“…I met My Lord on a night with a beautiful moon. Much like the one we have tonight.” (Shin)
Shin gazed at the beautiful full moon floating across the sky.
“I believe it was around the middle of the Great War. It was a transitional period before the war with the humans intensified again, with many skirmishes. I had already obtained my body, and with a sword in my hand, I challenged famous demons to contests of strength.” (Shin)
Shin spoke quietly, as if reminiscing the distant past.
“Known as the God-Killing Sword, I made every single one of my enemies feel like a weakling. But perhaps that was the only possible outcome. Against a demon whose source was made just for fighting, there was no way for those who were born otherwise to ever measure up.” (Shin)
Shin cut off his own words, and closed his eyelids for a moment.
When he opened them again, there was a hint of melancholy in his eyes.
“What they possessed in their sources was love. Perhaps even kindness, hatred, or sorrow. Such feelings were useless in battle, and all those demons fell to the sword in my hands.” (Shin)
While absentmindedly reminiscing about the past, Shin muttered indifferently.
“Perhaps it is precisely because I have no love that I have power.” (Shin)
Those cold words sounded somewhat lonely and forlorn.
Maybe Reno sensed it, as she bit her own lip.
“There was a void in my heart. Perhaps I actually envied them as I defeated them. My body was craving for something. But I had no way of knowing what back then. The one and only thing I knew… was that I was seeking someone who could defeat me. As I kept searching for opponents, I single-mindedly wielded my sword, in a way befitting of my reputation as a killing sword.” (Shin)
Shin, who never stopped fighting, came to be referred to as “Thousand Swords”.
As in, the strongest demon swordsman, master of a thousand swords.
“Then one day, I came face to face with the Demon King. I was swinging my sword as usual, but what he said to me was ‘Let’s talk.’” (Shin)
“Then what happened?” (Reno)
“Naturally, I paid it no mind, and slashed at the Demon King. Whenever he blocked my sword, he said something more. It was something different every time, but all in all, he was only asking me one thing.” (Shin)
Shin spoke in a soft voice, as if recalling the words of his past.
“ ‘What are you fighting for?’ ” (Shin)
Reno was nodding gently to show that she was paying attention.
She must’ve understood that to Shin, this was the most important part.
“I unleashed a hundred of my swords at him, but I was never able to slay him. For the very first time, I gained an interest in my opponent. Then I asked him ‘Why are you so strong?’. Thinking back on it, those were the first words I uttered after becoming a demon.” (Shin)
“…So what did Anos reply?” (Reno)
“ ‘I have to be strong if I want to save people.’ Then, what he asked me next was ‘Now why are you so strong?’ “ (Shin)
Shin stared at the palm of his own hand.
“ ‘No reason’, I replied. I told him that I had no heart, and that I was strong just for the sake of being strong. For I was nothing more than a sword.” (Shin)
He quietly clenched his open hand.
“It was then that My Lord said ‘Come under my wing. I will give you the right opponents to be cut down by your sword.’ ” (Shin)
Shin said it with strength and energy.
“…I then realized for the first time that all my life, I had been searching for a master worthy of owning me, the God-Killing Sword. In the end, without using so much as a single spell on me, he won me over with a single sentence.” (Shin)
He caught his breath, and turned to Reno.
“I swore allegiance to him by declaring that I would become his sword, and cut down all of his enemies. To that, My Lord replied ‘In that case, I will destroy all the tragedy and chaos that stand in your way.’ “ (Shin)
“…Whoa. Anos is really amazing…” (Reno)
“What do you mean by that?” (Shin)
“Well, he realized what you really wanted, didn’t he? That’s why he never attacked you even when you were pointing your sword at him.” (Reno)
“…You are right. I have asked him about it, but all he answered was that he was tired…” (Shin)
“…Of fighting, apparently. In the end, I could not fathom what My Lord was thinking at that time.” (Shin)
He stared off into the distance.
Or perhaps he was thinking about his master, who would be reincarnated two thousand years later.
“What I am certain of is that he gave my empty self a reason to fight. I was nothing more than a sword, yet My Lord welcomed me as a fellow demon, and one of his greatest assets. It was in order to repay my debt to him that I became the Demon King’s right-hand man.” (Shin)
“…I see…” (Reno)
Reno dreamily gazed at the moonlight.
In the same direction as Shin.
“…I was complaining about how unfair it was, but I guess I really can’t win against Anos. No wonder you want to chase after him and reincarnate…” (Reno)
Reno cast her eyes down, looking slightly dejected.
However, she quickly bounced back up and shook her head.
“…U-Umm… Shin…” (Reno)
Timidly, she put her own hand on the one Shin was resting on the bed.
Then as if to muster up her courage, she said the following.
“…All things considered, I don’t want us to…” (Reno)
Reno’s lips were quivering, and her face flushed.
But she managed to squeeze out a voice that was so weak and faint she sounded as if she was about to break.
“…simply go to bed…” (Reno)
Just like that, Reno brought her face closer to his and gently kissed him.
Leaning in for a hug, she stretched out her white fingertips over Shin’s body.
He gently grabbed it.
“…You don’t want it…?” (Reno)
After a moment, Shin responded.
“…If what you seek from me is love… you might end up hurting your own feelings instead…” (Shin)
“It’s okay.” (Reno)
Reno intertwined her fingers with Shin’s and smiled, as she always did.
“I’ll teach you about love.” (Reno)
The full moon was shining brightly in the night sky.
The light pouring in through the window softly and lovingly illuminated the two overlapping figures.