Take Up the Cross – Chapter 89: ‘A Genuine Feeling’ – An Addictive Drug

A small boy that stumbles unattended down a street does so with absolute certainty of his balance and direction.

Even if the shadows play in different ways when lit by Traveler, his uncloudable aura senses are searching more strongly than usual.


So strongly in fact that he has a headache.


(Yeah, the buzzing is because of the resonance… or something, I need to…)


Pioneering the wildlands of Petripolis alone should sound dangerous, but Adris reminds himself that he’s already conquered a terrible beast tonight.


(Smacked her silly and then filled her with my seed! … Well, she helped herself, mostly? Doesn’t that still count?)




A rough headshake is his answer as he holds the cross up before him, to let the obsidian glint off of it and remind him that he’s still ‘someone’.


(I broke her apart, forced her to relive a past she hated, and left her prone in the muck close to crying, but she still forgave me. I would’ve pulled the spine out of the guy who did that to me.)


It was a long con, Adris’ longest of all.

Never before had he ever left himself at the mercies of another, especially without any guarantees.


(I’m a fucking moron. I can’t believe I thought she wouldn’t hurt me.)


Now that he’s forced to consider it, he can no longer call it a scheme where he fooled her.

He just took a chance and entrusted his life to her, ultimately being rewarded with…


(Too bad she thanks me for saving her by embarrassing the shit out of me at every opportunity!?)


A great chuckle becomes a full-blown screaming laugh, as Adris cartwheels down the stone walkway between buildings.


The cross’ sure slice at the end of his tumble cleaves through a petrified shrub, sending shards along his path.

Blinking at his act, Adris feels confident.




(I’m perfectly sober.)




Talked down to constantly, a man of inestimable talent was less than a child to the old ghoul who plays at elderly refinement.


Nearly ready to stamp on a rocky flower while assuring himself that he’s not pissed, Adris stops in mid fall.


(… Actually, it was pretty fun, too. It’s just, she…)




“Hahhhhh… she got me too good. Well, she really is better than me, after all, so I have to accept reality, maybe?”


The moment he admits that, all of the burning frustration pouring through his body floods out. Except for a few hated things, knowing he can’t beat her just deprives him of a professional goal he was clinging to.


(She was pretty flustered by me, now that I remember! Pointing out that Still stabbed the shit out of her made for a good memory!)


A drunken woman who swayed as she walked, bent too low while trying to show off her cleavage, and slurred her words had produced a pinched face that looked like she was halfway through a shit, but a tiger had chanced upon her.


“Hahaha! You’re good, but you’re not immune to my wit, my dear Lycia, or it seems to alcohol!”


Crying that out to the street, Adris blinks after it noisily echoes back in his high-pitched voice.


(Right. Decorum.)




He continues walking while tossing the black cross up, making a game of how he catches it.


(I should hate her terribly, since she’s the worst kind of woman. But when I think about her, and us, and…)




The thrill of winning over Drache and Castile, of proving his intellect supreme even before the Master of Slayers, had sent a shiver down his back that cupped his balls in pleasure like a fiery orgasm.

It was a supreme victory, brought on with terrible odds by the suddenness of it.


(I wooooooon, and you looooooost.)


A recalcitrant old man with potentially unknowable powers and effective reach in society had not only succumbed to his blackmail, but ended up mistaking him for some idiot from his past.


(All because I came from the top of the Castillo? Ah, sometimes I can be—!)




The ground almost assaults him, but a quick balance check as he lets his legs go loose saves it from his wrath.


“Um… I won over them, but why do I feel…?”


Aside from sick as he leans over, he also realizes how little he’s been thinking of his victory before now.

Only one person has been stuck in his thoughts.




(Why am I only thinking about the time spent with her?)


There’s been plenty of wonderful experiences with other women, as Adris nods while dwelling upon it.


With both Kol and Ave, he’s tasted the first joyous, successful, and purely delightful virginities he could ever find to brag about.


(Fuck you, Lycia, for calling me boring. Kol came so hard I thought she might snap my back, while Ave basically worships my fingers. All I have to do is wiggle them suggestively enough at the girl to cause her to blush while swallowing!)


With Neesiette, he’s found a kind of accord: she remains a helpful and erudite companion, and he pretends to give her the worship she longs for.


(… She’s pretty cute, too. I wonder if…)


And, with his partner.


(Still is… exquisite. Like a rough sapphire covered in black earth.)


But, no matter how wonderful they all are…




He can’t shake it.


(When was the last time I ever felt so… at ease?)


The surprise from how his hands shake causes him to realize how chill the air is, wrapping up in his cloak while he starts forth once more.

Without trying to manipulate her for a greater good, he’d only ever tried to suss out a better mood.

After all…


(I can never stop manipulating, it seems. It’s simply how I live, now.)


No longer blind to it, Adris’ face is blank as he accepts his fate.


Adris fehl Dain is incapable of not thinking in terms of utilization.

Not even for the sake of those he…


(“Want to love”? Family is someone you’re supposed to…)


… can he ever stop.


Whatever chance existed for that is long past with the ending of childhood years. Under the chill night sky which approaches day, Adris accepts this and moves on, desperate to avoid being seen by interlopers as he passes through the territory of…


(That Granescian tormentor will answer for his crimes.)


A private hatred burns away the fun thoughts, before he pushes it away once he quietly passes through.

The time for dealing with this new threat hasn’t come.


(Neither Castile nor Drache consider you to be a threat? You’re the biggest threat of all!)


A boy who can command a red moon screams a thematic danger that must be backed up by an all-encompassing threat.


(Ah. Wait, why am I even here? This is the worst place to end up at!?)







Realizing how lost he’s been, Adris uses the location to aim for the right path, quickly hotfooting it toward “home”.


(I gave her all my thoughts as they streamed into my mind.)


Telling her everything was a process he couldn’t stop once started.

Unlike with Cethran, his emotions drove him to share, rather than a need to survive.




(That’s not right. I can never, ever do that.)


“A charlatan destroys himself when exposing his true self.”

This is the very foundation of the art of misleading to success.


(If I lose that edge, all of the “ways of manipulation” Fatso taught me fail! I have to listen to him—!)




Strangling his hand, Adris’ teeth chatter as that thought starts to play itself out, freed from being watched over by his mind due to alcohol, stress, and exhaustion.


(… No. It’s fine. Fuck him! I… have learned better ways…)




Being treated well after his “persona” drops to reveal… “something” underneath…


(Even after discovering who I really am, just… the pieces of a person left after Serras destroyed him, Lycia was more than just “friendly”.)


She’d acted close, in both a physical and emotional sense. Being held to her breasts and tasting that pale skin with his tongue brought them together, rather than just being an act she demanded from him.


(How she acts with me is tragically brutal, keeping digging into me and forcing me to agree no matter what how I feel… but… she…)




She’d forced him to not see her as Serras in his thoughts, an accusation that maddened him to the point of cursing her at the time.


But, after hearing it said in her voice, all of the hatred died away.




That name sends him to want to find another drink, but he didn’t bring one in his patched pack. One of his few remaining keepsakes, it connects him to the demon that claimed his life once before.


A gift from her, to a man who was impossible to give gifts to.




You need something easier to carry for when people try to kill you.”


Without a bit of humor, not even a drop for flavor, she’d thrust it into his hands on the day that was his “birthday”.

With placid eyes and an icy tone, she’d immediately walked away when he started blinking at her.

Unable to place how she could afford the pack that was made in the cities by an artisan, it didn’t even have a drop of blood on it to imply the previous owner’s fate.




(That feeling of closeness… with Lycia, that’s the similarity.)


It’s something he’s felt before, something felt many times.


(Many times… but… why can’t I recall any words or conversations with Serras?)




Unlike the bantering, meandering dialog with Lycia that filled the streets with loud words that sought to shame, insult, jostle, or belittle him, yet still made him feel wanted…


(… All the times with Serras were…)




When he held her, quietly.

When he stared deeply into her murky, black eyes, as she pretended not to do the same, quietly.

When she’d come back after wiping herself off from carnal or bloody combat, only then deigning to sleep beside him, quietly.




When they screamed together, either in the thick of a hopeless battle or in the thrall of a mutual climax, but always without words.


Because words never brought them peace or happiness.


(I’ve… never…)




Adris finds it difficult to stand, so he lets a wall keep him up.

Everything is swirling, much unlike any other night he’s drunk.


In addition to his loins feeling unreasonably hot, his head isn’t quite clear, despite his lifelong training.


(Only Lycia’s words ever made me hurt, feel good, and leave me wanting to die… or kill her, all in the same night. All while leaving me wanting to… see her again.)


While he’s always lying or misleading, straying from the “winning” path and offering words which may drive Lycia away instead brought her closer.

At least close enough for him to feel they are “something”.




“I don’t understand. Why is it different if the words aren’t shaped and led along?”




Suddenly, a teaching, one from too long ago to narrow down, screams through his brain.


Sometimes a neophyte will discover a book which illuminates the path to true ascension, with no lock upon it or enemy to steal it from their grasp.

Pity them most of all, for they languish in the knowledge that eternity is in their hands; yet, they are too dull to grasp its meaning.




Like that neophyte, Adris feels something close at hand.


A universal answer is within his grasp, one he’s searched for without knowing the…




A question and answer that, when united, will define something about himself and his life; yet, he’s far too green to grasp it.


(If I had been truthful with Lycia from the start, without adding a single lie to the mix, I would’ve been a pet to her or a mortal threat to extinguish.)


Without his manipulations, he’d never have had the power to defeat her, only become a meat to grind up and spice to her pleasure.




Only because Adris bared himself to her after thrashing her;

only because he honestly answered her questions without standing a chance of gaining from them except by her mercies;


only because he guaranteed that his heart was as frustrated and uncertain as hers was, and by dropping the barriers and drying up the obscuring mists of their hearts they found the ability to…




(… “I will never be loved, because I don’t know how to love”. Rantil told me that. But… we fell for each other, even as she rejected me and I rejected her.)


Without a shred of real proof, because everything Lycia has done for Adris so far could be simply out of her misguided ethics to repay debts or a desire to ride with his winning entourage to success, Adris still cannot find a way to doubt her words that ring as honest.


(I know when someone is lying to me… unless it’s… Serras. What I feel for Lycia is… isn’t it…?)




Patting his jacket, he whistles low as he feels something.


What he draws out is simultaneously his most useful and hated possession regarding “questions”.

“You will… have much to answer for later!”




This book was never in his possession during the night.

Purposefully leaving it behind, the cutesy thing possessing Adris had crossed great distances to make that attempt worthless.


(Can I not escape her even for a moment, like with the cross?)


Opening the plain leather book with purple, spiral accents on its cover, the only words written answer the question he was going to ask.




[“You will never find love, because your desire is for one who can understand your pain, but your fear ever drives you to those who cannot.”]




“… You’re… a terrible mystery, Lycia.”


(… Wanting, but never accepting. Hence… the contradiction. Contradictions are also called [darkness].

Who caused yours to be born?)


While getting Lycia in totality, he also finds he understands her even less.


“‘A person’s darkness exists in perfect clarity only to them, if even that is true.’ Is this how I should phrase it, Rantil?”

The book earns a gentle closing before he repockets it, not bothering to see if she replies.




“We have… no idea what we’re doing, either.”


Asking her to become his sister, the woman had shown support, affection, angst, and disgust toward him, all in the same conversation.


(… I can’t even remember the order.)


She’d acted like his life was something she could remark upon, even though he knows she would never permit another to do to her what she did to him.


“But when I bit back, she got angry, but…”


Unlike with others, Adris had fought with passion in his emotions against her words.

That passion was hot with Serras only very rarely, but with Lycia it was in the Castillo and also outside of it. The dark woman has shown many faces when listening to his own accusatory words, likely without knowing she gives them.


Like she read him, he’s been secretly reading her without giving it away.

If Adris had to say who Lycia Vehrose is…




“That was… the real her. No matter how awkward, she wasn’t holding back. She… genuinely cares about my well-being, even if she’s… a nosy shrew who likes using pale, supple flesh to confuse me with…”

Upon realizing that, all of her mystique vanishes, replaced by a calm affection.

No matter what he learns now, Lycia Vehrose no longer frightens him.


(Even though she was only a moment from killing me, she knows what she did was wrong. The look of panic on her face was genuine. She is… “genuine”, just like I figured out back then.)


That woman had bared everything, even while holding back so much of her history and character.

All of the emotions were obvious.

The fact that she still craves his body remains, no matter how she insulted his sexual abilities.




(That’s precisely why honesty will destroy everything. Familiarity brings only the end of absolute fear and blind respect…)




Though still not sure, Adris’ stomach hurts while stumbling home again.

Sure now of the street, no matter how much it seems blurry to him, a place he calls “home” awaits him with potential disaster… without having anywhere else to escape to.


“Who is Adris fehl Dain?”


Like a dark curse itself, this question is now taking on nuanced layers that peel away like a particularly vile onion.

Every layer exposed to the air hurts his soul while also answering the question more, with the source of this harm being a woman who might as well be the face of inquisitive evil for Zennia.

From that question, every step forward in his life begins to take on a new, heavy weight.




“What are those girls to me? No, more… basic than that: who are those girls? What do I know about them, except the information necessary to ‘guide’ them?”


Struck by that sudden thought, he wonders that while nearing Welcome Web.

Though he’s talked with them often, and often without a choice in the matter such as with Ave, all of his questions dig to the most important points about them.
All of his observations quantify and qualify them, without tasting their composite flavors.


(I have yet to examine them, never identifying the ingredients or the way of blending them. Not even the flavors’ intricacies?)


Unlike with Lycia, who shared meaningless questions with him designed to find out “who he is”, Adris and the girls…


(I’ve never sat down, not even once, to find out “who they are”. I’m so… pathetic when it comes to learning about people?)




When he first started upon his plan to survive the Castillo, he’d told Cethran that who they were didn’t matter.

They were only a means to an end.


(Aren’t they still? No… I decided they weren’t. What am I trying to get with them, then? What do I do to understand and grow…?)


Every conversation with them is tiring, trying to stay aloof to avoid causing more problems.

Constantly triangulating between them, all while appearing inoffensive, mysterious, and all-powerful drains him.


(But why? Do I need to stay misleading always…? I was honest with…)




Between careful deceit and pure honesty, he won over Lycia.



“Huh, right, she’ll also never be mine…”




Even though he’d kept telling himself the whole time that he didn’t want her and promising her that his intentions were only platonic…


(She saw right through me! Dumb, evil bitch! She kissed and then rejected me…!)


For the first time, Adris was rejected by a woman he actively sought.

But after being rejected, he understands something, too.




(If you tell me not to think of you as Serras, then I find I don’t want you as a [woman] any longer!? Oh, I have… problems.)


No longer just a seductive monster that played him well, she’s a grounded woman prone to odd behavior, tickling her constant need for bizarre tastes.

Tastes so bizarre and mood swings so catlike that they drive him away.


“I don’t want her anyway!? Isn’t that wonderful!?”


If forced to say it about the undead freakshow of a scholar who part times as a hustler of magical items…


“I’d never love a woman like her.

We clash, it’s obvious.

Glad I dodged that marriage.

Thank you and goodbye!”


Though a wonderful person in her own way, Adris thinks as he confidently lurches toward the entrance covered by a silk curtain, Lycia is the kind of woman that will destroy his life by being true to herself.


“Could never… love her like…!”


His throat tightens, nearly causing a coughing fit as he forces the words out that he feels he needs to finally say, with now being the last time to voice them.




“I could never love her… like… I did Serras, anyway.”




Mad sex that’s a fun romp, a wonderful woman that he shares hobbies and a love of tools with, and a mutual respect can’t replace an undefinable bond that defies being faked or forged intentionally.


(Ah, I really… lost something important. She destroyed something…!)


Old venom courses through his veins, until his shaking hand falls.




(… We destroyed what we had, Serras.)




Letting all his emotions out while he stands limply in the dark, that truth shared with Lycia produces a mood he’s never felt before now.

Willingly sharing everything, the good and the bad, is an impact he can’t replicate without being ready to chance destruction again.




Once let out, the experience burns through him.

It’s dangerous, threatening to invalidate his life until now.

Without tempering the feelings that drove it, they scream “be honest to everyone!”


It’s the most intoxicating mood Adris has ever felt.


“I hate it. It feels like it’s going to tear me apart, Serras.”




If this is what being around people normally is like, without leading them along or keeping his own objectives in mind, then Adris isn’t sure he could live that kind of life.

One sister who fervently prods him about his ways and lands light slaps when he backtalks her is almost too much.

Mortified at how childishly he acted in turn, especially with what he said and how, he can’t risk losing the impression he has cultivated to help him survive.




“Why does the truth bring suffering and happiness? Why do lies succeed where truth fails, yet cannot always produce beauty? Why does truth destroy what’s desirable in another while lies amplify it?




Posing dramatically, he turns to the cliffside which holds the home of his hated enemy.


“‘If lies can bring victory and truth can bring contentment, what is the ‘golden mean’ that unites them into eternal, contented victory?’

… ‘What a stupid fucking question’, right, you Golden Bitch? You’d probably say… ‘Do whatever you feel you like best, you’re still only useful for testing concoctions on~!’, yeah?”




Even after being mislead and beaten, Lycia forgave him when he explained why and agreed to try to love him, creating a unique relationship that just now is developing.


Yet, she’s only one successful case.


(I’ve seen what happens to men that share the fiery words in their hearts without reservation. They drive others away and bring ruin to their families.)


Without lies, Adris would be dead a thousand times over.

This is his only true power: the ability to bring victory through cunning.

The power a charlatan holds to warp the world to match his narratives.


(But, without “truth”, I never would’ve held her… I never would’ve tasted what other men talked about when they said that they felt kinship with a feminine body and mind…)




This fragile philosophical mood breaks in an instant, as a chill runs up his spine.


(Only one girl does this!)




Her presence extends past the thin curtain long before her hand slides it away.




Black armor is still pitted and scarred, discolored and reeking, but Adris does a double take as he examines the damage.


(Wasn’t it… a lot more ruined earlier?)


Even more imposing than before, the killer kobold encased in cursed steel has recovered after her battle.

Recovered after being given power.


(And her tabard is…)


Crumpled up and crushed in her hand, it’s a ghost of its former self, but is also being treated by her as if it’s rubbish as she drags it along.


(Wasn’t that your pride…?)


With her helmet off, those pink eyes of hers are piercing, peeling back his skin as they aim for his heart.

Scents of her exhausting battle are yet to be cleaned, leaving a pungent, but inviting, taste locked beneath.


When she finishes examining his face, she clicks her tongue and whips her head after letting out her ponytail.




“So. Shitty Boss finally shows up.”

That womanly voice of hers is replete with the contempt that oozes from her powerful body.




(You keep changing.)


Gone is the simple girl that had only brute force and an inexhaustible will.


Whatever she gained after her investiture had turned into loyalty to him.

A heated rebirth during a quiet night had given her a more introspective look at the world around her, opening up a mind that was once closed to “unnecessary” details.


But as he watches her lift her chin without making effort to sell the impression, silently sneering at him as she taps her armor with arms crossed…




(Someone taught you pride. That’s the most dangerous thing to possess… but also… the most…)


Even after being drained by Lycia, Adris imagines himself being hit in the face by that long, fur-tipped tail of hers.




Kol is the one girl who refuses to “love” him.


(… That’s a dangerous… thought! Ahh, what am I doing?)


Still silent after her greeting, Adris is also struggling to respond.


“Huh, quiet? Should be.”

“Kol!? Let’s at least—!?”


When a shrill elf calls while peeking past the curtain, Kol doesn’t yell.


Without even a word, she only raises her open hand toward Ave…




Before brutally closing it.


Gulping at the display, the green-haired forest child meekly retracts from view.




With her short, white hair blowing in the wind, Kol shakes her head one more time, finally narrowing her eyes and gritting her teeth.


“Shitty Boss… Kol can smell from here. Not only did that corpse go free, taking Kol’s prize, but also…

Held. Touched. Rubbed.



As she lists off physical events, Adris absentmindedly rubs his neck, feeling the lingering touch of Lycia’s kiss.


“Shitty Boss, put Elf and Moon through all that… just so, could steal Kol’s prize and mate with evil liar?”

“… I…”




(… Why do you care!? You forced me to all but rape Echo! … It would be…)


“The alcohol isn’t too much” is what Adris keeps telling himself as he refrains from swaying where he stands.

But something about tonight has already broken him.


(Lycia broke something, just like Serras did! I can’t help but feel like… I want…)


Staring at the girl accusing him of crimes…




“Shitty Boss, sometimes smell weird. Wrong. But… Kol always found, what Shitty Boss said, did, and believed, all… seemed the same.”

Though not carrying a weapon, Kol’s almost worldly tone gives her enough edge to make her words hurt when she launches into the attack.


NOT NOW! Kol, finally… understand. Shitty Boss, same as Puddle, completely!”




Kol extends her arm, a clawed finger pointing squarely at her “leader” as she raises her tone.

“Don’t tell others, what he’s doing! Hide things from us! Keep doing whatever he thinks, should do! Without even asking!”


(… You’re the one who does whatever you want to…)




That is not something that is allowed to be said.

To call out this girl’s many faults would only provoke more discord.


The rules to manipulate others call for Adris to remain—








(“Uninvested, but investing others in me.” To draw them close with honey and…)


“Shitty Boss puts others in danger, without paying out for that risk!?

Elf, Moon, and Kol put everything on line! Moon, told Kol!”


A challenge is issued when Kol hurls the ruined tabard with a silver shield, violet moon, and black cross emblazoned on it at the boy it partly represents.


“‘Beast of Conquest’!? ‘All-or-nothing’!? Kol, would’ve lost everything!”


(But you didn’t… you care about…)


“Instead, Kol win, but get nothing!? WHY!? Kol walked into angry sun!? Burned with corpse! Everything given up, so that…”


At first only shocked, she then growls angrily as she puffs up.


Everything so a Shitty Boss can get what he wants!? Give to Castillo what belongs to us!?



Elf and Kol: we win!?”




(… Everything was my idea, you absolute moron!

You… beautiful…)


Only winning because she gave up so much, Adris still hates her, because he gets what her fault is now…


(… Greedy girl…! I gave you something precious, but I can’t tell you! You talk about them, but…!)




The way her eyes widen when she speaks of power is different…


“‘Hiding plan so enemy doesn’t know!?’ Shitty Boss doesn’t trust Kol!?



She raps her chest, growing more incensed at his silence.


“Lying is worst way to win!

Lying always loses!

In the end: only honesty is right!


Only warrior who is strongest, who knows they’re strongest, and can prove it without anything else making… uh…


Making it…!?”


Some philosophical truth comes to her as rage drives her into apoplexy.

Thrashing around as the essential point hides from her, she growls in pain, before finally getting it.


“Shitty Boss, so… ‘impure’!? Way of winning, way of fighting, define ‘who’ we are!?


So, if Shitty Boss can only win by lying… then…”





… If you say it, I will…)




“KAKAKA! Shitty Boss: weak.”

“… Clarify your words. Do you believe you’re worthy of sharing a plan with?”

“Nurn!? Hmmm…?”


There’s no friendliness in his tone when he stalks forward.

Picking up her tabard with as much grace as he can find, he throws it over his shoulder before moving forward even further.






A spectator yells for his safety, but there’s no care for it when he comes to his final destination.


Face-to-face with his “right hand”, the countenance he shows has no definition in his mind.

He’s never prepared an expression like this one in his acting repertoire.




“Oh…? ‘Good spirit’.”

No matter what face it is, it has an effect as her tail swishes appreciatively.

She snorts while shifting, eying him more hungrily, before the anger burns back through.




“If you say I’m weak, then I will assume that you mean ‘deception’ as a tactic and weapon is ‘weak’, even if you fall to it.”

“‘Absolutely right’! Lying, in all forms, ‘weak’!”




(You deny me with all of your power. It makes me want you all the more.)


Lycia found this obsession with challenge repulsive, but Adris can’t help but buzz with the energy it brings.


“Then why did we win, Kol?”

“… Hmmm!? … We won, because Elf and Kol, are strong.”


(Is that all?)


Opening his mouth to verbally crush her, she snaps on him as she leans in.


“Always in the right place. Where Shitty Boss plays games, Kol could’ve led corpse to center with an easy ‘fall back’.

No need for playing!

Kol… can make others hate her. So much, that they can’t think!”

“… Of that, I agree completely.”


(Others hate you for telling them exactly what you think and believe.)


“So… a knight will never lie?”

“If a knight lies, then they aren’t a knight. Kol, has met many fake knights! Every last one, what they… ‘value’…?”

The unclever girl muses on that thought, closing her eyes in front of her current “enemy” as she recalls past faces and words.

“… Those knights, never protect others. Most, couldn’t protect themselves.

Kol: doesn’t consider them knights.”




(You’re a contradiction, because you masquerade as one! But… I…)




He’s close.

This feeling is almost the same.


Had Adris simply decided to immediately lead Kol by the nose and equivocate over what happened, he has no doubt that his fast tongue could eek out a rapid victory.

The girl in front of him, one that nakedly revels in his discomfort while pressing her own case, isn’t smart enough yet to beat him.


(… I want to change things. I want to… take a chance, like how it paid out with Lycia.)




Rather than be a “false god” that merely goes with their quirks and accepts them, always turning away from painful situations that might bring lasting changes that could destroy his “plan”, he finds that after tasting Lycia’s true self that he can’t refuse the flavor of another’s creeping out.


(… I won’t tell the truth. That day will never come. But… I want to hear your truth.)




There’s still no “plan” as to how to guide them.

Still asked for miracles, but Adris has yet to become a real god.


Even though Ave quivers behind the curtain, her eyes, too, carry the same sense of lingering betrayal that Kol’s reveal.

Though he brought them victory…




“Shitty Boss… if all you can do is hide behind plots and lie to us to defeat someone, then stop taking Kol’s power from her and let her solve everything honestly.”

The one girl who thirsts for power the most is also just out of reach of his knowledge of truth and lie when she denies his way of life.


(… Is she just greedy, or does this need carry spiritual weight…?)


Before he can ask that…




“State plainly one’s true desire and with all lesser claims be done, Kol.”





Both look up to a window overlooking this fight, where a small girl has opened the shutters to stare down at her teammates tearing a hole in their unity.

Though usually passive, her delicate features are fixed as she lightly smiles at them.


“Confront only one’s true wish without stepping lightly around it.”

She puts her arm out from the window, letting it hang open as if offering something to Kol.


“Kol, as chivalry demands, would-be knight who only now understands the faults of skipping one’s lessons, announce here one’s true intentions and deepest longings:


‘Wanting to be who leads’, be this one’s true longing in place of all other pursuits?”



When the question is heard, Kol flinches.


But after hearing it, Adris’ drunken mind goes wild.


(… If I’m weak, then… this… piece of work… would become, or be nearer to…)




Leadership being Kol’s true aim, it makes sense for her to tear down his image.


(… You… you cunning bitch… when did you learn how to manipulate…?)


Almost ready to hug her for discovering something so smart, she…




“Was… that what Kol wanted?

… Hmmm… Umu… that…?”


Pondering it as deeply as is possible for this simple girl to do, Kol’s hand roughly rubs her hair, mussing it up as she looks disgusted.


“… Ah… Kol, sorry.”

“… What?”

“Right. Kol, didn’t understand. Now, Kol understands.”


After apologizing, she reveals all of her pointed teeth.

No longer holding back, Kol puts a finger into Adris’ chest and pushes.




If Shitty Boss is so weak that he needs to tiptoe around enemies or hide in shadows to beat them… then Kol will absolutely crush that Shitty Boss. Just like Kol said she would in the Castillo!

… Kol, knows about Vigor. Shitty Boss: has none.”

Something like pity flashes across her face as she says this, causing Adris to grow weak at his knees.


“A knight, cannot allow a weakling to fight. So: Kol will be in charge, take care of everyone.”


(You saw? … I eventually… would fail to hide it, anyway…)


Without sparing his feelings at all, she shares her deepest thoughts.

As honestly as is possible, to the point of making Adris feel like…


(“An enemy…?” No. Like a… cripple.)


“… Kol will break you. Shitty Boss does plenty useful. Never need to face Castillo again.”

Wagging her tail, Kol grows softer. Almost kind.


(What are you saying…? I just told Lycia I won’t hide, and now… you want me to hide?)


Though Adris knows this is a fine idea, something about the loss of esteem is heartrending.

If he were to be treated as non-essential and kept away, a pleasure he’s always enjoyed, but can’t name, will dry up.


“Huh, Kol, Elf, Moon, and Puddle can handle things. Shitty Boss can plot here? Kakaka!” The arrogant girl laughs with her thick, mature voice that screams of self-confidence. “Right, Shitty Boss can just handle planning, let us handle Castillo. If Shitty Boss is weak, then Kol won’t need to protect if he’s—




A heavy slap ends the train of thought.


Not even feeling pain, Kol closes her mouth before leaning in low, staring up into Adris’ eyes as hers shake with fury.


“Adris!? BE CAREFUL…!”

A shrieking warning serves no purpose, because…


“… Hitting Kol, purpose… served is what?

So angry that her thoughts can’t fit together right, she stews in it as Adris merely snorts in response.


“I accept your duel by that action, of course, little tyrant.”

“… Duel?”




(She’s far too lovely to let off the hook. I’m going to break her delicious body, filled with both pleasing muscles and grope-able fat, knowing that I can’t possibly extinguish her spirit. Make her stare at me with such jealousy and outrage that she can’t resist any advance I choose to make, even if it means telling her to bend over on the street.

This isn’t hatred I feel toward Kol, so don’t worry, Ave. I would never drive her away. This is… it’s…)




Adris feels something close to genuine right now.

Like Castile discussed with him, he feels that “manipulation” can never bring him to this emotion he wishes to fulfill with Kol.


(I genuinely want to crush this little shit and make her fall for me. This is too delicious. I get to ruin you and make you mine, all at the same time!)


Even while in the guise of a [false god], he’s found an outlet for his thoughts and desires, all while playing the part that he has to in order to fulfill his [purpose].


Rather than “manipulate”, Adris wants to try…




(Xin was a land for manipulation. Zennia, though, is a paradise of seduction.


Let me into your gates! I want to taste the fruits of the oasis!)




“When I destroy you, you will acknowledge me as your leader. Now and eternally.”

“… umu?”

Just as powerful as his normal voice in this guise, it gains a hint of both longing and supremacy when it tickles Kol’s twitching ears.

“Tomorrow, we’ll fight once again, a final time. Only you and I. When I am victor, you will forever bear a mark of that acceptance everywhere you go, announcing our positions and relationship.”


That outrageous demand, said with the slightest intonation at the end, causes…




Kol breathes deeply as her irises contract.

Her bones creak as muscles playfully clench.

Listening to his words inflames her own spirit, bringing her almost to touching his body.


“… Kol, likes that. Understands. When Kol wins… Kol will make sure everyone knows that Shitty Boss… is strong under Kol. Exists so Kol can show who is strongest… and who gets mated.”

Just like the Kol under the black moon, horrific carnal intentions leak out as she grins.


(… Do it! Try me! … I’m going to practice my Zennian manners with you!)




With all of the prior night pushed away by yet another change in events, Adris chases this destitute feeling of…


(I want something real from you!? If this is real, then I’ll go after it, even if I don’t know what will happen!)




“They’ll only know that you’re regularly filled with the seed of the strongest man on Zennia. You’ll be a woman that is bred at my discretion, Kol. That’ll be your punishment for doubting me.”




Abandoning the remote and unknowable confidence of the persona he crafted on the overlook, Adris smirks at his front-liner while openly admiring her beauty with his hand.

As he traces it over her lips, he can feel her shudder at the dark magic in those words.


Though, most of it is from the willpower being expended on refraining from biting his finger off.

Just as she wants to harm him, he can taste a reflected longing for something he also desires. It jolts through her body, and sends her tail straight and stiff for a moment.


“… Okay, Shitty Boss chooses pain. See tomorrow. You… sleep elsewhere.”


Turning her back on and insulting him, the kobold who has grown a new sense of self-worth mutters under her breath.


“… Liars, don’t trust, with ‘home’! Go drown, like Puddle.


(You can never believe or trust in me until I prove something…)


“And one more thing.”

“NAH!? Always, more things!? Kol, just finished ‘cool’ moment…!?”


A destroyed tabard flutters as he holds it, letting the wind blow through the holes and assaulting noses with the smell of coarse chemicals lingering on it.


“Hmm? Is… trash.”

“No, treasure. When I defeat you, you will proudly wear this once more and admit that deception is a weapon which can win over enemies you could not conquer otherwise.”



She screams so loudly that her voice cracks, causing Ave to cry and retreat back inside.



… Hah… if Shitty Boss can… win with lies over Kol, will only admit, ‘Shitty Boss is strong’.”

“Isn’t that the same as admitting my point?”

“GAH!? Believe what want to!? Kol, doesn’t care. But…”

“‘But’, sweetest almost-knight-of-mine?”


Even if she was a cool, chivalrous beauty for most of the bickering, Adris can’t help but drunkenly jeer at her as she walks away, further incensing her.


Grrr… lying Shitty Boss like this!? … Hah, don’t care.


Will wear again, with pride or not. Not, throw away.”




With her departing the scene, Kol strides past a squeaking serpent who cowers at her presence until steps are heard going upstairs.

Sneaking back out, Ave’s tear and snot-soaked face is a sight to behold.


“… Ave is sorry… you can’t come in. Ave is… glad you’re okay?”


Like Kol, Ave’s reaction to his return is lackluster. Unsure of what transpired after, Adris has no idea what she thinks of him.


“Ave perfectly did her job. My deepest thanks and congratulations for proving that you’re a wonderful, reliable elf and my friend.”

“… HAH!? YES, THANK YOU!? … Ave will… always be there for friends…”

Profusely nodding her head, the bashful girl is like a tomato while clutching her ponytail in her hands.


“… Please… really be Ave’s friend?”


The girl he’d entrusted a secret and special position to “for the safety of others” now feels betrayed for holding it without telling them, if her cracking mewing is any indication.


(… I’m not sorry, but… sorry.)


“A girl who tries to help others does nothing wrong, even if she’s fooled. But, I don’t believe you were fooled, Ave.”

Waving her off lazily, Adris offers the smile he feels tickling his heart.

“Good night.”

“GOOD NIGHT… Adris. Be safe.”



Retiring for the night herself, she makes a strange winking gesture before her sleek tail points around the building.


(… She still loves me! Ahahaha! What did you do…?)




A boy who is riding on an adrenaline high crosses his arms while giggling a bit, before his face drops and becomes neutral.


(Ah, I forgot…!)


Staring up at a window, he discovers a curious expression analyzing his movements.

But, only for a moment, before she reverts to stoic.


“Are you not mad, too?”


(You’re the one I thought would be most…)




“… As a tool of struggle and means of achieving victory, deception be a valid tool.”


There’s no more flair to this statement, as upfront as it is. She spares no emotion behind the thought, only speaking it as if offering it to the wind.

Before she lightly nods once, readjusts the golden horn circlet seated in her amber hair, and closes the shutters.




(I… I…?)


Even more shocking than Kol’s sudden challenge is Neesiette’s thoughts.


(… Does… that mean she… accepts…? FUCK!?)


Chairs set out in the night crash over as Adris tumbles, slamming his head into the ground.



… Does she… accept… me…?

Ah… I’m bleeding…?”





Upon examining his new bedding, Adris is pleasantly content.


Hidden under an upturned table, a pillow and fur blanket were found rolled up.


(I love you, Ave~! … No, let’s not say that, even in my own mind. She might misinterpret my words.)


With this as his refuge from the last hours before daylight, Adris has also collected buried treasure he saved for just such a contingency.

Thick-smelling, rarefied wine, aged to perfection, is hungrily drained as Adris nurses his previous buzz.


“Ah, I don’t understand the flavor being popular, but it’s nice to drink something different.”


(I’ve had so much change in one night. I have a sister.)


Somewhere in Petripolis, a boy is likely being assaulted. A drunk Lycia seems like the kind of woman to seek out company after libations.


(I will drink to your fate, oh faceless semen reservoir. Die for my safety.)


Accepting her proclivities is quite easy after realizing who he really wants.


(… I… don’t want anyone.)


His thoughts sneak back, casting off the previous idea.


(Even Kol is just… someone I want to prove myself to? Maybe I just like challenging women?)




Braving the outer and inner courtiers of the Emperor’s Court’s trailing scum, Lady Yuhrliss was a woman sought by many, despite her bragging and endless waxing on about the days of the past.

She’d resisted his touch for a month, testing constantly his knowledge of “the Peak of Xin’s Glory”, an age he’d only ever read about.


(She went on and on… what was the line that broke her down? “What does a long-dead age matter to a thankful man of this one, when he has before him all of its wonders distilled down into only a single bequeathed treasure which surpasses them all?”)


Guards had almost swept their swords through his neck before a hurried woman’s voice called over their shouts, with her face blushing through the blush applied to it.

Red-painted lips had turned into a slight smile at his audacity, before she invited him to join her inner circle for supper.


(“My first rule is thus: nothing is greater than the Emperor’s Will.” By insulting that age, I earned death… but the woman spared me, because she understood…! Hahaha! Women are… so…)




Hairs go stiff as Adris throws himself into the corner of where he hides.


(Someone… is coming over the wall. But… not too expertly?)


Even if he can’t hear the movements, as long as the sneak doesn’t conceal their presence Adris can easily taste them with his aura senses.

The wind itself shows a “void” where a body is as he listens attentively.


(But you can’t sense me, or you would’ve stopped! Let’s go bag a burglar~!)


Rising up merrily, Adris adjusts his weight to ride his feet to the building’s edge overlooking the wall.

A black cross is raised as he prepares to add variety to this already spicy night…


The blue and black figure snakes over the wall’s top, before plummeting with an ungainly plop. Laying splayed out on the stonework, this odd burglar scratches at the ground while trying to find the ability to move.

Wearing clothing that’s been singed black or ripped to its inner quilting, the world’s currently worst sneak grabs a rock with her frayed mesh hand and begins to wind up…




“Ah, I caught a Still.”




That very person flops like a fish for a moment as her “sight” comes upon a squatting Adris watching her, as it seems like her body can’t react to the command to flee.

Pulling her conical hat closer to her head, she can’t hide that half of it has been sliced clean off.


“If you’re looking for help from… Neesiette, then Kol will think you’re me and refuse to let her go out.”


A hand that is about to sign just spasms at this statement, before falling back to the ground.


“… Well, it’s fine. You’re not trapped outside, you’re just visiting with me…?”




His visitor is torn to shreds, though.

Without the energy to move, Still can only curl up in shame while trying to avoid giving away where she’s been mangled the most.

Unable to discover her Vigor, for her to still be so wounded proves that Still has almost expended her…


(‘Recompense’? Can she be near to losing everything? I… don’t know what to do.)


Still’s “sight” is furious, while her limbs don’t answer her orders.

That look he can feel and see when she manages to show her porcelain mask, which has four grooves raked across it, reveals a hatred predicated on being caught like she is.


Fingers finally move, saying…




(Pride. It’s something Still has, something that is different in nature from all the rest of the girls.)




The normal Adris would likely use this against her somehow, breaking down her spirit until…


(No, wouldn’t that just be a total asshole!? … Oh, right, that’s me.)


Nodding sagely at his thoughts causes Still to twitch and grow angrier, and also more ashamed…


(Ah, right. We’re partners. Um… at a time like this, I would commit suicide if I was caught the same way.

So… instead of… making her feel better…?)




“Did you win or lose?”

A disinterested question provokes complete stillness from his closest ally.


Rubbing his eyes and feigning being tired, Adris waits for a moment, knowing the outcome when she tries to move her hand, but can only scratch at the ground.


(I see, I see. Not good.)


“… Well, you better win next time. My partner can’t lose twice in a row, or I’ll be pissed.”


Her invisible sight shifts around before returning to him. A cracked mask is neutral in expression.


{… FUCK… off.

… of course… I’ll win!}


Rancor is her answer as she finally rekindles her spirit.

When he refuses to help her up, she manages to get to a kneeling position despite how immodest she looks with half her paneled skirt ripped away like missing flower petals.

Those thick thighs of hers squish against each other, while a drunk leecher grins while looking between to a gap.


(Everything important is safe~!)


“Good, good. Glad we handled that.”


Extending his cup, he offers it to her.


“Wanna drink with me?”





{… You’re a terrible… human being…}

“You should know by now that I’m not your average human.”


Continuing to drink while his companion just shivers against the wall, Adris is stressing on how to end the night.


(Watching you suffering is.. really depressing. And I’m… almost… out of…)


As he drains the last drop, he belches after swallowing.

The acidic taste in his throat keeps him honest as he turns back to his bosom companion.


“Even now, you’re hiding how you got into their headquarters. Why didn’t they notice who you were with your mask removed?”

{Why does it… matter? … Always… fishing for more…}

“Obviously, because you’re really pretty.”

{… You’re… a dunce. A talentless… womanizer.}

“No, I’m serious. How does it go? ‘You’re angry when you’re beautiful?’ Since you’re angry so often, I feel like the men should’ve paid more attention…”

{… I’m going to… stab you…}


At his first attempt at being honest, the blurry person in front of him offers an easy way out of his coming hangover.


“You can’t kill me. I’d die.”

{… Don’t… deserve this… why did…?}


As if regretting her entire life, Still just slides further to the floor after Adris’ look of amazement appears genuine.

Those expressive hand signs of hers grow fewer in number.


(… Okay, show is… over…)


She grows honest in a moment when he pulls out his carving knife.


“You just… can’t convince some people… Huh, okay, here’s my ‘conviction’.”




The pain when it pours into the cup is shockingly dull, despite Adris not intentionally turning off his senses.

Red begins to fill the bottom of a cup that once held a more fragrant red.


{DOING…!? WHAT…!?}

“I appear to be tapping into a deep well.”


That arm he cuts into bleeds profusely, causing the sloppy girl to flop as she pulls herself to his body.


A hand opens wide to push two times, before ending on a four-fingered curl.



Battered almost beyond recognition, a very independent girl is mortified and rolls away when the cup is offered to her.





Pushing against the cup as he corners her with it while kneeling, Adris sighs at the fussy girl refusing the obvious offer.


“Ain’t like what? Wanting to be healed? Don’t undead recover with lifeblood?”


Signs muddle further as she can’t follow his logic.




“Watching you lingering between undeath and the real one is killing my night. Get better or expire faster, partner.”

Chuckling after saying it, Adris gives her a moment to get over the shock while he mashes the fur blanket to his wound.


(I… won’t win… seduce her… if I don’t… show I’m, like…?)




The whole world is spinning, but Adris is almost certain this is how you win over a woman like her.


Though she pushes it away firmly, putting it against his chest…


“Oh!? Fast…”


She nicks the cup with blinding speed a second later, before giving angry signs.



“Couldn’t stop you if… I wanted to…”




Pulling away her mask, she drains it slowly at first.


Before the entire cup is lifted up to drench her hidden face with it.




(Hahaha! I got another girl… this is… fun, being… hon—






As she drains his blood from the cup, Adris feels color draining from his view.

With the color vanishing, his body also becomes more numb than the alcohol alone can be blamed for.


(… Was it… not merely the physical… blood…?)




Crashing into something soft when he falls over, he realizes his pillow threw itself under him.

After that, he passes out.




(What an interesting night. I kinda feel… alive.)





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?”

“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?”



“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.”



“Time to change some more?”




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…?”

“Did you think it would be this easy? Merely doling out powers without suffering or growth?”

“Isn’t this white nothingness that hungers for dread the essence of her? No? Then what did you fall in love with?”

“The more she becomes like Serras, the less she becomes like her.”


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



“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.”

“By accepting darkness, one may change.”

“Having accepted darkness, one can never return to what one once was.”

“Beauty? Pride? These are words not commonly associated with her, yet Kol has now discovered them.”


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



“I’m trying for a different Way of Kol.”



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?”

“Is this not fun? When discovering herself, she has also discovered how to be useful, yes?”

“Though she might be growing as a person, do we always grow for the better?”


“Isn’t it nice to have someone who will always enable you?”



“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?”

“Though she calls for an elvish god to hear her supplications, who represents the deep earth?”

“Is that smugness how she would be if she were more confident, or something thrown back at only a special girl?”


“But the fear is ever reviving.”



“Gets only a few lines!”



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?”



“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…?”



“A girl who waits for everyone to stop paying attention, then deals with ‘problems’ before they become ‘disasters’.”



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?”

“Taking charge is a threat to you, isn’t it?”

“But deferring to you… isn’t this how she’ll earn your love?”


“Isn’t she more glowing now?”



“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…?”

“When others fail, she arrives on the scene to unwillingly take control.”

“Though she often takes exception to people not listening to her, it seems Adris has carved out a special spot in her thinking.”


“What did she learn within the darkness between worlds?”



“It’s Neesiette time!”






Chapter 88         Table of Contents          Chapter 90