Hamyuts raised her voice. Something happened right now, but she couldn’t tell what. She couldn’t read it with her Sensory Threads.
She was stunned for a while, but then came to herself.
What was she doing? She was in the middle of an attack. Nothing about the situation, her goal or anything else has changed at all.
Hamyuts rotated her sling and launched a gravel bullet. She felt somewhat disturbed, but her aim was precise.
However, when there remained but an instant to impact… a man blocked the trajectory of her shot. He did not appear out of the ground like Lascall Othello. He appeared instantly in place like some special effect from a movie.
And he wasn’t an illusion. Hamyuts’s gravel bullet pierced through his back, after all.
Olivia forgot all about Hamyuts at that moment. She didn’t even think of running away. Just when she thought she was about to get attacked, the gravel bullet had already been fired.
However, at that moment a man suddenly appeared in front of her. The bullet went through his back. She was splashed by his gore.
The man’s body collapsed. Olivia caught it.
“Oh, I see…”
Olivia staggered under his weight. She knew that feeling. She used her hand wet with blood to remove his mask.
“So you were Charlot.”
He was the Grand Magician who was turned into a Meat because of her. And he was the final human bomb who stood in Olivia’s way tens of minutes ago.
“…I’ve remembered. I finally remembered, Olivia.”
Olivia hugged his body.
Charlot mustered his barely remaining strength and touched her back.
“I’m sorry, Charlot, I’m sorry…”
Charlot activated his Magic Right that he had been forging for several decades. Space was distorted and some other place was connected to the spot where Olivia was standing. Her body passed through space and went somewhere.
Having lost its support, Charlot’s body collapsed. Hamyuts’s gravel bullet passed through the space Olivia had occupied in vain and stabbed into the ground.
Her shot missed. Hamyuts could understand only this. Who was the man that suddenly appeared? Why and how did he save Olivia? She had no idea.
“…Did something happen?”
There was no sign of Olivia inside the range of her Sensory Threads.
Losing its centrifugal force, her sling fell to the ground listlessly.
“Wait a minute… what happened?”
She had no idea. Why did Olivia disappear? And what was her Magic Right?
All of it unfolded in a manner Hamyuts had nothing to do with. And she left her behind.
“…Just what happened here?”
She tried to calmly grasp the situation with her confused mind.
Olivia fulfilled her goal and survived. And Hamyuts did not fulfill her goal and was left all alone.
Meaning, she was defeated.
Until she realized that fact and accepted it, Hamyuts simply stood in place at her wits’ end.
Olivia was on a plain somewhere.
The moon was high in the sky. That hut was supposed to be close to ground level. So she was probably moved a distance that caused a time difference. No further attacks came from Hamyuts. Olivia survived.
The Spinning Doll Ückück had been activated. Also, she escaped Hamyuts’s assault and was still alive. Olivia won.
But what did she win for?
She fought in order to connect with the Meats and speak with them. However, all of them have died long ago.
Olivia barely made it, but at the same time she was also far too late.
“I’m sorry, everyone…”
She fully restored her memories, such as who was Vend Ruga, why she was yearning for him, and why his memories were inside of her. And she also understood that Hamyuts tried to kill her in order to erase all those who knew of Vend Ruga.
Olivia recalled the past. She recalled how she met Vend Ruga ten years ago, before she became a Meat.
On the battlefield…
Olivia was saved from the underlings of the Indulging God Cult who’ve kidnapped children and gathered Meats. She looked up at the lead giant. He wasn’t really as big as a giant, but to the small Olivia he looked like a monster.
Olivia said. The lead giant made no reply. She didn’t know if he couldn’t speak or just had no mind.
“Do you need anything from me?”
Instead of answering, the lead giant sat down. Then, he wrote something using his finger. She thought it was some picture, but apparently these were letters. They were hard to read as if written by a young child.
“Is that your name?”
He wrote further letters.
“You want to protect me? Why?”
Vend Ruga’s fingers stopped. She understood that this was all he could write.
“I don’t get it at all, but if you want to protect me then go ahead. Do it.”
Olivia said and started walking. Vend Ruga immediately followed. I can’t understand him at all but he seems quite useful, thought Olivia.
Vend Ruga did nothing but protect Olivia. He simply followed her and the kidnappers found them he fought. That was all. Except some strange guy following from behind, Olivia’s life hadn’t changed at all.
One day she was hungry. In front of her was a girl. Her foot was injured, possibly because she got involved in the detonation of some unexploded shell.
“Olivia… save me, don’t kill me.”
Since plundering was easy, she of course intended on doing so. Olivia knew that girl, but had no reason to care. When she tried taking hold of the knife with her thin, little hand, Vend Ruga grabbed it.
“Release me, Vend.”
The lead giant said nothing. He simply grabbed Olivia’s hand.
“I shouldn’t kill her because she’s a comrade? Is that what you want to say?”
She shouted at the giant. In the meanwhile, the other girl was tottering away. Shit, Olivia mumbled and threw her knife. It missed and the girl ran away.
“Let me say this, Vend. I have no friends! I’m alone. I live alone and will die alone. That’s all.”
She couldn’t read anything from Vend’s expression.
“If you’re going to complain go away. Just scram!”
Olivia shouted. Vend did nothing. He stayed silent.
“Don’t you want to say something?”
Saying so, she sat on the ground. Picking up the knife, she scratched the ground.
“I’ll teach you to write.”
Vend Ruga had bad memory. Olivia, who was always intelligent, became annoyed.
“I can’t read it like this. That’s upside down! Are you even trying to learn, you blockhead!”
She kicked his lead body. Her foot hurt. Vend Ruga obediently received her teachings.
Olivia wanted to know – why was he protecting her?
He wanted to protect someone. This was the first time she met someone who thought that.
After a while, he became able to communicate on some level. While teaching him, she understood one thing. Vend Ruga was not a doll created by Magic. He possessed his own will and moved by his own volition.
Olivia started inquiring him.
“What are you?”
He engraved letters on the ground with his fingers.
“Why do you want to protect me?”
He wrote again after thinking for a while.
“want to protect”
It didn’t seem like he acted on someone’s orders or was used by someone to protect her. But she couldn’t understand the reason he did so.
“Why do you want to protect?”
Vend Ruga was silent.
Seems like he can’t explain it well, thought Olivia.
“There’s no progress. It’s useless if you can’t write out proper sentences.”
Saying so, she began teaching him to write again.
She hadn’t noticed, though. At first, she only brought him along so he could protect her. She had no interest in his reason; she was gladly using him.
Why did Vend Ruga protect her? Now she wanted to know the answer. Olivia’s reason to stay with Vend was changing.
The pair’s shared life continued. On the battlefield at dusk-time, gunshots were heard instead of birds’ chirping. When she heard it in the past she would shudder. But now she had Vend Ruga on her side. As long as he was there, she had nothing to fear.
“Where did you come from?”
“What kind of a place was it?”
“i had friends. i had people i wanted to protect”
“And what happened?”
“they died. killed by a scary enemy. they killed them all and even broke their books”
“…Did you escape by yourself?”
Vend Ruga stopped his movements. He seemed to be sad. Olivia was gradually able to understand his feelings.
“i escaped by myself”
“because i wanted people to know of us”
She didn’t really understand what Vend meant. But she received no further explanations from him.
‘they will soon come to kill me. a scary person will come”
Vend wrote the letters on the ground and soon erased them.
“You know, Vend.”
“I feel sad being with you.”
That was probably because she didn’t know why she was being protected. Or so Olivia thought.
More time passed since then.
The children living on the battlefield were quick to find information. The rumor soon spread around.
One day she heard a rumor that an Armed Librarian was coming.
Hearing that, Vend Ruga brought Olivia to a hiding place.
“What are you doing!”
She was surprised. Vend Ruga wrote in a hurry.
“run. if you stay with me they will kill you too”
Olivia read the letters and Vend hurriedly erased them. Then, he started walking away and pretending not to know her. She now understood why his behavior changed so suddenly.
The scary enemy he told her of was coming. In order to kill Vend Ruga. If she stayed with him, she would probably be killed as well.
Then our relationship ends here. I’ll return to being alone. Thinking so, Olivia started walking in the opposite direction. Neither of them turned around.
She met that strange guy and passed some time with him. It was just some unusual event.
When she separated from Vend Ruga, she started thinking. Since I was always alone, and about to be alone from now on, I should forget about him as soon as possible, she thought.
However, Olivia stopped in place and looked behind her countless of times. Won’t he possibly come after me like always? She thought and turned around. She walked for a little and turned around, walked again and turned around. No matter how many times she turned her head around, she couldn’t see the figure of the lead giant.
She felt gloomy. This gloom, which she started feeling a while back, clung to her heart.
“I’m curious. Why did that guy try to protect me?”
She tried saying such things.
“Just what was that guy? He was so strange.”
She spoke a forced monologue.
Olivia stopped in place. Then, she turned around and ran. Although she understood she shouldn’t involve herself with him anymore, she still ran.
She always thought she was alone.
She thought she didn’t love anyone. She didn’t believe she had the emotion called love. She thought it was some nonsense made up by those living in peace.
But now Olivia knew. Once she was with another person, she couldn’t go back to being alone again.
She ran. She ran and looked around. Although it’s not been even an hour since they separated, she already felt nostalgic.
She kept looking and eventually found him.
And she knew that she didn’t make it in time.
His body of lead, that she thought would never collapse, fell to the ground. A hole opened in the center of his chest and she could see the ground through it.
I’ve missed my chance, thought Olivia. I wanted to tell him I love him, but I couldn’t. She thought of telling him so but the person to receive her words has died. Olivia sank down to the ground.
At that moment, the lead face moved. He raised his hand listlessly.
He was trying to write something onto Olivia’s hand. However, he probably had no more strength to write. Olivia clenched his trembling hand.
“Why did you want to protect me?”
No reply came. He simply held her hand. Olivia then felt for the first time that his lead-made hand was warm.
Olivia kept holding it for some long time.
Vend Ruga surely knew that this day would come. He knew that the day when he would get killed by the scary enemy was inevitable.
He had said that all of his friends died. Even their Books had been erased.
There was no one left to verify that the being called Vend Ruga had existed in this world.
“So you wanted someone to know…”
Vend Ruga’s wish – was for someone to remember him. He wanted someone to know the fact that he had existed, lived, loved and protected.
His hand made of lead was warm. Vend Ruga’s mind was transmitted to Olivia through her clenched hand. Although he could not speak the words were still conveyed. They were conveyed because he could not speak.
“Is that, it?”
“You wanted someone to just know this? You wanted someone to just never forget this?”
It was a far too trivial wish. She grasped Vend Ruga’s hand tightly.
“There’s no way I’d forget you! I won’t, you idiot, there’s no way! I’ll never forget you!”
Olivia screamed although she didn’t know if he was still listening. Even if his ears couldn’t hear, she kept shouting it for his soul.
While the warmth disappeared from his hand and it returned to being mere lead… Olivia kept shouting at Vend.
Soon after, Olivia was caught by the Indulging God Cult kidnappers. Since Vend Ruga who stood in their way was gone, they walked around the battlefield as if they owned the place.
They held down her body and made her drink the water of Argax. She tried resisting and fought against drinking it.
She swore not to forget. She swore not to forget Vend Ruga.
She wished not to forget. She wished not to forget herself as she loved Vend Ruga.
Olivia resisted the Memorial Weapon with the power of her will. And the little girl’s will has achieved a small victory. Only the memories of the warmth left in her hand remained in her mind as she became a Meat.
Everything started from there. And now, it all ended.
Stepping on withering weeds, Olivia started walking under the moon’s light.
She loved Vend Ruga. But she wasn’t able to say so. Just when she wanted to do so, Vend Ruga had died.
Olivia returned her past self. She could now say she was lonely when she felt so. She could now tell people she loved them when she felt so.
The heart of a cruel witch has disappeared. Her heart returned to that of a young lonely girl.
Olivia muttered. The range indicated by those words was wide. She called to all the people she met so far.
She loved the Meats on the ship as well. She loved Charlot as well.
The people living on Past God Bantorra’s Island.
The Armed Librarians. Volken. Renas.
She truly loved them all.
She always fought so she could regain these feelings. So she could regain herself and say such things.
Olivia’s knees fell atop the dry grass.
She no longer had anyone. They have all died. They died for Olivia’s cause. She made all of them die.
“I’m sorry, everyone.”
“Everyone, I’m sorry.”
Olivia shouted. There were too many people to apologize to, so she didn’t know where to start.
“I’m sorry, I loved you, I truly loved you all!”
Olivia looked to the sky. Then she cried. She cried, she cried, she shouted and cried.
“I’m sorry, sorry, I’m sorry!”
Those words never reached anyone. Olivia was simply crying by her lonesome.
Hamyuts was intently looking at her sling. She wondered where Olivia was.
She always looked for an opponent whom her sling couldn’t hit. She always looked for those who could intimidate her, for those who could kill her. Cigal was almost there. Mokkania also fought well. Enlike was strong, but he will probably not fight with her anymore. The other Armed Librarians will not rebel against her.
Wondering if there were no more people who could kill her, she despaired. And then she met Olivia. She called to that woman wherever she was.
“You’re amazing. Really amazing.”
Although she possessed no powers, she still beat her. She was able to beat the strongest with nothing but her unwavering will as her weapon.
Hamyuts was happy.
There’s still some people like that in the world. People that my sling cannot reach. People that despite being the weakest cannot be killed. The strength of her will surpassed the power of my sling. She couldn’t help but be happy.
Hamyuts whispered towards Olivia who was probably watching the same moon somewhere.
“Let us meet again. We will probably be able to do so.”