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In a World without God Chapter 11

Updated: Jan 18

Darkness is the friend of mice and spiders. A dense web greeted Edulis as he opened the warehouse door. Good, he thought. “This is the only place I can stay undetected.”


"Unbelievable! Yug, bring the saint the best quilt and pillow you can find!"

 

After shouting to Yug, Kurzina turned to Edulis and said.

 

"Saint, please wait a moment. I'll go in first and sweep up the dust and remove the cobwebs."

 

Edulis shook his head, stopping Yug from running into the manor. 

 

"Forget it, you two, go back. The servants might be out looking for you."

 

Edelis sleeps even amid the Barus Swamp. Would a mere spider web bother him? Though Kurzina couldn't help but feel sad to leave him.

 

"I'll be back after the sun sets, and if you need anything, just ask. I have access to most places within the clan."


"Then I need you to fetch me a curved sword. I'd like it to be about... this long."

 

Edulis stretched his arms, remembering the sword he had used as a Bosha. Until now, it has been quite frustrating. The Black Fang's swordsmanship specialized in slashing movements. It required the use of a curved sword, and the descendants of Ygraine, isolated in Kaldura, had no access to the weapon of his choice.

 

"Yes!" Kurzina beamed like a child receiving a birthday present. All her life, Kurjina had always lived worshipping god. But to be asked for a favor by the god himself... for Kurzina, it was more gratifying than receiving a birthday present.

 

Edulis left Yug and Kurzina behind and trudged into the warehouse. The warehouse door closed behind her. Edulis was alone with Aruru. Edulis sat down on the floor, hesitantly, and Aruru whispered in his ear. His voice was small and cautious, unlike anything he had ever heard before.

 

"Scion of the Witch, is what you said... true... that Ygraine is not a witch, but a saint... and that you are also an incarnation of Lutea? Or was it just a lie, a prank on the kids?"

 

Edulis replied. "It's all true, except the part where I am the incarnation of Lutea."

 

"Then....” Aruru's voice trembled.

"In that case, what about Laotou? Laotou, the Queen of spiders, is not an ally of the witch?"


"Nonsense. Laotou is one of the first beings created by the goddess Lutea. Together with Ygraine, they drove back the witch's forces."


"Then... then...!"


Aruru's voice shook.


"Then, our mother...! What our mother worshipped...!"


"Apostles."


"That's right!"


Aruru jumped down from Edulis's shoulder and began running around, making tapping sounds on the floor.


"I am a fool! Why didn't I notice such a simple fact before now? My mother was a good woman! She was a kind woman! There's no way she would have sided with a witch!"

 

Tap, tap, tap!

 

"My mother didn't gnaw on spellbooks or serve the witch's minions! My mother served the one who deserved to be served!"

 

Aruru's voice echoed through the warehouse. It was loud for a rat's squeak, but it held a strange resonance. The room brightened. It wasn't the light from the cramped window. It was Aruru.

 

Edulis was surprised, for in his two lives, he had never heard of a rat using magic. But Aruru was definitely wrapped in an aura. A blue one that shimmered like the surface of a lake.

 

"What is your purpose, scion of a witch... nay, of a saint? You said you would go to the Festival of Saints to bring down the false ones and restore my mother's honor, and then what will you do after that?!"

 

Edulis locked eyes with Aruru. Then he said."I will fight all the lies in the world."

 

There was no lie in his answer. When Aruru heard that, he circled Edulis three times. Then he looked at the ceiling and shouted.

 

"Did you hear that, rats? Did you hear that, spiders? Do you hear, my stigmatized friends?"

 

Click, click, click, click!

Rats squealed from every corner of the warehouse, and shadows flitted through the stacks. A closer look revealed a swarm of squirming spiders.  


"Those who have tainted our parents, our idols, and our souls with falsehood! Will we just leave them be? Will we just dig our own graves and end our lives? We are the army of the Apostle Laotou! Though we live in darkness, our souls shine with the light of the goddess Lutea!"

 

Edulis noticed. Aruru was wearing a magic crest. Aruru's voice had magick in it. He had seen someone use a magic crest like this when he was a Bosha. During the rebellion in the Ur Empire, the leader of the rebels had said.

 

"Cowards who have forgotten their pride, go out into the darkness! Those who have not forgotten who they are, come out into the light! Those with burning hearts, we will be an army against falsehood with the children of saints!"

 

As Aruru finished speaking, a spectacular scene unfolded. Things lurking in the shadows crawled out into the light. It was a sight that would have stunned the faint of heart– hundreds of rats, each as big as Aruru or bigger than him thousands of spiders, large and small.......

 Aruru stood before them, looked at Edulis, and said.

 

"Descendant of the Saint, as long as you stand against falsehood, we will be your strength; but the moment you turn your back on the truth, we will all become your enemies, and you will not be able to walk comfortably through the darkness! Our descendants will visit you and your coffins and defile your tombstones and graves!"


Aruru's appearance, with the rats and spiders behind him, was intimidating, but Edulis was unmoved. He would not make the choice Aruru feared; he would not betray Lutea and Ygraine to their deaths. Edulis placed a hand on the center of her chest and spoke.

 

"I swear by Assyria, the first life created by the goddess Lutea and the goddess of truth."

 

Then a blue dagger appeared in the center of Edulis' chest. It was the dagger of Assyria. Visible only to those who swore an oath to the goddess.

 

"When I, Edulis le Fay, betray Lutea and side with the false, my heart, gallbladder, and intestines will be pierced through my flesh, and I will be food for rats and spiders. Assyria, see that what I, Edulis, have sworn is fulfilled!"

 

Then Assyria's dagger flew and plunged into Edulis' heart. At the sight of it, Aruru leaped to his feet. The spiders and rats stamped their feet in place as a substitute for a shout.


Aruru said."Very well, descendant of the saint, we are all on your side now, so do as you will with our hands and feet!"


"Okay. Two things, then."

 

"What?! Tell me anything!"

 

"Don't call me the descendant of a saint. Call me Edulis. I don't like being called a saint. People who call themselves saints are usually looking for something."

 

"Okay, Edulis, and then what's the second thing?"

 

"Well...." Edulis looked at the scurrying rats and spiders.

 

"Keep your friends quiet. I'm going to get some sleep."

 

*** 

 

“You must think of my name before you name yours. Otherwise, you won't be able to call me.”

 

A strange scene came to mind. There was a girl in the middle of nowhere. Her silver hair was down to her neck. She was so tiny... and yet, strangely, she was looking down at Edulis. Gazing at her, Edulis thought.

 

'She resembles someone.......'

 

It was strange. He felt like he was alone in the middle of the Casbah desert. He needed something, but he didn't know what. A thirst that was unlikely to be quenched by finding an oasis. Edulis understood now. Somehow, he knew it was what the girl was feeling.

 

"Edulis! Edulis!"


"Shut up... I told you to be quiet."

 

Edulis opened his eyes. Fading sunlight streamed through the narrow window. Edulis sat upright in front of the window. He is giving Ygraine's magick a test run.


It was a small, slender magick that Edulis could manipulate at will, but its effects were immense. Combined with Edulis' magick, it gave him an explosive power. He could fight Bosha from his past life right now and not lose. So Edulis was contemplating how to utilize this magic in the future...

 

"You should be grateful to me! If it weren't for me, you wouldn't have awakened! I called you 200 times, but there was no response!"

 

"Huh? That can't be."

 

"Not only that, your body was glowing white the whole time, just like before!"

 

Edulis raised an eyebrow and examined his body. Outwardly, nothing seemed to have changed. But it was strange. A lot more time had passed than he had realized.

 

"Did I fall asleep? I've never done that before.

 

Edulis closed his eyes and contemplated the magick coursing through his body. Then he realized something was wrong.

 

"What is this?

 

Ygrainne's magick, the fragment he'd finally managed to create, was gone, and it wasn't the only thing.

 

"Has your magic... changed? Did its color change?" ....

 

It was unheard of. Like a fingerprint, a magic crest, the unique pattern through which magick flows, is unchangeable. Normally. But Edulis' magick had indeed changed, not only in the way it flowed but also in its color, its hue. It was as if he had become a different person in an instant.

 

"Aruru. You said my body was glowing. How long has it been like that?"

 

"Since about an hour ago?"


Magick is handled differently depending on its nature. It's like water turning into fire. The change in the magic pattern and color suggested that this magic might not suit Edulis at all.

 

What if everything he’s done to refine this magick is for naught?

 

Edulis watched the flowing magick with anxiety. But....

 

It was strange. The transformed magick flowed through his body much smoother and more natural than the magick he had been cultivating. It was as if it was Edulis' own unique magick.

 

"What... what happened?

 

Just then, a fierce, sharp voice came from outside the window.

 

"Why are you so late?"

 

"Sorry... I had to run an errand... I went to the Lunar Mansion to deliver something to Lord Tariq."

 

Edulis opened his eyes at the sound of the voice. The voice was familiar. It was Enri's voice, the one he'd traveled with on the wagon from Kaldura.

 

"Where's your excuse?! Do you think I don't work? You’ve taken away my rest time!"

 

"I’m... I'm sorry."

 

Edulis stood up and looked out the window. Enri was bowing before a woman in a maid's outfit, and behind her, four silver-haired children stood and watched. They each held a black, lumpy loaf of bread in their hands. 

 

The woman in the maid's outfit had protruding cheeks and a face full of freckles. Her tone was neurotic. Enri, on the other hand, had a delicate and pretty face, but his hunched expression made him look quite miserable.

 

"It's not enough to give you cursed things something to eat! You're taking up my time! People like you should be punished!"

 

With that, the maid threw the bread she was holding to the ground. Then, she began to step on it.

 

"Ah......." Enri stared at the crumbled bread in disbelief. Edulis didn't know how much bread Enri was rationed per day, but it was obviously not enough. If he had enough, he wouldn't be looking so desperate.

 

"Haha, put your face on the ground like a pig and lick it off!"

 

Aruru shouted in anger at the scene.

 

"What a shitty world! To treat the descendants of Lutea like that!"


Edulis watched in silence.  


“Edulis, are you going to let that happen? Laotou's army can move at any time!" Aruru shouted. If Edulis had a temper, he thought, he'd storm out and wreak havoc. But Edulis said nothing.

 

“Edulis? What's wrong? What... what....”

 

Aruru was terribly confused. A single teardrop had formed at the corner of Edulis' sharp eyes.

 

Edulis was gripped by a strange emotion. An unfamiliar yet familiar emotion took over him. Thoughts raced through his mind.

 

Why would she do that, why would she hate someone else, trample on them, curse them.... Humans weren't born that way... She was just........

 

- Remember, from now on, your name is...

 

"Edulis?"

 

Edulis's body shimmered with magic. Edulis's magick escaped through the window and ran down the ground like rainwater, pooling in one place where the trampled bread was.

 

The dirt from the floor scattered around. The blackness and dust dissipated, and the pieces of bread gathered in one place, until they floated into the air and formed a single mass. It was like time rewinding

 

Steam rose from the round loaf like it was freshly baked. Enri's eyes widened and he took the loaf into his hands.


The maid screamed at the sight. "Witch, witch, witch! He’s bewitching me!" She was horrified and ran back into the manor.





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