Chapter 2 Part 1 : Unraveling Darkness
Translated by Xean
Edited by Travistann
After I crushed the Demon King’s heart.
I received the order to return home and spent seven days going back to the agency’s headquarters.
The Terraria Kingdom.
That’s the country where I belong to.
As I approached Maikura, the royal castle which stood in the center of the royal capital where two guards held up their spears to block the gate. However, they immediately lowered their spears as soon as both of them saw my face.
As I tried to dive through the gate silently, one of the guards called out to me.
“Chris-sama is in the temporary conference room of the Imperial Guards, on the third floor, he is waiting for your presence.”
I responded to the guard’s words with a low, subdued voice, “Understood.”
The organization I belong to changes it’s base from one place to another — and it’s really troublesome. Even when the Hero – Demon War entered its final phase, it was mostly located within the royal castle. Still, even within that, the location of its operations changed from one place to another.
I opened the door of the temporary conference room on the third floor of the castle.
A young woman with her long, light red hair hanging down was sitting in a chair within that room.
She looked at me and said with a soft smile.
“It’s been a while, Chris.”
“That’s right. Lately, we’ve only been in contact with each other through comms. Honestly, it’s also my first time this month out of headquarters.”
Chris said, while looking slightly tired.
She’s my superior. It’s been a long time since the last time we’ve talked face to face like this, but we’ve known each other for nearly ten years now, so I’m used to it.
I relaxed a little more than usual and sat down on the chair, facing Chris.
“What happened to the Demon King?”
“Everything is going smoothly. In a short while, the world will be informed that the “hero has defeated the Demon King.” Even though you are the one who really defeated him.”
“Honestly, it doesn’t matter who did it. In this case, it was the institution that killed the Demon King, and not me. For the past ten years, I’ve just been following the instructions that I’ve been given.”
“You’re really mature for your age.…… Well, I suppose that’s how the institution trained you.”
Chris said and let loose a sigh.
“This ten years-long task is finally over. …… At first, I felt like we were supposed to be just a support organization for the heroes, but we were on the front lines before we knew it.
In the end, it’s undeniable that we’re on the front lines.
I lightly open my right palm. As I vaguely recalled the sensation, I felt when I crushed the demon king’s heart. I noticed that Chris was looking at me with a serious look on his face.
“You’re fifteen years old this year, right?”
After confirming that, Chris slowly opened his mouth.
“This are the documents containing your background.”
While she said that, Chris pulls a large stack of papers from the envelope and spreads them out on the table.
“This is quite a lot, you know.”
“This just shows what you’ve achieved so far. Of course, all of which have been hidden from the public”.
Chris continues speaking as I take upon one of the documents from her hand.
“As you know, the role of the organization we belong to “The Special Force Institution” is to support the heroes from the shadows in the Fourth Hero – Demon War.
Chris flips the documents where all my achievements were recorded.
The Special Force Institution.
In order to explain this institution, you’ll need to know first how did the Hero – Demon War started.
One day, the Demon King suddenly appeared out of nowhere.
The newly-born Demon King immediately began to act to destroy humanity. He created many ferocious monsters and a vast underground space called the “Labyrinth” to serve as a nest for the monsters. Over time, some demons evolved into human forms and gained reason — they were called “Majin” and were more cautious because of their intelligence over other demons.
The Demon King and his army are strong. It wasn’t easy to prevent them from invading.
However, a Hero — a person who could defeat the Demon King, appeared.
Just like the Demon King, the Hero appeared suddenly from within the human race. It seemed like when a Demon King was born. A Hero shall emerge at the same time and vice versa.
The Hero and the Demon King. The clash between them is then known as the Hero – Demon War, and this was repeated three times ever since ten years ago.
So far, it has all been a victory for the Hero side — the human race.
“The Demon King which signifies akin to calamity. And the Hero who signifies hope. This phrase became widespread three centuries ago …… when the First Hero – Demon War broke out. And ten years ago, the fourth Hero was born here in the Kingdom of Terraria. That was the beginning of the birth of the institution,” Chris says.
“The country that birthed the Hero can lead other countries, in whatever way they want. And when a Hero defeats the Demon King, his country would be regarded as a noble country, and even after the war is over, the money would continue flowing in. This is the so-called “Hero’s effect.”
Whether the fact that there is a hero or there used to be a hero, and that alone is enough to attract money to flow into the country. That said, after the war, the economy in the Hero’s country continues to boom whether the Hero decides to open a shop or becomes a knight and teaches swordsmanship.
“But if a Hero is unable to defeat the demon king, the country that raised the Hero will bear the responsibility. The leading figures of the Terraria Kingdom were concerned about the worst possibility that the Hero born in their own country would not be able to defeat the Demon King. As a result, we, the institution, were established.”
What Chris said is true.
The Special Force Institution was born out of the concern of the weak Hero.
“I don’t know how other countries have been supporting their Hero in the past three wars, but the kingdom of Terraria decided to support the hero from two directions, ‘Front’ and ‘Back’. The Special Force Institution falls into the ‘Back’ category.” The armies and knights of countries around the world fall into the ‘Front’ Category.
The “Front,” which were the soldiers and knights, fought alongside the Hero. On the other hand, we, the “Back,” operate — whether it is legal and illegal. We’ve done all sorts of dirty work: Espionage, assassinations, capturing, torturing. …… By its very nature, the institution, unlike the military, is a secret organization whose very existence is hidden from the public. So it’s literally a ‘behind-the-scenes’ organization.””
I nodded at Chris’ explanation.
“However, four years ago, the institution not only supported the Hero — but also took the place of the Hero. … You’re more familiar with this aren’t you?”
“…… Don’t ask me.”
Chris said I knew more about it, but that wasn’t true.
During the war, Chris spent most of her time working at her desk at headquarters. Compared to me, who only used in the field, she certainly saw and heard more information about the war than I did. Even if I was the one who had the direct hand in the war, she was probably more familiar with the process leading up to it.
Apparently, Chris isn’t asking for information but wants to know my opinion.
I spoke plainly, as if unconcerned.
“Four years ago. When the war was gaining momentum, an unexpected situation happened on the side of humanity. The Hero was unable to defeat a — “Majin.” He was an enemy that has to be defeated in order to invade the demon castle — the home of the Demon King…… But no matter how many times the Hero tried, he could not defeat that “Majin.”
Most probably, the Hero had fought that “Majin” countless times.
He challenged, lost, rechallenged, was defeated – even though he was with all the knights in the world.
“—because there was no choice, the people from the institution killed that “Majin.”
The Special Force Institution invites talented children from the country’s orphanages and gives them a thorough Spartan education until they become useful as soldiers. It is tough to endure such fierce training, and many of them have lost their lives during the training.
It seems that the “soldiers” who grew up in such an environment had somehow acquired a more robust ability than the Hero.
No. …… It is slightly inappropriate to call it an ability. Those raised in institutions do not fight fairly. Even if the opponent is a demon or a demon king, they will engage in the most efficient combat for their purposes. Perhaps the demons did not expect the brutal fighting style of the institution. That’s why the institution’s soldiers could quickly kill the demons that the Hero couldn’t defeat.
“That’s a roundabout way of putting it. Honestly, you can simply say that you’re the one killed that “Majin.”
“I’m surprised to think that I’m the reason you got more work to do. In the first place, isn’t it was you who ordered me to do that”.
“Ara, are you asking me to take responsibility for this?”
“Who was the one who said that, “I’ll take all the blame, so let me go ahead and defeat that “Majin.”
“Ahhh…… Now that you mention it, I feel like maybe I did say those lines.”
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