Chapter 80:

A Change in Weather

The Consequence of Saving the World

Even the greatest swordswoman in the whole of Fallcross stared helplessly as the hungry firestorm engulfed every corner of the temple. The halls where earnest prayers were offered to a useless god were now filled with the wrath of Mother Nature herself.

Who would’ve guessed.

I tried to help. I warned everyone about it. I even went and save as many people as I could. This was probably not the nicest thought to have at the moment, especially since people died here, but realistically speaking, loss of life was preventable.

Let this be a wake-up call to the Evanists. If this was the price that the community had to pay in order to realise the dangers of blind, unquestionable faith, so be it.

I did what I could.

As for Sereya, her attention was diverted to the mush of flesh that was the Wyvern. She knelt beside where the head was supposed to be and glared at the creature’s remains with a stern expression.

“This is the work of a demon.”


Sorry? Was she meaning it exactly like what she said, or was she referring to herself for doing the deed?

“The Wyvern was coursing with demonic energy, almost as if it was possessed. No monster would go out of its way to target a specific building in a human town the way it did.”

My mind immediately recalled how we entered Breven with Ain and Anita. There was an “evil presence” nearby, one that Sereya didn’t want to confront and that Timon was investigating prior to our arrival.

“Was this that evil presence that you felt when we arrived?”

“Similar, but the pressure I felt from that time was on a whole other level.”

We both turned to look at the fire at the same time. If this monster alone was capable of inflicting such damage, I didn’t want to imagine what the presence Sereya felt could do to the whole town.

Was there really such a being capable of that? Why now, of all times? The demons were gone and the world was saved, right?

Was Hanasuke’s actions futile after all?

The only reply to my thoughts was the sound of a flute, followed by the sound of splashing water.

“Looks like the real Hero is here,” Sereya scoffed.

Unlike her actions, Timon’s music had the added benefit of being a performance to behold. People were both drawn to and inspired by his music, as it boosted the power behind the water mages’ spells.

But with only a few of them capable of actually making a dent in the fire, this was going to take a long while.

“Excuse me.” we both turned to the man behind us. He was accompanied by a group of heavily armed men behind him, as well as a huge wagon. These people weren’t soldiers, if I had to guess, they’d be—

“We’re from the Adventurer’s Guild. We’re here to retrieve the body of the monster.”

“Good.” Sereya nodded, like a commander acknowledging the presence of her troops. “This needs to be sent to Ordis in Allantheim for study.”

The same man replied, “The Legendary Sage? Whatever for? We intend to break it down into parts.”

“It’s possessed by dem—”

Sereya bit her tongue. She didn’t want them to know about the attack being the work of a demon, it seemed.

“This attack on the temple was meditated.” I cut in, backing her up, “It’s not the work of this monster alone. There may be clues in the corpse, so see to it that it gets sent to the Sage.”

“But sir, we’ve received orders to—”

“Is this the way you talk back to one of the Seven Heroes?!”

While I made it clear I was referring to Sereya, the venom in my words didn’t sting any less, causing his mouth to shut.

The flames behind me appeared to roar as I raised my voice, “She felled this beast when no one else could just so that the lot of you can break it apart for scraps like hungry vultures? And when she informs you of what to do, it just falls on deaf ears?

We’re dealing with something that could potentially threaten world peace here. The peace that SHE won. You want other towns to suffer a similar fate as well?”

Silence. Not a single retort or evasion of responsibility.

“If you’ve any concern for all of humanity like she has, then you’ll make sure her request is completed.”

“Yes, sir!”

We left the Guildsmen to their duties and walked away. While I may have played up the gravity of the situation on purpose, I couldn’t deny that it did rile me up a little.

“You didn’t need to go that far,” my partner expressed with a pout.

“What’s the worst that they’re gonna do? Demote my adventurer rank? By all means. That’ll actually work in my favour, now that I think about it.”

“They won’t demote you, silly. But just because you helped me out, doesn’t mean I’m not any less upset at you.”

Upset? Huh?!

Her face was grim. Just what did I do wrong? Why were girls always like this—one moment it’s sunny, then the next it’s snowing. In the end, my brain would be the one left playing a guessing game.

“...Why would I make you upset?”

“Evan, you seriously haven’t figured it out?”

The disappointing look of “I thought you were smarter,” was written all over her face. It was beginning to hurt me a lot more than the fire in the temple.

“Sorry, I really don’t know what you’re referring to.”

With a sigh befitting that of a disappointed parent, she looked me dead in the eye.

“You promised me one thing. One. Thing.”

Immediately, the realisation hit me like a carriage. The one thing I promised her before leaving Allantheim—if I was going to do something stupid, tell her before doing it.

Then again, I didn’t know that the whole temple was going to be a death trap until it was too late! How could I have foreseen that the Evanists were that stubborn and deluded?

Trying to explain the nuance of the whole situation wouldn’t work in trying to placate her, that I’m fully aware. Gently, I massaged her hand with both of mine.

“I’m sorry. I should’ve run away after alerting the Evanists. Whether or not they actually listened, I shouldn’t have stayed and put myself in that much danger”

“You aren’t responsible for their lives. You’re responsible for your own. I let that time with the bandits slide because I was there to protect you. But when you’re in a burning building of that size and I had to handle a Wyvern of all things, there’s no way for me to make sure you’re safe. I know you’re not hurt this time, but don’t you ever do that again.”

“G-Got it.”

The sternness in her words actually scared me. This was a side of her that I wasn’t aware of before. She definitely had a lot more to say, but was holding back, lest genuine anger began to leak out.

Even after saying her piece, she still had a cold look in her eyes. Just saying sorry or begging for forgiveness wouldn’t cut it this time. Part of her trust in me was evidently gone, which will take time to rebuild.

Still, the bitter taste in my mouth was a lot harder to deal with than I thought.

As if on cue, I felt a drop of water on my head. Then a second, followed by a million of them.

“It’s raining! It’s raining!” the voice of a child behind us cried out.

Letting go of my hand, Sereya walked away while I was left there, still in deep thought and reflection over what transpired between us.

With the rain falling this hard, even the flames were starting to subside. Timon and the firefighting crew would be wrapping up soon, I guessed.

“What are you standing there for? Are you trying to get sick?”

Despite the harsh tone, hearing Sereya’s voice from the distance did make me feel a bit better. When I turned to face her, she was walking towards me. She grabbed my hand, yanking me to a shaded area nearby.

I appreciated her gesture. Even though we may fight, as long as we’re still holding hands, I believed everything would turn out okay.

As we looked on towards the charred walls of the temple, I could only hope the best for the Evanists and their future here.

This was a horrific, and most likely deliberate attack as Sereya suggested. Were demons already making their return? Even without their leader?

Timon, drenched from top to bottom, also walked to where Sereya and I were. It was strange seeing him not wearing his hat, but I supposed having such a large, water-absorbent accessory would be a pain in this scenario.

“We’re just about done. The rain will be stealing our glory from now on, which I’m not opposed to. I say we head back to the warm embrace of Genevieve, aye?”

Yup. As weird as giving your house a person’s name was, I couldn’t agree with him more.

MyAnimeList iconMyAnimeList icon