Let’s take a look at Aharthern, the Great Spirit Forest.
Through Sasha’s vision, I could see Shin and Reno, and facing them was the Hero Kanon.
“I refuse.” (Shin)
Shin’s blunt reply was met with a persistent protest from Kanon.
“Shin Reglia. This is a means to help the Demon King of Tyranny, to help Anos. I’ll admit that no matter what the humans may be up to, he wouldn’t even take notice of it. He took up the sword to protect, and he even saved his enemies. Would you let him engage the humans again after all this?” (Kanon)
Shin gave a wordless reply, while Kanon continued.
“The humans made a foolish decision. Which is why I will atone for it with my own body. And bring peace without fail this time. What I want for him, who wished for peace far more than anyone else as he reincarnated, is that the next first thing he sees is a peaceful world.” (Kanon)
“Hero Kanon.” Shin said in a cold voice.
“Regardless of the circumstances, do you truly think I would tolerate a fake Demon King?” (Shin)
“…I don’t.” (Kanon)
“Then surely you understand what it means when you ask me to play the role of an impostor’s right hand man, don’t you?” (Shin)
“With the Demon King’s right-hand man by his side, everyone will believe that Avos Dilhevia is the real Demon King. If you care about Anos, then won’t you assist me?” (Kanon)
As soon as he said that, Shin drew his iron sword and touched Kanon’s neck with it.
The Hero reacted just in time to grab it with his bare hand.
Blood dripped from his clutching hand, with red droplets falling to the ground.
“Your belief that My Lord would have no choice but to wipe out humankind unless I assist you is no different than an insult. The Demon King of Tyranny is not so weak that it would come to that. No matter who plans what, he will overcome everything, and accomplish all of his goals. Without losing anything.” (Shin)
“You’re right, he transcended everything. And yet, there were still things he couldn’t protect.” (Kanon)
“My Lord has gained enough power not to lose anything ever again. And he will continue to grow stronger even after his reincarnation.” (Shin)
“Even so…! I have to show him that not all humans are foolish! Are you sure you want to leave it all to him just because he’s strong? He had no choice but to become stronger precisely because he kept taking care of everything. He had no choice just to kill, destroy, and become a deterrent force to the point that he was called a tyrant!” Kanon complained.
He expressed his sincere feelings as an ally of the demons.
“Don’t you feel the tragedy of his strength, of that solitary power…? Because we were so weak, because we didn’t have the resolve to stop this conflict, because we weren’t strong enough to put an end to this hatred, he had no choice but to die alone!” (Kanon)
Kanon stared at Shin with pure, unclouded eyes.
“I agree that impersonating the Demon King is an insult to him. And I know now how eminent and inviolable his existence is to you all. Which is why, I will atone for the sin of impersonating the Demon King with my own body, and with my own death. As the phony Demon King Avos Dilhevia.” (Kanon)
Kanon gripped the iron blade harder.
“…I’m sorry. I can’t afford to perish now. But in two thousand years, I promise… I promise I will atone for it with my life. When that time comes, you’ll be free to take me down.” (Kanon)
Shin remained silent, with his cold gaze still on Kanon.
Surely as a way of saying that he didn’t need to repeat himself, as his answer wouldn’t change.
Realizing this, Kanon let go of the sword.
“I made a promise. That the next time I’m reborn, he and I would meet as friends. I wish to…” (Kanon)
Kanon corrected himself.
To show that he wasn’t playing the role of the Hero, but just being who he was, Kanon.
“…I want to be worthy of being his friend the next time I stand before him…” (Kanon)
The two stared at each other.
Shin pulled back his sword, shook off the blood on it, and sheathed it.
“It appears that the Hero Kanon has gone insane. Such a man could never possibly succeed in spreading the name of a phony Demon King here in Dilhade. Therefore, leaving him to his own devices should not pose any problem.” Shin said as he turned on his heel and looked back.
“I will reincarnate. I will be reborn in two thousand years from now.” (Shin)
What he probably meant by that was that while he couldn’t cooperate in spreading the name of a phony Demon King, he wouldn’t interfere with Kanon’s plan.
This was the best Shin could do as my loyal retainer.
“Thank you.” (Kanon)
Kanon bowed deeply to Shin’s back.
A few moments later, after Shin had walked away, Kanon raised his head.
He then slightly bowed to Reno, who was right in front of him.
“You’ve changed a bit, Kanon. You always looked like you were tormented by something, but now, I can see that you’ve gotten over it.” (Reno)
“If so, then it must be thanks to the Demon King Anos.” (Kanon)
Kanon gave a refreshing smile.
“And is it thanks to you that he changed?” (Kanon)
Reno widened her eyes in wonder.
“When I came here, I was prepared to be cut down. If Shin had been the same as before, he would’ve drawn a demon sword instead of an iron sword. In fact, he might not even have listened to me at all. I’ve never seen him without any hostility before.” (Kanon)
“I see. Maybe teaching him about love was actually worth it.” (Reno)
Kanon gave her a confused look.
Then he smiled a bit.
“Ahh, I see. No wonder you seemed so different from usual.” Kanon said, as if he understood something.
“And here I thought the Great Mother of All Spirits would never fall in love.” (Kanon)
Stunned, Reno looked back at Kanon.
He looked as if he had just gotten a clear understanding of something.
“Maybe this world is more full of love than I thought.” (Kanon)
Kanon looked over his shoulder, with hope in his eyes.
With those last words, he left Aharthern.
“Love…” Reno murmured.
Her cheeks turned vermilion, and her face relaxed.
“…I see. This is love…” Reno repeated once more.
In doing so, she seemed to be confirming her own feelings.
She instantly turned on her heel with full energy.
Then she ran as fast as she could in Shin’s direction.
She soon caught sight of Shin’s back.
Even though the one he was dealing with was the Hero Kanon, he must’ve been waiting for Reno so as not to get separated from her.