Aide laughs, his sword still embedded in Zig.
"Give me back my face!"
"You know, that wasn't the only thing I stole."
Aide walks up to Zig and whispers something in his ear. That seemed to be enough to make Zig very upset.
"That can't be...!"
"Yes. I have your stats now. You thought it was just a dream, but it wasn't."
"But nothing has changed..."
"It was just an illusion. Check again."
Zig opened his status to check it. He immediately let out a small scream.
"I'm level 10!? Why did all my skills disappear!?"
"They didn't disappear, I stole them from you. By the way, it was nice of me to leave you some experience. Call it pity."
Aide's laughter echoed in the room.
I can't understand the situation, but it's obvious that Aide is evil. I want to help Zig, but I can't move in a roundabout should he be used as a hostage.
"Your ability to induce mental imagery is excellent, because if you use it well, you can create an illusion like this. It has made me stronger.
"Hahaha. You know, I've always liked you. You're a lot like me. Especially how you've been at Toru's mercy. So I've been able to reflect objectively, calmly and deeply on my former self, and I'm grateful for that."
"Who the hell are you!? Give me back my stats!"
"Huahahahahaha, I'm not going to do that!"
Aide laughed and carried on with his conversation with Zig, though not looking away from me.
It was as if his gaze was telling me; "move and I'll kill him."
What should I do?
How can I save Zig?
Aide shifts his feet slightly.
"Don't try anything. I know you've got your mind set on saving this guy, it's so typical of you."
He's reading my mind, I knew he was watching me closely.
"Toru, I have been reflecting for a long time. In the past, I was so caught up in my pride and greed that I did not see reality clearly. In that state, it's no wonder my thoughts were narrowed and my thoughts were merely selfish."
"So it is you after all..."
"You're very insightful in a way that doesn't matter at all, Toru."
Aide's face changes again. And the one who appears now is Sain, my former best friend who was supposed to be dead.
"You thought I was dead? Of course you thought that. You must have wished for it."
"How are you still alive?!"
Sain punches his jet black armor.
"It seems Lisa didn't know it, but this armor and this demonic sword were a set. Combining the two, it activated the 'Six Revival' skill in me."
"So, if you die, you'll come back to life..."
"Yes, I want to thank Lisa from the bottom of my heart for giving me this amazing equipment. Now I can enjoy six lives when I should only have one."
How far do you plan to go to keep tormenting us?
A fierce anger that had been sleeping inside me began to roar.
"Oh yes, that's the face I always wanted to see."
"It's over, Toru. I'm done. I decided to stop being a hero. To be true to myself and be evil. And guess what, I feel incredibly refreshed. It's really stupid to sacrifice yourself for other people."
An evil aura arises from Sain. It was a cold, dark and frightening air, it was also hard to breathe.
"This is a new declaration of war. I'm going to kill you with my bare hands. I'm not going to go around cuckolding you in secret. I will crush you with my bare hands. What I want most right now is to take your life."
"Then let's do it right now."
"I'll refrain from that for now. I'm not strong enough to compete with a level 3000 opponent yet."
Then Sain muttered; "Out, Gwail."
The seal on his right hand glows, and a black creature appears in front of us. It looks like Panda, but is covered in black fur and has a large menacing eye that stares at us.
"Isn't the power of this armour incredible? The armour of the usurper. It can take away other people's levels, skills and familiars. It's a shame it can't steal jobs, but it's still a wonderful thing."
Gwail shoots a beam of light from his eyes.
The light passes through my left thigh with ease. My knees buckle in pain.
"It would be a nuisance for you to follow me. With this, I've got one foot out the door."
"Don't run away! Fight me!"
"I don't want to. It would be suicide to fight now. You really are a scary guy, Toru. You were supposed to be a burden, but my position is completely reversed compared to yours. I admit, you're the worst enemy I've ever had in my life. Come on, Celtina."
Celtina destroyed the wall behind them with magic.
She summoned more monsters.
"Before I go, Zig, there's one more thing I have to tell you."
"Aide! Give me back my stats! I'll never forgive you for this!"
"Oops, well, don't be hasty, I have something else you'll like."
"...No, no way, you..."
"That's right, your favourite girl, Tanya.... She's in love with me."
Zig's face flushed with despair. Sain spat at him and laughed.
Finally, he pulls the sword from his chest. Zig lays on the ground as if his soul has been drained.
I swear I'm going to kill you with my bare hands, Sain.
Come on! I have to move! I can't let him get away!
As I tried to get up, he threw some smoke balls.
Damn it, is this for real? He's a fucking coward.
"Where is he? Where's Sain?!"
Kaede dispersed the smoke with her magic, but Sain was already gone.
I can't believe he's still alive.
"Are you alright, Master!? You need healing immediately!"
"Don't worry about me. It's nothing serious."
The one I am most worried about now is Zig. The other wounded were left in the hands of Kaede and Frau, while I rushed to help him.
I gently held Zig in my arms. This wound cannot be healed with high potions.
I will have to use an elixir.
I will use a very valuable relic, please don't die.
"This will help you. Drink it."
"No, it's alright, just let me die..."
"Come on, man. Are you seriously going to let this beat you?"
"Tanya... I'm in love with her. I was planning to go back to her when this trip was over, as the hero who defeated the Demon Lord."
He suddenly grabbed me by the chest.
"Kill him! I hate you, but I beg you! I'll never forgive him for everything he's taken from me!"
I understood exactly what Zig felt. I have experienced the pain of being robbed.
He is like me... Like the old me from that fateful day.
"This time I will kill Sain. I promise."
"Yes, I swear."
Zig took a sip of the elixir.
This will help the wound close. Still, he should rest for a while, just in case.
"Can you walk?"
"Who do you think you're talking to? I'm the hero, of course I can."
He replied in an overbearing manner, but his eyes were as dark as if there was no life in them. It's clear that his attitude is just exhausted energy.
He walked with me, leaning on my shoulder, tears dripping from his face.
"Thank you. I'm so glad you're here. I was wrong, I was wrong about everything."
Zig was crying with a runny nose and a face that didn't look like that of a hero.