“Hey, he’s waking up! Brother, look, look!”
Yet again, I woke up with my arm outstretched and facing the ceiling.
Just how many times am I going to end up in this sort of scenario..? This is really pathetic of me.
“Where…am I?” (Gideon)
Judging by the light shining through the window…it’s probably afternoon already.
I looked around as Felice and Klein stood up from their seats and walks over. This area looks especially familiar to me. Oh, wait. These decorations and that out-of-place curtain that drapes the wall…ah, I’m back in Papyrus Town already?
“You’re now at Papyrus Town, in the Bear Hut.” (Felice)
I knew it, only this place has these kinds of weird decorations. At least, I would have expected Kraden to take them down by now, seeing I left for so many days already.
Wait…I’m back in Papyrus Town?
“How’s that possible? We were at Cavefall Ruins, located at Abyss Mountain, which is a three days trip from Papyrus Town! It can’t be possible that I slept for three days and nights?” (Gideon)
“Well, not exactly. There aren’t many monsters left in the dungeon after Del’thrush massacre through the lot of them, so we got you guys out within a few hours. Klein carried the both of you, while I enhanced our running speed to the maximum.” (Felice)
“You have no idea how much effort we took to bring you both out of the dungeon, to the nearest port AND find someone to treat you.” (Klein)
“Then, a one-armed woman with a rapier walked over and recognized the both of you. She brought us back here to Papyrus Town with a high-speed transport ship while getting personnel for emergency treatment. If not for her, we wouldn’t know that you have a room in this inn!” (Felice)
A one-armed woman, huh? I wonder who that can be…
“In total, we have to babysit the both of you for nearly two days already, all the way from the dungeon until right now. You better give us some good thanks, boy!” (Klein)
“I see…Thank you, Felice.” (Gideon)
“Ah, no Gideon, it’s alright, I’m only too happy to help the [Golden Rookie]!” (Felice)
“Hey brat, what about me; I did most of the physical hard work?!” (Klein)
I ignored the short bearded pervert while he’s being restrained by his sister as he tries to lunge at me angrily.
“Hey, do you both know where Crystal is?” (Gideon)
“She’s fine, but she’s still unconscious. We got her another room, since this one only has one single bed.” (Felice)
“Ah…I see.” (Gideon)
I breathed out a huge sigh of relief. Thank goodness…thank goodness she’s still alive. Yet…I can’t really feel happy about it.
“I’m sorry, but…I’ll need some time alone for a while, to sort things out. Could you two give me some time to myself?” (Gideon)
“Alright then, I’ve left some bread and soup on the table. If you’re hungry after that-” (Felice)
“IF he’s hungry after that, he can get his own food which is just a staircase away! Come on now let’s go Felice, leave this guy by himself; we’ll go take care of the [Hero] in the next room.” (Klein)
“Eh?! Hey now, don’t pull me away! G-Gideonnnn-!” (Felice)
Witnessing the sight of a slightly pissed off brother pulling away his crying sister; whilst her hand stretched out towards my direction is actually pretty amusing.
My stomach growled, after I was aware of the existence of the thick wild mushroom soup, accompanied with both soft and crispy bread-sticks. I got out of the bed, and sat down on the chair and started eating.
Having not eaten for two days, I gobble up the food at record timing. The food is still as delicious, as usual, though I’m hungry for something meaty. Well, that can wait.
(What’s wrong, master? Knowing you, I thought the first thing you’ll do is to rush over to find Crystal, and truly check for yourself if she’s alright or something.)
“I really, really want to do that, Eva. But first, I have a lot of questions to ask. And I believe you have the answer.” (Gideon)
(Seems like my master is maturing as an individual, to search for answers first rather than being all chummy with that [Hero] at first opportunity. So…what do you want to know? Whatever I can answer, I shall.)
“Alright then; explain to me how did you manage to counter my curse like this, and successfully healing Crystal? I understand that I used up approximately half my lifespan for that, but I doubt that it is the entire reason.” (Gideon)
(And what makes you think so?) (Eva)
“Well, this curse of mine…it is supposed to strike at my most loved ones, or those I care about, isn’t it? If that’s the case, Crystal, she was meant to die there and then. However, with your help I managed to save her life. So tell me, how did you do such a feat? Is it possible for you to completely eliminate my curse?” (Gideon)
After all, Eva is the [Orb of Desire]. If she can save someone who is meant to die, then perhaps she can rid me of the troubling curse!
(Ah, I see where this is going. This is going to take some explaining, so it will take some time.)
“Don’t worry; we have a lot of time right now.”
(How should I begin…for starters, do you know what fatalism means?)
I shook my head.
(I doubt you did. Anyway, fatalism is the idea where the future is already pre-determined, guided by a one true god. That is the truth of the world.)
“Wait…what? The future has already been pre-determined? How is that possible?”
(And how is it not possible? I’m not talking about small, minor decision in life that you do, such as what you eat for lunch, or if you take a quest today or not. Those are merely the illusion of choice. No, I’m talking about major events, such as a volcanic eruption, the decisions of an important person, or even the eventual fate of the world.)
This…conversation suddenly got a lot larger than I had expected.
“Wait…for argument’s sake, what if I can determine what would happen, and do all I can to stop it? Wouldn’t that make the idea of fatalism wrong?” (Gideon)
(And pray tell, how would you know what will happen next?)
I was stumped. Eva’s right, how would I know what will happen next? And besides, guided by a one true god? Does this mean…Kpsid is behind all this?
(To put it in a way…let me give you an example. Of course, you know the [Invincible Sword God], Alexis?) (Eva)
“Well, of course! As a member of the [Six Pillar], at least previously, basic knowledge of the enemy is needed.” (Gideon)
(What if I tell you that he didn’t die, simply because it isn’t his time to die yet?) (Eva)
“I would say I can hardly believe that to be true.” (Gideon)
(And also, it wouldn’t have mattered if anyone else is a [Hero] or not, anyone could have taken over his place, be it a young teen wielding two swords; a young boy with superhuman strength; or even another half-monster being. That is simply the illusion of choice; only that there has to be a piece in that chessboard fate is playing with. In this case, there are three [Heroes], and [Six Pillars].)
This is totally insane. So, all this time we have had our actions all simply manipulated by Kpsid, one way or another?
I guess, the instance I got a second life from him I have already fallen into a ploy where I will be acting beneficial to him, but I didn’t know that this “ploy” extends in such a large scale that I am merely just a single piece of the entire puzzle!
I gave a hollow laughter, and sighed. After hearing all that, that was the only thing I can possibly do.
(Was has all this have to do with your curse, you might want to know. Basically your curse, [Beloved’s Gift of Misfortune], is so strong that it can warp that very fate or destiny of any person!)
“Wait, wait…just, wait a moment. Are you suggesting that..?”
(Yes. By being with Crystal and affecting her with your curse, you changed her destiny. Well, almost. If I didn’t keep your curse in check, she would have definitely died in that cavern, even if you can somehow materialize the best healer in the whole continent.)
“How do you know that she wasn’t fated to die in that cavern in the first place? Perhaps, even without my intervention, she would have went into [Eclipse] Dungeon and died there.” (Gideon)
(I won’t know if she will head to the dungeons in the first place. However, I do know that no one will be able to heal her with her current fate, should she still be in the dungeon. I tried to heal her a little the first time you touched her. Unsurprisingly it didn’t work at all; it was as though the healing was being rejected. It was only until I suppressed your curse and tried to heal her again, stronger, that it had an effect.)
“If you put it that way…doesn’t it mean that…?”
(Yes, you got it. For the most part, your life-force was used to negate your curse on her. Only a small part of it was used to actually heal the [Hero], Crystal)
“So…does that mean my curse is no more?” (Gideon)
(Sigh…why do I have to explain every small little detail? It’s only temporarily negated, not completely removed. Besides, you aren’t the target for negation, Crystal is. So, your curse remains, but at least that [Hero] is out of immediate danger, both her life and her short-term fate I believe. Don’t bother asking how I did it, it would be complicated to explain it, and you won’t understand it anyway.)
“And how do you know that her eventual fate is not going to be met with trouble?” (Gideon)
(Well, she IS the [Hero]. Without your curse’s interference, [Heroes] have a strong fate and are supposed to live significantly longer. Otherwise, they won’t be [Heroes], will they?)
“I…suppose? To be honest, I wouldn’t know. How do you know so much, anyway?” (Gideon)
(Mostly conjecture, adding with the knowledge that I’m build in with. As a high level artefact, I naturally come with a lot of answers and truth regarding the world.) (Eva)
“I…I see. You are indeed one hell of an artefact, aren’t you?”
(Of course, I am a top-class artefact after all!) (Eva)
“Anyway, how much of the curse is actually negated? Will Crystal still be vulnerable to it?” (Gideon)
(Hmm, to use an analogy, it would be like piling up rocks to hold off a river flow. Any incoming surge of water could blow the suppression apart, and your sacrifice of half your lifespan would be in vain. After all, your curse is a strong one. If you continue to get close to her, your sacrifice will definitely be in vain, and she’ll somehow, one way or another, meet up with another fatal incident. And when that time comes, you can only stare at her while she slowly dies.)
I tried to not think of the mental image Eva described, as I took a deep sigh. I knew what Eva was trying to say fully.
“Basically, I shouldn’t get near Crystal again, if I want her to live, isn’t that right?” (Gideon)
(…Yes but unless you can be with her without actually loving her, otherwise you should stay away from her.)
“Wait so it’s okay to be with her? Then…it is fine, isn’t it? I just have to not love her, that’s all?” (Gideon)
I felt the tiniest spark of hope emerging. If I explained this whole situation to Crystal, maybe we can work things out. I mean, it’s just the love part only, right?
Okay, even I know I’m talking nonsense right now…
(Do you seriously think that you can hold yourself back, when you are already so foolishly deep in love? Get a hold of yourself, stupid master. Do you want to compromise her life again?)
“Eva, you didn’t have to put it in that way…” (Gideon)
She’s right. I mean, I don’t want to hurt her again…but I can’t stand the notion of just…leaving her, just like this.
“Maybe I’ll go speak to Crystal after she wakes up, and we’ll discuss it at length before making a decision.” (Gideon)
(But…fine. If that’s your wish, I’m willing to comply, master.)
“Thanks, Eva.” (Gideon)
(Hmph…! You better thank me more! Anyway, we digressed quite a bit…we were talking about how that curse of yours is so strong, it could warp the destiny of others, right?)
“Yeah, it still sounds unbelievable though.”
(I know, but after reading through your memories, and that of Crystal’s, I’ve gotten enough evidence to support my claim.)
“Wait, I thought you can only read my memories, isn’t it?”
(I have never said that. I need to be in contact with another person for a few seconds before I could read it. The longer the contact, the further I can read into their memories.)
“I see…well, so what’s the evidence?” (Gideon)
(Isn’t it strange that your curse is so powerful? To be able to warp one’s destiny…it must have been given by a person that must have been just as powerful, and that leaves only one possibly.)
“Ah, you mean that Ancient God Kpsid person? But he helped me, and even gave me new life.” (Gideon)
(BUT at the same time, he was the one who gave you that curse.)
“He did say that it was a price for my reincarnation, after all.” (Gideon)
(And you would believe him just like this? An Ancient God who could do the impossible, can’t he just have placed the curse on you, and at the same time revived you?)
I thought about what Eva said, and then thought back to what Kpsid previously said. He distinctively said that, he won’t remove the curse, but he never said he couldn’t. I was not in the best condition to think then, and things were rather hectic after that so I’ll really never gave much thought about it.
“Also, there was a mysterious voice guiding Crystal, when she is under influence of her demon blood. I believe that voice is actually the one true god himself, the one you call Kpsid.)
“Tsk…that guy, I didn’t think so much back then, but he truly is a creep if what you say is true, to manipulate both humans and demons in such a fashion.” (Gideon)
(So…yes, that probably sums up your question. You have a curse, purposely given to you from the one that calls himself the Ancient God Kpsid after reviving you, that’s so strong it can warp one’s destiny. Now I believe the question is…why? What role do you play in this plot of his?)
Author : Kiribou