Chapter 2 Part 2 : Unraveling Darkness
Translated by Xean
Edited by Travistann
Chris puts her hand to her forehead. Apparently, she really had forgotten about it.
At that time, she was in a panic. The Hero continued to challenge the “Majin,” and when we saw him who was rescued from a near-death experience every time, we thought, “Is this guy really going to die?” She feared that the human race was going to be defeated by the Demon King. She thought that the Demon King would finally defeat humanity. The institution was so busy at that time, so it was no wonder that her memory was fuzzy.
“Going back…… that incident was what led the institution to stand on the front line and fight a lot of demons. However, the fact remains that the institution cannot be made public. We eliminated the strongest enemies for the Hero in secret. …… Specifically, the institution continued to hide its existence by making all of its achievements credited to the Hero.”
“That’s right. What you said is completely correct.”
But a sullen expression was plastered across her face.
“Looks like you’re dissatisfied.”
“Well, what can I say. After all, the one who defeated the Demon King was a soldier of the institution – you, and we have contributed more to the war than the Knights and Hero on the frontlines. And yet our existence is never brought to light. …… Hey, you know what? We’re ostensibly perceived as a military tool, you know? The other day in the castle’s dining room, when I was taking a break after 10 days of work, I was scolded by a bratty apprentice knight who had never even seen a battlefield before: ‘Don’t take a break from your chores. How can he treat someone so cruelly?”
“I sympathize with that, but …… if you say too much, you’ll be considered a risk factor from the higher ups.”
“It’s okay! It’s just you and me here. Just so you know if this gets out there, you’re going to die in an unfortunate accident tomorrow… that is what I can assure you of that.”
Of course, it is an assassination faked in the image of accidental death.
It’s what the institution does the best. I know this because I’m part of a member. It’s not wise for an individual to make an enemy of the institution.
“I understand the situation. …… Just like the military and institutions, the Hero has a role to play. He’s there as a symbol — that’s his big role to play. If …… our activities come to light, that symbol will weaken. So therefore, all the credit for the institution goes to the Hero…… I understand, but it’s hard to digest. No, the truth is that I don’t want to understand.”
That’s why we’re being paid so much better than the military. The country is not disrespecting us in any way whatsoever.
“Well, yes, but ……”
The first incident. That is to say, the case of me killing the “Majin” was credited to the Hero.
The “Majin” is originally a subordinate of the demon king and has a lower rank than the demon king.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Hero, who exists in order to defeat the Demon King, cannot be able to defeat a mere demon. In fact, in the past wars, the Hero never struggled to defeat demons and “Majin”. If the fact that a third party other than the Hero killed the “Majin” is discovered–the Hero’s credibility will fall apart. The Hero symbol would cease to function.
“So? Why are you telling me such an obvious fact now?”
Chris answered my question with a cautious look.
“Earlier, a decision was made to disband the institution.”
I didn’t say a word to Chris, who informed me briefly.
I see. This is the decision the institution came up with, isn’t it?
Based on the institution’s creed, you can expect it to be disbanded. The Special Force Institution is an organization that supports the Hero to defeat the Demon King from the shadows. Now that the Demon King has been defeated, its purpose has accomplished. Unlike the military and the knightly order, which have an ex-supervisory role in maintaining the country’s security, our institution has no other role to do except for defeating the Demon King.
“With the disbanding of the institution, I would like to ask you about your future plans.”
I was astonished by that statement.
“You make it sound as if I have the right to choose my own future.”
“That’s what I’m saying”
I hadn’t expected to be the truth, and I was at a loss for words for a while.
The Special Force Institution is not exactly a “secret” organization. Many of the jobs the institution gave me were to clean up the mess in a dirty way. Today, with the war ended, everyone in the institution becomes a criminal. It’s only allowed to carry out illegal activities because of the Great War. I was a quasi-criminal, but I never thought that I would be given the freedom to make my own choices in life. There’s no way I could have predicted that.
“At worst scenario…… I’m prepared to be killed to keep my mouth shut.”
“They wouldn’t do that. As you said before, the country does not despise us, but rather gives us the utmost consideration. That’s why, when the institution is being disbanded, the present members will be given all the help they can get. If you have any aspirations for the future, we’ve been instructed from above to assist you as much as possible.”
It’s as expected there’s a hidden truth, but Chris is a person I can trust. Even if there were a backstory, it probably wouldn’t affect me in the wrong way.
However, the country doesn’t operate on compassion.
“It’s like giving your former dog a piece of candy to keep him from biting you.”
“Well, that’s just it. Especially since you’re so special in the agency, we can get you a very big candy bar.”
I carefully considered Chris’s words.
“Aspiration, huh? ……It’s not so easy to come up with something out of the blue, I guess.”
“… Don’t you have Anything you want to do? Anything is fine, okay? You want to farm in the countryside, or join the Knights and contribute to the world, this time as a “public” person. Some people said they want to do nothing and live their lives in idleness. For those people, the country is going to promise them the best possible support.”
I bit my lips hard as I think about it while Chris gave me a somewhat sympathetic look.
I’m the youngest person in the institution. I’ve spent most of my life inside the institution, so I’m deeply imbued with the institution’s values than most people in the institution. To Chris, I may seem like a disabled person now that the institution will be disbanded.
In the end, I stopped thinking and asked.
“What’s Chris going to do?”
“I-I think I’ll be doing a similar job…. Unlike you, I’ve worked at headquarters in the institution, so I’m exposed to a lot of information, so I’m under a lot of restrictions.”
“If so, I will –“
Chris says sternly.
“You’re only fifteen years old. You were picked up by the institution when you were only five years old and spent the last ten years of your life dedicated to the kingdom until the war ended. …… That’s enough. You’ve got to get out of this kind of organization that treats people like tools. It’s time for you to find out what you want to do.”
“The things I wanted to do……”
Chris gave me an intense look and whispered deliriously.
“You have lived for the kingdom for the past ten years. So it is time to live for yourself. …… And after a little while, if you still want to do the same kind of work you did before, you can tell me then. I’ll admit that that would be your calling…… but for now I won’t.”
It seems like Chris won’t step back this time.
If I told her here that I prefer working for her is what I wanted to do, she would continue to shake her head.
“You don’t have to think too hard about it. You’ve seen a lot of people through your work over the past ten years, haven’t you? I want you to be like this,” or “I want you to do that.” Have you ever thought about that?”
I listened to Chris’s words earnestly.
I indeed lived in an inferior orphanage until I was five years old, where I often couldn’t even get one meal a day, and then I was picked up by the institution and spent my days immersed in training so severely that my days in the orphanage were blurred.
After the training was over, I was assigned to various missions as a disposable soldier. Still, as I survived, I gained the trust of the higher-ups, and eventually, I was given a mission to return home. However, for those of us in the “background,” failure in a mission leads directly to death. We were a person who is not supposed to be there or even exists.
If we failed our mission, we would be cut off immediately. Ever since I joined the institution, not a day goes by that I don’t get nervous.
To be honest, I can’t say that I’ve had the luxury of watching the people around me for a decade.
However, in the midst of my work, I thought to myself, “There exists a different path to my kind of life.”
“……I want to live a normal life.”
When I said it, it felt like it was crystal clear to me.
I realized what the complex emotions lurking in my chest were. Ah, I didn’t know I was thinking this.
Come to think of it. I didn’t know what “normal” is. Nor did I ever experienced or seen a “normal” life.
When I was working, there are times that I would wonder why I am doing this. Why did we exist to support the Hero? Then why is that Hero trying to defeat the Demon King? What will the people gain by defeating the Demon King?
The answer to that question is probably an answer from the everyday life of a person.
I didn’t know much about what I’ve been protecting.
Many people died in the Great War. Countless of my colleagues in the institution also lost their lives. But what’s it like to want to protect something so badly?
I wonder what kind of “peace” me, Chris, and the Hero risked their lives to protect.
“I want to live a normal life. I want to live a normal life that is free to do Anything as I please. Is that such thing ……or not?”
It was a very monotonous wish, even if I had to ask for it.
But Chris nodded sincerely.
“No, it’s not a problem at all.”
With that, Chris stood up.
“Thank you. For telling me your true feelings. Then, please wait for a while. I’m going to make your wish a reality.”
“Ahh, thank you.”
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