The only reason was that he wanted them to see his hometown, which he considered as his family.
That's why they were the only ones who had visited the village and stayed for a few days.
So the fact that the woman was there was proof that it was her.
At least, that's what Roy thought at the time.
"Well, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I startled you. How did you know where I was?
Anyway, I'm glad you're okay. ...... What do you say we stop by my place?
I'd like to introduce you to my wife and kids.
"──── Yeah. I'll do that.
I'm a little tired from the long trip. Can I stay here today?
Yes, of course. You're welcome.
That day, Roy invited Astira to his house.
While they were having dinner, Roy again felt uncomfortable with the woman in front of him, and Roy's wife also had doubts.
──── I don't know what's going on in her (Astila's) mind.
I've never seen anything like this before.
In the past, when they traveled together as adventurers, Astila and Oaken did not tell him everything.
But Roy had always been able to hear their "hearts" and understand who they were.
Although he felt bad that he couldn't tell them about his power according to the rules of his family, he always felt comfortable listening to their voices.
And all the while, he thought.
They were trustworthy, he thought.
Even though ────.
There is no (・・・・・・) voice (・・・・) from her now (・・・・・・), no heart (・・・・・・).
He should have realized what it meant sooner.
The indelible memory that she had been a trusted and valued companion had clouded his judgment.
──── Something was wrong.
By the time he realized what was wrong the next morning, it was already too late.
By the time he realized something was wrong the next morning, it was too late. ...... What's going on?
The next morning, it was already too late when he noticed something was wrong. "What's going on?" The next thing he knew, the Red Stone, the treasure of the Lepi people, had disappeared from the sanctuary of the village elder's house.
The whole village was in an uproar and Roy immediately looked for Astila, the stranger he had brought in.
And he soon found her.
What's wrong, sir? You're making a lot of noise.
Then Roy noticed what the woman had in her hand.
"What are you doing, Astira? It's a treasure of the village. Give it to me!
"This? But you can't. I came here to get it. ...... I'm not giving it to anyone.
In the past, Roy had been blaming himself for abandoning Astila in the Labyrinth of Sorrow and running away with Oaken, but he interpreted the motive as a grudge against himself and stepped forward to Astila and kneeled down.
...... Astira, I know you resent me. But the rest of the village is none of your business. ......! If you want revenge, leave me alone!
"Hmm, Roy. What are you talking about? Revenge? I'm not holding a grudge against anyone. In fact, I'm really grateful to you. You're the one who told me this existed.
Roy never mentioned the family secret of the Red Stone to Astila, either.
But when he went to the elders' house to greet them, there might have been a large red stone there.
At least, that's what it was supposed to be.
──── Could it be that she knew what it was at first sight?
"As I suspected, this is very good stuff. I didn't think there was anything like it on earth today (・・・・). We are very lucky. St. Mithra wants a lot of blood for the resurrection. I'm sure you'll be more than useful.
"What? Astira, what are you talking about ────?
Roy asked back, unable to understand a word that the familiar woman in front of him had said.
But the woman quickly turned around and turned her back on Roy.
I'm done with my business and I'm leaving. I'm simply here to get this.
"...... No! It's the very bloodline and history of the family that our ancestors turned themselves into. ──── We can't let a single thing leave this village. Please, just give it back to me. I really don't want you to take it. ......!
It was Roy's heartfelt plea.
It was Roy's heartfelt plea. He couldn't raise his hand to someone he felt so guilty about.
More than anything, he didn't want to hurt the people he once trusted more than anything.
All Roy wanted to do was plead.
Please, just give it back.
There was a feeling in Roy's heart that his former comrades would understand if he told them.
So he said it.
The Red Stone, a treasure passed down in Roy's village, was the end result of his ancestors themselves.
He confessed that at the end of their lives, by passing magic power through their bodies with strong emotions, they would be transformed into a special stone with unparalleled brilliance and immense magical power.
I'm not sure what the person in front of me is,────.
"...... I see. You think your blood is concentrated in this? And not one? Are you saying there is more? Well, that's ...... a very good thing to hear.
Then the being in front of Roy's eyes gave him a creepy smile that sent chills down his spine.
The expression on his face did not seem like the Astila Roy knew.
I'm not sure what you're thinking, ...... Astila, but if you're going to go after ...... me, leave me alone. That's the only thing I can't give you.
Just you? You're the only one? Why would I do such a (・・・・・・) waste?
"...... what the hell is ......?
I'm not sure if you've ever heard of this, but I'm sure you've heard of it.
I've changed my mind after listening to your ...... story. I will now give everything I have here to my master. Yes, that's right, it's for the best. Roy, you've taught me a really good lesson.
"──── Who are you? Are you really Astira?
Yes, I am, Roy. I'm Astira, your and Oaken's adventuring companion.
And now I am Astira, the faithful servant of Saint Mithra.
Roy was at a loss for words when he heard the words that were so far removed from the woman he knew.
Then he finally realized.
This woman was completely different from the person he knew, except for her appearance.
But by the time I realized it, it was too late.
──── too, too late.
"Your clan will be used as food for the resurrection of Lady Mithra. The Red Stone. It's really quite something. So much magic coming to fruition inside. I never thought such a creature could be born outside. Does this mean that our 20,000 years of waiting were not in vain?
What are you talking about? ──── Stop. That is the history of our bloodline itself. Please stop .......
Astira smiled coldly and amusedly at Roy, who was still pleading.
"That history will not be wasted (・・・・・・・), you know.
You should be honored, because ──── is the best use of it.
But still. You guys have some strange powers, don't you? You can read the minds of ...... beings you confront.
...... Astira, why do you do that?
I'm sure I've never said that to her or to Oaken.
It's a good idea to have a good idea of what you're looking for.
It was a smile of a kind Roy had never seen before.
──── Oh yeah, I've got an idea. You'll have to look forward to it.
Then she laughed eerily and disappeared.
Roy searched frantically, but she was nowhere to be found.
Then it happened.
I'm not sure what to say.
I'm not sure what to say.
"...... is gone again. Aron's child. My two brothers have disappeared with him.
"Did you look for them ......?
...... Of course I did! I've been looking! But I can't find them. It's the same as last time. Eventually, ...... will find our child.
First, the "red stones" that were enshrined in the altars of the houses were stolen one by one while we were away.
Then, once that was over, there was a series of incidents in which children in the village disappeared.
The missing children could not be found no matter where they looked even after several days.
──── It was obvious that outsiders had entered, stones had been stolen, and children had been kidnapped.
It's your fault. It's your fault. You broke the family code and invited that stranger into our village. ......!
"I'm ...... sorry ...... it's really my fault. I'll take responsibility. ......
Will you promise me ......?
Yeah, I promise. I'll protect you.
────, but Roy's promise was never fulfilled.
Over the next few months, more than half of the Lepi people disappeared.
First the children began to disappear one by one, then the women.
Then young men. Young men.
Old men were often found dead in the middle of nowhere.
Still, the Lepi did not resist.
Originally, these gentle people had no way to fight.
No, it was not that they had no way to fight.
They could have easily gained the strength to fight if they had used their innate ability to communicate with living things for a different purpose (・・・・).
But their code strictly forbade it.
To "fight" with one's natural power.
It was their greatest taboo.
──── "Do not use the power that Heaven has given you to harm anyone else.
The family code strongly enjoined it.
They almost died once because of it.
So they followed the teachings of their ancestors and the instructions of their elders, and no matter what happened to them, they did not resist.
Even when women and children were kidnapped and men were killed, they said nothing.
All they did was endure.
So their numbers dwindled and dwindled.
With little or no resistance, they continued to dwindle in number and the village became desolate.
Nevertheless, they continued to endure, hoping that one day this disaster would stop.
Roy, too, followed the Chief's policy and avoided retaliation, except for setting traps and warning his companions when he sensed foreign enemies.
He thought that if he could just endure, then one day this disaster would pass.
It was only when Roy's seventh son disappeared one day that he realized that this was only a wish.
In the middle of his farm work, Roy noticed that his son had disappeared and searched the whole village with his eyes.
But no matter where he looked, he could not find him.
Even after three days, Roy could not find his son.
...... It was no use. We are powerless to get involved with the outside world.
Roy's wife became so sad that she stopped drinking water.
After his wife passed away, Roy left the village without saying a word to anyone.
Roy knew that he had brought this all on himself.
He knew that he had brought this all on himself. ──── So, he would have to settle this on his own.
In order to do this, the current state of affairs is not enough.
I need to have enough power.
That's what Roy thought.
And so, he decided to break the law of abomination that his race had always kept.
He thought there was nothing else he could do.
This is the biggest contraindication of the Lepi tribe, which has been handed down from generation to generation as the only thing that must not be done.
To do so, he had to go to the north.
In order to do this, he went north to the mountain where the black dragon lives.
The next day, Roy appeared in the village with a huge dragon, just as he had intended.
When the elders saw him, they were furious and shouted at him.
He told him not to break the law that his ancestors had enjoined.
Its power will surely bring destruction to the clan.
That's why you must not use it.
Roy understood the meaning of this law.
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──── So, instead of violating his family's taboo, he (Roy) gained great power literally overnight.
He was able to single-handedly subdue many powerful magical beasts.
And he single-handedly found and destroyed the humans who came to attack the Lepi village.
All too soon, the foreign enemy was gone.
It was a power that was too powerful to be forbidden.
But when the Lepi youths saw Roy wielding such powerful power, they all tried to emulate him.
And then someone muttered.
If you can get that kind of power, ──── why didn't you do it earlier?
Why didn't they just let us do it?
They all went after Roy, berating the chief.
Then, in the blink of an eye, ────, a huge army of demons was formed, enough to fill a wide plain.
In a matter of days (・・・・・), a force that could surpass the armies of all nations emerged.
Some of the young men of the Lepi tribe became very angry when they gained enough power to cut down mountains with surprising ease.
──── Why didn't they use this "power" earlier?
They all regretted it.
If they had obtained this power earlier, they would not have killed so many of their own people.
They began to curse their ancestors verbally, and no one listened to the elders.
They began to resent the ancestors and the elders.
That resentment turned into respect for Roy, who had shown them that power existed, and they began to worship him as their new leader.
Even Roy, who had left the village after telling them not to follow him, could not stop the young people from following him.
He himself, like many of his followers, had a strong feeling of hatred for someone in his heart.
They all felt the same.
──── And so, empowered, they invaded the human villages one after another.
To avenge their slain comrades.
And to get back the Red Stone, the relic of their ancestors that was stolen from the village.
And above all, to save the children who were kidnapped to give birth to a new Red Stone.
It was a good cause.
But the fear of the unknown, the hatred of having something so close to them taken away, and the pleasure of gaining so much power turned them all into tyrants.
──── They have been robbed of everything.
And they're going to get it back.
They used the power they gained to search for their kidnapped kin, destroying everything in sight.
And one by one, their families were found.
Some as slaves.
Some never returned.
Some as mere pieces of the Red Stone.
And each time they met their families, their hatred grew.
And everyone who met their family wanted revenge to continue.
──── They've been robbed of so much.
So they had to take back as much as they could.
Their hatred swelled with every step they took as a group, every time they spotted their own kind in the distance.
Without knowing who they were fighting, they gained more power.
The ──── hatred created more violence.
The more they wanted, the more their power grew.
And so ──── many killed and were killed.
The Lepi shed a great deal of blood everywhere they went.
Roy, who had somehow become the leader of them all, could not stop.
He had walked all over the continent and still could not find Roy's son anywhere.
With a sliver of hope in his heart, he raided every human city he could find.
He went wherever he could find information that would lead him.
He killed anyone who opposed him, and even crushed armies head-on.
No one could stop them now.
Years of bloodshed passed as the Lepi turned against the humans, but they did not stop.
Believing that the day would come when the Lepi could once again live in peace and tranquility as they had in the past, they kept going.
To do so, they were willing to shed a great deal of blood.
But that day never came. ────
The Lepi were no longer called by their original names.
Evil beings who control demons.
The Lepi are an evil race of demons. ──── "Demons".
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