Take Up the Cross – Chapter 17: Emergency Imp ☆

Standing before the supplicating imp leader, Adris is still high on the feeling of victory; yet, beneath that feeling another one is growing.


(… I don’t have time to bask in my own success. That resin was perhaps a terrible mistake…)


With the impressively dramatic effect comes the price: Adris’ lust is spiking to levels he cannot suppress. He can only launch himself into his persona to hide from it, trying to ignore the blood rushing to his cock.




“Yes, yes, mercy is fine.” Adris laughs once, before waving his hand with disinterest at the imp’s supplications. Animated smoke still clings to his body as he adopts a kinder pose.


“Oh, you will be a lovely assistant!”


(Except you won’t be. There’s a level of desperation you possess I don’t want to deal with.)


With the imp choosing to surrender a smaller compensation rather than be totally wiped out, Adris has proved his hidden conjecture true with this test.


(As Cethran said, if Odds grow with expenditure… then surrender reduces your losses. In addition, you can force a surrender with only pure deception. Guile and intimidation can win a contest, something Cethran… didn’t mention.)


“Huuuuuuuu, no, umm…” The boy looks around, searching for help. His eyes brighten on the discovery of two good distractions.

“No, human subjects would be better assistants, right! You get the freshest fodder!”


Turning to look, Adris wonders if he might be right.


The older, intellectual-looking man with blond hair is still mostly naked, on his side while he pants in exhaustion. With a tight look on his face, the man regards Adris with a contemptuous sneer. He seems more content shielding the shivering imp girl behind him with his surprisingly built body.


The younger woman, however…


Is looking at Adris very intently. Glazed as she is in white, her red skin shows she’s still deeply aroused. Her heart-shaped face hides silver eyes under wild, green bangs, with Adris noticing curiosity in them which seems placed solely on trying to see his face.

When he stares for too long, she grins a bit while licking some semen off her lips. More muscularly lean than full in figure, there’s still tempting sensuality to the hand she moves along her side, with her showcasing her flesh to Adris as she recovers during this break.


(No, used goods won’t do, especially if it’s humans traveling with a hidden human. That girl in particular is dangerous!)


Adris has neither time nor compassion for these defeated fighters, as the Castillo will give none to Adris if they ruin his plans. Stripped of weapons and dignity, they’re a liability if he’s forced to defend them. He sees no convincing means of stealing back their gear from the greedy imps.


(I’d be demanding too much if I don’t let him save face with the loot. There’s no lasting profit in balancing filthy water buckets across your shoulders.)


“No, no, I need something like our kind. My experiment will result in… an unknown change? But a useful one!” Adris decides to ramp up his attack and permanently destroy the imp’s will to resist.

“Only one application will give you a completely new form! You might even rise in ranking!”


Adris smiles at the imp, who is now crying.




“… if you survive intact…”




Producing his finest look of sheer malicious madness, Adris considers himself the greatest researcher in all of Zennia as he reports his “findings,” using his arm to again draw in the imp so that only he can hear Adris.


“After all, I already have one valuable result. If he ever regains his sanity, he’ll be able to use all seven of his arms~! Imagine how you might turn out!”


The boy stops moving. He can’t speak, only face his fate, which right now is a silver-masked lunatic happily wondering what he will morph into.




“……. No, please don’t.”


(Okay, then here is your way out.)


“Oh? You really don’t want to? YOU REALLY DON’T?” Adris lays it on thickly, his truth-seeking Works’ persona appearing truly disappointed.




“Well… I suppose it would create a problem to take such an accomplished leader away from his pack.”


Pretending to think for a moment, Adris suggests a compromise.


“How about one of your pawns? One almost as useful as you?”




Adris’ comrade “in arm” looks upbeat with sudden appreciation, shaking a little less as he latches onto the hope being offered.


Numerous shouts of surprise and horror ring up from around the two.

The assembled imps cower and look to flee, even as Adris stops them from escaping by gazing longingly at them with powerful eyes.


“Oh…? OH! Okay! Yes! Please, sir, take them!”


The imp leader gets up from his chair, adopting a courtier’s bow as he sells out his own kin. The imp’s “offspring” all look in hate and shock at their “father.”


(… All born from a bizarre summoning ritual, there’s no kinship here. You’re all pure malice from some unknown realm. But… what is the catalyst, Cethran…?)


Though Adris doesn’t know the particulars, Cethran had warned him that they are totally unnatural existences wrought into physical form from phantasmal essence.


(… and where do they come from?)


Stuck for a moment in this fascinating question…




“… OH! I know just who you can take! She’s very useful!”


A dark expression flashes, his eyes shining with his brilliant thought.


Adris lets the imp run off, the boy moving through the pack of minions surrounding them and into the far exit corridor.


A yelp followed by a choking sound is heard, as two figures struggle in the darkness.


“Nonononononononononono! Rantil… Rantil doesn’t want…!”


A girl is pulled unwillingly in a headlock, the boy clearly straining to keep the girl from escaping. This imp girl seems to resist him just fine.


“Feel free to take her~!”


The leading imp speaks the sentence quite menacingly and in a low voice, as the rest of the group looks towards Rantil with either fake concern, or outright hostility and mocking smiles.


Adris swallows uncomfortably at this… hateful display of open betrayal.








There is a strange feeling in Adris’ body when the imp says the words. Adris almost gasps at the spreading cold within his chest, as if something has squirmed into it and lodged there.


The feeling of victory ceases at this moment, the air returning to normal while empowering thoughts vanish from him.


(What? What is this absurd…?)


While Adris tries to understand what’s happening, he becomes acutely aware of the timid, purple-twin-tailed young girl trying not to see him as she seeks to disappear in plain sight.







The path had strayed quite a bit from Cethran’s guidance, but he eventually found his way back to landmarks described in the book he still holds before him.


(This mansion reforms at an amazing speed. But what prompts it? And how is it achieved?)


His eyes flit between the book’s pages and the swaying hair of the girl in front of him.


Having passed by many strange rooms and possible traps, the “respites” mentioned by Cethran are such easy tricks as fresh food on rolling carts and lush rooms with comfortable sofas.

For the food, an ominous glyph was drawn on the platter, and the room betrayed unseen movement within it as Adris passed by.




Despite her unbecoming bearing, Rantil turned out to be an excellent guide through the dizzying architecture. Her presence alone seems to avert graver dangers.


Adris’ eyes trace the wildly swinging tails back to their root. Her slender limbs move stiffly in forced movement, leaving Adris to watch the girl’s childish figure, yet pert butt, sway.


(Even if you clear a path, you’re more a liability than a prize. As always, he “lost”, I didn’t win. In her presence I can barely keep focus…)


As with Lycia and other creatures of this mansion, the proximity of this devilish girl is giving him a concise target for his boiling sexual needs.


(A debauched display like what she was guarding is something I could never think of seeing on Xin, even in a pleasure city. At least not through any connections I could think of.)


The sight of slender figures assaulting others in a festival-like atmosphere is a scene Adris has no safe avenue to put his thoughts into words to describe. It was exciting in its own right, though not because of any particular inclination Adris has, but rather because of its sheer novelty and sense of amorality.


(If I let myself get dragged down to that level, I’m done for. So you, Ms. “Rantil”, need to…)




“Hurry up, flesh. You’re keeping me from my goal.”




Crying harder at the order, the girl in front picks up the pace, her unsteady trot increasing slightly as she huddles tighter. The image of a crying imp stalked by a mad researcher is hopefully sufficient to scare away the shadows lurking in ambush.


She’s cried the entire way, yet Adris can easily tell it’s only half truth, proved once more when she peeks back to glare at him while pretending to sob.


(Can’t ignore an order from me… is that it? The control that leader had was transferred to me. She’s my “property”?)


If Cethran’s teachings are a guide, then this is similar to Pure Devotion’s idea of “just subservience,” the inability to resist the orders of one with direct power that you cannot “buy” off. It’s the secret to the humans’ inhumane societal caste hierarchy.

“Slavery” being the proper term in Adris’ estimation.


(I just need to concentrate…)


But there’s no ability to, with Adris noting that he cannot stop looking at or thinking about her butt. Like greed, the Castillo amplifies lust. His own repressed carnal thoughts are swimming in his head. Even for a girl he feels nothing for, besides maybe a bit of pity, Adris can hardly keep his hands off of her.


“Uuu… we’re finally here… master…”


Adris’ attention is brought back to his surroundings as the girl turns her head to look, her soft lips pursed and cheeks pale with stress, errant tears being wiped away.


The Guest Tombs were the ordered destination.


The corridor ahead is in open conflict with the previous style of the mansion. Here, drapes over smooth, white plaster part for large, living flower wreaths to climb the walls. Pillars are cut into sensual human shapes with flowing, partially exposing robes.

Rushing water flows from copper grates in the walls, cascading down chutes to flow along the floor until it spills over the side of the bridge or into drains. With corners padded with red cushioning everywhere, this mind-boggling extravagance is also replete with…


Approaching the grand entrance, they walk over an open bridge separating the two Castillo regions.


The space between the two corridors is empty, a drop off to the left and right as brass railings prevent the walkers on this bridge from spilling into the darkness beyond and below, a vast distance unreached by the blue lamps glowing nearby.


(Perfume clings everywhere, it’s so sweet…)


Adris wobbles a bit as he crosses the bridge, his vision a tunnel surrounded by red. It’s difficult for him to walk while trying to conceal his hard length straining against the no longer baggy pants.


“W-w-what now…?”


In front of the entrance, the girl is staring at him with teary eyes while avoiding looking at the cross. The waxy substance she wears hardly covers her pert breasts, with most of it running along her hips and left leg.


Adris’ hand is to her beautiful neck before he even realizes it, with the terrified, pouting face of this bratty girl suddenly becoming frozen with shock. Moving his hand to her face while staring into her green eyes…


(The sweetest smell is coming from you, though. Why do you look so good…?)


When his thumb moves up to her mouth and dips past her lips, she gasps a bit as he feels the moist warmth within, slowly reaching toward her tongue as her head shifts a bit towards his hand.


Adris’ body is already against hers now, the girl unsure of his intentions. Her heavier breathing and slightly softer face match well with her eyes focused on him.


“Huh.. Huwhat… huwhy?”


A confused voice, slightly pitched and annoying, but also enthralling and now filled with conflicted arousal, brings Adris’ focus on the girl to an absolute clarity. She lightly curls her tongue against his finger.


(A good question.)


Adris doesn’t feel any particular attraction to his girl other than physically. Even if she has his empathy for being betrayed, she’s still an imp.


A monster who has no doubt savaged countless men. Using them as toys as she lowers her hips upon them, she has no reason to be shown mercy.


But his lips are to hers while he ponders why. His tongue pushes through little resistance, meeting her slimy one that’s shy at first, before it rushes to wrestle his. Her saliva has an exotic flavor that stimulates his melting brain.


The whole area buzzes when he reopens his eyes, staring at the flushing face of the imp when he pulls back. Her face reminds of the ubiquitous beauty here.

The model forms of Zennia’s monsters unsettle his common sense, so used he is to the mundane, even ugly, faces of Xin. His hand runs along the side of her head, moving to feel her hair.


Pulling a bit on a twin-tail, Adris relishes the silky feeling.


“… Ummm…. Ummmm… m-master? Why are you… bothering with…?”


Still shaking a bit, the imp’s fear is being colored by something else as she searches his gaze for answers. While her face is youthful, the slit-green eyes have a cunning glint as she wets her lightly colored lips. She looks busy trying to calculate how to take advantage of the changing situation.


(Do I want her? Why? What’s the meaning? What makes her worth it? Isn’t this pointless?)


Doubts fill Adris as his body moves ahead of him.


Everything that has been denied by others becomes what he wants to inflict on her, even if it goes against his principles.


“Why would… a great evil want something like Rantil…?” The girl’s tone is bewildered, though her body is already enticing him. The sweet smell is similar to the imp leader’s, but hers is submissive rather than hostile.


“No, aren’t you fine? Ambitious, full of adventure… A little morsel who wants to taste freedom?” Adris spits out what sounds appropriate, grandiose-sounding impressions designed to wrap her up in his voice.


(But mainly I want to see you… cry? Punish you? You remind me of a girl I knew back in that damned city, one who would always bully me…)


A yelping sound makes Adris recognize he’s pushed and turned her toward the nearby wall. With a hand on her back applying pressure, she bends over slowly.

He leans over her and whispers.


“If I want you, then why does it matter if you know the reason or not? Do you plan to resist? Don’t you know it’s pointless?” The girl sighs, her body losing strength as Adris pushes her into the wall more incessantly.


(Right, she’s mine now. If this lust can’t be stopped, then why try. I have an appointment ahead and I won’t last if I don’t end this. Besides, she’s… actually quite beautiful.)


All of the abuse inflicted on Adris thus far feels like a dark hole ready to overflow its contents, able to hold no more when faced with this girl. Opening his coat and wrestling with the buttons, he grinds his crotch against her ass. The height difference is non-existent between the two of them.


Having listened to her sobbing the entire way in her vexing voice, he can’t decide what exactly about her excites him.


(Maybe it’s just that I want to give you back some of what you’ve given!)


The thought of punishing her is what his beating heart has settled on. In his drunk state, it’s the supreme justification.


“Hyah! Master… likes Rantil… is that it~? Then… you won’t… hurt Rantil…? Kiya!”


Reaching his own head to hers as he leans over her, Adris nibbles on her slightly pointed ear.


“I’d like you a lot more if you’d learn to be obedient!”


When he pulls away while smelling her hair, her face turns a bit to look behind her. Eyes shaking with her forehead glistening, her tongue is visible in her open mouth.

The roughly breathing girl spreads her legs, her butt swaying to entice him…


(Creatures of evil? Cethran called them “demons”. She doesn’t look powerful now.)


Unaware of it, he’s already dropped his pants. The imp is moaning in a high voice as Adris’ left hand explores her body while he licks the back of her neck and bites her shoulder. The taste of her skin is purely poisonous to his mind, drawing him further away from composure with every bite.

Rather than fright, her reactions are precocious and coy, pretending to be scared. He remembers that she wasn’t taking part in the assault from before.


(She wants it? This wicked girl is turned on by someone dominating her?)


Clumsily, he tries to find the hair fiend’s miscellanies. He saw a thick, jelly-like liquid that Cethran had declared safe, a viscosity likely perfect for his haste.

Adris’ exposed penis is already grinding into Rantil’s crotch even as he searches his body. The waxy clothing is pliable and sleek, the imp’s thighs supple and smooth.

He finds the vial, distracted by her affectionate, impatient moans, and pours it liberally onto his penis. The cold-feeling liquid instantly warms his skin as he drops the vial, letting it roll away from him with a noisy clink.


(This is what I get for using things I don’t fully understand! That resin was… ah, a two-edged sword I just impaled myself on!)


Adris is trying to peel away the clothing on the imp’s crotch to get to the soft, warm hole he knows is hidden; but, it won’t move easily.


In outrage and frustration, Adris slaps her ass hard with his open hand when it doesn’t come free.


“HIEEE!” Rantil responds with a shaking body, whipping her head back a bit in pain.


The annoyances accumulated in the Castillo roll out, Adris’ heart free to release it on someone weaker than him.

Adris is spanking the imp’s butt with fore and back hand, the girl yelping with every hit. Her tails twitch with her agony and passion, and then accidentally hit Adris in the face as they rise up his chest.


“What is this? A futile attempt to stop me?” Adris grabs onto a tail hard, pulling it before him to inspect it.


“No! Please! AH! Please don’t pullllllll!”


Rantil moves her ass against Adris’ cock, rubbing up against the head of his penis even as she protests the abuse. The evil glint in her eyes is still there, making her look pleased at the pain rather than unhappy.


“If you didn’t like it, you wouldn’t be shaking.”

Adris licks her tail before letting it go, receiving an open-throated moan in return, going back to her crotch with his hand. Feverish now, he grabs onto the nearest piece of wax and gets his fingernail under it.


(Yes! Now move!)


He rips on the waxy clothing, pulling it free. With the girl shaking and panting, the clothing has become more pliable.


“Coming off now, is it? Find you can’t resist your need, slave?” His persona on auto-pilot, Adris is confused by the disappearing substance.


(I have… to be… inside…)


“Rantil wants to feel good, too~… Please… don’t hurt Rantil~…” Her last words are pathetic, but stoke Adris’ desire to make her his.


“How many people have cried out at you with the same words, but actually meant them?!”


His balls are already tight, the imp’s proximity peaking his lust. The world spins a bit as he presses his engorged member against her bottom, running up against more of the waxy substance.


Moving the tip in the same area, he finally finds flesh and a slight depression…


“That’s…! Wait! Wawawawa~!” Rantil tries to dissuade this, but Adris doesn’t register the complaint.




Thrusting inside, Adris feels a supreme tightness and bodily warmth comfortable beyond words, even as the entrance actively rejects him.


(Ah, for a slut, even a smaller one… she’s tight! What is this texture?)


Adris’ dick is gripped so tightly all over that the hole feels like a snake swallowing him. He leans over and grabs onto the girl, using her to push all the way in.

He pants as he listens to her, her breathing now strangely tight and irregular. The girl’s tails are arched against him, cringing while frozen.


Pulling out and pushing back hard, Rantil’s head arches as she breathes with discomfort, before moaning a bit.


“Nah… huwhhyyy…”


Adris moves, slowly at first due to the tightness, but as the lubrication from Symphonia’s vial produces a slick guard against resistance, he picks up the pace.


(You would do the same to me! Doesn’t the winner take all!?)


“EH!? S-sl-slowwwwer! Nyah!”


Adris’ dark thoughts boil as he pounds into the girl in this strange hallway, rejecting her plea.


(Cethran’s stupid questions! Lycia’s overbearing manipulations! Being turned into basically a kid!)


For the man that always throws away dark thoughts once done with them unless they’re useful to recall later, all of his “lost” misgivings and resentments rise up as he lays claim to his prize. In place of his vaunted mental conditioning and objective detachment, a wild passion grips him.


(I won! That idiot bought it! Even you still do! A guy with no real power is using you! And it feels wonderful.)


Adris yanks on dark-purple hair, even though it should be shining black, causing the girl with orange-tinted skin to yelp louder. Adris has lost control of his own body, slamming against her without mercy as he nears a release he intends to obey.


“I’ll… make you mine, inside and out!” Adris lets his weight fall onto her as he gloats, asserting an authority he shouldn’t possess.

All of his past successes rise in his mind, as every flashing memory of when he fooled someone powerful becomes a narcotic feeling of ecstasy, the girl’s flesh tightening to praise his wit.


Rantil hums in apparent pleasure, her grip on him increasing exponentially. Adris sees only one hand on the wall, now. He can hear a wet gliding movement from her crotch, looking down to see Rantil’s arm going to where they’re meeting.


(Ah, you’re pleasuring yourself to such abuse!? Depraved girl!)


As time passes with both grunting with Adris’ endless pistoning, he can feel his dick warming too much with the entombing feeling. The pleasure going up his spine is in time with his clenching muscles, all of his dark thoughts making his brain burn with the ecstasy of his domination.

Between the two of them, it feels like a closeness is forming as he uses her and she welcomes being used. As he falls ever more into this depraved feeling, she goes wild.


“Hah! Hah! Master shines too musch! Fehls too gud!” The girl with swaying twintails breathes into the wall as she’s pounded against it. The sickeningly sweet smell from her causes Adris to pull himself tight to hug her, using her own body as leverage to rapidly pump with short thrusts as they cling together.


(Whoa, no… it’s too good. She can’t be doing this intentionally!? How does she squeeze in separate spots like that all along my length? It feels like a hand moving along it!)


“Nyah, mahstur! Nooo~!” Pushing up against his face as he licks her, Rantil’s high-pitched and breathy voice keeps rising as Adris slams against her butt. He ruts like a freshly liberated virgin, with the equally sloppy imp giving back in the same manner.


(Ah, I’m…!)




Feeling his tension, Rantil screams a single word before Adris curses under his breath and clings to the girl’s body. He instinctively pushes as far as he can into her to make sure his seed goes deep.

With no control over when it happens, he becomes a slave to his release.


All of his dark thoughts and misgivings drain into her, along with the burning, ecstatic pleasure of his previous victories. With that draining feeling, the imp girl arches her back as she moans.




With her pleasure lasting far longer than his, she quivers with satisfaction while being held. Feeling his vitality leaving him with the sexual tension, Adris begins to feel weak.




The justification for the act that took such a short time to finish vanishes with the arrival of the afterglow.

Adris’ sagacity increases ten-fold.


(… what am I doing!?)


Adris becomes conscious of the situation as he pants from being overheated. His cock already starting to soften, the girl he’s holding onto wobbles in his grasp.

The pain of the tightness replacing the pleasure, Adris winces as he pulls out of her. A popping sound is accompanied by a splattering, his seed falling out onto the floor.


The sudden clearheadedness makes Adris embarrassed at his previous actions.


(Yet again, I give in the first chance I get! First, that piglet Symphonia. That can be attributed to the cross, right? Next, the admittedly much more lovely Lycia… I can forgive that, I would probably still willingly give myself to her company for a good time… Were she unlikely to kill me before, during, or after…


… But… to you!?)


To a creature he’s never met before now, she was made of eager use by him.


Though not a good man, Adris has never fancied himself the type that would let passion and need lead him to assault another. Even when Serras refused, it was never difficult to handle such urges himself.


Indeed, the abusive manner in which they’d copulated and how Adris feels that she enjoyed it is an overwhelming peek into a facet of pleasure he doesn’t feel comfortable exploring, especially with a creature who isn’t truly real like he is.


(No, being unreal is fine! But you’re like a pit of unspeakable desires!)


She is unbottling these thoughts by proximity, his fall into depravity increasing with the attention she gives him. Having experienced her once, he already feels a desire to share the same forceful carnal embrace again.


Though he wants to drop the unstable imp… he instead uncharacteristically brings her down to the floor gently.


(Maybe if I do the opposite of what I want to do, you’ll stop baking my thoughts!)


The girl’s eyes are closed while she pants a bit, a look of pain mixed with pleasure on a clenched face.

She coos while breathing unsteadily, basking in the success of the act while still tense, her hands on her bottom as if trying to soothe it.


Yet, her lips are disgustingly smiling…


(But why would there be pain?)


Looking down, Adris realizes that her somewhat uncovered pussy lips are still mostly shut and not leaking. The white juices flow instead from…


(Ah, that would be…)


A first for Adris. He marvels at the tightness, understanding now what other men in the past had to say about it. A slightly unclean feeling comes to him, but he recalls Cethran’s thoughts on fiendish incarnations.


They have no true physicality, right? As simply corporeal concepts, what drives them?


Taking advantage of his recent acquisition in such a way and not having an answer for it, Adris’ thoughts on the indiscretion revert to his old ways. If there’s no real harm to anything Adris cares about, he can just overlook it.




(Right, getting rid of lust in the Castillo is hardly bad. Her? She’s just a tool, no worries-)




But, his mind freezes at the thought, squatting while staring at the girl slightly shaking on the floor.




Just a tool.


(Cast away as easily as I was.)




Pulling his pants back up after wiping himself off with a wet rag from his pack, he looks down at the tired creature.




Adris kicks Rantil slightly with his boot, just enough to shock the imp into focusing. Her naked, sweating orange body turns over, staring at Adris with lingering lust and affection, before seeing the cross still in his hand.


She starts shaking, her teeth clattering as her fear revives.


With a rare feeling of pity, Adris considers what to do with her.


(It’s not like I can take her along any further, since my destination holds delvers I need to meet. I doubt they will accept someone wearing a blue coat who is wrangling an…)






The girl begs now while on her knees, her two tails straight in the air as she leaks out onto the floor.




“You already are a monster!”




In the span of a moment, Adris receives an absurd outburst and retorts to it.


His thoughts interrupted by her scream, Adris tries to recall his thoughts. The small ember of empathy born of his self-loathing at what he’s done nearly extinguishes with only one exclamation from her.


“… Can you give me any reason to care about you as anything more than raw materials?”

Adris decides to toy with the girl a bit, regardless of his final decision.










The bratty girl is in full form, a string of loose reasoning issuing from her mouth that’s running at full speed.


“I just said you already are one! You don’t know anything about my needs, so it’s not as if you can provide immediate benefit to me.”


“You’re right, I don’t! But I don’t even know your name! All I know is that you like being inside me!


… Which was admittedly nice, master’s essence feels sort of like a human’s~? A great evil with a truly human form~…?”


(Observant weirdo!)


The girl’s interrupting monologue is very quiet, but Adris’s sharp ears easily catch it.


“… anyway… You just showed up and made Cybero sell me out for good, and now I’m gonna be chopped up if I can’t convince you not to~!”

Crying pathetically, the girl is looking at him with a face also wet with snot as she rails against her situation.

“You march me all around without telling me why! Then you stuck your big dick up my butt and now it’s coming ouuuutttttt~!!! This isn’t faiiiiiirrrrrrrr~!!!”


(… as if you weren’t moaning.)


The girl cries while lightly hitting the floor with her hands, secretly watching him as she tries to ply for sympathies in Adris that simply don’t exist.

Her fear has turned into a desperate gambit to make him feel sorry enough for her existence to spare her, banking on his disgust with her to force a premature departure on her behalf.


(But, it honestly just makes me want to bully you more.)




(Since we’re here, now is as good a time as any to test my introduction. Cethran had been quite explicit. The stronger the appellation, the stronger the impact. Since she’s a captive audience, I can… dispose of her if this is received poorly.)


Towering over the prone imp on this bridge between hellish regions, Adris thinks of the persona he’s still constructing for his destined meeting. Even now, he hasn’t settled on the final details of what a “false god” entails.


(What sort of showmanship do I display? How do I phrase things? What do I believe in?)


In addition to setting the “mystery”, an introduction will establish the mood and draw in his intended servants.


“… Then listen well, peon. I know not what you think I am, but my true existence is far beyond that of a mere tool of the Mother.”


Adris’ cross goes up before him.


He adjust his profile as he looks down on her. As if compelling her to disappear with the raised cross, he sharpens his tension as much as he can, drawing on all of his previous acting experience.




(“I am Adris fehl Dain, ziahlen, of the world of Xin, stuck now on a world about to be destroyed by eternal night…” Going with that might work…?)




The wind howls as he narrows his eyes, smiling proudly at the twin-tailed girl now gazing reverently.




“[I am a star of ruin, a true false god, cast down from the sky upon a dying world]!”




Adris yells this out towards the darkness, staring down at this supplicant with his introduction given.

The wind dies at this very moment.




Silence consumes the gravity of his pronouncement.







(That… that… sounded okay… right?)


Arriving in a world full of pomp and grandeur, even the names of techniques are called out here. On Xin, Adris was prone to such flights of embarrassing speech when having fun in combat, but not to the same level of sophistication as these creatures.


He certainly didn’t believe then that it made his attacks more potent.




That which is declaimed, is it not more striking? Why shouldn’t it be stronger?


(I don’t feel like it’s stronger, Cethran! I just feel like a retard and it’s your fault! Why are you Zennians all weird!?)




As the small girl looks up at him with eyes full of wonder, Adris feels more insipid than anything. He can’t determine whether she’s full of thoughts of praise; or, inspired by the idea that Adris is actually insane, and that she could soon beat him up and escape.


(Please say- )


“How shining~! And you want to… do that!? Merge natures with Rantil!? … Really!? O-okay! I won’t disappoint you~!”


Adris blinks as she begins to smile with sudden, relieved glee, her hands shaking as she makes excited “Kyaa~!” sounds.


(What the fuck are you…?)




“I am Rantil, [Evil Innocence], [Forever alone at the edge of acceptance while staring in at it longingly], and I answer your offer!”


The girl, like Adris, screams out something incomprehensible and embarrassing while making a formal bow, her twin tails flicking once. With a soft smile, but hard eyes, ambition is plain on her face as she gazes at him.


(Okay, but why tho-?)




Pausing in mid thought, he feels something tug at his coat. Sleeves flapping suddenly, the pressure of this fissure alters.


With a crisp, flowing sound…


… he is nearly pushed over by the tumultuous rush.

The air and darkness which had devoured his embarrassing pronouncement now roars back with much crueler life. Adris’ thoughts go wild with a replay of an earlier scene.




“Ah, AH!”


Rantil rises into the air, the shadows flooding in join with the air and become a great vortex enveloping her. The blue lamps on the walls extinguish, the whole area suddenly pitch black.


She begins to glow dimly with a pale white light, whipping her legs and arms about as she tumbles in the air.


(No, not again.)


“Wait, why am I becoming less~!? That’s not supposed to happen~! I should be being added to master’s -!?”


The girl can’t finish her sentence as the deafening roar claims it. Using a breaststroke to try to swim towards Adris while stuck in the air, her desperate, shining eyes beg Adris to save her, yet he can do nothing without knowing how to.




With a grating, crumbling sound…


Rantil vanishes into shaking motes of light, the pale luminance being consumed by the dark torrent as her body slowly disintegrates while violently shaking.


Adris interposes the cross between him and her destruction, but the whirlwind simply bypasses it as it rushes past him.


Malevolent voices torment his ears with indecipherable ravings, their words scarring his soul even as he rejects them.


Wind throws his clothing and hair about until it begins to subside, the winds returning the direction they came from to meet where Rantil used to be.




Great, dolorous bells ring out deep from the darkness all around him.






The blue light returns, the lamps automatically relighting.




Standing alone on the bridge, his eyes sting a bit from the impact of the wind. He wrestles with his coat to right it on his body, a dizzy feeling remaining from the voices scratching at his mind and the ringing in his ears from the winds.


Hearing a fluttering sound, he looks to see a piece of parchment landing on the bridge in front of him.


Appearing in the form of a folio, Adris peers down at a picture on it…




… which contains a figure that looks like Rantil’s.






Name: Adris fehl Dain; “Mister Meat”
Titles: Scholar Bound in Madness, Greedy Informant, Lycia’s Little Brother
Race: Xin’El, Emperor’s Child (Human)
Sex: Male
Age: ?? – Young

Occupation: Crossbearer; Charlatan/Swindler; Xin’Reh (former); Soldier of Fortune (former); Bounty Hunter (former)
Discipline: Crossbearer – Cursed Aura User; Spear Veteran (former); Aura Warrior, School/Specialization: Self-Taught (former)


[Tool Savant] – “Adris is a tool-collecting-and-utilizing fanatic. Most men would consider him disgusting for loving tools more than his own partner. Has so many tools that it can be said to be his true power. What does he do when he has no tools left? He seeks to acquire more, obviously!”


[Unknown Protection from Poisons/Compelling] – {A MAN WALKS, HIS STEPS UNWEARIED AND RESOLUTE. NONE CAN STOP HIM.}


[Unknown Mental Domination] – {A MAN DEMANDS. THOSE WHO HE DEMANDS OF, OBEY.}

[Familiar] – “Through means unknown, a familiar has been acquired. Aren’t familiars a kind of tool? Isn’t this sort of strange to consider a ‘power’?”


Disposition: Resilient / Adaptable / Sinner
Alignment: Chaotic

Eyes: Black
Hair: Black, with strands of White
Skin: Tanned



Rantil Value – “With such limited information, isn’t master at least fairly agile and observant? No, disregarding this abusive master, why am I vanishing!?”



Cethran Value – “If all men looked like him, it might not be odd for women to think that the gods had painted the world in only the drab color brown? While not ugly, would he not exemplify the idea that ‘normal’ is perhaps indistinguishable from ‘undesirable’?”


“Does missing half of your body increase the rarity of what remains, thereby increasing its inherent beauty?”

“Being a child again, can you see the difference that being an adult adds? No longer possessing the work put into improving features, will Adris understand that being plain as a child lacks the poise and stature of adulthood? Even as an older boy, isn’t it hard to be… ‘dashing’?”

“Clothing, is it? Yes, clothing is a fine answer to all problems, is it not? Even an ape may appear more dashing if he is wearing a suit, isn’t that right, Adris?”

“If you’re appealing to a monster, wouldn’t that be detrimental in the long term?”

“Even in defeat, you cling to your stoic face, Adris? That might actually be attractive, in its own way…?”

“Having properly bathed, at least you can say you smell of roses and sunshine, yes? Perhaps it’s not your body you find beautiful, but your mind?”

“My, are you perhaps trying for a different kind of handsomeness? Will you go for the classic Byronic presence, full of submerged violence and domineering lust?”



“A rather plain-looking man wearing traveling robes, what he carries hidden is far more dangerous than his appearance lets on. A disarming smile, leads to you being suckered. A clever tongue, leads to your sorrow. Possessing quick wit and intellect, hubris and arrogance are certain to follow. Well known across the floating islands of Xin, but not by name, only by reputation. Owed many favors, but not with great joy, and certainly not love. The only person he seems to care about other than himself is his lifelong partner.”


“It can be said that Adris has done a lot of things in his life. Good, bad, evil, and unkind, all of what he has done has been done with the assumption that he will never have to worry about heaven or hell. Now that he’s lost the only thing he’s ever cared about, what is left? Perhaps he will get his chance to discover what it means to be free?”

“Turned into a kid again, how is Adris handling this? Thrust into a dimension beyond his ability to cope with, especially after being abandoned by Serras and murdered, only his attachment to his own sense of self… or finding it again, is driving him. Now that he is young, he can only survive by his wits, seeing as his aura has been taken from him. Will he succumb to his thirst for female flesh? Will this cross claim his mind and make him its meat puppet?”

“Even if there’s a distinct lack of total sanity in him, at the moment, he still seems able to function quite well. If you don’t have to dwell on your problems, you can devote yourself quite effectively to a single goal, ignoring all extraneous information. Though, isn’t the idea of [Oath] a little too…? And what’s with him pretending to be completely different people?”

“Every new situation is a chance to demonstrate acting talent, and Adris’ is geared towards his own survival. If you need to play the fool, then be the best fool.”

“Getting lucky is also a form of success. We never know what the right words might be to win someone over, nor when they will pay off. Sometimes, we find ourselves in others in the oddest ways.”

“Lacking power is not the same as being powerless. Even if all you have is your wits and untapped potential, as long as you’re striving to utilize it, making those tough decisions to reach your potential, then you have a chance.”

“A man with a plan is a dangerous force of nature, especially when he has neither morals nor a lack of vision to halt him.”

“Improvising with what’s available is one of Adris’ best qualities… but even he is unlikely to want to sink to the level of the Castillo’s residents.”



“Guess you found your first victim. How does it feel bullying… well, she actually deserves it. Keeping calm in this Castillo seems impossible. How do you contain your lust if you have no one to share it with?”



Name: Rantil
Titles: Slave
Race: Imp
Sex: Female
Age: Old As Human Fears

Occupation: Castillo Guardian; Slave
Discipline: ???


[Unknown Attraction] – “Rantil doesn’t smell anything weird, though? You think Rantil is sweet? Hum~hum~, thanks~!”


Disposition: Whiny / Deceitful / Sweet
Alignment: Chaotic

Eyes: Slit-Green
Hair: Purple
Skin: Orange-Tinted



Rantil Value – “Rantil is indescribably strong. As the true heroine, Rantil is obviously going to exceed the capabilities of any other female… Why didn’t you help Rantil, master!? HIEEEEE!”



Cethran Value – “Do words exist to describe how low you will plumb for comfort from women, Adris? At least the imp you are fated to marry isn’t that dumb, yes? Perhaps her beauty might end up complimenting your decisive lack?”



“Born of contradiction and fear, imps are creatures that have the appearance of what they, at their core, can never be. Even if she’s capable of appearing nice, an imp is designed to lead you astray. But if it’s a man who is already the definition of ‘astray’, then how will this relationship unfold?”



“Every MC needs his loli familiar. Gotta be conservative about this. Although I guess if they’re pretty much the same height, it’s a strange matchup. Bratty girls excited one of my readers, let me know what you think.”




Whoa, it’s nothing.





Chapter 16         Table of Contents          Chapter 18