Maou No Hajimekata - Chapter 14.8
「It is I who should be outraged . You abducted my younger sister and...forced me to kill her . 」
Zaitlead said in a voice full of anger as he held the collapsed body of Yunis in his arms .
「I would like nothing more than to kill you all where you stand, but it seems that your actual bodies are in the labyrinth . Prepare yourselves and wait . I won't be long in breaking in and ensuring your bodies are ground until there is nothing left . 」
Zaitlead announced and swung his sword . The three forms crumbled into splinters of wood in a single hit and scattered on the ground .
「There is no need for that . I will settle this right here and now . 」
An amber light flashed on the ground as Aur teleported from the labyrinth . In his arms, a single woman was held captive .
It was Zaitlead's wife, Hilda who was pushed forward with her hands tied behind her back .
「The life of this woman...」
「What a foolish thing you've-」
Before Aur could finish, Zaitlead's sword flashed . His sword plunged into Hilda's breast, she looked at him with uncomprehending eyes .
Blood poured from her mouth as her body fell to the ground . In an instant, the body changed to a very different looking woman;a stranger .
「Magic has no power over me . Did you really believe that I would be phased by such an illusion?」
Zaitlead gave Aur a contemptuous glare as he swung the blood off his sword .
「Indeed . There is no sorcery that affects you . Your sword knows no hesitation, no carelessness, you would even kill your own younger sister . 」
「...What are you saying? What do you want? Do you think that you, a sorcerer, could beat me?」
「I am saying that your lack of hesitation and carelessness is carelessness . 」
Aur turned the body of Hilda over with his foot and pulled her soul from the body .
Zaitlead's eyes widened at the ghost that floated in the air . There was no doubt about it, she was Hilda .
「The soul cannot be imitated . Surely you do understand that this is not a lie, that the real soul of Hilda is right here . 」
「It can't be...!?」
Zaitlead's body shook, his eyes bore into the ghost before him . It was not an illusion by magic . There was no possibility of it being another with a similar appearance . It was her real soul, her real appearance .
「You foolish Hero . You deny sorcery as child's play, you underestimated it and put too much faith in your own eyes . Flesh and bones can be altered into any shape . 」
Cut and bend the flesh and bones, then simply bind them in place before using a restoration spell . And through the bonds, the flesh and bones will alter their shape in order to fit . Just as Faro, the hobbit girl, had her womb reshaped . He had done the same to the abducted Hilda .
He had also fried her throat to change her voice before recreating Hilda's original voice and appearance with an illusion . The illusion was the reality .
「Are you sure now? Do you know that I can bring her back to life?」
Aur said as Zaitlead threw his sword down and was about to make a grab for Aur . Zaitlead's arms paused a moment before his fingers tore Aur Aur to shreds .
「It was just one stab in the chest . You're very skilled . With this degree of damage, I could still bring her back . Fortunately, her soul is still preserved right here . If I healed her wounds and returned her soul, this woman would come back to life . If I used magic, that is . 」
Aur then embedded the soul of Hilda into his own body . With this done, Zaitlead could no longer lay a finger on him .
「To be honest, it would be ceaselessly boring to have you torn to pieces... And your skills are so valuable . I could bring your wife back to life, if you accept my curse and work for me . 」
「What did you...」
Zaitlead's 『Curse of Lead』was one that he had cast on himself . His strength was his creed... he was dependant on the worldview that Magic was inconsequential and worthless . If he desired and accepted the protection of magic, if he wished for the resurrection of his wife, that curse would naturally, be broken .
Zaitlead thought hard . Hilda's death was incomparable to the death of Yunis .
It wasn't the difference between a sister and a wife, it was the difference between a hero and a mere human . The difference between someone destined for an untimely death and someone with the possibility of leaving this world peacefully .
「...If I do as you say, you will help Hilda?」
「Yes . I will bring her back to life without a single scratch remaining . 」
Aur nodded .
In the next instant, his body separated in two, leaving a pile of sawdust .
「I refuse . 」
It was a difficult decision for him . He had He had killed his beloved wife, he would carry that guilt . Even through that, he could not stop being a Hero . If he did, he would be doing a disservice to his younger sister, who he had killed to remain a Hero .
Now that no one remained, Zaitlad was filled with a sense of emptiness .
To destroy the evil in the world, to fight the unjust, to protect the people . That is the calling given to Heroes . However, he himself had not obeyed this calling without question at all times .
His wife, his sister . He was able to fight until now and tarnish his hands in the blood of countless people because he had something to protect . But he no longer had anything to protect . He himself had killed the both of them .
And that is why he could not oppose it .
He ran up to her and held her as she pulled herself close to him . Her soft skin, that face he loved more than anything, the familiar voice . It was his wife without a doubt .
「You were alive...?」
「Yess... . !」
Zaitlead held her close as tears streamed down her face, he softly kissed her . A sense of euphoria filled his chest and he was overcome with relief . It was a bad dream . That he had killed his wife, his sister . He subconsciously accepted this illusion... . this magic .
Amidst the joy, the heart of the Hero stopped moving . All of his life force had been taken by the succubus who had the appearance of his wife .
「...heh . 」
Lilu sighed as she returned to her usual form . The . The life force of the Hero was unsurprisingly, of a high quality in taste . Normally, she would have like to crack a joke at this point, but standing next to where Yunis' head had rolled did not put her in the mood .
「Aur, hurry up and resurrect the poor girl . 」
A substitute of Aur emerged from the shadow of a tree, and Lilu handed him Yunis' head and body . Aur placed his hand on the severed neck and Yunis' head reconnected with her body without a trace of blood remaining . However, without a change in expression, Aur mumbled:
「I cannot . 」
Ignoring Lilu's question, Aur walked passed her and put his hand over Hilda's body as well . In a blink of an eye, the open wound in the chest became whole once again . He also reversed time on her face, bringing it back to what it once was .
「...you can't? What do you mean?」
Lilu asked as Aur methodically dealt with the bodies .
「You cannot resurrect Heroes . ...Look closely at the body . 」
「...No . There is no soul!」
Lilu shouted as she looked at the bodies as instructed . It would be impossible to resurrect them if they had no souls . No matter how their bodies were returned to normal, they were nothing but empty vessels .
「The soul of a Hero returns straightway into the heavens when they die . That is how it has always been . 」
「...Does that mean...」
Lilu had a memory of something very similar happening .
「There is nothing too impressive about Heroes . ...There is not much difference between them and a sorcerer who makes a contract with the Devil . 」
Aur nodded and spat as Lilu became speechless .