One day before the execution day.
I got up early in the morning and left the house alone.
The sky was still dark. Excluding this area, Helan territory was being eaten away by the curse. It is natural for the sky to still be dark as the sun hasn’t come out yet but even this feels like one of the effects of the curse. That was how much my head was filled with thoughts about the curse.
I still haven’t said my goodbye to Eliza. After that time, we’ve only just passed by each other a few times and haven’t talked. But, this might be for the best. It will surely be painful for both of us if I were to clearly say goodbye to her. This half-assed farewell might surprisingly be the most easy one… While thinking of such things, I proceeded into the forest.
Old man Moran and Betal-san are probably still sleeping. They are probably worrying about things in their own way. Eliza is also sleeping, I think. She is also probably holding onto some complicated feelings. Even I am. There’s just so many things to think about that I feel my head is going to burst. But as it’s clear what must be done, I decided to focus on that. In terms of worrying about things, I probably have it easier than them.
As I advanced, the hard ground underneath me kept getting softer and muddier. I was now heading towards the cursed swamp by myself. I didn’t just impatiently come here to look at the situation…… I am thinking of executing the ultimate magic by myself, now.
The faster it is done, the better. And besides, the ultimate magic is already complete too. The process is drilled into my head. All that was left was to wait for the day. And we had decided on the day by ourselves so it wouldn’t affect the ultimate magic even if I were to break it.
As I was walking with a lot in my mind, I reached the cursed swamp faster than I realized.
The huge swamp spread out in front of me.
The pure blackness covered the whole surface, constantly sucking in the mud and dirt from the ground. There were a few bubbles popping out in a few places but to me it looked like they were emitted by the swamp as if it was satisfied.
What an ominous place. Rather than the magic being this or that, the place just simply feels creepy. If I were to step into the swamp, I will fall into an endless abyss, taking me to the underworld and that would be the end. Just the thought that men brought about this situation is terrifying.
I sat down and tried feeling the magic flowing in this place once.
And there lied something terrifying which couldn’t be seen by the naked eye. Strong, viscous, dark magic was filling the place. I could feel its malice, its greed, wanting to eat away at everything.
It wasn’t that long back when the curse had been revived. However, in this short period of time, this cursed swamp has gotten unbelievable amount of life force. It felt like the swamp was increasing its strength even further, now that the ultimate magic was completed.
There, I had resolved myself once again.
Today, I will use the ultimate magic and get rid of this curse once and for all. Old man Moran, Betal-san and even Eliza are probably thinking I will do it tomorrow. I don’t know why but it just felt so lonely thinking of using the magic in front of them. Of course, having them watch over me would feel very reassuring but at the same time, the loneliness I would feel then would far exceed that.
I am not doing this one day before to not sadden them. I, myself will feel too lonely and that’s why I decided on doing it a day early. Surely they will forgive this much selfishness.
Ah, now that I think about it, the first Helan landlord also performed the ultimate magic one day before. I just remembered that all of a sudden.
My ancestor probably also had these feelings. It wasn’t for his companions who would grief his death. It was because he himself wouldn’t be able to bear the loneliness.
After his death, happiness came to many people and his name wasn’t forgotten either. This time too, even if it’s just half of what he brought, I hope a future like that awaits this land.
I stopped thinking irresolutely.
I raised one hand to the sky and released all the magic.
A red light concentrated into my fist. The slightly dark area was illuminated by a strong light. The light came together and condensed into one point and turned to heat. It then immediately expanded to ten times of its previous size. At the same time, a strong burst of sudden gust blew. The wind was dry. It felt pleasant, as if it blew away all the gloominess from this area.
It all settled down in my stomach and a huge vortex started swirling.
I also started feeling the strong magic and heat. Although slowly, the huge swirl of magic became more lively. The burden on my body is already so much that I feel like falling down to rest.
The cursed swamp also reacted to this huge magic. As if to resonate with it, the magic swirling around the land also started to move.
At last, I was able to stand in the battlefield.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes.
I released all my magic — literally all of it without leaving a drop.
The light in my hand got even stronger as well as the vortex in my stomach.
The preparations were complete.
The ultimate magic has awakened here and now.
[Under the name of Kururi Helan, I order thee, ancient vortex of magic, reside in my body. Now is the time, release that enormous magic and consume all of the dark magic.]
The requirements were met and the chanting was complete.
Now, let’s see. If my body reaches death first or the curse’s magic under the cursed swamp dies out first.
Mana collided against mana, creating bursts of wind from the shockwaves. As the first collision died out, the vortex started sucking in the curse’s mana. Slowly but surely, the vortex in my stomach started to display its true worth.
And as I sucked in the curse, the burden on my body started weighing in. I started to feel listless and nauseated. As if my weight was doubled. My hand felt heavy like lead and had solidified.
But I didn’t feel pain. And although that felt scary in itself, that was also the reason I was able to endure it.
I will absolutely not die until I suck all of it in! I was determined.
Both the curse and the vortex were nowhere near its end.
I understood then once again, how big of an existence I was fighting against. I was the only one suffering and this monster was just laughing at me… is what I thought, as my spirit weakened.
And suddenly, blood came flowing out of my nose. Not only my senses, damage was also piling up on my body.
Everything will turn out fine if I use the ultimate magic. I didn’t think of it like that but I also didn’t think it would be this harsh.
I felt as if I relaxed for even a moment, my feet will give out and I will fall to my knees and will be unable to rise up again.
The situation was too painful to get over by thinking of fun stuff. I also felt my consciousness weakening. How exactly did the 1st get over this crisis? As I thought, he is an amazing person. I could feel his greatness once again, feeling the pain he went through.
I don’t know what I should do anymore. I just need to bear it but that’s tough too. Ahh! I need something! Some kind of an event that will help me stand up strong again! Can’t something like that happen already?!
I felt like I heard Eliza’s voice.
To which I was surprised. Although just a bit, the pain in my body eased. To think I would be saved by her even at times like this.
However, this area is already surrounded by storms and intense heat, making it unable for anyone to get close easily. Unfortunately, that voice just now couldn’t be hers. It’s surely a hallucination created by this thing.
A loud voice resonated in my ears and at the same time, I felt a sharp pain on my cheeks.
“Eh, ehhh, Eliza?!!”
Why is Eliza in a place like this? Illusion? Why is it that she is always by my side whenever I want her to be?!
“Kururi-sama! This is your punishment for being selfish.”
She pinched my cheeks strongly again. I don’t feel much pain anymore… That’s what felt lonely.
“Eliza, it’s dangerous here. The mana is rampaging.”
“I thought if it’s you, you might just do it, Kururi-sama. That you might just go to a faraway place, bearing it all by yourself. I will not forgive something so selfish! I will also stay here.”
“You can’t. I don’t want to drag you into this!”
“No, I will have myself be involved in this!”
“What are you being so polite for, even at a time like this?! You still have a bright life ahead of you, you can still enjoy it. There’s no need for you to throw it all away here!”
“Then that goes for you as well, Kururi-sama! I will definitely not move from here.”
Saying that, she leaped into my chest and didn’t let go. I didn’t even have the strength to resist at this point. I could barely feel her holding onto me. Besides, I didn’t feel like resisting either.
“You will die, if you stay here.”
“I don’t mind.”
I was really scared of getting her involved, but, at the same time, it felt really peaceful just having her by my side. I was confident, that I wouldn’t lose to the pain anymore. If Eliza stays till the end like this…
“Please let me bear the things you are bearing by yourself.”
She can’t escape this place anymore. And if that’s the case, then I want to be with her till the end.
“I am glad. After all, a world without Kururi-sama is like a stew without potatoes.”
That was the last thing I heard from her.
The light gathering around my fist rose to the sky and shaped into one red line. The huge vortex entered the final stage of its activity. The surroundings got caught up in the shockwaves and trees got knocked down one after another.
The vortex came out from my stomach and manifested into the world.
And that was the end. The vortex ate away the curse and disappeared.
That was the last scene I saw.
The curse disappeared. I wanted to confirm that at least before dying. But, if I were to be greedy, I also wanted to have a glance at Eliza who stayed beside me but, that didn’t happen.
It seems like Kururi Helan’s road ends here–
In the world where both the huge vortex and the cursed swamp had disappeared.
The sandstorms covering the Helan skies disappeared and miracles started happening in the dried up lands. On the dead lands, flowers sprouted one after another and petals were in full bloom.
Such miracles happened and that dried up land became even more abundant in nature than before, only a few weeks after the swamp’s disappearance. One could even see insects and fishes. And the people who had to leave Helan also returned.
They didn’t know who did it but rumors spread among the people quickly. That it must be that person.
It didn’t take long for this incident to be called ‘Kururi’s Miracle’ by the world. However, after that, the person everyone was eagerly waiting for, Kururi Helan, didn’t show any sign of appearing. There was no contact with him. A new landlord’s mansion was built so that he can return anytime. It also held the purpose of being the symbol of revival but at the end, Kururi didn’t return. The mansion remained an empty space where no one lived.