◈ Episode 444. I will return when the time is right (1)

Everything is relative.

But the absolute total can never be overlooked.

The same goes for negative emotions.

Before the Cataclysm.

Demons were rare on the Arcana continent.

The destinations of negative emotions were also limited.

The pure-blooded demons of the Arcana continent.

A cardinal sin and a great evil.

The Seven Deadly Sins.

The reason why the Seven Deadly Sins was so reluctant to deal with the demons of the Demon World, treating them as hybrids, was simple. They didn’t want to share the negative emotions of the Arcana continent, the source of their strength, with them.

In that sense, before the Cataclysm, the power of the Seven Deadly Sins was incomparably stronger than after the Cataclysm. Furthermore, so was the Primordial Evil, the mother of the Seven Deadly Sins.


Yuukla was being consumed by malice.

Why didn’t he recognize the smell?


“You’re holding it in until the last minute, Yuukla.”

Yuukla resisted the malice until the end.

However, we allowed it to sway us.

The creature absorbed the negative emotions and consumed Yuukla.

Dexio chanted.

“We must tell Akshan of our error.”

Beware of primordial evil.

Its malice is unrecognizable even to our natural enemy.

Nevertheless, do not be discouraged.


Dexio looked at the writhing tentacle.

“What is it, that damned bell……!!!”

The ‘Bell of Temperance’, an artifact of Akshan.

An artifact of Akshan, created to counter the Seven Deadly Sins.

Since I never had the chance to encounter the Seven Deadly Sins.

I was never able to see its true power.

“Keuaaaagh, my ears, my ears are rotting!”

The byproduct of Primordial Evil writhing in pain.

Surely, it would have a great effect on the Seven Deadly Sins. Until Dexio became a fugitive. That’s why he stole the artifact from Akshan.

‘This is only the beginning.’

Yuukla was never weak.

The primordial evil that had corrupted even the bravest of demon hunters had set its sights on Akshan. Furthermore, the demons of the Demon World were preparing to unleash their wrath upon the Arcana continent.

‘Akshan is a lone wolf.’

Akshan had no allies on the continent. There were dwarves, but their home was not the Arcana continent.

Yes, there were.

Not the Empire.

Not the Goddess Church.

No one believed in Akshan.

“This is why I should have been embarrassed.”

Dexio thought of the missions he’d been on.

Hunted demons, destroyed curses.

The reason for the shabby packaging was simple.

Negative emotions feed demons.

To suppress fear, Akshan had to become smaller and smaller.

It had to become more insignificant.

It had to become more ridiculous.

Dexio smiled bitterly.

“And this is the result.”

I became a shepherd boy who lived through hardships.


That was why he wanted to trust the man.


Grandfell didn’t back down when backed into a corner. Yes, he filled his Goblet of Humility with black water, but he wasn’t afraid.

In fact, he was almost brazen in his confidence.

-“See if you wish, If you can handle the consequences.”

Dexio laughed again.

“You do not know what those waters mean, do you?”

Tears of Humility.

If the drinker is humble, the cup fills with tears.

It is just that.

That was why Dexio asked Grandfell a question.

-“……Who are you?”

If it is the Grandfell he has seen.

Surely, the cup should have been empty.

But it was filled with black water.

Black water was a puzzling and unprecedented phenomenon.

So Dexio had to be flexible.

“Perhaps I longed for you, Grandfell, the noble one…….”

He had entrusted Akshan to Grandfell.

You might be able to restore Akshan’s authority after its fall to the bottom. You might be able to prevent its collapse.

For your unwavering pride will not be broken by any demon or trial.

“And this is just my little greed…….”

Maybe in the future.

My accomplishments, of course.

The true value of all that Akshan has accomplished.

Maybe Grandfell would be able to reveal it.


“You can all close your eyes in peace.”


Dexio looked at the fallen demon hunters.

He was the only one left standing.

“Fuck you, Akshans.”

The tentacle spat the flippant words and approached.

Death was not something he feared.

He’d been through hell worse than death.

An Akshan artifact?

That’s fine, too. No one seeks them in the Canyon of the Forgotten. If it’s at the bottom of the canyon……. the relic of Akshan in my arms will never fall into the wrong hands.

So it is all right.

“Demon, there is no need to rejoice.”


Dexio drops the bodies of the demon hunters off the cliff. Before even the tentacles could protest, Dexio’s body plunged off the cliff.


“I didn’t back down from the demons, I just lost my footing.”

Akshan’s cloak fluttered in the air.

Dexio closed his eyes.

He murmured one last time.

“In time, all things will fall into place.”

And so it will.

Grandfell Claudi…….

What was it?

……Anyway, Romeo.


I opened my eyes to find myself on the top floor of a Spacetime Social Hall.

‘What the hell is going on?’

This entry brought more questions than answers, and I was deeply concerned about my Understanding Darkness, as well as the proficiency of the Heavenly Infant Solitude.

[Understanding Darkness (Curse): Greatly increases affinity with suitable magic. However, you must confront the past that is the source of the suitable magic power. – Current Suitable Magic Affinity: 40%]

[Heavenly Infant Solitude (40%): A rare genius who is considered unexalted and even blasphemous the Goddess. Demonstrates the talents of Grandfell Claudi Arpheus Romeo.]

A ten percent increase is a good thing, really.

Swallowing an inward sigh of relief, I reflect on the scenery I witnessed in [Understanding Darkness]. At least I have a clearer picture of the Akshan Civil War.

‘So it was me.’

I, Grandfell, was the cause.


Of course, the mastermind of the incident was still brazen.

“As usual.”

I lifted the teacup to my mouth.

The water was lukewarm to begin with.

No wonder it’s the same.

“Stable flavor and aroma. Five stars, indeed.”

……You are very immature.

I put my shopping satisfaction at Grandfell behind me.

I continue to think.

The Akshan fugitives who stole the artifact were Dexio and seven demon hunters, including Yuukla. He swung his sword hastily at me, not the demons.

‘According to discipline.’

I understood that I was leaving Akshan because I couldn’t stay there, but my last conversation with Dexio was puzzling.

What did Dexio see in me.

Did he erase his doubts about me?

And then.

-“When the time comes, won’t everything fall into place?”

Why did he say that?

It’s just another Grandfell way of speaking.

I wondered if it was just an Akshanian way of speaking.

I was curious, but there was something more important.

‘We need to see if reality has changed.’

Intervening in the past changes reality.

I don’t know which came first because of my lack of understanding of the Anomaly, but I know that the past and present are closely connected, as I learned from the [Understanding Darkness] and the [Topmost Spacetime Quest].


Could it be that the ending of the story has been reversed, with Dexio and the other Akshan fugitives dying in the canyon? Of course, that would leave the whereabouts of the Akshan artifacts a mystery.

“Even if it is said to be an irreplaceable artifact, it is nothing more than material.”

Nothing is more precious than a human life, right?

“It is fleeting.”

There’s no need to hesitate.

I have the coordinates to the [Canyon of the Forgotten] memorized.

I’m out of the Spacetime Social Hall.


I immediately manifest a portal.

The landscape changed.

I spat out the impression of a return visit.

“Surely you have left.”

The Canyon of the Forgotten was deserted after the Shadow God left. Weeds poked their heads up from the grassless ground, and birds nested on the precarious cliffs.

“I commend your judgment.”

I paused, uttering words the Shadow God would not be pleased to hear. I reached the spot where the remains of the Akshan fugitives lay, and I murmured.

“I’m sorry.”

The remains of the fugitives were still there.

But unlike the first time, I recognized their clothes.

An unusually worn Akshan outfit.

It was unmistakably Dexio’s from the [Understanding Darkness].

‘What a pity.’

However, there was no artifact.

The skeleton was still there, but the artifact had mysteriously disappeared. I immediately manifested magic and reenacted what had happened here with magic particles.

And then I saw it.

An all-too-familiar silhouette. The silhouette of a man so huge that once seen, it was impossible to forget, unmistakably Rockid’s. And then the silhouette of the woman beside him.


Kichi and Rockid of the Shadow Mercenaries.

They know something about the artifact’s whereabouts.

There’s no reason to hold back, after all.

Especially Kichi.

“Nothing is more important than a promise.”

You’ve broken your promise to return more than once, haven’t you?

I hope you have a good reason now.

Because when it comes to time commitments, Grandfell’s rear end is no joke.

“I hope it’s a good reason.”


Rockid rummaged around in the man’s bosom.


Normally, he would have been suspicious. He would have cursed at the Berserk Society for stealing his stuff already, those rat bastards.


“……Well, it could be.”

Rockid spat out a blood-curdling laugh.

Yes, it was Claudi, and no one else.

It wasn’t hard to understand if it was something related to the guy who was crazy about tea time. In Rockid’s hand was a silver goblet.

Let’s see, it has a wolf on the exterior.

“…… Makes me want a drink.”

Rockid remembered the scene in the Yusra Kingdom.

The Golden Crown Tavern, to be exact.

The scene in the tavern was unusually vivid.

He could see the cowering adventurers sitting in front of him, and he could hear the barkeep’s nagging voice in his ear. Hmm, yes. And let’s not forget the adventurers’ favorite device, the moving picture television.


Rockid spoke up out of nowhere.

“Kichi, are you there……?”

The answer came back.

“I’m listening.”

“I’m sorry, I just remembered something.”


Rockid chuckled.

“I still owe that place a favor.”

He laughed breathlessly.

This was definitely different.

It was a sensation he hadn’t felt since he’d been beaten by Elsidor, that cute little bastard, or mauled to a pulp by a demon. Yes, this time, it was a definite wake-up call.


Rockid’s entire body was covered in wounds. Blood gushed from every wound. His wounds were too severe to be healed by any of Alkari’s potions.

So Rockid uttered his last words.

” …… When you return, I want you to repay my debt.”

Kichi looked around at the silence.


This is how they all died.

The Berserk Society, the Shadow Mercenaries.

With the exception of the Rockid, everyone was dead.

It was annihilation.

The pact with the Shadow God was still in effect, and it was harsh.

Only Kichi could not die, even if she wanted to.


Kichi survived alone and watched the Shadow Mercenaries be annihilated.

All that remained for Kichi was what the Berserk Society now possessed.

Seven junk items made of silver.

“You’re going to kill Claudi with this shit……?”

After being stabbed in the back by the Shadow God.

For the first time, she felt like she’d been scammed.

Kichi cupped Rockid’s cold face.

“I traded you for this shit……?”

……This was my pride?

Did I really……?

For a moment, Kichi’s pupils sank into a void.


The seven silver miscellaneous items began to glow.

The twisted past.

A butterfly effect that began to alter reality.

“Why are you so surprised, leader……. No, deserter?”

Like a clockwork needle going backwards.

Rockid stood cold.

No, the entire Shadow Mercenary Corps had come back to life.

Although he died.

Because he didn’t die.

A tear rolled down Kichi’s cheek as she witnessed the whole truth.

“……Is it you again?”

A voice rang out as if to answer.