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In a World without God Chapter 67

Chapter 67

 

It's a miracle. It’s a blessing. As expected, Lutea is watching over them. They roasted animal meat, poured liquor made from fermented tree fruit, and feasted. The beggars dwelling in the imperial family's tomb danced without knowing why. Whatever it is, it must be some good news...

 

"Look, Methena. We're not what we used to be. We're not weak anymore. We won’t be deceived by anyone,”  As Enri spoke, Methena's eyes scanned Enri from head to toe. Frowning and narrowing her eyes, she spoke in a low voice.

 

"Enri. You used to be happier than you are now, and now you look very anxious and... sad."

 

"I can't help it. We had to become like this." Enri bowed his head, his voice tinged with coldness. 


"We must defeat Edulis. He has deceived us, slaughtered people, and even killed you, Methena.”

 

Methena shook her head. "Enri, that's not what Lutea wants. Lutea wants you to be happy. She wants you to live your lives without hate or resentment."

 

"You mean we should just let Edulis run around the world killing people?"


“Haven’t you thought there might be a reason? Was the Edulis you know someone who massacred people without any reason? Can't you think more calmly?”


“But Edulis killed you...”


Methena put a hand on Enri's shoulder. "Enri, look at me. I'm alive, so wipe the hatred from your eyes. Use that strength to be happy. Look, we're freer than we've ever been."


Just then, Aruru scuttled out of Methena's arms and perched on her shoulder, bouncing up and down.

 

"Methena is right! Edulis didn't slaughter people indiscriminately! Everyone he killed had their souls twisted by the witch! The children he killed weren't even human!"

 

Hearing this, the faces of those around, including Enri and the descendants of Ygraine, hardened.

 

"Aruru... is that true?"

 

"Yes! I thought he was crazy at first, too, but he wasn't, because I saw them in the form of children, teaching people to curse!"

 

Enri swallowed hard. He had thought there might be a reason for Edulis's actions. But after seeing Metena die, he abandoned that thought. They decided that their beliefs were wrong and that Edulis, the reincarnation of Bosha, was an evil man who saw human life as a toy. They accepted all the information about his evil deeds.

 

But what if that wasn't the case? What if every murder he committed was for a reason? What if it was for Luthea's sake? The act of attacking him while blaming him...

 

"Then, why did Edulis kill Methena?"

 

The descendants of Ygraine all fell silent, staring at Aruru's small mouth, waiting for the words to come out of it.

 

“I don’t know! I didn’t see the scene directly! But it seemed like Edulis was trying to fight someone alone. Maybe there was a reason?”

 

 Enri asked, looking at Methena. "Do you have any idea why?"

 

"I don't know. But I also think there must be a reason,"

 

Enri felt a lump in the pit of his stomach. What if there really was a reason? If Edulis wasn't evil, if he was fighting this battle alone, then they'd.......

 

It was then.

 

"Bullshit, rat," Raghad said. His eyes were bloodshot from months of poor sleep and his voice was raspy.

 

"Can't you see through your tiny rat eyes what kind of person Methena is? He had a reason for killing Methena?"

 

"What?! Rat eyes? Are you done talking?! Here's what I think! The truth is that the witch killed Methena for...."

 

"Shut up. Edulis killed my cousin, Kurzina, too. Are you going to tell me there was a reason for that too?"

 

"Of course there was!"

 

"The last time I saw her, there wasn't even a shadow of a witch there. While I was here to deliver supplies, Kurzina gave different orders to our family members, scattering them and leaving her alone."

 

Red magick flared. Raghad seemed like a wick in a candle.

 

"For some reason, Kurzina believed that Edulis was innocent, and she was imprisoned for making that claim, and Edulis murdered her while she was imprisoned. Is there a reason for that? What reason could possibly excuse such an act?"

 

"Raghad, you are stubborn! Your vision is narrow! You are so consumed with hatred that you cannot see anything else!"

 

Raghad drew his sword.

 

"No, Raghad." Methena tried to stop him, but he wouldn't listen.

 

"You're right, I can't see anything. Edulis made me this way!"

 

"Raghad, are you going to kill me?! Really?!" Aruru shouted. "Have you forgotten what I've done for you?"

 

Raghad did not sheathe his sword. Aruru thought. Raghad must be crazy, but there were many other children here, including the descendants of Ygraine. How hard has he worked for them? He's been their eyes and ears....

 

Aruru looked around. Thinking everyone would stop Lagarde. But...."You guys, why...!"

 

Everyone was looking at Aruru. They just stared. As if they were watching the death of a cow or a chicken. 

 

"You all... you want me to die?!"

 

No one moved. Aruru didn't understand the situation. Why? What have I done wrong? I'm here to tell the world the truth, to drive out the witch's power....

 

Then, Enri made a move. He took a step toward Raghad and drew his sword.

 

"Aruru hasn't done anything wrong, he's just misinformed.”

 

"Do not interfere."

 

Raghad's flaming sword tried to slice through the air. 


Enri could have easily blocked it. His strength had long since surpassed Raghad's. He tightened his grip on the sword and his blade flew out to deflect Raghad's sword, but...

 

It was only a moment. In the brief span it takes a bird to flap its wings once, Enri hesitated and stopped his sword. Aruru saw it clearly. Enri stopped his sword.

 

"En...ri?"

 

Why? Why did he stop his sword? Enri was his closest friend...

 

That question was Aruru's last thought.

 

Ragard’s sword brushed Metena’s shoulder. Aruru’s body was split in half. The blood that flowed soaked Metena’s clothes.

With a thud, Aruru’s body rolled on the ground like trash. Ragard wiped his sword on Metena’s shoulder, saying,


“Sorry, Metena. I dirtied your clothes.”


 Methena's silver eyes fluttered open.

 

“Raghad...it doesn’t matter if my clothes become rags. But this shouldn’t have happened. Even if Edulis is a murderer, Aruru was our friend. Why...”


“I’m sorry, Metena. But it had to be this way. No one in this world can justify your death, Kurzina’s death. I can’t allow that.”


Metena's tears fell drop by drop to the ground. She knelt on the ground, dug into the earth with her bare hands, and buried Aruru's body.


Enri looked down at Aruru's grave, his head bowed.


Why... did I... stop my sword...


In truth, he knew the reason. He didn't want to hear Aruru speak. He wished someone would silence him.


No, that shouldn't have been. Aruru shouldn’t have been left to die.


The day after Aruru's death, they came to the royal tomb. 


*** 

The woman's black hair was short, barely reaching her neck. The man wore a robe in reverse, and his head was not human. The descendants of Egrain raised their swords and surrounded them. The oldest among them spoke.

 

"Non-humans, are you servants of the witch?"

 

"What?! How dare you call us the servants of a witch?"


"Laotou, don't get irritated. Have you forgotten why we are here?"


The woman was silenced by the wolf-headed man's words. The wolf-headed man turned to the people and said.

 

"Please listen, everyone. We are the ones who were born from the first drop of Lutea's blood, the ones who were once called the Apostles. I am Shamas, and this is Laotou. We have come here to seek Lutea's blessing, to feel her scent, and to follow her trail."

 

The people murmured.

 

"Laotou? If it's Laotou, then it's that statue in the temple memorial hall...."

 

"But it looks nothing like the statue...."

 

"No. Didn't they say the history was fake?"

 

Then the oldest one said.

 

“Show us proof."

 

Then Laotou raised her axe spear. Magick, as white as cotton, enveloped the spear, and everyone could see that it was not an aura that could be generated by a human or a witch's minion. There could be no clearer proof. The people looked into each other's eyes and said.

 

"Ah, the day has come when we will see the great apostles in person! It is true that Lutea has blessed us! Thank you, thank you for returning our loved ones to us!"

 

Laotou and Shamas exchanged a glance. Then Shamas spoke again.

 

"Yes, indeed. Since someone blessed by Lady Lutea is present here, we must rightfully protect them. From what I see, it must be…."

 

Shamas looked around at the gathered group and said. "This must be her." Shamas walked over to Methena and took her hand.

 

"Glorious one. You who have returned to convey the will of Goddess Lutea. We have come to protect you from the clutches of the wicked witch."


Metena smiled faintly and said,


"That is too much for me."

 

Just then, Laotou muttered in a small voice.

 

"Wait. What is that smell?" Her face contorted for a moment. "Why... does it smell like Aruru's blood...."

 

 ***

 

The night deepened. Behind the ruins, where the sound of crickets echoed, stood three figures: a girl with silver hair, a woman with short black hair, and a man with a wolf head.

 

"How did you find this place?" Methena narrowed her eyes and twisted her lips. "Apostle Laotou is not the sharpest tool in the shed, and Apostle Shamas has a rigid way of thinking...this must have been anticipated by Edulis."

 

"What, who says I’m not the sharpest tool?"


Laotou swung her black axe spear wildly and a whirlwind erupted from the blade. Methena dissolved like water, then reappeared five paces away.

 

"I admit it, Leaf. We did not know your destination. But Edulis understood your devious intentions. I do not know what you intended to do to the children, but you are finished here."

 

Shamas swung his mace. The reappearing Methena, or rather, Leaf imitating Methena, scrambled out of the way but was unable to fully dodge the mace.

 

"Ouch!" Red blood dripped from Leaf's shoulder.

 

"You killed Aruru, didn't you? The likes of you shouldn't be in this world. Perish forever with Granadilla!"

 

The moment Laotou swung her axe spear again, a white magic circle appeared on the ground. From the magic circle, a swarm of light like fireflies emerged and soared up, sticking to Laotou's axe spear and Shamas's mace, rendering them immobile.

 

"This is... who the hell are you...."


"Why would I do such a thing? What's the fun in killing rats?"

 

"Pfft...."

 

Laotou shook off the cluster of lights with a mighty shove. She then slammed Shamas's mace down, sending them crashing to the ground. At that moment, a black circle of magic appeared out of thin air and black spears rained down from it.

 

Shamash flapped his black wings and dodged the spears. Laotou used her axe spear to create a gust of wind that knocked the spears away.

 

Shamas thought to himself. 'I may be weakened, but Lautu has regained her full strength. How is it possible that a witch's minions can overwhelm us both at the same time?

 

After unleashing the black spear, Leaf attempted to flee, but Shamas stopped her, casting a spell. Huge spikes protruded from the earth, blocking Leaf's path.


Shamas said. "What are you, and how can you use our magic and the witch's magic at the same time?"


"Would talking about that be fun?"

 

Blood dripped from Leaf's knees. Laotou thought she must kill Leaf here. She can't let an unknown opponent live, especially one who can outmaneuver two apostles.

 

The odds were never in Leaf’s favor, but there was a strange ease in her tone. "I don't think this is the time for you to be concerned with me."

 

Ignoring the words, Laotou and Shamas charged at Leaf, but at that very moment...

 

"Ugh...." Laotou groaned, her face turning pale. "The heart of the goddess is under attack, isn't it?"

 

Leaf chuckled. "It's Akale, she recently swallowed three corrupted shards of the goddess, which made her much stronger. I think she could probably take on seven Apostles by herself...."

 

Laotou's shadow stirred. It sounded like someone was hitting it with a hammer. Her shadow was connected to the Forest of Spiders where they hid the heart of the goddess.

 

"How did Akale find that place?

 

Standing still in front of the two apostles, Leaf said,


"Shouldn't you be going there? Whatever I'm doing with the children, it's not as important as the heart of the goddess, right? Honestly, I'm not particularly interested in that, and I don't want to fight. You should hurry, shouldn't you?"






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