Shiron wore a black combat uniform.
Shlamuffen was in her hand.
Her surroundings smelled of blood and the corpses of soldiers were strewn around.
Shiron’s hands turned a notebook’s pages.
The cure for Dragon Pneumonia was written inside. Those were the results of her predictions and research.
She slowly flipped through the pages as if she was reading it to someone who wasn’t there.
When she reached the very last page, Shiron said,
“September 20, 1924. An unprecedented typhoon will come to Toatt Mining Town.
That’s when that person and that man will fight. It is also the time when the long dormant Dragon Pneumonia will awaken.
To you, the injured person who holds this Book-
I know that man will try to kill you using my predictions.
However, without them, that person and I wouldn’t have met. I want that person to see me. This is why I’m prophesizing this right now.
I am sorry for causing you inconvenience. Please forgive me.”
After saying this, Shiron closed the book.
The one she was talking to was Hamyuts Meseta.
“However, I must also thank you.
For taking that person’s bomb. For letting him live.
For protecting the town of that person, Big Brother Cartohelo, and Big Sister Ia.
Thank you so much.”
Shiron spoke while pointing at the notebook.
“With this method, you’ll be able to make the cure for Dragon Pneumonia in less than a day. I believe that is enough time for you and for Big Sister Ia to receive it.
It should be simple enough for someone in your position.”
After saying so, she wielded Shlamuffen and the notebook was torn to pieces.
“However, I believe it should be erased. In case another such conflict occurs again, it’s for the best.
If no one will know the cure for Dragon Pneumonia, there won’t be another person like me – except for that man in the distant future.”
“…You witch. Ever-Laughing Witch…”
A voice resounded. It was a man’s voice that lacked empathy.
“What do you hope to accomplish by killing me? Do you think you can destroy the Cult?”
The upper half of the body belonging to the Magician called Wyzaf had fallen down. Both of his arms and lower body scattered into black sand. It seemed to be a matter of time before even his upper body will crumble away too.
“No, I’m fully aware of this. It won’t end with you. The Cult will continue living on.”
“…I wonder why? I’m with that person. I don’t care.”
“You… don’t care? You will die.”
“I don’t mind. It doesn’t matter to me at all.”
“This can’t be…”
The stunned Wyzaf looked at Shiron’s face. She spoke while smiling.
“Speaking of which, today I learned that person’s name. It is a splendid name, just as expected.”
“…What are you talking about?”
“This doesn’t have anything to do with you.”
Shiron calmly said.
“I have already grown older than that person at some point. When I first saw him, he looked like an adult to me. It’s been a long time since I started following him.”
“You foolish woman. My suffering is the suffering of God. And yet… and yet you little…”
Wyzaf’s swearing was ended by Shlamuffen’s slashing attack. He became sand and was scattered away.
“I should have made this decision sooner.”
Shiron said while looking at the Magician’s remains.
“Thinking about it, ever since I let Wyzaf take advantage of my power, ever since I yielded myself to the Indulging God Cult, I’ve spent too much time on nothing. I abandoned myself to the pleasure Wyzaf offered me and lost sight of my true feelings.”
Shiron began speaking.
“It happened when I was a child. When I evoked my power for the first time, the one I had seen was that person.
In the far future, he would call my name and run forward. That sight set my young heart aflutter.
When I tried peeking to the future to see him again, my power was awakened.
I met Big Brother Cartohelo and Big Sister Ia and received their warm words.
At that time I was constantly crying, but thinking back on it I think I was happy.”
Shiron continued speaking alone.
She wasn’t talking to Wyzaf’s remains or to Hamyuts, but simply to herself.
“Some time had passed since then, and Wyzaf appeared before me.
I didn’t know how to doubt people, so I was lured by his words.
Since I was living poorly, I was fascinated by him.
While my eyes were sparkling at the sight of the various presents Wyzaf gave me, I became complicit to his crimes.
It took me a considerable time to notice what kind of horrifying things I’ve been doing.
The results of what I’ve carried out and Wyzaf’s terrifying plan – the future I saw made me shiver.
However, I hadn’t left him.
I grew accustomed to living like royalty and couldn’t bear returning to my original circumstances.
I didn’t have the courage to confront Wyzaf and change the future, nor did I despair enough to kill myself.”
Shiron looked at the notebook’s shreds.
“After this, as you know, I was praised as the Ever-Laughing Saint and obtained a large wealth. Of course, everything went according to Wyzaf’s scheme.
While being showered by the people’s praises, I always felt the pangs of my conscience in my chest. I felt the unbearable need to confide in someone that I actually tricked those people.
These conflicting days continued.
However, with my grand wealth and while being surrounded by my many admirers, the voice of my conscience gradually vanished.
I thought it didn’t matter anymore. That there was no meaning in suffering or worrying about such things.
I have worried enough already, and I was the one who saved the world in the first place.
I thought it would be fine to just forget everything, bury myself into my wealth that would never exhaust itself, pursue temporary pleasure and live the rest of my life like that.
I have thought and lived like that until a certain day.
That day was completely normal.
It was just that during that day, I had seen the sky for the first time in a long while and it was extremely beautiful.
Looking at the beautiful sunset, I suddenly recalled the figure of that person.
I have forgotten about him for a long time – about that person, who will die while calling my name.
I wondered if that person would love me as I was then, and it became unbearable for me.
There was no way he would. That person fell in love with me when I fighting.
Just as that person was fighting, he wouldn’t love me if I weren’t to fight. Right, I thought to myself.
Great wealth and that person’s heart-
It wasn’t an issue of which was more important.
No matter how much wealth I’ll pile up, I will never be able to buy that person’s heart.
Thinking this, my heart was revived.
During the time of dusk, I killed all of Wyzaf’s subordinates.
That would be the first Book that person will get his hands on. It’s me from a few hours ago.
Whether I am going to be killed now, how I will die, and what the people will say after my death – I know it all. But I deserve that punishment.
I have no intent to escape or to justify myself. No matter what kind of punishment I will bear, it will not compensate for my sins.
I do not think of this as scary. On the contrary, I’m overflowing with joy.
Except for the love of that person, I don’t need…”
Shiron stopped her words, and shook her head as if disappointed with herself.
“…I was trying to repent, but all that came out of my mouth were words of love for that person.
Aah, my heart is so sinful.”
With these words, Shiron stopped addressing the future.
Shiron talked to a robust looking armor suit stand in the corner of the room.
“You can come out now.”
After she said this, a man wearing a priest’s garb came out of the armor. It was Chancellor Feelea.
“I apologize for keeping you waiting.”
“I don’t mind the wait, but… what were you just talking about?”
Shiron just laughed as an answer.
“Let us go. With Wyzaf’s death, the Indulging God Cult shouldn’t be able to move for a while.”
Said Chancellor Feelea.
“Why don’t we just escape for now? You have already bore enough responsibility. If you were to go through a trial, you will surely…”
“It is fine.”
Shiron’s face was not resolute like always, but instead she smiled a bit bashfully, fitting for a girl of her age.
“Because that person didn’t fall in love with someone who would do that.”
Hamyuts finished reading that Book. She took it from Cigal with her blood-smeared hands.
Next to her feet, there was a collapsed man and another man who was on his knees.
The Magic Blade Shlamuffen was lying far away from these two.
Hamyuts was enduring the pain in her foot as she looked down on both men.
Said the kneeling man.
“It is unforgivable, this pain is unforgivable. It is a sin. A dreadful sin.”
Hamyuts said the name of the kneeling man.
“My soul is devoted to God. H-Hamyuts, ease my pain. This agony is unforgivable. Pull… pull out this knife, help me…”
Cigal clenched the knife stuck between his ribs.
Blood poured from his mouth.
Hamyuts judged that it wasn’t a wound that would lead to instant death, but he also wouldn’t turn out fine if he were to be left alone.
Hamyuts said. She used her normal, relaxed tone.
“What was your doctrine… a human’s happiness is the happiness of God, and if a human experiences happiness then God is also happy?”
Cigal turned demanding eyes towards her.
“Right. It is exactly so. This is why it’s a mistake, a mistake…”
“So, you might have done a great job, Cigal-kun.”
After saying this, Hamyuts sat down. The collapsed Colio was in front of her.
His condition was terrible.
There were countless cuts across his body. His body was torn down to the bones.
He barely had the appearance of a human.
It was likely an instant death.
He probably didn’t even feel any pain.
Hamyuts turned Colio’s body over in a gentle way so he wouldn’t be torn into pieces.
Then, she closed his eyelids and mouth. This was the minimum courtesy towards comrades who fell in battle.
Colio’s blade definitely reached Cigal before Shlamuffen activated.
It happened after Shlamuffen laughed, after Cigal raised a miserable scream, and after he let the sword fall from his hands. The cruel Shlamuffen couldn’t let the person who tried killing its owner stay alive.
Because Colio didn’t make it in time, he couldn’t kill him.
This was the sort of victory only possible to achieve by the price of his life from the very beginning.
“Cigal-kun, you might have done a great job here.”
Hamyuts looked sadly at the face of the dead Colio that was wet with blood.
His expression was like that of a child sleeping peacefully. It was the face of someone who had not even a single regret.
“Doesn’t he look happy? Much more happy than you.”
“…This can’t be.”
The stunned Cigal looked at Hamyuts and at Colio’s face.
“This… is impossible. Why would a bomb be happier than me…”
Hamyuts picked up a fallen stone and flicked it with her thumb.
The pebble broke through Cigal’s skull, gouged his brain, and ended his pain.
“I wonder why. Eh, Colio?”
Hamyuts called towards the tattered body.
“What made you so satisfied?”
The storm was already over at some point.
Hamyuts noticed that Mattalast was coming her way from afar.
His black bowler hat flew off and his black suit was sticky with rain and blood. He held his side with one hand and the other one was barely holding a gun.
“Is it over?”
Mattalast said. He probably intended to fight even with his body’s current state.
“Yes. It’s over now.”
“Did you win? It was dangerous.”
Mattalast coughed. A spray of blood flew into the air.
“No, I was defeated. It was my complete loss.”
“Those two have won.”
Hamyuts pointed at the corpse besides her.
“Colio and Shiron.”
The setting sun shone through the rift in the clouds once again. Hamyuts turned around and gazed at it.
Shiron was surely looking at this sunset, too.
And while looking at the sunset, she fell in love with Colio.
Hamyuts thought back upon the Book that Colio possessed.
She also had the backdrop of the sunset at that time.
It was truly a strange encounter of two people.
Shiron fell in love with the fighting Colio.
She, who was in love, went to fight and decided upon her death in the sunset.
Colio also fell in love with Shiron who fought at sunset.
He, who was in love, went to fight and grasped victory due to the sunset.
Their love came full circle.
Their pure feelings were paradoxical.
Among those two, who was the first one to fall in love?
“…Well, it doesn’t matter who.”
Whether now, in the past or in the future, the redness of the sunset will not change. For them it was the only thing that mattered.
The two of them spent the same time in the unchanging dusk.