Take Up the Cross – Chapter 49: The Past Glitters Darkly

“Outflow and… design be strange. Be it not missing, Castillo registry? Never encountered this before, this lady must admit, Adris.”

Offering this short assessment, Neesiette pauses while examining the oxidized-copper doors.


(Good job, Neesiette! Thank you for noticing! Quickly, tell them not to—!)


But even as Neesiette, Still, and Adris stop before the open entrance…




“Echo! Obey Kol! Weak, listen to strong!”

A highly disappointed and rambunctious Kobold moves full steam through the doorway, instantly disappearing from sight.



Screaming in terror, Ave reaches through the doorway to pull Kol back, but receives an interesting surprise.

Having put her hand into the gloom and stuck trying to remove it, she yanks uselessly three times before…

“… What? NYAA—!”


A snake elf is actively slurped into the grayish gloom, with crazed voices offering their welcomes as Still rushes to her aid. Tail erratically whipping while it follows, Still is smacked back by it before it vanishes.

Pounding on the door, but not daring to enter, Still vents while shaking.


“… What?”

“Explanation be impossible, as yet.”

{More like ever!}


Neesiette is already moving to the doorway with her force rod drawn, but she seems to reconsider shooting it as she stands down.

Pulling out a brass ball, Still tosses it in. Watching it vanish, Still is non-moving for a moment, before she flinches and turns around.


{Down…? It goes… down. Just that, only a direction.}

“Indeed? Scent of Slayer’s Friend takes time to travel not possessed by we. Sure of—?”

{Absolutely. Can’t tell you better, since someone vanished with my “tricks box” through an evil gateway.}


(You were the one who handed it off.)


“Can you not peek using your magical farseeing, like you used earlier to… identify the location where the kobolds were keeping me?”


Tapping her mask, Still, despite her anguish, seems amused.

{Yeah, that was meeee~. Sorry for peeping, but you know~! … However, that needs certain… prep. Ave is completely out of the question. I never need Kol’s location, so I don’t bother. Only Neesiette is marked other than…?}

Tilting her head at Adris and then looking to the door…


Still’s gestures are final, a fist passing through an open hand, before it simply explodes.


{The ball didn’t roll back out, even though it’s supposed to. It’s one-way, but…?}




(Of course it is.)


Hand over his heart, Adris’ sweat is increasing, but it’s solely due to the heat if one were paying attention to his mannerisms.


(Neesiette can’t discern it. My heart is still bound. There’s no choice. I’ll be your test.)




Ignoring the two of them, Adris simply marches forward.


“Adris! Foolishness be it, to wander—!”


“I know exactly where it’s going, Neesiette.”

Waving lazily, he holds the black cross before him as he enters, issuing a half truth.

The Castillo’s gaze is still absent from them. This whole time, it has never once willingly looked.


And from this entrance, he feels nothing beyond that would change that. It feels just as forsaken as he does.




(Wherever it’s going, the remnant of the Alchemaster is the caller of the door. That’s all that matters. So I must…)




“On the other side is a destiny of our own making.

See you there.”




As the cross pierces this roiling gloom when he leads by example, the voices that greet him bring back the most awful memories.


Some are happy… and envious.

Some are ecstatic… and vicious.

Some are angry… and fearful.




But in the end, they all invite him a fair welcome back, before the instantaneous crossover to what’s beyond them.





Sight twisting, he momentarily feels as though turning left is the only thing that’s allowed. Dizzy as he stumbles forward, this vertigo vanishes quickly.


The gloom had been only cold and passive. Not eating him, it parted with expectation.




On the other side, what awaits him is certainly novel.


Lit by nothing more than braziers burning low, this large hall without a visible ceiling is of a design that matches neither Xin, the southern barbarians, or anything witnessed in the Castillo.


“Echo! Told Echo, stop! Nothing here, no point!”

“… Where are they? This isn’t…!”


Cracked, tiled floor recessed ahead, a snake elf who is either deathly cold or shivering that hard whips around to look at him. Fearfulness is all that she can offer.


“… A-A-A-dris… this is… Ave doesn’t, no, can’t!”

Out of sorts, she’s quickly worsening her stability by pointing at things wildly.


(Do you recognize it!?)


Closing strongly on her, he puts a supportive hand to her cheek. Flinching at first, she then calmly presses against it. Closing her eyes, the support allows her to regain the sanity she was losing.

Pulling away, she points at the walls which are some sort of painted plaster. Enormous murals cover the entirety of the long hall. Once vivid in colors, the decay set in has faded everything.

Depicted are marvelous stone buildings in avenues stretching to the horizon, with citizens in tunica covered by bronze adornments thronging them. Wearing hats with stiff fronts and flowing backs, they traverse the length of a great city with pride in their ideal postures.


“Pa-…” Starting with one word, she winces and tries a different one.

“… An elf once told me about one of the oldest countries of the humans. Called the Tiberian Empire, he said that the walls were ever painted with vivid colors, almost matching elvish palettes in beauty, to show the proud history of the people who dwelt within them. And also of things beyond their walls, at times.”

Offering information with a voice never heard before, there’s no exuberance or doubt or sadness or fear. Almost like Neesiette’s quiet instructing in tone, she then smiles a little, self-deprecating smile.

“Those elves depicted there talking to human officials in golden regalia and laurels? By their dress, they are from Myth Mandostesse, a place that is considered important even for elves and cultivated during the First Age of Zennia. If it is truly painted in the manner of that time and demonstrating Mandostesse’s emblem on their clothing, then… this is probably a remnant of the empire that birthed Three Great Evils.”


(Then we’re definitely all dead, because I detect a theme here.)




Dining area, as it must be called, has a long, low wooden table where others can sit beside it without chairs. With great platters and simple metallic ware covering it, even though Echo has kicked off some as she tries to stay out of Kol’s reach, it is what’s beside and at the end of it that is most concerning.

Within this room that smells of the oldest decay Adris has ever experienced, twenty mummies lay in various states of brutal repose. Dessicated tunica and brittle armor still somehow intact, the uniting feature for all is what grows from bodies which died in true agony.


(Ah, we’re all going to die.)


Corpses serve as decaying flower pots, bearing strikingly beautiful and poisonous blue-and-gold, flowered tanglers. Ones Adris has witnessed before in a worse spot, these lie dormant instead of softly moving at times.




“Don’t go near the flowers! Either of you! They’re horribly lethal!”

Though having no way to prove it, Adris yells out a warning.

“Nnn? Boss, sure? Smell nice, though… Hmh!? Too nice! Dangerous!”

Sniffing more deeply to see for herself, Kol then regards the flowers with hate burning in her pink eyes.


“… Where is this!? Where are the slayers!? Did the shitty human trick Echo!?”

“I would say ‘no’ and offer you the chance to explain how I could.”

Authoritative, but also soft, Adris points towards the end of the table, where a horrifying subject has been carved.

“Rather than worry about those statues, your safety is more pressing. Please, stay away from that one.”

Pointing behind Echo, at the head of the table is a golden omen of awful tidings.




Surprisingly lifelike, the humanoid statue comprised of solid gold is wearing a ceremonial, yet functional, armor made of fine glass and sculpted steel over a fine tunica. With a face like a god of beauty and long locks which flow airily behind him while captured in time, in his hand is held a regal sword designed for stabbing, while the other hand holds a board-like, metal-banded shield.

Staring into the shield from its back side, his face is smiling arrogantly while he points the sword to the heavens.


Like him, the dead of the room also have short swords in the same make at their waists and shields leaned on the table beside them.


(Warriors and their leader. Were they entombed with a replica of the one who died before them? Some sort of mass grave?)




Whispers sound behind as someone trots in.


“Wrong. All wrong. Such a design be impossible for this Age.”

Though not openly scared, the mystic’s voice is as near to insecure as Adris has yet heard.


With another rushing over to Ave, the girl tears up as Still appears to rescue her.


Still!? Thank goodness!”

Believing she’s receiving a hug, the elf misses the grab as Still ducks to reach for her curio box, rapidly pulling out things from a side compartment. Patting the girl once on the head with a quivering hand, Still returns to the doors that are closed.


{Don’t let anyone do anything stupid. And stay away from the [bluegolds]! Don’t even smell them, if possible! I’ll figure out… somethin’…}

Gesturing to Adris, she then starts on the closed doors, pasting on various parchments and pulling out a strange crystal.


“… Eh?” Ave, though she is downcast, just smiles sadly. “Well, she is useful, after all…”

“You must be, too. What is this place, Ave?”

“Ah!? Well, if… I believe that elf, then… this would be the late Tiberian Empire, towards the end of the First Age? Maybe? He wasn’t too specific… Though, I think the garb of the statue at the end is an imperial legion’s commander’s uniform? And these flowers are ones he said once grew within what is called Castile today, though they look weirder?

Oh, is this the…!?”

“Yes, it is likely the Castillo or something even older than it. As I thought, Ave is knowledgeable. A commendable help.”

“… Wha!? Oh… yes, thank you!?”


(“Flattery is worth a hundred coins and costs nothing.”)


“Echo, trapped!”

“No, Scurry is! This is… a more secret plan!”

“… Echo. That, really stupid.”


Exasperating even Kol, the shivering Echo stamps her foot.


“This isn’t right!? Echo can’t be outwitted by Scurry! That would mean… Echo is dumber than Scurry!? Can Echo go on living if that’s true!?”

Crying openly at this thought while yanking at a ponytail, Adris feels pangs of sympathy while Kol growls at the insult.


“Attempting to follow a boy here by clairvoyance of unregistered design, not even Still could claim this ability, Adris. Hidden beyond means known even to this lady, this place approaches true Art, yet it gives away not a single indication of how.”

Rod out, Neesiette refuses to calm.


(Alright, we can get out… I just need to figure out what the Golden Bitch wanted from here. Maybe there’s something I’m supposed to take out…?)




“Hah, like old times. Echo… always follow Kol. See Kol do, somehow jump into something. Always saving Echo… Kakakaka!”

“… Scurry is the cause! Half of those times were because Scurry told me to do something!”

“Told ‘do it’, not ‘how’. Echo, always choose ‘her own way’, do thing. Always weird.”

“Not weird! Echo just couldn’t… do it the way Scurry did…!”

“Umu. Then, Kol, save Echo while she try, say why ‘good idea, Echo swear!’… hah…”

“… Echo… never… asked…”


As Kol huffs at the girl while sounding mocking, Echo appears to further slip from sanity as she growls loudly. With her fur hackling, the much sexier woman slides a foot forward as if ready to challenge her “better”.


“Kol! Stop antagonizing her! Whatever the past, she’s still your…!”

“HAH!? Boss, leave out! Echo, Kol responsibility, not—!”




Echo is not a responsibility!!!”


Filling the entire sound-eating hall with her scream, the girl stops shaking.


With the scream and change in attitude, Adris feels a bang that forces him to raise the cross before him.

Pointing it toward Echo, something within the whispers all around, the ones that never truly left, changes…




(No, they haven’t just changed… they’ve… vanished.)



“What be this… cancerous alteration to the grand design? Impossible… it be!?”

As Ave grabs Adris’ arm and Neesiette points her rod in many directions while twirling…




“Echo… not… responsibility…”

Stuttering almost as she speaks, Echo ceases to be normal in manner. Slouching, she raises her bell.

“… Echo, just wants to be with Scurry and be happy, with Scurry and doing things together, and trying to be—


















(Fuck ME! Those are supremely familiar, hazardous-sounding words!)




Laughter and howling comes from the long shadows.

A bell begins to chime, even while only held up.


In response, the black cross’ ringing challenges it.




(That thing is from beyond! It’s even worse than my cross!)




“Hng!?” Raising her axe, Kol assumes a guard.

The quivering Ave pulls out her whip while nibbling on a finger.

Neesiette just mutters, “Design be impossible. A Creator proved as such: that which does not self-describe cannot exist, ergo, this be impossible.”




{What are you all do— huh!? That ain’t fuckin’ right! Adris, send it back, now!}

Gesturing to Adris when he turns to see if she’s opened the door, Still is pointing straight at the bell as her sword is whipped out.





May all who have ambitions arise to seek them anew~!




The madly smiling Kobold with


… silver eyes…


… rings a bell once with a lazy swipe of her hand.




The silver then explodes into shrapnel, dropping its wielder with Vigor spraying as the rest pings about. All of the sounds left within the broken bell rush out in one giant chime.



Screaming in anger…


“Kol, be on guard!”




In response to the chime, the room begins to rumble.

That rumbling grows, as the chime ceases to be a chime.




The ringing of bells, mad beyond words, can be heard growing from beyond the obscured ceiling.




(Oh, nononono! Viscous Veil or [darkness], I didn’t call to either of you!)




To answer this endless ringing of bells, the golden statue at the end of the table… violently shakes…




“…. ———— ggghhhAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!”


To the cries of pure suffering, the gold cracks and breaks apart. Climbing out of the statue is a human that looks exactly like the one it was cast as.






Veins on his face inflamed by anger, the man collapses upon the end of the table, gasping for breath.


(That’s… that’s not possible to survive within. That would have to be magic, right!?)




Within a hall from the First Age of Zennia, a historical artifact struggles to live.


Clad in armor which superbly reflects the dim light of the braziers, the man’s sword falls to the table as he clutches at his neck, as if trying to free his airway.


“… WHY!? Why did you do this!? … No…?”


Looking out to the table, the man with angelic, androgynous features; light, strawberry hair; and…




(I know that blue! I WILL NEVER FORGET THAT BLUE!)




“Why did you kill them!? Aurumia! How could you do this to me!? I wasn’t the one who ordered Magnus to his death! It was father! There’s no way I would sully myself with such conspiracy! I never… intended anything… towards… yOU!?”

Drunkenly slurring now, the man’s eyes become hazy.


Then, he vomits…





… red blood upon the table.




Speechlessly, all present watch a Vigorless man heave his insides out. Along with his vomit comes specks of a reddish-gold crystal that dissolve in the open air.




(Ah, he’s a pure human.)


From an age before Vigor, death is coming for this creature.




Someone knocks Adris down.


Rolling to get on top of the figure, her body is wracked by suffering. Clutching onto Adris as if she cannot survive without his aid, he hugs her back to make her stop thrashing.


(Magic attacking her!? Then!)


Immediately, he slams the cross into her stomach, a desperate gambit.

But, nothing happens.




“Adris, both be related!”


No longer muttering Neesiette, points at the man.


“He’s… what is he doing, Neesiette!? Why is he… growing!?”

“BOSS! Strong! Very strong! Weird! Kol, GOING TO BREAK HIM! Great challenge, huge win! Hurt Echo, must pay!”






Mask neutral, the girl shudders violently as Adris looks up.




Still vomiting out fluids, the man’s familial relation comes to Adris, spoken before he can help himself.


“Ah, he’s… Aurumia’s brother, maybe?”




The man’s head lifts.

Bleeding eyes looking straight at Adris, they’re now turning blue banded by…




… Gold.




“… sHe SeNt KiLlErS…? hOw AmUsInG. tHe SuN…”


Fumbling for his weapon, the man whose body is shifting and changing, growing larger and smaller in areas as he makes inorganic popping sounds, gets ready to fight.


(No, she didn’t!)




But the key turning in his chest, one more quarter turn in the worst direction, unlocks something else within the room before his thoughts complete.




“… the Sun of the Tiberian Empire never sets, and [Vibius Gallus Lucianus]… iS tHaT sUn… gggrrRRRAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH~~~!!!!”




Confusion, fear, hatred, and resignation arrive.


The Castillo itself is sucked into the room, or rather its presence is.


From the dark windows above the wall murals come sands of gold that flow from the panels.


From holes and cracks, and from underneath the oxidized door, golden grains flood in without end. All moving towards the man, the grains merge as golden leaf around his body until he is completely encased.


And then continue pouring in, making a mountain from him.




Feeling out with his aura senses, the bells that ring show the darkness gathering in this growing pile of gold. Joining with the Golden Luster forcefully pulled to it, the entire nature of the man also changes.

Just like Adris once did, he is becoming somewhat of a part of this world.


And so, too, is the room.




Braziers blazing now, the murals become vibrant, their images moving of their own accord as the citizens live.

Red light shines through the windows, sanguinous beams of incandescence which create distinct sections of light and dark.

Food forms from rotten pieces on top of platters which become shiny; yet, the corpses next to the table decay completely to dust, with the tangler flowers being picked up alongside the swords and shields, and carried by flowing gold.

Converging on the man…





Ave announces the most logical step to take.




Kol rushes towards the golden pile.


Jumping high, an axe held with two of the most powerful hands Adris has ever witnessed swings down with all of her fury behind it.


(Please, let us… have a chance.)






A striking sound follows a reverberation, as Kol is launched back with a spray of golden grains following. The pile bursts into rippling, golden darkness that is sent throughout the room to then vanish.


Hitting the table and cracking it as she falls, what she struck is revealed as a shield.


In the exact shape of the board shield that the Alchemaster’s kin carried, the original is in the middle while the twenty others have fused around it. A reflective, rainbow sheen covers it, with fluid dripping from its edges.

Floating in mid air, rays of golden light seem to both support and link it to the main body of the creature, along with its partner.

Slashing out as if demonstrating its prowess, a gigantic, etched sword made of shifting steel dances before the monster. Its razor edge constantly reforms to whet itself.


The giant in the middle of these two items stands as proud as a peacock. Composed of shining glass and sculpted steel, its whole avian-like form is a vision of vanity incarnated. Standing on three leonine legs, two in the front and one behind, its fan-like tail is composed of numerous waving strands made of small swords.

The storklike neck that twists as it rises, such that it appears to be permanently strangled, has its length wrapped around by blue-and-gold flowered tanglers. At the front of the head, a sharp beak resembling a cormorant’s whips as it turns right and left, with glowing, strawberry feathers trailing behind its head perking after. This crest that is picked up with the stagnant air now blowing is blazing with a fire that neither extinguishs nor consumes.

Its whole existence fills the room with a scent that steals one’s breath and heart. From its mirrored body, light like the torch-like sun flows out, but its is far more tragically arrogant.




Stumbling at first, it then gets its bearings.

Fixating on Adris, the bird-like nightmare born of metal, flesh, and fire leans forward. Its beak begins to clatter.

With a sound like a splitting shell…




The slathering from it falls to the ground, less saliva and more like tears.

As an enormous, angry, blue-banded-gold eye rolls around briefly before coming to stare hatefully at him.




The ponderous floating shield and sword clang against each other.

From the petal of every flower, a voice full of embodied rage screams out.











All present are frozen, even Kol. Simply staring at the thing made of once unseen evil and brought to life by forcibly stealing the Castillo’s energies, it comes to Adris’ mind that they’re all going to die in a moment if he doesn’t act.


For this creature is more powerful than anything he’s ever met, even in dream or between worlds.




“Oh, black cross…”


(I can only… promise one thing. A chance.)


“… let there be darkness!”




Adris’ pointed cross, still ringing, reacts.

To the indignity of all the voices that despise it, the black cross explodes while promising glory.


Rather than simply a wave, a sea of shining darkness rolls out into the room, impacting on the walls like a tidal force consuming the lands. Cracking the room as it fills it, the rushing tide that screams with mad ravings begins to whirl around the gigantic, reflective stork nightmare and around four figures.




Vanishing as quickly as it was called, it’s sucked into those present as the lights dim and the room gains an edge of eternal gloom.


Finally, the struggling bird relinquishes gleaming gold that explodes from its figure, diminishing its presence somewhat.


Watchers crowd around, unseen but ever near.

They speak his name, but don’t call him “Adris”.


(I wonder, is anyone betting?)




“… T-t-t-t-take… Take heart, everyone! Everyone!”

Screaming loudly, a shrill voice of an elf calls out. Cracking her whip at nothing in particular…


“We’re not weak anymore! Don’t run! We didn’t enter as heroes, but… we don’t have to be losers! Ave… I’M NOT RUNNING FROM THIS THING!”


At this cry, all present unstick. Kol takes back up her axe, while Neesiette grows alert. Even Still’s pain lessens.

The knot Adris calls his heart pumps once more.




Disapproving of the rallying cry of one timid girl, the blue eye starts to glow as it intently regards her.

“… Ah… Ave isn’t going to run, right? She’s going to… explode, maybe…?”

Light drawn to it rapidly gathers, earning a nervous chuckle from the elf.

“… oh, disintegrate! Yaaay~…”




The fired beam streaks toward Ave…




Intercepted by a black cross thrown into the path, stone and plaster are burned clean by the deflecting beams, with half of the force returning to the creature that birthed them.






Bloody murder is the response as it’s raked in the face by its own ray, its artificial flesh burning before a shield swiftly interposes. Dispersing the light, the shield holds steady as the great, armless monster rampages in pain by stomping.




Turquoise shines, as a scintillating beam of energy plows into one of the mirrored legs. Though most of the blast is simply deflected, the explosion still knocks it off balance slightly.



“… Appearing plausible enough to strike, it does.”


Confusion comes to the creature, which is hit twice already. Refocusing, it menaces its targets.

Swords fly as its tail feathers are loosed, falling from above like murderous silver rain as it screams.





A crackling barrier goes up to defend Neesiette and Ave as the elf springs to land near her. Impacts explode off of it as the rain pours, with the elf coiling around the annoyed Lunamaton left supporting both of them.


(Oh, so I’m going fir—)


Dragged underneath the table, a blue angel shelters beside him. Sword tips pierce through the table top, but fail to kill him as they lodge in the thick wood.




“… Thank you.”

Speaking as the thumps continue, he’s rudely interrupted.


{Don’t thank me! We’re still all going to die! That thing is…}

“The Alchemaster’s… sibling, rig—?”

{… Shut up! Don’t interrupt me, y’know!? There’s bad shit in ‘em!}

“The flowers—”

Gestures come along with a slap to the face, the girl finally losing it.

{Shut… th’fuck up! If you weren’t so fuckin’ smugly sure yer right all the damn time, you’d get a lot further on with me! … Don’t let ‘em touch you, its mirror chicken’y body, I mean! Kol and Ave are fine, but Neesiette and you ain’t got no defense!}

“… You… HUH!?”


Pulled into a tight embrace, the girl holds him, still wracked by pain.


{I’m sayin’ he’s corrupted…! Yer sure he’s related to that bitch!? Okay… then I got a… present for ‘em! … Fuckin’… kill ‘em and I’ll… lick you, suck you, fuck you… kiss you, whatever! Just…}


{… Help me! Make it stop hurtin’!}


(She’s reacting to his change!? Is it something like sympathetic aura resonance? How can she react?)


The girl is no longer shivering, but the gaze is. Calming her shaking with all her might…




{I got four ten-turns before I’m goin’ nutso! I’ll be out there struttin’, too, but I can’t handle it for long, it’s cookin’ me inside out! I’m… sor… -ry, Adris!

save me, please! I don’t wanna live as a monster! At least kill me before that! Promise me!}

Desperation is all Still can muster, pride-less gestures fast and tight as one hand permanently grips him to keep focused.




“… I will save you. Still, I promise.”


With the screeching outside only getting louder, the creature starts walking.









Something leaps from the table, slamming into the bird.




Assaulted by bells, ravings, empathy for Still, and his own primal fear in the presence of this thing which is actively warping the reality of the room as it moves and continues to exist…




(Not Lycia. Not staying at the Works, even. I should’ve just… fucking apologized to Serras the moment she said everything was my fault.)


But, this thought lasts for just a moment.


(Y’know, she wouldn’t have believed I was being honest! She’d still have killed me! I amaze even myself with how thorough I am!)




Rolling out from underneath the table, he stands while pulling Still up with him.


Raising the cross as he examines the pandemonium bursting around him…




(Last battle, maybe? Do or die, Adris.)






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 48         Table of Contents          Chapter 50