Chapter 15:


My Knight

She and Ryou went down the flight of stairs, while Maou disappeared somewhere. Kirihime didn’t utter a single word as they walked, and so did Ryou, though it was mostly because Kirihime didn’t let him speak.
But after struggling most of the time, when they descended to the dungeon, Ryou was finally able to speak.
“Kirihime...” He called out.
“You’ve heard everything from my father, despite so you still have question for me?” Kirihime retorted coldly.
“Is this what you want?”
Kirihime stopped in her track. That question hit her out of nowhere and she didn’t anticipate it.
“To destroy the human let Maou rule over every living being in this you have any idea how many humans would be killed just by the serum...?!”
“They won’t.” Kirihime regained her composure again. “I’ve modified the serum. No matter how weak the human is, they won’t die. They would still become artificial Mazoku, though not as strong as you and Kushu.” She started walking again and tugged Ryou to follow her.
“But this world will be a world without human!!” Ryou argued. “Will you reject your mother, who’s also a huma—?!”
Suddenly Kirihime grabbed Ryou’s collar and slammed him to the wall in a fit of rage. Her eyes were murderous and deadly.
“Do not bring my mother into this matter. It’s none of your business. Soon enough you won’t have any ties to me anyway.” Kirihime said in low, angry tone.
Ryou could only nod and Kirihime released him.
“She never moved much, so I tend to forget that Kirihime’s a true Mazoku who’s even stronger than me.” Ryou thought.
They arrived in front of rows of prison cells. Ryou noticed some kind of pattern engraved into the prison’s bars. Kirihime opened one of the prisons with a key and Ryou obediently went in. Then Kirihime locked it again and released Ryou from her control. He immediately ran to the door and reached out to Kirihime from between the bars, but his hand was repelled by some kind of barrier. When Ryou pulled back his hand, it was burned and the wound didn’t heal as fast as usual.
“This is a prison for being with demon blood. That's including you. The steel is imbued with magic, so you shouldn’t touch it while you still have the demon blood inside you. Oh, and you can’t use your ability, so don’t bother to try.” Kirihime said flatly, then she turned around to go.
“Wait!!” Ryou shouted, but he half-believed that Kirihime would ignore him.
Surprisingly, Kirihime stopped. “What is it, Satomi Ryou?” She asked with a clear hint of irritation.
“Your answer...I haven’t heard it. Is this really what you wish for, Kirihime? To deliver the human world into Maou’s hand?” Ryou repeated.
Kirihime didn’t say anything for a moment. Then Ryou saw her small body shook, as if holding back her feelings.
“You really are an idiot...” She whispered with her back at Ryou. “Of course... this isn’t my” But she cut herself, as if not letting herself to even hope.
Before Ryou could say anything, Kirihime left in a hurry.
Ryou sighed and slumped to the wall, trying to think of any way to escape from here. But no matter how hard he thought, he couldn’t find a way to unlock the prison from inside when he couldn’t even reach his hand out. Then his mind drifted to Kirihime’s words earlier.
“Who is the real idiot here, I wonder?” Ryou sighed again. “I hope you don’t need me to remind you again and again that I’m your knight. Whatever you wish for, even if it means that I have to defeat Maou, I’ll do all I can to make it true. That’s why...don’t put on such sad face.”
“Soon enough you won’t have any ties to me anyway.”
Suddenly Kirihime’s words flashed in his mind, alerting him.
“Wait...why would she say that? Even if I lost my soul, Maou said that I’ll become the commander for their army. So why would Kirihime said that I won’t have any ti—”
Ryou shouted in pain and fell to the floor when he felt like his whole body was burned from the inside. He clenched his fist so tightly that he hurt himself, but the fire kept burning inside his body, as if melting his organs and bones.
Ryou felt his vision getting blurry and he no longer could hear anything. “Am I...going to die...? Was Kirihime’s tea...that poisonous...?” He slowly thought to himself.
Suddenly the pain subsided and Ryou came back to his senses. Ryou opened his eyes and gasped.
He could no longer see as good as before, nor he could discern every voice he heard, and he could feel his strength declined.
As if he had turned back into human.
“Wait...tea? No longer tied to Kirihime? Her promise...?” Ryou leapt to his feet when everything finally made sense.
“That stupid princess!! How dare you slipped your antidote in my tea?!” Ryou ran to the door. “You think you could get rid of me that easily...?!”
Then Ryou froze in front of the door.
“Kirihime promised...that I’ll turn back into human...and I’ll get my revenge on my creator...that means...” Ryou’s eyes widened and he reached out from between the bars to unlock the door.
Suddenly he heard footsteps heading his way.
“Uh-oh. Did I speak too loudly? Did someone come to check on me? I have to hurry or—!”
“Idiot brother!!”
The next second, someone hit him so hard that Ryou rolled back and hit the wall with too much force. Kushu was standing in front of the prison with angered look.
“How come you got caught and then locked in here?! How stupid can you be?!” He scolded Ryou.
“I’ll explain later, but first, can you not hit me so hard? I’m no longer Mazoku, you know.” Ryou forced himself to stand.
Kushu scanned him for a moment, then his eyes widened. “But how...?!”
“Later!! Open the door, will you?!” Ryou snapped at him.
Kushu was about to pick the lock when he froze.
“Um...what kind of idiot would lock the door but leave the key hanging here?” Kushu turned the key and opened the door.
“Kirihime.” Ryou said in a matter-of-fact tone.
“Okay, then you better explain everything to us, Ryou.” Kushu pulled him and they ran upstairs to meet with Hanzoku, who was fighting a group of demon.
“Old man! I found the idiot! Let’s go!” Kushu shouted.
“Don’t call me old man, you brat!” Hanzoku made an earthquake with a single smash and then opened a portal when his enemies were distracted. “Get in!” He shouted and the three of them disappeared.
Ryou fell on his knees and looked around in relief. They were back in front of Hanzoku’s run-down house again.
“What...” Hanzoku inhaled sharply. “You’re not a Mazoku anymore.”
Ryou nodded. “I’ll tell you later, but first we have to find Maou. Maou want to conquer the human world and we have to stop both Maou and Kirihime.”
“Why Kirihime-sama too?” Hanzoku asked, but he immediately cast a spell to find their location.
“Because...” Ryou’s face darkened. “Kirihime planned to stop Maou by killing herself and the rest of the true Mazoku.”

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