Noloty and Minth came to the beach Zatoh waited at just now. The winged ants left for surveillance were now flying around in vain.
“…He really did escape.”
Noloty muttered while looking around. Minth stared at the sand next to her.
“There’s blood. It’s his blood.”
He rose up and prompted Noloty.
“We can’t let him go to the city. Let’s chase after him, Noloty.”
The two started running atop the sand.
Around that time, he found himself standing quite far from the city. He was far from the place he had been waiting at. He didn’t know why he was there. His memories were jumbled. His mind was in disorder.
Then, a tremor assaulted his entire body.
He crawled and rolled on the ground. He scattered lightning around, screaming like a beast. He felt pain as if his head split apart and he felt the illusion of his body being torn to shreds.
I can’t hold him back. Until now I could inflict some pain and he would go inside. I would bear the pain in my body, push it out and drag him back inside.
But it wasn’t like this now. No matter how much pain I push to him, he still tries possessing me. He became frantic inside my body.
He fired lightning at his own body in an attempt to suppress the enemy coming from within.
“Don’t come out!”
He shouted and writhed.
The two continued running. It wasn’t hard chasing after Zatoh’s traces. Here and there were spots of blood on the sand – the signs of a person rampaging. While hurting himself, he produced indiscriminate violence and left many traces around.
“…I’ve seen this somewhere.”
Noloty thought back. The train Luimon Mahaton’s Book was stolen from was assaulted just like that.
“…Here he is.”
Minth murmured. They found Zatoh collapsed atop the sand.
When Noloty trying rushing to him, Minth held her from behind.
Saying so, Minth pulled out a gun and shot six times. With each shot, fresh blood flew around like fireworks.
“Don’t even think of stopping me, Noloty.”
“Are you going to kill him?”
“In a second, his personality changed to that of another person. He’s now the Monster without any doubt.”
Minth took out his sword and ran. Applying his body’s weight with a long jump, he pierced Zatoh’s body. Zatoh raised a voiceless scream.
Noloty shouted without thinking. After Minth pulled his sword out, Zatoh stood up and began vomiting.
“…Minth, Noloty… Kill me.”
Despite him being unable to talk, his lips moved so. While frowning, Minth asked a question.
“Hey, why did you eat the Monster’s Book?”
The words coming back were not intended as an answer. Minth resumed his attack.
It was too gruesome of a sight. Even after sustaining injuries that would kill a normal person ten times over, he kept living. Even after shedding ten times the amount of blood that would become lethal as well as bearing ten times the pain, Zatoh was still standing.
Noloty couldn’t watch it. No, even Minth who wielded his sword to attack probably felt the same.
Minth screamed and struck with all of his strength. He wanted to end Zatoh’s agony.
“…His regeneration’s weakened.”
Minth muttered. Retreating far behind, he placed the sword on his shoulder, preparing. He poised himself to leap forward and apply his entire body’s weight to a sword attack so he could slice Zatoh apart from head to spine. When she saw this, Noloty acted.
What made Noloty move like this at that time?
Was it because Hamyuts ordered her to save him?
Was it because Zatoh said he wouldn’t kill anymore?
Was it the resolve she held during her training that she would defeat people without killing them?
Noloty bound Minth’s arms behind his back.
“Are you stupid?!”
At the same time, Hamyuts also muttered.
“Well done, Noloty.”
Minth broke free from Noloty. Her body was flung back and she landed on sand.
When he once again readied his sword, something unusual happened.
Fast water bullets drove into the two as if shot from a machinegun. Both Minth and Noloty were lightly blown ten meters away.
Noloty, who collapsed on the sand, looked at Zatoh. He was smiling. A repulsive smile rose to his blood-smeared face.
Noloty called him. But while doing so, she knew she was wrong. She didn’t need Minth’s Sacred Eyes to know that his expression was wrong. His eyes were wrong. His thirst for blood was wrong.
The wounds on his body began bubbling. His regeneration was much faster than before.
“…That bastard, using my body as he liked.”
While smiling, Zatoh spat out curses. Minth rose up behind Noloty and talked.
“…It’s been a long time, Monster-kun.”
Holding a sword in his right hand and a gun in his left hand, Minth pushed Noloty away and came to the front.
“Lemme hear your name. The guy until now was Zatoh, but who are you?”
“No, you’re wrong.”
The Monster began speaking with his arms spread open.
“I’m Zatoh. The Book-Eating Monster is Zatoh.”
“I have been possessed. Till just now. By that piece of shit, Enlike Bishile.”
Zatoh Rondohone didn’t know the circumstances of his own birth. For as long as he could remember, he was in a spacious cabin inside a ship. At his side was a single old man.
Perhaps he was a baby with transparent hair taken from a family called Rondohone. Maybe he would be able to find them if he were to search. However, Zatoh didn’t think about that at all. He could get whatever he wanted and do whatever he wanted to anyway.
No matter what kinds of bad things he did, he wasn’t scolded even once. When he asked the old man called Ganbanzel besides him about this, this was his answer:
“It’s because you are special.”
An environment where everything would be forgiven and transparent hair. Because he was so different than anyone else, he didn’t doubt he was special.
“I want to try killing people.”
It was quite natural of him to ask Ganbanzel for that, and it was also natural that he would be forgiven for it.
When he grew up, Ganbanzel taught him about the Indulging God Cult’s doctrine and the reason for his existence. He was going to eat the Books of various possessors of abilities and become a monster for Ganbanzel’s sake.
“I see, that is fine.”
Ganbanzel nodded contently hearing those words.
Zatoh didn’t make an effort in anything. All the effort was that of the Meats he ate and not of him. He kept stuffing himself with the Meats’ Books brought to him.
“You said you’ll make them into monsters, huh. You’re quite cruel, geezer.”
“I didn’t lie. More precisely, they would become a part of the monster.”
One day, Ganbanzel said,
“The youth named Enlike was apparently broken. We’re probably done with that island. Instead of turning them into human bombs, let’s annihilate them all.”
“Hey, geezer. What would Enlike do if you tell him to?”
Zatoh’s plan was successful. Ganbanzel was happy when he was told of the island’s annihilation.
Accompanied by the mysterious man called Lascall Othello that was introduced to him by Ganbanzel, Zatoh went to the island.
There he saw Enlike who turned into an empty shell.
His eyes reflected nothing and he wasn’t even able to stand on the beach. His face was distorted in the shape of a smile just like the time he was on the ship.
Enlike didn’t even turn his face around. He quietly passed away after getting roasted by Zatoh’s fireball.