CH 28

The road began to feel rough.
Wheels of the luxury car started moving unevenly, and the once comfortable ride now became uncomfortable.

Along the window, there were only trees and beautiful scenery.
There was a “No Entry” sign made of wooden planks.
However, in that place, there were actually many protective spells that made it difficult for ordinary people to enter.

That was why all the cars stopped even though they hadn't reached their destination.

“Ruko-sama, Kuro-sama, we have arrived.
From now on, we cannot accompany you.”

“Thank you.
Come on, Onii-chan.
We've arrived.
You must be excited, right?”

There was no answer from Kuro.
He just calmly got out of the car.

Although annoyed, Ruko realized that the Kuro in front of her was not the Kuro who would respond to her jokes.

Not yet.

After get out from their car, Yamato and Kuroyuki accompanied them.
The four of them then walked toward the summit of Mount Fuji.

The sky was starting to darken.
Normally, it would take hours for them to reach their destination, but this is where their power as God Slayers came into play.

“Ruko-chan, you probably know that the temple is not marked on any map.
Can you guess why?”

With all the knowledge she possessed, Ruko answered Kuroyuki's question.

“The temple is protected by a special shield that not only makes it invisible but also impenetrable.
Even nuclear weapons cannot scratch it.
That is because the place is a point where supernatural energy accumulates.”

“Ha ha…
you're exaggerating by mentioning nuclear weapons, but you're not wrong.
The reason why the place is not on the map is probably more accurate to say that it was never part of this world from the beginning.”


“You will soon find out…”

Ruko and the others slowly ascended.
Normally, anyone would raise a white flag upon seeing their destination.
But the view of lush trees suddenly turned into a dark and lightless forest without a trace of light.
The sky was blood-red, proving that they were no longer in the world they knew.

Ruko experiencing this for the first time, she looked nervous and scared.
Yamato and Kuroyuki, on the other hand, seemed pleased.

“We have arrived at the Astral Bridge.
You know this place, right?”

Ruko nodded slowly.
At the same time, she glanced sadly at Kuro.

“…this place is between dimensions.
It can be said to be a place before another dimension.
That's why it's not named like that.
Only certain people can enter this place.”

“You don't have to worry about Kuro.
Ordinary humans would probably die instantly in this place, but I have strengthened Kuro with magic.”

Hearing that didn't make Ruko happy.
Instead, she became more aware of the difference between herself and Kuro.

After walking for quite some time, Ruko saw a red gate (Toori) leading to a large, brightly lit temple.
Not only was it large, but the temple was more magnificent than the shogun's palace in the old days and emitted a sacred light.

That place would be used to forcibly awaken Kuro's power.

It took time to climb the steps.
Although counting the steps would make one's head spin and become tired, Ruko didn't feel any of it.

Finally, she and Kuro's family arrived in front of the spacious temple courtyard.
There, they were greeted by nine beautiful shrine maidens who looked like angels.
However, from the aura emanating from them, Ruko felt fear instead.

“Don't be afraid.
Although they may be intimidating, they won't do anything strange and will only help us.”


Kuroyuki tried to calm her, but she couldn't.

At first glance, they looked like angels, but that was impossible because their family made a contract with demons.

Kuroyuki and Yamato spoke to them in a language unfamiliar to Ruko.
From their expressions, everything went smoothly without any problems.

Then they entered the main temple.
The temple did not have the statues or altars commonly found in a temple.
However, its beauty made everyone think it was the grandest palace they had ever seen.

In the middle of the palace, there was a special area used for a ceremony.
There was no need to guess what ceremony would take place there.

But a magical circle pattern resembling a circle was clearly drawn with red ink resembling blood, connecting to a large pillar at the eight cardinal directions.

“We don't have much time.
We should start the ceremony.”

Yamato signaled.
The shrine maidens immediately took their respective positions, forming a circular formation.
One of them became the center.

Yamato then signaled to Kuro.

Still, with an empty gaze, Kuro let go of Ruko's hand and walked towards the shrine maiden in the center.

The ceremony had begun.


Before leaving, Ruko tightly held Kuro's hand to prevent him from leaving, but she received no response.

“Let go, Ruko.
This is the only path we must choose…
the only one.”


Suddenly, Ruko felt something strange in Kuroyuki's tone of voice.
Kuroyuki, who was always calm, now looked sad for an unknown reason.

Kuro arrived in front of the shrine maiden.
It was then that the shrine maiden showed a terrifying smile.

“Ruko-chan, don't hate us.”

“I ask for the same thing.”

“…how could I hate you? I already consider you as my own parents.
Besides, you have made my dream come true to be together with Onii-chan.”

Ruko showed a sincere smile.
Unfortunately, she didn't know that it became the most painful smile for Kuroyuki and Yamato.

The magical circle began to glow brightly.
The light slowly converged on one point, the shrine maiden in front of Kuro.

The shrine maiden tightly held the light, and the light gradually transformed into a small blade of light.
The shrine maiden then chanted some kind of incantation, and the light turned into a dark, ominous black light.


Ruko could feel the energy filled with evil and hatred.
It could be said to be a manifestation of darkness.

(Why do I have such a bad feeling…)

Meanwhile, the shrine girl slowly handed the black knife to Kuro.
Upon receiving it, Kuro's eyes awakened from the influence of magic.
However, he didn't try to resist his fate.
He couldn't.

As he looked at the shrine girl in front of him, who resembled an angel, Kuro realized that their beauty was just an illusion created by the demon.
Kuro smiled.
He knew that sooner or later, this would happen.
He had prepared himself mentally and even embraced the idea of death.
Strangely, he didn't feel afraid.

“…you really…”

The shrine girl embraced Kuro like a mother longing for her child.
There was no warmth, only a painful coldness.

(…I want to say so many things…
but I don't have the right…)

Kuro looked at the knife in his hand.
It resembled a kunai but had unimaginable sharpness.

(I guess this will be very painful…

The shrine girl gave a look as if everything would be fine, and it would be brief.

“…thank you…”

Without hesitation, Kuro directed the blade toward his own neck.


Ruko knew what was about to happen.
She ran towards Kuro, intending to stop him.
But as she approached, she was stopped by an invisible barrier.

“Onii-chan, don't do it…‼”

No matter how much she screamed, no matter how much she hoped and shed tears, she knew it was all futile.

She tried to seek help, but all she received were sad looks from the ones who should have stopped it all.
Yes, Yamato and Kuroyuki just watched.

As their only son slit his own throat.


Ruko's scream shattered the silence, but nothing could prevent what had already happened.

Blood spurted from Kuro's neck.
His body slowly fell to the ground, but at that moment, the shrine girl caught his blood-soaked body.

“No-no, Onii-chaaannn…”

Tears streamed down Ruko's face as Kuro's body slowly grew limp and pale.
She pounded the barrier with all her strength, but she didn't have enough power to break through.

“Open your eyes, Onii-chan.
Don't you want to go back and meet Chiaki-chan? Stop this joke and rise.
I beg you…”

“It's no use, Ruko.
There's nothing we can do.”

“Uncle Yamato…

When Ruko looked at Kuro's parents, she realized that she wasn't the only one saddened by what had happened.

At that moment, one by one, the shrine maidens suddenly transformed into black smoke, like darkness.
They all merged into one and grew larger.
The large darkness then took the form of a terrifying and fearsome monster.

For god slayers like them, they were familiar with the sight of a monster that was the embodiment of a demon.

The demon smiled widely.
It was delighted as if it had found a precious treasure.

Ruko, Yamato, and Kuroyuki couldn't take their eyes off the demon, the source of their power as god slayers.
Another reason was that while they knew the form of the demon within them, they had never seen its true form.

“…?! Onii-chan?”

Ruko was shocked.
Kuro, who was supposed to be dead, slowly rose.
His empty eyes made him look like a zombie.

Ruko felt relieved.
Kuro wasn't completely dead yet.
There was still hope to save him.

But that hope quickly turned into despair.

“………..Sacred Break…”

Incredible darkness emerged from Kuro's body.
The barrier that prevented Ruko and Kuro's parents from approaching easily crumbled.

Ruko was thrown back like a dry leaf in a hurricane.
Fortunately, she was caught by Yamato.

“Uncle, thank you, but what's really happening?”

we have no idea.
This was supposed to be a sealing ceremony, but we don't understand why this is happening.”

“A sealing ceremony? Isn't this supposed to be a resurrection ceremony?”

“We'll explain later.
Right now, the most important thing is for us to stay alive.”

The Astral Bridge was the boundary between dimensions.
If their bodies were thrown beyond the limits of the shrine, they could end up in a dangerous dimension and be unable to return to their original world.

what are you, really?”

When a Kanata doesn't possess the power of a god slayer, it doesn't mean they don't have that power.
On the contrary, the power exists within them from birth.
That's what sets Kuro apart from Yamato and the others.

An excessively powerful force would become a problem if not sealed immediately, which is why the sealing ritual was conducted.

A dangerous sealing that threatened his life had to be done.
For Kuro's well-being and for the sake of the world.
A power that was too great and uncontrollable would cause a disaster greater than the damage caused by the Fallen God.

Control or death.
Seal or death.
Those were the choices Kuro had.

– But now, he chose a path that was beyond those choices.

The darkness emanating from Kuro was greater than the darkness of the demon.
The two darknesses engulfed each other in a battle.
It was only a matter of time to see who would be swallowed first.

It was an unusual fight.
That's what they witnessed.

Kuro's darkness slowly devoured the darkness of the demon and eventually won.
After that, Kuro's darkness grew even larger than before.

“Yamato, this is bad…”

“I know, but we don't know what to do.”

They could only watch.

The darkness, which was Kuro's embodiment, now swallowed everything.
Even the temple, which resembled a grand palace, began to crumble.
Yamato and the others were not spared; they too were consumed.

“We have no other choice.
Burn and turn to dust, Phoenix‼”

Yamato activated his power.
His right eye turned into a demon's eye.
Fiery red flames enveloped his body.

The flames could melt iron and turn the ground into lava in an instant, but the flames didn't harm Ruko, who was in his hands.

“Love and hurt, Gremory.”

Not to be outdone, Kuroyuki also activated her power.
She was surrounded by a reddish-black aura that emitted both love and fear.

Meanwhile, Kuro's darkness began to attack them.
Yamato and Kuroyuki fought back and defended themselves.
With the power they possessed, they should have been able to defeat the darkness.

But something undesirable happened.

When Kuroyuki's black fire and aura touched Kuro's darkness, their power had no effect and instead got swallowed by the darkness.
They realized that fighting would only amplify Kuro's darkness.

“This is bad, we have to leave this place.
It seems like the darkness is targeting us.”

Kuroyuki nodded.
They both retreated and left the temple, carrying Ruko with them.


In the pitch-black darkness, Kuro's figure could be seen.
There was no doubt that Kuro was still alive.
His severe wounds had even disappeared without a trace.

But the cold, hate-filled gaze of a demon saddened Ruko.

Why did this happen?

Why is Kuro consumed by hatred?

Ruko realized that she didn't truly know the real Kuro.

Once the three of them were outside the temple, they remained vigilant and prepared to return to the human world if the situation worsened.
And it did.

The temple vanished into darkness in an instant.
If they didn't leave immediately, their fate might have been the same as the temple.

Only Kuro remained.

“Is this the end…
Kuroyuki, let's get out of here.
If we let this continue, Kuro might become the greatest threat to humanity, but we have no choice but to retreat.”

“..Yamato, do you know the meaning of your words just now? After all, he..”

“I know it‼”

Yamato shouted with full emotion.
He was angry, but at the same time, he showed deep sadness.

“But we have no other choice.
I am glad he is alive, but…
it is my responsibility to kill him.
At least that's what I should do as his father.”


Kuroyuki understood what Yamato intended to do.
If possible, she wanted to do the same.

Seeing Kuro swallowing everything was heartbreaking for both of them.
This was their curse as those who had made a pact with demons.

Tears streamed down Kuroyuki's face.
At the same time, she prepared to use Dimension Gate magic to return to their world.

“God, I don't deserve to ask for this.
Our souls are already tainted and don't need your forgiveness.
But I am a parent who wishes for my child's happiness.
God, please grant your small miracle to this sinful being…”

A god slayer praying to a god.
It might be ridiculous, but in a desperate situation, as humans, all they could do was pray to God.

Regardless of whether the prayer was answered or not, miracles were their only hope.

The Dimension Gate opened.
Now they could return to their original world.

Before leaving, they looked back at Kuro.

“….Kuro, forgive us..”

“…Hm? Uncle, Aunt, there's someone there besides Onii-chan.”

They were surprised and looked closely at Kuro.
They did see a shadowy figure, but it disappeared in an instant.

Then another surprising event occurred.
The darkness slowly started diminishing and disappearing.
All the darkness returned to Kuro's small body.
It was a miracle.

After the darkness vanished, two boxes appeared in Kuro's eyes.
Shortly after, Kuro collapsed and lost consciousness.




They were astonished and didn't know what had actually happened.
But they knew that their prayer had been answered, and a miracle had occurred.

The three of them approached Kuro and carried him home with smiles of happiness.
They returned to where they belonged.
They returned to a place they could call home.

They didn't know who the shadowy figure was, but they were grateful to them.
The person who had granted them a miracle in their desperate situation.

The next day, Kuro regained consciousness.
He saw Ruko and his parents sitting in his bedroom with happy and worried faces.

“Kuro, thank goodness you're awake…”

Kuroyuki was overjoyed.
She hugged Kuro tightly, causing him to struggle to breathe because of her large bosom pressing against his face.

Ruko looked unhappy.
She wanted to hug Kuro first and give him a kiss filled with love.
But she understood that they were his parents, after all.

I can't breathe.”

I understand, I was really worried that you wouldn't return to us.”

Kuroyuki slowly released her embrace.
Now it was Ruko's turn to hug him.

“Welcome back, Onii-chan.”

Kuro gently embraced Ruko's small body.

“Sorry, Hime.
I almost hurt you.”


Ruko was truly confused because Kuro had never used that term to address her before.

is something wrong?”

Many things.
Kuro was in front of her, but Ruko felt unfamiliar.
One could say he was Kuro, but at the same time, he wasn't Kuro.

Kuro smiled slyly.
He seemed to be able to guess what was on their minds.

“Oh my, you humans are always like this.

Then Kuro revealed his two demon eyes, which now had two fused boxes resembling chains.
His eyes were not normal compared to Kuroyuki and Yamato's demon eyes.

“Maybe you already know what happens when you perform a sealing ritual, but I'll clarify who I really am.
I am the demon who took on the form of the girl in the temple at the Astral Bridge.
Everyone, nice to meet you…”




The three of them stood in stunned silence, filled with astonishment.

The sealing ritual was intended to seal Kuro's overwhelming power.
The two fused boxes were a sign of the ritual's success.
But the result of the ritual was unexpected.

what do you mean?”

Ruko still didn't understand.
And she wasn't the only one.

Kuro slowly descended from the bed.
He almost fell, but he managed to hold on and stand upright.
He resembled a child learning to walk for the first time.

“Hmm, how can I explain it? Oh…
I see, how about this: simply put, this body is indeed your son's body, but there is another soul residing within it.
As God Slayers, you know that there is a demon soul in your body, but that demon doesn't control you.
Whereas I am the opposite.”

The atmosphere fell silent again.
They began to understand what was happening, but at the same time, many questions arose in their minds.

Kuro (?) smiled slightly and sat on the bed.
He looked around with joy as if exploring his surroundings.

“So, you're the demon,” Yamato suddenly spoke.

Kuro nodded.

“If that's the case, it means you possess that power?”

“Unfortunately, I don't.”

His answer shocked everyone.

“But if you're talking about magic, I can easily do it.
In fact, my power is strong enough to destroy this country if I wanted to.”

Kuro once again confused them with his words.

“The sealing ritual was successful, but the sealing doesn't mean that the power of this body diminished.
It's just that its strength is suppressed and its usage is limited.
And the one who did it, of course, is me, the other soul within this body.”

Due to the peculiar and unfamiliar situation with Kuro, handling events related to this occurrence required caution.

Gathering as much information as possible was the most important course of action.

“So, you are the embodiment of the seal.
If that's the case, what happened to our son's soul? Could it be…?”

“Don't worry about that, Mother.
May I call you Mother? Even though I'm not your child, our souls are currently merged.
You could say I'm his second personality.”

“…that's not an issue.
We are your family.
How could we ever deny him?”

“Thank you.” Kuro's eyes became teary as if touched.
“I've never experienced what love and affection feel like.
It's something new to me, but it's not a bad thing.
Oh, by the way, regarding your son's soul, he's just peacefully sleeping at the moment.
And I think it's best if he continues to sleep forever.”


Ruko couldn't hide her astonishment.

“Don't look at me like that, Hime.
It makes me sad.
I might sound cruel, but it's his wish.
The wish of Kuro's soul.”

Tears streamed down Ruko's face.
She became even more confused and saddened.

Although she was happy that Kuro had returned, the one who returned was someone else.
A stranger.
Someone they didn't know.

I guess Father and Mother understand what I mean.
The important thing is that your son is still alive.
Isn't that what matters most?”

Despite still showing a hesitant expression towards reality, Kuroyuki and Yamato realized they were fortunate because the worst-case scenario they had imagined never happened.

They were grateful that their child was still alive.

“Yes, you're right, Kuro.”

“If you don't mind, please don't call me by that name.
Somehow, I feel unworthy.”

Kuroyuki fell silent for a moment and pondered.
Then she smiled.

“Alright, how about Shiro?”

“I like that name.”

“Then, from now on, we'll call you by that name.
Unfortunately, both of us have to leave now.
We need to inform the government about the current situation.
We're sorry.

 We'll come back home as soon as we're done.”

“You don't need to apologize, Mother.
And until we meet again.”

“Goodbye, Shiro.

Kuroyuki and Yamato then left Kuro's room, leaving Ruko and Shiro alone.

With his power, Shiro could see what was happening behind the walls.

(As I expected, they still can't fully accept this.)

Shiro could see Kuroyuki crying, and sobbing.
Yamato tried to console her.

Although he was a demon who didn't understand what love was, seeing Kuroyuki in distress made him feel pain, even though he wasn't physically hurt.

(Is this what having emotions feels like?)

He didn't hate it, but he never expected that the first thing he would feel as a human was sadness.

He had all the memories and pleasures of the previous owner of this body.
He felt longing, love, and affection.
But among all that, he felt a great hatred that made the darkness grow stronger.

“Onii-chan, why are you silent?”

He looked at Ruko, who was now beside him.

He gazed at her innocent and pure face.
Her young age meant she didn't fully grasp what was happening.

But one thing was clear—

“It's nothing, Hime.
How about we play for a while?”

“Yes, let's play.
But Onii-chan, are you feeling better now?”

“Don't worry.
I'm fine, in fact, I could destroy Mount Fuji if you asked me to.”

It was a joke, but he could actually do it if he wanted to.


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