◈ Episode 266 The Shadow Calls for Requiem (1)
Casey Selmore’s final choice was to fall down a waterfall with Rudgar.
If it was a waterfall at the bottom of a cliff this high, no matter how tall a person with a body like a knight would jump down, he would surely die.
The same goes for the opponent, but you can’t make it yourself either.
Even so, it was not because he was sure that he would live.
He jumped in even though he knew he was going to die.
Because he thought that even if he died, evil should be eradicated in this world.
In order to do that, I could throw away the reputation that others raised.
That was the choice Casey Selmore made.
Rudger happily honored the choice.
I can’t hear you because I’m already passed out, but I couldn’t help but say this.
Rudger wrapped Casey’s waist with his right arm, still in intense pain, and stretched his left arm out into the air.
Phishung! Cheer up!
The wire launcher mounted on his left arm was fired and pinned to the cliff.
As the wire was pulled tight, the bodies of the two who were falling endlessly came to a halt.
* * *
After safely descending to the bottom of the waterfall, Ludger settled down in a suitable clearing on one side of the forest and started a fire.
As I was recovering near the fire, I felt a presence not far away.
“Are you Hans?”
Hans, who saw the light and followed him to this place, checked Ludger’s condition.
“I hope you are safe.”
“okay. You survived anyway.”
“lily. I’m glad you’re safe!”
Sheridan was also with Hans.
“older brother. Rather, what about that detective girl?”
“… … .”
Rudger shrugged his shoulders instead of answering.
It was an unspoken act to ask no more questions.
Instead of asking further, Hans handed Ludger the blanket he had prepared in advance.
“… … Please cover this.”
Hans checked Ludger’s condition.
His expression was the same as usual, but behind it was a feeling of fatigue that could not be hidden.
Not only that, but his physical condition didn’t look very good either.
It was a really fierce battle.
But what bothered me more than that was that Rudger was alone like this.
‘What about that automaton?’
After escaping with Seridan, the underground laboratory completely collapsed.
Judging by Rudger’s condition, he’s probably… … .
“older brother. Be strong.”
“… … .”
Ludger stared into Hans’ face as he suddenly looked worried and comforted him.
Hans must have misunderstood something.
He tried to say that he safely rescued the automaton boy with Arte’s soul, but Ludger was too tired right now to correct it.
Rudger decided to explain later, and instead replied with a nod.
“It’s a recovery medicine that I prepared in advance.”
“The police are coming in from afar. Apparently, the other side also caught the tail, but I’ll try to attract attention somehow, so brother-nim should seize the opportunity and get away.”
“Yes, I understand. Be careful too.”
“Where would you like to join?”
“Your business in this country is over.”
In other words, he meant to escape from Delica Kingdom on his own.
Hans nodded with a heavy face and took Sheridan with him.
“uh? Hey wait! Nari?”
“Brother, you can get out on your own. We also have to drag the time, so let’s move quickly.”
Sheridan pursed his lips, but did not reject Hans’ touch.
She waved to Rudger to see her again later, and they left together.
Ludger, who was left alone, got up from his seat when the two of them were completely separated.
Rudgar picked up Casey Selmore like a princess, who had seated him behind a nearby tree, and laid him on a blanket on the floor.
Then, after putting the rest of the blanket over her, Rudgar slumped back in his seat and stared at the blazing bonfire.
A whistle sounded in the distance, and lanterns carried by the police could be seen.
Hans said that he would attract attention, but it seems that it was impossible because there were so many of them.
“… … .”
Rudger turned his back and looked at Casey lying there.
I don’t know if it’s an illusion, but it seemed like she had just opened her eyes.
Suddenly, the sound of the whistle came quite close.
Rudgar got up from his seat.
After putting the recovery medicine Hans gave him into his mouth, Ludger checked his clothes and moved on.
And it wasn’t long before Rudgar disappeared.
The police arrived at the place where Casey collapsed as if passed out.
“It’s here! I found Detective Casey Selmore!”
“What is the condition? Go to the emergency room immediately! The duty squad!”
“The rest will search the surroundings some more!”
Police scrambled and searched the area, but no trace of James Moriarty was found.
* * *
When he arrived at the place where the capsule was hidden with trudging steps, there was someone who greeted Rudger.
“Are you here?”
“Were you waiting?”
“yes. Because he told me to wait here.”
An automaton that replies as if it just carried out the given command.
Ludger stared at the automaton.
blonde and gold eyes. pure white eyes.
The appearance of a truly artificially created beautiful boy.
“Why do you look at me like that?”
“Are you curious about that?”
“I’m curious? yes. Maybe you’re curious. Why did Master look at me?”
It seemed to be quite similar to Arte, who was asking him something he didn’t know, so Ludger put a faint smile on his lips.
“Let’s talk while walking.”
Rudger walked and the automaton boy caught up beside him.
Dawn began to break from beyond the forest.
Rudgar opened his mouth as he walked toward the direction of the sun.
“First of all, I have something to tell you.”
“You are a made-up doll. You know that too, right?”
The boy nodded.
“yes. I don’t know what it was made for, but I know it.”
“But you are not a doll that follows someone else’s orders.”
“Am I talking? That’s something I don’t understand. I exist to follow your orders.”
“I will tell you one thing. Don’t call me master.”
“Then what should I call it?”
Rudger almost said, “Call me teacher,” without realizing it, but managed to hold it in.
“Boss, leader, captain. Anything is good. It just doesn’t have to be the word master.”
“is that so? yes. All right.”
“And this is the answer to a moment ago. You thought you existed to follow someone’s orders, right?”
“yes. I was made for that purpose.”
“A purpose is only a purpose. How is your sincerity?”
“Sincerity… … .”
At the word serious, the boy tilted his head as if he didn’t quite understand.
“Just take it easy. Do you really want to follow someone’s orders? What do you think?”
“… … I do not know.”
“That is enough. The fact that you hesitated to answer means that you already have a different mind.”
At that, the boy nodded, saying that it might be so.
“You are born anew. And I’m still a child who doesn’t know anything.”
“So you have to learn a lot about the world.”
Arte, because that child also wanted to learn something.
“You have to learn. It sounds good.”
“Do you like it?”
“I’m not sure what I like. But something… … I feel happy about something.”
“… … is it.”
Perhaps that reaction is influenced by the owner of the soul dwelling in that body.
“yes? What do you mean?”
“There is no need for the teacher to apologize to me.”
“… … .”
At the title of teacher, Ludger’s footsteps stopped for a moment.
The boy he was walking with also stopped in his place.
“Oh, did I miss something? If it’s because you call me teacher, I’ll call you by another title.”
I tried to say that there was no need to change it, but Rudgar hesitated to answer.
Did he have the right to be called a teacher again by that child?
There was no
“… … okay.”
Rudger walked again.
The boy also walked together again.
The two left the forest.
Dawn broke over the horizon as wide meadows spread out in the distance.
Last night, James Moriarty was defeated and Casey Selmore was victorious.
Therefore, the rising sun can surely be said to be a blessing to the people of this country.
The boy was admiring the rising sun pushing away the twilight of dawn.
“Wow. Are you saying that’s the sun? It’s just knowledge, but seeing it in person is very beautiful.”
“You will see more in the future.”
Rudger turned his head to stare at the boy.
“Come to think of it, I can’t just call you you all the time.”
“Codename Alpha. It doesn’t matter if you call it that.”
“Then wouldn’t it be desolate?”
“Or, would you name me instead?”
“name… … .”
At the word name, Rudger thought of Arte.
Is it really right to use the name of the child who has already died carelessly?
But on the other hand, it was not entirely right to bury the name only in memory.
Even if it had changed, the soul that entered the body of this automaton boy belonged to Arte.
Rudger spoke the name as if to convince himself.
“From now on, your name will be Arfa.”
“Arfa, is it… … .”
“Don’t you like it? You can change it to another name if you don’t like it.”
Boy, Arfa shook his head.
“no. I really like it. Something, it’s also a familiar tone.”
“Rather than that, where are we going now?”
“I am leaving for another country. There is something to be found there.”
“Do you want me to go too?”
“Unfortunately, you cannot be with us.”
At those words, Arfa drooped her shoulders and sulked.
“Instead, I will recommend you to someone.”
“It’s a bit unusual to call it a person, but… … There will definitely be no problem staying together.”
“I’m curious to hear you say that.”
“Go around with him and look around this wide world.”
He must still be on the shore, holding a harpoon, trying to catch a whale.
“Oh, and that look is honestly so striking.”
“Ah, this look?”
Arfa looked around her body.
He said that his appearance was too eye-catching, but Arfa himself must have been paying attention to his clothes.
“Your hair color is too light. Wherever I go, I have no choice but to look like an aristocrat. His appearance also stands out.”
“Oh, don’t worry. It can be changed.”
“Can you change it?”
The moment Rudger questioned Arte’s hair color changed.
Dark brown hair that used to be gorgeous blonde.
It’s a little bit, but the impression has changed.
The appearance of a noble aristocrat has changed considerably.
Even so, he was still handsome.
“Wouldn’t that make it a little less noticeable?”
“… … It was possible.”
“Ah, yes. It seemed possible to make some changes to the basic framework. The voice, of course.”
Being able to change the appearance freely is probably a function built in to blend in with ordinary people and infiltrate.
Rudger didn’t bother to point that out.
“okay. Certainly much better than before.”
Not much better, but like a completely different person.
Arfa asked happily.
“is that so?”
“Arfa. Would you like to smile again?”
At those words, Arfa smiled.
A natural smile, not forced.
“It sure looks good when you smile.”
“If you say so, I will try to keep it as long as possible.”
“If it’s hard, you don’t have to do it.”
“no. Wasn’t it difficult at all?”
Suddenly, Rudger felt familiar in this exchange of conversations.
Memories from the past that I thought I would never get back.
At the word leader, Rudger smiled and held out his hand to him.
to a wider world.
Although he didn’t say anything behind his back, Arfa nodded with a smile as if he knew what that meant.
So the two walked slowly towards the rising sun.
* * *
When Casey Selmore opened her eyes, what she saw was a bed in a white hospital room.
Soon after, the upper body jumped up to her, and a nurse came through the door just in time.
“Detective Casey! You’ve come to your senses!”
“Where are you?”
“This is the Delica Kingdom National Hospital.”
“… … You can see that. Do you have any newspapers?”
“Yes, I thought you might be curious when you wake up.”
Receiving the newspaper handed to her by the nurse, Casey immediately looked at the front page article.
[The performance of detective Casey Selmore and the death of James Moriarty, the godfather of crime!]
And, under it, there was an article written about the final battle under the waterfall.
Casey stared at the article.
It was because I couldn’t understand it.
At that time, the nurse next to me smiled and said.
“Detective. Thank you so much.”
At the word thanks, Casey’s gaze turned to the nurse.
Her blue eyes were asking what the hell was she talking about.
“So, Detective, you took down the diabolical James Moriarty, right? Thanks to that, everyone is at ease.”
“Take it down? I?”
“yes. That’s natural, isn’t it?”
what is natural
Casey wanted to shout in my face that I didn’t do that.
However, he desperately suppressed it and shook his head.
‘What about James Moriarty? disappeared? Rather, why am I alive? He jumped down the waterfall ready to die.’
My head is dizzy.
Unorganized fragments seemed to be scattered here and there.
But one thing was certain.
If he had survived, he would have lived without dying.
I think I saw that man in a vague dream.
The way he gently hugged himself and covered himself with a blanket.
Casey crumpled the newspaper in his hand.
“Huh? Detective! wait a minute! You just woke up, you need to get some rest!”
Casey got out of bed and stood by the window of the hospital room.
And opened the window wide.
“Look over there!”
“It’s Detective Casey Selmore!”
Customers and reporters gathered outside the hospital, and even the police stopping them.
Casey could not understand at all the appearance of people cheering in this direction.
why are you cheering?
She lost the fight to James Moriarty.
Even so, people were focused on praising her as a hero.
‘I am… … .’
His tightly clenched fists trembled.
Then Casey’s gaze fell on the children among the crowd of citizens.
The children, who looked like siblings, looked at Casey and smiled.
the moment you see it.
Casey felt the strength in his fists loosen.
Casey silently raised his hand and waved it at the citizens.
As the city left, hot cheers lingered.
However, the cheers did not resonate with her.