Chapter 109: Lunamaria ④

The nest of the King of Flies was structured as a deep vertical hole, and the bottom of this hole was wide enough to accommodate an entire noble mansion.

Sora had brought food and water there, set up several tents, and arranged a living environment, making it his base of operations in Titis.

Now, Lunamaria was living with Sora in one of those tents.

――Have you ever thought that it was a power that transcended the human species?

She asked him that question when she was alone with Sora in the tent. She did that because she didn’t want Claira to hear what they were talking about.

Lunamaria had a strong doubt in her heart, and it was directed at the environment surrounding her master.

Dragon’s den, the Demon Gate, Anima, the Phantom Blade Style, the Mitsurugi Family.

There were things she knew and things she didn’t know. When she put all those things together, what came to her mind was a terribly distorted and twisted image.

Whether it was Dragon den or Demon Gate, anything that twisted the original form of plants and animals was no different from poison. And there was no reason why the power that affected plants and animals would only exempt humans.

Perhaps the inhabitants of Demon Island were already eroded. It had been three hundred years since the Demon Gate appeared in that land, and she even thought that there was no way they were not eroded.

To put it bluntly, Lunamaria thought that the result of that erosion was the manifestation of Anima.

She had heard briefly from Sora about Anima. It was another self that existed in one’s heart, in one’s soul. To be aware of this Anima, to control it, and to materialize it was the secret technique of Phantom Blade Style, and Lunamaria had felt a dragon inside Sora that was also his Anima.

Sora, who had explained this to her, did not seem to have any doubts about what he was saying, but for Lunamaria who was listening, it was something she could hardly believe. It was impossible for a human to gain the power of a dragon by mastering one style.

But Sora had actually obtained that much power, and the trio from Demon Island also had enough strength to match him. Moreover, there were dozens of people on Demon Island who were equal or superior to them in skill.

Even the strongest dragon knight in Canaria could not reach the warriors of Demon Island, who were called flag bearers. The fact that such a level of warriors were produced as a matter of course on Demon Island.

What else could be labeled as abnormal if not this?

No matter how excellent Phantom Blade Style was, it could not explain this abnormality. Besides, if one could awaken to Anima by mastering swordsmanship, it would seem that there would be people who possessed Anima in other styles as well. But she had never heard of such a thing.

Lunamaria’s guess was that the reason why only Phantom Blade Style could reach Anima was the Demon Gate.

Perhaps the Demon Gate was an artificial Dragon den created by human hands, and Green Woods Flag Bearers were humans who had mutated due to the Demon Gate.

Normally, if something like ‘another self’ were to dwell within oneself, it would be recognized as madness or an illness. If it were a symptom unique to Demon Island, it would not be surprising if the residents dispersed, thinking it was a curse of the land.

But Demon Island had a mechanism system. A mechanism system that converted the “curse” into “power” through the school of Phantom Blade Style. This made it possible for those who manifested symptoms to not be shunned by their surroundings, but rather become objects of respect and worship.

Here, the curse became a blessing, and the residents of Demon Island gathered under the mechanism system, creating a foundation for continuously producing combat power.

The name of this terrifyingly efficient mechanism system was the Mitsurugi Family.

Now, Sora is picking a fight with the mechanism system that has been going on for over three hundred years. In fact, it was a quarrel that was provoked by the other side, but the Mitsurugi family would not care and retaliate.

As Lunamaria said, she felt that no matter how many times she warned Sora, it was not enough, and she actually urged him to be cautious many times.

This was not because she was worried about her own danger being close to Sora, but because she genuinely cared about Sora’s well-being.

Lunamaria was with Sora for the sake of atonement, and for that reason she had continued to devote herself until today, but now, her feelings for Sora did not include any shades of atonement or devotion.

How could she be so sure? Because every time she thought of Sora being killed by Demon Island’s assassins, a pain like her heart being squeezed ran through her chest. If her feelings for Sora were just atonement or devotion, her chest would not hurt so much.

Lunamaria was aware of the true nature of her feelings that disturbed her heart. She was not very unaware until now, but this incident made her strongly aware.

To be honest, she could not help but feel confused.

The long-lived elven race typically harbors a weak desire for the opposite sex. In fact, Lunamaria had never felt this kind of emotion for anyone, regardless of race or gender.

This lack of romantic feeling was true for Lars as well. She was attracted by Lars’ initiative and unpretentious personality, and that’s why she joined “Falcon Sword” and acted together for more than five years, but she did not have romantic feelings for Lars like Iria or Miroslav.

Originally, Lunamaria left her hometown, the Primal Forest, to broaden her horizons; however, she also had another purpose: gathering information about the human world as an elven spy.

She did not mean to imitate a spy by gathering information. The society created by short-lived humans changed drastically in just ten or twenty years. There would be no problem if that change stayed within human society, but sometimes there were movements to exclude or enslave other races.

In fact, humans had once been hostile to beastmen and elves, and even now their scars remained here and there. The reason why the elves sent their brethren to the human world was to quickly detect the signs of such changes. It was also part of their role to establish friendship with people who were friendly to elves.

On this point, Lunamaria was attracted by Lars’ invitation, who did not have prejudice against elves and had talent as an adventurer. By acting as an adventurer, she could broaden her horizons, deepen her friendship with humans, and gather information about human society.

She noticed that Lars had more than friendly feelings for her, but at that point she did not mind it. If Lars had sincerely directed his feelings toward Lunamaria alone, perhaps there might have been a future where they would stay together.

However, as with many elves, Lunamaria believed she would have only one partner and expected her partner to share this value. She had no intention of being one among many, nor did she wish to impose conditions like Miroslav, who said, “If you make me your legal wife”.

For Lunamaria, Lars—who continued his romantic relationship with two women—and Iria and Miroslav, who accepted that relationship, were beyond her understanding. She did not feel disgust, but she had a considerable sense of discomfort. One of the reasons why Lunamaria did not hesitate emotionally when she left “The Falcon’s Sword” was this.

Of course, that did not mean that she had any special feelings for Sora. She slept with him if he asked her to, but that was merely a service as a slave. She believed without doubt that no matter how many times they shared their skin, there would be no love between them.

It didn’t take long for her to realize that it was wishful thinking.

At first, Ciel joined her in the night activities that she had been doing alone, and after a little time, Miroslav was also called. Naturally, Lunamaria’s opportunities to be intimate with Sora became fewer and fewer. For Lunamaria, it was supposed to be a relief to get away from an undesirable environment.

But what actually crossed her mind was something other than relief.

It was then that Lunamaria realized that she had a “feeling” for Sora growing inside her. She became aware that her body and mind were leaning toward Sora’s side, as if being dragged along by his roughness.

Was it love, affection, sympathy, or something else? While she struggled to confirm that, the trio from Demon Island attacked, a stampede occurred, a Hydra appeared – and before she knew it, she was seriously afraid of losing Sora.

Lunamaria let out a small breath. What would happen from now on? What did she want to do? Even with her sharp and wise mind, she could not easily find the answers to those questions.

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