༺ Result of the Judgement ༻
How many times had I repeated this? I couldn’t even remember anymore.
Well, I had long since given up keeping track of the retries. It was truly meaningless after all. Tallying the countless failures that seeped into the unending flow of time only brought me a sense of despair.
“Gugu~! Let’s eat!!”
No matter how many retries I’d have to undertake henceforth, I no longer needed to deceive the Demon God or cast any magic.
Thanks to my shattered soul and mental state, even if I did nothing to hide and lived just as I always had, the Demon God would remain unable to discern my true self.
But of course, it was only in dimly lit places or during the nights when the Demon God’s surveillance weakened that I occasionally unveiled my true self.
It was partly to trick the Demon God’s watchful gaze and to protect myself in the endless flow of time.
I left my actions to my absent-minded self while my true consciousness remained submerged in the subconscious– similar to an automated process, you could say.
If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have lasted for long. Enduring the endless flow of time with a sound mind would have inevitably led to a complete loss of self.
It dawned on me that Frey was truly an amazing person. Between the two of us, I didn’t know who spent more time in these repetitive loops, but he must have felt a similar pain…
I was still far from atonement.
“Ah, ouch! Not my hand! Just eat your food!!”
In any case, the reason I briefly brought out my consciousness was to review my checklist.
To make it convenient to see what I needed at a glance and memorize it, I wrote everything down on a piece of paper with each retry.
As such, periodically, I would need to check if I missed anything. It was because if there was even a slight mistake, I would have to restart from the beginning.
1. Pray to the Sun God every day to obtain the ‘Blessing of the Sun God’.
Obtaining the ‘Blessing of the Sun God’ was so important that I had to put it at the top of the list.
It was a necessary skill to keep the Demon God from killing Frey, and at the same time, an essential skill to protect Frey from danger.
Yes, I had been doing this all the time.
From Frey’s perspective, I prayed every day, starting from the second cycle when he entered the academy, without fail.
This way, the Demon God and Frey would see me as a foolish Saintess who relentlessly tried to kill him. It was the most effective method I found through the countless regressions.
Naturally, I had been successful in this.
During the auction incident, even though I knew it wouldn’t work, I intentionally used my ultimate skill against Frey and pretended to be affected by Eucarious’ hypnosis magic.
While doing so, I also purposely gathered the group outside the auction house so that Kania could discover Frey’s badge.
I wrote a silly, threatening letter and threw a maid outfit on him after the incident. Then I ended the entire event by breaking Frey’s neck.
It might seem excessive, but there was no other way. If I hadn’t done such things since the beginning, I wouldn’t have been able to quell the Demon God’s suspicions completely.
Besides, even if I did break his neck there, Frey wouldn’t die. The ‘Emergency Protection System,’ a system originally designed to help Frey, still remained.
Thanks to that, Frey didn’t suffer any real damage, and I was able to almost completely deceive the Demon God.
During the attack on the commoner dormitory, I deflected the attacks while emitting my holy power, ensuring that the commoners weren’t injured. This was to trigger Miss Irina’s suspicions…
When Frey and I descended into the church’s underground, I… intentionally led him to the room where an important hint was written on the stone tablet.
“…That’s right! Our Gugu is such a good girl!”
I wouldn’t have enough time if I kept reviewing all these things. So far, the Demon God has yet to catch on, so it must be progressing smoothly.
This was the most critical and difficult task.
I don’t even know how many times I had to Retry because I couldn’t control that timing.
Ever since I realized that one of the conditions to activate the “2nd Year DLC Story” was for all five students, including myself, to discover Frey’s true identity, I had been researching a way to make it happen just before the 2nd year began.
Furthermore, one coincidence was literally just that: A coincidence. After countless regressions, when I figured out how to make it happen, a genuine laughter escaped me for the first time in a long while.
That adorable little girl was the key all along.
Although now, I could secretly do the behind-the-scenes work necessary to make it inevitable, back then, when it was just a ‘coincidence,’ how many regressions was it to just find that condition?
Ah, I needed to yawn first.
The most effective excuse when tears threatened to well up was yawning.
Although there was still a lot left on the checklist, I folded it and put it in the drawer.
What should I do? It felt as though I had reached my limit once again. It had been a while since I felt like this, so why was it happening again?
When I started to panic…
Huh, what in the world?
Whom I had been feeding was not Gugu, but a pencil all this time. I had food scattered across the desk and had let the pencil ‘eat’ it.
Had I finally reached my breaking point? I thought I had been holding up remarkably well until now. After everything I had done to come up to this point?
Casting the pencil to the corner of my dormitory, I buried my head in my hands and let out a deep sigh.
At the same time, tears started to gather in my eyes. I couldn’t help it; I was so frightened and stressed.
“My soul… My soul feels like it’s starting to fall apart…”
My mind and soul was already barely holding on before. And now, they had finally reached their limits, to the point where they would collapse at the slightest touch.
Perhaps, if I regressed a few more times, I might not be able to reverse them. Either my mind or my soul would be completely shattered.
What would become of me then? Could I still be called “me” if my mind completely collapsed? What kind of existence would I become if my soul was destroyed?
Honestly, I wasn’t afraid of what I would become. It was something I had accepted when I received the retry ability. I knew I had to bear the consequences.
What truly frightened me was that I couldn’t be sure if I would be able to maintain my feelings for Frey after this.
Up until now, I had endured the endless flow of time with nothing but my love and guilt for him. I loved him that much and wanted to atone for what I had done.
Of course, I was human before being a Saintess, so I had my moments of weakness: lapses of control, destructive episodes, and even numbness.
However, in the end, I always returned to my senses. It was because Frey, too, did the same. I chose this path to save him, and if I couldn’t even follow his footsteps, then I wasn’t qualified to love him, was I? That was why I worked so hard.
I had tried so desperately, and yet… Why wouldn’t my mind and soul cooperate? I certainly could do more. I could try twice, or even a hundred times harder than I had thus far.
How did Frey manage to protect both his soul and mind? Back then, he must have reached his limit as well.
No, I couldn’t possibly compare myself to that person. It was a mistake to compare that person, who devoted himself to the world until the end, to my lack of skill, which prevented me from succeeding in the DLC story even after so many regressions.
It is all my fault…
I fear I will forget the memories we shared, the countless connections we made in previous cycles, and the mistakes I committed against you.
The flow of time had grown to the point where it felt utterly overwhelming. I was so terrified of the waves of countless memories that I could barely hold back, even with the small help from the Sun God and my alter persona. The thought of my brain eventually bursting; I didn’t even want to imagine what I would go through.
Just before my mind collapsed, I slapped my cheek with all my strength. I couldn’t afford to have a mental breakdown yet; I couldn’t end everything here.
“After all…you’re not the only one who’s suffering, you know?”
Due to the repeated cycle of events, even by my standard, the influence had recently begun to affect not only my own soul, as the subject of regression, but also the souls of others.
Even though the ordinary people and “sub-heroines” who had little contact with Frey were less affected… Kania, Irina, Clana, Serena… and somehow, even Professor Isolet; the souls of these five were significantly affected.
For example, Kania began to realize Frey’s true identity far earlier than anyone else in recent cycles.
Having realized Frey’s true self the most during countless regressions and serving him emotionally more than anyone else, Kania’s loyalty to Frey and the desire to serve him was deeply engraved in her soul.
Thanks to that, even after realizing his identity, she, who had been suspicious of Frey and had tested him for a long time, had now fallen deeply in love with him, almost as much as Serena, just within a few days after the realization.
And it was the same for Irina and Clana.
Miss Irina’s puppy love for Frey and Clana’s guilt toward him became deeply engraved on their souls.
As for Miss Serena… ever since the introduction of the 2nd Cycle of the DLC story system, where the memories of the “main heroines” return when the story is applied, she noticed Frey’s true identity and put Absolute Obedience Magic on herself.
Considering all the cycles I had gone through, the only time she had ever betrayed Frey, which happened only once since I gained the ability to Retry, was when Frey manipulated his feelings toward her.
In any case, these situations had recently lightened my burden.
Of course, the only thing that seemed to grow within me was a sense of guilt. Despite my attempts to shoulder everything alone, the consequences of my actions in the end continued to affect the souls of others.
However, thanks to that, I could get some help, and it indeed gave me a sense of relief…
No, there was no time to indulge in guilt.
I needed to stop wasting my few remaining emotions and continue the hard work.
After letting out a short exhalation, I stretched and got up from my seat…
– Drrrr…. Thud…!
What is that loud noise?
Wait, come to think of it, which time period am I in now? How far have I progressed in this timeline?
– Drrrr… Thud…!
“Ack! The sun…!”
While in such thoughts, I peered out the window; the sun was shaking like crazy.
What is it? Has the Demon God noticed my true identity? Oh, no, I can’t let this happen… If I Retry again, I don’t know what will happen…!
Wait, it was not that.
I just remembered.
I was now in the timeline of the second semester of my first year of school: July 15th.
The shaking sun in the sky meant Clana had realized Frey’s true identity.
It was because Frey sacrificed himself to erase the routes where Clana became a canary and Kania or Irina lost half their lifespan.
It also meant that Kania was now threatening the Demon God.
And now, if the sun stopped shaking and went back to usual again— Just as I was thinking that, the sun suddenly stopped shaking.
The sun stopped!
And the moon and stars were rising again!
Finally, I succeeded in fulfilling all the conditions!
It was the first time I had come this far since Serena caught me and I had to Retry during the Slave Market Liberation scenario!!
“What’s going on? What’s happening here?”
Even though I was so happy and touched, I forced myself to look foolishly at the sky.
“I’m not sure of it, but I definitely have to write it in my diary!”
Then, I quickly opened my diary.
[xx Year, July 14th]
[I’ll think about it slowly first. I’ll write the contents later.]
I hurriedly started writing on the empty page from yesterday. I had to leave the memories in the diary, even in this dumbfounded state, to remember the current situation.
Finally, I finished the diary entry hastily and carefully placed it in the drawer.
And then, without realizing it, tears started flowing from my eyes.
“Finally, I can give Frey a happy ending…! And…”
If I could come up this far, it was already as good as succeeding.
As long as I didn’t make foolish mistakes like before, I could certainly intervene in the Third Ordeal.
And in that ordeal, I could finally…
“…Receive his judgment.”
Soon, I could meet the Frey of that cycle once again and receive his judgment, as well as judgment of the Frey of this cycle.
Why did I have to face judgment?
Well, it no longer mattered. The end was drawing near anyway.
I was so excited that my mind and soul started trembling, but it didn’t matter.
I have almost completed my role now.
Once I received judgment from Frey, I would disappear.
And then, I would just become a bright and foolish Saintess… who protected him from the sidelines.
Because, in all likelihood, he wouldn’t want me—someone who had transformed into a monster and committed countless sins throughout the regressions—by his side in the future.
Of course, I was slightly sad… but if he could have a happy ending, I would be satisfied.
Well, still… in the end, I wanted to tell him this.
What was it?
“I love you forever, Frey.”
The screen, seemingly from Ferloche’s point of view, transitioned to show Ferloche inadvertently confessing her inner feelings and then displayed the ending message.
“F-Frey… I… I…”
Upon seeing this, Ferloche, who was fidgeting anxiously in the Judgment Room, carefully spoke to Frey, who had been watching the summary video without ever taking his eyes off the screen.
“N-Now the judgment…”
“…Of course, we should start the judgment.”
However, Frey interrupted such words from Ferloche and declared calmly while looking at the scale in the center of the room.
– Drrrrr…! Drrrr…!
In the next second, the huge scale began to shake.
“Y-You must be disappointed, right? I’m sure you must be disappointed in me… “
As the judgment began, Ferloche quietly lowered her head and began to mumble.
“Even as you underwent multiple regressions, you remained unyielding… While I, who is supposedly the Saintess, faltered multiple times… and even committed wrongdoings…”
Interrupting her words, Frey whispered with a gentle smile on his face.
“Thank you… for your hard work until now.”
As Ferloche was staring at Frey with a puzzled expression, a loud noise erupted from the scale on the side, announcing the results of the judgment.
– Thud! Clang!
Ferloche’s mouth hung wide open, as she froze in place. The other four girls behind her had identical reactions.
Frey declared while looking at them with a bright smile.
“Thank you, everyone.”
“For loving me again.”
The scale next to him had achieved a perfect balance.
– Creak… Creak
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