༺ Revelation (3) ༻
After returning to the cottage, Vera took his seat at the table as his consciousness drifted away in his thoughts.
The revelation ended in a bustling atmosphere due to Vargo dismissing the others.
Before disbanding, Vargo left Vera with a message to visit him the next day.
He could have seen it in a glance that the revelation wasn’t common. Vera wasn’t stupid enough to not be able read the atmosphere.
Again, the word that appeared in the fountain came to his mind
It must have meant passing the ordeal.
He passed the ordeal even though he did nothing.
Through that, Vera was somewhat able to resolve the question, ‘Who was behind my regression?’ among the myriads of other questions that occupied his mind.
‘The Heavenly gods.’
They were involved
It’s still not quite clear why.
However, just notifying him with the word ‘pass’ isn’t enough proof to conclude that they were behind his regression.
Vaguely, he could infer what they were trying to convey to him through that word.
‘Does passing mean… .’
Are they insinuating that I’m on the right path?
Suddenly, he let out a scoff. It was the feeling of helplessness that surged with him without even realizing.
The other day, I told myself that if the Lord had truly sent me back for her sake, then I’m more than willing to play along with their plan.
That thought still hadn’t changed.
However, I feel helpless because there is still a question that lingers in my mind, whether it is right to blindly follow the path they are suggesting.
I remember what Vargo said the other day, when we first met.
– So are you like a puppet with no will of its own?
Vera clenched his fists.
I couldn’t come up with anything to refute that statement. Vera slowly closed his eyes and looked into the soul that was inside of him.
A dark soul, with a golden oath engraved on it.
An oath he made while barely holding on to his fading consciousness as he slowly slipped into death’s embrace. The final moments when his end seemed imminent.
It wasn’t that he regretted it. No matter how many times he went back to that time, he would again make the same oath without a moment of hesitation.
Why, after living his whole life following his instincts just like a beast, such a light was cast upon him?
The light that makes him want to chase after it just at the mere thought of it.
However, is this the correct way to fulfill the oath? Was it really fine to blindly follow their word without raising a question?
Vera still didn’t have faith.
He didn’t believe in the Gods nor did he believe in their glory.
You could even call him an apostate. He regressed, but the stigma was still nothing more than a useful tool for Vera.
What Vera believes in is his abilities and the faint light that has been cast on him.
His suspicions grew. This was way too absurd and messed up to be put aside as an accident.
Is it really fine to live for her by following the intentions of the Gods?
Vera thought of someone who would be able to answer this question that he couldn’t answer on his own.
Slowly, Vera’s eyes opened.
The visage of a person who might know the answer he seeks flashed through his mind.
The next day, Vera found Vargo sitting on a long bench at the center of the Great Hall’s southern garden. He approached him with a smile.
Vargo, who was staring blankly at the flower bed with a drooping head, noticed Vera in the distance, and said.
“You’re finally here.”
Vera bowed his head
“Looking at your face, it seems you slept well.”
“It was because of God’s grace.”
“Are you a kid who can’t even sleep properly if God doesn’t take care of you?”
Vargo chuckled and uttered those words. Vera flinched as his body quivered, and he lifted his head again to look at Vargo.
“What did you call me here for?”
“Here, take this.”
As soon as Vera’s question came out, Vargo took something out of his inner pocket and threw it at Vera.
Vera grabbed the object that flew towards him. He then opened his palm and examined it.
On the palm of his hand remained a platinum-colored Rosario. It was the same kind of Rosario that hung on the Saint’s neck. An object he once thought was annoying.
When Vera saw it, his gaze shifted back to Vargo. Vargo spoke to Vera with a smile on his face.
“I don’t like the way you did it, but… since you passed, I’m giving it to you.”
After Vargo said that, Vera stared at him, then looked back at the Rosario in his hand, and inquired.
“Is that it?”
“What? You thought we would hold a banquet for you? You think you’re so handsome ?”
It was a sarcastic remark, however, this time, he wasn’t in the mood to retort.
This is because the words Vargos had said that day still lingered in his mind.
“…Does Your Holiness just follow the orders of the gods?”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
Vera raised his head. His fists were clenched.
Vera uttered a question that had suffocated his heart since the moment of revelation.
“Is it enough if I just blindly follow it? Am I wrong for questioning the meaning behind those words? Why can’t I question their intent?”
A stream of questions gushed out of his mouth. Unbeknownst to him, a hint of anger lingered in his words.
What he wanted was a life dedicated solely to the Saint. It was a life where he pursued the nobility that embraced even this evil being.
But, if he has to act according to the intentions of the Gods, if he just blindly trusts them and follows them, what is this life for? And who is this life for?
Should he call it life for the Saint? or should he call it life for the Gods?
It was an absurd question.
It was a question he hadn’t thought of when he was looking through the trash for something to eat and begging while lying flat on the street.
However, to suppress the growing suspicions, this choking feeling that twists his stomach didn’t allow him to just blindly follow the path in front of him.
Vera frowned. The same question repeatedly appears on the tip of his lips.
“Do you think the Gods are right?”
After that question, silence descended upon the room.
Vera kept his mouth shut and stared at Vargo. Vargo looked back at Vera with eyes whose depth couldn’t be seen.
After some time had passed, Vargo uttered.
“I will ask you this. Did they show you a path through the revelation?”
Vera’s body froze.
Did they show me a path? Can I certainly say that?
It’s because there were some vague hints pointing towards ‘Yes’ but nothing certain.
Is it correct to assume that they were involved in the regression? The answer to that question is, ‘It is highly possible.’
Did they convey their intentions through the revelation of the Holy Kingdom? I can answer ‘Yes’ to that question.
However, are they suggesting a path for me? If I were asked that question, then the answer that naturally pops out is ‘I don’t know.’
When asked if the revelation was pointing towards a direction I should go?, the answer that comes out is, ‘They didn’t say anything.’
“… I don’t know.”
The Gods were silent. They put him in this situation.
“Did they ever say whether you are right or wrong?”
When asked again, Vera gently lowered his head and spat out an answer.
They never told him if he was right or wrong neither in his previous lives nor in this life.
“Then why do you say that they showed you a path?”
“Why should you obey their will, you ask?”
Vera’s mouth could no longer utter an answer.
Why should I obey?
Only such a question lingered for a long time.
Vargo’s voice rang out. Vera raised his head at the call and looked at Vargo.
“Don’t ask me. Why would you even think that your decision belonged to someone else?”
Upon hearing that question, Vera’s mind went blank.
It was such a feeling as if his whole mind was bleached white.
Vargo once more opened his mouth.
“You know? The Gods are not the ones who give answers.”
Vera’s gaze turned to Vargo. He looked at the bizarre old man who’s smiling while uttering words that were not at all prosperous.
“On the contrary, Gods are questioners. It can be said that they are beings who questions what you would do in a given situation.”
Upon hearing Vargo’s words, Vera drifted away in his trail of thought.
How are they questioning me?
‘They’re questioning me by putting me in this situation.’
What did they want to achieve through me?
‘… I do not know.’
Who made all those assumptions about their intentions?
‘… I did.’
He felt his chest tightened. It was a question with such a ridiculously simple answer, but he never doubted it until now.
Vera remembered why he hadn’t thought about it so much, and it took a long time to come up with the answer.
It was all due to his prejudice.
Vera did not believe in their omniscience.
‘…He believed in their omnipotence.’
He believed in the power they possessed, the power of these stigmas that were bestowed by them.
Vera thought they would take her away from him.
Because they are capable of doing so. From Vera’s perspective, who only took things away from others, those who have power also choose to do the same, or so he thought.
A realization dawned upon Vera.
Who made all these decisions?
The one who made the oath, the one who went straight to the Holy Kingdom right after regressing, and the one who wanted to rise to the rank of the Apostle.
‘It was all….’
It was something he had decided for himself.
“I will ask.”
Vargo continued speaking.
“Among the revelations from the Gods you know, did they have any revelations that determined what was right or wrong? Did they have any revelations that gave you an answer?”
Again, Vera furthered immersed himself in his thoughts.
Vargo’s revelations. ‘Judge the evil of the world.’
There was no mention of what was evil in the revelation. The judgment of evil was entirely up to Vargo.
Twins’ revelation. ‘Realize the true meaning of protection’.
There was no answer in that revelation about what to protect. The answer was entirely up to the twins.
Saint’s revelation. ‘Spread the Lord’s authority throughout the continent’.
The same is true of that revelation. There was no answer on how to spread. That judgment was also left to the Saint.
It was only then that Vera could vaguely realize how narrowly he was looking at the world.
Why did I make such assumptions? Vera knew the answer better than anyone.
‘Because I only knew how to resent.’
Because I wanted to make excuses for all the evil deeds that I committed in my previous life.
I wanted to believe they weren’t my fault.
‘Because I wanted to run away from that responsibility.’
I swore I would gladly pay the price for all the sins I’ve committed in my life.
Yet I still wanted to ignore that responsibility.
‘This wretched world made me this way. Because I wanted to think as such.’
I was a coward who needed something to blame.
A coward who hid behind the word ‘Fate.’
That realization became apparent.
The strange suffocation that had tormented him this whole time seemed to have faded slightly.
However, he still seems to be trapped in a hazy fog, Vera looked at Vargo and asked.
“Then how… how am I supposed to form my own judgment?”
I didn’t know the answer to that for sure, so I asked him if he knew.
“Why are you asking me that?”
However, he replied to me in a mocking tone.
Vera once again lowered his head and continued speaking.
“Please, teach me.”
What emerged was an earnest request.
Vera doesn’t know anything outside of his own understanding. Only the things he had seen and experienced created Vera’s world.
So, for the first time in his life, Vera realized the need of learning from others.
He realized that he needed a teacher who could teach him about the world he didn’t know, and who could broaden his understanding.
Vera’s knees touched the floor. Vera then knelt down and put his head down on the floor.
“… There is something I want to know. There is someone I want to follow. However, I’m not worthy.”
I don’t have the right to stand by the Saint yet.
If I meet the Saint as I’m now, I will still meet her as a villain from back then, and as an asshole who hasn’t changed inside.
Far from being next to her, I’ll be gasping for breath, struggling to keep up with her.
“There is someone I want to protect for the rest of my life. However, I’m too weak to follow her.”
His sword still didn’t know how to guard those under his shadow. Vera’s sword was still the same as a beast’s canine.
“I-I beg you.”
To become a human being worthy enough to stand by her side.
“Please, teach me.”
He had to be different.
Afterward, silence lingered on for a long time.
Vera kept staring at the floor for a long time without raising his head, waiting for an answer.
“…What a demanding little brat.”
Vera was finally able to raise his head.
At the end of his gaze, he saw Vargo’s face had a broad grin.
However, the answer that followed soon after made Vera lower his head again.
“I won’t teach you. Boy, follow me and try to figure it out on your own.”
Words that could be inferred as permission.
At that, Vera clenched his fists so tightly that the Rosario in his hand pressed against his skin as he answered enthusiastically.
After one lifetime, Vera finally learned how to seek guidance from others.
… And thus, four years have passed.
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