Take Up the Cross – Chapter 42: Freshest Outlook

Awakening abruptly, fluids begin to enter his mouth along with a foreign object.


(No peeing!)


Beginning to thrash, a hand on his chest holds him down until he swallows, leaving him gulping for air after. A funnel leaves his lips as he shoots up.

Cringing with the pain from his sudden movements, every muscle is a quick and slow burn. Strong blue light fills the room when he opens his eyes to see fingers moving before a grinning mask.


{Congratulations, you survived. And you did better than the prior… “comforter”. From what I hear, you even “beat her”?}


As a warm feeling expands from Adris’ gut, Still offers praise while seeming very composed.


(Who is the prior…? That… thing disguised as a girl is still… here.)


Stopping himself from shivering, of his most painful parts his precious son hurts the worst. So unbelievably tender that it’s a miracle it wasn’t torn off by the monster’s gripping hole, the entire night and all its mania begins to flood back into him as he thinks.


(… I sort of want to die. I can’t believe that Still and Neesiette hold that sort of act as normal. At least Ave seemed to… no, she was enjoying it in her own way…)


Exhilarating as it was to prove his manliness openly, he is supremely glad that Still didn’t witness it. He has no plan for talking to the other three. Enticements and flirting abandoned for public displays, even if he wants to wrap them around his fingers subtly over time, the advantage seems to lie with them now, having seen him so nakedly exposed.


(Even if I’m tired… I must…)




“Pleasure such as that is easy for me to both obtain and gift. A girl like Kol is incapable of matching me.”

Gloating softly, he rejects his words in his heart.

Twitching at this pronouncement, she then slyly moves her fingers down his chest, which produces a wincing ache as she seductively pushes on his muscles.

{I see, I see. So… “pleasant” it was that you won’t be needing healing balm in addition to the swelling reduction medicine I gave you? Okay~, nice to-}




Immediately reaching out with a trembling hand, Still’s “words” are cut short.

“Nonsense. I would never turn down a gift from my partner.”


A gentle smile full of benevolent mystery comes from a boy laying on a plush bed, a boy so thoroughly beaten that a pillow over his face would be an unavoidable end.

“… If you would leave it, I can make use of it before we need to…”


(That wonderful balm, give it, now, please. I need it. Hurry.)


{Of course, of course, the quicker the better, so why leave it to…?}

Pulling out a jeweled jar from a hip pouch, she scoops out the orange gel within and reaches down to the sheets, slipping under them.


(Ah, no, no, no, no, please, not three within- AH!)


A horribly tender feeling assaults him as Still begins. With a businesslike smile on her mask, the darkly dressed, usually skulking girl rubs her mesh-covered hand along his length, completely covering it with the orange ointment.

Absent all sexual energy for the first time since entering the Castillo, the mesh’s unique texture is only soothing. While normally flirtatious, Still is only teasingly nurturing as his tight muscles and sapped flesh begin to strengthen with her dual medicines.


(This girl should give massages. When she moves along the muscles, she knows exactly where-)




“What… doing?”


A deep voice comes from his right.

The fear born of the previous night returns like the shining rainbow descending from the heavens to kill him.




{What does it look like, idiot? Are you unaware that intelligent life risks growing dumber by suffering exposure to you? If I don’t treat him, he’ll be drooling by the end of today.}


An irrational phobia grips him.

Even as his mind begins to calm and replace the distorted image representing his fear with the actual image of his teammate, his body refuses to play along.


“HAH!? Kol, not stupid! … Huh? Talk, Puddle, real dumb!”

Cackling, the girl sounds more proud than angry.

“Hmm, Kol, understand. Puddle, Boss and Kol… learn real thing happen.”

With the beastly girl snorting, Still’s head lowers, putting her mask into shadow as the beast continues bragging.


(No, please don’t say what I think you-)




“Boss… choose Kol, not Puddle? Jealous!? Kakakakakaka!”

Laughing uproariously, Kol causes…


(My death is near.)


… Still to finish rubbing his arm, before patting the bicep gently.


{If you’re feeling better from that rusted brain’s ‘pleasure’, then let’s get going, partner.}

Emphasizing the gesture on the last word, Still then rubs Adris’ head at the point where his hair meets his face.


{A dog might bark loudly, but an animal doesn’t know what stirs a man’s imagination, right? Especially an imagination that’s already… tasted fantasies within reach?}

Watching her covered butt sway as she moves off after offering seductive words, Adris recovers the minutest lust.


(Oh!? Do I detect an offer in those words? But… your hand was still… sticky…)


The annoyance brings a smile to his face as he tries to get the goop out of his hair.




“HAH!? Puddle, say weird things…! Hm, why? Ah, Boss…”

Left alone with it, a number of emotions go through him.




“… Hah? Why… look…?”

A dark, angry sound comes.


(Don’t be afraid. Face her. You have to.)


Even if she nearly killed him. Nearly broke his dick, hips, and arms. Biting his neck so hard he wanted to cry out.


“Oh? Boss, maybe remember?”




Turning his head slowly, Adris regards the source of…


A smiling, exuberant, genuinely proud face is shown to him. Pink eyes soft, she leans on the bed looking down at Adris while wearing her gambeson and pants. The memory of her skin, soft to the touch but still firm when pressed, invites him to reach in to handle her again.


“Boss, feel nice? Good smile~! Kol…”


Falling onto the bed, Kol pats him on the stomach, causing him to flinch even as he can’t take his eyes off her radiant expression. Her short ponytail flips around when she moves her head, with her tail flicking while she aggressively rubs him.


“Kol felt really good. Waiting for boss, say… ‘thank you~’! Boss, really good. Definitely, strongest mate.”


Adris’ mouth is probably open, because the image doesn’t meet his expectations. Certainly, the words she gives him don’t go with the scene of her squirming lovingly.

While he’d expected her to be horrifying to face… she, instead…




Somehow, she looks even more beautiful than last night.




(… What is this feeling?)


Heating up at the situation, what he feels isn’t sexual. Though she’s obviously cleaned herself with a wet cloth, the odor of her sweat and fluids lingers. Having been trapped next to her bestial scent, his heart races when smelling it.

Being told openly and proudly that a girl was given pleasure by him, especially being thanked as she reveres his status, is something never gifted to him by another.


While he’s speechless, she, with a toothy grin, clenches her hand.


“Boss, strongest, but, next time…”

Looking stern and aggressive, her eyes burn with ambition as she takes in her “rival”.




“Next time… mate… Kol…


absolutely win.”




Grabbing her head, he mistakenly grips too tightly. Barking in displeasure, irritation lines her face before she grows attentive to his expression.

Low enough so that only Kol’s superior hearing can catch him, he issues rules.




“No, mating is only for victors. If you wish to mate, it is only deserving as a winner. Absolutely, and without fail, you must prove your worth, Kol… or else… where is the right to challenge me again?”


(Stop. No more. Never again. Stop. Even if… I want to… desperately do it again? No, I can’t, I’ll die.)


Flinching at the words, Kol opens her mouth in disbelief while Adris’ mind tears itself apart. Growing distant and uncertain at the orders, Kol pulls his hand off her head while holding it lightly.


“… Why, mate, before sleep?”

“You won over the cross. You received its power. It was… your victory, proving that you were strong enough to bear its power… right? And you needed it, so it could be given…”


(Accept it, please, accept, I can’t think…)


Needing safety from her murderous vitality, “mating” can’t be allowed until he’s sure he can survive it.


(There… will be ways.)




“Uhhhh… Hmm.”

Tapping Adris’ stomach, the white-haired girl with blinding energy has her eyes closed with lips tight. Smiling gaily a moment later, her pink eyes regain ambition.


“… OH, no, that… smart? Kol… mating… strongest… victory… reward…? Boss like strong, right? Hmmmm? Can work…! Kol, like. If Boss ‘victory’ like, go with what Kol thinking about what Kol want…~!?”

As if she has pierced into Adris’ deepest thoughts, Kol nods with a conspiratorial smile.

Yet again…


“Kol, Boss, understand… good ‘style. Way Boss act… suddenly, right. Even eyes, cooler! Like Kol! Kakaka…! All get better!”


Laughing so loudly that the rest of the room turns its eyes towards her, yet again…




(What the fuck did you understand!? And… what are you thinking about that makes this “work” for you!?)


About to ask those questions…




“Accomplish final preparations one should, for a room’s permanency wavers. Kol, ready, and be ready.”

A bell-like voice cuts through, Adris’ eyes going to her.


“For twenty ‘ten-turns’ remain and not much longer. All with this departure must be given, for final it shall be. En route and at safe junctures shall explanations be tendered, for time fled by due to understandable circumstances shall never be recovered here.”

The frail girl clad in otherworldly clothing is battle ready. The force-dealing rod she favors is already out.

“Entrust us now with one’s protection, Adris.”

“Ho, ‘protecting me’? You will rediscover how effective I am in combat soon enough.”

“… Be that so?”


Adris notes the rest of the room as the girl turns away from him disinterestedly.


Still is ever sharp, her possessions securely affixed to her as she lingers by the study door.

Ave is avoiding Adris’ gaze, holding the possessions of everyone in the room as befitting the party pack mule.


(Good, don’t talk to me. We are in a rush, however?)


Kol gets ready to move off, prompting his heart to waver.


Throat somewhat dry even after Still’s rehydrating of him, he grips her hand as she gives a bewildered look.


“Boss? Something, wrong?”




(What are we, now?)




The question that he had cast aside before they’d had sex suddenly flares back up.


“Kol, about last night… what do you think of it?”

“Hm? Was good! The best! Kol like, Boss’ tong- Hm!?”


Gripped closer with as much subterfuge as Adris can manage, he can feel her breath on his face.

The tan skin looks masculine with the fangs that peek out from her lips, yet the burning eyes she gives to him are feminine in hunger. All the flitting emotions she shows proudly when she leaves behind the stoic gaze of a warrior are playing havoc on him.

Even if her vigor last night still leaves him shaking inside, the pleasure and closeness was absolutely overwhelming for the Adris who has recently been bereft of both.


“… No, of us… of that… what does it mean for you?”

Unable to know how to ask, this burning question without a reason for existing lodges in his mind like a hot iron.


“What ‘mean’? Mate? Mating… is…?”

Stuck for words, she chuckles finally after arriving at her answer.


“Mating just something fun, Boss. ‘Strongest’ do it, right? Mean more? Kol, don’t know? Probably not~!”

Grinning after, she finds it a funny question.




(Right, it’s just something to do. It fulfills a purpose of clearing one’s mind. There doesn’t have to be any more meaning than that.)


All of the tension leaves Adris at once. He lets go of her hand, thinking of his next objectives and duties.

Starting to move…






A short grunt comes from Kol at the same moment he thinks that, prompting Adris to return focus to her.

“Is something wrong? As Neesiette said, we need to leave, Kol. Dressing for me will… what?”

Adris goes to reach for his small clothes, but Kol’s clawed hand holds onto him.

“… Boss… become… No? Boss… fine? Huh…? ‘Nevermind’.”


Suspicious eyes finally relax, with her sliding off the bed a moment later.


“Time, Kol to win!”

Cackling loudly, she starts putting on her gear.




Avoiding flashing the rest as much as possible, even though Ave’s sharp eyes linger on him as he rises, he begins dressing mechanically and without fanfare.


(Things are different… here, too!?)


The form of his boots lined up to step into has completely altered: patchwork, white-furred dark leather in totality now, there are two blood-red rubies stuck into the tongues on both feet, looking like angry eyes; in addition, the furred shaft of the boot splits up the middle as it rises, coming to look like rabbit ears as the tops flip freely.

As comical as it should sound, the entirety of it is far more menacing than how it was originally conceived before the investiture.


(I will need to inquire about changes as a result of that investiture. Something is… wrong. Not with just this.)


As he inspects his other possessions, his fog device is also different. No longer like the Works, it’s returned to its original design, yet is now far more ornate and advanced.

The cross, which was once shining silver and then rainbow, is…


(Ominous black stone, but maybe a positive sign of the future…)


These are not the only differences, though. His tunic, jerkin, and pants also share the same dissimilarity in how they fit now, naturally snug against his slender frame where they once ill fit.


(That is… odd? What could be the reason? Or did they change with the rest and I just wasn’t awake enough to notice before?)


Checking quickly in the jerkin pocket, he finds the parchment book he kept from Cethran unmoved. Within…


(Rantil… are you still with me? I suspect they checked my possessions, but I doubt they could read Cethran’s writing or my own. But her folio is dangerous!)


Pulling out the book surreptitiously, he inspects the cover.




(… What?)


The cover that should be plain leather is now a deep black of an unknown texture with spiraling purple accent swirls.

Simple glyphs appear on the front.




Codex Rantilius.

Opening the bound book reveals no letters within. Neither Cethran’s nor his own words remain, only blank pages stretching to eternity.

With no folio.


Shoving the book back into his jerkin, Adris stares at himself in the mirror.

Shaking as his mind awakens to changes, he notices…




The boy reflected in the mirror wears a black mask with a sigil engraved into it…


(It’s the Emperor’s sigil. Hidden under the silver the whole time.)


… and he stares in horror at his own reflection, bright, red eyes gazing back as…






Blinking rapidly, Adris leans in closer.

Red eyes are set in the mask, their viewpoint the same as his vision.


(What the fuck!?)


Bringing his finger up to pull his eyelid, Adris is shocked to find the redness isn’t caused by swelling or an injury.

Instead, Adris’ irises have turned blood red in color.


(This is so terribly out of hand. Which evil thing is responsible for this? The Emperor, the thing hiding the terror of beyond, or…?)


A laughing monster disguised as a girl with golden hair?




“Neesiette, matters before we leave remain.”

Adjusting his expression to be impeccable, he arrogantly regards the smaller girl.

“… Be this the case? What matters remain?” Though not suspicious, Neesiette seems put off.


(ANYTHING I WANT TO DO TAKES PRECEDENCE! Fuck off! Ah… oh, perfect!)


“A book within the study contains information I deem important to transcribe. Having lacked a chance before due to… circumstances…”

Glancing at the jangling kobold who is silently chuckling to herself, Neesiette follows his gaze. Huffing after…

“One must remember that little time remains. To information one deems important, this lady shall defer.”


“… Um…?”

Brought to a muted voice, an elf slithers closer while looking as meek and guilty as a lamb who murdered its brother.

Flinching at the nearness of his other bedtime partner, her smell is just as memorable as Kol’s.

“Do… Dooo… D-do you need… help copying things?”

Immediately trying to assist him as she grips her hands tightly, a shaking smile goes along with it.


“… Ah, no. The language will be… unlikely to be understood by anyone but me?”

Unsure what lie to offer, he moves off.


“Eh? Adris knows a lot of languages of Zennia? I thought you weren’t from…? Eh? O-okay!?”

Ignored completely and looking sad for it, he angles away from her toward Still on the way to the door.


{More scheming~? Need help… or do I secretly fit somewhere into this one, too?}

Hidden signs stab into him, even if they’re polite.


(That’s a little icy!)


Grinding his teeth, he recalls that he and Still have yet to discuss their “arrangement’s” odd ending. Though she makes no effort to harm him, he’s unsure of their long-term cooperation.

He swallows hard at that, no certainties present regarding his safety.


(Wanting me healthy isn’t the same as backing me. She’s hot and cold? I might have blown-)


A slip of parchment enters his hands as he coincidentally “bumps” into her.


Hurrying through the door and controlling his expression, he sees…





Sitting in the chair, Adris begins aligning his disjointed thoughts. A book lies on the desk before him.


(Odd that Neesiette didn’t ask to help, considering her nature. I assume she understands that I am doing something… of a personal nature.)


Looking to the door, a softly humming talisman is pasted next to it. With it activated, he doesn’t even feel the presence of the mansion, as distant as it ever is. Having already tested his shadow with the cross, he is reasonably alone.


(… Still doesn’t hate me? She’s such an… odd girl. I would be absolutely livid if someone pulled the shit that I did in the investiture. She probably remembers I called to the darkness, so why is she helping? Does she approve of “results”, even if the way of getting there is wrong?)


Opening the book, he reconfirms a missing orange girl.


(Where did it go? Did she… “die”? No, the book is called Rantilius. Would that not be…?)


Tapping the table, Adris suddenly has a premonition.


(You stupid girl! If it’s you, I bet you’re just waiting for…)


“… By my authority as one’s master, bearing the book named Rantilius, respond to the one who holds you.”

With the dubious and cringeworthy words spoken…


The page currently open begins to darken at its borders. Ink appears from the edges, swirling towards the center and forming into glyphs. From these glyphs…


[Kukuku… the one that claims to be my master finally dares to try to contact this unknowable existence? Should he not know by now, that all claims of allegiance and supremacy would ring hollow after meeting the end of certain-?]


Closing the book with a slam, Adris starts fishing in his kit for something. Pulling out a spark stone and iron striker, he starts gathering loose parchment from around the room.

Placing it under the arrogant book, he lines up the striker.

“Well, now that I’ve confirmed that you’re not going to obey, it’s time to do the world a favor and send you back to the other side, right Rantil?”


Playfully striking against the stone and making a few sparks overhead, he lets the music of her future demise sing for a minute or so.

Setting his tools down, he reopens the book.


[This Rantil deeply apologizes for offending… Adris.]

“No, no. I prefer the loving name you gave to me beforehand.”

[Kuuu! Rantil… Rantil can’t use that title! Ummm… don’t you remember why!?]


(Why shouldn’t you refer to me as what I am…?)


The page turns on its own, revealing the next one which is illuminated with gold.




[You shall never rule another, save yourself. Others shall seek…] …


The accusations of a hateful old man are listed in Xin’el imperial script that powerfully fill the page.


(AH, FUCK! That was real, wasn’t it!? Oh, what were the rest!?


“No wealth beyond what’s used?”

“No reputation except as a shadow?”

“No being loved except by those who latch on?”


… that damn tyrant!)


“He really cursed me!?”


Having read the page, it flips to the next where words are waiting.


[Yeah, it’s pretty bad, too~? … No, wait…! … Kukuku, the ruler of another world did indeed curse… a Crossbearer? … YES~! Rantil is smart!]

Continuing on her own, the imp who has been turned into a book seems to flit between personalities.

“What happened to you? The last I recall, Cethran… banished you?”


[AH! That annoying old goat! Rantil will definitely see her knocked up!!!


Hmph, ignore the existence of an entity of truthful lies! This one named Rantil fears no death, for secrets live eternally!]

“Have you lost your mind, imp?”

[HNNG! Crossbearer! Get a hint! … The imp before has ceased to be. When in contact with the spiteful glory of the thing between, a Crossbearer obtained a truthful lie of his own. All those who met the originator of this lie have also been changed! … that sounds about right~?]

“Not Rantil? Despite being just as insipid?”

With a look of complete dissatisfaction, Adris converses with a book that is just as annoying as the original girl, only worse now that she can’t distract him with her beauty.


[You’re so mean! But… the Crossbearer secretly thought that the being known as Rantil was sexy. What a fascinating… secret~.]

“Okay, I’m burning you now!”


Closing the book, he sweats while striking the stone.


(The last thing I need is the company of something that can read my mind! BEGONE! … Wait…)


Calming down as he sits there, Adris finally reopens the book.


[Please don’t hurt meeeeee~! Rantil is just doing what she’s supposed to do!? … Kukuku, a Crossbearer seems inordinately fearful of his secrets being exposed, but fret not! A codex named Rantilius can be contained. Its secrets will be yours, so long as one… enters the name of its poss-]

“Not going to happen.”

[WHY!? Rantil is more useful now~! Pleeeeeeease choose Rantil!]


As the book whines at him in print, Adris recognizes the con being worked on him.


“You can’t maintain yourself in this world… without someone holding you, right? You’re a book that exists to curse its owner?”

[Oh, the Crossbearer is pretty smart, yes! Rantil forgot!]

“Given to the flames, you won’t need to worry about a lingering demise.”

[WAITWAITWAITWAIT! Rantil likes the Crossbearer and wants to help!]


(… Likes? Hardly. You just like using me.)


Recalling their fusion together, Rantil immediately tried to overtake him. Going out of his mind with lust and degeneracy, he even joked about breeding Cethran.




[Hm? A secret about having kids? But that was your secret, not Rantil’s. No, maybe it was both~?]

“Shut up! You don’t get an opinion!”


Slamming his hand on the book, he denies those words with his very soul.


[OUCH! Stop! Rantil is just… saying… what is hidden!]

“… Explain. Succinctly.”

[Hiii! … Huh, the Crossbearer cannot suffer a mystery, is it? Kukuku, how wonderful! Rantil also shares this feeling! This wonderful codex exists to discover mysteries and share their… revealed natures…]

“… Wait, you changed forms, which means you’re no longer evil innocence, but something else?”

[Ho, as spoken, this Rantil has ascended to a new standing. Rantil is now… an (Allip)! You have Rantil’s permission to applaud.]

“Control your enthusiasm, book. Remember who I am and my power. What can you do for me?”

[Ahaha, Rantil… likes this sort of Adris~! That refreshing meanness! … No, hm… If the Crossbearer requests knowledge, then Rantil shall demonstrate!]


With the words appearing, the page then turns of its own accord.


Displayed on the next page already fully formed are a multitude of words formed into different areas separated by borders.


The one shown before this book be called Adris fehl Dain. He bears the titles of ‘[True False God] and ‘Younger Brethren of Lycia the Bloodstained Ghoul’. His race be of the people of Xin, of the northern islands. His form be male, and true age of thirty and four.

The occupation of said individual be forsaken titles: Crossbearer, for he carries a fell cross; and ‘Star of Ruin, Cast Down from the Sky Upon a Dying World’, as bespoken by himself.

The Modus of the one is named [Rule in Dark], for it is said that he dwells unobserved between Good and Evil in the shadows they cast…”


“WAIT! Wait a moment! This is all about me!? You know all of this?”

When the book doesn’t respond, Adris glances at the rest of the information, which contains explanations of his abilities, before flipping to the next page tepidly.


[Indeed, Crossbearer. This entity known as Rantil the Allip holds… many such secrets. All available to you…]


“Tell me everything about the four girls outside! All of their secrets! Right now!”


Standing up while gripping the book, he shakes it.


[AH! Stop! Time out! Rantil… Rantil will share her secrets! Just… you gotta… do… a thing for Rantil~.]

“… You.”

Grinding his teeth, he sets the book down. Reaching for the sparkstone…

[Rantil can’t, even if she wanted to!? Please don’t burn Rantil! Rantil really hates fire!]

“Can’t or won’t? Lying or truthful? Smart enough to con me weren’t you, as an imp? I appreciate at least that.”

Condemning the book that refuses to cater to his every need, he wonders how he could stay ahead of her plans to subvert him.


(All dark things… they seek to screw with you, don’t they? Knowing what darkness is, even just a little bit, makes me sick.)


[Ugh, Adris really… doesn’t like Rantil…? Sorry.]


Upon receiving an apology, he recalls how much this girl helped him, even if he forced her to.

Sighing while leaning back, he dwells in his thoughts for a moment.


(She’s going to say…)


Leaning forward again, the “allip” is true to form.


[Yes~! … Huuuu, only the wielder of this book, the one named as its chosen, may know the secrets contained within! To see anothers truths or your own more deeply, a conduit must be established!]

“One that’s useful for you.”

[Meanie! Useful for us both! … As one who once sought the truth, no matter if forced to by an entity older than he, the nature of secrets and how… much they can harm if known by others is something he should appreciate.]

“What? … Oh, if I sign you, then… nobody else can know what you say?”

[Yes, Rantil will… belong only to “master~ and to nobody else. No matter the secret discovered by this codex, only his eyes will witness it.]

“And when you use this to bring my doom?”

[Ahhh, Adris is so untrusting! Rantil understands why, but… like Rantil says, she won’t harm Adris! If Rantil says it, it’s true! The truth! No longer a secret, the real thing!]


Absent a single lie, the book uses unrevealed truths as leverage to tempt him.


(I don’t like this. But I can’t… let anyone to use this girl against me.)


Looking again at the sparkstone as the book forms characters that read [ (; ・ ∀ ・) ], he makes a simple cost/benefit analysis.


(Learning the secrets of others is… far too useful to pass up on. Of course she will… screw me over somehow. “Darkness” makes it certain she has a dual nature. A… contradiction of some kind? Knowing what I do, it is far from totally destructive… my own power, if I indeed have one, is now born of it?)


If she desires to share secrets with others, despite how important such things are, then she’s an ally to be made.


(She will share all secrets without specifying how they can be helpful. And me guessing this is… also a secret, isn’t it, Rantil? Since I can use it against you if I keep silent about it?)


Leaning to view the page with a smile, Adris awaits her downfall.


[… As one understands, a secret is capable of destroying those who learn it; but, the secret does not necessarily imply good or evil as a result of knowing… This is what Adris thinks, anyway~!]


Almost as if she’s blowing a raspberry at him, Adris’ veins throb.


[Rantil is being truthful when she speaks, because Rantil… cannot be untruthful. But Rantil’s… need is not what you secretly feel. Thinking you can understand Rantil so easily… don’t sell her short~.]


“Alright. For that, and for that alone, I apologize. Rantil has always been… more than just what she appears to be. A surprisingly deep girl.”


[… Ummm… Yes, Rantil is like that. Thank you for… noticing.]


(Strangely short. Shouldn’t you be gloating?)


Bringing out his endless quill from Xin, which now seems just as changed as all the rest…


(Why is it a bone wing instead of a feather on the end!? At this point, I’ve so little strength remaining that any sort of aid is needed. At least I have a rapport with this girl.)


“You will never betray me? Destroy me with this pact?”

[Rantil will never betray Adris~! Rantil has a lot of things she wants to do, so this pact is perfect for her!]

“Swear to the dark!”

Offering the only thing that can bind them, he is scared of the proposition of using it again.


[EHH? NO WAY! Rantil isn’t swearing to everyone! Rantil will swear to something way better!

Hoh, this allip named Rantil swears to a black cross that she will not betray the Crossbearer and ever offer truthful secrets! Even if Adris may walk away, Rantil will not!]


At these words, the black cross at his loop belt begins to shake.

Whispers, raving and mad, scratch at Adris’ ears as they echo from the hidden corners of the room.


When they cease, the pages of Rantil’s book all gain a black border with a wavering artistic style that bleeds in from the edges.


“… It can do that? It can… bind others with oaths?”

[Hm? Yes! Rantil has shown a useful secret! … Kukuku, many more await you, noble Crossbearer!]


Flipping to the cover, he signs his name on the back in Xin’el script with a flourish. Looking to the page, he smirks handsomely.

“Pages can be removed. With this, Rantil, you can… never escape from me unless you’re destroyed.”


[… Kyaaa! “Master~” is such a romantic~!

Rantil is falling for you all over again~! ( ˘ ³ ˘)]


“Sh-Shut up, you useless imp! No, useless allip!” Pounding the desk, he grins while next pushing his finger into the page.


“If you’re not burnable trash, then show me the true natures of those girls before some secret of theirs kills me!”


Screaming the words and believing that the humming charm will hide the outburst, the pages begin to turn on their own after he lifts off.

As they come to halfway in the book, he has a hungry feeling in his gut as he reads the esoteric glyphs.


[The one shaped in the form of a snake girl is called Avenalliah Aurmaris. She claims to be a ‘snake elf’. Appearing young, this more than likely reflects her true age. Her powers are said to be ‘Sylvan Calling’, but be this the case?]

With that being all other than a surprisingly realistic image of Ave in her “dramatic elvish flourish” pose, his expression sags.

New words form after reading these.


[The deepest truths are revealed by exchange.




{Fates altered that are ready to inves-WAITWAITWAIT!










Right!? She needs time to… grow into her role…!


t… th… thank… thank you for stopping. Rantil will now explain very quickly…!]


As the pissed off boy stares daggers at the book, Rantil begins outlining all of the mysteries available for viewing.






Name: Adris fehl Dain, “Boss”
Titles: Lycia’s Little Brother, True False God
Race: Xin’El, Emperor’s Child (Human)
Sex: Male
Age: ?? – Young


Occupation: Crossbearer; “Star of Ruin, Cast Down from the Sky Upon a Dying World”
Discipline: [Rule in Dark]



[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!”


[Rule in Dark] – “They will all know my truth.”


[Brainfry] – “You’re still with me, right buddy?”


[Refuse to Kneel] – “Ah, even the Alchemaster can’t make me submit! This is the one that’s saved me all those times!?”


[Tongue of Air and Darkness] – “What’s the difference between this and the old one? Why ‘air’?”


[Conceptual Refusal] – “How the fuck does dominating people’s minds turn into a weird statement like this!?”


[Obscuring Sonjil] – “Man, this thing has gotten pretty strong on Zennia. At first only creating an area of fog, it can now cover a direction? Is something wrong…?”



Disposition: Resilient / Adaptable / Sinner
Alignment: Chaotic

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



Rantil Value – “Even after all of that, Master is still an idiot!”


Attributes by Grade:

Strength – E

Vitality – E

Dexterity – D

Agility – C

Intelligence – D

Mentality – C

Luck – F

Charisma – D


“If you want more, stop being mean to Rantil!”



Cethran Value – “Much the same as before, but isn’t the way you look at others a bit more dashing, now? Forced to open yourself to the world, perhaps the gentleman may grow? That is likely impossible, isn’t it, Adris?”


“Giving yourself to this wolfish girl, are you okay with the monstrous features? Why do I sense that they are positives for you?”

“Having experienced only a taste of her bottomless hunger, is yours the equal? Would it be strange to think that it might be?”

“No longer allowed to sexually assault an imp, where will you find relief? Are you going back to the girl who almost broke you?”



“A boy who is a bit out of place as far as features, he descended from the top of the Castillo to the bottom by pluck, luck, and outrageous lying. Reborn into the world of Zennia, what can be said other than ‘he’s still exactly the same, but different’?”


“The first test of Adris’ new life is… of course proving his ability to ‘help’ his teammates. Luckily for Adris, he seems to have recovered some of that old spirit.”

“Letting go, he rediscovers how to bond with another physically, but at great cost of life and limb.”

“Upon receiving a new life, he realizes how difficult it is to make sense of it.”



“There might be something wrong with a guy whose first thought is to use bullying to obtain an advantage? But I think most people do this…”



Name: “Kol”
Titles: Idiot
Race: ???
Sex: Female?
Age: ???


Occupation: Delver, Frontliner
Discipline: ???






Disposition: Straightforward / Confrontational / Respectful
Alignment: Neutral

Eyes: Pink
Hair: White
Skin: Tanned



Rantil Value –

Attributes by Grade:

Strength – C

Vitality – C

Dexterity – E

Agility – F

Intelligence – F

Mentality – C




Cethran Value – “Are you attracted to rampaging metal? Though in your case, you appreciate the voice, don’t you? Do you long to see more? If she reminds you of a certain someone, then…?”


“Having seen her true self, are you disappointed? While not the same level of beauty as Neesiette and lacking the elegant innocence of Ave, Kol is much more womanly in her own way, isn’t she?”

“The fact that she is beautiful… doesn’t it have little to do with how sacrificial you might be forced to become to obtain it?”



“Brash and forthright, a warrior wielding an axe with two hands forsakes protection to deliver only harm. Contrary to this impression, she also seems interested in a straight up fight. If her words are any indication, she offers little thought to her actions.”


“Because she believes ‘might makes right’ in her own way, she seems ready to also assume that ‘strong makes pleasurable’.”

“Because strength and pleasure are often together, she has learned nothing from the experience other than believing Adris possesses both.”



“Hopefully people still like Kol?”



Name: Still
Titles: Puddle
Race: Human?
Sex: Female
Age: Young Lady


Occupation: Delver, Trickster/Outfighter
Discipline: ???






Disposition: Playful / Sadistic / Skulking
Alignment: Chaotic

Eyes: ???
Hair: ???
Skin: ???



Rantil Value –

Attributes by Grade:

Dexterity – C

Agility – C

Intelligence – C




Cethran Value – “Do you really think it’s not obvious? What she possesses is what you’ve missed all your life, yes? Breasts and curves… are these not a new fruit for you to taste?”


“Being spared thoughts of your survival being a good thing, if Still spared you after recognizing what you were doing, then perhaps she is beautiful underneath, too?”

“A girl who goes out of her way to reinforce her allure, isn’t she a fine woman?”



“A mute girl who says much with gestures, she also has more going on than she seems to. Though not outwardly aggressive, there’s an atmosphere of danger about her. Opposite of Kol, hers is subtle… Yet, she also can protect others. Given to acrobatics, it matches with her dark, but flamboyant, colors.”


“A girl that can recognize something going wrong, the fact that Adris was allowed to remain with the four means that she has a plan, doesn’t it?”

“Helping Adris, it cannot be said whether this is a plot of her own or a genuine willingness to let bygones be bygones.”



“I want to get back to sexy scenes with her. She can get into interesting positions.”



Name: Neesiette vera Luna
Titles: “Moon”
Race: Lunamata
Sex: Female
Age: ???

Occupation: Delver, Mystic
Discipline: ???





[“Brings An End”] – “Would the title not signify its use?”


Disposition: Impassive / Calculating / Curious
Alignment: Ordered

Eyes: Pale Violet
Hair: Amber
Skin: Pale White



Rantil Value –

Strength – F

Agility – E

Intelligence – B

Mentality – C




Cethran Value – “First imps, and now short girls? This is certainly becoming a pattern, isn’t it? Though you might not fare badly with a girl as beautiful as this, yes? Though she’s a little perfect, doesn’t she seem oddly demure?”


“The first thing you do is hug another young girl (in appearance)? Is this becoming an illness?”

“Abandoned as you were by her, does that cause you to feel more or less attracted? Not receiving her attention… does that entice you to try harder?”



“An otherworldly existence, she wears clothing that doesn’t fit with the Castillo. With mannerisms quite distinct from all others, even the girls she travels with seem incomparable to her uniqueness. Yet, she definitely seems to be in charge…?”


“Once she accepts someone, she is capable of gifting kindness. To offer to take care of Adris, that is more kindness than a man like him deserves.”

“Accepting someone isn’t the same as letting their weaknesses be forgiven without end.”



“Team mom, it’s hard to get her alone. I’m looking forward to romantic scenes for her, so that people can appreciate her character.”




Name: Avenalliah Aurmaris
Titles: Lustful Lizard, Elf
Race: Elf
Sex: Female
Age: Young

Occupation: Delver, Scared Girl
Discipline: ???





Disposition: Joyful / Impressionable / Cowardly
Alignment: Neutral

Eyes: Crystal Green
Hair: Moss Green
Skin: White



Rantil Value –

Strength – C

Dexterity – C

Intelligence – C

Mentality – F




Cethran Value – “While not possessing your newly favorite curves, isn’t a girl with a naive charm also fine? Because she covers so little, you are also left without having to imagine what you could possess, yes?”


“To be scared of the armored girl’s sexual antagonism, would the pieces as to ‘why’ not be able to be lined up, now?”

“In the end, she is still a cute girl, yes? Listening to her sleep before you went out yourself, is this the sort of girl that you could grow to cherish?”



“As cheerful as she is skittish, Avenalliah fits an unknown position within the four delvers’ group. Though she carries a large sack, that would hardly count as a position… right?”


“While saying nothing, her body language accurately conveys how much danger Adris is in.”

“Wanting to be helpful… is still far from being so.”



“I think I might be making her look too useless? I think the next part fixes that.”





Codex Rantilius – “Best girl is back? But what is the nature of a book that claims to want to share all secrets? Isn’t being too generous dangerous?”



Chapter 41         Table of Contents          Chapter 43