TL note: Before you start reading, I’d like to say that I slightly altered last chapter. Instead of saying “in my place”, I made Marcho’s line to be “in my absence”.
“…I know it’s a selfish request but from now on, will you, in my absence, please protect my dungeon and my monsters? If it’s you, I’ll have no worries.”
Marcho said that in exchange for rewarding me with all that she was, I had to protect her dungeon and her monsters.
Is it just me or is she saying she’ll be completely gone right away?
“Marcho, wait, what do you mean by that?”
“In this war, you see, I kinda overdid it. My monsters had reached their limits long before your potions arrived. So, to support the frontlines, I had to use that power. I’m talking about [Awakening].”
[Awakening]? Marcho has that power too? Wait, no, of course she has it. That’s nothing to be surprised about. If even I managed to Awaken, it’s impossible for her not to.
“What does using [Awakening] have to do with anything?”
“You’ve already Awakened, right? I mean, I’ve heard from the subordinates I posted that you did. Anyway, don’t use that power without thought, okay? Using it for a little while’s fine but using it continuously and repeatedly will cause your existence to be consumed and your lifespan to be shortened… just like me. I don’t have much time left anymore. I’m starting to feel my existence crumbling. I don’t know whether I’ll still be fine after a day, an hour, or just a few more moments; I have no idea. All that I know is that the being that is [Beast] Demon Lord Marchosias will very soon be gone.”
I was at a loss for words.
My head was full of ifs and questions and among them was did I not make it in time?
“Don’t make that face, Procell. You were just in time. It’s precisely because you were that I am able to stand here and entrust my beloved monsters to you. Most of all, I’m very glad to see your smiling face again. I would have hated it so much for us to part while on bad terms. Now, I can pass away without regrets.”
Don’t screw with me. I came here because I wanted to be with Marcho longer. There’s no sense if I end up alone. I won’t accept such an outcome.
“The power to help you, I have it. I mean we can use the power I received from the Creator to solve this.”
I was talking about [Rebirth]. It was a power I received as a reward from the [War] with Stolas.
With it, I was able to turn somebody into a medal and have that medal be used in Synthesis, making that individual stronger than before. If I used this power, even someone whose lifespan was spent would be able to live long life.
“I’ll pass. I’d like to accept my end and die properly as a Demon Lord.”
“I don’t believe it! If that was the case, then why bother surviving long enough to hand your monsters over to me? You’re reluctant in dying, aren’t you? You’re worried for the ones you’ll leave behind, right? Well, if you won’t accept the option of living longer, I won’t accept the responsibility of taking care of your monsters. You said that my reward was all of you but doesn’t that include you yourself??”
Even I thought I was being a coward for holding her monsters hostage just to get what I wanted. Nevertheless, I would rather do so than have her gone.
“That way of arguing is unfair. Very well, since you seem like you won’t be convinced with this kind of explanation… and given that these are to be my final moments, well, I guess there’s no harm in telling you the truth. For a very long time now, I have wanted to join the person I loved in death.”
I issued out a dumb response to her entirely unexpected reply.
“Do you remember the medals I first gave you? One was my [Beast] and the other was [Flame]. The one I’m talking about is the owner of that medal. The [Flame] Demon Lord Amon. He was the first Demon LordPerson I ever loved. Oh, but it was unrequited though. Anyway, I was there when Amon died. I still remember it. I cried then as you are now.”
It was only when she mentioned it that I noticed that tears were flowing in my cheeks.
These tears were the first tears of the Demon Lord known as Procell.
“Back then, I wanted to follow him. But, you see, that person made me promise. To live out my life as a Demon Lord to the very end. It was because I made that promise that I am still alive to this day, that I held on until my proper end comes. And today, that end has finally come.”
“…Marcho, all this while, you wanted to die?”
“I wouldn’t put it that way. What I wanted, all this time, is to be with that person. Procell, you’ve grown splendidly and that has made me finally proud of my life. So, won’t you just please send me off with a smile? As my last request to you?”
With her answer of refusal, the distance between our hearts grew.
In my chest, I felt an emotion as strong as the sadness I felt: Anger.
I thought her story and her love was beautiful. I thought it to be noble. But, even so…
“Don’t screw with me”
I screamed like so.
“If I were to agree to that, I wouldn’t have come here in the first place and challenged those old Demon Lords. I want you to live, Marcho. That is why I came here.”
Those were my true feelings. I knew I was being selfish like a child but I had to say it out loud.
Marcho, with a desolate yet somewhat glad look on her face, then spoke.
“It’s already been decided. But, I appreciate that you thought that much.”
I then embraced her.
“Do you remember what you said when I left your dungeon?”
“Why that all of a sudden?”
“You spoke back then about wanting me to embrace you, to etch my very essence into you. Well, I’m going to now.”
“Eeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh? Procell, wait, do you even know what you’re saying right now!?”
While within my arms, Marcho was dumbfounded.
“I’m going to make you forget about your former love. So live. I’ll make you never again think about reuniting in death with that man. I’m going to make you want to live because of me. I’m going to be the more desirable man.”
What I was saying was absurd. I didn’t even understand it all.
Even so, I didn’t mind.
In fear of her going someplace else, I continued to hug her.
Marcho seemed troubled at first but soon returned my embrace.
“Haa, geez. You’re so selfish. Can you not still last a day without mommy?”
Unable to endure it anymore, laughter escaped from lips.
“I can. You said it yourself, I’m a full-pledge man now. More than that, I’m a man that’s courting the woman I love. …Marcho, be mine. I’ll make you happy. I’ll risk my life for you. Always.”
I vigorously gave her my proposal.
I just laid my feelings bare without any plan. Beyond that, I had no idea what would happen.
“Geez. I can’t shake you off, can I? Do you find it fun to hit on an old bird like me?”
I answered her not with words but with a kiss. Thankfully, she did not reject it.
“This is my answer. I’ll say it again, Marcho. Be mine.”
Her face bright red, she opened her eyes. She then withdrew her face and smiled. It wasn’t a wry smile either but one from the bottom of her heart.
“You know, actually, I always thought you resembled that first love of mine and that’s why I took a liking to you.”
I had been reapeatedly told by [Time] and [Dragon] that I resembled [Flame]. Each time that was said, it made me feel a bit depressed. Like I was just some kind of replacement for that guy.
But if that was what it would take to make Marcho stay, then it was fine by me.
“But I know better now. You and that person are completely different. You’re more pushy, selfish, and obstinate. …but you’re also a very charming man. So, I guess, I want to see more of you, more closely.”
“It can’t be helped. I accept your offer. I’m going to live for a little bit longer. I’m willing to be born again. Ahh, this makes me a cheater, doesn’t it? But don’t worry, after this, I’m going to be truly faithful. To you.”
Marcho stretched out her hand and I grasped it with mine.
“Can I take it that you’re accepting me?”
“Yeah. And that I’m entrusting myself to you, Procell.”
And thus, I began.
I recited the words of power. Marcho’s body was then covered in light. Had she not accepted me, [Rebirth] would have failed right away.
Her shining body then transformed into particles of light and those specks gathered in the hand that I used to hold hers. What then formed in my hand was a medal: the [Beast God] medal.
It was a medal that was even better than the [Beast] medal.
Next, I took out another medal and placed it in my hand. That medal was the [King] medal that [Time] gave me.
It was a special medal. It didn’t belong to any particular Demon Lord. Instead, it was the kind of medal that could only be gotten as a reward from the Creator.
The [Time] Demon Lord gave me such an absurd medal so that it could be used on Marcho without hesitations. An act of love, so to speak.
I also took out a third medal: my [Creation].
With all three, I was ready. I closed my hand and recited another word of power.
I said so and felt the temperature within my hand rise.
Next, my [Creation] began to transform. My [Creation] had the ability to transform into whatever attribute the user wanted and, for Marcho’s rebirth, I wanted it to be [Light].
I wanted her to be my light.
Originally, all that was left to do was leave it up to luck. However, with my [Creation], it was possible to select the desired future from the countless possible ones.
And so countless futures came and went in my mind. If it was as usual, I would have just picked from the ones that were available but for this time, I decide to look for more. In reaction to my wish, more outcomes were produced.
Still not satisfied, I searched for more and, again, more possibilities were presented to me. I did so over and over again until I couldn’t process them anymore. I became overloaded with information.
But then, I heard Marcho’s voice. At that, I reflexively smiled. I wasn’t alone in this; Marcho was with me, extending her hand as well. And so, we grabbed the future we wanted and smiled together.
The light that escaped from my closed hand became even more intense, more dazzling than ever before.
I then opened my hand. The light turned into particles, gathered in one place, and formed a humanoid shape. After a short while the light then stopped.
In its place was…
A brown-skinned beautiful woman with a white wolf’s ears and tail.
Her features remained mostly the same. Originally though, she was a woman that appeared to be in the latter half of her twenties. Right now, however, she looked slightly younger, like a woman in the latter half of her teens.
Also, on the matter of her attire, on her head was a small crown and on her body, she was wearing a snow-white dress.
“And so, I’ve become yours. I’m in your care now and forevermore, Procell.”
Without a doubt, it was truly Marcho.
I then ignored her outstretched hand and hugged her instead.
Seeing that, my and her monsters cheered.
Taking that as a sign of their blessing, we kissed.
In reaction, more cheers erupted.
…it was a little embarrassing, to be honest. The monsters’ reaction was a bit too much.
Nevertheless, that didn’t mean everyone was pleased.
Kuina, Rorono, and Fel all puffed their faces and pouted. Aura, meanwhile, smiled but her eyes did not. Also, Rozelite, the monster I received from [Wind] Demon Lord Stolas, had a troubled look on her face.
I guess I got to follow up on them later. First though, we should return to our city. Everything would have to wait until after that. Oh, maybe later I should throw a grand feast and invite [Dragon], [Time], and [Wind]. It’ll probably be an eventful and entertaining feast, in more ways than one.
It had been only for a short while but it felt like forever to me since I left my home.