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In a World without God Chapter 60

“Ugh…”


“Lady Kurzina!"


A window letting in plenty of sunlight, a cozy bed, a floor cleaned spotless, pajamas made from high-quality silk.


"Sir Raghad, Lady Kurzina has spat out her gruel again."

 

"What the hell is going on, Zina? It's been three days already, you need to swallow at least a spoonful."


A servant was spoon-feeding barley gruel to Kurzina. The vassals were most concerned about whether or not Kurgina had eaten. Raghad was alternately looking at the vomit, then Kurzina with a sad expression. 

 

"What did the doctor say? What’s the problem?"

 

"It's... psychogenic anorexia...."

 

"You mean it's not because of the curse? Damn it, find another healer, and a doctor too!"


Kurzina looked at her possessions. She thought about the things she had been enjoying, and then she felt sick. She thought of Edulis and all the things he should have enjoyed but didn’t, and all the pain he had suffered.

 

Getting his hands dirty with unwanted blood, bearing the witch's curse alone, being accused by people who didn't even know what he was doing, pointing fingers and....


"Ah... ahh...."

 

"What's wrong with you, Kurzina... I wish you could say something...."


She felt sick to her stomach. She felt like she was going to spit out her guts if she opened her mouth. Yes, she wish she could just spit out her guts and die. 


She should have been by his side. She should have borne the blood with him. If the whole world blamed him, she should have been the one to defend him. If she couldn't do that, she should have shared the blame with him. She should have shared the pain and told him:


"It’s okay. I believe in you."


When she prayed to Lutea, she always dreamed of being in that position. But when she should have been there, Kurjina couldn’t do it. She couldn’t continue her faith. She sided with those who blamed him, those who caused him pain, and stabbed him in the heart for the sake of others. Now she lies in a cozy room, being nursed back to health.


"Ugh....."


 - Zina, your mother is not leaving your side. When you clasp your hands together toward Lutea, remember that I am the light that hovers by your side.


‘Did my mother see what I did? Does she know the consequences of what I have done? Ah... my mother trusted Lutea, and I plunged a spear into her....'


"You must take heart, Zina, you are a hero, and all the people of the realm, including Vaidor, want you to rise."


Kurzina looked into Raghad's face. Raghad saw the same thing as Kurzina, but why didn't he realize it? Because hatred blinded him. Upon discovering Methena's body, Raghad fell to the ground and broke down. 


- Edulris, I regret that I couldn't kill him with my own hands


The descendants of Ygraine, including Enri, were blinded by anger. Kurzina was grateful to them. For killing Edulis, the enemy of Methena.


"I think it would be best for you to get some rest, and I'll use a sleep spell to put you to sleep for now."


Hearing those words, Kurzina closed her eyes. Then she opened them after the others had left. Wrapped around her arm was a charm— the hair of the Seven Sages, that Edulis had left her. The sleep spell didn't work. 


Kurzina tied a rope to the window sill, then tucked a chair under it. Outside the window, she could see the square. The square where Lutea's image had appeared and defeated Tibea. 


She couldn't bear it. She couldn't stand the fact that she was alive in a world without Lutea and Edulis, but with the witch and herself. There was no more hope in this world.


‘How dare I live in this world after kicking away Lutea's hand and extinguishing her lamp?’


Kurzina stood up from the chair. She made a noose of rope and put it around her neck. Tears streamed down her cheeks. Her stomach refluxed, leaving a sour taste in her mouth.


‘I'm sorry. I've made a terrible mistake. To the whole world, to everyone…’


Just as Kurjina was about to kick the chair away.


"There it is again, the cursing corpse!" 


Someone shouted, running down the hall. 


"Please be quiet, Lady Kurzina is sleeping!"


"But... Lady Kurzina must see this...."

 

"Don't you know what condition Lady Kurzina is in right now?"


Hearing that voice, Kurzina stopped. 



***

 

"Raise the drawbridge, now!" a soldier shouted. Murjana saw the scene and thought of Edulis. 


 - Murjana, you're only cutting people for me. It's not your will, it's not your feelings. 


With those words, Edulis had stopped Murjana from stepping forward. He could sense from her attitude that Muryana was reluctant to kill people. After all, it was Edulris alone who had killed the children and the soldiers."


 - Just as this sword I hold does not hate anything, neither should you. Do you understand?


She couldn't. There was nothing in this world that Muryana didn't hate right now. 


"Hero! Please save my wife. The lord has given my wife to...."


A man shouted. Murjana wanted to kill him, too. 


‘You speak of heroes too casually.’


The public quickly changes its attitude when it suits its interests. The same people who called Edulis a hero are now calling him a demon.


"Miss, save my mom."


Murjana hated the child, too. 


‘Save her? The Edulis who fought for you is dead.


Leaf said. "Don't hold it in, Murjana, you can do what you want."


Black energy pulsed from the butterfly tattoo on Murjana's cheek. The wings of the tattoo spread out around it as if taking root in her cheek. Murjana clenched her fists.


"I can’t."

 

"Why not?"

 

"Because it is not what Edulis would have wanted."


With that, Murjana stomped on the ground, a vision of Edulis before her eyes. In Lunia, Murjana could not follow Edulis. Edulis told Murjana to protect the children, then ran into the castle alone. 


"The drawbridge!"


Like a flying saw blade, Murjana sliced through the air toward the gates. Shrouded in black magic, her curved sword sliced the drawbridge in half. 


"What are you—"


The soldier guarding the gate was speechless. Murjana's body whirled, and five bodies were sliced in half and rolled across the floor. 


"That... that aura...!"

 

"Aren't you one of our allies, then why are you...."


The blood-soaked heads of the soldiers rolled on the ground. It was like a strawberry harvest. Murjana's steps were as light as the flutter of a butterfly's wings, while her blade was as swift as the flight of a frigate bird. 


"Stop that disgusting noise,"


Murjana remembered the look on Edulis' face after the assault on Lunia Castle. Without shaking off the blood that covered his clothes, Edulis looked towards Armilo's tomb. Murjana realized then, that perhaps Edulis never wanted to kill anyone.


"Die."


What if she'd had this much power back then? If she could have preempted Edulis, taken on the tasks he was supposed to do. If she had the power to break the barrier Edulis had created in Rekabi. If she had the power to defeat Bashme. Then Edulis wouldn't have had to die.


"Wait... wait!" The lord spoke. The lord was not human: he had eight arms and eight legs, and instead of a beard, he had long, slender tentacles. 


"Lady Leaf, are you the one who broke the hypnosis of the villagers? How...."


Murjana looked behind her. When had she followed her? Leaf was standing less than two feet away from her. She didn't answer the question.


"If I swallow his heart, will I become stronger?"

 

"What??" the lord exclaimed. 


"He's a worm, and eating him would only make you sick," Leaf answered Murjana. 

 

"Lady Leaf, what the hell are you...."


The castle lord's head dropped. There was no longer anyone alive in the castle. 


 Muryana didn't stop moving. She ran through the back gate of the castle, crossing the city.


Two more villages to Baidor. It wouldn't take even half a day by Murjana’s pace.



 *** 


"She has conquered two castles and a fortress, I hear. The fortress was so obliterated it needs to be rebuilt from the foundations..."


Kurzina sat back in her chair in her office and listened to the report. 


"It's full of strange points. We've received petitions, and the stories are completely different. Some say she saved their families from a wicked lord, while others say she brutally killed their family members who were loyal soldiers of Astania."


Kurzina remembered what Edulis had done. The reports coming in now are no different than back then. Then it was clear who caused this. There was only one person who could.


"Lady Kurzina, are you all right?"

 

"Yes, I'm fine."


There is no hope in this world. Kurzina has destroyed it with her own hands, but the people still have to live under the witch's rule. Some even find happiness in it.

 

Kurzina is the head of the household and the lord, and she has a responsibility to fulfill. After doing so, she can already die. 


Kurzina killed 17 Wendigos who were hiding as children. Then she adjusted tax rates, reorganized the system, and drew up a business plan for the coming year, which she handed over to Raghad. 


That's it. That's it.


"I want you to tell everyone in the Fey family manor what I'm about to tell you. As soon as possible."


 Kurzina scribbled something on a piece of paper, and the vassal took it in.


"Really? Are you sure you want to...?"

 

"We're running out of time, move!"


 ***  


With each step Murjana took, a puff of black smoke rose, which turned into a black butterfly that flew through the air for a while before evaporating. As the black butterfly flew, the ground dried up and cracked, and the grass and trees withered and fell. 


Thud, thud, thud. 


Murjana did not run. She steadied her breathing with each step. If she didn't, she would become something she wasn't. 


"Murjana, do you realize how gorgeous you look right now?" Leaf said. 


Murjana did not answer. In the distance, she could see the gates of the Fey family. Edulis had broken it before. He said he was crucified for breaking it, but they've rebuilt it even though Edulis said he didn’t like it. 

 

Humans always do this. They undo what Edulis had achieved. 

 

"I have an interesting idea, how about this? After we kill Kurzina, we devour the hearts of Lucretta, Ambrosia, and Lord Akale."

 

Murjana raised her sword, and a black aura engulfed the gate. The gates of House Fey, twenty paces from where Muryana stood, crumbled to dust. 


"Then... maybe... we can defeat Lord Granadilla. What would happen if we swallowed Lord Granadilla’s heart?"


With Leaf's words out of earshot, Murjana entered the Fey household. There was no sign of life. The Fey estate was empty. Except for one person.


"Kurzina."


A girl with a staff walked up from the distance. 


***

Murjana approached. Kurjina took a deep breath and let it out. At this moment, they both wanted the same thing. 


Death. Kurzina's death. 


Kurzina saw Murjana approaching from a distance and thought she was like an angel. Or was it an angel of death? Either way, it was something she longed for.


Kurzina looked into Murjana's face. Ivory hair, the color of desert sand. Eyes the same bright color. 


A black butterfly tattoo smoldered on her scorched cheek. 


"Ugh...."

 

Kurjina felt her chest tighten. Curses and poison radiated from Murjana's body. 


The pillars of the building on the manor grounds crumbled. And the marbles cracked. 


"Ugh...."


Murjana stood wordlessly, staring at Kurzina, until Kurzina could stand no longer. 


Her knees shook, then her legs gave out and she sank to the ground. Blood trickled from her eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. She could feel the pain in every part of her body, like someone was hitting her with a hammer. The pain felt like a blessing.


"Lady…Mur...jana..."


Pain, excruciating pain. 

This was what Kurzina had wanted. She killed Edulis and had taken hope from this world. Was a comfortable death acceptable? Kurzina deserved to writhe in the pits of hell. She deserved to suffer more. But....


"How dare you... how dare you...."

 

"Shut up." As Murjana spoke, sticky blood poured from Kurjina's ears. 


Kurzina knew. She had no right to speak to her. Murjana trusted Edulis to the end, and Kurzina did not. Kurzina had ruined what Murjana believed in.


"That woman…Leaf…"

 

"I told you to shut up."

 

With a whoosh, Murjana's energy snapped the pillars holding up the building. The roof collapsed, and the ground cracked. Kurzina's arm burned black. In burning pain, she dropped her staff. 


But it wasn't the pain that hurt her; more than anything, it was the realization that she had created what was in front of her, and that behind her, Leaf's laughter was as ominous as ever.


It's not right. This must not happen. Kurzina glared at Leaf, thinking. If Edulis were here, no, even the thought of comparing herself to him was brazen and repulsive. But if Edulis, with a saint's heart, dreaming of Lutea's world, were here, wouldn't he want Murjana to be happy?

Perhaps, no one but her at this moment could convey this thought. With this idea, Kurzina opened her mouth, trembling with self-loathing, and managed to speak.


"Lady Murjana... if Edu... lis... sees you with Leaf..."


It felt sinful to even say the name. As she spoke, she wondered if she was tarnishing his name. The thought that she must say this before dying, that no one else but her could say these words, wasn't that also arrogance?

 

But seeing Leaf’s smile, seeing the look in Murjana's eyes, Kurjina spoke anyway.


"How can you dare to utter that name?" With that, Murjana swung her sword towards Kurzina.








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