53. Checkmate

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53. Checkmate

“The naïve one was you, Leader.
――Donna, Beck!”

From among the former emissaries standing behind me, two small figures stepped out.
The figures remove the hoods concealing their face.
Naturally, it was Donna and Beck.

“――For killing, appear after devising a scheme for assured death.
It’s what you’ve told me time and time again.”

Saying that, I gave him a brazen smile.

However, Gazaine’s reaction was outside my expectations.

“Hmph, what can those two do?
Striking suddenly is one thing, but you think you can win by coming from the front?”

“Oi, oi, Leader-san.
Don’t tell me you don’t know what it means for these two to be here.”

I said after sighing.

“What it means for these two to be here…?”

“These two should originally be out killing people under your orders around this time.
However, they are here right now.
The meaning… of that.”

Hearing my words, blood quickly drains from Gazaine’s face.

“Wha… D-don’t tell me…!
Y-you! You know about my deal with the Evil God…!?”

“That’s right.”

I use [Appraisal] on the flustered Gazaine.

《Gazaine Muntzer. Status: Deal with the Evil God (Due to the Deal with the Evil God Monguenes, powerful bonuses have been gained. Terms and conditions: Raise 100 children into assassins and make them each kill at least 5 people before the deadline. Degree of completion: 98/100, Deadline: 39 seconds remaining.)》

Since the time I was attacked at the Viscount Chrebl residence in Fauno City, I have always kept this [Appraisal] result in mind.
From time to time, I would check with [Database] and continued to wonder if I couldn’t prevent this somehow.

Remember when I unthinkingly muttered, “[Illusion Magic], huh,” back when Gazaine showed me himself being “done in” with his [Illusion Magic] and I immediately noticed my blunder?
This was naturally because there was the possibility of Gazaine remembering about his deal with the Evil God if he noticed that I was able to peek at his status with [Appraisal].
Fortunately, in Gazaine’s mind, this deal appeared to have been settled and completed, so he didn’t suspect anything about my intentions at that moment.

Finally, today.
The timing for when everything had been put in order.
The Mass, Donna and Beck’s first sacred task, and the deadline imposed on Gazaine.
Of course, Gazaine didn’t intend to have everything done at the last minute; if Donna and Beck had followed his plans then they should have assassinated their targets a week ago.
Moreover, Donna and Beck were expected to return to this Nest a few days from now.

The two have already overcome the brainwashing.
I had the two pretend to still be deceived, restrain their emissary escorts after setting out on their mission, and then return to the Nest.
For the drug specialist Donna, it was no trouble to neutralise the off-guard emissaries.

Of course, they would be discovered if they returned to the Nest as they were, so I got Melby to use Gate and had them standby in the Fairy Hamlet.

Incidentally, the children who were too young to defend themselves were also entrusted to Melby to look after in the Fairy Hamlet.
I taught Cecil and Cecila how to play Fruit’s Basket and Cops & Robbers, so they should be engrossed with playing around this time.

Since this exists, it can be said that there’s no need to forcibly fight with Gazaine.
Naturally, I needed to defeat Gazaine in order to make the brainwashing reversal of the emissaries conclusive, but it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

In some respects, I wanted to fight Gazaine and settle the matter.
That thought led to betraying Gazaine’s side, but… this can also be considered a “fight”.

“Only 38… 37 seconds remaining.
With that, you’re finished.
Were you relieved that you managed to meet the goal?
That you had finished offering up the final sacrifice?
Thinking about it, your merry behaviour back when we returned from the firedrake’s lair was strange.
It wasn’t me, Elemia, or Miguel, but Donna and Beck that you absolutely couldn’t lose for your deal with the Evil God.
Although you considered them hopeless at one point, Donna and Beck returned.
Then you were able to safely send them out for their sacred tasks.
You were relieved.
However, that negligence was fatal.
Gazaine Muntzer, disappear and have even your soul tormented by the Evil God, unable to return to the cycle of death and rebirth.”

“R… Ridiculous! That’s… ridiculous!”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s ridiculous or whatnot.
It’s the promise binding you, right?
Take proper responsibility for it to the end.”

“Gu…… Uoooooooh…!”

Gazaine screams, tearing at his head.
Then, he pointed at the children behind me with his blood-covered hand.

“You guys! It’s not too late yet!
Kill those fellows around you!
Listen, you need 5 people.
If you don’t kill 5 people, you guys will be dragged down to hell by the Evil God!
Along with your parents!
If you don’t want that, kill them immediately!”

The children flinched at Gazaine’s threatening attitude.
I heard one of the children murmur “Namo Amitabha Buddhaya…” in a small voice.

“What are you saying, Gazaine Muntzer.
You’re the one who’s going to hell.”

“Guoooooohh…!!”

Gazaine leapt at a child by the wall, forcing a knife in their hand.
That one had a special skill or something and wasn’t part of the children’s group.
Because of that, he hadn’t been taking cover behind me, nor had he been entrusted to Melby at the Fairy Hamlet beforehand.

“Y-you, you kill them!
That’s right, any of those useless emissaries over there will do!
Anyway, kill five of them!
――Hey, the emissary over there!
This is the Evil God’s will!
For my sake, be killed by this kid here!
Please dieeeeeee!”

As one would expect, even the emissaries who hadn’t been released from the brainwashing were bewildered and looked around at each other.

Gazlow, holding Elemia hostage, was also clearly shaking.
Taking that opportunity, Elemia slipped out of Gazlow’s arm and conversely took hold of his arm, pulling Gazlow down.
Giving a surprised shout, Gazlow was quickly bound by Elemia.

“Kill! Kill them!
Ignore everything else and just kill them!
If you don’t kill then be killed by the Evil God!
I’ll be killed by the evil god!
The one who did the most for <Yatagarasu> until now is me, you know!?
You guys, kill the person next to you right now, kill themmmmmm…!”

“…It’s about time.”

《Deadline: 5 seconds remaining.)》

“4, 3, 2…”

“Uooooohhh…!
Oooooh… Guoooooh!
Kill them, Kill, KILL KILL KILL K――”

“Zero.”

The same moment I muttered that, Gazaine’s body was engulfed in what appeared to be black fog.

No――

“Ugaaa….!
Ga.. Guaaahhh…!”

Looking closer, it was a jet black serpent.

――or so I thought, but now it looked like black fog again.

It wasn’t that that black thing was changing.
When I think it’s a snake, it becomes fog; When I look at it thinking it’s fog, it appears to be a snake.
It was a thing with an unknown nature.

It coiled around Gazaine’s body, and countless “mouths” bit into his body.

“Guwaaah…! Arghhh…!
Hurts! It hurts!
H-help me…. Somebody…!
Somebody…”

“Gazaine.
You have killed an incalculable amount of people until now.
And yet, you’re afraid of your own death?
Or is it that you thought you were the only one who wouldn’t die?”

“Kill… Please kill…”

“You’re still saying that. I’m sure the people you had killed also wanted to say that.”

“No!
Me… Kill me… Please kill me!
That thing’s really bad!
It’s not just death… It’s being devoured!
I’ll be greedily devoured, soul and all――by the Evil God!”

“…”

Seeing Gazaine’s screaming figure, everyone was speechless.

“…Now you see it, right?
The true colours of the “Evil God” we worship.”

The former emissaries cover their faces at my words.
Some of the female ex-emissaries were even crying.

Being deceived went deeper than being beaten up; it wounded the heart.
Enough for them to possibly even prefer to continue being deceived.

Rather than Gazaine’s killing of people, I couldn’t forgive him more for deceiving people and using them.

For people to believe in other people was an extraordinarily precious thing.
I was taught this by my parents in my current life.
The two of them believed in me unconditionally, despite my strange nature.
To the extent that I could easily deceive them if I had any ill will on my side.

Gazaine falsely presented himself as the archbishop and held the trust of many people.
Gazaine had said he was able to maintain his tension by incurring the enmity of others, but I guess he was also able to procure that tension by deceiving people.
I can’t help but say that a guy like that has no reason to comment on whether someone has a place to belong or not.

Gazaine tried to create a place for himself to belong by deceiving others.
As long as he was on the deceiving side, he wouldn’t be fooled.
On one hand, as long as you tried to believe in someone, the possibility of being deceived would follow.
For his own peace of mind, Gazaine chose to be the head, and as a result, became unable to have faith in anyone.

More than half of Gazaine’s body had already been swallowed up by the black fog.
I don’t know what sort of torture Gazaine was being tormented by, but he did nothing but spasm and it seems like he is even unable to speak any more.

I dumbfoundedly watched his situation while shuddering but,

“Wait, do you plan on letting him be consumed by the Evil God!?”

Melby’s words returned me to my senses.

That’s right, it won’t be good if he gets consumed by the Evil God like this.
The additions appended to Gazaine’s status would end up becoming the Evil God’s.

Although, I dare say Melby was just saying that letting him be eaten would be cruel.

“Namo―― Amitabha―― Buddhaya!”

The three spells I fired without restraint sent Gazaine’s head flying from the midst of the black fog.

Oooh――

The Evil God cries out bitterly.

“Bye then, Leader.
With this, I’ve graduated.
You shouldn’t have any complaints, right… I killed you as you wanted.
These three months were――well, unexpectedly enjoyable.”

Gazaine’s half-burned eye stared fixedly on me――or so it felt like.

That’s right, I have to say this at least.

“――Namo Amitabha Buddhaya. May you rest in peace.”

There was no reply from Gazaine.


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3 Responses to 53. Checkmate

  1. Random Internet User (tm) says:

    Thank you kindly for all the hard work!

  2. Zeth says:

    Thank you for both chapters!!

  3. Rimeri says:

    Thanks for the update!

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