A Demon Lord’s Tale: Dungeons, Monster Girls, and Heartwarming Bliss - Chapter 423
The Silent Voices Haunting Those Left Behind – Part 6
She had gentle eyes.
She was probably over seventy years old, but her straight back and resolute demeanor showed willpower unexpected of her age.
In this world, she would be considered someone who had lived a very long life.
According to what Nell said, human supremacists had never been very active. They only quietly propagated their ideas from behind the scenes.
The person in front of me was probably one of those people, but she certainly had lived a long life and definitely had experienced many things, which was why this old woman had such a strong will at her age.
She would only increase her anxiety if she made rushed decisions, so she slowly checked what happened to her surroundings.
“Does the fact that you came here mean that all my allies have died? Well, considering what I did to you, perhaps it is a fitting retribution…”
“I killed everyone who was guarding me in the prison but I did not kill the ones in the mansion. I just knocked them out. To me, they were nothing more than just civilians.”
I answered while looking at her, who had a grim expression on her face.
“Let me get this straight. Revenge for who and for what?”
“Oh dear, you’re an impatient one, aren’t you? Well, all right, I apologize for the trouble I’ve caused you. Let me tell you something. For my husband, my son, my grandchild, my country… I am not against demons, but a country.”
Not against the demons, but against a country, is it?
Or rather, revenge against the Kingdom of Allysia.
I had thought that she was holding a grudge against another race like my race, so I was surprised by her answer.
“Are those three, you have mentioned, dead?”
“Yes. They were all soldiers. My husband was sent to battle with the demons along the border, my son went to fight with his unit in a conflict with the beastmen, and my grandson took part in a civil war in the royal capital a year ago. As a result, all three died… No, you can say that they are missing in action. Their bodies were never found, so maybe they might still be alive somewhere.”
But I guess those people were almost certain to be dead, so much so that she had already given up on their survival.
I didn’t know about the other two conflicts, but I knew about the civil commotion in which this old woman’s grandson participated. It happened when Nell and I went to the capital of Alshir for the first time.
If I remember correctly, that civil war was also caused by the demon race behind the scenes.
…Is that the reason for her resentment?
If three generations of one’s family died because of something or someone, that may indeed be a legitimate reason for resentment….
“I hate to say it, but if one was a soldier, death should be part of their job. It would be naive to say that you are not prepared for that. So, isn’t it unreasonable to take revenge on the country?”
“Of course, I understand that part. All three of them chose to become soldiers themselves, and I will have to respect that decision, despite the grief, of course. I will also have to accept their deaths in battle… The main reason behind my anger is that this country let those deaths go to waste…”
“After the war not long ago, they joined forces with the warring races and increased our interaction with outsiders, the demon race in particular. If they were planning to do that, why didn’t they choose to do so from the beginning!”
Her kind eyes reflected hatred.
The color of madness peeked through her expression, which slightly distorted her looks.
“Why were they proposing for peace now? To begin with, did this country even need to fight in vain? Because of this, the three of them, my dearest, have died for nothing! Without accomplishing anything!”
I was certain that this old lady would snicker at me if I told her that those deaths were the reason for the results they had today.
Well, their deaths probably didn’t mean much.
They most likely died because they were caught up in a battle that occurred out of a conflict that had been going on for a long time.
I knew that such things often happened, even in my previous world.
The death of the old woman’s grandson most likely happened before we interfered with that civil war, and even if he died in the middle of it… it probably won’t mean much, to be honest.
“If they don’t want to fight, then they shouldn’t have fought in the first place. Everyone who is helping me is in the same situation as me. That’s why the deaths of our loved ones were all for nothing. If that is the case, we must make them pay accordingly, or else we will have no face to show to our beloved who died. I apologize deeply for bringing you into it.”
This old woman put me in a rather dangerous situation, one step away from being forced to engage in some kind of rogue operation.
A clear and absolutely unacceptable enemy.
But… after actually confronting her like this, the desire to kill her didn’t really flare up.
–She was just a normal person.
Yes, this old woman was simply that.
A normal person, just like everyone else.
That’s why she got angry when her family died and decided to take revenge, no matter how unreasonable it may seem.
Anyone in her situation would be angry like her.
The only difference was that this old woman could use her anger to move into action.
Perhaps there was nothing more I could say to her.
However, it was not really what I came here for.
Someone, with an all-knowing look on his face, once said, “It’s a bad thing to do things for those who have died, they would never want that, no matter how convincing the reasons for doing so may be”, but there was no way that could conveniently change this person’s mind.
Because we were all People.
No matter how much reasons tried to stop us, no matter how much others tried to change our mind, we could not resist the intense emotions that burned inside us, and we would keep going forward even when we knew it would bring us to our ends.
“If you want to kill me, then kill me. You have that right. But if you do so, the news of the Demon Race murdering innocent people will be circulated on the streets. On the other hand, if you do not kill me and let me live, I will continue to lead the flow of ill feelings toward other races. Regardless of where they may be, or how they are treated.”
“That’s quite annoying, you know?”
“Yes, I am a nasty woman. I’m sorry you got involved with a selfish old woman, but… either way, you have deep ties to this country, don’t you? As long as you are involved with this country, you will have to deal with me.”
In a quiet tone of voice, the old woman smiled.
She had no hostility toward me.
She only wanted to do what she thought needed to be done.
And all she had was a strong will.
After a few moments of silence, I replied.
“I will not kill you. It is the law of the land that will judge you, old lady. You will spend the rest of your life in jail.”
“I see. Well, fine. I’m an old, dying lady anyway. Suit yourself.”
I sighed as I looked at her, who still had her determined expression.
“I understand your story. I’m only saying this out of the kindness of my heart. You’d better pick the right people to get involved with, old lady.”
“Does that mean you’re going to lash out in this country in retaliation?”
“No, not me. It’s my family.”
“Eh? What do you mean?”
Just as she finished speaking with a doubtful expression, there was a roar.
With a loud bang, everything on the ceiling was blown away, and the night air entered the room.
And then, mixed in with the stars in the night sky, a shadow blanketed us.
“There you are, Yuki.”
Echoing from the sky was a beautiful voice which I loved so much and wanted to keep hearing forever.
“It seems like you have gotten yourself into trouble again. There are no external injuries. The flow of magic is also normal, and the blood on your clothes seems to be from someone else. Are you all right, Yuki?”
“Yes, I’m fine. I’m sorry for worrying you, Lefi.”
It was Lefi who landed next to me from outside.
I felt her presence even before I discovered this mansion.
Not that I was worried about her, but I well, I just couldn’t help it, you know? So, I decided to target this mansion.
“And… you’ve done quite a lot to annoy me, you know. I haven’t felt this much anger in centuries. You should be proud, human.”
Lefi turned to look at the old woman, who had frozen in stunned silence.
Under the full force of my wife’s intimidation, she broke out in an understandable cold sweat, clutching her heart with one hand and trying her best not to submit to the pressure. After some time, she finally managed to force herself to speak.
“…In the end, are we just going to be overrun by force?”
“What are you playing the victim for? If you did not get involved with my husband, I would not have come here, and this country would not be threatened by me. You have brought this all on yourself.”
The old woman smiled at Lefi’s ever-so-harsh and unapologetically hostile tone.
“No, I understand. I know that I deserved it. And… I also know that all my schemes are for naught against an unstoppable force. It just makes me want to lament the weakness of humanity. I’m certain that those humans also thought that they had succeeded the moment they were given a chance to capture him.”
“Pull that thought out of your head. That is simply because you have given up on being human. I know at least one person who understands their own weakness and still tries his best every day. The brave men of this country also live that way. I simply see you as a pitiful one that has forgotten how to move forward.”
“…I don’t know how old you are, but you are telling an old woman like me to move on. How many times has a young lady like you had to endure the death of a family member? Have you ever felt the spiritually wrenching grief and the hatred one would feel when they try to move on only to be told that their death was in vain!”
Hatred and frustration was also seeping within the old woman’s voice.
I could feel the hostility welling up inside her that wasn’t there a moment ago.
“Yes, I have no experience with them. I’ve certainly outlived you, but in terms of life experience, I may be less experienced than you. However, the fear of having my man taken away from me and almost killed is something I’ve felt more than I care to admit today.”
This time, Lefi’s words were ridden with anger, and the pressure she exerted increased.
“In the first place, I don’t care about your situation. Do you expect me to feel sorry for you? I am Leficious, a Dragon. The strongest dragon in the world, and one of the worst calamities. Do not think that I will show you any mercy.”
Then I interrupted.
“Don’t stop me, Yuki. I have no intention of forgiving her because of your words.”
I smiled and said to Lefi, who seemed to be doing her best not to retaliate, but was certainly not hiding her anger.
“It’s not that., That old lady’s already passed out, so she’s not listening.”
Lefi’s attention finally focused on the old woman’s condition.
The old woman had passed out with her upper body still upright.
She tried her best to hold on with her willpower, but she seemed to have reached the limit of what she could bear under the full weight of Lefi’s anger.
It must have been hard for an old person to endure.
No, it would have been the same even if it was not an old person.
“Let’s go home, Lefi. Now that we know who the enemy is, what they want, and what their ideology is, let’s just leave the rest to this country. I think we’ve done our job.”
I looked at the fainted old woman.
The problem was that nothing was actually solved.
Being a ‘human supremacist’ was nothing but a cover… The root cause of their actions still remained.
But from here on out, it was not my job, nor would it be Nell’s.
It was Allysia’s problem, and it needed to be solved by the country on its own.
I was close to the ruler, and if he asked for my help, I might lend a hand… but I didn’t think that it had reached a point where our involvement would be needed.
At my words, Lefi slowly took a few deep breaths and heaved a long sigh.
“…She made me so angry and caused us so much trouble, but she only passed out at the end of it.”
“She will be punished by the nation. She’ll probably be in jail until she dies, and there’s no need for us to go out of our way to help this old lady’s scheme or deal with her.”
“Hmph, I don’t have a choice. I’ll just have to live with that. No, it’s your own fault for being so careless in the first place! If you had been more careful, none of this would have happened!”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think that there was poison in the food. To tell you the truth, I did feel that it tasted weird..”
Perhaps that was what poison tasted like.
I felt bad about leaving what I was served… so I ate it all, which was clearly a mistake on my part. Hmmm.
I didn’t realize why the taste was strange, and I had no inkling at all that the food was poisoned.
“Well, if you’re aware of it, why did you still continue to eat it, you idiot!”
“Haven’t I already answered that question? I thought that the food simply tasted bad. I was thinking that maybe I was subconsciously comparing it to the taste of Layla’s delicious cooking. I apologize for worrying you.”
“…Hmph, you’ll have to apologize to everyone later because Nell was all pale with worry, thinking that you got in danger because of her.”
As we flew out of the mansion, I was a little glad to see that Lefi was distressed by my situation, and was seriously angry at someone for my sake.
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