~ Chapter 76: A moment of hesitation (Part 1) ~
[Illsyore's point of view]
As soon as we reached the inn, Shanteya put on a smile and went to join my other wives. Since then, two hours had passed. Now, I was sitting on the roof of the inn, gazing at the clear blue sky above me while I waited patiently for Zoreya to get ready for our date. It was a beautiful day, but if I were to complain about something, that was the lack of entertainment around these parts. Above all, I missed my computer.
While I waited, I thought back at what my wives and slave told me... No doubt Zoreya was going to tell me something similar, or maybe not... Unlike the others, she was bound to her faith for her god, Melkuth. He already told her that I was a lost cause, so there was no reason for her, his Apostle, to make a fuss about it.
Nanya, Shanteya, Ayuseya, and even Tamara had a good point. The Darkness was originally nothing more than just the gathered up remains of past Dungeons. It didn't have a soul. I was supposed to be the one and only ruler of this body, yet... it didn't feel that way.
Because of my memories of my past life, of Earth, Alina, and modern society, I felt reluctant to fully integrate myself into this world. Or rather, I felt like I didn't belong here...
Ever since I stepped into this Universe, I was treated either as a servant, a monster, or 'something' that was in the way. I had my own thoughts, my own feelings, even my own plans, but I lacked the will to move it all.
The more I thought about this, the more I felt like the only thing I did was to complain and nag about my unfavorable situation. There was no feeling of progression, no evolution of my own. I stood still when I had the possibility to do whatever I desired.
I was backing away...
Before me was a world of freedom, where I found love in not one but three beautiful women. And when I thought about this, when I thought about the future, my heart didn't swell with excitement, it trembled with fear...
Instead of fighting, I felt like it was better to give up and have Zoreya kill me. Sure, they would be sad afterwards, but The Darkness wouldn't be gone... and I could flee from this world too good to be true.
Indeed... just give up... Leave me to control your body, and I'll set you free to go wherever you desire! The Darkness whispered.
Can you? I asked foolishly.
Of course, I can! All this pain, all this fear... I'll make it go away... I'll set you free to go wherever you desire! its words were like the hisses of a snake, luring you closer right before it jumped to take a bite.
However, what if its venom was exactly what I was looking for?
I didn't give it a reply, but its words made me wonder... What if The Darkness was right? I could see it as well that I was afraid, and I wanted to flee from this place... I wasn't a warrior. I wasn't a teacher. I wasn't even a Dungeon.
“What am I?” I asked as I looked up at the clear blue sky.
Of course, nobody answered... Neither god or devil was there to listen to my lost words, only me and The Darkness.
Letting out a sigh, I closed my eyes and let my thoughts wonder back to the recent events.
Every time I replayed those memories in my mind, I found myself sinking deeper and deeper into depression. There was no way out of it... Every thought made my heart clench. Every positive thought felt like a long lost dream or a ruthless mockery addressed to me.
Listening to the chatter of the people in this city, I felt like I was 'something' completely disconnected from them, and every time I saw someone having fun or feeling good, I could feel my hope and energy fleeing away from me.
I stood there and asked myself “Why am I like this?”
Looking at my hand, I clenched them and then relaxed them.
I remember this feeling... this hopeless sensation... this desire to flee... When was it? When did I experience its dread? I thought and closed my eyes.
It was something that happened to me in my previous life, years before I met my untimely death... When was it? Ah, yes... right after college.
Stepping up into the world, I hoped for an aspiring career in my field. I was striving to find happiness just like any other student who graduated in the same year as me. My friends spread about, my family gave me a gentle push to meet the world, but the first step I took was a terrible... My first interview ended in a complete failure.
I remember how it was... My hands and knees were shaking. My voice couldn't come out, and I felt like everyone around me was laughing at me. Yet, I tried to push forward... I clenched my fists and entered the interview room. I answered. I spoke the best I could, but in the end... I failed. What a fool I was... thinking that I would surely get the job... that I was the best... In the end, the one who got the job was a guy who got lower scores on his exams than me. What did they say at that time? Yes... I lacked conviction... I lacked... strength and will... Funny, but now I can't even remember their faces, just the pain they caused me... I should have killed them... I thought and then opened my eyes.
That last thought came so naturally, I didn't even notice it.
After that interview, I failed seven others, and depression took its hold on my soul. My own thoughts and fears were tirelessly pushing me down, forcing me to admit that I was failure... that I was worthless...
I took refuge in gaming. Everyday, I hid inside my room without even taking a single step out, looking at my monitor screen and counting the minutes that passed by me. It was like I was praying for my time to slip by and for me to be unable to take it back.
I was a failure... I thought.
That feeling, that sensation of being worthless and slowly being eaten by darkness was the same as the one I was feeling right now. The only difference was that this one was stronger, more powerful, and I didn't feel as connected to my current life as a Dungeon as I was of my life as a human. It almost felt like if I was going to fail, I was just going to be sent back to my previous world and continue my life there from where I left off. Similar to how a gamer who immersed himself returned to reality after his character died or reached a save point. It was that sort of disconnecting feeling.
Indeed, this world has no value for you, human. Leave it to me, and you can go and be on your merry way... No need to feel like this anymore... Those women, they are only hindrances in your path... After all, what sort of human man has three wives and a slave on top of that? Sure, it sounds good in a story, but reality is different. Just imagine how it will be when they become jealous or if you lose your feelings for one? Well... there are no feelings for them either way... I know because I can see deep in your heart. I can see the truth you are hiding from yourself... Admit it, you loathe your current lifestyle... You hate how they all swarm around you like that... The Darkness whispered to me treacherous words, but I didn't feel the need to fight back against it, to say it wasn't like that.
Who am I to judge and hope? I thought.
No one... you are no one... The Darkness answered.
My heart clenched, and I knew that I was already becoming numb to this world around me. Shanteya's tears didn't even affect me as much as they should have, nor did Ayuseya or Nanya's. I was a mess or maybe a coward, either way, I didn't deserve them... I didn't deserve their love... I didn't deserve to be loved.... I didn't deserve this world...
Letting out a sigh, I looked up, and the sky was blurry, touched by a tinge of red.
Strange... I thought to myself.
[Zoreya's point of view]
There was nothing I could do to prepare for this date. Changing my armor for a dress was inconceivable! I was not a woman who would squeal and dance around just because some man invited her to a date. I was an Apostle of Melkuth! There was no need for me to concern myself with such trifle matters!
As for my age, I was an elderly woman by human standards. Thanks to Melkuth's divine protection, I kept my youth, but this year, I reached the age of 98 years. Few humans could ever hope to be as old as I was.
“Are you sure you don't want to wear a dress?” Ayuseya asked me for the tenth time already.
“No, but I appreciate your thoughtful concern.” I shook my head slowly.
“I see... well, I hope you will have a good time.” she showed me a small, yet sad smile.
Of course she felt sad in her heart, I was going out with her husband. This date... was more of a preparation for Illsyore's execution rather than something a pair of lovers should do. Even so, I still felt reluctant to end his life. This whole situation was truly unfair towards him.
Born as a result of a High Mage's twisted experiment. Forced to carry out a duty he never agreed with nor wished for in the first place. Facing opponents and situations a normal human would normally never get the chance to encounter. And most of all, remembering a life where things were for the better... Illsyore had to live through all of these things only to find out he was unwanted in this world, that even the gods had forsaken him. It was indeed an unfortunate fate, but my god's will had to be fulfilled. It was my duty... but I wasn't certain if it was my wish.
“I should be going now.” I said and turned around to look at Illsyore's wives, who in a strange way became my friends as well.
“Take care...” said Nanya from her corner on the bed.
As a demoness she wasn't that frightening at all, and I learned that most humans had a terrible understanding of their kind. The same could be said about the draconian princess. Gentle and elegant, Ayuseya was far from the envisioned monsters who at one point tried to conquer this continent.
“I hope you will get to enjoy yourself.” she showed me a kind smile.
“Nya~ Please make Master happy!” the nekatar mewed and waved her tail behind her.
“I pray that you will do what's right.” Shanteya told me, but I could tell she was forcing her smile.
This el'doraw was probably the one who held the deepest and most sincere feeling for the Dungeon Lord out of all of them. It was a true mystery why this was so. In my honest opinion, I never saw another woman quite like her, but at the same time, it made fear what she was capable of doing for her beloved.
“May Melkuth's light be with all of you.” I bowed to them.
Leaving the inn, I found Illsyore waiting for me next to fruit seller. There was a strange fiendish aura around him, but besides those with keen senses, normal people were unable to perceive it. If I were to guess, I would say The Darkness was making fast progress towards taking over him. The crystals on his hands and chest had turned from the calming and beautiful jade-green to an eerie dark-red color. There were also several dark veins popping here and there all over his body, almost as if some fiendish monster was trying to crawl its way out from under his skin.
Despite these drastic changes, Illsyore appeared to be unaffected by them, almost as if he had already came to accept his unfortunate fate...
Why do I feel sorry for him? I wondered as I looked at him with gentle eyes.
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
Can't wait for the next chapter?
Try one of my other books! You never know what you might find!
Ran out of chapters and books to read?
Try one of my Fan Fiction Stories! I wrote them in the same style, and you don't need to have played the games to read them!
I am grateful for any and all donations! Thank you!