As unfortunate as it may be──
Actions born from virtue would not necessarily bring fortune.
Just as one’s pursuit of power born from the desire to repay gratitude could itself lead to the murder of one’s very own benefactors, so could fleeing to avoid conflict negatively influence many regions, and just as so, the slaying of a monster to save another could result in the collapse of the balance of nations.
As unfortunate as it may be──
Actions born from malice would not necessarily bring misfortune.
Those that plotted the resurrection of the evil god brought to life a destroyer that would hunt them.
Those that sought a princess they could control created an opportunity for their encounter.
And that who spread the knowledge to create life ended up saving the life of ______.
How miserable is the world.
How vain good and evil.
Is there no meaning to the will of man?
Is result everything?
Are the means that fail to produce result meaningless?
Is it human to bend to the ways of such a world? Is it human to resist?
Was there even an answer to begin with?
That which man can fathom alone is limited.
Be it good or evil, the process or the result, failure or success…
In the end, perhaps everything is but an illusion of the pygmy that is man.
They who know little, who live their lives with different thoughts and answers, some of whom do not even possess those.
If one could know all of the history of the world and the people, all of the truths hidden behind everything and with one’s own eyes behold the vanity of justice and evil across the millennia as though they were one’s own memories, could such a person retain his ego?
He cannot. Be it his common sense, or morality, or sense of good and evil… Everything would be crushed.
It was a strange story, really.
It was the history of humanity, yet it denied humanity itself.
To lack humanity and serve no purpose… Is that what it meant to be human?
Is that cruel or compassionate?
Righteousness, wickedness, progress, ambition, regret, strength, weakness, life…
It was as though it was denying all of that.
Trampling everything underfoot and yet respecting everything all the same.
Is such contradiction the truth?
Is truth the lack of truth? Should one see it as such just like a hermit?
To struggle is a vain attempt, one that leads only deeper into the vortex, no answer in sight, until before long, the bottom is reached and one can breathe no more.
Yet despite that…
Should there exist someone with a path that he refuses to yield, should he have something that can’t be changed no matter what, should he be able to arrogantly persist in his ‘self’, then he must have something that is more noble than faith, more hideous than persistence, and more broken than a monster.
By the front gate of the large mansion that was the villa exclusive for the Earthgant royalty was a young boy chewing on skewered meat.
The structure showed off the royal family’s coat of arms and made it clear that all sorts of barriers have been erected in the vicinity.
That was most likely both for security and to intimidate any hopeful wrongdoers, or at least that’s what the boy suspected.
“Master, that one’s ready!”
“Oh, thank you.”
In front of them and the gate was a bonfire flickering with flames of red.
It might’ve been because a certain someone wastefully used their skill to light the bonfire that it burned so strong despite how small it was.
The flames crackled, and they occasionally flew at the couple with vigor, but without a care, the boy and the creature just enjoyed the warmth of its flames.
But of course, the main purpose of this bonfire as shown by Youko was to grill the skewered meat.
There were all sorts of skewers sticking out of the ground around the bonfire. They included meat, fish, and vegetables, and when she pointed to one, Shinichi would grab it and eat it.
A face full of satisfaction appeared on him as he enjoyed the umami and aroma of the juices overflowing from the meat, and Youko just watched him with a proud smile full of joy.
As for why they were camping at such a place, there actually wasn’t any deep reason for it.
They were just keeping watch out here just as Shinichi said he would after the maids finished cleaning his room.
At the same time, Shinichi was stocking up on calories in case something happened.
The location he chose for his little camp indeed left much to be desired, but that wasn’t something that was high up in his list of priorities, and he really didn’t care.
By the way, the ingredients and the skewers were prepared in advance by none other than the maids, so him eating like this was basically something they all acknowledged, but of course, none of them thought that he would so brazenly eat at a place like this.
“Hamu, amu, all we did was cook it, and yet it’s so good!”
Youko skillfully used her small paws to grab herself a stick and dug in herself.
Though her face was that of a beast, the emotions on her were all too easy to read.
Shinichi smiled at that, but he quickly became sullen.
“I see… Mnn, I wonder why. When I’m with them, I feel like I’m slowly turning into a useless man. I mean, I do kind of lean toward that, but… I really don’t want to become any more useless than I am now,” Shinichi muttered as he finished his umpteenth stick for the day.
“So good,” he said in admiration as he licked his lips.
All he’d asked from them was to prepare something that could be easily cooked, but what they sent him instead was a variety of food that have already been seasoned and prepared in various ways, such that a little cooking with the bonfire was enough to bring about a wealth of taste from them.
Above all, they seem to have somehow figured out his tastes and were able to prepare them accordingly.
What remarkable maids indeed.
He had accompanied them to cover up the murder of the Tenkorius, to monitor their education, and to fix Lilisha’s unhealthy new hobby, but he was currently experiencing a luxury when it came to food and bedding that he’s never experienced since drifting into this world.
He was understandably happy, but at this rate, he’ll find it difficult to leave when the time came.
The food was just that good.
As for him actually starting to like them, that was something he intentionally put off his mind.
“Am I being trained?”
“Fu fu, it’s the other way around, Master.”
When those words slipped out of Shinichi’s mouth, his servant laughed and corrected him.
But he failed to understand what she was getting at, and he just tilted his head in confusion.
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“They can’t help themselves but take care of you… Honestly, it makes me so jealous.”