Former Hero - 000 - Prologue

´╗┐Thump, thump, thump...

The refreshing sound is the only one I can hear. The background noises, for some reason, are muted in this moment. Even the ever-changing scene around me is unnoticeable in my state.

My concentration is wholly focused on the apple, rolling forever, unable to stop.


The fruit that had escaped my grasp breaks its movement; it rolls and rolls, only to stop at someone's feet. The rest of the apples in my arms, as if wanting to follow their friend, scatter over the floorboards.

The girl bends over to pick up one of the apples at her feet. She calmly brushes the dirt off with her sleeve, takes a big bite, and chews loudly.

Crunch, crunch.

The delightfully rhythmic sound of her chewing rings in my ears as the juices from the apple roll down her face across her red lips.

I realise that I've been offering a hand to her and retract it in surprise.

What I was trying to do, I didn't know. I wasn't going to claim ownership of the apple or chastise her for eating a dirty apple. Purely out of embarrassment and shock, I hide my hand.

She unswervingly stares at me, still eating the apple.

Crunch, crunch.

The musical sound fills the space around me, though it is not loud. The sound is quiet enough to be buried by others, yet it is loud enough to wake me from my trance.

"Wh- what are you doing!? What the hell is this?"

Even with my concern, it was hard to move my mouth. I yell loud enough to strain my throat; raise my voice louder than I ever dared to at her before.

Was she surprised? Frightened, even?

Despite my concern, she displays no sign of such emotions. No, her reaction is the polar opposite of my expectations.

Her expression remains calm; her next reaction is the one that shocks me to my core.

A smile. Her face twists to hold a bright, peaceful smile. A smile beautiful enough for me to call it her prettiest one yet.

"Welcome, brother!"

The beautiful smile, at the same time, is the very thing that makes me shift uncomfortably.

"I, I'm asking you what you have done!"

For the second time, the anger that had never once been directed to her boils within me. Towards someone that I had never dared to think I would ever be raging at. Towards my own sister.

My body curls at the insuppressible rage. I force myself to stare at the ground in an attempt to calm emotions. A part of me wants to deny the reality that is soon to hit.

This must be a misunderstanding.

I repeat the thought as I swallow the sound of anguish bubbling inside me.

Yes, she is my sister. The person who feels like anything but, is my only blood relative. The culprit of the crime scene before me is the most precious in this world.

The one person so precious to me suddenly feels like a stranger. The cause was unknown, but such a feeling overcame me completely.

Perhaps I am already aware of the reason. It is in-part a feeble attempt at denying the true cause.

This awareness is perhaps due to the stark contrast of her character to the scene in front of me.

My guesses are confirmed with a few words spat from her mouth. This was the moment that my fiction would become reality.

"I killed a few people to ease my boredom. So? Is that wickedness bad enough to anger you? Furthermore, anger you enough to yell at your one and only sister?"

She raises her foot and aims a kick at my shins. The sound of me roughly blocking her stops after she pauses.


Delighted. Along with such treacherous delight, the corners of a mouth that never knew a frown rose higher.

"You're just as fast as I was expecting."

"Why? Why are you doing this? I can't fathom it at all. Please, just tell me what you're thinking. No, it's better you lie. I'm begging you! Tell me that it was someone else!"

My voice is pitiful as my hands reach out to grab her shoulder, my face holding a panicked plea.

The firm grip on her shoulders grows stronger as I ask, praying for the answer I want to hear. I ask wanting to hear the answer denying every wretched truth. I would even settle for one that says that this was all a mistake.

"Why? What caused you to do such a thing? Answer me immediately!"

The words are pathetically rushed as I go on.

"All this isn't your doing, isn't it? Tell me, 'No'! It couldn't be you. No, it could never be you."

When even my words slow at the realisation, the legs that had been holding me up plummet to the ground. Only my hand is held up to hold hers as everything else faces the ground in defeat.

"Just tell me... why the hell...?"

A cry bubbles up in my throat and reaches to break free.

"Ha... HAHAHAHA!!!"

But is drowned by her cackling.

The words that are evil enough to begin my descent into an abyss are said by her mouth.

"Karma's a magnificent thing, Hero. No one could imagine you were the same proud warrior with my fate in your hands a lifetime ago."

"What... are you saying?"

My eyes painfully widen as I break out into a cold sweat at the words that muddle my senses.

Enjoying my pain, my sister kindly responds. Her now ice-cold strokes down my face, send a shiver down my spine as she speaks triumphantly.

"I'm telling you that the 37th King of the Underworld Kulipse Tartare Valentine reincarnated in this very space!"

The most terrifying realisation sinks into my being.

In that moment, the crackling of the burning houses and our neighbours' screams flicker and die. The artfully splattered blotches of blood around the hellish scene around me fade into nothing. Through my drowning senses, the dying town around me seems most trivial as the looming wave of despair towers over my insignificant body.

"I borrowed your lovely sister's body!"

"Y- you're joking, right? That was low."

I rise to face my sister.

Her hands feel soft, as always. They are scarlet with the blood of others.

"I don't know what joke you're trying to pull here but cut it out! You got me, ok? Stop this act now!"

A sound, resembling a wounded animal, rises from my throat. The last sliver of hope and strength is ripped from me as my body falls limp towards the bloodied ground, arm still stretching to grasp those cold hands of hers.

My damningly hopeful ears listen for the reveal.

"Poor, little warrior. Do not fret, do not despair. Embrace this calmly. And you will learn to succumb to my power."

My little sister lovingly runs her fingers through my hair. Still, I feel that her hands have a memory of warmth. I dearly want to feel so and yet her hands are the opposite.

The cold touch of the Demon King was undeniably identifiable.

I feel the touch of one who may, one day, be my companion, accomplice and ally. I feel it for the first time that day.


Story by Ophion
Check out the original here:

Translated by Hannah Kim

Proofread by Janowicz

This chapter was released on Sunday the 16th of June, 2019.


Other chapters in this series:

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