The gentle rays of the sun shined down upon Oldora Forest.
Next to the forest lay Wildart City, the headquarters of the Moderates Faction. The usual calmness of the forest today was disturbed by a motley crew saying their goodbyes.
After the decisive battle that will shape the future of the Demon World, there were those who had to go back to their own world, and those who came to bid them farewell.
“Thanks for looking after us while we were here…. You really helped me out a lot”
Naruse Mio, Yuki and the others bade their farewells to the young maid Noel.
Noel gripped Mio’s hand. Her voice betraying a tinge of sadness
“Mio-sama…Do you really have to return so soon?”
“Yea… I’m sorry Noel.”
As Mio lightly squeezed back, Noel made one last attempt.
“But surely you don’t have to rush back so soon….”
It has only been 2 days since the climactic battle between the Moderate Faction and the Current Demon Lord faction. But said battle was interrupted by the arrival of the Demon God Chaos. While members of the Moderate Faction and the Demon Lord Faction were able to team up to quash the chaos caused by the Demon Council, the past two days mainly consisted of bed rest and meetings to discuss the future of the Demon World.
“Noel, we appreciate your feelings. But we really do have to go.”
Yuki said with a bit of sadness as well. Just like Mio, Yuki also bonded with the young maid during her stay in Wildart City.
“We have already finished what we came here to do. So now we must leave the Demon World as soon as possible.”
Her younger sister Kurumi nodded in agreement.
“Yea…If we were to stay any longer, it’ll just lead to more problems.”
There were many reasons why Mio and her group had to head back to the human world quickly. But one of the most pressing issues was school. While the group came to the Demon World just when the day changed from December 25th to December 26th, they have already spent many days in the Demon World, which meant that the new semester had already begun in the human world.
Mio and Basara have always prioritised to ‘live like normal high schoolers’. So while they could just use magic to alter their attendance and school grades, doing so will betray the promise they made to each other to ‘protect their normal lives’ and will further separate them from normal humans.
There was also another problem with staying in the Demon World for too long. Mio’s contribution to the climactic battle between the Moderate Faction and the Demon Lord Faction was no small feat. There are already those within the Moderates Faction who are calling her a hero and pushing for her to be the new leader of the Demon World.
The Demon Lord Faction and other groups were also quick to heed caution to Mio’s power and popularity and promptly requested a ceasefire, which the Moderates accepted.
After the fight with Chaos, Ramusas didn’t meet with Mio and her group, but according to his second in command, Lucia, and Klaus the Wise, there has been speculation that Leohart’s goal was the downfall of the old Demon Council. With that goal achieved, a peace treaty and a military alliance between the Moderate Faction and the Demon Lord Faction wasn’t really a far-fetched idea.
That would require a bonding ceremony between Leohart, the representative of the Demon Lord Faction, and Ramusas, the representative of the Moderates Faction. But some are pushing for Mio to take Ramusas’ place in the bonding ceremony.
But unfortunately for them, Naruse Mio had absolutely no interest in such a position. For she has already decided to dedicate the rest of her life to a certain someone. She knew that this whole episode was but one problem they solved in the Demon World. And with many more problems to come for sure in the future, she really didn’t want to make any promises.
However, her feelings for that person will never change. That’s why during that climactic battle, she decided that she will live her life, not as Wilbert’s daughter, but as Naruse Mio. So to stay true to her words, Mio had to get back to the human world as soon as possible. She just didn’t know how to break the news to hey friend Noel.
Just as Noel was trying to say something, she felt a small hand caress her behind.
A surprised Zest called the name of the succubus who was currently fondling Noel’s butt. With a teasing grin, Sheila spoke to the young maid.
“You know… if you keep them waiting, a certain somebody is going to get pretty angry at you~”
“I-I’m so sorry! I’ll go and prepare the carriage!”
With a face as bright as a tomato, Noel rushed towards the horse-drawn carriage to make the preparations. Maria took Noel’s departure as a cue to ask her mother
“Um, mother…. I don’t seem to see Lucia-neesama anywhere.”
The reason why Maria asked was because it was Lucia who opened the portal between the human world and the Demon World when they first came here. Opening portals between the two worlds is not something just anybody could do, and it was agreed upon that Maria would be taking the group back to the human world. So without Lucia, there wasn’t much they could do to go back.
“Oh, Lucia is busy at the castle making final checks for the upcoming ‘meeting’ at the castle. She not only has to oversee the security detail but also make contingency plans in case something pops up.”
The meeting that Sheila was referring to was the meeting taking place at the castle today between Ramusas and Leohart. Just like how Mio and co are leaving early to ensure problems don’t arise, the two representatives also agreed to negotiate a peace treaty as quickly as they could, and thus, this meeting was planned.
“Um, then who is going to help us get back to the human world…?”
“Oh, don’t worry I’ll handle that~”
Sheila answered Mio’s question with her usual casualness only to have Yuki give her a worried look.
“Um…you’re going to do it Sheila-san?”
The succubus mother gave her trademark teasing smile.
“Don’t worry. It was I who taught Lucia how to open portals between the worlds in the first place. She’s gotten a hang for it sure, but she still has a long way to go before she’s near my level, so rest assured, you guys are safe with me.”
“Well if mother is doing it then it’s fine…”
With Maria showing her approval, Mio and the others had no complaints either. After all, they all personally saw the quality and efficiency of her portals during their stay in the city.
But Mio still had another question she had to ask the succubus.
“Um, Sheila-san…is Basara and Ramusas-san’s talk taking longer than expected?”
The reason why Basara wasn’t here in Oldora Forest with them was because he requested a word with Ramusas just before they departed from the castle. While Basara was supposed to come to Oldora Forest by Sheila’s portals, the fact that she was here meant that he has to come to the forest by other means.
Mio was worried about Basara. Their relationship with Ramsuas, if you could even call it something like that, was far from good. In fact, Basara has clashed with Ramusas many times in his short stay to the point where he was ordered to stay in his room.
“Oh don’t worry. We’ve come this far so I doubt they’d fight. They probably just have a lot of serious stuff to talk about.”
They all knew that Basara had something important to talk to Ramusas about.
Because it was during the battle with Leohart and the Demon God Chaos, that Basara was enveloped in the same red aura as Mio, and he was also able to wield Gravity Magic for his sword to use a Gravity Slash.
Those powers were apparently something Basara received from his ‘mother’.
Basara told Mio and the others about this after the fight with Chaos. He however, learned about his mother from Jin, before the climactic battle. Therefore, he was able to keep that power as the ace up his sleeve. He even had Sheila procure the medicine needed to help him control the power.
It’s no surprise that Basara would like to learn more about his mother from Ramusas. Just like how Ramusas was Wilbert’s older brother, he was also the older brother of Basara’s mother. That would, just like in the case of Mio, make Ramusas Basara’s uncle.
And this is a secret that must never be made public. The rumour mill was already rife with speculation,possibly started from those who saw Basara in action. For damage control, they tried to spread the rumour that it was a side effect of a power enhancing medicine made by Sheila, but that lie will easily be debunked if one was to check Basara’s spiritual energy patterns. This is definitely another reason for Mio to head back to the human world as soon as possible.
“Don’t worry. Everyone’s interest in Basara is just a temporary thing. While people might be interested in his background, there are more pressing issues that the Demon World has to come to terms with, like the summoning of Chaos and the massacre of the Demon Council members. And with the peace negotiations being discussed between the two factions, the Demon World really does have a lot on its plate right now.”
“So with everything going on at the Demon World. You guys will be yesterday’s news once you go back to the human world. Everyone will be focused on Leohart and Ramusas. Honestly, I’m more worried about you guys.”
Mio couldn’t hide her surprise.
“Huh….what do you mean?”
“Since Basara’s talk will take a while longer, I guess I should talk to you guys about it…”
Sheila, sporting a grim smile, continued.
“Let me tell you about the ‘danger’ that Basara carries….”
With the start of the meeting drawing near at Wildart Castle, Lucia had already finished checking the security details of the day for the final time. And so Lucia waited at the roof of the castle, taking in the sight of the entire city below, while listening to the conversation of the two other individuals on the roof with her.
“Please wait a minute. Then does that mean….”
“….Yes. It is most likely that we will no longer have anything to do with each other after this.”
Ramusas replied bluntly to Basara’s question without even looking at him. While Basara was staring at Ramusas’ face, he was focused on looking down to Wildart City below him.
What Ramusas just said was an idea that Lucia had already been told of. The stance that the Moderate Faction will take against Basara and the others from now on. Ramusas was now in the process of sharing the news to Basara as well.
“As you guys are aware, you guys have the potential to become the fuse that lights up the next conflict in the Demon World.”
“And in a time where we are about to enter a military alliance with the Demon Lord Faction, we cannot be seen to have connections with you guys, as we cannot be in a situation where the other party may doubt us.”
“In order to prevent that, we will have to cut our ties with you. However, to keep an eye out on you guys, I will still have Maria stay with you. And if we add Zest to the mix, she will be a great asset in case the need to defend yourself arises.
“In order to ensure fairness and transparency, the Demon Lord Faction will most likely send an observer as well to keep an eye on you guys. Do mind that they will only be doing so to prevent others from taking advantage of you or to try and attack you. We all have to be careful since that girl is carrying Wilbert’s power.”
“If any problem arises, the observers will immediately report it to both the Moderate and Demon Lord Faction, then we will openly discuss a solution.”
What Ramusas was saying was that, both the Moderate and the Demon Lord Faction was ready to intervene if something happened. For that, Basara felt reassured.
“Thank you…That is reassuring.”
“I think you are mistaking something.”
Ramsuas spoke coldly while continuing to stare down on to the city below.
“If the situation is dire and we are unable to rescue the girl, we will kill the girl ourselves to prevent other parties from obtaining her powers.”
Lucia watched the exchange with a bit of worry. While Basara remained silent after hearing what Ramusas said, he had a slight smile in the corner of his lips.
“You’re really going to keep up the cold act to the very end huh…”
Letting out a bit of a sigh, Basara looked straight at Ramusas and said.
“Are you really going to part with Mio without telling her the truth?”
Finally, Ramusas turned around to face Basara.
“What do you mean…?”
His questions seemed to dig at the hidden intent behind Basara’s words. But Toujou Basara looked directly at Ramusas to speak his mind. No… to speak what he believed to be the truth.
“This is just my speculation…. I don’t have proof or anything.”
“But your attitude and words towards Mio so far have been anything but kind. No matter what kind of danger she faced, the only support you ever sent was Maria. You avoided Mio to the point where some would say that you left her out there to die.”
“Someone told me that this was because you still felt bitter of your younger brother Wilbert being chosen as the Demon Lord, so took out your anger against his daughter, your niece. But this time, you summoned Mio to the Demon World to try and extract her powers out of her. You felt pressured to do so after opinions were raised to make Mio the next Demon Lord when news broke out that she took down Zolgear.”
“While the supporters who wanted to make Mio the new Demon Lord grew, you spoke out that you will be the one to get her powers. At first glance, this really does look like the actions of a jealous older brother who had his pride trampled on by his younger brother, but I thought different once I saw the way Maria and Lucia-san interacted.”
“Maria and I…?”
Lucia said confused, when Basara turned towards her.
“Yes. Before I came to the Demon World, someone who has always given me good advice, told me to not be short sighted on an issue. She told me to look at the bigger picture and to change the way you look at things from time to time. And watching Maria and Lucia reminded of that. They reminded me that their love for a family member comes in different forms. It’s not always just kindness. Meeting my dad over here had me convinced me as well. Because that’s what parents do. When their kids are busy just trying to live day by day, the parents are making sure that they guide their kids to a better future. ”
Ramusas maintained his expression and silence, so nobody could stop Basara from continuing.
“So I changed how I saw things. What if I were to think of your actions up until now, not as things to soothe your damaged pride, but as actions taken for Mio….”
“And when I did that everything suddenly connected. The late Demon Lord Wilbert had his trusted subordinates act as parents and had Mio grow up in the human world. What if he did this to make sure that his daughter wasn’t used as a political pawn? When I thought of it like that, the actions you took seem to be an extension of what Lord Wilbert started.”
“The reason why you only sent Maria as the aide was to make sure that she won’t be recognized as the princess of the Moderate Faction, and you yourself kept your distance from her to make sure that she was never dragged into the politics of the Demon World. While Lord Wilbert passed on his powers to Mio as a type of ‘insurance’ against threats, that also made her a target to those who want her power. But I’m sure you had a lot of backup plans to keep Mio safe as well. Like that time with Zolgear, you gave permission for Maria to use her ‘Key’ if ever she was in a pinch, but that’s not all is it?”
“Lucia-san, when Maria reported to you about Sheila-san being kidnapped by Zolgear and asked for your judgement, you told her to remain committed to her task of protecting Mio right?”
Lucia’s expression hardened slightly and she kept her silence, but Basara knew that they were cues that he was getting closer to the hidden truth. So with that confidence, he pressed on without breaking eye contact with Ramusas.
“But you said that not because you gave up on your mother, but because Sheila-san purposely got herself caught, am I right?”
“This is Sheila-san we are talking about. She’s capable of making portals that even you and Lucia-san can’t detect. Since Zolgear had held her hostage in another building, she would have had ample opportunity to escape whenever she wanted.”
“But she didn’t. Because she knew about Zolgear’s unhealthy obsession with Mio. So she made sure that she was right in the belly of the beast, in case Zolgear succeeded with his plans to lure Mio to his playground. And Lucia-san, who knew of Sheila-san’s intention, kept that from Maria and also made sure to report to you about what was happening.”
“So up until the part where Zolgear was able to catch Mio was part of your plan, but then, everything backfired. You didn’t expect us to actually defeat Zolgear. And that shifted everyone’s attention to Mio. And so, to prevent Mio from being turned into a political tool, you suggested to extract Mio’s power from her.”
“Of course the risks were high. You knew that extracting her powers from her will turn her into a defenseless, normal human girl, but you knew that we were there to look out for her and protect her. And you also knew that Mio, without her powers, wasn’t really worth a hostage for your enemies who might try to use her as a bargaining chip against you.”
“So you were going to take her powers and have us protect her in the human world, while you sorted out all the problems here in the Demon World. But before you could do all of that, the Current Demon Lord Faction attacked with their Spirits and we were involved dragged into battle once again.”
“But my theory left me with more questions you know?”
“It’s about the timing in which you appeared in front of the Moderate Faction and about your attitude against Mio. If we are to go with my theory and assume that you are in fact, the uncle that is honouring his brother’s wishes and looking after his niece, it wouldn’t make sense for you to clash with Klaus and the others within the same faction. If all you wanted to do was to distance Mio from politics, you could have always confronted and talked to Klaus and co about it.”
“Have you perhaps considered that you have these questions because your theories are wrong?”
Just as Ramusas broke his silence for the first time, Basara cut back in quickly.
“Back then when you threw yourself in front of Chaos to protect Mio and when you held her after she lost consciousness from using Wilbert’s power, that face you had back then when you did that, and your feelings, were all genuine.”
“So this is what I think. The reason you are acting distant is not because you wanted to, but because you had to.”
“The Moderate Faction used to be the biggest force in the Demon World. But those who joined forces with Wilbert didn’t do so because they shared his belief for peace. They joined him because they were awed by his sheer charisma and power. And the soldiers who supported Wilbert didn’t want a peace treaty, but urged Wilbert to take over the entire Demon World and have it under the control of the Moderate Faction right?”
This was true. Wilbert’s charisma was unparalleled, and when he took the throne, his followers were worshipping and kissing his every footstep. But the worship towards Wilbert, expressed by his followers, was the biggest burden placed on him. For his desire for peace in the Demon World was interpreted by his followers as his wish to control the entire Demon World. In a sense, it wasn’t so much as ‘peace’ in the world, but domination through power and numbers by the Moderate Faction.”
“And with his control over his radicalized followers waning, and the influence of the Demon Council creeping up on him, Wilbert decided on the best way to stop the coming conflict: It was for him to disappear.”
“But he had to disappear in a way that would protect the Moderate Faction from forces that might try to wrestle power from them. That meant that he couldn’t die in battle or die in an accident, as the latter would result in a wild witch hunt. Instead, he went with an illness, as that would have been the most convincing. So after sending Mio to the human world with his trusted subordinates, he watched her growth from the Demon World, and when he saw the opportunity, he faked his death, and came back as another being.”
Basara took a breath and faced Ramusas head on.
“He faked his own death to see how the Moderate Faction will change, to see whether they would spiral out of control with their bloodlust and ambitions, and he also had to observe how the Demon Council will make their move. That’s what I believe to be the truth.”
“The danger that Basara carries…?”
Nonaka Yuki frowned at Sheila’s warning. Sheila saw the other girls with worried expressions on their faces.
“Basara-kun’s contribution this time around against the Current Demon Lord Faction was incredible. During the battle in Wildart City, he managed to defeat the war hero Gald, and in the final battle, fought toe to toe with Leohart until the unwanted guests decide to crash the party….”
“Not only the battles against demons themselves, but in Wildart City he took on the Spirits and in the final battle he defeated the Demon God Chaos.”
“So you’re saying that Basara-san stood out too much?”
“Or that people are going to fear Basara-sama’s power and will turn him into a target….?”
Sheila shook her head to the worried questions from Maria and Zest before continuing.
“What Basara-kun did was amazing, and of course we can’t rule out that there might be some who see him as a threat, but if the Moderate Faction and the Current Demon Lord Faction end up signing a peace treaty, they will be such a force together that nobody would be able to challenge them. That’s why both Ramusas and Leohart are trying to crush any ideas or ambitions other forces may have, with this union. They’re going to remove all the seeds of conflict in the Demon World in one fell swoop.”
“But in order to go through with the peace negotiations diplomatically, they had to make sure that you guys did not have a part in the negotiation process. And that worked out for you, since the very reason you guys came here was to make sure Mio-chan would not be dragged into the politics of this world.”
While Yuki understood Sheila’s reasoning, she felt that the Demon World should have done something more to acknowledge Basara’s part in all of this. Because it was he, who brought an end to the civil war between the two leading factions of the Demon World, a feat even the great Jin was unable to do. If the ‘Village’ was to acknowledge this, they may even reconsider the exile they have placed on him.
But there is a chance that the ‘Village’ doesn’t look so favourably to this outcome. If Basara never intervened, the continuous fighting between the two factions would have been beneficial to the ‘Hero Clan’ as it would have weakened the Demon World as a whole.
“And further to that, it’s best if people outside the Demon World don’t find out that Basara-kun is able to use Gravity Magic, the same power that Mio-chan received from Wilbert.”
Sheila took the girls’ silence as a sign that they did know about Basara’s power, so she continued.
“Well it seems that you all know that Basara-kun is Sapphire’s….the younger sister of Wilbert.”
“Yes…Basara-sama informed us last night.”
Zest replied curtly. As loyal as she was to Basara, even Zest couldn’t ignore the questions that she had when she saw Basara use Gravity Magic in the last fight, so as soon as they returned to Wildart City, she and the other girls confronted Basara about it.
At first Zest thought that Basara’s power came from his deepened bond with Mio. As the Master-Servant Contract strengthens the ties between the master and the servant and the individuals themselves, as the bond between them grows stronger, Zest was under the impression that Mio’s powers transferred to Basara then. Her justification was that it was only Mio, who seemed to not faint from pleasure when they were in the guest house in Lundvall. When all of them pleasured each other to deepen their bonds, Mio was the only one who didn’t lose consciousness, and stayed up till dawn with Basara to pleasure each other.
So when Zest asked Basara if this was the case, Basara told them what Jin told him about his mother. That Basara’s mother was the younger sister of the previous Demon Lord Wilbert. That Basara had Demon blood running in his veins. While shocked to hear it, both Maria and Zest were quick to accept this fact. After all, for Zest, Basara’s background and past had nothing to do with her loyalty towards him, and this was the same for Maria.
But for Mio, Yuki and Kurumi, it was a lot harder to accept. For Yuki and Kurumi, who were from the Hero Clan, finding out that Basara had demon blood in him was not something they could accept happily. While Yuki was able to control her emotions better, Kurumi was a bawling mess. And no one could blame her. Unlike her older sister, Kurumi still had to report information to the Village and was still under the orders to assassinate Basara if something ever was to happen. And this revelation isn’t something she could just keep quiet about, as she couldn’t just betray the Village. Further to that, if the Village was to find out that Kurumi was hiding this information, there will definitely be consequences for Kurumi and Yuki’s parents in the village as well.
Mio actually took it harder than Kurumi. Raised as a human all her life, only to have her adoptive parents killed and told that she was the daughter of the previous Demon Lord was one of the biggest shocks of her life. And even after knowing all of that, Basara accepted her as his family and even went further to form a Master-Servant Contract with her to deepen said bond. Mio would be lying if she said she wasn’t a bit happy to find out that Basara also had demon blood in himself like her, but she of all people knew what it was like to have your entire life turned upside down from a revelation of your heritage. And she knew that Basara was torn on the inside for having to tell Yuki and Kurumi about it. So knowing the anguish that Basara had to suffer and seeing Kurumi cry was just too much for Mio, and soon, she too was crying from all the emotions she had pent up.
They all took the two crying girls to the bedroom, and Basara had them all undress to share their body heat again, like they did back in Lundvall. And Basara promised them right there that no matter what happens, nothing will change between them and that nothing has to change. They then all reconfirmed their bonds and Mio and Kurumi were able to calm down. While the two girls did calm down, the very real threat of the Village was still something that they had to eventually face.
“The threat of the Village is something we will all have to discuss once we get back.”
“Ah yes… you’d have to do that too.”
Sheila’s response towards Zest’s statement made it sound like the threat of the Village wasn’t really the issue she was talking about.
“Are you saying that there is something else…?”
“It’s no surprise that you don’t know…after all, you all have bear special feelings for him. That’s why, while you do worry when he does something reckless, you all are very happy when he fights for you or does something for you.”
Sheila’s smile seemed somewhat bittersweet and her eyes were filled with a tinge of sadness.
“But…his recklessness will one day be the death of him.”
The girls all froze and their faces paled when they heard Sheila’s warning.
“You girls aren’t stupid. I know you’ve slowly realized, and even began to fear, his talent. The victor of a fight is decided based on the circumstance of a fight and it is something that can be swayed by the element of luck. That is, the victor isn’t something decided based on raw fighting power alone. That being said, the likes of Gald and Leohart, were still opponents that Basara would have never stood a chance against. But even against all the odds, he found a way to win.”
Sheila let out her breath and stared, with sad eyes, towards the grounds of Oldora Forest.
“And his ability, the ‘Banishing Shift’… That isn’t something anyone can just do. Even in the Hero Clan, I doubt there are other people who could use that ability.”
Sheila took Kurumi and Yuki’s silence as an answer to her guess.
“It’s probably an ability made possible because of his special blood…And because of his special ability, he will do everything and anything to protect his loved ones, even at the expense of his own body and life. It probably has to do with the trauma he suffered as a child. He is so scared of losing his precious people, that he will fight with everything he has, in order to protect them. So far, with luck on his side as well, things have turned out fine.”
“But we can’t say for sure about the next time…. And there is actually a more pressing problem.”
“Basara feels so strongly and cares for all of you so much. If something was to ever happen to any of you…He will never be able to forgive himself.”
“And when that happens, Basara will no longer be the person that he is now. I have seen someone lose something he cherished so much, only for him to change as a person after filling up that empty void with hate and regret. I’m sure you all would feel something similar too, if you were to lose Basara.”
“By the way, other than Kurumi, all of you are familiar with that ‘someone’”
“Wait…don’t tell me—-”
Maria gasped when realization struck her. Sheila looked at her and nodded.
“Yes…I was talking about Zolgear.”
Naruse Maria could only stand there in shock while letting that name sink in. How can she ever forget that man.
“Of course it’s hard for you guys to think of him any differently, but he wasn’t always like that.”
“He was actually a very nice person in the past…Until he lost the woman of his life and changed. In his quest to revive her, he researched thousands of scripts and documents, and experimented with Forbidden Magic countless times.”
Sheila looked up to the sky. The sadness in her eyes suggesting that she was remembering the memories of a distant past.
“During his quest, he received countless injuries and curses to himself, but he never stopped. Even his physical appearance was so disfigured that people couldn’t recognize him anymore, he kept continuing…. And eventually he became the leading authority for magical life forms in the Demon World.”
“And one of the creations of his experiments, Zest, was you.”
Naruse Maria suddenly recalled a moment from when she snuck into Zolgear’s room to find clues as to where Sheila was being held. She did find some visual display which showed an image of a beautiful woman with a striking resemblance to Zest. Perhaps, she was Zolgear’s important person.
“However, even if Zolgear was able to rise to the top of his field, there was just no way to bring somebody back from the dead. And when he found out that what he wanted was impossible, he gave up everything, and saw no value in others anymore. That is why he ended up creating his playground and spending his days drowning in a world of pleasure.”
“We’d never know for certain but… I believe that the reason he never touched you Zest, is because, no matter how much he had changed, no matter how disfigured he had become, and no matter how much you look like his past love, he believed that he didn’t have the right to touch her anymore.”
It was a difficult truth to take in, and the girls didn’t have anything to say except one.
Kurumi gripped Zest’s hand tightly.
“What happened to him in the past has nothing to do with the cruel things he did to Zest and him killing Mio’s parents. Why should we care what he went through?”
“Exactly. To all of you, this is needless information. He was just an evil that you needed to dispose of. Perhaps in my case, this was just sentiment from someone who knew what he was like before.”
“So Zest…Make sure you treasure the person that will fill you with love. That is how you will obtain happiness.”
“I already understand as I belong to Basara-sama.”
“That’s good. But…all of you, do keep in mind that, if Basara-kun was to lose any of you, there is a possibility that he will end up like Zolgear.”
“He won’t… Basara will never become like that.”
Sheila replied to Yuki’s declaration with a bit of a snicker.
“And how can you say that? The Master-Servant Contract that Basara-kun has with you girls and the things you do together aren’t so different to the way Zolgear treated his girls. There doesn’t really seem to be a big difference in my eyes.”
They all turned around to the source of that voice and saw Mio, biting her lips and glaring at Sheila.
Naruse Mio couldn’t bear it any longer. How dare Sheila compare their relationship with Basara to that of Zolgear’s slave girls.
But Mio’s anger did not phase Sheila at all.
“For those who don’t understand the circumstances, your relationship is something they will never understand. But Basara-kun is the type of person who will do anything to protect your goals. For him, the end justifies the means, and he’s willing to get his hands dirty for that. That’s why he cooperated with Lars, who could have been an enemy for all we know, to kill Zolgear and he even came to ask me for dangerous drugs to help him for that last battle.”
“A normal person will actually fear Basara’s course of action and his ability to make the most ruthless of decisions. I mean Mio, think about it, what would your friends think about Basara-kun, if you were to tell them that he makes you and the other girls drown in pleasure every night and that he secretly kills people that bring harm to you. Do you think they will look at Basara as a good person?”
That question from Sheila was too cruel. There was no way that she could tell her friends from school about the relationship they had with Basara. And for even for people in the Demon World, not all of them are supportive or accepting of a Master-Servant Contract. Mio herself originally wanted to get rid of the contract, but now she was very happy with having a contract with Basara. Yuki too, she supposed, was happy with her contract as it was a proof of the special bond she had with Basara.
But…That didn’t mean that the bonds the girls shared with Basara was something they could just talk about with anyone. Mio couldn’t tell her friends and Yuki and Kurumi can’t let the Hero Clan find out. Even Maria and Zest, may have had accusations in the past by others in the Moderate Faction, for associating with an ex-Hero. So without knowing the full story as to why they have the Master-Servant Contract, their relationship with Basara may really do in fact look like the one Zolgear had with his girls.
Mio felt her body start to waver. She knew that if Basara so much as asked, the girls will all gladly pleasure him like how Zolgear’s girls pleasured Zolegar. Mio and the others all love Basara. They will do anything he asked of them. And she knew that it was the same for him as well. Basara would do anything for them. It was a truth that Mio and the girls didn’t want to accept, but Sheila played the Devil’s advocate to make them realize the possibility and danger of Basara going out of control.
Just as Mio was about to lose her footing from this realization, she heard a little chuckle from behind her.
“Hey you perverted Mother-Succubus, stop scaring the young ones!”
It was no other than Jin, Basara’s father, and the one known as ‘The Strongest’.
“Not just your appearance…You gave a large portion of your power to Mio and that changed your spiritual level as well as your magical power, which masked your identity even further. However, giving your part away still won’t take away your Gravity element, but you overcame that by saying that you were his brother. Being a relative also made it easier for you to enter the politics of the Demon World.”
“While Mio was protected in the human world due to the power you gave her, you still needed some support. And that’s where Sheila-san comes in. And not just against Zolgear… I believe that she knew about your identity and that she was supporting you from the very beginning, long before you planned all of this.”
“I guessed this because it struck me as strange that somebody as devoted as Lucia-san would stay by your side. It would have made more sense for her to join Klaus’ group to worship your legacy. But if she was convinced by Sheila-san, then it would all make sense as to why she is standing by your side as your second in command.”
“But I believe that you had one more accomplice.”
The hero of the Great War and the one who married the Demon Lord’s daughter after the war.
Basara always found it suspicious how Ramusas, Jin and Sheila got along. It wasn’t camaraderie from after the war, but more like a group who had to share an uneasy secret.
“Since you guys were brother in laws, I believe that you planned to fake the death of Wilbert to see the Moderate Faction calm down from their desire to conquer the Demon World. And while that did work out in the beginning, you didn’t expect the Demon Council to plot a revolt by putting Leohart’s faction in the position of power. And while you were able to prevent all out conflict by assuming the position of leader of the Moderates Faction, there was nothing you can do about the Current Demon Lord Faction, and so, your initial plans went completely out the window.”
“And Leohart knew exactly how charismatic and worshipped Wilbert was, so when he heard about Mio having your power, he couldn’t just ignore her.”
After Zolgear killed Mio’s parents, she and Maria made it to the Toujou household. When Basara called Jin to know if the two of them were Demons, he said that he already knew. Now Basara knows what his words meant that day. It wasn’t an accident that Naruse Mio came to the Toujou household. It was planned from the very beginning.
With all the dots connected, Basara finally felt satisfied with his theory. Just when he was about to mentally pat himself on the back, Ramusas spoke up.
“Seems like you were voicing out your daydreams, but are you finished?”
Even after Basara laid out his compelling points, Ramusas’ facial expression remained unchanged. But that was to be expected. After all, what Basara suggested were mere ‘theories’. And theories without evidence were no different to the ramblings of a madman. Even if what Basara said was the truth, Ramusas will gain nothing in confirming them. With her master keeping the silence, Lucia remained just as tight lipped. Jin and Sheila, will most likely take it to the grave as well. That is because their entire plan relies on the basis that Wilbert stays in the shadows. If Wilbert was to suddenly resurface, the Demon World will just be dragged back into worshipping his charisma and fighting between each other. The truth about Wilbert’s death must be kept a secret forever. Admitting to it will destroy everything they had worked on until now.
“You’re right…these were all just my dreamy musings. So you don’t have to worry about me telling Mio about my strange dreams.”
“Anyway, I best get going. Thank you for taking care of me.”
Basara bowed politely to Ramusas then turned to Lucia.
“Lucia-san, Sheila-san told me that Mio and the others are waiting for me at the edge of Oldora forest.”
“Yes, she was briefed about your return. Please follow me.”
Basara followed as Lucia started to walk towards the exit of the balcony. At the top of the stairs, he turned to see Ramusas, back facing him, staring down into the city once again. He spoke to Ramusas’ back. One last promise.
“Even if everything I said was untrue. It doesn’t change the fact that you’re Mio’s uncle. So when you have the time, please come and visit her. I know you’ll be very busy with the peace negotiations and everything but… until you come and visit her, I’ll make sure to keep her safe. Just like how you have always been watching over her.”
“Geez…And here I was wondering what you guys were talking about with such heavy expressions.”
Jin let out a sigh in front of everyone.
“I’m thankful that you’re worried about Basara, but that’s just pointless to push onto these girls.”
“It’s definitely not something I’d brush off as ‘pointless’ though.”
Sheila-san gave a small smirk as she glanced in Jin’s direction. His subordinate(?) Fio, standing next to him.
“After all, my Maria, is now part of Basara-kun’s harem. I have a right, as a mother, to express my concerns.”
Mio stuttered, face ablaze. While Kurumi shared a similar red-faced expression, Maria, Yuki and Zest all showed rather happy expressions, with small smiles and slight fidgeting.
While Mio couldn’t really deny the fact that Basara did have a harem, it wasn’t really something she wanted to admit to in front of Jin, Basara’s father. Jin just looked at the girls and gave a small smirk.
“You know Sheila, it feels really good to know that your son is popular with the ladies.”
Sheila let out a sigh.
“Always so positive… Aren’t you worried at all about Basara?”
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried… After all worrying about your son is part of being a father.”
“But, don’t underestimate Basara, Sheila.”
“I wasn’t. But unlike you, he’s too serious about things. So I am worried that he will be forced to take drastic measures for these girls… I’m also worried that he may one day distance himself from the girls when he believes that he isn’t worthy of them.”
Mio had to swallow her breath. She knew in her heart that she will never try to distance herself from Basara, and she knew that he would never abandon her or the others. But if it was in order to protect Mio and the others, that was a possibility she wasn’t sure of.
“Geez, what are you acting all shocked for? As a father, I was hoping that this was the part where you guys say ‘We will never let that happen to Basara!’”
Mio bit her lips hearing Jin’s joke. It’s true that the threat Sheila mentioned will always be a possible threat. But that can all be prevented depending on how the girls act. So Sheila’s question was most likely an attempt to check how serious and committed the girls were to Basara. She recalled Takigawa telling her and Yuki before to ‘become strong enough to kill Basara when the time comes’. Perhaps that was his way to make sure the girls understood their situation.
And at that moment, Mio pledged to become stronger. Mio will not lose her precious person. Even if the conflict with the Current Demon Lord Faction may have ended, there will be more trials in the future. In order to protect him, Mio and the others will have to become stronger.
Because Toujou Basara is their precious ‘family’.
Jin saw the determined look on Mio’s face.
“So, I take it that my son is going to be safe in your hands?”
One look at Mio’s face was all he needed to see for her answer.
“What do you think Sheila?”
“Well with a look like that, I’m sure things are going to be just fine.”
Sheila gave a gentle smile to the girls.
“I’m sorry that I said things that may have scared you. But that feeling that you’re feeling now. That’s the feeling that you’ll need when things become tough. Never forget that.”
The girls all nodded. Satisfied with their Jin, gave a smile.
“Alright, with that settled, I guess I should start heading off.”
Yuki, understanding the undertones of what he said, asked worriedly.
“Jin-san, you aren’t coming back with us… ?”
“No I’m not. I actually came here to look for the wife, but I can’t seem to find her. From what I’ve heard, she doesn’t seem to be in the Demon World. Even Sheila can’t seem to sense her spiritual presence after all.”
“But I can’t just go home empty handed so I thought I’d stay behind and do a little more digging. Luckily for me, Fio over here said that he’d help me out. Isn’t that right Fio?”
Fio didn’t have the happiest of faces.
“It’s not like I’m doing it because I want to help you.”
“It’s because I ended up following you all the way here that my position and allegiance is most likely under question if I were to go back now. So I’m only here until the peace negotiation is sorted and I can go back.”
Jin just smiled at Fio making all his excuses. He patted Fio’s head and they started to walk towards the forest. He turned around and gave the girls one last wave.
“I’ve already spoken to Basara about this… Please take care of him.”
Basara was following Lucia through the castle grounds when he heard her speak.
“You didn’t ask anything about Sapphire-sama until the end. Was it okay?”
“It’s…fine. I’ve already had my father tell me about my mother.”
But in truth, there wasn’t much that Basara learnt from Jin. All he told him was that he met her on the battlefield and they fought as enemies. And after they got together, because of their respective positions, it was difficult for them to live together.
So actually…Basara didn’t know anything about her. But it was just like his dad to leave out all the information. So he was fine with it.
After all, this was a woman that Jin decided to make his wife. And that woman too, decided to be with Jin, knowing that he was he strongest fighter of the Hero Clan. And she is the younger sister of the doting father Wilbert. Basara knew that she must be a ‘good person’.
Basra was shocked when he found out that he had Demon blood in him. But after meeting Mio, Maria and Zest he knew that they would still accept him. And while Kurumi and Mio looked shaken from the revelation, he made sure to teach them that everything was going to be the same and that nothing was going to change. Of course, Maria being there, meant that the ‘teaching’ process took place in the bedroom but nevertheless, their bonds were secure and Jin even told him to do as he wished.
“Of course I’d like to go and look for my mother with my father. But I now have a precious family of my own that I have to be with. And I don’t think Ramusas-san would feel comfortable in telling me about my mother just yet.”
Lucia had a very rare smile on her face.
“Well then…allow me to tell you a little secret about Maria.”
“A secret about Maria…?”
“Maria and I… we have different fathers.”
“My father died just after my mother gave birth to me. He was always and sick and his body was very weak. But my parents still fell in love and my mother had me because she wanted to bear his child.”
“My mother was alone after that. But she went to visit His Royal Highness Wilbert once at the castle just after Lady Ashe passed away after giving birth to Mio-sama. They were to discuss how to raise Mio-sama in the human world…”
“And, just once, they spent the night together.”
“Sheila-san did? With Lord Wilbert?”
Basara couldn’t restrain his shock to Lucia’s admission.
“The two of them were both suffering from the loss of their loved ones. And as two individuals who saw each other as equals, perhaps there was a hole in their hearts that only the two of them could fill. But when my mother found out that she was carrying Maria, she was quite happy. She always wanted another child, and Mio-sama would also get a little sister.”
“And just like how Wilbert-sama passed on his powers to Mio-sama, my mother also gave half of her powers to Maria.”
Realization struck Basara.
“Half of her powers… so the way Sheila-san looks is because of…”
“Yes, but we haven’t told Maria. From what Zolgear told her, she believes that it’s her fault that our mother looks like the way she does.”
“But…why don’t you tell Maria the truth!?”
The very reason why Maria ended up cooperating with Zolgear was because, somewhere deep within her heart, she felt guilty for what happened to her mother.
“Don’t you know how much she blames herself for it? Keeping it a secret is just going to keep tormenting her further.”
“It’s just as you say…”
Maria responded with a sad expression on her face.
“I thought exactly like you are doing now… I kept telling my mother that Maria should know about the truth. But she always refused.”
“But why would Sheila-san refuse…?”
Basara has seen with his own eyes how Sheila dotes on her two daughters. So he just couldn’t believe why she would keep such a secret away from Maria, resulting in her blaming herself over it.
“Mother was a very powerful succubus in her prime… and with that personality, it’s not surprising that she has many enemies in the Demon World. If they were to find out that her child now carries the mother’s power, they will definitely go after her.”
“And, at the same time, she is also the child of Lord Wilbert. If this information was to become public, it will risk making Maria into more of a political tool than even Mio-sama. My mother wanted to avoid that at all costs.”
“Just like with Mio-sama, we can only tell her the truth once everything in the Demon World settles down. But that most likely won’t be for a while…”
“But Basara-dono, after watching Maria after the ordeal with Zolgear, and the way she smiled, I know that she is in safe hands with you and her friends.”
Lucia bowed deeply.
“So please continue taking care of Maria.”
“Maria had my mother’s power and the blood of Lord Wilbert. In terms of potential, she has a lot more power than my mother or myself. And I believe that power can only be unleashed when she accepts and comes to terms with herself. So Basara-dono, please guide her towards the right direction.”
Basara knew that this task was something Sheila and Lucia had to do. No, it was something they wanted to do. But due to their circumstances, they had entrusted Basara to the task. Basara knew what it meant for Lucia to ask him to do this.
“I understand. But I can’t guarantee that she’ll awaken her true powers. But I’ll keep telling Maria to accept herself. After all, just like for you and Sheila-san, Maria is an important family member to me as well.”
Lucia’s smile was not that of Ramusas’ second-in-command, but that of a loving sister.
After their promise, Basara and Lucia walked towards the back gate. Since the return to the human world was to be done in secrecy, Sheila’s portal to Oldora Forest was hidden away from the main areas of the castle. Just when they turned the corner, Basara felt someone on the other side, and it seemed that they noticed him as well.
It was Leohart. Leaving his subordinates behind, he made his way towards Basara and Maria.
“I didn’t expect to see you again. I heard you are leaving today.”
“Yea, I’m about to meet up with Mio and the others. You’re here for the meeting right?”
Basara knew that the meeting between the two faction leaders was taking place today, but he didn’t expect Leohart to arrive so early in the morning. And there was another thing that piqued his interest.
“But for you to be coming through the rear gate like this…is this meeting supposed to be under wraps?”
The meeting between the two leaders of the Moderate Faction and the Current Demon Lord Faction was supposed to be a political statement to the other forces in the Demon World and a statement of peace to those residing in the Demon World. Therefore, it made sense for them to walk through the main gate in a ceremonious manner. But they didn’t. Which means that…
“You guys considered the feelings of the people.”
“This ceasefire was called before we made any preparations. Even if we are currently in a state of a cease fire, it’s not easy for the people to just lay down their arms when they see someone they were trying to kill just last week. So we decided that it was best for us to keep a low profile until things become better and people decide to give peace a chance.”
Basara’s respect for Leohart increased. He understood that both Leohart and Ramusas were looking well into the future, and not just at the immediate ceasefire and peace negotiation. Leohart also looked a lot more relaxed. Basara guessed that a whole lot of weight was taken off his shoulders since the ceasefire was called. And that, he couldn’t really walk into the negotiation room with bloodlust and rage.
“Oh….so this is the son of Jin Toujou.”
Basara felt the voice right by his ear. The young man was part of Leohart’s entourage, but he somehow appeared right next to him in an instant.
Basara saw Lucia harden her stance with a shocked expression. She probably did not see him move at all. The young man just ignored Lucia and stared into Basara’s eyes, a tinge of bloodlust and a wicked smile adorning his face.
“I heard you fought toe to toe with Leohart here. But you sure don’t look that strong. Why don’t you show me that move of yours that brought Leohart to his knees.”
The young man stretched his hand out as if to touch Basara.
At that moment, Basara calculated the options in his head. This young man’s fighting ability wasn’t so different to Leohart, and there was another 7 of them with similar fighting power in the group. Unfortunately, the Moderate Faction didn’t have the arsenal to match and fight all 8 of these guys and Leohart. Even if Basara was to gather Mio and the others, their chance of victory was slim to none.
Luck also played a big part in his fight against Leohart at Lundvall. Even if he were to use his Gravity Slash now, without the element of surprise, it would be easy for Leohart to dodge it. But he couldn’t just leave them be. If this was a ploy by them to ambush the peace negotiations, their target might switch to Basara and the others after.
Then what did Basara have to do. Just as his brain went in to overdrive, the others all looked at Basara with a hint of amusement in their eyes.
“Well…this is interesting”
They knew what Basara was trying to do. His thoughts were being read. But they knew that they had the numbers so none of them thought that they would ever lose. To them it might seem like Basara was plotting a suicide mission. They are so certain of their victory that if Basara was able to get one of them and brutally murder them in front of the others, it’ll cause panic for the rest of them. Basara knew that he only needed one opportunity. So he–
“Stop it….both of you.”
Leohart’s cold voice stopped Basara in his tracks. Then suddenly
“You idiot! I told you that you had to stay still if you wanted to tag along!”
A lady, from one of the seven, punched the young man in the head.
“Hey…what was that for…That hurt.”
“What hurts is your stupidity! I’m sorry that this idiot caused you problems.”
The lady apologized towards Basara before turning back to the young man.
“We were the ones who asked for a ceasefire. How stupid can you be to try and attack them after doing so!”
“Well…it’s not like I asked for the ceasefire.”
“Shut up! And also, it’s not Leohart! You should be calling him ‘his majesty’. I told you to watch how you speak in public… Anyway get your ass back here you dumbass.”
She dragged the young man by his collar back towards the group.
“I brought them to introduce them to the Ramusas today. I don’t mean to start a fight.”
Hearing Leohart’s explanation, Basara let out the breath he was holding. He looked towards the group.
“I see… then they are the…?”
“Yes. They will be the ones supporting me.”
“With the demise of the Demon Council, I’ll have to establish a new governing body. They are the ‘Eight Demon Generals’ and they have each been in charge of the army in the 8 directions of the Demon World. Each of them has accomplished just as much as I have during the previous great war.”
“I want them, not just as my aides, but as representative members of the new council. If half of the eight voted against me, my ideas can be rejected. And if all eight of them were to vote together, they will even have the authority and power to impeach me. That’s how much power I’m going to be entrusting them with for the new council.”
“To prevent totalitarian rule by the Demon Lord huh….”
“Yes. And to prevent a repeat of the Demon Council.”
Leohart answered to Basara’s guess.
Leohart knew that he already had the approval of the other eight, but wanted to make sure that he had measures in place in case he ever strayed from the path like how Belphegor and the others did.
If he was to be honest, Leohart wished for Balflear to be his second in command. But Blaflear has been missing since the final battle. He approached Gald about the position, but he insisted that the younger generation should be the ones clearing the path to the future from now on and politely refused.
He did consider appointing Luka to the council but decided against it, knowing that Luka wanted to the pursue the path of research rather than politics. After telling Luka that he didn’t have to involve himself in any of the politics, he gladly returned to the Academy for his research.
Basara still had one name in his mind.
“Then what about Takigawa?”
“Lars is a tricky one. Neither we nor the Moderate Faction know what to do since his loyalty to either faction is as muddled as it can be. One of the topics that is going to be discussed today at the meeting is in regards to Lars. I did request his assistance, since he would be a big help politically in the future, but he refused, saying that he would much prefer being free. I asked to wait at Lundvall until this is all over.”
“I guess I won’t be able to see him before I go then… I wanted to say my goodbyes and my thanks before I went back.”
“But are you sure he’s going to be okay? I mean… he was technically spying for both sides.”
“Don’t worry about that. Both my side and the Moderate Faction took advantage of Lars’ situation in different ways. No harm will come to him.”
“Phew, well that’s good to know.”
Something cold seeped through Leohart as he saw Basara smile about Lars. Until just a moment ago, Basara was ready to fight them. Even if he had no chance against himself and the Eight Generals, Basara had something planned. He was seeing something that he, Leohart, could not.
“…. Toujou Basara”
Basara turned towards Leohart. His carefree expression put Leohart on further guard. He had to confirm something. If what Liala said was the truth, it was Basara who killed Belphegor. And he did so before that final battle. Alone. But…
“…Actually, forget it.”
Leohart’s question never made it out his throat. Even if he did ask such a question, Basara would never admit to it. And if he was to admit to it, it’ll only cause the Eight Generals to be wary of him, and some of them might have doubts of the peace treaty with the Moderate Faction.
Perhaps some secrets were better to be kept in the dark forever. Even if it stung his pride, it was his duty as the Demon Lord to sometimes turn his cheek from the truth.
“Anyway, I gotta get going.”
“Yea. This is goodbye…Toujou Basara.”
With their goodbyes exchanged, Leohart watched Basara leave the castle. Then he turned on his heels and walked ahead with his generals to where he had to go.
He was the Current Demon Lord. And he had to meet the leader of the Moderate Faction, Ramusas, to discuss with him about the future of the Demon World.
After parting with Leohart, Lucia guided Basara to the portal Sheila prepared to take him to Oldora Forest. After giving Lucia his thanks, he took one step towards the portal, and found himself standing in front of Mio and the others.
“Sorry for keeping you guys waiting….”
Basara smiled to the girls who expressed their surprise. Sheila had a strange smile on her face when she spoke to Basara.
“Were you able to ask Ramusas about what you wanted to know?”
“No, he didn’t tell me anything.”
He technically wasn’t lying. Basara merely spoke about his theories and Ramusas never admitted to anything. Sheila was able to understand what happened based on Basara’s awkward smile. But she didn’t let Mio and the others know that anything strange happened, and Basara was thankful for that.
So Basara promised himself to keep his talk with Lucia a secret from Maria as well. He knew that it was something that Sheila would like to tell her daughter herself anyway.
“Alright, let’s get started~”
With such a light-hearted tone, Sheila instantly opened a perfect portal connecting the two worlds. The quality of her portals were a lot higher than Lucia’s. But there was another difference between Sheila’s portal and her daughter’s portal. Lucia’s portal were vertical and one had to walk through it to go to the other side. Sheila’s portal perfectly horizontal on the ground.
And it was right under them.
Mio and the girls let out a scream as they fell through the portal. Basara, who was standing a little bit away looked on in shock. Sheila just gave him a teasing smile.
“Oh don’t worry. I made sure to connect it to the other side.”
Basara just let out a sigh as he looked at the teasing loli-succubus.
“Well that’s fine then…Thank you for everything Sheila-san.”
Basara bid farewell to Sheila and was about to take the plunge when
Basara quickly turned around. The way she said his name was void of the usual cheerful tone that she had. Basara had never heard her speak so seriously before.
“There’s nothing wrong with treasuring Mio and the others. But there will be no point if you have to sacrifice yourself for them. Please remember that.”
Perhaps he understood the meaning behind her words. For Basara didn’t say anything. And Sheila knew what he was feeling, that led him to his silence. Sheila needed him to know what she had to say. She knew that she couldn’t leave it to the idiot men that found their way into Basara’s life. Single fathers like Jin and Wilbert believe that being a man of few words was cool, but Sheila had no interest in playing along with their machismo.
For Sheila and Wilbert, Basara represented hope. The hope to end their long feud with the Hero Clan and give a peaceful future for the next generation. And that was the future that Sheila, Wilbert and Jin promised to make. A world where their children can all live happily together.
“Please promise me Basara. Please never do anything that will make you give up on yourself,”
Basara knew that he could come up with any lie to stop Sheila from worrying. But he couldn’t. This was the first time Sheila was speaking to him so seriously. He clenched his fist and made his promise.
“I’ll do my best.”
Perhaps that wasn’t quite the response she was hoping for, but that was all the promise Basara could make for now. Sheila gave a small smile then handed him a big bag with a red ribbon on top.
“Um…what is this?”
“It’s souvenirs from the Demon World and also gifts to help prepare for your new life with Zest as well. I’ve also put in some things that will be useful for you inside. Use them when you’re in trouble.”
“Thank you very much.”
After saying his thanks, Basara hopped through the portal and made his way towards his precious girls.
As he jumped into the portal, all the light and sound disappeared. What surrounded him was total darkness. The next moment, a bright light flashed, and he found himself in his living room.
Basara was surprised to see the 5 girls sleeping on the living room floor. Perhaps the shock of being suddenly dropped took its toll on them. But watching them sound asleep made Basara think of the conversation he just had with Sheila.
This was his home. This was the place and these were the people he would go home to. The people he would fight for. The life he will protect.
“I did promise Sheila-san…”
Basara knew that he will have to find a way to the future where everyone can live happily, in order to keep his promise with Sheila.
In the corner of his vision, he saw one of the girls open their eyes.
It was Mio.
Basara just smiled. He was back home.
“Welcome back, Mio.”