Chapter 8: Darkness of Truth (3)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
“Lord Sieg…!! I have been searching for you! Where have you been all this time…? And what is all of this…”
Mahoro was a jumble of relief from seeing Siegfried again and of fear from the mysterious things that happened around him. His voice trembled, and Siegfried gave him a faint smile and placed his hands on Mahoro’s shoulders. Mahoro realised that Dr Mary had taken a knee, her gaze fervent as she looked up at Siegfried.
“My dear Mahoro. You don’t have to worry about anything. All you need to do is to stay at my side.” Siegfried stroked Mahoro’s cheek and gave a small chuckle. Standing here in front of Siegfried after a long estrangement, it was enough to make Mahoro terribly tense. They had been apart for so long that he had forgotten about this nervous tension that had always pervaded him. He could recognise anywhere this oppressive, tyrannical presence that Siegfried released—this feeling that he held Mahoro’s life and death in his hands.
Dr Mary drew herself closer to Siegfried’s feet, her face in rapture as she declared, “Lord Siegfried! We have been anxiously awaiting your arrival!”
Siegfried gave her a quick glance and took out his magic wand. “You, bring out the goods from the lake.”
Mary snapped to her feet at his command and waved her wand at the lake. There was a thunderous roar as water from the lake started to recede. Mahoro was distracted by the sight, but he sensed a large swarm of people rushing over to them, and he stiffened.
“We found the enemy!”
Soldiers appeared from the brush and pointed their guns in unison at Mahoro and the other two people with him. Mahoro was frozen in fear, but Siegfried showed no hesitation as he drew something in the air with his wand. The soldiers fired their guns without a signal to shoot. Mahoro resigned himself to his death, but the endless number of bullets that had shot out at them stopped in the middle of the air before his eyes. He was frightened, but Siegfried stood in front of him and waved his wand lightly. In response, the bullets suddenly changed directions and fired back towards the soldiers.
Screams filled the air as the soldiers fell under the onslaught of bullets that showered back on them. Blood stained their military uniforms, and they littered the ground one after another. Mahoro’s thought processes refused to work after that point.
This isn’t real. It’s a dream. It has to be a dream.
Why was he here? What was even happening? Mahoro could not comprehend anything as he was swallowed into this conflict.
“Yes, you are quite wonderful.”
Siegfried placed a hand on Mahoro’s shoulder and waved his wand with a delighted flourish. From behind the fallen soldiers, the next wave of soldiers that approached them found themselves engulfed in flames one by one. Mahoro was distraught by the screams of terror that came from the soldiers. Siegfried’s magic was unimaginably powerful. They had all been trained soldiers, but before they could even take position with their guns, flames had already consumed them, and they fell to the ground writhing in pain. It was like a scene from Hell. Mahoro’s throat had dried up, and he could only watch terrified, unable to remove his eyes from Siegfried.
“The shouts of terror, the spurts of crimson blood through the air… Flames everywhere as black shadows sway back and forth… Mahoro, take a good look at this. What a beautiful sight to behold.”
This was not the Siegfried whom Mahoro had known. The Siegfried that Mahoro knew—yes, he was someone who did not display his emotions and did have a cruel side to him, but the person in front of him right now was a madman who laughed maniacally at the sight of people being maimed. Mahoro did not know this person. This was not the person to whom Mahoro had wished to dedicate his life and devotion.
“P-Please stop this!”
Mahoro did not want to see any more people killed, and he grabbed Siegfried’s wand.
“This is too frightful… P-Please, Lord Sieg, please stop this at once…!”
Mahoro had turned ghastly pale as he clung to Siegfried, but Siegfried’s smile quickly disappeared. In its place was a cold gaze like ice that pierced through Mahoro. He felt a pain shoot through him, like his heart was being crushed, and Mahoro struggled to breathe. His chest hurt badly. It was painful, and he pressed against his chest with his free hand.
“Mahoro. When did you learn to speak to me like that?”
Siegfried sounded sad as he looked down at Mahoro who held onto his wand. Mahoro could no longer stand the pain and let go of the wand, but Siegfried grabbed Mahoro by his hair and brought his face close.
“This is your punishment.”
Siegfried dug his fingers into Mahoro’s chest and gave a faint laugh. The throbbing pain made it difficult for Mahoro to breathe. He teared up from the severe pain that assaulted him and looked up at Siegfried in fear. Could it be that Siegfried had caused this pain…?
“My dear Mahoro. All you have to do is to stay quiet and watch what I do. There is no need to feel pity for them. This is no different from getting rid of insects.”
The pain in his chest suddenly disappeared, and Mahoro fell limp to the ground on his knees. Siegfried drew a circle with his wand. A giant tornado struck the soldiers who watched their movements from a distance. Siegfried waved his wand right and left like he was a child amusing himself. Mahoro saw the soldiers swept up by the tornado, their limbs torn and blown from their bodies, and he seized up in a panic.
“B-But… Ngh, but Lord Sieg… This is far… too cruel…”
Mahoro could no longer look at the horrible scene in front of him, and he screamed. There were the sounds of people moaning, of blood splattering through the air, and with the repulsive view of viscera on display, Mahoro vomited right there. He felt ill. He wanted this to stop. He didn’t want to see any more blood or bodies with their limbs torn off. Nor any of this madness that Siegfried had caused.
Siegfried’s magic was too powerful, and the soldiers were like babies before him, completely helpless, only facing him to be slaughtered.
“Perhaps this is a little too intense for you. But I shall teach you something good. Why is it wrong to kill people? No one has been able to answer that question.”
Siegfried smiled as he tore soldiers’ necks apart with the tornado.
“Because people are free to kill people.”
Siegfried appeared happier than Mahoro had ever seen him before. Mahoro was so frightened right now, but Siegfried on the contrary delighted in the mayhem.
What is happening…? Why is Lord Sieg killing soldiers…?
Mahoro covered his ears; he didn’t want to hear the screams of the soldiers. It was terrifying, and he wanted to run away from this place. However, Siegfried seemed to dislike that Mahoro was covering his ears, and he pulled his arms away.
Siegfried ordered with a cold gaze, “Mahoro. Sear this image into your mind. I have put you here for this moment.”
Mahoro was baffled. “W-What do you mean…?”
Siegfried smiled at Mahoro’s high-pitched voice. “You are my personal magic tool. As long as I have you, I can use powerful, devastating magic. I will take control of this island. It was all for this day that I left you here on Crimson Island. You have no need to worry any more, because you are something that belongs to me.”
Siegfried stroked Mahoro’s cheek, and Mahoro couldn’t say anything. Was Siegfried’s disappearance all a lie? He was called here for this day? What was Siegfried saying? As if he had read Mahoro’s expression, Siegfried lifted the corners of his lips.
“A very special stone is embedded inside your body. It was done all for me. So that I can use powerful magic, destroy this island, and take it for my own.”
A shout of excitement from Mary overlapped Siegfried’s words. About half of the water had been drained from the lake, and something appeared that had been sunk at the bottom—a large box made of shiny black lead. It was like a giant battleship.
“Lord Siegfried, the preparations are complete,” Mary said as she wiped the sweat off her forehead.
Siegfried purged the remaining soldiers with the tornado, faced the lake, and raised the wand over his head. The wand shot something like a beam of light at the lead box, and it cut through the top portion of the metal like a torch. The top of the box broke off with sparks and tearing sounds, and inside it radiated a sparkling light.
Several dozens of men emerged from the thicket wearing black cloaks, and they gathered over to Siegfried. Everyone knelt before him and bowed their heads in respect.
One of the men, a man with a scar on his face happily reported, “We stole a dragon from the enemy. We secured it as a safeguard to protect you.”
“Good work. The magic stones were hidden here, just as we suspected. Let’s remove them immediately.”
Siegfried was unable to contain his excitement as he took a step towards the lake.
A sharp, high-pitched voice rang out through the air in an attempt to stop him. Simultaneously, there were voices of howling dogs, the flapping of wings from crows, and a long-tailed bird that appeared overhead. Mahoro heard the voices of the Commandant and the cadets, and his body stiffened.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.