The moon was peeking through the gaps in the wall. It started climbing to the top of the sky after the sun sank down. The previous day it was slightly shy of a full moon, but today it was round and proudly shining.
Olivia crossed her hands in front of her face. In front of her was the Spinning Doll Ückück’s cherubic body. It looked as if it was praying to the endless moonlight.
The Spinning Doll held enough Magic Rights to be able to be activated. Olivia was the only survivor among the Meats, but the fallen Meats’ Magic Rights still remained.
All that remained was for Olivia to recall the details about her Magic Right.
‘To retrieve Vend Ruga.’
Olivia always wished for it. She met Vend Ruga before she became a Meat. Regaining her memories of him was Olivia’s goal.
Therefore, Olivia opened her mouth-
“Restore my memories.”
But the Spinning Doll did not dance. The Magic Right contained in it was different.
Thinking about it, Enlike said that Olivia had talent with Magic. She should be able to have enough power to restore her own memories. She had to do that first.
It’s a different Magic Right. So what is it? Olivia started thinking.
Hamyuts rotated her sling. She then shot her first gravel bullet. She first aimed at the Book left besides Olivia.
She could obviously also target the Spinning Doll or Olivia. The fact that she first targeted the Book was nothing more than her just feeling like starting to destroy everything from the right. It was the same as facing three cakes and wondering which of them to eat first.
That was clearly Hamyuts’s carelessness. She didn’t know that Olivia could still use Volken’s ability.
The sniper shot hit with perfect accuracy and the Book besides Olivia was shattered to pieces. At that moment, she activated Volken’s ability. She produced fog and hid herself within it.
Hamyuts let out a small voice in response to this unexpected resistance. She then remembered that Volken had been able to transfer his illusion power.
Four Olivias holding Ückück in their arms came running out of the fog. Hamyuts loaded her sling with another bullet.
Olivia was embracing the Spinning Doll Ückück. Couldn’t Hamyuts have waited several minutes – no, even one minute? Olivia didn’t even plan on staying alive in the first place. She only wanted to settle whatever she was trying to do.
With that illusion, Olivia fully used the power of illusions received from Volken. When all of them disappear she will die. No, if Hamyuts were to notice the real Olivia before that, it would be all over.
No matter how much she struggled, she would probably only live for about a minute. But before that she simply had to make the Spinning Doll dance. Her life would become far too meaningless if she wouldn’t be able to grant a conclusion to the stories of the people who have died for her.
Her comrades said that they wanted to become human. That they were fighting to become human.
With this, one could imagine what her goals were.
Something that was needed for a Meat to become human… Those were the memories prior to them being Meats.
“Retrieve the Meats’ memories.”
Olivia said, and the Spinning Doll slightly rotated its body. It was closer than before. But it was still wrong. It was something more specific.
Think. What was I doing on that ship?
Memories of the past were revived at the back of Olivia’s mind. They were the memories of when she started her fight.
Ten years ago, Olivia was a young girl.
Just like the other Meats, she lived in a cabin by gnawing moldy bread crumbs. The only difference with her was one small thing. She still retained a slight bit of her memories.
Olivia stared intently at her hand. She could remember… that hand was holding something. It was something very warm and important.
The little Olivia muttered with a bird-like singing voice.
Since she had nothing else to do, she kept staring at her hands. What was the thing her hands once held?
For over a year, without tiring of it, Olivia kept staring at her hands.
The name of the person she held was Vend Ruga. She held someone who had that name with those hands.
Olivia herself did not know, but this was the budding of her Magic Right. On rare occasions, people who possess strong wills can gain a Magic Right without undergoing Magic Deliberation. Magic after all is the act of bending axioms with the power of will. By continuously and strongly wishing for something, you unconsciously conduct a Magic Deliberation.
Vend Ruga. She murmured this name in her heart again and again. She kept muttering this small thing left inside her, that name.
So she got away? Thought Hamyuts. She felt the four Olivias that were running away with her Sensory Threads.
This was a battle originating from the faraway memories of the past. There was no way she would be able to kill her easily.
Besides, she did cause a bit of fear for her in the past. An enemy who would die too easily was beneath Hamyuts Meseta’s dignity.
Hold out. Oppose me. While thinking this, she kept rotating her sling.
It already reached sufficient speed.
She soon quit thinking which of the four Olivias was the real one. If she was an amateur she would mix in those four and run away. However, thinking of Olivia as an amateur this late in the game was foolish.
It was the simple psychological trick that Volken used. The real one wasn’t among the four. Hamyuts shot the gravel bullet into the center of the mist.
Her second shot punched through the worn-out walls and crawled on the floor towards the center as if mowing it down.
While controlling the illusions, Olivia’s mind was still in the past.
There was a single girl in the same room as Olivia. She didn’t know her name. Even the girl herself didn’t seem to know it.
She frequently talked to her. She told her bad jokes and pulled pranks to get her attention one after another. However, Olivia did not make any response. Her feelings disappeared long ago.
Eventually the caretakers took the girl away. As she left she looked at Olivia. Her eyes called out to Olivia as if expecting her to say something.
“Hey, I’m going to die.”
“Is that so.”
The girl smiled. But while smiling, tears gathered in her eyes.
“I’m going to die. I will die.”
The girl called repeatedly. Olivia then replied.
The girl averted her gaze from Olivia. And she then left the room.
She probably wanted to hear something. But Olivia didn’t know what to say to her. She probably wanted to become her friend. However, feelings of love for her just didn’t form inside Olivia.
At that moment, she remembered something from before she became a Meat. She once loved Vend Ruga.
She was someone who was able to love people. But now she was different. She couldn’t love anymore. Why was that?
“Why’s that… Why, Vend Ruga?”
Hamyuts’s Sensory Threads covered the entire shack. There was no change in the fog or in the illusory Olivias. It seemed that her second shot missed.
Did she overestimate Olivia? Or was she looking down on her? Was she reading too much into it or was it reverse psychology?
Either way, Hamyuts’s actions did not change. She loaded another gravel bullet. At this distance, she couldn’t just crush all four of them at the same time. She had to aim at them one after one. She slowly accelerated them in five seconds then shot with good aim.
The first shot hit a running Olivia. It was a miss.
One illusion vanished. Olivia’s remaining time was steadily running out.
During that, she kept recalling her past. Inside her arms, Ückück was waiting for the time of its activation.
She kept thinking after the girl disappeared. Why couldn’t she love anyone?
She could feel the warmth in her hands gradually disappear as months and years passed. She wanted to be touched. She wanted to converse with someone. She wanted the same thing she could feel in her hands.
Olivia caressed her own body. She could feel nothing except her empty pulse and her dry sweat.
She tried touching the Meats next to her. They were lukewarm and dirty.
No. This isn’t it. It’s not like that. Vend Ruga’s nothing like that.
She wanted to converse with the Meats. She wanted to connect to them as her comrades. She wished for it, but did not know how to accomplish it.
Months had passed.
When her body first became developed, Olivia was sent from the Meats’ cabin to the private room of a Magician. Charlot took notice of her since she was the most beautiful amongst the Meats.
“I love you, cute Olivia.”
Instead of a Meat she became a bird in a cage. However, Olivia kept thinking just as she did before.
Why wasn’t she able to love people? She couldn’t love the Meats. She couldn’t love Charlot either. She certainly loved Vend Ruga, but she couldn’t love anyone else.
While her body was intertwined with Charlot’s, she prayed.
I want to return to the Meats’ room. I want to converse with them and connect our hearts. Just as I connected with Vend Ruga long ago.
Olivia was lonely.
Although she wanted to love she couldn’t. Her sense of loneliness had no place to go and was thus accumulated inside her heart.
Inside of Olivia, the will to fight was slowly boiling up. Just like the temperature of water rising up inside an airtight place, the will inside her was getting hotter and hotter.
In short, she had only one reason to fight.
She was just lonely.
After exactly five seconds, Hamyuts shot her sling. With each five seconds passing, Olivia’s life was running out.
The second illusion vanished. The remaining Olivias kept running. They ran inside the forest with all of their might. Just where are you trying to go? Hamyuts asked in her heart.
At this rate, you wouldn’t reach a safe place even if I were to nap for six hours.
Or was she still planning something? For example, will the Overseer of Paradise aim for that opening? Perhaps Volken still had something prepared.
Hamyuts looked around and searched with her Sensory Threads.
Then does the Spinning Doll Ückück have some power able to save her? That also can’t be.
So there’s no problem at all. Hamyuts rotated her sling. The third illusion vanished.
While being kept inside Charlot’s room, Olivia was determined on thinking. Since she was so cold, Charlot brought her presents one after another in order to draw her attention. She didn’t even look at them.
One day, he spoke to her.
“Do you not love me? Despite me loving you so much?”
It was in fact true. She didn’t love him at all. Olivia tried answering.
“Charlot-sama. I can’t love anyone.”
Saying so, Charlot caressed Olivia’s body.
“That’s because you were deprived of your memories of love.”
“Those who haven’t been loved are unable to understand the feelings of love. Love is something you learn. People learn to love by receiving love.”
Falling into bed along with Charlot, Olivia finally understood.
She understood the reason why both she and the Meats couldn’t love anyone. At the same time she understood what she had to do.
The Spinning Doll Ückück, lying in one of the room’s corners, was reflected in her eyes.
The illusion disappeared by the third shot. Hamyuts then shot the fourth. She was trying to settle the score. But her expectations were once again betrayed. The fourth Olivia was also an illusion.
Just how many times had it been now that she mistakenly thought it would all be over?
Hamyuts’s Sensory Threads have covered the entire hut. She had nowhere to run to. There was nothing expect the mist which had an area of about three square meters and did not allow her Sensory Threads to pass.
But she shot inside it before. If she was inside she should have been finished long ago.
The mist slowly cleared up.
Hamyuts focused on the information she received from the Sensory Threads. She had confidence in their power. She thought that Olivia was within her range. And it took her five full seconds to realize the simple truth.
If she wasn’t inside or outside, then she was below.
The mist cleared.
Olivia was there. A hole was opened in the outworn floorboard. She hid inside of it.
Of course, she wasn’t confident she could fool Hamyuts. If the trajectory of the gravel bullet tearing through the mist was slightly different, Olivia would have died. Did Hamyuts have bad luck or did Olivia have good luck? That was the limit of the time she could buy with the illusions and mist. Olivia’s body has been exposed to Hamyuts’s Sensory Threads. The next shot would be the last.
A final memory awoke inside of her. This was the memory she was looking for.
Olivia brought back the Spinning Doll Ückück she stole from Charlot to the Meats’ room.
“All those who can understand my words, lend me your help. Don’t complain. This is an order.”
Several of the Meats responded. They turned their cloudy eyes to her.
One person asked. Olivia replied.
“To return our hearts. Return our hearts that were stolen by the Indulging God Cult.”
“Using this Ückück. Let us join our powers and use Magic.”
It was tough. It was truly tough, Hamyuts thought while feeling Olivia lying on the floor. She did well to cause her to go to great lengths despite having no powers.
Hamyuts finished accelerating her gravel bullet and shot it. It flew with perfect accuracy.
“…Is it over?”
These words leaked from Hamyuts’s mouth.
Olivia was embracing Ückück as if she was protecting it with her body. She was probably trying to activate the Magic inside. But she didn’t make it. During the time she will voice her words and let Ückück answer them, the gravel bullet will erase her.
Her connection with Vend Ruga will also end there.
But just when Hamyuts was convinced of it…
The bullet was repelled by an unseen power. Grazing Olivia’s body, it then changed its trajectory as if meeting an invisible wall.
Hamyuts was stunned. Something has happened. What was the power that protected Olivia?
She remembered the True Man she read about in Volken’s Book.
The Overseer of Paradise left him some protective power. It did not protect him. When he wished to protect Olivia that protection power was transferred to her, unbeknownst even to him.
Hamyuts shouted and swung her sling again.
That protection will work only once. The next time… the next time I will kill her.
At the very moment she tried speaking to Ückück, the gravel bullet came flying at her. Olivia did not know what the power that protected her was.
That was her last extension granted by an unknown person.
Olivia called to the Spinning Doll Ückück. It activated the Magic that was long since wished for.
The Magic meant to return Olivia and the Meats to being human. The Magic Right meant for them to recall being loved.
She spoke the order.
“Please dance, Spinning Doll Ückück.
Please restore the memories of love stolen by the Indulging God Cult to all Meats.”
The crouching Spinning Doll rose up. It raised its arms high just like a little bird before flying. Standing on its tiptoes, swinging its hands, the doll danced round and round.
The Magic Right was discharged. Olivia’s long battle came to an end in that moment.
At that moment, Renas saw the Spinning Doll. As Olivia gained her memories, Renas’s personality was disappearing. The time to leave finally arrived.
Renas was thinking in her last moments. I’m glad. I’m glad I was of help to Olivia. I’m glad my beloved son protected her.
Renas spoke to Olivia. She told her of the reason she had helped her.
‘Although you let people die, deceived them and continued your evil deeds… even your heart awaited the day it would become fulfilled with love.’
Inside the forest, the surviving human bombs stopped in place. They were surprised by the sudden change occurring inside them.
Some people stripped off their masks, and some sat down listlessly.
Some of them thought about their loved ones that were also captured by the Indulging God Cult.
Some of them thought of their families who’ve betrayed them and became False Men.
Some of them thought about the friends they connected with on the ship.
All of them tore off the explosive detonators inside their chests and threw them away. And then they started walking to whichever direction they liked.
At Bantorra Library, Enlike crouched while holding his head.
“What’s wrong, Enlike-kun?”
Mattalast came running. Enlike was surprised at the sudden change in him. He suddenly saw the faces of a man and woman he didn’t know. He recalled that they were his parents before he died.
That wasn’t the only change. Several other memories floated inside his mind. They were emerging from the Imaginary Entrails inside his body.
“Is this Sasari? …Kayas? …Lonkenny?”
The memories of his lost friends resurfaced. A tear fell on Enlike’s cheek.
A certain ship floating on the ocean. The False Men supervising the Meats there noticed something unusual. Their cabin became suddenly noisy.
The False Men shouted. They could hear crying, angry roars, and people shouting names. They couldn’t tell what was happening at all.
“Go ask the Overseer of Paradise for instructions, quickly, quickly!”
And Olivia also remembered. She regained her memories of Vend Ruga.