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In a World without God Chapter 25

The moon is lonely. Alone, it strolls through the darkness, lighting up the night, then retreats to hide its face when morning comes. When a swarm of dark clouds blocks its light, what does the moon look like behind them?

 

 Bosha always wondered that.

 

- All I wanted was for everyone to get along.”

- Humans, they were born to do that.”

 

In front of people, Ygraine always smiled. When she wasn't smiling, it made people uneasy. A saint must always win against the darkness. She must be the hope of all. People took it for granted, like the moon lighting up the night.

 

After joining Ygraine's army, Bosha eagerly awaited the opportunity to kill her. Then, just once, Bosha saw her crying. She sat alone on a rock, and Bosha, with a sword in hand, hid in the bushes.


"Captain Bosha." Ygraine realized at once that Bosha was hiding. He had a sword in his hand, but Ygraine didn't care.

 

"Humans... why do they kill other humans?"

 

Bosha replied sulkily. "You call that a question? That's what humans do, trample and bite and kill each other!"

 

Ygraine covered her face with both hands.

 

"That's what humans are...."

 

Ygrain fell silent. For a long time, no one spoke. It wasn't until the clouds that had obscured the moon passed that Bosha realized that Ygraine had been crying. The tears that had fallen between her hands glistened in the moonlight.

 

Seeing that, Bosha raised his sword. This was his chance to kill her.

 

"No. Humans are not like that...."

 

Ygraine didn't finish the sentence. At that point, Bosha didn't care what Ygraine was saying. He only regretted that he couldn't kill her at that instant.

 

Apart from that moment, Ygraine always smiled at Bosha. Sometime later, Bosha began to dislike that smile. That smile was like a swarm of dark clouds covering the moon. Bosha wondered what Ygraine looked like behind those clouds. Is she swallowing her grief alone, is she hiding her face and crying like she did back then? And if so…

 

As he continued to think about it, Bosha realized what he was supposed to say after "if so…”.

  

“I still think so. Humans trample and bite and kill each other, there's no doubt about that.”

 

Ygraine didn't show Bosha the look behind the clouds. She treated him the same way she treated everyone else. Bosha's insides boiled every time. His chest felt tight like he had three or four extra ribs.

 

'But... If you say it's not true, I'll tear it apart and fix every human. Even if I have to lose in the end.'

 

Bosha was weak. Weaker than an apostle's gravestone. There was less and less he could do as the witch's forces began to unite forces with the monsters. He watched Ygraine from afar as she strode across the battlefield and lamented. How could he be her sword or shield, he wondered...it was a futile dream.

 

"I will search the world for you... and this time, I will find you... ....

 

Bosha is dead. He died without being able to protect Ygraine. He could offer no comfort to the grieving Ygraine. Weak, pathetic Bosha...

 

But this time it will be different. It must be different.

 

"This time, show me your true expression, no matter what." Edulis tied Ygraine's sword to his waist.


 

***

 

"Kurzina."

 

"Yes, my lord!"

 

Kurzina stuttered for a moment for Edulis's eyes shone like blades freshly honed on a whetstone. The tears that streamed down his cheeks carried a heat as if it were used to forge iron. 

 

"Select six men who can read and write well, men you trust, and bring them to this library. Compile a history of the war since the year 476 of the Astanian calendar and report it to me. I am in a hurry. It must be done today."

 

Given the size of the library, six was the optimal number. . Edulis was quick at math. Any more people, he realized, and their paths would overlap and become inefficient.

 

"I... do you mind if I take over?"

 

Kurzina glanced at Hathor. Managing the secret library was Hathor's responsibility. It was strange for Edulis to address Kurzina in front of the library owner, and Hathor found it equally puzzling.

 

"Lord Bosha, I think you should leave that to me...."

 

Then Edulis's eyebrows twitched. Edulis spoke in a low, rumbling voice, like the threat of an angry lion.

 

"Don't make me repeat myself I said I would leave it to Kurzina."

 

"My Lord!"

 

Kurzina looked up at Edulis and clasped her hands together. Edulis stared into Kurzina's eyes.

 

"Kurzina, I will believe everything you report. I will believe it, and I will act upon it. In other words, you have gained power over me. You could tell me a lie and send me wandering in vain in the wrong place, or you could drive me to my death."

 

"I would never!" Kurzina burst into tears.

 

"It will never happen! I swear on my life to Assyria that if I ever tell a lie to the saint, the moment I do, my five organs will be spilled on the floor, my heart will be gouged out, and I will be food for birds and worms!"

 

Edulis shook his head.

 

"No need. If you want to tell a lie, say it, and if you want to kill me, kill me."

 

"No! I will only tell you the truth, even if it means vomiting blood and guts, and I will give you my all to help you!"

 

Saying that, Kurzina left the office with a stern look on her face. Mercenary Captain Bosha was always like this: He staked his life on trust. Of course, only with someone worthy. If Kurzina thought she would lie, she wouldn't have said such words.

Hathor stared at him, dumbfounded, and then spoke. "I... I was wondering… if I may ask... how would the history after 476 help in breaking the Black Orb? "

 

"None of your business. You get to work on the preparations for the Festival of Saints, that’s it...."

 

After giving Hathor his instructions, Edulis left the office.

 

Edulis made his way to Yug's mansion. After the collapse of the wooden building, it was decided that Enri and the other descendants of Ygraine would stay at Yug's mansion. But it was someone else Edulis wanted to see.

 

"I knew you'd be here."

 

"Haha.... It's you, Captain Bosha. You have a good head on your shoulders."

 

It was Ishkur. All the silver-haired children were gathered in Enri's room, and Ishkur was in the middle of them, teaching them to play backgammon.

 

"Edulis, our dinner has never been the same!"

 

"I'm scared to go out in the hallway... People keep praying in front of me...."

 

"I feel weird being alone in a big room. I can't calm down."

 

The children looked at Edulis and said one thing after another. But Edulis didn't have time to chat with them.

 

"I thought you'd try to woo them first. A powerful and innocent force that is likely to be on your side."

 

"I'm not trying to woo them, they'll get the wrong idea. I just want to get to know them."

 

"Really? Then why don't you get to know me too?"

 

Hearing that, Ishkur narrowed his eyes. "To befriend Captain Bosha... what an honor! But... you don't look like you want to get acquainted with me."

 

Ishkur wiped the smile from his face and stepped closer to Edulis, then asked. "What do you want?"

 

"Contact with the upper west."

 

"Okay. So, what can Captain Bosha give me?"

It didn't matter if Edulis was Bosha or not. Ishkur would use anything to accomplish their goals.


But Edulis already knew. What Ishkur wanted. "I will find your mother."

 

Then Ishkur's expression stiffened.

 

 ***

 

Kurzina's report began.

 

 - In the year 476 Astanian, Black Fang leader Bosha defeated the last of the Witches, and Kingdom forces led by Ygraine took control of the Imperial capital, El Medina. The war seemed to be turning in the Kingdom's favor.

 

That's as far as Edulis remembers.

 

 - But soon the tables were turned. An army led by Nekveta surprised the Kingdom forces in Sijia. Nekveta's specialty was reanimating and controlling the dead. The morale of the Kingdom army plummeted as their dead comrades became the enemy. Many dropped their weapons and fled.

 

That's where Edulis's question came in.

 

"Nekveta the necromancer? Surely Assyria had killed her?”

 

Bosha had seen Assyria plunge her sword into Nekveta's throat. Besides, even if she was alive, it would be strange. The king's army had Ygraine. There was Lutea! All Lutea had to do was shine her light and the corpse would return to the grave. Because of this, Nekveta was the most powerless of the witch's servants.

 

Edulis continued to read Kurzina's report, questioning until his eyes stopped at one sentence.

 

 - Ygraine was lost in this battle.

 

Unable to contain himself, Edulis slammed his hand down on the desk. A thud echoed through the library.

 

"What the hell!"

 

Edulis couldn't believe it. Ygraine had gone missing after struggling against an army led by a mere Nekveta?

 

"Saint...? Is something wrong....?" Kurzina asked.

 

Something was deeply wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Edulis chewed the flesh in his mouth as he repeated the words. But....

 

"No…"

 

He had no right to be angry with himself, Edulis thought. Bosha couldn't even stand in this battle. What could he possibly be angry about, when he couldn't even participate and run with Ygraine on the battlefield?

 

Edulis gritted his teeth and read the report. Each sentence became a needle, stabbing him in the chest.

 

 - Another record. Ygraine, Shamas, and Laotou fought Granadilla in the hills of Mastaba, north of the Ascidian coast. Ygraine was defeated and killed by Granadilla, and her soul was scattered in small pieces.

 

Edulis nearly threw up when he read this part: why was Granadilla still alive, and why couldn't Ygraine, Shamas, and Laotou defeat her? And... why couldn't Bosha be there?

 

Edulis's eyes burned brightly. Swallowing hard, Edulis finished reading the words.

 

- Shamash had also died in this battle. It was said that Laototu, the Spider had anticipated Ygraine's defeat and fled, hiding in the shadows.

 

Beneath it was an annotation written by Kurzina.

 

 - This account seems to conflict with the previous one. Sijia and Mastaba are separated by a three-day journey down the Velox. There is no reason for Ygraine to abandon the kingdom's forces stationed in Sijia and run to Mastaba, so why would she appear there?


 - Nevertheless, quite a few books report the same thing. Perhaps there are distortions in the location or the context of events.

 

Edulis's pupils widened. He'd found a major error—a person who was not present at that time wouldn't know, but a very crucial mistake.


'Why did Ygraine, who was in Sijia, die in Mastaba?' compared to this, other issues were trivial.


- Princess. Why don't you try some alcohol, Princess? It makes me feel like I’m floating on my feet and light-headed, it's a wonderful feeling!


- Laotou, don't you float even when you don't drink?


- Oh, usually, I am so calm and sharp. If I set my mind to it, I am even better than Shamas...

 

Laoutou ran off and left Ygraine behind?

 

 - Laotou, why on earth would you hit a man? I told you, don't drink and make mistakes.

 

- But... they were harassing the princess! They were talking about the Lady's lips and all...

 

- What's the big deal about that?

 

- It's a huge problem! I should have made them into a rug!

 

- Laotou

 

It's a story that would make a person who knows Laotou swoon.

 

- How dare you hurt the princess! I will kill you, Granadilla!

 

Laotou was the first of the Twelve Apostles, the first life born of the blood of Lutea. As such, she was more attached to Ygraine than any other of the Apostles. It was like a child chasing its mother all day long. To a child, their mother is the only thing in the world. It was true with Laotou as well. To her, Ygraine was everything.

 

“Laotou! She’s done something!”

 

Edulis was convinced by the records Kurzina had compiled. However, Laotou couldn't have run away alone. She must have done something for Ygraine. Without anyone knowing!

 

'We need to find Laotou first. Without the witch finding out....'

 




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