༺ I Will Love You Forever ༻
Ferloche quietly rose from her seat as she watched the four girls fall into silence.
The excruciating pain in her knees intensified as she stood up.
– Thud, thud.
Nevertheless, she continued to take steps forward, her gaze fixed on Kania who hung her head low with a vacant expression.
“I-I poured out my entire heart to make them…”
Kania was lifelessly staring at the now cold and dried-up sandwiches.
“I wanted to feed you a delicious sandwich without you having to worry about suffering at least once…”
Turning away from Kania, Ferloche approached Irina, who was huddled up.
“Frey… I’m sorry…”
She muttered while clutching the berry she held closer to her chest.
“I ended up confessing only after it was too late, just like a fool…”
In utter silence, Clana stood beside Irina while holding the starlight flower she had brought.
A single tear trickled down her face as she held the treasure she had prepared for the return of the star, which was now nothing but a lifeless flower.
“…Time is running out.”
Serena said in a trembling voice as she rose from her seat.
“No matter what we have to do, we will break the world’s rules. Even…Even if we have to defy heaven’s will.”
Her eyes were already engulfed in deep darkness.
Observing them closely, Ferloche asked in a subdued voice.
“Everyone, please listen.”
“If there was a way to reverse all this… Would you do it without hesitation?”
At that, all of them suddenly raised their heads.
“What do you mean by that…?”
The questions poured out. In response, Ferloche spoke once again,
“…It’s precisely what I said.”
“If you are given a chance to undo everything… what kind of choice will you make?”
“Even if you had to pay a certain ‘price’, would you still willingly undo it?”
As her words resounded in their ears, a brief silence fell.
Finally, the first one to speak was Kania.
“I-If I could treat the Young Master to warm food… I’m willing to pay any price.”
Her eyes were filled with yearning.
“…I-Is there really a way to undo everything? If there is, I will not hesitate to do whatever it takes.”
Next, it was Irina who spoke.
“I will become his sword and shield. Even if he becomes a Demon King… I’ll be his most destructive weapon, capable of wiping out all of his enemies.”
With burning determination, she stood up from her seat to declare her intentions..
“I don’t need the throne, wealth, or honor. All I want right now is Frey, who risked his life for me.”
The third girl to agree was Clana.
“Are you trying to perform magic by offering a sacrificial lamb? I know that my body is the most suitable vessel for performing the grand ritual. So, offer me as the sacrifice.”
She put her chest forward, as if she was ready to get her heart ripped out at this very moment..
“…I have already been trying and offering various sacrifices.”
The last one to speak was Serena who added her own thoughts in a low voice.
“Even if I have to give up my body and mind, I planned to research and break the world’s rules for countless years… So, is there any good way to do it?”
As she asked this, her eyes appeared dull, almost as if she had lost half of her sanity and rationality.
After receiving the answers from the four girls, a brief silence ensued.
The silence was suddenly broken by the loud creak of the church door as it opened.
The person who entered, panting heavily because she sprinted at full speed, was Isolet.
“I got a message that Frey is here…”
“…Come to think of it, Frey indeed said that back then.”
Looking at Isolet, Ferloche began to mumble incomprehensible words, as she walked slowly towards her.
“Originally, you were the sixth… but it seems like you were demoted for some reason.”
“Still, ending it at the fifth might not leave any regrets…”
“Now I have come to understand what you meant that time.”
“What is she even saying… More importantly, where is Frey…”
As Isolet searched for Frey, Ferloche climbed up the church altar that she had been praying at until then. Finally, with a pale expression, she continued her story.
“Anyway, I understand everyone’s sentiment now.”
“It’s not just me; I’m sure everyone else would have made the same choice. Right?”
Ferloche, still making incomprehensible comments, were met with puzzled expressions from the other heroines.
“…Thank you for giving me courage.”
After bowing to the other girls, Ferloche joined her hands in prayer and concluded her monologue.
“See you again soon.”
And the next moment, a brilliant light emanated from Ferloche as it enveloped the entire church.
My head hurts. No, not just my head; my whole body was sore.
Was this the aftermath of using divine power after so long?
The divine power I just unleashed was the strongest I had used so far, so it was only natural that my body would ache as a consequence.
As such thoughts ran through my mind, I stood up and was met with a woman who was standing right in front of me.
She called my name while staggering and emitting a faint light from her body, that was ruined and covered in wounds.
I called out to the woman with a trembling voice, and she responded with a start. From the looks of it, it seemed like the being in front of me was indeed the Sun God.
When I last saw her slightly, she hadn’t been this injured. Had she overexerted herself to bring me here?
“Please, explain what happened.”
Unfortunately, I neither have faith in her nor time to sympathize right now.
What is most important to the current me is Frey.
“We don’t have time to waste. Quickly…”
As I urged the Sun God, suddenly, the surroundings began to shake violently.
“I-I will explain.”
Simultaneously, the Sun God, who had been staggering in front of me, hastily opened her mouth to speak.
“Although I couldn’t defeat my younger sister, I succeeded in restoring the ‘Retry’ by pouring out all my remaining power…”
– Rumble! Crash…!
“Also… I’ve been using all my remaining strength to prevent the sun from dying out completely, or else my sister would have snuffed it out hours ago…”
Yes, I understood the situation roughly.
So, this moment marked our last chance.
As I hurriedly approached the Sun God, she spoke with a pale expression.
“Are you really going to inherit ‘Retry’?”
“It will be harder than you could possibly imagine…”
– Rumble… Crash…!
At that moment, the barrier created by the Sun God shook greatly.
“I-I will try my best…”
“…What did you say?”
“I-I will try… to… save…”
“I can’t hear you well.”
Oh my god.. Frey, who had disappeared earlier, was currently beating the shit out of the Demon God.
Inside the cracks in the broken space around, there was a dark void. Did they come out from there?
“I may not have enough power to undo what you have done… but before I move onto the next cycle, I can, at the very least, release all my anger on you until I’m satisfied.”
“W-Wait… wait a moment… Let’s make a deal…! Keugh…!”
While I blankly watched the scene, the Sun God threw a question at me, her forehead covered in sweat.
“I could grant Mr. Frey the Power to Retry once again. However…”
“No, you can’t!!”
Finally coming to my senses, I shouted at the Sun God.
“Can’t you see his soul?! It was already damaged, but now it’s completely shattered due to the aftermath of choosing annihilation!!”
“If he tries to Retry even once more, his soul will be irreparable! You won’t be able to give him a happy ending!!”
Upon hearing my words, the Sun God tightly closed her eyes and spoke with finality.
“…Then, I will grant you the ‘Power of Retry.'”
And in the next moment, excruciating pain enveloped me.
Frey, who had been suppressing the Demon God with a cold expression until now, raised his head upon hearing my scream resound from all directions, as his eyes widened.
“N-no way…? The reason that we have the next cycle was because…!?”
Then, with a pale expression, he started approaching me.
“W-Wait!! You can’t burden yourself with that…!”
“I said I will love you forever.”
Don’t worry, Frey. I will protect your soul from now on.
Now that I have become the subject of Retry, your soul will no longer suffer damage.
With that thought in mind, I gave Frey a bright smile and whispered in a low voice. And in the next second, the world turned upside down.
“This was everything I wanted to show you.”
In a gloomy room, where a huge scale stood idling.
“…Did you witness it clearly?”
While observing the four girls in the room, who had indecipherable expressions, Ferloche spoke to Frey in a low voice.
“Now, the time has come.”
As Frey, who had been observing Ferloche’s perspective on the black screen until just now, didn’t respond, Ferloche slowly turned toward the scale and spoke.
“The five main heroines, including me…”
“…I have a question.”
While interrupting her, the transparent Frey threw a question.
“How did I intervene in the ordeal if I chose annihilation in this cycle?”
Hearing this, Ferloche turned around and answered.
“Originally, in this cycle, you stopped the countdown in the black room and just watched everything play out until you got swept away in my first Retry.”
“Yes, you simply stood by, unable to revert back to your original feelings for us… Only watching the world absentmindedly.”
With a dark expression, Ferloche closed her eyes deeply.
“However, through the Third Ordeal that was activated by us, who are from a future cycle, that person could become a subject of judgment alongside you.”
“If the version of you who wished for annihilation had chosen ‘judgment’… the subsequent cycles might have been affected. Including our current cycle.”
“But that person, the one who chose annihilation… did not bestow any judgment upon us. Instead, he just chose to love all of us.”
“Moreover, you had put all your strength into beating down the Demon God into such a wretched state…”
As Ferloche continued, her expression gradually turned inexplicably dark.
“Personally, I wanted to receive your judgment.”
“Because I violated your will to seek rest even white knowing that you were beyond exhaustion.”
“But since then, you have become the subject of Retry, so…”
“That’s not the only reason.”
Ferloche’s body began to quake with tremors.
“Even without that reason, considering your suffering after the countless tragedies, sorrows, and numerous regressions caused by this world… you still have the right to judge everyone.”
“What do you mean…”
“The more I Retry, the more I realize that the pain you went through… was beyond imagination. It is beyond human comprehension. No one can withstand such a cursed fate. So, please…”
Frey sighed while looking at Ferloche, who was speaking with a tearful expression.
“You’ve immersed yourself too deeply in guilt.”
“All the motivation to endure those many cycles… was centered around ‘guilt.’ Burdening yourself with unnecessary responsibilities for wrongdoings has collapsed your mind.”
“No, it’s not because of guilt, it’s naturally your right…!”
“So, as another subject of judgment, how does my own judgment proceed?”
In response to Frey’s question, Ferloche put on a broken-hearted smile and answered.
“It’s simple. The guilt that the main heroines, including me, carry, compared to the empathy and love you hold for us, determines the appropriate punishment…”
“…This system is still as lame as always.”
Hearing Ferloche’s words, Frey chuckled bitterly.
“You guys have no reason to bear guilt towards me.”
“N-No, we do…”
“Now I understand.”
Interrupting Ferloche’s words once again, Frey’s expression showed a profound realization.
“Those who should receive judgment are… not me, not you, and not the world.”
“This is the conclusion I have reached while experiencing the Third Ordeal.”
Seeing Ferloche’s eyes waver as she listened to his words, Frey approached the black screen and declared loudly,
“My empathy and love should be greater than the guilt you all carry, right?”
“Then, there’s a good way to handle this.”
“Starting from when Ferloche obtained the Power of Retry, show me the events up to this point.”
Then, a sentence appeared on the black screen.
“I had a hunch when I saw you command the black screen to replay ‘scenes after praying.’ It turns out it works for me too.”
Frey smiled and commented while looking at the red window.
“No! I can’t trap you in those times again!! Nooo!!”
Hearing Frey’s resolve, Ferloche desperately tried to stop him.
“Don’t worry; I have no intention of further fueling your guilt.”
Responding to her softly, Frey said.
“… Please summarize so it won’t last more than a day.”
Frey commanded the black screen again.
Along with a light-hearted ding, a final sentence appeared.
Frey, who had been blankly gazing at Ferloche, turned his attention towards the screen as the video started to play. In a low voice, he murmured…
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