Chapter 36. The Night of The Broken
The night of the Warrior’s death was almost horrifyingly silent. The mission was a success, which called for a celebration, but I suppose that couldn’t really be a thing with the amount of blood it took to achieve this. I stayed in the stables as usual, with a book in hand, until the saint came over to meet me with a body drenched in sweat.
"Mr. Murderer? So you were here after all."
Something was off. But I really didn’t care enough to find out more about it. Since I was born I had never taken interest in a person other than myself. Due to this, I wasn’t very happy about the saint’s surprise visit.
"The way to find the right answer?"
I answered her lazily as I kept reading.
"Who knows. It’d be different based on the problem at hand, wouldn’t you think? The easiest method would be something close to the sieve of Eratosthenes. It’s the easiest method of finding prime numbers. It’s quite simple. You just net out the numbers that aren’t prime numbers. You’ll be left with the right answers by the end. Process of elimination works quite well."
Because I could not kill, I loosened the definition of death. I tried putting the societal death as a form of death. The only reason why this plan succeeded was luck.
As a person who chose to die, I didn’t have any particular desire to live. This "hero hunt" was only a form of entertainment for me. The saint stayed silent even when I was thinking all this.
This is why conversations were boring. The responses of others were extremely slow compared to my thought process. It almost felt like I was living in a world of water. I saw the saint open her mouth and realized that she was about to ask another question.
"If the Warrior didn’t choose death… What were you planning to do? Were you actually going to erupt the volcano…?"
"Who knows? I couldn’t even make the volcano erupt using the method I told him. I can’t deliver things underneath the volcano."
If there was no empty space underground, the delivery wouldn’t go through. Well, it’s not like there was no way to make the volcano erupt, but still.
"Then… Would you have given up…?"
"No. The reason why magma explodes is because there’s pressure building up from the inside. It doesn’t even have to be pressure from under the magma. I just need to apply sudden pressure to the magma. If I wanted the volcano to explode, I wouldn’t have even ordered water."
The level one ability of Heart of Gold already had infinite possibilities. I could sink a ship by ordering a huge amount of goods on it, or I could destroy a building in a similar manner. I continued talking.
"This is all just a theory in the end. The volcano might not have even erupted back then, causing my plans to be jeopardized. But I just need to change the equation a little bit or use a different method when something like that happens. In fact, I don’t even need to cause the volcano to erupt."
"…There was no need?"
I confessed everything to the frowning saint.
"I could’ve exploded a sector in the town with a bomb, then threatened the Warrior with the villagers. The result of this would’ve been the same. I just used the volcano for artistic value."
"Just for that…"
Because I could, I did. That was all.
"'Taking hostages'. There really are no better ways to kill heroes, don’t you think? People like the Warrior never hesitate to give their lives for other people. I don’t understand it myself, but I assume there’s some kind of logic involved with their line of thought. Well, but then again, they might not be thinking logically at all."
The saint listened to me quietly, then declared something with a loud voice.
"I forbid you from taking hostages from now on."
It wasn’t like I’d have any problems with that, but it didn’t make sense. Even when I understood the thought process of the saint, I thought it was quite strange. The saint spoke to me with a desperate tone.
"It’s not right to play around with a person’s life. Please stop it."
"You’re such a hypocrite. Didn’t you take part in killing Romeo? Don’t try to ignore your own sins."
The saint responded to my reproach as such.
She asked me this with blurred eyes, as if she had become a different person altogether.
"…You sure you’ve slept enough?"
"I’m completely fine. Slept enough."
How strange. Her eyes were sick for a person who had slept, and her forehead had drops of sweat streaming down it.
"Romeo Smith. That was the Warrior’s name. Remember?"
"I don’t know anyone like that…"
A blank response void of any emotion. I realized something was terribly wrong, and began to relay more information to her.
"The undying. Sword dancer. The Warrior. His name was Romeo Smith. An American. He was one of the members of the hero’s party, and was also your former comrade. The person who loved you."
"You’re saying quite a lot of strange things."
The saint smiled like a sickly patient.
"You’re the one who needs more sleep, huh, Mr. Murderer? The Warrior’s name isn’t Romeo Smith, it’s ○○○ ○○○."
…What the hell is that name? I heard it, but I couldn’t even begin to try to pronounce it. It was almost as if the translator was returning broken text back to me. I realized the weight of the situation, and contacted Necro immediately. A bit later, the man ran towards us with a clatter.
Necro uttered the saint’s name with a saddened voice as he came up next to her. I could see that he was desperately trying to hide his face that seemed to be on the verge of tears.
This wasn’t like him.
The saint didn’t seem to notice that though, and asked an innocent question to Necro.
"What is it?"
"Eh? It’s nothing, it’s nothing…"
Necro spoke to her with a soft and caring voice, as if he was taking care of a small child.
"You must be tired. You should get some sleep."
"I’m not that sleepy… I’ve already slept enough as a matter of fact."
"Still, go sleep some more."
The saint turned to me and waved her arms.
"Mr. Murderer, please have a good night. I’ll see you tomorrow."
I watched her quietly, then eventually waved back with a kind smile.
At a table on the first floor of the inn. Necro explained to me that this condition of hers began about two years ago.
"Autobiographical memory distortion, was it? The condition is pretty damn strong for her, though."
"…Is that so?"
Memory isn’t perfect. Humans were made to remember only the happy things in life, and occasionally reformat certain memories in life. Then what about Morto’s ability?
It was abnormal to have perfect memory as a human. It wasn’t natural. Even my brain, the Palace of Memory, wasn’t able to recall everything that I see and hear perfectly. The saint’s ability was closer to an error in this world.
That was because perfect memory would make someone be able to recall the worst of the worst memories in perfect condition. This was both a great advantage and a disadvantage—. No, it was a flaw that couldn’t be fixed.
"Just think about it. You can’t forget horrid memories that you desperately want to forget. A person like that has no choice but to go crazy. Even meds can’t fix something like this. Don’t worry too much about it, I guess? This won’t affect our mission one bit."
That horrid memory that Necro was talking about couldn’t be Romeo Smith’s death. It was something darker than that. Something that was dark and unsightly enough to render the saint into this state. I didn’t bother asking any more though. A failure of a product like me never had any interest in other people in the first place. Such things were worthless. I just hoped that Necro would get done with this talk as fast as possible. I half-listened to Necro’s story, then interrupted him in the middle of his story.
"I get it. So it’s a form of memory distortion?"
The saint loses her memory of a person when someone close to her dies. Because the death of those she didn’t know didn’t make her sad. Because the deaths of those on the other side of the world didn’t matter to her.
Because I’m already dead, because I’m a dead person, she’d never forget about me.
I suppose that doesn’t matter, does it.
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