Take Up the Cross – Chapter 87: For the Future! Slayer’s Call Must Change!

“Mad (INSANE)? What’s insane about wanting her? Have you seen the portrait…!? No, of course you’ve met her, that’s better…?” The quiet, almost emotionless question Adris found at the end of Castile’s rambling leaves the ruggedly handsome fool as confused as the boy talking to him. “Isn’t her beauty one you could never find surpassing it anywhere else!?”

Asking that to Adris, Castile then winces at Lycia. Adris feels the woman’s clench on him tighten.

“No offense, Miss Lycia.”

“… Wouldn’t an opinion have to matter to be offending?”




Dumbfounded by the thought, Adris ponders it more deeply.


With delicate features, but a suitably imperious and contradictorily childish demeanor, the Alchemaster could be considered physically beautiful while still appearing approachable. Certainly her sense of aesthetics, with clothing that feels more unique than even her mansion and a stylish manner of carrying herself that lacks a sliver of doubt about her worth, is appealing.


(… But it’s wretched, in the end… just look a bit beneath that.)




The moment he discovered she could inflict pain on the level of cracking his arm open, feeling neither joy nor satisfaction with the action she carried out without a second thought, demonstrated how viciously ugly she was inside.

To see nothing in others but a curiosity before tossing them away is the capricious cruelty of a child that never grew up, only more powerful. Rather than some flaw to her, this is an essential part of her own pride.


It is not innocence that drives it, but a calculated personality that has placed all of humanity on the same level as vermin to be dissected and studied.


(She’s not capable of being judged by mortal standards of beauty. I can only think of her as some force of evil, ugly for what she represents.)


Castile and perhaps even Lycia aren’t capable of understanding that, with as mild as Lycia reacts to the idea of her being beautiful. Only Drache’s look of absolute sickness at the question he dwells on too proves another understands Adris’ standards.

Giving it one last try, Adris imagines kissing her again.




When his stomach threatens to back up while he gags, he can’t help but shake his head roughly.


“Anyone that wants to f—!”

Stopping his wild, true thoughts before they cause him to appear inelegant, he speaks more softly.

“… anyone who wants [Aurumia] is either insane or vacuously desperate.”




At that statement, the air in the room swirls lightly.

A map blazes to life in beautiful colors, drawing the eye as the mansion glimmers.


The ambiance grows heavy, while the odor of the suites separate rooms gains the barest waft of poisonous flowers.


(… That smell is… familiar…?)





“… Huh?”


Adris startles at Castile’s blank response, then tilts his head up. Unable to see Lycia’s face, her throaty confusion is just as similar.




That name is unspeakable here!




A roar comes from the man who rises to slap his desk.

His eyes grow red as he shakes, almost ready to direct his body’s anger toward the harm of another.


Picking up his black cane instead, he mutters an unheard word as he swings it.


The feeling of pseudo aura floods out with a banging sound in Adris’ heart.




The smell and air wanes in strength, until it vanishes.




Castile backs away unsteadily while his drink spills, completely shocked by his grandfather’s outburst, before realization seems to settle into him as he looks back to Adris.


(… Her name is verboten!? Does it carry some power when said…?)


Pain assaults him suddenly when his ribs crack.



“… Brother. You… truly met her?”


Adris’ truest ally here holds him so tightly that breathing is almost lost. As if she didn’t believe before, she does so now as her low voice tickles him.


“If so, then if that is her name, never speak it, as I never will.

She will come for you if she hears it.”


(A name holds power…)




Cethran had warned him in the Chapel.

Some things are best left unspoken.


(And… the one I learned that name from was…)


Now that Adris knows, it’s obvious.

Cethran could relate her true name because there’s intimate history between the devil priestess and the Alchemaster, both likely being ancient beings from the same time period.




“Boy, I will agree that you are as mysterious as you imply. Avoid trying to prove it at every opportunity!” Settling back down, Drache sips from his drink while eying Adris as if he is a ghost.


“I see. What a beautiful name… simple, yet…”

A lovestruck, muscular heart-throb rubs his chin, trapped in his own delusions. Adris’ stomach churns as he considers how more deeply Castile has fallen under that thing’s spell.


“So you find her hideous, do you? Hah, how amusing that is.” Choosing to join in on the conversation now, Drache chuckles at a private joke.

“Will you claim you don’t find her ugly?”

“Oh, I concur with your revulsion. But, you seem quite fond of the Replica Soldier who cradles you. Locked in rutting with her earlier, at no point have you been opposed to the attention.”

“Lycia is absolutely a beauty. Nothing about her, save her personality, is repulsive. Even the gauntness and pale skin are charming, once you get used to it.”

“… He’s… not talking about that, little brother. But, thanks~! This personality is one that will grow on you, whether you want it to or not…!”

A rough squeeze causes him to choke, leaving Drache clarifying his point.


“No, what I mean is that if you find her face fair, then how can you not also find the Alchemaster’s? After all, Miss Lycia and all of the bloodstained ghouls were modeled after the evil creature you revile.”

As if it’s someone else’s problem, Drache raises his cup to cheer for Adris.


(… Huh?)




Jumping from Lycia’s arms, he turns around while she reaches out to grab him again before stopping.

Searching her frowning face and bombshell body as she shrinks back, Adris desperately tries to prove Drache wrong.


“… Their… faces aren’t the same same at all. Look at how she looks like this!”

“You are stubbornly innocent, brother…”


Rolling her eyes, Lycia then stops frowning.

Slowly, her lips curl up, with her expression gaining an impish, child-like humor that…




Green eyes can easily be replaced by blue eyes banded by gold.

Eyes that see nothing before them but what they can toy with.





“You…! Really!? hEy!”


Lifted off the ground, he continues to gag as she brings him within inches of her face.


Say I’m as beautiful as I always have been or we’re going to have a talk outside…”

“… Ugh… y-you… no…”


Letting their short time together pass through his mind, the joys and tribulations begin to cleanse the dark golden stain of an evil face from his thoughts.


“… Lycia… is someone I love. I’d never love someone ugly.”


… Please!?”

Shaking him violently, he grabs onto her shoulders as he screams how he feels.

“You’re beautiful! The most beautifullll!? No one else has the same unique beauty you do!?”

When she stops baring her sharp teeth at him and sighs, he just whispers the rest.


“… You’re beautiful in a way she never could be, so let me down…”


Dropping him gently, he tepidly pats her bare arm before grabbing it.


(I wouldn’t touch you if I thought you were hideous like her! … Why did I never notice the similarities!? Is that why she’s a “Replica Soldier”!?)


That act causes her skittishness to fade, leaving her only raising an eyebrow at him as if it had never bothered her.

“How close you two are.”

““How is this ‘close’!?””

Both scream out the same complaint, before Lycia pokes him on the cheek.


(No… I suppose… we’re a bit closer…?)


The moment Adris stopped pursuing her, they started to naturally drift together.


An evil mirth comes over the old man who started this while he watches Adris squirm.

“It’s only a guiding principle, boy. Though molded to fit her ‘aesthetic’, no Replica Soldier is truly a replica. They are…”

“We were humans turned into ghouls through her efforts. Perfect soldiers that served her in every way.”

Lycia answers for Drache while twirling her blond hair, seemingly not the least bit offended to have to tell the truth.


“Perfect soldier I am no more…~!”

Drache’s mood shifts at her happy claim, with Castile nodding at that point as the two men exchange knowing glances.


“Hey, Miss Lycia.”

“Hmm? What, boy?”

Treating the grown man like he’s some brat, Lycia sneers at him.


(Why do you hate Castile so much?)


“… Let’s just get this out there in the open, maybe? Rather than a [bloodstained ghoul] (UNDYING CHAMPION OF ALCHEMY), isn’t it better to call you an [alchemical ghoul] (UNLIVING HUNGER OF ALCHEMY) now?”





Her practiced aggression returns when power floods back into her breathless body.

Pulling Adris out of the way, she extends claws as she lowers herself.


“If you think there’s a difference in stature because of a name, then you’re welcome to try me…!

“That’s not what I’m looking for! Why do I have this effect on some women…?”


While Lycia is spoiling for a fight on the outside, the boy shielded by her puts his hand to her back.

And feels her slight shaking.


(… She’s terrified!?)




“I decline. Let us quit with these deceptive shows.”


The sparking Lycia nearly falls forward as Drache dispassionately refuses her challenge.

“We are no longer enemies, nor have you a need to impress me. If it is obvious to Castile, then it is naked to me: Miss Lycia, you are a shadow of your former self.”

“… I can still whip you, old man!”

“That is irrelevant, even if it were true.”


(A shadow?)


Rising once more, the old man seems almost kind as he creeps toward the spooked ghoul.

When she flinches back at his open hand offered to her, he only stays solemn.


“All that matters is surviving the reprisals of others.”

“Mind your own business!”

A gorgeous woman screaming at an old man’s kindness seems strange, until Adris recalls how he freed Lycia.


(Golden chains took with them… [Golden Luster]? I am responsible for a lot…)


When he stripped her of her shackles, there was also another, now obvious loss…


“Without the power of the Alchemaster’s gift, I sense only the wildness of a Beast of Conquest and the heresy of the spinster in the depths of the warped laboratories. It is obvious how much of your strength depended on the first…”

“And that matters to you because!? Are you offering your slayer [voodoo] (JUNGLE MYSTICISM) to replace what I lost!?


Shaking his head gently, Drache remains only benevolent at her lashing out at him.


(Oh… I see where this is going.)


“No, such power can only be won through hard work and gambling one’s body. That power will ill aid one who needs strength quickly to avoid the wrath of those she turned on.”

Letting his hand extend further to be grasped by hers should she reach for it, Lycia stares at it with soft eyes. “But, for those who escaped slavery, the Call can hardly turn away rendering aid to one—”



A light laughing session interrupts the genteel old man, causing his veins to bulge as he grunts.



Swinging back to him, Lycia looks consternated by his chuckle, too, until she calms when he taps her chest.

“He’s not offering to replace your power. Like me, this old man has his smooth points. This is where he starts negotiating with you instead of me, sis.”


“Are you incapable of not making things worse!?”

The old man yells, going white-faced in anger at Adris’ insight into his plans.

“Of course. He’s negotiating on adding effectively two slayers for the price of one, sis.”


(Huh, taking advantage of her emotional swings is something I would do. Nice work, but if I’m here to support her…)




“Oh… hahaha! My, you’re quite the scoundrel! I forgot…”

Turning back to the canny player, Lycia smirks at the man’s annoyance. Nearly falling into his routine, the old lady begins to regain her cool.

Trash men like you are everywhere.”

“Would you rather I insult a measly shred of pride by just offering to save your hide, you bitter ghost of the past?” When his kindness falls away, the old man just looks off while rubbing his chin arrogantly.

“Maybe I’d rather you throw in slurping my pussy if you want me so badly, instead of toying with my tragedy!?”

“Perhaps you’ve mistaken me for the brat in your old age, grandmother. I can mend your sight…”

“Hey! Come on, wait…!”




Jumping in, minutes pass as Castile intermediates between the two old people.

Adris stays at the sidelines and sits down, content to let Lycia decide…


(It’s her fate, not mine. You’re neither my woman nor my prize. You’re just… someone I cherish as best I can.)




“… For someone who escaped her bondage, you seem awful fond of the Alchemaster’s memory.”

“I just don’t want to jump those chains to fall into yours. I don’t intend to be your retainer or on retainer.”

Running her hand over her bountiful breasts, Lycia smiles brightly at her self-image.


“I am a [⭐Free Agent⭐]!”


“… Hah. I see your position; but, do you not see her as an enemy?”

With him mystified by this point, Drache is interrupted when the referee Castile butts into their negotiations.

“The Alchemaster isn’t the enemy! The Castillo and her organization are!”


“Go away, wretch.”

“Shut up, you sleazy idiot!”

That childlike enthusiasm he has earns vicious stares from the adults in the room, forcing Castile to depart to hang around with Adris.


“… I mean, when has the Alchemaster actually hurt us?”

“That’s a good point.”


(If you’re insane. She hurt me plenty, but I can’t tell you that, now can I? I must be…)


The esteem Castile shows for Adris after their previous discussion is immeasurable.

More than just brothers, Adris begins to wonder if Castile sees himself as the older one, still.


(If I dissatisfy what Castile sees in me, I’ll lose an ally at the worst moment.)


“Meister Drache, I neither love nor hate the Alchemaster.”

A strange statement is delivered with a wistful tone, earning Drache’s surprise.

“Even if you remember nothing, you were kidnapped as a human! Taken to her laboratories and, by her hand, morphed into…”

Though Adris might love that poisonous body of Lycia’s, Drache spares no lust as he sneers.

“Huh. Old man, do eighteen-to-twenty-five years matter in comparison to the unending ones I’ve lived as a ghoul?”

Tittering at his point, Lycia only examines her pale hand as she moves it around.

“That creature consigned your entire race, if you would call it as such, to destruction! You are one of four left that I’ve ever heard of.” Exasperated at her indifference, Drache appeals another way. “If not for hatred of losing your former life, then why not for revenge?”


(‘Disposable soldiers’ are definitely what that thing would make. If she doesn’t want them, no one will have them.)


“… It’s true that she made us to be ‘removed’ if she desired it, but your knowledge is incomplete.”

“How can it be? You are nearly all that remains.”

“Because-eeee, my dear Drache,” Giddy as she speaks, Lycia allows herself to become friendlier when Drache is proved wrong about something finally.


She did not give the order!”

“… The Alchemaster did not…? I see.”


(Another had the ability to demand what she can!?)


Dropping a powerful revelation in the midst of negotiations, Lycia is only bored while they remain silent to process it.

“Don’t ask me to hate her. She hardly fits into my life after so long. I only returned to the Castillo because Mother needed someone to help her create her own slice of heaven…”

Lycia, creation of the Alchemaster, forgives all wrongs committed to her.


“When the others… ‘self-terminated’, I was rendered unconscious before the order. The last battle of the Second Age was chaotic. Many powerful players chose that moment to play their own hands.”


(I see. The Alchemaster was hardly alone. There were two other evils, plus the Lords of Light and the coalition of free races.)


For once, Ave’s history lessons help him.


“Freed of the chains, I will never need to fear it happening to me, too. I and my ‘sisters’ never once spoke to one another, and it’s too long ago to care about revenge, so…”

Retrieving her drink to taste more red wine, she loses all emotional investment.


“Just let the past be the past.”


(You’re more mature than I could ever be.)


Not even caring enough to track down the one who tried to kill her, Lycia only looks for a way to keep living according to her chosen way.


(… I would’ve tracked down who did it. Who tried to…!)


But, Adris knows who his attempted killer was.

There’s no mystery to uncover, so he lets it sink back into the muck of his soul.


“If we’re negotiating, then let’s negotiate, Drache. I’m tired of dancing around what you want.”



Retrieving her scroll cylinder, Lycia smoothly withdraws one and unrolls it on the table. Becoming far more animated now, she takes on the enthusiasm of a saleswoman while drinking and posing seductively.

Letting her breasts tilt forward, she points at the image on the scroll, letting the men around her focus on what interests them more.


(This is… one of the esoteric schematics she was finishing?)


The design is of something that looks like a doorway, but it has only the entryway with nothing barring it, leaving an open area inside it where someone could stand. Looking almost like a creation of the Wondrous Works based on the crystalline runes and weaving fibers running through its internals, the outside covering is undeniably a creation of the Alchemaster.

Along the sides inside are strange extruders hooked up to gears that allow them to rise from the floor to the top of the gate.


“These are… the weird things we keep finding? They’re at areas where the Castillo residents rarely congregate, several unique rooms that don’t change, but the contraptions don’t do anything.” Castile throws in his observations, before turning to Drache.

Silent for the moment, the Call Master is very interested as he tries to read Lycia’s writing. That lasts only for a moment before he frowns.


“‘Statue Transposition Relay’? What is this…?” The words Adris finds emblazoned at the top don’t really explain much, despite the definitions being self evident. All he can do is speak them, before…






Inserting her fingers into his mouth, she yanks on his cheeks to produce immense pain.

“If I wanted you to go around spelling out what my shorthand means, I’d just write it in Castillian!”



“… Hah! The [Disambiguating Babel] Talent, grandpa?”

“Worse than that. If he can read and understand her no doubt flamboyant definitions, then it’s something like the elves’ [Tongue of Air] that lets those forsaken perverts understand intent, as well.”

The crazy inventor mangles Adris while Castile suddenly catches on, smiling at the display of annoyance as he confers with his elder about Adris’ special ability.


(Ugh, not that I can keep it a secret, but you’re wrong. It’s [Tongue of Air and Darkness].)


No one knows Adris’ abilities better than he with Rantil’s aid.


“You can work them?”

“… Yes… yes, I can.”

Releasing Adris from her torments, Lycia points to the chair he left to peek on the drawing.

“Loosely speaking: I can correct their deficiencies and bind others to their use.”


(Okay! I’ll stay silent and not butt in!)


“Let’s avoid entanglements. I’m willing to aid the slayers in restarting and working these relay stations, but only because it aids me, too. The limit is that you may move forward, but not back.”

“Forward is all we need! If we get the whole crew through, we can wipe out the second tier en masse.”

“… Indeed, forward is more than sufficient. One lies before [Memories Eternal] and another is found at the [East Garden Entrance].”

With the two slayers already plotting, Lycia dampens their enthusiasm after sighing.

“The problem, kids, is that they require you to traverse the area yourself beforehand, acquiring proof so that the Golden Heart doesn’t prevent utilization.”

“Always with weird limits! But, I guess that’s romantic… ‘Only the committed may conquer me’!”

While Castile waxes on, Drache’s eyes narrow.

“And what is it you require in payment, if not to join us?”

If Lycia is not a member of the Call, then she is only selling them something for benefit…


“Hm, how about this…?”


Walking past them, she seats her plump butt on the claw-footed desk, knocking back papers as she gets comfortable. To avoid starting a scene, the owner merely taps his cane.


“Rather than getting something only for myself, I’d… rather see the slayers change how they do things.”


Looking away from both of them, her eyes flit to Adris.

A woman who had spent multiple hours discussing motivations and histories was also privy to some of his ambitions for changing the status quo.


(Are you helping me? You’re trying to… make it easier by broaching the topic yourself? How cunning.)


With her offering the topic and putting forth the suggestion…


“I want to see the slayers stop being so destructive on the personal lives of the… ‘lesser than human’ populations around here. I know a large number of Castillo residents that balk under the rule of the Alchemaster.”


“Don’t ‘what’ me, old man. Your slayers bungle into everything those unaffiliated with the Alchemaster do! The hunt of monsters since the Three Evils went quiet has resulted in desperate times. We all have needs and if not for your slayers we’d be willing to live in a place like Petripolis mostly quietly…” Pointing to Castile while pouting, Lycia appeals for help. “Why, this very one is always watching me with the eyes of a jealous hawk when I talk to the citizens…!”

At the accusation, Castile offers an unfriendly grin.

“I see. I never considered ‘trying to abduct small boys’ to be a form of conversation.”

“It’s not an abduction if they want to come.”


(… Sis… you’re…)




“… What sort of limits are you suggesting?”

The most shocking voice is the one that speaks without showing anger at Lycia’s predilections.

Only reviewing the schematic more closely, he just continues bargaining.


(All the matters is “her”, is that it?)


“Grandpa! Really!? We have a duty to—!”

“To defeat the Alchemaster! We can worry about cleaning up after, if it’s even worth it.”

A man devoted to revenge proves cold-hearted without shame.

“Yay! Meister Drache, you are a wonderfully practical gentleman after all.”

“Don’t think you can flatter me with the obvious. What type of boundaries do you desire and what can you sacrifice to achieve them?”





Looking to Adris to gauge his thoughts as the topic develops, Lycia begins offering the most outlandish suggestions while Castile grows ever more incensed.


“We will not just let you pick off whoever wanders alone into dark places!”

“It’s not like that~. If I offer and he says ‘maybe’, isn’t that one-hundred-percent ‘yes’ for a kid that age~?”

NO! You are just a criminal trying to justify preying on…!”


As Lycia continues to purposefully egg on Castile, even Drache begins to grow wary.


“To a certain point, we can allow sacrifices. To reduce the number of monsters considering joining the Alchemaster, I will allow concessions. However, the mayor must maintain the appearance of absolute safety and deniability for the people…” Differing with her only on this point, Drache pours more honey wine for himself.


The entire room smells of liquor as the three continue haggling the fate of Petripolis. Even Lycia appears to be growing more free-spirited as she wraps her arm around Castile, drawing in the inoffensive slayer to whisper into his ears.


“Oooh, but don’t you think it’s fine as long as they’re polite and instructive to the kids? I think around that age… boys about to take the leap into being young men…” Almost licking his ear as he grunts, Lycia grows wilder as Castile blushes.


“… love any attention they can get from a pretty lady. Even young girls find older men to be fetching! Don’t you agree…? ♥”

“In this one point of ‘eros’ and ‘love’, I will definitively say: no.”

“You’re not interested in plucking a flower?”


While Castile grinds his teeth, Lycia’s eyes flash.


At Adris.


(My turn?)




Announcing himself with a cough, Adris gets their attention almost by accident.


“Ah, sorry. It just… no, nevermind.”


Returning to his drink, Adris is interrupted when Castile throws Lycia off to join him.


“No, no, please, brother. Your ideas have to be better than hers, at least.”

“Ideas…? No. I just, couldn’t help but feel like there’s a possibility of satisfying her and ourselves, all while keeping this easy and discreet.”

“Oh?” Drache seats himself behind his desk, interested in a possible compromise. “It couldn’t hurt to hear a competing thought.”

“Not so much a thought as…”


(The origin of the thought must come from another. If it comes from me, Drache will instantly suspect it, then find a reason to reject it.)


In the course of deceiving, it is important who says what.

If another offers the ideas, then the one who is responsible for planting them will escape notice.


Then, when it comes to tipping the balance, the one who is aloof may swoop in to offer a “neutral” position.


(If Castile is led to my solution, then Drache will reject it. But if I amend it, he will give in…)


Maintaining a disinterest at the topic, Adris stays visibly annoyed at Lycia while offering his thoughts.

“If the idea is to make it less likely for monsters to join the Alchemaster, then is it enough to just not antagonize them? Wouldn’t we have to make them want to… I don’t know, co-exist?”


Growing curious, Castile refills Adris’ drink and then sits next to him.


“Right? If the slayers all want like I do, to meet a woman like Lycia and take her out of the mansion…”

“… Ah, and the mansion residents who dislike the militaristic bent of the Castillo might want to depart for better circumstances…?”



Instantly reaching a similar idea, the two men begin to hash something out “spontaneously” using parchment borrowed from Lycia.


“What are you two thinking…?”







Time passes as the two talk, with Adris carefully helping Castile to construct “his” idea.


“… Ahahahaha! Brother, what I’ve come up with is…!”

“A bordello!”


Rapping his desk, a much more sauced Drache yells at his kin.


“[Rule Two of Slayer’s Call]!”

“‘Under no circumstances will sexual flagrancy take place to the detriment of proper operations.’ But, grandfather!”

“No buts! That first week shall remain a memory. If you allow disgusting behaviors inside Petripolis, lazy dirtbags who would force themselves on children will do so again! It is bad enough that these two were conducting an improper ‘duel’! If I let them loose again, the other slayers will break apart the foundations of the amphitheater with their humping…”

As if that’s final, Drache returns to his own papers while Castile loses interest in Adris’ discussion.




“Isn’t eroticism what primarily motivates them, though?”




This quiet question brings the old man’s attention once more, a scowl on his face at the crux of it.

“They should be motivated by the thrill of the hunt, smashing a great threat, or accomplishing what no other human has…!”

“But they aren’t. I think I understand what’s holding us back, Master.”

When Adris refuses to buckle to the old man’s pressure, he earns the chance to change the conversation’s track when Drache relents for a moment.

“Castile, I came because… I could have in the Castillo what I can’t have anywhere else. What about you?”

“Me? That’s simple. I explained earlier.” When Adris only frowns at that, Castile hastily waves his hand. “No, no, before the Alchemaster, there was also the… desire to find ‘love’ that can never be had elsewhere. If you ask why I came, then it’s not the prestige or the power… it’s the emotions to be found and taken, along with the stolen anticipation of a beautiful woman!”

“Right. As for me…”


Looking to the woman standing idly nearby reviewing their various notes, she only lifts an eyebrow at the attention.


“It’s a common theme, Meister Drache. As they are normally, they’re only a vexing annoyance, but when these rampaging idiots find something that tickles their fancies, they become… absolutely lethal.”

Turning to face the window, Drache avoids interested gazes.

“… That is true. Reports of successes don’t lie.”

When the enemy says it so clearly, the old man can’t brush off the effect of the right “motivation”.

“I think that the others, like I do, respect you, Master Drache. They likely fear you, too.”

“They are wise to.”

Without bragging, the man sips his drink, before scoffing at the topic.

“Slayers are… undisciplined, uncoordinated, and fond of giving up on the future the moment they satiate their latest ‘needs’. Despite my best efforts at providing for them and shepherding their safeties, they are no closer to defeating the Alchemaster than…”

Stopping his line of thought, Adris waits long for the man to continue, but he doesn’t.


(… Do you need to understand more directly?)


“Rather than coming to the Castillo to defeat the Alchemaster, didn’t they answer your call simply because they were fascinated?”

“If that was their reasoning, then they should all just leave!”

Suddenly displaying emotion, this long-repressed topic is Drache’s sorest point. Even Castile can only smile miserably when Adris looks for aid.


“Did they ever state that they intended to defeat her?”

“… No. To the last, they all merely questioned the ‘enticements’ offered.”

“Right… lusts, longings, and the hopes of fulfilling their wildest fantasies: these are the things that motivate slayers. Without the Call utilizing those motivations, it’s no wonder we’re not getting anywhere.”

Though the man doesn’t want to hear it, Adris can tell from his domineering aura relaxing that he’s paying close attention.

“But look at the changes they’re already showing. Why, you have slayers like Sharpe who have somehow managed to both talk with and become friendly with the citizens outside. Or Mantecado, who is apparently working with the kobold pets he found to seek employment outside, too.”

“… Such circumstances have been made aware to me. ‘Coincidentally’ showing up to save Centennial Street’s snake idol was a boon to our image, to be sure…”

When Drache’s tone is icy, Adris decides to stop, looking to Castile for aid once more and finding it this time.


“Grandpa, slayers aren’t like any others. We’re super unique! It may ever seem ‘artificial’ to you and normal folk, but what drew us is far more complicated than I could ever explain.” Patient to a fault, Castile continues a conversation probably had many times before now. “What unites us isn’t threats or base greed, but an abandonment of normality!”

Getting back into his audacious, sing-song tone he gets into at times, Castile wraps his arm around Adris to hug him.

“The Castillo isn’t anathema to us: it’s a playground which holds all of the delights we crave!”

“Hey, Castile…” Starting almost unsure, Adris “grows a backbone” when the top slayer gets interested. “If we can’t coordinate like Master needs, then why not… find something worth drawing the others in to coordinate for?”

“Ho? Like what? I think this little setup is a good start for morale. Have you something different?”


(More like “a reason”.)


“One of the things that’s drawn me to do some of the things that seem strange to you two would be related to what I discovered on the top floors…”

Pulling out notes, he passes them to Castile to read while continuing to work on his “bordello” plans.




“When the slayers were locked up, there was a strange sort of meeting ongoing within the Wondrous Works…”





“No, I won’t tell you the details! Though I owe nothing to the Alchemaster, I still owe loyalty to Mother. The details will be something earned by you through your own efforts made!”

Brushing off the angry old man pestering her, she just crosses her legs while writing something.

“It’s very real and coming soon, though Heleton was lying about his readiness. With the project so far behind schedule, you likely have half a season before the ritual begins, so I’d suggest starting soon if you want to avoid becoming permanent semen dispensers~.”


As the only person here who can corroborate Adris’ story about the impending darkening of the entirety of Zennia, Lycia stubbornly refuses to identify more than the nature of the threat.


“Queen Aeferis is the Ender of the Cycle. The Last Dynast.” Almost moaning her name, Drache’s mood spirals further into despair. “Of all the things they could dig up, she is the worst. Our only benefit in them choosing her is that she is as much a hazard to them as to us.”

“How so?”

“Her destabilizing personality and outrageous power will do as much or more damage than we could. That they’re behind schedule is to blame on her, I would imagine. How will we benefit from your solution with this news, Castile?”

Ending the bad news by going back to the solution, Drache proceeds to open another bottle as the red-haired hunk continues smiling.


“Easily! I’ve improved on the interesting designs that Starr dreamed up for his vision of how it’d run.”


(… Improved? I hardly recognize it!)


While Adris had foreseen turning a section of the Call into an enclosed space with curtains, small stages for dancing, and copious veils and gossamer clothing, what Castile lays out is beyond his mental capacities to parse.


“You don’t understand these new slay—!”

Stopping himself suddenly, Castile takes on a conspiratorial bent by scooting closer to Adris.

“The new generation doesn’t represent the mentality of… ‘hunters of incorrect design’! They’re true deviants and visionaries! Delvers of the deepest depravities!”

“They’re certainly a handful.”


Unable to classify himself as the same, Adris gives the floor to the man who gets his fellows better.

That fellow is overcome by a fervor as he stalks around the room, speaking like an instructor.


“It’s a good idea ply them with vices, brother, but you’re not thinking like you’re in a brotherhood or running an army. They need not only pleasures… but rewards!

Grandpa! This is the problem with your ~BOUNTY~ system at its core, too!”



Finally drawing out the master, he joins them at the table.

A number of bottles mark the hours that have passed as they continue to drink into the late night, with Castile becoming more flamboyant, Drache becoming more ornery, Lycia more coquettish, and Adris…


(I’m… totally in control.)


Smiling as he drinks, the boy is taken with himself by how well his plan is developing.


“If you give them something for free, they will brush it off. But if they feel they’ve earned it, then they will go wild with happiness, then try to earn more!”

“That’s absurd! What does a man care if it’s given or earned?”

“That’s just how our type are… it’d be too hard to explain. You don’t just give away cash prizes and expect the ones with their noses to the grind to be happy.”

Thrusting his fist high, Castile’s smile is bright as he rambles on about a topic only he understands.




“Between a guaranteed find offered by the ones in charge or a one-percent chance wrestled from the depths of hell, the one you win for yourself through sweat and blood feels the finest, no matter the tragedy involved!”




“… You are crazy. You are all mad… and I am the administrator of an insane asylum…”

Dismissing him at first, Drache only receives nods from Lycia and Adris about Castile’s ‘logic’, causing him to sigh.

“… But you are ever right about their stilted spirits. Continue.”


“Right! Your bounties have the right variety, but they’re always about mundane things. ‘Defeat this creature’, ‘reach this place’, ‘find this thing’! It’s so trite! We’ve all seen this a thousand different times in a hundred different [dreams]!”

“It’s the content that’s a problem… if you come to the Castillo for sex, then you’d want…”

Finally getting Castile’s point, Adris tries to prompt him, but the drunken man needs no prompting.


“Yes! The slayers often don’t listen because they don’t love you like I do, grandpa! But if you give them what they want, they will:


‘Claim this section leader in carnal conquest as proof of our supremacy over the Alchemaster!’,

‘Take the maidenhood of every member of the [Sect of Nine Flames] lurking in Memories Eternal!’,

‘Clear a path to the breakpoint of the [Waves of Gelund] memory so we can force the Castillo servants to dress in ~SUMMER BEACH CLOTHING~ and have a festival’! Hahahaha!”

Slapping the table repeatedly, the man laughs while Lycia grins at his antics.

“These are the ~BOUNTIES~ they want to see! Give them some strange ero-tool to seek on the second tier and claim we desperately need it! It matters not if it has value to us, but they will have sought it while clearing all obstacles in the way!

Every last thing I listed is, in its own way, working toward our greater goals; but, to the lowest slayer, it is merely a ‘way to have fun that makes it worthwhile’…”

“I see.”


Nodding approvingly, Drache rubs his face.


“You’re all crazy. To renegotiate how the bounties work would… take great effort on my part. If you truly believe this will bear results…”


(I need to find out how those work. Who is backing you, old man?)


At many points in the conversation, Drache has indicated that there are those either in service to him or who facilitate his power.

Unable to ask with Castile’s rambling, Adris intends to hold off.


“These drug den affectations of yours are too trivial, Starr, like old men lounging in perfumed clouds of insensate smoke! Though I like the sashes and the open clothing… ‘that which reveals what should be hidden, while hiding that which is often revealed’!

This is the essence of romance that I knew you possess. But, if you want people to come… you need these things…!”


Pointing to a list, Adris tries to follow his logic.


(“Grand and smaller stages for… [idol performances] {FEMININE ICONS OF SECULAR WORSHIP}?” Singing… dancing… erotic displays. Private and public bedding areas!?)


More than just food and impure service, Castile’s designs and notes outline a pleasure palace that carves out the entirety of the Skyless Amphitheater.


(Special venues for various fetishes. A kennel and yard, connecting to outside…!? The entire right wing becomes an arena!?)


“This is… extreme?”

“Hardly! This is the bare minimum!”

“You’re mad for wanting to bring monsters to this sort of entertainment, brat, but I applaud your changes. See, ‘Starr’, this is the sort of spirit you need to show to fit in around your brethren.”

Lycia finally joins in, chuckling at Adris’ discomfort as he’s proved to be…


(Am I… perhaps the most innocent one here? I’d thought myself to be a rather coarse man. Serras and I did quite a lot of interesting things…)


Even being molested by Lycia in front of the entire Call only rates in Castile’s mad designs as “a side show”.


“And it’s not just the slayers who will be pleased with this! As Lycia says, we must appeal to the Castillo! When they hear that in the world of lame humans there is a wonderful paradise like the Slayer’s Call, a place where you can safely, securely, secretly, and supremely sate all your sexual desires… why… they will…!”


Almost like a prophet, Castile grows bold while writing “Promised Land!” on the finished design.


“They’ll come. The novelty and audacity will turn into the sauce that glazes the subdued raunchiness of the main dish: the chance to meet others and answer the fondest desires they never knew they had, all within the boundaries of professional politeness and relative good taste.”

As the man smiles at barmaids and waiters who serve food before helping themselves to a ‘meal’ from the customer, Adris has to admit that…


(I… sort of want to see it.)


Never having a chance to enter the pleasure cities of Xin, Adris is beside himself with anticipation. Even if he never takes part in a quarter of what is potentially on offer…


“But they won’t get it all at once! These kin of mine do nothing if it’s not prepared correctly to appeal to their mental triggers:

Point 1) Alterations to the Call will be made incrementally! We’ll pick random things that they need to collect from the Castillo to ‘construct’ the finished product with!”


“Brother, you should know! A true participant in any contest loves seeing the result of ‘their’ work! Even if it’s all fake, they don’t care. We’ll divert funds from Bayonne’s percentage to cover the actual construction, then incorporate their finds into the creation!”

When the man’s name comes up, Drache stares down Adris so hard that he almost draws out his cross.

“Yes, Anaxis seems quite… replete with funds lately, so it will be excellent to drain him of more. For him to have found a source of guaranteed profit, I can only hope that he’s solved all of his issues with hazards.”

“… I see. He’s a hardluck case, is he…?”

“Always. Though, the troubles he could cause lessened considerably when his… appraiser vanished. For him to find another… I hope they are more thorough in their duties.”


(You kidnapped his appraiser!)


The real reason for Anaxis’ misfortune sits across from Adris, comfortably drinking from a glass as Adris tries not to sweat.


(We made all guarantees! Neesiette is perfect. There will be no tragedies from something she clears…!)


Continuing on, Castile adds another note.

“Point 2) Additions to the Call’s staff will be made solely by fulfilling ~BOUNTY~ rewards. The slayers must not only win, but convince the target enemy to join us! Guests of artistic tastes and citizens of Petripolis will be targets as well, with the slayers rewarded for making new contacts and earning favors with them!”

“That’s… a good idea. So long as we punish failures harshly and maintain a close watch on those acting, we can profit if Sharpe and his relationship with the security provider Navar is not an isolated case.”

“… Ah!? Thanks… grandpa.”

Earning approval, Castile beams proudly as he goes on.

“Of course we’ll maintain the standard elimination bounties, too, when creatures prove too tough, but that will move into number three…!


Point 3) Access to services of the Call will be dictated by rank and contribution! No free services, except to those down on their luck! The finest reward and the one that will link Castillo to Call is that victory inside translates to victory outside!

… In addition, should we see more strangers like Pink who want to become slayers, I think we should consider allowing them to join us provisionally, grandpa. We can offer rewards for training them.”

“… We could use more manpower, but as I’ve said, most of the normal folk of Zennia cannot hope to match even the weakest of the latecomers. I will consider it, though.”


While eager to shut this topic down earlier, Drache now grows almost interested in the result.

Only Adris seems doubtful now, and not intentionally so.


“Will… will they really put up with all of these… inane rules and manipulations?”

“‘Put up with them’? Brother, they will beat down grandpa’s door for the next slew of changes once we finish the first! They will climb to the very top of the Spiraling Red Tower if a maiden we put to parchment is up there with the words ‘limited opportunity’ written on it, so long as they can meet her here in the Call after claiming her!

… Obviously you spend more time pursuing your singular joys, than to see how organizations work the souls of others like putty, Starr! I approve of not falling into the trap.”


(Am I even needed? As far as their mental states go, you’re better than I at leading them by the nose…)


Though Adris still smiles as if he’s the secret force behind this advancement of his own goals, he’s feeling isolated from actually achieving it.


(I sort of understand what Castile is saying. If others solve all of my problem… it feels empty.)


“Surprisingly energetic and fun. If you’re truly intent on making something this fascinating, then I’ll do my part, too.”


Pulling her chair forward, Lycia yanks away the parchment with Castile’s design.


“HEY! Don’t smear anything! This is—!”






Insulting him to his face before sticking her tongue out, Lycia giggles at the blushing slayer before whipping Adris’ eternal quill up from the table.


(What are you…?)




“None of you understand the fine art of business, least of all you, Castile. You’ve got the draw, but not the flavor or finesse!”


Placing the quill to the parchment, she grins.

A glint in her slit-green eyes almost reminds Adris of gold, causing him to sweat as she takes on a new sort of presence.


(I forgot… she’s not just a woman, ghoul, or scholar, she’s also…)




“If you want the depraved to come to what is raunchily tasteful and stay for the aftermath, then let me give you the keenest edge to rob them with. We’ll milk every last drop of value from them by extorting them kindly with that beautiful blade, before they thank us for the robbery.”


With flourish, a quill skims along the surface as the Call as envisioned by Castile is reshaped by feminine hands into something that causes even Drache to blush.




That pleasant smile of hers deforms, as her sharp teeth reveal with her mania growing and evil joy sharing itself with them.

A hand shakes with the speed and energy put into it.


This is how you make those punks who lurk in shadows and legends drop their underclothes and open their purses.





“It’s… it’s outrageous! I… I could never show myself in proper society if my name was associated with this!”


Blustering at her, Drache still can’t take his eyes from the drawing she finishes with.


(There’s… boxes at the front entrance…?)


One of many alterations, there’s only holes in these fanciful boxes with an entry on the other side for someone to fit into them.


The note beside it reads:

Failed their work and needs to be ‘rewarded’.”


(… This is… a punishment for the slayers? Or for the workers?)


Other changes are even more bizarre.

Adris has difficulty following the logic of all of them.


“‘When traversing between these zones, everyone with the marking of an ‘S’ agrees to take part in whatever experience might befall them~!’…

What sort of… experiences…?”

Castile’s eyes are wide as he reads that, before looking to the woman lounging in a chair while swirling her glass.


As if she’s a queen descending to join them, she allows her ‘subjects’ to ask questions of her glorious work.


“If you know what’s going to happen, you won’t truly enjoy it as much, my dear.” Picking up Adris’ quill, she extends it over the table, letting the ink drip as she menaces Castile with it. “Why not apply the mark to yourself and discover my thoughts one-on-one?

“I decline.”


(Oh… it’s basically permission to freely be assaulted? Hah… haha… that might actually prove to be quite popular, if Rantil is any indication.)


From sales of sentient creatures for personal torment, all agreed upon by the ones taking part unless they remain “true enemies” who refuse to surrender permanently, to expanded contests of vitality and sexual hunger that pit an entire crowd against the stage’s contestants, Adris boggles at how ravenous Lycia’s fellows are if she’s right.


(It all… makes total sense. But I still can’t understand half of the fetishes she’s outlining.)


In addition to these changes, the additions of advertisements, banners, decorations, and changing the general theme succeed in turning the Call into a merging of the Castillo’s ambiance and the slayers’ aesthetics, all while properly channeling the attentions and energies of people to the right places.


“You’re even expanding the stores?”

“If you leak to the Wondrous Works of what the slayers desire to purchase, masked merchants with plausible deniability would be here within two ‘shorts’ to sell you everything you could ever want that relates to erotic pleasure and experimentation.”

The topic of her organization’s membership turns Lycia smug as she crosses her legs the other way.

“My, I should demand a cut of anything they sell or buy as the location finder…!”

“What am I allowing to be discussed…?”


Drache studies the default uniform of the workers, which looks like the standard Castillo servant uniform but incorporates the slayers’ individuality and ruggedness while also using more material to cover much less.




With all four thoroughly intoxicated, the boss listens patiently as the three discuss their plans with an enjoyable atmosphere.

Finally having their fill of drink, they near the finalization of the perfect pleasure escape…




“… It’s terribly easy to get into that position, actually. The straps help you stay up. Would you like to try…?”

“Maybe later.”


What Adris does try to do is escape the woman’s cold hand as it tries to enter behind the top of his pants. No longer content only to drink, all of her satisfaction with earlier has vanished as she again hungers for his taste, smell, and touch.


Though Adris looks for help…


“… I’m jealous. You two grew so close, while I’ve been forced by grandpa to avoid contacting you, brother. Sorry about that, by the way. Glad we’ve resolved it.”


Castile seems moody as he watches Lycia progress, unwilling to help or intervene.


“I still don’t like it.”

“Ahhh! Drache, stop being too old!”


Ripping her hand away, Lycia rises from her chair and confronts the man that is raising his cane defensively, even while tipsy.


“Look!? Can’t you find it in yourself to at least try to find a girl with this opportunity? … It still works, right~?”


“Sis! Calm down! Master Drache, don’t fight!”


Adris’ arms around the drunk ghoul only accomplish the response of her sensually rubbing them with her own, but she keeps instigating.


“It’s the finest chance for you to not only obtain a woman, but one that shares your same ambition of defeating the Alchemaster, y’know?”

Coughing at that question, Drache mysteriously turns away.

“… While I… do not hate monsters, I have little interest in sharing my life with one of the Castillo criminals.”

“You don’t hate them?” This admission brings Adris’ attention.


(That explains your willingness to allow the mayor to remain…)


“Right, grandpa doesn’t mind monsters, it’s true, because he already has eyes on the mayor!”




The cane’s crown slaps Castile upside the head, sending his hat flying before a second swing sends him fleeing.


“Oh? I see. Then isn’t that perfect…”


Adris leans over the drawing, taking his quill and adding a finishing touch called “VIP Box” over the abyss of the missing lower floor. As Castile hurries past, Adris holds up his hand to get the raging man’s attention.

Eyes bloodshot from outrage and drinking look suspicious at first, before coming to what Adris has drawn.


“If you suspend a platform over the gap, you can see not only the primary stage but everything else, too. If you set it up correctly, it becomes a very secure and very private space for important people to use.”

Enunciating the right words, Adris’ thoughts have an effect as the old man’s lips squirm.

“If you were looking to impress the… right kind of guests, this would be where you could learn their secret thoughts.”

“… It would be a marvelous view…”


Reaching down, Drache rolls up the drawing.


“… but we will end this now.”

“What!? But we haven’t even drawn up plans for the progression!”

“I have more alterations to make! This brat of yours is lacking for appeal to women’s personal tastes regarding men…”


(I also haven’t—!)


“In the end, I care not how the poison is delivered, be it by blade tip or sweet roll.”


Drache finally washes his hands of this plot, lightening his mental burden by forgetting the lewd imagery he’s been exposed to for an hour.


“We’ll try Castile’s strategy incrementally, but if it fails to bear results we will revert to status quo and you will have much to answer for, grandson. In addition, we shall prove whether the two of you are telling the truth or not by scouting the second tier in due time.”

“Right! And you’re going with me, brother!”


Hugging him strongly, the booze-reeking slayer makes a calculated demand.


“… I see. I’ll be proving it in person.”

“Yes! Grandpa already worked it out in case it came to this: you, me, and the two other top slayers on our way to the top!”

“Fine. As to Castile’s plans, I’ll work with him. I can probably aid him in finding some people to hire.”


(Echo, Stalker, and the kobolds will be joining you soon, Castile!)


“Indeed… then let us finish with that understanding.”

Closing his eyes, Drache collects his thoughts before opening them.

A hideous expression, one of absolute hatred for all life, affixes to his face as he extends his arm to his door.




“It is nearly morning and you have drank my entire liquor cabinet, so for my sanity and your safeties,





















Drache strangles his cane while pointing it at Lycia, causing the ghoul to leap back in fright before she, as calmly as possible, struts out of the room while making a “hmph” sound.


“… Am I…?”


“… Have a good night, grandfather!”


Taking the last bottle he was drinking from, Castile hurries out while giving a bow and recovering his bycock hat.


(I see… it is late…)


Drache stops Adris while he’s creeping toward the door, leaving them alone for a moment.


“… I’ve no concept of what you plan in full, only parts, aside from that it will invite trouble.”

“Hopefully little trouble and mostly success.”


Nodding to that hope, Drache lets his cane fall.


“Call off your advances upon the mayor, lest you undo machinations you cannot conceive of in your… absence. Seek not to expand beyond your ken, for times have changed.”


(… Who do you think I am?)


The recurring theme is that Adris is someone Drache has met in the past. This is proved even more so by…




“Are Roberto and Meltisha still hale?”

A boy’s heart almost stops, but his mind stays fluid.

“… They are. They prove their vitality every night.”

“Haha! Those two lost souls, finding comfort only in each other. Don’t look so surprised…”

Tapping him on the shoulder with the cane, the old man offers a proud smile.

“Who do you think originally told Pink where she could find shelter? As long as they keep their own dream alive, I don’t feel it’s a lost cause to hope for my own to be fulfilled.”


(Who am I to you, old man?)


Walking away from him finally, Drache returns to his seat.

Able to finally relax, he looks out upon the Petripolis which is ready to begin awakening within only hours.




“I’m too old for much more. This will be my last attempt. For the sake of my legacy, I pray that you’re true to your word… hmmm.”




This wistful plea ends with a grunt, as if the man chooses to blame his words on drink rather than seek a response.


Only nodding, Adris departs the room, letting the heavy door shut and close in the man who has been bothered for too long.


“Don’t you find it strange how familiar they are with you? If I didn’t know you better, I’d think they both thought you were a good omen.”


Rejoining Lycia, she seems as curious as he at the lonesome Call Master’s thoughts.




(Cethran, the Alchemaster, and four weird girls. What have I gotten into now, old man?)





Name: Adris fehl Dain, “Boss”, “Starr”
Titles: Lycia’s Little Brother, True False God, Slayer
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”, Slayer of Petripolis
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!”


[Verisimilitude] – “Stop giving weird names to what I do! But if my imaginative truths are more believable now, I’m not gonna complain.”


[A WONDERFUL CURSE] – “If that old corpse wasn’t already dead, I’d definitely kill him!”




[“Rabbit Boots”] – “Providing increased agility while moving as a passive boon, they also allow actively to bound great distances with surprising grace. What do they cost though, I wonder?”


[“Metallic Bracer”] – “I can punch Kol into a wall with this!? But it hurts like shit!”


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?”

“This taste, was it not wonderful? Have you not discovered something more substantial about yourself? If you pined for her, does that not mean you also pine for…?”

“Aren’t we nearing the time for the largest revelation you have to offer?”


“Isn’t eros a pursuit that takes true time and energy to perfect?”



“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’?”

“Having someone love him for something he might hate will produce the opposite of affection.”

“Planning ahead is, after all, his strongest forte. Even the Master of the Slayer’s Call can’t quite corner him.”


“Completely outmatched in terms of being a pervert, Adris has a long road ahead of him if he wants to be the Depraved King of Zennia.”



“Just because you have some ideas doesn’t mean that yours are the best.”



Name: Lycia Vehrose
Titles: Beast of Conquest
Race: Blood-Stained Ghoul
Sex: Female
Age: ?? (Old Lady)

Occupation: Wondrous Works Researcher; Tool Creator; Total Monster
Discipline: Battle Pressure – Mad Ghoul (Originally: Golden Luster – Eternal Soldier)



[Shooting Stars] – “A strange, wooden box with holes in the end produces a stream of missile-like light, which explodes with enormous force on the chosen target. I, of course, want it desperately. Hooray for aura tools.”

[Pocket Belmont] – “A spiked chain that flies with great force to strike out, before returning. It explodes with flame on impact, destroying whatever is around its point of release. Is this love? Am I in love?”

[Doom Rollers] – “Please make way for one of my favorite tools! Or, rather: don’t.”

[Heart Taking] – “Hey, won’t you give yourself to me~? Completely and absolutely.”


[DARK REVELATION] – “Only you wanted this, Little Bro.”


Disposition: Sultry / Intelligent / Vicious |-| Insane |-| Emotionless
Alignment: Neutral

Eyes: Green
Hair: Blond
Skin: Deathly White



Rantil Value –

Strength – C (B)

Vitality – C (B)

Dexterity – D

Agility – C (B)

Intelligence – C

Mentality – C

Luck – E

Charisma – D



Cethran Value – “Perhaps you have a fascination for that which seems human, but whose qualities deviate far from it when inspected? Even if she’s your ideal figure, Adris, won’t it be a problem if she decides to eat you up?”

“Isn’t she the perfect woman to demonstrate the worth of the advice I gave to you within the Chapel?”

“Perhaps I was both correct and mistaken? Let’s look for the next woman to answer your question, shall we?”

“Will you enjoy what you hear next about her?”


“How could you hope to compare to her refined lewdity?”



“A woman whose first instinct is to not trust you, and to trust only in herself. A fairly good perspective and outlook on life, in a blue abyss filled with lunatics. The obvious question is: how sane can she be if she willingly lives there?”

“From cocky temptress, to older sister, to both. Stronger, together.”

“Turning out to be a little more grounded and also less stable than anticipated, Lycia finds something to love in a place that makes sense only to her.”

“Still recovering from changes, she’s got a few secrets left.”


“If you ask how she views herself, it might be more as a merchant than anything else.”



“Lycia is fitting right in.”











Chapter 86         Table of Contents          Chapter 88