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In a World without God Chapter 49

Chapter 49 

- No. Humans are...


The image of Ygraine weeping flashed through Edulis's mind. She had trusted humans endlessly. She was betrayed over and over, but she still trusted them.


“My soul will fall into the abyss.” Edulis thought. “If my soul is going to fall, then let all those who grieve Ygraine be my allies. Let me go to hell with all those who deceive men and scoff at goodness. May Ygraine be betrayed no more!”


The shielded faces of the soldiers turned toward Edulis. Only dark shadows remained where their eyeballs used to be. They blocked the bridge, the only way in and out of the moated castle. 

 

After burying Armillo's body in the ground, Edulis stepped toward them and swung his sword. Their thick heavy armor, their man-sized shields, meant nothing in the face of Edulis' sword. They were all cut down like pieces of wood, scattering in the ground. 


The neighboring villagers watched from a distance, then began to run away, panting.


"Don't... run!"

 

"Call the garrison in Mushif, there's a killer on the loose!"

 

However, they could not see the tears in Edulis's eyes, nor the empty eyeballs of the shieldmen. All they saw was the blood-stained ground, scattered flesh and bone, and a boyish creature that trampled over them and continued its slaughter.


“Ed…Edulis?" Kishi stumbled back from Edulis. He didn't recognize him. The Edulis he knew was wild and fierce, like a wild beast, yet also affectionate and generous. But now he was like a blade of ice. 


"The government troops are coming. We must leave... We must leave this place...." Kishi said, his voice trembling. No, he tried to speak, but only a small voice came out, like a fly or mosquito buzzing. 

 

Edulis's eyes glowed cold as gems. Shards of metal and flesh flew through the air. Covered in blood, Edulis wordlessly slashed at his enemies. The process seemed dry, like cutting paper or chopping firewood.

 

"It's scary! Edulis is acting strange!" Aruru exclaimed, now perched on Murjana's shoulder. The hidden children behind Murjana grabbed her clothes and shivered. 


"Miss, let’s run away now!"

 

"If we don't run, he'll kill us too."


Murjana stared at Edulis' back, then shook her head. "No, kids, he's not like that."

 

But the frightened children shook their heads in disbelief. They tugged at Murjana's clothes. They were afraid that the good Murjana who had saved them would die. But Murjana shook them off and ran toward Edulis.


"Miss!"


It took only a few minutes for the shieldmen to be annihilated by Edulis' hand. Soon, the drawbridge began to rise. The regent was about to seal the castle. 

 

Edulis raced across the drawbridge like a pterodactyl preparing to take flight, and when the angle between the drawbridge and the ground reached about 45 degrees, he leaped into the air. His body spun through the air like a shuriken and landed with a thud in front of the gates. The gates shattered like thin ice under Edulis’s kick. 


"What the hell?!"

 

"How did he...."


The soldiers inside the castle panicked and pointed their spears at Edulis. In response, Edulis said. 


"You cooperated, knowing that Armillo's purpose was to twist the souls of men. Those who had nothing to do with it and are innocent, come forward." The voice of a boy, who had not yet reached puberty, sounded like the growl of a chained beast. His blood-soaked body looked sinister. Anyone could see that the boy was not normal. 


But out of the dozens of soldiers, not a single one of them heeded Edulis' words.


"Die! We are all favored by the witch!"

 

"You've done well, defeating a bunch of unintelligent bastards!" The soldier's body shuddered with dark magick. 

 

"Why do you follow the witch of your own volition?" Edulis asked, and some of the soldiers answered.


"Because in this world, Granadilla is justice."

"If you follow Granadilla, you get money, you get women, you get honor. Wouldn't you be a fool not to follow her?"

 

What if Ygraine had been here? Perhaps she would have embraced them still.


- No one is born crooked. They all have their reasons. Try to understand them, Captain Bosha.


Ygraine had said so. But what's the point of understanding them? Once a crooked, always a crooked. Some of them may miraculously change their minds, but most of them betray Ygrainne.

 

Dozens of spear blades flew at Edulis in unison, but none of them touched him. His body spun like a top, and the heads of everyone within a nine-foot radius fell to the ground and rolled. 

 

"I am Bosha, not Ygraine.” Edulis realized clearly what his role was: it was not to believe in miracles. Nor is it to spread the teachings of Ygraine. His role, he realized, was to break the legs of those who would disfigure Ygraine's face, to keep them from setting foot in Lutea's world.


“Aah!!"


At the sight of blood gushing like a fountain and necks rolling across the ground, the soldiers began to flee. Some ran inside the castle, some outside. 


Edulis's sword did not miss a single one of them. Everyone present was dead. Yes, this was Bosha's solution. One that Ygraine would never tolerate. 


"You shouldn't be in Lutea's world. Neither do you, nor I.” Kicking rolling heads and stepping on the torsos of corpses, Edulis moved forward and said,


"Those of you who have no connection to the witch, who can prove your innocence, come forward."


However, no one responded to his words. Inside the castle, there were about a dozen young women, half-naked and imprisoned. The deeds of villains are similar in every era. Edulis freed them. They were the only ones who made it out of the castle alive.


At last, at the very edge of the castle, Edulis pointed his sword at the regent proxy, who fell prostrate before him. 


"Hero blessed with the mercy of the goddess Lutea, I, a lowly being, couldn't endure the threats of the evil Akale and had no choice but to comply with her orders. If you will bathe my puny sins in your light, I will become the vanguard of your army of light-"

 

"Hey."

 

"Ye-yes?"

 

"How many proxies did the regent sent in total, including you?"

 

"Five…"

 

"Since it was Akale who dispatched them, something similar is happening in all five places, right?"

 

The regent proxy's face broke out in a cold sweat. The look in Edulis' eyes as he looked at him was like the blade of a guillotine. He pounded his forehead on the ground and said,


"...All of them, all of them are powerless. As fallen fringe nobles, we had no choice but to obey Akale's orders. Please... please take pity on us and help us...."


Edulis could not accept the words.


"Was the kidnapping and toying with women also Akale's order? Was that unavoidable too?"


"That was..."


Edulis's sword moved before the regent proxy could speak, knowing that what his mouth was about to say was a lie.


Edulis swung his sword once in the air, brushing the blood from his blade. He turned around to find Murjana watching him with narrowed eyes. Red streaks of blood dotted her white face. It was the blood that Edulis had just brushed off.


Turning to face the door, Edulis spoke to Murjana. "I'm sorry."


Whether he was apologizing for the blood splatter or for something else, neither Murjana nor Edulis knew. 


***

 

“Lord Akale."


In Trisis, inside the synagogue. A blonde woman in priestly robes knelt before Akale, who had taken the form of Ygraine. 


"Kashti, you're nagging me again."

"You're going to have to do something now. We can't leave Edulis like this, we've already lost Lunia, Lontes, and Perrette, three of the regent proxies have been killed, and most of the garrison is dead!"

 

"And why is that, why can't we leave it as it is?"

 

"Because that is not Granadilla's will. Granadilla's world is supposed to be peaceful, and now, panicked subjects are running away from their estates and talking about a 'murderer'. I can't believe... he's going to wipe out everyone in the castle."

 

Then Akale chuckled. "That's the funny thing about it."

 

"No, Akale, if you keep this up, Granadilla will...."

 

"Shut up, are you following Granadilla or me?"

 

"The two are not different, nor should they be..."


Akale kicked Kashti in the head and said. "Think about it, Kashti. He killed all those villagers who turned into monsters, broke into the castle, and killed all the soldiers and the regent proxies. Do you think that's the behavior of a follower of Lutea?"

 

"I don't think so... but there is no doubt that he is a threat to us."

 

At those words, Akale did not even pretend to hear them.


"If he kills, and kills, and kills, without love, without faith, perhaps he will realize that he is no different from me."


Kashti clenched her molars. They have lost a lot of troops to Edulis. Five areas have been devastated, and their tax revenues have suffered, so it's only logical that they stop him before he gets as far north as Sijia. Still, Akale is unwilling to budge. 

 

"What should I do?” As Kashti pondered, Akale said,


"Can he continue to love Lutea, even with blood on his soul?"


***.


Edulis and his group did not head towards Rekabi. Rather, they rode north toward the other side, toward Sijia. From the center, the regent proxies descended on five cities: Lunia, Lontes, and its neighbor, Peret, in Ascidia; Tiye and Henut, in Sijia.


Edulis stopped in Lontes, closest to Lunia, where the same thing was happening. Men like Armillo had incited the people, and the incited had turned into monsters. Because they came later than Lunia, more people had been turned into monsters. 


From Peret onward, it was hard to find a villager who hadn't changed. In Tiye, fewer than a dozen people remained human, and in Henut, a child hiding in a barrel was the only survivor. 


Edulis killed all the people who had turned into monsters, all the soldiers who sided with the regent proxy, and all the regent proxy. In five villages, he had killed more than a thousand humans. 


"Here he is, the boy killer!" When all of Hennut's monsters were killed, someone led the guards and surrounded Edulis. 


"L-lord Edulis..." Kishi shuddered and looked at Edulis. Edulis knew what he was afraid of. Kishi was afraid that he would kill them all. 


Aruru hid in Murjana's arms, and there was hesitation in Murjana's stance with her sword. 


Seeing this, Edulis puts magick on his foot. Then, with a thud, he stomped the ground. All of the guards lost their balance and fell, landing awkwardly on the ground. 


Edulis picked up Kishi, who had fallen with them, and put him in the cart, and said to Murjana. 


"Murjana, you have never killed a human before." It was true. It was Edulis who had killed the soldiers and the regent proxies, and it was Edulis who had assigned Murjana to find survivors and protect them from the monsters. 


Murjana's voice echoed in Edulis's head with conviction. 


 - Edulis is warm and upright. He would not want the weak to be trampled on as he fought against the witch's forces in Lutea's name. Do not confuse the people with your nonsense.


"Murjana, you are a pure and just child. You have been the same from the beginning until now."


He remembered when he met Murjana in the Varus Swamp. She had fought Edulis, knowing he was stronger than her. 


 "But I am not what you think I am. The ground I stand upon is and always will be strewn with human blood, guts, and flesh. So...."


Edulis took Murjana's hand and said. "You shall go a different way from me.”




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