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Chapter 16: The Beginning of the End

The first army, led by the hero, infiltrated the Demon King’s castle.

When Viola heard this news, strangely, her heart did not waver.

She only thought that the time had come, nothing more.

“If the hero you speak of comes to the Demon King’s castle, protect me and die. That would be an honorable thing, right?”

Viola rushed out of the room. She ran through the bustling corridor against the flow of people, heading towards the center of the chaos.

Viola was convinced that the Demon King was there. He might be a pompous man who only let his subordinates fight while he stayed holed up in the castle, but he wasn’t the kind of man who wouldn’t confirm his appearance in front of his greatest enemy.



Viola looked around at the two voices, but there was no one in sight.

“It’s above; look up!”

When she quickly looked up, two men were spreading their wings wide.

Ignatz’s wings were a vivid red. They gracefully cut through the air, and faint sparks scattered with each flap.

Arnold’s wings were a tough silver. The sharp tips of his wings grazed the walls, leaving thin, sharp scars.

“Arnold! Ignatz!”

“Go back, woman!! Why did you come out?!”

“Leon… I’m the only one who knows the hero’s face! Invaders are trying to keep you from knowing who the hero is, right?”

“Yes. But that won’t change what we have to do. We’ll kill them one by one.”

“While you’re doing that, it’ll be too late if Leon gets close to Nox!”


Arnold, who precisely cut through the air and lowered his altitude, stared at Viola.

“Why are you so concerned about the Demon King’s safety?”

“… ”

“If the Demon King is killed by the hero here, you can go home.”

“Arnold, you bastard!”

“Ignatz, be quiet.”

Arnold’s eyes, as if trying to see through to the depths of Viola’s heart, made Viola lower her gaze. She murmured, as if squeezing it out.

“…That was the deal, right? Besides,”

Viola raised her face and looked at Ignatz and Arnold, who had also lowered their altitude.

“Why are you two worrying about me? The Demon King is more important, isn’t he?”


“Guide me to the Demon King. Even among humans, the regular army doesn’t recognize my face. If I’m killed before reaching the Demon King, it’s meaningless.”


Ignatz spoke. Ignatz, who moved his wings with a rustle, silently stared back at the man attacking Viola.

With just that, Viola returned her gaze to the man who had become immobile and raised her altitude again.

“Follow me.”


“Arnold, what are we?”

“…We are the Demon King’s close aides.”

“If you understand, hurry!”

From there, it was a fleeting moment.

Flames and ice descending from above effortlessly cleared a path in front of Viola.

Running and running, the commotion gradually approached. When Viola turned a corner in the corridor and reached the balcony, she caught sight of two figures confronting each other below.

One had black hair. Letting his long hair flutter, he held a drawn sword with emotionless eyes. Without assuming a combat stance, he simply stood there.

The other had golden hair. Though the face framed by flowing hair was hidden, the posture holding the sword was deadly serious.

Facing each other, the Demon King and the Hero, Viola, realized that everything was too late.

However, upon closer inspection, the hero’s demeanor was different from the one she knew. It seemed reckless or something of that sort. The momentarily raised blue eyes appeared deeply clouded.


In surprise, Viola’s voice leaked out, as if involuntarily. Leon seemed to have correctly heard it.

As if bouncing up, his face turned upward, capturing Viola’s figure on the balcony at the top of the stairs. At that moment, his handsome face twisted as if about to burst into tears.


Leon, who declared in a strained voice, shouted towards Viola as if he couldn’t even see the presence of the Demon King standing in front of him.

“I came to help!”


“I came to help you. Let’s go back togeth—!?”

Instinctively, Leon dodged. Just above him, a cold sword edge passed by.

“I see. The hero seems to be at ease enough to be distracted in front of me,” Nox remarked.


“Viola. Are you planning to ask me not to kill him?”

For the first time, when she was called by her name, Viola’s movement momentarily stopped. Perhaps misunderstanding it, Nox spat out disdainfully, adding a thorn to the air.

“Your determination is only to this extent. Lies are a convenient means; you truly understand the ways of survival.”

“No, it’s different. Because you called my name for the first time.”


“Viola. That’s what you said, right?”


Only now did Nox respond, as if just realizing.

Leon, who had been watching their exchange in astonishment, took a forceful step forward.

“Viola! What’s going on? What’s the relationship between you and the Demon King!”

To Leon’s question, Viola couldn’t answer on the spot.

a shield, she should say. If she answers that, and after that, if she boldly jumps out toward Leon here, he will surely protect her. He would try to let her escape with all his might, and then Viola might be able to return to the country where humans live.

He is strong in his sense of justice and cannot stop caring for others. Leon is that kind of person.

Even so, Viola’s feet did not move. The name, Viola, which was called for the first time, was sewing her in place.

“Viola! You’re being deceived, right? That’s right, right!?”

“I’m sorry, Leon.”

Viola, who descended slowly from the balcony, was pierced by two gazes.

“To me, this place doesn’t seem that bad. On the contrary—”

Standing next to Nox, Viola smiled.

“For me, the food here is the most delicious.”


Leon’s expression changed to despair. However, it quickly distorted into an intense emotion that surged up.

“You’re being deceived! You’re under some kind of spell! You’re strange now…!”

Swaying, Leon took a step forward. With the silver sword glinting coldly as it brushed against the ground, he unsteadily made his way toward Viola.

At the sight of his figure devoid of any signs of combat readiness, Viola blinked. Leon, staggering as he walked closer to Viola, took a small breath, as if trying to say something.

In the depths of the eyes that stared directly at Viola, an intense light flashed.

The moment Viola saw that light, she took a step forward.

Without hesitation, she began to run, whispering,

“Nox, I was prepared properly.”

In response to those words, Nox, looking surprised, gazed at Viola. The momentarily narrowed eyes, as if saying he didn’t understand, suddenly widened. The hand that wasn’t holding the sword tried to grasp Viola’s hand strongly.

However, it was too late.

Leon saw it.

The sword strike should have aimed straight at the Demon king. The preliminary movements were zero, but when the strike filled with the entire body and soul entered the uncontrollable territory, a petite figure slipped between the Demon king and the sword.

Viola saw it.

The moment when the shining sword tip was drawn into her chest .The scene of the bright red blood spurting from her contorted body staining the cheeks of the beautiful man standing behind.

Nox saw it.

The moment when the annoying and unbearable woman, whom he couldn’t ignore, took a sword for him to protect himself. The lifeless face, with a soft smile, fell into his arms.

The body of the woman he instinctively embraced felt as light as air, almost like mistaking it for air.

Faced with the fear of life flowing out along with fresh blood, Nox felt a shiver down his spine.

The world became distant. Cold sweat flowed down the body, which should have been hot. In the suffocating, purely white world, Nox howled.

The ground shook. Windows shattered, vases scattered into pieces. The collapsed ceiling piled up like a mountain, and dust robbed it of all visibility.

In a world where nothing could be seen, only the faint warmth in his arms was vivid.

“Viola,” Nox called out in a hoarse voice.

legs trembling, a body devoid of strength collapsed. The hair, now white from the dust, dripped a streak down Viola’s cheek, following the path of a single droplet. Looking at that spot where the glossy black hair peeked through, he remembered being told it was beautiful.

In the act of bowing, a small pouch spilled from the neckline. Watching the pale purple gradually become tainted with red,


He pressed his lips against the body temperature that barely remained, leaning in.

“It’s delicious, so…”

In a plea, a desperate groan, there was no response.

And then, five years passed.

“…Too late.”

The man seated on a simple chair beside Viola’s sleeping berth diverted his gaze from her while letting his long hair play in the wind from the window.




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