Chapter 19:

Lies

The Consequence of Saving the World


The familiar sight of the ocean of eternal black—Bookmark here

Once more, I was thrust deep into this realm between body and soul. There were only two things on my mind—mum and Eveline.Bookmark here

However, unlike the first time, my body felt as light as a leaf in this void. I was being blown by the water current, which washed against me in waves.Bookmark here

In fact, I felt so light that when I opened my eyes, all I could see was a familiar ceiling.Bookmark here

This was the ceiling of Ordis’s study.Bookmark here

I slowly got up. The sensation that my body felt earlier, being pushed around in waves, was actually the tremors caused by Ordis’s back and forth pacing.Bookmark here

It finally hit me—I was alive and back to reality.Bookmark here

“Wonderful timing, Evan, you are finally awake.”Bookmark here

Thanks to the monotonous tone of Ordis’s voice, I couldn’t tell if it was actually delighted or sarcastic.Bookmark here

Stretching my arms, I started to feel around my back. Before Remus hurled me against one of the village houses, he slashed my back multiple times. Bookmark here

There were no scars on my back. I was about to sigh in relief, before I realised that healing magic could have easily fixed that. Bookmark here

It was insane. I could’ve sworn I died of blood loss.Bookmark here

“Ordis, did I die?”Bookmark here

“That’s the least of our worries. The Memory Dive was a complete disaster.”Bookmark here

What?Bookmark here

“Complete disaster? What do you mean?”
Bookmark here

I got up from the makeshift mattress in disbelief.Bookmark here

“Every single trace of Hanasuke was completely erased, both from your body and your soul.”Bookmark here

“Then what the hell was that memory I went through?!”Bookmark here

“Govern. Your. Tongue.”Bookmark here

Ordis stopped moving. The immense stature of the golem cast a huge shadow over me. I took a step back as fear replaced my anger.Bookmark here

“Hero as you are, I do not take kindly to irrational outbursts of anger. Anger causes one to lose IQ. Hanasuke always said that.”Bookmark here

I had no idea what IQ was, but I agreed with Ordis that getting riled up would get me nowhere.Bookmark here

“Sorry,” I apologised.Bookmark here

“I had witnessed something traumatic that had to be Hanasuke’s memory. I saw Eveline and the villagers dying right in front of me.”Bookmark here

“That is incorrect. What you witnessed were your own memories. Or at least, what should have been your own memories if you did not stupidly get yourself slain!”Bookmark here

Huh?Bookmark here

“Think hard, Evan. That was your own memory, but the end result was altered due to an incorrect action you took. Did you not recall familiar scenes?”Bookmark here

Everything was familiar right till Remus’s atta—Bookmark here

Wait!Bookmark here

Smoke rising from the village, a drunk bandit looking for alcohol—these actually happened before!Bookmark here

That time, I didn’t know it was Remus, so I didn’t call him out. In the end, he left.Bookmark here

Wait, so everyone dying was really my fault?Bookmark here

I sat back down on the bed as I pulled my hair in frustration. All of this was just conjecture, but as I recalled those agonising scenes, the most damning evidence appeared in my mind:Bookmark here

My son is only sixteen! He is only a child! If you do anything to him, I’ll bite my tongue off!Bookmark here

The last words I heard from my mum during the Memory Dive resurfaced. Bookmark here

I was too stunned by everything to realise at first, but I was sixteen when that took place. This could not be Hanasuke’s memory as he was only active during my ten-year timeskip, where I had to be eighteen or older. This memory was mine.Bookmark here

“During the Memory Dive, I was unable to find any memories of Hanasuke left in your muscles. As a result, the Dive took place in a memory of your own.”Bookmark here

Ordis was right. All of the bloodshed and murder which occurred was because I did the wrong thing. Everything was avoidable if I behaved like myself instead of a wannabe Hero.Bookmark here

I could feel myself tensing up in rage. Bookmark here

It was my pride that led to my mum sacrificing herself for me.Bookmark here

It was my pride that led to Eveline thrusting herself into death to save her useless brother.Bookmark here

It was my pride that led to everything that went wrong.Bookmark here

“Evan, remember what I said about anger? Steady yourself. Whatever you saw back there didn’t happen in reality.”Bookmark here

I felt the urge to retort, when I suddenly realised—mum and Eveline might still be okay! Sure, I was a good-for-nothing human being, but the fact remained that it was merely my imagination.Bookmark here

That was a ‘what if’ scenario that never actually took place. Remus Whiteaxe’s secret of stealing Diphaxia wasn’t exposed by me, it happened later down the future. None of that was real—Eveline didn’t die!Bookmark here

“Wonderful, now that you’ve calmed down somewhat, allow me to introduce you to—”Bookmark here

The large door of the study flung open.Bookmark here

“—our predicament.”Bookmark here

“Time’s up, Sage. Now let me fulfil my duty.”Bookmark here

Melyeze?!Bookmark here

It was the amber-haired, heterochromatic knight. She was in her full plate armour, the same one which she wore in the duel against Sereya. Bookmark here

I was dumbfounded. Did she have beef with Ordis?Bookmark here

“Persistent one, aren’t you? That is the problem of knighting children, they have no patience.”Bookmark here

“Silence! Hand over Hero Evansmith to me. Even if you are the Legendary Sage, as a knight of Adradia, I will not stand against treason.”Bookmark here

Treason? What happened in the real world during the Memory Dive?Bookmark here

“Wait! Melyeze, what is going on?!”Bookmark here

“I heard from some of the knights that Hero Evansmith visited the Sage. To my surprise, the Sage kidnapped you.”Bookmark here

“No no no, this is just a huge misunderstanding!”Bookmark here

“Evan, she is correct,” Ordis’s frank response caught me off guard.Bookmark here

“I am actually ‘kidnapping’ you, for a lack of a better term.”Bookmark here

Harh? What the hell?!Bookmark here

“We need to get you to the assembly hall, Evan. Lady Sereya needs your help!”Bookmark here

“To ensure the safety of all of Fallcross, I cannot allow the Hero to join the summit!”Bookmark here

Sereya needed my help? The Seven Heroes Summit was already going on? Bookmark here

Those words were all it took to get me running to the exit.Bookmark here

I could no longer see the open door, though. Neither could I see Melyeze.Bookmark here

Ordis’s enormous arm blocked my path.Bookmark here

“I can empathise with your desire to help, but I cannot allow a Hero with no memories to endanger all of Fallcross in a discussion he does not belong in!” Bookmark here

“Let him go!”Bookmark here

Melyeze blue eye was set ablaze as she drew her weapon.Bookmark here

Damn it! I had to do something!Bookmark here

My chest felt ridiculously tight. This was a repeat of the Memory Dive all over again. I struggled to find the right words and as a consequence, mum had to sacrifice herself for me.Bookmark here

Both Ordis and Melyeze were my friends. I had to stop them from killing each other! I had to prevent another pointless bloodshed!Bookmark here

For the last damn time, Evan! Think!Bookmark here

“Ordis,” I called out to him as I prayed in my heart.Bookmark here

“There were no traces of his memory left in me, but didn’t you know that he actually left traces in mine?”Bookmark here

“What? Preposterous! To do that is to alter the past!”Bookmark here

Ordis overreacting was a good sign.Bookmark here

“Oh, but in my memory, I discovered that your flush toilet was actually missing a very important feature.”Bookmark here

“Stop with your bluffi—”Bookmark here

“It’s called the sprayer.”Bookmark here

“What?! Sprayer?”Bookmark here

It was working. The Sage desired knowledge more than anything else. That was how Hanasuke was friends with it in the first place.Bookmark here

“Yup. Sprayer. Flushing poop is hygienic and all, but having to stick your hand up your ass to wipe with cloth or leaves kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it?Bookmark here

In my memory, the toilet I used fired a jet of water right into my bum! There was actually another, smaller lever that controlled the mechanism to do that. The more I turned it, the stronger the pressure was. Bookmark here

Not only did I feel clean, I felt good.”Bookmark here

“T-That was in your memory?”Bookmark here

Unfortunately, yes and no. The idea was from how clean Diphaxia stayed even after spurts of blood splashed onto the blade of the axe. I had no idea how this ‘sprayer’ mechanism actually worked, but Ordis was smart. He would figure it out.Bookmark here

“Not only that, I saw a sound chamber. Just like how your voice is projected all over the room, it was music that played all over! People in Japan danced to it at parties. The music was so loud, you cannot hear the person right next to you!Bookmark here

It was actually the screams of the dying villagers all around me utterly masking my mum’s voice.Bookmark here

“N-No, you made this all up!”Bookmark here

“Huh? I thought you were the Legendary Sage! Why are you behaving like the people who called me a liar when I told them about the painslayer?”Bookmark here

“WHAT?”Bookmark here

“Yup. Everyone in Japan, from soldiers to commoners, used the painslayer. The painslayer was a small piece of meat from a certain animal that when consumed, instantly nullified all sense of pain. Whether you are at work or on the battlefield, just take a bite of the painslayer and you can keep on fighting like nothing happened!”Bookmark here

“Which animal is that?!”Bookmark here

Remus.Bookmark here

“Sorry Ordis, I’d love to tell you, but it’s really hard to remember everything especially when one of the Seven Heroes needs my help.”Bookmark here

“Well, this is certainly an interesting turn of events,” as Ordis declared, my path was suddenly wide open.Bookmark here

“Since you have proven yourself with the attainment of otherworldly knowledge, I have to concede. Your knowledge will be helpful to Fallcross like how it previously was.”Bookmark here

The flame in Melyeze’s eye was extinguished.Bookmark here

“I had no idea what you were on about, but we had to move.”Bookmark here

“I know,” I exclaimed as I rushed to Melyeze’s side.Bookmark here

Even though all I had were lies, this was my own weapon as the Hero.Bookmark here

It was far from the best. With this weapon, I was weak and nowhere as brave or strong as Eveline.Bookmark here

Even then, I would rather fight on my feet than cry on my knees!Bookmark here

Sereya, hold on!Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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