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In a World without God Chapter 31

Chapter 31

Inside Edulis's magic, numerous Boshas were floating around. 

 

Some were stealing bread, some were running away, some were taking pleasure in disrupting trade between the empire and the kingdom, and some were about to accept Granadilla's offer...

 

Edulis cut them all down. He defeated dozens, hundreds of Bosha. As he did, he remembered Ygraine's words.

 

 - Make no mistake, Bosha. Hatred is not who you are.

 - It's just a ripple on the surface of the water. The real you lies beneath, very deep.

 

Ygrainne's words to Bosha were the sword of Edulis.

 

Before he met Ygraine, Bosha thought he was consumed by hatred, anger, and jealousy. He thought that if he let go of those feelings, he would be nothing but a shell of himself. But Ygraine said, "They're not you. They are not Bosha. A heart stripped of all hatred, anger, and jealousy, and the light that shines within it, is the real Bosha.”

 

Edulis believed Ygraine. Like a support of morning glory vines, Edulis's heart is centered on Ygraine. Those things in the form of Bosha are not Bosha. They are the dregs of his emotions, of his faith in Ygrain, and of his unfulfilled promise.

 

The trajectory of Bosha's sword was unstable, but Edulis' sword was seamless. It didn't take long for Edulis to cut down hundreds of Bosha.

 

Edulis had driven all that he had accomplished in his two years of hellish training outside the boundaries of “himself”. And then the Magi of Ygraine, small and slender as a hair's breadth, emerged—  a fragment of what was to be returned to Lutea.

 

Leaving it where it was, Edulis approached the mass of magick his soul was born with. It hadn't been refined to flow through the arrangement, but rather in its raw form. Now came the real challenge. This was going to be a very different process than a normal refinement.

 

Normally, the fragments, except for the Magi that were made operational through refinement drifted around the soul like planets around the sun forever. But now, Edulis had to destroy them all. He had to send them all out of the boundaries of 'himself', leaving only the purest, whitest light, similar to the Magi of Ygraine.

 

Edulis looked at the lump of magick he had been born with. The energy, like boiling molten iron, with the same feeling he had as Bosha, was embedded like a fallen meteorite. Edulis swung his sword towards it. Then...

 

 - Bosha,  foolish and weak.

 

There was a voice. It wasn't his own. It was not a voice of hatred or resentment, a voice that sank downward like a sinking ship.

 

 - You could not be a sword. You were never a shield. He closed his eyes, comfortable with himself. Shamelessly.

 

The molten-like energy fell. The red energy blazed, and then it began to walk on two legs.

 

 - How dare you speak Ygraine's name, how dare you dream of standing beside her?

 

The ground shook. Edulis's soul churned like a storm.

 

"I know, and that's why I'm taking responsibility."

 

Edulis retorted. He had to. If he wants to wield the same power as Luthea, he must peel away this fragment and break it.

 

 - You have taken so much from Ygraine, and you have given nothing back. You have been nothing but a burden to her.

- Ygraine has suffered alone. You must suffer the same fate she has.

 

Edulis found no voice. He realized what was before his eyes.

 

 - I hate you. Hateful Bosha, hateful Edulis!

 

It did not hate the world. It did not hate humans. It hated only one person, Edulis. Then it took on the form of Edulis. Its curved sword pulsed with blue energy. It crouched low and sprang up forcefully. Edulis knew what the technique was. Bosha's technique he called lightning to the earth.

 

 "...I."

 

There was hesitation in Edulis' hand as he raised his sword  And in the end, Edulis was unable to dodge the technique.

 





 

 "Edulis! Edulis!"

 

Aruru shouted from above Edulis' head, jumping up and down.

 

"Taharka, you bastard! What happened to Edulis?!"

 

A reddish aura rose from Edulis's body, like smoke from a bonfire. His eyes, nose, and mouth gushed black blood, and he shivered as if he had a chill. He couldn't answer Aruru's calls for he could only whimper and moan. 

 

Aruru frantically ran around Edulis and called out to Laotou.

 

"Great Laotou please, save Edulis!"


Laotou stared at Edulis wordlessly.

 

"You have not won, Bosha."  Taharka stepped to Edulis's side, his face calm. "You're all talk, even then and until now."

 

As Taharka spoke, Aruru shouted at the top of his lungs.

 

"You bastard, did you deceive Edulis? If so, I will not let you get away with it!"

 

Aruru stood at Taharka's feet and threw a punch. Taharka ignored him and turned to face Laotou, then spoke.

 

"Lady Laotou. I'm torn. This man is special enough to wake you from your long slumber, but he can’t overcome himself. Is he really the hope you've been waiting for?" Taharka's voice rang out low and thick as if he were speaking from a deep cave.

 

"I have waited eighty years for Granadilla, the Witch, and Akale, the Sorcerer, who slaughtered my people, to be reduced to dust!! And is this small, insecure thing something I would risk everything for? Wouldn't it be better for me to run out there alone and slay Akale myself to appease my dead people?"

 

Then Laotou raised a hand and pointed behind Taharka.

 

"Taharka, look behind you."

 

Taharka's gaze followed her finger and fell silent. 

 

Edulis was moving. Blood poured from his eyes, nose, and mouth, but his bulging eyes were staring straight ahead. His whole body shivered like a chill, but his hands never let go of the sword.

 

Edulis choked out the name, scratching it out of his locked throat.  "Y…gre…in…”...."

 

 Then, using his sword as a walking stick, he rose from his seat.

 

 Lautu said. "Bosha was always like that."

 

 Taharka looked into Edulis's eyes, the silver eyes burning like fire.


"That's why I believe. That Bosha will change the future...."


 




 

A deep cut remained in Edulis's stomach. But no blood flowed. There was just a gaping hole, like a log hacked open by an axe.

 The loss of flesh made it very difficult for Edulis to swing his sword. Meanwhile, the shadow in his form gained momentum and pointed its blade at him.


The shadows pounded the floor with the force of a dragon, rising and falling like rolling waves. Edulis could not dodge the attack. Edulis's arm was severed and rolled into the ground. 

 

 - Ygraine charged at the witch's army with her holy spear and you just watched from behind. 

 

 "...Right."

 

 - Even when Ygraine's clothes were torn and her white arm was scarred, you did nothing but watch."


"That's right."

 

 - As Ygraine wept at the sight of human degradation, you raised your knife and aimed for her throat.


 - You wanted to kill her, just because she had humiliated you.

 

Edulis sighed deeply.

 

"Regrettably, yes.."

 

The Shadow shouted.

 

 - And yet you dared to dream of becoming an apostle. You wanted to be by Ygraine's side forever, and you didn't even have the power to do it!

 

The Shadow's sword sliced through Edulis' remaining arm.

 

 - I hate you, Edulis.

 

Edulis replied.

 

"Yes. I hate me too."

 

There was silence, and then, like the rising of the morning sun, a white light began to shine around Edulis's soul. The Shadow stood still, knife in hand, as if immobilized by the white light.

 

Halfway through, Edulis realized that he could not defeat it. He hated himself. He couldn't resist it,  nor deny it. He couldn't push it outside the boundaries of 'himself'. He spoke as if he were spitting out his soul.

 

"I hate myself, I hate myself so much that I want to cut myself limb from limb with a knife, I hate myself so much that I want to vomit from the disgusting brazenness of all the things I dreamed about while watching Ygraine's face!"

 

Light enveloped Edulis and the Shadow. A familiar floral scent wafted through the air. Ygraine's voice echoed in Edulis's mind.

 

- It's just a ripple on the surface of the water. The real you is deep down below.

 

Edulis screamed.

 

"But.... That's not all."

 

Edulis hated himself. Why would he hate himself? Why would he want to kill himself? Edulis knew the answer.

 

He wanted to be a fortress against the storm, to protect the flowers from being destroyed. He wanted to be a roof for a lost fox on a stormy night. He wanted to be the blanket that kept a sleeping rabbit from waking up in a blizzard.

 

He rebuked himself for being nothing. Can that be considered as hatred? Hate is just a ripple in the water. The real thing lies somewhere beneath, deep within.

 

 Edulis looked at the shadow and said.

 

 "I know what you are. I know your true name."

 

That which no human being dares to utter, but constitutes everything about a Bosha. 

 

"I know. That you are my everything."

 

As Edulis spoke, The Shadow's arm that held the sword dropped limply. Then it looked at Edulis and smiled.

 

It pulsed with red energy, then turned white in an instant White as the sky at dawn Then it turned into a swarm of silver butterflies, fluttering through the air.

 

Edulis looked at himself. His arms, legs, stomach, everything was fine. Then the silver butterflies flew and nestled on him.

 





"Edulis!!"

 

Aruru circled Edulis several times. Edulis' body was enveloped in light. It was not comparable to sunlight or moonlight, but it was a clear, clean light, like snowflakes reflecting winter light. Along with the light, a faint scent drifted around Edulis' body, drawing birds and butterflies to him.

 

"What is this?"

 

Coming to his senses, Edulis flicked his arms to shoo the birds and butterflies away, then used his sleeve to roughly wipe the blood from his nose. Then Laotou walked over and put his hand on his head.

 

"Bosha, you...."

 

Laotou stroked Edulis's hair over and over again as if she were very pleased with him.

 

Edulis ignored the touch, glancing back and forth between Laotou and Taharka, and then asked.

 

"On the way, someone breathed magic into me. Who was it?"

 

"It was me." Taharka said. Edulis raised one eyebrow.

 

Mana is the energy for channeling magick and the way the heart exists. Passing it to someone else is unheard of. It made no sense to give it away. But as Edulis faced the shadows, something happened. A pure white light flowed into his inner world.

 

"How did you do it?"

 

"The Secret Art of the Royal Family."

 

"So, what is it?"

 

"I cannot tell you."

 

Edulis stared at Taharka's face.

 

"Didn't you say you had work to do?" Taharka turned away. "The Witch's Eye. I'm sure you could break it now."






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