Friday, August 19, 2022 @

Chapter 61 Ceres VS Black Dragon, Part Three, It's Wonderful to Be Alive

 Where am I? It's so dark... But across the river there's a bright and beautiful flower garden.
 My parents who are supposed to be dead are screaming at me not to come.
 But I feel like... if I go there I'll be happy.
 I feel like... I can sleep peacefully after everything is over.
 So sleepy...
 If I sleep in that field of flowers... I might be able to get rid of all this tiredness.
 At a daze I start to cross the river.
 But the more I try to cross the river, the more my parents' faces turn pale.
 They're yelling like mad, 'Don't come here!'
 But it's dark and cold here and I don't want to be here.
 And before I know it, I've finished crossing the river.
 "Ceres... why did you cross? This is the afterlife... and you can't go back."
 "You can't come back if you are here..."
 The area became dark... and out of the darkness, a demon-like presence came toward us.
 "You've finally crossed over, you fool! Your parents tried so hard to stop you... but you've crossed into the underworld... No human can return!"
 I hear a monster, not an ogre, but a monster with the face of an ogre, talking to me.
 Maybe this is a dream.
 The proof is that I don't feel fear for such a terrifying creature.
 It's not as big as a Black Dragon, but it's bigger than a three-story building in the previous world.
 "The underworld...? You mean the afterlife...? No, I can't die yet... Father, Mother, I'm sorry... I've taken four wives... And Mother and Father know them, right...? They are Shizuko-san, Haruka-san, Misaki-san, and Sayo-san... so I have to go back..."
 "That's great, aren't they all Mother's friends?"
 "Well, you must've been like that since you lost us so early... but taking four wives... are you some kind of a hero (Yuusha) or something?"
 "No! It was Zect who became a hero (Yuusha). I just joined his party."
 "I see... Guard, I beg you... return my son to the world..."
 "I beg you too."
 "No... it is the law... that must not be twisted."
 "Father, Mother... it was nice to meet you, and I'll come back here someday, but right now I just want to spend a little more time with my wives..."
 "Ahh... Well, I'm sorry, but my son has to leave... now go."
 "Your mother and father are guarding you... go on!"
 They're stopping the demon-like guard.
 "It's no use... No being can return once they're here, not even the hero (Yuusha).... You can't even bring weapons into the Underworld, not even the holy sword... Once you're here... No matter how strong you are... Any mortal is just a weak man... no match for me."
 "That sounds like if I can beat you I can go back."
 "No man has beaten me since time immemorial... but if you can beat me, I'll let you go!"
 This is bad... I don't have any weapons, any equipment...
 I didn't bring anything with me...
 But I have to try...
 Maybe if I hadn't fought the Black Dragon... my body might have been too scared to move.
 But... my body rebels... my mind rebels... There's nothing solid... and yet there's something that insists that the demon-like is small fry.
 "How can I be defeated by a little fish like him?"
 After I said so, I saw my appearance change into something between a jet-black dragon half the size of a black dragon and a human being...
 And suddenly I have long claws in my hands... I must be dreaming.
 "Y-Y-Y-Your claws, your eyes... The ruler of the underworld, the dragon royalty... Please forgive me... Help me, help me..."
* * *
 After that, I'm awake... and it seems I'm under the ground.
 There's something fishy in my mouth and it tastes funny.
 But I gotta get out of here...
 When I got out, I was covered in blood and dirt... like a zombie.
 My clothes are like rags and I look like a vagrant to anyone who looks at me.
 There's nothing around here... and if only I could fly, it would be so much easier...
 I started walking through the forest thinking that.
 Still... why am I alive...?
 If my memories are correct... how could I be alive with my body cut in half?
 Or was that a hallucination I had out of fear...
 Maybe the demon-like creature that followed must have been a hallucination too...
 I should never be able to see my dead parents again too?
 Well, I don't know where it came from, but I must have been hallucinating...
 As for the battle, The Black Dragon that beat me up, assumed I was dead, and buried me... that's about it.
 If he thinks I'm dead... he won't attack me anymore, right?
 'It's wonderful to be alive.'
 With that thought and the happiness of being alive, I walked toward King's Landing.

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