14. Former Hero, Alexander

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It felt like my heart was gripped by eagle talons the moment I heard that remark.

 

Though it felt like I was semi awake until now, my consciousness snapped all at once upon hearing her remark.

 

Did this devil manage to see through my true nature?

 

―― Dammit.
At this rate, all the effort that I put until now would come to nothing.

 

「… What are you talking about?」

 

I tried to act like I didn’t understand what she meant, but I knew that my trembling voice was enough to tell her the truth.

 

「What am I talking about? What am I talking about, eh?… Fufufufu, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!」

 

The devil girl was taken aback for a moment, and then laughed as she held her sides, rolling on her own throne.

 

She was laughing to the point that tears were bursting out from her eyes.

 

「It’s very obvious after all.
Here, take a look yourself.」

 

The devil girl was pointing her finger to the spot beside me, and then, a full body mirror appeared right there in the next moment.

 

Thus, I looked into the mirror.

 

And I saw it.

 

――My reflection.

 

The man in the reflection was a skinny man.
Light brown hair and tanned skin.
His eyes sunken, but it was filled with bizzare light.
Though it was a mere shadow of his glorious day, the person in that mirror was clearly the reflection of myself――『Hero Alexander』.

 

And the most bizzare part about my reflection was the fact that my body was riddled with holes of various sizes as if it was eaten by somesort of worms, and as if that wasn’t bizarre enough, the holes were replaced with semi transparent, blue-colored skin.

 

Yes, just like the blue-colored skin―― of the demon race.

 

「WAAH…」

 

This place was Hell, a place where material was unstable.

 

And I―― No matter how you look at it, was the hero Alexander.

 

『We rarely get a visitor like you in this place.』

 

Suddenly, I recalled Odigos’s remark back when he saw me for the first time――

 

「Who are you? Introduce yourself.」

 

I, who was at a loss for words, snapped back upon hearing that question.

 

I turned around in a hurry, and found out that I was being surrounded by a wall from all sides―― The corridor where I came from had vanished before I realized it.

 

I couldn’t escape.

 

「Fufufu.
What an adorable fella.
Do you really think that you can escape from me?」

 

A sickly-sweet-like sigh touched my back.

 

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Before I realized it, the devil had already stood beside me.

 

「…」

 

Shi*t, what should I do now? What should I do to this unknown de――

 

「Fufufu.
Refusing to talk, eh?」

 

The devil revealed a wide grin.

 

「――【Taboo to keeping silent】」

 

Suddenly, I felt an extremely powerful force had forced me to speak.

 

「… I’m, Alexander.
Hero of human race…」

 

And my lips were moving on their own.

 

「… Currently, I’m the prince of the demon race… I was killed by the demon king, and reincarnated before I realized it…」

 

FOOL! STOP!!

 

I tried to shove my hand into my mouth to stop myself from revealing more information to the devil.

But, it was too late.
I had already spilled the beans.

 

「Hou! A reincarnator, eh.
You might be the first one who experienced it.」

 

The devil was walking around me with an amused look on her face.

 

「You said that you got defeated by the demon king right… meaning that you’re eaten by Cannibal’s curse.」

 

――Soul Eater’s Heretic Art.

 

「And yet, you’re not digested.
Your willpower is truly something else.
So, for what reason did a trifling human race like you… come to this place?」

「…」

「【Taboo to interference】」

「Guh…」

 

I tried to resist but, my hand was moving――

 

「I come… since my horn has been grown… and to gain the power… to beat the demon king…!」

 

DAMMIIIIIIIIIIIT!

 

「How pitiful.
Yet brave at the same time.
For you to never let go of your hatred toward the demon race even when your weary soul has been living a new life.
Even when you forgot most of the memory of your previous life.」

「… W-What are you talking about.
I still remember it.」

「Really? Then tell me about your birthplace? What is the name of your hometown in your previous life?」

「That’s piece of ca――」

 

My body stiffened when I tried to answer her question.

 

Yes, I was at a loss for words despite having been banned from keeping silent.

 

I… couldn’t remember the name of the village where I came from.

 

――No, this is absurd.
As if I’m gonna forget something as simple as that.

 

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「Then what’s the name of your parents in your previous life?」

 

My mother was my mother, so is my father.
Their name was――

 

「…」

「What about the name of your best friend?」

「… Claire.」

 

Yes.
And her father was Cedric from bakery shop.

 

「What about the name of your teacher?」

 

Which teacher? My teacher from the orphanage? instructor from the order of holy religion? or profesor from a holy country?

 

「Professor…Miralda.」

 

I only remember one of them.

 

I became scared.
I remember their figure.
I remember their lesson.
And yet, I couldn’t recall the names of many figures in my memories.

 

It was as if my memories were eaten by worms.
As if I was――

 

「…」

 

I looked at my figure that was reflected in the mirror in front of me.

 

「Finally realized it, eh.
Poor thing.」

 

She was chuckling.

 

「The truth is, I never get tired of watching one’s fate.
Brave one, or humorous one… Well then, you may keep your silence.」

「… Just who the hell are you?」

 

The compelling force that forced me to speak had vanished.
And yet, I asked her instead.

 

「Eh, you’re not gonna keep your silence? Well, it doesn’t really matter to me anyway.
Our name is――」

 

The girl sat back in her throne as she replied to my question.

 

「――Our name is Antendixis.
Demon God of Taboo.」

 

Demon god.

 

It was the title for the rulers of Hell.

 

This unscrupulous and troublesome girl―― isn’t a devil!

 

「… Well then, for what reason did you come looking for me?」

 

She asked so while sticking her tongue.

 

「We’ve to cooperate as much as we can with the demon race after the pact with that bastard Cannibal.」

「… He should be a demon god, is it really okay for him to abide so easily with the demon race?」

「Abide? Screw that.
We only respect our pact.
The one who wants our power, and is waiting to be served by us is the demon race.
But thanks to that guy, the once liveless Hell became more lively.
Enriching one’s territory is the lord’s duty after all.」

 

Antendixis said so with a bored look on her face.

 

And then, her murky eyes warped in joy.

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「… Human, though you’re a hero who is burning with the flame of revenge, you’re pretending to be a prince of the demon race.
This secret must be a huge deal.
Things might get really interesting if this matter is known to others.
Right?」

 

That was my worst fear.

 

「… Please, stop.」

「The more you try to stop me, the more I want to do that.
Did you forget that we’re the ruler of taboo?」

「But, you’re still going to do that even if I say the opposite, right?」

「Exactly.
You really are such an interesting individual.」

 

So it was a checkmate either way.
Dammit all.

 

… No, wait a minute.

 

「Since that’s the case, do you want to know something far more interesting than that?」

 

Despite our short interraction, I understand this girl.

 

 

This girl was simply bored.

 

 

She must be bored of this rotten palace that smells like mold.

 

 

「Hou, what is it?」

 

Antendixis was squinting her eyes as she said so with a smile on her face.

 

「Are you telling Us to make a pact with you? Cease such a foolish idea of self-protection.」

「… Then what kind of person do you think the most suitable contractor to you would be?」

「Naturally, those who broke the taboo, and not superficial taboo.」

「Then…」

 

I paused for a few seconds as I looked at Antendixis.

 

「No one is far more suitable than me.
I’m a hero, those who fight the denizens of darkness to protect the human race.
And yet, I’m also a demon prince.
Due to my status as a demon prince, you must’ve realized that I’ve to kill innocent people too.
Slay them, and trample them underfoot.
I killed those I have to protect, this is also the act of breaking an absolute taboo, right?」

 

Yes, that’s right.

 

I’ve been thinking about it for a long time.

 

I shall break the absolute taboo till I topple the demon kingdom.

 

That was the unavoidable process to reach my absolute, final goal.

 

「――Not to mention, I’m the son of the demon king.
Meaning that as one of the successors of the demon king, I’ve to offer my service to the demon kingdom.
And yet, my final goal is their destruction.
Trampling down the loyalty of my subordinates who served me, betraying this body’s father and mother, bathing in the blood of my own siblings.
So I’m a prince who brought forth the destruction of his own race, that also counts as one of the biggest taboo, right?」

 

Including Platy’s expectation for me.

 

And Sofia who is always taking care of me.

 

Including the night elves and beastmen who served me.

 

I decided to bring down every single one of their expectations into crimson purgatory along with their life.

 

「Whether as a hero, or as demon prince.
As a human race, or as a demon race.
I broke every single greatest taboo for both.」

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Recalling the memories that almost made me want to vomit, I opened my mouth as I asked the Demon God before me.

 

 

「Demon God.
Do you really think that there’s a more appropriate contractor than me?」

 

 

――Hearing my question, Antendixis sat properly on her throne.

 

 

「… Sure enough, I recognize that your outstanding disposition might be the only one in this world.」

 

But then, the Demon God crossed her leg as she opened her mouth again.

 

「But, that’s not enough.
It’s not enough to convince this Demon God to take the final step.
You only tell me your side of the story without considering Our side.
You’ve to offer something to Our side to convince Us.」

 

A compensation to convince the Demon God, eh.

 

「We’ve told you before that we’re not as wretched as Cannibal, right? We don’t want something as cheap as power.
Such things won’t even fill my belly.
Nor do We want the vessel of your soul.
Such tattered junk is troublesome.
Present something far more charming, something that makes our heartthrob.」

 

Something that I could offer to the Demon God to convince her to take the final step, eh.

 

Something aside from my soul, eh.

 

 

Then, there was only one thing.

 

 

「I, shall offer a taboo for you.」

 

――What? stop making such a puzzled face.
Let me continue first.

 

「I, want to destroy the dark portal.」

「… Eh?」

「As for how to do that and when I can accomplish that is still a mystery.
But, it’s something that I’ve to do in order to weaken the power of the demon race, and then destroy them.
That’s why, I wish for your cooperation to do that.」

 

I grasped Antendixis’ slender shoulder.

 

「You’re a Demon God.
One of the pillars, the ruler of Hell.
Breaching the pact, harming the citizen will only sully your dignity, and status.
Now imagine.
The grieving and despair of the devil who came to the material world, and lost the place to return.」

 

I spoke really carefully as if slowly injecting deadly poison into her mind.

 

「――I offered the chance to break that absolute taboo to you.」

 

Her murky eyes shook.

 

「… Stop spouting such nonsense.」

 

She brushed off my hands.

 

「Such a troublesome fella.
You want Our cooperation to destroy the dark portal you say? Do you have any idea just how lively Hell has become because of the energy poured in from that dark portal? As if that isn’t enough, you even ask Us, a demon god to scrap the pact? And cause suffering for young devils? … Doing all of that will make Our dignity and fame fall to the ground――」

 

Antendixis was starting to rub her thigh together while showing an enraptured face like a woman in heat.

 

「―― Is truly a wonderful idea.」

 

She heaved a sigh as she placed her hands on her blushing cheeks.

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