The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 125: Interrogation of the Soul
Without wasting anymore words, George and Dawson began their battle in a corner.
Dawson’s greatsword was at least two meters long, while in comparison, George’s blade was laughably small. Right from the start, this difference in weapon size put him at a severe disadvantage. With their roughly similar strength, Dawson was able to suppress him, while George couldn’t do a thing to break through Dawson’s barrage of attacks.
With their Fighter’s Aura enhancing them, their clashes ended with Dawson coming out on top constantly. For every strike, he would merely get pushed back half a step; while George was pushed back over ten steps in total since the start of the fight.
It was in such a disadvantageous situation nearing defeat that George reached for his waist, and with a flick of his wrist, fired off a throwing dagger at the man’s head in a flash of silver light.
However, this wasn’t the first time they fought, Dawson knew of his tactics beforehand. He promptly twisted his head evading the dagger calmly; which caused it to miss him by a hair's breath.
Without giving him any time to counterattack, George rushed in with a swift slash from the side that whipped through the air. Greatswords were not suited for close combat thus Dawson had no choice but to back away from this confrontation. George knew of this fact as well and immediately closed the gap between two, not letting him gain a single step on him.
The fight seemed pretty even up until now, but that rumor still nagged at the back of my head. If Dawson truly was able to defeat a four-star, then it would be impossible for George to win this fight.
However, whether or not Dawson was hiding his might was a matter for the future; as trouble came knocking on the door right as their fight started. The Second Chief, Dohby, wasn’t in the mood to watch some duel between experts; so he turned towards me with a bored look in his eyes.
“I heard my little brother wanted to take off a lady’s mask before dying, I wonder who that lady is?” Dohby threw me a mirthless smile while staring intently at me; clearly he had already determined that I was the lady in question.
The only masked people here were me and Regine, but there was only one person with Shadowfang on his back and a sword by his waist. It was only to be expected that he managed to recognize me instantly. However, calling me a “lady”......was something I just couldn’t accept. Before I could correct him, Dohby did something that stunned everyone present. He jumped off his horse and pointed his greatsword at a defenseless old villager.
Turning towards me, he said: “Take off that mask or I’ll kill him.”
The old man was at least 60 years old and had an almost emaciated look as he stood there with a bent back. Being rushed here by the bandits had almost cost him his life, yet before he could even catch his breath, he was immediately taken hostage by Dohby.
Even so, he didn’t show any sign of weakness; instead, he stared right back at the man. His gaze plainly said that even if he was old, he still knew how to resist silently. That man must have been a hunter when he was young.
Before I could even react, Dohby sliced the old man in twain and callously flicked the warm blood off his greatsword and onto the faces of the nearby villagers…
The sudden death of that old man instantly stoked the flames of rebellion within the hostages; especially in people like Io and Eddison who immediately stirred at that cruel display. Unfortunately, they were immediately suppressed by the surrounding bandits. Without weapons, they weren’t able to put up a proper fight before they were put in place by a single sentence of Dohby.
“Whoever dares to resist, I’ll murder their entire family! Io, Eddison, the two of you had better behave yourself or your women will pay the price, right here right now!” With that, the smoldering embers were immediately put out. He threw them a taunting look before turning his attention back onto me:
“Have you made up your mind? If you choose to be obstinate, I’ll continue killing more villagers. Every ten seconds I’ll kill one more till you take off that mask or until we run out of hostages.”
You actually tried to use some strangers to threaten me? Do you think I’ll give in just because of that…..
…….yes, yes I will…
The moment Dohby killed an old woman who screamed “Old Coot” with her dying breath and turned his demonic hands onto a crying boy, I finally relented.
Ancarin shouted at me out of concern the moment she noticed me reach for my mask. Taking it off was the last thing she wanted, as my identity was one that must never be revealed.
Regine was a lot more direct in her persuasion as she promptly grabbed my hands and stopped me from taking it off.
Thus, the boy died the very next second…
“Ah…” wailed an elderly villager. He had originally been set aside by the bandits, but the death of that little boy was simply too much of a shock for him. He desperately tried to save the little boy, but unfortunately for him, this action was seen as resistance by the bandits. With a kick and a punch, a nearby bandit swiftly knocked him down and began to beat him into submission.
With tears of blood in his eyes, the old man miserably crawled towards the severed halves of the little boy and tried to piece them together. Yet just as his wizened hands were about to touch the boy, a boot descended from the heavens and cruelly destroyed his futile efforts. With both of his hands and legs pinned down, all the old man could do was cry in pain.
However, his pitiful cries fell on deaf ears as the bandits continued to beat him while laughing uproariously. These bandits knew no pity, only cruelty.
I didn’t know what his relation to that boy was, but one thing I knew for certain was that he wasn’t going to take it like that. As he laid sprawled on the floor, he ignored the savage beatings of the bandits and fixed his bloodied eyes towards me, hatred clearly reflected within.
“Why won’t you take off your mask!? All you had to do was take it off and my grandson wouldn’t have died! My son and his wife are all dead, all I had left was my grandson...why wouldn’t you save him...you cold blooded monster, you aren’t fit to be human!”
Cold blooded monster...not fit to be human...haha...but the bandits were the ones who killed them...not me...why am I the one getting scolded in the end.
“Hahaha...come to think of it, it’s precisely because she showed up that you all ended up in this mess. If it wasn’t for her, my little brother wouldn’t have died and our bandit troupe wouldn’t have bothered to be so rough with you guys. So in the end, everything started because of her.” He declared with a finger pointed at me.
Taking a couple of steps to the side, he walked up to the old man who hated me and stomped on the man’s back with his left foot. With his greatsword hanging just centimeters above his head, he counted: “There’s still 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0!”
Then another head rolled onto the ground. Even in death, the old man never once looked at the bandit; instead, he stared right at me, his eyes full of hatred, hatred of me that even blood could not wash away…
Exactly what did I do wrong…
Four hostages had died as of now. The villagers’ already frayed nerves threatened to explode at this very instant as some of them began cursing at the bandits’ cruelty while some of them merely kept silent. There was even a portion of them who began throwing me strange looks. Within their eyes was distrust and coldness. To them, the real reason why the hostages died was that I refused to take off the mask, in spite of the fact that real murderer was Dolby.
Without any weapons to speak of, the unarmed hostages could only swear at me; while the hunters of Plateau Village were a lot more direct in their response, with their bows aimed right at me.
“No! I’m sure Lady Mo Ke has her own reasons!” At this very moment, the last thing I expected was that Dioh would step out and defend me; yet he did just that. Standing before me with outstretched hands, he stared down the pointed tips of his companions’ arrows and their equally as sharp stares.
Unfazed by that, he yelled: “It’s not like Lady Mo Ke is the one who killed them. If you all are so great, why don’t you go after the real killers instead. What kind of men are you that bullies a girl like that?!”
At that, the majority of the hunters came to their senses and finally lowered their bows; except for three hunters amongst which was a hunter who was roughly the same age as Dioh. “No matter what, the hostages died because she refused to do so. It’s just her face, what’s so hard about taking off a mask? Don’t tell me her mask is more important than the lives of the hostages?” Rebutted the teen.
“That…” Dioh was left speechless by that rebuttal. To him, the lives of the hostages were obviously more important than my mask. After all, once you’re dead, you’re dead forever; not like someone could kill you just by looking at your face. There’s no such absurd method of killing people in this world.
Furthermore...I was merely a stranger who wandered into their village and brought them misfortune. In comparison, those who died might have been their kin. Weighing the two, it was obvious which was more important.
If it was possible, I bet they would have preferred that I was the one who died.
As the two argued, another hostage died. It was a fat uncle around 40 years of age. Apparently, he was a bachelor who, because of his laziness and gluttony, led a poor lonely life after his parents died early.
That was the fifth person...Dohby really meant what he said. His plan was obvious. He wanted to slowly but surely turn the villagers against me. To them, this was merely a matter of my appearance and not some matter of life or death. Neither was it something that insulted my modesty; so was it truly worth all those deaths?
Yet to me, this was in actuality a matter of life or death. In their eyes I might be a cold, heartless monster, but in Regine and Ancarin’s eyes, I was merely defending myself.
Was it truly alright to sacrifice your life to save a stranger’s? Back when I ended up getting ran over by a truck while saving that loli and that pretty boy, I would’ve answered yes without a doubt. Because back then, my life basically had no meaning.
Rather than continuing to rot like that, it made more sense to save a couple of lives who still had limitless possibilities in their future. At the very least, it showed that I wasn’t rotten to the core. With my dying breath, I was able to contribute to society and die as a brave, heroic person. Back then, with no other goal in life, there was basically nothing left for me to live for.
As for that fight to the death with the goblins and ultimately saving Yi Yi, that was a worthy death without a doubt. There’s no way I could’ve lied to my true feelings and let a loli become tainted by a bunch of stinking goblins. In order to protect her chastity and to prove that my life wasn’t unnecessary, that it wasn’t useless, I was more than willing to exchange it for her safety even though I didn’t know her then.
Ironically, all this happened because I found out that Nicole loved Sares. Realizing that I had no right to snatch her back, the powerless me ran away from home and ended up dying again to save someone else.
As for now? Should I sacrifice myself again? To save a bunch of strangers? Devils had a notorious reputation in the Western Human Realms, and it was also my presence that caused them to suffer such a tragedy in the first place...if my identity was revealed, how would they treat me? Like a jinx? That’s probably the best scenario.
To take it off or not to take it off? I don’t know...why must such a decision be forced on me! Why must I endure such pain? I didn’t even do anything wrong...all I wanted to be was a good person who performed good deeds...so why did all the blame get pinned on me! Why why why why why why...why…
All I wanted to become was a happy person who had the power to protect his own loved ones. That’s all I ever wanted, to be needed, to be treasured and to be recognized. I never wanted to do anything wrong or kill anyone. Everyday, I did my best to contribute to society so that I could make this world a better place.
That’s why I saved those kids who were about to get run over; that’s why I saved that loli Yi Yi who would rather kill herself than be tainted by those goblins; that’s why I promised the old chief that I would stay behind...after taking care of this grudge I would simply leave without implicating the village any further…
Yet time after time, good deed after good deed, what did it all get me? Two deaths and a possibly humiliating death?
Haha, this world was sure kind to me.
The two girls tried to stop me, but no matter what, I must not remain silent anymore; because in that moment of hesitation, a one year old baby and his mother were just killed before my very eyes.
“Oops, I accidentally killed an extra one.” After ripping apart her clothes, he gave the breasts on her headless corpse a couple of squeezes before he picked up her dripping head and kissed her still warm lips. Having done that, he casually tossed aside the head before pointing his greatsword at the next target while smiling at me: “5, 4, 3, 2…...”
Special thanks to Steve Granger, Kaung Thant Win Naing, and Antoine Thompson!!