Once the Dark Spirit vanished, the Decisive Player sighed and walked over to them.
“Did the Dark Spirit get destroyed?” Lakshman asked anxiously.
The Decisive Player nodded and said “Yes. That Dark Spirit’s no more.”
“Cool!” Lakshman said happily and he gave him a thumps up gesture.
Seeing that, the Decisive Player chuckled and returned the thumps up gesture.
“Um…” Emilia said in a confused voice.
Lakshman turned his head to look at Emilia. She was looking at him and the Decisive Player with a confused expression on her face.
“Um… Why are there two masters? Are you copies? Twins? Doubles? Duals?”
Hearing her questions, Lakshman chuckled and said “We… sort of are, I guess… Wait? What does duals even mean?”
She did not respond to his question, but continued to look at the two of them. Once the Decisive Player reached them, Emilia was shaking her head a few times to make sure she was seeing right.
Then she pointed at the Decisive Player and asked “Master… Who is he?”
“Him? He’s the Decisive Player!” Lakshman said cheerfully.
“Oh… Then you’re my master… right?” Emilia asked nervously when she looked at Lakshman.
Before Lakshman could respond, the Decisive Player said “No. He’s the Innocent Player.”
“Huh? Innocent Player?” Emilia asked and she looked confused.
Lakshman threw serious look at the Decisive Player, who cleverly avoided it by looking away. Sighing, he returned to look at Emilia with a smile on his face.
“I’m Lakshman! Remember? I bought you at the Slave Market for… um… I don’t know how much, but you became my slave since then!”
Emilia nodded her head at him and she smiled happily. Then she said “Ah! So you are my master!”
With that, Emilia hugged him happily. For a moment, Lakshman was taken aback. Then he responded by hugging her back. For a moment, the two of them stood there while hugging each other.
The Decisive Player suddenly cleared his throat loudly which caused the two of them to quickly separate. Lakshman and Emilia looked embarrassed and while smiling guiltily.
After sighing, the Decisive Player asked “Are you feeling better now? You know…? After being freed from the Dark Spirit from my numerous insults?”
“Eh?” Emilia said and she looked surprised by his words.
“Oh yeah! That reminds me…! Why the hell did you say all those nasty things about her and her parents?!” Lakshman demanded angrily as he turned to face him with a serious expression on his face.
The Decisive Player suddenly lifted his finger and pointed at Lakshman’s forehead much to Lakshman’s surprised.
“While the Dark Spirit had control over Emilia, I was able to read her negativity.”
“Hey negativity? Do you mean like what was causing the darkness in her to empower the Dark Spirit?”
The Decisive Player nodded and said “That’s right. I used the technique Cold Read to understand the reason to her anger and frustration. That’s when I knew my insulting words will provoke her into taking control of her body once again.”
“Wow…! You’re crazy!” Lakshman said in awe.
The Decisive Player smiled at him and said “That’s why I’m the Decisive Player and you’re the Innocent Player! You’ll never be able to become with that happy attitude you always have.”
“What?! I’ve been decisive lately! I’m training as hard as I could and learning to improve my fighting techniques and skills!”
“Yes, yes,” the Decisive Player said easily which slightly annoyed Lakshman.
Ignoring his annoyance, the Decisive Player looked at Emilia. She was startled to see him looking at her so intently. For a moment, he simply looked at her which worried her.
“W-What is it? Is something wrong with my face?” Emilia asked nervously.
The Decisive Player shook his head and said “No. Rather, I’m wondering whether you feeling okay.”
“I’m feeling okay?” Emilia asked and he nodded. Then she asked “Feeling okay about what? You insulting my parents or that there are two masters present or that one of them is simply crazy! Which of them are asking me whether I’m feeling okay about?”
The Decisive Player and Lakshman raised their eyebrows in surprise. Then they both burst out laughing which confused her even more. After settling down, the Decisive Player and Lakshman continued to smile at her.
“What I’m asking about is how you are feeling about the deaths of your parents,” the Decisive Player said clearly this time.
“Oh…” Emilia said shortly and she instantly looked sad. Then she said “My parents were really nice and kind! They always played with me and loved me very much! Whenever I got bullied by others for being a hybrid, my dad always came to my rescue!”
“Ah…! Your parents sound like mine! Always cheerful, love me very much and sometimes strict at certain things!” Lakshman said with a smile.
Emilia nodded and then looked even sadder as she said “On my tenth birthday, my parents were supposed to be there to wish me on my birthday! Yet, they had to go out for something! Of course… That also turns out to be the bad as we soon found out…”
Then she told them about how monsters of C-Rank attacked their village. During the attack, many people were killed. At that time, her parents were assisting with the retreating villagers while the strong adventurers fought off the monsters. Then, as the monsters broke through the ranks, they were attacked and killed by the wave.
Lakshman listened to her retelling the past events in a sad voice. It made her feel really sorry for her and angry at him. He was stupid to believe Emilia would have so easily moved on after that. The deaths of her parents, especially on her birthday, was a harsh blow for any kid at that age.
“Then the Sword Titan arrived and quickly defeated all the monsters. Later, he apologised to the village for not arriving in time and expressed his great regret towards the dead. I was there, standing among the many who had lost their parents, as he pleaded for forgiveness from the dead people.”
“The Sword Titan? Hmm… That reminds me about someone, but where have I heard that title…?” Lakshman said slowly in a wondering voice.
The Decisive Player looked at him and said “The Sword Titan. The Ninth strongest member of the Nine Pillars of Power!”
“Oh! That’s right! I remember now! I keep forgetting about the ranks of each of the members of the Nine Pillars of Power!” Lakshman said and he rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment.
Then Emilia continued her story and explained how, due to the debt, most of the children were sold into slavery. After that, they were continuously being bought and sold by different people each time. In the end, the life of a slave turned into a dark pit of negatives for Emilia.
When she came to the end of her story, Emilia was crying quietly. Tear drops were flowing down her face as she cried without letting a sound out. Watching this made Lakshman do something out of impulse.
He walked up to her and hugged her and said “Emilia! You’re no longer alone! You have me, Ondine, Tetra and everyone around us! They are your new family from now on, got that?! I forbid you to feel lonely anymore!”
Emilia looked at him with a shocked expression on her face as he continued speaking.
“Your parents died protecting people! They died in the line of duty to help others! You are their daughter and you should feel proud of such parents! I know they have died and are no longer here to comfort you, but I’m here! I’m here for you, Emilia! Do you understand?!”
At his strong voice, she slowly nodded her head. Then he said “As long as I’m around, I won’t let anyone bring harm to you and I won’t let you feel lonely! I won’t! You are now my friend, comrade and family! I won’t let my family get hurt without breaking through me first!”
He suddenly wore a fierce expression on his face as he said “If anyone dared to touch people dear to me, I won’t spare them or show mercy! I’ll blast them until they wish they’re dead!”
Then he looked at her and smiled before saying “So don’t feel lonely. You’re not alone, Emilia. I’m always around if you want to talk to someone or share your troubles with. I promise on your dead parents that I will not let any harm get to you!”
Once he finished, he winked at her. Emilia had listened to him speak until he finished. She was astonished that there was someone like him around to speak such old lines. Even with that, she somehow was attracted to him.
Then she suddenly remembered her father one saying “In the future, you’ll meet someone who’ll be your important person. No matter how stupid, idiotic or reckless he is, if he has the determination and the courage to make something happen, never lose him from your sights!”
Emilia did not understand her father’s words of wisdom at that time because of how young she was. Now, however, she finally realised the meaning behind those words. That man, whom her father was referring to, correctly referred to Lakshman.
She walked forward and hugged him and began to cry her heart out. For the first time, in a long time, she cried like this. The only other time she cried like this was at how cruel life was, but there was hope. She knew everything will be fine so long she follows Lakshman.
When she finally calmed down, they looked at each other and smiled. At that moment, they heard snivelling sounds and they turned to see where it was coming from. Both Lakshman and Emilia were stunned to see the Decisive Player crying energetically.
“I… I’m so moved…! What a… heart moving… speech!” the Decisive Player said as tears streamed down his face.
“Gah! Stop crying, dammit! It’s creepy!” Lakshman exclaimed loudly at him.
“Yes! Please stop crying with the face of my master! It’s unsettling!” Emilia said angrily as she glared at him.
“Fine, fine!” the Decisive Player said and he instantly stopped crying much to their surprise. Seeing their expression, he smiled and said “Never underestimate the power of the Decisive Player! I’ve got a lot of tricks up my sleaves!”
“Whatever!” Lakshman said and all three of them laughed.
At that moment, Lakshman and Emilia began to glow. They were slowly fading and their bodies were becoming transparent.
Panicking, Emilia cried out “Master! We’re fading away! We’re going to die…! No…! I thought you said you will protect me from everything!”
“Eh?” Lakshman said in surprise as he saw his hands turning transparent he glowed. Then he looked at the Decisive Player and asked “Are we really disappearing for good?”
At his question, the Decisive Player laughed and shook his head.
“No. You’re going to return to reality because the purpose for coming here has been complete!”
“Oh… Then what about you? You’re still solid!”
“I… have some business I must attend to, but I will return soon.”
“Ah! Okay then. We’ll see each other whenever we meet the next time then!” Lakshman said and he waved at him.
“Thank you very much for your help and I forgive you for calling my parents all those bad things, Decisive Player!” Emilia said happily before winking at him.
The Decisive Player was surprised by her words. Then he smiled as the two of them turned transparent and vanished. After they were gone, the Decisive Player sighed heavily.
“Was that okay?” he asked and he turned around.
There, standing behind him, were two people. They were glowing brightly and particles of light were emitting from them. One was a human woman with long black hair streaming down to her waist and the other was a tall man from the Serprad Demon Clan. They were also the parents of Emilia.
The tall man nodded at him and said “Yes. That is good.”
The woman also nodded and smiled happily before she said “It went wonderfully well for a hastily executed plan!”
At her words, The Decisive Player chuckled and said “There actually exists no technique called Cold Read to read the negativity of a child. After all, the only people who can read the heart of a child are the child’s parents.”
When the two nodded at him, he looked curiously at them and asked “Was it alright to not see her for one last time?”
To his question, the man nodded and the woman said “Yes. If we saw her as we are right now, I’m sure we’ll only cause her more regret. So it’s better that she assumes we are gone for good.”
When they all smiled at each other, the parents began to glow brighter.
“Looks like it’s time for us to go,” the man said with a sad expression on his face.
His wife patted him on the back and said “Cheer up. Our daughter is in good hands now. You should be happy about it.”
After nodding at her in agreement, he turned towards the Decisive Player and said “Thank you very much for your assistance, Phoenix Titan.”
At being called by such a title, the Decisive Player raised his hand and waved a finger at them in disagreement. Then he smiled as he spoke to them one final time.
“That boy will become the Phoenix Titan. I simply am… the Voice of the Phoenix.”
At his words, they nodded and smiled. The glow became brighter and brighter until it became very bright before the two parents disappeared.
Once they disappeared, the Decisive Player brought his hands together in a prayer and said “Śānti viśrānti.”
Back in reality, Lakshman and Emilia opened their eyes. They were stunned to find themselves lying on top of each other. They quickly sat upright and separated while checking their bodies. Once sure, they hugged each other happily.
“Master! We’re alive! We’re back in the real!” Emilia said happily.
“Yes! We really are back! We’re alive!” Lakshman said in relief.
At that moment, a menacing voice said “You’re alive… for now…!”
Then another menacing voice said “Yes… For now…!”
Lakshman and Emilia froze in shock. They slowly looked around fearfully. There, sitting upright while glaring at them, was Ondine and Tetra. The two girls had woken up at the sudden noise Lakshman and Emilia made when they returned to reality.
“Mmm… What are you two doing hugging each other?” Ondine asked as she glared at the two of them hugging each other.
“Ah! No! This is…! Let me explain…!” Lakshman said quickly and he separated from Emilia.
“In full details…!”
“From the beginning to the ending…!”
“Clearly and accurately…!”
Emilia watched Ondine and Tetra looking seriously at Lakshman while he stared back with an anxious expression on his face. She suddenly realised the girls were jealous and decided it was her chance to show them how close she was to him.
“Master’s all mine!” Emilia said loudly and she lunged forward and hugged him.
“Wha?!” Lakshman, Ondine and Tetra exclaimed in a shocked voice as she hugged him tightly.
“Master…!” Emilia said smiling and she kissed him on the cheek.
For a moment, there was silence within the room. Then Ondine and Tetra looked at each other as if they were nonverbally deciding something.
Then they lunged towards him with cries of “He’s mine!”
In a panicked voice, Lakshman cried out as all three girls hugged him. Then they fell off the bed because he was not prepared to be hugged by all three girls. He lay there with a dazed expression on his face.
Thus, Lakshman overcame the situation with Emilia and his troubled love life continues.