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In a World without God Chapter 3

Updated: Jan 15

"We are... the descendants of sinners. It is our duty to inform our children of that fact when they reach their tenth birthday."

  

Glyon said grimly. 

  

"The scars on the back of our necks are proof. We inherited the blood of the witch Ygraine...."

  

As he spoke, he was worried, for his son, Edulis, who stood before the statue, his face white. And with good reason. The statue depicts Bosha's sword piercing the witch Ygraine's throat. All the children of Astania look up to the hero Bosha and hate Ygraine for her evil deeds. But now that he has discovered that he’s the descendant of a witch.....


Worried that Edulis might collapse again, Glyon continued.

  

"I was born into the Fey family, but I wish you had been born as a descendant of Lord Bosha... I'm sorry."

  

 It was a moment of deep parental helplessness. Shaking his head, Glyon didn't notice his son's eyes gleaming. 

  

 ***

  

In Bosha's day, the land of the Dukes of Fey stretched from the Baruba Valley in the central part of the continent to the coast of Ashdod in the southwest. Now, the northern Sijia region has been incorporated into the Duke of Fey's territory. After the fall of the Ur Empire, the Kingdom of Astania unified the continent. 


Now that Bosha had been reborn as Edulis, the Duke of Fey was the largest family on the continent. But the Duke of Fey's glory had nothing to do with the Edulis family. For those who carry the blood of Ygraine are not recognized as Fey. 

  

The people despised them, calling them "witches' blood," "cursed blood," and "branded.

  

Ygraine's descendants were openly discriminated against. One such discrimination was restrictions on where they could live. While the Fey family headquarters were located in the fertile lands of Vaidor, the descendants of Ygraine were forced to live in some of the most inhospitable and desolate places on the continent. 

To Edulis, it was ridiculous. The most inhospitable and desolate place on the continent.... that was none other than Kaldura. 

  

“Ygraine, the witch.

  

Edulis sat for a moment, lost in thought as he leaned back against the tree, then suddenly jumped to his feet and anxiously kicked at the carcass of the swamp crocodile in front of him.

  

Where Edulis now sits is the Varus Swamp, where his former self, Bosha, was trained by Black Fang's predecessor, Karayan.

  

“Crawl out alive and I'll train you to be my successor.” Karayan threw the young Bosha into the middle of the swamp, and with those words, he left the swamp. 

  

He was so afraid to be here then, but now there is no place he feels more at home. Everything in the world has changed. The only thing that hasn't changed is this swamp.

  

It's been two years since his last visit to the Holy Temple Museum, and Edulis still hasn't gotten over it. The mere mention of Ygraine's name made him feel as if he had swallowed lava, his insides burning.  

After being with Ygraine, it didn't take Bosha long to realize that she wasn't a hypocrite. No... But he preferred her to be a hypocrite, at least at first. Bosha thought Ygrainne was a woman whose mind was made up of flower gardens from a fairy tale. A world where everyone loves and gives to each other, a world where even a six-year-old child would scoff at. It's a lie that people want peace. People always want to throw stones at someone else. Bosha wonders if Ygraine knows how much hatred boils in the hearts of those who call her a saint. 

  

Being with Ygrainne has given Bosha a dream. If Ygrainne and Lutea's names were to rise and fall for a hundred years, a thousand years, and her ideals were to appeal to people endlessly, the hatred in their hearts would one day recede, just as the witch's army receded. 

He thought so. But now…

  

"A witch...... a witch!

  

How dare... Who would call Ygraine a witch? She who laments endlessly about her lack of benevolence, she who blames herself for all the mess in the world!

And to claim that it was Bosha who killed her? 

  

Frowning, Edulis picked up a branch and swung it wildly at the rock in front of her.

Swoosh! Thunk!

The sound cut through the air, like the scream of a chicken twisting its neck. The boulder cracked as the branch hit it. 

  

"Shit!" Edulis cursed, looking at the cracked rock. It was frustrating. If Bosha had swung the branch, the rock would have been shattered, and the pieces would have been smaller than pebbles in a river.  

  

There was a reason Edulis was weaker than Bosha. He hadn't been sufficiently refined. 

  

All humans with a soul possess magical energy, or magick. However, the magical energy that humans are born with is like a lump of ore with many impurities, and it needs to be sorted and refined to be utilized. This is called 'refinement'. 


Allowing the refined magical energy to flow through the body is called magical flow, and channeling it according to certain rules is called magick. 

  

Although Bosha could not use magick at all, he was ranked among the top three in the continent in the use of magical flow. He once smashed a dragon's teeth out with a wooden stick. He never thought he'd be unable to crush a simple rock..........

  

Edulis steadied his ragged breathing. Then he sat on a tree stump, crossing his legs… He needed to calm his nerves in preparation. Bosha closed his eyes and looked into his soul.

  

A huge mass of unrefined mana, more than twice the size of what he had, and it had more colors than he had ever seen. Originally, Bosha's mana was like molten iron boiling in a furnace. If he could find that same energy in Edulis' mana, he would quickly reach a level of power similar to his previous life. It was something Bosha had been doing all his life, so the process could be quick.

But Edulis was cautious. He would not be satisfied with just Bosha’s strength. For his strength before was not even close to that of Laotou's, let alone Ygraine's. 

  

The powerful and the powerless could live together, Ygraine once said. But it would take immense power to create such a world, Edulis thought. 

If Bosha had been strong enough, if he had been able to defeat the witch's minions, he would have lived to see Ygraine's face. Not only that. There was one more reason for Edulis to be careful with his refinement... It was the second mana.

  

A single soul has one magical mass. It's a proposition that's accepted as self-evident, much like the proposition that every human being has two nostrils. 

But Edulis has two lumps of Magi, and one of them is clearly not human. 

  

Mana as bright and clean as the sun, without a single impurity. Most people wouldn't even believe that such a pure form of magick could exist as a mass.  

  

"It's... not moving.”

  

Edulis tried to perform a magick with it, but it failed. In nature, the closer to white a mana is, the more static it is. Only monks in holy places are allowed to train white magick, as it is difficult to wrap it around the body and send it out. The whiter and cleaner the magick, the more divine it is considered. 

Within Edulis was an aura so white and clean that it needed no further refinement. Edulis had seen it before. 

It was Ygraine's magick. 

  

That was what was inside Edulis. It was the same magic crest. A magic crest is a unique pattern created by flowing magick, and each person has a single magic crest.

  

Why had Ygraine left hers to Edulis? An energy that a normal person can't even use. What could it mean? Edulis had been pondering this question every day, with no answer. 

  

It was then. Someone broke his inner silence.

  

"Who is it!"

  

Swoosh!

Thud!

  

A branch flew out of Edulis's hand and stuck like an arrow into the thick trunk of a tree. 

  Then someone hiding behind the tree screamed.

  

"Eeek!"

  

  ***

"Mother, look at her, her silver hair is the same color as my mother's earrings, she's so pretty."

 

"Murjana, all those with silver hair are the offspring of witches. Cursed blood. You must not look at them, and you must not talk about them!"


"What? Even if she’s so pretty?" 


“Remember who you are descended from. They are people who might scheme at any time. We must watch over them and protect Kaldura, just as your great-grandfather did."

  

Murjana recalled a conversation she had with her mother as a child. It had been five years ago, and she was puzzled by her mother's words. The child, Edulis Le Fay, the only child of Glyon Le Fey, had such an innocent face. He had a face as pretty as a girl’s.


That face had been bothering Murjana. Even after her mother had warned her, she'd gotten in trouble for looking at Edulis. That was until she was 10 years old. For the next few years, she didn't see Edulis at all... 

  

Recently, she started to notice him strangely. 

  

'Not again,' she thought, 'He's heading for the fork in the road again. If he goes that way, he'll only end up in the Varus Swamp... or is there another way?

  

It was the path visible from the Isshtal family's sword training ground... Muryana had seen the silver-haired boy pass by several times. 

The Varus Swamp is a strictly off-limits area. It is home to dangerous beasts such as swamp crocodiles, dragonlings, and horned boars. Even full-grown adults are at risk if they don't have a certain level of magical training. 

Edulis is two years younger than Murjana. How is a twelve-year-old supposed to navigate the Varus Swamp?

  

They are a people who might scheme at any time.”

  

Murjana remembered my mother's words. When she was young and ignorant, Edulis' appearance had drawn her attention, but now it was different. Murjana had been properly taught about the family's history, her great-grandfather's exploits in the Holy War, and harbored resentment towards the descendants of the witch.

 “What kind of devious scheme is he up to?” she wondered.

  

Her father, grandfather, and grandmother have been away for a month on business. If the witch's descendant was planning something nefarious, it was Murjana's duty to stop it.

With that thought, Murjana began to follow Edulis, until she had a moment of hesitation. 

  

"Do I really want to go into the Barus Swamp?”

  

She was terrified. The swamp is dark even in broad daylight. Sounds of magical creatures growling could be heard in the distance. 

But at that moment, Murjana remembered the words of her swordsmanship teacher, her grandfather. "My father fought for three days and three nights. 

  

Her grandfather continues"My father ran for three days and three nights without sleep and broke through Cyros' territory. He ran for three days and three nights, not knowing the strength of the enemy's army, the capabilities of the enemy leader, or any of that. He did this because it was necessary for his people.

Those who sit back and contemplate whether or not they can win are not worthy of the name of Ishtar. A man of House Ishtar must move forward.” 

  

There was something about those words that sparked in Murjana's heart, something that moved her feet now. 

  

"If I stop because of fear, I am not worthy of Ishtar's name! 

  

With that vow, Murjana stepped forward. Her grip on the sword tightened. So far, so good. 

  

But.... gradually, fear began to threaten her conviction. Understandable, considering the condition of the swamp was appalling, and she hadn't seen a single holy rock in about a thousand steps. They were all cracked or chipped as if a dragon-class beast had struck them with its forepaws. 

  

The trees in the swamp are thick enough that even a grown man’s outstretched arms couldn’t wrap around it. Some of the older trees were harder than rock, but every one of them had deep grooves. The cuts were clean as if someone skilled in machetes had cut them with a sword. 

  

It was hard to find a place without these marks. It was as if someone had been breaking rocks and cutting down trees over a wide area for a very long time.

  

"It can't be... him? No, it can't be.”

  

Those who inherit the blood of the witch Ygraine have great physical abilities, and they have a great aptitude for manipulating magic. It is said that they are not allowed to know how to spell until a certain age. To prevent the witch's children from growing too strong. 

  

"Then who is it?

  

It was strange. Normally, there are no roads in the Varus Swamp. But as she followed Edulis' footsteps, rocks cracked and trees fell, creating a path. 

Swallowing her doubts, Murjana followed Edulis, and then she saw it. She saw Edulis swinging from a tree limb.


Murjana's breath caught in her throat."It's... it's a monster! It's... it's not human!

  

That was all she could think. The swamp crocodile, three times as big as Murjana, had been killed. There were at least fifteen corpses. Edulis was in the center of it all, reclining with his eyes closed. It was unmistakably real. Horror overwhelmed Murjana as she looked at the crocodile blood-soaked ground. 

  

"Oh... no. There's no way I can kill that monster.... but according to my grandfather's words.......”

  

Murjana's knees shook. Her faith told her to step forward, but it didn't come easily. Fear and conviction fought fiercely inside her.

And then it happened. She stepped on a branch that had fallen to the ground.

The snap echoed through the silent swamp. 

  

"Who is it!"


“Eeek!”

  

Murjana screamed uncontrollably, embarrassed beyond belief that a scion of the Ishtar family would behave like this. She managed to pull herself together and stepped forward.

  

"I... I am Muryana of House Ishtar, you scion of the witch, and I do not know what you are... plotting here!"

  

Her tone was menacing, but her voice was shaky. Edulis stared at the girl in front of her, thinking.

  

"Ishtar? Ishtar... That sounds strangely familiar. Where have I heard that before?

  

Then, Edulis's eyes fell on the sword Muryana held. 

It was a curved sword. A black sword, curved like a fang, with a crude reticulated pattern.

  

"That sword...."







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