The Power of The Demon God
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The inability to immediately understand what had happened was simply due to pain. It was too abrupt and it happened all at once.
This was spurred by the fact that Steina was just receiving the information sent. At the moment when the pain was being transmitted, she reflexively woke up to it, and she became aware of the pain more than necessary.
It was a pain as if the whole body had been stabbed with a dull knife. The impact that she received from it was so great that she didn’t care about the terrible malice that struck her at the same time. If she could control her body at will, she would be screaming while beating on the spot. No, perhaps, she couldn’t keep her consciousness to begin with.
But now, Steina didn’t even have the liberty to lose consciousness. The only way to escape pain was to focus on other things and to deceive it. In this state, she could only focus on her ears and eyes.
Only then did she notice the changes in her surroundings, and that was the first time she understood what had happened to her.
“Tsk… I didn’t think the Demon God would lend his power for free, but… I have a really bad feeling about this. You… did you use her life force to move it!?” (Iori)
“Yes, that’s right. As expected of you. You notice that immediately.” (Nicholas)
Yes, the pain came from the fact that Steina’s life force had been forcibly pulled out and deprived by the Demon God. What was happening was a change in the surrounding and that was a flame that was burning with a force that couldn’t compare with the earlier.
Although the previous attack was powerful, it wasn’t clearly insufficient given that it was the Demon God. With the cost of Steina’s life force, the Demon God gained more power.
Moreover, it wasn’t an imagination that the presence of the Demon God that she felt is becoming more and more. It was like… the part of Steina, who had been pulled out and deprived, was buried by it.
Somehow, this didn’t feel like an imagination.
“Even so… the presence of the Demon God is becoming clearer… no, has the reincarnation started? Considering the situation, this means… ” (Iori)
“Hmm… Do you understand until that part? No, I suppose it’s as expected. And perhaps, you have noticed. Yes, the Demon God is reincarnating into this world by eating Steina. That’s the kind of contract we signed this time.” (Nicholas)
Steina agreed to that words as she was convinced with this malice that was attacking with pain. She thought that it was natural to feel so if her existence was being stripped from herself.
That was the reason why she couldn’t feel the reality, but it also served as an escape from reality. It was hard to imagine what would happen to her if it did that to her, and she couldn’t resist anything against it. It might be unavoidable that she became so.
“Uggh… Rather, how can you sign a contract arbitrarily by using someone else’s daughter!” (Iori)
“Oh my. It’s unthinkable if you say it that way. For your information, Steina-sama was hoping for it.” (Nicholas)
“Haa…! What are you babbling about…!?” (Iori)
“No, no. I’m not telling a lie to you. This is just a fact. After all, it was Steina-sama who collected the materials to revive the Demon God in the first place. Of course, she was aware of this thing.” (Nicholas)
It was simply not a lie. At least, it was true that she was collecting the materials, and she knew to some extent about the ritual of the Demon God’s resurrection. It was also true that a certain level of speculation came out that such a thing might be necessary.
By the way… if she said that she didn’t know it at all, that would be a lie. She remained the same as she didn’t betray Nicholas and others. If she was told that they need her life in order to use the power of the Demon God, she couldn’t deny the possibility of agreeing to it.
“Tsk… Damn it. If the foolish girl is here, you wouldn’t be able to do it. I can’t deny it thoughtlessly…” (Iori)
“To begin with, it’s a fact. So, it’s normal that you can’t deny it.” (Nicholas)
“Tsk… there’s no obligation to sacrifice yourself, but that fool is…!” (Iori)
It wasn’t just without the possibility. Although she didn’t intend to do that already, it could be said that this matter was a harsh matter. However… if Iori was told that she had no reason to do so, he would have denied it.
“Oh my, are you saying something like you have no obligation in this? Steina-sama is still the daughter of the Demon King-sama, right? More importantly, there should be nothing strange to offer herself to get her revenge, am I right?” (Nicholas)
“Well… that’s probably true. She must have been abandoned by that Demon King.” (Iori)
That was a fact. Steina was abandoned by the previous Demon King because she was a failure. Thus, she became unnecessary. Aina was called a failure because she couldn’t use magic, but… it was Steina herself that was a failure.
That was as a Demon King’s daughter… No, she couldn’t inherit what was needed to be the Demon King.
After that, she was picked up by Iori and had an older sister. She managed to survive in this way, but even so… Steina was still the daughter of the Demon King no matter what anyone said. There was no difference. (TLN: The older sister here is someone unknown)
That was why she thought she had the obligation and the responsibility. The faction of the previous Demon King asked her to be the mark, and she accepted it… As a result, many lives of her comrades were lost. Surely, the lives lost were countless.
So, if it was her turn, it was possible that she agreed to it. At that time, Steina even wanted to do it… No, if it were just about that, it might not have changed even now. She had to take responsibility for what she had done.
However, it was different to submit oneself to the Demon God here. Rather, it could be said that it was too much to ask to die easily if it was at this degree. She had to take responsibility properly.
…However, it seemed impossible to do so. Steina clearly knew that she was on her way to death.
“Well… we can’t really understand what Steina-sama was thinking about.” (Nicholas)
“Then, it’s a matter of asking her, right? Let’s try once, shall we? It’s just a matter of getting rid of that contract once and for all. So, it’s a simple matter.” (Iori)
“I can’t really do that. If not, I have to start the ritual all over again. Well, if it’s possible, I would like to start over again, but… at this rate, it will not be able to manifest for a long time in the incarnation. In fact, the time that the Demon God can manifest is proportional to the time it takes to incarnate. If it is incarnated immediately, it could use powerful forces immediately, but the time it could manifest would be shorter. Goodness… if you are defeated quietly, I don’t really have to do something unnecessary. Steina-sama must have suffered quite a bit… Seriously, it’s troubling.” (Nicholas)
Tsk. Don’t you dare pass the blame on me…!” (Iori)
During those conversations, the assault and defense were still ongoing. The flame continued to dance and Iori continued to evade it. The power of the flame had been more than doubled, but Iori still seemed to have no problem. But, he became impatient after being told the matter.
If that was the case, the Demon God would increase its power over time, and it would reach full incarnation as it reached its peak. That meant the Demon God would be able to take actions with its physical body, and on the other hand, Steina was going to die. Each of them was a problem and it was normal to get impatient… Even so, Steina thought it was someoane’s else problem.
Rather than grieving and moaning, there was nothing she could do, and sahe could never reach anyone. Above all, she was fully occupied on how to avoid the pain.
The pain was still going on. She kept thinking about it in vain so as not to be reminded of the pain as much as possible. However, thinking about that so much made her fail to evaluate which matters to prioritize more.
In the first place… her foster father couldn’t do anything. She was thinking what he could do in this situation.
Despite knowing that, Steina couldn’t give up on everything just because the pain was going on. Moreover, her foster father hadn’t given up yet. However, how long would this last?
The flame was dancing closer even now, blocking the escape path of Iori who was trying to evade…
“Uhh… Tsk…! — Descend, Lightning of Heaven!” (Iori)
At that moment, Iori thrusted his arm into the sky, and in response to the words, many lightning bolts came down.
It penetrated the impending fire, extinguished it, but it also went all over the place. It fell equally on Steina, who was possessed by the Demon God, and on Nicholas, but it brought no meaning.
Before the lightning reached them, it disappeared without problems.
“Tsk… as I expected, the Demon God’s effect is placed on you… Moreover, it’s similar.” (Iori)
“Well, I wonder if I can confirm since I’m still alive. If not, I would have been burned by now.” (Nicholas)
“I was aiming for you, so that would be natural. Well, I was thinking that it won’t do any good, but…” (Iori)
Steina knew that Iori was trying to confirm the fact. At the time of the attack, there were occasional shots aimed at Nicholas.
That might have been the meaning of checking, but rather, confirmation would be better. However, the Demon God protected Nicholas every time, but as expected, it was impossible to do that in that wide area.
Iori used it because he had anticipation of it…
“Oh my, I’ve been misled so far, but… I guess there’s no need to go any further. I’m not sure what to do if you’re really going to run away, so I’m going to do this. Anyhow, it’s impossible to do that anymore.” (Nicholas)
Nicholas meant what it was. At the beginning, Iori was still able to feel, but now he couldn’t feel it. If he tried to escape now, Nicholas judged that the Demon God could do something about it.
Moreover, the power of the Demon God was still increasing little by little…
“If I offer more of Steina-sama’s life force, it’s going to be able to do it. There’s no need to argue. However, that is synonymous with making her suffer more… You don’t want that to happen right? To be honest, I would like you to not resist but…” (Nicholas)
Of course, Nicholas wasn’t serious when he said that. Even if he was thinking, it would be fine if he could earn some time.
It was because if he let it go, the power of the Demon God would increase and eventually this would end. There was no need to rush to that extent even though there were uncertainties.
Steina would have thought the same as well, so… The appearance of Iori who really stopped resisting and landed on the ground should have been nothing but an unexpected action.
Of course, she didn’t expect that.
“…Yes? What on earth are you talking about?” (Iori)
“Well, I’m asking you to stop resisting. I’m sure you can’t resist any longer.” (Nicholas)
He shrugged his shoulders as if he was out of strength. Nevertheless, Nicholas sent a gaze of vigilance there, and… at the same time, he couldn’t hide how surprised he was.
However, that would be inevitable. After all, Steina was also the same.
And… She knew that she was even more surprised.
At first, she was surprised, but it soon led to that reason. The reason why her foster father gave up so easily… or not.
In fact, Steina’s consciousness was still obscure, so her field of vision was somewhat blurred. There were few things she could clearly recognize, and one of them was a jet black color illuminated by flames.
It was the color of her foster father, but at the same time, she noticed that it was a color that made her think of someone else. Moreover, when she explored her mind, it seemed that she realized it just after seeing her foster father.
In other words, Steina was trying to overlap that image with his foster father, who was always in sight… which was why she was surprised. She thought that she had given up because she was reminded of the time when she was saved.
Although she kept thinking to deceive the pain, she mocked the remaining selfishness. She couldn’t help but to think so.
It was rude towards her foster father as well. Wasn’t she the one who tried to stay away from him? That was because she purposely showed that he shouldn’t get involved with her.
So, it was impossible for him to come here to help her. Although she understood that obviously… it was unsightly to see that he had given up.
In that sense, her foster father’s decision was right. He was a good person and he should not die in this place. If he tried to escape seriously, he could and he should do it even now.
There was no need to do something more unnecessary than this. Of course, she didn’t want him to die as she couldn’t take the responsibility, but… that wouldn’t change anyway.
She understood well because this was all about her. She knew that her body was probably near its limit.
No matter what he did, she would die and the Demon God would manifest. It was a future that couldn’t be changed. Then, it might be the right choice to leave since he couldn’t do anything about it.
And apparently, Nicholas also noticed this situation. Even though he couldn’t rid the feeling of bewilderment, he smiled with plenty of room.
“Hmm… I don’t know what you are going to do, but it doesn’t matter anymore. Thanks to you, the preparation is complete. With this…” (Nicholas)
“Seriously… I’ve been told a lot of things. So, I’m wondering whether it’s impossible for me. I feel so much regret at times like this, but… I’m facing it directly.” (Iori)
Iori didn’t seem to hear what Nicholas had said. No, on the contrary… in the first place, there was no sign that he was concerned about the state of this place.
It was as if he was saying that his role was over.
“So, I’ll leave it to you, alright?” (Iori)
“…Yes? What are you trying to say… No, wait a minute. Who are you telling that..!?” (Nicholas)
It was already too late when Nicholas realized that those words weren’t addressed to him. He tried to move the Demon God, but it was also too late.
At that time, the flame that was rampaging around was being torn along with the barrier.
Immediately after that, a small shadow landed on the spot.
It was a familiar figure. It was a figure which wasn’t supposed to appear in such a place.
It was a situation that should never have happened…
“Really… I have a lot of things to say as well, but… Oh well, you can leave it to me for now.” (S???)
As usual, the figure shrugged his shoulders in a fearless manner. It was Soma. Steina could only look at him in amazement, regardless of whether she could move her body or not.
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