Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Side Story 3[A]
In a quiet forest, a tragedy was about to end.
Perhaps it was the greatest tragedy of all…
In the embrace of a weeping young man, a girl’s life was about to be scattered away.
And the young man couldn’t do anything about it.
All he could do was hold the girl as she grew colder in his arms.
“Hey… Ver. I… was happy… to be… with… you…”
“No, don’t die! No! No…!”
When did the fate of the pair become so wrong?
Why did it end up like this?
Although it was useless to think of it now that it reached this point, he couldn’t help but do so…
The young man could only regret the past.
“Ver… I love… you…”
The girl, Eterna, shed her tears while trying to force a smile for Vernell.
She actually still wanted to be together with him.
She wanted to stay with him, spending their lives together.
Not as the Saint… but as a girl, she wanted to walk beside him until death did they part.
However, since the Witch could only be defeated by the Saint, Eterna fought to fulfill her mission.
They battled… and as she defeated Witch Alexia, she also received fatal damage.
No, rather than simply receiving fatal damage, she made sure it would happen.
The Saint who defeated the Witch would turn into the next Witch and become the enemy of the world.
To end the cycle of tragedy… to let people she cared about have a happy future, Eterna chose to die to stop the cycle from continuing.
In other words — it was suicide. That was the only way she could think of to stop the cycle of tragedy.
Where did they go wrong?
What did he do wrong? Who was mistaken?
Eterna quietly closed her eyelids, and Vernell clung to her body as it gradually grew colder.
Even though Eterna wished to wipe his tears away, she no longer had the strength to lift her own arms — and her hand fell powerlessly to the ground.
Vernell weeped as he embraced the remains of his beloved.
Don’t die. Please don’t die.
Don’t leave me all alone in this world.
He wished for her to somehow remain in this world. However, such action was futile, and the young man lamented his own powerlessness.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of it.
No, the end of one tragedy also meant the beginning of another.
A shadow flowed inside Eterna’s remains, still in Vernell’s embrace.
At first, he didn’t have the composure to notice that, but as he gradually felt an ominous presence swelling in the sky, he looked above him — and there, he saw it.
It looked like black clouds roaring in the sky.
Countless faces of women emerged from the horrifying thing.
Among them, there was even the face of Alexia, who died not long ago when Eterna finished her off.
As he saw that, Vernell instantly understood.
…It’s this thing! This thing was the cause of all this tragedy…!
It is the root of all evil who transformed generations of Saints into Witches!
This is the “Witch” itself!
With the anger and sadness of losing Eterna, he touched his sword, but the “Witch” moved at the same time with one of its heads unleashing a black beam, blowing away Vernell.
It was a blow that made Alexia’s attack seem childish… Vernell was thrown toward a tree and collapsed against it.
As he was also exhausted from to the battle against Alexia earlier, this damage was enough to incapacitate him.
However, was this still not enough? Was there more tragedy to be added?
As his consciousness faded, Vernell witnessed an unbelievable sight.
The “Witch” reached out with a tendril, and lifted Eterna’s remains.
“Stop… it…! Return Eterna… to me…!”
He tried to stand as he coughed up blood.
However, he couldn’t muster the strength to his legs. His desperately stretched arm trembled.
One side of his sight was blocked and couldn’t see anything.
“Eterna… Eter, na…!”
Let her go.
Enough of this.
Eterna already suffered enough. She already tried her hardest while she cried as she did her duty.
Yet destiny still isn’t willing to let her go.
Does this mean that even after her death, she is not allowed a peaceful rest?!
“Screw, you… Screw you…!”
He gnashed his teeth out of anger, so hard that blood started leaking through them.
His remaining eye shed red tears, and his expression distorted with hatred.
However, the “Witch” kept laughing as if it didn’t care about his hatred.
It flew to the sky and it laughed and went away.
As it carried the remains of his beloved inside of it, the source of all evil continued to laugh.
Vernell desperately stretched his arm, only grasping on empty air.
Yup, it was shitty. I wouldn’t play this kind of crappy game anymore.
It was a kind of game where players might throw their controller away out of frustration.
Attacking using the light of the human heart was necessary to defeat the “Witch” -> the world was filled with so much despair that I lacked the necessary amount -> I couldn’t defeat it -> STUCK.
No, seriously, what should I do about this?
With a boss I can’t defeat, could I even do something thoooough?!
If it merely blocked any damage, I could think of some sort of method to make my attacks reach it, but this wasn’t that sort of thing.
This was a kind of bugged boss who would move despite the damage.
It was the type where some sort of bug triggered that allowed the boss to keep on attacking when their HP is at 0 and the battle itself wouldn’t end, it was the product of corporate negligence of sold goods… Hurry up and update to fix the bug, developer.
Anyway, since I already created the miniature sun, I still threw it toward the “Witch” and it exploded.
The white explosion illuminated the surroundings, and the laughter of the “Witch” stopped.
“Did you do it?!”
Stop that, Vernell-san. That was a flag that appeared when the enemy survived the attack.
Well, even without that, I knew the explosion wouldn’t be enough to destroy it.
The “Witch” temporarily dispersed, which made the villagers cheer.
Oh, did the hope become greater? Well, it still wasn’t enough.
Well then, what should I do about this? Was my thought as I watched the “Witch”, and then I noticed there was something inside of the dispersed “Witch.”
The size… was about the size of a human. The silhouette was also that of a human.
They had long, silver hair. As the dark cloud grew thin, I noticed that the person was a girl.
She had a pretty face, something possessed by the main heroine, just like Eterna.
…Hey, it really was Eterna?!
Vernell seemed to also notice it, and he shouted toward the slumbering Eterna.
However, Eterna’s eyelids were tightly closed and she didn’t react.
Rather… Eterna-san, you’re naked! You’re nude! Not even a shred of clothing!
NICE! NICE! …fuh.
I got to see… I got to see such a splendid view.
…Oops, this wasn’t the time for me to be happy. Why was Eterna-san inside of the “Witch?”
I didn’t know about such a development though?
While I was dumbfounded, the “Witch” restored itself, and tried to reform with Eterna as its core.
Oops, I wouldn’t allow that.
I didn’t mind you restoring yourself, but I would have you leave the body of the main heroine alone.
I was originally Eterna’s fan, so I wouldn’t allow the heroine-sama to be treated like that after her death and be naked in plain sight. I wouldn’t forgive such treatment.
Eh? You said I was happy about it earlier? Shut up! This and that were different matters!
Forget about anything that would be inconvenient for me to remember! It was necessary to have selective memory to be an evil superman!
As I tried to defend myself in my head, I grabbed Eterna’s hand and tried to pull her out.
— thump… thump…
I suddenly stiffened.
In Eterna’s hand that I grabbed… I felt an impossible sensation that made my thoughts stop.
It was very weak, so faint that one wouldn’t notice unless they focused enough to feel it… but it was definitely there…
No, it couldn’t be… to think that…
Those few seconds that I was stunned were detrimental.
The “Witch” pulled in Eterna with its tremendous power, which allowed it to escape from my arms.
Ah, soon after such a thought, the “Witch” reformed itself with Eterna as its core and moved away from me.
The faces of generations of Witches that made up its existence were reduced by one or two, but it was no less energetic.
However, it proved that my attack was indeed effective.
As you may know, there was no meaning to dealing damage toward the “Witch.” It would still be active despite its HP reaching 0, a bugged type of boss.
However, the attack of throwing light of hearts reduced the very curse that made up its existence.
Even though “Attack that reduced HP” was meaningless, “Attack that permanently reduced its MAX HP” was worthwhile.
In that case, I figured I should throw another one at it.
There was something else I was curious about, so I would have it reveal Eterna one more time.
I thought I got stuck before, but it seemed while I couldn’t defeat it just yet, I could permanently weaken it, so it could be reduced to a harmless existence as long as I threw enough light of hearts.
That was what I thought, but for some reason, the “Witch” changed its course and flew away.
Eh? It escaped? Seriously?
Did it possess the sentience to want to escape?
…No, it had no sentience. It just tried to create some distance since it received an unknown attack from me.
Looking at how fast it made the decision and escaped, perhaps it was due to Alexia’s influence.
I could chase after it, but… no, I couldn’t do that. Even if I did, I couldn’t destroy it.
The attack using the light of the human heart meant I must gather it externally.
If there was nobody around with hope in their hearts, I couldn’t use it.
If it was my world line, there were people everywhere, and the hopeful feeling would spread all over the world so
I could just absorb it from the environment without worrying about the location (Of course the effectiveness still depended on the place I used it), but… that was impossible in this World line.
If I were to leave this village, I doubted that I would be able to use that attack.
In other words, I had no way to deal with the “Witch” once it escaped.
The figure of the “Witch” eventually disappeared, and there were noisy, loud cheers coming from behind me.
Uoh, that surprised me.
“UOOOOOO! The “Witch” got repelled!”
“Unbelievable! It’s a miracle!”
“Amazing! You people are amazing!”
“Thank you…! Our deepest gratitude to you…!”
As I listened to the cheers of the villagers, I gave them a light business smile. If you were in trouble, just laugh it off.
Then they got even more heated up, raining praises down upon me.
Wow, this truly satisfied one’s desire for approval.
I was the kind of person who loved being acknowledged like this.
It was the sad nature of the monster who sought acclaim.
As expected, regardless how many times I did ME STRONK! and I AM AMAZING! It still felt good.
It did feel good, but… why did the Perverted Glasses Bastard genuflect?
What? Did he admit defeat or something?
“Ooh… Saint…! I’m honored to meet you…!”
“…Uhm, I’m not the Saint, though.”
I didn’t understand what this Perverted Glasses Bastard was saying.
Unlike my World line, I didn’t even pretend to be the Saint this time.
Yet for some reason, he referred to me as Saint.
As Vernell-san saw that, he gave a disgusted look to the Perverted Glasses Bastard.
“Hey, glasses bastard. You’re targeting El after Eterna this time?”
“What a stupid thing to say? I’m merely expressing how excited I am to meet the Saint.”
“I’ll tell you beforehand, don’t you dare try anything like kidnapping her. Consider your head forfeit the moment you do.”
Hiee. As expected, this world line’s Vernell-san was scary.
I did understand he was trying to protect me, though.
“Oh, Saint. If you allow me to, could you honor me to know your noble name?”
“I’m not a Saint. My name is Elrise.”
“Oh, what a beautiful name fit for Saint. It is truly the name that… uhn? Elrise?”
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Also, Tsukii has picked up a new series called “A Story of a Cannon Fodder who Firmly Believed He was the Protagonist, Misunderstood the Actual Protagonist as the Cannon Fodder, and Ended up Victorious!” The title really says it all. Early access to more chapters for this story is available on Patreon.