That was the name of the Demon Lord.
‘Our sky is in danger.’
‘We must not let the demons target our sky.’
‘We will be destroyed if we do not stop Abyss.’
The Demon Lord was trying to take the sky.
People said that the Demon Lord was trying to take the sky because he wanted to slaughter all humans on the surface.
‘Brave Hero, please help us. Only the Brave Hero, the one who can hold the Salvation… is the only human who can defeat Abyss the Demon Lord.’
In middle of a concrete jungle with high rise buildings, there was a white church with a cross. Inside… there was a beautiful girl wearing a white priestess dress. She asked the boy who was sitting on his knees.
‘P… Priestess. People said that Great Demon had killed several tens or hundreds of people in a single breath. How can I slay him? I could never…’
The priestess showed a benevolent smile to the boy. She encouraged the young boy who was born with the blessing which allowed him to wield the Holy Sword.
‘You can do it.’
In the end, the boy succeeded.
Finally, he defeated the Demon Lord.
‘So… how does it feel to have defeated me?’
When he was young and when he had not wanted to be away from his family, Riley thought he might have been better off if he had just died. Not a day went by without him thinking like this. His battles were that brutal. Literally, he was coughing blood, shedding tears of blood and fought in battles that seemed to have no end. In the end…
‘If you insist on asking…’
In the sky, the Brave Hero had defeated the Demon Lord. Riley responded to the Demon Lord’s question.
Ever since he held the Holy Sword, ever since many people had pleaded with him to defeat the Demon Lord, the Brave Hero had never been honest with how he had truly felt. For the first time, at that moment, he mumbled honestly.
‘I said I’m exhausted. Honestly, I’m exhausted.’
The Demon Lord met his end by Riley’s Holy Sword. Soon, the Great Demon was going to fall to the ground and disintegrate. To the demon, Riley mumbled honestly.
The Brave Hero fell along with the Demon Lord. The Brave Hero closed his eyes. It seemed that he had shaken off all burdens from his shoulders. He looked so peaceful.
‘Ah… It is finally over.’
* * *
“Well, there is no need for you to be so wary.”
It seemed that the boy had felt Riley‘s glare on him. The young boy was staring at the fishing rod and vacantly reminiscing about his past life. The young boy mumbled,
“It has not been very long since I realized that you were also born into this world”
The boy who had introduced himself as Abyss pointed to an empty wooden chair next to him and then glanced at Riley.
“Why don’t you sit down?”
Riley was standing there with a blank look on his face. Abyss asked if he would like to sit down. After that, Abyss looked at Andal who was standing next to Riley. He then nodded his chin once.
“Ah, you there…It is fine if you want to leave.”
Having heard Abyss, Andal furrowed his brows.
“Hey, I don’t know what’s going on here, but if Riley is the old friend that you wanted to meet, then…”
Andal suppressed his anger as much as possible. He then walked to where Abyss was sitting as he asked,
“… isn’t it about time you tell us what we want to know?”
Abyss felt Andal’s deadly aura. Abyss was still sitting in the chair as he looked right into Andal’s eyes. Soon, as if Abyss was finding it to be such a bother, he scratched his hair and mumbled,
“If you are talking about what you lizards want…”
Abyss said ‘lizards.’ That made a vein to pop on Andal’s forehead. It seemed that Andal could not take it anymore. He was trying to use magic to attack Abyss. At that moment, Abyss lifted his right hand.
With that hand, Abyss opened his index finger and pointed at something. Andal was infuriated and was walking toward Abyss, but he flinched and stopped moving.
“I already handled it.”
Having heard what he had just said, Andal asked back,
“You handled it?”
Andal turned his head toward where the boy was pointing to with his finger. Andal had a look of disbelief.
“It cannot be…”
“… She was suffering so much, so…”
Abyss was pointing to the girl with the dark blue hair who had led the way for Andal and Riley to this place.
“I took her under my wings.”
“You took her under your wings?”
“In the process, her memory became blurry, but it is actually a good thing.”
It seemed Abyss had confirmed that fishes were biting. Abyss strained his eyes and carefully held the fishing rod. He was checking for opportunities.
“That rascal is… excessively kind and innocent like a certain someone.”
It looked like he felt something on the fishing rod. Abyss wiggled his brows and pulled the rod with all of his strength. However, the fishing hook had nothing on it.
Abyss saw the fishing hook dangling in the air. He crumpled his face. He then clicked his tongue before swinging the fishing rod to send the hook back into the lake.
‘There is no bait on it?’
Without any bait attached to it, Abyss was fishing with just the bare fish hook. Riley wondered what Abyss was up to. It was when Riley was furrowing his brow. Abyss looked disappointed because he hadn’t caught anything. He continued mumbling what he couldn’t earlier.
“Her physical pain is over, but it looks like she won’t be able to overcome the guilt of having killed people… So… it turned out well for her.”
* * *
During the last winter, at Ansyrium…
‘It’s the Epidemic!’
‘We must get away! If you get infected, you will die!’
‘It’s a human, but… like a clay… all wobbly…’
‘S… Save me! Please!’
The boy with sleepy eyes saw the people who were bumping into his shoulders and running away screaming. He then saw the human with black skin who was screaming at him.
‘Did some crazy lunatic perform a forbidden experiment again? Anyway, it looks like this city called Ansyrium is not a great place to live… It’s so noisy all the time as if there is going to be no tomorrow. Let alone peace, I don’t think I can even dream of an ordinary life here.’
As if he was finding all this to be such a bother, Abyss scratched his hair. As if he was disinterested, he just walked past the black monster. It was at that moment.
From the back, Abyss could hear the black skinned human’s scream. Also, he could hear the whimpering of the children on the street who were covering each other and shaking.
They were all something he had seen, felt and experienced in his past life. So, Abyss was going to walk past them all quietly. However, he lost his mind for a moment and stopped.
‘Ku… Kek… Ku…’
‘Huhuk… Please save us.’
The human with black skin looked like it had lost its mind. It was drooling and there were frightened children next to the monster. Abyss watched them vacantly.
“I feel like I’m watching that person…”
It seemed like this one was not wishing to hurt the children. The body was flinching. As much as it could, the monster was suppressing the body and epidemic which were out of control. Abyss was staring at them with an intrigued look. He was thinking about the Brave Hero who had killed him in his past life.
Abyss was just going to leave. However, in this place, at Ansyrium where the city had been destroyed by being drenched in epidemic… Abyss decided to show mercy to the black monster that was crying out loudly, enough for its vocal chords to burst.
* * *
“… Are you expecting us to believe that?”
Andal kept quiet and listened to Abyss’s story. Finding it all to be ridiculous, he snorted and asked. Abyss was looking at the lake. He smiled nonchalantly and responded,
“You are free to believe it or not, child of lizards.”
“What? Lizard? Child?”
The tone of his words was that of an adult to a child. Now, as if that was not enough of belittlement, Abyss was smiling widely. Andal tightened both of his fists and started to move his mana.
“Hey, pip-squeak…Say that again.”
It looked like Andal was going to stuff flames into the kid’s mouth if he didn’t take it back. Andal was grinding his teeth big time. Riley took a step forward and stopped Andal.
“Hey, Riley, step aside. I don’t care if I’m going to get scolded by my lord. I must correct how that runt runs his mouth.”
Riley raised his left arm to block Andal. Riley looked at the child with the dark blue hair. The child was looking this way from the back. Riley asked,
“Abyss…Did you say that was your name? Do you have any proof that this is the purple human that Andal and others have been chasing? The child’s body frame is completely different from what I remember”
Abyss was looking at his fishing rod. He turned to look at Riley. He then smile slightly as if he found this amusing.
“You must know me. Why are you acting like you don’t?”
“Ah, because I’m a human now and my face is different? Well, you are exactly as you were, but I am the only one whose appearance changed. I can see why you are disappointed. Of course.”
“Just shut it and answer the question.”
Now, Riley furrowed his brows like Andal and insisted on Abyss answering the question. With a bitter look on his face, Abyss shook his head. He looked at the child with the dark blue hair and said,
“Take her with you and then you will know. If it is the children of lizards, they should be able to handle something like looking into a human’s mind… Well, they won’t be as good at it as ‘Us,’ but…”
Abyss’s had mumbled ‘Us’ in the end. Riley realized that he was indirectly talking about their past life, the existences which were at power with super natural powers to be exact. Riley quietly clicked his tongue.
Now, it was more than certain that the Great Demon Abyss, the one who Riley had battled against with his life on the line, had been reincarnated into this world as a human boy.
“What are you doing?”
Abyss looked at Andal who was standing next to Riley. Abyss moved his chin and asked.
“Aren’t you going to take her?”
Abyss had his gaze directed to the child with dark blue hair who was vacantly staring in their direction. The girl, who used to be one of the purple humans and was named Epidemic.
“Although her memories have been erased, that’s just a matter of the mind. The memories should still be preserved within her. A human being’s brain is surprisingly magnificent, so there should not be a problem.”
Abyss’s proposal was so out of the blue. Andal was getting nervous. He slowly moved his eyes and checked Riley’s intent.
‘Will it be all right?’
‘What about you?’
‘I think I’ll have to talk to this bastard for a bit.’
Andal had never seen Riley acting like this. So, Andal carefully observed his face from the side. Soon, Andal nodded and turned around first.
‘Contact me if anything happens.’
‘Just worry about yourself.’
With Andal gone, now only Abyss and Riley were left at the lake-side. Riley slowly moved his legs, walking to stand next to the boy.
“I find this so-called fishing to be quite fun.”
Abyss glanced at Riley. He asked if Riley would like to fish together and handed him an unused fishing rod.
“Would you like to try?”
Riley didn’t say a word. He just stared at the fishing rod. Abyss lightly sighed. He put down the fishing rod and said,
“Fishing and your existence… I came to learn about them only recently.”
“In that case, as I thought…”
“That’s right. I’m just like you, although it was later for me compared to you.”
It seemed like Abyss was trying to tempt the fishes that were swimming in the lake. Holding the fishing rod with both of his hands, he was flickering it.
“After I fell to the ground and became just a splash of ground meat, I opened my eyes as a human in this city.”
Although the place was destroyed now, Abyss said his birth place was Ansyrium before the city became a mess due to the epidemic. He continued.
“The so-called reincarnation, which I only heard about… That’s what happened to me. I was reincarnated not as a demon, but as a human.”
Abyss said he was reincarnated with all of his past life’s memories intact just like Riley. He suddenly twisted the tip of his lips and asked,
“How old do you think I look?”
“I am not sure?”
Riley was sure Abyss must have lived several tens of thousands of years at least in his past life. However, Abyss definitely looked younger. So, Riley asked back.
“12… Perhaps 13… About that age. I was born a few years later than you were. This is the reason why my search for you was delayed. If we were both born around the same time, then I would have found you sooner.”
“You would have tried to find me? Why?”
“Um? I thought the child of red lizards was told about this?”
“By any chance…”
Because he wanted to enjoy fishing with an old friend…Riley remembered what Andal had said before. Riley vacantly opened his eyes.
“I guess you did hear it.”
“Anyway, In this place, my age is 13 at the most. If you would like, I can even call you Big Bro?”
“Do not make me puke.”
As if he was trying to say that now was his turn to hear some answers, Abyss carefully asked,
“So, Riley Fin Iphalleta… Now, instead of being a Brave Hero, I heard you are a Young Master of a count family?”
“As I said earlier, it has not been long since I learned about you, but you are quite famous it turns out.”
Abyss snickered. He flicked the fishing rod and started to list the nicknames that Riley had.
“The worst talent in Iphalleta Family history. Lazy Sword. Vegetable, Lazy bum, Sloth, Scarecrow, Headache, and others… You have all sorts of fun nicknames. Considering what I know about you from the past, I cannot believe in these nicknames.”
Abyss was holding the fishing rod with both of his hands. He placed his right hand in his outer pocket. He brought out a page of a newspaper and gave it to Riley. He continued.
“… This is?”
“I saw your face in there and knew right away that you were also in this world.”
The newspaper said ‘The Sword of Solia, the Iphalleta Family Finally Decided the Successor!’ There were drawings in place of where photographs would have been in the modern day newspaper. The drawings had the faces of main figures of the Iphalleta Family.
“Actually, doing this by myself is a little lacking, so…”
Abyss pointed at his own fishing rod with his gaze and said,
“As I said earlier, when I saved that kid who was suffering from the epidemic, I suddenly thought about you, so…”
“We were reincarnated to the same world with our memories intact just like each other. Since that has happened, we might as well do this once. It would be fine if we did, don’t you think? Our past lives are just that. Past lives.”
Riley still doubted Abyss. With sleepy eyes, Abyss leisurely asked,
“What do you think? You really won’t try it with me?”
Having heard the question, Riley turned his gaze toward the fishing rod that was not being used. Riley asked,
“Still, I killed you. Is this all right?”
Riley lowered his body and picked up the fishing rod. Abyss held his chin with his right hand and peeked a smile again. He said,
“It hadn’t even been 30 years. In that period of time, you could say such things. Perhaps I was envious. Instead of being angry…I felt sorry.”
“At the very last moment, when we were both falling…I saw your eyes. Only after that…After several tens of thousands of years…The one thing I barely managed to realize...”
With a sleepy face, Abyss leisurely continued.
“I realized that I was also exhausted.”