Dai Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu Volume 11 Chapter 3
Chapter 3: 『Human』's Representative
The location changed.
It changed just slightly.
But it was the tower.
The outer wall of the tower.
Wrapping the Latsel Thread around the tower, where he clung, Luke Stokkart hid.
No, saying that he was hiding might be inaccurate. After all, Remrus should already be aware of the fact that he was here.
In fact, from the eyes that Remrus had brought into being, even the voices echoing inside the tower could be heard clearly.
And what he was hearing was the topic of the Hero.
The topic of the Demon.
And the topic of this world, and of humans' weakness.
Furthermore, inside that tower at the moment, Sion Astal had appeared on the stage.
Luke frowned with a slightly troubled expression. And he took out the coin concealed in his sleeve that Lieral Lieutolu had given him.
And he stared at that.
This coin was something that the power to kill several Goddesses.
It was a Rhule Fragmei that could kill the gods.
"... Judging from the conversation just now, Lieral is also another pawn...?"
Saying that, Luke flipped over the coin in his hand.
Once, twice, three times.
And inside his head, thoughts were whirling around.
About the situation right now.
About what Remrus was doing.
About what Remrus intended to do with him.
He again looked behind him.
As this tower was the tallest building among those in the Remrus Empire, he felt that he could see all of the streets—no, it felt as if the landscape of the entire country was spread out behind him.
And behind him, he felt some kind of power.
It was the power of his leader.
The power of the Goddess brainwashing him.
He felt that the power of Captain Milk was extremely close by.
Confirming the presence of that Goddess, Luke lifted his head towards higher up in the tower, where he confirmed the presences of the Hero and the Demon.
And it was a rather interesting scene.
What Remrus was doing.
No, what he'd done was considerably amusing.
Luke again looked at his own hand.
The power in his hand—he looked at the coin.
And he spoke.
"... But what does Remrus want with me, I wonder?"
At that, the eyes before him responded.
"If it's you, who's so smart, you already know, right?"
Regarding that, Luke stared at the eyes, and spoke.
"Yup. Ah, by the way, if you look down, you’ll see my real body."
As it said such a thing, Luke looked down.
At his feet.
A short distance away from Luke's feet, Remrus stood.
Literally, rather than clinging onto the tower, as if disregarding the law of gravity, Remrus stood perpendicular to the surface of the tower wall.
Regarding that, Luke asked,
"What kind of trick is this?"
"Aha, you’re asking about the tricks of gods?"
"Is it magic? Otherwise, are gods able to ignore gravity?"
In response, Remrus stared at Luke, and,
"If I give you a little bit of info, you'd be the most bothered, right?"
Luke shrugged at that.
"Even if it's information, you'd only have a one-sided conversation with yourself. Which parts are the truth and which parts you conveniently made up is something that I can't discern. Therefore, I don't need that information."
"But all of it is the truth."
"That's what every liar says."
"Ahaha. That's true,"
Remrus said, laughing.
"So, you really won't believe anything I say, huh?"
Luke easily nodded at the question.
"There isn't a single thing that you've said that could be considered reliable."
"Well, I guess."
"The entirety of what you say surpasses belief."
"A human might see it that way,"
Unsurprisingly, Luke nodded at that.
"Yes, and as a human myself, I might laugh at suddenly hearing such things from a god."
"Heh. Even though you don't possess the emotions needed for genuine laughter?"
At Remrus's words, Luke narrowed his eyes.
Because in the middle of what Remrus uttered, a strangely reliable piece of information had entered.
That a magic circle had been buried in Luke's brain, him being unable to operate his emotions well, and whatnot was information that shouldn't be known by a single human in this world.
First, the staff behind the experiment that buried magic circles in people's brains—the Stokkart Project weren't in this world.
After all, with his own hands, he'd killed every last one of them.
And then he'd burned all of the research data.
Therefore, there no longer should've been any existence of reports on him.
As each and every one of the others who'd had a magic circle buried in their brain and called themselves by the name of Stokkart suffered different disabilities due to the magic circle in their brain, there should be no way to know anymore as to what kind of disability Luke had.
Of course, it was a different story if it were someone like Lieral Lieutolu, who had been observing him since long ago.
However, Remrus seemed to know about Luke's secrets.
Furthermore, judging by the earlier conversation, he'd been born before Lieral, and had observed and manipulated Lieral. Thus, the possibility that he'd heard from Lieral was there. There was also the possibility that he discovered that information while watching Lieral.
There was also the possibility that he'd been observing Luke all this time.
He didn't know which one was the correct answer, but more than anything a god said, information in which the basis and evidence was easy to guess had emerged, at which Luke narrowed his eyes.
Then again, he became aware of the coin he held in the palm of his hand.
He didn't look at it.
He didn't want the other party to know how much he understood.
Of course, when the other party was a monster that called itself a god, he didn't know how much good his poker face would do.
However, he became aware.
He became aware of where the coin's origins were.
The timing of this, that Luke would come here in possession of this coin, was likely all part of his plan.
It began from before Luke was born.
It began from before Lieral was born.
But just what did he want with Luke?
Staring at Remrus, Luke arranged his face in a frown.
Compared to his wisdom, he has far too much information, doesn't he? Luke thought, arranging his face in a frown.
Of course, it wasn't as if he sincerely felt troubled and so instinctively wanted to frown.
As Remrus said, he was incapable of sorrow, or such emotions.
Instead, when encountering a troubling event, that he would make a troubled face at the same time was something that he'd continuously rehearsed, until it became a habit.
"Well, anyway, even if you don't believe in me, I'm going to proceed with the story that I've created."
But Luke ignored him.
No, he didn't feel that there was any point in talking with him any longer.
To begin with, everything that that guy had prepared was in this place.
All of the affairs that had been prepared to his liking were in this place.
In other words, any conversation that was had and any action that was made—all of it had been laid out beforehand by him, as he'd pleased.
In that case, should there be anything that he wished to tell Luke, it wouldn't as so much be a conversation as him telling Luke what he wanted, at his own pace.
And if he was thinking about making use of someone, then by conversing with him, the possibility that they would become his pawn existed.
That was why Luke stopped looking at Remrus. And again, he covered up the coin in his hand.
And he considered the meaning behind the coin that he possessed.
About how this coin could kill the gods.
About how it was something that concealed the power to kill gods.
But how did it come to be that he of all people now possessed this power?
As the fact that he was here right now in itself was all according to the scenario that Remrus had set up, what kind of role was he expected to play?
The answer to that was simple.
To kill the gods.
And in this place, there were three gods.
Confirming that situation,
"... Kill the gods, kill the gods, hmm?"
Luke muttered inside of his head.
But there was no reason to kill the gods.
Even if, hypothetically, he chose to believe in the nonsense that Remrus was talking about earlier, about how the world would end in ten years, he didn't feel that there was a need to be frantic.
After all, they still had ten years.
They had time to come up with counter-measures during that period.
Therefore, Sion Astal wouldn't devour Ryner Lute.
He wouldn't kill him.
Even though he knew it to be necessary, he wouldn't act so decisively.
Because there was still time.
Because there was still time to possibly choose another course of action.
As his thoughts moved forward, behind him, Remrus spoke. As if he could completely see through Luke's thoughts, he fired off his next words.
"There are ten years. Correct. There are still ten years. For humans, that's a long time, isn't it? More Humans will be converted into Human α, and more power will be amassed. But his heart won't change. Already, no matter how many humans the Hero takes a hold of, after devouring their souls, the weakness of his heart won't change. And he'll cry out. I won't kill my friends. I won't kill my allies. I can't eat them. I'm the worst king. Unable to save anyone, the worst..."
Then, Luke turned his head.
Looking at Remrus, who was happily chatting away,
"Even though I’m not listening to you, you’re certainly talkative."
At that, all of Remrus's several eyeballs on his head laughed.
"The truth is that the script has already been written. So properly listen to me."
"If I’m to be frank, your third-rate play fails to interest me."
"Come on, come on, listen, listen. It’s your last chance, after all. If the Roland Empire advances into the central continent—"
He began, but interrupting him, Luke spoke.
"Even if you don't explain, it's fine. The number of Human α will increase, and this coin will then no longer be able to kill the Hero. That's why I have to hurry and kill him now, correct?"
Remrus nodded in satisfaction.
"Yup. That's right. If he escapes today, Sion Astal will no longer be able to be controlled by anyone's hands."
He said such a thing.
And to that, Luke replied,
"If it comes down to that, that would be fine by me? Sion-san is my king."
"Haha, king? You can stop with the pretenses. You’re not capable of thinking that way."
"Oh, is that right? I hadn’t realized. As one would expect from such an almighty god. You know everything, don’t you? And since you know everything, there’s no need to discuss anything with me. So let’s end the conversation here, if we may,"
Like that, he looked away from Remrus, and redirected his attention towards the top of the tower.
At any rate, whatever this guy wanted to say, he'd say it without any regard for Luke's wishes. In that case, there was no need to respond to each and every one of his vague comments.
Then, as usual, from behind him,
"Nooo, if you can see me, then I want you to talk to me, you know? It's not just a script, but a choreography too."
He ignored him.
"Anyway, putting that joke aside, I'll be continuing."
He ignored him.
"Right now, if you kill the Hero, a new Hero will be born. And that Hero definitely won’t hesitate to devour the Demon. Things have already been planned to turn out that way."
He ignored him.
"And if you do that, then surely, you'll save Sion as well. At any rate, he’ll have to devour Ryner for the sake of the world, and so if you kill him, you’ll be freeing him from that heavy burden. He'll be fine with dying. However, he won't die by his own doing. Because he’s has to 'save the world' and everything, because he carries that task, he can’t run away. And so, you’ll be saving Sion-kun."
Remrus selfishly said such things.
But he couldn't do that kind of thing. From the beginning, there was no proof that what these monsters who called themselves gods said was the truth.
As long as there was no proof, he couldn't do something like kill Sion.
Because the way things were right now, if one assumed everything Remrus said was a bunch of nonsense, then it was possible that he saw Sion as a hindrance.
But Remrus should know what Luke would think of that. After all, he'd plotted everything since before Luke was born.
Judging by his attitude, he should know full well about Luke.
Then why, in spite of that, would he give him this kind of nonsense?
He should know that, with those sort of words, he wouldn't be able to mobilize Luke, so then why, in spite of that, would he tell him something like that?
Luke thought about that.
No, he thought about the entirety of the situation that he'd ended up in right now.
First, Remrus's request that he kill Sion.
If one flipped that on its side, that meant Remrus didn't have the power to kill Sion—or rather, the Hero.
That was why he arranged for Luke to be in this place. Even expressly making sure that he would have a Rhule Fragmei to kill the gods, he arranged for him to be here.
"Could it be that only Humans can use this coin?"
Luke considered such a thing.
There was a decent chance of that.
That it was only Humans who could use a weapon with the power to kill the gods.
That the Hero couldn't be killed by Remrus.
But he could prepare a weapon to kill the Hero.
However, that weapon could be invoked only by Humans.
If that condition were set, then Luke understood the reason why he was brought here.
But nevertheless, he didn't understand why he'd been chosen.
Even if this Rhule Fragmei could be used only by Humans, it wasn't as if Luke especially was necessary.
It wasn't necessary to choose this kind of difficult human.
In that case, why had he been chosen?
However, he had no intention of asking this to Remrus. If Remrus wanted to tell him, he'd willfully say it on his own, and if he didn't, then this guy definitely wouldn't say.
Someone like him who'd laid out a giant trap even here definitely wouldn't let anything slip out carelessly.
That was why Luke didn't ask.
Instead, his thoughts continued to whirl.
For the sake of understanding what Remrus was thinking. For the sake of what he should do to, once he understood, break free from this scenario and create a development such that he had the advantage—he focused on that.
"Anyway, I realize that talking about saving Sion-kun won't appeal to you, who doesn't possess emotions. But that's why I chose you... because you don't possess a human heart."
Remrus said such things.
And at those words, Luke reacted just a tad. It wasn't really that he was angry or anything like that, or that they got on his nerves, but because they were similar to what Lieral had said, as Luke recalled.
Lieral had also said this to Luke.
—You don't possess a human heart. That's why I chose you.
And Luke had denied that.
Inside of him, a little bit of emotion existed.
Feelings akin to fondness towards Claugh Klom and Milk Callaud were present within him.
However, Lieral had smiled at that. He'd cheerfully smiled. And after refuting that such a thing was a human heart, he said this.
"I, for the sake of my son—I sacrificed my wife and the world. In order to save my son, nothing else in this world mattered. Because of the love I have for my son, I no longer make proper judgments. But for you, it's different, isn't it?"
Lieral had said.
"Claugh Klom and Milk Callaud—if it was necessary, you would easily kill them, isn't that right?"
And that normal humans weren't like that. Without facing reality, they were led by their love and emotions. And, that was their weakness. They were unable to move forward.
That was why Lieral chose Luke, according to him.
"As you're someone who no longer possesses human emotions and yet who tries so hard to imitate humans, who yearns to be with humans—"
He'd said that.
And regarding that.
Regarding that Lieutolu's words,
"... Were the words of Duke Lieutolu's your words?"
And he looked over at Remrus.
However, Remrus shrugged at that, and,
"No, I know more about you than Lieral, so our opinions are a bit different."
"Heh. Is that so? In that case, what do you think about me?"
Even though he shouldn't have.
Even though there was no meaning to this conversation.
Even though he didn't need to know what kind of person others thought he was, Luke asked that.
In response, Remrus cheerfully spoke.
He spoke cherishingly.
Staring at Luke,
"The fact that you'd ask that, out of your yearning for human emotions, is quite human-like in itself. it's because you yearn for that that you act more human than anyone else. You may be calm, you may be composed, but you're driven mad by your love for humans more so than anyone else."
"That's why I chose you, as you are."
"You have no interest in friends. You have no interest in family. Nor your loved ones—no, you have no interest in even your own life. Instead, your entire life is dedicated to merely observing the truth before you; however, you hold a heart that feels empty for it. That's why I chose you, you know? No matter what the situation, if you deem something to be correct, you'll choose it without faltering, right? And that, precisely, is love. Because you don't feel love, you're more human-like than anyone else, and try to act out of love. That's why I chose you alone as the decisive piece. You will be the one to decide things."
At that, Luke asked,
"Alone as the decisive piece? In other words, outside of me..."
"Ha, just as I thought, I have no desire to speak with you,"
But without paying any heed to the situation, Remrus continued.
"Kill Sion. That's the simplest option. Right now, I've stolen away all of Ryner and Sion's powers, so even if you decide to kill Sion, there shouldn't be any obstacles. But if you won't accept that as an option, another one exists. That is..."
"To kill Ryner-san?"
Remrus nodded at that.
"Right. Regardless, it'll be fine. Sion-kun will probably get in the way, but, well, if you use that coin inside the tower, then you'll win. If you kill Ryner, then you'll have saved Sion. Because he wouldn't have been able to kill himself, right?"
He said such a thing.
And staring at Remrus, Luke spoke. Holding up the coin between his fingers,
"So I'm to kill the obstacle that is the Demon or the Hero so that you can profit?"
I could fire this coin at you—that option exists as well, he was essentially threatening by saying that.
However, in response, while staring at the coin, Remrus easily—
"Well, well, don't be so impatient. I was going to talk about that, anyway."
"Where rather than kill the Demon or Hero, you kill me—that option exists as well. Though I think that if you do that, then this time, the world will probably reset on the 1000th year again, but what? There's also that. Everyone accidentally dies after ten years. How unlucky—that's all there is to that."
"What will happen to me if the 1000 year's reset doesn't happen? What will happen if I flee the word of the Priests and curse them? Though I'm curious about that, it's not like there's a law that demands progress. The status quo is being maintained. Is that really okay? Humans live, and then die. With that, enough options exist. And if you choose to kill me, then that's fine."
He said such things.
But each and every word failed to resound in Luke's heart at all. As all of them were said at Remrus's convenience, they didn't appear to hold any persuasive power.
That was why,
"And the option where I don't kill anyone right now..."
He tried to say that.
But before he could finish,
Spreading his arms apart,
"And to me, that would be the most interesting option. You don't kill anyone. If it comes down to that, no one would be an obstacle to me. And when that happens, as for what I'll do, I'll activate my number one trick. I'll use the lives of all the humans in this Remrus Empire, and furthermore, I'll even use the power of the Hero and the Demon inside this barrier, and activate a spell that uses all that."
At that, Luke asked,
"Just what is..."
He began, but again,
Luke frowned at Remrus's attitude.
"Isn't that strange? If you won't tell me what sort of magic you'll use, then I can't choose that option."
"Oh, is that so? But isn't that normal? Nobody knows the future. Even if they decide to do something, they don't know whether it'll end in success or failure. But that's why there's meaning in those decisions. There's meaning in trusting dreams and hopes, and making decisions only when something's at stake. While fearing the possibility of failure, we make these decisions—"
He began, but Luke interrupted.
"Are you trying to change the subject? The moment I mentioned the option where I kill nobody, you became rather long-winded. In other words, you're trying to confess that you personally don't wish for that option?"
But while grinning broadly, Remrus said,
"Seems that way, huh? I knew you were clever, you know? I knew you would read into that. On top of that, I know that if I said that I was trying to make you read into that, you would doubt me. Now, which one is it? Is the one I want the one where you don't do anything, or where you do...? In the end, even you don't know, do you?"
"Why don't you know? Because I wasn't leading you to it. Honestly, I think any option would be fine."
Regarding those words, Luke spoke.
"Because in the end, no matter which option I choose, the end result won't change?"
But Remrus smiled at that, and,
"No, that's not it. I think the end result might differ."
"Might... no, I don't know either. I didn't set up the scenario from this point on at all. After all, no matter how you choose, I intend to die."
"From the start, the barrier and magic that's been developing here right now is something so great that it'll obliterate the likes of me. That's why I'll soon die. Moreover, I won't be reincarnated into the next cycle. I'll become . I'll sink into the endless stream of suffering. Ah, how scary. What misery, don't you think? Suffering for eternity, I mean. I don't even want to think about it."
"But that's why I don't know what stands at the end. What I do know is that even here... I entrust the future to all of you."
He said such a thing.
And the apparent sincerity behind those words resounded within Luke.
He didn't know why he thought that.
There was no basis behind it.
Despite that, he saw that Remrus was being genuine when he said that.
Was it because he said he'd give up his life for it? If that was it,
"Did you, by any chance, use brainwashing magic?"
Luke asked that.
However, Remrus seemed cheerful at that, and,
"My, could it be that my words resounded in your heart?"
"That would be amazing. In this current situation, you don't know what's going on. Just as I thought, in this moment, it was important to emphasize how I'm going to give up my life, huh?"
"By the way, I didn't use brainwashing magic—well, I say that, but I don't know whether you'd believe me or not,"
"... No, I believe you,"
Remrus fixedly stared at him, and then spoke.
"I thank you for that."
He said such a thing.
Then he spread apart his hands, and,
"Then, this conversation is over, huh? Afterwards, you can do whatever you like."
Saying that, Remrus's figure suddenly became pale, as if he were turning into mist and vanishing.
To that disappearing Remrus, Luke spoke.
"Why, at the very end of things, did you decide not to do it yourself?"
He asked that.
"If it's you, you could have done it, couldn't you? Kill Sion-san—or kill Ryner Lute. Or, instead, you could've forcibly made me decide as well. Even if you wanted the solution where no one is killed, it would've been fine if you hadn't called me here. In spite of that, you still did and left the final decision to me. Just what was your reason? What meaning is there in letting me decide?"
He asked that.
In response, while fading away, Remrus again spoke while smiling.
"No, don't I need someone to tell this story after I die? And I'd say that it's fine for Humans to be the one to decide the rest of this story. Humans are the one who should decide the future of this world that belongs to Humans."
"And so you chose me, the one who's least like a human? That sounds like a comedy more than anything else,"
Luke said, making a self-deprecating expression.
By that point, Remrus's figure was no longer visible. Only his voice echoed.
That voice spoke cheerfully.
"Whether it's a comedy or not, I can't say. Well-said, hmm? Because the tone is light, its sincerity can't be seen."
"Aha, you're asking me, who has no friends? Well, jokes aside, would you be satisfied if I told you that you're the first person I've seen in nine hundred and ninety years whose character is suitable for deciding the future of humans?"
"No, that's not enough."
"Ahaha, then what else? Ah, right. It's because you resemble me."
"Heh. I don't have eight arms, though."
"Ahaha, I'm not talking about appearance."
"But you do. I like Humans, after all. Because I'm the same as you, as someone who admires Humans, who are capable of being driven mad by worthless matters like love and friendship. Are you satisfied with that as to why I chose you...?"
At those words,
Luke said quietly.
"Yeah. That's it. Now then, I'll leave everything from now on to you. You have four options. Kill the Hero. Kill the Demon. Kill me. Kill nobody. Now, choose whichever. I'll look forward to it."
At those words, Luke stared at the coin in his hand once more.
"... Even if the end result of whichever I choose goes poorly, please don't complain,"
He said, but,
There was no longer any response from Remrus.
Luke confirmed that, and then,
"But there are other decisive pieces besides me, aren't there? In this situation, who is there, aside from me? There has to be someone, right? If what Remrus said earlier is true... If what he said about wanting to entrust the future to humans is true, then that would be all of humanity, though."
He again looked to the top of the tower.
At some point, a door had opened.
It was left open in such a way as if it were telling him to enter immediately.
To kill, or not to kill?
After thinking about that for a while,
In one movement, Luke advanced to the top of the tower.