“WAKE UP! ENEMY ATTACK!!!”
My mind jolted awake as I subconsciously reached for the sword next to my bed. They really weren’t going to give me any rest, were they?
Leaping out of bed and sprinting out of my tent, I joined various others who were gathering to repel the sudden assault on our location. There was no true rest for those in enemy territory, as everyone was constantly on pins and needles.
I was no different as the pangs of exhaustion caused my sword to feel a bit heavy, but I had to shake it off because there were many who depended on me.
“Yo, Summoned Hero. We’ll make sure to leave you an opening for you to wreak havoc. You’re our best bet for the war.”
“You mean, your ONLY bet for the war,” I retorted smugly.
I had been dropped into this world after my home was suddenly destroyed. There was a vague recollection of some mysterious being offering me a second chance, which seemed too good to be true. Of course, that opportunity came as a result of being summoned to another world as a ‘Hero’.
This was a world that was in the midst of great turmoil, an age of war. That had been quite jarring to step into, as I was nothing but a college student before. However, I had been blessed with several powers upon arrival, probably by the deity that I met before.
One power, in particular, was greatly useful, especially as I looked over the battlefield in front of me.
My eyes flared with a glow of purple, suddenly changing the perspective of the things around me. All around, faint lines glowed on the surface of objects and people. Those lines told me where to target. Those lines were marks of certain death.
Charging forward at a group of men who wore foreign armor, my blade swiftly swept through them, bisecting their bodies before they managed to wince from the result. My sword could be stopped by neither weapon nor armor. As long as the lines were there to guide me, a single swing was all that was needed to erase their life. Many others soon replaced them, but that mattered little to me.
I had become the Hero of this country, the Kingdom of Botticelli. My arrival had sparked a shift in the war, as I alone could charge through an army, shredding their forces with ease. Even the powerful warriors and magicians on the other side were mere paper tigers to my incoming blade, and that had made all the difference.
I was still susceptible to injury, but as I slayed my enemies, my level grew and increased my base stats. Aside from the short period after I was summoned, I had essentially power-leveled my way into safety from the constant fighting.
Now, the other Country of Rinaldi had been cornered, their territory having shrunk greatly. What more could I ask for, but a smooth path towards my goal? At the end of it, maybe the Gods would hear my wish. Maybe, they could figure out a way to restore my world. They were Gods, weren’t they? That strand of hope was what I held onto, as this bleak world was not where I wished to be.
That was why I had to be relentless. That was why I couldn’t back down.
The blood that sprayed upon me as I severed their lives in an instant were but of mindless NPCs in some game. Was I heartless? Perhaps, some would say so. But I didn’t have time to see them as anything more but obstacles. I refused to see them as other people, likely to maintain some form of my former self.
The destruction of my home world and my sudden arrival here had dulled my emotions. All I could do was throw myself into this role that I was given. All I could hope was for this fighting to end soon.
I looked behind me as the crowds suddenly thinned out. My sword drooped as I loosened my grip. A large gap in the enemy line had been cleared out. By my count, several hundred soldiers had perished from my charge. Already, the attempted assault was beginning to fail as I had apparently defeated the enemy commander without realizing it. The enemy was retreating chaotically with no one to direct them, proving that point.
Surely, my presence was like a bane to them. A grim reaper that could indiscriminately whisk them into the abyss of death.
Fine by me.
The more they feared me, the less resistance.
I looked towards the city in the distance, the Capital of Rinaldi. The enemy’s final bastion of resistance.
I awoke to the sound of light cackling.
My eyelids felt heavy. The laugh from before sent a shiver down my spine, forcing me to open them. My vision was blocked partially by a hand upon my forehead.
“Ha ha, that explains why I feel a similar signature as myself…,” the Chancellor’s voice echoed.
“W-What do you mean?” I forced those words out, as I reached to push him away. His grip was too strong. His body barely budged.
“Your memories tell me much about yourself, Claude Evers. Your core speaks much about your capabilities – a steady mass of chaos empowering your existence. You have the propensity of a ‘Conqueror’. Your memories prove that much.”
I faintly recalled the dream I had while unconscious. Perhaps, it was not a dream, but a lost memory. However, I refused to acknowledge it.
“You’re wrong! I know nothing about that kind of person!”
I took a swipe at him with a free hand, but it merely bounced off his body. For some reason, the wound that I suffered from before seemed to be healed, but a hole in my outfit remained where it was. The Chancellor continued to stare into my eyes, wholly absorbed in what he had discovered.
“Now, show me! Show me more of your will!”
Once again, the memories from my supposed previous life flooded into my mind, seemingly unlocked by the Chancellor’s magic. A continuation of the dream from before played out before my eyes.
Images of myself tearing through the capital city flashed before me. Neither stone nor person could slow down my charge. All that stood before me were reduced to shreds. As expected, the capture of the capital had been made trivial through my efforts.
Suddenly, a different type of scene caught my attention. Blades were turned towards me as I clutched a young girl who had been stabbed to death. An immense feeling of sorrow swept over me as my once allies suddenly pointed weapons in my direction.
“An outsider with such strength endangers our very existence! You must be done away with!” the men chanted.
“S-So, you poisoned me? You killed the hostages? They had all surrendered! W-Why were they murdered?!”
“Listen to you suddenly caring about others. Cleansing filth that does not conform to our beliefs is our holy duty. And you have served our purpose well. We have elected to grant you a quick death as part of your baptism.”
I looked up at the voice saying that. She was the summoner that had brought me here. Her eyes looked at me with disgust. In that moment, I realized that I was nothing more than a tool for their purposes.
They had treated me as a Hero for convenience. I had been their ticket to winning the war. In truth, they had simply wanted to annihilate the other side, down to the last citizen. And I had helped them achieve just that.
What a farce.
If it was going to be that way, then the world itself would’ve been better off gone.
The glow in my eyes grew fiercer, causing those around me to ready their arms. However, it was too late. In a flash, those that once stood in the room had become nothing more but lumps of flesh.
I cared not for this world anymore. It could go to ruin. Something had stirred in my body, granting me the desire to cut everything down. An intense darkness permeated my body and took over.
With my blade turned towards the kingdom I once supported, I had, in turn, cleansed them as ‘filth’. And that had not ended until the world had been torn literally in half. In the end, I was the one to cause the world’s end. Through a fit of rage, the ‘Hero’ had instead become the destroyer.
“HAHAHAHA!!!” A shriek of laughter pierced through my consciousness. I felt the hand upon my forehead release. I stumbled backwards, falling on my rear. My legs had lost strength after seeing such a scene.
It was no wonder my memories were blocked. How could I be summoned once again, after having destroyed the previous world? I couldn’t fathom why I would be allowed to.
“WONDERFUL! Even better than I had guessed! To think I would find a kindred spirit upon this world! A merciless conqueror who had no qualms slaying an entire world! No wonder your core feels so close to mine!”
Those words made me freeze, despite having already been thoroughly traumatized by the scenes from before.
“W-Wait, your core? You mean, you’re a…”
I wanted to check for myself, but there was a swirling mass of thick miasma covering his core. For the longest time, I had believed that the Chancellor was strong because he had been Saki’s Master. I hadn’t thought about it carefully until now, but Saki’s poorest stat was defense. In contrast, the Chancellor was a man gifted with magic, and he had been so, long before he had summoned her.
“As you suspect, I am an Electi, the same as you.” The Chancellor grinned, finishing my statement. “An Electi who became a demon, powerful enough to maintain my own identity. Unlike others who have become irredeemable beasts once demonized, it was my destiny to rise above and become a true being of power!”
He walked over and bent down before me. “And you. You have that same power. Why don’t you join me? Embrace the power you have and stand with me!”
I backed away from him, fear growing within me. “NO!”
I didn’t want to be that person. He was someone that I wouldn’t acknowledge.
“Isn’t humankind despicable? Do they not need a powerful leader to mend them of their ways?”
“Do you not wish to grasp everything that you desire? Everything you wish for could be yours.”
My voice grew weaker, as my resolve seemingly crumbled with every word. Every whisper of temptation chipped away at my resistance. I was merely human. Such sweet offerings were hard to ignore.
“Demonstrate your power to me! The power to be a ‘Conqueror’!”
I looked at the Chancellor, my mind somewhat possessed by his provocations. To my surprise, his exposed skin was now littered with small lines. They glowed, tempting me to slice them. I tried to shield my eyes with my hands, but I could feel a flare of mana upon them. Like the man in my memories, mana gushed from my eyes.
Was it my fate after all? Did I have no choice but to become the person that I once was? It seemed like I had forgotten about such a sad fate for a reason. My hand drew towards the knife in my holder, but as I grasped it, my heart wavered.
It felt like I had no choice but to sever the life of the demon who stood before me, but something told me. If I were to swing my blade in such a manner, then I would no doubt become the destroyer of my previous incarnation.
“What are you waiting for? DO IT! Become a demon like me!”
I could feel a sickening feeling where my core was. It threatened to leak out and invade my body. It gave me the overwhelming urge to draw my blade.
I could feel it. Lady Kaguya’s words of warning echoed in my mind as to how a demon spawned. I was starting to fall. As the Chancellor had wanted all along, he wished for another demon such as himself to be created.
And he had set his sights on me.