The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 143: Conclusion Part 2
"Damn it! How did she escape!?"
Gaywitz's morningstar crashed into the ground with a loud bang, sending a cloud of dust and soil into the air while leaving behind a conspicuous hole. Yet no matter how strong his attack was, it was nothing but a joke if it didn't hit its target.
The brawny man let out an exasperated breath before ordering his gasping subordinates to immediately reconvene with Samantha and their other teammate in Azure City.
At the side was a slightly befuddled Zarah who was still coming to terms with the fact that Mo Ke had been eaten by a devil. However, his own two eyes wouldn't lie to him; that devil just now had no traces of Mo Ke on her. Without hesitating any further, he decided to pass on this news as soon as possible to Roscar, his old friend, who was still in the midst of searching for his son. Hopefully, he could withstand this shocking news. As for Nicole...that will be up to Roscar himself to handle.
Within a certain inn in Azure City…
Regine unceremoniously plucked out the dagger she drove into Duran and wiped it off with a nearby piece of cloth. The evil man was finally dead...that unending nightmare was finally over…
Beside her, Ancarin threw a wary look at the hunter who shouldn't be here at this moment, Moranthal. Yet all the man did was return her doubting stare with a smile, ignoring the yet to disperse aura of murder surrounding Regine.
All this time Moranthal had been following Mo Ke. In his mind, he had basically resolved himself to spend the rest of his life in this pit known as Mo Ke. However, he, more than anyone else, was clear that he did so willingly and that this wasn't the result of some charm. He had truly fallen in love with this kind devil with a heavenly singing voice.
Originally, he had been stalking Mo Ke and naturally knew of the demon hunters as well. Yet, as he decided to step in and help, he was promptly bewitched by Mo Ke's rendition of >. By the time he extricated himself from the song, Mo Ke had already disappeared without a trace. Thus, he had no choice but to find Ancarin and stand guard over them.
"I believe in Lady Mo Ke. There's no way she would kill an innocent, so that man must've truly deserved it," he declared as he turned to Ancarin with unwavering eyes.
He believed in Mo Ke. More so than any theory he could come up with; he believed in his own two eyes and in the kindness he saw in Mo Ke that day. Not only did she spend all her wealth to help the village, she had risked her own life in order to save those prostitutes who had been taken hostage. He simply couldn't picture a saintly person...I mean, devil like her doing anything evil.
While the man had expressed his disinterest, not explaining this matter to him would still leave a shadow within his heart. Thus, as a devout follower of Mo Ke, she attempted to explain the situation to Moranthal in hopes that he wouldn't get a negative impression of her master, even if this meant that she had relive those nightmarish days once more.
After a drawn out sigh, she signalled for Regine to clean up any traces of the murder while she began recounting their traumatic experience.
After a few heart wrenching and infuriating minutes, Moranthal could barely contain himself as he looked at the lifeless meat puppet of an occultist. He truly wanted to stab his corpse a few more times with his blade or even grind his bones into a pile of dust and scatter it into the air.
Despicable...truly despicable! To think he actually laid his hands on innocent girls, and even worse, he actually tried to steal Lady Mo Ke away from him! If he didn't deserve death, who else did?!
That's right, in his heart, Mo Ke was a lot more important than a lot of other things.
By now, Regine had taken care of the bloody smell in the air and all that was left was the corpse-laden wooden bucket. Mo Ke had already returned to Hell and it was about time for them to leave Azure City as well. As for where they would go to, they had never really thought about it. At the very least however, Azure City was no longer a safe place for them to stay. If that snitch were to discover them, the consequences would be dire.
"Then where do you all plan to head to now?"
In the face of the hunter's question, the girls had no forthcoming answer to give. Ever since their master saved them, they had decided to dedicate the rest of their lives to him. However, now that he had been forced back to hell, they were temporarily at a loss for what to do. Without their master, they had lost the core of their group. Not only was Regine stumped, the normally quick witted and intelligent Ancarin was as well.
Where should they go?
"If you all have nowhere else in mind, how about returning to the village with me?"
"!" As if they had just heard the most unbelievable thing in this world, the girls raised their heads simultaneously and stared at the hunter who had sent out that invite. Both of them were witches who served a devil, and last they checked, humans weren't exactly on talking terms with devils. Moranthal's offer seemed a little...unrealistic.
A witch: anyone who served a devil, evil god or any other strong, evil existence was labelled a witch. Witches were able to gain extraordinary powers from their masters and this power grew the more they were favored.
Seeing as they served evil, they were treated the same as the evil they served by the masses.
I remember back on Earth, Europe had undergone a painful period in history where the ignorant men ended up killing innocent women in the tens of thousands in order to weed out all witches. It could be said that they had nearly wiped out all the women.
(TL: ...there's this saying that goes "no one will think you are dumb just because you keep your mouth shut"...)
Because the Western Human Realms had a tool to specifically detect evil creatures, that massacre didn't end up happening here as well...at least not to that extent. However, their treatment here was just as bad as what the witches on Earth faced.
If anyone were to find out that they were witches, what awaited Ancarin and Regine would be the cruelest of tortures. With that in mind, what was Moranthal thinking when he made that offer? Was it pity or did he have some other goals in mind?
Not to mention the fact that Ancarin had even thought of killing Moranthal in order to protect this secret.
"Don't give me that look, after all that Lady Mo Ke has done for our village, we have the obligation to protect you two. Besides, the villagers were saved by you all, not a single one of them has forgotten the aid Lady Mo Ke rendered. I'm sure they'll be more than happy to do something in return for you all. Besides…"
As he said that, his face blushed. "Besides, if you two stay in the village, Lady Mo Ke would definitely come to the village in search of you two when she returns to the Western Human Realms…"
Such a hopeless fellow…
Ancarin glanced at Regine, looking at the taciturn girl right in the eyes. Having gotten an answer from her eyes, Ancarin nodded at Moranthal, showing her acceptance of his offer before explaining in the sincerest tone possible. "Master...is...he's a guy."
"..." Moranthal's face cramped up as he barely managed to force a smile. "This joke isn't funny at all."
However, whether or not he believed this explanation, Ancarin no longer had any intention of explaining this fact nor did she need to. She thumbed a horn-shape bump in her pocket, this was the horn that Mo Ke lost after he battled against Duran's Wind Blades during the first day of his summoning. Clasping it tightly, she closed her eyes and silently prayed.
"Master, Ancarin will keep this horn of yours safe. One day...Ancarin will definitely return to your side…"
The three swiftly left Azure City without wasting another moment. On the way to the village, they stopped by a deserted location and buried Duran's corpse before rushing off once more.
Currently, the four villages of Plateau were undergoing major reconstruction. Having learnt their lesson during the bandit invasion, the villagers now knew the importance of being united. Thus, under the guidance of their various village chiefs and elders, they began the work of uniting the disparate villagers.
Back then, they chose to split up because of some minor dispute and now they were once again going to be united, this time out of safety concerns. The location for the new village had already been chosen. It was the same location as the old one, at Plateau Original Village. Seeing as everyone was familiar with that spot, none of them objected too much.
Because of his important role in repelling the bandits, George was unanimously elected as the new village chief of the recombined village. At this very moment, George was engaged in a meeting with Eddison, Io and the various village elders about the upcoming village merger. Hearing that Moranthal had returned, they immediately left for the village entrance with a welcoming party in tow to welcome him.
Welcoming him back together was in essence a way of showing their attitudes regarding the merger: now that the four villages have merged back together, everyone is now one big family so we're here to welcome you together.
However, all these decisions including the decision to elect George had all been done after Moranthal left. Now that he was back, how would he react to the complete makeover his village had undergone? Would he be angry? Would he accuse George of trying to usurp power or would he simply flip out on the spot?
With these concerns in his mind, George led the party which included Dioh, to the village gate where they found Regine, Ancarin and Moranthal together next to Duran's carriage.
Seeing him return with the two girls who were deeply involved with a devil, his smiling face immediately cramped up. However, without waiting for his brother to say anything, Dioh immediately ran up to the party as if they were his kin and inquired about Mo Ke's whereabouts.
[He returned home] was the answer Dioh got from Ancarin. As for what that meant, naturally it required no further explanation.
Ignoring the crestfallen boy, Moranthal didn't react too much to the news of the merger and George's election as village chief; he merely stated his hope that the village could shelter Ancarin and Regine.
However, George was noticeably silent about this. Had it been any ordinary person, the village was more than able to shelter them, but these girls were anything but ordinary thanks to their connection to a devil. The last thing George wanted was for the village to face another disaster should their identities ever be revealed.
The only reason he didn't flat out reject this request was because of all the aid Mo Ke had rendered during his stay here. If he were to reject them outright, that would make him seem like an ingrate; so he chose to remain silent as a way of expressing his rejection.
Seeing the expressionless look on his brother's face, Dioh immediately knew that his older brother didn't wish to shelter these two girls. He promptly tried to voiced his support for the girls. Like Moranthal, he didn't mind that Mo Ke was gone. As long as these two girls were here, Mo Ke would definitely return to the village one day.
However, just as he was about to open his mouth, he was silenced by a glare from George. Yet, the Dioh today wasn't like the Dioh of the past, he returned his brother's glare with a steadfast glare of his own. After confirming that his older brother didn't plan on accepting the girls, he immediately blew up.
"After all that Lady Mo Ke has done for the village, after all the villagers she saved, how could you treat her companions like this!" Yelled the teen in a voice that was loud enough to attract the surrounding villagers. Hearing that sensitive name once more, the nearby villagers began to congregate around the entrance.
In order to expand the village and create more living space for the villagers, the majority of the villagers were helping with the construction work near the gate. These villagers were all recipients of Mo Ke's aid and naturally reacted to Dioh's outcry. After learning of the situation, they unanimously expressed their hope that the two girls could stay behind.
Having just become their village chief, his reputation wasn't cemented yet. Thus George couldn't risk angering the gathered villagers and had no choice but to accept the girls.
Why was Dioh so adamant about helping Mo Ke? That's because he fell in love with him the moment he heard his voice. Thanks to his soul mixing with Ferti'nier's, Mo Ke was reincarnated with an irresistible charm. Not only that, thanks to his identity as a Soul Bard, his voice took on a feminine tone that naturally garnered the favor of any man he spoke to, even if they couldn't see his face.
His reckless actions against the Third Chief was precisely the result of this. It wasn't some sense of justice that drove him to attack the Third Chief; but rather that he fell in love with Mo Ke's voice the moment he heard it...the man's insistence that he take off his mask had angered Dioh greatly, so he decided to find an excuse to start a fight.
Naturally, all this was not only to protect Mo Ke; it was also to show off his gallant side, and hopefully in the process curry favor with Mo Ke.
He clearly knew that he wasn't a match for Doran but that's what his big brother was for; George could definitely own that scrub!Footnotes:
Special thanks to Steve Granger, Kaung Thant Win Naing, and Antoine Thompson!!