Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 85: When Tragedy Ends
The light surged forth.
The “Witch” that had continued to laugh, regardless of what kind of power was used on it or how many attacks it took, showed a pained expression and started shrieking.
Even though it wasn’t supposed to materialize except at the split second moments when it attacked, the light of the human heart ignored such conditions and landed on the “Witch,” weakening it even further.
As Elrise had received the “Witch” into her body once before, she could somehow understand the reason.
While Elrise’s vessel hadn’t been suitable for the “Witch,” causing her to die soon after, some of the Witch’s feelings and memories still flowed into her, albeit limitedly.
The true nature of the “Witch” was that of the collective negative feelings accumulated throughout all the past generations of Witches.
It began with the very First Witch, Eve. Eve’s heart had become distorted because of the Witch’s characteristic that allowed them to gather large amounts of mana, to the point that they were no longer able to manage the darkness contained within it.
As they had realized, even after Eve’s death, that distorted heart had fused with mana and had continued to remain in the world, seeking the next suitable host to contain which would be the Saint.
The reason the “Witch” had grown this much was because this cycle had repeated over the course of 1000 years.
It was pure negative feeling. As such, regardless of what magic attribute was used against it, there was no way to counter it.
If someone carried hatred within them, even if that person was struck and physically killed, their hatred still remained.
If someone carried envy within them, even if that person was defeated by someone superior to them, their envy still remained.
And the very source of the “Witch’s” existence was the disillusionment and disappointment toward humanity.
The core of the “Witch” was the idea that there was absolutely no worth in protecting such people.
Regardless of what manner or how many times it was destroyed, its disappointment only grew greater. People hated and feared the “Witch.” All those feelings diffused into mana, further empowering the Witch into something that humanity could no longer handle.
So if that was the case, then what would be effective against the “Witch?”
It was quite a simple thing: the “Witch’s” natural enemy was positive feelings.
For example, if someone got hurt because of someone else, they’d obviously hate the one who hurt them.
But if said person then saved the life of the one who got hurt, their impression would conveniently flip and their hatred would fade.
It was like how one hated wasabi and chili as a child but then those spicy flavors became their favorites as adults.
Just like how hatred could turn into love, it was also possible to hate a person you once loved.
A feeling could fade due to another contradictory feeling.
And since the “Witch” was disappointed in the ugliness of the human heart, then all that needed to be done was to just show her the opposite.
The fact there was still worth in humans.
While they couldn’t see it as they were, the light still definitely existed there.
…Rather, it was more like the light of the human heart was way too blinding for Elrise that she lost her cool; as such, she just wanted to hurry up and throw it away.
“It’s in pain… even though the “Witch” shrugged off whatever we did to it before…”
Vernell had an uncomprehending expression as he saw how the “Witch” was currently in pain.
He likely had no idea how or why the invincible “Witch” was suffering from that attack.
In the first place, manifesting people’s positive feelings and throwing it away was something beyond the scope of his imagination.
“What turned them into the Witch in the first place, was none other than the human heart. The evil in other people’s hearts accumulated within the Witch, eventually distorting them as humans. And as they had ravaged the world and painted it in darkness… the human heart turned even darker, corrupting the Witch even more. That negative cycle, which lasted for 1000 years, is the truth of the scourge that is the Witch.”
It would totally look uncool if she honestly said, “As I circulated mana, the positive feelings were way too strong for me and almost purified me, so I threw it away to where it stood and somehow it worked out,” so Elrise explained it in a roundabout way.
It wasn’t that different from what she meant, but the impression differed based on how one said it.
“The world was painted in the same darkness the human heart was… That was how it worked. But just like the human heart could plunge the world into darkness, it could also shine light on it. Every person within this world… all the people still alive today are the ones who shone with the light of hope that they will still see tomorrow. All I did was simply push that light toward the ‘Witch.’”
She randomly said things that sort of made sense, and tricked people into thinking she was a good person because of what she did.
Regardless of how she said it, it didn’t change the fact that she still threw away other people’s positive feelings. Though since she said it like that, it made her look good.
On top of that, Elrise was floating and drawing the people’s gaze towards her.
And she didn’t forget to add proper lighting to attract their attention.
“Nothing will change as long as people keep pushing their burdens to the Saints, who become sacrifices. If one truly wishes to change the world, then every person alive right now… also needs to fight. That’s why — everyone, it is time to fight!”
She basically said, “Don’t just push it all on me, you guys have to fight as well.”
It was clear that an accumulation of positive feelings was the most effective weapon to defeat it, so all that was left for them to do was to repeat it.
So to increase the output, it was better to make people more optimistic.
And people seemed to take Elrise’s random words as truth; their eyes shone with hope and they stood up.
“That’s right! We are not here to just get protected by a single person. We shall protect what’s precious to us using our own hands!”
As someone said this, light flowed out from his chest light and flew toward Elrise.
“We shall reach tomorrow with everyone’s strength!”
Another person shouted out, and the light of their heart also surged.
Then it wasn’t just one or two people.
Everyone all stood up and light kept overflowing from them and gathering toward Elrise.
Courage, friendship, justice, kindness, compassion… and love.
An overflow of positive feelings was carried through the mana, instantly growing Elrise’s power.
GYAAAAAAA! It’s too much?!
The torrent of light from their hearts flowed with more momentum than before which made Elrise feel like her undead heart would die in an instant.
Her altitude dropped and she collapsed, but her body was quickly supported by Vernell.
While she was thankful for his help, Vernell’s feelings of love for her predictably flowed into her as well, damaging her even further.
Even so, Elrise let out a smile as she held herself together, then she nodded to Vernell.
Elrise and Vernell both shouted, unleashing the light.
It exploded upon the “Witch,” who was currently groaning in pain, causing it to shriek even louder.
Clouds were blown away by the impact, and people cheered at the light coming from the sky.
Within it, something crashed down, landing in front of Elrise.
“How can it be … Okaa-sama…?”
Alfrea saw what had fallen down and called out with a trembling voice.
The thing that was crawling on the ground had what seemed to be the body of a woman completely drenched in ink.
That last attack seemed to have completely neutralized its negative feelings.
It weakly tried to crawl forward and approach Elrise, and as it did, it let out pitiful mewling sounds.
Elrise gently patted the wretched remnant of the First Witch’s head.
Then Elrise directly poured whatever positive feelings were left in her into it, to the point that it was overkill.
“It’s all right… you don’t need to suffer anymore. That’s why… good night.”
Elrise dealt a finishing blow, and the “Witch” perished in that moment.
As people saw that scene they became ecstatic, and the cries of praises toward Elrise echoed around her.
Finally… finally, it was really over this time.
The cycle of tragedy that had lasted over 1000 years finally reached its true end.
Witches would no longer be born.
There would no longer be any need for the sacrificial role called the Saint.
Starting from tomorrow, people would be able to carve their own paths toward their own future.
As the world’s scourge was finally defeated, Elrise stood up as she felt a breeze blow past her face, and looked toward Leila.
Well then… How do I tell Leila that I’ll be dead in a few hours?
Before, she might have just brushed it off, thinking,“she will just get over it anyway,” but she couldn’t have such thoughts anymore.
More than anything else, Leila’s love was painfully evident during the last fight.
That’s why it was bad.
If she died, despite the fact that the world was now at peace, Leila’s heart would still break apart.
But Elrise didn’t have any time left to carefully choose her words.
The moment she let herself relax, she immediately felt pain running through her chest, and she dropped to one knee, as if in consequence to her actions.
Elrise’s lifespan supposedly still had a few hours left.
However, that time had been greatly shortened due to the burden she had taken on during this fight.
The time she had left was actually less than 10 minutes.
Leila embraced Elrise, who had collapsed to the ground, but her expression was filled with fear and sorrow.
“Someone… Someone, please help Elrise-sama! Hurry, healing magic!”
As people heard Leila’s cry, a few knights hurriedly ran over and started casting healing magic.
But it was futile. It wasn’t like Elrise had collapsed then because of any sustained wounds.
In the first place, if healing magic was a viable solution, then she would’ve used it on herself already.
Elrise desperately held on to her fading consciousness, and tried to keep her eyes open.
If she were to die in Leila’s arms twice, this time Leila would really commit suicide.
She had always been indifferent to her own death.
Even if she died, she’d never thought of it as a big deal.
But at this moment, for the first time ever, she thought she didn’t want to die.
Not for her sake, but for the sake of others who would be saddened by her passing… For that reason alone, she wanted to live on.
But her heart was furiously beating at a quickened pace; it confirmed that she would die soon, even if she didn’t want to.
…No good. My voice… won’t come out.
She thought she should at least say something to Leila, but this time she wasn’t even capable of speaking.
If she died now, Leila really would commit suicide right after to follow her.
Yet even as she tried to speak, only a cough came out; she wasn’t even able to cheer Leila up.
Eventually Leila’s expression changed into a resigned smile, and she embraced Elrise.
“Elrise-sama… I won’t let you go alone. I will accompany you soon… that’s why you can rest assured…”
OI, Stocco!? Wait a moment, Leila! Stay. STAY! That would not reassure me in the slightest! Or rather, why did even my inner voice turn proper as well?!
Leila declaring that she would commit suicide to join her wasn’t reassuring at all; it caused Elrise to panic.
On top of that, because a strong poison (the light of the heart) indeed had some side effects on Elrise’s heart, she noticed then that even her inner voice had changed.
She hadn’t been totally cleansed by light, but she did indeed get purified by a tiny bit.
She needed to insist that she’d stay alive, but the truth of it was that she would die soon.
As she desperately fought back against the drowsiness that was enveloping her, trying to think of what she could do, she saw Propheter from the corner of her eye.
“Elrise. You sure are amazing. I did expect and predict that you would somehow change the fate of the world. But to think that you truly managed to do so.”
Even as she replied curtly in her head, she was still desperately thinking about how she could prevent Leila from commiting suicide to join her in death.
Regardless of whether Propheter knew what Elrise was thinking, it kept on talking.
“The Witch will no longer appear…The Saints are also no longer necessary. In that case, the existence of the one who foretells of the Saint’s birth is also not needed anymore”
As she thought that, Elrise gradually lost the will to resist the ever-growing drowsiness enveloping her and her eyes closed.
She wasn’t even capable of keeping her eyes open anymore.
She felt Leila’s tears fall on her, but she had no more strength left in her to wipe those tears off.
“Oops, it seems this isn’t the right time for a long speech. Well then, let’s do the things I’m supposed to do. By the name of Propheter, the Prophet … Thou, Elrise, shall be named as the next Prophet!”
As Propheter declared that, Elrise felt something flow into her.
At the same time, her drowsiness faded and she stood up as if nothing had been wrong with her.
Elrise wondered what happened. Her eyes grew wide as she stared at her own hand, and she repeatedly clenched and unclenched it.
But in the next moment, she got pushed down to the ground as Leila, who was so overcome by her emotions, embraced her.
Illustration by かざい様
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