161. [Chapter 7] Chapter of the World – Epilogue
Long long ago, there was a benevolent, all-loving god. Humans and demons, there was no difference; he loved them, and was happy watching over them. However, those who once had a good relationship soon began to fight and quarrel over trivial differences. Quarrels turned to discriminiation, discrimintion turned to oppression, and eventually their lives were dedicated to destroying each other. Among the divided masses men of consequence were born. One was a king, filled with a terrible greed, while another was a benevolent king who loved her subjects.
The evil king abused his people, but the good king nurtured hers. Eventually the two kings turned onto each other, natural enemies: the evil king for his greed; the good king, for her people. As a result of their war, the evil king fell, weeping and gnashing.
-I wanted to be you.
no one who understood what he had meant. Did he desire to be surrounded by friends and live kindly like the good king?
Within the fancy cart upon a soft cushion, Akareal turned to the snickering child, away from the storybook she read. Her son would soon turn 10. She and her son, instead of King Paulie, had been invited to the 10th anniversary coronation ceremony of Lily Golt, the Holy Demon Lord.
Demons and humans ran around, food and performances along the road outside their window. As they passed the road of Parade, Akareal turned to her child.
“…Why are you laughing?” She asked.
“No, it’s nothing. It’s just that the story is too funny.”
Akareal smiled bitterly. It was a slight twist on the war between the Pope and the Demon Lord. She regretted having bought and read to him a story of her former companion. The boy snickered again.
“Yes, the last part is funny.”
“The part where the evil king wanted to live like the good king. I think that’s probably not true.”
“Ah! Now that I think about, what kind of person is the Demon Lord? Ah, her name was Lily…”
Akareal lightly pressed on the boy’s head. “Not the Demon Lord, but Her Majesty, the Holy Demon Lord. And you must call her Miss Lily. Of course, call her Her Majesty, the Holy Demon Lord, when everyone else is around.”
“…It’s hard to pronounce. The accent is weird too.”
“In any case, show your manners in front of her. You are a prince of a nation…”
The child suddenly let out a cry. Akareal turned her head toward the window. A pair of crows, black and white, tilt their heads outside the window. Akareal’s eyes grew wide.
“…Quite interesting. Different colored crows. One of Holy and one of Magic Power…”
Akareal turned her gaze back to her son. He was gone.
The boy had left the cart and looked toward the festival in the streets.
“It’s wide. No, should I say that it looks too big?”
To a 10 year old child, everything was larger than life. Tall buildings, big people, and very big demons. A man with the head of a cow, the upper body with the arms and torso of man, and the legs and hooves of a cow was walking along. His cow hoof was right over his head.
The boy shouted, and the demon stopped his feet.
A female Harpy began to flutter and shout by the Minotaur’s side. The Minotuar put his foot back to where it was.
“Uwah! You almost made a huge mistake! Dummy! Stupid! Look ahead of you! Idiot!”
When the Harpy poked at his hoof and shouted, the Minotaur frowned heavily and turned to a Goblin sitting on his shoulder.
“Ey, scout, what are you doing? Are your goblin eyes just for decoration?”
When he said so, the Goblin on top of the Minotaur’s soldier shouted as well.
“Aaah?! What nonsense are you saying? Even I can’t see beneath your foot! You have to watch out!”
The large Minotaur, a full box of fruit in his hands, lowered his head. The Goblin almost fell off, but managed to hold on by grabbing onto the cow’s broken horn.
“Oh my, Well, I’m sorry. Kid.”
The child laughed awkwardly.
“As an apology…”
The minotaur opened the box he was holding and held out an apple.
“Here’s an apple.”
“Uwack! Not funny! It’s just corny!”
The Harpy shouted once more and poked at the Minotaur’s leg.
“Thank you, Allen. Ah, thank you to the other Apostles as well. Then…!”
The boy received the apple and lowered his head in gratitude before running off.
“Have a good one~!”
Skarni shook her head and watched the boy grow distant before turning his head in surprise.
“Eh? Allen, he knows your name? How did he know that we were Apostles as well?”
Allen and Kulbo watched the disappearing boy strangely.
The boy crossed the street, but then ran into another person: A blind man with golden blonde hair. The youth, holding a cane, smiled awkwardly.
“Ah, no. It’s me that should be apologizing.”
The boy waved his hand.
“Lord Egil, it’ll be dangerous if you walk alone.”
A shabby old man rushed over to the blind man’s side in a hurry.
“Hah… Even if law enforcement is good here in the streets, it’s dangerous to go alone.”
“Helpharon, it’s fine.”
“But by yourself is…”
“I want to walk alone.”
The boy watched the pair awkwardly before lowering his head and moving on.
“Ooh~ There’s a lot of good stuff to eat here and there! The food that the demons make are on the humans’ level! Shit, now I’m starting to think that the food at the palace is crud!”
“…Prince. I understand that you’re taking after His Highness, but let’s fix your language.”
“Then Oskal, how about you? ‘Let’s’? Is that how you should talk to a prince? Huh?”
There were travelers shouting with hoods on…
“Would Miss Lily enjoy this?”
“Probably. Let’s hurry back. We should be assisting her. Ah, Lord Hecaron and Kuman. We apologize for having you carry our luggage.”
A pair of demon siblings with rabbit ears bought bread and black tea being followed by an Ogre and a Centaur behind them with their stuff. The boy continued to look around at the food as he crossed through the noisy street and smiled.
“Now, should I get going?”
Werewolf Worlf and Gnoll Nasis carried a pile of books taller than them stumbling over to the library. Nordin Wood smiled and thanked them.
“…While you’re at it, why not try carrying this yourself?”
Worlf simply bowed while the Gnoll complained.
“I apologize. He’s on business with me.”
The sovereign ruling over Hell, the one called the Holy Demon Lord, Lily Golt was leaning on a bookcase reading a book when she replied.
Worlf and Nasis shook their heads. “If it’s the will of Her Highness.”
“Your Highness.” Lily peeked at the library entrance. An Orc donned in crimson armor bowed. “The preparations are complete.”
“Is that so?” Lily closed her book.
Nordin Wood, beside her, spoke. “Where are you headed?”
“The ambassadors from the various nations will be arriving soon.”
“Yes, but there’s something even more important.”
“I’m thinking of meeting a friend.”
Halsem was driving a wagon from the box seat. It was a plain looking merchant wagon, but inside, the Holy Demon Lord, Lily, and the Great Commander, Karakul, were riding within it. However, neither of them minded riding on a plain merchant’s cart. They were headed away from the capital, and the place that they arrived at was a small gravestone placed in the forest.
Lily gathered her hands and offered a prayer before carefully opening her eyes and taking a look at the gravestone. There was a single flower placed on top.
“…That child seems to have already come and gone.”
Lily headed to a cottage not far off from where she was after having offered the prayer.
“Eh? A guest?”
“It’s a human!”
“An Orc too!”
“Who is it? It’s a pretty human with horns?”
“If she has horns, she’s not human. It’s an Ain!”
A group of human and demon children tilted their heads as they looked at the unfamiliar people that sought out their home. Lily turned to the children and smiled before looking at the person that opened the cottage door.
“Ah, your highness. And Halsem? And…”
A Doppleganger with black hair and eyes with pale white skin greeted her. Ellin welcomed the familiar faces, her expression warm toward Lily, and sour at Karakul.
“It’s been a while.”
After the war ended, Ellin had given up her Apostleship, choosing to build a cottage in the countryside where she began taking care of children. It felt bittersweet for someone like a sister to Lily leave.
“Now, would you like some tea?”
Ellin served Lily and Halsem, while not giving Karakul even a glance. Halsem quietly muttered to Karakul.
“Haha! You’re like a father hated by her daughter!”
Karakul grunted but didn’t deny it. In the last 10 years, the distance she had put between them could only leave him frustrated. He knew full well what he had done wrong. Karakul sighed and turned his head toward the children playing outside, huddled over their latest fascination.
“Eh? Who are you?”
“You’re not from this village, are you?”
“Ain? Or are you human?”
“Your eyes are pretty! Why is one a completely different color?”
The children were surrounding something. Karakul, who had been watching the scene numbly, grew wide-eyed. That something was a single boy with golden blond hair, a violet-tinted left eye, and a pure golden right eye. Seeing him, Karakul’s open mouth fell slack, saying nothing. When the boy’s eyes met with his, the boy smiled and waved his hand.
Karakul’s eye twitched, a clamminess overtaking him.
“You must be busy, but is it okay to take time for me?”
“I just came briefly to see you. I have to leave right away. The ambassadors from the other nations came to congratulate me after all.”
When Ellin and Lily began to stand, Karakul quietly muttered. “Ellin.”
“What is it?” Ellin looked at Karakul, eyes full of complaints. Karakul scratched his head uncomfortably before speaking hesitantly.
“…For the children under your care, do you have a child with a violet and golden eye?”
“An odd child? I don’t have such a kid?”
“Then… whose kid is that?”
Karakul pointed to the boy outside the window, Ellin and Lily turned to each other. They went outside to see who it was. The boy looked at them with surprise, and they in turn stood shocked. Was it because the boy looked just like their old friend?
“Ellin, I suppose this isn’t one of the children you care for.”
“Yes, is he a lost child? Who are you? Where do you live?”
“Ah, that is… we’re meeting for the first time. Miss Ellin, and Miss Lily.”
Ellin and Lily looked surprised as they looked at the boy.
“Do you know us?”
“Yes, I’ve heard from mother.”
When the boy smiled, Lily and Ellin looked surprised.
“My mother is the queen to King Paulie of the Kingdom of Aylans, Akareal Morgana. And, I am their child!”
Lily and Ellin looked surprised. They had heard that Akareal had a child, but it was the first time that they had met him, and they didn’t dream that he would have grown this much.
“What is your name?”
“Me? Ah, I suppose my mother didn’t tell you. My name is…”
The boy smiled.
“Thoma. I’m called Thoma.”