Final Chapter: The Swamp of Souls, the Memory of a Smile – Part 2

Finally, that day had come. Enlike was wounded in exchange for taking Sasari’s life. He was lying powerless in front of her.

Qumola waited for a chance when Boramot wasn’t around and clenched a knife.

However, her plan was easily seen through.

He was going to kill her anyway. Therefore, she had to say the things she wanted to at the very end.

Qumola assaulted Enlike with her words of anger.

However, his answer didn’t come in the form of a lightning strike but in the form of words outside her expectations.

“…I don’t want to.”

Enlike confessed. He told her that he didn’t enjoy it at all, rather he was pained by it.

How terrible, Qumola thought.

She thought of him as a monstrous human, kept hating him, and now he told her this.

The enemy she wanted to kill was simply an unhappy person. He was only unhappy, same as the people she swore to protect.

She couldn’t hate Enlike.

She tried killing the person she should have protected. Qumola was brought to tears by this realization. She should have understood Enlike’s suffering. Why didn’t she understand this until now?

“Kayas-san.”

Qumola talked to him afterwards.

“…I think Enlike is one of our friends.”

“If you think of him as a friend, then he is. What do you think about him, Qumola?”

She answered,

“He killed many people and was hurt a lot. But I still think of him as a friend.”

However, a day where Enlike and Qumola could come to understand each other never came.

At that time, Boramot already came in order to kill her.

Qumola and Enlike were separated without having understood each other. Enlike’s lightning struck her and all of his thoughts have disappeared in vain.

 

Inside the swamp Enlike was thinking – Qumola didn’t hate me. She once did, but then she didn’t until the very end. I wasn’t all alone. I was their friend just like she said.

Why couldn’t I notice that? If I did, we might have been still living together.

What should I do?

Enlike was the person who crushed his most important thing by his own hands.

He should have understood her and kept living together with her, but he was the one who killed her.

What should I do? It’s obvious. I have no choice but to die.

Enlike banged his head against the wall. It shook the Imaginary Entrails enough to make a sound. Enlike’s empty mind and his powerless body have started moving him with anger. It was the most intense anger in this world – anger towards himself.

Zatoh felt an abnormality. His head began hurting and he felt as if his very soul was being dragged out of his body.

“What!”

Zatoh shouted. His head, hands, and entire body began trembling.

“…This, this is…!”

He squirmed.

Enlike pounded the wall with his nonexistent forehead and fists. Each blow was as if he was trying to destroy his body along with the wall. The thick wall started developing cracks.

He struck the wall with his entire body. At that moment, it broke. Enlike rose up and Zatoh fell.

The next instant, Enlike was no longer in the Imaginary Entrails but found himself standing on a running train.

He was confused for a short while. These were not his hands. This was not his hair. He was a little confused by those facts.

“…”

His right hand began trembling. Enlike could feel Zatoh, who had the pilot seat taken away from, struggling from within his body.

He could feel him trying to take control back from his right hand to his entire body.

Enlike broke that hand’s fingers. He could feel Zatoh flinching inside him.

“Does this much cause a monster like you to flinch like that?”

Enlike said towards Zatoh inside his body.

“Just this much causes that reaction. How ridiculous.”

Enlike next slung his entire body against the wall of the train. He hit the floor with his fist and struck the door with his face. The breaking of his bones and the impacts strong enough to cause spurts of blood all made Zatoh inside wince in pain.

Enlike shot lightning at his own body.

As the train broke down and abruptly stopped, Zatoh no longer had any way of resisting.

Enlike started walking unsteadily.

I’ll die. He was walking while thinking of this.

Those were the details of that incident. Those were the foolish traces of the person who wanted to smile.

It was the tale of a fool who wanted to smile but couldn’t achieve it, wanted to become a monster but couldn’t achieve it, and even when he wanted to die he couldn’t achieve it.

 

Enlike hit the wall with his fists. It didn’t budge. The power of Enlike’s soul had declined and Zatoh’s Imaginary Entrails were strengthened. Right now, it was impossible for Enlike to shatter the wall and come outside once again.

Before long, he stopped hitting the wall with his fists.

That’s enough. Let it end like this. Without thinking anything, without seeing anything, everything will be much easier. Just as he thought so, Enlike’s body which was out of the swamp started sinking again. If he were to be pulled inside the swamp like that, Enlike’s consciousness would be erased from this world.

Just as he thought so, Enlike’s back was suddenly pushed by someone.

‘What’re you doing, Enlike?’

He could hear someone telling him this from inside the swamp.

 

Zatoh was looking down. Noloty glared back at him and rose up. She understood she was being toyed with. However, she had no choice but to confront him.

“Hey, Noloty-chan, aren’t you tired already? If you just stand there and let me kill you so easily what am I going to do?”

Noloty didn’t answer. She simply and straightforwardly charged at him. She did nothing but head towards him even while being blocked by water bullets and cloth.

Her attack was intercepted once again. Zatoh stared at the fallen Noloty who stood up with a bored look.

“That’s enough, it’s time for you to die.”

“…Shut up.”

Deadly lightning shone in Zatoh’s hand. He slowly directed that hand towards Noloty.

 

‘What’re you doing, Enlike?’

Someone asked from within the swamp.

‘I’m not doing anything. I can’t do a thing anymore.’

Enlike answered.

‘Isn’t it enough? Let it end.’

‘That’s no good. You can’t do that.’

The voice started talking.

‘Qumola tried saving us and you. That guy called Relia tried saving her. That girl fighting right now is trying to save you.

Think for a while. Did that girl and Qumola ever give up?’

‘…’

‘We won’t allow it. Do you think we’ll give you the luxury of being the only one who can give up?!’

‘What should I do?’

‘Think. You idiot. Try looking for something you can to turn things over with.’

Enlike pounded the wall with his clenched fists.

Something that I will be able to do. Something I can do.

Oh, right. There’s only one such thing.

Enlike opened his eyes. He recited a single mantra inside his mind. That mantra he repeated without ever tiring while he was on that island, spending his days on with Qumola and the rest of his comrades.

Those who go will not go, and those who come will not come. The moon is the sun. Birds are fish.

Magic Deliberation, begin. Enlike started eroding the world’s axioms.

 

Noloty ran. Lightning was about to be shot at her. She wasn’t stuck to the ground like before. That lightning was aimed for her heart.

At that moment, bluish sparks burst out. The lightning that was supposed to have been shot was instead scattered.

Zatoh looked at his own hand. This was an unimaginable opening to create for himself in the midst of battle. Noloty’s fist hit Zatoh for the first time.

Along with a sound indicating it broke his cheeks, his neck was bent directly to the side.

His mouth moved as if to ask why. Noloty’s fist, drawing an arc in the air, caught his face.

 

Enlike gritted his teeth as he challenged the world’s axioms. The Magic Deliberation of a person who already died – a seemingly impossible act – strongly rejected the world.

He finally succeeded twisting the axioms with just the power of his mind.

‘Enlike Bishile controls lightning.’

On top of the rewritten axiom, Enlike added another one.

‘The one to control lightning isn’t Zatoh Rondohone.’

 

Noloty punched him a second time and pursued him even further. However, the third blow was blocked by Zatoh’s cloth. It swooped on Noloty to catch her arms. As she was finally in the position for close-quarters combat, she couldn’t give up here.

Zatoh was frightened more by his hand rather than from fighting Noloty.

“Why, why?!”

Zatoh extended his hand. He was probably going to shoot out lightning. But the hand aimed for Noloty simply moved in empty air.

Noloty smiled. She didn’t know what was happening and why no lightning came out, but she clearly understood one thing – Enlike was fighting inside Zatoh.

“Enlike-san… Let’s go!”

Noloty called and charged.

Zatoh returned fire with water bullets. He shot them out indiscriminately in a wide scope.

They were shot to stop Noloty’s charge without caring for anything.

‘When you try you can really do it, right, you piece of shit? But aren’t you too slow?’

The voices from behind continued. Enlike turned around and saw their owners. The group of comrades popped their heads out of the swamp. Sasari directed the same hateful smile he had when he was alive towards Enlike.

‘Who’s slow here?’

Enlike spat at Sasari.

‘You’re the slow ones here.’

‘That’s obvious, you piece of shit.’

Sasari placed his hand on the edge of the swamp. He looked like a decomposing corpse; his bones could be seen as his body was digested inside the swamp.

Enlike held his hand out towards that body.

He prayed in his heart and he believed. He could control lightning. Before that body would be destroyed and its soul eaten, Enlike could control lightning.

‘Do it, Enlike!’

Sasari shouted. Lightning shot from Enlike’s hand.

‘Right, Enlike. That’s… good enough.’

With these last words, Sasari’s soul was scattered and erased.

 

The water bullets stopped. Zatoh’s face distorted in fear.

“This can’t be…”

Zatoh shouted. Noloty closed in on him.

“Why is this happening?!”

Noloty grappled him like a wildcat and pushed his body down atop the sand.

As she rode on him, she held his body down using her legs and struck his face using both fists.

The clothes Zatoh wore started rampaging in trying to push Noloty away. But one fist from her was enough against his power that was diminished by his fear and bewilderment.

“This can’t be!”

Zatoh’s cry was drowned by Noloty’s fist striking his lips.

 

“Next one, quickly!”

Enlike shouted. His comrades were desperately rising up from inside the swamp. Enlike kept using his lightning for their requiem. Zatoh could already barely use any power.

‘En…like…’

Lonkenny, who became almost nothing but bones, rose from the swamp with help from his friends.

‘Do it, Enlike.’

Enlike’s lightning crushed Lonkenny and those who helped him.

Zatoh’s screams could be heard from outside, things like Why, how, what’s happening?

He tried to escape but Noloty’s legs held him down. The cloth he was supposed to control was torn into shreds and the only things that could protect him now were only his arms.

This is strange. It’s definitely wrong.

If this was going to happen, I shouldn’t have become a Monster.

At that moment, the wall that Zatoh sealed cracked and shattered.

Zatoh escaped to the last refuge – the interior of his own body.

What a fool, Enlike sighed. This is no refuge.

‘…Aah.’

When Zatoh saw the figure of Enlike who was clad in sparks of lightning, his expression conveyed utter despair.

Enlike slowly raised his hand. It was so he could erase Zatoh’s soul from this world and put an end to it all.

If Zatoh, who possessed the ability of Book-Eating, were to disappear, these Imaginary Entrails should also disappear. Both Enlike and the souls still left inside will also vanish.

That’s fine. This conclusion was Enlike’s long-cherished ambition.

Just as he was about to shoot out his lightning, he heard a voice.

‘Wait, Enlike.’

Enlike turned around. He saw Kayas’s face peeking from the swamp.

‘If you kill him, you’ll die as well.’

‘…That’s fine by me.’

Enlike was ready to fire his lightning at the paralyzed Zatoh. However, just before this, a single man rose from the swamp and grabbed his body. Zatoh raised a terrified scream.

‘You are…’

Enlike knew the man who grabbed Zatoh.

‘Hello, Enlike-kun. I’m Luimon, but we don’t appear to have time for this right now.’

As he said so, Luimon dragged Zatoh’s body inside the swamp. Zatoh’s resistance held no meaning against Luimon’s strength.

‘We’ll hold him back. You go on.’

Kayas spoke to Enlike while sinking Zatoh in the swamp.

‘Why should I live?’

Enlike asked Kayas.

‘As a distraction.’

Kayas smiled while sinking in.

‘I think it would be fine to let an idiot like you live on.’

 

Noloty stopped her fist. Zatoh stopped resisting. His head was smashed as if by a large boulder, his wounds bearing no consistent shape.

While remaining atop him, Noloty shed tears.

At that moment, his body started to regenerate. His shattered head went back to its previous form.

Noloty wiped her tears and clenched her fist.

“…Noloty.”

The recovered mouth faintly spoke.

“…Which one are you?”

Noloty asked.

“Don’t cry over people. Leaving aside your tears, your snot is dripping on me.”

Noloty knew this blunt way of talking.

“…Enlike-san.”

 

“You’re in the way. You’re heavy. Move.”

Zatoh… no, Enlike complained quietly while lying sprawled.

“I got you to survive.”

Noloty grinned at him.

“This isn’t the time to smile. Don’t do that.”

Noloty looked at Enlike’s face and replied.

“That also goes to you.”

Thus, the story came to a close. It was the simple story of a boy who wished to be able to smile.

On that quiet beach, Enlike and Noloty faced each other and smiled for a long time.

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Final Chapter: The Swamp of Souls, the Memory of a Smile – Part 2

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