Take Up the Cross – Chapter 91: Ever-Lying Future

A highly successful morning ends in a parade.


“Boss is Boss~! Strong and sure~! Sneaky too, but that’s okay, because Boss is [villain]~!”

A poleaxe is thrust into the sky as a filthy kobold tramps down the street, scattering shocked citizens away from her path as she leads the procession while “singing” her stupid song.

Once defeated, a supremely self-confident girl regains a fondness Adris hasn’t felt since many days before.


“… Stop announcing who I am…!”

“Kakakaka! If Kol doesn’t let them know, who will!? They, have to know fear, to respect!”

A tail raised tall is dancing as she marches, while the rusty chain she wears is now partially obscured.




The familiar white tabard she once disdained, still ruined and dirty, is worn once more.




(I’ll show them to fear me by caving your skull in…! I’m in immense pain because of you! But, I’ll give you credit…)


Though he thought Kol might go crazy in outrage at losing once more to him, she’s been only…


(Deferential? Respectful… even.)


Like the status quo has been reverted to the day she pledged to him in the Castillo, Kol’s attitude changes back to one of bravado and anticipation for future conquests.


“Though boisterous, correct in desired impact Kol be. ‘Learning to succumb to one’s plots swiftly in order to obtain mercy’, how else discovered would this necessity be?”

Such delightful-sounding words are spoken without a hint of sarcasm, but Neesiette’s curious outstretched hand, one which refuses to depart from Adris’ bracer just within reach, leaves him further aware of her insight into his win.

“I was sure you had a perfect memory. ‘To rule in dark’ is the objective, not to be seen by all.”

“Yet, displayed for all to see one’s actions constantly find audience…”


(You four never give me time to plan things out before the future kindles to a blazing inferno threatening to consume me!)


{Have you considered that he’s just a narcissist that likes a crowd to think he’s as smart as he thinks he is?}

One hand moves fluidly as Still’s other arm keeps Adris’ butt held up on her back, taking a longer time to sign her insults.

“Boss, isn’t ‘narcissist’! Just strong! Body… very strong.”

With Ave still mutely slithering ahead while blank-faced and Kol constantly eying him with a hunger she cannot be allowed to sate, Adris can only entrust himself to his partner.


(… I find myself always being carried by women. When did my pride become so sullied—

No, it was ever worth shedding for the right price, but when did it become disposable?)


Four girls trooping along with a boy who might be their little brother who got tuckered out is degrading even for Adris. Every set of eyes in the crowd that keeps their distance haunts his soul ever more, leaving him thankful when they turn into a nearby alley.


“Indeed, explaining more thoroughly all of his actions such a character flaw would.”

An inner turmoil rages when Adris is insulted so openly, becoming something…!


(You, of all people, Neesiette, don’t get to call me a narcissist!)

“A girl as self-oriented as you are should plainly understand the value of oneself. If you can reproach me for defending my own pride, shouldn’t you face the same condemnation?”




“… Indeed?”

Flinching back from Adris while her voice raises, Neesiette finally looks to his face, which regards her with some irritation.

“It… be not incorrect to state that this tool values itself highly, though doubt be in existence as to how accurate such a comparison be between…”

Almost taken aback, Neesiette silently stares while struggling to keep up with Still.


(Are you angry at me for taking your place!? … No, why did I talk back to her, anyway…?)


It would be more wise to let it slide, especially given that his mystic now looks cross with him…


“Still, pride openly defended cannot be termed ‘narcissism’, for if one be capable of recognizing ‘pride’ within oneself, then that implies one’s realization of… potential personal flaws.”

{… Is that how it works?}

As if she’s trying to preserve her own perfection by defending him, Neesiette then focuses on keeping her difficult travel sufficiently noble as her steel-blue dress swishes over the rough path, forcing her to obsessively brush it clean.


(You whined about Ave, but you’re the clean freak? I understand my comrades less and…)


Talking back, surprisingly, gives Adris a new insight into a difficult girl to analyze.


(She does have pride in herself, doesn’t she? I’d assumed it was all so… artificial, like she must have pride because she was made that way. But you’re different from the average man’s sense of pride.)


“Still thoroughly unexplainable one’s effect upon the world of Zennia be…”

The prickly sage resumes stroking his bracer while whispering, leaving him sighing.


(But this is the perfect opportunity!)


Such a statement brings a low chuckle from Adris, before it rises to a full, howling laugh.

A persona crafted to take advantage of the unknown and the fear of what could be reawakens as all but Still jolt when he begins to brag with a tone full of conspiracy and obscuring ego.




“As Kol discovered, this vessel usually houses only the minutest quantities of my true power. To allow its full power to manifest without safety would surely prove dangerous to all present.”


(Remind yourself that there is much more than a boy to represent your desire for power! Remember who I am! I am a being of darkness, brought to Zennia for you to fear…)




“Dangerous to one’s own ‘vessel’ such manifesting proves true, if also to others…”

Though shocked momentarily, Neesiette only lightly banters with him before leaving off.

{Dangerous enough to need a piggy back ride, you are~!}


(… Are you two no longer even remotely impressed?)


“RIGHT! Kol, felt strength very much! … Definitely, want to feel again…”

That thought burdens Adris, but Kol’s laughter and Ave’s shaking figure support him sufficiently to recover his lost self-worth.

Speaking of the snake elf, she seems lost as she weaves aimlessly ahead of them.


“… Monster… huge… meaty… weird… is…!?”

Finally halting, the girl clutches herself as she shivers, before she looks up into the sky with her mouth open, gazing at the obscured sun.


(Did she break?)


Saddest about this the most, Adris’ gut is churning as he remembers the disheartening response from Ave at his “change”. Muscles that still feel like they’re on fire are a testament to the way in which her world view upturned in a moment when his temporary gigantism caused her to vomit.



{H-Hey!? Ave, come on, are you…?}


With the sudden emotion straining Ave’s face too much for even Neesiette and Still to ignore, they approach her while she blankly looks to the sky.





… Hm? Are we back?”

Blinking a bunch of times, Ave then rubs her eyes, before looking surprised at the three people concerned about her. “Huh? What’s wrong?”

{You were… you weren’t doing anything? You okay?}

“Be it so shocking to witness such a horrific transformation that one’s mind broke?”


(Don’t call me “horrific”! … Please, I’m begging you!)


Adris can only grind his teeth at the description as Ave’s eyebrows furrow, her mouth puckering before she tilts her head.


“‘Horrific’? What was horrific?”


“… Be one sane?”


Both girls inspect Ave, while the elf only looks puzzled.


“Oh… right? Ah, Kol and Adris fought!?”

Smacking her fist against her palm, Ave recalls the obvious with a fearful expression before noticing Adris on Still’s back.




“Wait? It’s over? We’re back near Welcome Web?”

“… That be obvious, newt.”

“Who won? Did something happen? … Wait, where was I?”


Just as perplexed as the rest of them, Ave then smiles brightly at Adris.


“Well, obviously Adris won! There’s no way he’d lose to Kol, right~?”

{… Y-Yeah, sure. ‘Course he won.}

“Right!? How did he win, though…? I…”


Shaking her head lightly a couple of times, Ave suddenly scrunches her face.

“… I can’t recall how…?”


The spike of her poleaxe butt breaks a brick as Kol slams it down, before laughing uproariously.

“Boss, just let real fearsomeness show through. Messed up Kol. Very fun~!”

“Is that so!? Wow… that must’ve been awesome! I’m sorry you lost, Kol!”

“No worries! Boss, strongest, means Kol, next strongest! KAKAKAKA!”

As Kol hugs Ave to share in a victory she didn’t even earn, the two giggle with each other as they turn to walk toward home with renewed energy.




{She completely blocked the “thing” from her mind?}

“As expected of such a porous mental framework. Surprising resiliency be found with a simple mind.”

The two brains of the group applaud Ave’s survivability, while Adris asks the question on his mind.


“Was my meager show of my otherworldly potential truly that maddening?”


Still’s free hand pats Adris’ arms around her, before she signs helpfully.

{Sorry, but that was the most disgusting thing I’ve seen since meeting Kol, partner.}

“Saddened this tool be, to admit that it lacks the function to ever forget such a black sight.”


(… Kill me.)


Though he remains outwardly stoic and dismissive of their opinions that should be beneath him, Adris’ heart wavers with the pain flowing through it as they approach Welcome Web’s silk-covered entrance.


(Kol loves me more than ever, Ave has washed her mind of the entire incident, and the other two are momentarily disgusted with me. I cannot win. Even the bracer disrespected me!)


Reaching deep into his own inner world, the battle fiend’s spirit encased within ancient metal had unlocked a creature sealed deep within his id. Even though the old man also permanently destroyed it, the corruption, the lingering and festering stain on Adris’ soul that the sealed thing represents, is now free.


(How will it affect me? Especially when I can no longer feel the mountain lord’s presence anymore?)


After exerting itself to defeat Kol, the bracer’s ego fractured and broke.

Only a sense of eternal, unyielding strength lies within now.


(That pain is something I’ll just face. I’m stronger now than before, anyway. I have a purpose.)




“Kakaka! Boss, strongest and most hands—!



Whipping her poleaxe around, Kol suddenly claws her feet into the ground and leans forward, pointing her weapon toward the entrance.





Ave shrieks as Kol ambles forward, dropping what else Kol carries as she bares her teeth and enters a death charge.





The emptied street of Petripolis’ inn district momentarily comes alive with her echoed roar, followed by Adris’ ears hurting as the flow of false aura all around him deforms, sounding like a scratchy ringing from every direction.


(Not good! She activated Meltisha’s magical sensors!)


“Kol! Refrain from aggravating…!”

{That fuckin’ idiot…}




Still and Neesiette break into a run, with Adris and his partner easily tearing past the stammering Ave as the kobold rips through the silk curtain.

Trailing from it like a banner, the now curtain’ed weapon aims true as Kol howls, disappearing into the sudden darkness beyond.


“We have to stop her before she ruins our future plans!”


(And by that, I mean gets us evicted!)







Beyond the precipice is a chilling scene.


The normally inviting atmosphere of Welcome Web has turned unnaturally dark, with the only source of radiance being its proud owner.

Standing on top the inn’s counter so that her large, spider body is behind it while the human woman towers over them, swirls of purplish energy wick off of her sleek arachnid limbs, giving a shine to her that flows out over the invisible strands she manipulates.

Such bewitching luminescence casts the whole room in shadowed lines, with a large clump of hidden silk stretching to a beam overhead, from which a figure twirls.


“… Kol, feels like this also happens a lot.”


Stuck in a position of mid-charge, the wound up girl is held in bondage while grunting, for the silk wrapping her constantly tightens and shifts.


As Still halts in her run after witnessing the figures locked in a struggle, Adris takes in the same assessment she does while a bit bewildered.



“Hiiiii~! ‘How’s it going, runt?’


… is what I would like to say, but give me a moment.”




Before the equally blond-haired spider proprietress stands a woman wearing a belt of tool-filled, leather carriers and a multitude of luggage held from her shoulders. Too heavy for even a man to burden, Adris’ sister isn’t even bent over from the packs.

Her hands holding two objects: one is a scroll case, still stuck in extension toward a Meltisha who smirks at it with her blue eyes focused on all threats, while the other grips the head of a long poleaxe, holding it aloft as Lycia starts speaking once more.


“As I said, the taste is delicious. I’m not going to take it back later~! Are you sure you won’t try it~?”

“… I’ve no taste for treats from those who are a threat to my ‘muse’.”


(We’ve blundered into a tense negotiation.)




How tense is proved by multiple out-of-place parts of this once warm environment.


Chairs are shattered, with pieces hanging from webbing. The parts leave Lycia at the center of their orbit, while her clothing is stained with slowly evaporating red Vigor in spots.

The woman herself smokes a bit, with the vapors rising from melting white substances sliding down her body. A bottle with some sort of mechanism attached to its opening lies next to Lycia on the floor, emptied and reeking of the same fluids that disappear after eliminating the goop.


(… Something that melts webbing? I will buy that!)


For her part, Meltisha’s ruffled long dress and body glove have small nicks in the material, while the wall behind her bears long, deep claw marks in a pattern that avoids the area directly behind the arachne’s sleek body.

Numerous silk strands float loosely in the room, proving that Lycia can both detect and cut the source of Meltisha’s manipulative entrapments.


“No, but who’s to say the muse is even imperiled…~?” Acting playful still even while her voice is flat, Lycia tries one more time to continue their conversation.

“A poet does not place their muse at risk, even with the remotest of dangers.”

Meltisha’s long, chitinous index finger lifts up as she extends her hand, beginning to spark with gray and orange, flaring energies that vibrantly hum.


“[Recall that day, our heart was betrayed. Silent sinners, dance and bay,]…”

As they intensify to wind over her forearm, Meltisha’s carefully cropped hair in front stays tight, even as her wild back hair lifts into the air.


A multitude of blue eyes blaze with power as she stands higher in the air, with her lilting, feminine voice still pleasant as her emotions instead bleed raw into the magic she weaves, full of hatred and paranoia.


This atelier ill affords space for poachers!



(Say it fast! Whatever she’s weaving is outrageous!)


Lycia’s body moves with a girlish impetuousness as she writhes in frustration, before whipping her scroll case once more as Meltisha works to complete her sorcerous spell, leaving Adris’ hairs on end as the room begins to deform in his sight.

“It’s not like I wouldn’t try to steal your muse, because I definitely would do that, but it depends on how… well, youthful he is!? That’s the only important point!”


When Lycia screams this at her, Meltisha blinks and halts her chant, choosing instead to let gathered energies idly simmer on herself.

“… Explain.”

“Like, does this guy… oh, best example!”


Turning her head, Lycia winks at the boy being carried by Still.

When she does, Adris feels Still quiver.


(… Eh?)


“If he’s as bite-sized as that dear thing over there, I definitely would chomp him; but, otherwise, I’ve no taste for your larder, Miss~! I only like a certain cuisine.

This cheerful announcement brings an instant change, as the darkness within Welcome Web vanishes with the swishing of silk.

When the light returns, the energies attached to Meltisha vibrate and fade, as if they were a dream the whole time.




“I see. That is your ‘taste’. If so, that’s fine.”

Meltisha’s hostility dries up, with the woman backing down from the counter’s top and settling into the space behind it. Adjusting her dress and halter top, Meltisha begins to smile congenially while pushing the guest registry forward.

“What is the flavor of the gift? If it’s sufficiently pleasant and your manners are cordial, we can even ‘have tea’ together.”

“… Hah, it’s the best spice I’ve put in this chocolate.”


When both women untense, the conversation becomes easygoing.

Lycia drops Kol’s weapon with a clatter, before strutting up to offer her scroll case and pull out a quill.


“Understood to be averted in entirety such a crisis be, Miss Meltisha?”

“There’s no longer going to be fireworks, little Lunamaton. You’re welcome to find what furniture is left to use or return to your rooms.”

When Neesiette’s tepid question is answered with a lack of importance in Meltisha’s tone, Adris internally sighs.


(This is how powerful women “negotiate” to stay in an inn? No, I imagine Meltisha instinctively knows who this woman is and made a guess as to what might be happening.)


Meltisha was the one who provided Adris the secret seal of a faded rose that enabled him to defeat Lycia, and the ghoul who giddily laughs while watching Meltisha’s response to the scroll’s contents now proves how interested she is.


“Is this truly functional?”

“Why don’t you test the effect for yourself~?”

Lycia’s provocative cheer causes Meltisha to frown, letting the scroll roll back before she she taps the counter with it.

“To offer this as a ‘treat’ is far from ordinary and reeks of desperation, so let’s hear your circumstances. If you’re like him, I should look forward to being invaded by the [Wondrous Works] or the [Pillars of Zenith] the moment I hand you the key to your room.”

“That’s definitely… implausible. At least… for both of them to do it…”

“Of course, you’re just like him, aren’t you? Why does Robbie’s little inn only attract dangerous misfits…?”


(Lycia wanted to meet whoever told me the secret to beating her, so that’s accomplished…)


“Adris, hold what place in one’s plans for a former enemy does one?”


(Good, Neesiette, you read the mood quite well. You’ve already deduced how last night went.)


Not even the least bit frightened, Neesiette merely awaits requests as she examines Lycia’s gear lying around or held off her shoulders. Even brave enough to approach them, her small hands touch on the various items open to view…


“… Kids shouldn’t be so free with other people’s things.”

A light growl from Lycia comes with the ghoul noticing her possessions being touched.

“Quite young even one such as you would be, from the perspective of this tool.”

“Huh… Never been told that, before! Just don’t break anything.”

The delicacy Neesiette uses with her touches and her quick rebuttal causes Lycia to relax before ignoring her pilfering.


“… And who will vouch for you while here?”

Meltisha finally pushes her registry forward, keeping her spider hand on it while Lycia points behind herself with a quill while grinning.

“Of course, there’s one person whose word is irreproachable~!”


(I see, that’s my cue? You’re going to live here and keep a watch on me, are you? How nice…)


Though not fine with the idea of Lycia being a permanent guest, Adris knows he has little say in the matter after the night they spent together.




“My word will suffice for—”

{Yeah, she’s fine with—}




Both halt in mid-sentence, leaving Adris shocked at Still’s languid hand offering to vouch for Lycia in place of him.


{… It’s nice that you don’t mind her, I think, but Meltisha was talking to me, partner.}

“Since when?”


(When did you two agree to this!? … No, wait…)




Setting Adris into a chair, Still seems to “sigh” inside with a shrugging of her shoulders, before setting off to converse.


“I’m so fortunate to find a place like this in Petripolis! To think, I’d been living anywhere I could find space…” Lycia pats Still’s shoulder as the sneak flinches at the affectation, before Lycia leans down and whispers.

“Thanks, friend~.”

{Don’t mention it… ever again…}


(Ah. Ahhhh. Right, I can see why Still lost.)


Adris had been wondering why Still’s night of shame had occurred. Being whipped within an inch of her ability to compensate for the loss, his partner is now chatting with his sister.


(But… who started the fight? And why…?)


Questions without answers like these always trouble Adris’ burning gut the most, leaving him wondering at what other conspiracies brew around him.


“But why not? You’re the first friend I’ve ever found worth being around…”

{Because you can say whatever you want to without me stabbing you for it, or because you’re a freak?}

Lycia leans on Still as the other trembles in frustration, forced to bear the weight of the gear on the ghoul’s body.


“My, you two do get along well. It would make me jealous if I had similar inclinations…”

Meltisha rubs her face with her hand while commenting, bringing a startled reaction from both girls in front of her.

{Inclined to what!?}

“I don’t feel that way about this…”

Still’s mask gains a gruesome smile as she turns to look back at the woman about to insult her.

{The fuck is wrong with me!? No… “this”!? I have a name!}

“No, it’s just… I’m not…? And Still is a nice name, just forgettable, so sorry~?”

A flurry of signed abuse follows, before Lycia laughs at it, and causes Still to turn and walk off.


(Ah, forced affection is the hardest to deal with. I understand that.)


Drained of spirit and pretending not to care, Still rejoins Adris.

“I’ll make it up to you, if nothing else.”

{You definitely will. She better be worth having around, partner.}

Still picks him back up, getting ready to walk away, before…




“Kol, says that shitty corpse is worth placing an axe into. Will get a second win.”

“… Oh. Right. You.”


That abusive remark causes Lycia to narrow her eyes and look up, where a frozen Kol is leering down at her many feet in the webbed space between Meltisha’s rooms and the ground floor.

Pink and green eyes hide a storm of emotions within each.


“If you promise to behave, even if that promise is worthless in the end, I’ll release you, Kol.”

Meltisha calls up to her while offering a way out of captivity, but…

“Kol, promises to crush shitty corpse outside of home. Inside, too messy. ‘Sorry’ for earlier.”

“Yes, yes…”


Kol touches down as Meltisha’s finger spins, releasing the webbing around her so that the proud girl can rise and clank toward Lycia.


“Didn’t you just…?” Lycia looks annoyed at first, but then offers a kind smile. “No, we don’t need to start off on the wrong foot.”


Extending her hand, Lycia welcomes a handshake with the short bruiser.


“It’s not like you did anything wrong~? A battle is a battle. I won’t hold against you what that boy invited to occur.”

Letting her hand jump in front of Kol’s face, Lycia keeps trying to get her to agree to shake.

“How about we get to know each other before worrying about vende—?”




A loud slap sees Lycia’s hand blasted away, as Kol’s own drags up her poleaxe when she leans down to grab it.




“Kol: hates smiling liars most of all.

Kol knows, nothing in corpse’s mind is there, other than hurting Kol.

Fall into grave and die for real.”


With the smuggest face Adris has ever seen her use, Kol’s mouth turns up as she lifts her chin, the lines in her beautiful face increasing as anger mixes with that pride.


To her credit, Lycia’s shaking body doesn’t immediately turn lethal.

Instead of hitting back, Lycia’s struck hand comes to her bountiful bosom to be held there.


“… Okay. If this is the relationship you want, then let’s acquit ourselves truthfully, dog.”

Baring her teeth, Lycia’s tone becomes singsong as she chuckles.

“I can’t hate the way you get to the point~. We’re not gonna work out, right~? After all…~”

“‘After all’! You, weakling!”


Lycia’s face warps in madness as Kol mocks her, a death rattle echoing up her throat as she gives a cheshire smile, leaning in inches from Kol’s growling mug as the two square off.


bIg SiS HaTeS hOnEsT gIrLs MoSt Of AlL…!




His mind races with how to stop this confrontation, quickly reaching the brilliant solution.


(Right, just reuse old answers!)




“Avenalliah! I need your assistance with something!”

“… Are you sure…!?” A timid scream comes from outside the front entrance, where Adris can sense a powerful wellspring of authority hiding. “Well… if… Adris needs me…”

Peeking through, Ave’s uncertain smile is a balm for Adris’ heart.


When Ave slithers into the room to cower beside Adris and Still, her presence causes another to stalk away from Kol, avoiding the elf as best she can.


“Kakaka! Good! Shitty corpse, remembers!”

As Kol points while bending over laughing, Lycia gives Ave the most fearsome smile she can manage while trying to hide her skin from the invisible rays Ave fills the room with.


“So, the worst one shows up, just when the mutt needs someone else to stand up for her!?”

“NONONONO! Ave isn’t standing up for Kol!? Kol does what she wants to! I’m just… this is…!”

A question dripping with sarcasm causes Ave to begin hyperventilating, followed by Still cringing as the divinity the snake elf exudes grows stronger.


So strong that the room itself begins to feel holy.


“GAH!? Uh… calm… calm down, I’m not blaming you…!”

While struggling to not leap through a solid wall, Lycia shuts her eyes and smiles kindly, waving her trembling hand.

“I’m just… just joking, anyway!? I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you four after… how… how you helped me!”

“Helped!? We helped…?”

Lycia’s strained voice loses a bit of tension as Ave blinks before smiling lightly.

“We helped you? Good…! I was scared… that you might hate me… I mean, us!”


… How can I possibly… hate such nice young girls…?”

“Right!? I mean… I’m sorry that things went so wrong! Adris didn’t tell us about your circumstances… You’re not really scary anymore, you know?”

Ave slithers up quickly, bowing to Lycia in apology as the ghoul’s pale skin begins to mottle a sickly gray in some spots.

“You were really scary before, but I’m not as worried now!”

That is how you feel, is it!?

“HIIIIEE!? Ave meant… that you’re… a nice person…!”


The backhanded compliment drives Lycia into a frenzy, before Ave’s quivering emissions cause the ghoul scholar’s eyes to swim as she stumbles. As if she might throw up if she stays next to the invisible sun any longer, Lycia backs away while grinning.

“It’s fine, it’s fine! Water under the bridge…! I’m just happy to be… ‘freed’ from that horrible bondage!”

“Yes! We finally did something good! How long will you be staying here, Miss…?”

Clapping her hands happily, Ave chases Lycia as the ghoul shakily retreats around the room.

“Lycia❤️! Lycia Vehrose❤️! That’s… my name…! Please, forgive me for being tired, but… I would like to rest before social activities…!

Still, please explain to her.”


Backed up to a wall, Lycia writhes in torment as Ave grows happier while invading her personal space, leaving it up to Still’s intervention to save Lycia.


(You can’t bully Ave! By extension, you can’t bully me, so let’s remind you of that?)


“It’s nice that you’ve hit it off. I’ll be sure to let Ave know when you’re here, so you can chat. Right, Ave?”

“Yes! It sounds fun!? I’m glad to meet you! Can we talk, maybe?”

Ave bullies her further as Adris fuels that fire.

“You… miserable…! I’m going to play with you later…”


(As if you weren’t already!? But now, you understand!)


“I find it hard to believe that you realize the danger you’re in when you waltz around so openly through town.”

Lycia is flippant with this comment, but the knowing look she gives to others produces a sort of collective understanding between all the females here.

“Big Sis has to interfere like this because you overlook things you should know by now, when others certainly haven’t.”

The way the older woman sneers causes Neesiette to turn serious, while Ave looks ashamed and won’t look at Adris.


(I do have worth, because I don’t fear monsters. I see, the girls know how much worth I have, don’t they, even if they never mention it? Having Lycia around might provoke them to open up about their own secret actions.)


As Adris and Lycia’s hidden standoff ends, the girl serving as his mount pats Ave on the shoulder without touching her for too long.


{Ave, you’re a little too fresh.}

“I’M SORRY!? I just… wanted to talk…!?”

{I’ll bring her around to talk with both of us, so hold off till then.}

“Oh!? You mean for a tea party!? I’ve always wanted to—!”

A girl’s sudden happiness is dashed when Still waves her hand in the negative with great gusto. The dire frown the sneak shows with a waving of her hand over the mask looks suitably disappointed, too.

{Yeah, we haven’t been having those lately, sorry! So, it’d be hard to invite you for something we’re not doing, you understand? Maybe next season we can start back, when it is warmer~?}



Still departs the scene the moment Lycia obtains breathing room, leaving Ave downcast as she’s abandoned by both of them.


“… Don’t you feel bad—?”

{Shut it. You’ve no concept of the harm you invite by letting her participate in your work.}

Adris’ question earns swift emotions from his confidant, letting him grasp a bit more of their complex relationship.

{I don’t… dislike her, but… just lay off.}


(As clumsy as she is, I feel like she might be dangerous in all ways.)


But, Adris also wants something more.

Thinking about the shy girl who twirls her moss green hair while being left out, he comes to an idea that might bridge them.


“How about if I do some things with her, instead? If I help her, she might— AH!?”

A rapid, hidden clapping of his butt is the response when Still nods her head happily.

{Great idea! Please, play with— I mean, involve her in your great and wonderful works, oh almighty Dark One!}

His suggestion earns immediate praise as she signs with looping gestures full of happiness.

{Just try not to ask for something weird from her, or it will get weirder.}

“Any sort of business with her is likely to end in one way, though…”


(I don’t want you getting pissed if we end up having sex.)


The hidden message behind Adris’ words results in Still halting her movements for a moment, before she rocks her hips and then gives a cagey reply.

{I don’t even care if… no, you might also benefit…? Why don’t you try “opening her up” a bit? At first I thought you might hurt her, but… now she’s more likely to hurt you…}


(Do you understand that it would be sexually!? I don’t want to have something crushed! Normally, you’d be…)


A girl who often indicates slight jealousy whenever Adris draws feminine interests just lets the conversation drop without growing angry.


{If it’s… her, then… well, just have fun.}

The normally coy sneak turns her hat covered head, causing it to crush into him as he wonders at her sudden mood change.




“Shitty corpse. You don’t belong here.”

“… Try telling me that outside~! I belong here more than smelly girls do.”


As the party chats during midday, two figures stoke the fire between them once more.


(I need to hold this off for forever.)


“Kol, belongs here the most! Kol, was the one that showed everyone this inn!? And you are the smelly one!” Stomping on the floor, the irate kobold’s voice is growing only louder as she gets into this mood of hers. “First Elf and rest, then Boss, but Kol didn’t invite, shitty corpse! A place as good as this, doesn’t need its appeal ruined by you.”

“I don’t need your invitation, anyway~. After all, there’s someone here who is definitely related to me and is happy I’m here…”


Casting her eyes upon him, Lycia tempts Adris with a hidden relationship.

Though she’s smiling evilly, nothing about her easy manner and loose stance indicates that there’s a veiled threat to use that relationship against him.


But, the “joke” is enough to cause Adris to grind his teeth.




(I’m… going to change, too. And I’m dragging you with me, Lycia. I won’t let either of us languish!)


Adris promised her he’d change, and now is the time.


(Besides, if I’m going to fail at this like you think I will, I’m dragging you down with me!)




“Oh? You mean Still? How are you two related!? Wait, in what sense of the word related!?”

Suddenly shocked senseless, Ave slithers up to pepper Lycia with questions after recovering. Stuck between happy and scared, the girl’s eagerness brings tears to Lycia’s eyes as the ghoul reveals a tight face full of pain.

“Ugh… I’m…”


(So, you can produce genuine tears…)


“‘Related’!? KAKAKAKA! Just another lie! Stupid corpse, nobody would be…!”

“The relationship is obvious, of course. She’s the sister of this vessel that you know very well.”

“… related to y—



As Adris coolly interrupts Kol, the entire room goes still and quiet as a tomb that’s been sealed.

Lycia’s astonishment comes with a slight blushing of her cheeks, before her blank face curls into a warm smile.


“… Yes. My name is Lycia Vehrose, but I should say that I’m this boy’s older sister.”



Kol and Ave both scream out at this, before Ave squeals like a little girl and slides up to Adris.

“She’s your sister!? This beautiful lady!?”

“Why is the ‘beautiful’ part the surprising piece?”

{… What? Explain.}


Still pats him for confirmation while Ave’s hands grip his so tightly that the bones might break.


“Calm yourselves! As the proud representatives of my power, you cannot contain yourselves long enough to hear the truth of the situation from me!?”

When he yells, the girls gasp, but go quiet.

Save for…


“If ‘truth of the situation’ be relevant, interested this tool be in such a claim being possible. Continue at one’s leisure.”

Neesiette’s light smile is infuriating as she holds a crystal globe up for the light of a window to filter through, casting images on the ground that she studies.

“Oy! Doll! Leave that alone!”

Doll? Using such offensive language, be this the crude essence of the sister of a false god?”

“This has nothing to do with that! That globe is valuable!”

“A scholar’s erudition, would it not be lacking if one acts as—?”

“Shut up and give me!”

Lycia bickers with the girl only a third her size, reaching down to rip it away from the mystic who refuses to part with it. Rather than being offended, Neesiette just looks up with interest at the annoyed woman.

“Fascinating one’s designs be, this tool be forced to admit. The inherent multi-acquisitional limitations of Caledonian pseudo-Art linking, be this a method one has improved—?”

Why does everyone constantly spill my secrets out of their yapping mouths!?


(Secrets, is it? “It won’t be a secret, but the truth and lie will be the same thing to them”… This is a test of my desire to make things right?)


Remembering a bit more of the night before, Adris’ mind works to connect the dots of his history into a plausible narrative that unites him and Lycia in a good way.




(The most compelling lies are the ones that are formed of nothing but truths, seen through a certain perspective and united by how they are lined up together to be viewed.

Fatso was right about this: nobody really cares about hiding the truth, so long as it produces a valuable, positive result.)


A charlatan can use lies for good or not.

So, to fulfill his way of living, Adris chooses “for good” if it’s for those he cares about.




“Though I am of a distant place beyond the impassable clouds, this ‘vessel’ that I have reminded you often of is not the same.”

His voice fills with purpose and authority, unleashing the “truth of Adris fehl Dain of Zennia”.

The cross patiently awaits the rest of his “truthful lie”, while knowing that it succeeds in its purposes of fulfilling four girls’ needs and wants.

“Molded upon Zennia, it is a weak housing for my true power, the will which flows from this very cross to become this body’s own.”


(My cross is my lifeblood! Without it, I die! It’s more accurate to say that “Adris fehl Dain” is the will to survive while cursed with this shitty cross!)


Lifting it up for them to take in, Ave gulps while suffering its presence.

No matter how many times they bathe in this baleful, obsidian chunk’s effect, not even Neesiette can ignore when it’s invoked.


“Boss… true body, not this one…?”

Kol grows hungrier at this claim, as if the image of Adris changes in her mind’s eye.

“Of course not. My true form is beyond your understanding entirely, its capabilities more akin to the gods of Zennia in effect and versatility.”


(My true body is an older man’s! That is the truth! This isn’t meeeeeee!)


His lamentation at this loss of height and stature is buried deep within his troubled soul.

Letting them stew in this vision of an unfathomable true self that he need never prove exists, Adris casts eyes to Lycia and gains her attention.


(If I must become someone they can approach, then help me create a “persona behind the persona”!)


There is a silent conversation had as his next words come out.


“… Through peculiarities of the interference of Fate and chance, the body that I have come to share and own is the same one that is the brother of the once-bloodstained ghoul named Lycia Vehrose…”

Kol gets into Adris’ face, growling as the passion taking her causes her to look disheartened.

“That’s impossible! Shitty corpse, Moon says super old! Boss, isn’t…!”

“Appearances ever deceive, Kol.”


(There is “this boy” and then there is…!)


“Boss, don’t lie, again to Kol—!”

“No, it’s certainly a truth, child.”



Lycia’s agreement with Adris’ lie startles even Meltisha, for the spider landlord was following the chaotic conversation with veiled interest.


Letting some of her gear hit the ground, Lycia’s free hand strokes Adris’ chin as she coos at him.


“My little brother was possessed by this creature from afar, without me agreeing to it at first. Trapped within the Castillo, long have I looked for my brother who was ever hidden from me. While it’s true that I’m from the Second Age, it’s not as if I never had a family. Like me…”

A weird truth is spun from events as Lycia dances with facts, gaily explaining their history as each girl grows interested.

“His name, unknown to me after my life was stolen by the Alchemaster, might as well be ‘Adris’ now. Freed from the laboratories of the Wondrous Works through equally strange events, we reunited while escaping.

My… handsome, in spirit, brother from another age…”


(I hate that! Stop saying things that aren’t really compliments!

But, this is the path forward!)


If Adris cannot be only feared and respected, then producing a “human” side of him, one that doesn’t diminish his otherworldly impression and unfathomable power, is the next logical evolution of his guise.


“Boss, looks nothing like shitty corpse! Done something to Boss! Kol, refuses to accept, because Boss can’t be anything like—!”

Kol pushes Lycia away abruptly, barking at Lycia as she “defends” Still and Adris.

“No, plausible it be, such a story.”



Pulling at her own hair, Kol marches over to grill Neesiette with questions, but the moon fairy just pats Kol’s cheeks to stop her from raging.

“A knight’s composure be eternal, never faltering even once from internal discord, remaining as steely as armor worn against an enemy.”



(You’re going to bolster this insane story willingly?)


Adris nods at Neesiette, letting her take up everyone’s attention as she lifts her hands to demonstrate ideas.

One starts as a flat hand, but slowly curls into a closed one to match the other.


“A creation of the Alchemaster, and therefore shaped by that hand, a bloodstained ghoul be. Of physical similarities, none may exist with the culmination of degenerate work, for victim be altered completely into the image of the maker. So be this tool’s understanding of a strange woman’s alchemical design.”

“… Thank you for calling me such a degenerate work, doll.”

When Lycia sneers at Neesiette, the doll blinks before nodding her head, as if catching on to something she failed to convey.

“Misunderstanding, one does. Allow for clarification. Though one’s creation be degenerate, one’s own mental degeneracy be separate from—”



Ave wraps up her “friend” with a sneaky tail, silencing Neesiette as a sparking rod falls to the ground when Ave fully grapples the struggling Lunamaton.


(But it serves my purposes to leap upon that idea!)


“Indeed. This body was… trapped for an unknown time, possibly asleep, when I happened upon it in my pure state. Upon awakening, nothing could be remembered of this world from its memories.”

Completely “plausible” bullshit earns murmurs as the rest follow along, leaving Adris orchestrating his lie with subtle emotional gestures.

“As a traveler from Xin who rides upon ribbons of power that can warp this entire world if they are too obvious, the relationship between Lycia and I required time to understand and sort out…”

An affectionate, but still self-confident, smile earns the woman’s chuckle.

“And, in conclusion…”


A loving ghoul wraps both Still and Adris up, earning a useless kidney punch from Still as Lycia purrs at Adris.


“I finally… found my brother, even if it’s different from before. And through his help, was freed from slavery.”

“… I’m glad for it, too.”

Siblings, if even in name only, share an intimate moment as the room watches them.




“Ahhh… sibling love… is it? Well, then let’s get you your room.”


Meltisha climbs over the counter, bearing a golden key as the spiderwoman offers a mushy face full of happiness and barely concealed eros. Looking over both Adris and Lycia, locked as they are in forbidden romance, Meltisha lets her fangs show as her voice grows naughty.

“How about the ‘royal suite’? The door is quite loud, unfortunately… it tends to draw Robbie’s attention. What a wonderful influence such a couple would be here if discovered…?”

“Hahaha! Happy to assist you, Miss Meltisha!”

Lycia laughs while squeezing tighter, still getting punched in the abdomen as Adris grins in return.


“Sister? Adris has a big sister? How cool…”

Ave sneaks up while looking like a lost puppy, pulling on Lycia’s top as the ghoul grunts in pain.

“W-W-What is it…?”

“Nothing! It’s just… you’re so… strong?”

“Ah… ah… thanks…”


A conflicted look comes to Lycia when the cause of her destruction calls her that, but Lycia finally grins through the pain.


“And you’re smart, being from the Castillo researchers?”

“… Well, I don’t brag…”


(Fuck you! Yes you do!)


Putting her hands together, Ave looks really small as she basks in the glory of a full-fledged woman like Lycia. Though beautiful and slender, Ave’s human curves absolutely lose to the definition of erotic curvaceousness when they stand beside each other.


“And you’ve got a really good style! I… couldn’t wear something like you wore last night!”

“Huh? No… you’re definitely beautiful enough to pull—”

Bashful in this moment, Lycia tries to be supportive…


“It’s so… slutty looking with your panties exposed like that, but you make it look really refined when worn by you!”

“GAH!? … What…!?”


His big sister crushes Adris harder, as he laughs wildly on the inside while his maimed body is further abused.


(AAHHH! Ave is so… innocently brutal! Now I see why Meltisha doesn’t like her…)


“If… you’re done for the moment…”

Trying to change the topic, Lycia starts to move her hand to shoo Ave, but the bird-headed girl acting shy just keeps talking without ceasing.


“Having a big sister? That must… be really nice…”

“It’s… just a thing that me and him joke about, we’ve hardly…”

As Lycia sighs, Ave turns dreamy as she whispers what she truly wants.


“Hey, can you be Ave’s big sister, too?”

“… it’s not—”


Both stop talking about roughly the same time, with Ave smiling timidly while Lycia’s mouth forms into an “O” of shock.

As the room stays silent, the snake elf put on the spot begins to sweat profusely as time ticks by.


“… Um… no, Ave… didn’t mean to…”



When Ave starts shaking while stammering, Lycia and Still both twitch in pain as the one who can scream does so.




Stuck with a dead-man’s smile, Ave just sweats as Lycia gasps in revulsion of her.

“… No, Ave didn’t say something stupid like that!?”

The dunce of a girl grips Lycia’s waist while crying, causing Lycia to start crying, too.


“I… I don’t deal well with new people, and you’re just so cool, so Ave was…!?”

“It’s fine, it’s fine, so please…!”






Adris can’t even yell out as he and Still become Lycia’s crumbling stress release.

Unholy strength acts out in the presence of true divinity.




“Ugh… Ave… screwed up again…!?”

The awkward girl puts her hands over her face to hide from everyone while her tail wiggles, melting in plain sight of everyone she’s embarrassing herself in front of.


“NONONO! Don’t cry!? I’ll be your big sister!”



A yowl of sheer horror is Lycia’s plea as she collapses to the ground. Trying to escape, Lycia tugs at Ave’s leather paneled dress to get the girl’s attention.


“Um, sorry, hic. I’m… not trying to…”

When Ave does calm while wiping away tears, Lycia’s suffering diminishes greatly.

“IT’S FINE! You’re a good girl! Big Sis is glad to know you… in fact, I planned to be everyone’s big sister, so don’t feel awkward about asking~!”


Lycia’s only salvation is to dive headlong into a role she obviously refuses with all her heart, earning a happy look from the elf tormenting her.

“Oh, okay! Ah, I’m glad… I didn’t screw up…”


(How nice. You’ll finally be properly punished for wanting to be a big sister to everyone…)


Though his once-broken body is on fire and Still is sitting on top of him after they were released, legs crossed and fuming, Adris feels sanguine about the outcome of his girls meeting Lycia.


“No… Boss. Say, not true.”


Only Kol is despondent, kneeling beside him while giving him a resigned face and drooping eyes.


“… It’s true.”

“But… Kol is… ‘Kol fehl Dain’. Won’t… share with her, ever.”


(You’re not even my family!? No, but she…)


“… ‘fehl Dain’ is a title belonging solely to a being from another world, not a name she’s claimed. So long as you desire that title, it will be shared if… you belong beside me, the Crossbearer.”

“AH! Kol, definitely belongs beside you!”


Patting his head, her furry hands and wagging tail are pleasant.

A girl who has never been his…




“Kol, will be with Boss.”


Her right hand, one which bears an invisible glyph of [Fire], grasps up his left hand. The way she smiles is so carefree that Adris does feel young basking in it, because her beautiful face reveals pureness of character Adris will never possess.


“Boss, proved himself to Kol… so, Kol will prove herself to Boss.”

A tight fist pumps as the tomboy makes a promise.


“No matter what, Kol will protect Boss. Not because Boss is weak, but because if ‘vessel’ gets smashed up, Kol won’t be able to hang around with Boss!”

The handsome way she talks makes her sound like a knight for once, like a man Adris can give his back to.



(… Thank you. For believing what isn’t true, just because it makes everyone happy.)


Even if he lies constantly in his own way, Adris wants to believe that a room full of boisterous, fighting, and strange women is a place he belongs in.


If not here, then nowhere else, because this is where he finally chose to stay.


“Everyone should remember this day, if only for this reason: what we know about each other is far less than we think.”



Kol’s puzzlement is joined by the others, who listen to the words of a boy who can’t even stand up.


“Though we may work together, only through understanding each other will we reach the pinnacle and conquer the Castillo. So, let’s begin from now on. Just as you knew so little about me…”


(With this… I don’t have to worry about the past again.)


Dark thoughts join with the humor he feels over fooling them all once more, a recurring victory he savors to an unhealthy degree.

He reaches out to Kol, asking for a hand up without asking.


“So that I might deliver the answers to all of the dreams of those I’m bound to, both great and small, I hope to learn of your lives and thoughts, too.”

A spell-binding voice is Adris’ greatest asset, provoking even Neesiette’s heart to seemingly skip as he looks directly at her.

For the Lunamaton turns sharply while frowning, so that their eye contact won’t last.




(These girls will never leave over slight misconceptions or incongruities, now. They will belong to me, just as Lycia suggests I should seek out, when their hearts are claimed by me!)





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?”


[The Mountain King] – “[Honor the gods, inheritor, and ever seek victory for their sake.]


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?”

“Despite believing that you were speaking candidly, didn’t you hide everything you truly wanted to say? Do you feel your ‘sorry’ was sufficient to explain the depths of your shame?”

“With yourself finally resolved to begin answering the question, shall we look forward to assistance?”

“For a second, you might have been someone who was handsome, if only to one girl, yes?”


“Are you ready to be passed around?”



“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’?”

“A lot more playful while drunk, his tongue is also a lot more boastful.”

“Only when intoxicated does his brain finally slow down enough to work properly.”

“Learns that with great power comes great suffering.”


“Gets to see how the girls act around him.”



“Lessons can be learned in horrible ways that don’t necessarily teach the right lessons.”



Name: “Kol” fehl Dain, “Pink”
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!




[ ?DARKNESS? ] – “▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒……!!!”




[“Dreadful Armor”] – “This is where Kol will live and die. When Kol roars, armor roars, too!”


[Halberd of the Whirlwind] – “GET OVER HERE!”


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…?”

“Discovering pride? Isn’t that like asking for her to leave you?”

“How do you feel to know what she’s looking for in a man?”


“Who will you go for first, Adris?”



“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.”

“With pride comes self-worth that one can understand and convey to others.”

“Despite losing, she also wins.”


“Not afraid to stake a claim, Kol will take what she wants, even without understanding the consequences of the assertions she makes.”



“But the girl who fancies also isn’t a weakling.”



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

Occupation: Delver, Scared Girl
Discipline: ???



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


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


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


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


[Elvish Venom?] – “Hm? Well, Ave doesn’t really know, but if you have fangs, shouldn’t you have venom?”


Disposition: Joyful / Impressionable / Cowardly
Alignment: Neutral

Eyes: Crystal Green
Hair: Moss Green
Skin: White



Rantil Value –

Strength – C

Vitality – D

Dexterity – C

Intelligence – C

Mentality – F

Luck – A

Charisma – C




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

“Yet, to lose her, would you understand the loss? If she’s quite beautiful, then wouldn’t she need a man who is also about the same?”


“Are you understanding her home life, yet?”



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

“Suffered another horrible mental trauma.”


“Absentmindedly inflicts mental trauma on others.”



“At least she’s less cowardly now.”



Name: Still, “Cyrene Stillwater”
Titles: Puddle
Race: Undead?
Sex: Female
Age: Young Lady?


Occupation: Delver, Trickster/Outfighter
Discipline: Accursed Avenger




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


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


[Nectar] – {How does my suffering taste, spawn ofcursed blood”!?}


[Delusional Movement] – {How did you forget that shadows are also a doorway, Adris?}


[Undead Fortitude?] – {Do you think that what has no life cares about your pathetic strikes?}


Disposition: Playful / Sadistic / Skulking
Alignment: Chaotic

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



Rantil Value –

Attributes by Grade:

Strength – E

Vitality – E

Dexterity – C

Agility – C

Intelligence – C

Mentality – D

Charisma – E




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

“If you’d hit the ground, would she have made a joking gesture and said ‘whoops’?”

“Shouldn’t you be careful of love, Adris?”

“To be found disgusting even by your partner, how terrible it must be?”


“What do you think, after seeing who she lost to? Does failure make her more or less approachable?”



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

“Soft-spoken at times, perhaps the unifying factor to her being quiet is when she’s not sure what she should think.”

“The one who is most dangerous of all to anyone in her way, she has found something she considers…?”

“While coveting Neesiette, she also seems to treat her quite flippantly.”


“If you had to compare them, one coming up short might just be the luck of the draw.”



“Has less to say when she’s not allowed to be on top.”



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

Occupation: Delver, Mystic
Discipline: ???



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


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


[“Brings An End” – Ponderous] – “[Ponderous was the end, for the unfair passage of time finally brought even earth to its conclusion]…”


Disposition: Impassive / Calculating / Curious
Alignment: Ordered

Eyes: Pale Violet
Hair: Amber
Skin: Pale White



Rantil Value –

Strength – F

Vitality – F

Dexterity – D

Agility – E

Intelligence – B

Mentality – C

Luck – F

Charisma – C




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

“Aren’t you glad that she wasn’t revolved?”


“Is a girl who doesn’t bend or break when faced with horrors of the past not a solid foundation for your interests?”



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

“Ever the scholar, to the bitter end.”


“Once she sees through the social bluster, she easily ignores it.”



“Neesiette time soon. I promise.”



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?”

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

“Congratulations, Adris: how does it feel to find someone as broken as you are?”


“Moving in with you? Won’t that severely disrupt your ability to appear all knowing?”



“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?”

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

“In the end, she gives up and accepts the sort of relationship that someone else conned her into. Not every manipulation turns out to be a betrayal.”


“Pursuing what she considers a deal, Lycia joins the inn full of reckless misfits.”



“She’s not a heroine, just along for the ride!”






Chapter 90         Table of Contents          Chapter 92