４１． The Hero’s Decision
I had two choices.
Kill Liliana to release her from her suffering.
Take Liliana out of this place.
『Oh, I’m surprised to see the second option.』
Though Ante sounds like she mocked me, contrary to her tone, I felt a creeping chill in my mind.
『But, what are you going to do to save her Taking her out secretly is practically impossible.』
I know… That’s why I’m gonna take her out brazenly.
――I will use 【Domination】 on Liliana.
In accordance with my scenario, I would take a liking to the saint.
Thus I pushed my magical power into her mind to force her to become mine.
And brought her out of the room.
All that was left was getting the night elves to agree with me.
Ante didn’t say anything for a while.
『You’re trying to reveal your identity to that woman huh』
Ante asked with an unusually austere voice.
It felt like the pope themself interrogated me.
… Just for argument’s sake, I felt nothing wrong with that.
I mean, she would readily cooperate―― If I told her my name.
No, I knew that she realized my true identity even without telling her my name.
And what kind of gambling I took by revealing that matter to her.
Because if my true identity got exposed from Liliana―― I would be dead for sure.
『There’s that way too eh』
Her voice was devoid of any emotion.
『Problem is, we have no way to know what kind of effects were affecting her mind due to all the torture she suffered through.
That night elf said that they had broken the saint’s mind.
Even if that wasn’t enough to make her completely surrender herself to them, they might’ve control over the surface of her mind.』
For example, they might be able to cause some sort of reaction from her by saying a certain keyword(hex), reporting the news to them for example.
『Not to mention that if the saint showed any sign of regaining her sanity―― We have no choice but to kill all the eye-witness.
At the end of that path is total destruction.』
… Surely, the night elves were known for being meticulous.
If they made sure to make sure that the security around her was perfect, they would surely plant one or two kinds of hex in her mind to prevent her from escaping.
But then, do you really expect those night elves’ measly hex could rival our mastery
『What do you mean』
It’s a restriction.
If it wasn’t strong enough, we’re going to use taboo magic.
Supposing that they planted a mind control type hex in her mind which activated with a certain keyword―― Our first priority was to take that out of Liliana.
For example, how about we sealed 『The personality known as Liliana』
First, I would tell her 『You’re not Liliana』 with a magical power-infused voice.
And instead of changing her personality to another person―― Which is almost impossible in this situation, I would tell her to become a cat or a dog.
Next, I would forbid her from recalling her old self.
And take her out of this room as MY PET.
Regarding the fact of forcing her to act like a cat or dog, which would definitely humiliate her, it was at least a much better option than letting her to suffer from continuous torture in this god-forsaken place.
She should’ve opened her heart to me after I revealed my true identity to her.
The current me should be able to do this since her magic resistance was practically at the lowest possible level.
So this hex should be working on her.
『Uhm… As long as the chance is half and half, this solution should be feasible.』
Ante gave her support.
『If there’s a problem, it will be the effect of taboo magic on you.』
But Ante, the taboo magic had no effect on you.
The taboo magic won’t work on me as long as you’re inside of me, right
Again, let’s forget about Alexander’s personality for now.
I would act as Jilbagias from now on.
Since doing that would make me forget my mission as the hero to save Liliana, please remind me of that.
Since I myself paid suitable compensation for that, it is bound to be a powerful one.
By the way, I placed a strong prohibition, and completely sealed all kinds of methods for my alter ego to reveal my real identity.
Having to remember for Ante to cancel this magic after I left this place and just by myself was enough.
『… Surely, we can do it in that way.
I do have some anxiety with your speech and conduct as Jilbagias without Alex’s personality but…』
In short… What I’m trying to say is, I leave the aftermath to you.
I mean, even without Alex’s personality, I knew that my desire to take Liliana out of this place would remain in my alter ego, I knew that I wouldn’t transform into a cruel and atrocious person like a normal demon race should be.
『Well, I’ll do something about it.
But, I will only tell your alter ego the general situation.』
… So you would leave out some information huh.
Ante replied without even a shred of hesitation.
『Now what are you going to do to take her out』
『Sure enough, she will certainly be allowed to leave as your pet.
But, are you going to keep her locked in your room Can you really say that as successfully rescuing her』
… But… That was much better than being tortured in this place.
But that doesn’t change the fact that you’re still in danger of being discovered once she regains her mind.
Though there’s insurance such as preventing her from returning to Liliana’s personality―― You mustn’t forget that the night elves were literally everywhere in the demon king castle.』
Yes, it didn’t change the fact that this was the worst possible environment.
『In that situation, she will have no choice but to keep humiliating herself acting as your pet… Can you call that as saving her Not to mention that you’re risking your own chance and life by trying to take her and escaping from the demon king castle.
I think that even if you keep her as a pet, the night elves will assign one of them to monitor her non-stop.』
And then, there was no doubt that they would continue their “Research and Study” using my pet…
… What are you going to do in that situation
Are you trying to tell me to kill her
『That might be compassion for her…』
Ante groaned as she replied to me.
『In the first place, you have a bigger goal than this.
If you want to defeat the demon king, destroy the demon kingdom, and save mankind, you’ve to be prepared to make some sacrifices.
If there’s even a slight possibility of your true identity coming to light, you’ve to prepare some sort of method to kill her immediately or save her even if you’ve to risk your relationship with the night elves.』
I was so desperate that I forgot about such an important matter.
… I unconsciously clenched my fist the moment I realized such an important fact.
Ante was right.
I’m literally treading on thin ice.
『… Don’t misunderstand me, I have no intention to blame you.』
Ante told me so with a gentle tone.
『I just want you to look at the bigger picture.
The current you look, you want to save her at all costs after all.
You can save her if you wish for it, I won’t stop you from doing that.
But, considering all the risks that you’ve to take, not taking her out of this place is the best option.』
I just didn’t want to see you regretting this choice―― Muttered her in soliloquy.
『Fortunately, we’ve around 10~20 minutes to make a plan…』
In other words, that was the only time left―― To decide Liliana’s fate.
It felt like tons of weight just added to my shoulders.
Yes… I’ve decided.
I would do anything and everything to take down the demon king.
『――Now then, shall we save her』
I felt someone say so from behind me.
It wasn’t Ante’s voice.
It was the resentment of the people who I failed to save until now.
In addition to the soldiers who I killed to show my naming magic, I’ve let dozens of humans die during my training with Platy.
I could declare that as an unfortunate case.
I mean, my attempt to blatantly save humans despite my position as the prince of the demon race would definitely raise suspicion.
On the other hand, IF I took Liliana, a rare high elf, as my pet, that would definitely make me look like someone―― From a savage clan.
But then, was that all of it
Could you call me someone impartial just because she was my acquaintance from the previous life, or because she was the saint of the high elf, or because she has been suffering from all kinds of extremely terrifying tortures for more than seven years
Was it really right for me to save only her, and her alone
… There were few merits of having a high-elf by my side that I could think of.
One of them was the possibility of her using her miracle on me.
With her existence, there was no need for a useless human scapegoat for me to use the transpose curse after my combat training with Platy again.
But if my identity was revealed, everything that I planned so far would crumble in just a single day.
Does the merit that I could get surpass the demerit
Many people had to die until I arrived at this point.
Was that a reason to let her die too and end her suffering, once and for all
What kind of expression―― I had to show toward the people who died because of me until now
You’ve―― Killed us.
I got the feeling that I heard that voice.
――Your mission is to defeat the Demon King even if you have to sacrifice everything.
If I obeyed that voice…
――You’ll be at ease.
I had nothing to worry about anymore…
No, I mustn’t.
To accomplish my mission, I had to worry.
My pride as a hero raised a loud alarm.
I snapped out of my worry, fully realizing that I must never stop worrying.
Numerous people had died in front of me so far without me being able to save them.
But, that didn’t equal me giving up on looking for a way to at least prolong their life for a few more days.
I had to strive to help as many people as I could, even if it was just one more person.
Yes, I almost forgot my original goal.
To defeat the Demon King, to destroy the demon kingdom―― I had to give my all.
Though I won’t deny that my own revenge was involved in this aspiration, I wasn’t stupid enough to let my emotion sway me.
I reached out to my belt.
And took the bones of the soldiers who died as my first victims from there.
The bones that already felt familiar in my hands turned into spear handles in the next moment.
… Will you guys forgive me for this
I closed my eyes, gripping tightly on the spear handle as I asked that question.
The one who killed you guys… Was me.
Nevertheless, will you forgive me, your killer… If I decided to save someone
『… The heck.』
Suddenly, Ante heaved a sigh.
When I opened my eyes, I―― Was at a loss for words.
The bones in my hands―― Had already transformed.
It transformed from a spear handle into something like a 『Sword』.
The symbol of strength for humans.
The bone sword trembled quietly.
『If you have such leeway for this pretentious talk…』
Uhm, I got this feeling that I could hear the voice of that soldier.
『――Show how much you can save even if it is just one.』
Who in the heck was talking
I’m a hero.
――The bone sword flickered.
I used that sword to cut the rope that choked Liliana.
Her chains made a clinking sound as the rope which held her head went slack… No less expected from a saint, her face quickly regained its rosy red colour.
Liliana groaned lightly but I knew that her consciousness had finally returned.
「… Hii」 was the first word she said when she raised her face and saw mine.
The chains that tied on her limbs made a subtle rattled noise.
She remembered it.
Maybe she was scared since she thought that this was another one of the torture sessions.
There were no remains left of her visage which used to be brimming with the vitality… That alone was enough to make me feel as if my heart was about to be plucked out from my chest.
I placed my finger on my lips, telling her to keep quiet.
I mean, the night elves on the other side of that metal door might be eavesdropping on us right now.
That’s why I want her to keep silent.
I focused my magical power at the tip of my finger.
… Liliana should’ve remembered this one.
I mean, even I with my ragged memories still remember this particular gesture.
O Gods of Light, Light My Path.
【O Holy Light, Come To This Hand( Hi Yel Lampus, Sut Hyel Mo)】
A Silvery spark burst out from the tip of my finger.
I ignored the burning light that scalded my fingertip―― And drew a white flower pattern.
Liliana’s eyes opened wide in shock when she saw that.
I followed the pattern by writing in the elven letter with magical power on my fingertip.
A high elf like you should be able to read this right
『It’s me, hero Alexander.』
『I come to save you.』
――Tears spilt from her sky blue eyes.