Chapter 141:

Betrayal

Atk 0 Crit All ~My attack stat is negligible, so I can't help but rely on critical hits to succeed!~


“You are human, right? To make mistakes and reflect on them is normal.”Bookmark here

A sudden voice called out to me from my memories.Bookmark here

A gentle singing voice seemed to cut through the fear that had instilled in my heart. A feeling of warmth and calm permeated throughout as another scene flashed in my mind.Bookmark here

There I was, standing in the courtyard of the enemy castle. I had broken through the last line of defense, and soon, the others would storm in. The chirping of a voice that sounded like a songbird, a strange sound amidst all the fighting, lured me in with its sweetness.Bookmark here

A young girl stood there singing without a care in the world, dressed in a light robe and a baggy cap that hid most of her head. It did not seem like the rages of war had deterred her from being absorbed in her song. The melody was of a language unknown to me, but there was no need for words for its meaning to be conveyed.Bookmark here

Lightly dancing while she lifted her head to the heavens, there was a tint of somberness as she praised the skies above.Bookmark here

My first thought was, ‘how could she be thankful at a time like this?’ When her country had fallen, it was unfathomable to hold onto such beliefs, especially for one who was as young as her. Yet, there were no fear in her eyes. No sense of dread.Bookmark here

“You, don’t you know that we are invading this country?” I couldn’t help but interrupt her.Bookmark here

At my presence, she paused her motions before answering.Bookmark here

“Of course, I know. That is why, the last thing I shall do is sing and dance. That is all I can do for this country as its hero.”Bookmark here

“Hero? You? You mean to tell me that you were summoned?”Bookmark here

“Yes. Powerless I was. The other side just had someone invincible.”Bookmark here

“And you do not regret being powerless?”Bookmark here

“Of course. But I will do whatever I can. I may regret, but that’s part of being human.”Bookmark here

I couldn’t believe what this young girl was telling me. Power had been everything. I had virtually led my country to victory with it. Yet, this girl showed a strong sense of nobility even in the face of defeat.Bookmark here

“You. What if I told you that I was that invincible one?”Bookmark here

The girl walked over and examined me. Strangely, I stiffened at her innocently inquisitive gaze.Bookmark here

“You are human, right? To make mistakes and reflect on them is normal. Do you feel like invading this country has been a mistake?”Bookmark here

I had never once questioned my role in all of this. From the very beginning, my summoner had given me a sword and asked me to fight for her country. Thinking about it now, I had never been given the chance to talk to the other side.Bookmark here

I wanted to ask her more, but the sound of footsteps approached. Apparently, the rest of my side had arrived.Bookmark here

“There she is! Take the Hero of Rinaldi hostage!”Bookmark here

Before I could react, the soldiers had thrown her to the ground, pinning her with their bodies.Bookmark here

“Hey! She’s just a young girl! Why would you do such a thing?!”Bookmark here

A spark of defiance rose from my chest. I gripped my sword and pointed it at them. Immediately, the soldiers backed off in fear. Walking over to her, I helped her up.Bookmark here

“I’ll take charge of her. Leave us.”Bookmark here

They looked at me skeptical for a moment but decided to go.Bookmark here

“Are you alright?” I asked her when they had disappeared.Bookmark here

She faintly nodded. I was starting to wonder if I had truly done the right thing.Bookmark here

It wasn’t long before I found out the true reason for the war, a trivial difference in ideology between Botticelli and Rinaldi. However, that had not stopped the people of Botticelli from discriminating and demonizing the other side. I had been effectively brainwashed to blindly fight for them.Bookmark here

Some hero I was.Bookmark here

I had been too late to save the people of Rinaldi from the genocide that happened afterward. There was never any intention for peace. Purely, there was a drive to wipe out those who didn’t align with similar beliefs.Bookmark here

The last memory I had before going mad was the last words of the girl I met before as I clutched her dying body.Bookmark here

“Kindness… that is…. what keeps us… human.”Bookmark here

We had been ambushed one evening shortly after the invasion. Contrary to their promises, the people of Botticelli had murdered the remaining residents. Lastly, they had no need of the summoned heroes that were considered as ‘outsiders’.Bookmark here

Where was the humanity in that? I could see no kindness in what I had fought for. I had lost all hope for this world. Ignoring the girl’s last words, my anger had driven me to be the same as those I despised.Bookmark here

“Kindness, huh?” The words whispered across my lips as my mind went back to the current situation. Only now, did those words mean something to me.Bookmark here

At the very least, my time in this world was nothing like the one before. There were those that I trusted. I had carved the path forward with my own hands, rather than given a role to follow. That much I could believe in.Bookmark here

I wouldn’t let it happen again. I refused to become what the Chancellor wished. I would retain my humanity. I would protect this world that was kind to me.Bookmark here

I stood up and drew my knife. The Chancellor beckoned me to attack him. Though his desire to be attacked was peculiar, there was no other way for me to be released from his grasp unless he was defeated.Bookmark here

Though I could see the lines running across his skin, I chose to ignore them. Instead, I slashed how I normally did, letting my mana knock out his mana gates instead.Bookmark here

Yet, something felt quite off. As my blow met with his body, blood was drawn. My eyes widened in surprise as a deep gash formed diagonally across the Chancellor’s body. His clothing, his skin, his body had all been cut through by my attack.Bookmark here

Had I failed to control it after all?Bookmark here

Examining myself, I could tell that my mana felt different, like it had been dyed with another color.Bookmark here

“Oh ho? Looks like it wasn’t strong enough of a stimulus. Your mana has only the slightest bit of miasma to it, not enough to demonize… not yet anyways.” The Chancellor remained calm despite a bleeding gash running down his front.Bookmark here

With a quick healing spell, his injury started sealing up. I slashed at him again, in which he dodged away this time.Bookmark here

“Not so easy to crumble it seems. Perhaps, the other one would be better for now.” The Chancellor mumbled, just loud enough for me to hear.Bookmark here

I continued to attack him, ignoring his confusing statements, but he started tossing magic spells to keep me at bay. Though I could easily cut through them, I wasn’t making any gains on our distance.Bookmark here

Suddenly, the Chancellor waved his arms, and the blurred surroundings around us went back to the plains of Faulkner from before. The sounds of fighting could be heard in the distance.Bookmark here

Looking in that direction, Saki was moving around fighting off the other members of my party. Craters had formed around them, and traces of magic dotted the area. Lau looked like he was struggling to parry blows that caused the ground to cave in with each strike, opting to leap away instead. Cornelius was supporting him with her ice magic, but even that was being shattered by her fierce swings.Bookmark here

Furthermore, King Oswald had joined the fight once again and was facing off against Eryn, who limped a bit from the aftereffects of her skill. Katsys was trying to support her with magic shots while pleading for him to stop, but that only seemed to be a distraction due to the defensive properties of his armor.Bookmark here

Ludmila had moved onward to get in touch with Eryn’s forces. Chrys and Yi Long had retreated to a safe distance.Bookmark here

“Claude! You’re okay!” Katsys was the first to notice my return.Bookmark here

“Chancellor Willingham! Finally, you show yourself! Isn’t it time to finish this business? Use your abilities that you are so proud of to rid us of these bothersome pests!”Bookmark here

King Oswald didn’t look like he was in top condition either. A look of relief was on his face as he smirked expectantly at the Chancellor’s addition to tip the balance towards his side.Bookmark here

“Yes, I believe that is certainly the case,” he responded.Bookmark here

We tightened our guard as we scrutinized what the Chancellor would do next. Who would he target first? Who would be the first to fall?Bookmark here

Before that would happen, I dashed towards him, hoping to cut him off. However, he was simply too fast.Bookmark here

As if in slow motion, I watched as he sprinted towards Eryn. Knowing that I couldn’t make it in time, I chucked my knife at him. Though it lodged into his back, it was a futile attempt at stopping him. In horror, we watched as the Chancellor raised his hand to stab it into his target.Bookmark here

“Guh!”Bookmark here

King Oswald looked at the Chancellor in surprise, for he had been the one that was stabbed. A hand penetrated straight through his armor and into his chest.Bookmark here

“Why?! How could you betray me?!”Bookmark here

The Chancellor simply smirked. “Betray? I was never truly on your side from the start. You were just a convenient piece that danced around the game board. An idiot king who never doubted by suggestions. Your role was merely a pawn to be used.”Bookmark here

The Chancellor removed his hand and let the King fall. Oswald clutched the wound in his chest and fell to the ground. A pale expression blanketed his face. Now, even his closest ally had forsaken him.Bookmark here

The rest of us had been just as surprised by this outcome. Why would he suddenly help us now? None of his actions made any sense to me. I wasn’t sure whether to strike or not.Bookmark here

“Uh, everyone. Mind looking over here for a moment?” Cornelius’s voice broke us from our stupor.Bookmark here

In front of her, Saki was acting very strangely, she clutched her head as if she were suffering.Bookmark here

“Betrayal… Betrayal… Everyone around me does nothing but betray me!” As she mumbled these words, the mana around her seemed to distort and turn murky like miasma.Bookmark here

I looked over at King Oswald, who was on the ground chanting something similar.Bookmark here

“What is going on??” Eryn cried out, similarly confused as the rest of us.Bookmark here

It was like they were linked in some way. However, the only connection that was remotely similar that I knew of was…Bookmark here

That of a Master and Electi.Bookmark here

Lady Kaguya had once said that the feelings between a Master and Electi, if strong enough, would transfer between them. That was due to the mana in which the two shared.Bookmark here

Suddenly, things started to click in place. If the Chancellor himself were an Electi as he claimed, then he shouldn’t have been able to summon Saki to this world. Plus, he was considerably older than her. In a country where magicians called for their summon at an early age, it would be strange for the Chancellor to only perform the ceremony less than four years ago.Bookmark here

On the other hand, King Oswald was at the correct age, but none of the other members of the royal family had one, so it had been overlooked.Bookmark here

The Chancellor bent over and spoke to the fallen King.Bookmark here

“Thank you for lending me your Electi. It has been a most valuable guinea pig.”Bookmark here

With that, he seemingly drifted over to Saki and placed a hand on her head.Bookmark here

“Now, I return your memories unto you. Awaken from your dream, my tragic little sample.”Bookmark here

No sooner than he had said that, Saki’s mana turned heavy and sickened. Like the chilling poisonous aura that was felt from the demonized zombie dragon that we had faced, Saki was giving off that same signature.Bookmark here

“Now, my pet. Will your container shatter? Or will you be able to contain that which has emerged from you?”Bookmark here

The grin on the Chancellor’s face left us all with a sense of impending doom, much worse than any demon we had faced before.Bookmark here

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