Main Character's Perspective
"The messenger of the Devil! What nonsense! I don't know what kind of trick you've used, but your intrusion was recorded by the security cameras! It would be better for you to get out of here!"
Higashikawa doesn't seem to believe my words.
Even though he witnessed a cupboard flying in the air and Nishikuze being slashed in the abdomen, he seemed to think that it was a robbery, instead of facing the reality of what happened in front of him.
Well, from what I have heard so far, these guys are just frauds. It is doubtful if they even believe in the existence of God.
So, I don't think they would fall for my lies about the devil so easily.
"It doesn't matter if you don't believe me or not. Either way, what I'm going to do is still the same. After all, Vepar is very angry with you. It's your fault that you've been so negligent with Vepar's offerings."
"What? What do you mean by "offering"? Or rather, where the hell are you? Show yourself, you sneaky b*stard!"
Higashikawa looks around the room and searches for the place.
He probably thinks that the cupboard being blown away is a trick and that Nishikuze's injuries are caused by some flying gadget or something.
"It's about Houjou Sayaka. That woman was an offering I dedicated to Vepar a long time ago. Her body and soul are already Vepar's property. Well, it is inevitable that you did not know that, and I think it is a bit harsh to blame you for that. However, it is an undeniable fact that you tried to snatch Vepar's offering. Consider it bad luck and give up."
"I don't know! I don't know this Houjou or whatever her name is! You must have mistaken her for someone else. Maybe there was a woman with that name among your followers and that's why you misunderstood me."
"Well, well. Are you trying to deceive me?"
"It's true! I don't know anything about it. I don't know if she's an offering or what, but if you're the ones who spotted her first... so be it. Do what you want. Ah, I see. So that's your plan. You mean she's a member of another organization? It's a bit of a nuisance to talk to someone who believes in the devil behind our backs, but this is a situation. Well, there may be some concessions we can make. First of all, let's talk peacefully, shall we?"
Higashikawa's expression changed for a moment when he heard Sayaka's name, but he immediately regained his composure and started to make a blank face. He seemed to have decided to play it fast and loose, betting that the previous conversation had not been overheard.
Not only that, he now starts claiming that it was the work of another sect. His tone of voice had changed to an outwardly theatrical one.
But then, I hit the play button on the voice recorder I had recorded earlier.
'—You mean Houjou Sayaka... Well, Sayaka is surprisingly tough. Sayaka is a bit pious, but she's not that stupid. I don't think I can fool her easily. And currently, I'm trying to figure out how to get her, and I'm at a loss for what to do next—'
Higashikawa's expression changed as soon as he heard the voice.
His eyes turned toward Nishikuze but gradually turned to irritation. He must have realized once again that Nishikuze was responsible for this situation.
Nishikuze, on the other hand, looked completely frightened and was shaking all the time.
He kept his mouth shut when Higashikawa and I exchanged heated arguments with each other. Needless to say, he was more cowardly than Higashikawa, although it may have been due to the fact that he had been gutted, even if it was a shallow one.
Their opposite reactions to each other were enough to convince me of the power relationship that I have just seen.
"You're really bad at this. Well, you seem to have a lot of nerve and are used to rough situations by not running away from the situation at once. However, you don't seem to be the type of person who can't accept anything out of your common sense."
"Do you have the nerve to say that? I mean, you have trespassed in this sacred temple and even got yourself in trouble with the police over a single woman. The security company should have called the police by now."
Higashikawa's right hand was about to reach for the cell phone on the table after saying so.
But, seeing this action, I hurriedly grabbed Higashikawa's neck.
I stopped Higashikawa's action just in time, and I lifted Higashikawa's body into a throat ring and threw him toward Nishikuze.
Although he is a skinny man, Higashikawa's body must have weighed about 60 kg.
His body is flying in the air like a doll, and he is blown away to the sofa where Nishikuze was sitting before.
I was very careful not to injure him that badly. Nevertheless, the loud sound of Higashikawa's body bouncing against the sofa and the way his body bounced around, it seems that at least one of his bones could have been broken.
Well, I don't mind if it is so. However, I don't have any intention to kill them this time. All I have to do is to make them taste fear so that they won't disobey me in the future.
"Eeeekk!!! The evil spirits, be gone! Exorcist the evil spirits!"
Nishikuze screams beside the fallen Higashikawa and begins to make Kuji-kiri with his hand.
I wonder where he gets the idea to perform Kuji-kiri, since he is not even a Buddhist, let alone a Taoist, but Nishikuze seems to have completely believed my lie about devils. After all, I saw Nishikuze's round body was filled with a purple aura of [Fear].
"Hahaha, that won't help. And why don't you pray to the God you believe in? Maybe He can help you. For any God, the demon Vepar is an enemy he can't overlook."
After I said this, I smashed the marble table in front of me with my Lady Bug.
The table broke in half, and the table, having lost its center of gravity, crumbled to the ground.
At the sight of the table, Nishikuze's face turned pale with fear and surprise, and he tried to run away, but he just crawled on all fours, as if he had lost his legs or something. Near him was Higashikawa, who had been hit badly and had fallen limp and stopped moving.
However, I climbed over the table and stomped down on Nishikuze's back, who was trying desperately to escape.
"Where are you going? It's no use trying to escape!"
"I give up! I'll give up that woman... Houjou Sayaka!"
"I think there's been some misunderstanding. I told you from the beginning. She was Vepar's property to begin with. I have no reason to ask you to give her up."
"Then I'll pay you compensation. I'll give you 3 million, no, 5 million! I apologize again for trying to touch her. So please spare my life."
"Well, originally I'm a human being just like you. I am not entirely without greed for money. However, do you think I'll ignore Vepar's order and change my mind for such a small amount of money? That's not a good idea."
My Lady Bug pierces Nishikuze's thigh from above at an angle. The Lady Bug, which had been out of my hands, emerged from my hand, shivering with delight at being fed for the first time in a long time.
I was also feeling my blood boiling with the sensation of penetrating human flesh for the first time in a long time.
Even though I had adapted to life in this world, I still had the same urge to violence once my restrictions were lifted.
"Aaahhhh... It hurts! It hurts! Stop! Please don't kill me! I'll do anything! I'm dying, I'm dying! Help! Somebody help meeeeee!"
Nishikuze begins to wriggle desperately and flail about, screaming and pleading in pain, then crying out in an effeminate voice and begging for help from someone who is not there.
Well, it is not surprising that Nishikuze is disturbed like this. Normal people have never experienced being stabbed with a sword.
Although it is only my experience in the other world, I have an approximate estimate of how far it is safe to be stabbed with a knife.
However, from Nishikuze's point of view, the shadow of death is not so far away. Besides, even though I avoided the position of his aorta, Nishikuze's thigh was still bleeding heavily.
"Anything? Hmm, alright. If you can pledge your faithfulness to Vepar and devote yourselves to him, I might consider it."
"I-I pledge... I pledge my faith to Vepar-sama the Devil. So please pull this out... It hurts. I'm dying! I'm dying...!"
"Don't exaggerate. People don't die just because of that."
I said so, but I was beginning to think that it was time to call it quits.
I feared for my life if I went any further.
In fact, Lady Bug is now happily sucking Nishikuze's blood. If I leave it like this, he has fifteen minutes left at the most.
Now, I took off the leather glove on my left hand, took out three rings from the interdimensional storage, put one of them on my finger, and rolled the other two near Higashikawa and Nishikuze, respectively.
"Put the rings on. Pledge your faith to me and to Vepar the Devil, and I will spare your life. I warn you, this ring is a magical tool. You will soon find it out, even if you falsely pledge faith only with your lips."
Nishikuze takes the ring, wincing in pain, and places it on the index finger of his right hand.
He probably thought that he would be saved once this was done. Immediately Nishikuze says his pledge, and the ring glows for a moment, signaling that a pledge has been made between me and Nishikuze.
The ring that Nishikuze has put on is called 'Ring of Oath'.
It is a common tool in the other world, used in business transactions and employment contracts.
They are basically paired, whether one-to-one or many-to-one and once sworn, they cannot be removed unless a maximum period of one month has passed or both parties agree.
Each time the oath is broken, the one who breaks the oath is punished, and the ring itself is gradually dyed black.
However, it is possible to ask a priest to lift the curse, which seems to be a kind of curse in nature.
Also, if the oath is too unreasonable, or if it is forced, the person, who makes the oath, may be caught.
Well, there are still people who try to abuse it, and crimes using this 'Ring of Oath' is rampant in the other world, so it is not a tool that can be trusted absolutely.
"That human over there... I believe your name is Higashikawa Hirofumi. I've already known that you've been pretending to be unconscious, looking for a chance to escape. You should stop resisting in vain. If you refuse to do so, I will just kill you as I had originally planned."
Purple for [Fear], black for [Caution].
And there was also a little bit gray of [Pain], as if he had been injured when he had just been thrown. Higashikawa was completely motionless as if he had fainted, but I could tell that he was conscious by the color of his aura.
However, I suppose I have to deal with Nishikuze first.
I pull out the Lady Bug that was stuck in Nishikuze's thigh and pour a healing potion from the interdimensional storage into the wound.
"Ouch, it hurts... I'm calling an ambulance... huh, what happened?"
As soon as the sludgy liquid poured into the wound, Nishikuze's expression instantly softened and his screams stopped.
"Your pain is gone, just temporarily numbed by the painkiller effect. It will probably be an hour before the wound is completely closed. After all, it's a miracle regenerative medicine made by a witch. I can assure you it will work."
I say and place the remaining vial of healing potion near Nishikuze.
To tell the truth, I did not do this just to make them swear allegiance to me, but also to demonstrate this healing potion.
In other words, it was like a demonstration using their bodies.
It might be better to say that I was making them swear their allegiance to me in this roundabout way for the sake of the healing potion.
I knew that if I sold the healing potion, I would get a high price for it.
After all, it was a medicine that could heal even physical defects if one took the time. But of course, it couldn't be shown directly to the public. But just when I was wondering how to market them, I heard about this cult from Sayaka.
The reason why I am insisting that I am the devil is not only to avoid being betrayed but also in case these guys make a bad move and the media gets a whiff of it.
Even if the existence of this drug becomes public, no one would believe the story that the source of the drug is the devil. Well, I was planning to make these guys sell it to the public under the false pretense that it was an elixir gifted by God. Either way, I thought it was necessary to eliminate the connection with these people as much as possible.
"What if, what if. What would happen if I pledged my faith to you and Him? Will I give up my soul or become possessed by the devil?"
Higashikawa, who had been silent so far, suddenly opens his mouth. Perhaps he thought that Nishikuze had pledged his faith to me, and now it was his turn to be harmed.
"It won't happen. But you will have to cooperate with me in some ways for Vepar's sake."
"What kind of cooperation? I'm not going to kill anyone, even if I'm ordered to."
"It's very simple. All you have to do is to ask your followers to offer a prayer to Vepar during prayer time. It does not matter if they do not understand the meaning of the words. It is enough if they include it in the usual wording. And in exchange for forgiving you, I will ask you to offer some of your followers as offerings to Vepar."
"I-I understand. But is that all? I don't care what happens to two or three of our followers as long as we're not harmed..."
"Yes, don't worry about that. It's rather beneficial for you. And the fact that they are sacrificed doesn't change the face of the matter. After death, their souls are brought to Vepar. Well, there is a possibility that they will be liked by Vepar and spread misfortune to their relatives, like Houjou Sayaka."
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