Book 2: Chapter 401
‘Lukas’ who had died, ‘Lukas’ who had become a corpse, and ‘Lukas’ who had chosen to live the life of a bandit instead of that of a Wizard.
Had he also witnessed the truth about Sophia?
If so, what had he done after that?
He soon received the answer to that question.
…Just like him, he had chosen to follow Sophia and learned the truth.
But that night, instead of confronting Sophia or asking anyone for help, ‘Lukas’ chose to run away. Terrified, he ran away from that reality without looking back.
In Lukas’ opinion, that was one of the worst choices.
How far did he run? By the time Lukas had become exhausted and had no choice but to stop, light was beginning to appear in the dark night sky, and the surroundings were becoming brighter.
The view around him was that of a mountain valley, but he had no idea what mountain it was. But at least he could tell that it was a place he’d never been to before.
‘I must have seen wrong.’
‘Lukas’ thought. His thoughts had calmed down, but he was still in denial. Foolishly, he decided to return to the orphanage. If he simply retraced his steps, he should be able to get there soon enough.
But his feet could move easily. His legs felt like they were made of lead.
He forced himself to walk forward. He comforted himself thinking that he would be fine as long as he forced his feet to move, but his legs grew heavier and heavier, and to make matters worse, his heart rate also began to accelerate. It wasn’t even that hot, but sweat poured down his face.
He bit his lip hard. Enough to make it bleed.
Using the pain in his lip, ‘Lukas’ forced his legs to move, but soon, even that was no longer enough.
“Hey brat, stop right there.”
“Give us everything you have on you.”
‘Lukas’ was stopped by bandits waiting at the exit to the mountains. His entire body was already exhausted so he couldn’t even use magic. When they saw the penniless ‘Lukas’, the bandits clicked their tongues.
“s.h.i.t. We haven’t seen a beggar like this in a long time.”
“We’ve been too lucky from the beginning… Hey, what are you staring at? You should get out of here while we’re letting you go nicely.”
The bandits didn’t harm or kill ‘Lukas’ for no reason.
Their goal was simply to extort money.
But at that moment, a man appeared behind them.
“Brat, you’re an orphan.”
A thin appearance.
He was a man who was a head shorter than the bandits who had stopped him earlier. However, his face was covered in countless horrific scars. So, despite being relatively small, he had an intimidating aura.
This man was ‘Black Fox’, the notorious bandit leader of this mountain range.
Black Fox stared at ‘Lukas’ for a moment before suddenly lifting him up with one hand and throwing him over his shoulder. This was an incredible feat of strength to perform with a small body, but ‘Lukas’ soon realised that his entire body was made up of well developed muscles.
“What are you…”
Black Wolf responded simply.
“Let me go…!”
‘Lukas’ began to struggle. But, looking back on it later, he probably would be relieved that he hadn’t returned to the orphanage at this time.
When one of his swinging hands struck the back of Black Fox’s head, his expression immediately became cold.
Immediately after, ‘Lukas’ felt a sharp pain in the back of his head and lost consciousness.
Black Fox muttered.
“Now you’re a bit more obedient.”
* * *
—The kidnapped ‘Lukas’ was forced by Black Fox to live the life of a bandit. The reason why the word ‘forced’ is used is because ‘Lukas naturally didn’t have any intentions of being a bandit, and expressed his defiance with all his might.
It didn’t work.
Black Fox was strong. He was so strong that he couldn’t be taken as a simple bandit leader. ‘Lukas’ couldn’t see a way to beat him.
And he also couldn’t tell why such a strong man was obsessed with making him a bandit.
…Perhaps it was because Black Fox saw Lukas’ tenacious spirit.
He secretly nurtured ‘Lukas’ to be his second in command, sometimes telling him.
“If you kill me, you can leave this place. None of these bandits will be able to stop you.”
…It was by no means a comfortable life. He experienced all kinds of hardships. He was abandoned in a monster infested forest for a month, and realised just how much of a blessing it was to be able to eat once and fall asleep without needing to be wary of his surroundings. There was a time when he’d almost gone blind because couldn’t properly treat a rotting wound.
Perhaps it was because of how desperately he struggled.
But ‘Lukas’ soon forgot about the orphanage. No, he didn’t forget. He brushed it off to the side.
When he was first captured by the bandits, he was obsessed with killing Black Fox and escaping. But he didn’t have the power to do so, and he didn’t have the ability to return to the orphanage…
In that way, he hid behind a cowardly excuse.
But five years later, ‘Lukas’ was able to unintentionally escape from the bandits. Of course, this wasn’t because he’d managed to kill Black Fox.
That man had died on his own terms.
It was a big accident.
They had naturally targeted a n.o.ble.
And attempted a simple but effective two stage plan, but it failed.
The other side had a Wizard. It was a 5 star Wizard whose destructive power had been absolutely terrifying. Most of the bandits had burned like dry firewood in the flames summoned by the Wizard.
At that time, Black Fox had made a decision. He revealed himself to be the leader of the bandit group and attracted most of the enemy’s attention.
In the end, he didn’t even leave a corpse, his black ashes scattering in the wind.
‘Lukas’ had been greatly shocked by the death of Black Fox. Even as he tried to run away, he couldn’t help but feel sadness and even sympathy.
That man had given him h.e.l.l for five years. Was he touched that he’d given his life for him in the end?
He didn’t know, but ‘Lukas’ was certain that Black Fox hadn’t sacrificed himself at that time just to save him.
Instead, he’d considered the circ.u.mstances and made the most reasonable judgement at that time. With just his one life, he would be able to save the lives of dozens of bandits. That was the kind of man he was.
The remnants of the bandit group took Lukas as their new leader. He was the youngest among them, but over the years, he had established himself as the brilliant right hand of Black Fox.
But Lukas ignored them and went to another place.
He couldn’t avoid it any longer.
When he entered the familiar forest, ‘Lukas’s heart pounded heavily in his chest. By this time, ‘Lukas’ had already grown into a strong, 19 year old young man. He knew how to calm himself down and control his fear.
However, when he saw the appearance of the orphanage beyond the stream, he could no longer maintain his composure.
Technically speaking, there was no orphanage in sight. In its place were only charred marks on the ground.
It must have been a huge fire to burn it so perfectly to the ground. It felt like he was in a completely different place.
Heart pounding, ‘Lukas’ rushed to the nearby city. Then, he grabbed the arm of a pa.s.serby like a madman and began to ask questions.
And he found out.
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Sophia was the culprit behind the disappearances, and she had burned herself together with the orphanage in a fit of madness.
A body of flesh and blood, although rotted.
…To eat another human.
If one were to ask if his rejection of this had completely disappeared, the answer would be no.
However, even ‘another Lukas’ didn’t consider him to be human.
And he himself agreed with that.
If that was the case then now,
Even if he were to become a monster, it couldn’t be helped.
He picked up ‘Lukas’s corpse.
Juk, he opened his tightly closed mouth.
And bit into the rotten corpse. Immediately, a terrible stench filled his nostrils, and it felt like he would release the contents of his stomach, but he was able to suppress the feeling and keep moving his jaw.
He endured the taste and sensation of chewing flesh as well as the stench that made him want to vomit.
‘Lukas’s flesh did not taste good. This was natural since it was a rotten corpse. There was also the occasional sensation that didn’t feel or taste like flesh or blood, in those cases, it was probably maggots. Every time that happened, his disgust grew even more.
With every bit of flesh he ate, it felt like his heart was becoming darker and darker. As if his entire body was being painted black. Every time he became aware of his own actions, he felt an overwhelming sense of immorality, making it difficult to maintain his sanity.
It felt like he was gradually sinking into an abyss from whence he would never return.
It was even more disgusting since he was eating the corpse of ‘another Lukas’ but it could not be helped.
This was the only way.
Lukas was now crossing a line.
In order to live for such an unimaginably long time and still keep a clarity of mind, it was necessary to limit one’s scope of action.
For example, one should set ‘lines’ that could not be crossed. Otherwise, regardless of how strong one became, it would be easy to lose go crazy.
The collapse and corruption of those who had lost control of themselves.
It was something that Lukas had seen countless times before, and something he’d vowed never to do.
But now, he was breaking his vow.
Lukas was now becoming that kind of being because he wanted to.
In other words, he was going crazy.
“Ku, kukuk, ku..”
He burst into laughter, but he realised that he was also crying at the same time.
Nevertheless, even while he shed tears with a distorted expression, Lukas didn’t stop eating ‘Lukas’.
By the time the hardest meal of his life had ended, Lukas’ face was covered with blood.
—He was full.
He had eaten several times in the World of Void, but this was the first time he’d felt full. His missing lower half had also regenerated without him realising.
He wiped his face with his sleeve, but the blood didn’t come off so easily.
While looking down at the bones of ‘Lukas’, which had become bare, he suddenly had a thought.
Eating people wasn’t as bad as he thought.
(TL: Hmmm, it was a great idea to translate this while eating. Wonderful idea.)
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