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In a World without God Chapter 54

Chapter 54

Bosha's heart had a hole in it. His soul was always hungry. Like stepping out in thin clothes on a cold winter dawn, his heart was always cold. 

 

No matter what he did, he couldn't fill the hole. He was always hungry. Deceiving, killing, and taking what he could from seemingly happy people made him feel like the hole was filled for a moment, but only for a moment. 

 

"Maybe I was born to be a man-eating monster.” That's what Bosha thought his life would be like– endlessly hungry, endlessly resentful of people.


 - Captain Bosha. The day will come when those who throw stones now, will chant the name of Captain Bosha with joy. 


Ygraine said. It did not take many years for those words to become reality. As Bosha had rescued some of the children taken by the witch.


"My son... my son...."


A thin, haggard woman reached out to Bosha. Bosha slapped the child's back and urged him to walk faster. When the child was handed over to his mother, Bosha said in a surly voice.


"Take good care of the cub. What use is a mother if she loses her child?"


The woman then knelt on the ground and sobbed at Bosha's feet. 


"Thank you, Captain Bosha. What can I do to repay you for this favor? Come to my house and take all my possessions. I will give it all to you, even the floormat."


Bosha took a step backward. He felt embarrassed that the woman was wetting his feet with her tears; even more so for she was a Lishaia villager. The Lishaia villagers shouted insults and threw stones at him whenever they saw him. 


Bosha looked around and realized that the hatred in their eyes was no longer there. 


"Captain Bosha, please stop by our house." 

 

"We'll kill a pig for you, and we'll bring you a drink. Please let us repay your favor."


Of course, they should. He had risked his life, he’d given people what they wanted, and so he deserved to be paid for it. That's certainly what he was thinking. But then something else came out of Bosha's mouth. 


"I have a busy road to travel, and I have no time to be held back by you."


Then the people fell and grabbed Bosha's legs. "No, please stay. Please accept the reward you deserve. Please let us treat you.” 

 

At that moment, Bosha felt it— that he wasn't hungry, that something had filled the hole in his chest. 


 - You should respond with a smile. Let go of old hatreds, know love, know happiness...


Ygraine's words were not entirely true. Bosha could not respond with a smile. Bosha shook off the hands of those holding him and screamed. 


"I'm busy! How dare you people, who are nothing more than penniless, treat me like this!"


Ygraine watched, smirking. 


Bosha understood now. The way to satisfy his gnawing hunger. The nature of the hunger he felt. He was not a man-eating monster. 


Then, what about the people he had consumed until now?


Edulis etched in his heart the question Bosha tried to ignore.


***


Razor-sharp eyes turned toward Edulis. The sight of a rolling child's head stirred people's emotions. The soldiers murmured.


"We believed.... We believed you saved us...."

 

"We were tricked by a witch, and this Edulis was her henchman."

 

"How dare you do this in Lutea's name!"


Kurzina swallowed the lump in her throat and glared at Edulis. "First Platoon, prepare trapping spells! Second Platoon, prepare offensive magic!" 


Kurzina ordered as the cavalry led by Raghad surrounded Edulis. 


"Playing with fire-" Edulis muttered. Just as a great inferno threatened to engulf the Veloxes, the Third Platoon of the Mages cast a water spell at Kurzina's gesture. With a hissing sound, the fire was extinguished, leaving only smoke. 


"Follow the enemy's movements! His goal is to hide in the smoke!"


Kurzina shouted, reciting an illuminating spell. As the light broke through the smoke, they saw the figure of Edulis leaping over the crowd of soldiers. It was a tremendous leap. He easily passed over the heads of the men on Veloxes.


"Cavalry, charge!"

 

"All platoons, prepare offensive magic!"


The cavalry charged toward Edulis. Kurzina summoned a lightning spear, which flew over the heads of the cavalry and toward Edulis. 


BANG!


The ground caved in with a thunderous crash, but Edulis stood a foot away. His feet were faster than Velox's. Neither the javelin nor the magic touched him. 


"Get lost." Edulis stomped on the ground with all his might, and a jagged rock rose from the ground. 


Heeeeeee- The Velox stopped dead in their tracks in surprise, and several soldiers rolled off of them. Raghad clicked his tongue and thought to himself.


'Two hundred of the elite soldiers of House Fey can't even bind his feet?


Raghad's forehead wrinkled. "Methena honored you as a friend and a teacher. She saw you as a guiding light, a gift from Lutea. How could you betray her like that?"


Anger burned hot in Raghad's chest. At that moment, the figure of Edulis, running ahead of him, staggered. It was only for a moment, but Raghad didn't miss it. Raghad rolled on his feet, using the Velox's head and the rocks jutting from the ground as footholds. Red magic wrapped around his sword. 


The heat from Raghad's sword made the air crackle. He slashed vertically through the air, and searing flames shot forward, threatening to engulf Edulis. 

 

"I’ve hit him!”


The moment he thought that Edulis's body leaped through the air like a dandelion seed in the wind, landing far away. 


"No... again!"


Raghad was about to shoot a blast of energy forward once more. 


“Raghad stop! Fall back!" Kurzina shouted. 


"Kurzina, are you going to let him get away with this?"

 

"No! The tide is rising! At this rate, all our troops will be swallowed by the sea!"


Only then did Raghad look down at his feet. The rising waters had cut the road in half. 


In the southern Gudea, the Agade area at the southernmost tip of the continent consists of 17 islands. Each island has a very complex coastline and uneven terrain, so there is a set time when travel between islands is possible.


The place where Edulis had escaped to would be submerged for the next half day.


"He’s a fearsome one. If we hadn't noticed, we could have all been drowned."

 

Raghad looked in the direction of Edulis's disappearance in frustration. 


Kurzina reorganized her troops and returned to the pile of children's bodies. When she returned, she examined each body, carefully wrapping them in cloth. As she searched for a body to match the severed head, what remained of her will to trust Edulis scattered like dust.


No matter how many times she examined the child's body, there was no sign of the witch anywhere. There was no legitimate reason to kill the child.


When Kurzina went back to the village with the children's bodies, the entire village sank to the ground and wept. 


"Oh my...! Yes, this is my child! Oh, who did such a terrible thing to my child?"


"I'm sorry, my child. I wanted to give you love like the sun and the moon, but your star-like life was cut short by evil."


"Why did they die? Why did they die? Ah!"


At the sight of the scene, Kurzina's conversation with Edulis flashed through her mind. 


"Edulis, what were you thinking when you spoke of forgiveness, when you spoke of love, when you spoke of miracles, when you spoke of weeping and laughing with others, what were you thinking inside, were you laughing at us, were you laughing at me?” Kurzina felt the tears rolling down her cheeks. It was hot as if they would burn.


'I thought you were a light like the moon, but it was you, the darkness that swallowed the moon. I thought you were a hand leading the lost to the light, but it was a cliff waiting where you led. What you showed me was not a miracle, but an illusion. My father was right, you are not a saint.......'


"Kurzina, are you okay?"


Kurzina nodded at Raghad's question. Then she shouted. "Raghad, please select ten men from the cavalry who are particularly quick on their feet and call them forward."


Kurzina's voice was stronger than ever. Raghad complied without a word. 


She summoned the men he had selected and said. 


"You all have clearly seen the deeds of Edulis. First, what he did is against the kingdom's law, and second, it's against the teachings of Goddess Lutea. We must capture and execute him. However, his schemes are cunning and his movements quick, so our family's troops alone are not enough. I intend to ask for the cooperation of the nobles, so go now to the places I tell you and convey my words."


When they had gone their separate ways, Kurzina said to the remaining soldiers. 


"I was foolish enough to put my trust in the murderer, and could not easily abandon it. It is not because of your lack of valor that you have missed him today, but because I, the deputy head, hesitated. I take responsibility for this and resign my position as the commander, leaving all authority to my cousin Raghad, who will pursue him alone."


Then she turned to leave. Raghad grabbed Kurzina by the sleeve.


"Zina?! What the hell...."


Kurzina chewed her lip and said. "Until I see Edulis dead, I will not return home.”


***

 

"Edulis, are you really going to turn Kurzina into an enemy?"


Aruru shouted from on top of Murjana's shoulder. 


"Edulis, isn't your goal to collect the shards of the Goddess? I don't know why you would make such a judgment! The rats say that Kurzina has begun gathering troops to come after you.... If you let this happen, you'll be facing not only the witch's forces but also the nobility's! It's going to be difficult to put the shards together!"

Murjana, running alongside Edulis, saw his face dripping with cold sweat. She was worried about him. He vehemently denied it, but it was clear that something was wrong. Blackened eyes, unnatural gait, ragged breathing.


"Edulis, it's not too late! I'll go to Kurzina and tell her...."

 

"Don't be silly, Aruru."

 

"That's strange, Edulis. Are you really the Edulis I knew? Why are you getting more and more...."

 

"Shut up."

 

"Hmmph! Do as you like!"


Aruru was offended and slipped into Murjana's arms.


Watching Edulis, Murjana's stomach churned as if her stomach was filled with prickly chestnuts. It was as if Edulis was cornering himself.


"Edulis."

 

"No."


Edulis replied, not even listening to Murjana's words. Undeterred, Murjana continued. 


"I will kill the children on the next island."

 

"I said no."

 

"Edulis, you told me that I am your sword. Why do you not wield it?"

 

"It is my decision."


Murjana ran side by side with Edulis, but she felt he was far from her. It was as if Edulis was alone, walking precariously along the cliff, leaving her behind. 

 

Murjana knew that Edulis intended to walk that path alone, rejecting her company.


As soon as they reached the next island, Murjana ran. To be with Edulis, she ran away from him. Sword drawn, she turned toward the innocent-faced children.


But it was only for a moment. 


With a thud, Murjana's vision flickered. 


"Move only according to my will, Murjana."


When Murjana opened her eyes, all of the children's innocent faces were separated from their bodies.







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