Dai Densetsu no Yūsha no Densetsu:Volume 8 Chapter 3
Chapter 3: A World Without Pain
With a small needle, he stabbed the palm of his hand countless times.
However, he didn't feel any pain.
No, he didn't feel anything.
As if it'd been completely paralyzed, he didn't feel any pain in the palm of his hand.
His hand moved. The nerves were connected properly. But it was only the needle's contact that he couldn't feel.
The reason was simple.
It'd been stolen.
His sense of touch had been stolen.
No, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he gave it up.
He gave his sense of touch up to the sword.
Riphal Edea stopped stabbing the palm of his hand with the needle, and lifted his head.
Loose, wavy peach-coloured hair, one eye.
With that eye, he looked to his side and looked at a long sword.
So long that one wouldn't think that a person could use it, a jet black sword.
Known as the Sword of Regeneration [Glovil], it was a cursed sword.
By devouring Riphal's body, that sword was able to unleash massive power. It was able to unleash power so great that one wouldn't think a person could use it.
And as compensation, it stole away his sense of touch this time.
Even if he were sliced at by a sword, he'd no longer feel anything.
Even if he were stabbed by a spear, he wouldn't feel anything.
And on the reverse end, even if he were to be touched by someone he loved, he wouldn't be able to feel anything.
At that, he became slightly uneasy.
If he became someone who felt nothing at all, he'd become unable to feel a person's pain.
He could become someone who felt nothing no matter whom he killed—at the idea, he became slightly uneasy.
Even if it weren't like that, to reach this point, he'd taken an unbelievable amount of lives.
As he swung his sword that possessed abnormal power, he took thousands, tens of thousands of lives.
Of course, he had a just cause.
There was a reason that he had to do what he did.
But, reason or not, murderers weren't to be forgiven. And so, he didn't believe that to be a justification.
Rather, he cursed it. He resented it—that was what he thought.
But if he became someone who felt nothing, then he would no longer be able to perceive resentment and such things—at the idea, he became uneasy.
A monster that felt nothing no matter whom he killed.
A monster that felt nothing even over killing someone he loved.
"... A monster, huh?"
He said, staring at the palm of his hand that felt nothing even though it was dyed red with his blood after stabbing himself.
"... Well, this is for monster extermination. Even if I become a monster, there's nothing wrong, is there?"
He said, smiling sadly.
Then he tightly balled his hand into a fist. Applying pressure to the blood vessels, he stopped the bleeding.
Right now, he was in a church.
In spite of using Glovil after paying a price to it, he wasn't able to destroy the Geihlficlant Empire, and so his soldiers had retreated to the Divine City of Elon.
No, it wasn't as simple as something like retreating, was it?
From Geihlficlant's side, there'd been a weapon of abnormal power that Gastark hadn't recognized.
It was a weapon that held tremendous power—enough to counterbalance Glovil.
An weapon of abnormal power that stole tens of hundreds of thousands of lives at once and furthemore altered the terrain.
In the presence of that power, Riphal and his people ran.
After all, if the other party was able to fire such power at random, then they had no chance of victory.
In order to use Glovil, he had to pay a heavy price. However, if the other party could unleash their power without limit, then they had absolutely no chance of victory.
Furthermore, regarding the one who unleashed that power, they knew nothing.
Thus, they ran.
Because they didn't come here to die.
Because they didn't come here to lose all their allies.
And they retreated here, to the Divine City of Elon. During the time it took to arrive here, expressions of panic and despair had arisen in the soldiers' faces.
It was only natural.
To lose a war that they were confident they would win and potentially be pursued—as it was like that, they continued to tremble.
On top of that, if they were pursued, it would all end in an instant.
Without any heed to strategy, tactics, and whatnot, if that weapon were to be used just once more, it would all end.
It was a situation in which there was no way to express the insanity of it all.
No, that was likely what the soldiers of the previous countries had thought of Glovil.
That a person would use such a weapon was abnormal.
They would've thought it to be insane.
And what went around came around. An unknown weapon had been used against them, and while trembling in panic, they ran.
The soldiers' morale had plummeted. Though Rize was currently frantically reorganizing the army, up until the point where they'd retreated to the Divine City of Elon, there'd been a considerable amount of escapees.
But of course, Riphal didn't blame them. After he himself saw that kind of power, he wanted to run. He didn't want to remain in that sort of insane battle for even a moment.
On top of that, in the instant where that unknown weapon cancelled out the power of his sword, he'd felt slightly relieved.
Even though the power he'd sacrificed his sense of touch to invoke had been negated, he'd felt a bit like he'd been saved, nevertheless.
Because he, who up until now had been constantly slaughtering the other side so easily with Glovil, had been stopped.
And furthermore, because of that, he hadn't killed Kiefer.
Even though he knew he couldn't be making mistakes while advancing into the central continent, he was a bit grateful that Glovil had been stopped.
And as for who had done it, he immediately realized.
Demon King Ryner Lute.
The rumours had spread across the world in the blink of an eye.
In the battle, the personification of a demon, Ryner Lute, had stood, and with a cursed breath, massacred millions of Gastark and Geihlficlant's soldiers.
This wasn't the truth.
At the very least, in that battle, Gastark hadn't lost a large number of their soldiers.
But it was fine that the truth was meaningless.
When it came to information warfare, those who moved first won.
Ryner Lute moved quickly. By distributing such information, he implanted panic into the world. And taking advantage of the chaos, he laid waste to Geihlficlant's land.
Furthermore, he'd shamelessly established his own country from within Geihlficlant.
And as Riphal thought about Ryner's Lute country that had rapidly grown in the span of ten days—the People's Republic of Sphelliyet, as it was called—he frowned.
Fearing the power that cancelled out Glovil's own, and making what one could call a mistake by escaping here to the Divine City of Elon, he cursed the weakness of his own heart.
Back then, if he'd attacked one more time with Glovil, he would've won.
If he watched the movements of the People's Republic of Sphelliyet in these past ten days, he understood that.
They were moving without relying on Ryner Lute's power. If, as a power that could cancel out Glovil, it could be fired so easily, then despite the possibility of using just that power to take the entire nation of Geihlficlant, they didn't do that.
By taking several parts, they announced the establishment of their country.
At the same time, they now seemed to be calling out for a ban on the use of Rhule Fragmei, etc. and a peace treaty.
In other words,
"... They can't match Glovil, is what's going on?"
He muttered, groaning.
It was likely that Ryner Lute couldn't continuously unleash that power. Furthermore, they weren't in possession of more Rhule Fragmei then Gastark.
That was why those guys called out to the world. By using the results of the battle just now, as they possessed the same power as Gastark, that was more than enough to make an appeal for the ban of such usage.
If they used it, it would be a violation of the peace treaty, and so could bring the situation up until now to an end in one blow.
And that, it would seem, was the path to success. Several countries would begin to approve of this treaty. The countries that had delayed in gathering Rhule Fragmei would begin to approve.
If the state of the world became a consensus of opinion like this, it would become difficult for Gastark to use their power.
As they had to fully expand into the central continent, if they became unable to use their power, that would be considerably bad.
Of course they'd resigned themselves from the beginning to becoming enemies with the world; however, from here on, even if they used Glovil's power, there was a chance the enemy wouldn't surrender.
In the instant Gastark used Glovil, the world would become Gastark's enemy and seek assistance from the People's Republic of Sphelliyet.
They would seek assistance from the Demon King.
Do something about Gastark, who violated the treaty, they would say.
In other words, they were no longer able to advance forward while intimidating others into surrendering with Glovil.
If, by any chance, they wanted to forcibly advance, it would be necessary to do so by slaughtering the enemy.
"... Definitely a demon, huh?"
After all, because of this treaty, the number of sacrifices that would be made in order for Gastark to advance forward from now on just jumped up.
Enemy countries would no longer be willing to surrender.
In that case, they would have no choice but to kill.
No, that wasn't the only thing. Such like this, many sacrifices would emerge.
People would die.
Even more people would die than up until now.
Why Ryner Lute wished for that sort of thing, he didn't know, but,
"... Demon King... isn't that perfect?"
Riphal said, smiling sarcastically.
Then, the church gates opened, as a sole man entered.
Gastark's unique peach-coloured hair, clear blue eyes. As if to match them, a blue-themed uniform of the Gastark Magic Knight Battalion.
Chief of Staff of all of Gastark Empire and commander of the Magic Knight Battalion, Rigwaltz Pentest.
That Rize spoke.
At that, Riphal turned his head towards him, and,
"What is it?"
"There's an ambassador."
Regarding that, a smile arose in Riphal's face as he spoke.
"Sent by the Demon King?"
"Yes. It appears to be an ambassador from the People's Republic of Sphelliyet. They've come to speak directly with Your Majesty."
"I don't wannaaa."
As Riphal said that, Rize laughed.
"But the ambassador is a woman."
"All right, let's go right now."
"Same as always."
After Riphal laughed at that as well, he asked,
"So, in all honesty, what do you think we should do? If we agree to this ban on Rhule Fragmei, then from here, we won't be able to advance further into the central continent."
"But we can't afford that. We have to go and kill the Goddesses and the Hero."
"In that case, what should we do?"
After making a slightly thoughtful face at that, Rize said,
"Participate in the treaty."
"Then, immediately betray them. One way or another, from hereon, we'll become the villains who use Rhule Fragmei in the war. In that case, at the very least, we can't be unprepared."
"So we'll say that we won't use them, and then immediately use them?"
"Well, you've always been an underhanded guy from the beginning. Seducing girls by saying that you definitely won't do anything, and then transforming into a wolf at night, right?"
As he said that, Rize glared at him, and,
"That's better than being a wolf from morning like you, Riphal, wouldn't you say?"
"Eh~, what are you saying about the virginal me?"
"An amateur virgin?"
"So, the truth of Riphal's shock so far..."
"H-Hey—! What truth? I'll seriously punch you, you know."
While hurling such pointless things at him, Rize tiredly stood up.
And he asked,
"So, is the ambassador sent by the Demon King cute?"
Rize shrugged, and,
"It's troubling how a virgin thinks only of women..."
"Be quiet. So, where is the ambassador? I have to meet with her, don't I?"
Rize nodded, and said,
"Outside the church, the Orla siblings are restraining her and waiting."
"Then, let them enter."
Saying that, Rize opened the gates behind them, and,
With that, Lir Orla entered the church. Peach-coloured hair, and a trained, nimble body. A sharp smile overflowing with self-confidence.
Furthermore, his brother Sui and his sister Kuu entered.
Sui wore a calm expression, while Kuu, invoking the power of her scythe right now, had an emotionless expression.
And in the center of the Orla siblings, a lone woman stood.
No, rather than a woman, she was still young enough to be better called a girl.
She seemed to be around sixteen, seventeen years old?
Bright brown hair, and black eyes that didn't match it. With those eyes, she stared straight in this direction.
Receiving that gaze, Riphal smiled as he spoke.
"Hoh, the one sent by the Demon King is rather pretty."
At that, the girl replied,
"You flatter me..."
She began, but interrupting that,
"Ah, ah, you can stop it with the formal speech. After all, you guys are our enemy, aren't you? You've come to plot against us. Despite that, you would thank me for the praise? I'd rather you didn't be insincere,"
In response, the girl gazed at him, and,
"... As the rumours say."
"Rumours? What kind of rumours?"
However, the girl didn't answer the question.
"Were you hoping for good rumours?"
He said, as a smile spread across his face. Then, staring at the girl,
"So, your name?"
To that, the girl tilted her head in a curious manner.
"Aren't I your enemy? You want to know the name of your enemy?"
"It's my policy to properly ask for the name of a beautiful girl."
"You don't need to be so tense about it. It's my policy not to kill women. You'll return to your leader in good health. That's why I'm asking for your name. I don't ask for the name of people I'm about to kill."
In response to those words, the girl gazed at him with those black eyes, and,
"Ehh. That's a good name."
"Even if you praise me, I don't feel especially happy about it."
To those words, Riphal laughed and nodded.
"Good. Now that you're acting like that, I'm willing to listen to what you have to say. I wouldn't be willing to listen to someone who knows that they're an enemy and yet tries to delude me, you see? So, talk. What have you come to say to me?"
At that, Relca began talking.
"I thought you might have heard from the kings of other countries already..."
She began, but unsurprisingly, Riphal spoke then.
"That you guys established the People's Republic of Sphelliyet, I know. I also know that you possess some strange weapon that's capable of cancelling out my Glovil. And I know that you're proposing a ban on Rhule Fragmei to the world. All of them are topics that are disadvantageous to us, huh? Well, anyway, that's enough of that, don't you think? So, is there anything else you want to talk to me about?"
At that, Relca said,
However, interrupting that as well,
"We'll participate in the treaty,"
"If that was the only thing you wanted to talk about, it's fine for you to return now."
"Or is there something else?"
In response, Relca stared at him, and,
"I have one thing to deliver from my leader."
"Hoh. From Ryner Lute?"
"What is it?"
However, at that, Relca became quiet. Like she'd skillfully seized the initiative for the first time, a faint smile spread across her face as Riphal's attention was on her.
And she spoke.
What her leader wanted to say, she delivered to him.
"If, by any chance, you choose to use Rhule Fragmei and break the treaty, you will surely regret it."
"Heh. What's that supposed to mean?"
"The power that we possess that can cancel out Glovil's is one we can use freely. Should you oppose us..."
"We'll regret it?"
She began, but then Riphal laughed, and,
"That's a lie,"
"If you really could use that power freely, you wouldn't need to make such a threat."
"... Our leader wishes for peace."
"Heh, is that so?"
"Then, deliver this to your leader."
"What is it?"
At that, Riphal smiled and placed a hand on the cursed, black sword at his side. However, as expected, he couldn't feel the sensation of grasping that sword. Even though his hand moved, he couldn't feel its touch.
Nevertheless, as he touched the sword, he spoke.
"If you're that confident in yourself, then shall we exchange fire? Until the body of either is destroyed, let's strike at each other with our power. I still have my right eye. Both of my arms. My left leg. Until I reach the end of my life, I'll release my power. What about you? The power of you, who didn't pursue us, that appears to be the same as mine—how many shots can you fire at once? Though I don't know that... shall we put it to the test?"
And he stared at Relca. He understood that she would say nothing. She was only the messenger. That was why he smiled at her, and,
"And so on and so forth. Sorry for saying something threatening like that. You can return now. Tell him that we'll participate in this treaty."
"... However, what you said just now..."
"And tell him that on top of that."
"Then, Lir, Sui, Kuu—take her outside."
Lir nodded at that, and then, with Relca, exited the church.
After confirming that, Riphal turned to look at Rize, and,
"What is it?"
"She was a beauty, wasn't she?"
"And yet that isn't what you honestly want to be talking about."
"Riiight, but still,"
Riphal said, and after laughing, he held up his hand that had been on Glovil and waved it at Rize for him to take a look.
"This hand doesn't feel aaanything, y'know."
In response, Rize looked his way, and said,
"Your sense of touch is?"
"Yeah. Even if I injure it, I don't feel any pain. So, if I happen to get injured and I don't notice—"
"... I'll cover you."
"I'll be counting on you."
At that, Rize was silent for a while, before—
"When it comes to sacrifices, only you..."
As he said such a thing, Riphal interrupted him and spoke.
"You're wrong, Rize."
With a sad expression, Rize said nothing.
Riphal smiled at that. He looked at the face of his childhood friend. He thought of the faces of Lir, Sui, and Kuu who had just exited the church.
Thinking of his allies' faces, he smiled.
His allies here, everyone—they'd all paid heavy sacrifices.
Even Rize, as he made irritating expressions and laughed frivolously, for the sake of awakening this sword, he'd already sacrificed his family.
And even though he'd paid such a large sacrifice, they still weren't able to smoothly advance forward.
They weren't able to advance forward at all.
There was the peace treaty.
In spite of being the mad Demon King, he called for a peace treaty.
"... Hey, Rize."
He said again.
In response, his sarcastic childhood friend looked his way, and,
"What is it?"
To that, Riphal asked,
"Can I win?"
"Against the Demon King. Against the Goddesses. Against the Hero, can I win?"
"If, by any chance, I fall before then..."
However, Rize then spoke.
"Lir, you, and I... whenever we got into fights, was there a time when you lost?"
Staring at Rize,
Rize smiled at that.
"Then, this time, you'll surely win."
He said such a thing.
He said it so easily.
Even though it wasn't so simple and he couldn't know, Rize, who was the brightest between the three of them, said that so easily.
"That's right, huh?"
Riphal said, nodding.
"Well, the worst case scenario for you, Riphal, would be if all that remained of you was between your legs..."
"I'm covering you."
"Like I said, you need to die."
Riphal laughed at that as well.
Then, looking outside the church window,
"Well, though it's not a situation where we should be laughing... the soldiers?"
"Half of them deserted."
"If we tell them that we're participating in the peace treaty, they should calm down somewhat."
"But we're going to betray it immediately, right?"
"We'll deal with it when the time comes. Now, shall we get moving?"
Saying that, Rize turned on his heel.
He exited the church.
After watching him leave, Riphal stared at the palm of his hand one more time. He stared at his palm that felt nothing.
Dried blood clung to his palm.
Staring at that blood,
"... A peace treaty, huh?"
Riphal muttered once more.
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