"I am the villain of the Known Universe and have presumably killed more than a hundred billion people…

…but you don't have to worry about me."

Riley waited for something to respond to him as his words whispered throughout the entire library. But alas, even after an entire minute, everything remained quiet—the only ones to answer him were the ashes of the books that once peacefully rested there.

But even then, Riley continued to talk.

"I was told by a norinlad that your race left the Known Universe and traveled through the Unknown after the War of the Gods all those years ago. And that you might be searching for something," Riley then let out a small sigh as he looked at the tiny black box, "Or perhaps it is better to say that you are searching for…



Riley once again waited for someone to respond as he revealed another shocking news. But alas, once again, he was answered with nothing but silence. Could it be… that his black box really is just some sort of decoration? After all, libraries do tend to have some weird things in them.

"I would like you to know that I have been in contact with Nothing for several times," Riley once again sighed, "And I also happen to have made contact with one of your… things. The plaque? I do not know what you call it, but it teleported me to a place where creation does not exist yet. I met the god of evaniels there, as well as Death."


"And then I made contact with another plaque again while I was traversing the Unknown. But this time, it teleported me with my… companion," Riley then started approaching the black box, "It teleported us to a cave with a portal in it—a portal that led through this world. That is why I told you not to worry about me, I am here by accident."


"I would really appreciate it if you find our ship and return it to us—it is important to Aerith," Riley then grabbed the box, "It will also be in your best interest. Because once I get bored…

…I will start killing every last one of the people on this planet. But as I said, you don't have to worry about me—I quite like this world, it reminds me of another anime I used to watch."


"I was hoping you would respond to me by now, but I suppose this is really just a trinket. But it's okay, I am used to talking to myself—I always feel like someone is hearing my words, you see."

Riley then once again sighed as he raised the tiny black box, checking its every side before just shaking his head and putting it inside his pocket,

"But just in case, I'll be bringing this along with me. That way…

…you can find me anytime you want."

And with those words, Riley finally stepped outside the library.

"..." And even as he left, the library remained completely silent. Perhaps, there truly wasn't anything there?


"I'm back, Aerith."


And since Riley had enough money to last them a month from his latest commission, he didn't go back to the Hunter's guild yet and instead just went back to Aerith.

"I brought you some sweet cheese from the market and some tea," Riley was holding a tray, gently placing it on Aerith's lap, who seemed to have not even stood up from the bed since she woke up. As for Riley, he didn't really sit beside Aerith and just sat at the desk.

Aerith didn't glance at Riley once as he entered the room, but even then, she started nibbling on the cheese; tucking her long blonde hair behind her ear as she did so. Her eyes were clear, as they had been so ever since the death of her people 5 years ago.

One would think they would be empty and blank, but no—they have never been empty. She just refuses to do anything or speak.

"Would you like to die now, Aerith?" And once again, Riley asked, "I will follow you if you do."


Riley had been asking the question every day for the past year—as he found that was the only way he could make Aerith glance at him for even just a single millisecond. He didn't really know what the glance meant, but he knew one thing—Aerith was alive and well, and knew what she was doing.

Her refusal to talk was perhaps to punish herself? She was alive, but at the same time, she was not.

Riley waited for Aerith to say something as she glanced at him. But alas, she just once again looked away and just took a sip of her tea.

And after she was done, she just quietly stood up and approached Riley.

"..." But in the end, she just placed the tray at the desk beside him before returning to her bed.

"You know, Aerith…" Riley could really only sigh as he grabbed the black box from his pockets, "...I think I might have made contact with the P'lopi. Do you remember them? We discussed them back when we were on Ahor Zai."

Riley placed the black box on his palm and showed it to Aerith, "I do not know what this is, but it might be a surveillance camera. I think they live on this planet, Aerith—most of the people here might even be their descen—"

And before Riley could finish his words, Aerith suddenly appeared in front of him; grabbing the black box before just completely crushing it into dust. There seemed to be a small explosion that erupted, but Aerith's palm completely contained it.

"...Aerith?" A small smile started to crawl on Riley's face as his eyes glistened. He quickly stood up straight as he looked Aerith in the eyes, waiting for her to say something.

But alas, she just turned around, patting her hands clean as she returned to bed without even as much as a sigh. And almost as if she doesn't want to listen to Riley anymore, she just completely covered herself in a blanket.

"..." And soon, the smile on Riley's face faded as he stood up and made his way to the door,

"...Goodnight, Aerith."

And as the sound of Riley closing the door echoed in the room, it was followed by the sound of Aerith's breath, a small sniffle as her tears once again started to dampen the pillow they were resting on.

Unbeknownst to her, however, Riley's back was still behind the door—listening to her cry with his eyes closed.

This is all wrong, Riley thought.

When he planned the death of her people, he made sure that it wouldn't be connected to him at all. He made sure that only the Elders will be the target of Aerith's rage and anger.

But… there was no rage or anger at all.

Riley wanted to see if Aerith would give in to the rage and destroy them on her own, or if her naive kindness would once again win and she would understand them.

But there was nothing.

Even as Riley massacred and tortured Elder Skeem's people—Aerith didn't even show any hint of emotion.

Riley wanted her to stop him, he expected her to stop him…

…He just wanted her to do something, anything. But it was almost as if she was just an empty shell, but she wasn't at all—she was alive and well.

And now, as he heard her crying on her own, Riley could not help but just bite his lip; his eyebrows, completely furrowed as he looked at the floor in frustration.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

Aerith shouldn't break, she couldn't be broken. That was supposed to be him. He is the broken one… not her.

She is the one that saves people. She is supposed to—wait…

Riley started blinking a couple of times as he realized something—How can she start saving people again when there was no one to save?

"Oh…" Riley then hummed as he removed his back from the door. The world of Arlusia did not lack monsters and demons, their people were in danger every day.

But they lacked something.

Someone that would make them hide in their houses and lock their doors—a real villain. A threat above the demons they face every day, someone actively destroying their world and making them submit…

…A Demon King.



"...Pft, no. I'm not Gary," Riley let out a small chuckle as he shook his head, "Aerith is strong...

...she will get through this."