A Reincarnation Romantic Comedy Of A Hero And A Witch - V1 Chapter 3 Part 4
Chapter 3 Part 4
My thoughts drifted to the past.
That day, the Witch of Calamity spared my life.
After a fierce battle, I was utterly defeated.
I fell to the ground. There were wounds all over my body and I couldn’t muster any strength to take a step forward.
At that point, I’ve already given up. I accepted that I didn’t have what it takes to be a hero.
“It isn’t even worth it to kill you. Take this as a lesson and stop playing hero.”
The witch gave me a half-assed reason and left the place.
‘Not worth killing’, she said. Didn’t she realize that there were wounds all over her body too? Even her clothes had turned into a rag and there was blood seeping through the tears in her clothes.
On the other hand, while I was in a similar state, there were no fatal wounds on my body.
In a fierce battle like that, she had the lenience to not land any mortal wounds to me.
That meant she was strong enough to kill me and she decided not to for some reason, despite the fact I was doing my best to kill her.
“I found you again, witch.”
“Didn’t I tell you to give up?”
Again and again, we fought each other to death.
The first five or six times ended in my defeat.
And yet, the witch refused to kill me and she always managed to find a reason to let me go.
When I tried to follow her trail, I found out that she never tried to kill anyone who attacked her. Aside from that, it seemed like her goal was to kill all the demons she came across.
Since I noticed this strange situation, I decided to ask the person in question about it.
“Why didn’t you kill the people who attacked you? Why did you kill the demons? Aren’t you their creator? Aren’t you supposed to be the source of all this disaster in the world?”
But the witch never answered my questions properly.
She always covered the truths with lies. Lies that made it as if she was a genuinely wicked person.
“I can do whatever I want. I’m the witch, after all.”
And so, our fights continued.
Over time, I started to fare better against her.
When we started to have more evenly matched battles, the witch started to run away whenever things got dire for her.
It was the first time that I’ve faced someone as strong as her and thanks to that, I grew stronger at a quick pace.
Not only my physical capabilities and swordsmanship, my exorcism also grew stronger. Everytime I faced her vicious spells, I had to wield my exorcism to counter it and as a result, I became more proficient in wielding it.
And so our fights continued. Again. Again. And again.
I chased after the witch and she kept accepting my challenges whenever we met.
She could always run away if she wanted to, but she only did it when I was on the brink of defeat. I didn’t understand the reason why she did it for a long time, but I managed to find out when everything was about to come to an end.
After countless fights.
I thrusted the tip of my sword to the witch’s throat.
Her mana had been depleted. She couldn’t run away anymore.
“…So, you can finally dispel my curse.”
Said the witch. Her tone was so calm and she looked like she was satisfied by this situation.
Since there was no reason for us to fight anymore, she told me to end her life and closed her eyes.
Of course, she didn’t need to tell me that. I was the hero, it was my duty to put an end to her life.
But, before I did, I asked her the reason behind her actions for one last time.
“May I ask you why you did all this?”
“…Right, it would be lonely if I’d just die like that, hm? Alright, let me tell you a story about a poor witch. Don’t forget it later, okay? Think of it as a last gift from me.”
At that time.
I decided to spare the witch.
* * *
Outside the restaurant.
There was a small space surrounded by trees at the back of the building. It was the staff’s smoking area. The staff normally would go there if they wanted to take a break. There were benches there, so we could sit down if we wanted to.
I sat down on the bench, meanwhile the witch leaned her back on the wall nearby and crossed her arms.
“…So, what is it? Can’t you just call me out in a more natural way?”
Asked the witch as she let out a snort.
Always the pleasant girl whenever she was talking with me.
Even though she acted meekly in front of Hina and the others.
“My bad, I didn’t feel like doing that.”
I apologized in a monotonous voice.
When she heard my voice, she furrowed her brows.
“What? What’s with that tone? Are you mad because I scolded you yesterday?”
I shook my head.
Her words pissed me off, but that wasn’t the reason why.
There was another reason why I acted like this.
“You know, I’ve been thinking since yesterday…”
“You’re one hell of a hypocrite, you know that?”
My complicated feelings toward her could be expressed with those words.
‘You tried to save everyone but yourself. You called yourself a hero, you tried to bring happiness to others, but you can’t even bring it to yourself… That’s the thing I hate the most about you… That’s the reason why I hate you.’
That was what she said to me yesterday.
Seriously, she also did that herself. She had no right to tell me off about that.
I’ve always hated that side of hers. She kept treating her life lightly and kept refusing my help whenever I offered it to her.
“…What are you on about?”
The witch tilted her head with a puzzled expression on her face.
“No matter how I think about it, there’s clearly something strange with you.”
I knew that she was a clumsy girl and her socializing skill was zero.
But, she wasn’t this bad originally.
Forgetting to change shoes at the school entrance, forgetting that the tea she was about to drink could burn her tongue, falling off her bike and so on. The witch that I knew would never do that no matter how clumsy she was.
At first, I thought it was because she let her guard down too much in this peaceful world.
But, after confirming the fact that her curse had eroded that far, I realized that,
“You’re trying to hide that your body is breaking down, aren’t you?…”
That conclusion made more sense than my first guess.
She didn’t notice those little things because she had been enduring the pain all this time.
And yet she acted haughtily in front of me, scolding me about the things that she had clearly been doing all this time.
It was just like back in our previous life.
With each battle, I grew stronger. At first, I thought that I grew up at a really quick pace, but it wasn’t actually the case. Yes, I grew stronger, but at the same time, the witch grew weaker after each battle.
The curse took a toll on her body and the more time passed, the more it made her physically and mentally unwell.
She was probably in a similar state as back then.
When I was thinking about that, she asked me a question,
“…What are you on about? Of course my body is breaking down. Is it not obvious?”
The witch said it dismissively.
What? She admitted it that easily?
“What are you?—”
“In the first place, my body is different than my previous life’s body. Back then, I was born a genius. I was a natural at both witchcraft and magic and thanks to that, my resistance to curses was much higher than now. That’s why when I casted that curse into my body, I didn’t die immediately… But this body is different…”
She always had a pale complexion.
Since she always looked like that, I always thought that she originally had a paler skin compared to other people.
But it seemed like my guess was off, yet again.
“I’m under a curse, of course I’m always in pain. My body back then was too strong, that was why I was able to endure it. Curses are meant to make the person afflicted with it suffer, that’s the whole point of it. Honestly, it’s hard for me to stand up properly right now…”
Her tone was filled with self-mockery.
“I could weaken the pain with my magic, but I can’t solve the fundamental issue without your exorcism. I need you to do something about it before I can’t endure the pain anymore and my lifespan is cut by half. That’s your duty, your atonement for sparing me.”
Perhaps because she no longer had the reason to act tough in front of me, she sat down on where she stood.
I moved to support her.
“Why didn’t you say that earlier?!”
“Because it’s none of your business! You only need to do your duty! My pain has nothing to do with you! It’s my punishment for everything that I have done…”
“If you told me earlier, I would’ve tried harder to weaken the curse!”
“And then you’ll overextend yourself again. I’ve told you before, you aren’t a hero anymore, you have no reason to help me! I’m your enemy!”
I couldn’t bring myself to say anything to her after hearing her cries.
“Why didn’t you kill me back then?!…”
She cried out again. There were tears in her eyes this time.
“If you killed me back then, none of this would have happened!!”
She was right.
My action back then caused her this much pain.
…I had made an irreversible mistake. She was right, I had to atone for this sin of mine.
* * *
My past wasn’t that big of a deal.
I wasn’t a special case, there were countless people in that world who had gone through something similar to me.
I barely remembered anything about that time to begin with. I only started to remember bits and pieces of it recently.
I lived in a small remote town. Since my parents were ordinary shoemakers, I had a pretty normal upbringing. My family was quite normal. If I had to describe it, at least they didn’t hit me or anything like that. Though, I couldn’t say that they loved me that much either. Everyday they only gave me tasteless bread and soup for me to eat and I had to work every day. I had nothing to complain about living that kind of life, though.
I was sure that my parents felt the same way too. They wouldn’t get angry at me as long as I did my job and if I did my job well, they’d give me praise. I was happy enough with that life.
Though, I barely even remembered what they looked like nowadays. However, back then, they were more important than anything else to me. Mostly because I didn’t speak to anyone other than them.
But one day, they died.
They wandered into the slum by accident and ended up getting robbed and killed. It couldn’t be helped, as it was a common occurrence in that world. If you scoured through the entire continent, you’d find such things happening in every city. In any case, they didn’t come back home that day.
I only found out about their deaths when the landlord threw me out of the house my parents were renting. They showed me my parents corpse as a justification for that.
When I saw their lifeless bodies, I cried.
I felt sad.
But their deaths weren’t the cause of my sadness.
Instead, it was because I became aware of the feelings that I had been hiding.
I hated them.
In fact, I hated everything.
I hated my parents who never treated me kindly.
I hated everyone in the town who looked at me with disgusted eyes just because we were poor.
I hated the town that treated deaths as if it was a common occurrence.
I hated the cruel world.
Foolishly, I kept on hating everything.
Hatred enveloped my soul.
And with that hatred, I cursed the world.
I sang the song of hatred.
‘Let this world be cursed for eternity.’
‘Let this world be damned for eternity.’
I became a foolish girl who knew nothing about the world, hated, resented and cursed the world.
Even though I only wanted to feel someone’s warmth.
Even though I only wanted to live in a friendlier world.
I dreamt of such a future, but since the world didn’t let me realize that dream, I cursed it.
The thing that I did was a common thing that everyone who lived in misery in that world did.
Except that I was born with a talent for witchcraft.
I was more talented than anyone else in that world.
And so, the song of hatred that I sang became a powerful curse that afflicted the world.
And so, the world was plunged into a disaster as countless vicious man-eating demons appeared all over the world.
The song of a small child made millions of people suffer.
When I came to realize this fact, I had turned into the Witch of Calamity.
I shoulda known from the beginning, but my foolish self had only just realized it when it was already too late… The fact that I was someone that should have never been born.
* * *
I remembered the story that the witch told me.
The story of the pitiful, lonely witch.
After creating the demons, she went around the world to kill them.
She prioritized the stronger demons who were more likely to harm other people.
Witchcraft was an art of casting curses, but it was unable to dispel the already casted curses. Only exorcists could dispel curses, but the witch was unable to use it. In other words, she couldn’t do anything about the curse.
And so, she killed the demons.
The people of the world called her the Witch of Calamity and resented her.
They always tried to hunt her and kill her.
She wanted to die, but if she ever died, a greater disaster would befall the world, so she decided that she shouldn’t offer herself to the people. And so, she kept running while killing the demons.
One day, I appeared before her.
As an exorcist, I was her greatest enemy, but at the same time, I could become her savior.
After all, I could dispel the curse that rooted deep inside the world’s core.
That was why the witch welcomed the fights with me, to make my exorcism grow stronger.
So, when I finally rested my sword upon her throat, the witch felt relieved.
She had no more regrets as I had become strong enough to dispel the curse out of the world completely.
I had become capable of killing her and dispelling the curse embedded deeply within her soul.
With that, she would finally be released from the painful life she had been living.
To her, I was her hero.
She told me that there was no need for me to hesitate.
There was happiness in her face as she tried to convince me of that.
She was delighted, from the bottom of her heart.
It was the first time I’ve seen her beautiful smile.
That was why, I,
“…What’s wrong? Kill me quickly, my hero, Grey.”
Couldn’t bring myself to swing my sword down.
My hand was stiff, unmoving. The reason for that was obvious.
‘Vanquish evil, save others.’
‘Fight for justice.’
‘As a hero, your duty is to kill the witch.’
‘Remember the purpose of why you’re wielding that power.’
The action was against the role I was supposed to play.
Because in my eyes, Cerys Flores wasn’t a bad person.
And since she was a good person, I had to save her.
That was what my conviction told me.
But at the same time, it was my duty to kill her.
And killing her would also be her salvation.
The witch wanted me to bring her salvation.
But I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to kill her.
And so, I racked my brain, and came to a conclusion.
I was God’s chosen. The witch was my enemy.
That was why I had no reason to fulfill her wish.
So, I sheathed my sword.
It was the first time in my life that I refused someone’s call for help.
At first, the witch was stunned after seeing my action.
Then, she started to desperately beg me to kill her.
Still, I refused to kill her. I decided that I would never help her.
I made a lot of excuses in my head, but the reason why I did it was because I couldn’t forgive her.
I couldn’t forgive the world that made her like this.
I couldn’t forgive this woman who thought that this kind of conclusion was okay.
“…Don’t f**k with me.”
It was the first time I felt anger. It was the first time the machine called hero felt anger.
And so, I vowed to show her what true happiness looked like.