The night wind was hitting me.
Even if the city looked different, the nice feeling of the wind and the sight of people going back and forth did not. I had often left this place, but my disorderly hometown fit me the best.
No matter how much time passed, the character of the people living here stayed the same. Careless, crude, and a mixture of villains and virtuous people. Exactly the way I liked it.
I liked going to remote villages, and uninhabited wastelands also had their charm, but being surrounded by people was the best. It was said that races that lived long lives eventually had their senses dulled. They would find dealing with people to be annoying, and would hole up deep in faraway mountain valleys, but that was nothing more than people with little intelligence thinking too hard. The older you got, the more sentimental you became, and you found more interesting things. There was a lot of harshness, but also a lot of happiness.
A hundred or two hundred years was not enough for me to reach the point where I abandoned worldly thoughts and desires.
However, while I did not by any means hate the vulgar atmosphere of the city, my ethics functions meant I could not help but repulse smoking and drinking, and the kind of places where people would have drinks poured for them.
Having more chances to interact with humans compared to others of my kind meant my ethics function was stronger. Unless I was in a party or was specifically invited, I could not enjoy such things, although I found that regrettable.
Going up to the roof of a closed tavern and enjoying the night view was not the same as having fun inside it.
I heard the voice of one of my disciples.
She had always been an energetic girl. She had been looking a little gloomy in recent times, but it seemed she liked this place, because she was looking a little more cheerful.
“Thank you for reading the room and keeping quiet.”
“I was a little surprised because your face hasn’t changed in ten years. And you’re using a fake name too.”
“I changed my name and completely forgot to change my face. What a pain what a pain.”
“And you’re wearing the same glasses. Shouldn’t you buy new ones?”
“Oh dear, you’re right.”
Ada was next to me.
“You’re going by Olivia now right? And you’re an editor for some bogus magazine?”
“What do you mean bogus!?”
“I mean, who believes that sort of thing?”
“Well… There are a lot of lies and gags, but most are real people and real events…”
“You’re not even a journalist or an editor in the first place, you’re a trainer. You have disciples all over the place, don’t you?”
“I would not call myself a trainer… Something a little more refined.”
Ada snickered at her objection.
She was so unreserved towards her master, although I did not hate it.
“I know I know. You’re training people to defeat the evil god. That’s a little too heavy for me.”
“Fufu, no problem. The Stepping I devised and ‘All Martial Arts’ were created to defeat the evil god. The goal is to defeat dangerous beings like that evil god and make a happy world.”
“Basically, people should all search for their own happiness. That is what I think as a trainer.”
“Is that Stepping Man your disciple too?”
“…Unfortunately, that is probably the case.”
Some decades before, I just happened to find a boy that had narrowly escaped death, feed him, and teach him some techniques.
But before six months had even passed, he had learned some techniques and left me.
Looking back, I think he was talented. Had he stayed with me longer, would he have not strayed from the correct path? It is all conjecture, and I am not fundamentally human to begin with, so would I have been able to become closer to him and put him on the right path?
“I am a soul class spirit armament programmed to train those that would fight the evil god. My name is Sword of Military Arts, and I was born to support humans.”
“I have no idea if that’s true or if you’re lying.”
“Come on, don’t doubt me.”
“Why don’t you do something about it yourself?”
All I could do is let out a strained smile.
I sure wished I could.
“Didn’t I tell you? My use of military force is restricted and can only be carried out in case of an emergency, such as when monsters are running wild or the evil god is resurrected. And it only becomes more difficult when the opponent is human.”
Ada sighed, seemingly understanding me.
“Yes… I remember. Any time someone drunk tried to start something with you, you would send them to me. It must suck being strong but unable to fight when the time comes.”
“It’s a mechanism put in place to prevent trouble. And you tried to stop him for me didn’t you?”
“I just happened to run into him, and failed anyway.”
“And you accepted a disciple as well.”
“I only got to teach him for a day. I don’t feel the least bit like someone’s master.”
“The important thing is not the number of days, it’s the moment you see a young talent bloom.”
“What do you think of him?”
“He shows promise, but…”
“It seems my big brother… Or sister? In any case, my sibling has him under their wing. I don’t know how much I should meddle.”
“Brother? You have brothers?”
“I do have many family members. However, some have gone astray, and some are still sleeping.”
“Fueh… Are they like you…?”
Ada smiled awkwardly.
“Well, beings like myself do not come around every day.”
“Well, I will be leaving that Stepping Man to… Hm?”
That was when a shadow moved in front of one of the moons, quickly running and jumping from roof to roof.
“…Ah… This might be bad.”
It only passed by for a second, but it released it. The ethics function locking my combat abilities had been disengaged.
This meant it was an emergency situation. Something along the lines of a monster rampaging or the evil god resurrecting was taking place.
“Ah, master wait.”
“I’m sorry… I have to go help!”
I took a deep breath, and exhaled.
I, who mastered Stepping, jumped towards the abandoned factory where the fight was taking place, but the mysterious shadow was fast enough to rival me.
“I hope they’re all alright…!”
Heavy breathing echoed inside the factory, coming from Nick and Nargava.
Nargava fainted, but soon regained consciousness. However, he was completely spent, and could not move at all.
Nick also sunk to the floor, exhausted.
This fight took as much from the winner as it did from the loser.
“Why are you doing this?”
Sem approached Nargava.
“…Didn’t I tell you already?”
“If what you say is true, you would have no reason to treat anything other than Yellow Devil Disease or perform any divine service.”
“I just did what I was wanted. There’s no meaning to it.”
“You’re full of contradictions. You kidnap children and spread a disease. That’s the devil’s work.”
“Then kill me or hand me over to the guild.”
“And yet, you treat unrelated people in the abandoned area for free.”
“I just felt like it.”
“Then why were you so shoddy in terms of hiding what you were doing?”
“The disposal of the corpses, how you carried on kidnapping children even after you noticed we were after you, stayed in the same office even after we went there, among other things.”
Nargava answered none of Sem’s questions.
“Sorry, but there’s something else we have to ask. Where did you get the Phantom King’s Orb?”
Asked Nick, but again, there was no answer, only silence.
The air was tense, as they were all thinking Nargava might get up and attack again.
However, Nargava paid no heed to them as he took a deep breath and raised his body, before sitting cross-legged. He had only recovered enough of his energy to do this.
“Well… Fine. I’ll talk before he gets here.”
Nick repeated what Nargava said, and that was when it happened.
Something blasted through the door that was supposedly being held shut by things such as chairs and shelves, and a man slammed onto the ground.
“Scott!? Weren’t you supposed to be keeping an eye outside…”
“W-watch out…! Someone dangerous is coming…!”
It was Scott’s body that blasted through the door.
He was just barely holding on to his twin swords, and his body was covered in injuries.
At the end of his stare, stood a strange looking knight.
“It seems you are having a hard time mister priest.”
The man wore black armor with a white mask covering his face.
The armor was made of an enchanting material, unlike metal or leather. It certainly did not seem like something a blacksmith had made.
The mask was pure white, as if carved out of porcelain or a jewel.
Everything about it, be it his equipment or the air around him, gave off the impression that he was not just some regular person.
“H-hey… The color is different, but…”
Said Tianna while stuttering.
Nick felt the same way. He also remembered seeing something similar before.
“That really is… Thought armor.”