Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 84: The Light from the Heart
Unlike the gigantic figure it’d taken so far, the next form the “Witch” took was that of a female humanoid figure similarly sized to Elrise’s.
Her piercingly sharp eyes were lifeless and her facial features were well-formed; however, this figure’s face somehow gave off a cold impression.
Her silvery-white long hair extended all the way down to her hip. Her ice blue eyes fixed upon Elrise.
As for her age — by modern Japanese standards, she looked like she’d probably be in her early 30’s based on her appearance.
She also had a nice, well-proportioned figure.
Elrise didn’t know which generation of the Witch this form was based on, but… it seemed that all the generations of the Witch had silver hair. This was a fact that Elrise had only discovered just then.
It’s amazing that I never got caught as fake despite that. Elrise was thinking about such foolish things in the middle of the tense battlefield.
Okay, now it’s conveniently gathered into one place and taken form! Time to do it!
Since it was currently condensed into a single being, it might be stronger than before, but this was still a convenient situation for Elrise.
As it was now, she could confine it within a barrier and expel it out into space.
But, as if to counter her optimistic thoughts, the “Witch” suddenly moved toward her at high speed. She condensed her mana into a sword and slashed at Elrise.
Elrise hurriedly tried to make her own blade of light to parry the blow, but she lost the initiative in that clash and got flung away instead.
She crashed through several buildings before finally hitting the ground. Somehow, she managed to get back to her feet and, all the while, she was disoriented from shock.
Thinking about it then, she couldn’t recall a time when she’d taken damage ever since she’d become Elrise.
This was because she always had a powerful mana barrier around her all the time as part of her defenses.
Of course, it was also currently deployed but the “Witch’s” attack still managed to pierce through that barrier, though the damage was still slight.
Even now, Elrise still came out on top in terms of the sheer power in her attacks.
Regardless of the fact that the “Witch” could regenerate herself endlessly, the maximum amount of mana it possessed… in other words, its max mana, was still limited to 50 Witches’ worth.
If you converted it to numbers, then the “Witch’s” mana would be around the 100,000s. However, Elrise’s max mana was several times that amount.
No, since she merged with Fudou Niito, she was now complete, and the current level of her mana was several dozens of times that of the “Witch’s.”
But even though she’d undoubtedly win in terms of the sheer amount of power she can pack in a single attack, if the fight got drawn out then Elrise would be at disadvantage.
Elrise could still heal herself somewhat using the mana around her, but… her remaining lifespan was still short.
Currently, Elrise was only able to forcefully push through and move her body using what little remained of Fudou Niito’s life force.
So she couldn’t afford a drawn out battle.
Elrise flew forward and crossed swords once more with the “Witch.”
Unlike earlier, when it was Elrise who’d been caught off guard, this time the “Witch” was the one who was sent flying into the wrecked buildings. Immediately after, a sword of light was flung towards the “Witch,” piercing it.
As the sword pierced through the wall and impaled the “Witch,” stopping her movements, Elrise didn’t waste the opportunity and she cast another magic attack.
She created a barrier on the area around the “Witch” that prevented mana from passing through
She used 100,000 worth of MP to make sure it wouldn’t be easily destroyed and after that, she also cast more magic.
The pillar of light carried the “Witch” up along with the barrier that was confining it.
It was headed for the void of space beyond Fiori… into outer space.
While Elrise was unable to transfer the “Witch” too far, she could still banish it to a distance that would be too far to come back from.
The pillar of light pierced the skies and kept moving upwards — until it couldn’t be seen anymore.
At the same time, Elrise exhaled and then clutched at her chest.
Earlier, she could still use magic without any issue, but now her heart was furiously pounding.
Perhaps it was due to the fact that she had been dead until just recently, or it was a sign of her nearing death once more… She didn’t really know which of the two reasons were causing it and just assumed it was a combination of both.
Anyway, it seems like this body is no longer able to endure successively casting powerful spells.
“Elrise-sama! Are you alright!?”
Leila ran up to Elrise and started supporting her.
The initial happiness she had felt upon seeing that her beloved master had revived has already passed; what currently dominated Leila were feelings of uneasiness and fear.
She had never seen Elrise struggle so much with a fight.
Regardless if there had been a great army before her, of whichever Greater Demon she had faced, Elrise had always been able to easily win.
And right now, she was clearly exhausted.
“Will she be gone from us once more?” …She couldn’t help having such thoughts.
“Leila… you as well. You look so thin.”
Meanwhile Elrise, too, was shocked when she saw Leila’s figure.
Leila’s good looks had faded, and she clearly looked gaunt.
That showed how much anxiety she had been suffering through since Elrise’s death.
Honestly, she had really underestimated reality… no, everything.
She had thought that Leila was merely a character that had betrayed “Elrise,” and because of that she concluded that Leila wouldn’t be affected by her death. Such were her selfish thoughts.
She hadn’t considered Leila’s personality and devotion toward herself until this moment, and selfishly just assumed what Leila’s thoughts would be on her own.
Normally, this was something people would notice immediately, but Elrise only managed to realize such a thing now.
…However, she could only say that it was too late.
Elrise only had a little time left; she would die once more before she could even see the next sunrise.
As she thought that, she felt afraid of dying for the first time.
After she was gone… would Leila be alright?
She was already like this now. Then she was given hope again after seeing Elrise revive, and then would be pushed to despair once more when Elrise died.
When that happened, wouldn’t Leila be heartbroken?
As Elrise thought that, for the first time in her life, she felt that she didn’t want to die.
… But it was all too late.
“Is it over?” 1
Alfrea asked this as she approached.
Unlike Leila, she seemed to be alright.
“Well, maybe… I confined it and banished it beyond this world’s skies. Even if it manages to destroy the barrier itself, it should be impossible for it to return…”
As Elrise was saying that, she suddenly stopped.
Because she noticed the ominous sound of something approaching from the sky.
No, no. There’s no way, she thought.
Because the “Witch” had historically only taken over the past Saints, nobody ever thought that it’d be able to take over something inorganic.
As she fearfully looked toward Propheter, it let out a panicked voice.
“No good, that’s… that thing took over an absurdly huge rock just now and is heading towards here…”
With just that, Elrise quickly grasped the situation .
— it was a meteorite.
After the “Witch” was flung into space, somehow it managed to take over a nearby meteor and was using it to return to this planet.
If they didn’t do anything about it, the whole planet would suffer damage.
Worst case scenario, humanity might go extinct because of it.
“…gh! We need to neutralize it!”
Elrise raised her hand up toward the sky, and gathered all the mana she could.
Against a meteorite that could annihilate civilization, using a half-assed amount of power wouldn’t be enough to counter it.
She squeezed out all mana she had left in her, ignoring the furious palpitations of her heart.
The inside of her chest was beating madly and pain was running through it.
A golden flash of light emitted from her hands.
Its output was incomparable to all the spells she’d previously used, to the point that one would be able to see this pillar of light from outer space.
It was truly all of the power Elrise had left; even the meteorite was unable to endure such a blow, and was destroyed into fragments before it could crash into the world.
The aftermath of it even destroyed the “Witch.”
Right after Elrise finished the spell, she fell to her knees, and she had to push her hand to the ground to support her body.
“Haa! Haa! Haa! Haa!”
Her breathing became extremely ragged and she clutched at her chest in pain.
This definitely further shortened my remaining lifespan; each painful breath she took made her aware of this.
Leila had a tearful expression as she supported Elrise, but all Leila could do was curse at her own powerlessness.
However, even with that, the “Witch” still wasn’t completely destroyed, and it tried to reform itself once more in the sky.
“Leila… please stay away.”
Elrise shakily stood up, and began to do mana circulation.
This was because her last attack had consumed all of her mana.
That was why she needed to recover it as soon as possible.
As she began to take in nearby mana … Elrise noticed an incompatibility within her.
No, it was more like discomfort rather than incompatibility.
People’s negative feelings like despair, fear, hatred, envy, and resentment flowed in along with the mana and started to unsettle her heart.
This was something that hasn’t changed since all the previous times she’d done this kind of thing before.
It was something Elrise herself was already well aware of and it wasn’t something she normally took notice of.
What had changed… was the heart of Elrise herself.
All this time, Elrise was still observing everything, even herself, from an objective lens.
It was like there was another her who watched her real self like a spectator… that has always been the case, even since her last life.
That was how she had managed to ignore all the negative feelings that flowed in along with Mana, and flawlessly kept her act.
However, it might have been because she’d already died once.
Or it might have been because of how she now perceived this world as her reality.
Or it might have been because her soul was now merged and complete.
…The current Elrise was no longer able to treat herself as somebody else’s problem.
The negative feelings she had never noticed before suddenly became annoying.
Her heart was being disturbed by inexplicably destructive impulses. It made her want to go wild.
People would normally never show the dark parts of their heart.
But by taking in mana, one would be forced to face the darkness that they’d been trying to ignore.
I just wanted myself to be saved. I wanted to be the only one who has fun.
Envy, resentment, and hatred toward those who were superior to themselves.
It was like a black flame burning inside, yet somehow it was also sticky like tar; it was unsightly.
Perhaps the First Witch, Eve, had also been corrupted by this.
Was there any worth in protecting humanity? Wouldn’t it be better to destroy them all instead?
All these feelings had been transmitted to the past generation of Saints, which had caused them to give in to their own dark sides.
Elrise lightly laughed, and kept taking in Mana without worrying about it.
The human heart is ugly? What of it? I’ve already known about that for a long time now.
I’m also that kind of ugly person, so facing such a thing is nothing.
Perhaps the previous generations of Saints … including Eve, perhaps their hearts were just too pure. Their hearts were way too beautiful, so much so that it surpassed that of normal humans.
And that’s why they had been easily corrupted by this darkness.
But Elrise was different.
Unfortunately… My heart has already been black since the beginning!
Elrise’s own heart was so black that she herself couldn’t deny it.
She had always put herself first, and as long as there was justification for it, she had used that as reasoning to trample on people who had been weaker than she was. She was just an irredeemable scum.
She’d made sure to carefully choose who she acted like this to and had faked being a good person, but deep down, she was still scum.
She had put on the facade of a good person merely because it would be bad for her if she got found. It had all been but an act.
For Elrise’s heart, which was already jet black, even if another person’s darkness tried to color it, all she would feel was just a “slight discomfort.”
But that definitely hadn’t been the case for the past generations of Saints.
They had all begun with denying this darkness.
Humans were not supposed to be like that. They were supposed to be more beautiful.
They had believed it, endured it… and then they had finally lost hope in humanity and turned into Witches.
But Elrise would definitely not lose hope in humanity.
As for why—
Because compared to me, they are a lot better!
This was how a person who was already at the rock bottom thought.
In Elrise’s opinion, other people’s dark sides were still much better than hers.
Envy? I see, anyone would obviously be irritated when they see others who are better than themselves. All the handsome guys who treat Christmas as a night for sex instead of a holy night should just die. What’s so weird about thinking that? 2
Resentment? If anyone was treated badly, then of course they’d be angry and it’s normal to hold on to it for a while.
It’d be easy to say “just let it go,” but in the end, it’s basically them giving up out of frustration.
Hatred? Loathing? That kind of thing is normal.
The desire for self-expression and approval is something innate in everyone.
Humans are social animals after all. It’s not weird to think about wanting others’ acceptance.
And desire itself is something that every living being has.
Rather, how could you live without it?
She was already aware of all the things these negative emotions pointed out, and she didn’t think these were ugly things.
In fact, what disturbed Elrise’s heart more was that there were other things that were flowing in along with these negative emotions; while they were weak… they existed. These other types of extreme feelings.
For example, there was prayer. The wish that the people who were important to them wouldn’t get hurt. A pure heart that wished for better.
Another example was hope. To be able to look toward a new tomorrow. The light of the heart that allowed one to keep walking forward, no matter how hard it might be.
And then there was courage. A white flame that kept persisting despite facing off against difficulties and fear.
Also—love. Familial love, platonic love, charity, benevolence, and sexual love.
Up until this moment, Elrise had never felt any of these types of feelings ever since she was born; the feeling called “love” was a powerful poison to her, incomparable to that of negative emotion.
GYAAAAAAH! I took it in too quickly that something else also got taken iiiiin!?
For Elrise, whose heart was jet black, negative emotions weren’t considered a poison.
It merely irritated her for a bit.
But the same thing couldn’t be said when it came to positive feelings.
The Saints’ hearts, which were originally white, got corrupted by negative emotions and turned black.
In that case, then we could say that the reverse was also possible… what would happen if Elrise’s heart, which was originally black, suddenly got filled with positive feelings?
Sto, stop! Wait, time out! Stop, stop! If this keeps up I will get purified before “Witch” does! Don’t cast healing on corrupted things, you idiots!
The answer was that it would be cleansed by the light.
The feelings of people filled the mana in the air. The amounts of positive and negative feelings within it were about the same.
But for the past generations of Saints, positive feelings had been something they thought of as normal.
That was why they had only got greatly disturbed by negative feelings, and had been unable to notice the light that was also there.
Meanwhile for Elrise, who couldn’t become an even worse person that she already was, negative feelings were normal, while positive feelings greatly disturbed her.
That was why Elrise thought.
—I don’t need this kind of thing.
Just like how casting healing on an undead monster dealt damage to it instead, for Elrise’s polluted heart, the light of the human heart was akin to an unbearable sun.
For living beings who have adapted to live within darkness, the normal amount of light for humans was too bright for them.
The current Elrise was also like that.
Yet, as people continued to hope for Elrise’s victory, the feelings like hope, prayer, and love flowed into her instead.
Stop, are you trying to kill me before I could finish the “Witch?” was what Elrise thought.
As Elrise trembled and let out a merciful smile, she gazed toward the “Witch.”
As her expression became like that, it confirmed that her condition was already quite serious. She was about to be completely purified.
If this kept up, her heart would turn to white from its very core and she would turn into someone else.
So let’s just throw this all away, was what Elrise resolved to do.
“You all failed to endure the darkness of the human heart and turned into the Witch, but the human heart does not only contain darkness. What you all had once tried to protect during your time as Saints… what you had once loved, it still definitely exists here.”
Honestly, Elrise was already pushed to the very brink.
She was starting to see everything in the world as something beautiful.
She was filled with an unknown impulse to embrace everything and to love it all.
What is this? I understand destructive impulses, but what is this benevolent impulse? It sure is strange.
Let’s take a couple steps back. I understand the feeling of wanting to embrace cute girls, but why do I also have this feeling of wanting to embrace a dude? It’s making me crazy.
No, this is wrong. I’m definitely not a homo… I have no such interest. I’m supposed to be a normal person. 3
I don’t have any interest in touching a man.
Yet, ah… for some reason everything within my view… Vernell, John, and even the Turtle are starting to look lovely. 4
That’s why, before I become insane, I need to hurry and throw all of this away.
All the generations of Saints had endured these feelings for 5 years, but Elrise had no such endurance.
Forget 5 years, if it lasted for another 5 minutes, she would really be cleansed by the light.
It would be the fastest conversion in history.
“That’s why… receive it! This is the light from people’s hearts!”
As she said that, Elrise manifested all the light from people’s hearts (unnecessary things) onto her palm.
It was a near transparent white color, and was covered with Elrise’s golden mana.
I don’t need this kind of thing. It would only purify Elrise’s dark element down to her very core. 5
So I will give it back to the “Witch” who originally had the light element.
But the light that flowed in from everyone was a bit too strong.
It caused Elrise to stumble, but there were people who instantly caught and supported her body.
They were Leila and Vernell.
Then, from both of their hearts flowed more honest love toward her; it made Elrise feel like she was dying.
No good, I feel like I’m crumbling to ash.
Even as she thought that, Elrise smiled toward both of them, and she felt concern for their well being spread through her.
Ah, this is no good. If I don’t throw this away immediately, I might really turn into a Saint from the inside out.
With that fear, Elrise raised her hand, and this time all the light from the people’s hearts (unnecessary things) was unleashed (thrown away) toward the “Witch.”
White light surged forth and directly hit the “Witch” that still hasn’t finished completely materializing yet.
Elrise-san, this is the last time, so please do it more seriously.
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