.
From birth, not once have I gained anything, never have I desired anything, never have I known anything.
Not desired by anyone, known by anyone, and even without any desire for life.
A Life where I didn’t even embrace the Original Sin a majority of Demons carry.
Sloth and Greed and Lust and Wrath and Gluttony and Pride and all else, without a sufficient reason for life, and no will.
Before I could become a Plus, perhaps I had to become a Zero first.
I am a mere Minus existence.
In this Demon World, governed by survival of the fittest, Demons without knowledge or power are fated to simply sit and wait for death to take them.
Demons like that were by no means rare, and the imperial capital as well as all the provincial cities were overflowing with such existences.
That’s why I believe it’s just a coincidence that I escaped such a fate.
There are many Demons whose lives aren’t even worth taking, but if I had to say, my luck was good.
There was a man who took me away. There was man who, with a sluggish expression, remained silent, as he let whatever would happen, happen. His black mantle made of well-tailored velvet-like material dragged along the ground, and was always sullied white.
There was a woman who took me away. There was a woman who would let off burning flames that made people she passed on the street tremble, and trampled over the ground as she walked. Her walking staff banged on the ground, as if to scream out its rage in the silent woman’s place.
There was me. There was me who, on the roadside, without will, without meaning, gazed on them by pure coincidence from the edge of the street. And next to me, there were my comrades who looked at them just the same.
The man and the woman, and me, and those beside me never exchanged glances, but at the moment of passing… the man reached out his left arm, and my body… without anything to eat before me, my body that was light and frail compared to those of similar ages… was embraced.
Light and clear hand movements as if he were merely grabbing an apple off of a roadside stand.
My comrades didn’t say anything as they watched me get taken away, and I didn’t say anything either.
From what I heard later, he wanted a pillow. What the hell.
And like that, coincidences piled onto one another, and the Lord of Sloth just happened to be searching for a pillow perfectly my size. By some strange cause and effect, I ended up enlisted in the army of Leigie of the Slaughterdolls.
By the way, this goes without saying, but by the time he held me to his body, Leigie-sama was already asleep.
What happened next wasn’t as interesting.
After returning to the Castle of Shadows, I began a struggle for existence against the inanimate normal pillow he already had in use, and at the same time, the inspector monitoring Leigie-sama, the leader of the Order of Black, Kanon Iralaude said something like, “when did you pick up something so dirty!” in an exhausted voice. When I was about to be disposed of by incineration, I was saved by the maid Lorna, who misunderstood Leigie-sama’s 『Iyo』 in a way favorable to me.
By the time I noticed it, I was dressed up in the sort of pretty clothes a doll would wear, and had the ‘seconds’ that were always made for the million to one chance Leigie-sama would do something as troublesome as actually ask for seconds shoved down my throat. My thoughts finally caught up to me.
Huh? What is this, I thought.
A Demon’s longings aren’t something they decide for themselves. They are something that is automatically obtained from harboring strong desires.
If you harbor multiple Sins, your desire becomes clouded, and your Class growth as a Demon is slowed. That’s why Demons generally subconsciously regulate themselves not to follow any desires besides the ones they pursue.
Without the leisure to seek excess desire, the worst of Demons, where it was merely a miracle I was alive. Given an environment where life was finally sustainable, and finally with some time to give consideration to it, what was the first strong desire that came over me?
What were my strongest feelings?
It was not relief that I was saved, or happy prayers of pure gratitude, or melancholy for my comrades left behind or even self-satisfaction.
This may seem obvious, but it definitely wasn’t Luxuria.
To put it simply… Envy.
Jealousy towards typical Demons who carried on and accepted their lives up until now as if it were natural.
Envy toward the beautiful face of the incarnation of flames who was approaching Demon Lord level with her powerful magic, the one who was born the daughter of a Demon Lord and lead the elite Order of Black, Kanon.
Envy towards the one who was born into a house to serve Leigie-sama, and who received a high level education for that sake alone, Lorna.
Envy towards the right hand man of the Lord of Sloth who headed the army, Overruled any and all sorts of power, and took his Lord’s power to be supreme, Heard Lauder.
It was envy towards everything in this world.
“If possible, I want to change…”
That was the origin of my Original Sin of Envy.
As I was never granted anything, I felt jealousy towards everything instead.
Darker than 『Gula』.
More greedy than 『Avaritia』.
More violent than 『Ira』.
More whimsical than 『Luxuria』.
With less meaning than 『Acedia』.
Nastier than 『Superbia』.
It was nothing but simple, unsightly 『Envy』.
But the moment I obtained it, I thought to myself.
Ah, with this, I finally have a reason to exist.
With this, I can finally become someone.
Part 2: Let’s Meet Again
“Well well, after sending out as much as two commanding officers, what a sorry state you’ve come back in… to bring trouble to Leigie-sama’s hands… how shameful.”
The young man spoke with cold eyes, as if he were looking at kitchen waste that had fallen to the ground.
He was a handsome youth with eyes as black as the depths of the abyss. As if he were a king, he sat deeply in his chair. With one leg crossed over the other, perhaps he lacked some decorum, but he really was the spitting image of a king. If Leigie-sama and this man stood side by side, ten out of ten would say this man was the Demon Lord of the two.
At the same time, he followed his desire, and spent his time perpetually training and bettering himself. A pure military man.
Heard Lauder. Right hand of Sloth. A Demon governing Pride.
My head began to hurt.
But it definitely wasn’t due to anger towards this prideful man.
“No, no… that Zebul Glaucus was a prominent and powerful Demon Lord among Kanon-sama’s followers… She was too much of an opponent to deal with without the presence of another Demon Lord.”
The one who committed the insolent act of pulling Leigie-sama out, Kanon’s dispatch, speaks in a rebuking tone.
Her arrogant means did end up saving our lives, so I can’t say anything, but…
From the innermost depths of my brain, I feel the pain of something being stabbed. To sooth it, I stroke my forehead once more.
Heard answered her glare with a cynical smile. His words were, as always, overflowing with himself.
“Hmm… that would be the case for a typical, lowly Demon, correct? What I am trying to say, is that for the ones who are supposed to be leading the great Lord of Acedia’s army, it is much too shameful, Lize Bloodcross.”
“… Well you sure know how to talk big. Especially when you were the only General who didn’t participate in the battle.”
“That’s right. I truly never thought the other two would be this useless. The next time a Demon Lord thinks of invading, let’s have me go out alone.”
Despite his annoyed tone, he gave an immediate reply.
There is not a single hint of jest in Heard’s face. An army led by two Generals was easily laid waste to by a single Demon Lord, but in his eyes there is no impatience, no nervousness.
Nothing but elegance. More prideful than all.
Superbia Demons are strong.
In truth, it is said that of the Demons that reach Lord Class, around seventy percent are Pride.
The losers are worse that garbage, the winners equivalent to God. And one’s self has long surpassed God.
That is Superbia’s Original Sin. Strength in weakness, and weakness in the strong, a highly unstable nature. Even so, they are called the strongest of Demons.
All they ever demand for is the result, and the no matter what step of the process resulted in defeat, they’ll show contempt.
And just like the other Sins’ cravings, the stronger they get, the greater their inclinations.
Of the four surrounding the round table, the last one… having lost a majority of his possessions, and even his army, the greatest victim Deige inspected a beat up Celeste as he spoke up.
“… Even so, Supreme Commander Heard, it’s just as that girl Lize’s saying. Zebul the Devourer stood top class among Demon Lords, and she had an impossibly large amount of power, you know? Even for someone as prideful as you, Supreme Commander, I’ll bet it would prove difficult to 『Overrule』 her.”
“Hmm… by that, are you comparing to the Demon Lords you’ve served up until now?”
“Ki ki ki, yeah. If you try to find an existence more powerful than that one… I can only think of Boss Leigie, and the Great Demon King.”
He responds with a bitter smile.
The words of an old Demon like Deige held some persuasive power.
In the first place, the Devourer Zebul Glaucus ranks right up in my top three for most atrocious Demon Lords I’ve met. Her magic, and skills, and direction made her an absolute warrior, where normal Demons would fail to even reach her feet. She’s a 『Gula』 so strong that I can’t even laugh off the rumors that she ate up the Heavenly Army in the war with the Heavens ten thousand years ago.
If only I had that much power…
Just as sand accompanies time as it falls down the hourglass, I feel something like mud collecting in the depths of my soul.
The weight of it is making me dizzy.
Since reaching General Class, I have never faced defeat once. This war was the first.
Because of my first failure in a long time, I cannot control my impulses.
“Hmm, but I’ve heard our Lord annihilated her all too easily, did he not?”
“Ki ki ki, well, all I can say is, as expected of Rank Three. Boss Leigie is… a monster. He led the Devouring Lord by the nose the entire battle. I mean, Boss… didn’t even move the whole time.”
On Deije’s words, that Demon Lord’s, and Leigie-sama’s fight play back in my head.
Yes, Leigie-sama never even stood up… though he did use some skill I’ve never seen before to teleport.
Heard, with a knowing face… nodded with sharp, prideful eyes.
“… Hmm, Sloth Skills get stronger the less one chooses to move… a very Leigie-sama-esque decision.”
“No, I doubt that man was actually thinking about something like that…”
“Would you be kind enough as to tell me what other skills our Head used, Deije?”
How could it be that Heard manages to preserve his pride?
Just by being here, I can easily feel the vast magic power of Leigie, who should be in his private room a long ways away. This amount of power, and its quality is definitely at a stage impossible to reach by a Demon. For the General Class me… if I compare it to Deije and Heard who should be stronger than me, the difference is probably not something as small as ten or twenty fold.
“Ki ki ki, even I don’t know all the specifics. I mean, even Libell got eaten up…”
“… So Libell the Pursuer was eaten… I had my eyes on him, but… Hmm.”
Heard closed his eyes, as if to say, ‘how useless’.
He isn’t one to grieve over death. Looking at those eyes, that expression, and that posture, Deije’s face doesn’t change.
Even if Lize’s expression gets clouded over, the face of Deije, who lost his sworn friend Libell Aijens, doesn’t change.
This must be the strength of Deije, one who even survived the war with the Heavens.
… Of his strength, I can’t help but be jealous.
Deije says Heard Lauder is a dreadful Demon. I wonder if he’s looking at something invisible to my eyes.
Among us, I am the youngest Demon. Generally, the older Demons get, the more intense their cravings, and their strength. It’s said that Deije experienced the Heavenly War ten thousand years ago, and Heard Lauder is said to be an ancient Demon who was the first to ever follow Leigie-sama’s lead.
For me, who was just born a few thousand years ago, it’s not a gap in time I can make up for.
… And of that, I can’t help but be jealous.
I strongly grasp my shaking arm.
Without responding to Heard’s words, Deije returned Celeste to its scabbard, and inserted it into his treasury space. High level Demon Blades are alive. Trivial scratches and cracks will be autonomously regenerated.
“What I saw was… a Skill to increase gravity, an instantaneous movement Skill… also an unidentified one he used to send Zebul flying.”
“… Hmm… he held back quite a bit then.”
On Deije’s words, Heard knit his brows, and took a deep breath. That was a sort of emotion that would originally never appear on a Pride Demon’s face.
He sticks his elbow into the table, and touches his hand to his chin as if lost in a sea of thought. His form, even seen from afar, was so well built that it could be made into a painting as is.
Skillfully folding his six arms, Deije asks with a tone full of doubt.
“… Hm. The Leigie-sama I know’s power is not of such small caliber. In the first place, he didn’t even use his renowned『Slaughter Dolls』, did he not?”
“Ki ki ki, that’s correct. But even if it’s Boss, I doubt a Doll’d do the trick. In actuality, the Doll he gave me was ripped apart and eaten.”
“… Deije, don’t lump that Doll he gave you with the rest. Leigie-sama’s original Slaughter Doll is… supreme.”
Heard laughs. At Deije. At Lize. At me.
It’s probably a fact that only he knows of, having served Leigie-sama for much more time than me.
And Heard spoke up.
“… Even more so than the individual.”
“Hah… Having a Doll be stronger than the man himself is impossible, right?”
“… Hm. For a normal Demon, that is.”
The Slaughter Doll Skill is one possessed by Demon Lords of Sloth, so there is barely any precident.
But even so, to be able to make an entity with powers surpassing a Demon Lord at will is outside the scope of common sense.
Lize’s face looked as if the word ‘Lies’ had been written on it as she looked at Heard with shock.
Heard Lauder was an honest man. At the very least, while he was prideful, his power was real. He relied not just on skills, but on wisdom, and he definitely possessed true charisma. Otherwise, there was no way he would be able to lead the First Brigade which boasts the largest numbers.
“Ki ki ki, if that’s true then it sure is amazing. I’d like another by all means. But, well, even if that’s the case… this time’s opponent was a Demon Lord on a level where she could even wound Boss, you know? I think it would be a bit much for a Doll without any Original Sin skills.”
On those words, Heard opened his eyes wide.
He leans his body forward, and glares at Deije with strong eyes. It was a manifestation of emotion great enough to shake one’s soul.
“… That can’t be… Leigie-sama was injured… you say!?”
“… Yeah. Well, it was only a little bit of blood, and he healed himself up fast enough.”
“… That’s enough… I see, so she could injure Leigie the Depraved. Zebul the Devourer… Hm, I see…”
“Was it truly that strange? No matter how strong a Demon Lord he may be, as long as the opponent’s one as well, he’ll get at least a scratch or two… I mean, soon after he brought me there, he started crying.”
On Lize’s inquiry, Heard sighed as he leaned back in his chair, before returning to his previous position. As if he was thinking deeply, his attention wandered around the air.
“… Hm, that is a natural occurrence. But still, for one to be able to give Leigie of Sloth even the slightest scratch… it’s been two thousand years.”
“Two thousand… so two thousand years ago, there was someone who could do it?”
“Yeah… it was even someone you know quite well. But… that doesn’t matter.”
As if to declare the end of the conversation, Heard stood up.
The oppressing air emanating from his body… Superbia magic started to condense all at once.
His cold eyes lorded over me and Deije. World-eroding powers great enough to freeze over my body.
On the change in the atmosphere, Lize frowned, and after an obvious and blunt scowl, she stood as well. If this had been the moment after her dispatch, she definitely would have gone into a rage. She’s learned how to manage her anger as of late, and she rarely burns up rooms these days.
“… Hm. There was no problem with the final result, but I’ll have you pay compensation for your shameful displays. The verdict will come down soon enough. Have fun waiting for it.”
“Ki ki ki, please be gentle with me.”
With a loud sound, he shuts the door behind him.
The air returns to normal, and Lize spoke in indignation. A crimson phosphorescence flickers around her red hair.
“Wha, that man… no matter the case, to treat allied troops like that…”
“Ki ki ki, Lize, you sure are young. A prideful commander is pretty much always like that. Rather, the fact that we weren’t executed on the spot… means that we’ve still got a bit of luck left in us.”
Deije laughs as he stands.
He’s a Demon who’s lived a far longer life than me, and his words held a weight backed by experience.
His six eyes watch over me. The emotion held within them was something I was unable to understand.
“Medea, I am… going to withdraw from this army.”
In a sense, his words were as I had expected.
Despite his form, Deije’s a rational Demon. His cravings, his desire, by the very nature that they’re aimed at objects apart from humans, he’s much more trustworthy than many other Demons.
Perhaps Lize didn’t anticipate it, because as she heard those words, she rose out of her seat once more.
“Wha… Are you serious, Deije?”
“Yeah… if I stay here, Supreme Commander Heard will dispose of me at this rate. Leigie of Sloth’s right hand man, prideful and conceited… Ki ki ki, how troublesome.”
“How foolish… do you think that Supreme Commander would permit such a thing?”
“Probably. I mean, my Sin is… not something I have to be here of all places to fulfill. I’m not sure about Girly and Heard, though.”
An instant decision. Good discernment.
Deije’s words were straight to the point. An Avaratia’s cravings are something that can be fulfilled no matter what banner they fight under. With Deije’s caliber, no matter what Demon Lord he worked under, he would receive a favorable evaluation. He even has a Demon Blade that Zebul praised as dreadful.
The later part was also quite direct.
My desire is…『Invidia』 can only be fulfilled as long as I’m here.
As if my brain was wounded, my head started to hurt.
Deije knows when to pull out. That’s exactly why he survived the war with the Heavens. His body that had been trained like steel, his rationality, thought pattern, desire. Ah, all of it… how enviable.
In the ki ki ki I was used to, he laughed.
And he let out some words I had never thought of.
“Ki ki ki, I’ll ask you as one who survived the Zebul War alongside me. Just in case. Girly, do you want to leave with me?”
“What… that is…”
“There isn’t just one page in the book of desire. Ki ki ki, girly, you’re young. Rather than being dealt with by Supreme Commander Heard, you should be able to lead a decent life…”
Lize looks over me and Deije in a panic. Disagreement and discord in a Demon Lord’s army fall under her type’s jurisdiction. I wonder if the Great Demon King’s Wrath will befall her. Even if it isn’t her fault individually, it’s not like a monster’s Wrath has direction. No she may be scarier than any monster.
“… Let me persuade Heard Lauder. I cannot let the Great Demon Lord’s forces be diminished.”
“Ki ki ki, I’m grateful for the sentiment, but some things are just impossible. Heard is… stronger than your Wrath. I mean, back when I was just an average run-of-the-mill Demon… he’s a Demon who’s lived since ancient times. The longer a Superbia lives, the more powerful their『Overrule』 gets.”
“My orders are the orders of the Great Demon King, and my words are hers. Even so, will he fail to listen?”
“How should I know?”
“… But… I have a bad premonition about it. Ki ki ki, it’s best if you don’t think of him as a normal Demon. This is… some advice from your elder.”
I’m honestly thankful for his advice.
His words are probably true. If I am to stay here, then in the near future, I will be taken care of by Supreme Commander Heard.
But, still, even so… I have a reason I must remain. No, I should have one.
I resolve my heart, and look at Deije clearly. While it may have been for a short time, he’s a soldier who was able to properly exchange blows with Zebul.
“… Thank you. But my desire… can only be fulfilled here.”
“… Ki ki ki, I thought you’d say that. Well, do your best. As a former Supreme Commander, for argument’s sake, I’m praying for your survival, girly.”
As if to offer a handshake, Deije presented his right center hand.
It was rugged, and wrapped in muscle. I don’t know just how much power he has. But from it, I can feel the accumulation of many years.
Of that, I’m jealous. Of the building of time.
If you compare a Demon’s character to the passing of years, it doesn’t change all too much, however this man’s personality is much more likeable than Heard’s.
Finally, as if he had suddenly remembered something, Deije asks…
“Girly… come to mention it, there was something I wanted to ask. Do you know of a Demon Lord of『Luxuria』?”
“… Yes. I’ve met one before.”
Since the 『Luxuria』 Demon Lord was destroyed, it’s been over a thousand years.
But just from meeting her once, the intense Envy I felt for that Lord, makes me remember the scene as if it had happened just yesterday.
Deije lets out a sigh unfitting of himself.
“… As I thought, you lack sex appeal. There’s no way I can steal you away… is it? Well, I’m thankful for that good fortune.”
“Next time, treat me to something nice.”
With those words, I was sure of it.
Ah, this man… he realized it. That I wasn’t a『Luxuria』, but an『Invidia』.
Perhaps it was natural for him to notice. Because before his eyes, I envied Celeste.
But I didn’t let out my words. I’ll bet he thought that our interests wouldn’t clash, but at the same time, perhaps this Demon of Greed was showing some kindness.
No, perhaps it was me that wanted it that way.
And just as Deije said, I envied him.
I became him.
“Ki ki ki, Leigie of Sloth and Depravity… he sure was an interesting Demon Lord. And a terrifying one… I can’t even feel any ambition towards him. Well, next we meet, I’ll pray we’ll be allies.”
Yeah, exactly. I pray we never cross again.
I looked straight at Deije.
“… Right, let’s meet again, 『Avaritia』.”
“Ki ki ki, seeya, 『Luxuria』.”
Part 3: I Want to Become You
Even if reason permits it, feelings aren’t as forgiving.
That is the nature possessed by Demons.
As such, Heard despises because he is Superbia, and Leigie slacks because he is Acedia. Lize angers because she is Wrath, Deije seeks because he is Avaritia, and Zebul eats because she is Gluttony. There is nothing strange about it.
Lorna is Luxuria, so lusting after Leigie-sama wouldn’t be… strange.
And because I am Invidia, I must envy.
I put all my effort into biting down on my lip… the taste of blood spreads out in my mouth. I can feel the irritating smell in the depths of my nose.
A scene I didn’t want to see, words I didn’t want to hear.
Much different from the vivid flames of Wrath, the muddy fire of『Envy』 licks the insides of my head.
A Skill on the Envy Tree. The power to look up the movements of those I’ve envied. It isn’t just scenery, it’s even possible to hear their voices.
As if the scenes were rolling out before my eyes, my vision was clear, and my sense of hearing was filled with Lorna’s tender voice.
It’s not like I feel any carnal desires towards Leigie-sama, I’m simply jealous.
Of Lorna, who lusts towards her own Lord.
Of Deije who follows his desires, and continues to pursue it.
Of Heard, who has enough overflowing confidence to even look down on the Lord of Gluttony.
Up until now, I’ve only ever used Envy skills within my own room.
My front has always been 『Luxuria』.
Gifted with both intelligence and beauty, one who stands at the forefront of the army. A single woman who governs Lust.
I once envied the Demon Lord of Lust, Lilith Luxeliahart, and the skills I got my hands on were well over the skills of most Lust Demons.
As such, I am… Medea Luxeliahart.
My form reflected in the full body mirror was died with the unsightly emotion of Envy, and tears of blood are flowing down my eyes.
My mind is painted black, a clear repulsive emotion.
As opposed to my feelings, I was favorably proceeding down the Envy Skill Tree.
Even though I haven’t moved a single step, my chest feels tight.
The breath I let out is hot, and damp.
I try to recall Deije’s words.
As I thought, it’s no good. As long as I don’t carry out my envy here, I have no future.
Even if I am to be killed by Heard Lauder…
None… can get in the way of my jealousy.
If he comes at me with the intentions of disposing me, I just have to beat him at his own game.
The Avaritia Skills I obtained by Envying Deije.
The Luxuria Skills I obtained by Envying Demon Lord of Lust, Lilith.
The Skills I obtained myself by pursuing Invidia.
The Gula Skills I obtained from Zebul’s crushed corpse.
As a General Class, the amount of power I can Envy far exceeds that of Deije’s right hand man Libell the Pursuer.
But that is of no importance to me.
My Envy is… what triggered it? The item that was the source of all of this has to be out there somewhere.
I want to… become you.
『Leigie-sama, it’s time for your meal. 』
With a gentle expression, Lorna calls out to Leigie.
She’s an attendant who has served him for many years. She’s the maid who has the most contact with Leigie-sama, and at the same time, she’s the Demon who saved me.
Her appearance, personality, skill, loyalty. Everything about her is envious.
… If only you weren’t there, I would be the one in your place.
And again, a black fever scorches in my head.
How, why, in just one step will what I desire fall into my hands?
Who is at fault? What is at fault?
If only I had been able to handle Zebul, if only I racked up some achievements, my daily life should have continued on as it always had, and yet…
But right now, what I have the least of is time. Heard will try to kill me without a doubt. That’s the type of Demon he is.
By just envying from afar, I won’t make it in time. My life will lose its meaning. I’ll lose everything.
The feelings I’ve tried so hard to restrain up until now have surpassed the extent where I can hold them back with my power.
My arms, my legs, even when it isn’t cold, they’re shaking.
『Leigie-sama, your hair is disheveled.』
『… I see.』
He was always burrowed into his bed, so there’s no way it could be in line.
In a tone as if it were just a pretext, Lorna touches Leigie-sama’s jet-black hair. His eyes remain closed, and he doesn’t say a word.
The moment she touched it, I saw Lorna’s face get dyed a light red.
She hasn’t said anything. She hasn’t said anything, but I’m jealous.
I heard a rumor on the wind. That Leigie-sama has gotten around to remembering Lorna’s name. His ever-so-reserved attendant was likely the cause of him going out a little while ago as well.
… Even though he hasn’t remembered my name yet.
It’s no good. No good anymore. It’s definitely no good.
I take rough breaths as I wipe my eyes with a handkerchief. The white cloth, after being brushed against my eyes only once, changed to a shade of vermillion endlessly close to black.
Ah, you are… my longing.
I understand that it’s something without meaning.
But if I… if I was a Demon Lord, I would be able to perfectly imitate Lorna’s form!
Those meaningless ambitions swirled around my head.
No matter how many times they turned, there was no signs of the endless stream of tears stopping. The weight of the handkerchief sucking up my envy was abominable.
I have no time. Whether I can win against Heard, honestly I do not know.
Thinking back to Deije’s warning, the probability is quite low. He’s a man whose nature I do not fully understand. I’m not sure whether he’s hiding anything or not.
Then before that, I’ll fulfill my desire.
I give up on wiping the tears.
I unlock the door, and leave the room.
My legs shake, and I put my hand on the wall to steady myself, as I head towards Leigie-sama’s room. On the way, I passed by one of my subordinates.
She tried to call out greetings to me, but seeing my face, she open her eyes wide with a shocked expression.
There’s no need for you to worry about it. My cravings aren’t pointed at you.
Trying to convey that, I attempted to force a smile onto my face, but seeing that, her face turned pale, and she fled.
(TL: The gender given to the subordinate here is vague, so it can be either male or female)
Ah… if I was able to smile like Lorna, she wouldn’t have run, right?
But that is also a trivial matter.
Before, I had all the time in the world, but until time started running out, I was unable to strengthen my Envy. I am an unsightly Demon, without a doubt.
There are plenty of Demons who have given up on their cravings, but having once tasted being a Minus, I am unable to resign myself.
I grit my teeth.
“It’s no good, definitely…”
“Kusu kusu kusu… what’s no good?”
I was supposed to be talking to myself there.
From around the turn of the passage, a single shadow showed itself.
Golden hair, blue eyes. A Demon wearing a maid outfit equipped with a skirt shorter than Lorna’s.
Hiero. Lorna’s sister. Number two of the house in service to Leigie-sama.
She gives an irritating laugh. While she has an appearance similar to Lorna’s, she wears a different atmosphere.
At the same time, she’s a Superbia Demon like Heard, but she’s a a special one who doesn’t go out in battle.
Why must pride raise such irritating voices? Her expression, tone, every part of her got on my nerves.
“I was driven away by oneechan, but in exchange, I’ve found something quite interesting.”
“…I have no business with you.”
“Kusu kusu kusu, Medea-san, your act is slipping off, you know?”
On her words, I suddenly noticed.
The imitation『Luxuria』 aura I always wore with a skill had been released.
I take deep breaths, and re-cloak myself in Lust.
With interested eyes, she looked over me.
“… I see, I had always been thinking it. No matter the case, your impression was too light for Lust. Kusu kusu kusu…”
Like I care.
I have no need to conceal it any further. In the first place, I have no interest in someone like Hiero.
From the start, the one I wanted to hide myself from… was Leigie alone.
Hiero takes out a handkerchief to wipe my eyes, and looking at the black cloth, she smiled brightly.
Without caring about dirtying herself, she put the handkerchief into her pocket.
“And what do you plan to do? Looking like that?”
“… As if you have to know.”
“Kusu kusu kusu, you’re no fun. I wonder what I should do… if I stopped you, would oneechan praise me?”
This one… does she want to fight?
Against a General like me?
It’s true that Envy Skills don’t have high attack power at all. But I have all the Skills I’ve Envied so far.
I’ll likely win. I’m not as weak as to lose to some normal mediocre Demon.
But even when on the receiving end of my bloodlust, Hiero smiled with an innocent face.
“… It’s a joke. A joke! Please don’t make such a dangerous face for a simple joke. Kusu kusu, fine, I’ll let you pass. Oneechan is… still in the room, but she should leave soon enough. Good grief, she loves to take her time…”
“… What’s your goal?”
I cannot understand what this girl is thinking.
She hasn’t lived that long, and she shouldn’t have proceeded that far down the Pride Tree, but from her expression, while it may be a different type, I perceive a pride like Heard’s.
Not that she’s making fun of me, but that she’s looking down on me by nature.
And her exprecion held an unfitting amount of wisdom.
“Nothing really~? I don’t have a goal. I mean Medea-san’s going to be killed soon so I thought that at the very least, I would let you accomplish your desires is all.”
Hey, don’t you think so as well, Medea-san?
Hiero raises her voice and laughs.
There’s a throbbing pain in my head. The Flame of Envy I was supposed to have restrained is raging up.
“Well, I think you can just do whatever you want. Leigie-sama… kusu kusu, won’t try to stop you, let alone mind.”
It’s no good, I have no time.
How much time would it take to annihilate this one? A minute? Ten? Or perhaps even more?
I have no time to care about Hiero.
Once she opens the way, I turn my eyes to her just once more, before directing them back ahead.
Blood drips, staining the carpet.
“Kusu kusu. Ah, if you end up killing oneechan, please tell me, ‘kay? It’s my turn next.”
I can’t deal with her.
Even after Hiero left, her annoying laugh resounded in my ears.
What’s so strange? What’s so funny?
… None of that matters.
I only have one regret left here.
Leigie-sama’s room comes into sight. Lorna has already left it.
From the start, I never had any plans of killing her. I’m not sure what would happen if she got in my way, but she’s a lot busier than an average soldier, and she’s always humble when in front of Leigie-sama’s eyes. Even when she’s so surprisingly intense at night.
I knock the large door once, before slowly opening it.
From what I can see with my eyes, Leigie-sama’s room is, after having been burned through by Lize-san a couple of times, different than the one I entered long ago, but the atmosphere I felt was identical.
Incomparable to Envy or Greed or Wrath or Gluttony, an intense air of Acedia.
“Pardon… the intrusion… Leigie-sama.”
On my voice, Leigie-sama won’t raise an answer. I knew that from the start.
I lock the door behind my back, and approach the bed Leigie-sama was buried in.
As if he had died, his eyes were lightly shut. His countenance was such that not a single expression lingered on his face, and I couldn’t determine whether or not he was awake.
Even when he’s before my eyes, I don’t particularly feel anything. The King of Sloth without a single thing for me to Envy. Just like a sculpture… no more than that, like a corpse, the King of Depravity didn’t stir in the slightest.
When I’m envious of everything I am unable to get my hands on, I can’t find a single thing in Leigie-sama to be jealous of.
It’s natural. What I was jealous of wasn’t Leigie-sama himself, but of his surroundings.
I move the palm of my hand to Leigie-sama’s face. He’s alive.
My unsightly tears of blood drip down, and stain that face.
“Leigie-sama… just what… should I long for… Why can I never be satisfied…”
Leigie-sama lightly opens his eyes, and his transparent gaze, without a hint of conceit, looks through me.
But he doesn’t say anything. That was excessively disheartening.
There is but a single clue.
In all that I’ve perceived, within my memory, Lorna is the one I hold the most Envy towards.
… That’s why if I’m able to accomplish something Lorna cannot, my jealousy should clear up a little.
“Leigie-sama… do you remember my name?”
“Eh? Really!? Is it alright if I ask you to say it?”
His eyes asked the question, ‘who is this?’
… Just what instincts does Leigie-sama live on?
Even looking at my streaming tears of blood, even when his face is stained, he doesn’t stir in the slightest. I am unable to move Leigie-sama’s heart.
It’s something I already knew, long ago.
I lift the hem of my robe, and give a polite curtsy.
Then in the end, I’ll adorn myself with a impression of perfect beauty.
“Leigie-sama… I’m called Medea Luxeliahart. The Sin I govern is 『Luxuria』. It is a pleasure to be in your service.”
“… I see.”
He let out a gloomy voice.
My soul core is beating noisily.
But this is strange. Even when before the man himself, my Envy isn’t satisfied in the slightest. I am… just what am I overlooking?
Whatever the case, I have no time.
I untie the ribbon holding the robe closed at the neck, and leave the red strip on the side table.
One by one, the wooden buttons are unfastened by my shaking hands.
I withdraw my arms, and the robe falls to my feet. My bare shoulders feel a pleasant cool sensation upon coming into contact with the air.
All that’s protecting my body is a light one-piece, and the underwear I’m wearing underneath. I’m not even wearing my military uniform. There’s nothing to protect me.
It’s not like when Zebul stripped it all. The act of taking it off by myself is much more embarrassing than I had anticipated. Demons of Lust sure are amazing.
My lips quiver. In a shaking voice, I declare to Leigie-sama.
“… Henceforth… I will be violating you.”
“… I see.”
“… Meaning, I will be completely ignoring your will, and forcefully committing sexual acts with you.”
“… I see.”
Even after embarrassingly declaring that much, the expression on Leigie-sama’s face hasn’t changed in the slightest, and his eyebrows don’t even shift a millimeter.
There isn’t a trace of human emotion. No shyness or fear. While yawning, his absentmindedly-shifting gaze makes it so I’m not even sure if he’s looking at me.
As I confirmed that the flow of my tears had become stronger, my shaking hands moved to remove the top-most button on the one-piece.
Part 4: This Is Too Much…
Even after giving up my body and feelings, my feelings of envy barely subsided at all. That was probably the portion of my envy that had been directed at Lorna.
The large Hell that formed the base wasn’t filled in at all.
My feeling of impatience isn’t lessening at all. In a daze, I cleaned myself up, and nimbly put on the clothing I had discarded.
“Thank you… for your time…”
Leigie-sama shows not an iota of movement. Even during the act, he barely moved at all.
Even when I deeply lower my head, he doesn’t give an answer. His eyes remained closed. I was on the verge of tears.
Does this Demon Lord even have any sexual desire? No, I’ll bet he does.
I mean, that’s why we were able to do it in the first place.
The King of Idleness.
Experiencing his abnormal way of life once more, I felt an extreme feeling of loss and despair. I can’t even raise a hollowed out laugh.
But if this isn’t it, then what could be the source of the Envy I obtained?
I had always thought it stemmed from the yearning I had towards Leigie-sama. The Luxuria I obtained through my Envy was in order to catch Leigie-sama’s eye, and that’s why I always feigned being one.
This can’t be. I can’t follow this anymore.
I cannot find the target of my Envy. It must have been something that birthed emotions great enough to awaken me to my Sin.
What should I do from now on?
My swaying field of vision. Without my thoughts coming into order, my uncertain feet headed for the door.
I undo the lock, and open it.
“… Hm. Are you done yet?”
“… Ah… I see…”
That voice enlightened me.
… So I’m already out of time.
Leaning his body on the wall outside, was a black haired man glaring at me.
Supreme Commander, Heard Lauder.
Leigie’s top follower.
At the same time I reached enlightenment, an intense anger stained the scene before me in red.
… So be it. If you’ll get in my way, then seeing whether or not your 『Superbia』 is stronger than my 『Invidia』 isn’t a bad option.
I’ve lost the trail I had been following for years, and I’m in the mood to take my anger out on someone.
I get by breathing in order.
“Kusu kusu, Medea-san, did you fulfill your desire?”
Next to him stands Hiero. With a tasteless full smile, she looked down on me.
It’s not fulfilled. There’s no way it could be fulfilled.
I still have regret remaining. No, my regret has only gotten deeper.
I lick my lips. Luckily, my tears had already stopped. Well, there’s no doubt I’m making a terrible expression right now.
I straighten my shaking legs.
I raise my eyes to see the Demon of Pride, two heads taller than me.
Of course, I’m not being negligent, but Pride Demons generally don’t initiate surprise attacks. Even more so when the enemy is of lower status.
Just in case, I confirm it one last time.
“Heard Lauder… do you plan on fighting me…?”
“… To direct killing intent at me, you’ve grown up admirably, have you not. Fight? Wrong, this is simple… judgement.”
The same intolerable tone as ever.
But there, Heard seemed to suddenly remember something.
“… Hm, but you have accomplished the meritorious deed of troubling Leigie-sama, and thus weakening him.”
“… What? What are you…”
This man… what is he…
Deije’s lines revive in my mind.
A bad premonition. Right, that’s what he said.
The pressure I can feel just by him standing there. The feeling of oppression.
A great pressure as if the air itself was being crushed, no different from when Zebul stood before my eyes.
Supreme Commander Heard Lauder’s supposed to be the strongest Demon in the Army next to Leigie. But did he always have this extent of power, this air about him?
The Prideful Kaiser.
In the past, he supported this army alone, the greatest veteran. This army’s dictator.
With eyes as if he was observing a stone on the side of the road, Heard inspected my whole body.
“… Right, this is an exception. In accordance to your achievements, and as mercy towards a former comrade, I don’t mind keeping you around for the army’s relaxation use.”
“Kusu kusu kusu, isn’t that nice, Medea-san? To get away without dying. Kusu kusu, isn’t this your long-cherished ambition as a『Luxuria』?”
Hiero laughs annoyingly.
Ah, this is no good.
Even if I’m not Wrath, I feel a great need to kill this one.
Strange? Sense of discomfort? Strong?
I know all of that.
But if I stayed silent here after all this, I would be a failure as a Demon.
Even if I don’t govern Superbia, I have my pride.
Even if I don’t govern Wrath, there are things that make me angry.
Right now, 『Envy』 isn’t even coming to mind.
“… Heard, I am thankful to you. Back when I was just a normal Demon, you gave me a job.”
“… Hm, I need no thanks. All I care about is the result.”
And he laughed scornfully, as if to say, ‘And you didn’t even bring about any results.’
But even if his eyes shined with pride, he wasn’t negligent.
To eliminate even the million to one chance of him slipping, to protect his pride, he performed all of his abnormal training.
That is the nature of the one who continues to reign over Pride, Heard Lauder.
As such, he has always shined as the Supreme Commander of Leigie-sama’s forces.
From the depths of his existence, magic, desire is drawn out.
It’s been about three days since the end of the Zebul War. Physical state aside, my magic is in perfect condition.
“… Should we change locations?”
He probably knew I wasn’t expecting a yes.
With an uninterested expression, exactly like Leigie’s, he looked down on me.
“Location… Hm, there’s no need. No, more so, doing it here saves some effort.”
“No, I was talking to myself there… Now, Medea Luxeliahart. Come at me.”
Hiero quietly moves herself to the side.
Heard seems quite relaxed. Without a sign of him having entered a battle stance, his face continued to lord over and despise everything equally.
I’m being taken lightly.
… Fine. I’ll call your bet.
Without letting my guard down, and paying attention to Heard’s movements, I took in a deep breath…
…I used the『Imitate』 skill.
My thoughts flash like lightning, and race around my body.
What floats in my mind is a green-haired girl. Alone, she led her army, and turned her blade to the Great Demon King; a powerful Demon Lord.
The flames of Envy burn up before my eyes.
Without restraint, I expend the pool of magic I had been saving up.
My knees shake. My body falls backward for a moment. It’s a frightening Mana cost. The amount even exceeded that used up by the SS Skill of the Demon Lord of Lust, 『Phantom Aliquot Dance』.
It was a true Demon Lord’s Skil.
Originally, it’s the summit reached only by Demons who have put thousands and thousands of years into fulfilling their cravings.
I Envied that. Without any respect or honor.
Something weighs down on my hand.
It’s an 『Invidia』 Skill to perfectly preserve the Skills of those I’ve Envied.
Just like 『Avaritia』’s 『Skill Ruler』, it skips the experience required to achieve it, a means reserved to Envy.
Unlike with 『Skill Ruler』, where you can strengthen gained skills, with 『Imitate』 you can use the Skills in the state from which they were imitated.
The same level at which the real one used it.
『Fang of Origin』
It was the skill she used in the battle with Leigie-sama.
A curved pure white crescent-moon-shaped blade manifested before me, before being clad in the black mists of hunger.
Heard frowned. But even after seeing me use a Skill that clearly wasn’t Lust, he wasn’t shocked.
I’ll bet Hiero told him. By nature, Demons who govern Pride have an absolute hierarchical system among them.
I had forgotten. No, I didn’t connect it. The Supreme Commander, and the maid apprentice.
But that doesn’t really matter. That won’t do anything to break a Demon Lord’s Skills.
“That is… Hm, Zebul the Devourer… a Gula Skill, is it?”
Pressure. Frightening starvation. The blade sucks up my nutrients, and my vision grows hazy. My footing becomes unsteady.
Completely ignoring that, I lowered my body to the ground, and kicked the floor.The tip of the sword grazed the floor as it made a vacuum with its swing.
It was something even Leigie-sama had to dodge. The skill Zebul selected from her eternity of life specifically to eliminate the Lord of Sloth.
In just a single step, I close in on him, and swing upwards.
Heard, seeing that attack, smiled with obvious disdain.
Vibrations as if the building was shaking. The floor gives in. The moment before the blade was able to eat into him, his form vanished.
The fang easily pierces through the wall protected by a barrier.
“… Hm, as I thought… how useless.”
From behind, I heard a voice. When I hurriedly turned around, my flank was struck. Befrore I could even feel any pain, my vision was buried in a wall.
Pain. An impact that shook my entire body. Judgement. A decrease in my ability to sustain life. The sharp pain in my flank. A few of my bones are gone.
The back of my head is being pressed hard.
“Even if you have a Demon Lord’s skills, a measly Invidia would never be able to master them.”
The right arm holding the sword was crushed. My hand is forcefully opened. The fang turns to sand, and fades.
It wasn’t that absurd teleportation that Leigie-sama displayed. It was pure movement based on his physical ability. It was just simple speed, but to my level of dynamic vision, it was no different than instantaneous.
The idle Leigie.
The Dynamic Heard.
What physical strength. His sense of battle without a moment’s hesitation. My head is removed from the wall before it is rocked by another impact.
A thunderous roar. My semisircular canals are shaking. I can’t even tell what happened, but I do know that damage is piling up on my body.
My vision is tinted red.
“…Hm, as I thought, you’re just a lowly 『Invidia』… Just what part of this one caught Deije’s eyes… I cannot comprehend.”
On those words, that name, my hazy conscience responded.
I instinctively activate 『Imitate』. The target is a Demon of 『Avaritia』. The Usurper, Deije Breindac.
I’m jealous. I can’t help but be jealous.
Of his physical ability.
Power returns to my powerless arms. Red hot blood. The experience of Deije, who exchanged blows with a Demon Lord.
I grab Heard’s hand, which had grabbed me by the scruff of my neck. To the limit of my power. I try to crush it.
But Heard’s hand doesn’t waver in the slightest.
“… So that’s Deije’s brute strength… hm, it’s a waste to have been lent to someone like you.”
My body floats. By the time I noticed it, I had been singlehandedly thrown.
My head experiences a shock. But that’s instantly dealt with using my Status Abnormality Resistance. My dynamic vision perfectly capture the wall closing in on me. But I’m unable to do anything.
I protect my head before I crash. It’s an impact that cuts through my body. Perhaps due to Deije’s durability, I don’t particularly take too much damage.
The Demon of Pride started approaching me as if he was taking a leisure stroll.
“Hm… not bad. 『Invidia』, I will permit you to envy Leigie-sama.”
“… What are…”
A warped smile floats on Heard’s mouth.
“You envied him, right? As you swung your hips above him. Hm, I’m telling you to go use that, fool.”
This man… just how much will he make a fool of me?
The amount of rage I feel is dyeing my head red.
Suddenly, Deije’s words revive again.
『Well, do your best. As a former Supreme Commander, for argument’s sake, I’m praying for your survival, girly. 』
Right, no matter what, I need to stay alive.
… To fulfill my desire.
I stop imitating his physical ability.
Power drains out of my body. But I at least have enough strength to stand. And I use my magic again.
Me small consolation was that I was unable to fully manifest the『Fang of Origin』, so I still have some magic.
I lick my lips. Don’t look down on Envy. I yearn for everything, desire for it, even if I am unable to change myself, I Envy.
“… Then I’ll show it to you. The power of the Lord of Sloth!”
What I imagine is my lord. Always in the bed, on the floor, on the rough ground of the desert, Always sprawled out with a pained expression on his face, lazily lowering his hand as if to squash a fly. The lone King of Sloth. The Needless King.
Of his power. Of his way of life.
… And I envied that Skill.
I lightly swung my hand.
Heard’s body was suddenly thrown against the wall.
As if he had been crushed by my hand.
How should I put this…what an idle Skill.
Upon the lack of any resistance I felt, I looked at my own hand in amazement.
Good grief, there isn’t a single feeling on my hand. All I did was wave it. With a loud sound, cracks spread across the barrier-protected wall.
Without thinking anything, I clenched my hand.
Just with that, wrinkles spread across Heard’s black clothing as if it had been gripped.
『Miracle Wonder Lighthand』
That was the Skill’s name. The name of the Skill I learned through Leigie.
While it may be miraculous, or wonderful, I think there’s something wrong with that name. But it’s definitely strong. One-sidedly strong.
On top of having almost no demerits, you can one-sidedly attack over a distance.
But even after taking the skill that was enough to slaughter Zebul, the Demon of Pride doesn’t seem panicked.
“『Sky Hand』, is it… how useless.”
Even while being ensnared, Heard looks down on me.
At that moment, the skill was forcibly cancelled.
His floating body falls, and he lands gracefully on his feet. His body and expression haven’t taken damage.
He smooths out his wrinkled clothes with his hand. With a bored look.
I can’t believe it… what did he do? He cancelled out a skill from the Lazy King?
No, that’s not it. I can kinda understand what he did.
Heard Lauder is a Demon of Pride.
That being the case, there is but a single answer I can reach.
This is 『Superbia』’s 『Overrule』 Skill.
I determined it had crossed over the depths of my heart… It has the ability to nullify Overruled Skills, and to bring about absolute status adjustment to Overruled opponents. One of the abilities of Pride.
But that cannot be. Even if he can Overrule most skills, this isn’t normal.
“That can’t… how were you able to do that to Leigie-sama’s…”
“… Hm, pointless. Invidia, I asked you you to use it, did I not? I asked you to imitate it, did I not? Leigie of Sloth’s…”
He hesitates for a moment.
He pushes the sole of his foot into the ground, and attacks by lowering his other raised leg.
Even if I noticed, even if I knew, it was a lightning fast speed I couldn’t react to.
My body slams into the ground.
His immense power makes me unable to believe he’s of the same General Class.
His shoe, probably made of Dragon Leather grinds into my head as if he was treading over trash.
Even without looking, I can tell. His cold stare like a slap to the face. His piercing sharp, honed fighting spirit.
Heard Loader spoke as if spitting out his words.
There was power imbued in his words. I understood.
This one’s… on another level.
Even after having lived long years, there are plenty of Demons who don’t hold considerable power. I’ve seen more than enough of them. But this one’s different.
I don’t know how old he is, but his battle experience, magic, authority, all of it numbered close to the time he spent living.
Why, how. Why has a Pride Demon of this rank resigned himself to be the subordinate of a Demon Lord?
… I can’t win.
I barely move my head that was being trampled, and looked up a Heard.
“You… what… are you trying to do!?”
“… I told you to 『Imitate』. I did not tell you to open your mouth.”
After lifting his leg in an instant, it came down, and crushed my jaw.
Sharp pain. Blood spreads across my mouth, and the hard item I can barely feel is probably my teeth, or bone. My blood spreads across the ground, but for some reason, my vision became strangely clear.
Within my hazy conscious, my thoughts cannot keep up.
My sight is tinted a light black. Someone is looking down over me.
“… Kusu kusu kusu… Heard-san, this child’s lost consciousness, it seems.”
“… Hm… well it was my mistake to place expectations on her, I guess. If she could only reproduce a fraction of Leigie-sama’s power, it would still be fine… is what it means.”
“… Well I guess that’s that. Kusu kusu kusu, in the first place, this one was said to be the weakest among the commanding officers.”
I can’t hear anything. I can’t see anything.
I feel my Soul Core rapidly losing power.
I’ve taken too much damage. I used too many skills that were too much for me.
And still, I wasn’t a match.
My vision darkens. I can’t see anything. I can’t feel anything.
At that time, a clear image flooded into my mind.
It wasn’t of the few thousand years I spent alive.
It was of Leigie-sama hugging me in place of his pillow, and bringing me here.
That sensation was vivid. His bored expression. His arms, from which I couldn’t even sense warmth. With his eyes still closed, an unmoving Leigie-sama.
Leigie-sama roughly spreading me over the bed. Kanon-sama frowning upon finding me.
Leigie comparing options with sleepy eyes. It was the first time anxiety had been born into my heart.
Leigie-sama let go of me.
And what he held instead was…
An impact jolts my head. I don’t really care that I was on the brink of death.
I’m not sure by what logic, but color starts returning to my eyes.
N-not even being able to die when killed… this is too much.
Pillow!? … Wai… don’t tell me the origin of my…
I unintentionally cried out, but my mouth had been smashed so a strange voice came out.
“… Huh? You still have consciousness? Kusu kusu, you’re a tough one. There!”
Fingers like whitebait, a pointed hand mercilessly thrusted at both of my eyes.
My eyes are crushed, and my vision becomes pitch black by very physical means. I managed to wring out a scream from my throat. The fingers continue to dig around inside my eyes.
The intense pain makes me really feel me consciousness leaving me this time.
I really don’t care anymore. Just kill me already…
My senses are paralyzed. The sensation of the fingers on my eyes. I don’t even feel pain anymore. It’s just the feeling of movement there was extremely disturbing.
The moment my consciousness was swallowed by darkness again, I heard a faint voice.
“Kusu kusu, Heard-san. You don’t need this anymore, right? Can I take it then?”
“… Hm, I don’t need it, but… what do you plan to use it for…?”
My body sways. My sensations are out of line.
“This… I think I’ll be able to Overrule it. I thought it would be useful for a little 『Experiment』…”
“… Hm, so be it. That is but another way for a 『Superbia』 to advance, but let me just add this. I don’t care what you do with it, but make sure you throw it away once you’re done.”
“Kusu kusu kusu, I know, Heard-san. Please leave the cleanup to me. Heard-san, you have to… Leigie-sama…”
“… Correct. I don’t have the time to be wasting on trivial matters… Hm, I’ve used some time pointlessly. Leigie the Depraved… is it? My father sure has fallen. I’ll make sure to make a final greeting.”
I’m fading, but I can still feel a faint beat in my Soul Core.
The words I was barely able to pick up from Heard pique my curiosity.
As I lose focus on my own conscious, my mind falls to hell.
I frantically regain focus.
Fa…ther? What does that mean?
Heard Lauder’s father is Leigie-sama?
First I’ve heard of it. I’ve been here for a while, but I’ve never heard of something like that. Not even a rumor.
Something is wrong. Letting Heard go like that is wrong.
But I cannot move my body. My consciousness either.
My life flashing before my eyes increases my heart rate, and my mind resurface, but I’m at my limit.
My arms won’t even twitch. It’s like the unmoving feeling was all I could feel.
It felt as if I had lingering regrets.
“Haa… oneechan’s the same, but Medea-san, you’re too durable… Do you really have that many regrets in life? Kusu kusu, really Lust and Envy are too sturdy… But Leigie-sama’s another story…”
Impacts shake my whole body, and my breath stopped instantly.
Before that happened, a dim light had returned to my eyes.
What was in front of me was the form of Hiero pouring the contents of a small glass bottle.
Drops of water flow down my face. The intense pain that followed my sudden revival made me try to cry out, but Hiero stuffed a shoe in my mouth.
“Well, well, don’t trouble me so much, Medea-san. Kusu kusu, if Heard-san finds out, he’ll kill us all together, won’t he? Can’t you be quiet for a while?”
As if something was interesting, she smiled as she moved the shoe around again and again, before finally removing it.
After that, she fished another glass bottle out of her pocket.
That marketing logo on the bottle… it’s a Potion made to restore lifeforms. It’s something I have familiarity with seeing lined up in the army’s storerooms.
After removing the cap, she starts sprinkling it on me from a needlessly high altitude.
Potions are a super high class commodity. They’re a miracle medicine that can even regenerate lost body parts.
Normally, one doesn’t have the leisure to take one out in battle, so it’s something that’s saved for emergency situations, when they’re really needed.
A potions effects include softening pain. My crushed jaw is repaired.
“Arara, so even two wasn’t enough. Your HP must be really high… want a third one…?”
“I-I don’t need one… I’m fine already!”
“Kusu kusu, don’t be reckless. See, see.”
Her foot tread over my ribs.
There’s pain as if something was broken inside of my stomach.
I can’t even tell what’s going on anymore. Is she trying to harass me, or is she healing me?
The second I opened my mouth to complain, a bottle was thrust in.
Liquid flows directly down my throat. When I thought I was about to break out into a coughing fit, her hand forcefully closed my mouth.
From my nose, potion flows. Seeing that, she gives a light and refined smile.
“Goho, goho, w-what are you scheming?”
“Hmm? Scheme? I just saved you, so I think there’s something you should say first, right?”
What an irritating phrasing.
I hurriedly observe the surroundings. The crack in the wall, and the collapsed floor. My location hasn’t changed at all from the moment I lost consciousness.
I feel cheated for some reason.
“Now, now Medea… wheres~ your~ thanks~?”
She speaks with a sparkling smile.
I grit my teeth.
“… Thank you. I was saved.”
“Kusu kusu, my pleasure. From now on, you should learn your place, and know when to run, you know? There’s no way you’d ever be able to beat Heard-san, Medea-san. In the first place, 『Superbia』 has a strong affinity against 『Invidia』.”
She strokes my hair as if patting a dog.
It irritates me, but the fact that I still have my life is lucky.
More importantly, my feelings of questioning how and why are stronger.
Having received my glance, Hiero lets out a sigh.
The passageway… she looked around the corner of the passage that led to Leigie-sama’s room, and looked down on me with philanthropic eyes.
“No… isn’t there the possibility that Leigie-sama will ask to embrace Medea-san again? Only in the realm of great possibilities, in the million to one area, though… kusu kusu…”
I… I cannot comprehend.
It’s too unfamiliar to me. How does that Lorna have a sister like this?
I don’t get the meaning. I cannot comprehend.
Heard’s power was frightening, but so is Hiero’s mentality.
For that reason… she didn’t even change locations, but healed me as I was?
If Heard returned, what did you plan on doing?
My thoughts swirl. Her over-the top reason made it so I could only return a sentence.
“… I don’t think that’ll ever happen.”
“I’m of the same opinion. I mean, your body is so scarce… if it was oneechan, I would understand, though…”
Are you picking a fight?
“No, but, if Leigie-sama ever invites you to his bed, you’ll respond, right? Try saying it. I was saved by Hiero of 『Superbia』, so please relish in my scarce body.”
It’s something with an almost one hundred percent chance of never happening, but I resolved myself to never use that line if such an opportunity did arise.
This isn’t about having my life saved or anything, I just won’t.
“Kusu kusu kusu, well, let’s leave the jokes around here…”
… So that was a joke.
She’s always smiling, so I can never tell whether she’s being sincere or messing around.
With a serious expression, Hiero looked at the passageway. A fleeting glance as if to indicate Leigie-sama’s room.
“Heard-san intends on killing Leigie-sama. He’ll aim for the gap where he’s been weakened from fighting the Demon Lord.”
“… Hah? Wha, why… no, that’s wrong… I see.”
That’s not sane.
Even if he just defeated a Demon Lord, Leigie-sama barely got any wounds, and he barely used any Skills. He doesn’t seem weakened at all. No, he’s sleeping, so it’s not like I can tell, but…
Even so, if Heard intends to kill him… he must have some sort of plan.
In the first place, killing one’s master is one form of Pride.
If that’s the meaning behind Heard’s incomprehensible words, then I can understand.
Continuing on, after a large stretch, Hiero let out a sigh.
Her eyes filled with annoyance were tinted with a color unbecoming of her young appearance.
“I’ve made a bet with myself, you see. I’m definitely a Pride Demon like him, but unrelated to that, I bet that Heard-san will lose. Well, it’s just instinct, so if Heard-san does attain victory, then I’ll slay Medea-san right here. Kusu kusu kusu… in truth, I’m a strong ally to have you know.”
“… I see.”
This one is no good. She’s natural trash.
But her saving my life is also a fact. I decided not to voice my opinion.
I stand up, and move my body. My magic is pretty much empty, but the pain is gone.
My wounds have been completely healed.
“… Then why did you fully heal me? You could just make it so I barely survived, or something…”
Even if she didn’t restore my Mana, there should be a difference in ability between me and Hiero.
If she fully heals me, the possibility that I would run away would be high.
On my question, Hiero threw out a carefree answer.
“… That~ is~ because eight out of nine times, Leigie-sama will win! Heard-san definitely is absurdly strong, but… Leigie-sama’s power is incomprehensible. Pride is extraordinarily weak towards the unknown…if his opponent was weakened, he might be able to pull through, but Leigie-sama is Demon Lord Rank Three. It would be the end once he unraveled a skill he’d never displayed before, wouldn’t it? Definitely.”
Again, those admirably bitter words. But as a Pride like him, her words held some persuasive power.
I was crushed to death with worry, and alongside Hiero, I looked over the corner.
… Pillow, desire, what should I do.