OmaeGotoki: Volume 3 012 - Searching For Spirals

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Ignorance is folly.

There are many things in this world that are better off remaining unknown.

This is surely one of them.

Even if he’s nothing but a clown dancing on a stage, what he doesn’t know can’t hurt him.

“Why the long face, Ga-kun?”

Tia peers into her loving husband’s face from where she walks at his side. Her face honestly couldn’t be more perfect, as though she’d come right from Gadio’s own dreams. Just meeting her gaze so close to her is enough to make his face heat up.

“From what I’ve heard, everyone seems to think you’re some mysterious, sourfaced dandy-swordsman, but that’s really not you at all!”

“Don’t tease me about it too much.”

“No, I’m happy. I don’t know how I’d feel if you’d become some ladies’ man…”

Just being near her lifts his spirits, as if she were the sun itself. When he lost her, all he could do was stare at the bloody ground at his feet. Just looking up at a sky without a sun would be enough to fill his heart with despair.

“But… I think I might’ve become a bit of a spiteful woman.”

“Why would you say that?”

“I don’t want to ever give you back to Kereina and Hallom. I wish you’d just stay like this, mine forever…”

She wants him all to herself, as would be natural as his wife --- a perfectly natural emotion for normal humans. Nothing inhuman could possibly replicate something so intricate so perfectly.

The true question is, if the sun were to suddenly return to an empty sky, would humans be able to question whether or not it’s real? If it’s too bright to look at, too warm to believe, and illuminates one’s world, does it matter what it really is?

“Tia.”

He calls her name, and she cocks her head to the side with a goddess’ smile.

“Hmm?”

“I love you.”

It may sound as though he’s only dodging the question, but without a doubt, those words are Gadio’s true feelings.

“I love you too, Ga-kun~!”

She blushes a little.

Ignorance is bliss.

Knowledge is but bondage, wisdom and freedom cannot coexist.

Gadio knows that, and as such he has but one wish.

Please, let me stay ignorant, if only for a little longer.

Arm-in-arm, they head back to the house that Daffyd prepared for them. As they chat, Tia almost unconsciously turns back to watch Flum and the others as they head inside the church.

◇◇◇

Right in front of the church’s front doors, Daffyd and Suzie stop and turn around.

“Well then, this is the entrance to our research facility. It’s necessary to show most of you what’s inside if I’m to properly convince you, but I’m afraid that I can’t allow a journalist past this point.”

“Ehh? Isn’t Milkit-chan the same, though? Don’t worry, I can be really tight-lipped when I want to be!”

“Is there something inside you don’t want Welthy-san to see that badly?”

“I’m afraid I simply can’t expose the key parts of our research to the public just yet. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, after all.”

Daffyd’s stance seems ironclad. Welthy scratches her head with a troubled expression, finally letting out a sigh.

“...Well, it’s not like I came here just for a story. There’s no point complaining about it so I’ll just have to live with it. I can check out the town and stuff, though, right?”

“Of course. Be my guest.”

“Are you gonna be okay alone…?”

“Don’t worry, Ink-chan, if it comes to it I’ll just run screaming to Gadio-san for help. ‘Kay then, I’ll see you later!”

As if she’d found something she’s dying to investigate, Welthy runs off into town.

Flum can’t help but be a little worried, but since Welthy herself seems to be confident about her ability to run away, she’ll just have to trust her.

“Well then, allow me to show you inside.”

With that, they finally step inside the research facility.

The church itself seems just like any other they’ve seen in the Capital. The walls and vaulted ceilings are a solid white colour, and stained glass windows send colourful shadows dancing across the floor. To their left and right are rows of pews, divided down the middle by the red carpet under their feet. Directly ahead of them is a statue of Origin and a number of depictions of Origin’s holy symbol, the ‘twisted circle’. Nowhere do they see anything that they’d expect from one of the Church’s labs.

Passing through the door at the statue’s left and heading down a staircase at the far end of the room beyond, however, everything suddenly changes. The walls, floors, and ceilings are made of a cold, almost futuristic material that feels similar to metal. The few magic lamps along the ceiling give off large amounts of light, fully illuminating the corridor despite their small number. Flum has seen something very similar before, but the rest of them seem baffled by how something of this scale could exist underground, their gazes darting around curiously as they feel the walls.

“I’ve been curious for a while now, but these labs of yours are made completely differently from everywhere else in the Kingdom, aren’t they?”

“Yes, I’ve heard they’re the product of merging domestic building techniques with those developed by the demons.”

“You use demon stuff? Even though you’re the Church?”

“Just like with herbs. They keep the best things for themselves.”

“I’m afraid I can’t make any excuses. I personally believe that such advances should be shared with the people, but…”

There’s no point in blaming Daffyd for it, though. The Church itself has made it perfectly clear that they’re more interested in controlling and manipulating the people than saving them.

“At any rate, I believe I’ll start the tour from the closest rooms.”

“I’ll head back to my room, okay?”

“Yes, make sure you get all the rest you need, Suzie. You don’t mind, do you?”

There’s no real need for him to ask them, nor do they really have the right to stop her even if they wanted to. Suzie leaves them as they continue to follow Daffyd.

“Ah, yes. Just so you’re all aware, our research involves handling a great number of corpses, and as such this first room might disturb some of you. If you have any aversion to seeing dead bodies, you might want to wait outside.”

With that, he leads them into the mortuary.

The air inside is chilly, and dozens of coffins with glass lids line the walls holding ‘people’ awaiting resurrection.

“Uu…”

Only Milkit seems disturbed by the sight, but determined to not be the only one left out she clings to Flum’s arm tightly, not averting her eyes once.

The corpses are in all manner of states; some are only bones, some have decayed to the point that it’s impossible to tell what they looked like in life, as well as every other state imaginable. According to Daffyd, however, the Necromancy Core will restore them to as they were before death no matter the body’s state.

“We’ve been looking into records of tragic deaths for some time now, and through negotiations with local authorities we’ve been gathering people to bring back.”

“What about my parents?”

Hearing Daffyd talk as though they’ve been doing the work of saints, Eterna narrows her eyes into a glare. Finally seeming to recognize that she’s angry, he frantically tries to explain himself.

“I really am dreadfully sorry about that. We simply had to convince you, so for that case alone we went ahead without receiving the proper approval.”

“If you’d kept sneaking around, nobody would’ve noticed.”

“Yes, but as I explained to you before, your encounter with the Children has the Church’s higher-ups desperate for the weaponization of Necromancy, and as such there is a chance that they might move ahead with it on their own terms. If that comes to pass, we won’t be able to continue saving people as we have been. That’s why we wanted to ally with you as soon as possible.”

We really can’t trust this guy, then, Flum thinks.

They likely brought back Satils only so that she’d keep funding them --- but more than that, Daffyd never showed any intention of calling her to Sheol at all. Instead he worked behind the scenes, targeting Eterna and Gadio behind her back.

“...Well then, shall we move on?”

Daffyd doesn’t make it clear as to whether or not he even notices Flum’s hostile glare as he leads them to the next room.

The next room he leads them to is labelled ‘Core Production Room’. The room inside is dim, but white lights in the ceiling illuminate ten cylindrical glass cases arranged in a circle around a pedestal. Inside each of the cases is a grey mass of something that resembles a human brain.

“A-Are those… brains…?”

Milkit hugs Flum’s arm a little tighter.

“We call it ‘Little Origin’.”

“Little Origin…? This thing…?”

Flum can feel static running through her mind, clouding her vision.

I felt this with Saturchy, too, but what is this awful feeling…? Is this ‘déjà vu’? I’ve… seen this somewhere before…? No, I saw something like this in those Enchide ruins. That’s got to be it…

She doesn’t have any concrete memories, but she can’t shake a distinct feeling of familiarity and a sense that something’s very wrong.

“Little Origin receives the energy that Origin transmits, amplifies it, and imbues an ore known as black quartz with it. The end result is, as you might assume, an Origin Core.”

Gadio had told her that Daffyd would answer her questions, but she never expected to even see how the Cores are made. Even through the static filling her head she’s surprised.

“Should you really be showing us this? Isn’t this one of the Church’s biggest secrets?”

“I’m sure if the cardinals knew they’d be rather upset, but if it’s to convince you, Flum-san, then I have no intention of being particular with my methods.”

She can’t see any sign of deception in his eyes.

“Okay, lemme ask you this, then. What do you mean by Little Origin ‘receiving’ energy?”

“Precisely what it sounds like. Origin’s main body is somewhere else.”

“Its main body… So where is it?”

“I’m afraid I don’t know. The Church hasn’t told me anything to that end. I’m sure you can guess, though.”

“Maybe… at the Demon Lord’s Castle…?”

During the Journey it was abundantly clear that Flum was useless, and yet Origin’s ‘prophecy’ half-forced her out of her village and into the Hero’s Party. The Journey’s final destination is, of course, the Demon Lord’s Castle --- in other words, the most likely place for Origin’s main body.

No matter what, Origin wanted to bring her to it. Maybe it knows she’s the only one who can oppose it and it wanted to remove any chance she’d stop it.

“But if it just wanted me dead, there’s no reason to take me all that way. Why would it take such a risk to bring me to it?”

“I’m afraid only Origin could answer that question.”

If he doesn’t even know where Origin is, he couldn’t possibly know that.

That’s doubtlessly Origin’s true aim, however. If nothing else, the fact that her name was written in that notebook in Enchide back when she was just a little girl would suggest that.

Deciding to stop thinking about Origin for the time being, she turns to ask Daffyd her next question.

He answers everything with a smile. The black quartz used in Origin Cores is really only a normal stone, mined and imported from the region south of the Capital. The spherical shape is simply to seal the ‘spiral’ inside it more effectively and securely; the more perfect the shape, the better it holds the energy. The brains used in Little Origin were apparently harvested from criminals on death row.

He answers so readily, in fact, that it almost seems suspicious, but Flum can understand now why Gadio seemed to trust him. Not only does he not keep secrets, but his eyes, his expressions, and even the way he talks make him seem sincere.

“Shall we move on to the next room, then? I have one last thing to show you.”

The group leaves the Core Production Room, only to run into a man in a white labcoat outside. Standing behind him is a woman dressed the same way and carrying a baby.

“Oh, if it isn’t Goen!”

“Daffyd, are these guys…?”

As Flum and the others study the man named Goen, Daffyd introduces him.

“This is Goen Foegan. He works here as my assistant.”

“Hey, how’s it going?” Goen bows lightly, and Flum gives him a curt “Fine.”

“He’s been a good friend and fellow researcher of mine since long before we started this lab, but after losing his wife in an accident he lost all self control and found himself drowning in gambling, alcohol, and debt.”

“Hey now, don’t go telling them my whole life story…”

“Come now, it’s fine. When I came to him with talk of Necromancy he was kind enough to join me, and since then he and his wife Luluka have been invaluable to our research.”

Luluka bows behind him. Her baby’s round little eyes don’t leave Flum for an instant.

“So Luluka-san gave birth to that baby after she came back to life?”

“Precisely, and like all other babies born here he’s strong and healthy.”

Generally speaking, the purpose of all living beings is to pass on their genes. By that definition, the fact that a revived person can produce a child with a living one is proof that they’re alive. Soon, Suzie will give birth, and if that child is a normal human Daffyd’s confidence in his research will approach certainty. Even Flum has to admit that evidence is compelling.

“I’m sorry for bothering you like that, Goen.”

“Nah, it’s important they hear it. See you around.”

The Foegan family continues on their way.

Until the very end, the baby didn’t once stop staring at Flum.

“Past here is the heart of our lab --- no, you could even say it’s the heart of Necromancy itself.” The last place Daffyd takes them to is an imposing metal door in the very deepest part of the lab.

“The only ones who can open these doors are myself and a select few researchers.”

He puts his hand on a small crystal embedded in the door as he talks.

The switch functions on the same basic technology as those for magic lamps, but the level of sophistication makes it something else entirely. It reads the wavelength of the activator’s mana, and only if it matches one of those recorded in its databases does it undo the lock. Since every individual’s mana wavelength has its own unique variations, such devices are used for key rooms within the Royal Palace and the Grand Cathedral.

To put it another way, the contents of that room are deserving of national-security-level secrecy.

“This is the Central Control Room.”

After the door finishes reading his wavelength, it swings open automatically.

The room beyond is far larger than any other room they’ve seen yet, and from the walls hang all manner of cables.

Positioned in the very center of the room is a massive black sphere, its diameter about as long as an average person.

“Is that… an Origin Core?”

“I can see something spiralling inside it…”

“Just imagining its power… ”

“But Eterna, something about it feels kinda tingly… like there’s something familiar here.”

All four of them have different impressions of the room, but all of them clearly feel something. Daffyd nears the core, putting his hand on its surface.

“This is the Necromancy Central Core. With this, it’s possible to repress the will of Origin that lies in the heart of every Core in every resurrected person in Sheol.”

“What would happen to the townsfolk without that?”

“They would lose any and all semblance of humanity, becoming nothing more than flesh-puppets for Origin.”

He speaks as though he’s witnessed it personally.

“Thanks to our research, however, we’ve made it so that it’s possible for them to spend a number of days away from Sheol. Eventually, I’m sure the Central Core won’t even be needed.”

“But you’re saying they’ll be monstrosities without it, right?”

“You’re trying to say that our residents aren’t human, Flum-san?”

Flum nods.

All the dead currently living in Sheol are a hair’s breadth from inhumanity, something on the very brink --- or at the very least, that’s what he seems to be saying.

“That must be because you don’t see them as people but as monsters imitating humanity. Your prejudices are getting the better of you, I’m afraid.”

“Prejudice, huh…? Through all I’ve been through because of those Cores and all they’ve done so far, I’ve gotten a pretty good idea of Origin’s true nature. Maybe the Children’s powers make it the clearest --- he ‘revolves’, ‘connects’, and ‘multiplies’. Bringing back the dead seems to me like the closest to multiplication.”

Twisting, linking, spreading --- and with that, Origin expands his influence. Looking at that town, all Flum can think is that it’s one big chunk of bait, full of people practically begging to be controlled by Origin’s power of their own free will.

“True, the Origin Cores have that natural tendency. That’s nothing more than a ‘tendency’, however, and with a little curation---”

“But at the same time, I think that’s Origin’s ‘desire’.”

“Desire, you say?”

“Origin has a mind of it’s own. I don’t know if it’s just intelligent energy or if it has some sort of body, but what’s clear is that it uses its power to twist people, dominate them, and corrupt them completely. It’s a little different every time, but in the end it always turns on anyone who tries to use it and does whatever it wants.”

“Ah, so you say that Necromancy simply hasn’t reached that breaking point yet, is that it?”

Ink, for example, had her eyes removed by somebody --- almost definitely Mother --- and lost her sight. She grew up happy and energetic in the end, but somewhere deep down she no doubt wished that she could see like everyone else. The Origin Core that was in her chest fulfilled that desire by ‘multiplication’, creating those horrible waves of rolling eyeballs.

“The Central Core exists to prevent that from happening, however. Soon we won’t even have to worry about that.”

“...? Um, in that case, why would Origin continue to lend you its power at all?”

Milkit shyly raises her hand.

If Origin is working only in its own best interests, then as soon as it can no longer do that via Necromancy, it would logically just stop giving them energy.

Daffyd confidently counters her argument, however.

“If it could shut off its own power like that, then its power would surely never run out of control. I don’t know what state its main body is in, but I would assume it went through the trouble of starting the Demon War and sending the Hero’s Party to meet it because it has no choice but to do so.”

“So you’re trying to say Origin’s imperfect right now, huh?”

Ink seems to have some idea as to what he’s referring to. Origin might not be imperfect, but she was able to live for nearly ten full years with an Origin Core as a heart. Even if she couldn’t hear ‘Papa’s voice’, she must’ve occasionally felt as though its power wasn’t perfect.

“Currently, only the users of Origin’s power can decide its output and the strength of its will. As you say, Flum-san, it might well be dangerous, but what truly matters is how it’s used. Human ingenuity has found a way to limit the dangers to their absolute minimum --- thus the Origin Cores.”

Flum stares at the Central Core in silence for a long moment.

“...Hahh…”

She sighs, the tension leaving her shoulders.

Daffyd gives her a pleased smile.

“I’m glad you’re convinced.”

“I won’t destroy the Central Core yet, at least. I’m sure you were ready for anything when you showed me your biggest weak point like this, though. That being said, there’s no way I’m leaving here without Gadio-san.”

“I’d say that depends entirely on what he thinks.”

“That’s why I’d like to stay here for a while to convince him. Is that okay?”

“...You’re staying here? Overnight?”

Flum catches a distinct hint of unease in his voice.

“If you say so, then by all means. I’m sure Eterna-san would enjoy the time alone with her parents herself.”

He immediately reverts back to his usual calm smile, however.

“I don’t really…”

“It’s fine, isn’t it? I kinda wanna meet your mom and dad, too.”

“If you say so, Ink.”

“In that case, Master, shall we get a room at the inn?”

“About that --- I’d kinda like to stay here, at the lab.”

All their gazes focus on Flum. Eterna, Ink, and Milkit all look generally surprised, but Daffyd alone makes a grim face.

“Is there a problem with that?”

“No, if that’s what it takes to convince you, then I’ll gladly ready a room for you.”

Flum’s request is equal parts challenge and confirmation. She wants to trust him fully --- but there are still a few reasons why she can’t yet.


◇◇◇


After quickly being shown around to a few other rooms in the lab, Eterna and Ink leave the research facility alone. Eterna is a little worried about splitting up, but she truly does want to see her parents’ faces one last time. They’ve made plans to stay at the lab after dinner as well, and she can’t imagine that Daffyd would suddenly change his mind and attack Flum, but…

“I wonder what kinda people your parents are like? Maybe they’re just like you!”

Ink is as energetic as always, completely blind to Eterna’s worries.

“No. We aren’t related by blood, after all.”

“But you were living together so you might speak kinda the same or something, right?”

“I don’t know about that. Mom’s not weird like I am.”

“You know you’re weird, Eterna!?”

“I speak… uniquely. I’ve been like this since I was little, though. I can’t fix it now.”

“I kinda like it, though! It feels kinda Eterna-y. I always know it’s you!”

Didn’t she just agree with me…?

Before they realize it they’ve arrived outside the Rinebow house. Instead of heading inside, however, she enters a nearby park. A number of children are playing around the playground while their parents watch happily.

“What’s up, Eterna? Aren’t we going inside?”

Ink, walking hand-in-hand beside her, seems to notice they’ve taken a detour.

“I need to mentally prepare myself.”

“Eh… really? Okay. Let’s sit down somewhere, then.”

Eterna finds a bench nearby and sits on it.

Ink hoists herself up with a little jump… and lands on Eterna’s lap.

“Uu.”

“There!”

“Not there.”

Eterna lightly chops the back of her head.

“Ehh, I can’t? I really like this kinda skinship!”

“I know. Whenever I pet your head in your sleep you start smirking.”

“R-Really…?”

Her expressions while she sleeps aside, knowing that Eterna’s been doing that while she sleeps is enough to make Ink blush.

Feeling her little body grow a little warmer, Eterna wraps her arms around her from behind.

OmaeGotoki 03-Ch12 1.png

“O-Oohh… un-Eterna-like skinship…!”

“You said you liked this, so…”

“Ghnunu… I never imagined anything like this, desu desu…!”

“I can stop if you want.”

“No, don’t stop now, desu!”

“Got it. I’ll continue. But why the weird speech tic…?”

For a while, they’re both quiet. Ink’s small body continues to slowly grow warmer and her face starts grower even redder. She must not be used to hugs… though Eterna’s hardly used to it either, and even she starts to blush a little.

“Ink… You smell really sweet.”

“P-Pervert! I-I never said you could go that far, desu…!!”

“It’s rude to call people perverted.”

“Muu, I think just sniffing people like that without permission is really pervy, though…!”

“If you’re going to say that, I’m sniffing more.”

Eterna buries her face in Ink’s hair and inhales deeply.

“Uhehe, stop it, that tickles…!”

“Don’t want to.”

“You’re an adult! Shouldn’t you listen to what kids say!?”

“It’s fine. I look only a little older than you.”

“You big, spoiled, fifty-year-old baby…!”

“That’s sixty-year-old baby to you.”

“That’s even worseee!”

Even so, Eterna doesn’t separate her nose from Ink. She didn’t have any intention of going so far, but it’s a lot more relaxing than she’d thought. Ink’s aroma has a certain intoxicating quality to it that makes Eterna want to make it part of her daily routine… but if Ink heard that she’d probably be mad.

“Well… if it’s really helping you calm down that much, Eterna, I guess I’m fine with it. Is meeting your parents really that scary?”

Voices are far more expressive than faces; even if Eterna’s keeping a straight face there’s a slight quiver in her voice that she can’t conceal from Ink.

“I turned Daffyd down, but I had to think about it. I honestly think it’d be better if I didn’t see them again. I can’t not, though. No matter how old I am, I’m that weak.”

“Hmm… I think you’re more nice than weak, though.”

“I’m not that narcissistic.”

“Okay, I’ll say it, then! You’re really nice, Eterna. You saved me back then, and you’re still with me like this now… You’re the nicest person in the whole wide world!”

“Ink…”

Maybe only a week has passed since they first met, but that’s enough for Ink to tell that’s one of Eterna’s strong points.

Not knowing how to express her feelings in return, Eterna hugs Ink a little more tightly to her.

“O-Oohh? It kinda hurts… but not in a hurty kinda way… I don’t think I could stand this for very long…”

“You’re my ‘present’, Ink. That’s why I want to spoil you a little. If you’re with me, I think I can resist my ‘past’.”

“Ah… You don’t trust him, huh? That Daffyd guy.”

In the end, all her anxiety stems from there.

“I want to. It’s not about him, though. It’s something else.”

“Something else?”

Eterna loosens her grip on Ink a little.

“---Can Origin Cores save people?”

The voices of the children in the playground seem to grow more distant. Some of them probably have Origin Cores themselves.

“I think Flum feels the same thing. Those things are pure evil. Maybe Origin even likes trampling people’s dignity. Even if they can control it, can it save people?”

Hearing that, Ink sounds a little apologetic.

“I’m sorry, Eterna.”

“Why apologize?”

“I was one of the people who used the Cores, but I don’t know anything…”

She seems to want to say that if she could hear Papa’s voice she’d at least be able to tell if it was malicious.

“That’s fine. You could probably only leave the Children because you didn’t know.”

“If I knew, would I be dead?”

“You wouldn’t have wanted to leave at least.”

“I only left ‘cause I was a little curious, though…”

“If you’d done that even a little later, though, who knows what would’ve happened?”

It was a miraculous coincidence that caused Flum to find Ink. That she happened to know Eterna, the only person capable of saving her, was a miracle of astronomical proportions.

“That’s why… if it’s going to end, it should be soon. The longer we wait the harder it’ll be.”

They can’t just sit around waiting for miracles. Even if another miracle did happen, they couldn’t possibly save every last one of the hundreds of townsfolk. All they can do is give them a soft landing, ending it soon and leaving them with only scrapes and bruises --- and that’s assuming that the resurrected people are truly normal, but that’s the only solution that Eterna can think of.

Having finished their conversation, Eterna scoops Ink up off her lap and stands her up on the ground.

She’s finished charging.

Hand-in-hand, the two of them head for the Rinebow house in earnest this time.

“How ironic. We rejected the Kingdom’s experimentation ourselves, and yet we get to meet you again because of it.”

Kinder and Claudia greet them with tears of joy in their eyes.

“Ahh… But I’m so happy I can see your face again, Eterna. Can I hug you again like I used to?”

With that, the family starts their last chance at quality time together.

Enveloped in Claudia’s arms, she can feel her warmth and her familiar scent reaches Eterna’s nose.

For some reason, though, the sound of Claudia’s heartbeat is oddly artificial.


◇◇◇


Flum and Milkit are lead to their room inside the research facility. It’s surprisingly large and spacious, as if it were made to house a family like Goen’s or a married couple.

“It’s so luxurious I can hardly believe that we’re underground. There’s a bath, a washroom… there’s even a kitchen.”

“If it had windows it’d be up there with those fancy hotels you see in the East Quarter. I wish we could properly enjoy a room like this…”

Flum sits down on the sofa and Milkit takes a seat beside her, snuggling in a little to that they’re shoulder-to-shoulder. They naturally hold hands, their fingers intertwining.

“Why did you want to stay here overnight, Master?”

“I just can’t accept it. Ever since I came here I’ve been feeling uneasy, like… ahh, I can’t explain it.”

Not only people’s gazes but their actions, their subtle movements, everything feels just a little bit off.

“Even if I break everything, though, that’s not going to make anyone happy…”

She can’t just ruin everyone’s lives for a reason like that, though. What Daffyd wants is ultimately perfectly normal.

“I’ve never lost anyone that important to me so I can’t say I relate to them, but just imagining a future without you, Master… that alone is enough to make my chest hurt.”

“I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you, either, so I can kinda understand where Gadio-san and Daffyd are coming from. What they’re talking about might seem convincing, but it’s really full of holes…”

She doesn’t have any proof, of course, but it’s a lot more concrete a feeling than just the sense of unease from the town itself.

“If Necromancy really is perfect, then there shouldn’t be any reason for him to want to keep me away. Maybe Daffyd doubts the Cores somewhere deep down after all and he just doesn’t want me ending all his research because of it?”

Suzie’s pregnancy is likely making him feel all the more protective --- but regardless, if he’s completely confident then there shouldn’t be any need for him to worry.

“On top of that, I get the feeling that Daffyd himself is even more prejudiced than I am, only in the exact opposite way.”

“He’s determined to believe that his research is right… If he didn’t, then that’d mean denying that Suzie-san is alive now, wouldn’t it?”

“You think so, too?”

“Maybe I was influenced by the fact that I’m in the same position as you, Master, but I feel as though Daffyd-san is trusting Origin too much to act exactly as he wants.”

His belief is likely rooted not in belief but rather in obsession, an obsession born of his finally reviving his wife and her conceiving his child. On some subconscious level, he’s no doubt convinced himself that he can’t distrust Origin no matter what.

“If there’s some kinda problem with his research because of all the ‘holes’ in his vision---”

“---There’s a chance it’ll go out of control, isn’t there?”

“Well, we don’t know when or if that’ll happen. Everything will probably be fine while we’re staying here, but I guess I should probably put a stop to it before the worst happens…”

If I’m going to do destroy the Central Core, it should be tomorrow --- no, maybe even tonight.

If normal, peaceful days like today could continue for a few years before everything falls apart, the townsfolk who’ve had a loved one returned to them would no doubt want to keep dreaming until the last possible moment. The more time they spend together, however, the harder it will be for them to wake up and the deeper their wounds will be.

“I think you should just break the thing already.”

A voice that belongs to neither Flum nor Milkit reaches their ears.

Calmly turning around to look at the bed, she sees a young boy sitting there with his legs crossed arrogantly in front of him.

“Oh, it’s just you again, Nekt.”

“Hmph. You don’t look very surprised to see me.”

“I had a feeling you’d be showing up sometime soon.”

“Tch, you’re boring.”

Disappointed that they didn’t give him the reaction he was hoping for, he turns away with a pout.


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