41 Chapter Four : Missionaries - Those Who Lives Lies (1)

"I've done it again… Must I keep repeating my sins over and over?"

As Hati tries to see Gabriel he is spotted by her bodyguards. They surround him as they go to attack him. He tries to avoid their attacks as he tries to get to the place Gabriel is at but his effort is in vain. He is overpowered by the bodyguards and ends up getting beaten to the ground as they tell him to stay away from Gabriel.

"Once, I've fallen in love with someone who can never love me back. Those lackeys told me never to approach her ever again… but I did anyway. I was stricken. It was only to be expected. They were right, after all. I was responsible for the destruction of my own world. I'm soaked in sin, having stained the moonlight itself with blood."

"Just thinking of the one I love… causes me to lose control."

Hati is on the ground covered in bruises after being attacked by Gabriel's bodyguards. They leave him after making sure he wouldn't get up again. Hati, let out a groan of pain as he tried to move his hurt body. As he is on the ground someone else approaches him. Looking up he sees Maria coming towards him with a concerned look on her face.

"When the angels are gone, she appears once again. Every single time, she tends to my wounds and comforts me with her gentle voice. She tells me that love is born through caring for one another… That one-sided love will only hurt the recipient."

"She's right. I can't argue. But… even sound reasoning like that won't save me. It's that fact that continues to drive me into the darkness."

As Hati goes to head back to his home he is approached by Nyarlathotep who appears from an alley. Nyarlathotep gives him a wide smile as they giggle. They suddenly get up close to Hati as they start to whisper things to push him closer to the darkness growing in him.

"Ahahahaha! Why the hesitation? Everyone always sings about love triumphs over all, yeah? You only live once! You gotta go for it, baby!"

"I always denied myself the right. Others denied it from me, too. And yet… That was all the more reason for those sweet, sweet, seductive words to echo in my mind. I knew I shouldn't… but that voice pried open the locked gate of my heart. I know what I'm doing now is wrong. But rather than lie to myself and be relegated to the sidelines… I want to embrace my desires… and play the villain."

Currently…

I finally managed to reach Hati but quickly had to dodge when he went to attack me right away. I couldn't understand why he was acting like this when earlier he was so nice. What happened during our short time apart to cause him to kidnap Gabriel.

"Masato! Stand down!" Hati charges at me again, still holding the unconscious Gabriel under one arm. I wanted to attack him seriously but I kept focusing on the fact that I could accidentally hurt Gabriel.

"Stop, Hati!" I kept on dodging his attacks and kept swinging at him with little effort. I needed to figure out a way to get Gabriel out of his hold or else I may end up hurting her by mistake. I really don't want to have to hurt an idol on my conscience…

"I will not! Get out of the way, Masato! Stir the clouds and shake the moon! Distort light and give illusions life! Engrave my name of Hati unto thee! Waver! Moonshine Chaser!" Hati started to shine and I saw a moment to strike at him and went for it. I didn't see a risk of hurting Gabriel so I felt okay with taking a swing.

My sword came down on Hati… But his silhouette vanishes, and my sword swings through thin air. I blink my eyes in confusion at what just happened. I was pretty sure I landed a hit on him but…

"Was that… an illusion?" I end up remembering from earlier when I was trying to get merch with Hati, he did the same thing with a group of people who were trying to attack him. This is really not going to be easy if he can trick me into thinking I got a hit on him.

"Don't forget about us! Raaagh!" Kengo strikes Hati, stopping him in his tracks. I was surprised that Hati didn't drop Gabriel after getting attacked by Kengo's powerful blows. Kengo look to get ready to attack Hati once more but was stopped by a sudden appearance.

"Peek-a-boo!" Nyarlathotep, who had been observing the scene quietly, emerges from the darkness. Nyarlathotep had both of his hands next to his face as his tongue hung out of his mouth. He looked rather amused by his actions.

"Whoa! Where'd you come from?!" Kengo looked totally shocked at the sudden appearance of Nyarlathotep and ended up not landing a hit on either Hati or Nyarlathotep. Hati looked at Nyarlathotep with an annoyed expression.

"Ahahaha! Come now! Aren't you ashamed to gang up on him?! The Nyarlathoteps are here, baby! Aren't we kinda like some comic book hero?!" Nyarlathotep gave a quick wink before laughing happily. I couldn't help but feel like he was the reason why this was happening in the first place.

"Nyarlathotep, are you the one who instigated this?" I couldn't help but speak in a disapproving tone as I stared down a still very much cheerful Nyarlathotep. I really didn't understand him at all… He was really helpful towards me but now he is causing all this chaos, for what reason?

"Wow, pop star! What a wild joke, baby! Instigated? Me? Ah, we just love you more and more! That man there? All he did was admit the honest to goodness truth to himself, you see. He's just crazy about his girl! Enough to tear her apart! Ever seen something so beautiful?! Love makes the world go round, baby!" Nyarlathotep made a heart shape with his hand as he spun around in a circle, laughing as he did so. When he stopped spinning he was no longer smiling like crazy but looking at me with a rather serious look in his eyes.

"Are you saying he's at fault? Because he fell in love? Or because he was born? That just isn't fair! Maybe his mum and pop should never've shagged, eh? He should just run off and die like the little freak he is, right?! You're looking mighty shaggable yourself right now! Tell us we're wrong. Go on! Explain to us why he's such a bad boy!" I didn't know what to say to Nyarlathotep after he said all of that to me. I know what Hati is doing is wrong but I am kind of questioning myself after realizing you can't really control who you fall in love with.

"Tell us, baby! What's wrong with this bad boy?! Well? We're waiting, baby! What's wrong with him, eh? Educate this poor fool!" Every time I blink, more of Nyarlathotep appear. I was getting a bit dizzy at seeing more and more of him appearing, looking at me with that excitable expression on his many faces. As I was struggling with what to do with the sudden increase of Nyarlathotep, Kengo reacted right away and started to attack him.

"Ahahahaha! You hit us! Kinky baby, yeah! That hurt! Are our feelings not reaching you, baby? How sad!" Even after getting hit by Kengo none of the copies of Nyarlathotep went away and that made me realize that he actually made copies of himself, not illusions, real copies of himself!

"It's not an illusion… What the hell is going on? There's even more of them now!" Kengo looked shocked at this as well. The troop of Nyarlathoteps continues to grow, and Hati disappears amidst the confusion. I tried to figure out which direction he went through the crowd of Nyarlathoteps but didn't have any luck.

"Well, nosy? You gonna get in the way of love? Are you gonna chase that tail or not, baby?" One of Nyarlathotep clones whispers into my ear from behind and I tried not to flinch at the sudden presence from behind.

"If you are, come to the place where the Aoyama Guild started. You'll find something even more interesting there, baby! Ahahaha! Until then, do svidaniya!!" Then the next second the countless Nyarlathoteps are gone as if swallowed up by the darkness.

It was empty in the area now and only had Shiro, Kengo, and Ryota with me. I tried to understand what Nyarlathotep said to me…. Was that a clue? But why would he give me a clue when he started all of this? He is so confusing! But I can't deny that it doesn't add to his level of attractiveness.

"Damn! Who the hell was that guy?!" Kengo looked irritated after Nyarlathotep escaped the hall with his countless clones. He looked like he had the urge to punch something to get rid of the irritating feeling he currently had.

"I saw him during Gabriel's concert, too. I think he was mixing sound from backstage." Shiro had a hand to his chin as he remembered where he saw Nyarlathotep from.

"Nyarlathotep… What's he planning?" Ryota looked upset at learning that Nyarlathotep was a part of the kidnapping of Gabriel.

"It won't help us to worry about what we don't know. First, we have to find Maria." After Shiro said that I heard footsteps approaching us and when I looked over I saw a serious-looking Maria.

"I am right here. Is everyone all right?" Maria stopped near us as she looked over at us with concerned eyes. I felt the negative emotions in me go away as I looked at Maria's concerned expression. It made me feel really happy knowing Maria was worried about me (even if the concern is for everyone else…).

"Maria! You're okay!" Ryota looked happy as well at the sight of Maria. Maria gave a brief smile to him but went back to frowning in concern."Yes, but Gabriel…"

"We will get Gabriel back! We're helping out, right Masato?" Ryota looked over to me with a serious look and I nod back with a smile on my face.

"Of course! We'll do it for Maria." I looked directly at Maria as I said this and she looked a bit flustered at that but she still went to give her thanks.

"Please allow me to express my heartfelt gratitude for your kindness, Masato!" Maria gave me a quick bow and didn't make eye contact with me for a while which just added to her cuteness. I wanted to hug her ~

"We will henceforth gather the forces of the Aoyama Guild and take back Gabriel…" As Maria went to speak, Shiro who was silent during the time Maria reappeared spoke up with a suspicious look in his eyes.

"Hey, Maria… Where were you earlier?" Maria looked confused at the question Shiro asked but that didn't stop his questioning. "Ryota said that you left the green room before they did… But you never returned to your seat."

"Hey, don't tell me you suspect Maria!" Ryota looked totally shocked at what Shiro was suggesting and I was in the same boat as him. Maria is a nun! A nun would never do something bad… I think!

"To tell the truth, that's exactly the case, Ryota. It isn't easy for you to ask, so I'll take the hit. Maria, where were you and what were you doing between then and now?" Shiro looked directly at Maria as he questioned her. She went to say something but before she could get it out a group of angels appeared with a look in their eyes I didn't like at all.

"We would like to hear the details of that, as well." The nether angel spoke up as the group of angels surrounded us and Maria. It didn't seem like it would be friendly since they immediately raised and pointed their spears at Maria in unison. All of their faces are marked with hostility.

"What is the meaning of this?" Maria didn't look scared and calmly asked the nether angel this. I felt the urge to get in front of Maria but didn't do anything, the situation seemed like something I needed to be smart about.

"Unfortunately, we must take you in. Of all of us in the Aoyama Guild, you were the closest to Hati, the traitor who kidnapped Lady Gabriel. Many have witnessed you speak with Hati in a friendly manner. What were you talking about? Were you plotting to kidnap Gabriel together?" The nether angel accused Maria of being involved with the kidnapping of Gabriel and Maria looked totally surprised at this.

"Wh-What are you saying? All he wanted was to meet Gabriel! I simply tended to the wounds you inflicted on him! I was only trying to talk sense into him!" Maria looked angry as she defended herself against the accusation of the nether angel.

"And who will vouch for you?" The nether angel coldly asked her that and the anger on her face went away as she started to frown. "Who... possibly could?" Seeing Maria at a loss for words, the nether angel lets out a deep sigh of satisfaction.

"Enough of this farce, Lady Maria. No… You are not Lady Maria. You… are an imposter." The expressions of the Aoyama Guild angel Transients gathered shift from hostility to contempt. Maria didn't say anything and only looked at them with an unreadable look on her face.

"We had Lord Zabaniyya interrogate a ninja we captured earlier." At what the nether angel said the expression on Maria's face got angry once again.

"He was interrogated? By Lord Zabaniyya?! How could you have gone and done something so cruel?!" The nether angel continues, ignoring Maria's anger.

"We could not extract Lord Arslan's location, but we obtained other information of interest. We learn the secret of the Aoyama Guild. Or should we say disgrace? The woman by the name of Maria, the acting Guild Master of the Aoyama Guild… no longer lives. In other words, the person currently using that name is someone else entirely. Just who are you?" The nether angel questioned Maria about this but she didn't say anything and looked at them with a frown on her face.

"If you will not refute it, then it must be true. That means you have been deceiving us all along." The nether angel assumed he was right once Maria didn't say anything to defend herself against the claims being said about her identity.

"It is true… I am not the woman I claimed to be. I have deceived you all. However, this incident is unrelated to that fact. I swear to the Heavens that what I speak is true." Maria looked at them with earnest eyes but it didn't seem to move the angels that were in front of her.

"You have deceived us long enough. Who could possibly trust your words?" The nether angel glares at Maria and the angels with him glare at her as well. The situation wasn't looking good for Maria at all…

"I...I do! Stop bullying Maria!" Ryota ran in front of Maria and got between the spears that were pointing at her. He was shaking but he didn't move from in front of Maria.

"Ryota?! It is too dangerous! Please stand back!" Maria looked worried as she looks at the spears that were now being pointed at Ryota.

"Do you mean to use this boy as a shield, as you did Lord Arsalan? Must you stain your soul with ever greater sins, you wicked wench?" The nether angel words were harsh and I tried to keep my anger in check… I really wanted to punch him…

"Stop, Ryota! I am…" Maria was grabbing onto the back of Ryota's shirt as she was urging him to leave but he wouldn't move and look over to her from over his shoulder. "Aren't you going to save Gabriel? You can't just give up here!"

"Step aside, human. If you intend to interfere, we will see that you regret it." The nether angel points his spear straight at Ryota's throat. Ryota began to shake in fear and started to sweat. But even with eyes full of tears, he stands his ground and shouts the angels down.

"I won't move! What're you bullying Maria for?! I don't know who this real Maria is… But I know how hard the woman in front of us has worked. Just because she's an imposter doesn't mean that all she did was lie! Imposter? Wicked? You just made up your mind to give her those labels. You won't even hear her side! You're treating her like a criminal without having any proof! All you care about is your own assumptions! No, you're worse than that! You're just using a kernel of a fact as an excuse to get rid of someone you don't like! Gabriel told me… It was Maria who saved her! Gabriel told me to take care of her! I know Gabriel will be sad if she knew the angels so close to her heart were acting like this!" Even though Ryota was shaking… I couldn't help but find him so cool as he stood up for Maria…

"How dare you insult us, human?!" The nether angel went to attack Ryota and Ryota closed his eyes from the upcoming attack. I quickly ran to his side and summoned my Sword.

"You really get on my nerves, you know that? Especially when you are trying to hurt my precious friend!" I parry a spear that came flying in my direction. I held up my Sword in front of me and made sure to put Ryota behind me so nothing would hurt him.

"Masato!" Ryota looked at me with teary eyes and I gave him a wide smile. "I'm glad you said that, Ryota. You were soooo cool!"

"Oh, uh, yeah… I was super scared, but I managed to do it! But I was able to say those things because… Because you were by my side, Masato. Thanks." Ryota smiled at me as he said that and my cheeks grew warm as I felt a bit shy at what Ryota just said.

Our group got surrounded by angels. They begin to gradually tighten their circle, drawing closer and closer. We were slowly being pushed closer to each other as we tried not to get poke by their spears.

"Hey, we can't take on all of them! Isn't there anything you can do, Shiro?" Kengo was looking at the angels who were slowly getting closer to us and looked over to a serious-looking Shiro.

"Maria, about what I asked you earlier…" Shiro ignores what Kengo said and looks at Maria. Kengo's expression grew annoyed as he looked at Shiro. "Save that for later! Look around you!" Kengo motion to the angels that were around us.

"I am so sorry. I have deceived you as well… But I do want to save Gabriel. Even if I am in no position to say so…" Maria apologize but looked at Shiro with a serious expression as she told him that she was serious about saving Gabriel.

"To be honest, you're at an extreme disadvantage in this situation. And personally, I don't think I can trust you. Considering this could make the gigantic Aoyama Guild our enemy, I would definitely like to avoid getting involved. However…" Shiro looks into my eyes and I gave him a big smile as I nodded.

"Shiro, we need your help… So let's trust Maria." I looked at Shiro with begging eyes and he let out a laugh as he shook his head at the way I was acting.

"Oh, fine… Sheesh. What would you do without me? That settles it. I will take the same path as you, Masato. Always." Shiro gave me one last smile before looking at Ryota. " Come here, Ryota."

"Huh? Me? What's going on?" Ryota looked confused as he got closer to Shiro who started to whisper something into his ear. "...Got it?"

"A-Are you sure I can do that?" Ryota looked unsure at what Shiro told him and Shiro just gave him a serious nod in return.

"You have to. I'm counting on you. The rest of us will buy you some time." Shiro pat Ryota on the shoulder before getting ready to help buy some time for Ryota.

"You got this, Ryota! I believe in you!" I had no idea what he had to do but I do have complete trust in him and the thing he had to do.

"S-Sure! I'll give it a shot!" Ryota looked a bit more confident with what he had to do but still felt a bit unsure.

"Maria, Ryota needs your advice. You know more about the Sacred Artifacts than we do." Kengo spoke to a quiet Maria and motioned for her to go help out Ryota. It seems like Shiro's plan probably involves using Ryota Sacred Artifact! What an interesting plan… Hopefully, it will work…

"You still trust me? Even though I've kept secrets from you?" Maria looked surprised that she was still trusted but, to be honest, she is too nice for me to just hate all of a sudden. She was kind to us and she showed us only the good side of her. She is also pretty selfless so I can't help but trust her.

"Yes, of course. Even if everyone else may doubt you… Our leader and Ryota trust you. That's enough for me to put my trust in you, too." Shiro smiled at Maria as he said this and she looked really shocked at this.

"Shiro… Kengo… Masato…" Ryota got teary-eyed as he looked at all of us.

"Seize them! That woman is a vessel of sin, and they are her lackeys!" The sweet moment was messed up when the nether angel ordered the rest of the angels to attack us.

"Here they come! Just follow the plan!" Shiro quickly summons his little D-Evils from his book and they surround him with a screech. They went to attack the angels who were the closest to them.

"They've got crazy reach on those spears of theirs! But don't think I'll let them catch me!" Kengo knocked out countless angels who got close to him easily. I was cutting down the cutting with my Sword, making sure none of them could get close to Ryota or Maria.

"Please try to relax, Ryota. The Sacred Artifact will surely answer your call." I could hear behind me, Maria talking to Ryota in a gentle voice.

"Maria… Do you love Gabriel?" Ryota asked her this in a soft voice and I could hear Maria let out a positive hum. "I do. She reminds me of… a person who remains deep in my heart."

"I see… Y'know, I love you all, too. So I'll try my best! I want to be useful to everyone!" Ryota holds his Sacred Artifact high above his head. It resonates with Ryota's heartfelt wish and begins to give off a golden shimmer.

"Now! Kengo, Masato!" Shiro quickly calls out to us and I react along with Kengo who nods in the direction of Shiro. "Grab hold of someone nearby and don't let go! Now do it, Ryota!"

I quickly grabbed onto Ryota since I was worried something may happen to him… Also, I wanted to hold onto something nice and comfy as this was happening.

"Hang on or you'll go flyin', Masato!" Ryota looked at me as he continued to hold up his Sacred Artifact.

"What is this?! All hands, surround them! Do not let them escape!" Angels on either side of Ryota raise their spears and draw in on him. But Ryota doesn't flinch. He recites the words that come to mind.

Those words are the voice of Ryota's Sacred Artifact. The declaration that activates his Chalice. "We don't have much time, so I'm gonna hit the fast-forward button… Here goes! You know the drill! Engrave mine name of Yakushimaru Ryota unto thee! Ultimate Supper!" At Ryota's cry, a golden torrent streams out from the Chalice. Like a raging river, the rapids wash everything away, including me and my friends.

"Aaahhh! W-What is this?! Pudding?!" That's exactly what it is. A torrent of pudding. The pudding continues to flow as Shiro shouts out instructions. "We're going to break through their ranks! Be careful not to get left behind!"

"My friends! Some of the angels have broken free from the pudding and are descending from above!" Maria points above us and when I looked up I saw a few angels falling towards us quickly.

"You will not escape! You think pudding can slow us down?!" The nether angel raises his spear above his head as he went to attack us. I was still near Ryota so I push him behind me as I got ready to get rid of the angels attacking.

'Fighting in the pudding will be such a weird and difficult experience… I really hope I won't smell like it when the app closes again…' My body felt a little awkward as I tried to steady myself as the pudding continued to move like a fast river.

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