Eugene had no memories beyond a certain point. He could only deduce his past from the small recollection he recovered whenever a tattoo was removed. He knew absolutely about who he truly was, where he lived, and what he did. Even his name—Jan Eugene—wasn’t his real name. Therefore, the most important goal for him was to regain his memory and past.
The reputation he had as an unparalleled knight?
The enormous wealth he amassed?
The status he had as Maren’s king?
Such things had simply come to him as he followed the trails to regain his past and to survive. He hadn’t been trying to achieve such things.
And now, he had secured a clue closely related to his purpose in life.
‘I didn’t come to Broadwin by chance.’
It felt as if his blood had turned cold. Even though he had lost his memory and power, he was still an Origin. He was the supreme monarch of vampires, a powerful being fit to be called the demon king. However, someone had moved him to their will.
‘It’s most likely a vampire. Most likely an Origin like me as well.’
He did not know who it was and what they were trying to achieve. However, he considered it a great harvest that he had obtained a clue. As such, Eugene gave up on his thoughts and turned his head.
“Hurry up. I will give you five seconds.”
Mirian quickly floated out of the lake, where she had been pretending to have fainted, and quickly buzzed toward Eugene.
“After taking into account everything I heard from your junior…” Eugene started.
He then continued, “I think you are the culprit behind everything that happened.”
“…” The ignorant, incompetent, and irresponsible spirit had been feigning an innocent appearance, but she immediately stiffened after hearing Eugene’s words.
“Though you may be wicked and despicable, you are truly wise. What a great judgment,” Meanwhile, Juseppel looked delighted.
Mirian slowly averted her gaze, and Eugene continued, “What on earth were you thinking that you followed me? No, in the first place, I heard that spirits responsible for guarding entrances to the spirit world are special, right? So why didn’t you erect a barrier or something similar? Shouldn’t you have at least defended the passage from that crocodile-like monster?”
Although Eugene had fought the monster in the best environment for a vampire, the monster had been weak enough that it was defeated by Eugene before the latter could even regain his strength. If a barrier similar to the one Juseppel had erected had been present, the monster would have never successfully approached the lake.
“Most importantly… how could a spirit like you have been entrusted with an important mission to guard the entrance to the Spirit World?” Eugene said.
“Kieeeeeeeekk!!! What do you mean by that?! I’m Mirian! Hmm?! King God General…” Mirian started to roar angrily, but Eugene pushed Juseppel toward her with his finger.
Then, he said, “This guy. He looks just like you, right?”
Mirian answered, “Kieh? Well, that’s because we are both spirits of water. Only our faces are different—”
“He has two sets of wings and a similar body size as you, right?” Eugene interrupted her.
“You followed me around for years and evolved during that time, but this guy was like this from the beginning. No matter how stupid you are, you must understand what that means, right?” Eugene said.
Judging from Mirian’s reaction, it appeared Eugene had underestimated her stupidity. Eugene couldn’t believe how unlucky he had been to have formed a contract with her. He continued, “It means you were never competent enough to protect an entrance to the Spirit World. It was a mistake that someone as weak as you had been assigned such a mission.”
The squeals of the two spirits contained different emotions. Eugene disregarded Mirian, whose pride seemed to be hurt, and spoke to the confused Juseppel.
“You may not know since this is the first time we’re meeting, but she wasn’t like this when we first met a few years ago. She only had a single pair of wings, and she was only half as big as she is now. Moreover, she couldn’t even show herself to others and could not communicate at all.”
“H-how could that be?! You must be trying to trick me into…” Juseppel exclaimed.
“Trick? Is there any reason for me to lie to you in this situation? Can’t you tell from your incompetent senior’s reaction that what I’m telling you is the truth?” Eugene said.
“Kieeeeek! Cancel it! Take that back! I’m not incompetent! I’m King God General Revolution…” Mirian screeched.
“…I believe you,” Juseppel shuddered after stealing a glance at the crazy spirit. Eugene felt a moment of rapport with the spirit. Finally, the shame he had always felt from Mirian was no longer just his own. Surely, someone belonging to the same race as her would feel more ashamed than her contractor.
“Anyway, you understand now, right? Technically, she is not the only one responsible for this situation. The Spirit World should also be held responsible for entrusting such an important mission to her, right? In the first place, if they had assigned a spirit as capable and responsible as you, this wouldn’t have happened,” Eugene said.
Juseppel answered, “You are exactly right. I can finally see that you are an extremely reasonable person. I apologize for not recognizing it earlier.”
Juseppel was smarter than the incompetent evil little thing, but he was still oblivious to the reality of the world. It was impossible for him to recognize and withstand the buttered words of an Origin vampire, who stood at the pinnacle of craftiness.
“But it’s weird, is it not?” Juseppel said.
“What is?” Eugene asked.
The spirit continued, “Protecting the entrance to the Spirit World is an important task that is assigned to a spirit for decades. They would never put just any spirit, especially someone so incompetent and irresponsible, in charge.”
“Perhaps, there was a mistake?” Eugene asked.
“There could not have been any mistake. The king directly picks the guardian of the entrance. They would never pick a second-rate blue falcon like her,” Juseppel responded.
“S-second rate? Blue falcon? Kieeeeeee… Keugh!” Mirian collapsed with a blue face as she found it hard to suppress her anger.
However, Eugene and Juseppel continued their conversation peacefully with no regard for Mirian. There was a special kind of camaraderie between the two.
“Moreover, the king was the one most shocked and angry when the blue falcon abandoned her duties. Doesn’t that mean there was nothing wrong when she was initially appointed?” Juseppel said.
Eugene was quite surprised. He had thought the spirit was all talk, but it seemed he was quite smart as well.
Juseppel was a spirit that was miles better than the screeching crazy demon sprawled out on the floor while glowing blue.
“Do you need a contractor by chance?” Eugene asked.
“Kihick?!” The crazy spirit immediately stopped her tantrum, then looked at Eugene like a mother who had lost her child.
“Ehem! It’s an honorable proposition, but my humble self must remain faithful to the duty assigned to me by the king. I am afraid I will have to refuse,” Juseppel spoke while straightening his clothes and fixing his cone hat as if he felt pleased to have received Eugene’s offer. Even Juseppel’s smallest actions made Eugene compare the little brat rolling around on the mud floor like some kind of a beggar to him.
“That’s too bad. Anyway, so the king chose her personally, right?” Eugene asked.
“That is correct,” the spirit answered.
Eugene’s gaze landed on Mirian.
“Hoho… Kieeeehoho… This is why you shouldn’t be fooled into having black or silver-haired contractors. Life, what’s the point of living so vigorously? When I die, I will return to the Spirit World, anyway… Come to think of it; perhaps I felt more comfortable when I was in the sea monster’s rectum. Kiehohoho…” Mirian muttered softly after rolling herself into a little blob and scribbling on the ground with a small branch.
She appeared pathetic rather than pitiful, but Eugene made a guess.
“Even though she is slightly incompetent, I certainly don’t think she is irresponsible,” Eugene said.
He continued, “And although she was lacking then, she’s quite useful now after evolving. I don’t know about anything else, but she’s pretty good at collecting wealth.”
Eugene took a glance at Mirian, who was slowly inching toward him with her back to him, before speaking once more, “And come to think of it, she had always said that she doesn’t have much memory of the Spirit World ever since she arrived here. Although she’s a little lacking, she’s not a liar.”
“Ah, lacking but kind-hearted. I have heard of such folks,” Juseppel remarked.
“That’s right. Well, she remembers bits and pieces of information she has heard from her seniors but not much about the Spirit World. Isn’t that kind of strange?” Eugene asked.
“Kieeehmm. It’s certainly strange. No matter how incompetent a spirit may be, and even if they are the lowest-class spirit, they wouldn’t lose their memory of the Spirit World unless they are a newborn spirit. Well, that is, unless they received a shock and lost their memories,” Juseppel answered.
“Newborn spirit? Shock?” Eugene asked.
Juseppel responded, “Ah, did you not know? A spirit at the end of its life will be reborn as a new spirit shortly after returning to the flow of mana, and they are known as newborn spirits. Similar things can happen when a spirit is exposed to powerful magic, but it’s extremely rare. In the first place, mysteries capable of causing such a phenomenon don’t happen very often.”
“But it still happens, right?” Eugene said.
“That is correct. It should be the power or the mystery of a powerful being capable of rivaling a great wizard or the Spirit King. However, such beings are usually impossible to—”
Juseppel stopped as he met Eugene’s gaze.
“—Find, but here you are,” he continued.
Another thread seemed to have come undone. It didn’t make sense that Mirian wasn’t capable of carrying out a critical mission like protecting the entrance of the Spirit World, as there was no way an existence like the Spirit King would have made a mistake. In that case, Mirian was probably a spirit similar to Juseppel when she first crossed over. However, she had reverted to a state similar to a newborn spirit due to an incident. And just in time, Eugene—an Origin Vampire, an ancient being similar to the spirit king—had wandered by her residence and the Spirit World’s entrance.
‘Was it… because of me?’
“Sir? Kieeh?” Mirian called out with shimmering eyes as if she hadn’t sulked just now.
Eugene felt hurried.
Come to think of it; it was bizarre that a spirit had followed a vampire, regardless of how lacking they were. However, Mirian had never shown any reluctance toward him, though she was afraid of him during their first meeting. No matter how lonely she had been, it didn’t make sense that she would follow a vampire she had met for the first time. However, she had done exactly that.
At that time, Eugene had been quite ignorant about spirits, and he had simply considered Mirian to be an unusual spirit. Of course, he still considered Mirian unusual, but that didn’t seem to be the whole story now.
‘Instinct for survival, greed for wealth, and without a care of the means to achieve a purpose…’
He felt a little offended, but he couldn’t help but think that she was somewhat similar to himself.
‘Moreover, I traveled back in time. If a powerful magic capable of turning back time had an effect on her…’
Perhaps it was powerful enough to transform a perfectly normal spirit into a spirit who was lacking but kind-hearted.
“…It’s nothing important, so let’s think about it later,” Eugene said.
The two spirits tilted their heads with puzzlement while making the same sound.
Eugene quickly spoke, “Anyway, are you busy?”
“Of course. There is a lot to do. I must restore the barrier you broke and keep the monsters in the vicinity in check…” Juseppel responded.
“I can take care of that,” Eugene said before jumping up. Afterward, he beckoned at Mirian. He felt rather sorry after seeing her usual, blank gaze.
He then continued, “Everyone is responsible for this matter, so you can lend a helping hand.”
“Kieh…? Sir, why are you being nice so suddenly? You’re not acting like the Sir I know,” Mirian responded.
And she just had to be quick-witted…
“Stop with the nonsense. Fly around the lake and check the locations of the monsters. You don’t want to see dirty monsters all over your old home, right?” Eugene said.
Mirian answered, “That’s right! Kieh! Kieh! Let’s work together to screw them over!”
“Ooohh! I will take back what I said about you being irresponsible!” Juseppel exclaimed.
“Kihem! You just wait and see! Soon, you will have no choice but to call me a respectable senior!” Mirian exclaimed.
“Oh, that’s a bit…”
Eugene quickly and naturally interrupted the two spirits’ conversation, “Yes, yes. As expected of the one I contracted with. No matter what anyone says, you are my subordinate number one, aren’t you?”
“Kieh! That’s right! Kihehehe! You have finally realized my true value!” Mirian proudly exclaimed as if she had never been upset.
Eugene was glad she was lacking but kind-hearted.
1. There is a pun in the original text. The word to “glow/radiate light” is the same word for “going crazy”. So it basically said that Mirian was AAA while AAA-ing, in which AAA is the word. ☜