༺ Curse Removal (3) ༻
Honestly, the ability to run through other’s minds to subdue them was a pretty dumb skill.
In a way, it was just combat without physical force.
The user would just infiltrate the opponent’s subconscious, defeat them in a duel, then do it over and over until they surrendered.
After that, the user would coerce them with divine power, making them agree to certain conditions and that was it.
‘So this is how it’s actually implemented, huh?’
While nodding my head, I looked around at the entirely white space, void of anything and anyone.
This seemed to be my subconscious.
It seemed like this divine power worked by plopping the two of us in the middle of this new plane.
And as expected, the Virtue was looking around at the surroundings, just as I was.
Albeit, with a somewhat bewildered expression.
“W-What’s this? Why is there nothing here?”
When I heard her exclamations of confusion, I couldn’t help but chuckle.
Indeed, my current situation was a bit special.
‘…I think the subconscious is said to be directly influenced by Karma, right?’
I scratched my head as I tried to recall my memories.
Oh yeah, there was this thing called the Karma Counter, a measurement of someone’s disposition, whether you could categorize them as evil or good.
The Karma value accumulated not only from murder, but also from other wrongdoings. Conversely, through acts of kindness adhering to universal moral standards or through mental discipline, the Karma value could also gradually get lowered.
Your subconscious would display a hellish atmosphere when you had a high Karma value, while if you had a low one, it would display idyllic and harmonious scenery.
That was why, my ‘empty’ subconscious was quite a peculiar sight.
Perhaps it meant that I couldn’t be categorized as either good or evil?
“We-Well! It might look a bit unusual! But don’t think for a single second that I’m just an angel for show! You made a big mistake!”
The Virtue confidently stood upright, boosting her confidence with her own exclamations.
“No matter who the opponent is, angels are the best when it comes to mental discipline through penance and restraint! No matter who the opponent is, we never falt—”
“Just a moment ago, you seemed quite flustered though.”
“…That’s not the case!”
Instead of penance and restraint, it seems like they are the best at being utterly shameless, yeah?
‘…To be fair, this person has always been this way.’
Among angels, females were already extremely rare, and if she was a Virtue of ‘Elfante’, it didn’t take a genius to narrow down her identity.
Users often called her Klutzy Angel.
Heaven was so rigid and highly regulated that even breathing properly was difficult. But within such an environment, there was a certain heterogeneously lax angel.
“I don’t know what you were thinking by dragging an angel into your subconscious, but you’ll surely regret it! Okay?”
With that, Klutzy Angel spread her wings wide open.
Then, a tremendous white aura began to surge around her.
She certainly had overwhelming divine power.
It was on par with or even greater than the divine power I had felt when directly facing the Pope.
Even though angels were limited in exerting their power in the material world, within a subconscious, they could freely wield their entire strength.
“…Uh yeah, but… How should I put this?”
While scratching my head, I met her eyes directly.
“I think it would be better for you to prepare yourself, for now….”
“The subconscious is directly linked to the soul, you know?”
If I recall correctly, that was the setting in this world.
It was a space that unfolds based on the information stored in the soul.
Klutzy Angel creased her brows, as she frowned slightly.
“Yeah, so what? That means you’re more at a disadvantage. Most abilities of material world beings are tied to their physical forms, so in a mental space, angels, who are spiritual entities, are always far superi—”
‘Uh…I don’t think you have time for such an exposition, my dear Klutzy Angel.’
I sighed and cut her off.
“Hey. I said that because whenever a space that is ‘connected’ to my soul is created, there are those who’d rush over like a lunatic.”
If I remembered the explanation Atalante gave correctly…
My ‘soul’s personality’ was exceptionally good at attracting something.
A certain extreme ‘something’.
One of them was literally near my physical body in the material world.
“Ah, she’s here.”
Simultaneously with my words, Klutzy Angel’s expression quickly stiffened.
That was because she could feel something was squeezing their way into this space.
Of course, it was a bit… misleading to simply say that she was ‘coming’.
I also wouldn’t use ‘appearing’ in this instance…
It was probably more fitting to say that she was ‘descending’.
The landscape of my previously empty mental world was subsequently dyed ‘white’. It encroached so quickly that it was more apt to describe it as being ‘splashed’ white than ‘dyed’.
However, the sensation emanating from that color was far from pure or clean.
Rather, it was so white that it felt like my mind might shatter.
Just looking at it made me feel like I would lose my mind because it gave off an immense sensation of ‘obsessiveness’.
It honestly wasn’t easy to provoke discomfort with such a color, but there was one being that could make it a reality.
Klutzy Angel’s wings thumped against the ground.
Her mouth hung open. Her pupils shook.
As her muttering echoed…
A girl ‘ripped apart’ the space and revealed herself.
Just that singular action was enough to make the entire space tremble.
Klutzy Angel fell flat on her ass as she saw all of the divine power she spread get devoured by a white demonic power.
Seemed like her legs had gone weak.
Normally, angels could just close the subconscious they opened and return to their physical body in the material world. However, the control of the space had shifted to someone else, so this place had become her prison.
Basically, whether they could leave this place or not was entirely dependent on that being over there.
“…T-This… This is impossib…! Why is a Devil here…?!”
Uh, didn’t you say that you wouldn’t falter no matter who your opponent was?
Seeing her muttering as if she had lost half her mind, it was hard not to let out a pitying sigh.
See? What did I say?
You should’ve listened to me and prepared yourself.
‘…Well, I understand her feelings, though.’
I looked at her with a wry smile.
To match a Devil’s Fragment one-on-one, an angel on a level just below a Seraphim would be needed.
While a Virtue was not a low rank, if they were to throw it down, there would be such a considerable gap that she would be ripped apart easily like a torn piece of paper.
In the first place, the ranks didn’t match up anyway. After all, Devils were the rulers of Pandemonium, while Virtues were, at best, slightly powerful angels.
[ The target, ‘White Devil’s Fragment’, is showing interest in you! ]
I gazed at the window that popped up with narrow eyes.
‘The system isn’t being torn apart.’
This was noticeably different from when the Grey Devil’s Fragment appeared.
Back then, whether it was the window or some other shit, everything was obliterated, so I couldn’t read anything.
This probably signified a clear ‘difference in power’, even among Devils.
The fact that Desperation was not immediately activated was also clear proof of that.
[I found you.]
As that voice resounded chillingly, a shiver ran down my spine.
The girl who descended into this space was approaching me slowly, step by step.
She wore the figure of Yuria, except without even a stitch of clothing. Since fragments operate through their Vessel, it was natural that it would be influenced by her appearance.
However, unlike the usual puppy-like atmosphere Yuria carried, the fragment gave off an undeniably ‘dangerous’ feeling.
[I wanted to meet you so, so much. I missed you.]
Even though the face was of a young girl, her expression exuded such an overwhelmingly seductive aura that I felt faint.
[You felt the same way, right?]
The air was sweet. Just breathing it in made me want to kneel before her.
‘I am yours. I will crawl to the ground just to kiss your feet. I desir… Wait. Fuck. Wait what…’
‘I desire your entire being. Lust burns within me. No matter what happens, I will make this girl mine… ‘
[ ‘Skill: Fatal Charm’ conflicts with ‘Authority: Seduction’! ]
[ Resisting the effects! ]
As soon as my senses returned, I flung a fist at my jaw.
Because of my completely unrestrained blow, both the girl who had been approaching and the fallen Klutzy Angel practically had question marks floating on top of their heads.
However, from my perspective, I felt like I had come back from the brink of death.
‘…I almost got fucked… Both literally and figuratively.’
I touched my tingling jaw and shook my head to clear my mind even further.
If the basic authority of the Grey Devil was ‘Corruption’ when spreading its influence over the surrounding time and space, the White Devil’s authority was ‘Seduction’.
Any sentient being who acknowledged its presence would instantly develop an overwhelming favor towards her.
Even with my preparation, I was on the verge of becoming her snack. If it were any other human, they would have instantly become her slave, the moment they met her eyes.
‘It’s such a relief that I have the perfect skill to counteract it.’
Just like how she could seduce me, I also had a skill that could rizz her up.
After all, according to the game system, when these kinds of similar effects interact, they’d cancel each other out.
However, there was something more important that needs to be said right now…
[…Why did you reject me?]
Despite receiving merely the mitigated effects of Fatal Charm, this bitch remained in the same state.
The light vanished from the White Devil’s eyes. Even her focus started to waver in different directions.
All I did was refuse to become her ‘slave’, but she already looked like she had completely lost her fucking mind.
[I-I want you. But why do you…]
Distorted possessiveness. Obsession. Blind and passionate love.
These are the keywords that symbolized the White Devil.
Like a malfunctioning radio. Monotonous. Short.
With the aura of a madwoman, she stepped closer and closer as she spit out short words. White demonic power sporadically writhed around her like a torrential flood.
[I’ll…Give you anything. I’ll do anything you want. W-What do you want? Should I put the entire world in your palm? Do you want to become Emperor? Do you want the power to kill other humans like insects? With me, anything is possib-]
While approaching with such mutters, the White Devil suddenly noticed that her foot snagged a chain and stopped in her tracks.
It was Klutzy Angel, trembling and shedding tears.
Shortly after the White Devil indifferently muttered…
Her eyes suddenly regained their light.
[…Would you like this as a gift? Do you want to eat it?]
Bruh. She was talking about a Virtue as if she was some random street snack at a marketplace.
[I…Become quite powerful…When I rip apart an angel to devour her. You…You’ll surely like it too…]
As soon as she heard those words, Klutzy Angel tried to hastily escape by spreading her wings, but she was immediately restrained by the white demonic power that moved like lightning to grip her ankle.
[How…Would you like it? Raw? Medium? W-Well done?
I sighed with exasperation when I heard the White Devil’s nonsense, and instead, looked up at Klutzy Angel who was hanging upside down in mid-air.
“Anyway, yeah. That’s what she says.”
“W-What do you mean that’s what she says! H-Help! I think you know her, rig—!”
“Why would I do that for free?”
Klutzy Angel chewed on her lips. She wanted to bombard him with swears, but her current predicament made it impossible for her to say anything aloud.
“W-What do you want!? I’ll give you anything s-!”
“A holy relic that can conditionally alleviate the Curse of Severance”
Klutzy Angel began to chew on her lips even more severely.
Normally, she wouldn’t be able to make this decision on her own. The Curse of Severance was a particularly malicious curse, ranking highly even when considering the entirety of Sera. In order to weaken it, she would need to bring something quite valuable, even to Heaven.
“I-I’ll give it! I’ll give it to you so…!”
That’s fucking right.
You had no choice anyway, you bumbling idiot.
However, this much wasn’t enough for me.
“Swear it. Oh also, put one wing as collateral.”
“You, how do you also know the regulations of ange…! E-EEEEEK-!”
In the end, with snot and tears running down her face, Klutzy Angel followed my requests(?) and swore it on her wings.
Well, I mean. If she didn’t…
I guess she could just die here.
‘Death’ in a mental space would directly influence the physical body as well. With great fatality at that.
The White Devil spat out such a question, clearly displeased.
“Okay. I’m just gonna let you know in advance, so…”
I took a deep breath before continuing.
“If you touch even a strand of her hair, I’m never going to forgive you.”
“Wh-What are you doing right now…! How could you possibly fight against a Devil…!”
I smirked at Klutzy Angel’s bumbling response.
Who said I was fighting? Not me. Have you heard anything from me? I don’t think so.
Of course I couldn’t fight her.
I whipped out the sword on my waist and placed it on my own neck.
“If you don’t listen, I’m going to kill myself.”
‘Well, I won’t actually do it. But what are you gonna do about it, huh?’
If I understood the White Devil’s personality properly, she would go fucking bonkers at just the thought of ‘He might actually do it’.
It could seem a bit much to treat my admirer like this, but if she was going to make me choke on her love and affection without even asking for my opinion, there was more than enough reason to at least gaslight her by this much.
And just as planned, as soon as I mentioned such words, her pupils started shaking like crazy. She bit her lips. Anyone could see she was beyond anxious.
As silence befell amongst the White Devil and Virtue, I continued to speak with a smirk.
“So, release the angel and get us out of this place. I’ll deal with you later.”
[…Deal with me?]
“You know what I mean. Won’t we meet again later?”
I spoke calmly, looking straight into her eyes.
Well, in the end, I was destined to ‘meet’ her, and the rest of the Devils, face-to-face even.
Since she was a Devil, she must have instinctively felt it as well.
For a long while, she stayed quiet, before opening her mouth again.
I nodded my head in affirmation.
Promise or not, it was something that was fated to happen anyway.
With that, the White Devil pouted as she dropped Klutzy Angel onto the ground.
Klutzy Angel collapsed back to the ground, the breath knocked out of her body.
Then, the White Devil’s fragment, who had taken on the figure of Yuria, slowly stepped towards me.
She immediately began to stroke the outside of the mask covering my face.
It was something I always wore whenever I was with Yuria. Of course, I wore it today as well.
The portion of the mask that the White Devil’s hand touched felt like it was melting.
Although she didn’t overwhelm me as much as the Grey Devil, her position as the White Devil was definitely not for show.
I finally remembered why I always wore a mask when meeting Yuria.
Uhhhh, it was to prepare for the case where Yuria would become the ‘Vessel’ of the White Devil, just like she was currently,
Oh fuck. This was…
The trigger for the White Devil’s ‘rampage’.
There was an event that occurred the moment she recognized my face.
Even among the Devil-related ones, I remember it being so fucked up that it was in the honorary rankings for dogshit events.
[Show me…Later, for sure.]
No fucking way.
There was no shot that I’d ever show it to you.
As I engraved this resolve into my very soul…
My subconscious completely crumbled away.
Hey guys! I’m sick so I’m going to take a break for a few days. But don’t worry! There still will be 4 chapters a week. Hope you guys enjoyed and found this chapter better than the other ones. I think I’m slowly improving! Please always give this novel a lot of love!
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