Episode 304 The Age of the Warmonger (6)

As the prophet Lun faced the persecution and walked to the place of execution, his disciples cried and clung to him.

Then the Prophet Lun said, ‘I will lift up my sword against the shepherd, and the flock will be scattered.’ As it is written, ‘All of you will forsake me.’

At this time a young apostle, who would later become the Pope, stepped forward and said, ‘Although everyone will forsake the Prophet, I will never forsake him.’

The Prophet Lun said, ‘Listen to me, for this morning, before the first rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’

Then Prophet Lun was miserably executed, and the cackling thugs approached and asked the young apostle: ‘Are you also the one who walked around with that sinner?’

The young apostle denied it, saying, ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’

Then one of the women passing by said, ‘This is the person who usually begs the sinner to instruction and volunteers to be their messenger!’

The young apostle replied, ‘I do not know him.’ The young apostle denied it on oath.

A short time later, a large group of executioners arrived and shouted at the young apostle. ‘I can tell by the way you speak. You are in league with sinners!’.

Then the young apostle swore that he would be punished if he lied, and said, ‘I don’t know.’

Just then, the first rooster crowed.

-『The Gospel of Lun』 26:69-75

* * *

“Oh no.”

Vikir clicked his tongue.

He grabbed Pope Nabokov I by the hand and quickly pulled her back.

Nabokov covered her mouth with her hand and blushed.

“Oh, old man~ I’m a nun~ I can’t go back and forth!”


Vikir sighed lightly.

Perhaps when she was sober, but right now, with her judgment clouded by the dementia, so he couldn’t expect help from the Pope.

Because she wasn’t destined to get caught up in this situation in the first place.

‘I’ll have to get her to a safe place somehow.’


Winston’s expression changed strangely when he saw Pope Nabokov I’s face.

Surprisingly, he seemed to retain some semblance of sanity in the face of his demonization.

“The Pope, she might know. Demon or human, which is more evil.”


When Vikir remained silent, Winston spoke again.

“The Faithful Quovadis, descendants of those who denied the Gods three times. They also honor a prophet who was lost at the hands of the very humans they sought to protect.”

The prophet Lun, long ago, persecuted and lost.

Winston smiled.

“There was a time when I, too, valued humanity above all else, and I was deeply sympathetic to the doctrines of the Quovadis.”

At the same time, the unicorn Amdusias fluttered his dark mane and tugged on the reins around Winston’s neck.

As the demon erodes the human mind, the fragments of memories that are chipped away create countless sparks.

Vikir had witnessed some of those shards with his own eyes.

……In the fragments of memory. The little boy was crying.

His parents had made a good living selling beans.

But when a famine hit and they couldn’t bear to see their neighbors starving, unpacked all the beans in the warehouse, made a large tofu, and held a charity sharing event.

By the precept that it is God’s teaching.

The crowd swarmed like flies, and they didn’t even bother to follow the one bean per person rule.

Cutting in line, lying, stealing, threats, violence…… What’s more, they later took the tofu away with a club.

When they finally ran out of tofu, a huge crowd of late arrivals stood up and shouted, “Why don’t you give it to me?”, “You’re a terrible person for not giving it to me!”, and “There’s nothing to eat at the rumored feast!”.

However, those who received the tofu did not give it to them instead.

‘When did I receive tofu?’, ‘Ah, the person who gave me tofu?’ The only response was, ‘There was a person like that, I was so grateful.’ It was fortunate that there were no complaints such as ‘Is this all there is?’, ‘It’s disappointing that there are less beans’, ‘It tastes bad even for free’, etc.

And my parents were crushed to death by a fence that couldn’t withstand the weight of the sudden influx of people.

‘What is God?’

……At that time, the boy thought deeply about ‘God’s teachings’ for the first time.

And he heard a voice within him saying.

[Deny God. Deny humanity. Deny yourself.]

The voice urged him to deny three times, and it sounded like the crowing of an early morning rooster.

So the boy grew up and became a young man.

Distrusting humans, the young man built a wall between himself and the world.

The first person to break that wall was a beautiful maiden he met at school.

By being with her, the young man felt that the wounds frozen deep in his heart were being healed.

His sense of humanity and faith were revived.

His parents’ belief that people are basically good and his beloved’s belief that people are basically good were consistent.

The young man naturally came to think so as well.

Under these circumstances, when he reached middle age, he met with a great accident.

He was seriously wounded in the process of suppressing rebels. To heal the after-effects, he went on a long retreat.

To the estate where his parents had died.

While crossing the sea on a boat with her, who is now his companion, a strong storm arose and the boat was in danger of capsizing.

The boat was heavy, so they dumped everything in it overboard, but it kept sinking.

So the sailors tried to throw some of the living people overboard.

They looked at him and her.

When he was torn between what to do, she was the first to speak up.

‘Throw this person, not me! He is sick and cannot resist!’

And he was thrown overboard by the sailors. His health had deteriorated over the past few decades to the point where he could barely hold himself up, so he was unable to resist.

As he sank beneath the black water, he thought to himself.

‘What is it to be human?’

What makes a human being give up being a human being, or is a human being a human being in the first place? How much of a gap is there between what defines a human being and what a human being actually is?

And when he reached the bottom of the ocean. He could hear the voice from his childhood once more.

[Deny God. Deny humanity. Deny yourself.]

It came with the second denial.

He didn’t hear the first rooster crow, but it wouldn’t have been strange if he had.

When he next opened his eyes, he was lying in the sand. His injuries had healed nicely.

Thinking back, he realized that as a boy, he too had been crushed by the fence with his parents, and how he was still alive was a mystery to him.

He returned to the academy where he had spent half his life.

Many things had changed: his body, his mind, and his surroundings.

He calmly adjusted to reality. His faith in God, his love for humanity, all remained in doubt, but he had to live.

……and. Finally, he saw a hole in his heart.

The delinquent he had sponsored and protected since childhood.

The descendant of a first-degree war criminal who was born crooked.

He believed he could rehabilitate this child.

It was done in accordance with the teachings of God, in accordance with his parents’ belief that humans are good, and in accordance with his own pride in seeing this child grow up.

And now, as time passed and his heart was pierced by the hand of a grown child, he thought, ‘What am I?’

A lantern flashed before his eyes. Memories from the past flow by quickly as if riding on the back of a unicorn.

‘What have I been doing all these years? Was it all for nothing? Who am I and where am I going?’

He also felt a deep sense of doubt about himself.

[Deny God, deny humanity, deny yourself].

The moment he heard it for the third time, he closed his eyes.

The dichotomy between demon and human no longer mattered to him.



[Humans blame the ugliest parts of themselves on demons, what a mindless race they are].

Amdusias pulled on the reins and moved Winston’s body.

Winston, too, lifted his demon-like contorted face, as if no longer bound by the concept of being human.

But Vikir remained impassive.

“I’m not interested in the good and evil distinctions between demons and humans.”


“Whether human nature is bad or good, I am human. And most of the things I want to protect are in that side, that’s all.”

There is no good or evil in war.

It’s just a maelstrom of interests, big and small.

An old soldier who had spent decades on the battlefield knew that all too well.

The corners of Amdusias’s mouth curled up in a sneer.

[He is like that too. He’s been arguing for nothing. Now die].

Another huge hoof flew toward Vikir.

Vikir had just drawn his Decarabia.


A white barrier blocked Amdusias’ hooves.

A single ray of altruism shining brightly in a maelstrom of conflicting interests.

A white barrier that functioned purely for the sake of others.


There was only one person who could call Night Hound by that name.

Dolores. She appeared with a brave expression and blocked Amdusias’ attack.

Quack, quack, quack!

The landscape around them twisted violently once more.

A shout came from behind Vikir.

“What’s all that noise, old man, I’m losing my hearing!”

“Huh! Pope, why are you in such a place……?”

Dolores gasped as she saw Nabokov behind Vikir and raised her holy shield even higher.


[No use].

Amdusias raised his horns and still managed to pierce Dolores’s Holy Shield.

A power far beyond that of Dantalian or Belial. It was a power that far exceeded Dolores’ divine power.

‘……Ugh! ‘This time too.’

Dolores gritted her teeth as she was pushed back.

No matter how much she renewed her mind and trained, it was still the same in the face of such a powerful demon.

There are limits to human time, and the extent to which one can become strong is also clear.

The thorny pilgrimage of Night Hound will continue to bring powerful enemies, and at this point, Dolores is lucky if she don’t grab him by the ankles rather than offer him a shield.

Dolores was frustrated with herself for feeling so helpless at every critical moment.

Just then.

A flutter.

A black robe of blood obscured her vision.


Night Hound stepped in front of Dolores, covering her eyes.


For a moment, her heart was beating so loudly that she couldn’t hear his voice.


When Dolores asked back with a trembling voice, Night Hound spoke again in a low voice.

“Don’t look.”

A sharp voice, as if on high alert.

Dolores had a hunch.

There was something in front of her that she shouldn’t see.