Chapter 10: Fiend (3/5)

“What’s there to be angry about? We know this fellow is equal to Kebrilio as a magus. It should stand to reason he may know some strange magic to seal off his memories. Learning what we know already is a good enough feat.” Monisa spoke from the side.

“Fine, then we’ll have him say the truth from his own mouth once I’m done with him.” Siren muttered angrily as she went back to using the hallow. The projection then went blank for a moment before showing the same grassland as last time.

“He’s a bland one, isn’t he? Enjoying a rustic place like this, does he dislike the gorgeous palaces or romantic gardens?” 

“It’s not half bad,” Fiana grinned, “I think it’s pretty romantic as-is.”

“Oh shush, don’t tell me you like this environment as well…” 

“It’s romantic.” Fiana and Monisa spoke at the same time before breaking out into laughter.

The comedic timing of their opinions and laughter brought a smile to Siren’s lips as well.

  ※※※

All smiles, the three watched as the projection cleared up once again, only to frown at the sight of the dancing people around the fire. Siren was trying her best to intrude into the deeper part of Elric’s subconscious, but it was hard trying to clear every individual from his dreamscape. 

Only when it was empty did Siren slowly start infiltrating those deeper parts. From behind, Fiana and Monisa watched as Elric’s face slowly grow larger in focus as if he was standing in front of Siren.

In the dreamscape, Elric began to backpedal away from the sudden appearance of Siren.

“Is he an idiot?” The dreamscape version of Siren cried out. She had been so confident in her beauty and yet Elric wasn’t even giving her any consideration! It was a serious blow to her confidence.

“He’s simply that type of person.” Commented Monisa.

“Then how should we proceed? This fellow certainly won’t take the first step.” Siren pouted.

“Why don’t you take the first step then? See if that works?” Fiana suggested.

“Me? But what good is that? Would he even feel guilty? I’d doubt he’d feel blackmailed.” Siren’s answer was an angry one. She didn’t like that suggestion at all.

“That’s true. He’s too innocent, it’s surprisingly hard to deal with someone like him.” Fianna reconsidered.

“Mhm. Can’t say I’ve ever had such an opponent.”

“Has he even matured yet? I doubt he’s finished with puberty.”

“It feels like we’re cooking and the bird we’re boiling suddenly flew away.”

“Then what should I do?”

  ………… 

In the solitude of their room, three women grumbled to one another at the difficulty of their task.

Not even venting their feelings felt cathartic enough.

In another place, a mysterious entity was also dissatisfied with Elric’s response. The one called Monster. Monster, in fact, had been watching this scene take place ever since the three ladies called out a prayer to the Soul God, Monster Kazmyreus.

Monster Kazmyreus was actually one of Monster’s many incarnations. Something he had planned to sway the humans from the god’s influence to the demons. In the beginning, Monster designed a complicated and lengthy plan to tempt and sway humanity. To best accomplish this, he revealed himself in front of several select humans in the form that best resembled divinity. Being easy to fool, the humans were ultimately convinced that several of these forms were actually gods.

One of his most successful attempts was the Soul God, Monster Kazmyreus. Humanity’s belief in him gave him the power to delve into the mind of man and manipulate it as he pleased. Many of the hallows he granted were made with the power to peer and control the subconscious of mankind. This at first didn’t seem to be too dangerous a power, but eventually humanity began to grow curious. Who didn’t want to know what the other person was thinking? Some may even want to control the way another person would think. 

Thus came the first wedge of many into the collective that was humanity. The seed of temptation was planted and the water of curiosity given. Distrust between man and man drew them apart more and more, and those of malicious thoughts eventually began to find ways to better advance their own selfish desires with the applied use of these hallows and skills.

Monster had long since understood that the mind and psyche of man was rather lacking. Planting fake memories and imbuing knowledge was a simple matter, though there existed a few select individuals that proved resistant to these forcibly planted memories and bits of knowledge. These type of people were what other people called saints.

Monster hated these saints and it infuriated him even more that Elric was proving himself to be exactly like those abominable people.

In his domain in another realm, Monster observed what was happening to Elric with vested interest. He was even more so interested in the three that had called upon his power. How long had it been since his descent as a god? How had humanity not yet realized he wasn’t divine? How was he still being worshipped? The fact that these people were able to call upon him meant that somewhere in the world, there was still a part of him that had yet to be destroyed. 

This was the reason why a contract existed between him and that damnable brat. The stronger Elric became, the more Monster’s power returned to him. He was able to use a small portion of his powers again, even.

Monster wasn’t in a rush for his complete restoration. A process like that was a timely one, and he had no reason to rush it. The demon race was practically gone and the gods had withdrawn from the world. The entire conflict had been essentially a squabble between toddlers for a toy. The toy itself had no intrinsic value, but both sides wanted it simply because the other side did. Once one side lost interest, then so did the other. 

Yes. That was the perfect way to summarize the Glorious Crusade and its origins to Monster. A ridiculous tantrum between two toddlers over a toy.

That didn’t mean to say that Monster was without a desire. The darker side of humanity was without a doubt interesting to him, and the way these three women were trying to make use of Elric was a stellar reason why he continued his observation of the depravities of humanity.

Not even Monster could explain why he was so vested in this. Demons, especially elder demons, didn’t even have the concept of gender since their bodies were made of pure mana. Beside their love for chaos and their propensity for spreading it, demons shouldn’t have any particular likes or dislikes.

Somehow, Monster had it. Somehow, the desire only humans had for those of the opposite sex transferred over to Monster. The abstract concept of love meant little to Monster. That was a feeling so pure he related it to the loathsome saints he hated so much. No, love was something that made people content with dreams rather than ambitions or goals. One who loved would rather circle about the other in times of war than fight. They were the type to say that they were unhappy about something and never attempt to resolve it. This saintly behavior was again something Monster abhorred. 

And now Elric was doing everything Monster didn’t want to see or be reminded of. A beautiful woman was dropped right in front of him in his dreams and yet his reaction was to shy away? How infuriating! What simpleton would refuse such an advance, and why in the world was his three faithful worshippers being dissuaded? Monster felt like he was ready for a great show to begin only for the main actor to stray from the expected development. A truly anticlimactic development to what could’ve been an interesting premise.

It was a pity. Ever since the crusade, Monster’s race was essentially gone and his own powers dissipated. Preserving the little amount of power he had right now and escaping with his life intact had been insanely difficult. The extent of his injuries made life difficult for Monster and forced him to assume the form of a lowly stygian. 

Ah, to think an elder demon like him would be reduced to such a state…

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