Evil Leader Next Door! Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 3

“Do you have something you want to ask?”
 
She’s sharp. I resigned and opened my mouth.
 
“You, do you not regret anything you’ve done?”
 
That’s the impression I have of her – Taratatt, the former leader of Cleared.
 
In the month and a half I’ve been observing her, she doesn’t seem to have much attachment to what she did.
 
“It’s over, or rather?”
 
(Ashella… she expresses her frustration straightforwardly. Looking at her now, she might not have any attachment to Cleared itself, but she does feel humiliated by her defeat.)
 
On the other hand, at the top of the organization, Taratatt doesn’t show such colors.
 
She’s just surviving because she survived. If we want to kill her, we can kill her.
 
That’s what she said when she revealed her true identity to me.
 
(Fighting against the whole world and losing.)
 
To this question, Taratatt, sitting on my lap, happily swayed her legs and smiled.
 
“All I did was to help you all. Well, you turned me down.”
 
She says the most unexpected thing.
 
“To show up out of the blue, beat up the armies of nations, and take full control? “
 
The former evil leader nodded her head as if nothing had happened.
 
“Are you not satisfied? Let me tell you the beginning.”
 
Taratat spins around and lies on her side on my lap.
 
“The beginning? “
 
Whoops, and I supported her back with my arms. Our eyes met vertically.
 
“Yeah, good job. Have I told you about our nature before?”
 
“Feeding on our emotions?”
 
She nodded. “That’s right, that’s right.”
 
“So, we’ve been around for a long time. At that time, we were more vague and ambiguous beings. But then humans appeared.”
 
“Us?”
 
I pointed to myself unconsciously.
 
“That’s right. A species that emits a far greater variety of emotions than other creatures. We became more powerful because of you. As a result, our consciousness became clearer, and our appearance became more human-like.”
 
“Because our emotions became the main source of food?”
 
Taratatt nodded.
 
“That’s right. Eventually, we were worshiped by humans, feared by them, and even fought against them. It also depends on the individual’s preferences for certain emotions. We each dealt with it differently.”
 
“Each…?”
 
“Some were benevolent. Some granted protection. Some brought death and suffering.”
 
I shivered. I recalled her previous statement. What were we called by people before?
 
(Gods, demons, and monsters…)
 
If that’s the case, then Taratat’s race has supposedly coexisted with humanity since ancient times, perhaps even from the level of the origin of civilization.
 
As if sensing my inner thoughts, Taratat responded.
 
“As humans developed, you no longer sought direct power from us. Instead, you turned simple prayers or, what do you call it, emotions like ‘characters’ towards us.”
 
“Was that dissatisfying? Did you want direct involvement?”
 
“Not really. We can still feed on such emotions from you. That was fine.”
 
Dismissed, I tilted my head again.
 
“As long as humans keep thinking of beings like us and continue their society and survival, that’s fine.”
 
“Then why—”
 
“If it were possible—”
 
The rebuttal was cut short.
 
“You humans are too precarious. If left alone, you might end up perishing.”
 
Looking at me with a mix of amusement and disbelief, Taratat continued.
 
“Someone somewhere is always crying. It might seem trivial, but when you look broadly, there’s always conflict.”
 
She continued.
 
“In the past, having several small nations was better. If one or two collapsed, it wasn’t fatal.”
 
Then it dawned on me. By ‘[you],’ she didn’t mean nations. The scale of perspective was different.
 
Humanity. Humans themselves.
 
“Now, the world is connected.” She looked at a gaming device, the same one she was enjoying with someone from another country just a while ago. “And weapons have become stronger. Flames can reach the other side of the world in an instant.”
 
As a result of progress, humanity had acquired power that endangered its own survival. And human conflicts would never cease. That was a certainty.
 
(Is it a matter of sooner or later?)
 
I recalled Cleared’s declaration of war.
 

 

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[We’ll give you peace and quiet. Prosper forever, Humanity!]
 

 
With that proclamation, Cleared expanded its dominion.
 
Due to Taratat’s ability, [Thought enhancement], which is still believed to be brainwashing, the people under Cleared’s control lived under the perfect surveillance society.
 
No chaos, no conflicts. The pinnacle of control remained uncorrupted and immutable. In Cleared-controlled territories, there was perfect harmony.
 
“In your rule, intense emotions don’t arise. Isn’t that inconvenient for your ecological perspective?”
 
“Better than perishing. Besides, within our rule, there is joy in living. The joy of gaining a family, the pleasure of entertainment, all without corruption.”
 
Underneath Taratat’s rule, there was a fundamental thought enhancement: ‘This society is valid.’ There were no destabilizing elements from within.
 
“Treated like livestock?”
 
“Your choice of words is harsh. I cherish humanity.”
 
On my lap, she, who might have once been considered a god or a demon, threw a flying kiss.
 
“In essence, you’re just taking a higher perspective.”
 
“You’re doing it too, aren’t you? You’re protecting a dying species. Endangered species, you know.”
 
Looking at Ashella, it seemed that the subordinates following Taratat were attached to the goals of survival and victory. However, the one on my lap was different. She operated on a different scale of existence.
 
“Mmm…”
 
“But well, we lost.”
 
Swiftly changing the subject, Taratat repeated her words.
 
“You showed with your power that you can still ‘do it yourself.’ As the ruling side, if we couldn’t prove that we are superior to you in every aspect, it would be unacceptable. Otherwise, you humans would be pitiful.”
 
Is this the resignation of Taratat?
 
“I don’t think anything I did or our ruling policies were wrong. The best way for you humans to live in peace is under my protection.”
 
—Certainly, there were moments that made sense.
 
Cleared, while treated as an ‘[Evil Organization],’ invaded in a straightforward and honorable manner.
 
They declared war, invaded, won, and ruled. Those who submitted became subordinates.
 
No coercion or hostage diplomacy was used in the battles. They confronted the invaders head-on with the power of Cleared’s empowered monsters, combatants, and the Three Great Executives.
 
Overwhelming power and mobility, the incarnation of violence, Ailsherad.
 
Master of soulless machines, the nemesis of weapons, Belveham.
 
The progenitor of monsters and the child of all abilities, the prodigy of Colored science, Annouard.
 
It was as if they were demonstrating that “following us is the best for humanity.”
 
“But that was denied.”
 
By the will and power of humanity itself, even if it wasn’t the consensus.
 
“That’s right. That’s all. Understand?”
 
Taratat tilted her head, shaking the small butt on my lap.
 
(In other words, Taratat doesn’t think humans are right. They’re just retreating because they lost.)
 
I’m a bit annoyed. And also,
 
“What would you do if your power came back?”
 
“Who knows? The possibility is low. I’m still considering it.”
 
That’s it. I scratched my head vigorously.
 
“What should you do? Should you kill me now while Aschera isn’t here?”
 
“Shut up! I’m doing this because she asked me, so I won’t do it! I’m not going to do that!”
 
“Haha, you’re so loyal.”
 
Troublesome. Is there no way to make her admit her mistake properly?
 
(But is there such a way…?)
 
I’m a history teacher, after all. I’ve studied a bit of human and world history, society, too.
 
With that in mind—
 
I don’t think conflicts will disappear.
 
And if you want complete peace, Taratat’s way seems to be the quickest.
 
“Damn it.”
 
If I can’t come up with an answer, I might eventually have to kill Taratat.
 
Before being absorbed into her thoughts.
 
(Oh well, this isn’t the kind of problem a teacher should have to answer.)
 
Taratat playing with the neighborhood kids. Taratat living on because of her subordinates’ pleas. Taratat who likes ketchup and sweets.
 
(What a mess.)
 
I realized it, but pretended not to.
 
Admitting it would be fatal as a Banshoku green.
 
It seems I don’t want Taratat to die after all.
 
“Hehehe…”
 
Seeing me like that, Taratat burst into laughter as if she couldn’t bear it.
 
“You’re such a kind child. So cute. Come on, do your best ♡ do your best ♡”
 
The whispered words in my ear feel like I’m being treated like a pet. It’s annoying.
 
“All right, for now, it’s snack time!”
 
I say, shaking her off. Managing snacks is also something Ashella asked me to do.
 
Holding what used to be a god, demon, or yokai, I make Taratatt sit on a chair at the dining table.
 
“Yay!” Taratatt cheers. “What’s for today?”
 
It’s Pudding.
 


 
A few days later, in the afternoon, I was at the Banshokuger headquarters.
 
Banshokuger, as an organization, has branches worldwide, and there are combat members other than us five, such as Banshoku Yellow and Banshoku White, each fighting against their own threats.
 
However, because there was a gate leading to the secret base of Cleared, the current headquarters is in Japan—specifically, the area we are responsible for and living in.
 
“Well, the meeting didn’t quite settle things, did it?”
 
Beside me, walking down the corridor, Red—flame Akashi, grumbled.
 
“It can’t be helped. The secrets of the new organization’s power haven’t been unraveled yet.”
 
The power’s secret that Karasu is talking about is the abnormal toughness of the monsters we are currently fighting.
 
“That defense is a bit… we should breeze through the early Cleared monsters with our current abilities.”
 
“It’s unbalanced, isn’t it?”
 
Ao and Nadeshiko shrug their shoulders.
 
“What do you mean? “
 
Akashi’s question is answered by me.
 
“The defense is abnormally tough, but other than that, there’s not much difference in attack, speed, and other aspects compared to Cleared monsters.”


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