“…He was telling the truth.”
Andal brought the child with the dark blue hair and examined her memories that were hidden inside her head. Andal checked the memories that the child was not able to remember. Andal vacantly muttered,
“This kid really is…”
The kid really was the last of the purple humans who Riley and Andal had been searching for, the one with pitch-black skin who was revived numerous times and roared loudly no matter how many times they killed her, the one who infected Andal with the illness.
The red-haired man was staring at the child and saying things that she didn’t know anything about. The child was sitting in the seat quietly, but she tilted her head to the side and as if she was wondering why, asked.
“Are you not feeling well somewhere?”
It seemed he didn’t hear Epidemic’s question. Andal only maintained his silence. He had crumpled his face.
‘Abyss said he had taken her under his wings?’
Andal thought about the little one who had called him ‘a child of lizards’ and what not. Andal was carefully thinking about what he saw in Epidemic’s memories about that little one.
‘It cannot be…’
The little one had abilities that rivaled those of Riley.
‘To think there is another one in existence in this world who is as monstrously powerful as Riley.’
Andal detected an unbelievable amount of mana from Abyss in Epidemic’s memories. Andal muttered with a serious look on his face,
“Should I let our Lord know about this?”
Andal pondered if he should let the Lord of dragons know about what he had just found out. However, Andal casually turned his head after hearing Epidemic’s steps approaching him.
“What is it?”
What Epidemic had brought was a dish of steaming vegetable soup.
“Soup? Why did you bring this to me?”
Andal had no idea why she had brought him this soup. Andal asked as he tilted his head to the side. Epidemic handed the soup to him as if she was pushing it toward him. She said,
“You couldn’t hear my voice, and you were muttering. I wondered if you were ill, so I decided to bring this to you…”
“You thought I was ill?”
“Do dragons not eat soups like this?”
Epidemic added that this was not a regular vegetable soup but had boiled medical herbs in it. However, her considerations only fanned Andal’s anger. It looked like nothing positive was going to come out of this.
“Do you have any idea how sick I was because of an illness I contracted due to someone? It is like you pass the illness tome and then bring out the medicine… What? Herbal soup? Ugh, you little!”
Andal raised his arm. He was about to strike Epidemic’s head. Ready to endure the pain that was coming, Epidemic closed her eyes tightly.
Andal had no idea what had happened to the monster that had poured out the black epidemic. That monster was gone without leaving a trace. She looked like a child who had grown up inside rather early. Having realized this, Andal, who was about to swing his arm at her, lowered his arm. Andal looked like he didn’t feel up it anymore. He had an awkward look on his face.
“Never mind. What good would it do to beat up a powerless human.”
Andal complained inside that he should let out his anger on Riley later instead. Epidemic was cautiously opening her eyes narrowly. Andal asked her something he was curious about.
“Let me ask you one thing.”
She thought she was about to get beaten. She was relieved to know that it didn’t happen.
“That little one who was sitting in front of the lake. The one you led us to meet. How much do you know… about that kid?”
“Are you talking about Abyss?”
“Yes, that kid.”
Andal stared at her as if he was trying to ask her to explain who Abyss was in detail.
Epidemic hesitated for a moment. She then started to explain carefully.
“He is a good kid. Although he is still very young, he seems to be very grown up, so… Other children and I all follow him as if he is our captain.”
“He says ‘I’m sleepy’ or ‘I want to sleep’ a lot. He practically has those words always hanging from his mouth. Also, he is always leisurely. I had never seen him get angry once… Somehow, I think he is very carefree.”
She said perhaps Abyss’ character was not becoming of his appearance. She compared Abyss to a grandfather who was sitting on a rocking armchair. Epidemic shrugged and continued.
“That’s all. Sometimes… What did he say? Cola? He said he wanted to drink cola, which was strange. Other than that, I don’t have anything in particular to say about him.”
“Yes. Mr. Red dragon, do you know about it by any chance? This cola that Abyss mentioned?”
“No, I don’t know about it well either.”
Andal shook his head and said he didn’t know. He was thinking about what his friend mumbled often.
Riley also often complained and said he wished he could drink it. This was why.
‘How many years has it been since you have been working in the pub business?’
‘I am not sure. I have not been counting?’
‘You are saying it has been quite long then.’
‘Well, I guess so.’
‘In that case, can you make cola?’
‘I’m talking about cola. Cola.’
A long time ago, Riley, the first human who Andal had become close to, complained about this when he had come to visit Andal’s pub. Andal was thinking about this.
* * *
Riley had a conversation with Abyss while fishing together. Riley realized that many things he knew from his past life were very wrong in some ways.
“They are different… Did anyone tell you about them?”
“No, not at all.”
“In that case, now we know for certain.”
Of the things that Riley didn’t know correctly, there were two biggest ones. First thing was that ‘Abyss and demons had no intention of destroying the humans,’ and the other thing was that ‘Abyss had no choice but to move as someone else intended.’
“I cannot help but feel suspicious of a servant bastard that was closest to me. What about you? It seems like you also have someone you are suspicious of?”
Throughout the conversation, Abyss and Riley compared their past lives. Abyss asked Riley after putting a serious look on his face. Riley nodded and said,
“Priestess? The one who gave you the blessing?”
“The blessing was not the only thing she gave me.”
Riley narrowed his eyes and thought about all moments he had encountered the Priestess in his past life. He then continued.
“Anyway, that has a high likelihood of being related to this Helena. Others were probably stirred into it. A few dozen at first… and then a few hundred, a few thousand, tens of thousands… In the end, everyone of them.”
Demons are trying to destroy the humans.
Therefore, we must stop them.
It will all work out if the Brave Hero kills the Demon Lord.
That’s how it was done.
“In the end, you and I… met our ends side by side like buddies. Someone’s plan worked out magnificently.”
Riley thought it was Helena who he found the most suspicious. Abyss thought it was his closest subordinate who he found the most suspicious.
“After that, one after the other, the purple humans started to appear in this world.”
“Epidemic is one of the examples?”
“If what the Goddess that the girl named Nainiae mentioned said is true, then I am more than sure of it now. I was done in by a plot, and you…”
“… It means I was tricked.”
Riley and Abyss were watching the water. A fish jumped out and disappeared into the lake.
“Could it be that they made a deal? If the Priestess and my subordinate schemed behind us, then everything fits. I supposed it means one of the two wanted this world.”
Riley narrowed his eyes.
“Something they wanted so badly that they killed both the Brave Hero and the Demon Lord for… Considering what you have just told me, I think the Goddess of that world may not exist anymore.”
Riley narrowed his eyes. Having heard Abyss, Riley asked with a puzzled look.
“No matter how rotten, she is a Goddess. How could she have died?”
Abyss shrugged. He shook his head and said,
“Humans think that a god is all powerful and invincible, but…”
Abyss looked up to the sky and said,
“… a god is not all that powerful.”
“As I said earlier, I aimed for the sky… simply because I wanted to meet the Goddess of our past life. It was not to kill all the humans. If I wanted to kill all humans, then it would have been done.”
Riley thought things would not have turned out so wrong if he had listened to the Demon Lord’s story in his past life. Riley asked,
“In that case, why didn’t you tell me when we fought?”
Abyss thought hard about this for a moment and said,
“I had no moment to spare for the conversation. You did not have the time to spare for it either. You acknowledge it, right?”
Riley could not object to that, so he clicked his tongue.
“Anyhow. Thanks to you, we got to enjoy fishing together while sitting next to each other like this, so… I don’t think you need to think too badly of what happened. Still…”
Abyss cracked his neck left and right and said,
“To think that I was killed… I cannot just laugh about it.”
Unlike what he said, Abyss was smiling big. He suddenly lowered the tips of his mouth and looked at Riley.
“… Six humans.”
“The six people who you find most trust-worthy and dependable. Can you bring them?”
The question was so out of the blue. Riley furrowed his brows as if he was trying to ask Abyss what this was about.
“I have heard that you have been sitting around and doing nothing as a Young Master of a noble family. Still, you would have at least six people you can trust, right?”
“What are you getting…”
“The so-called ‘purple humans’ that you told me about… the people who have a power from the other world…”
Abyss remembered the explanation Riley had given earlier and continued.
“They were called Six Parts… is that right?”
Riley thought he could guess what Abyss was trying to say. Riley looked at Abyss as if he was trying to ask Abyss if he was being serious.
“Such petty creatures… It seems that they tried to mimic me. I should show them the real thing.”
Around Abyss’ body, purple energy started to flow.
Abyss opened his right palm. Above the palm, six seed-like things were formed.
“That’s right. With the six people you bring, we will show these bastards that the six parts we gathered are superior. That will do it.”
Abyss showed the seeds to Riley and made the proposition. He continued as if this was no big deal.
“I don’t care if you refuse this proposition. If that is the case… then I’ll raise the children of Ansyrium, including Epidemic, and head over to the other side. That should be enough.”
Riley still didn’t respond. Abyss asked,
“What will you do?”
Finding this to be ridiculous, Riley broke into laughter.
“Now that we are already fishing, we might as well catch the big one and end it by any means necessary, don’t you think?”
Abyss asked again. Riley was laughing as if he was found this amusing. It seemed that he thought this was not a bad idea. Riley nodded and said,
“I knew you would come along.”
It seemed that Abyss was satisfied with Riley’s answer. Like Riley, Abyss also had a smile on the tip of his lips. Abyss put away the six pieces of purple lights above his hand and started to talk. However…
“Well then, first…”
His voice was blocked by someone loudly shouting from behind.
Riley casually turned his head and found his red-haired friend who was rushing toward him. Riley tilted his head to the side.
“Riley! That little one was right! He really took away the power of that epidemic human!”
Andal came back after checking the inside of Epidemic’s head. As if Riley was trying to say that he had a rough idea of what was going on, he calmed down Andal.
“Ah I see, I’m sure that is the case.”
“What? You already knew? Why are you not surprised at all?”
“It was just a guess, based on the mood.”
Andal furrowed his brows as if he was finding all of this suspicious. He checked Abyss’ gaze and called Riley.
“What is it?”
Andal waved his hand. It seemed that he was trying to say Riley should bring his ear closer to Andal. Thinking it could not be helped, Riley brought his ear close to Andal’s mouth.
The question was totally unexpected. Riley furrowed his eyebrows as if he was trying to say that the question was too out of the blue.
“I said what’s cola.”
Andal could not look more serious when he asked about cola again. Riley had his mouth open as if he was at a loss for words. Instead of Riley, Abyss responded instead.
“It seems that…”
Abyss was watching Andal as if he was amused by this. Tip of Abyss’ lips wiggled.
“…one of the six parts has already been decided.”