Two weeks have passed since I found the reincarnator’s memoirs inside the historic remains.
In that time, I raised the proficiency of a few skills, while receiving guidance from Grandpa Ganash’s place at night.
The cave with the rail cars that led to the underground space Grandpa Ganash resided in was strictly guarded, so I obtained the old man’s permission to excavate a duct directly underneath his home.
Depending on the day, the old man would also come out to the dedicated space underground to give me guidance instead of in his home.
However, the old man was unavailable tonight so I took a break from his training.
At midnight, when I was raising my MP while waiting for everyone to fall asleep, I noticed Elemia slipping out of bed and leaving the room.
After the incident with the firedrake, the four children started acting strangely.
Miguel would sometimes be brooding with a grim face, and Beck and Donna would zone out.
As for Elemia, who I had more opportunities to converse with, she would often be seen reciting scriptures whilst praying.
I requested that the children keep quiet about what was discussed with the firedrake.
It seems there were times when they thought back to our conversation with Agnia, as they nodded without even asking for a reason.
Thanks to that, I was able to say we “reached an understanding” with the firedrake.
I thought that was absurd, but most of the people in the Nest seemed to think that “it’s feasible for Orochi” so it didn’t become a big problem.
The fact that the children unanimously testified in strong belief also made a big impact.
Gazaine seemed to be in a good mood because the children all returned safely and didn’t inquire very deeply about the exchange with the firedrake.
It seemed like he was somewhat occupied as well, so it was also that he was unable to.
Lately, I often see the other executives moving around the Nest in a hurry.
Even Grandpa Ganash was ordered to stock up on a large amount of poison, starting with Repchipa grass.
I suppose there will be some big movement soon.
Now, I was talking about Elemia leaving the room.
As usual, I head to the field with the open ceiling.
Elemia was squatting in front of the flower field, vacantly staring at the cluster of small light purple flowers that resembled lavenders as moonlight streamed in.
Two thirds of the flowers had been picked, which made the flower field a somewhat lonely scene.
According to what I heard from Grandpa Ganash, these flowers weren’t really planted to ease the hearts of onlookers, but instead cultivated as one of the ingredients for a hallucinogen used by <Yatagarasu>.
Though I don’t go so far as to doubt the flower field manager’s intention of having these flowers provide a bit of colour to our lives….
Elemia probably already realised that I have come as she excels at perceiving presences; she started talking without turning around.
“Fellow believer Orochi.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if you weren’t here.”
“…Certainly, if I wasn’t here then you could have remained as emissaries without suspecting anything.”
“Geez… You won’t even apologise, so annoying.
But it’s true that Fellow believer Orochi didn’t do anything to apologise for.
Even though I want to cling to my beliefs at such a time, it concerns Evil God-sama so I can’t even do that.
Ah, I could consult Mother and Father if they were here, but the Aubesso scriptures contain stories about children whose parents are demons.
I don’t know what’s what anymore.”
Seeing Elemia so exhausted pains me as well.
“Elemia’s parents, huh.
I’m sure they’re good people.”
“…I know that.
An inexperienced emissary can’t think about their parents.
Cherish the ones who are around now, our fellow believers.
That is what the pastor has taught us.”
“Don’t you want to see your mother and father?”
I know it’s unfair, but I ask anyway.
“…I want to see them. Isn’t it obvious that I want to see them!”
Elemia grabbed hold of me.
“But if I don’t do my job, Mum and Dad will fall to hell…!”
“You already know that those doctrines are just convenient for the organisation, right?”
Elemia’s grip weakens.
“…I also understand what Fellow believer Orochi is saying.
I’ve gradually come to understand.
But I can’t stop believing in Evil God-sama…
If I stop, so many things will become unbearable.”
So many things――for example, being separated from her parents and living a life underground, or killing people while calling it a sacred task and such.
If <Yatagarasu> hadn’t kidnapped Elemia, those issues wouldn’t have arisen in the first place.
However, it means that the Evil God is necessary for Elemia to overcome those issues.
I’m glad that Elemia can now say these things, but she’ll probably draw back if I jump at it immediately.
Hence, I quietly take a deep breath and then broach the subject.
“If you want peace of mind, aren’t there many other doctrines?
No one would prefer to choose a religious organisation that kidnaps children and makes them kill people.”
“In my hometown, there was this kind of doctrine:
In this world, there is a great Buddha called Amitābha-sama who is watching over us.
That’s why there is no need for us to do anything special in order to be saved.
It’s enough to just entrust everything to the Buddha and chant ‘Namo Amitabha Buddhaya’.”
I suppose this is also modern knowledge.
“Just chanting is enough…?”
“Who knows, I don’t know the details but that was our religion.
Our doctrine was a method that anyone could carry out easily.
If you couldn’t be saved without special training, a majority of the world would be unsalvageable.
Amitābha-sama wouldn’t say such shallow things.”
“I-I don’t have to kill any more…?”
“As long as you believe in Amitābha-sama.”
“Amitābha-sama, huh… A name with a mysterious ring.
And Namo Amitabha Buddhaya, was it.
It’s like a spell in a fairytale.”
“Also, that person said this.
Even a wrongdoer can receive aid from Amitābha-sama if they are penitent.
As long as someone is alive, they will also do wrong.
What’s truly the problem is not recognising you did wrong.
The important thing is to realise yourself that you did wrong and repent.”
I feel like they actually said something more profound, but all I know is that much.
Even that was no more than retelling what I heard from a granny in the countryside when I was small.
Because I was living in a world with little prospect of evil and sins and such.
“Does Fellow believer Orochi believe in that Amitābha-sama?”
“No, I’m not a Buddhist.”
“Then how do you sustain your spirit?”
I am blessed.
Because I have parents who love me without restraint.
Someday, I will return to the two of them without fail.
That is what I’ve decided in my heart, and so I put up with the present.”
That’s not all I’ve set my heart on.
――I will crush this religious organisation by all means.
At this point, whether it had anything to do with the Evil god or not was a trivial matter.
Of course, I am angry about them drugging my family.
However, I am angrier about them separating little children from their parents and taking advantage of their anxiety and loneliness to make them kill people.
These guys who do such things, I can’t leave them alone.
I don’t know whether it’s because I’m suffering from Prison Psychosis, but even though I’m over 30 years old mentally, I feel like crying when think about Julia-kaasan, Alfred-tousan, and Steph at night.
To be honest, if Melby wasn’t here――or if the children, including Elemia, weren’t here then I probably wouldn’t be able to stand it.
Even I am like this despite having [No Fatigue].
I wonder how anxious and nervous the other children must be.
“…Fellow believer Orochi, you are strong.”
“It’s just a façade.”
“The fact that you can be like that means you’re strong.”
Elemia says enviously.
She says it as though she isn’t accustomed to being strong herself.
Elemia innocently tilts her head to the side as she asks. I resolve myself and said,
“――Won’t you come with me?”
“I haven’t said anything about it until now, but I intend to crush this organisation.
Will you come with me afterwards?
Well, although I say come, it’s just returning home.
I’m sure Julia-kaasan and Alfred-tousan would welcome you, Elemia.”
No matter what, they did accept someone like me after all.
“C-crush, you say…!”
“Honestly, I’d like your help as well, but that would be harsh on you so I won’t ask that of you.”
Elemia stayed silent for a while before saying this.
“…Is Melby-san here?”
Melby says as she reveals herself.
I have also asked the children to keep quiet about Melby.
“Mum said that fairies can tell when someone is lying.
So I want to ask you.
Is Fellow believer Orochi telling the truth?”
“Then, have the executives of <Yatagarasu> been lying?”
“Thank you, Melby-san.
Fellow believer Orochi, can I give you my reply after considering it a bit more?”
“Yeah, of course.”