Wheels within wheels. Webs within webs. How many secrets can one spider have?
253 – PUNISHMENT TIME (for real)
The explanation to Kuro and the Demon King has finished. What they do afterwards is up to each of them. Well, in the situation where they can’t see my hidden cards, if something so tasty is dangled in front of them, it’s obvious that they’ll take the bait though. Kuro still seems to be a bit suspicious, but the Demon King should take the bait. After all, there’s no other option available.
Even if they don’t take the bait then it’s okay. I’ll just have to reveal my hidden cards. Ultimately, the Demon King will definitely come to my side. Then, she should be more than willing to transfer the authority of the Ruler of Gluttony to me. If that happens, then there’s only a few remaining.
I turn away from Kuro and the Demon King, teleporting. It seems the two of them need a bit more time to consider it. After they think it through, they just need to come begging to me. In the other dimension I teleported to, the vampire girl is sullenly standing with a daunting pose. It seems she woke up at some point.
「Who, was that?」
By “that”, I guess she’s referring to Kuro. She thinks that he got in the way of her fight with oni-kun it seems. Or rather, he did actually, yeah.
「Kuro. He’s the same kind as me.」
「The same kind as goshujin-sama.」
When I said he’s the same kind as me, vampire girl made an understanding expression. But, the dangerous light in her eyes doesn’t weaken.
「Let me meet him.」
What’ll you do on meeting him – I don’t even need to ask I guess. She’ll definitely bite his head off. I mean that she’ll literally try to bite his head off. When she found out that he was the same kind as me she should have understood that she has no chance of winning, yet look at this damn battle junkie. Well, it’s not like I have duty to let her meet him anyway.
In the first place, why should I have to go out of my way to do that? Particularly when I know for sure that you’ll cause problems. Do you think that all your desires have to be granted? Aren’t you pushing your luck a BIT too far? It seems I have to make you remember your own position, even if just a bit.
「The man ruined everything just when things were finally getting good. He better take responsibility.」
「I don’t care.」
「I do care though! Let me meet him already!」
I raise my voice a little and open my eyes. That instant, vampire girl’s body shakes with a start and she shrinks in fear. Yup, yup. I see you do comprehend the difference in strength. Yet she still flared up at me that much – the fighting instincts of vampires sure are running wild huh. Well, time for a little lecture, including that.
「Envy, you used it didn’t you?」
「What might you be talking about?」
Vampire girl tries to play dumb, but her eyes are swimming like mad. Lies are bad okay, BAD.
I grab her cheek hard and pull. You used it didn’t you-u? Lies are bad okay-y? I was watching you know-w?
I pull the cheek that I grabbed around – up and down, left and right. Vampire girl grabs my arm and tries to pull it off somehow, but unfortunately for you with my superior physical strength that’ll just be futile resistance. Humph, even before my apotheosis my physical strength, as part of my offensive ability, vastly exceeded vampire girl’s, so there’s no reason why I would lose now after my upgrade. Did you think those thin arms could beat my thin arms eh? Ah, isn’t it more like mine are thinner? Yeah, let’s ignore the matter of thin arms.
「I’m sorrehy! I’m sorrehy!」
Vampire girl apologies with tears in her eyes, but I’m not going to forgive you yet. Though saying that, there’s nothing left for me to do.
I release vampire girl’s cheek. While at it I connect the dimension to another, inviting the person there in.
Vampire girl turns her gaze to Mera, who steps in from the other dimension, as if seeking help.
「Ojou-sama, your charm will not work on me.」
Mera slowly shakes his head, then slaps vampire girl in the face.
Vampire girl blinks her eyes with surprise, unable to take in the situation.
「Ojou-sama, would your parents be proud of you as you are now?」
「That’s, that would, eh? Huh? 」
At Mera’s words, vampire girl tries to object by reflex.
「Ojou-sama, to surrender yourself to a vampire’s instincts in self-indulgence, that must have been pleasant I’m sure. Nobody will defy you. Nobody can defy you. Yes, you yourself enticed them after all. Was it like a dream? Or perhaps, did you actually think it was a dream? Did you actually think those incidents were all just in a dream, with no relation to reality?」
The butterfly dream. The current vampire girl is overwhelmed by her desires as a vampire, and the distinction between dreams and reality has become vague I guess. Or perhaps otherwise, it’s that her consciousness as a vampire has become too strong, and her consciousness as a human has been shrugged off completely.
「Ojou-sama, I shall ask again. As you are now, are you walking the life your parents proudly walked?」
Vampire girl doesn’t answer. She can’t answer. The retainer she trusted the most, the one she never thought would betray her has slapped her, waking her from the dream. Her dazed face is slowly becoming pale.
「Ojou-sama, I cannot serve you as my master. That is because my masters are your parents.」
As the subject of her parents is raised, inside of her, vampire girl’s consciousness as a human is jolted.
「Therefore, even if I have become a vampire with you as my “parent”, that cannot overwrite what is in my heart.」
Those words, at first glance, appear to be a snub. To the vampire girl, Mera is a significant existence. He is someone who has continuously supported her at her side since she was a child after all. If she is snubbed by such a man, how will she react.
Vampire girl mutely shakes her head in denial. Those eyes have a suspicious light in them for an instant. But, what brings her back, is a second slap.
「I have already devoted my heart to your parents. I will not hesitate any more. I will doubt no more.」
Vampire girl hangs her head in shame. Her shoulders tremble repeatedly.
「Your parents, have entrusted only one thing to me. To take care of you, ojou-sama. No more than that.」
Slowly, Mera hugs vampire girl in a gentle embrace.
「I was asked to take care of you. I shall watch over you until I die, ojou-sama. I will never abandon you. If you lose your way then I shall remonstrate you. Until you return to the proper path, I shall raise this hand as often as necessary. However, if there is something I can do, then please let me lend a hand.」
In the end, if you ask what is the best punishment, then the most effective one is for a child to be scolded by their guardian. With regards to the circumstances in which vampire girl fell into such a bad state, her guardian Mera not being by her side is likely a significant factor. The Demon King said that if these two were allowed to be together then they would depend upon each other. However, I don’t particularly have a problem with that. Being able to depend upon someone, if that’s the case then isn’t that a blessing in itself? For me, that is something I’ll never be able to do after all.
Whatever happens next is up to the two of them. However, I personally think that the two of them should be allowed to work together as much as possible. I shall discuss that with the Demon King later.
From that dimension, I gently drop off the two of them in Mera’s private room. Okay, it’s the last thing remaining, but I guess I’ll go visit the other reincarnator now.
“Same kind” – the word used here can mean same kind of “species”, “class” or “category”.
“Thin arms” – there’s this cliche in combat where a large muscular guy taunts their weaker seeming opponent’s thin arms. Shiro is metaphorically acting like this, even though she actually has thinner arms.
“The butterfly dream” – a reference to a certain philosophical riddle.
Vampire parent – presumably Mera is referring to the fact that he became a vampire due to Sophia’s power.