! ! ! Attention Please ! ! !
This volume (Volume 19: Followers and Objectors) will be pertaining to the protagonists and his allies’ 『Defeat』, 『Difficult Battles』 and 『Hardships』, it contains stressful content. If you do not wish to read such a story, it is recommended that you resume the story from Volume 20 after this. For details, please see the activity report on Feb 13, 2021.
TL Notes: Volume 19 is currently still ongoing, with the latest at chapter 286 and updating. Thanks for following the series thus far 🙂
A grim atmosphere surrounded the darkness. The silence of the night filled the room that has backless long benches.
It wouldn’t be so strange if there isn’t anyone there. However, in the room, there were several human-sized shadows sitting on the long bench silently.
A total of twelve people looking in their late tens. Strangely, all twelve of them were like split image of each other.
The black hair that was overgrown and hardened with bodily oils, the lethargic and hollow black eyes were vaguely focusing at a point in empty space.
He is also one of them. But of course, the fact that he himself looking exactly like the others is something he couldn’t have known in a room without mirrors.
In his eyes, the other young men were all there only for the sake of it, probably not much different from the bench he was sitting on.
He didn’t know who he was, nor why he was there. The thought of that didn’t even come up. The life of only being there continued.
Occasionally, there are changes too. Several of the surrounding young men would get taken away, and return at some point. An insignificant event.
With nothing more than the occasional events, a feeling of having spent a long time like that enveloped him today as well.
One day like that, one young man beside him suddenly muttered.
「A four-legged beast, it ate my legs. Then my arms too……. It was so painful. 」
A first-time event. However, despite something strange like that happened, the young men didn’t respond a single bit. Everyone was not interested.
It was only him who was slightly intrigued. He moved his head for the first time in a while. The young man who muttered was acting natural 『Recalling』 something, but for him, it was an action he felt like he hadn’t seen for a long time.
Come to think of it, I died in various ways too. He thought. Stabbed to death with a sword, limbs were crushed, he was given some strange medicine…….
He died every time. The memories continued after his death, and death visits again soon.
However, for the young men, they didn’t have the intelligence to realize that it is something strange.
It wasn’t anything worth getting happy over, nor was it interesting at all. It was just an insignificant afterthought.
Still, the young man beside him continued to mutter.
「My legs……they were eaten……. Huh? But I have them now. 」
While saying so in a confused tone, the young man looked down at his own legs.
「Were they not eaten? No, I’m sure……. But why……, my legs are still here? 」
Something like emotions are starting to show from the young man’s words. However, there was still no one responding to the young man.
「How dare they eat my legs like that……. Eh? Did they? Then why is my legs? Dead? But alive? No, I’m dead for sure? 」
Gradually, heat started appearing in the young man’s voice. His voice became louder and louder, and then he stood up, starting to hug his own head and scream.
「There’s no way. I died. Then who am I? Why am I here! Am I not myself!? No! I must be dead! I was eaten! There’s no way I should be here!? 」
As for the fact that the young man’s voice reverberated in the room, it’s still nothing of concern to him.
Not even giving an eye to the screaming young man, he only stared at the wall. Right, where’s here again? While thinking about that, he tried to look for an answer within himself.
「No! I’m still alive! Because I died! I definitely died! It was so painful! It was so sad! I was so regretful! Return me! My legs! My arms! Stop! Don’t eat! Don’t eat them! They are mine! 」
There are no windows in the room. The only exit is the metal door, and the tiny metal sliding window on it is the only connection to the outside world.
The screams must’ve been heard through the window. The door was opened, and a few men entered the room. The men tried to suppress the screaming young man at first but, eventually, they sighed and gave up.
「This guy’s a goner, too deteriorated. It’s going to the disposal. 」
While saying so, the men pinned the young man on the wall and restrained him.
The men that faced the young man put their hand over the young man’s head, and then the next moment, a ring-like light appeared from his head and moved to his chest.
Unknown as to how it happened, the young man that had his light taken out started bleeding from his ears and nose.
The noisy young man lost his energy and collapsed on the ground, becoming wordless remains. Despite witnessing the ruckus, there was not a single response from the other young men sitting on the bench.
「Clean it thoroughly, make sure the others aren’t affected. 」
One of the men instructed, and then after the young man’s body got carried out, the room was visited by silence again. Just like how it was before. As if nothing happened.
Suddenly, he looked over at where the young man was executed. Something was dropped there.
Rather, it wasn’t something. It was a small piece of fluttering light.
It was mostly done without thinking. However, at the same time, it was something that he would’ve never done normally. He reached out with an empty expression, and grabbed the light.
The light that he had cupped with his two hands was absorbed into himself suddenly.
At that moment, something warm spread out within him, and he felt happiness without knowing why.
It was at the same time, tears fell.
Something other than painful moaning was heard from his mouth in a long while.
He had not yet understand what was he feeling. A few days passed. He experienced some changes.
He who used to be uninterested started to observe the other young men.
The young men were as usual with their lethargic expression, only sitting on the bench blankly as they waited time to pass.
Occasionally, one or two of them would be brought away by the men, and then eventually return.
Luckily, the men had not noticed that there was such a slight change in him. Moreover, it was also fortunate that the men never chose him to take away.
He continued to observe the other young men. Doing that, there was something he found out.
The young men were all looking lethargic similarly but, he noticed something different as he paid more attention.
The young men that have the same exact face.
One of them looked at the tattered piece of cloth flying in the air, staring at it forever. Occasionally, every time he moved his hand, the piece of cloth flew unnaturally.
Another was staring at the ceiling. Looking at what he was staring, there was a small vortex where all the surrounding dusts were gathered.
Why had he not noticed all of them till now. The young men that had been sitting blankly was actually doing something strange.
And every time they did something strange, there would be a small radiance around their chest.
It was the same light that the screaming young man left few days ago. He reached out his hands to the chest of one of them nearby.
The opponent didn’t react particularly to what he was doing. His action was probably noticed. However, there was no reaction at all to what he was doing.
His hand touched the young man’s chest. In an instant, the small light at the young man’s chest blinked, and then absorbed into him.
The young man’s body disappeared along with the light being absorbed. It was a strange image.
However, he did not feel any remorse at the disappearance of the young man, but rather reassured by the warmth of the light he obtained.
It was warm. It was lovable. It was happy.
His emotions shook after regaining the light.
I must gather them. Suddenly, pushed on by an urge without knowing why, he went on a spree and absorbed all the light from the young men.
It wasn’t long before he absorbed all the light from the young men, it was then he noticed.
「Here is……, where? 」
His eyes were no longer hollow like yesterday. The light of intelligence, the proof of being a person was definitely there.
「Why, why am I here……? 」