V2 Chapter 48: The Fallen Fairy

“――What is your purpose?”

Wisteria asked, wanting to know why I had saved her.

In response to this question, I answer without hesitation.

“I’m interested in the entity you call a demon.”

“Interest, you say?”

“Yes, interest. That’s why I kept you alive, to hear your story. If you ask me what my purpose is, that’s it.”

Upon hearing this, Wisteria furrowed her brows slightly and asked further.

“Weren’t you afraid it was dangerous?”

“No matter how powerful it is, I see no reason to fear an Anima that is not controlled by its wielder.”

“Anima. You mentioned that term earlier.”

“Yes. I believe it refers to the same thing as the demon you speak of.”

Wisteria listened attentively, her face serious. Now free of the demonic aspect, her face was strikingly beautiful, enough to captivate me.

The fair facial features of the fairy tribe, her dignified posture, I found all of it beautiful. Yet her chest and waist were also generously proportioned — I got a brief glimpse earlier — I had to be careful not to let any impure thoughts arise.

I couldn’t afford to let my gaze wander to her chest or waist in this situation.

Whether my efforts had paid off or not, when Wisteria spoke next, there was no sign of disgust on her face.

“You said you have no reason to fear an uncontrolled Anima. And you believe Anima and demons are the same. Does this mean you can control demons?”

“I probably can. Of course, it depends on the effort of the wielder.”

“Effort, you say. Ever since I was possessed by a demon, I have done everything in my power to exorcise it. I risked my life for it. Yet, I failed. Sora, can you accomplish what I couldn’t?”

Wisteria’s voice was heavy.

It was obvious she had been struggling desperately against the demon nesting within her. Despite all her efforts, she hadn’t been able to exorcise the demon and was driven to the brink in an unfamiliar land.

It’s understandable she wouldn’t believe someone she hardly knew saying it all depends on effort.

However, I believe the issue lies in the direction of effort.

The Anima, or the other self residing deep within one’s soul, is a naked true nature that can’t be deceived or obscured.

The demon was not a demon that crawled out of hell, but the other half of Wisteria. It didn’t possess her, so it couldn’t be exorcised.

Wisteria’s efforts to exorcise the demon were fruitless, which, in a sense, was inevitable.

I took the time to explain all this to Wisteria, also recounting my own experiences and the events on Demon Island along the way.

Wisteria, for her part, likely found it challenging to simply nod and accept all I had said. After all, I had a proven record of defeating demons. No matter how dubious she may have found my assertions, she had no choice but to listen.

To further bolster my argument, I even unveiled my Soul equipment once more.

Whether due to these efforts or not, Wisteria eventually accepted my explanation. Although she struggled to come to terms with the idea that the demon she had been fighting was in fact a manifestation of her own nature, that was to be expected.

When Wisteria finished listening to my account, she opened her mouth to groan.

“‘Soul equipment’ – to harmonize with the Anima and manifest the other side of oneself as a weapon. That’s the secret technique of the Phantom Blade Style. If the demon you’re talking about is indeed the Anima, as you say, then that means I need to harmonize with that demon,” she reflected.

“Yes, that’s the way I see it. If you don’t do that, I don’t think you’ll be able to control the demon,” I replied.

“To harmonize with the demon…” Wisteria trailed off.

The silver-haired elf looked as if she were about to clutch her head. Well, it wasn’t surprising, given that I was asking her to harmonize with what she had always considered to be the root of all evil.

But that’s not exactly what I was proposing. Harmonization means overlapping the user’s state of existence with the Anima. There is no doubt about that.

The problem is that there are various types of Anima, even though they are all from the same origin. Some of them may be violent, devouring their host and attacking those around them.

In such cases, it is not only the user who has to make concessions, but also the Anima. Otherwise, the Anima’s violence would manifest as the user’s violence.

Needless to say, this is a difficult task. The reason why the Soul equipment is so powerful is because the Anima is powerful. The difficulty of subduing such a powerful Anima is unspeakable.

Wisteria’s Anima, in particular, clearly shows its hostile intent towards its user. To subdue it would be no easy feat. Normally, the Anima would overpower Wisteria before she could control it. Just like what happened last night.

That’s where I come in.

In simple terms, every time the demon tries to take over Wisteria, I’ll step in and beat it down, taking away its power. The demon would then retreat inside Wisteria to recover its power. If we keep repeating this, Wisteria can challenge the demon without a time limit.

That’s what I proposed to Wisteria.

If Wisteria’s soul can no longer bear it, I’ll kill both her and the demon. I added that as well.

I mentioned this recalling a conversation with Iria, who was affected by Hydra’s deadly poison, but this seemed to strike a chord with Wisteria. The silver-haired elf, her eyes moistening, deeply bowed her head.

And that’s how Wisteria came to join me in my journey.


After that, I left Wisteria in the mountains and returned to Berka once, bringing back only Lunamaria.

I chose Lunamaria because she was the same race as Wisteria, I wanted to hear a sage’s opinion on Wisteria, and also because Lunamaria’s style was the closest to Wisteria’s.

In other words, I had Lunamaria bring a change of clothes for Wisteria to wear for the time being. After all, it would not be appropriate for her to return to Berka only dressed in a robe. Last night’s incident is undoubtedly causing a stir.

As for Lunamaria, when I secretly returned to the temple, she was ready to depart at any moment – in my room.

She seemed to have anticipated that I would return with trouble due to last night’s disturbance and my absence. Among her luggage was a change of tunic, and upon learning this, I seriously considered the possibility that Lunamaria had awakened to the ability of foresight.

…Well, Suzume and Iria were also with her, so it was probably easy to predict my actions without foresight.

Anyway, I headed to Wisteria with Lunamaria. Along the way, she also told me a legend about elves with brown skin and silver hair.

According to the legend, in the ancient times, there was a tribe of elves who gained great power by selling their souls to demons, betraying their own kind and baring their fangs against the world. This tribe, who bore the devil’s blessing and the world’s curse, lost their white skin and golden hair in exchange for power.

The elves, filled with hatred and disgust for their former brethren, called them Dark Elves and waged a fierce war against them. At the end of a war so intense that it changed the shape of the continent, the Dark Elves disappeared completely from the world along with the demons… That was the legend.

Lunamaria said she was told this by the elder of her hometown.

As for the statement that they “completely disappeared from the world”, neither Lunamaria nor even the generations of her parents and grandparents have ever seen a Dark Elf. For the long-lived elves, the Dark Elves must be beings of fairy tales.

In fact, when Lunamaria first met Wisteria, she showed no hostility towards her differently colored counterpart. Instead, she seemed interested in knowing about the demonic spirit.

Once, Lunamaria speculated about the relationship between the Anima and the Dragon Hole. Her hypothesis was that the Anima does not dwell in those who master the Phantom Blade Style, but in humans mutated by the Dragon Hole.

The existence of Wisteria’s demonic spirit and the abyss could serve as circumstantial evidence to support Lunamaria’s theory. I thought that’s what excited Lunamaria.

As for Wisteria, like Lunamaria, she was surprised but did not show any hostility to her counterpart with different skin and hair color.

Wisteria sees herself as a normal elf, and the same is true for the elves in Andra. They don’t use derogatory terms like “fallen” or “dark.” Until just a few days ago, she didn’t even know that there were other countries outside the desert besides Andra, so there was no basis for hostility towards her brethren outside.

Wisteria politely responded to Lunamaria’s questions, and showed initiative in asking about things she was interested in.

If I were to scrutinize and compile these two’s conversations into a book, I might be able to write a major work that would be written in golden letters in the history of the continent.

Even without that, the existence of Andra is a step closer to the mystery of the Golden Empire, Imperium. If I were to reveal this, my fame as an adventurer would undoubtedly rise.

Well, I have no intention of doing that.

From Wisteria’s story, it can be inferred that Andra has completely cut off contact with the outside world. If humans visited, they would likely be turned away at the gate. In the worst case, they might be forcibly driven away.

My objective is Behemoth’s horn, not the discovery of the Golden Empire Imperium, nor friendship between humans and Dark Elves.

If one cannot or does not intend to bear the responsibility associated with discovery, it would be a consideration to pretend that the discovery never happened.

With these thoughts, I returned to Berka with the two of them.

— At this time, I had no way of knowing that those who hated the Dark Elves were not among their own race of elves, but among a different race, humans.

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