Never Die Extra - Chapter 373
Evan D. Sherden, Preparing for the Next Scenario (5)
The charm on Name’s party was undone with the death of the Incubus King. Maybell took ‘appropriate measures’ to prevent their minds from breaking down since they would surely falter after being under such a spell for that long. And after some time of subduing them, she decided to have Evan take over. That was why Name’s party was temporarily isolated after having the charm status lifted safely. Where? In the underground training ground, of course.
It was impossible to have them roam around outside. It will merely be handing over culprits if they were to be under the care of the Marquis’ family after explaining their backgrounds. Therefore, Evan lightly abused his authority after a while. Accusing the Incubus King of the Great Backflow and stating that everything was over through killing him was all for this moment. In other words, he hid these people while going through the scenario, not explaining it even to his father. Only himself, Louise’s party, and Maybell…no, the Succubus Queen, knew.
“How do you feel?”
That was the first word that Name uttered. Only the god race that was in Name’s party was here in this place. Four boys and three girls. Everyone already regained consciousness yet just looked at Name without saying a word, proving that Name received overwhelming support as the party leader…Even now, when the charm was gone.
“My head is spinning. I still can’t understand which actions were done out of my own will and which of them were the results of manipulation. It just feels…like crap.”
Name spoke rudely. Evan looked at his face once more while listening. He looked threatening compared to Default due to his hardships, but he was younger than he seemed at a glance. Evan sat across him and asked a question.
“How old are you?”
“Trying to show dominance with age when we are meeting for the first time?”
His answer made Evan believe that Name was definitely younger than him. Unlike Yo-Ma Great War 3, where age and place of birth were precisely mentioned, the protagonist’s age wasn’t clear in Yo-Ma Great War 4.
“It’s not like I’m trying to show dominance or anything. I was simply curious about it.”
“All of them say the same. And they act all-important with their age alone.”
“Well, there are people like that, but I’m not one of them.”
Evan whispered into his ears as if he were trying to tell a secret.
“In fact, I am an important person regardless of my age.”
Name stepped back as he blushed. Evan understood; he knew very well that his appearance was effective on both males and females. Maybe if he seriously wanted to move on someone, then he could…no, forget it. He didn’t want to think about it. Meanwhile, Name, who sat across him, became alert as if he imagined it happening.
“You, are you on the same side as that man?”
“Incubus King Gradreka? Nope, my life hasn’t been that easy ever…sorry, I’ll take that back. I did gain an advantage with my looks, but not with such a charm.”
Evan’s outstanding appearance made him beloved by others, so he had to rephrase his sentence on not living a comfortable life. But he also gained plenty of troubles, so he didn’t want to be treated the same as the Incubus King.
“Why should I trust your words?”
“I hope you will, but since I don’t have any means to persuade you, I won’t force it on you. From now on, you guys have the right to make your own decisions by yourselves.”
Name looked troubled by those words.
“I was never given a chance to make my own decision in my life. I’m not sure if I am capable of it even if I’m given such a right.”
“Then, are you planning on following someone’s command for the rest of your life?”
Name shot up, making it clear he was upset. His party members prepared for a battle as they stood up alongside him. Evan was satisfied. He was worried about the worst-case scenario where the members fought each other, but now, he wondered why he was ever concerned.
“I’m sick and tired of it! Damn it; I can’t do it anymore! That man, Gradreka…damn!”
“Then you will have to learn how to make your own decisions, won’t you?”
“If you are uncertain about it, you will have to try hard until you learn, then you will make your own decisions. Am I wrong?”
This was no different from an elementary class. As Evan slowly spoke, Name nodded with a tremble. Then, he sat down, and so did his party members. They looked like a mother bird and her children.
“That is why I wanted to talk with you. As you wanted to judge me, I wanted to judge you too.”
“Yup. Why don’t I tell you my situation? You are the culprit that caused destruction to our city alongside the Incubus King. I was able to stop the Great Backflow in its initial stage, but the number of casualties was still high. Therefore, the blood is on your hand. What do you think about it?”
While waiting for Name to continue, Evan suspected he might have a calcium deficiency given his frequent agitation. Name did his best to continue, although his face was red, and he stuttered.
“I just wanted to punish those who persecuted us! They bullied us because we were born this way! Looked down on us! Ostracized us! I didn’t like that. So, I wanted to prove that we have our own rights to live on!”
And at that, Name seemed to have calmed down a bit.
“…I wanted to prove that you will understand our position if you are put in the same situation.”
“So, to what extent are the words you’ve said your own opinions?”
Evan’s cold voice pierced through Name’s heart, making him feel guilty. Name clenched his fist and shuddered, trying to say something but eventually giving up.
“…I don’t know.”
And that’s what he said in the end.
“Hell…I’m not sure what my true opinions are…”
Was his body shaking a side effect from the charm? Evan prepared the necessary potions, but luckily, he didn’t have to use them. Some of Name’s party members, who were on alert against Evan until now, stood up when Name tried to continue speaking.
“Yeah, don’t bully Name. He isn’t guilty!”
“That’s right. That man bullied Name!”
Name looked more hurt by the words from his members, although they tried to defend him. He realized that Gradreka was no different from those people that hurt him when he was young.
“Karin, Pelta. Leave him be.”
“This man is right.”
Name calmed his party members down before confronting Evan once more.
“I can’t decide by myself. I don’t have such…ability.”
“What…should I do?”
Tears fell from his eyes because he was so frustrated, and he had nothing more to say.
“What should I do to be able to decide for myself?”
“Why are you asking that?”
“I have no one to ask…you were the only person to tell me that. I know I sound stupid, but tell me something.”
Evan let out a heavy sigh. Name’s condition was worse than what he expected. His condition was this bad even though the psychological side effects were all removed. Having the memory of being brainwashed was even worse than losing all of his memories. Evan blinked slowly, finalizing his thoughts. What he wanted to do from the beginning hadn’t changed.
“Then, let’s do something like this. We will remove all subjectivities and judge the facts based on the objective.”
“You have sinned. And that fact means that your punishment goes beyond the death sentence. But let’s say…or rather assume that you were being manipulated against your will. Let’s go with that assumption, which infers that you will repent from your sins in this city through atonement activities.”
Not only Name, but the other children’s eyes were shaking.
“I will make you temporary knights. Serve those whom you’ve hurt so far. I can decide on the method, but if you guys get used to the service, you may freely decide the method yourselves as long as I consider it to be fair.”
They didn’t say a word, but Name asked a question after giving it thought.
“Is that what you want? Do you want us to do that?”
“Yes. I want you guys to join me. And stay with me as long as possible.”
Evan decided to tell them what he truly felt. He no longer wanted to fool those who stayed by him throughout their lives, and there was no reason to fool them either.
“But that’s not all. I want to give you guys time. I want to delay the time until you guys can make decisions by yourselves. And I believe you will be capable enough during your stay in this city. See the people here, fight the monsters, learn about the world for yourselves and decide.”
“Time. To do it myself…”
The other child next to Name spoke. It was a girl who was trying to hide Name by pushing half of her body forward as if she were trying to defend him from Evan.
“You decide the time period. You can exploit us as long as you want. So, decide the time. Even if you must kill us when the time is up, decide it.”
“Great decision. Let’s make it three years.”
The children looked happy at Evan’s words. They probably expected it to be shorter; what a tragedy. But considering what they had done, it wasn’t really a long period.
‘Will this be enough?’
Evan looked at Name while he was lost in his thoughts. He seemed to be concerned for a while, but he eventually offered Evan his hand.
“I guess…you’re right.”
He stuttered more than usual, but he said it firmly.
“Thank you…for giving us the time to decide.”
“Call me Commander from now on. Don’t forget to address me with respect.”
Evan held his hand while replying to him. Name frowned a lot, but he wasn’t able to refute the statement. It was a relief that he had common sense, at least.
“Good, then everyone, follow me from now on. I’ll introduce you to your friends.”
“Friends? …Are they?”
Evan faced the children who looked at him with suspicious eyes, including Name, who was narrowing his eyes, and Evan suddenly laughed.
“You don’t think that you were the only ones born as the children of the god race, do you?”