While under the supervision of Marcho, I activated [Awakening] in order to master it.
Shortly thereafter, four black wings and a horn then emerged.
I let out a strange voice.
It was happening again: something fiendish was raging within me.
This had always been the case when I used Awakening.
I wanted to destroy everything, to indulge in them, and to desecrate them.
Having sensed my dark self, I tried to suppress the impulses that were rushing in. Try as I might though, I felt my consciousness fading away rapidly. As the world turned dark, the desire to rage as much as I wanted grew.
Marcho said that this is my other side but I don’t want to believe that. Of course this isn’t me, there’s no way this is me!
“Procell, no, not like that. What you’re doing is the same as before: you’re forcibly suppressing those emotions. If you keep on doing that, you’ll only end up being swallowed up.”
Marcho’s voice felt farther and farther away.
And then, my normal self was completely gone.
Oh yes, this feels so good. I feel so refreshed. I’m finally in this form again. Now, I can do whatever the fuck I want.
This woman, this bitch in front of me is so noisy. How long does she intend to look down on me from her high horse? Enough already, you are mine and you will listen to what I say. You foolish woman, you won’t learn unless I teach you with your body like I taught that little wolf-girl, will you?
“As your Demon Lord, I command you to–”
I had managed to say only that much before something hit me and sent me rolling.
What the hell happened!? This bitch, she dares to literally look down on me while I’m on the ground!? Unforgivable. Absolutely unforgivable.
“It seems [Awakening] isn’t the only thing you’re misunderstanding, huh. It looks like you’re also gravely underestimating the dangers that monsters present.”
How dare she. I’ll thoroughly teach her her place. Ahh, just imagining the look on her face as she cries and begs for forgiveness, excites me very much. First, I’ll have her prostrate herself. I’ll just have to be careful this time and watch my surroundings before I issue my command; I’ll never let her do something like blow me away happen again. Never again.
However, before I could issue my command, I was blown away again.
“Geez. You’re so smart and yet so careless. You’ve lost yourself so easily. You’re already driven primarily by your instincts, aren’t you? Such a troublesome child.”
Marcho bitterly smiled and sighed can’t be helped.
Meanwhile, I stood up and glared at her.
How? How is she capable of humiliating me like this? I’m supposed to be the strongest Demon Lord, especially in my current form. First of all, as my monster, she shouldn’t even be able to harm me. Why must I endure such violence!?
“You look confused, Procell. Shall we conduct a class? Remember, there are two rules that protect a Demon Lord from their monsters. The first is that no monster can disobey a command given by their Demon Lord. If a monster doesn’t want to do something, it can freely disregard its Demon Lord’s will by not letting the Demon Lord say the command to them.”
I know that. What I have no idea about is how she can blow me away. According to the next rule she’s about to say, such a thing should be impossible.
“The second rule is that monsters can’t harm their Demon Lords.”
“I know. Now tell me, how were you able to do that to me?”
And yet, she managed to blow me away twice. Even if she’s a monster that has the powers of a Demon Lord, so long as she’s my monster, she shouldn’t be able to harm me.
“I haven’t done anything to you though. Very well, I guess I’ll tell you the trick to it. You see, hiding in my shadow is a monster. In other words, it’s not me that’s interrupting you but rather, it’s that child.”
“Don’t screw with me. Your monsters should have also been placed under my command and therefore shouldn’t be able to harm me as well!”
Along with Marcho herself, I gained control of her dungeon and her monsters.
“The answer is simple: I have ended my contract with this child. So rather than that obligation, this child cares for me and follows me out of its own will. You better remember: if you treat your monsters too cruelly, be prepared for the worst. Like for example, a monster that you’ve forsaken may choose to call in some humans or some monsters that are not under your control in order to deal with you. Conversely, just like now, if a monster loves you, it will protect you even after you release it from your control. Being a good Demon Lord to your monsters is important.”
Her words shocked me. Thoughts like what if they let enemies into my bedroom and what if information of a trip outside of my dungeon is leaked beforehand ran through my mind.
Thinking on it, the rule of Demon Lords over monsters was indeed in no way perfect.
“You left my dungeon too soon so I did not get the chance to teach such things. I apologize for that. From now on though, rest assured, I’ll be teaching you a lot of things.”
Again. She’s looking down on me again. So irritating. Above all else, what I cannot forgive is treating me like a child! I’ll dominate her and be the one on top. …But how? Should I create a space between us so that I can summon Kuina and the others? Or… should I just make her taste my power? The one protecting her, it’s most probably one of her [Monsters of the Covenant]: the assassin that hides in the shadow. If so, then if I get rid of the shadows using a stun grenade while giving her a command, it won’t be able to interrupt.
“Fuu. I thought you have become a fine man but I see now that you’re still a child that’s desperately trying to be treated like an adult. And then, through [Awakening], your desire of wanting me to recognize that you’re no longer a child has been twisted into this. Contemplate on that for a second.”
What? No, it’s not like that at all. I’ve become strong, stronger than everybody else. So much so that even the three supposed-to-be strongest Demon Lords can’t compare to me. I have no need of being recognized by this bitch.
“Lies! And don’t treat me like a child!”
“There, you said it yourself, don’t treat me like a child. I’m not plastering you with lies, you know. Listen with that walled-off heart of yours and you’ll know that it’s true. You’ll know that you have this desire of being recognized by me, to be told you’re a splendid Demon Lord and whatnot.”
“It’s not like–”
“It is like that. And that weakness is a part of you too.”
What is this uncomfortable feeling?
“By the way, about your ill treatment on that little girl, that Fel, that is brought on by the stress you’ve gained from acting like a kind father to your monsters. I mean, you’re surrounded by these fascinating and beautiful girls but you say to yourself that you have to restrain yourself because you’re their father. In other words, your feelings as a father is conflicting with your instincts as a man. …you may have set a line you promised yourself you will never cross but all that pent-up emotions finally proved too much and so you went too far with that little girl.”
She’s probably talking about what I did with Fel. But that was what she herself wanted.
“Well, I’d say it can’t be helped. You may do it with me if you’d like but if you want to be discreet, you can also visit a brothel. Restraining yourself too much is also not good, you hear? Or else something like that will happen again.”
Marcho spoke gently. In response though, I got embarrassed.
Do it with her? Go to a brothel?
“That’s none of your business!”
Such words involuntarily came out of my mouth. As I said such words though, I felt various colors return to my oddly cold and black heart.
“Ah! You were more like your usual self just now, weren’t you? I guess I’m on the right track then.”
My heart began to go into an uproar, various colors were mixing with another.
I was unable to refute her words and wondered if I did look at Kuina and the others not as my daughters but as members of the opposite sex. After some thought, I recalled that I did indeed felt charmed by their feminine appeals. However, because I was their father, I continually shoved those emotions away.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging you or anything. After all, we may treat them as our children but they’re not actually our children. You can’t help it if you find a member of the opposite sex attractive. Your love as a father is real and that’s what matters. Instincts and love are very different. You don’t have to be ashamed.”
Her words put me at ease.
Yeah, yeah she’s right. I did look at them like that. No, it’s more proper to say I looked at them liked that as well. I am both a father and a man.
“And then, about your deepest desire of wanting to be recognized by somebody, you may try to hide it but your actions betray your wish for approval. To speak in plain terms, you are lonely and long for the affection of others. And yet, after all that, you are ashamed to admit to yourself and to others that you feel that way.”
That’s not it, I am not a child that feels like that.
…no, I have to stop this stubbornness. Those feelings do exist within me. I have always wanted to be seen, to be recognized.
“Procell, I’m telling you now: you are amazing. You have my recognition as well as that of others. Furthermore, always remember, everyone loves you more than you think.”
As she said those words, some kind of warmth spread across my chest.
I see, so this is what I have been longing for. And now that she has given it to me, I feel at ease.
My dark self was the result of both my sexual frustration and my hunger for recognition going out of control.
Realizing that, I smiled.
A frenzied, out of control person was far from the definition of a cool guy.
I was but a child.
And yet, that was who I was.
“Thank you, Marcho. I was finally able to see who I really am.”
By accepting that dark part of myself, I finally became who I really was.
I still felt somewhat dizzy but despite that, I was now fully rational.
“That’s a nice expression on your face. Yup, that suits you more.”
Marcho then smiled back.
“From the very beginning, there never was another me. I know that now.”
Accepting such emotions and moving on, that was what it meant to Awaken.
If one knew that, they would know what to do next: to not deny themselves and to compromise with themselves. Even my pitiful self was able to do that much.
Using my [Creation], I produced an M&K MK416 which was the most used assault rifle in Avalon.
With that, I was ready to use the new Demon Lord ability I had gained.
The [Bow] Demon Lord used his [Bow] medal to produce monsters which, as his name would suggest, were primarily long range attackers.
Furthermore, he had the special ability called [Necrosis] which made the arrows of his entire forces be able to inflict unhealable wounds that festered almost immediately. In other words, attacks made with it were certain kill attacks.
The question was whether or not it would apply to bullets as well.
Wild animals lived in the plain that Marcho and I were in and 300 meters from where we stood, I spotted a stray dog. It looked riddled with disease and would definitely cause only trouble if it got into the city and bit a human. It had to be put down, perhaps even for its own sake, so there was no need to feel remorse.
Reasoning so, I aimed at it.
Before pulling the trigger, however, I felt a decrease in my magic power, proof that the ability worked.
If the target was directly hit, it would die gruesomely regardless of the new ability so I decided to deliberately just graze it.
With confidence I could accurately hit the mark, I let the bullet fly and it grazed the stray dog as intended.
The dog’s wound then festered. As moments passed, I saw the infection spread.
It worked, [Necrosis] worked.
“Marcho, as I am, I can now freely use [Awakening]. Thank you.”
“I’m glad to be of help. But you know, normally, it would have been much harder than this. I mean, not everyone wants to admit that they have such an unsightly side to them. In their effort to escape the truth and deny this part of them, Demon Lords would often lash out.”
The shame I felt for admitting it truly was immense.
Despite that, I still accepted all of it. Had I not done so, I wouldn’t have mastered [Awakening].
“Don’t rely on [Awakening] too much, though. I would recommend using it only up to 3 minutes straight and then waiting for at least 10 hours before using it again. The burden it puts on the body and soul is too great. …so much so that overuse will shorten your lifespan. You wouldn’t want what happened to me, right?”
Marcho laughed at her own expense.
She had used [Awakening] along with her skill [Beast Transformation] for a long period of time and thus had shortened her lifespan.
Considering that, I decided to take her advice to heart. I wanted to live for as long as possible and do all the many things that needed to be done.
Besides that, I still felt uneasy on using [Awakening]. Though I may have accepted myself, what I had done was barely maintain balance. I didn’t know when such a balance would crumble as even at present, I felt my instinctive urges growing stronger.
“I’ll take care.”
We should conclude this session of experimentation soon. I have gained one more ability but that one’s a little hard to use.
“Oh yeah, Procell”
“What is it?”
“Why don’t we do another experiment while we’re at it? How about that ability to impregnate monsters? You can try it out on me. You don’t think of me as your daughter but as a proper woman, right?”
Marcho said so and then lowered the neckline of her white dress, revealing her cleavage.
In reaction, I gulped down.
“…Let’s stop here for now. I don’t think what remains of the three minutes will be enough for that.”
I wasn’t that much of a quick shot, after all.
Moreover, perhaps due to the excitement, memories of what I had done to Fel the night before resurfaced in my mind.
And what I did… was barely acceptable. I had held back just enough before I did something truly extreme as a Demon LordPerson. Despite that, that girl still wanted to do something more. It might not be entirely wrong to say that that was her aim in asking me to use [Awakening].
“That’s a shame. Well, let’s go back then. You’re quite the conservative, aren’t you?”
“It’s just that there’s a proper order to these kind of things.”
I cancelled [Awakening] and my wings and horn then vanished.
Meanwhile, Marcho decided to link arms with me and when she did so, I felt a soft sensation in my arm and picked up a pleasant fragrance. Unsurprisingly, I somewhat regretted having refused her offer.
Oh well, let’s just return to Avalon. I have to make sure all the preparations for the feast are going to be complete and perfect.
“Now that I think about it, what were you like when you first Awakened?”
I wanted to know Marcho’s true nature. After all, it was kind of unfair to have only my true nature be revealed.
“It-it’s nothing special. Yeah, totally ordinary. I didn’t accumulate anything like you. Enough of that; that topic’s off limits!”
Marcho forcibly ended the conversation and briskly walked ahead.
While looking at her back, I vowed to myself to someday get the answer to my question.