Olivia walked for a long time. She was walking so slowly she would seem like she stopped in place for people like Volken and Hamyuts, but she still kept walking.
Several sounds echoed within the woods. Stopping in place and looking around, she could see smoke rising around here and there. It seemed the human bombs found the illusory Olivias and detonated.
An explosion sounded ahead. The one being erased by the bomb was probably one of Olivia’s produced illusions. With her method of sending her illusions ahead and following them, she was able to evade the bombs.
She once again created an illusion and sent it forward. She waited in place until that illusion got ahead.
At that moment, she heard the grass rustle from behind.
So they came from behind. They probably already found Olivia. She had to run.
A human bomb came chasing after her in a straight line. Although it was a forest with bad visibility, he didn’t lose sight of her for a second.
How can they know I’m here despite wearing a mask? Thought Olivia.
That was the skill of the improved human bombs. They were robbed of their eyesight so they would not be distracted by unnecessary things. Their heads were embedded with eyes possessing the Sacred Eyes ability, allowing them to perceive souls and chase after them.
Olivia had no choice but to produce an illusion and send it backwards. The moment the human bomb touched the illusion it exploded. Volken’s ability was amazing enough to deceive even the power to see souls.
However, she could not use it much longer. She had to reach her destination.
Dancing Blades covered the entire sky. Several Volkens ran on the ground.
Just as Hamyuts said, fighting against Volken was truly troublesome. She drove hundreds of gravel bullets into Volken’s skull. However, the real one was still unhurt.
A Dancing Blade attacked Hamyuts from behind. She sent it flying away by hitting it with her sling. At the same time Volken came charging from ahead. She smashed him but he was also an illusion.
Dancing Blades cut through empty space and assailed Hamyuts. Although she knew that most of them were illusory, she had to evade all of them.
She got impatient. The moment she impatiently starts going on the offensive and stops evading the Dancing Blades would lead to Volken’s victory. Hamyuts knew that. She was impatient because she knew that.
She had no reason to use her basic tactic of fighting while running away right now. None of the attacks were real yet. There was no point to retreating.
Volken kept creating more and more illusions. As expected he knew to use his power well.
It was now a battle of patience. Both had the strongest patience amongst the Armed Librarians. They could be said to be equal in that sense as well.
Volken was thinking to himself.
Why was he fighting? Even in the unlikely event that he beats Hamyuts, what will he do then? His allies will no longer accept him. Volken’s career as an Armed Librarian has already ended long ago.
Even so, his fighting hands did not relax. He was as strong as he always was.
He did nothing wrong. It was because he was convinced in this. The justice he kept believing in was at his side.
Therefore he could fight. Although he was all alone, he could fight.
If he didn’t meet Olivia he would have surely given up. He would be unable to fight by himself and without anyone to rely on. But he now knew. As long as nothing changed within his heart, he would keep on fighting.
The sun was setting. The situation became disadvantageous for Olivia. She did not have any lights. After the sun goes down she will not be able to walk around.
She would reach the place where Volken hid the Spinning Doll Ückück in about thirty minutes. If she had to stay put on the way she would not get there on time.
She heard a sound from her right. It was human bombs. There were two of them. Olivia produced an illusion and made it run ahead. She herself ran to the left. She had to take a detour.
When she walked around enough, she heard an explosion come from ahead. But it was only one sound. Since they were two, there should be another one left. However, no human bomb came after her. It seemed they did not possess the intelligence to split and chase both ways.
Thinking she got away, Olivia stopped. She was at her limit. She was injured everywhere on her bare skin. Her ankles hurt because she kept running through places with no clear paths.
She wanted to rest even if for a minute. She took a deep breath and exhaled.
The explosions she heard from a while ago lessened. The numbers of the human bombs seemed to have been considerably lowered. They all died with along with the illusions.
“Really now, we’re all going to die…”
Olivia muttered. The human bombs were dying. Volken will also probably die soon. Once again she would amass a mountain of corpses on her way.
Just who was in the wrong here? She thought.
The ones who killed them were Hamyuts and the Indulging God Cult. But who made them do so? Who had driven them to death?
Obviously it was Olivia. She made them die, and Hamyuts killed them. Olivia was the one to begin it all.
She laughed listlessly. She was at the wrong. She did well to kill so many people until now.
But she did not mind this. In this world there were only enemies and people she could use.
‘Do you really think so?’
She heard Renas’s voice. Shut up, thought Olivia. At that moment, she recalled her past again.
It was a memory from when she was on the ship.
Inside the Meats’ room, some False Men were holding a single girl by her shoulders. She was meant to be used by Charlot. His Magic that could transport human bodies had not been completed yet. By repeating human experimentation again and again, he sought to complete it.
The girl raised her face and called. In front of her stood Olivia. She could not stop the False Men. They had an agreement that they could use the Meats freely.
“Help me. I don’t want to die.”
She begged for her life, which was originally forbidden for Meats. The girl kept shouting.
“I don’t want to die yet, I want to become human!”
Olivia was thinking. I didn’t make it in time. If I was slightly faster, I could have turned her human. I could have retrieved her … as well.
The girl was taken out of the room. Olivia averted her eyes from her. Once she was taken away the Meats’ room grew quiet. Another person opened his mouth.
It was another Meat who followed Olivia just like the girl.
“Let us fight. For that girl as well. We will retrieve … no matter what.”
The Meat’s eyes were burning with the intent to fight.
Renas called to her.
‘You weren’t as lonely as you think you were.’
‘Shut up, Renas.’
Saying so, Olivia stood up. The pain in her body did not go away, but her breathing relaxed.
Let’s go. Just a bit more. But just as she thought so and started walking…
She found a figure in front of her. It was at such a distance that she couldn’t understand how she didn’t notice it.
She could tell. This was the human bomb she supposedly lost earlier.
Although she had rested, it was for a short time. He shouldn’t have caught up to her. Also, he didn’t come from behind but from ahead of her. He couldn’t do such a thing unless he teleported.
The human bomb stood in place for a while. And he then started sluggishly walking towards Olivia.
She hurriedly created an illusion and sent it charging at the human bomb. But he made no response. The illusions touched the human bomb and disappeared. He already settled on aiming at the real Olivia.
Her feet wouldn’t move. What stopped her in place was not fear. It was because she couldn’t come up with anything to do. Is this the end? Thought Olivia. Regret, fear and anger swirled around in her chest. At the same time, she also felt some faint relief at being released from her long and painful battle.
And just as Olivia’s heart has completely accepted defeat… something changed with the human bomb.
Although he was going straight ahead to her, his feet stopped.
At the same time, change has also occurred in Olivia. She slowly moved her legs ahead.
Her mouth moved.
“You should know this. I am not Olivia Littolet. I am not the person you’re looking for.”
She approached the human bomb standing in place. She actually wasn’t Olivia.
She was Renas.
Olivia’s consciousness was driven deep inside her mind just like it was until yesterday.
The human bomb was confused. Neither Renas nor Olivia knew they chased after souls. However, she chose to bet on a small hope and succeeded with her last resort.
Renas stepped ahead. She gently reached for the masked face.
“It’s fine. You don’t have to do this anymore.”
The human bomb nervously moved his hands. He held Renas’s hand as if he was a little girl petting a cat for the first time.
“You can go to rest. Take it easy.”
The human bomb’s body collapsed as if he was released from something. He sunk down to the ground like a child that grew tired of playing.
“…Let us go. We’re almost there.”
Leaving the seating human bomb behind, Renas started walking.
Olivia asked Renas.
‘You could regain your body anytime you wanted to, couldn’t you? Then why did you hand over your body until now?’
“To tell you the truth, I vaguely understood that you could possess me from the time we were on Past God Bantorra’s Island. I knew this and didn’t resist.”
“I simply returned what I borrowed. Besides, I thought of wanting to save you all along.”
‘Why! Why would you want that!’
“I understand your feelings. Your true feelings that you haven’t noticed.
That is my only reason.”
“I will say it again. Try and think about it. What do you need? What was taken away from you?”
Just before the setting sun sunk completely, Renas could see a small hut in front of her.
“That Vend Ruga person was probably the one who gave you your most important thing, Olivia. You were probably the only one who thought she was merely using other people. You have reached this far because everyone had supported you.”
Renas returned her body to Olivia. She started walking again.
“…Shit, this pisses me off!”
Hamyuts was on the verge of numbness. While she was stronger in battle, Volken had more patience than her. He was devoting himself to protection. He did so for Olivia who was behind him. He didn’t know if she was alive or dead, but she had to be protected.
At that moment, Hamyuts changed her way of fighting.
She started shooting at the Dancing Blades midair without aiming at Volken. No attacks came at her besides the charging illusions of Volken. Although she was already on the defensive, she went into it even more.
This was bad for Volken, however. The real one had been freely using his illusions to protect himself. In order to not be targeted by Hamyuts, he was always at a distance outside her field of vision. However, his Dancing Blades could not do so.
The Dancing Blades flying around were shot down. Unlike his illusions that were inexhaustible, there was a limit to the number of Dancing Blades that he had. If they were all shot down, he would have no means with which to attack.
Volken also changed his strategy. He switched from defense to offense.
Dozens of Volkens charged at Hamyuts. It was no longer a bluff like before. The real one was among them.
At that moment Hamyuts shot her sling. She aimed at the ground at her feet. Dirt sprung up as if exploding. The illusions hit by it dissipated.
She swung her sling. The string aimed to wrap around Volken’s neck and lop his head off. He anticipated that attack. Since it was anticipated he was barely able to evade it. Volken’s body lay on the ground.
Hamyuts instantly loaded her sling with a gravel bullet. Volken used both arms and legs to leap like a beast.
The bullet grazed his back. Cloth and skin were torn.
His spine was exposed from the gaping tear. This sort of wound would make a normal person writhe in pain, but for Volken it was shallow. He could still fight.
“…Not bad, Volken.”
For Hamyuts it was an opportunity to keep the offensive. However, no attacks came. Blood flowed from her shoulder.
The real Volken was a decoy. At the moment she was about to attack him, a Dancing Blade came from behind. Hamyuts scowled and Volken smiled. Given the difference in their strength, a simultaneous injury was humiliating for her. All the illusions surrounding Hamyuts changed their appearance. Just like the real Volken, they all got torn, bleeding backs.
What was he fighting for? While he kept fighting, he didn’t think he could beat Hamyuts. However, he kept fighting her for even a minute or a second more. For as long as he kept fighting, the justice of the Armed Librarian was at Volken’s side.
The two took their distance and faced each other. At that moment, Hamyuts stopped rotating her sling.
“Say, Volken. Since this is a good cutoff place for our fight, why don’t we continue our talk?”
Volken also stopped fighting. Thinking about Olivia, buying some time wouldn’t be so bad.
“I’ve said this before, but I have no idea what are you fighting for. I know you’ve said you wanted to chase me out, but I don’t understand why.”
He did not interject. He decided to let her speak.
“Did you find out the truth about the Indulging God Cult? Is that why you’re opposing me?”
The truth about the Indulging God Cult… Volken did not know it. As Vizac had told him, Hamyuts was certainly hiding something. Was that what she was referring to?
“No? So do you know about the Violet Sinner or Vend Ruga?”
He knew the name Vend Ruga. But it was the first time he heard of the Violet Sinner. Was that related to Olivia?
“So you don’t know them as well. How strange, why are you fighting then?”
Volken then answered.
“My goal is to expose your crimes. To find evidence, present it to the other Armed Librarians and thus expel you from Bantorra Library.”
Hamyuts started thinking.
“Which of my crimes? I have so many I can’t tell if you won’t be more specific.”
“…I’m talking about you sinking the ship at Allow Bay, killing the Meats!”
Volken shouted without meaning to.
Hamyuts widened her eyes. Although she was in the midst of battle she stroked her chin, scratched her head and started thinking.
“Is that it?”
“Are you angry because I killed those people? Is that all?”
“Is that all, you ask?!”
Hamyuts was surprised for a while, and then chuckled.
“It’s that, I see, so that’s why. So what. I thought it was something much more terrible.”
She started laughing as if completely forgetting they were fighting.
“Right, what I did was bad. So what were you trying to do?”
“I will reveal to everyone that you were the one to sink the ship. If everyone knows you are a villain, no one would acknowledge you as the Acting Director.”
“What, is that what you were thinking?”
This time she burst into shrill laughter. Volken faltered.
“So that’s how it was, oh my, how troubling. That’s so troubling.”
Hamyuts didn’t even look at Volken anymore. She was laughing so much she was in pain.
“Ah, my stomach hurts. My shoulder also hurts but so does my stomach.”
Volken felt fear. Was his goal that insignificant for her? Did that mean his very fight had been meaningless?
“So, Volken. Let me tell you something good.
Everyone already knows that I was the one to sink the ship at Allow Bay.”
He made an idiotic sounding voice. Making such a voice against his enemy already indicated that he had lost.
“Mattalast already secretly revealed it to everyone. Didn’t you know?”
“Although they were Meats, there was also a chance they would turn out to be our enemies, so I killed them. That’s how we settled it. The real reason is different, of course.”
“…Then why did everyone stay silent?”
“They turned a blind eye to it. They were scared of causing a fuss and making me angry. I’m the only one who’s a villain through and through, but everyone else is also quite bad.
You thought that the Armed Librarians represent justice. But in the end it’s only our public face. Normally you’d notice it gradually. Armed Librarians are not necessarily just.
Isn’t that what’s becoming an adult all about?”
No words came out of Volken’s mouth. Until now he believed that all his comrades but Hamyuts have protected justice. He was naïve.
“I’m glad you ran away before the trial. You would have made a great embarrassment out of yourself.”
Saying so, Hamyuts laughed.
However, Volken once again operated his Dancing Blades. Even if all the Armed Librarians haven’t thought of protecting justice… he alone still believed in it.
If there was no one to protect it, he will do so by himself. That was the justice he inherited from Photona.
“My, how persistent. Do you still intend on fighting?”
Hamyuts dodged the Dancing Blades.
“Then I’ll tell you more. The Armed Librarians’ justice you believe in is nothing but an illusion.”
It’s a lie.
“There’s a truth only the various generations of the Acting Director are told about. I’ll make a special case and tell you too.”
Hamyuts spoke while evading and shooting down the Dancing Blades.
“The battle between the Armed Librarians and the Indulging God Cult… the roots of all evil lie within the Armed Librarians.”
His body stopped for an instant.
“…You think it’s a lie? But it’s true. Outwardly we seem to oppose each other, but the truth is different. The Armed Librarians and the Indulging God Cult originally coexisted. Sometimes there’s some rebellion like what’s going on now, but we mostly get along in peace.”
It’s all lies, thought Volken.
“Besides, the leader of the Indulging God Cult – the Overseer of Paradise – is selected from the ranks of the Armed Librarians. In a manner of speaking, the Indulging God Cult is our branch organization.”
This can’t be. Volken told himself this.
Hamyuts enjoyed speaking. She used the truth to torment Volken much like a cat toying with a mouse.
“Then why did it turn out like this? I’ll also tell you the reason for it.”
Huhu, she laughed.
“It’s because the Indulging God Cult was created by us Armed Librarians.”
The Dancing Blades stopped.
Volken’s knees buckled. The illusions kept standing and the only the real Volken collapsed.
It was a fatal failure. The moment he noticed this, he was shot by Hamyuts’s gravel bullet. It bore exactly into Volken’s chest.
The illusions disappeared. His body collapsed.
“Goodbye, Volken. What you believed in did not exist in this world.”
Volken lay face-down and stopped moving.
Photona’s face floated at the back of Volken’s mind. The justice of the Armed Librarians he was taught by him floated to his heart and disappeared.
Photona knew everything from the very beginning. He knew but taught Volken of justice. The words he believed in were all lies.
Just what was my life? Volken thought so with his fading consciousness. What are the Armed Librarians? What is the Indulging God Cult? I don’t understand anything anymore.
He was dying without understanding.
His comrade Armed Librarians floated to his mind. He thought of Mirepoc. He thought of Vizac, Luimon, Mokkania, Minth and Ireia.
They are all being deceived. Deceived by Photona, by Hamyuts, by the other Acting Directors.
I must tell everyone. Volken so thought. Even now he believed that there would be someone, even a single person, who would protect justice. He had to tell someone of it.
If his voice could reach his lost comrades he wanted to shout. If he could send his thoughts he wanted to.
Please, anyone, let me explain. Please find out the hidden truth.
However, along with the suspension of his heart, his wishes vanished into the darkness.