Epilogue – End of the World
After the New Empire promulgated a law recognizing the ownership of land by farmers who cleared the ruins, groups of settlers fled the cities.
There is still a lot of vacant land on the uncultivated land, a small farming village where wild grasses sway in the wind and growing crops raise their heads cautiously.
A small town where people in the countryside have a chance to visit the city, but there is no reason for people in the city to visit.
the southernmost tip of the continent.
Although it belongs to the safe zone, it is a small and medium-sized city that is far from the Empire’s gaze because it is neither a strategic point nor a base city.
Imperial Territory, Leanda.
Small villages where villagers make a living by consuming the crops they grow and sell the surplus crops all the way to Leanda, such small villages have sprung up after the war.
In such an unnamed small rural village on the outskirts of Leanda, there was a strange guest.
A man more like a tramp than a guest.
Such a man had been staying in an abandoned barn that had been empty for quite some time since the death of the cow he had been raising with him in the village.
A man, dead and motionless, with his back leaning against the wall of the barn next to the rotting straw.
At the man, there was a girl running toward him with her long, lush, brown, curly hair.
“… … .”
The man slowly raises his head and watches the running girl as if a dying giant tree is moving.
The girl who came running after a month gave the man what she was holding in her hand.
“Mister, haven’t you eaten?”
“… … .”
“eat this. Mom will bring it to you.”
In the girl’s hands were three frozen steamed potatoes.
Did your mother tell you to bring it?
It must have been a lie.
There’s no such thing as a town that likes strangers outcasts.
The man stares blankly at the girl, takes one of the potatoes, and puts it in his mouth.
“Here, I brought you water.”
A mouthful of potatoes.
A sip of water.
The man performs the movements separately, slowly, slowly, as if performing a ritual.
The girl watches the man eating potatoes and drinking water as if he is curious.
A man wearing a cloak close to a hood.
He was eating potatoes with his left hand and drinking water with his left hand only.
The empty right shoulder of a man covered by a shabby cloak speaks for itself.
The man had no right arm.
* * *
The girl patiently waited for the man to eat the three potatoes little by little.
The girl who received the empty water bottle with a short thank you smiled widely.
Those who come and go with farm tools from afar click their tongues as they watch the man in the barn and the girl talking in front of him.
– Tsk. Won’t listen even if I talk like that.
-Shouldn’t you tell Sandy’s mom a little tighter?
-Are you going to listen to what he says?
-Yes, but… … .
The murmurings of the townsfolk reached not only the man’s ears, but also the girl’s ears.
“don’t mind. Adults do that because they are afraid of people they don’t know.”
“… … I guess so.”
The man responded to the words of a more mature girl than an adult.
The vague fear of adults is natural.
An unidentified vagabond lost in a certain street.
It was Sandy who found the bum, yelled at him, called the adults, and brought him to town.
Despite all the questions from the villagers, he doesn’t say anything about himself.
His movements were sluggish, as if he were dying, no, he was already dead, and his eyes were barely focused.
Everywhere you look, you look ominous or suffering from a terrible disease.
So it’s strange that Sandy comes close to such an ominous tramp.
It wasn’t such a desolate town, so they didn’t kick it out openly, but no one wanted to get close to the vagabond.
After waking up at Sandy’s house, at Sandy’s mother’s polite request to leave, the vagabond sat there all day without saying a word, occupying an abandoned barn in town.
After that, I secretly ate potatoes, sweet potatoes, or pieces of bread that Sandy brought.
Are you thinking of sitting down like this?
The villagers threw that gaze whenever they saw the vagabond sitting idly in the corner of the barn.
The man barely moved all day.
No one came except for Sandy, so people walking around wondered if the man had just died.
It is also true that Sandy is an outlier.
The other children in the village didn’t even come close to the sinister tramp.
Or a man-eating demon.
Or the ghost itself.
There was a lot of speculation about the vagabond among the children.
Even when the children objected and the adults scolded her, Sandy took care of the bum.
Just like that, about two weeks had passed since the vagabond occupied the village barn.
I want you to leave now.
The patience of the villagers is slowly reaching its limit.
Of course, Sandy has no interest in that.
It was because the tramp, whom people suspected of being mute, at one point said the smallest thing to Sandy.
Sandy smiles at the silent bum after eating.
“Mister, do you know what?”
“… … .”
“This barn smells like the old days when cattle were raised.”
“… … .”
“I don’t even raise cows, but they say it smells awful.”
Scattered hair and a beard that grows haphazardly.
Of course, there was no choice but to stink, and the barn where such a man was staying started to stink, just like when he raised cows in the past.
“I guess so.”
The man only responded to Sandy’s words like that.
It smells awful.
At that simple question and answer, Sandy’s eyes widened.
“… … Did you mean to wash up?”
“… … .”
“Because there is a price in front of here.”
The man doesn’t answer everything Sandy says.
Sandy now knows something.
That the man’s ears were almost eaten.
So, when Sandy says something, she responds with a nod or a shake of her head, not knowing what she means.
It’s not just the ears.
Now you can see that most of the male senses are quite dull.
The villagers don’t know.
It’s not just the right arm.
It’s just that the man’s lack of arms is too conspicuous, that his whole body is sick.
Sandy grabs the man’s arm.
Just because you can’t understand doesn’t mean the conversation won’t work.
“let’s go. I’ll wash you off.”
“… … .”
Sandy pulled hard, and the man rose slowly, but slowly, from his seat.
Sandy didn’t cause it by force, it happened out of necessity.
The man is suspicious, silent, and ominous.
In fact, if you watch closely for a long time, you will find that no one listens as well as this man.
* * *
Sandy was originally a girl who was treated as an outcast even in the village.
He was a child who always went where he was told not to go and did what he was told not to do because he was told not to do it.
But if you say you must do something, you don’t do it again.
She was a tree frog-like girl.
Even the children in the village shudder when they hear the story of Sandy because, from a very young age, they played with Sandy’s pranks and pranks and got into trouble not once or twice.
So it couldn’t be helped that Sandy’s parents were practically giving up on her.
Still, isn’t it a bit risky this time?
I can’t give a specific reason why Sandy is dangerous this time, but I’m starting to take care of a tramp who is definitely dangerous.
So, everyone tries to stop Sandy this time, but as always, Sandy tells her not to, so she takes care of the tramp even harder.
Now he was even dragging the tramp to the stream to wash it.
The tramp, as if it were an object, surrendered Sandy’s touch without resisting.
Wash your rough hair with a lot of soap, as well as wash your face and beard.
It looked like a little mother taking care of a big baby.
– Take off your clothes too.
-… … .
Even after seeing the man trying to take off his clothes, a local resident stopped him by saying that he was doing something big, and Sandy stopped messing around.
“No, you can’t wash a single thing yourself, so are you entrusting yourself to the child?”
Sandy is Sandy, but knowing that men also have problems, the village woman who scolded Sandy shouted.
“… … okay.”
But the tramp only said so.
“Because he seems like a bad boy.”
“Don’t do it, lady!”
In the end, due to Sandy’s exasperation, the village woman couldn’t say anything bitter and had to go back.
Somehow Sandy could see the man who had washed his clothes clean.
* * *
around the next morning.
The man could be seen leaning his back against the wall of the barn, with all his clothes washed and dried, though still dirty.
“What, did you do it alone?”
“… … okay.”
At that short answer, Sandy smiles coyly.
Then, he strokes the man’s hair.
As if to give a compliment.
“You’re amazing, Mister, you know how to wash yourself.”
“… … .”
“… … Are you kidding me?”
“… … .”
“I can’t tell if I can hear it or not.”
Sandy has no idea what the man is thinking.
Certainly, it didn’t smell as bad as before, probably because I had washed my clothes and body somewhere all night.
However, not only are the clothes worn and worn, but just looking at them, the busty hair and carelessly grown beard are still the same.
What Sandy brought today was thinly baked bread.
“My mother, don’t hate me too much. He’s just scared.”
“… … .”
“You know I’m bringing you something to eat, so you’re even doing your share?”
“… … I see.”
I don’t like it, even if I don’t like it.
Everyone has a heart that can’t be helped.
Sandy’s strange behavior, of course, I hate and fear unknown tramps.
It’s a pity to leave them to die of starvation.
I can’t stop my daughter’s crazy behavior, and I’m sure she won’t eat her portion and take it to the tramp.
In the end, Sandy’s mother reluctantly cooks enough food for Sandy to leave for the tramp.
The villagers also want the vagabond to disappear, but they do not want him to die within the village.
So even though I’m afraid of bums, and I hate Sandy’s behavior.
In the end, it’s bound to be unique.
I thought he was just a maniac with no countermeasures, but I get to know the side of Sandy who has such a nice and kind side.
And Sandy didn’t just bring bread.
Suddenly, from her arms, Sandy pulls out a knife.
“Uncle, stick your chin out.”
Sandy’s eyes widen as she brandishes the knife menacingly.
“… … .”
“I’ll shave off your ugly beard.”
Of course, the man was looking at Sandy with cloudy eyes, neither frightened nor embarrassed.
“Since I’ve seen my dad do it often, maybe I’ll do well too?”
Sandy grabbed the tip of the man’s chin and held it up, and the man didn’t respond even when he put a knife around it.
“… … Is this correct?”
A girl who never shaves her beard shaves her head with a clumsy gesture.
The man just stood there blankly as if he had nothing to do with it or if he had no sense.
“oh… … . It seems to be something… … .”
Of course, shaving for the first time cannot be familiar, and it is not a knife for shaving.
So I had to be sloppy.
Sandy, who was shaving his chin and nape for a shave while getting close enough to touch the man’s face, soon noticed something strange.
“… … hmm?”
It was only then that I realized that there was something on the man’s neck that was hidden behind his clothes.
A ring in which small silver chains are connected.
In the center, there was a necklace with a crimson gem embedded in it.
You could tell just by looking at it that it wasn’t just a jewel. It wasn’t just crimson, but the crimson was swirling inside the jewel like a whirlpool.
“mister… … . What is this… … ?”
The moment Sandy tried to reach for the necklace out of curiosity.
The man, who had been dull like a turtle until now, grabbed Sandy’s wrist roughly.
The man’s blurry eyes focused.
And, stare straight into Sandy’s eyes.
“Don’t touch me.”
At the strong warning close to that command, Sandy nodded blankly.
“Uh, uh… … . huh.”
Even Sandy, who would do more if she didn’t, couldn’t help but nodded at the pressure of the man’s words.
The man hides the necklace with the exposed crimson jewel under his clothes.
Sandy, in a bewildered mood, begins shaving the man’s beard, who has no words again.
Of course, it was still clumsy.
“Hey! What are you doing!”
“evil! It’s a surprise!”
Even the villager who was holding a knife to the man’s throat misunderstood it as a different meaning and shouted out in fright. Sandy mishandled the knife and cut the man’s cheek anyway.
“Uh huh? Oh, uncle. sorry… … .”
“… … .”
“Madame! You were surprised!”
“Sandy! What are you doing dangerously! Can’t you stop?”
Even though his cheek was cut and started to bleed, the man just stared into space with cloudy eyes, as if he didn’t feel anything.
In the end, Sandy had to go to the trouble of calling an old woman from the village to sterilize the tramp’s cheeks and put a cotton cloth on them.
Even his overly sporadic and frizzy long hair was cut off with a knife and tidied up to some extent.
“hmm… … .”
Sandy stares at the roughly shaved and straightened man.
“… … Wasn’t it your brother, not your uncle?”
Intrigued, Sandy stares at the man’s face.
But there is something even more strange.
The man who reacted sensitively even though he didn’t touch the necklace is calm even though he has scars on his body.
what the heck is that necklace?
Sandy couldn’t help but be more curious.
A man who has nothing is wearing a necklace that looks mysterious and rare even at first glance.
“Mister, is that necklace a great treasure or something?”
At Sandy’s question, the man slowly moves his eyes and looks at Sandy.
“… … no.”
I don’t pretend I didn’t hear it at all.
The man leans his back against the wooden wall of the barn with his eyes closed.
“But more than anything in the world… … . It is an important thing.”
That was the longest answer Sandy had ever heard from a man.
the most important thing in the world.
But it’s not a treasure.
Sandy couldn’t understand what the man was saying.
It’s an important thing, but it can’t be a treasure?
If it’s not a treasure, why is it the most important thing in the world?
Sandy laughs bashfully.
with an evil smile.
“Why does someone like you have the most important thing in the world?”
How could a tramp who was dying on the street have such a thing?
Sandy, having cared for the tramp all this time, deserves such an evil joke.
At Sandy’s words, the man blankly looked up at the sky.
“… … I don’t know that either.”
Clearly, the man was smiling faintly.
He’s taking care of me, but he’s such a strange person.
Thinking so, Sandy carefully stroked the sad-looking man’s head.
* * *
The day when the heavy rain fell like the world was about to be submerged.
There was a terrible and gruesome fight that no one watched.
‘As expected, this kind of end would suit such an old monster… … .’
The last monster whose heart was finally pierced by a golden spear was rather delighted.
‘In the only era in which all five Holy Relics appeared, to die from being pierced through the heart by the last relic that appeared… … . What an undeserved ending… … .’
On the contrary, Ludwig was watching the last monster, rejoicing at being killed, with his eyes wide open.
The old monster broke his chest and pulled something out of it.
The old monster was laughing.
‘Boy… … .’
‘If you really want to be a hero… … .’
‘I’m going to have to take this…’ … .’
‘This, if left alone, will destroy the world… … .’
‘If you carry it, it will destroy only you.’
‘As long as you are not destroyed, the world will be peaceful as long as you endure.’
‘Saint of courage.’
‘A sacred object that is said to give strength to stand against anything.’
‘You’ll give me the strength to endure this.’
‘Never, it will not give you the power to overcome it… … .’
‘Probably the whole life of carrying this… … .’
‘That’s the honor you should bear.’
‘It will be ruin.’
‘Somehow, do you know.’
‘Will you find a way to completely annihilate this… … .’
‘But, that day probably won’t come.’
‘Owner of the last sanctuary.’
‘An apostle of courage.’
‘You won, but… … .’
‘Because you won, you will be burdened with eternal ruin… … .’
‘To carry the burden of sins committed by others, not committed by oneself, for the rest of one’s life.’
‘That may be your destiny… … .’
‘And no one will remember you… … .’
‘How is this?’
‘Is it a miserable ending… … .’
The last monster melted into raindrops and disappeared with a satisfied laugh.
He had no choice but to take the crimson jewel left at the place where it died without knowing what it was.
The moment he grabbed it, the man felt it.
That it is your destiny to carry this for the rest of your life.
Although I won.
I knew there was a price to pay for victory.
all the way after that.
Every day was hell for a man.