Nassery was found scarred and sprawled next to the body of the upper nobleman who had somehow died. Seeing this, Argus wanted to run quickly over to her, but stopped.
For next to her stood a masked man in a long black robe, clutching the heart of the nobleman he had just killed.
“My, my, what an unexpected guest …. but I have achieved my goal … as long as you don’t take action, I won’t do anything either…… Can you pretend that you saw nothing and let me go?”
The mystery man made a proposal that at first glance seemed to have merit, but was then interrupted.
“Don’t be, fooled, Argus! This guy, this guy, is the whole thing, the culprit! If we don’t deal with him here and now, something big will happen!”
Nassery, who should have been bruised and battered, cried out, urging vigilance.
Argus, on the other hand, seemed to have thought of something in connection with that remark and prepared the Grimoire for a state of battle.
But this is only the extent of the state of readiness.
“The culprit… is that man, the one who is the superior demon? No wonder I’ve been sweating since the beginning.”
“Oi oi, Sage, isn’t this guy bad enough? He’s obviously stonger than us…”
The two men intuitively sensed that the other was on a higher level.
With their current fighting strength they couldn’t win no matter how much they struggled.
If you fought an enemy with a significant difference in strength, but your side was superior in numbers, you might be able to keep up somehow.
In a situation where there was nowhere to run, maybe that would have been the way to go.
But fortunately for him, his opponent offered a temporary truce and proposed a split.
Although it’s unknown why he adopted such a stance, but if only for rescue purposes, the offer is not bad.
They only have two choices.
To actually rescue Nassery, or to sacrifice the 3 people present and kill the fiend here for the sake of the whole country.
If Nassery had been rescued here, this great country would surely have been plunged into war.
The subhuman who was supposed to be captured escaped and the noble who was supposed to capture it died.
This event meant that the decisive break between the human race and the sub-human was the beginning of the war.
He’s afraid that this demon killed the upper nobleman with his own hand for this purpose.
“So, what are you going to do, Sage? If it comes to a fight, I’ll be ready for it. Of course, I can’t take it easy with you two as opponents, but I won’t lose either.”
The fiend posed the question calmly, nay, leisurely.
But, needless to say, Argus had already made up his mind.
“……I see. Let’s call it a day.”
“Argus! What are you doing!!!”
The remark startled Nassery, but the Kensei accepted the reply with an atmosphere that he could understand.
It seemed to be within his expectations, no, as much as expecting an answer.
“Well, it can’t be helped in this situation. Even if we fight him, it’s impossible from a combat standpoint. The most important thing is that I don’t want my comrades-in-arms to be the ones who abandon their comrades at this point.”
” … I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologise, Sage, it’s not like you doing something bad.”
The Demon, realising that the two of them were in agreement, backed away, wrapped in black magic, and disappeared.
“Very well. … …. I don’t think we will meet again, but as a small token of my appreciation, I have prepared some souvenirs for the two of you. So please enjoy yourselves and have a nice day!”
After confirming with their eyes and magical perception that it has completely disappeared, they run immediately to the wounded and fallen Nassery and perform a recovery spell.
Immediately the wound healed like a reversal of regeneration, and instantly returned to a normal body.
But somehow, after a while, her healing body seemed to be eroded, oozing black magic and gradually changing colour.
“What’s going on!”
“It’s no use, Argus. The fiend performed a strange ritual on me. It said it was a demonisation ritual, …… I don’t know the details. … But I can’t even walk out of the home in this way.”
That’s right, this is what the demon left behind.
Argus regretted having learned this.
If he had not slackened his investigation of the other party and had had a clearer view of reality, he might not have taken the other party’s goal lightly.
If only he hadn’t been naive, didn’t waste effort and focused more on results, he might have caught the enemy’s tail in the early stages.
If that had been done from the start, it would not have created an opportunity for war.
“Either way, it happened because I was too naive all along and regretted it too late.”
“Wait, why are you crying? That’s not like you. I’m actually happy that I was chosen even when the entire nation of sub-humans was on the scales. Cheer up.”
“I said it’s okay. It’s just a slight change in my appearance. It won’t affect my life at all.”
Argus couldn’t even look into the face of Nassery, who was speaking to him, and just apologised.
Then, influenced by a strong feeling of regret, he still made up his mind at the same time.
A fire of awareness like never before was kindled in his heart.
In this moment he was, in a sense, reborn.
“I (boku)…… No, I (ore), will absolutely find a way to undo that demonisation ritual of yours. Even if I have to give up everything, I must complete it. If my power alone is not enough, use the power of others. Use the power of the research apparatus, use the power of living legends, use the power of the heroes of the continent.”
” … … What if it still doesn’t work?”
“If that doesn’t work, draw on the power of the legendary World Tree and the power of the Dragon God. …… If that doesn’t work either, then borrow the power of the God of Creation.”
“Let’s not talk about the World Tree and the Dragon God, the God of Creation and so on, but we don’t even know if they really exist? ”
“It has nothing to do with that, but even so I’m going to find him. I’ll use this hand to connect the partnership and absolutely restore Nassery to original state. And one day it will stop the war. … … It’s a promise.”
Nassery, who heard this, muttered, “I see… that’s really typical of Argus.” and smiled.
It must have been something that only she could understand, something like certainty.
Then, ten years later, he met a boy in the land of the subhumans on the neighbouring continent.
Was that encounter a coincidence, or was it inevitable?
The only thing he understood was that he had gained important knowledge about demonisation from the boy.
This is the story of the world’s greatest sage and realist, Argus Lockhart, the only one who succeeded in undoing the ritual of demonisation.