Non-commentated version of this chapter here for those that don’t want to interrupt their reading of the story with my rambling.
Chapter 44 – Honesty
“Can I ask one thing? Why did you lie?”
Serena asked Tika, who was kneeling on the cobblestone road.
Tika knew my name. They must’ve at least told her that I was here.
However, Tika just said that they were only told that there was someone with a Dark Crest here that has almost completely turned into a Devil by now. Serena was most likely trying to say that her story contradicted itself.
I was the one that answered Serena’s question.
“Did you think that someone who goes out of their way to say that they are telling the truth would really be honest? Tika was testing me.”
(TN: The only side-effect is that you can’t trust a word they say after that.)
I nodded to Serena, whose head was tilted in confusion, then turned to face Tika and Nat.
“Let me be honest…..”
Right after I said what I said about that, I ended up using the same preface……how embarrassing.
“I spared your lives because I empathize with your circumstances. You, who tried to kill me and kept lying to me till the very end.”
“To even forgive those transgressions of us like that….You are indeed a magnanimous person. That makes you a person worthy of entrusting our lives to. But, what do you mean by our circumstances?”
Elysia answered Tika’s question instead of me.
“Alec-sama intends to create a place here in Tialus where people with Dark Crests like you and demons could live in peace. Because he knows your pain.”
(TN: I guess he experienced similar discrimination in his first life, but even then he was a Prince, not really the same as expandable child soldiers who were most likely discarded by their parents to a monastery. So ‘because he knows your pain’ is a kind of pretentious thing to say. Even if it’s not the MC that actually says it.)
That surprised me a little.
Elysia managed to convey my feelings perfectly.
When we went to buy some things from the monastery in the Capital, I told Elysia about my plan to invite people with Dark Crests, like Leena, to Alus.
(TN: I think the author messed up here because he wrote Leese instead of Leena, but I don’t think there was anyone by that name so far, so I corrected it to Leena.)
….it seems Elysia managed to properly grasp my intentions.
However, Elysia was glaring coldly at the two.
“I can honestly say that I will never forgive you two. However…..Alec-sama spared your lives. Use those lives solely to Alec-sama’s benefit in the future.”
‘Honestly say’, huh…..
In reality, Elysia must be feeling conflicted about their circumstances as well.
Tika looked at me with a serious expression.
“That’s our intention as well…..We’ll live only for Alec-sama’s sake from now on!”
(TN: I’m somewhat conflicted about this translation, since it originally said ‘will live’ or something akin to that, which was the last word spoken by Tika. By repeating that, Nat suggests that she’s saying the same, which is kind of how Ditto is used. So I put that here.)
Nat also bowed her head deeply.
Seeing those two do that, I also bowed.
“Thank you. I won’t make you regret it. However, first…..would you tell me about the people behind it all?”
“Yes. The one who ordered us to murder Alec-sama was…..the Head Priest of the capital, Burios. Of course, we weren’t told to do this directly, but through secret messages.”
The Head Priest of the capital is the one that supervises all the temples in the capital; a very important position.
The one that serves in this position is frequently the one that succeeds the highest authority in the Church of Lux, the Pope.
In fact, before I came back, the Head Priest of the capital, Burios, indeed became the Pope. He should be taking over the position of the Pope in five or six years.
After becoming the Pope, Burios started strongly advocating for the introduction of a class system based on Crests, against the wishes of the emperor.
I think the Pope had something to do with the large uprising that had the goal of installing my younger brother, Ruivel, on the emperor’s throne that was happening on the last day before I came back.
And it goes without saying that this Burios is a member of the Order of the Most Holy Church. He said so himself and he’s certainly one of their high ranking members.
(TN: Kind of hard to imagine the frickin Pope or Head Priest of the church not being a high ranking member of a subset organization.)
Tika looked at me with some confusion.
“You don’t…..seem to be that surprised by that?”
“Huh? Ah, I guess not.”
Burios is an influential figure in the empire’s government. The normal thing would be to panic when getting targeted by a person like that.
“Well, I was just thinking that this Burios is most likely a member of the Order of the Most Holy Church. Trying to kill someone with a Dark Crest is natural for them.”
“I guess so…..We also have Dark Crests, so they most likely intended to disappear us as well in the end. No matter how much we exorcize the Devils and eliminate the enemies of the Church on their orders, in the end we……”
Tika raised her hand up and kept looking at the back of her hand.
“According to the secret message, if we try to go back without succeeding, they wouldn’t guarantee the well-being of our friends from the monastery we lived at. All of them have Dark Crests, just like us and Alec-sama…..”
Dark Crests, huh…..
I focused my attention on Tika’s Crest.
Tika tilted her head in confusion.
“Well, it’s just your Crest is apparently called 【Lunar Eclipse】. Setting aside the Dark Magic aptitude, you can also erase your presence…..it may be similar to how my 《Conceal》 spell works. Though it works best in dark places apparently.”
“……Lunar Eclipse? Conceal? What are those?”
“Ahh, well….it’s just, it seems Tika’s Crest gives some blessings to covert actions.”
Elysia then spoke to Tika who’s mouth stayed open in surprise.
“Alec-sama is able to decipher Dark Crests.”
“T-that’s…..well, I’ve been doing jobs like that for a long while now.”
Nat then murmured something to Tika.
“I’m convinced. There are indeed times when Tika disappears somehow.”
“As if you’re not the same, Nat!”
“That’s possible……Nat’s is called 【Dark Eagle】. This one also helps with hiding your presence, though not as much as 【Lunar Eclipse】. Also, it gives a blessing to hunting and fighting it seems. Apparently, this one works best in dark places as well.”
After I said that, Nat looked at Tika with a boastful expression.
“…..what are you being all proud for?”
“Because I have a stronger presence than Tika and my Crest helps with battle too.”
“It was me who always won during practice!”
Giving the bickering two a sidelong glance, Elysia spoke.
“So the both of you had Crest suited for assassination it seems. Indeed Tika almost seemed to disappear at times and Nat’s sharpshooter skills were also very impressive.”
“Well, they were pretty good at fighting, but as assassins, they were less than ideal…..”
Serena also spoke, sounding somewhat exasperated.
Just then, Elysia spoke to me with a strong tone.
“Please leave educating this inept duo to us! We will mercilessly train these two to be of use to you, Alec-sama!”
“K-keep it to a reasonable level……Tika, Nat.”
Hearing my words, Tika and Nat stopped bickering and kneeled in front of me.
“Publically, you two will be known to be deceased within the monster territory. That way they are unlikely to do anything to your compatriots in the monastery you used to live in.”
“That would be very helpful to us…..We already died once. We will live for only Alec-sama’s sake.”
(TN: I very much dislike how it always takes about a ten minute discussion, or even less, for people to suddenly dedicate their entire existence to this creepy child. That’s why I keep bringing up the background mind control; they are all acting like seriously brainwashed fanatics in short order.)
I don’t really want that though……I don’t want that, but Tika’s and Nat’s abilities are really attractive to Tialus and me.
Let’s have them lend their skills to us.
(TN: Wow, took him a few seconds to do a 180 on that.)
“Very well…..I’ll believe those words. Also, although Elysia started it with ‘I can honestly say’…… that was true. I’m planning on letting the people still living in the monastery you two used to live at move to this Island at some point.”
(TN: Elysia did not preface that by ‘I can honestly say’, that was said before she said that she wouldn’t forgive them. Was the author incapable of scrolling back a few lines to double check this? Or catch this in the editing phase? Who am I kidding, if this wasn’t fixed since it was published, it’s unlikely he even reviews the thing he writes before uploading it.)
Tika’s voice trembled.
Nat also looked shocked.
“…..of course, it will most likely be in the form of coming to be my servants.”
(TN: God forbid that they would escape being turned into Servants of course.)
Both of them teared up due to my words.
“…..w-we will persuade them to come for sure!”
“…….Alec-sama, banzai. Alec-sama, super cute.”
(TN: Oh god, another one fallen.)
Tika and Nat bowed to me deeply.
After that, I asked for further information about the Order of the Most Holy Church.
It seems there were already more than ten thousand Order of the Most Holy Church members in the capital. If we count those who support them outside the capital as well, their forces should number in the tens of thousands……
(TN: I don’t really think all of those would be fanatic enough to resort to violence. Or maybe they are if the author decides they are.)
They will keep discriminating against not just me, but all those with Dark Crests and demons as well.
I want to make this Tialus a safe haven from those people…..
Then in time, I would like to live here in peace and comfort as well.
To that end, we need to make this island more livable and make more money.
So I decided to stay at Alus Island for a good while and focus on creating more magic tools.