The Stories of Yesterday
She had long been suspicious.
Roswaal L. Mathers, the lord she swore to serve, needed to kill the Dragon that defended the Kingdom of Lugunica in order to achieve his ultimate goal. Ram was an important pawn in achieving his goal, and it had almost been ten years since he’d told her this.
Roswaal, who had saved Ram and ■■■ in the Oni Village engulfed in flames, asked this of her as a form of compensation. And so Ram made the decision to pay the price in exchange for getting retribution for the Oni’s. It was for that reason that she chose to cooperate with him, even if his plan was to kill the Dragon.
The only thing he did not tell Ram was how he intended to kill the Dragon. It wouldn’t be easy at all. Even if he were to try everything, and resort to any means possible, it still would not be easy. So when the time came, what could Ram possibly do?
“You will understand when the time comes. —This is the role only you and your ■■■■■■ can play.”
She felt as if she were given a very vague explanation. And, oddly enough, she’d never really thought about what it truly meant until today. But—
“I finally understand it… Master Roswaal’s ultimate goal.”
Everything that Roswaal had done up until now had been for his own long-term goal. It was for that reason that he had traveled deep into the Kingdom of Lugunica and saved Ram and ■■■, guarded the Sanctuary, and tested Subaru Natsuki there.
Even if he were forced to alter his original plan, the preparations he’d already made would not be in vain. —No, he would make sure they wouldn’t be wasted.
And so the answer suddenly appeared in Ram’s mind. The reason why Roswaal had taken in the youngest Oni ■■■■■■ to serve as his trump card.
■■■ had been taken in to serve as a replacement for Ram, who had lost her horn. Ram and her little ■■■■■■, ■■■, were supposed to serve as a single Oni in order to kill the Dragon.
Naturally, Roswaal was not able to escape the influence of Gluttony’s Authority. As a result, he must have forgotten why ■■■ was in his mansion in the first place. But even if he had forgotten, he would have figured out what he had been trying to do.
And while watching Ram trying to get ■■■ back due to what Gluttony had done, he didn’t even reveal that fact.
“His meticulous ways will never change.”
Even though his scheme had been derailed by the actions of Subaru, he still worked hard to accomplish his goals behind the scenes. His personality was very troublesome. Ram wondered what he was doing while he was out of her sight right now. But, she also thought—
—Perhaps Roswaal expected this possibility when he allowed Ram to accompany Subaru and the others who’d brought ■■■ with them on this journey. But perhaps she had just been overthinking things.
In the first place, the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony appearing at the Pleiades Watchtower was an unforeseen event, and there was no reason for him to assume that Ram and ■■■ would be in danger.
This might have been Ram’s own delusion due to overestimating the man she loved. But—
“—I’d much rather feel as if the man I love trusted in me.”
Perhaps he thought that by having Ram there, ■■■ and the others would be more protected. When it came down to it, Roswaal must have assumed that Ram would have figured out what he’d been hiding and willingly served as the trump card to kill the Dragon.
It felt much better for her to think that the man named Roswaal L. Mathers valued the decade of service of the woman named Ram. Therefore—
“—I’m in a great mood now. Kindly allow me to slap you to death.”
The feats of the Fist King, Neiji Rockheart, was a bit of a legend on the Gladiator Island, Ginnunhive, of the Holy Vollachia Empire. —No, it was a legend.
But now that he’d lost his Name and Memories due to the Authority of Gluttony, no one knew about his achievements as a gladiator. Neiji had survived hundreds of battles to the death using only his bare hands as a weapon, which had been an amazing show of strength, and finally managed to win his freedom.
In the face of his fist, which had been filled with a refined fighting spirit, even swords and steel would be smashed to bits, and any obstacle in its path would appear to be as soft as a young maiden’s skin. He could be said to be one of the greatest fighters in history.
The Carnivorous Beast, Beli Hainelga, was a rare serial killer, who in many brutal ways, terrorized the Kingdom of Gusteko. —No, used to terrorize it. Now that he had become a victim of the Authority of Gluttony and been deprived of his Name and Memories, no one could remember the tragedies and lessons he had left behind as a killer.
Once he’d been born, he grew abnormally large and gained a level of physical strength that no mere human could achieve. After that, he committed a number of brutal crimes, and killed the men he liked by hugging them to death. His body, and even his skin, was so strong that not even a sword could pierce or scratch it.
This serial killer, who’d sought contact and warmth from others, had been one of the most feared criminals, along with the Bowel Hunter.
The Leaper, Dorkell, had an unusual backstory. Originally a mere merchant living in Kararagi, Dorkell strayed away from his merchant path after hearing a strange voice.
Now that he had fallen victim to the Authority of Gluttony, and been deprived of his Name and Memories, no one remembered the fact that he had been considered a lunatic and an outcast by many.
One day, he decided to throw away the life he had been living with his family and chose to believe in non-existent things and ideals. Soon after, he came into contact with the Witch Cult and developed a power that was different from magic. Differing from their doctrine, it was regarded as a heresy within a heresy, and he was expelled from the Witch Cult as a result.
In short, they more or less transcended even the level of monsters, eccentrics, and lunatics. Not only were they unrivaled when compared to normal human beings, they weren’t even being used as they were, but were mixed with the Memories of Gluttony, turning them into even more exceptional beings.
What if Neiji Rockheart acquired the hard body of Beli Hainelga and the speed of Dorkell? That would end up being an existence that was rarely seen throughout history.
However, up to this point, the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, Lye Batenkaitos, had not done that. This was because he was afraid that by mixing all of the Memories into the same pot, he himself would be mixed into that pot.
However, the reality was that even if he swallowed the contents of that pot full of a mixture of Memories, he himself would not be sucked into it. —At least that was what he now assumed.
And now that he had accomplished that feat, he was not afraid of trying things that he had not tried before in order to break his own limits. For it was Lye Batenkaitos himself who, as a Gourmet, had consumed all of the great talents, from all backgrounds, and all of their possibilities, from the world, thus making him a true Gourmet.
Therefore, a monster was born in the tower in the sea of sand at the eastern end of the world on this day. It was a monster that combined all kinds of skills and high-level abilities, whether they be its own or from others.
It had arms that were capable of destroying anything, a body that could repel any attack, magic that could repel any technique, and the wisdom to control it all at once. No one in history had ever been so complete, and there would be none who could match this being even a thousand years from now.
This was the result of extracting all of the potential from the world, created due to the existence of a dreadful thing called a Witch Factor. It was the greatest form of Gourmet that came from melting countless excellent ingredients down in a large pot—
“—I’ll kindly give you three chances.”
Somehow, in the face of such a rare existence, a girl with pink hair said that while holding three fingers up. It had been a young girl, bleeding from her forehead, with a fierce light in her eyes. She had wounds all over her body that messed with her movements. And there were many other reasons why she couldn’t keep up with him. He understood that.
The biggest factor wasn’t even her wounds or the blood loss, but the fact that her petite body wasn’t even functioning as a proper vessel for her very existence. —He thought it was such an awful thing.
“I’ll kindly allow you to hit me three times. I’d like to try something out. Isn’t that a wonderful deal?”
But the young girl, with three fingers up, said that as if she were trying to provoke him. Three opportunities to strike her would certainly be fatal. In the first place, he didn’t believe she would be able to survive even one strike. But there really was no reason to reject her offer.
He did not believe it could be a trap, either. She was not the type of girl would offer such concessions for free. However, if someone were to be self-confident to the point of excess, then there was no reason not to sincerely let them know.
“—Sister, here I come.”
He erupted from where he was standing with his powerful legs and zoomed in to strike a few blows.
“Well, first chance.”
At the moment he thought he had gotten her, she avoided his fist so narrowly that it grazed a few strands of her hair. And then after placing her hand on the arm he’d extended, she unleashed a knee strike on the elbow joint of his right arm, breaking it.
Such a thing was impossible. That impenetrable body, which could not even be pierced or cut by a holy sword, had been broken by a mere girl simply by striking the elbow joint of his extended arm—kneeing the only weak point on his body. But—
Still feeling the pain of his arm being broken, he quickly brought his left leg up to the young girl’s face. He did not do so in order to get revenge for his arm, but it had been a knee strike aimed at her face. His long, slender leg and white knee smashed into the young girl’s nose, ruining her beautiful face.
Hearing these words come from her thin lips, he couldn’t believe his ears. There was no way she would be able to speak in such a situation. But the young girl gently brought her hand up from the side and then pushed his knee away. His knee strike passed smoothly over her head, as if it were supposed to strike the air from the beginning. And—
After she evaded the strikes from his right arm and left knee, he threw an iron elbow strike that had enough momentum to swing his body around. It was sharp and powerful, and if it had connected, would have crushed the young girls skull like a fruit and spilled its contents onto the floor of the tower. The iron elbow, which had been aimed at the girls head, only managed to graze a few strands of her pink hair.
And the young girl, who seemed to have known that the elbow strike was coming, once again grabbed his face with her outstretched hand.
“Such a fool.”
She said so coldly, as if she couldn’t bear to look at him anymore, and then slammed his head into the floor.
With three fingers wrapped around his face, Ram slammed the transformed Batenkaitos into the floor.
“You thought you could win since you were given three chances, but you lost three times in a row. If you play a game without really trying, your luck will eventually run out.”
“Ah, Gah… Ugh.”
“I give you my thanks. This is definite proof. —That even the luck of good timing is not the enemy of Ram.”
Ram’s greatest enemy had always been her unluckiness. But this time she’d managed to overcome it with her own two hands, and made it fall right at her feet. There was no reason for her to be afraid any longer.
Lying on the ground, Batenkaitos swung his legs up, and, using the momentum of that movement, he got back on his feet. Ram quickly stepped forward and did not hesitate to strike her enemy with a broken right arm. Blood gushed out of the wound on her forehead, but the pain and sense of loss she was experiencing caused her blood to boil from deep within herself.
Oh, how irritating this was. She had always felt that this sensation, and the excitedness that came from it, caused her a great deal of annoyance.
Ram hated the natural instincts of the Oni’s—the exhilaration that came from fighting, the exhilaration that came from wielding power, and the thirst for blood for the enemies that they wished to kill.
And she had always believed that she had been freed from it once she had lost her horn on that night.
As he grumbled, Ram grabbed his broken arm and threw him onto his back. Now that he was on the ground, she punted him all the way to the back of the corridor by kicking his head.
This was done so that she could keep him away from the wounded earth dragon and the young girl leaning against the wall.
There was a girl who continued to slumber, declaring that she still existed with her horn shining with a faint light on her forehead. For her, who had unwillingly been stuck in a deep slumber, it was supposed to be impossible for her to use her horn, even if she was an Oni.
However, even if her feelings had been lost, Ram and the young girl were twin sisters. —There was something called Synesthesia, which was an ability that sometimes linked two people who shared the same blood together.
Her existence itself had been felt by Ram for the past year, during which she took care of the sleeping Rem. It was not just the fact that they shared a similar appearance, but also the gut feeling she got that said she was definitely her sister. But the Synesthesia that connected them had never been activated in the past year.
If Rem were to have nightmares, then the fear she felt might have been conveyed to Ram, but not even this had happened during the past year. In other words, Rem, who continued to slumber, did not even have dreams. —For all this time, she had simply looked at the darkness behind her eyelids and breathed in and out for eternity.
So it was only by accident that Ram discovered how to use Synesthesia in such a way. It annoyed her to no end, but it had been thanks to Subaru’s idea. He took on her burdens thus giving her the power to fight, and so the idea to try the same thing had been born.
When they were connected through Synesthesia, they shared powerful emotions, and sometimes even injuries and pain. She did not understand the principle behind how it worked, but she had read a hypothesis about it in a book in Beatrice’s Forbidden Library.
—Synesthesia referred to the way in which the Od’s of two different individuals were connected and functioned as one.
The Od was also referred to as the source of a human beings power that existed deep inside of them—in other words, the soul. There were times when it also served as an energy source for magic instead of mana, but originally, one’s Od was the life-energy that made a human a human.
The theory was that Synesthesia was the result of being born in the same womb and being connected in a world that could not be entered by any others.
However, in the end, it was dismissed as being just a theory that could not be proven. So it was no surprise to her that it had been locked away in the Forbidden Library. Above all, Ram really liked this theory. It was really nice to think that one could naturally be connected to someone else.
“That annoying horn has really caused me an endless amount of trouble.”
Ram really hated the destructive impulses that the white horn caused her to feel. She also hated the fact that the people around her had hailed her as the second coming of the Oni God. There was absolutely no connection between that mysterious ancient god and Ram.
Ram wanted to be valued for who she was, not because of those things.
Therefore, if she were able to be connected to someone despite all of that, she thought it would be great. And if she really had a connection like that with someone, then—
“—Ram is sure that she would have an inborn love for that child.”
Even if she were an infant, she’d do anything to protect that bond. She would do everything she could to protect, cherish, and love them, and give them everything.
“Forgive this bad older sister for making you take on her burdens at a time like this.”
Through Synesthesia, Ram shared her burdens with her sleeping sister. This was due to the fact that she had experienced Subaru’s Authority herself many times. Once she’d seen something once, Ram could copy what she’d seen and replicate it.
The thing that Subaru did probably worked in a similar manner—it probably forcibly connected the Od’s of others to his own, creating a one-way-only Synesthesia. If he wanted to share the burdens with others, he probably could, but he was a fool who refused to do that.
Instead, he chose to try to reduce the burdens of everyone by taking them all on himself.
“—Such a fool.”
These were the same words she had uttered to Batenkaitos earlier, but only the words were the same, the way she said them was different.
Subaru’s Authority could be reproduced by connecting to Rem via Synesthesia. She was not sure what was going on with Subaru, either, but this should be a bit better. Ram would be able to get out of the horrible situation of constantly being connected to him.
Instead, her burdens would flow directly into Rem—
Rem, who continued to slumber, said nothing.
However, she continued to send the mana that flowed into her own horn to Ram by using Ram’s broken horn, which had been placed on her lap, as a catalyst. The amount of strain on her body must have been unfathomable due to the vast amounts of mana that Ram needed.
—Therefore, the battle needed to be ended quickly and decisively.
While barking that out, Batenkaitos appeared right below Ram in an instant.
It was a magic technique that used the skill of the Leaper to teleport instantly—but even that elusive technique was useless if his foe could see it coming.
“Too slow, slowpoke. At this rate, Ram will become an old lady.”
She stole his vision using Clairvoyance.
Integrating with him to see what he was focusing on, his eye movements, and the flow of his power, she aimed to read him more easily than trying to read his mind.
She avoided his palm strike, then slipped through to the other side by twisting and bending her five fingers. At the same time, she struck his screaming throat with her elbow and unleashed a powerful turning back kick.
“Of course, even an old Ram will be beautiful.”
As she spoke, she grabbed the back of his collar, forcefully pulled it down, and smashed the back of his head into the ground. She then brought her heel up and swung it down on his face, crushing his nose.
With him in her grasp, she swung her arms and unleashed an endless amount of wind blades at him.
“Such a lovely face is accompanied by such an unpleasant scream.”
His entire body being assaulted and cut by her wind blades, Batenkaitos was blown away as blood gushed from his wounds.
As was usual, his body never stayed the same and was constantly transforming from one thing to another. However, no matter how much time went by, the form that appeared from the neck up did not change.
Ram felt like vomiting at that sight, but chose not to due to it not being elegant.
Batenkaitos then leaped at her without using any tricks, spilling out a lot of blood. It appeared to be an extraordinary technique. She was sure he had created a technique that no one else could replicate by combining the power of various masters.
Ram crushed his superior skill that could strike every direction at once with an even more violent attack. Even if she had to face 100 or 1000 masterful techniques, she would crush them all with an even greater force. That was the current state of their battle.
Batenkaitos could not even touch her, which filled her with glee.
And unlike with Subaru, she was much more compatible with her. And so she removed two more shackles. Compared with her prime, she was using about 50% of her power—no, since she was still so young at that time, her current self was much more powerful. Ram’s current strength could not be compared to the strength from before, either.
“Just as I thought, losing my horn was a good thing.”
Had she not lost her horn on that night, she might have given in to the horn that constantly enticed her. She wanted to say that it wasn’t possible, but she couldn’t say for sure. Nonetheless, Ram was proud of the road she had walked on up to this point.
The loss of her horn saved Ram from becoming the Oni she hated most.
“In the first place, I wouldn’t have been able to meet Master Roswaal if the events of that night never happened, so there is no need to compare the two.”
In response to her inquiries, Ram simply held her hand out in front of her. Batenkaitos, who had been teleporting around the area, appeared right in front of her hand. A look of astonishment could be seen on his face when he appeared, and then she grabbed it.
“You can’t run around forever, can you? I’m growing tired of your tricks, and seeing that face on you, too.”
“I can’t wait any longer.”
Saying that coldly, Ram produced a wind blade in the hand that had been clutching his face. In that moment, his eyes, nose, lips, ears, and every part of his face were minced into pieces, and Batenkaitos screamed as blood poured from his wounds. And even if he were to escape, he couldn’t escape from his wounds, the pain he felt, nor the reality he was living in.
“Ah, aaaah, aaaaaaaaaah—!!”
Batenkaitos, who’d been floundering around, cried that out as he shed blood instead of tears. Ram, seeing that, slowly walked over to him.
When he heard her approaching, he quickly started transforming. A tall, muscular man appeared.
—The fist he threw was quickly repelled with a knee strike.
After getting overwhelmed by Ram, he rushed to escape from her. Next up was a fat guy with a beard, who curled into a ball and hardened himself as much as he could.
—She threw a kick that made him fly into the ceiling and then unleashed a torrent of punches that turned his hard skin into a blob of meat.
Batenkaitos had tried to transform into different people in order to kill Ram, but instead received the beating of his life—an unending torture session.
Last up was the bald old man who could leap around as if teleporting. —Now that she understand how it worked, she grabbed his head with a pitying look, and then pressed his face into the wall and ran, as if she were trying to grind him into dust.
Held down by Ram’s strength alone, Batenkaitos had no way to escape, and his whole body was continuously scrapped against the wall as she ran. His form changed in her hands as he tried to find a way out of his situation.
Ram mourned for the hundred, thousand, and ten thousand victims who’d suffered at his hands and been sealed away.
Using her strength, she held a memorial service for those who had been eaten by Gluttony, who had mastered their techniques and loved the life they lived, and whose lives had been trampled upon and slighted.
There were no more techniques, paths, nor thoughts that he could use. None of it would work against Ram.
“Kindly take responsibility for what you have done.”
With a wave of her arm, Ram violently threw that blasphemer that looked as if he’d been peeled. Trembling in fear, Batenkaitos rolled down the corridor of the watchtower. His form changed slowly, quite slowly. Relying on the Memories he’d accumulated, he transformed himself—
“Oh, it’s been a long time. I’ve missed that face of yours. This is about the third time I’ve seen it so far.”
“—Ah, gah, ah.”
Seeing the real Batenkaitos, Ram wiped the blood from her forehead and relaxed her lips. In a real sense, it was Batenkaitos. He had changed back into his original form, face included, instead of borrowing the forms and skills of others.
No matter who he turned into, relied on, or trusted, he could never escape from his true self.
Just as Ram was still an Oni even if her horn had been broken.
Just as Ram was still Rem’s sister despite losing her Memories of her.
“Will you at least try to fight as yourself in your last moments?”
“That reminds me, you said something interesting on the spiral staircase. —You said you had a brother and sister. So why don’t you show your pride for their sakes?”
Batenkaitos fell onto the ground, his painful breathing suddenly stopping. It wasn’t because he died, but was merely because he’d reacted to Ram’s words.
As soon as he heard her mention his brother and sister, Batenkaitos’ breathing calmed down a bit, and he slowly rose from where he had been sitting—
“O-ur… O-ur…little sister…”
“Trying to tell me to back off? Sorry, but do you really think you deserve to make such a request? Have you ever listened to anyone or lifted a finger to help someone before?”
With his bloody face shaking, Batenkaitos begged her with tears in his eyes. Ram narrowed her eyes slightly at that bitter sounding appeal, then she lowered her eyes with a sigh—
“—I’ll kindly consider it.”
“—Sister is so kind.”
At the same moment she looked away, Batenkaitos said that and disappeared in an instant.
Using the Leaper Dorkell’s Leaper Technique—that blasphemer vanished from her view without a trace.
—He ran away.
“Ha-ha! Ahahaha! Ahahahahahaaaa!”
Making full use of the different techniques of the Leaper, Dorkell, Batenkaitos escaped from Ram’s clutches. He no longer cared about eating Ram now. He chose to run away using any means necessary, not caring how he looked.
We can’t win. We can’t win. We can’t beat that.
Just as he thought, she was a complete monster. It would be a good idea to buy some time and go back when he was a bit stronger. That was the type of bad food that would never show up on the plate of a gourmet meal.
“Louis and Roy, too bad for you two! Preparation is everything as far as a gourmet meal is concerned.”
Pushing his injured body forward, Batenkaitos teased his brother and sister who’d been aiming for the same prey.
Louis had already left for the front line earlier, and Roy was going on a rampage somewhere else. If the Oni were to go after them instead, he thought it’d be easy for him to slip away.
Roy of Bizarre Eating didn’t know when to quit, so he might actually die this time, but it couldn’t be helped. Actually, he was rather fed up with him. He felt as if he had taken away a lot of gourmet food from him that would’ve gone to him otherwise because he’d always eat as much as he wanted.
—Wait, have the meals we’ve eaten so far even been gourmet?
“That guy has always been so useless… Aaah, shit! Shit, shit, shit! That there had been such, such a thing! I wish I had known about itttt!!”
This wasn’t the feeling of deep affection that the sister adoring her sister made him feel. It was an immeasurable and impulsive desire to have something—an extremely intense feeling was born in Batenkaitos that made him really, truly desire it from the bottom of his heart.
He wanted to eat it up and savor it with all his heart and soul.
He had always called himself a Gourmet since he thought he had savored all kinds of great talents and feelings, but now that he knew that the Real Thing existed, everything else paled in comparison.
The being known as Lye Batenkaitos, who had always believed that he was worthy of being called the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, turned into rubbish.
The magnificent dining table, which had always looked so alluring, suddenly began to look like a sandbox for playing with mud dango’s.
“I want it.”
I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it—
In order to taste it, he was willing to throw everything else away. He wouldn’t even regret losing everything he’d accumulated so far in order to eat it. He didn’t want to savor anything but that. He wouldn’t feel satisfied with anything else except that.
As Batenkaitos ran, vomit leaked out of the corners of his mouth. And it wasn’t because of pain or suffering, either. He just felt as if it was just too unbearable. Everything that used to satisfy his appetite suddenly seemed so unsavory after realizing that what he believed to be the best was not the best at all.
Why did we think that anything other than this was the best? Was it worthy of praise? Did it satisfy us?
Was there any point in calling himself a Gourmet if he loved anything less than the best?
“Aaaaah, how nice, quite nice, very nice, as it’s so nice, isn’t it nice, as it’s probably nice, as we think it’s so nice! Gluttonous drinking! Gluttony!”
His appetite rose along with a desire to fill his belly, and he let out a heartfelt cry that seemed to beg for it.
If he had an appetite to be one with another and mix with them, to take in someone else, then the Gluttony that drove him forward was the ultimate form of love.
“We love you, we love you…so much! We love you! Sister…no, Ram! We love you—”
This powerful feeling that had been bubbling up from within and being let out in the form of words was suddenly broken. The cause of it was pain, and it was a newly formed kind of pain.
Batenkaitos placed his hand on his cheek, feeling the sensation of blood. He had been trying to escape from the watchtower, and a brand new cut, which had tore his cheek, had formed. —It seemed to have come from nowhere.
Batenkaitos, in silence, stretched a finger out in front of him, and saw as his finger was also cut by something. In the empty space in front of him was an invisible blade.
It was the same technique that he had shown Ram on the spiral staircase. The technique of placing an invisible blade in the air was a legendary Shinobi skill, but he did not care whose Memories it came from. The issue now was that this wasn’t an invisible blade that he’d placed.
“It can’t be…”
Walking carefully past the invisible blade that’d cut his finger, Batenkaitos attempted to advance forwards—but then he screamed out an “Aaaaah!” as his toes were cut off, and attempted to turn.
—He was surrounded by invisible blades on all sides.
“…Ha-ha, is this for real?”
He had only shown it to her once. It had been shown once during that fight, and since it was an invisible technique, it shouldn’t have been able to be seen.
And she wasn’t even here right now. And yet, she managed to figure out his escape route and placed countless invisible blades before he got there.
Batenkaitos placed his hand on his right eye, which was barely functioning still, and not his left eye, which had been torn to bits by her wind blades. —It was Clairvoyance, which allowed Ram to share his vision.
She would never allow him to escape. It was impossible to do so because she could see his every move.
Batenkaitos laughed out loud. And it was no longer a simple sneer.
It was love. For the first time in his life, he was passionate about someone. He fell in love with that exceptional person. And—
“Aaah! Wait, wait a second! Wait, wait just a little longer! Just a liiittle longer!”
He already knew that no matter how much he yelled, none of it would reach her through Clairvoyance. And so those desperate words weren’t meant to be heard. He did so in order to push himself forward.
Batenkaitos quickly clung to the wall. He had prematurely let go of everything he’d eaten. He might have been able to save himself from this hardship had he been able to use the masterfulness of the Fist King.
After that, Batenkaitos struck his arms against an invisible blade. Blood spurted from where his wrists used to be.
It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, hurts, it huuuurts, its hurts so much, but the pain isn’t important anymore.
“Receive our feelings! With your own eyes, witness our plea!”
He pressed his bleeding arm against the wall and started writing as well as he could. With his little body covered in blood, he drew large characters on the wall of the tower in the sea of sand.
Then he took a step back and looked at what he had written with his right eye open. This was done so that the bloody message on the wall reached the person he wanted to see the most. He was sure that’d she’d be watching him until the very end since their vision was connected.
“Aaaaah, we love you—”
—Before he could finish his sentence, Gluttony was beheaded by a wind blade.
With a single murmur and a movement of her hand, a wind blade was unleashed.
Even if the amount of magic used affected the size of it, the power of the wind blade itself remained relatively constant. Moreover, due to how sharp the wind blade was, even a small one was enough to cut through a neck.
Ram had chased after Gluttony, who’d escaped, and struck him with a single wind blade.
Keeping track of the fleeing Gluttony had been easy due to the use of Clairvoyance. She had left a few traps in the path he was running on to confine him, and they seemed to have worked quite well despite placing them in a hurried manner.
And just before the last wind blade struck him, Gluttony had been behaving strangely.
He had cut off his own hands and wrote a message on the wall with his own blood.
It was a filthy, completely one-sided, nasty form of harassment that was not worth looking at, but—
In his last moments, he must have seen the message written in blood spin around in his vision as his head flew through the air, and then closed his eyes one last time.
She had done so because she wouldn’t feel at ease unless she did. That was the only reason she needed. There was no sense of duty holding her back.
The blasphemer made the wrong choice for the last time.
If he had risked his life for the sake of his brother and sister, Ram might have shown some mercy, but he had only used that as a way to fool her, using it as a tool for his own survival.
And he probably did not even know how to return what he had eaten. If he had, he might have used it as a bargaining chip in order to survive. —But it wasn’t even that. So this was his punishment.
“Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Those who rely on witches, die by witches. Those who devote themselves to fire, die by fire. —And so, those who ask of Oni’s, will die by Oni’s, and shall be destroyed by what they relied on.”
—This was the justice that Ram believed in.
Lowering her arm, she took a deep breath. Then she turned and returned to the rocky corridor. She could not fight near them, so she made sure to create a lot of distance between them.
It had been a terribly long distance, and Ram naturally began to walk impatiently as a result.
When she walked past the collapsed wall, she was greeted by the sound of an earth dragon. The jet-black earth dragon used her large body to hide Rem behind her. If Ram wasn’t the one who’d returned, she would’ve used her body as a shield.
Subaru really didn’t deserve this earth dragon. Despite being so hurt, she was still trying to follow Subaru’s instructions—
“—No, that’s not quite right. You wanted to protect Rem too, didn’t you?”
“Really…you’re such a good girl, Patrasche.”
Saying that, she gently stroked the neck of the earth dragon.
She needed to move her to the Green Room as soon as she could. She didn’t want to force such a loyal earth dragon to move around with such wounds. Ram didn’t want to be rude to the earth dragon that had done so much for her sister.
Thanking the earth dragon from the bottom of her heart, Ram moved over to where Rem was behind her. Now that she had stopped sharing her burdens via Synesthesia, the horn no longer appeared on her forehead. However, the recoil from taking on so many of Ram’s burdens, who had almost been on the level of the Oni God, had definitely damaged her body.
Ram herself felt a bit depressed when she thought about how the recoil would soon arrive. But—
“Now isn’t the time to think about such tasteless things.”
Kneeling down slowly, Ram softly placed her hand on her sleeping sister’s cheek. The bond they shared as sisters that she didn’t really feel before felt much more real now, and she felt love and a sense of importance overflowing within her.
She had lost her horn, and, consequently, her power as the second coming of the Oni God, and lived on to this day.
Ram had concluded that the events that occurred on that fiery night were for her own good, and she didn’t think she was wrong, either. But from this point onward, that had changed. The reason her horn was broken on that day—
“—Was so that Ram could find out, here, on this day, that she was Rem’s sister.
Through Synesthesia, she was able to realize that they were twins who shared a single world, connected via their souls, and that she was her irreplaceable sister.
“Now, more than ever, I want to talk with you. About you and Ram, and our time together. Together, let’s fill in the memories of yesterday that we’ve lost.”
Time never stopped flowing, so they’d be able to create as many memories in the future as they wanted. So, she would make their memories bloom like a flower as often as possible, every night, so that nothing would disappear and nothing would be forgotten.
“Let’s talk a lot about the stories of yesterday.”
The Sleeping Beauty said nothing.
And yet her silence did not make her heart ache. Instead, Ram smiled as her heart filled with warmth. With a smile, she moved her lips without doubting her feelings—
“—I love you, Rem.”
She was sure that no matter how much time they spent together, they’d never be able to betray their feelings for each other. Oddly enough, she’d uttered the same thing that that warped Sin Archbishop had said in his last moments. Though the words were the same, the way they were said was completely different.
Those who don’t know love, and those who live for love, never sound the same. They never will.