Take Up the Cross – Chapter 48: Ancient Enmity

Why does everyone betray Echo!?”


The heartfelt question is one that Adris knows the answer for, but he refuses to speak it.


(People betray you because they can. While you’re useful and needed, that’s not the same as being beloved. Even if I call them manipulators… it’s what I do, too. My anger stems from one thing…)


If they hadn’t chosen Kol and Neesiette to menace, these twin sisters could’ve easily been worked with to Adris’ own benefit.

But a girl named Echo doesn’t understand the order of the world.


“Dispensed with them sufficiently? Then let us proceed.”



A slight girl stands when her bonds loosen and fall off her. The males still surrounding her, too surprised by the events transpiring to remember to restrain a prisoner, now focus on a turquoise light that grows in intensity at the end of her crackling rod.

Held above her head as she stares impassively at them, the boom of an expanding force cage that forms around her suppresses their tortured howls. Flung away with velocity sufficient to kill, they’re rendered unconscious as they bounce off stone.


Freed of all captors, she immediately trots towards Adris.


“Lest the situation degrade further, be away we should to join the others. They be not defeated, no matter how temporarily cowed by a boy’s… actions.”


He already has his cross out, though, getting ready to slam it into their thick heads.


(I can end this right— what?)


But even as they still linger in achieved pleasure, their eyes are filled with danger.


Whipping the nearby Neesiette up, he sprints away at full speed, narrowly avoiding a pillar of flames temporarily springing up around the two sisters.

Furious now, they share silent looks as they sit up, conveying information in a way only twins can.


(That feeling never left! And this is why! Daunted, but not defeated. … Can I defend against diffuse magic like waves!?)


Even if his team has arrived, the battle is yet to conclude. Rape was only a single contest in the larger combat.

A boy’s heart is still ensnared.


“Boss, fight Kindle and Chill? Both seem kinda stronger.”

Taking up point in front of Adris, the white-furred bruiser with a score to settle unfortunately looks tired. With black Vigor evaporating from her armor with the passing of time, even if wounds heal she cannot recover endurance.


“They’re nothing compared to me, but… they are—”

“Inherently weak, be they. Such that it be painful to watch them ply ignorance as wonderment.”


Interrupting Adris, a small girl jumps from his grip and produces a thin, silver rod with a finely carved tip. Walking to stand before Kol, Neesiette’s ambitions aren’t understood at first.


But the twins ahead step back upon witnessing her advance.

“Che, this shitty doll. She thinks she’ll get the better of us again!?”

“… Impossible. Chill has things she needs to do. … A boy can’t remain free after putting us through that.”

“Got that right, at least! Ah, Echo!”


Calling back, Kindle looks disturbed by the visage of the girl she denied as being in charge.

“Hey! That boy was manipulating us! He’s way more dangerous than we thought! Everything he is, is… a lie and a deceit!”

Putting a hand to her naked breasts, she “begs” Echo to help.

“Nothing of what went on was… us! Just a con by him! We’ve always been there for—!”


“… Echo isn’t stupid. Listening to everything these two say all the time, Echo still got the subtle stuff! Knew Echo was just being talked down to! Knew Chill and Kindle never wanted her over Scurry… but she thought [Red Tide] at least was important! That Echo was… needed and wanted, not just a thing to throw in front of the others to distract!

They’re just… always just scheming!”




Nakedly revealed as they are, both physically and personality-wise, Chill and Kindle receive no support from their once puppet.


“Echo did everything asked of her! Putting up with… this!”

Pointing her masterfully crafted and engraved bell at the two, Adris notes that Echo’s face is slick with sweat. Exhausted as well, bags under her eyes and lines on youthful skin show the toll using it takes.


“It’s… it’s not like that!”

“Chill isn’t just using Echo…”

Full of false friendliness, the two witches skulk back to Echo, trying to calm her.




While they do that, the tension surrounding Adris becomes a more pressing concern. Kneeling to rouse her, Ave’s eyes are exhilarated and the despair drains from her at seeing a familiar face overhead.


“Adris!? You’re safe!”

Pulling him into a hug, he’s drawn on top of a gleeful elf maid.




Despite their normal relationship, the terror faced sends Ave into being overly grabby. Finally releasing him from her bizarrely strong arms, the moment grows awkward as the closeness is finally confronted.

Flashing fangs as she grimaces, she then smiles painfully.


“I just… was… um…”

“It’s… good to see you again. You did exactly what I asked of you. Thanks for retrieving Still and Kol.”

“Hm!? Right! When they got tired, I told them what was happening! There’s no way I’d leave a friend hanging— ging… ging… eeehhh!?”

Looking underneath Adris, Ave starts quivering as he rises up from her.




A still slick penis has been rubbing against her skirt this whole time, only noticed now. Unable to hide it, this purely exhibitionist sight causes Ave to…


(Well, that didn’t last long.)


… completely freeze, mutely moving her lips as she stays locked onto its sight.




Standing back up after, Adris lets Kol hoist Ave up by her bodysuit, the kobold clicking her tongue at her friend. While the young elf keeps muttering “rub… rub…”, everyone else is quiet as the group confers for the first time since their break.


Mute as always, a battered lover of shadows saunters up quietly. With one arm clutching across her breasts, the other languidly holds a sword still ready to pierce into Kol’s heart. Less damaged than Kol, her clothing is still nicked and sliced, with the largest gash being where an axe empowered by unknown energies slammed into her. Her black mesh appears worn, yet still covers her.

Completely neutral in tone, a mask with hairline fractures spreading out from a large chip in it does nothing to hide the intense feelings Adris senses from her gaze. Avoiding looking at anyone, yet still ever watchful, this girl even ignores Neesiette’s expression of disappointment.

Kol, in turn, has her axe in a low chamber, eagerly prepared to bring it up to chop straight through Still. Bearing numerous wounds, Still’s expertise in opening up smaller wounds with larger additions has left Kol breathing heavily, even now.


Whatever occurred after Adris left, the combat did not conclude with a clear winner.

Ave meekly joins Neesiette instead of trying to console either fighter, receiving a curious blink from the girl who should be her arch-nemesis.


With all eyes on Adris, the silence cannot endure forever, especially with Echo and the twins’ bickering soon to end one way or another.




(I can’t fix this. Both are wrong.)


Kol went crazy, physically harming the one girl who can both keep up with and fight alongside her. Out of sheer disregard for others, her selfishness alone could’ve defeated the party had Still been brought down by kobolds taking advantage of Kol’s attack.

But Still is no better. Understandably angry, the ambush she launched at Kol was not born of just that. The pure satisfaction she felt in trying to end her rival was the true driving force, with Kol’s antics only an excuse to indulge.


(Both are right, too. I can already guess what their excuses will be. If I’m forced to pick a side, the other will hate me forever. They both act like cowards, unable or unwilling to settle their differences except when one has the upper hand.)


Coughing, Adris gains their attention.




(Well, deceit it is, then.)


“Good work, Still.”




“… Wh-what!?” Kol’s cry is immediate, but the look of astonishment on everyone’s faces, except for Still’s, is the selling point of what is to come.

“‘Good work’!? Puddle, backstab Kol! Say good!? Boss, hate Kol, huuuuuh!?”


Turning her hatred to Adris, Kol shuffles closer.


“Kol, stop, Adris is just… confused!?”

“Be still, Kol, allow time—”

With Ave latching onto her, Neesiette hangs from Kol’s axe as she also tries to placate the juggernaut who is once more outraged.


“What are you saying, Kol? You played your part perfectly, too.”

“… Huh?”


Sweeping his cross dramatically, the look on Adris’ face is one of amusement. As though he predicted all events that have transpired…




“Though she hardly enjoyed the role I requested of her, Still performed it without error. Causing ‘dissent’ within the group so that my ‘capture’ would appear uncalculated, was this not the best way to infiltrate the enemy’s stronghold?”

“… Oh?”


Instantly calming, Kol’s pink eyes burn as she moves them between Adris and Still. Feeling that there is something hidden, her tail wags as she tries to comprehend.


“Huh!? You got caught on purpose!? … Uwah… That’s… actually daring!?”

Hands to her face, Ave looks amazed, but also impressed.

“Just like Lalafinya of the Green Gaze, master of forest trickery!? Lulling the hideous orcs into arrogance during their attack on Myth Losse, aiming to defeat their leader from within the thick of the horde!? How romantic~!”

Gushing as she recounts some story known only to her, Ave is sold immediately on the fabrication.


“Puddle… just… do what Boss say?”

“Of course. I determined the best time to set this gambit into motion, even with the limited information I had. How strange, Kol, that you never mentioned this tribe was yours? It made it difficult for Still and I to pull this off…


… Isn’t that right, partner?”


All eyes turn to Still, who has yet to move.


With her hidden gaze locked on Adris, she then jerks her head to look at Neesiette and Ave, before moving to Kol.




But only a moment of confusion exists for a clever girl.


{Ahahaha, sorry, guys. It was just the kind of thing only I could pull off~. We’d have told you, but nobody here can really act~. Truth be told, it wasn’t easy… even for me.}

Hand gestures fluid and unburdened, she acts both embarrassed and proud.


“Nuh!? … Really? Boss and Puddle… pull one over on Kol!?”




Letting go completely of her hatred, Kol now is pissed at having been excluded.


“Ah, I knew it…” Relieved, Ave’s face beams like sunshine. “You guys might fight, but there’s no way Still would act like that for real! Even if Kol is annoying, Still is too good of a person to do that~.”

“HUH!? How, Kol, annoying!? Elf, explain.”

“EEeeh!? Kol, I didn’t mean it like that!”


Only Adris can detect how painfully Still flinches at the faith showed by Ave, held even after seeing part of Still’s true self displayed with such passion.

Nobody present asks for Neesiette’s opinion, which is probably for the best. With bright violet eyes full of disbelief shifting between Adris and Still, she is not fooled for a moment.


“… How daring, a plan developed and carried out with such secrecy.”

“It was a plan born of trust, something I hold in all of you.”


Nodding her head slowly, the doll returns to gaze upon their enemy, who are still bickering. The girl who sees through his bullshit is far too kind to destroy a lie that intends to save, rather than harm.


As Kol menaces her green-haired minion, Still remains unmoving, followed by her body shifting nervously… until a hidden hand makes gestures.




{… That’s it? No… “advantages” you’re… aiming for…? Wouldn’t now be the time for it?}


Nodding subtly, Adris offers a winning smile.

“Though there were some minor mistakes, the trust I hold grows every time I’m proved right by the competency everyone shows and how they focus on the right values.”

“Oh, Boss believed in Kol, too? Kakaka, beat crap out of Puddle and tribe, all at once! Show, Kol and Boss, the best together!”


Jubilant at the carnage, Kol boasts about her accomplishments while Ave just softly whines in fear of the memory.



… thank you.}


Unable to motion at first, Still finally gets a single gesture out, before walking up to join Neesiette.




(“Advantages”? Still, you just don’t get me. You’ll never see my real plans coming, not even a hint. This isn’t about me, though… it’s about you understanding how we have to support each other.)


The time to reign everyone in, especially Still, is relegated to the future.

Though he brushes it all under the rug for now…


(This is the last time you four leave me hanging. I see exactly what lengths I’ll need to go to to fix all of you. But, first… time for some delicious revenge!)




“We can still beat them! Ring the bell and call back everyone downstairs—!”

Do it yourselves. I’ll ring for you two to fight. Let’s see what powerful magic wielders can do, always pointing out how important both Chill and Kindle are.

Want Scurry so much? Go greet her.”

Echo’s soft voice is equal parts resignation and petty rage.


“Kindle, attention.”




With five people approaching, the end has come.


“As I said, knowing that you’re going to lose, surrendering to me is always preferable to uselessly resisting.”

Smirking while gloating, Adris stands behind his shields.


“This… shitty human is the one responsible, Chill! … After you, of course!”

“It was Kindle’s plan, originally. Fine, we’ll just beat them.”


Despite admissions of “affection” coming out, the two sisters still fight each other. Sexual attraction and avarice are much different from familial warmth, though the two seem more in sync, even as they’re backed into a corner.


(And they’re still powerful!)


Having fought them already, Adris fears for another group battle dissolving into chaos.




“Let us proceed to the conclusion of two idiots’ mirrored dance, locked as they be in self-love.”

Neesiette scoffs as she raises her silver rod.


“Idiot!? A doll got captured by a rope. Hah! Chill, let’s show her the power gained from making good deals with strong people~!”

“Agreed, the Alchemaster’s arcane wisdom is far more impressive than the blathering of a girl who uses no magic.”




Standing side-by-side, the girls launch into tight dances, their breasts jiggling as they twirl once, before glowing, gem-encrusted hands shoot skyward.


“[Fire Up the Soul]!”

“[Steal All Hope].”


While heat haze and mist springs up from the two sisters to recreate the environmental effects that Adris barely survived…




“Indescribably dull:


{rebind, location 54, catalyst -> joinder, insert full module -FROM- Designation Source: Degraded Art -> Elemental Drawing(Inherent/Impromptu) -> Fire/Water Combination.


Substitute and Execute -> [Pseudo-Art = Antipode: Undefined]}.”


A shining silver rod draws unknown glyphs in the air, which then exponentially spread into more glyphs formed from the lines that made up the originals. Pointed at the girls’s magic, what weaves around them begins to mutate as the air distorts rapidly.

Though Adris understands the innumerable words spoken, the actual sounds coming from her mouth are too fast to distinguish.




Still smiling, the twins fail to notice that the mist and heat haze have begun to gather directly above their heads instead of flowing outward.

Swirling towards a brightly glowing and growing core, this white orb causes the ground itself to start shaking as they lift their heads to stare in awe.




“… Chill, what is that?”

“Chill doesn’t kn—”




Before she can finish, the orb expands once before contracting as a sound like steam escaping whistles…


Adris is temporarily blinded by the flash that begins when the orb cracks with black lines running through it, releasing light exceeding the torch-like sun’s rays.




Only Neesiette’s shaking barrier prevents them from being consumed by the detonation.

Ave’s shrill screaming can only be heard after the ringing in his ears stops being all Adris can hear. Stumbling from the concussion given, Still’s arm keeps him upright through the tremors, though she hardly fares better.


Hair whipping in the mushroom cloud-like dust explosion that begins to spread, Neesiette’s noble form against her cracking barrier is now a source of dread for him.




Lowering both rods, she sighs.


“Trivially easy it be to substitute a joinder between two ill-defined catalysts. Utilizing only the most basic expression of intent be “sorcery’s” downfall. For what reason would one fail to properly construct solid theorems, instead letting one’s mental pathways substitute approximated rubbish that be easily converted to appropriate instructions by one’s enemy? No matter how swift it be to construct by brute force, one must surely understand—

Why do four people stare at this lady with such apprehension?”


With only confusion registering in her scholarly manner, Neesiette seems put off.




(Because you just blew everything up.)




In addition to sending Chill and Kindle flying into opposing walls of the hallway, much of the area has vanished. With golden Vigor sprayed out from their crash point, the two girls are absolutely defeated, their bodies at first perfectly black before the charred flesh sloughs off in golden flakes, leaving their figures immaculate.

All of the chairs have been scraped clean along with some of the floor, and flung into the nothingness beyond the edge of oblivion.


Adris cannot bring himself to approach Neesiette, even though he feels compelled to manipulate her in the hope that she’ll never repeat this again.




“… This is your… Art, Neesiette?”

“Art? How vulgar. Only manipulation of the degenerate magic two overbearing tricksters purported to have mastered be this. How can one claim to have mastered what has destroyed oneself, as demonstrated?

This lady posits that such mastery be not in evidence, and thus such claims must be discounted out of hand.

Agree with such an informed assessment, would you?”



Coughing into his hand as the dust spreads…


“ST-ST-STUPID DOLL! You could’ve blown us all to pieces!” Ave hisses into Neesiette’s face, getting right up into it as she points indignantly at her flat chest.

“This lady left nothing to chance. As was demonstrated, she be perfectly capable of defending against the result of a calculated—”

“SHUT UP! NEVER DO THAT AGAIN! I’ll bite you on the face if you try that— GYAH!? Now you’re hitting meeeee!?”



When Neesiette slaps Ave in the face with a rod to shut her up, the snake elf loses her mind and grabs the magical fiend, gnawing on the doll’s head after hoisting her off the ground.


“This lady be incapable of experiencing pain. A lizard’s attack only further reinforces everyone’s understanding of the pointless of her exist—”



Kol intervenes, with the three of them fighting for control. Adris realizes…


“I see, everyone is a bit more hopeless than I’d anticipated.”

{It’s rather rude to not explicitly exclude me from that statement.}

“I would think that understood, of course.”


(You’re obviously the most competent, just also the hardest to manage.)




With the dust naturally clearing by airflow, the kobold’s constructions are also mostly leveled. Throne mysteriously spared, the carpets are alight, with the only standing person left other than Adris’ team being…




“What… what… what…?”


Pointing a silver bell at them, only the space in a “V” shape behind Echo’s shaking body is spared.


(Shit! That bell is like the cross!? Wait, does that mean I could’ve blocked that!?)


But the bell appears worse for wear, its edges chipped and with cracks running through its shell.


“Scurry is… with powerful people, huh…? Abandoned us to go find others…”

Fleeing from the throne, Echo is pursued by Kol.

“Yep. Kol, left. Found ‘real strength’.” A solemn voice answers the accusation, with zero shame apparent.

“And what about us!? Scurry has no idea what Echo and the others had to do to keep things going! Things we’ve… been forced to do!

To give up… The others worked because they were afraid of Scurry, but after…!”


“So what?”

Cackling briefly, Kol spares no empathy.

“… so what?”

“Right, Kol’s question.” When Echo is cornered against rubble, Kol pauses for a moment, leaning on her axe.

“Kol, try get others, improve. Huh, then notice: everyone only follow Kol, because Kol do all work.

Kol, fight Alchemaster’s goons.

Kol, force sneaks in tribe, stop steal.

Kol, make Chill and Kindle follow orders.

Kol, put up with Stalker when tempt Kol into bend over… no, that okay. Stalker not bad, mating fine, just… always desperate with him.


Right, Stalker, works. Tries. Sometimes.”


Speaking more than normal, Kol’s thoughts on the past start filling in more details for Adris.


(As I thought, just like Echo, the whole tribe was relying solely on Kol’s successes.)


“But they couldn’t do it without Scurry! Just like they couldn’t without Echo! Scurry could keep it going, but why couldn’t Echo!?”

Screaming at the shorter girl, this once leader of a tribe of kobolds in service to the Alchemaster was granted her own area in the Castillo. Losing it, she tries to understand why she failed.


“Easy. Echo, not strong, just needy.”


“Echo, just imitate Kol. So, when try be Kol, others use her.”


Shutting up, Echo looks at the ground while shaking.


“Right, Echo never actually want, be in charge. Just do, because Kol did. Echo just… try please.”

“Echo isn’t like Scurry! Echo hates Scurry!”

“Hah, Echo, also bad liar. Kol, better liar back then.”


Surrounded by all present, this girl is no longer frightened, only ashamed. Tears in her eyes match with her dragging tail.

Growling, Kol yells.


“If only that, fine! But Echo, only one huge, biggest mistake! Choose Alchemaster!? Kol, told Echo: ‘hate, fear, avoid, run, but never, ever serve’!”


“We had no choice! It was do it or starve!” Clutching her chest, she denies responsibility.

“Chill, Kindle, they said that ‘the Alchemaster can show us a better path’! After we accepted, everything got better: food, weapons, clothes, shelter, even the chance to take what we wanted! All we have to do is…!”




“Give everything up, make Echo and tribe into something worth hating.”

A steely voice cuts her down, followed by a snort.

“Alchemaster, cause all problems. Give her what she wants, just make easier to harm tribe.”


Picking up a piece of debris, Echo hurls it at Kol. Not bothering to move, it smashes on her helmet, bouncing off and doing no damage.

“SCURRY, RAN AWAY! People only feared Echo once she could promise the Alchemaster would hurt them!

That’s real power! Power to be feared!”


“Hah, so stupid. Power: not yours, hers. Echo, puppet, both ways: Kindle and Chill, and Alchemaster.”

“… No! Scurry is always strong… She never would understand! She doesn’t even care! If Scurry cared, she…!”


Throwing more debris at Kol’s feet, the troubled girl starts crying.




“She wouldn’t have left Echo behind!? Echo would’ve left, too! Scurry just vanished!”


(Somehow, I doubt Kol simply abandoned you. Likely, those twins have been feeding lies and half-truths about Kol, and misinformed praise about your successes. You have to explain that, though, Kol!)


Realizing that things are getting worse instead of better, Adris wonders if he should intervene…


“Tribe not understand, need change. Too dumb.” A brickheaded hypocrite says something ridiculous.


Scurry is the stupid one! After Scurry lost in the halls to that thing, she became a moron!

Too brutal!

Just a thug!

Scurry was so cool before, the best! Then she put on armor and ran out to fight things, instead of hiding to ambush!?


How can she do that when we can’t!? Scurry demands we invade, but how!? Of course they turned on Scurry when she said those things!”


Arms crossed, Kol is at a loss. Too much has transpired to calm Echo down.

“Kol, attention and care be needed with one’s words. Provide understanding, and one my be understood.”

Patting Kol’s arm, the girl groans.

“Kol, can’t explain. Words, not there. Feelings, too much. Difficult.”


Cackling, Kol pounds her chest, before pointing at Adris.

“… Echo, don’t try, rope Kol again. Kol, found future. Not live in past or failure!


Kol now, [Kol fehl Dain]!

Better tribe, better way!


Good Boss found. Just give up, Echo. Try again outside Castillo, instead of act like loser.”


“Eh!? Kol, you can’t call yourself that! Names don’t work like you think!?” Ave immediately tries to explain while patting Kol’s helmet, as Neesiette stares in dismay and Still slaps her mask.


{Shit like this is why I stab her, partner. In the vain hope it might fix her if all the stupid leaks out.}


(I get that, but you can’t! The fuck? You aren’t my wife, Kol! Also: worst possible thing to say!)


Going from bad to worse, the ghastly pale expression of the emotionally butchered Echo calms.

“… Fine, Echo get it. Abandoned. Worthless. Echo, understands.

Fine, will do it herself, just like Scurry always says.”


Completely losing her rage, Kol’s former tag along finds a new source of inspiration. Cross raised, Adris knows something has changed that adds to the danger.


His heart has never, after all, unbound.




“Echo will use a secret weapon~!”

A mad smile comes to the handsome girl’s face, with her dark-blue eyes shining at the plot she’s hatched.




“Stop her!”


Yelling too late, a cloud of smoke that erupts from Echo’s clenching hand completely obscures her. Still’s dirk flies through, clattering off debris before Still leaps forward to give pursuit.


(More kobold tricks!)


But a ringing sound deafens everyone before they can further act.

With it, there is a rumbling and cracking from within the kobolds’ former home.






With the cross raising of its own accord, darkness blows out from it in the direction of the rumbling.




Wood bursts and debris flies, as Still leaps back out of the smoke cloud to avoid a slashing, long, multi-colored sword shaped like closed shears of immense size. Appearing to be made of stained glass like the Alchemaster’s windows, its non-uniform nature is aberrant.


With Still pulling back behind Kol, the kobold champion strides forward, before flinching and yielding a bit.

“NNH!? Feel like… [slayer]! Everyone, ready!”




Answering Kol’s warning, the closed shears shoot forward while mechanically extending, opening wide to bisect her. Bracing with her arms raised, her vambraces absorb the shrieking glass’ impact before the shears retract.

So vicious that even the resolute Kol is stunned by it, her crushed vambraces demonstrate the power of the esoteric weapon.


(It can slash and snip!?)



Ave answers the call to arms while shivering, her whip lashing out with imprecise skill. But, the figure revealed by the slash doesn’t move.




His naked, insanely muscular body simply accepts it.

Raking across his chest, neon-red Vigor sprays out, along with shards of stone. Still partially clad in gray stone that crumbles off of him, this man wearing only a black, horned barbute, covered in what look like pasted-on ritual scrolls, stares at those assembled before him.

Flexing his perfect pecs and bronzed skin, red eyes burn in the dark depths of his helmet, yet it’s shock that fills his voice.




“How weird, man. Is this an ~INCIDENT~? Can Castillo things happen when you’re at [Slayer’s Call]? Teleported here, maybe? I didn’t even finish my ale.”

A deep voice rolls out as the man looks around, a hand raised over his eyeslit as he inspects the location he’s arrived at.

“Wait, isn’t this where those sexy kobolds dragged me after I fell and got busted!? Oh, this is my last ~LOST AMBITION~! A little broken though, maybe the ~STORY’S~ fault? Where are the blue-and-red-eyed babes at!? I’ve never seen two fine ass girls fight so hard over me!”


Moving his eight-foot-tall body like he’s spazzing out, his dick whips as he circles while looking for them.

Both muscular beyond rational logic and sporting a huge cock, the twins’ interest is explained.


(This is a slayer?)


“They’re not here? And neither is my gear!? Damn, did someone ~REVIVIFY~ the ~STATUE OF MEMORY~!? Is the ~INCIDENT~ these five? They’re…?”

Eyes turning back to the team, the burning flames narrow as they examine the girls.




“… Greetings. If you’re thinking of doing anything to these girls, you’d better reconsider. If not, then no opposition will be found with us.”

Towering over the girls (or trying to), Adris warns off the first active slayer he’s met.


(Too dangerous! Go away!)


“Hm? A ~PEON~ of the [Alkem] trying not to start shit or rape me? Weird! Or is this the ~STORY~?

Man, I wish Castile was here. He always loves this ~LORE~ shit. I got no idea what to talk about when I can understand them, much less how to be ~TRUE TO ONE’S NATURE~!”


(What are these words!? The cross isn’t interpreting anything!)


Scratching his balls, the tall man eyes Kol more closely, before growing alarmed.

“Huh!? You’re… nah, couldn’t be, right? Yeah, no way.”

Terribly frightened for a moment, he calms with his hand put to his chest. Turning from Kol to Ave…

“Ah, but she’s cute. Definitely could go for a pretty lamia (SNAKE WOMAN TEMPTRESS), even if she looks young. They’re rare, after all! … But why’s she wearing an elvish hair ornament?”



“Desist, savage.”

Pointing her sparking rod at the slayer, Neesiette stands in front of the unsettled Ave to shield her.

“OH! A feisty, pale halfling (SHORT, ANNOYING HUMANOIDS WHO ARE TOO HAPPY) mage!? Kinda wimpy, even for one. That’s not bad, though. Halflings are spunky!” Congratulating her, the giant of a pervert with a chiseled body starts forward.




“I probably can’t last long without gear, so I guess I have fun before I wipe?

Let’s get ready to rumble.”




Whipping his gigantic shears around in the air like they’re a small stick, the man begins to glow with dark-green flames burning from his muscles, which expand as if filling with more beef.

Arteries and veins become visible as the man’s blood glows.

Red eyes become pools of rage and lust.


“NURRRRN!? [Constellation of Asterios]!”


(Fuck me! This is how strong he is after the cross acted!?)


Leaving burning footsteps in his wake, this nightmarish ogre exuding the strongest presence Adris has felt since chancing upon the Castillo maid in the hallway closes on five already beaten delvers…




“If one be looking for ‘particular babes’, then should one not discover them there, and there?”

Pointing with two rods, Neesiette calmly identifies the resting places of Chill and Kindle.


“… Whoa? You understand [Castilian]? Wait! REALLY!?”




Air bursts from the man, with the green energy swelling him releasing. Acting like a kid promised candy, the man’s dropped weapon bursts into shattering shards while he rubs his hands together.


“Man, you guys beat them? … Weird ~STORY~. Am I just supposed to rail them, then? 100% reward? No pain for gain?”

“… If one wishes to interpret this as such, then feel encouraged to do so. Incidentally, that one’s name be ‘Chill’, while the other’s be ‘Kindle’. Ample enjoyment with them be wished by this lady. Share pleasant farewells from this lady with them when they awake.”

Neesiette then wills her rods into non-existence, gives a formal curtsy, and moves to stride past the man.




Intercepting Adris’ rush, the giant leers down at the midget boy staring up. An already hardening dick revolts Adris, with it being far too close for comfort.

“Man, weird to see a ~PEON~ here care about another one?”

“They are with me. And I am no mere… peon. Nothing here can claim to be my match.”

“You’re the one that gimped my ~ATTRIBUTES~? Weird flex. Pretty unique ~PEON~ skill. Who you with on this side, bro? West or East? Or you got some in with the Alkem herself?”

Acting completely cordial, even amicable, this weirdo asks impossible questions.




“No one here claims my ownership. Like you, I am…”


(If I say it, how will I prove it?)


“Aaaaahhhh, man, say no more. Got it!” Making an “ok” gesture, the man’s caution completely blows away. “No way, I just about ruined your whole ~TRUE TO ONE’S NATURE~? Sorry.

Ah, you’re probably just like Castile? Method all the way? Man, I couldn’t handle that. Good thing ~PEONS~ can’t understand the [Cant]!”

Laughing at this in-joke only he gets, the man leans down.

“Never seen you at the Call, though? Not a Castillo slayer? One of those traveling foreigners? Bro, tell me later how you’re flying so high with a bunch of high-explosive pussy payload under wing!”

Making a subtle, but highly lewd, gesture towards his cock before pointing at the girls, he earns a sharp look from Adris before the boy can withold it.

“Don’t hate, just saying I respect the load out. The Code is my bro, too, no need to fight over the pickings! After all…”


Bounding gleefully towards a scrap pile, the strange man scoops up a nude kobold.


These delicious short stacks are where it’s at for this player!”

“… Nnn? … HAH!?”


Being hugged by the man, Chill’s supple body is absolutely dwarfed. More like a toy than a woman to him, she takes in what’s happening after rousing from her obliteration.


“… Huh!? Why did Echo revive Big Dick? … No, she can’t be meaning to go do that to… UH!?”

Feeling thick digits pushed into her already prepped cunt, she moans into his chest as he gets ready to have fun.

“Man, you’re soaked. Having a blast before [Mantecado] got here? Ah crap, you’re spunked on your stomach! Just gonna turn you around and breeze by that.

Shame I couldn’t stay longer last time, but let’s play that game where we see how much I can fill you up before it leaks again, yeah?”

“Chill has to stop Echo. Can’t play with a human! There’s… more slayer statues in storage. She might be trying to… OH!?”

Let’s get it on!”


Squealing starts as someone is speared. Chill’s head starts whipping wildly as she’s rapidly pumped into, slapping sounds loud as he holds her folded in front of him and goes to town.


(… Really? This is a slayer, the threat the Castillo fears? Is this whole world completely insane?)




While watching a man who just appeared go for seconds on the woman he’s finished with, Adris is confronted by the only other conscious kobold.

“Boss, save Echo.”

“What? You just… threw her away. That girl is going to…”

“Boss, bell, probably can maim Echo. Kol, not care about fighting. Echo, still important. No, she not understand Kol.”


(What was there to misunderstand in what you said!? Also, it can? I felt it was like the cross, but how do you know anything about it?)


“Indeed. Effect of bell witnessed easily, but cost not observed. Though damaged, that be from explosion and not use. A magic item that bears no cost to itself must transfer to user. One must act quickly, if one wishes to save this girl from potentially irreparable harm.”

Capable enough of reading Neesiette now, the calm features of the pale-faced mystic show she’s offering only her knowledge.


“She’s our enemy. If she revives a bunch of slayers and destroys herself, why would—?”




Ripping what’s left of Adris’ jerkin toward her, Kol’s eyes burn with unquenchable priority.


“Why do you care?”

“Kol… become strong, so one day, could… solve things.”

“… Is this your desire?”

A glimmer in her eye denies this as the only reason. Loosening her hold on Adris, she avoids this subject for the moment by clicking her tongue.

“Kol say, ‘yes’, part.”

“Then why not just tell her that?”

“Kol, not strong enough before, make them listen. At least, not until Boss show up. Kol never leave Echo. Just leave.

Now, Kol can win: Boss, help Kol. Only Boss, strong enough, let Kol save tribe.

Kol not say easy, because Kol never know how, explain plan. Try, make understand why weak, first.”


(Don’t start there! This girl wanted to become a “knight” to protect them? I can’t imagine that’s all she’s vying for, but certainly they matter to her.)




Driven away by Kindle and the currently moaning Chill, Kol never really abandoned them.

Not clever enough to see all the repercussions of seeking power elsewhere, she simply couldn’t stand to be used any longer.


Looking around, Adris shrugs his shoulders.

“Though I am powerful, I am far from one to dictate orders. This is a group. What say the rest?”


“Why are we even talking!? We can’t allow her to let a bunch of slayers loose in here at one time, at least not until we get out!”

Ave throws in while shaking, growing more traumatized by the sight of a hulking man raping Chill in front of them. Even now, the girl’s small hole is being brutally hollowed out by wild thrusts, though she doesn’t appear to be suffering discomfort if her rushed moans are any indication.


“Before it be lost, pseudo Art such as a bell’s must be properly recorded.” Closing her eyes, Neesiette then speaks lower. “Saving another be noble as well.”


Turning to a cloaked girl who has been aloof for a while…

{I got no problem helping this girl Kol messed up. … No, lost souls… stay lost unless someone shows them something like compassion, so I don’t mind helping her; but, it’s whatever you want, partner~.}


(Leaving this to me?)


Clapping Kol on her shoulder, he nods gravely. A black mask conceals his tiredness as best as it can.




“Hurry and lead us to her, Kol. Before we can’t stop this.”





“Echo can show you she doesn’t need Scurry! Kakaka!”

Completely losing her mind, the screaming girl is running across a platform toward a door set into the wall at the end.


“Kol, not need proof, know that! Not need Echo, follow Kol. Go anywhere Echo want. Echo can do whatever, but not this!”


(You suck at convincing people!)


Though wearing a sash over his pants that hides his dick (graciously donated from Ave’s carried packs), it’s still exposed to the scorching air along with his chest. An exhausting distraction further infuriates him with Kol’s stupid comments.


“Shut up, shut up, shut up! Echo, can prove she’s stronger than Kol! This was Echo’s idea! If Echo can revive these slayers, she can ruin the Alchemaster with it if she wants to!

… Why not do it now, since everything broke…? Kakakakaka!”

A womanly laugh filled with giddy anticipation foretells future havoc.


(Ah, I sort of don’t care! But slayers will probably be lethal to me if I encounter them here! And the squeezing on my heart isn’t going away until Echo loses, too!)




Recommitting himself because he has no choice, he looks to her destination.

A wrought-iron door with a key lodged in a lock, there’s nothing special about it.


(Do these doors remotely connect to the rest of the Cas—?)




Nearly stumbling when his heart squirms…




He clutches his chest, as something within forces a quarter turning.






The entire world stops for a moment.

When the still figures begin to return to full speed, Echo is now approaching…




Oxidized-copper double doors are their destination. Possessing no key within their lock, the doors nonetheless produce an audible clicking noise that nobody but Adris seems to notice.

With its frame being mortared marble stones with ancient cracks, there are only large hoop handles to pull on. The aged design matches nothing else seen in the Castillo.




As much as he tries to scream this…

He finds that he can’t.




Pulled along without the ability to stop it…


“It’s no use, she’ll get in first!”

Ave tries to lash again, but Echo is surprisingly nimble. Jumping the attack at her feet, she impacts on the door while laughing.


“Everyone will lose when Echo wins! Kakakaka!”




Pushing it open, the entire world pops with the release of the air behind these once sealed doors.




Rushing through the squealing entrance, the deranged beauty of a wolf girl vanishes into the gloom ahead.


(We’re… in trouble. That’s not where she’s trying to go.)


Even if Adris could beg them to stop…


“Boss, Kol, rely on Boss! Help get her back!”




(A false god can never run away from something like this, can he? Golden Bitch, what did you do?)






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 – Wave of Darkness] – “Making victory possible? No, no, no. That thing isn’t that kind! There’s more than that!”


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


[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…?”


[Marital Arts – Self-taught] – “Hoh, even if it’s dangerous to use, it feels good to prove to myself that the body is still as willing as the mind! Even if I can’t call it aura, something is inside me now!”



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?”

“Really? Stealing a kick from me? Aren’t you just the littlest magpie?”


“Kicks aren’t going to help much against giants like that, yes? Having tasted more kobold, are you going to become a connoisseur of rich fur?”



“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’?”

“Ever the consummate warrior (when it suits him), throwing himself into combat against a foe he can bring harm to is liable to brighten his day.”


“The kind of man that can bald-faced lie to everyone’s face and make himself the hero of someone else’s screw up, this is the essence of a manipulator from Xin.”



“When your MC can no longer handle the workload, it’s good to remember that the outside is near. Keep going, we’re almost there, Adris.”



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


Occupation: Delver, Frontliner
Discipline: ???




[Invisible Edge] – “Kol, feel like blade stronger when they know it!”


[Full Contact] – “Wanna go!? Kol, let fists talk!”


[Unknown Aura of Dread] – “Stronger? Stronger… good.”


[Bulwark] – “Nobody get by Kol… ever. All belong, Kol!”


[Fire Resistance?] – “Huh, after big dark, Kol get fire, right? ‘Big deal’, flames!”


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…?”

“All of that anger and confidence, in such a tiny package as it were, do you wonder where it all comes from?”


“Are you sure you want to be comparing Echo to this metallic terror? It might turn out to be quite a dangerous statement if she overhears 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.”

“Losing sight of what she should be doing, the would-be knight is too easily given to throwing herself into her task.”


“Belonging to the same tribe attacking her group, Kol’s error is thinking that she could somehow work everything out, despite not being socially competent enough to handle it.”



“Not sure I consider her to be ‘noble’ in character, she’s more like the kind of person that assumes what she’s doing is correct, so she never stops to worry about if it is or not. She just runs at the next thing on the list to ‘solving the problem’.”



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


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




[“Reprisal Strike”] – {You had it coming, deciding you could oppose me and walk away from it.}


[“Surprising Agility”] – {Is it honestly surprising by now? Walls are just another surface~!}


Disposition: Playful / Sadistic / Skulking
Alignment: Chaotic

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



Rantil Value –

Attributes by Grade:

Strength – E

Vitality – E

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?”

“How will you view this betrayal, Adris? Is it a betrayal, or simply an accounting long withheld between them?”


“Beating her with malevolent kindness? That seems to be one of your favorite weapons, doesn’t it?”



“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.”

“Abandoning success for a chance at vengeance, whatever is between Kol and Still appears to be worth more than victory.”


“Yet when she comes slinking back, she’s able to muster appropriate humility, if only briefly.”



“Sometimes I think Still gets a bad wrap. Because she is capable of matching up against Adris, she might seem like a threat all the time. I don’t think it’s necessarily true, but a writer doesn’t really know how things will play out on the other side of the ink, right? Can she be moe?”



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

Occupation: Delver, Mystic
Discipline: ???



[Rod of Force] – “In what way would it be changed? As designed, so shall it function, correct?”


[Rod of Respelling] – “A lady be every ready to instruct regarding what be in error.”


[“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

Vitality – F

Dexterity – D

Agility – E

Intelligence – B

Mentality – C

Luck – F




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?”

“Despite being filled with something like dread, isn’t it wonderful how she refuses to show it?”


“Are you sensing a theme regarding the devastation she wreaks, Adris?”



“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…?”

“Unlike the others, Neesiette is absolutely incapable of managing alone. Maybe that’s why she intends to be useful.”


“Magic is something complex, yet a dreamer from another world finds it a simple issue.”



“I thought to myself, ‘magicians are so overdone, what if I did a character that liked shitting all over their pompousness while being exactly the same in personality?'”




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

Occupation: Delver, Scared Girl
Discipline: ???



[“Sylvan Calling”] – “The spirits play when they want to! … They really do! Why are you looking at me like that!?”


[Preternatural Strikes] – “Um, I’ve always been pretty good with a whip? Elves use a lot of weapons! I just like… my whip…?”


[Monstrous Strength] – “EH!? Why is it monstrous!? Elves aren’t monsters!]


[“Unknown Angel”] – “Ave doesn’t feel especially blessed…”


Disposition: Joyful / Impressionable / Cowardly
Alignment: Neutral

Eyes: Crystal Green
Hair: Moss Green
Skin: White



Rantil Value –

Strength – C

Vitality – D

Dexterity – C

Intelligence – C

Mentality – F

Luck – A

Charisma – C




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?”

“Fear makes us both feel and appear ugly, doesn’t it? Although, perhaps women can be better thought of for not being perfect? Wouldn’t you not be granted the same courtesy, Adris?”


“Isn’t your ‘friend’ getting a little too close?”



“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?”

“No matter how frightened Ave is, she always keeps her delusions and cares first and foremost.”


“Despite faltering at every step, when she applies herself Ave can become a competent force. Capable of manipulating the winds, albeit seemingly unwillingly, to perform many useful tricks, she is the closest the team has to a true magic user.”



“I think she’s a lot less innocent than she appears to be.”





Red Tide – “A name given to a once horde of kobolds who would attack, all red of fur. Diminished now, they are more like an eddy in a stream.”


Pseudo Art – “Neesiette doesn’t use anything but Art, so anything worth less must be distinguished as such.”


Slayer – “A machine called rape, at least as shown so far.”


Slayer’s Call – “If an organization exists, it must have a central hub. Within a town called Petripolis, such a place exists in the abandoned sections.”


Alkem – “Incredibly insulting shorthand for a very dangerous existence.”


Castilian – “The dialect of the region called Castile, where the Gran Castillo resides. Spoken mostly by natives, it’s unsurprising that those attempting to conquer one of the Great Three Evil’s homes would know it.”


Cant – “A private vernacular, known only to Slayers.”


Mantecado – “Both a pervert and a food.”



Chapter 47         Table of Contents          Chapter 49