The Regressed Demon Lord is Kind - Chapter 81
“What…do you mean…for…myself? I was avenging you…and the vic…tims…”
Ms. Bargot’s footsteps cut Shalom’s words short. She put one foot forward and bent her knees in front of Shalom. As she bent down, she matched her eyes to his eye level.
“No, that is not the case.” Ms. Bargot denied his words again.
“Your—no, you and everyone who rebelled against the Count had only one purpose: it was for judgment.” The word Shalom emphasized so much came out of Ms. Bargot’s mouth.
“By Count Dracul’s orders, you and the other knights spread infectious diseases to countless people and sentenced them to a painful death. Because of that, all of you were filled with enormous guilt, but that feeling soon changed to anger. Anger towards the Count who made such an order, all the va.s.sals who followed his orders, and yourselves.”
Shalom’s face changed. It was not because of his injuries, but because Ms. Bargot’s words pierced the core of his soul.
“That’s why all of you welcomed an existence like me wholeheartedly. You made me the poster child for all the victims who suffered under the Count and his knights and used me to justify your group’s idea of judgment.”
“I’m right.” Ms. Bargot crushed Shalom’s feeble attempt to deny her words.
“Our suffering and pain are merely justifications for your actions and so-called ‘judgment.’ They are merely tools for you and your knights to escape from your sins and guilt.”
“No! I-I did it for you…!”
“Sir Shalom, I will just say this.”
As if she was telling him a long-held secret, she stressed out each word, “I didn’t want this revenge.”
Shalom widened his eyes as if he couldn’t believe her words. But he could see that she was telling the truth as he saw her cold, blank expression. He shook his head.
“No, no. I-I just did it for you and all the people…” His quiet murmurings continued but no one paid attention to him. Joachim and his subordinates looked at Shalom with mixed emotions. The person in front of them was someone who strayed from the right path due to his regret and grief.
“…Capture those two.” Joachim gave out his order. Shalom was injured, and Ms. Bargot looked as if she possessed no fighting prowess. It was time to end this chaos. That was what he thought if—
If Zich had not intervened.
“What is the matter, Mr. Zich?”
“There’s still Ms. Bargot. If we approach her carelessly, it’ll be very dangerous for us.”
“But Ms. Bargot is…” Joachim stole a furtive glance at Ms. Bargot. She stood back up, and she didn’t show any signs of resistance.
“Ms. Bargot was dragged into this horrific situation by force, or by some misunderstanding or coincidence. So she will follow us without resisting. Well, you are probably thinking of something along these lines, right?”
Joachim had no words to say. Zich had pointed out his unconscious bias and thoughts. As if they also shared similar thoughts, people around Joachim flinched.
“If you want me to correct your delusion, please reconsider Ms. Bargot’s words, ‘I didn’t want this revenge.’ All of you are thinking in a completely different direction than what she meant.”
What did Zich mean about a completely different direction? Didn’t she mean that even after all the injustice and pain she went through, she had no desire for revenge? However, Zich denied what Joachim—no, what most people were thinking.
“I can roughly guess what all of you are thinking. However, this woman was the one who invented and spread infectious diseases throughout the whole estate. Do you seriously think she would have such high morals to think such thoughts?”
With Zich’s words, they realized they were being swayed by the strange atmosphere.
“Then for what reason…”
“Ms. Bargot.” Zich spoke to Ms. Bargot.
“Since I worked hard on answering all your questions, would you be able to answer just one question?”
“What is the question?” Ms. Bargot asked gently.
“How did you feel when your family got infected and was about to die?”
“Mr. Zich, that…”
Even if Ms. Bargot was his enemy, there were basic societal lines that people had to keep. Even as he continued to stare at Ms. Bargot, Joachim tried to stop Zich. However, he stopped dead in his tracks. Because from beneath the veil, he saw Ms. Bargot’s enormous smile.
“Fu, fufufu! You really are impressive!”
Ms. Bargot stared at the ceiling. As if she was recalling an old, nostalgic memory, her eyes became dazed.
“It was all so sudden. My child who I kissed goodnight just yesterday began burning up, and my husband suddenly vomited blood as he was about to leave for work.”
There had been an intense commotion. Everyone in the house began to fall one by one, and even the doctors were so overcome with fear that they refused to come to the house.
“While enduring the fear of getting infected, I took care of my husband and child by myself every day. I did it because that was how much I loved them.”
Ms. Bargot wiped their burning hot bodies with a wet cloth and cleaned all the fluids and foods they vomited. She cleaned and changed their clothes when they excreted themselves. She did all this while looking at their faces constantly. She looked at them, because that was the only way she could find enough strength to continue living.
“I don’t know how many times I stared at their faces; it might have been hundreds, no, thousands of times. Despite all my efforts, I saw their faces grow worse day by day. Then a thought suddenly occurred inside my mind. Ah, people who are dying from infectious diseases—”
Her eyes exuded light mixed with ecstasy and madness.
“How beautiful they are!”
“Ugh!” One knight let out a sound. He felt that he was about to vomit. But n.o.body blamed the knight because Zich and everyone felt disgusted by Ms. Bargot’s last words. Even Shalom’s eyes were filled with anger.
“Like I told you, I don’t want revenge. On the contrary, I feel thankful to Count Dracul for teaching me about this great beauty.” She smiled brightly. However, there was not a single person who returned her smile.
‘Yep. That’s Fest.’ Zich nodded inside his mind. So far, he stopped Snoc from becoming the ‘Tyrant of the Earth’ and was in the process of stopping Joachim from becoming ‘Vampire.’ But out of everyone, he wanted to stop Fest from becoming a Demon Person the most. It was not only because Fest had already started spreading infectious diseases and terror to numerous villages.
‘Even the Hero Party gritted their teeth at Fest.’
Fest was so evil that even the Hero Party that went around killing the tras.h.i.+est of humans shook their heads at the mention of Fest’s name. Fest was an insane person who was a head above the rest. This was one of the few pieces of information Zich knew about Fest in his past life.
“T-then why did you…help…” Shalom desperately asked her this question after finally realizing Ms. Bargot’s true nature.
“Because I needed a place to experiment.”
“A place…to experiment?”
“I needed some concrete data about the diseases I created. Especially for the knights who have an insane level of resistance from their ability to control mana. In that aspect, the castle was an ideal place. But thanks to a certain someone, everything ended before I could even really begin.” Ms. Bargot looked sulkily at Zich.
“I-I can’t…believe it.”
“Why are you making a face like that, Sir Shalom? Just like how you used me to relieve some of the guilt you felt, I also used you. We both used each other, so I don’t think it’s right for you to look so betrayed.”
“You snake-like b.i.t.c.h!” Brod yelled out like he couldn’t contain his emotions any longer. To him, Ms. Bargot was no longer human. “Sir! Please give us your order! We have to capture that woman right away!”
Ms. Bargot asked, “Can you really do that? Do you think I dawdled around this place for no reason?”
“What more did you do this time?” She was calm even while Brod growled at her.
“Do you remember Galdurim, the disease that I infected all of you with?”
“Hmph! That disease?! We are completely cured from it thanks to Sir Zich.”
“Well, do you think you guys are the only ones who got infected?”
“What are you blabbering about?”
Joachim no longer talked politely, and his eyes were scanning her.
“It’s nothing, really. The reason why I came inside the castle was because the knights and soldiers have a high resistance to diseases, so I had to personally infect you all. For others, I don’t have to go out of my way to do that. Do you get what I mean?”
“…Do you have other hostages?”
“As expected, your head works quite fast.”
“Who are they?”
“All the residents in Ospurin.”
Joachim looked horrified. “Y-You infected that many people?!”
“Did you forget that my expertise is in infectious diseases? If I just infect a couple of people, the disease spreads naturally. Although it is the same for Galdurim, the strand I spread has a long dormant period, so it’s probably infecting many people without stirring up any suspicions. Of course, I can immediately awaken its symptoms by will.”
“You are lying! If your ability is strong enough to control a disease that can infect all of Ospurin, you should have known immediately when we were fully cured.”
“I think that and this is a different matter, but well, it’s true that my ability can’t reach the whole city. However, the result won’t change. I can fully control the diseases around this castle, and I made it so that if I awaken some of the cases, the rest will awaken too like a chain.”
Ms. Bargot shrugged her shoulders. “I guess if you cure everyone in Ospurin, it could change things.”
“d.a.m.n it!” Joachim gritted his teeth. He had to consider his next step of action carefully in case the entire city of Ospurin was held hostage. Ms. Bargot looked at Zich. She exuded confidence like no one could touch her.
“Then, let’s begin our conversation again…”
“Ah, forget that.” Zich scratched his head. “Let’s end it now.”
“I said, let’s end it. I have seen enough of your arrogant and overconfident att.i.tude.”
Ms. Bargot couldn’t respond immediately, because she was shocked by Zich’s sudden change of att.i.tude. However, Zich only focused on his next course of action. He fixed his grip on his sword and his stance suggested that he was going to dash towards her at any moment.
“W-Wait a moment, Mr. Zich!” Joachim tried to stop Zich in a hurry. “We don’t know if she has the lives of every resident in Ospurin under her grasp!”
Still, Zich didn’t change his attack stance. Joachim stared at him anxiously, but he didn’t go out of his way to stop Zich either. Zich had solved all kinds of problems so far, and Joachim wondered if Zich had something up his sleeves again. Hope sprouted out of Joachim’s heart.
“…This is a bit disappointing. To think you are so foolish…After all this time, do you not believe me?”
“How could I? I believe you.”
“Then, are you going to sacrifice the people in Ospurin?”
“If I have to make that decision, I will choose to kill you even if I have to sacrifice Ospurin.”
Everyone looked shocked, and even Ms. Bargot seemed like she did not expect this response.
“S-Sir Zich!” Hans yelled in surprise. “D-Didn’t you say that you wanted to live a kind life? Then, how could you say…!”
Although his personality was nasty and he had a bizarre way of thinking, Zich’s resolution to do kind acts had always been resolute. Hans believed in at least this much, and he was more shocked by Zich’s response.
“Yeah, I will live kindly. So, that’s why I am trying to kill that woman.”
“But everyone in Ospurin may die!”
“It’s a sacrifice that can’t be helped.”
Hans froze in place.
“Hey, Hans. It might seem cruel to you since you dream of heroes from storybooks, but a person has to always make a choice at some point in their lives. As of right now, a huge decision is pressing down upon me.”
It was a choice between Ospurin’s citizens or finis.h.i.+ng Greta Bargot.
“If you really dream of becoming a hero, you have to make a decision even if you have to endure a pain as strong as your intestines twisting up. You saw that woman’s true face too, right? If she escapes right now, do you think she would live like a recluse inside a mountain and repent for her sins? Or do you think she would wander around, spreading more infectious diseases?”
Hans knew it was the latter. There wasn’t a person in the room who thought the former would happen.
“Then, do you think the people who will die from her diseases in the future would be less than the population in Ospurin?”
Hans couldn’t breathe well with the daunting choice of saving lives against more lives.
“Besides, I said that I would live a kind life, but I didn’t say that I will live while comparing every act with another to see which one is kinder. Saving Ospurin’s people is definitely a kind act, but it is also a kind act to kill this witch in front of us. If both are kind acts, I will choose which one I’m going to do.”
It was a truly cruel and heartless decision. People quelled their breathing, and Ms. Bargot looked at Zich chillingly. “…So, are you going to put an end to this?”
“That’s what I’ve been saying.”
“M-Mr. Zich! Even so, we can’t sacrifice everyone in Ospurin!” Joachim blocked Zich.
Even if Zich was right, as the son of Count Dracul, he couldn’t just watch the fall of Ospurin. Next to Joachim, Brod seemed to agree, and the ends of his sword shook as if it was hinting at an imminent battle.
‘Well, since you are an aristocrat of this land, it’s understandable.’
It would have been stranger if they didn’t act like this.
Ms. Bargot ridiculed Zich, “They don’t seem to agree with your decision.”
Zich glanced at Joachim and Brod and shrugged his shoulders. “I got too caught up in the moment. Don’t worry, sir. The residents of Ospurin will be fine.”
“Ah, of course. Mr. Zich couldn’t have really meant those words…”
“I meant everything I said.”
“…” Joachim, who felt relieved, closed his mouth.
“But that’s only if I have to really make a choice to give up the residents in Ospurin or Ms. Bargot.”
“Is there another way?” Ms. Bargot looked at him with innocent eyes. She was mocking him because she was sure that there was no other way. An opponent that was completely confident in themselves—this was Zich’s favorite type of prey.
“In the first place, I don’t need to consider between those two choices. I don’t need to give up on either one of them.”
“What are you saying?”
“All the citizens in Ospurin have already been cured.”
Everyone was shocked; beneath her veil, Ms. Bargot’s mouth slightly opened up in surprise. Seeing her surprised face, Zich smiled brightly.
“How about it, Ms. Bargot? How was your sweet moment of hope?”