|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2317 characters|
|Translator: Tanaka||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1162 words|
In the divine city of Faximile, within the sanctum of Holy Kingdom Aeon, sat the imposing structure known as the «Azure God Tower». This architectural marvel stood adjacent to the Cathedral, its very essence molded around the tower, adopting a temple’s form, the heart and nucleus of this holy establishment.
Atop the tower, inside a vast hall that bore an ethereal quality — where no breeze dared to enter despite the four open windows — a young man with hair as blue as the sea and skin bearing bronze scales sat brooding on a luxurious chair. He listened intently to the report, his eyebrows knotting tightly together.
“They were… annihilated?”
“Yes, and in spectacular fashion too. —I mean, that task was far beyond their capabilities; they essentially stood no chance against it,” Kagerou replied nonchalantly, shrugging exaggeratedly, his attire marred with soot. Beside him, Lubbock wore a look of deep dismay.
Fuming, the azure-haired young man rebuked, “You insolent fool! Do you realize why I entrusted this to you? Twice now, you’ve failed miserably… All grandiose words, no substance. Who authorized the breaking of that seal?”
Kagerou calmly responded, a hint of irritation in his voice, “It was old man Warren who broke the seal. I merely accompanied him, causing turmoil in the empire as you directed…”
Kagerou had scarcely finished speaking when a resonant smack filled the air. The source was the azure-haired boy, who silently rose and delivered a forceful punch to Kagerou without regard for his words. Staggering a few steps, Kagerou eventually lost his footing and crashed onto the cold, stone floor. A line of fresh blood streamed down from the corner of his mouth.
Grimacing, Kagerou muttered, “…that hurt.”
“You imbecile! Can’t you comprehend that the seal existed for a reason? He’s now unleashed, wreaking havoc at will. Can you answer for this?”
Nonchalant, Kagerou argued, gazing at a row of colorful orbs mounted on the wall while wiping away blood with a hand, “Is the situation truly so dire? Master, can’t you simply destroy Shima’s life orb to end this madness? I assumed there was a purpose to this chaos, given our deployment.”
The orbs seemed to be some tally of life forces; two of the eight were shattered, and one had never bore color.
“I would have, if it were that simple! He was my initial creation, imperfect and lacking the ‘breaker’ present in all of you. His self-awareness exceeded my expectations, leading me to seal him, hoping his potential might be harnessed one day.”
He glared at Kagerou, eyes filled with murderous intent, a cruel reminder of their true relationship; one of master and tools, not equals. Lubbock, standing silently to the side, felt a surge of anger, his teeth grinding involuntarily.
With a level voice that contrasted sharply with his heated words, Kagerou continued, “Then doesn’t the fault lie with you, Master? Unable to control him, you cast him aside; the responsibility is yours as his creator and overseer.”
With a stern grip, the azure-haired boy seized Kagerou by his collar, yanking him to his feet as he conveyed his indignation in a flat tone.
“How dare you, showing such audacity, questioning your very benefactor… who exactly do you think enabled your existence in this realm, bestowed upon you power and a place in this world? Have my favors so quickly slipped your memory?”
Kagerou met his rage with an unaffected face. “I can’t recall being indebted to you.”
Gently but firmly, he brushed the boy’s hand off his collar. “I’m tired of being here, obeying every whim of yours. It’s about time I take my leave.”
“What nonsense are you spouting, you fool?”
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Kagerou clarified, his voice unwavering, “I am done, entirely done with being handed irrational tasks that always involve killing or demolishing something in the name of duty. I’ve had it with this absurdity. Therefore, I am walking away. Farewell.”
Kagerou bowed gracefully before turning to stride away.
“You disrespectful fool, perpetually displaying your slovenly behavior… Behold.”
In response to the boy’s command, one of the faintly glowing crystal orbs that was aligned on the wall suddenly materialized in his outstretched palm. Taking a menacing step forward, his face contorted into a savage grin.
“This is your life orb. I just have to squeeze it a little and your life would be extinguished. Death is the only fitting end for a traitor… no, it’s the failed beings like you that must be eradicated. You’re forcing this outcome, understand? You have no place in this universe.”
Kagerou stopped in his tracks.
“Resorting to threats when someone disobeys, huh… Quite the spectacle from the head of the grandest guild. It makes me glad to have aligned myself with the Young Lady.”
He articulated, a wistful expression painting his features, but his words were met with derisive laughter.
“Oh, how grandiose your declarations are… Speaking as if you played a significant role in past events. Has your association with Hiyuki clouded your judgment? Or have you simply lost touch with reality? Nonsense! You are but a shadow of former players, a soulless puppet harboring vain ambitions. You may intend to find refuge with Hiyuki after leaving, but rest assured, she will cast you aside once she discerns your true nature.”
“…Perhaps, perhaps not. I have this suspicion that the Young Lady senses something already. And yet, she has shown me kindness. And you, pretending to be so acquainted with her secrets when, in reality, you know nothing about her, do you?”
As Kagerou concluded, all traces of emotion were wiped clean from the boy’s face, replaced by a chilling serenity as if his furious wrath had crossed a boundary into tranquil hostility.
There was a sudden sharp noise as fissures branched rapidly across the surface of the crystal ball.
“Guh… you may have given me life in this world… but if I am to die, it will be on my own terms…!”
Wincing in pain and holding his chest tightly, Kagerou dashed towards a nearby window. With a forceful kick off the ground, he propelled himself out into the open. As he descended in a graceful arc from the tower, his body instinctively reacted to the plummet.
Mid-fall, the boy ruthlessly crushed the crystal orb in his grasp, turning it to powder. In response, Kagerou’s body spasmed for a split second before it continued its powerless descent into the water flowing beneath.
“What a waste of a life orb. Honestly, all of them are so utterly worthless.”
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Kagerou’s impact with the moat created a gentle ripple, and soon his body resurfaced. Casting a disdainful look at Kagerou’s lifeless form, the boy turned away from the window with a visible sense of urgency.
“We need to move quickly! Bring the Grand Pope here!”
Lubbock, obeying the command, hurriedly averted his eyes from Kagerou’s body being swept away by the current and bolted from the room, seizing the chance to escape the grim scene.