Although she was a Meat, Olivia didn’t lodge in the Meats’ cabin. Obviously, it was thanks to Charlot. Keeping only her treatment in mind, she was no longer a Meat.
At that day Olivia went to a room which wasn’t Charlot’s cabin.
“…My request is what I said. What should I do?”
Two people sat face to face. One was Olivia. Her slender legs peeked from the hem of her thin dress and she smiled.
The other was the ship’s manager. His job was to manage the Meats for the Magicians and scientists serving the Indulging God Cult.
He couldn’t use Magic and had no special skills. When they realize he could also not manage the Meats, the Indulging God Cult will throw him away. And all the Cult’s followers knew that they would be thrown away into the Meats’ room.
They were staring at each other. The manager stared at Olivia angrily, but she responded with a mocking expression.
“I’ve said this plenty of times, but my request is very simple.”
She said, pointing at him with her index finger.
“I’m just asking you to not lay hands on what I’m doing. You will see nothing and know nothing. That’s it. Isn’t it easy?”
The manager gritted his teeth.
“A Meat requesting me… a Meat…”
“Choose your words, False Man.”
She hit the desk with her fist. A loud sound echoed, but Olivia was not intimidating at all.
“Charlot-sama approves. You just need to nod and agree.”
First a Meat and now a bitch? I’ve been promoted, smiled Olivia.
“Think well about this. This is the best option for you.
I don’t intend on interrupting your job. You can keep using the Meats for experiments as usual. You can test strange medicines on them, kill them, or whatever.
Meats are meant to be used right? This is all about you using me as well.”
The manager grinded his teeth. Olivia read from his expression that he needed another push. The only thing that made him hesitate answering was the humiliation of doing what a Meat told him.
“You certainly might also kill me. But if you do so, Charlot-sama will be angry.
That’s not all. It might also be exposed to those higher in the Cult. If they think you’re an incompetent manager who can’t control the Meats what will you do?”
“As long as you stay silent about this, nothing will happen.”
“Do you want to lose everything? Don’t you want to go to that place called Heaven?”
She made her final push. The manager nodded.
Olivia had already understood the Indulging God Cult was a large organization that worked for their self-interest. Such organizations were usually harmful. Let sleeping dogs lie and all that.
“Oh, I also have another thing to ask.”
“You’re still not done?”
“You can throw away as many Meats as you’d like, but can I be the only exception?”
The manager’s eyes widened for a while. He then muttered as if he was spitting.
You as well, thought Olivia.
She was at the dead end of a corridor at one of the ship’s corners. Several False Men were talking there. Olivia hid and listened to them. Obviously, they were talking about her.
“When are we going to stop letting that bitch roam around?”
“Someone has to deal with her.”
“But how? Charlot’s looking out for her.”
“That horndog… everything’s his fault. He’s a mere False Men so what is he thinking the Cult’s supposed to be?”
Olivia knew that Charlot was not faithful to the Cult in the first place. He joined it only so he could perform human experimentation that couldn’t be done in the outside world. He had no interest in what all False Men seemed to aim for, the place called Heaven.
“But what’s that bitch trying to do?”
“As if I care!”
Olivia stopped eavesdropping and tried to take her leave. A man came walking from behind her.
“Oh, you’re finally here.”
She said. She told a Meat to come there beforehand.
He was a particularly broken man even amongst the Meats. He could barely understand words, but his ability to think was thoroughly destroyed. Because of that he easily followed orders.
Just as Olivia told him, he came there bringing explosive from the bottom of the ship. Olivia pointed at the ship’s corridor and instructed him to go. She could hear the sounds of the False Men talking between them.
“…Why’s a Meat here?”
“He’s holding a bomb!!!”
She heard panicking. Olivia walked in the shadows, nodding.
The False Men tried apprehending the Meat while he resisted. He held to the bomb and clung to it with both arms.
Hearing Olivia’s voice, both the False Men and the Meat ceased all movements.
“You can’t do that. These people didn’t think of killing me.”
Saying this, she took the bomb away from him.
“I’m sorry. The Meats are too loyal. They’d do such things against their better judgment.”
The False Men shook with fear.
“I wonder what would happen if I were to die?”
She glared at them. Then she made the Meat rise to his feet and go back to his cabin. The higher ups of the Indulging God Cult would never imagine this – that the ship meant to raise Meats was under the control of those very Meats.
She opened her eyes.
Since she ended up remembering a lot, Olivia felt bad. She felt slightly sick. Volken looked at her worryingly, but she shook her hand to signify she was fine.
What did she receive from Vend Ruga? What was her goal? She still couldn’t remember.
“…Still, I was quite something.”
Olivia voiced her impressions. Thinking of her misdeeds, she could say nothing else.
“Say, Volken. You probably know about me.”
“What do you think about it? As an ally of justice.”
Volken spoke frankly.
“You are a villain. That was what I concluded.”
What an honest man, thought Olivia.
“Aren’t you thinking of beating me before Hamyuts?”
“I have. But that would not be the proper course of action.”
“There are two reasons. First I need you in order to defeat Hamyuts. One must occasionally work together with a small evil in order to bring down a greater evil. I may be inexperienced, but I can make that much of a distinction.”
“Secondly, I don’t know your goals yet. Even villains sometime take action for the sake of justice. But be as it may, they are still villains.”
Olivia silently clicked her tongue.
“Well, that’s true. I’m a villain.”
She then thought to herself. I don’t care about being a villain or whatever. As long as I retrieve Vend Ruga I don’t care about anything else.
“Fifteen minutes have passed. Let us go.”
They both got on the flying boat. It accelerated on the narrow river and then flew to the sky.
“…A villain, huh.”
Olivia muttered. That was probably true. She let many Meats die and never shed a single tear. It wasn’t because she was strong. She never felt sad or the need to cry.
But that was fine. For the sake of her goal she had no need for feelings.
At that moment, a voice came into her head. Olivia looked around her. Since it was a woman’s voice, it was obviously not Volken. She thought it might be the thing known as Thought Sharing, but had no idea how that worked.
But she could understand someone was talking to her.
Olivia returned her thoughts.
‘I think you’ve missed the most important thing of all. Since you didn’t notice it, you can’t remember your goal.’
‘What’s this important thing?’
‘If you face yourself you should understand it.’
‘Don’t talk as if you know everything, Renas Fleur.’
After a short while of silence, Renas replied.
‘I am you. I know all about you.’
Olivia mumbled. Volken turned around to check if there was anything wrong but she waved her hand signaling nothing happened.
‘I think that you’re truly a bad person just as Volken-san said.
However, fundamentally you’re not bad. You had to kill in order to fight. You had to betray people in order to win. You were in a fight where one had to act this way.’
‘Aren’t you acting out of character?’
‘I do hate fighting. And I will never forgive you.
But although I hate it, I do understand. You had to fight.’
Shut up, thought Olivia.
‘Stay silent, Renas Fleur. You’re already gone. You can’t come back to this world.’
‘I have some grace period before I disappear. It will probably soon end though.’
Renas replied inside Olivia’s mind.
‘Remember, Olivia. Deep down in your heart, you are not a cruel person.
Please remember this.’
Together with Renas’s words, another memory was revived.
She was on the ship. Hearing the sounds of a person being dragged in the night’s darkness, another corpse was being thrown away. How many people it had been? She stopped counting at the fifth one.
“Don’t you feel anything?”
The Meat holding the legs opened his mouth.
“He died for you. Don’t you feel anything about that?”
“…You speak well.”
The eyes of the Meat were not cloudy like those of the others, even though until recently he had the same dead eyes like the rest of them.
“I’ve recently regained my thinking ability. I might have been influenced by you.”
“…Is that so.”
Olivia and the Meat cooperated to throw the corpse into the sea.
“Even if I were to die you would probably not feel anything. No, that’s fine. That’s what being a Meat’s all about.”
“Yeah. You don’t feel anything for a piece of meat.”
“What a strange person. Although your mind is working fine, only your feelings were omitted. Or perhaps you were that kind of person in the first place?”
Olivia slapped his cheek as he kept talking.
“Shut up. Don’t talk. I’ll kill you.”
“Are you really not sad?”
She hit the Meat’s cheek again. This time she balled her hand to a fist and struck him. A tooth flew out from his mouth.
“I’m not sad. No matter who dies it doesn’t matter to me.”
“Why are you lying?”
Saying this, Olivia turned her back to him.
Her words were her true feelings, yet simultaneously a lie.
Death did not sadden her. She really felt this way. However, it was also sad at the same time. Things that weren’t sad saddened her.
It should have been different in the past. Before becoming a Meat she was saddened at people’s deaths. However, right now she wasn’t. She was turned into a Meat and her memories were stolen, but at the same time her feelings of sadness for death were also taken away.
This saddened her.
It was another certain day.
“Olivia. Let’s get out of here.”
Charlot suddenly said on top of the bed. Olivia pushed the blanket aside and got up.
“I’ve already completed my research. My value for the Indulging God Cult is diminishing.”
She knew that as well. His research was about realizing spatial transferring of people. He used the Meats for experimentation again and again. He was already able to transfer people at will.
He was asked to create a spatial barrier to protect the ship by the Cult’s higher-ups. That was also completed.
“There’s no need for me to stay here. Let’s go to some beautiful place.
Olivia, I much prefer the birds flying in the sky rather than a bird inside a cage.”
Charlot grabbed her hand and brought her into the bed. Olivia remained silent and received a hug.
“There’s no need to worry. You know my ability. There’s no way we won’t be able to escape.”
“Also, didn’t you say it? That you wanted to become human.”
Even right then the Meats were undergoing the Magic Deliberation as per Olivia’s orders. The day her goals would be fulfilled approached. She couldn’t leave.
Olivia caressed Charlot’s chin and spoke.
“Even if a pig were to exit its cage, it would not turn into a tiger. No matter where we go, I will be a Meat.”
“That’s not true. You are beautiful. You are no Meat.”
Charlot kept clinging to her. He seemed intent on taking her no matter what.
She quit her long-standing act for the first time.
“I’m not joking. Go by yourself.”
She had no need for the man anymore. She was ready to be cursed, ridiculed and resented. However, his response was different.
Charlot embraced her even stronger.
“Yeah. I knew it would come to this.”
It was unbelievable.
“You were using me, right? I knew it. From the very beginning. But I thought I would be able to create a real relationship someday. I wished for it.”
Feeling Charlot’s body heat, Olivia answered.
“If you understand it makes this easy. I’m using you. You’re using my body. Isn’t that enough?”
“…Olivia, do you not know my feelings?”
“Yeah. I don’t know and I don’t want to.”
“…The Meats are important to you. No matter how much I love you, the Meats are more important for you.”
“It’s because I’m a Meat. I’m not a human like you.”
Charlot released her body.
“Right. Then go as far as you can, no matter the consequences.”
A month passed since then.
Charlot lost all of his memories and fell to the position of a Meat. The same happened with all of the other False Men. A True Man and his subordinate occupied the ship and Olivia was caught.
Her plan had been exposed.
The long-haired man spoke to Olivia. We will take your memories again and send you to a different research facility. And we’re going to have some fun before that, he said while laughing.
She was on the ship’s deck.
The long-haired man sat on a sofa brought there and looked at her. Olivia was topless and tied up. Both of her legs were bound to a pole.
In front of her stood a Meat. Behind him stood a red-haired woman. She had a whip in her hand.
“Get them to speak more, Alme.”
“Certainly, Cigal-sama. Come on, speak.”
Saying so, the redhead kicked the Meat’s back. It was a light kick, but the Meat raised his voice as if he endured hell. There was no skin on his back. He was hit until his very muscles were exposed.
“Olivia… die, die, Olivia!”
The Meat shouted in a hoarse voice. Olivia clenched her teeth as she heard this.
“You’re at fault. You did everything wrong, die, die, suffer and die!”
Meat corpses were piled up behind her. They were all tortured the same way, and they were all forced to abuse Olivia the same way. Receiving the hatred of her comrades was her own torture.
“Alme. You’re overdoing it. Look. Isn’t it painful?”
“I’m sorry, Cigal-sama.”
The redhead – Alme – swung her whip. It had countless of thorns. It was no longer a tool for torture. It was a whip that could peel off skin even with a slight blow.
“It would be boring for them to just die. You must tease them carefully.”
She swung her whip again. The Meat kept cursing Olivia and eventually died.
“Now, Olivia. Don’t you have anything to say?”
Cigal said. The redhead kicked her back.
“Look at these poor Meats. They all suffered so much and died. All because of you. What do you think?”
Olivia gritted her teeth. She didn’t apologize. If she were to say it, her heart would break. She would give up retrieving … which was her goal. She didn’t want to give up. No matter what happens to her, she didn’t want to give up.
“Well then, it’s about time to stop playing around.”
Saying so, Cigal stood up. He pulled out a pen from his pocket. He stabbed it into Olivia’s bare shoulder.
“This is now the real deal.”
The redhead approached. She raised her whip.
The torture kept going until the sun set. Olivia never felt regret even once until Cigal got tired. And she didn’t think of giving up.
Olivia managed to regain some of her memories. However, she still hasn’t recalled her goal.
‘I think you have actually suffered.’
Renas said. Olivia smiled in scorn.
‘Don’t be silly, Renas. You said you don’t think I’m a bad person deep inside? No matter how you look at it I was the worst villain.’
‘I couldn’t get anything without killing? True. However, I wanted things that I had to kill for. That was my evil.’
‘I’ve killed the Meats, Charlot, and also you.
If I didn’t wish for anything you would not have died. Am I wrong? Didn’t everyone die because of me?’
‘Even so, that was what I wished for. I wanted Vend Ruga no matter what.’
Renas grew silent. Olivia kept talking.
‘This will probably be the last time we can talk. Since it’s the last time, I’ll let this slip.
Everyone was kind when you lived on Past God Bantorra’s Island. The trainees did silly things, but all of them were good people. Enlike, Mattalast and the rest of the Armed Librarians have truly cared for you.
Even that monster Hamyuts got along with you.
I considered… couldn’t I just live in peace inside you?
But as I thought I couldn’t. Everyone was kind, but not to me. They always smiled only at you.’
‘…Olivia. Everyone would have probably been kind to you as well. Because they’re all good people.’
‘Perhaps. But even if it was so, I couldn’t have accepted them. They were far too kind. I just wouldn’t be able to live there.’
‘That might be so now, but you would have gotten along eventually.’
Olivia answered inside her mind.
‘Impossible. I’m the worst heretic. I’m a woman who can’t cry no matter who she sees die.’
‘People’s hearts can change. You can definitely change.’
‘Impossible. I won’t do anything I judge to be impossible.
I just don’t know… what to do when meeting kind people. I just don’t know.’
‘I know how to deceive; I know how to use people; yet I can’t change my heart.
Therefore I can do nothing but fight.’
‘Olivia, you are…’
She couldn’t heart Renas’s voice.
Thinking about it, she was a strange woman. When Olivia tried to take Renas’s body away from her, she didn’t even try to resist her. Although she was scared of Olivia’s memories, she was prepared to accept her.
Why’s that? She wondered.
During that time, Bantorra Library was preparing for an attack. However, there were no signs of the enemy coming for them. They started thinking that perhaps there was no diversion.
Noloty was looking for Enlike. Before she noticed it he disappeared. He was at the airport, gazing up the sky after Hamyuts, Volken and Olivia were gone.
“What’re you doing here, Enlike-san? Mattalast-san’s angry.”
She called to him.
“Is that so.”
Enlike spoke lightly. Noloty sighed. And she thought he would be scared of making Mattalast angry… but he probably didn’t find anything scary in the first place.
“Since there might not be any attack, let’s go back to the Library.”
She grabbed his sleeve but Enlike was unmoving. He was thinking of something as he gazed at the sky.
“I’ve once asked Renas something. It was about Mokkania.”
What’s he saying now? Thought Noloty.
“At the very end Mokkania surrendered and took his own life. But apparently he didn’t do it to protect his mother.”
“She was a poor woman caught by the Indulging God Cult, had her memories removed and was given a new personality. He apparently did it so she wouldn’t die.”
She did not quite understand, but Noloty kept listening to him. If she were to ask him something like so what? right now he would be mad at her.
“Renas told me she was glad for that. She told me that she was happy for raising a child who would do that even at the very end. Even though I don’t really understand it.”
Enlike looked up to the far skies. Noloty didn’t know what he was seeing there.
“Thinking about this now, perhaps it was determined from the very beginning.”
I can’t understand it at all, but he seems to be talking about something important. So Noloty thought.
“I wonder if she successfully ran away. If she can, I hope she would do so.”
Enlike muttered and let Noloty lead him away from the airfield.
Hearing Volken’s voice, Olivia raised her head. Looking around her, she could see a vast forest beneath the airplane.
“We will arrive in about fifteen minutes. We will recover Ückück and the Book and immediately move along.”
“Where will we go?”
“I haven’t decided yet, but it will be a safe place for you. I will look for some location in the northern frontier’s ruins. We will retrieve your memories there.”
“I see. Let’s do so.”
“Please rest a bit. You should retrieve your memories as soon as possible, but we’re not tight on time.”
Olivia leaned on the seat’s back and breathed.
During the exact same time…
The tips of the Sensory Threads Hamyuts extended ahead touched an object. It was the aircraft of Volken she was chasing after.
She opened her airplane’s hatch and set the sling on her right hand. They would soon be in her range.
“I’ve finally caught up.”
Volken, unaware of Hamyuts’s approach, kept flying straight ahead.