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In a World without God Chapter 4

Updated: Jan 15

In truth, Edulis realized he was being followed, but he didn't think much of it. When Edulis kills a monster, there are often smaller ones that follow to tear apart the carcass. But a human, and a little one at that?


The girl who identified herself as Murjana was shaking uncontrollably. Her eyes were fluttering uneasily and there were tears in the corners of her eyes. 


"If you're so scared, run away.”


Murjana was small in stature and slender in limb. The curved sword in her hand seemed large and heavy for her size, but despite this, her grip on it was firm. She must be training quite hard, Edulis thought. 


The child had pale ivory hair, the color of the sands of the west coast. It fell to just below her shoulders, roughly cut and of varying lengths. Such hair color, like Edulis' silver hair, is uncommon in Kaldura. It is a color found only among the nomadic peoples of the coniferous forests of northern Sijia.  


"That sword. And the hair color. This kid is…” 


 It didn't take long for Edulis to realize who it was. And then he remembered who he was, and his irritation rose. How could even that child know that Ygraine was a witch? 

It was ridiculous to be angry at a child like that, but Edulis was not one to easily overlook such things. Edulis looked at Murjana with a sour expression and decided to tease her a bit.


Edulis cleared her throat, wrapped himself in a threatening aura, and glared at Murjana. 


“Conspiring, am I? Maybe I'm up to something very nefarious? A terrible plot that will engulf not only Kaldura but the entire continent!"


Murjana looked cowardly. Edulis thought she would curl up in a ball on the floor and sob if he threatened her. Bosha had changed a lot in her time with Ygrainne, but he still had a nasty temper that would occasionally flare up. But then. Murjana didn't have the reaction Edulis was expecting. 


She swallowed hard at Edulis's threat, and then her body stopped shaking, and a blue aura enveloped her. Her magic was impure and unsteady in its flow, but it was as blue and powerful as a waterfall.

With that, Murjana raised her sword and took a step forward toward Edulis, her determined eyes staring straight into his. Murjana shouted. 


"Then I, for one, will face you here."


Her voice no longer trembled but was now resolute. 

Edulis asked, puzzled by Murjana 's transformation. "Don't you see the crocodiles down here? I don't think you could take down a single one, judging by your magic, and yet you want to fight me?"


"If I say I won’t chase you even if you run away, would you?"

"I won’t run away." 

"Hmm... why?"

"Because I am a descendant of Vala Ishtar, the hero who broke through Cyros."


So it was. Vala was an orphan abandoned in the coniferous forests of the north, with pale ivory hair like this child's. It was easy to see that the ivory-haired child with the black-fanged sword was a descendant of Valar. Unlike Valar, who looked like a mountain beast, Murjana had a round, cute face. But he was no hero who broke through Cyros... 


"As the heir of Vala's blood, I cannot turn my back on an enemy of ten thousand people. Come on!"


Edulis had a strange feeling. Being a descendant of Valar gave this small child a great deal of pride. But who was Valar? When Bosha had decided to go straight through the Cyro’s territory, Vala had been there, grumbling softly beside him.


"What's the big deal about being an Astania, or a witch, or anything else? As long as you're born a man, you're supposed to leave a lot of your descendants, so why bother with all this nonsense? I really don’t get it.” Valar muttered. “All right, I'll listen to the boss, but before we go, let's stop by the tavern. What's the rush? Don't you think we should say hello to the ladies first?!


Valar was once a beggar in Sijia. The welfare of his people had never entered his mind, so it was awkward to hear his descendants speak his name and tell him things he would never say.


It was bizarre and wonderful at the same time. The will to push through the fear and move forward. The look in his eyes. There was something about Murjana's demeanor that reminded Edulis of Ygraine. It was oddly gratifying to realize that this child, driven by pure goodwill, was the offspring of a colleague. It was an emotion he hadn't felt since he was Bosha.


"Is this how you feel when you see your children or grandchildren? Edulis smiled and drew his sword from his belt, then turned to Murjana. 


 "Very well, then die."




As Edulis threatened Murjana with his evil face, memories of the past flashed through Murjana’s mind – the days when she was called a half-wit. 


Valar Ishtar had five wives, each of whom had three or more children. These children in turn had several more children, until those who could be called Valar's descendants littered Kaldura.  

These descendants of Vala's blood sometimes met to compete in swordplay, but Murjana had never won a single match, even though she trained day in and day out and for longer hours than anyone else! Her relatives sighed when they saw her. 


“I am ashamed that you are of the Ishtar family.”


What will happen if she runs away now? Murajana, weak and even cowardly, how would her father and grandfather look at her? She forcefully pushed aside the fear in her heart.


"This is the place where I will die.


With that thought, the trembling stopped. Halfwit, Murjana. May my death be honorable! With that, he stepped forward. 

She maintained the posture her grandfather had taught her. The lower body should be firmly rooted to the ground, like the roots of a tree. The body, wrapped in magic, should be a sturdy pillar and an impenetrable fortress... Each step should be taken carefully, looking for any gaps in the enemy's defense. 


“A gap…”


Murjana was puzzled: she was supposed to be looking for a gap, but there was no gap. Edulis wasn't even wearing magic.


”Do you not need to use magic against someone like me?”


Murjana 's blue magic enveloped the sword, turning it into sword energy. Though she wasn't yet skilled enough to release it, it was sharp enough, pulsating like a saw blade.


"You've learned your stance well," Edulis remarked.


The moment Edulis spoke, Murjana stomped the ground with her right foot. The black-fanged curved sword cut a sharp diagonal line through the air. The clean, beautiful trajectory was proof that Murjana had worked hard.  

But it didn't work on Edulis. Edulis sidestepped and dodged the attack, so effortlessly that Murjana bit her lip in frustration. 


"But you learned it wrong.”


Murjana focused her magic on her sword. The magick doubled the length of the blade. And then the onslaught resumed. Murjana's magick drew a swift arc, aiming for Edulis's body. 


It was a move Murjana was confident in. When she unleashed this technique, even her relatives concentrated on avoiding her attacks. However...


  "See, it’s so slow.."


Not only did Edulis dodge every single blow, but he also casually walked up behind Murjana at a speed that Murjana couldn't even see. 


 “To be caught from behind by an enemy who doesn't even use magic! Is this how strong the power of a witch's offspring is?” Murjana wondered. 


She never thought it would end so quickly. When Murayana thought it was over and sighed, Edelris did something unexpected. Like a mischievous child playing a prank, he casually kicked out Murayana's back. It wasn't a forceful kick, but Murayana toppled over.


"Ugh... what did you do!" Murjana's face flushed red with shame. 

Edulis answered nonchalantly. "See, you're not supporting yourself properly, and that sword technique doesn't suit your body. It's a sword technique suitable for people with a large physique and a developed upper body."


"I... I don’t have that…” 


She knew. She had trained more than anyone else, so she understood what kind of physique was favorable for this sword technique. But somehow, this child figured it out at once.


"Don't think about keeping your feet on the ground. Be flexible. Use your spine as your axis of rotation and swing the sword with your whole body."


Murjana was dumbfounded. Didn't he say he was going to kill her? What the hell was he doing now?


"Get up, try it. Come on."

"You... you! What the hell!"


She couldn't make out the words, but there was no way she was going to stay down. Murjana stood up and lunged at Edulis once more. 

Still unarmored, Edulis dodged Murjana 's sword, but he wasn't just dodging. He kept talking to Murjana. 


"You're still only using your upper body! Didn't you hear me? Don't keep your feet on the ground! Keep your legs moving!" 

"Shut up! It's Ishtar's swordsmanship! You know nothing about it!"

"The essence of mercenary swordsmanship is the flexibility to adapt to the situation. Isn't it against the will of the ancestors to force yourself to practice a swordsmanship that doesn't suit you?"


That was true. His grandfather had always told Murjana to develop her own swordsmanship.


"Don't rely on the magick. If you don't have a solid foundation in swordsmanship, you're doomed, and right now you lack confidence in yourself. And since you only wield magick like that, your magick is still full of impurities!"


Why did she feel like she was being scolded by her grandfather when she was about to risk her life against the scion of a conspiring witch? Murjana was becoming increasingly confused about what was going on. 


"Well, you don't seem to understand it so well. Fine."


Immediately after Edulis sighed, all hell broke loose. Every time Murjana had an opening, Edulis kicked her. Each time, Murjana fell awkwardly on the floor. It didn't hurt, but it was humiliating. 


"You... you...!"


The only way to stop herself from rolling on the floor was to alternate her weight on each foot. Murjana eventually got the hang of it.  She momentarily shifted her weight to one foot while swiftly moving her body when swinging the sword, preventing Edelris from kicking her again.

Countless times she charged, countless times she fell, her clothes soaked with swampy mud, her body exhausted and her magic hard to keep flowing. 

But the blow to Edulis was sharper than before, even though she swung with exhaustion and weakness.


"See. Much better, isn’t it?"


Murjana couldn't answer. She was furious, but he was right. The sound of the sword slicing through the air was different. But it was her last strike. Now Murjana was too weak to lift her sword. With the blade pointed at the ground, she glared at Edulis.


"You hateful scion of a witch! Why don't you kill me? What do you think you're doing?"

"Do you really want to die?"


Edulis's gaze turned sinister. Black magic flickered on the sword he held. Murjana saw it and realized how skilled Edulis was. It was nothing like her father's or her grandfather's, but it was pure and sharp, and from the start, it was clear she was no match for him. 


Now he was going to kill her. All this time, he was just playing with her.

Edulis raised her sword, and Murjana squeezed her eyes shut. The sound of the sword cutting through the air was like a wyvern's final blow. The sound alone was enough to give her an idea of the power of the strike. 

And yet... she was unharmed.


She opened her eyes to see a large, halved wyvern in front of Edulis.


  "A carcass eater. It must have gotten tired of waiting for me to leave." she realized. "You... what the hell......."


  Edulis said, turning to the dazed Murjana.


"The courage to step forward, even risking death, is commendable. But isn't enduring a moment of shame also a kind of courage? If you somehow survive, accumulate strength, and seize the opportunity, the day will come when you can wash away that shame."


"...that's a shameful life."

 "Why not be a little shameful? Your people want upstanding men like you to be strong. Isn't it better to endure shame for them than to waste your life defending your pride?" 


Hearing those words, Murjana stared into Edulis' eyes, dumbfounded. Enduring shame for the sake of the people... Murjana had never thought of it that way. 

Edulis's eyes were a clear silver-white. That struck her as odd. How could the offspring of an evil witch have such clear eyes and speak such words? 


"Are you... are you really the offspring of a witch?"

"I don't know."

"When you said you were plotting to cover the continent, were you trying to tease me?"

"No. I meant it.." Edulis said with a naturally virtuous face. Murjana 's suspicions deepened.


"You just asked me to endure shame for my people. What kind of plot are you planning then? 


"I am plotting to overthrow the entire continent." With those words, Edulis's expression grew solemn. Edulis spoke in a low voice.


"I will unravel the great lie that rules the continent."

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