It’s been almost a month, I guess.
While thinking of the day I got my hands on that lump of meat, I sigh deeply while standing in that same abandoned village.
How did things become like this.
The experimentation on the lump of meat went well until around halfway through. Since it was not my own body, I had no qualms about pouring in tons and tons of magic. Not this, not that, maybe this way, maybe that way, oh I just had tons of fun with the experiments day after day. Damn it was fun. I got closer to the essence of magic, and felt my own strength growing at a visible rate. Everything was good.
I improved on my magic control, making it denser, finer, and stronger, until the moment came that I was able to completely suppress the magic deviation…… then suddenly I found a young blond elf girl in front of my eyes.
I was too absorbed in controlling my magic that I didn’t notice the lump of meat turning into a blond elf until that moment. It’s pretty amazing, being able to return from being that lump of meat. So I pretty much decided to send her off like “You’re free now, so return to your home!” or “May you be happy in the future!” But then she was like “I can no longer go home” and like “I must return this debt of gratitude.” I mean, seriously, I wasn’t helping you, you’re just a coincidental outcome, alright?
It seemed like a pain, and I considered just running away, but in the end I agreed to have her become my very first subordinate as a power in the shadows. Doesn’t seem like she’ll betray me, and she seems pretty smart, and kind of possesses an unnecessarily capable aura. Even though her age is 10 just like me, but apparently the rumor that elves mature mentally much faster wasn’t a lie.
“Which is why, from today onwards, your name will be Alpha.”
α, Alpha, either way is fine.
She nodded. Blond hair, blue eyes, white skin, outstanding beauty, she’s very much the stereotypical elf.
“And as for your duties……”
I stop talking and take a moment to think. This part is important.
Her job is to support me as a power in the shadows, that’s for sure. But then I’d have to clarify exactly what a power in the shadows means, and what my actual aim is. In other words, I have to tell her the fundamentals of my role in this world as a power in the shadows.
The setting of any plot is important. If the reason for fighting is “because I got pissed after losing at pachinko” then that’ll just be dumb.
In that area, I am thoroughly prepared. Before coming to this world, and certainly after coming to this world, I’ve continuously dreamt of my best idea of being a power in the shadows.
Combining together the several thousands, several tens of thousands of patterns that I had thought up previously, I instantaneously arrived at the optimum scenario.
“From the shadows, we shall interfere with, and stop, the resurrection of the demon Diabolos.”
“The demon Diabolos……?”
Alpha tilts her head in puzzlement.
“I’m sure you already know that in distant history, the demon Diabolos had almost completely destroyed the entire world. However, three heroes – one an elf, one a beast person, and one a human – stood up and defeated Diabolos, thus saving the world.”
“I’ve also heard that before, but isn’t that just a fairytale?”
“No, it actually happened. Though the truth was much more complicated than the fairytale……”
So saying, I smile wryly.
For someone of my capabilities, combining this world’s various legends into a believable struggle in the shadows scenario is a piece of cake.
“Right before he died, Diabolos casted a curse on the three heroes. That is called the Curse of Diabolos.”
“The Curse of Diabolos? I’ve never heard of such a thing……”
“No, the Curse of Diabolos truly exists. But it is commonly known by another name – ‘demon possession.’ Indeed, it is exactly what you had been suffering from.”
“How could that be……”
Alpha’s eyes open wide in shock.
“The descendents of the heroes who defeated Diabolos will forever suffer from that curse. However, long ago, that Curse of Diabolos was treatable. Just as you were.”
The fact that Alpha’s skin is now white and unblemished – as if she had never been afflicted with demon possession – is the greatest proof of what I’m saying.
It’s all a big, fat lie though.
“Demon possession is the proof of being a descendent of one of the heroes. As the children of those who had saved the world, they were valued, protected, thanked, and extolled. All in past tense though.”
“But now we are not thanked. Rather, we are……”
Alpha’s face scrunches up, unable to continue her sentence.
“Someone had distorted history. Hiding the fact of it being the symbol of the heroes, hiding the method to treat the curse, and furthermore even renaming it as ‘demon possession’ and turning it into a target of scorn.”
“WHO?! Who would do something like that?”
“They are those who are plotting the resurrection of the demon Diabolos. Those suffering from the Curse of Diabolos are, without exception, those with high magic capabilities due to having heavily inherited the blood of the heroes. In other words, they are our precious military strength, and thus obstacles to Diabolos.”
“Which is why they call it demon possession and execute them? They’re the lowest of the low!”
“Having been branded with the fabricated sin of demon possession, having been chased from your home and family, do you feel hatred?”
“I. Hate. Them. How can I not?”
“The Order of Diabolos. That is our enemy. They would never stand in the public stage. As such, we too must lurk in the shadows. We will lurk in the shadows, and we will hunt the shadows.”
“To possess that much influence even without appearing in the public stage…… In other words, it means this Order must have many members in very powerful positions, and that there are many people being manipulated by them without even knowing of their existence.”
I nod gravely.
“It will be a path filled with thorns and thistles. However, this is something that must be done. Will you lend me your strength?”
“If it is your wish, I am resolved to even offer my life. On top of which, this is my own wish as well. We shall succeed without fail.”
Alpha fixes her blue eyes on me and laughs with fearlessly. Her young and beautiful eyes are filled with resolve and determination.
I mentally do a guts pose.
Damn yea, this elf is hella gullible!
Naturally, the Order of Diabolos does not exist, so no matter how hard she searches, there’s no way she’d find anything. Every once in a while, we’ll go take out some random bandit gang on suspicion of being a member of the Order. Or we’ll jump in and interrupt a fight between some some protagonist-like people and say things like “The destruction of this world is nigh!” or “The resurrection of the demon is nigh!” before making a flashy exit. Or we can flashily show up on a battlefield and say “Oh ye foolish sheep who know not that you are being manipulated……” before taking everyone out. Ohhh, all the things that we can do! The sky’s the limit!
Oh right, as for the all-important name of our organization……
“We shall be known as Shadow Garden…… We who lurk in the shadows and hunt the shadows……”
“Shadow Garden. What a wonderful name.”
Today, at this moment, Shadow Garden came to be. And at the same time, the enemy of this world, the Order of Diabolos was also born. I have taken one more step towards becoming a power in the shadows.
“Well, for now, let’s just improve our magic control and swordsmanship. The bulk of the fighting I will take on, but I will assign you to deal with the small fries so you’ll also have to become at least strong enough to handle that much.”
“I understand. The enemy is powerful, so we have to raise our own strength.”
“Yep, yep, exactly.”
“And we must also search out the other descendants of the heroes and safeguard them.”
“Um, yea, that too. In moderation.”
Playing as a power in the shadows with more people would indeed give it more of an organization feel, but we don’t really need too many. To be honest, personally speaking I’m fine if it’s just the two of us.
“Well, for the near future let’s focus on getting stronger first.”
So saying, I bring up my wooden sword and parry Alpha’s attack. She has made enormous progress after only a month of training.
Her sense is great, and she has more than enough magic. Seems she’ll be of quite some use.
So I thought as I continued swinging my wooden sword underneath the moonlight.