It was me.
I was the one who attacked North Spire and destroyed many of its towns and villages. I am the one responsible for all the pain and suffering my people have endured over these last few years.
All because I wanted to become an S-Rank [Demigod.]
The power such a class would provide is immense. Everyone knows this. But [Demigod] class system users almost always die within their first year alive. They consume much more in Life Points per minute than the average class users, and their Destiny Card skills are much more powerful and costly than anyone else’s.
To say that I myself possessed such power, and not only did not die, but thrived… I cannot fathom it.
I was already A-Rank… I was so close to my goal already. But in the process I had become a villain. My conquest for power was such that it consumed entire nations, that it had cost the lives of countless innocents.
But that isn’t a part of me now. I do not feel that same drive. I cannot, because I am not a bad person. Right?
I am not a bad person, but I am despicable. I am a monster in the clothing of a docile sheet ghost. I’d give a Gnoll’s eye to erase what I did. But alas, only my memory could be erased.
I am a monster—but Rare looks at me with the widest of grins. They are pleased to have finally revealed all this to me, as if it were some sort of game.
“How could you keep all this from me?” I ask, my voice cracking. “How could you erase my guilt and expect me to accept it with gladness?”
“It’s not your fault, Eryk,” they say. “You were used by the Slayers as a tool. They manipulated you into joining them and then made you their leader.”
“I could have stopped at any time. And because I didn’t, my brother Vince is dead, and my homeland was attacked.”
“Yes, those are indeed consequences of your foolishness, but that is because of your foolish nature. You are too quick to trust and too slow to understand when those around you have ulterior motives to their actions.”
Like the long vacation trip that Delta and Francis and I have been taking for the past several days. It is ostensibly to help me gain more Destiny Points more quickly, but it has also become clear that the trip was a last chance for Delta and Francis to fix their friendship and deal with their family issues before adulthood inevitably pushes them apart. I was simply the catalyst for it.
But I recognized that fact quite quickly. I am smarter than I look. Calling me a fool is itself a fool’s work!
“Then how can I trust any of you, who have kept information from me and lied to me for years of my life?” I ask.
Rare shakes their head. “You can’t. Because we have ulterior motives as well.” They beckon to Miss M. “All Miss M wants is her original powers and title back.” Then they beckon to Malia. “And this love-struck elf just wants to see you happy, no matter the cost. You were not happy when you left the Slayers, and you most certainly will not be happy now that you know all this.”
“That… That time has long passed, Rare, and you know it,” Malia says. “All I want now is to atone for my mistakes.”
“And atone you have.”
“What about you, dear sibling Rare?” I ask. “What is your ulterior motive?”
“Well, at first my motive was simply my oath to keep you safe and protected at all costs,” they say. “But once I saw the horrors wreaked upon you by the Destiny Deck System, once I opened my eyes to the greater world of Mystix… that all changed.”
They clasp their hands together. “The system is a scam by The Goddess. All beings on Mystix can use magic if they know the right methods. But this invader, this ontological parasite gifts us “stats” and “skills” by leeching off our very life force and has captured our entire society. It builds and thrives thanks to its nature of progression, and none of us have been the wiser… until now.
“Eryk Solbourne, we need your power. We need an S-Rank hero who can help us overthrow The Goddess and restore the true magic. You must come back to Mystix in full. I do not know the way. I do not know the methods required to transmigrate you back here. But somehow, some way, we will make it happen. Because we have to destroy the monster who has ruined our world. The Goddess must fall.”
“You know, I really must correct you on something,” I say to Rare. “You continue to mention that The Goddess is a nefarious villain of sorts, but… I am not quite so sure you are right about that. I have met The Goddess, after all. She has a funny appearance, something like a ‘robot’ that you might see on Earth, with a TV head.”
“What are you… You’ve met The Goddess?!”
“Of course. That is how I was reborn on Earth. She let me go and kept my powers and system. Though I believe it may have been an accident.”
Rare shakes their head. “You must be mistaken. But do not worry. We will bring you back to Mystix as soon as we can.”
Rare seems absolutely dead-set on this plan. I do not think they are taking the idea of being wrong very well. They truly seemed convinced that I was not reincarnated on Earth… But I most definitely was.
“Well then, I guess we have a plan. But that means that we have a promise to fulfill.” Rare turns to Miss M. “Mestopholees, you have completed your end of our bargain.”
“Yeah, and it only took a hundred damn years,” she snarks.
“I will grant you the final bits of your power back to allow you to return to your demon queen status. From then on, your life is free.”
They hold their hand over her head and a wave of energy builds around them both.
A snapping sound rings out.
Miss M grows six inches in height, and her hair grows much longer, much more fiery. With a black suit and red tie, and breasts of an impressive size, it is clear that this woman truly is the royalty of demonhood.
She gives a toothy grin and her hair flows around like the wind is blowing harshly (there is no wind, obviously). “I am Queen Mestopholees, and you are all peons! Yes!” she screams.
Miss M—er, Mestopholees, blasts a beam of energy into the ceiling and explodes the next three floors up.
“That felt so good,” she says. “I’m finally back.”
“And you are free to return to your domain, if you so wish,” Rare says.
“Nah. I like you three. Plus, we’ve got a big battle ahead of us.” She places her hand to the side of her head and scrunches her eyes shut. “Yes. The New Slayers are sending in a new force. An entire army of [Toxins] are headed this way. They will reach the Tomb of Eryk Solbourne within the hour.”
“Well then, we must fend them off,” says Malia.
“I’m real excited,” Mestopholees says.
“And I as well,” Rare says.
The battle is about to—
Oh, I woke up…
Francis and Delta are both cuddling up to me and pressing their faces against mine. They are so very warm.
This bed is so soft and comfortable, and so are my friends.
But then, why do I feel such horror?