Dolls

Chapter 54 – The Queen’s Weaving

 

The flame magic of the dolls hasn’t reached me yet… Because Kajero protected me.

He moved forward without any regard for his own safety, and was now…

–Engulfed in flames.

His black hat was already turned to ashes, and yet, (Young lady, please run away…) instead of caring for himself, he said this.

His voice was pained.

It was my fault that he’s being cornered… Because I moved too carelessly. Because I went out of the fortress without thinking.

Brother Tourus said I should just look at it from the conference room… I shouldn’t have done anything.

I was trapped by my own self-consciousness, afraid of losing my own identity.

I was driven by unfounded self-confidence, telling myself that ‘I can handle this much’… And as a result, Kajero was on the verge of disappearing.

The price of my foolishness, is that I may forever bear the burden of being the one that made Kajero disappear.

I refuse.

I’m aware that I’m being selfish. Like a child desperately saying ‘dada’ over and over again.

But–

I refuse.

I don’t want to see this.

And then… At the moment those thoughts completely filled my head… A pain bigger than any I ever felt before assaulted me.

“!” I couldn’t speak. A beastlike scream was escaping my mouth instead.

The pain was as if my whole brain had exploded. Or if tens of thousands needles were thrust inside my eyes, nose and mouth.

My visibility sparked. My cranial nerves were burnt.

In a pure white flash, things up to today passed through my head like a fast-forwarding film.

Els appearing much earlier than in the original, together with the first contact with the Earl.

Studying abroad in Malgaroid.

The encounters with Phillka and Feria.

A confrontation with an assassin and then with the Sage.

The loss of the doll magic.

Dad’s disappearance and the return to the Wisp territory.

There were many things… Too many.

I’ve been persevering for a long time… I have been pretending to be strong-willed, but… I’m at my limit. I don’t have the strength to fight back against this much aggression.

Where did I make a mistake?

Back when I regained the memories of my past life, I was more hopeful. I had the advantage of ‘knowing the original’.

I tried to avoid falling to ruin by making use of it.

But as a result of trying to change the future… Major incidents that were not in the original happened one after another, and my peace was taken away.

Even if I had the tremendous power of doll magic… Or rather, because of it, many troublesome things were attracted to me.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

It wasn’t supposed… To be like this at all.

–Then, you should just rewrite it.

Suddenly, I heard a voice.

–Isn’t this just a doll show? If you don’t like it, why not rewrite the storyline? *

–You can do that. It’s allowed.

–Because originally, it came from outside this world. **

This voice is…

It’s coming from the inside of my heart.

It is… None other than my own voice.

***

Regain consciousness.

Open your eyes.

Accept what is happening in front of you.

Kajero is on fire, he is about to be disappear.

–I refuse to accept it.

I swung my right arm, tearing off the causal thread of death entwined with Kajero.

I understand it now. Everyone, all things in nature… Kneel.

Prostrate. Beg for forgiveness.

Everything will be as I want it. Things will go my way.

This is the true doll magic.

I rose my left hand. Thousands of magical fires disappeared in an instant.

It’s easy, I just have to weave the fabric of destiny and refuse to let it go in a way that I don’t want to.

“What!?” The doll knight gave a started cry as he fell in front of my feet.

–It is irrelevant, I don’t even remember his name anymore.

There’s no mercy to be given to those that gnash their teeth to me. You did not exist in my story from the beginning. That is how it’s supposed to be.

I reached for the doll knight with the blue muffler. I’ll remove the unnecessary pieces from the board. Get rid of the extra actors on the stage.

But before my finger arrived…

“Oh dear, aren’t you quite the child, Alty? You’re adorable when flailing around, but right now you’re stepping into something bad.” That was… My brother’s voice. He was gently patting my head as he said this.

–Suddenly I returned to myself.

My consciousness became clear, as if the light was turned on in a room that was pitch black.

Just… What was I doing a small while ago?

The thread of cause and effect? The true doll magic? I could no longer understand what I took for granted until a few seconds ago. It was as if I had forgotten it.

“You might be confused, but I’d prefer if you let it end like this. Just like the vague endings of ghost stories.

“Don’t pursue or think about it, Alty. Doll magic is more dangerous than you think.

–So, I’ll take over from here onwards.” As brother Tourus finished saying that, he stepped forward. Standing in front of me, as if to protect me.

——

*Translator’s Note: Doll and Puppet use the same word in Japanese. The normal word for this in English would be “Puppet Show”, but I figured it was important to use the word Doll in this context, due to Altirea’s magic being Doll Magic.

**Translator’s Note: Japanese is a language that works a lot with implying things. A lot of things should be understood from context instead of being explicitly said… In this context, what ‘it’ is isn’t very clear. It can mean that the story is originally from a different world, or that Altirea is the one that came from a different world.

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