The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 140: Split Personality?
Under the wary gaze of Uncle Zarah, I returned to an empty home…
Looks like Roscar left the house as well. Walking up to a nearby tree, I reached into the hole on its trunk and withdrew a dusty key that had probably been in there for at least a year and unlocked the door.
A year...this was the first time I came home in over a year and yet nothing seemed to have changed since the day I left. The only difference was the layer of dust blanketing the entire home. Judging by the looks of it, no one had been in here for over a year. In other words, the both of them left shortly after I ran away from home.
The flower garden in the backyard was one of Nicole’s favorite spots and was normally meticulously tended to by her. Yet it was now overgrown with weeds, with the flowers barely having any space to survive anymore. It was in this garden that Nicole and I played, each time I would tell her this: when I grow up, I’ll marry you.
As I stood in this familiar environment, memories of my childhood fleeted across my eyes as if it had just happened yesterday...a young Nicole smiling shyly at me with rose tinted cheeks as she allowed me to drape a red shawl over her; after which we went through the elaborate procedures of a typical Chinese wedding. Putting aside the flowers, insects and the lack of wedding guests, we were basking in the bliss of the moment.
If Roscar wasn’t home, that must have meant that he left to find me.
Roscar was a good father...in order to raise me, he toiled day and night just to save up money to send a talentless child like me who couldn’t activate his Fighter’s Aura to become a mage. For my sake, he even sacrificed his one and only daughter’s future. Even when she grew to a schooling age, he let her look after me just as before...all for my sake…
In actuality, I understood why he did this. Because I wasn’t able to activate my Fighter’s Aura and yet wasn’t satisfied with a normal person’s life, he pushed himself even harder in order to save up money for me. He must’ve thought that even if I lacked talent for the magical or warrior arts, he could at least save up enough money to purchase an elemental core and activate my aura perception…
Day after day, Nicole would selflessly care for me, no matter what she did she always put me first...the love these two showed me was...simply too heavy. It was because of this crushing weight that finally made me run away; it was simply too much to bear for me.
Honestly, there were a number of reasons for me running away from home. Being jealous of Sares was one of them, the other was that if I left, Roscar only needed to concern himself with sending Nicole to school. That way, Nicole wouldn’t need to waste her schooling years away at home. She shouldn’t have to waste her precious time looking after a piece of trash like me.
In the end, the main reason was that my departure would be a good thing for them...I had never thought about hurting anyone by doing so, I just wanted them to have a better life…
I don’t know how long it had been since I started sitting in the backyard reminiscing, but suddenly I heard a set of hurried footsteps enter the house making their way through to the backyard within a few moments.
“Little Brother, seems like we have visitors.”
I know, but I just want to be left alone for a moment.
“Then it’s alright to ignore the enemies?”
Mhm, just leave them for now.
“Is it really alright to be so willful now…” After not receiving a response from me for a long while, Ferti’nier shrugged her shoulders in resignation and turned around, disappearing into the void in an instant. “Alright then, it’s your choice.” Her last words echoed in the recesses of my mind.
At this very moment, my back was faced to the intruders as I continued reminiscing about the past. Perhaps it was my bewitching aura at work but none of them spoke up for over a minute until I finally turned around.
The burly silhouette of Uncle Zarah was the first to enter my eyesight, beside him were three black hooded strangers. Perhaps calling them strangers wasn’t right seeing as this actually wasn’t our first meeting. These three strangers were part of the five man team chasing me in Azure. To think that they ended up catching up to me in the end, I guess they weren’t called demon hunters for nothing. Just their tracking ability alone was enough to leave me in awe.
“How did you guys find out about this place…”
My dried lips quivered as I muttered those words in a slightly shaky voice. The fact that they were able to catch up to me so fast was completely unexpected to me.
When I stepped into Chaik Village, I had really thought that I had escaped their pursuit. Who would’ve thought that they not only caught up to me but did so with such celerity.
“The one who sang in Azure City was you wasn’t it. It was a lovely song, so was that unknown language. It made everyone lose themselves in the melody, even more surprising was that your voice didn’t cause any malaises. That made me curious about what kind of existence you were.”
The hooded figure in the front took off her black hood, revealing a beautiful face framed by long flowing, blue hair that draped over her shoulders. On it was a complex mix of emotions, cold placidness yet tinged with a hint of kindness at the same time.
This girl couldn’t have been older than 20 years old. She had a milky white complexion and a gallant disposition that seemed to bring out her beauty even more. Even though her robes covered up her figure, I knew that it must have been equally as beautiful.
“...” With my mask still on, she had no way of seeing my face, thus we stood there, facing each other in silence.
Seeing that I had no reaction, the girl took the initiative to answer my question: “That little girl you followed gave us a hint. She said that her friend knew this language as well, seeing as you were following that girl when we found you, I made a bold guess. You must’ve had some relationship to that little girl’s friend. So we searched for that girl who knew the song and found out about this place from her.”
“What happened to her, what did you do to her!”
They found out about our home from Nicole? Then what about Nicole, what happened to her?
“Don’t worry, she’s fine, we have no reason to attack an innocent person. But I really wonder, what’s your relationship with her?” After informing me of that fact, she introduced herself. “Oh right, I forgot to introduce myself, I’m Tilith Adolph, the vice-team leader of the 137th squad of the 17th Demon Hunter Division of the Church of Light.”
“According to several testimonies, despite being a devil, you haven’t harmed a single person and instead helped numerous innocents and even distributed your wealth to alleviate their burden. While I don’t know what motive you have for doing so, you haven’t done any evil yet as far as I know.”
“That’s why I do not wish to use force on you. If you’re willing to believe me, please return to our branch with me and we’ll conduct an investigation. If you truly haven’t done any wrong, I guarantee that we won’t trouble you any further.”
Do you think I’m some kind of three year old or something? Do you truly believe that I will allow myself to be scammed by a few flowery words? What am I going to do if you go back on your words?
Seeing that I was as unresponsive as before, she immediately realized what I was worried about. Without wasting anymore words, she retrieved a sword shaped like a cross and raised it before her body with one hand. In a solemn voice, she declared: “I swear by my honor, that if you are innocent, I Tilith Adolph will trouble you no more!”
Adolph...looks like she’s nobility seeing as she has a last name. A number of nobles place their honor before their lives, yet there were also those who didn’t care about it. The girl before me was probably of the former, that was what her eyes told me.
Should I believe her? If I resist, I would have to escape again and there’s no guarantee that I will be able to do so either. Just based off her aura alone, Tilith was definitely a four-star warrior.
In that case, should I believe her and follow her to the Demon Hunter’s branch office? I heard that there are a lot of extremists in there that feel that devils should be put to death. If I enter such a place, will I even be able to leave there alive? But Tilith swore…
Just as those confusing thoughts were swimming through my head, another intruder stepped into the scene.
This robed figure took off his hood as well revealing a man’s face. He had a muscular build that, coupled with his towering stature, made him look like a two meter tall mountain. His blonde hair had been shaved into a typical military buzz cut.
In his right hand was a 1.5 meter long morningstar while his left hand held a kite shield that covered a little under half his body. As he walked up to us, his eyes stared pointedly at me. His bushy eyebrows quivered as he broke into a grin: “There’s no reasoning with a devil.”
“Team Leader!” Tilith and the other two demon hunters called out in unison. So this was their leader…
With a ridiculing smirk on his face, the seemingly rash man did something uncharacteristic: “Vice Team Leader Tilith, I see you’re wasting your time once more.”
“But Team Leader, I feel that we should give her a chance since she hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“Haven’t done anything wrong? Hahaha then tell me, what’s her gender?”
“Female.” Tilith answered without any hesitation.
“See, isn’t it obvious already?” Without waiting for the girl to respond, he continued explaining himself in an orderly manner:
“A certain portion of devils are able to acquire a person’s memories by consuming their souls. It’s a really unique and terrifying ability. Not only are they able to consume the other party’s memories but also their experiences, strengthening themselves in the process. If such a devil were to consume an alchemist’s memories, that devil might become an alchemist after sorting out these new memories.”
“Even though there might be some missing memories, the ability to gain such strength without much effort is still an attractive one. Unfortunately, such an ability has a fatal side-effect, after consuming a large number of souls, the devil might develop split personalities and even assume the experiences of the consumed souls…”
“That’s right, didn’t that girl say so herself, the human that taught her that language was a eight to nine year old boy. Just look at the devil before you, is that the stature of a eight to nine year old boy? Plus, she’s clearly a female devil and if I’m not wrong, she’s a lust demon!”
“...”Tilith had no counter argument to the Team Leader’s words and could only stand there in silence.
With a sinister smile on his face, the Team Leader stated his conclusion: “In other words, your current personality is that of Mo Ke’s isn’t it?”
Mo Ke! Having not heard my name for a long time, especially from a stranger’s mouth, my body jerked in reaction. This tiny reaction ended up being turned into the most concrete proof that I had consumed an innocent boy’s soul…
“See, there’s a reaction to his name. I bet you’re wondering how I know of your name. Haha, you’ve probably forgotten by now, but you’re different from the boy you ate, you’re a female devil.”
Special thanks to Steve Granger, Kaung Thant Win Naing, and Antoine Thompson!!