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Short Story [Unit Story]
[032] Desire Devil, Kenen
Dark States
Race Demon

Card Information

“To the right here…”
“So left then,” concluded Rino.
“Through this plaza…”
“I see. Which means they stopped here for quite a while,” added Reiyu.
“There were lots of posters everywhere. The Sealed Blaze Maiden must have put on quite a speech,” Zonne interjected.
“Then, they headed east.”
“The west, huh… It’s all marshlands and lakes out there,” muttered Rona.
“The Zeroth Crater is also that way, where the miasma will be thicker than it is here. Intriguing,” responded Reiyu.
“They were in a hurry, so I don’t think you’ll catch up to them tod—”
“It’s not too late yet. There should still be a stagecoach headed for the Zeroth Crater. Let’s hurry!” urged Rino.
 This is where I lost it.
“Hmph! Are you just going to ignore everything I say!?”
“Well, you are a demon.”
 Trickstar laughed at me as I stood there, stamping my feet.

We were in the City of Decadence, Quilkahlua, a town with an infamous history within the Dark States.
To be exact, we were somewhere off from the main plaza, tucked away in the corner of a side road.
It was a secluded spot with little foot traffic, so I often used it for secret conversations. Though even if we were out in the open, no one here would bat an eyelid over people suddenly going missing. After all, this was the City of Decadence!
The word “decadence” might sound cool, but really, it just meant everything in the city was run-down – the buildings, the streets, the culture, even the people. The demon king of this city was also ancient. And from the time I was human, I knew this place like the back of my hand. So I made a living – and good money – out of finding simpleton travelers who found themselves in this dark city and guiding them to some of the best places around. If demons proliferated again from that, I could get on the boss’s good side.

“It’s what your kind is good at, right? If we wander around for too long, we might get caught in a trap and turned into demons ourselves,” continued Trickstar.
Damn, they worked it out!
“Th-Th-That’s what those so-called ‘healers without borders’ used to say!”
“Ah, but I’m not a Blaze Maiden,” replied Trickstar.
“Even if we’ve made it our life’s work to heal people, bring hope to the world, and do good, it doesn’t mean we’re gullible,” said Reiyu.
Grr. She wasn’t as much of a pushover as I thought.
“For a start, you know way too much about us from the moment we met!” raised Zonne.
I started to sweat.
“You did seem to get all our names suspiciously quick, when it’s only our first meeting,” Rona added.
My sweat could fill buckets by now.
“You even knew we were looking for an ‘egg’. The Sealed Blaze Maiden, Bavsargra ordered you to get in our way, didn’t she?” said Rino.
Rino seemed like the biggest pushover, but she was proving to be the toughest opponent yet.
“Y-You’re mistaken! If you’re in a hurry, I can arrange for the stagecoach and—”
“I have a question.”
Rino’s calm tone did not carry over to her fiery eyes – eyes that burned holes into me. She was truly intimidating at that moment.
“What is Bavsargra like?”
“…She was a normal human when I knew her. But the moment she put on that black crown, she became so terrifying…”
Reiyu hummed. “Her words swayed the hearts of many who were lost in the ‘despair’ that covered the world. Just as the stories go.”
“That’s when Lady Bavsargra, with eyes much like yours right now—though hers were cold—ordered me to bring you deep into this city. It wasn’t the sort of order I could refuse. And in her arms…”
“She had Sunrise Egg,” Rona picked up where I trailed off.
My head hung in defeat. Ahh, not only had I failed to take advantage of their strained relationships, but I was also facing the prospect of returning to the boss – the Great Greedon – empty-handed. I might just end up on their dinner menu tonight.
“Okay, now that we’ve sorted that out, let’s go!” said Zonne.
“Hold on.”
Rino turned to look at me as I was moping over my failure and handed me a bag filled with coins and something else. Was this…a reward?
“…This is too much. And I was going to deceive you all.”
Rino laughed and shook her head.
“You got us this far, that deserves payment. This bag also contains prayers from us all. Don’t give up hope, and keep going.”
“A charm… for me…? A demon?”
What was she thinking? Talk about being nice. It’s enough to bring me to tears.
“Yes. To wish you luck in your future endeavors. We’ll be going now. Thank you for all your help.”
With the last of her words, Rino stroked my head.
She would stroke a demon on the head? The head of the demon who was about to betray her? I felt nothing but confusion.
Then Rona, Zonne, Reiyu, and even Trickstar all took turns stroking my head before they headed out toward where the stagecoach would stop.
“…Maybe I’m done being a demon.”
As I watched the ‘healers without borders’ walk away, I found myself feeling just a little like a human again.

The End


<<Notes about Terminology>>
Desire Devil
Desire Devils are a type of demon. They are a particular kind of demon that have been transformed by the Avaricious Demonic Dragon, Greedon. Greedon appears to have a twisted sense of humor; when Greedon converts those who lose a bet against them, they name the newly converted demon after their particular vice. Among those demons known to be turned by Greedon are Taida (sloth), Gouman (pride), Boshokku (greed), Acratz (corruption), Incane (treachery), Hystera (hysteria), and Kenen (bad relationships), though there are doubtless many more.
As for Yaaba and Mucca, they seem to be named after their primary emotional state rather than any specific vice. It is worth noting as well that these names are rank titles, not those of specific Desire Devils (Greedon’s avarice requires many demons like Taida to sate their appetite), which just goes to show how many poor individuals – humans and otherwise – have fallen prey to Greedon’s wiles. This is a stark reminder that a deal with the devil will always be one-sided.

For more information on the Avaricious Demonic Dragon, Greedon and his Desire Devils
→refer to the world view/ride line explanation “Shinobu Kajita” and Unit 23 “Avaricious Demonic Dragon, Greedon”.


Story: 金子良馬
Supervising Editor: 中村聡