Each time we stopped to rest on our way to Brunnera, I would go with Giorno to hunt monsters at any of the hotspots he would find.
One occasion involved drowning an army of Ogres.
Another involved filling a Lizardmens nest with water.
And then another involved burning down a forest of Mandragora Trents from up on a cliff.
I had started to feel sorry for the monsters lately, but the reality was that they were, without a doubt, a threat to humanity.
No room for mercy on the battlefields… right.
That was what Bruce had taught me.
Which reminds me, is he doing well these days Well, knowing him, Im sure hes holding up just fine.
Id wanted to raise my level as often as I could, but none of the towns we had stopped by on the way had the Limit Breakthrough Craft Circle.
I suppose that meant it was a commodity, in its own way – Not to be kept in small towns or villages, and reserved for key locations.
I know for sure that there would be one in Brunnera, but itll be quite difficult to work at level 101 on the whole way there.
Each time I was out sniping monsters, Pochi was left alone with Lylia, but they didnt seem to have engaged in much conversation.
Perhaps the latter was jealous of Pochis stomach capacity; it was clear that during mealtime, she would rush her meal down, as if she was always in some sort of competition.
We were now at our last resting stop; just one more stretch and were at Brunnera.
Both Pochi and I, feeling a sense of déjà vu, looked up at the mountains to our sides.
“Its the Giants Passage…”
In the future, it was Beilanea.
They sounded familiar, but also not quite; probably due to the change of accents affecting it over the millennia.
This could mean that the Beilad Dragon, which would later be called Ballad Dragon instead, didnt exist yet in this time period.
“Oh, finally in familiar territory, are we Figured you would know; this is the only way through to Brunnera, after all.”
“We could have gone along the Thirsty Deserts perimeter, too, Giorno.
Did you forget that”
“No, cant exactly be done anymore.
The desert town of Alan seems to have been destroyed recently, you see.
Now that we cant make a stop there, well have to head straight for Brunnera in one long haul, so its practically impossible if we dont have a larger party with us.”
“Alan, gone Thats news to me…”
“Remember the trade caravan from earlier I just heard from them then.”
“How did it happen, though…”
In my time, no town existed in the vicinity of the Thirsty Desert.
Seeing that the last of them were wiped out in this era, that was another mystery solved, I suppose.
But then, the Apostles of Despair… I never knew that they were so intelligent.
I now know that they can assume a human-like form, but with their capabilities, are they really a variation of SS-ranked monsters
Could they in fact be different from what the Divine Messenger has explained to me I know that Gramps isnt the kind of… individual to lie, but still…
“But how did the resident Minds Eye wielder fail to notice anything Its the least likely thing that could have happened.”
Lylia said, her tone harshened.
Perhaps she was vexed by the failure of a fellow Minds Eye wielder.
That, or perhaps a sense of shame.
“We cant know that for sure.
Considering the towns size, there was probably only one wielder there, so they might have been off-duty from overwork… or it plainly didnt work on the Apostle… What do you think, Poer”
“Uh, well… could there even be such a thing An Apostle immune to the Minds Eye, I mean”
Giorno saying all that so casually made him come off as quite ins.e.n.s.i.t.i.v.e… is he really the Hero
“So, Giorno, did you mean to suggest that one among the Elves may be in league with the Devil Kings army”
Lylia narrowed her eyes and reached for the handle of her sword.
Ah, right… Id heard that Elves were quite a prideful bunch, come to think of it.
Tūs was even beyond that, being on his brand of egoistic.
At any rate, I really felt the air practically being split apart just now…
“Thats not what I meant to say.”
“What did you mean, then”
“Its a possibility worth considering that theyve lost control of their body.
The three others turned to me instantaneously.
“Is there something wrong, Poer”
“Well – I just thought that it might be doable with magic or magecraft, you see…”
“Among the Devil Kings army, only the Devilkin could do that.
Sure, its definitely a possibility, but-“
Huh What did Lylia just…
“-I dont think they would stoop down to playing such petty tricks.”
“W-wait a second.
You mean the Devilkin is part of the Devil Kings army!”
And of course, Pochi was the one who asked it before I could.
“Of course they are; the Devilkin is the leader of the monsters.
Isnt that supposed to be common knowledge”
“T-then, wouldnt that mean the Devil King is one of the Devil Kin!”
“Ah, sorry about that…”
Not that I could, because I didnt know anything either.
Only Pochi herself knew that about me, though.
Giorno heaved a sigh, and then started to explain the whole thing.
Perhaps it was just me, but I believe I saw Lylias expression cloud over for just a moment.
“First of all, it was said that the monsters are acting as an advance party of sorts for the Devilkins efforts to destroy the world.
The definition ofdestroy here is more similar to a turf war to them, but it doesnt change the fact that they would be completely eliminating humanity in the process.
At the start of their invasion, they may have claimed that they would use us as livestock, but that hardly fits our definition of beingalive.
Thats why were all rising up and taking the fight to them.”
“I do know that much, but Im confused by the part where the Devil King isnt the king of the monsters, with the Devilkin having the command to themselves instead…”
“Well… that stemmed from an incident from about a century ago.
It was when the Elves obtained magecraft after one among them performed the Devil Summoning Ceremony.
That practically meant they were borrowing a Devils power, you see.
Since then, the Elves have been discriminatingly referred to by many as theDark Elves as a result.”
Oh, they were already called that by this point in time.
I see, I see.
And that was why Lylia took it so personally…
That was perhaps due to all the recognition Lylia had obtained through her abilities and contributions.
“Now, do you know why the Devil Summoning Ceremony was successful”
“Because they paid an appropriate price… at least I think thats how it works!”
Pochi, while leaning forward, answered.
“Right, that is the most important part.
In this case, what the Elves paid wasthe Devilkins intervention in the human world, among other things.”
“…Um, what does that mean, exactly”
Pochi asked, then let out a suppressed, fear-laden chuckle.
“The Devilkin isnt supposed to exist at all in this world, yet they now have the ability to be so.
That is what it means.”
“What! But thats not something for just some of the Elves to decide!”
“The deal has no care for that whatsoever.
The Elves, as a price for magecraft, have brought into this world in the form of the invading Devilkin.”
they were collectively called the Dark Elves, huh.
Considering the situation now, why would the Devilkin of our time want to defeat the soon-to-resurrect Devil King of our time Arent they supposed to be of the same kind
Well, I suppose since humans do wage wars among themselves, it would be reasonable for the Devilkin to do so as well.
Yes, some sort of conflict among them – that should be the case.
“…Then…what differentiates the Devilkin King from the rest of the Devilkin I know the latter isnormal, while the former resurrects himself in a cycle… are there any other factors”
“Well, since Ive never fought him, I dont know how powerful the Devil King is, but strength should be it.
Also, its worth keeping in mind that the Apostles comprises of both monster variants and the Devilkin… though I reckon were capable of dealing with them – Lylia and I.”
Hed said something quite outrageous, this man.
But I suppose it was good to know that these two might be able to defeat the Devilkin when they worked together.
Right, Ill take this opportunity to ask them more…
“By the way, since you two are extraordinarily strong, Ive been wondering… Do you happen to know of others as powerful”
Giorno thought it over for a moment before turning to Lylia, who had just found herself a boulder to sit on.
“What, youre asking me Hmm… I can think of the leading man of House Adams… and the first daughter of House Fulbright… yes, they were quite impressive…”
“Ah, right, they were.”
Oh, I think I might have heard both those household names before
The latter was… Warrens family, and the former was… huh Whose family was it again
While I racked up my brain for an answer, Pochi whispered into my ear, hiding the front of her mouth with her paw,
“The Adams household… Thats the family name of the bully trios leader, isnt it”
Aha, it was our beloved Student Council Vice President, Hornel!