The room that I was led to was very big.
And there were already five people waiting there.
Otherwise, it felt quite empty.
The handsome man in the center was probably Yamato.
His hair flowed behind him, and there was an elegance to his appearance.
And there were two strong-looking people standing on each side of him.
The person who led me here took a bow and then left.
In other words, there were only six people in the room, including me.
“They call me Founder Yamato. I don’t really care what you call me, but my men can be very fastidious. So it would be easier if you just called me that.”
“I understand. I will call you Founder Yamato then. As for me, I am Golan.”
I decided to try and speak politely.
I would have actually liked to hit him as soon as I saw him. But the pressure from the others kept me in check.
In fact, his attendants looked like they would attack me at any moment now.
I would be erased from existence before I could hit anyone.
Well, one thing was obvious. They did not like me at all.
“Let’s get down to business then. Who are you?”
Yamato asked in a soft voice.
For a second, my expression was completely puzzled.
Why, I had just introduced myself. But, yes. There was more.
“With Personifications, the soul is released after they take a certain amount of damage. I thought you would return to your original body, but you didn’t. So I will ask you again. Who are you?”
I see. So that’s what he meant.
It made me want to toy with him a little.
“As I just told you, my name is Golan. Nothing more, nothing less.”
I tried talking to him in an insolent manner.
I already knew what Yamato meant with that question.
After a soul is separated from its body, it will try and return to the place that it has a connection with.
I had heard this from Melvis.
So, there was no way that Yamato didn’t know.
“As your soul showed no signs of returning, I asked your companion. But he said that he doesn’t know about your original body.”
No, he didn’t. I hadn’t told Juga anything.
“And so I tried putting your soul into a different vessel, and it worked. Now, this is the problem. Do you think that it’s possible to switch vessels when the body and soul are still connected?”
He wouldn’t be asking the question if it was possible.
I didn’t understand how it worked, but it was apparently impossible to go around swapping vessels.
“You can stop beating around the bush now. What is it that you want to ask?”
I said, pretending to be exasperated.
While Yamato apparently had things that he wanted to ask me, I had questions too.
I would not let him draw the information out of me without getting anything in return.
“And so I had you checked. Your body and soul are not connected. In other words, you lost the body you were supposed to return to. You are dead.”
Here, Yamato paused deliberately. He was looking at my reaction.
However, I purposely showed no emotion.
“Your strength of mind is impressive. …But the souls of the dead go to where they belong. They do not enter Personification vessels.”
“Is that so? I was not aware of that. Though, it’s true that I came from the Under World, Founder…no, Lesser High King Yamato.”
Immediately, I could feel the hostility swell up in the room. However, it wasn’t coming from Yamato himself.
But his men looked like they were about to pounce on me.
“…I think that I understand about half of the story. You died in the Demon World. And you came to the Human World in order to be reborn, only for some reason, you entered a vessel instead of a baby. And what is more strange, you have memories of being in the Demon World. Is that right?”
I nodded. While I had only said I came from the Under World, I suppose the rest was obvious to him.
But I didn’t give him an explanation.
I had been able to leave the Under World because of the other me.
And that was something that only I needed to know. There was no reason to tell Yamato.
Speaking of which, he was just muttering to himself. ‘How valuable…but the Human World barrier…’ Perhaps I shouldn’t have nodded?
“I really don’t care about me. But let’s make something else clear. What are you planning with this charade?”
“What do you mean?”
I had asked him a question as if it was finally my turn. But he just dodged it.
“The lands of the Demon World are at war. Lords fight each other for supremacy. Of course, they do. Many of the Demon World residents are unable to live without fighting. So, what do you mean to do by forcing the people here to stop fighting? Surely you can predict that things will eventually explode.”
I understood it after going against the rebel forces.
Hell, even the leaders seemed to know their own fate.
Fighting was part of their identity.
They fought because they were made to. It was instinct. I was saying this, in spite of being a moderate among the Ogres, so it must be true.
There was no reason there.
And once it was forbidden, they would resist even though they knew that they would lose.
It was like they were all dancing on the palm of someone’s hand.
They knew it. But they could not stop.
“What do you think?”
Why do I think that he made them stop fighting? Or why did he deliberately create these rebel forces?
“It would be easier to get rid of them if they all came together. It would ensure that they don’t get a chance to harm the humans. There are other reasons I can think of. But I have a feeling that none of them are the real reason.”
There was a clear will behind everything that had happened.
Something that only I knew.
“…Oh? Then let’s hear it. What is the real reason?”
The atmosphere in the room suddenly changed.
He was looking at me appraisingly…I think.
Would it be dangerous to say any more?
For a moment, my heart told me to lie. But I suppressed the desire.
(If I died here, would the other me be angry?)
Suddenly, I remembered his last words to me.
—Don’t take my soul, but my memories with you.
That’s what he had said.
Right now, I have his thoughts and memories with me. And so my heart wasn’t mine alone.
(…I can’t back down here. The other me wouldn’t have hesitated.)
I wouldn’t want him to laugh at me from the other side.
And so I would press on.
I already knew what Yamato was thinking.
That gaze. It was real… The pressure I had felt from his men was like a light breeze in comparison.
And yet, I will say it.
I won’t withdraw.
“Founder Yamato. Your goal is…”
—The modification of residents of the Demon World.
That’s what I said.