Take Up the Cross – Chapter 58: Fear Reborn ☆

“Just sit there!”

“… Kol, not like…”

“Do you want to die!? Wait! Drink this before you step in.”

Thrusting a cup toward the girl, she shakes while holding it. A gagging sound accompanies a growl after she sniffs it.

“Smell, bad…! ‘Rank’, not want.”

“I don’t care! It’s that or the pain gets worse. You want your belly to burn through you?”

“… Umu… No…”


Knocking back the hastily prepared concoction of fruity liquor and one of Adris’ last vestiges of Xin, the girl huddles to herself while shivering and coughing at the taste. He finishes placing the candles at the most important points along a crude meditation circle drawn over flagstones, sighing to himself as he watches her.


(Stop being so dramatic! … The pain is real, but she whines about minor things.)


She finally begins to calm while sitting in the circle lit by dimly glowing candles. The digestion of the stabilizing tonic coincides with an improvement of her body’s condition. No longer producing more cracks in her body’s integrity, the miasma leaking forth also lessens in intensity.


(I’ve only got one left. If my inner expanse begins to distort in the same way, I’ll need to save it for that.)


“… Kol, feel better. Leave—”

“Stop! It’s only suppressing it!”


Pushing the weakened girl back down, she grumbles while Adris thinks. As powerful as their shared resonance is, he can’t get away from it.


(It can’t be aura! It shouldn’t be…)


Cethran’s revelations about the nature of “truth” and “Drops of Creation” force him to recall that darkness and aura also turned out to be nearly identical.


(She’s got darkness afflicting her just like Echo did? It’s too dangerous to assume I can do this alone without more certainty. I know who to ask for information, though.)


“Stay here, Kol.”

“Boss, leave?”

“For a moment! I’ll be back shortly.”

“Fine. Bring more fruit drink? Kol like, feel good~.”


The grinning and cackling girl wants more alcohol; but, Adris can’t afford her getting too relaxed yet.


“I’ll… see what I can do.”





Finding a quiet spot farthest away from a spider’s visible sorceries, his black book is flipped open.


[Hoh, it took one long enough to yearn for this codex’s secrets once more.]

“Shut up, Rantil.”

[Stop being mean! … Rantil gets the urgency, but you can still be a bit nicer.]


Written words form as he works on pulling off his tunic, throwing it to the side as he drinks more fruit liquor to calm his nerves. The night is becoming warmer with the resonance that he can’t shake off.


“I don’t have time for games. She’s exhibiting signs of being stuck in an aura awakening. The longer she lingers in it, the more harm she’ll suffer. The more harm she suffers, the closer I am to death.”

[Aura? … Eh, isn’t she just at the precipice of incarnating, being reborn into…? … Ah, hmm…


Kukuku, the one known as Kol endures a change far different from those of Xin, Crossbearer! Wisdom gleaned from there be shallow; dangerous when applied haphazardly.]


The non-answer that immediately rejects his assertion produces a finger jammed to her page.

“If you know what it is, then explain.”

[Jeez, quit it! … This Allip is unable to answer secrets relating to other things that shine EVEN IF YOU TRY TO BURN HER!?


Adris, pleeeaaaaseeee stop!? Rantil gets it, but you can’t force her to do what she can’t do!]

One candle saved for expediting her answers is immediately relied upon.


“What can you explain, then, slave?”

[… Does Adris even care about this codex…? She’s always treated with contempt and suspicion. ( ╥ ᆺ ╥ )]

Blinking at this sudden, poignant question, he quickly pulls away the candle.




[What does Codex Rantilius mean to a boy named Adris?]

“What!? In what way?”


When the book refuses to answer, it becomes difficult to guide the conversation.


(I might be pushing her too far in haste. “You can’t just keep threatening me, I need more”, is that it? What even is our relationship?)


Unable to define it himself, Adris wonders what sort of words he can use to spin the situation in his favor. Though still a dastardly imp that’s tried to screw him over in minor ways more than once, Rantil has never been overtly destructive to his plans.

If anything, he’s only survived because they’ve worked together quite well.


(I don’t know. What are we?)


As neither a true slave nor a trustworthy companion, only the forced teamwork they’ve shared and a few similar traits unite them.


(Maybe… the only correct answer…)




“… I don’t know what we are, nor what you are to me; however, I don’t dislike you.”

Rather than trying to fool her, her plea produces the truth.

“If you want us to be something, then why not demonstrate it? Help me with this, so that I have a reason to trust you. After that, I’ll regard our relationship differently.”

[Rantil would say that she has already given you plenty of reasons to trust her!


but, truthfully as well: “the past still leaves the future uncertain”. Are these one’s words and intent? Hoh, then, so be it. This Rantil will answer as diligently as possible…]




The page turns of its own accord, opening to one which displays a picture of Kol in her armor, ready to charge forward to enter combat.

[The name of this girl is “Kol”, as seen from a certain perspective. Called Terror by Elf and mongrel by Sinner, she is born as a kobold, but one must know that she has exited normal terms as such. Her age is unknown.


– Occupation of this girl may be said to be a delver as called, and not a slayer, yet she be the closest in temperament to one. Her discipline, that which guides her path, has become [Rule in Dark], though it was once [Battle Pressure].


– Of her talents and aptitudes as shown, the one which is unnamed, yet relishes in terror inflicted, represents an inversion of what was once faced, for she becomes stronger with the dread of others.]


Stopping on this line, Rantil answers his question by refusing to list more.


(“What she once faced?” Kol said she had to slay something. … I recall a dream, one where something beat her.)


Aura terminology becomes a lens for discovering the truth. If a prospective aura user already contains a technique within them before attempting to awaken, it can potentially interfere with the process and destroy them.


(Though exceedingly rare, I’ve read records of such events. If the monster that didn’t kill her instead inflicted some kind of metaphysical understanding of nature on her… no, in this case, it possessed her with some sort of “Zennian darkness”, then I could’ve freed it prematurely when I performed the first investiture?)


A white kobold started leaking miasma that produced feelings of dread immediately after. Growing with power and effect, it’s finally begun to forcefully extend past her body’s cup and break her down.


(And I’m resonating with her because of the link we formed through sharing that Drop? I wasn’t aware that it would function this well after the investiture.)


Forgetting about Kol’s fate, his own might be tragic if the link carries her death throes to him.


[Though one might be anticipating using a ritual one knows very well, recall the wisdom of a hateful old goat who deserves to be knocked up:


What works on Xin might hold a difference on Zennia?


If you wish to help her, then help her as if you were born of here and using the same logic as a native.]


(While I would use mantras and meditation on Xin… on Zennia, it would actually be…)




“Obsession” suddenly sounds similar to “mantra” for Adris, with something clicking in his mind when the terms manifest together.


(And meditation can be replaced by…)




“Thank you, Rantil. I’ve got my solution now.”

[Hmmmmm? Oh!? Do you finally see how useful Rantil is?


Kukuku, forget not this aid rendered to you, Crossbearer, and think long on the relationship between a codex named—!]




Slamming the book shut, he quickly pockets it into what remains of his jacket, grabs his pack, and mentally prepares himself.


(“One in twelve” becomes “one in six”? If anyone can survive this, it’s Kol.)





“… Boss.”


Kol sounds offended when Adris starts pulling her tunic off, quickly stopping him.


“… Understand, want mate… victory, Echo, good… but… not feel like…”

“We’re not mating.”

“Then why, naked?”


Giving him a disapproving stare, Kol’s lips curl into a snarl while taking in Adris’ naked body sitting behind her. Only the cool air keeps him from burning within from the uncontrollable force backing into him.


“Kol, I can’t explain everything, but if you wish to survive the night you will need to…”


(Need to what? “Ascend to a higher consciousness and understanding of the universe?”)


“… understand a little of how the world works behind all of the glamor. Like with the Alchemaster and other dark powers, you have within you something you need to release and master. A power that cannot be explained by words, only felt and molded into what you desire.”

“… What power?”

“One that can…”


(I need to stroke something that motivates her. Girls are like this, single-minded and also flighty. What will exceed all questions…?


… oh, right. She wants “me.”)


“… possibly surpass mine one day, if you can bring it out and develop—”


“Kol, become strong, like Boss!? Hurry!”

The tunic she held down is now ripped off as she hungrily turns around to cross her legs behind his waist, scooting up to sit on his lap while growing more flush.


“… Kol, can do… start…? Kol, want… inside, if power…!”

“Wait! Wait!”


His dick earns her attention, for the girl is already aroused as she pulls him into an embrace. The idea of conquering Adris fires up her blood already kicking with alcohol. Pushing her breasts against him, his own breathing becomes shorter when their hearts increase in sync.

Very rapidly, Adris’ senses start to feel like they’re receiving interference, as if another’s are bleeding over.


(Oh!? It is working!? We’re sharing senses? The link is stronger than I’d ever thought possible. Though it’s weird, this is all very… different from then.)




Princess is in a bit of a predicament, Assistant, hee! She won’t listen to a damn, heee, thing I say! Be… heee… her guide! If you don’t want, hee, to die, then anchor her, you brilliant dunce!


At that time, only Adris’ voice had brought the frightened swordmaiden through the storm consuming the small ravine they’d chosen to hold the ceremony in. Stuck at the heart of this storm with her in his arms, its energies refused to purge Adris, leaving Fatso to fend for himself behind a line of defensive wards.


Remember your mantra! Can… a blade stab the holder if he points it outward!? Fucking hold her, then!




(The safest place to be is by Kol. How did I obtain another butcher girl…?)


Left in the clutches of this new attachment to his life, the idea of having a “junior” again stabs into a cut off place within Adris’ psyche. With their bodies heating up, the miasma that was once stabilized is starting to leak.


“… Boss, start… hurt again!”

“I know! So off, turn back around!”


(We can’t fuck! I’ll be too into it to help you! … I will help you.)


The weakening girl is forced to sit back in his lap facing away. Holding her with his arms, he starts subtly guiding her breathing and heartbeat by modifying his own.




The cool night is getting hellish as the air around her shimmers with a heatwave.

But as long as it’s two bodies containing the outflowing energy, she can manage.




“Kol, I need you to let go of the world around you. And everything you know about it.”

“… Boss, give up, conquer?”

“What? No, I’m saying forget about thinking about that. All those ambitions are transitory in comparison to—”

“… Kol, not want forget. Still want, do it… Will do it! Boss… conquer…”

Huffing at him, the girl keeps mumbling about an army she’s owed while sweating more profusely.


(You can do that later! I need you to grasp a hint of the true nature of creation without any preparation whatsoever!)


He curses himself, unsure of how to bring this girl into a proper frame of mind. Only the old mercenary’s vague teachings and Fatso’s wormy philosophies can help with this, but Adris’ awakening was more chance than design and Serras’ was born of forced sympathies.


“Think about your place within the cycle of life. ‘Without receiving the waters from above, the seed will never grow to become the flower, nor bud and give form to the next seed’.”

“… Kol, plant?”

“No! I’m trying to explain a way to understand what’s around you… ‘The raging tiger cannot conquer the forest until it grows from being a cub’, so you must—”

“Kol, not small cat. Kobold, like wolf.”

“That’s… not… inaccurate…”


(Please, help me! How do I do this? How can I get her into a perfectly relaxed state?)


Trying a few more philosophical openers intended to take her in a direction of self-inquiry results in the straightforward non-answers provided completely killing any introspective mood.


“Boss, pain… worse…”


(Shit! She’s too literal! She can’t see anything unless it’s obvious, nor get anything subtler than a rock to her head. How can I force her mind to give…?)


The girl rubbing up against him is still inflamed by their brief hug as he pauses in his thoughts. Though in pain, this sense of unease is fueling a natural rush of hormones that seek the comfort of a male.




(That’s an idea? I certainly am always more relaxed after? If I can resonate with her and merge our senses, then I could slip in right at that moment.)



“Boss… what need— AH!? Oh! Boss…”


Rubbing his hand over her breasts, he softly scrapes against a hardening nipple. With his other hand, he rubs against the stomach that squirms with pain, producing a sigh from her with his light touch.


“Ahh? When Boss touch, feel weird.”

“Concentrate on that feeling. Stop thinking about anything else but what feels good. Imagine that my hands and the feeling are the same thing.”

“… Oh, Kol… can… ho… do that…”


The girl leans into him and lets her head lie against his shoulder, giving herself to his mercies.


(Physical intimacy will substitute for trust? That’s dangerous, but I have no other options.)


Adris feels along circulation points while enjoying the touch of this tomboy’s dark skin. Though possessing no usable aura of his own anymore, his body begins to react as he extends his senses to hers. A touch under her leg before the knee brings a shiver from her as she jolts in pleasure.


“WHOA!? Feel tingly!”

With his first blockage found, Adris closes his eyes and commands it to clear, leaving something warping within his subordinate by this flow correction.


“AAHH!? GOOD!? Umm…”

Immediately, her breathing ceases to be as shallow. Kicking her leg out, she finds it more energetic as she starts to calm from the miasma decreasing there.

Shifts in her body’s internal structure manifest as both pleasure and relief. As she quakes, Adris feels a drop of moisture running down from her skin.


(This will work.)


“Kol, with this pleasure you feel, sink into it and search for where it comes from. When you look for it, what is the thing you want the most?”

“… Oh!? Pleasure… come from… Boss…! Want most…?”

“Look past my hands! Consider who you are and what pleasure means!


‘What is Kol?’

‘What is pleasure?’

‘What is power?’

‘What is the thing you want with that power?’”

“… Kol is… Kol is… me…”


His searching hand finds another spot on the side of her abdomen as his other tweaks one of her tits. He presses into this spot as she hisses.


“Kol is… feel good… pleasure? Pleasure is… Kol…”


Though her muttering sounds pointless, the girl wrapped up in growing passion begins to scrape the surface of proper meditation. Her chair becomes freshly imprinted with her wanton aroma anew as her wet pussy gushes, and his body becomes her new focus as she grips his waist.


Spreading her legs wider, the end goal of Adris’ pursuits invites him.


(Not yet! Only when you’re at the right moment!)


Waist, thigh, belly, breasts, and neck, Adris gains knowledge of the textures and softnesses of each. A muscular girl reacts much the same as Serras, for her muscles flex with the touches he gives, forcing moans as he works her body into a mush.


(Every muscle must be loose! … You have excellent ones. How sad. I’m a shrimp in comparison, at least in effect… You remind me of her the more I touch you…!

I hate that, but…!)


Rubbing his cheek against her furry ear, he gets jealous of the strength of this small girl. She undulates with the seemingly random touches he uses to take out his frustrations on her; yet, Adris is chasing down problems the whole time, ones that grow more committed to attacking her.


(It’s not aura, but it is something equally poisonous if uncontrolled. The miasma is leaking now, but it’s been rampaging through her from the start.)


“Boss!? Touch, so weird~! Touch arm, feel in stomach! Touch thigh, feel in up here! Where, touch with fingers! Harder! Kol, like!”

Egging him on, he takes both of her round fruits in hand and starts to worship them.

“Good hands! Strong, male hands! MMmm, want be touch. Unn, touch Boss, can’t, so feel Kol! Know how, Kol is!”


She orders him to discover more about her, a task he takes on eagerly.


(Smaller than the other kobolds, I like yours the most. No, maybe Echo’s were better… The twins were too ungainly, the balance was wrong… Stop it! Don’t lose your own mind, Adris!


… But I feel like owning them.)




For some reason, he begins to feel as if he’s back in the Castillo. His raging cock is subject to the abuse of the girl’s toned butt that’s grinding against it.


“Kol is pleasure. Pleasure is Kol. When you look deep inside, what is the most important thing you look for?”

“Kol, pleasure. Pleasure, Kol. Outside… pleasure… Kol… Ohhh, want… ‘pleasure.’”

Yelping when he gently twists her nipples, she tries to lift her hips to ride his dick, threatening to crest it and drop.

“Want… show ‘strength’…!”


(No! You can’t go for that!)


She whines as Adris pulls her back down, until Adris moves a hand down to her vulva and rubs a finger between her lips.

“HNGH!? There! Good! Nice! Right there!”

“Repeat. Kol is pleasure. Pleasure is Kol.”

“Kol, pleasure…! Pleasure… Kol…!”




As her itch grows, Adris’ inner expanse begins to waver. The aura core which serves as a link between them is beating.

While she grows wilder, his understanding of her expands, too.

That understanding showcases the frame of her soul.




(… She’s ready! She’s been ready the whole time! It’s straining to break out, but her holding it back since the investiture has dammed her!)




“Kol, listen carefully. The pleasure is all you are. You are nothing but this pleasure. When you feel nothing but pleasure, Kol will disappear. You will see only what you crave the most.”

“… Kol… is Kol…”

“Kol will still be Kol, but she will be asleep. She will vanish into herself.”


Slipping two fingers into her, he starts sliding them in and out as he forces her to listen to the sloshing noise. Arching her back, the gluttonous girl whines from the excitement of being actively sated. He can feel her dam of release beginning to fill, merging with the energy Adris weaves about.


“Say it, and I’ll take you there. I’ll give you everything. Power. Pleasure. What do you obsess over?”

His manly inflection to his order causes her to raise an arm weakly while shuddering.

“Kol is pleasure. Pleasure is power. Power, pleasure, are Kol! … Kol… want…”


The smell of her hot sex is filling all around him. Refraining from tasting her juices, his touches cause her to fall into the same loop of pleasure as when they ruined each other in the Castillo, all while intermittently cackling.


“Kol… power… pleasure… same…! … ‘Be afraid’, Kol want, most…!”

She lolls her tongue like a dog would before pulling it back in and starting to shake. With each dip into her, the soaking pit that is her pussy tries to refuse his fingers to leave. Her internal energies are driving this bucking acceptance of his ownership of her as she tries to push against his hand.

Pulling them out, he begins rubbing her clit rhythmically while she whines.


“Who do you want to be afraid?”

“… All! Afraid! Fear, Kol!”


“Because, Kol… can’t!?


Want, feel!

Feel, good, know others afraid!”


Her deepest obession comes out as a roar, before she continues to moan.




All… fear Kol…!




(She doesn’t feel fear? When she feels it from others, it becomes pleasure? That sounds like a darkness!)


Truthful as always, Kol’s strange obsession explains part of her battle lust. Not finding pleasure in harming, she instead gains it from the effect of supremacy.




A suggestive state comes over her after she voices her obsession.


“Then feel pleasure. Pleasure becomes power. Power lets you disappear. Disappearing reveals this fear you want…!”


Brainwashing her with these repeated instructions, she builds up to a furious climax. A silver tail curls around his waist and refuses to allow him to escape.


“Kol… pleasure… pleasure… power… Kol… power… ‘disappear’…”


Huffing quickly, she says the words of self-suggestion that send her pseudo-aura into submission. She is scooped out by his brutal fingerfuck as she raises her neck while almost yowling.


“Kol, cum! Disappear!”


She erupts into pleasure when he distracts her by nibbling her ear. A loud cry from this prideful tyrant calls out for anyone in the night to see her surrender.


“‘Cum’!? Kol!? Cum!





BOSS! … plea…!”


Squirting juices onto the ground as she bucks, the heat flowing through them both reaches its max at that moment. Letting her quivering back rest against him, this abnormally relaxed girl starts to breathe normally when she calms from the rolling satisfaction of this quick orgasm.

He wills her senses to align with his own desired direction by joining them together at circulation points during her relaxed phase. Moaning the whole time with her orgasm, she repeats the words softly as she was instructed to.




Adris is covered in her juices and sweat, but continues to feel along her body to discern her state as she falls into a self-trance.




Not even her breathing can be felt when he ceases to strain with the directions he’s inputting.


(… Did she do it?)


Moving back to her pussy, he dips his fingers back into her soaked cunt.


(She’s really… juicy.)


He must fight back the unbidden urge to pick her up and drop her on his furious dick, compromising by sucking her juices off of his fingers after pulling them out.

Though she quivered a bit at the contact, she makes no sounds.


“Kol, where are you? Speak.”

Straining to hear, the slightest whisper comes from her.

“… disappear.”


(She actually did it. I actually did it.)




Taking advantage of her distracting orgasm has brought her to a meditative state despite all odds.


(But that’s only the easiest part. Now I have to… get her to let this desire she feels take form so she can claim it.)


With Serras it had proved a nearly impossible task. Without the words to guide her, multiple attempts with hours spent for each required waiting for the girl to grasp through his dissembling what she should do.




Don’t you dare, hee, just fucking say it! … Remember, son, the truth isn’t the truth when spoken by another. Heeeee, the truth is what we find, hee, by using our own senses!

Suggest, hee, but do not demand. Do not give away! Aura is not some whore you, HEEE, share with your friends! It is the very nature of everything!


Only her answers can properly shape his probing questions without the ability to directly guide her.




“Kol. Look within yourself. Where you have disappeared to.

What do you see?

Is it what you want?”


A hoarse whisper comes with disgusting…




“Thing. Not… want.”


… moans from the shadows around him, as she twitches slightly while rejecting her first image.






“Thing” is not a word that had ever been recorded in Recollections of Awakening, the public accounts of what was voiced upon witnessing the truth within.


(What “thing”? If it’s not what you wanted, then that’s bad. An antagonistic image can get difficult…!)


“What does this thing seem like to you? What do you want to do with it?”

She gasps as she answers this first question.

“Worst thing… Destroy. Thing, must destroy…!”




Candles flicker as they waver with the wind.


(No, we’re safe… What she sees isn’t real.)


Forcing himself to believe that, he uses his link with her to share comforting feelings. She calms a bit when polluted by his own thoughts, but also grows further from awakening.


(I can’t work with this. It’s too simple. Too many questions, and she’ll start to warp with my own input.)




Remembering Fatso’s instructions to the letter, this is even worse than with Serras.

Because Kol is running out of time.


The miasma she’s been constantly shedding has begun to flow more strongly in this meditative state.

Whatever dreadful thing is demanding to be released, for this power cannot be forestalled any longer.


(Then I don’t have a choice! I have to go into the final questions.)




“Is what you see real? Is what you believe true? When you look at what is before you, is it truly what you wanted, or a lie?”


Raising her hands, she claws at something immaterial.


“Lie…? Real…! There…!”

When she begins to excite, the candles start to flare up, becoming little fireballs before dimming considerably.


The darkness all about him yawns, as the shadows start to move towards them.

Violet light from Traveler begins to dim, too.


(No! Don’t believe in whatever it is! Look beyond the foolishness that you’ve made! … Shit, this is more than a false awakening! She’s fucking something serious up!)




“What is truth? What is lie? Is what you see one or the other? Can it be said to be that simple? What is…?”


(… I’m on Zennia! What would a Zennian mystic say!? … Oh!)




“Is this the truth, or a barrier separating you from it!? Are truth and lie perhaps the same thing!?


Where is the fear you truly crave!? Can you reach out and grab it, and see what’s beyond!?”




As the shadows threaten to consume him, she does reach out. Ripping at something with her claws, she literally…








Sending Adris careening into a wall, the cross that was resting on the ground beside him flies into his left hand as it begins rejecting the escaping power.




A vision of hell dances, as something from Kol escapes in a large burst while filling the sky.


Heat haze consumes Kol, sending her short hair waving in the air.

From within her abdomen, a shining darkness bursts out before becoming an inferno that sets the whole patio alight with phantasmal fire which consumes all shadows.


Artificial dread digs through his mind, for his eyes and ears and skin cannot keep out the sight of this burning kobold. Rooting for something, this force unlocks traumatic memories of his childhood and battles long lost.


Still unconscious, Kol is beginning to lift into the air with the power coursing around her as Adris is left frozen by her assault on him.




This power is dangerous, because it must eventually run out.


(She’s going to die.)


Quivering as she burns, this false aura called darkness is wounding her as it escapes. Her pulse of life beats within him as it begins to slow, for this rampage he’s sharing saps his own life as she draws on it to survive hers draining away.


(She awakened! But it’s not stopping? She hasn’t grown aware of it. How do I stop this?!)


A crippled internal expanse is beginning to buckle with the pressure of her spiritual torrent, causing him to nearly faint even with the cross blocking the majority of the effect.


(It’s an uncontrollable release, just like Serras! Ah! What was I supposed to do!?)


Pushing everything out as night becomes day, a fat man’s pudgy lips spraying saliva as he jovially chisels a recitation into a young boy’s mind comes out readily.




Three great ways:


Mind calms soul,


Island stalls storm,


Rocks bury pass.




The first calls for him to overpower her with his own aura, essentially smothering her spirit’s fire. Though far less intense than Serras’ outbursts, this untrained white monster is no less catastrophic.


(How!? Rejected!)


The second calls for him to directly touch her aura form, which in this case would be the volcano she’s become. Even if phantasmal, he cannot guess at how he’d guide the outflow using his own superior senses without dying first from feedback.


(NOPE! Rejected!)


The third requires only one action…




Gripping the black cross, he uses the last of his strength to stand up. The burning star of terror she represents begins to coalesce as he faces it.

Memories of pain and helplessness finally find a chosen form.

Walking toward him, this figure born of the heat haze carries a curved sword.


Her long hair is dark as the depths of the Sea of Stars, while the worn blue caftan he gifted to her flaps about.




Lifting her sword, this shaking form that is a fevered nightmare begins to burn with the release of aura, preparing to send a scarlet dragon straight through him.




(… No… You’re not real.)


Aside from the logic his mind floods him with, his heart somehow knows that she can’t be real.




This woman that murdered him isn’t the one he should seek vengeance on.

His true fear was left elsewhere.




(She’s longing for fear, to inspire dread in others. She’ll never give up until they face what she did? Kol has become the monster’s reflection!?)


When he stops being afraid of his own impending death, his true fear is realized when this murderer turns around.

Redirecting her sword, Kol’s glistening neck is the target.


Stuck between the image of his former partner and the naked form of his right hand, Adris heart unbuckles from its self-imposed exile. Emotions empower this red-streaked killer from his former life, turning her into an ecstatic demon of vengeance glaring at Adris.


His body and erect cock earn her notice as he stares at this girl he wishes to save.

The woman he betrayed gives him the same expression as in the burial chamber, tilting her head as icy eyes glare.


(… That’s not wrong! I did do that with her, but I refuse to accept blame! … I had to, even if I did want to…!)




A sword whistles as it’s swung, answering his thoughts.






A cross is already in motion, a darkness far stronger than Kol’s being entrusted to save her.






Cutting through the blaze, a sawing tool of oblivion overcomes waves of fire to smash through the swordmaiden’s ghost, obliterating his fear like beaten embers. Its image merges with the lingering presence in the air, causing raving screams to cry out in pain as this entity peels away from Kol.




The still-flying cross resounds with a thunderous crash as it impacts on the back of Kol’s head.







The storm vanishes, leaving the once-hovering white kobold to strike the ground.

Phantasmal fire dancing from every surface winks out of existence, taking with it the scorching desert heat. Though once ablaze with Kol’s power, nothing is damaged except for the melted candles which failed to contain her awakening.


Violet light floods the patio once more, yet the foreign Traveler above is still discomforting for Adris as he catches his breath.




Stumbling over, he kneels beside her and drags Kol into his embrace. He rubs her head after he confirms she’s breathing and scratches her furry ears as the rush of success takes him.


(… She did it. My kobold did it! I nailed a second protege! Hahahaha! Fuck you, Fatso! I nailed two awakenings! WHAT DID YOU EVER DO, HUH!? HAHAHAHA!)




Collapsing on the tiles after, the two naked figures are briefly alone in their own world.


(Oh… she did it, didn’t she.)


Making a frustrated whine, Adris’ brain rages with realization of this immense defeat he’s suffered. His big ego at achieving her awakening crumbles to dust.




(It took me… three attempts to awaken. Even Serras took five… Only one person in recent memory has done it in one attempt and he was a living legend!)


Yet, a kobold without any formal training whatsoever achieved the same result.




(How did she do it?)


When reaching the most difficult part of the ritual, gathering her image of the secret of aura and giving it form so that it can be pulled out into the world, Kol had suffered zero difficulties in breaking through that.

A simple, stupid gesture had accomplished what had left Adris despondent after every failed attempt.


(Even if she was in a meditative state, that’s not perfect detachment. Aura awakenings require no inhibitions or stray thoughts—


… Oh.)




A very single-minded girl is who he is holding.

One who wastes no brain power on difficult thoughts to begin with.

A steel trap mind, she can charge at nightmarish creatures resurrected from the distant past and swing a mundane axe at them, feeling certain of her impending success despite having no rational basis for it.


If she wants something, she simply takes it without worrying about extraneous details.




(Are you kidding me? … She did it in one attempt because she didn’t have anything else in her head to stop it!?)




A single tear is shed by Adris.

For all of his knowledge, experiences, and subtle tricks, the pure idiocy of a young girl surpassed him completely.






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?”

“My, aren’t you getting quite ahead of yourself? Rather than worrying about the plans of others, shouldn’t you be drafting your own?”

“Will you go after women who are taken already? Isn’t that quite vulgar? No, but aren’t you a vulgar man, originally?”


“Joining senses? How will you contain yourself if you realize the implications?”



“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’?”

“Relieved of the effects of the Castillo, what will he do?”

“Easily throws off suspicion by casting it upon others.”


“Managing to add a second student, if only briefly, Adris has proved that he is either the most skillful beginning instructor or the luckiest.”



“Good Idea: Getting what you want. Bad Idea: Getting what you want by someone getting better than you.”



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


Occupation: Delver, Frontliner
Discipline: Tyrant Squire




[Invisible Edge] – “Axe goes through everything?”


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


[“Ride on Dread“] – “THE WORLD, BELONG KOL! KAKAKA!


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…?”

“Will you not check up on her?”

“If she suddenly starts using aura techniques, will you be content or pull your hair out, Adris?”


“Isn’t such jealousy unbecoming, all powerful false god? Now that she’s the perfect replacement, what reason could you have not to want her?”



“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.”

“Denied of what should’ve been hers, she took treasure to compensate.”

“Having displayed strange abilities for quite a while, they had always seemed incomplete. Now, it might be understood why.”


“In one night, a kobold without training acquires aura… would not be the case, in most circumstances. Rather than aura, fear born of darkness is what leaked out.”



“Kol Levels Up.”





Super Kol!



Chapter 57         Table of Contents          Chapter 59