I Became The Academy’s Blind Swordsman - Chapter 173: Cage (2)
Chapter 173: Cage (2)
Aizel went to the inn room where Zetto was staying late at night and saw Zetto standing near the open window.
He wasn’t asleep.
Not only because his bracelet of origin prevented him from feeling any physical fatigue, so he didn’t need to sleep, but also because his senses alerted him to Aizel’s approach.
Aizel approached the window.
“You said you were looking for me.”
Aizel, who no longer used honorifics even when they were alone, stepped lightly over the window sill and into the room.
“I was, but more than that, my being here…”
“There’s a way.”
“…Even that, I suppose?”
Zetto asked, knowing but Aizel shrugged it off.
Entering the room, Aizel scanned the interior with a grim face.
Zetto, still wearing his coat, asked.
“…You’re not going back?”
Not going back to the academy?
It was just a formal question for the sake of naturalness.
“What if I can’t go back?”
“Then I have no choice.”
“Zetto, go back.”
Aizel decided to try to talk him out of it.
If he gave up now it wouldn’t hurt either of them more.
“…Is that what you want?”
“When it’s all over, I’ll go back.”
“When it’s all over?”
“Something like that.”
Aizel was saying please go back.
Zetto was silent since there was no way he could do that so he decided to play his hand first.
“Maybe we should just run away together, leave everything behind.”
With Zetto’s voice in her ear, Aizel thought.
That’s the way to go.
He really hasn’t changed.
His words had sounded so sweet then and it was the same now.
By following him, nothing really happened, and Aizel would not be killed by the demons. She could survive.
Well, it was all a lie, concocted by Zetto.
There was no way she could have gotten away from them so easily… Back then, Aizel had been lost in a sweet dream, unable to wake up.
But this time was different, she knows what he’s going to do next so Aizel decided to take out her hand.
Aizel pretended to be tempted by him.
“Is there somewhere you’d like to go? The sea, for example.”
“I’d love to go to the sea, but…”
She smiled widely as she stepped closer to Zetto.
Hoping that smile would rub off on him.
Hopefully, when this was all over, it wouldn’t contain a single falsehood.
With a bright smile, Aizel continued.
“There’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit.”
“If that’s where you’re going, Miss Aizel…”
Zetto smiles back.
“…I’ll follow you anywhere.”
We were on our way to the “cage” for Zetto.
I thought over and over again and restraining him by force seemed unfortunately impossible.
I had to give up relying on sleeping pills and other medications. After all, Zetto had used those methods on me before, would they work on him?
I’m sure he would doubt it and deal with it so I decided not to choose such a method, but…
…but a place.
I needed a safe place where I could keep Zetto for at least a few days.
“…What kind of place is the Demonic Chasm?”
Zetto asked me.
The Demonic Chasms was a strange terrain between the kingdoms of Terracia in the center of the continent and the Holy Land in the west.
A cliff of unknown depths cut into the plain, and many monsters were known to lurk beneath.
Once called the Cliff of Asceticism, it became a place to test the skills of adventurers who specialized in slaying monsters.
It is said that you can become a platinum-ranked adventurer by harvesting a special ore that only grows in demonic chasm.
There is a separate entrance and exit, and we headed for the entrance.
Strangely enough, monsters can’t get in or out thanks to the seams near the entrance and exit, so there’s no backflow of monsters from the Demonic Chasm.
“It sounds like an interesting place.”
Zetto smiled faintly as he listened to my explanation.
“Do you happen to know about Kurden of Flashes?”
“Oh, I’ve heard of him. He’s definitely one of the Knights of the Round Table, right?”
“Yes. Kurden once entered the Demonic Chasm and set a record for being the fastest to get out.”
“How many days did it take?”
“Normally, it’s supposed to take about a week to two weeks…Kurden got out in just two days.”
“That’s amazing. Are we going to go in there and try to set a record?”
“No, just to watch.”
I thought with a faint smile.
It had taken Kurden, the flashing man known for his sword and speed two days to get out.
Zetto, who had slain many demons, including Murka, in one fell swoop, would be no danger in the Demon Chasm.
That didn’t mean he’d return any faster than Kurden. Even if Zetto was faster than Kurden, it would still take him a day.
The chasm was deep and wide, and there was only one day left until the final battle.
Now that I was on the carriage, it would only take me a day to reach the Demon Chasm, and I planned to prepare for the battle immediately after locking Zetto in the cage.
The plan seemed perfect unless Zetto, who had the same idea, pushed me off the cliff first.
Of course, I had no intention of letting that happen.
‘…More than that.’
What’s even more bizarre is that there hasn’t been a demon attack, which should have started by this time of year.
I sneaked a glance at Zetto, who was sitting quietly in the carriage.
He snapped his fingers now and then, but he wasn’t swinging his sword.
If he wasn’t stopping the raid in front, who was?
It was the same as last time.
There hadn’t been a raid since I’ve been with Zetto.
I’d assumed he’d taken advantage of my absence to take care of the demons while I was out of sight. This time, however, we were in the carriage together. There was no escaping my gaze.
I wonder if they’re just delaying the attack.
Or perhaps there was no attack this time.
Is it a coincidence or an anomaly?
I had no idea.
“…I’m going to die this time.”
Albed said from his horse, looking at the map.
The map showed Aizel’s location in real time via the tracker he had created.
She must be riding a carriage or horse, given her speed.
Albed had been sending out the nearby demons in hopes of catching up to her, but none of them had returned.
‘I told them to tell me as soon as they saw the platinum-haired girl…’
But the demons had disappeared without a word.
Albed had a special ability. As one of the Legionnaire’s many children, he had inherited one of the Legionnaire’s powers: the power to command weaker demons.
He was still too young, but he could control a small army in real time.
As long as there was a connection, it was possible to communicate over a considerable distance, but all the demons approaching Aizel were disconnected without a sound.
Even if it was lightning magic, how could it be done so stealthily without even the slightest gap for the sound to pass through?
Unable to make sense of it, Albed furrowed his brows.
At this, Murka, who was next to him, spoke up.
“I suppose it’s too much for the tiny ones to handle, so I figured I’d have to do it myself. I don’t know how she gained her strength, but she’s strong enough to defeat Echis…”
“I wonder if she has helpers with her. There’s something unnerving about being defeated by Aizel.”
Murka grunted as he grabbed the reins of his horse and brought it to a halt.
“They may be little more than hounds, but we can’t leave them to die to our prey. Let’s stop the raid and gather our forces.”
“Yes, sir, I will gather the rest of them.”
“Where is Aizel heading?”
“…From the looks of it, she’s headed for the Demon Chasm, a wilderness-like area with no people around.”
“They must have guessed we were coming.”
Albed nodded in affirmation at Murka’s words.
At the same time, the last of the demons he had sent out quickly disconnected, one by one, and then completely.
Albed clicked his tongue in frustration.
‘I thought we could get some kind of information…’
Aizel or her helper, whoever it was, were being very sneaky.
Meanwhile, Zetto in the carriage stopped tapping his fingers.
‘… That was the last one.’
Without Aizel’s knowledge, he was utilizing the power of Sheddie to devour the demons that came. Or more accurately, he’d beheaded them with a sharp shadow.
If he didn’t attack now, they could wreak havoc on Aizel later.
Zetto wiped the blood from the corner of his mouth, since his life force was drained by the use of Sheddie power.
‘The Demonic Chasm…’
He knew about this world from the game, and he knew about the Demonic Chasm.
He remembered it as a place where experience could be earned, and a place he had to pass through when traveling the Adventurer’s Route.
‘It won’t be dangerous, but it will take time.’
There were no shortcuts through the Demonic Chasm.
‘By the way…’
He swallowed bitterly, convinced by Aizel’s behavior of his own failures in the past.
Zetto had a vague idea of what was to come, but……he decided to go along with it.
Zetto and I made it to the gap in time. According to the calculations, it would take us about a day.
Sadly, we weren’t near the chasm yet.
After all, the Demonic Chasm was a place beyond human control, a place that was gated but infested with monsters.
Because of this, no one was allowed to live close to it so the carriage stopped in front of an inn in the woods, some distance from the Demon Chasm.
The innkeeper, who had been drawn out by the sound of the carriage, tried to entice me by saying, “If you’re headed to the Demon Chasm, stay here,” but I insisted that I was just here to take a look.
Zetto quickly followed and so it was that we were headed for the Demon Chasm.
Once we were out of the forest and looking out over the desolate land, I asked him a question.
“Zetto…Are you okay?”
“Even if you don’t go back to the academy.”
“Even if I go back, I thought it might be better if you went back with me.”
Zetto’s answer was a little different from the last time I told him I was being chased by demons.
There were many things I wanted to ask him.
I wanted to ask him if he had memories of the previous round.
Had he really regressed like me?
How did he end up with such a terrible curse?
If he loved me enough to risk his life to save me.
But I decided to keep my mouth shut.
One more day.
In a day, it would all be over and it wouldn’t be too late to ask him then.
Just this once…Zetto won’t die.
And so it was that I drew nearer and nearer to the Demon Chasm, and the time for the final battle approached.
Fear was bubbling up inside of me, but I tried to overcome it by holding Zetto’s face in my eyes.
To save him and have a future with him I had to get through this.
Hadn’t he shown me that before?
The way he’d crushed my fate.
Then we arrived.
“The Demonic Chasm…”
The Demonic Chasm, which looked like a giant pit, was a depression in the ground, and despite the bright moonlight, it was so deep that it was dark and endless below.
“…Is there really a place called the Demon Chasm?”
“Well, it’s just a name people gave it, so I don’t know if the Demon Chasm really exists.”
“Hmm…So monsters are down here, huh? It’s a strange place. I don’t even feel anything…How deep is it?”
Zetto peers down into the demonic chasm.
He shouldn’t be able to see, but thanks to his senses, he’s curiously aware of the boundaries, and he’s standing in a fairly safe position.
“This is the entrance.”
“This is it? If we fall, won’t we die…?”
Zetto trailed off, his voice trembling.
“Not really, there’s a strong wind blowing to absorb the impact of the fall.”
I said, shaking my head.
“Hmm… I’m starting to feel a bit like Ms. Lucia.”
“The monsters down there won’t even feel that strong to Zetto, they’re only challenged by gold- or platinum-ranked adventurers at most.”
I continued to explain the Demonic Chasm.
“So let’s really set the record straight, did you say two days?”
I hope he doesn’t set that record.
It’s not going to happen anyway, and even if it did, it would take a day but that was enough to keep him in for a while.
I slowly prepared myself.
“Yes, I’m listening.”
He turns his head from the pit and gives me a gentle smile.
“You know, you said you liked me before…”
Zetto’s lips close immediately.
It wasn’t the best thing to say right now but I had to tell him now.
I didn’t want him to misunderstand what I was about to do.
“I’m sorry I didn’t answer you then.”
I hung my head low, unable to bring myself to face him.
I approached Zetto, who was standing at the edge of the cliff.
Emotions welled up in me, but I didn’t want to show my tears.
This was not the end, but the beginning.
“…I really like you too, Zetto.”
I smiled as brightly as I could.
I smiled at the blind man, wondering if that would hide my feelings.
Then I touched his chest.
I felt a faint but ominous aura and knew that Zetto’s curse was still gnawing at him.
But if I could just get through this, I could fix everything and everyone would be happy.
I had no doubt.
I trailed off, pushing Zetto off the cliff.
Zetto remained silent, offering no resistance, and plummeted into an unknown abyss.
This is all for Zetto’s sake.
When this night is over, I will have finished everything, and I will be waiting for him.
Soon, the darkness that poured from the demonic chasm swallowed him whole.
I wiped the moisture from my eyes and turned away.
The blind bird was trapped in a cage.
He will try to escape, but I hope he doesn’t try too hard.
‘All that’s left is…’
Sooner or later, he will come for me so I can only prepare myself accordingly.
The man’s mouth opens and his black hair flutters as he falls through the chasm of the demonic chasm.
Then his form dissolves, and he disappears, caught by the shadows that leap from the wall.