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In a World without God Chapter 2

Updated: Jan 15

"You know…. I thought you were very sly and cunning, and I've told the princess several times that she shouldn't trust you."

 

A black-haired woman in black robes said. She was dressed lightly, not fitting for the battlefield. 


"That's right, Laotou, you know me best."


"No. If you were truly cunning, you wouldn't be lying here like this."


Bosha's body lay on the ground like a tattered rag, blood gushing from its eyes and mouth like tar. Upon seeing it, Laotou spoke.  


"I thought you were clever... What is this, you stupid bastard? You've just run straight through Count Cyros, and now you're facing a witch's spawn alone! You could have made a decent run for it!"


He couldn’t help it. If he had, Ygraine's army would have been cut off from supply and would be disorganized. Someone had to keep the witch's minions from rampaging, and Bosha was the only one who could.


It was a good idea to stay behind, he thought. Bosha succeeded in buying time, and in the meantime, the Black Fangs rushed to Ygraine's army and informed them of Count Cyros' treachery. Eventually, Latou rushed in as reinforcements, and they were able to secure the supply lines. 


It was a successful plan. Only one life was lost in the execution of this plan: Bosha's own.

In return, he saved countless lives. Most importantly, it saved Ygraine from the witch. That fact alone filled Bosha's heart with pride. 


"Show some respect. There's nothing strange about a mercenary dying on the battlefield."


Bosha felt uncomfortable looking at Latou's sullen face. He was used to seeing her drunkenly chanting, "Give me a drink, give me a drink!" with an unruffled face.


One by one, teardrops fell from his big black eyes, her thin body shuddering. He looked down at Bosha and shouted. 


"You stupid bastard! The Lady sent me to save you! How could you ask me to... What the hell kind of face am I supposed to make of Lady Lutea?!" 

"C'mon.... you don’t even bother to hide it anymore."


Bosha, also known as the Fox of Kaldura, couldn't go unnoticed. And the people calling Ygraine an incarnation of the goddess Lutea would not have known. Princess Ygraine le Fay could not possibly be the goddess Lutea herself.


You’ll handle my funeral arrangements, won't you?"


 "Shut up, before I kill you!"


If Ygraine is the goddess Lutea, how could her henchman Laotou be any ordinary human? Laotou is actually a giant spider. A black spider with the upper half of a woman. The one that the people of the eastern part of the continent worship as the god of the loom is the one in front of Bosha's eyes right now. 


After living for so many years, one would think that she would be used to seeing someone die, but instead, she weeps softly as she stands by the dying Bosha's side. 


Bosha looked at her and then closed his eyes. His insides were burning from the poison the witch had left behind. The venom slowly dissolved his flesh and bone, causing pain like he had never known. 

Anyone else would have wanted to hasten their death. But Bosha chewed the flesh in his mouth and continued to hold on for dear life as the magic slowly dispersed. 


There was only one thing he wanted at that moment. To see her in the snow one last time, before his eyeballs melted away. 


How many times did he almost lose consciousness? He couldn’t tell. But then, he heard the voice he'd been waiting for. Finally, she was here. With her head bowed, Laotou spoke in a whiny voice.


"Lady Luthea. I... I couldn't save him. I tried to cleanse the poison somehow, but this...."


"Raise your head, Laotou. It's all because of my foolishness."


Ygraine, still poised in her nature, dropped her holy spear to the floor and sat down beside Bosha. She brushed away the crusts of blood from the corners of Bosha's eyes and stroked his forehead with a white hand. Ygraine's scent tickled Bosha's nose. 


Bosha opened his eyes to look at Ygraine. It took all the strength he had left to do so. 

 

But.......


"Damn it,”


Bosha's last wish had not been granted. His eyeball had already lost its function. He opened his eyes, but he couldn't even make out Ygraine's form.

 

“Maybe because I've sinned too many times.”


Bosha smiled bitterly at Ygraine."Did you get rid of the witch?"

 

"Thanks to you…"


"Good." With that, Bosha closed his eyes. 


"Okay, that's enough.”


Bosha shook off his regrets and began to disperse the magic. It was time to accept the end.


But then, Ygraine spoke.


"I'm sorry." 


Ygraine's hand trembled as she stroked Bosha's forehead. 


"I promised you love... I promised you happiness. But I failed to fulfill that promise."


A faint sigh escaped Bosha's lips. 

He hadn't expected a god to be like this, to be so full of regret and self-pity.

 Bosha felt sorry for her. If he had been raised with a proper education, could he have comforted her with words that made sense?


Using polite language was the best Bosha could manage, who didn't even know how to use honorifics properly.


 "No. You kept it."


 "What?"


 Bosha said to Ygraine's questioning eyes.


 "I'm happy. Right now, at this moment."


Not just this moment. He was happy every moment he spent with her. Because of her, Bosha could live as a man and die as a man. 


Hurt. His heart hurts.


She was right. Bosha's heart was a wound that never healed. It was always bleeding.

 

Captain Bosha's body is as strong as iron, but his heart is as fragile as a newborn chick.


Indeed. There was a gaping hole in his heart, and he thought he could fill it by seeking power and amassing money. It was like trying to quench your thirst with salt water. The longer he lived, the deeper the hole grew, and the more he resented the world. 


Ygraine filled that hole. Ygraine taught Bosha a new way of life. She showed him that he could take pleasure in the pleasure of others. She taught him that he could share his sorrows with others and endure them together. She showed him that when you reach out to the weak, your own heart can be saved. 


That someone like Bosha could love someone and find joy in just the existence of someone


Bosha's mouth dropped open. Emotions that no human should dare to hold flitted from the corners of his mouth for a moment, scattering into unspoken words. Through his decaying lips, he forced the last words out. 


"Go. Go, please, and make the world a better place."


 But Ygraine did not leave. Ygraine held onto Bosha's dying hand.

 

"You can't... It must not end like this. There’s something I wanted to say to Captain Bosha, not as Lutea, but as Ygraine, that I must... that I must say... that I must say......."


Bosha didn't have the strength to ask, the end was near. He had no more than a handful of the magic that kept him alive. I can barely hear Ygrainne's voice anymore. The last thing he heard her say, just before he died, was something like this.

 

 "I'm sure we'll see each other again, and when we do, make sure you're ......"


After that, the pain was gone. A warmth like springtime enveloped Bosha's body, and Ygraine's scent seemed to continue to waft around her. 

 Bosha thought. 

 Death is so comfortable. 


***


"Ugh......."

 

"What's wrong, Ed."

 

"My head... my head hurts."


The boy called Ed, Edulis Le Fey, groaned, wrapping his hands around his head. His father, Glyon Le Fay, stroked his son's silvery hair. 


 "I'm sorry, boy. I wish I could give you rest, but I can't. Will you walk slowly?"

 

"Yes, Father...."


In Trisis, the Holy City of the Astania Kingdom, from the moment Edulis stepped into the memorial hall that stood in the center of the kingdom, he had been plagued by a severe headache. It felt like someone had taken an axe to his skull. 


His father was a kind and loving man. Normally, he would have told him to go home and rest immediately but not today. A child born into the Fey family is obligated to visit the Memorial on their tenth birthday. This duty was even mandated by law. 


The Memorial of the Holy War is a pagoda-shaped building with a huge number of stairs. It's a strenuous climb for a ten-year-old, and Edulis wasn't feeling well today. Still, he couldn't stop walking. He wasn't allowed to be carried by anyone. By the end of the day, he would need to reach the top floor on his own two feet.


Trudging along, he finally reached the first memorial room. A large statue stood in the center of the room. The plaque in front of it read.


 - Captain of the Black Fangs...


At that moment, still unable to finish reading the words, Edulis fell to the ground. 


"Ed, Ed!"


He heard himself gasp for air as he slumped to the floor. Edulis wheezed as if he were about to lose his breath. Seeing him like that, Glyon lost his mind. He had only one son, born late in his life. How miserable would it be to lose him in a place like this? 


The guards on each floor watched Edulis from afar but did not come to his aid. They know it's the law, but they can't help but feel sorry for them.


"What's wrong, where are you hurting?!"


"Ugh... black...."


All Glyon could do was stroke his son's back. Edulis's heart was beating terribly fast. 


"Guards, get me some water here, isn't that allowed at least? Please!"


With that, one of the guards rushed over and brought him some water. Edulis struggled to accept the water.


Then there was a single moment, just one moment everything changed. Edulis's breathing calmed, his heartbeat smoothed out, and he sprang to his feet as if he'd not been in distress. 


Glyon asked, puzzled."Hey, are you okay, can you walk?"

 

"Yes." The answer was firm.


Glyon was relieved to hear it, but he didn't realize there was a strength in his voice that he hadn't heard before. A gleam of bravery glinted in Edulis's eyes. The statue reminded him of who he was. Who he was. 


“Surely we will meet again,”


 Edulis remembered Ygraine's words. He racked his brain for a memory. 


It was now the year 556 of the Astanian calendar, eighty years after Bosha's death.

The last moments of Bosha's life flashed through his mind, the moments that ended without him ever seeing Ygraine's face....... 


A small flicker of anticipation grew in Edulis's heart.


'Will we really... see each other again? Will I be able to ask her what she wanted to tell me then?


Goddesses are immortal. Is Lutea still down in the world? And if so, what form does she take? 


Lutea... If I were to meet Ygraine again, what would I say to her..... “While I was thinking about this, Edulis suddenly realized something that was bothering him.


 'Wait, I think I read a strange story earlier....'


Edulis approached the statue and finished reading the tombstone.


- Vala Ishtar, Captain of the Black Fangs.

- Discovering the treachery of Count Cyros, he slew him and protected the supply lines of the Astanias. In honor of his deeds, he was given the surname Ishtar and this statue was erected. In the year 479 of the Astanian calendar, in the month of Blue Moon.


 "What the hell is this? 


Edulis thought. The Black Fangs would have been doomed long ago if that fool had been in charge. Vala was never one for power. He only cares about women.

 

"He found out about Count Cyros' treachery?” He probably doesn't even know he broke through to Cyros' territory. He was just a guy who followed Bosha's orders without question.

This statue, with its sharp jawline, was modeled after no one.  Vala looks like a mountain beast, with a wide, angular jaw. 


What's even more unacceptable is the shape of the statue's sword. The Mercenary Black Fangs, as the name implies, wielded a black curved curved sword like a fang. It had a wide hilt and a crude net pattern. This statue, however, held a straight longsword. 


"Let's go to the next floor, Father."


Edulis hurried up the stairs. Seeing him leap up two, then three flights of stairs, Glyon became anxious


"Hey, don't overdo it, take it easy, my boy."


Edulis couldn't. The Holy City. The war between Saint Ygraine and the witch Granadilla. A war fought by the goddess Luthea to save humanity. Bosha is the only human who knows about it, but...


At the very least, the significance of the war must be told correctly. Luthea dreamed of a world where everyone lived together, regardless of whether they were weak or strong. Does this memorial do that justice?


Edulis had an ominous feeling. The first floor was appalling, after all.


Unfortunately, he was right. The next floor, and the next, and the next were the same. 


 - Saint Laotou

 - Skilled in strategy and tactics, she served on the Astanian military staff. In the year 474 Astanian, she was slain in the Battle of Vaidor against the Witch's Bunche. A statue was erected in her honor. 479 Astanian, Month of the Breeze.


A statue of a woman, her long hair flowing, her face a reflection of strength. 


"Who is this woman?


The Laotou Edulis knew, always wore her hair down to her neck, and except when she was being scolded by Ygraine, she looked drunk and disheveled. She was a no-holds-barred martial artist who believed that 'superior strategy crumbles in the face of superior force'. 


She sounds like a strategist

 

This is strange... Whatever's wrong, it's wrong big time.


Edulis climbed the stairs while sensing that someone distorted history intentionally. Bosha's deeds were being replaced with those of others. Edulis had an uneasy feeling as he wondered if the records about Ygreine were also distorted. It wasn't an accidental misstatement. Someone was deliberately distorting history. But why would they do that?


"Don’t tell me... that even the records about Ygraine were distorted?


Calming his nerves, Edulis ran up the stairs. 


"Oh, my knee... Ed, slow down!"


He ignored his father's words. It took him half a day to climb a tower that would have taken a child a full day to climb. 


When he finally reached the top floor, his breath caught in his throat at the sight before him... 

He understood at once... It was obvious how the person who had rewritten history had made Bosha's accomplishments into someone else's. The name on the tombstone was unmistakable.



 - Bosha Le Fey


Seeing the tombstone and the statue, Edulis tried gathering magic.  He should smash that stupid statue right now!

 

If it were the hooded Bosha, he could probably break it with his bare hands. But Edulis could not. He was too young.


In his frustration, Edulis clenched his fist so tightly that his nails dug into his palm, causing blood to trickle down. 


The tombstone in front of Bosha's statue reads.


 - For defeating Ygraine le Fay, the incarnation of the witch Granadilla, this statue is erected in honor of his great deed. The year 478 of the Astanian calendar, the month of Ice and Snow.







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