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Birth of a Hero
When Nicholas calmed down, the rest of the story was explained.
Fritz regained his composure, and explained in detail what had happened to Hinata.
The children were also brought here from Glenda, and were listening to Fritz’s explanation. They should have been tired, but were they listening attentively.
They were fed in Glenda, albeit not a proper remedy for their mental fatigue. Nonetheless, without tears or complaints they recited their observations.
Their behavior made Fritz believe that Hinata’s choices were not a mistake.
Nicholas was mulling over the things that were said.
Most importantly, they now confirmed that that Freedom Association’s Kagurazaka Yuuki is indeed their enemy.
Though they still didn’t have a clear picture on how powerful or widespread his brainwashing is, considering that the Demon Lord Kazalim is his subordinate makes him a rather dangerous threat.
Next, the reason for Hinata’s actions.
Following the battle with Demon Lord Rimuru, Hinata was able to dispel the Parasitic thought manipulation, “Crystal of Curses,” and decided to attempt a rescue mission to save the children, as to prevent them to be similarly manipulated.
However, Yuki had set a trap with the children as bait, and a battle started right on the spot.
Her opponent was a hero. After hiding for several
decades, the hero engaged in mortal combat with Hinata.
Although Nicolas was skeptical, but judging from Fritz and the Children’s testimony there was no mistake.
Moreover, there was information obtained from their conversations.
Yuuki intended to plunge the world into chaos and become its sole ruler.
Therefore he carried out multiple summons and was involved in some sort of negotiations.
One should also conclude that he and his conspirators share a common goal.
Then there’s the fact that Freedom Association’s Sub-master is the Demon Lord Kazalim.
Moreover, the Pope of the Holy Empire of Ruberius was not god’s agent, but a mere marionette.
Even the Western Saint’s Church was obeying not the will of a True God Ruminas, but that of a Demon Lord’s.
In other word, the god Ruminas, was actually a demon lord……
However, he hesitated in accepting this revelation. Hinata, at least, seemed to believe it, but then there was also the many hundreds of years of peace and prosperity.
You can’t just say that it was all the work of a Demon Lord and expect people to just accept it.
Moreover, a hero was in the hands of a demon lord and is being manipulated by Yuuki… such sacrilege.
This wasn’t something they could easily disclose, and even if it did, it would only lead to a movement to free the hero.
And that hero has just proven her heroism (absolute strength) in the battle with Hinata.
From the perspective of the Knights, Fritz, and Nicholas, Hinata was beyond human in strength, and yet she was defeated without resorting to any special skill.
The only existence who could overwhelm Hinata who has gotten only stronger after her battle with Demon Lord Rimuru is the hero herself.
「But… to think that it was a hero…
If we were to reveal her as our enemy it would turn every country against the church.
Not a demon lord but a hero.
Can’t get any worse can it… And since it’s Yuuki, he’ll definitely take advantage of this information」
In reply to the remark of the Holy Knight leader Leonard, the holy knights nodded with meek faces.
However, is that really so? Nicolas repeatedly thought.
Hinata had manage everything once. Nicholas only had to leave it in her hands…
Sadness and despair swirled inside Nicholas heart threatening to overwhelm him, yet he repressed it with his will alone.
「No, in that case he would have long proclaimed that Ruminas had kidnapped a hero.
Considering that he hasn’t means that he currently lacks the strength to oppose us」
Hinata can’t be relied on anymore. So he had to decide himself.
「However, a hero’s strength was overwhelming.
Yuki may have dominated the Hero, then couldn’t he counter a demon lord?
Actually, just what kind of demon lord is Ruminas?」
Fritz who has actually witnessed the clash between Hinata and the Hero asked.
If the hero could overwhelm Hinata, wouldn’t that mean the demon lord is even stronger?
As per the previous question, does the Demon Lord Ruminas even exist?
Nicholas, in response to that question, explored the depths of his own knowledge and memory and found an answer.
「Fumu, Well the demon lord valentine……
There is a book within the western church which summarized ancient literatures.」
Nicolas began reciting…
Ten Great Demon Kings, originally there were three
Guy Crimson, the “Lord of Darkness”
Milim Nava, “Destroy,” strongest there could be
Ramiris of the Labyrinth, plunging all to madness
Their fame had spread from sea to sea
Stories told of burning cities and death abound,
Fear of them even in the legends was found.
As the tale had told, Ramiris had fallen from grace,
Once shared in the Holy Spirit, but it abandoned
And the warring Nava and Crimson in that place,
Peace between the two she demanded.
These three are like gods, beyond all reason
Against whom you’d never think of treason
Then came others, though unlike the first,
Dagruel who would shake the ground
Valentine who terrorized the night.
Such were the names these fiends found.
Hallowed as Demon Lords, such was their right.
Dagruel guarded the gates of heaven in the land of the dead,
Into a demon lord he mutated after magic he was fed. 
These two were famous demon lords.
As to the demon lord in question–Ruminas
That would probably be the Vampire princess Valentine.
As the queen of the vampires, she had overwhelming magical power. An evildoer with an absolutely beautiful appearance.
The city she ruled over, a beautiful flower of the night, Night Rose, was burned to cinders in a battle with Storm Dragon Veldora.
And since then no one had seen Demon Lord Valentine again.
Since no one had confirmed whether she had perished, she was still considered a part of the Great Ten Demon Lords—Vampire Princess Valentine.
「In other words, Demon Lord Valentine is playing the role of God Ruminas.
There is another ancient demon lord: a fallen angel, but its name we do not know.
As for the rest: the slayer of many, Lychan King Karion and Heavenly Frey, and the Golden Leon make up the new demon lords.
There was also the manipulator Clayman, but he was destroyed by Demon Lord Rimuru….」
Having heard Nicholas’ explanation the group came to the conclusion that the god Ruminas was none other than Demon Lord Valentine.
Situation so dictated and the Templars did not voice any opposition.
Thus this heavy revelation began to sink in.
They had long worshipped a demon lord.
That’s not something you can just laugh off. But there was also no use in getting angry or violent.
Sitting in the Cathedral chamber Hinata established, those present honestly faced the truth.
But not even Nicholas nor Leonard could accept it just yet. It was just beyond all reason.
They would have been much happier if this all happened to be another of Yuuki’s attempts to control their minds.
But this thought only reveals the underlying problem.
Yuuki is their enemy. There was no question about it, and Nicholas would never forgive that bastard.
「Though she wasn’t one of the original demon lords, Valentine was an ancient one…
But… a hero would probably win anyways.
In other words, if Yuuki controls the hero, there’s no reason for him to fear the demon lord, right?」
Leonard stated, only increasing Nicholas’ headaache.
That’s right. Even as he was explaining it, Nicholas thought the same thing.
Whether Yuuki would win is dubious, but a hero would definitely win. After all, she sealed the Storm Dragon who defeated Valentine.
In that case…
It just wasn’t the time to scatter the Empire by revealing the demon lord behind the curtain.
Now that Hinata was defeated, there was no one to unify the Church. If the word of Ruminas’ true nature got out, it would spell doom for that entire country.
Whether Yuuki had read this far is unknown, but now he knew, and Nicholas was left without a card to play.
Everyone present realized this fact and silence enveloped the room.
「The Freedom Association Master’s next move will be bold, eh」
Nicholas murmured but no one answered.
「W-what is this?! What an ominous presence!! Friends, take arms!」
Leonard shouted and everyone drew their weapon.
And then before everyone, the space distorted and beings appeared before them.
Seven beings wearing faceless masks.
And when they kneeled, another walked between them.
A beautiful girl.
Her eyes were a beautiful heterochroma, lit in a blue and red light.
She was discussed by them just a second ago.
Queen of the Night, Nightmare of the Night, Ruminas Valentine.
She transported to the chambers using『Spatial Movement』.
And to the people reflected in her bewitching eyes,
She said in a low yet reverberating voice.
For the knights, even if the one before them was the Pope himself, none would profess to have thought it a good time to relax.
But before this Demon Lord’s presence none could disobey.
Strength gone from their bodies, they dropped their blades and bowed before her.
Seeing this, her mouth curved in a small smile revealing a pair of white fangs. She was indeed the Vampire Prinecss.
And when her adorable mouth opened,
「He who underestimates us. Thee means to say that we be vanquished by the hero… nay, perhaps I could see Chloe accomplishing that… by Yuuki?」
Nicholas felt his heart stop from her overwhelming presence and could no respond.
(So t-this is a Demon Lord! S-she’s too overwhelming!!)
Fear nearly ripped his heart asunder, and everyone there felt the same.
「Be that as it may.
Ye have discovered our place in the Holy Empire of Ruberion, we gather.
‘Tis so, we are the God Ruminas.
Perhaps a shame, but if that country falls apart there is no reason to stop it.
We shall not be looked down upon. Besides, Chloe is ours.
We shall bathe in Yuuki’s blood.
What will ye do? If ye swear loyalty to us, I shall bless you with a chance to battle」
Nicholas considered it.
There was no benefit in being enemies. Not that they could win.
He had heard of Demon Lord Rimuru’s divine strength. The being before him was comparable.
Actually, she is an ancient.
So he should be even more wary of her.
So should he swear loyalty? His heart opposed that choice.
And not just him, but everyone else present felt the same.
They would only swear loyalty to Sakaguchi Hinata.
Perhaps Ruminas was stronger than Hinata, but the heart could not be so easily controlled.
「Unfortunately, Demon Lord Ruminas,
Our loyalty is to Hinata alone.
We have no wish to fight against you, but we ask you to understand that loyalty is a different matter entirely.
We humbly beg your forgiveness」
Nicholas said while looking Ruminas in teh eye.
Her eyes glittered,
「Oh? You would retain loyalty towards a corpse?」
Before Nicholas could respond,
「Don’t go killing me off that quickly…」
The words came from behind Ruminas, the entrace to the chamber.
Long black hair gathered in the back, wearing light equipment.
A beautiful girl.
The Hero stood there.
Ruminas declared happily.
「Sorry Ruminas, I’m not Chloe right now. Right now it’s Hinata.
Well, the strength of my soul is already lost so it’s just a greeting.
On the way out, you see」
Hinata said with a beautiful smile.
As if they were suddenly cured of paralysis, the knights ran up to Hinata, and Nicholas ran up to hug her.
「Right, you are Hinata right now. How about Chloe?」
「Chloe is asleep. When we fought we were able to truly waken.
My skills were integrated and power assimilated.
Though it took a while, we seem to have fixed all distortions.
You see, before I was summoned into this world, this body slept in Ruminas’ care.
And then Yuuki went ahead and awoke it, causing there to be two bodies for poor Chloe, reducing her to an unrecognizable spirit.
Ruminas you yourself forgot the hero’s name, didn’t you?」
While hugged by Nicholas Hinata asked.
And when Nicholas finally let go,
「So we had Chloe kill the me of this world
This was a predestined future that just had to happen.
Hero Chloe would now awaken as a true hero.
And I, assimilated into her, would use the spirit of time’s power to leap back in time and raise the “Hero’s egg.”
Not at time of strife, but in time of peace.
That is the Hero’s Program.
And now that my soul has been absorbed by the Chloe of today, the me who has journey for so long with Chloe has awakened.
Unfortunately, I am an extra existence and would soon disappear.
Which is why I came to say goodbye to you worrywarts.」
Hinata said with an expression full of affection.
Thus Hinata, Ruminas, and Nicholas talked for a bit.
Since time was of essence, they discussed the current state of Hero Chloe.
Chloe was under Yuuki’s control.
Moreover, she was bound by a contract upon awakening, so releasing her would prove difficult.
Hinata herself was unable to undo the contract.
This news greatly unnerved Ruminas.
And to Ruminas,
「But, there may be other options when we awaken as a hero.
According to our contract we will be released when Yuuki makes three wishes.
We cannot oppose him until he makes these three wishes.
There’s no problem in revealing things like this though. There are things I can’t mention though.
Once he makes the third wish, we can rip him to shreds.
Which is why he won’t make the third wish, you see?
In other words, he can’t go around using the hero as he pleases.
However, that man is bizarre.
He seriously wishes to enjoy destroying this world.
When I’m freed, his plan will fail.
However, he is dangerous. So do stay wary of him.
Now then, it’s time to go」
Having so said, the Hero (Hinata) stood.
Please don’t go, Nicholas wanted to say, but knew he couldn’t.
Choking on his words, he understood he would never again see her.
But raising his fist,
He declared with a smile.
「Fufu, be well, huh. You too Nicholas.
All of you. Don’t be reckless. And if you need anything, go see Rimuru.」
Thus Hinata said her final farewells.
Soon her spirit would be devoured entirely by Chloe and disappear.
Nothing could be done about that.
Hinata completed her duty of raising the Hero’s Egg inside Chloe.
So she was satisfied.
With her own arms and legs she saved many people and repaid her debt to Shizu-san.
Her wish had come true. Anything beyond that would be pure greed.
Now she only had to wait for the end to come inside Chloe…
And to Hinata,
A cold voice was heard.
Ruminas stopped her.
「Thee are fortunate.
We shall test『Asmodeus』upon thee.
‘Tis a skill that rules over life and death, and while ’tis impossible to recreate a lost soul, you have a soul and a body gathered here.
We shall not fail.
Are thee not a hero who would never give up?
We shall not allow thee to give up!」
Hearing her words, Nicholas, Fritz, and the Knights started earnestly pleading with Hinata.
Assailed by their puppy-eyes, Hinata was completely at loss.
「Sorry. I just recalled that I hated giving up.
Even to the point of clawing at my enemies. To think that I’d be convinced by a demon lord!
Well, even if you do succeed, I have already lost my original power…」
She said with a troubled smile,
「Strength! In that case, I shall protect Hinata-sama, guide us!」
「This time I shall not fail in protecting you! I will not be defeated!」
「We need you!!」
Responding to their will, she nodded to Ruminas.
Why did she suddenly suggest to do this, Hinata did not know.
But now the fate of a single person was changed.
Ruminas shouted, and two parts of Hinata’s soul, from the hero of future and past, came together and were joined by Asmodeus.
Asmodeus, the King of Lust.
And thus Hinata was reborn and Hero Chloe was born without a foreign soul inside of her.
A Hero with long black hair and eyes of divine beauty.
Hinata and Chloe were now perfectly separated.
They were once one and now walked separately.
And with this miracle the Hero’s Egg inside of Hinata was passed down to the Chloe of the future.
Thus was the true birth of the Hero Chloe O’Bell.