Chapter 175: What this Body carries
I felt a strange numbness in the depths of my head. My heartbeats increased a lot, but the sound that echoed throughout my body seemed to be far away from my perception. I felt as if the physical sensation itself was somehow separated from my mind.
「Because that beast was sent by God. It’s impossible for humans to win. It’s a waste of effort to try to win against that beast. All you have to do is pray and ask for salvation from God.」
Ridiculous words flowed out of Ariene’s mouth. These words went inside my ears surprisingly smoothly and pierced my chest. I could feel my heart ringing many times over, but for some reason, I felt as if these strong palpitations were very far away.
Ariene’s words. They may be true. Yes, those words spoke the truth, no doubt about it.
After all, the monster, a beast made of flesh, was clearly different from other creatures. We humans made exceptions in our beliefs when it came to the work of God. And even if it were said to be the devil’s malice itself, then we would have no choice but to believe in it. After all, it was true that that monster was not something natural.
The wind shook her golden hair and it crossed the edge of my field of vision for a moment.
「Lugis. I knew you were coming here. Yes, I knew everything…I led you here because I gave you a path to follow. Then, I waited here until you came.」
That voice went through my ears. My skin and fingertips, no, my whole body felt terribly cold. All the exhaled and inhaled breaths took the heat away from my body. Each time, the inside of my skull became a little whiter. Whiter and whiter. I tried to think, yes, think and think until I had no more thoughts.
Only Ariene’s words conveyed some warmth.
「Look closely, Lugis. Even the ones you admire and respect as heroes have no choice but to roll obediently in the hands of God. You can never go against God.」
I could see Caria’s silver sword sparkling under my eyes. However, no matter how much the silver sword cut through the flesh and spilled blood, the rotten meat of that monster expanded again in a blink of an eye, closing the wound. It felt like it were ridiculing Caria, who continued to move her body hard while shaking her silver hair.
「Men call this the path that God has drawn. We can never go against our fate. That’s right, both heroes and brave people…So, if you’re just an ordinary person, Lugis, then much less of a chance you have at drawing your fate.」
My body felt terribly cold, as if it had become ice itself. Not only that. Even the innermost part of my viscera seemed to have lost all its heat. It was cold. Everything inside me froze as if I were almost dead. A cold feeling, which I’ve never felt in my whole life.
My back teeth made a clicking sound and my lips became dry. I breathed fast without stopping. However, my breath was so thin that I couldn’t believe it as my own.
“Listen, Lugis…” She continued to speak. She had a soft voice as if I was hearing it in a dream. Such a warm voice.
「…You’ve done enough. Just give up. No, you’ve done well. You don’t have to work hard anymore. You don’t have to get hurt.」
A hand extending from behind entwined around my neck, and I sensed a small sigh on my ear. It was a sweet temptation. The sweetness that seemed to melt my body, my heart, and even all of my viscera.
The white blank covering my head overlapped with darkness, and I suddenly saw some sights in my mind, things that I couldn’t see before.
An unmistakable scene from the past. From the once humiliated journey to the walled city of Garoua Maria, then to the Hanging Gardens of Ghazalia, and now here to the mercenary city of Belfein. All those scenes slowly floated in the back of my eyes and disappeared.
Somehow, it seemed that the trajectory, which I could not even imagine to have done, was scattering here and there. It felt like something incredible. Something that was once the impossible. It made me want to praise myself.
Did I do it well so far?
I see. That was true. There was no mistake. If this body belonged to an ordinary person, then this must be a shining path. A path that I forged for myself. How amazing. Really, there was nothing better than these achievements. When I thought about the new journey to this point, I felt like I was still dreaming. It has been extremely fun since I came back to the past. Ah, it has been wonderful days since then.
The cold wind that hit my cheeks made my eyes open. Ariene’s white and delicate skin was immediately visible. Her hand stretched to my chest as if she wanted to grab me from there.
…It was really a good dream.
But, who would forgive me? No one would blame me for taking her hand and step back. Or would I be the one to blame myself? Would I blame the act itself? Would I throw away all the hardships as if they were an overnight dream? Would I do such a thing and kneel? Was I willing to forget everything up to this point?
From behind, the voice continued to echo as if it were singing. For a moment, my teeth made a creaking noise. Then, I slowly opened my lips. However, I never turned around. Under my eyes, Caria’s silver sword kept shining.
I tried to choose the words carefully, but I threw them without much thought to the person that stood behind my back.
「…Sorry. But if it’s the fate of God, then I don’t wish to have that sort of talk.」
The white arm that was entwining my chest unnaturally bounced away from my body. The wind that hit my cheeks was still very cold. I even felt pain.
However, the breath that spilled out of my mouth was unnaturally hot. The viscera, which had been frozen and couldn’t make a single noise, began to emit a hot smoke from the depths. I noticed that my blood ran rapidly around my body, exhaling heat like fiery flames.
Yes, I could have chosen forgiveness. It was fine for some people to throw away all the hardships and fall on their knees. Oh, I was even sure that I would receive compassion too.
However. I could not receive such mercy, not right now. Even if everyone wanted to forgive me, could I even forgive myself?
I slashed one eye of the hero that was like the sun. I even took away the life of an elf King, and I even reached Caria’s nape with my own sword.
…You must kill the rat in you. Just strangle it.
…Bounce my sword. If that happens, you will no longer be an ordinary man or a pebble.
Until now, this body was not free. Giving up, kneeling, and despising myself as an ordinary person. I had become laughingstock for other people. Even to myself. But I was done with all of that wretchedness. I felt tired of that vain life. I wanted to show sincere respect for myself, and I wanted to smear the mud on those who longed for my defeat.
But, how could I do it now? Would my heart tolerate such thing?
「…What’s wrong, Lugis. You mustn’t say those words. Can you take my hand?」
Every time the voice touched my ears, my heart seemed to melt. My mind was about to be out of balance. If possible, I would like to look back and hug her myself right away. It seemed to be a contradiction against the desire to build my own path, but that emotion certainly existed in my heart. An emotion that never left my existence.
「…Hey, hey. Give me a break. The woman I fell in love with is not as cheap as you are. It was a good dream, but it’s time for me to wake up.」
I pulled that white arm off my neck and rejected her hand.
Yay Lugis!!!! I’m proud of you! His character development has been slow but steady.
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!