Chapter 5:

Conviction

The Land Called Myself


You are not human.

That’s why you hurt people.

That’s why you carry so much hate.

Because you lack the qualities of a true human being. The agregate of thier natural states varies so fundamentally from yours that you cannot even be called the same race. Like the vampire, you do not appear in mirrors. You fail to make that connection with our world. All you see is a false physical form created by the eyes of others.

Because you are nothing.

You have no soul.

No self.

So you torment yourself, seeking answers to questions without reason or quantifiability. And in the end, the only constant you can find, the only answer you can arrive to, is death.

Death is the end of other’s eyes.

Death is the mother of nothingness to which you so long to return to. The only mother you have.

And yet, you cannot embrace that mother.

Still you struggle against the thin physical world, trying to find yourself in it. It is a useless conflict between toy soldiers. Your only choice- the only way to win in this meaningless game- is to simply stop playing.

End the eyes. End the mirrors. Quench the light.

Give up this game, and embrace.

“Genesis… are you dozing off again? I thought I gave you fuel earlier.” Her voice shined, awakening them.

“𝕀… 𝕀’𝕞 𝕤𝕠𝕣𝕣𝕪. 𝕀’𝕞 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕤𝕦𝕣𝕖 𝕨𝕙𝕒𝕥’𝕤 𝕘𝕠𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕠𝕟. 𝕎𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕨𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕨𝕖 𝕒𝕘𝕒𝕚𝕟?”

“Sneaking through the town! Now keep your voice down.” The two infiltrators sat crouched on a rooftop, eyeing a cabin down the street. It was now night, the two having waited for this very opportunity. “That is the home of Captain Alviss of the town guard. We are going to enter it, duel him, and take the blood of his child.”

“𝕎𝕖 𝕒𝕣𝕖… 𝕘𝕠𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠 𝕜𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕒 𝕔𝕙𝕚𝕝𝕕. 𝕀 𝕦𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣𝕤𝕥𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕚𝕤 𝕒… 𝕨𝕣𝕠𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘.”

“That isn’t what I meant. Good luck even trying anyway. From what I’ve heard, it’s not possible to kill something like that.”

“ℍ𝕚𝕤 𝕔𝕙𝕚𝕝𝕕 𝕚𝕤… 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕙𝕦𝕞𝕒𝕟?”

“Something like that… the kid’s an allu.”

“𝕀 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖𝕟’𝕥 𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕙𝕖𝕒𝕣𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕞.”

“It isn’t something humans would tell you. They haven’t even begun studying the phenomenon yet. Far too much of a taboo.”

“𝔸𝕟 𝕒𝕝𝕝𝕦… 𝕚𝕤 𝕚𝕥 𝕒 𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕣?“

“I always hated that word. Anything that isn’t human’s a monster, eh? It’s the same as the word “animal.” Everybody knows humans are animals, yet we won’t call them that.” She sighed. “That said, this thing would most definitely be what humans would call a monster. Even if it looks even more human than us trolls. Tell me… you know the Manananggal?“

“𝕄𝕒𝕟𝕒𝕟𝕒- 𝕪𝕖𝕤. 𝕋𝕙𝕖 𝕘𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕗𝕝𝕚𝕖𝕤.”

“Well, those things do more than just fly. They actually lay their eggs in their prey.”

“𝕆𝕗 𝕔𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕤𝕖, 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥’𝕤 𝕙𝕠𝕨 𝕟𝕖𝕨 𝕘𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕤 𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕓𝕠𝕣𝕟. 𝔻𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕡𝕖𝕕 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕓𝕠𝕕𝕚𝕖𝕤 𝕠𝕗 𝕔𝕠𝕣𝕡𝕤𝕖𝕤.

“But what would happen if the prey was still alive for the process?“

“𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕕𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕞𝕖𝕒𝕟…”

“Allu aren’t ghouls or humans, let’s get that straight. They’re incredibly rare products of circumstance that bear souls so strong that they’re nigh unkillable. Because just like their mothers, they can only be slain by the hands of a “monster.” A complex, naturally-born life that differs from a typical human, yet shares some similarities. And Alviss’ “son” is one of them. But as long as we can get a bit of blood from him, we’re golden. The real roadblock here is Alviss. He’s got a bone to pick with me anyway, so I’d like to settle the grudge here and kill him. We get this done, and we can use that allu blood of his son’s to get you a soul. This is your last chance to back out. Are you in?”

“ℍ𝕠𝕨 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕀 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦’𝕣𝕖 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕛𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕦𝕤𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕞𝕖?”

“You’ll need trust before you can ever even dream of getting a soul, Genesis. I can’t prove I’m not lying. All I can do is say that exploiting someone in need would hurt my pride.”

“𝕍𝕖𝕣𝕪 𝕨𝕖𝕝𝕝. 𝕀’𝕝𝕝 𝕗𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕠𝕨 𝕥𝕙𝕣𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙. ℚ𝕦𝕚𝕔𝕜, 𝕝𝕖𝕥’𝕤 𝕘𝕠. 𝕀 𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕥 𝕞𝕪 𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕝 𝕒𝕤 𝕤𝕠𝕠𝕟 𝕒𝕤 𝕡𝕠𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕓𝕝𝕖.”

“I like the sound of that.”

The princess and the machine soon stepped foot onto Alviss’ roof. The wood below then was thick and sturdy, but their will was equally sharp. “Your job is to get the blood. I’ll deal with the brute. That said… my darling here’s gonna wake the whole neighborhood, so don’t be surprised if something goes wrong.”

“𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕕𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕞𝕖𝕒𝕟 𝕪𝕠𝕦’𝕣𝕖 𝕘𝕠𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠-“

“Here, take this. Fill it to the brim.”

She handed them a glass vial for storing blood.

“Listen, my friend… getting what you want in this world requires conviction… Especially when what you want’s so unique.”

Makara gripped the chain stemming from her saw and tugged, as the engine began to thump.

“SO GO LOUD!”

As soon as the blade was revved, she pinched it into the wood and started to cut deep.

“𝓞𝓱𝓸𝓱𝓸𝓱𝓸𝓱𝓸~!”

Splinters flew at Genesis as they watched the streets. A few lamps were already being turned on. This would have happened sooner or later, they supposed. Soon, a hole had been opened into the roof. Captain Alviss sprung from his bed, running to see the two demons that stood on the other side of it.

“The bitch and the machine… I expected your return, but in my own home of all places… dirty as always. Fine then.” He glared, lifting his newly honed axe, more than ready for their attack.

“You’re no cleaner than I, pig… have at you!” Makara pounced down, stabbing her pole saw into the floor as she landed. “Genesis! Find the boy!”

“𝕌𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕠𝕕.”

They too jumped down, running to the right side of the house, out of sight of the battle.

“What do you plan to do with that child?”

“What do you care? He’s a monster after all, isn’t he? Makara grinned. Like an animal, she began circling Alviss, hands tight on her weapon. “I’m so excited to finally end this relationship of ours… don’t you just hate it when stories like this drag on too long?”

“Not at all. As time passes, my hate for you grows… and thus does my strength. The longer a bond lasts, the more I tend to value it… even if it is with a monster like you.”

“Is that so? Then why’d you murder the only one who stood by your side?”

“Disgusting fiend!”

As the two clashed blades, Genesis ran down the halls of the house until he found the boy. He was still in his bed, sitting up as he cowered under the covers. He looked familiar. Sure enough, he was the first one he saw up close when he first came to Collette Town.

“You again… the metal man. I’m… scared, so get it over with.” The child closed his eyes, silently shaking.

“𝕀 𝕒𝕞 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕥𝕠 𝕜𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕪𝕠𝕦. 𝕀 𝕕𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕟 𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕙𝕒𝕣𝕞 𝕪𝕠𝕦.”

“You won’t kill me?”

“𝕀 𝕨𝕠𝕟’𝕥.”

“You won’t… or you can’t?” The child opened his eyes.

“Every day dad tries to kill me… And every time, nothing ever works…” He crawled down the bed, slowly facing Genesis. The red hat on his head fell, revealing a pulsating, bloody mass in a constant state of regeneration where his brain should be. “It hurts so much… you’re special, aren’t you…? Please kill me… the troll won’t do it… please…”

“𝕀𝕥 𝕨𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕥𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕒 𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕠 𝕜𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕪𝕠𝕦. 𝔹𝕦𝕥 𝕀 𝕒𝕞 𝕟𝕖𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣 𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕣 𝕟𝕠𝕣 𝕙𝕦𝕞𝕒𝕟. 𝕋𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖’𝕤 𝕟𝕠𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕀 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕕𝕠.”

“You’re a liar… Even if that stupid troll won’t right now, I know you could get her to… You’re her friend. Say it’s for the mission. Say it’s to help against dad. He’ll probably leave you guys alone if you help him kill me.”

“𝕀 𝕔𝕒𝕟’𝕥 𝕕𝕠 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥.”

“You’re a coward. You want to leave this world too, don’t you? You stink of despair. I noticed it the first time I saw you. But you couldn’t do it. You’re just running in circles, prolonging your useless existence… All so you can make mine worse. I hate you, machine. Because I know if I grow up right now… I’ll end up just as pathetic as you. So do it. Kill me.”

“𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕤𝕒𝕚𝕕… 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕨𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕒𝕗𝕣𝕒𝕚𝕕. 𝕀𝕥’𝕤 𝕘𝕠𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠 𝕓𝕖 𝕤𝕔𝕒𝕣𝕪 𝕥𝕠 𝕜𝕖𝕖𝕡 𝕝𝕚𝕧𝕚𝕟𝕘… 𝕓𝕦𝕥 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕒𝕤 𝕤𝕔𝕒𝕣𝕪 𝕒𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕓𝕝𝕒𝕔𝕜𝕟𝕖𝕤𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕒𝕨𝕒𝕚𝕥𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕚𝕗 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕕𝕠𝕟’𝕥. 𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕒𝕟’𝕥 𝕡𝕠𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕓𝕝𝕪 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕨𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕞𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕣𝕖𝕘𝕣𝕖𝕥.”

“I might be scared of you, but I’m not afraid of dying. The idea that death’s something to fear is one I’ve only ever heard from other people. Were I alone for all my existence, I would never have even come to ponder it. Besides, you like that feeling, don’t you? That darkness… you’ve felt it before, haven’t you? And it made you happy again. Not only are you a coward… you’re a liar, like all grown-ups. The ones that call me a name as if I’m a human being like them. The ones that compliment me with words made for someone else. The ones that act like they don’t know my dad tortures me every night before bed. I always wondered why he didn’t just throw me out… and I realized, it’s because he can’t stand the fear of me growing up and coming back to hurt him. He’s a coward, too.”

“𝕀 𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕓𝕝𝕠𝕠𝕕. ℕ𝕖𝕖𝕕 𝕚𝕥, 𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕟. ℕ𝕠𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕖𝕝𝕤𝕖 𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕞𝕒𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕠 𝕞𝕖 𝕣𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕟𝕠𝕨… 𝔹𝕦𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕜 𝕒 𝕓𝕖𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕙𝕒𝕤 𝕠𝕟𝕖… 𝕔𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕓𝕖 𝕤𝕠 𝕤𝕚𝕞𝕚𝕝𝕒𝕣 𝕥𝕠 𝕀.”

The automaton slinked beside the bed.

“𝕀 𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕤𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦.” They said. “𝕊𝕠𝕞𝕖𝕙𝕠𝕨, 𝕀 𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕙𝕖𝕝𝕡 𝕪𝕠𝕦. 𝕊𝕠 𝕝𝕚𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕟 𝕥𝕠 𝕞𝕖…” They gripped the boy’s shoulder tightly. So much that it would hurt, just a little. “𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕗𝕖𝕖𝕝 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥, 𝕕𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦?”

The boy nodded.

“𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕒𝕝𝕚𝕧𝕖. 𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕒 𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕝. ℕ𝕠𝕥 𝕠𝕟𝕝𝕪 𝕚𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕙𝕠𝕡𝕖… 𝕚𝕥’𝕤 𝕣𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕒𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕗𝕚𝕟𝕘𝕖𝕣𝕥𝕚𝕡𝕤. 𝕄𝕒𝕪𝕓𝕖 𝕀’𝕞 𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕟𝕘𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕟 𝕪𝕠𝕦… 𝕓𝕦𝕥 𝕀’𝕞 𝕗𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕞𝕪 𝕝𝕚𝕗𝕖 𝕛𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕘𝕖𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕡𝕠𝕚𝕟𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦’𝕣𝕖 𝕒𝕥 𝕟𝕠𝕨. 𝕊𝕠 𝕀 𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕥𝕠 𝕥𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕞𝕪 𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕖𝕟𝕘𝕥𝕙… 𝔸𝕟𝕕 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕔𝕙 𝕞𝕪 𝕘𝕠𝕒𝕝 𝕓𝕖𝕗𝕠𝕣𝕖 𝕀 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕞𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕚𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖.” Genesis pressed on the joint on their left arm, the one gripping Troy’s shoulder like a stone on a steep cliffside, and disconnected it from their body, leaving it hanging there. “ℝ𝕖𝕒𝕔𝕙 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕝𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 𝕞𝕖. 𝕀 𝕔𝕒𝕟’𝕥 𝕗𝕠𝕣𝕘𝕚𝕧𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕚𝕗 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕕𝕠𝕟’𝕥.”

The boy took the arm in his hand like a weapon.

“ℕ𝕠𝕨 𝕪𝕠𝕦’𝕧𝕖 𝕘𝕠𝕥 𝕤𝕠𝕞𝕖𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠 𝕔𝕝𝕖𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕣𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕕𝕒𝕣𝕜𝕟𝕖𝕤𝕤. 𝕀𝕥’𝕤 𝕒 𝕞𝕖𝕔𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕚𝕔𝕒𝕝 𝕨𝕠𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣. 𝕊𝕖𝕝𝕝 𝕚𝕥, 𝕗𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 𝕚𝕥… 𝕨𝕙𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕘𝕖𝕥𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕒𝕙𝕖𝕒𝕕. 𝔾𝕠 𝕞𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕤𝕖𝕝𝕗 𝕨𝕙𝕠𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕥 𝕥𝕠 𝕓𝕖. 𝕀𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕨𝕠𝕣𝕝𝕕, 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕕𝕠 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥.”

Genesis pricked the boy’s hand with their fingers and filled their vial with the allu blood.

“𝕀 𝕒𝕞 𝕘𝕠𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠 𝕣𝕖𝕥𝕦𝕣𝕟 𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖… 𝕒𝕝𝕚𝕧𝕖. 𝕎𝕙𝕖𝕟 𝕀 𝕕𝕠, 𝕀 𝕖𝕩𝕡𝕖𝕔𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕥𝕠 𝕓𝕖 𝕒 𝕝𝕠𝕥 𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕡𝕚𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕟 𝕀 𝕒𝕞. 𝔻𝕠𝕟’𝕥 𝕝𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕕𝕠𝕨𝕟.”

The one-armed robot left out of the doorway. Troy clung to the arm, and for the first time in seven years, he cried.

“Hyagh!”

Makara fought ferociously as Alviss blocked each and every hit.

“A monster can’t beat a man! Even when you overpower us… god, nature, and justice lie on our side alone!”

“An even duel, then!” Makara stopped clashing blades with the man and went instead for his axe’s handle. As the blades drew close, an explosion of woodchips and a flying piece of silver ended the fight, as she sawed the axehead clean off and rendered his weapon useless.

“I…”

He looked down at, realized he was at a loss, and crouched down. He began to sweat, and begged to his assailant.

“Then… for now, spare my life. Do as you will. Just… allow me to go on living. I have nothing else.”

“How many stupid deals have you made with me now, Alviss? First free entry into the village if I promised not to tell everyone about Varnis, the troll you so cruelly killed… I didn’t ask to witness that. It’s fate I even did. But still, you agreed. I kept quiet. Then, when I took that freedom too far, I even agreed to stay out in exchange for a new blade for this saw. Not only have I know broken that promise twice over, I’ve used that blade to nearly kill you. Tell me… why don’t you just give up? Why do you still want to live?”

“You would… mock me, at such a time of weakness and mercy?”

“I do not mock you. I’m simply interested in your answer, Alviss. Why live? You’re a bumbling, predjudiced murderer who’s lost everything he ever really had going for him in exchange for pointless social power and a child you don’t love. Why do you still want to live?”

“Because…”

“I…”

His eyes covered in sweaty hair as he loweree his head, he spoke softly.

“…I can’t explain that. …Maybe… there’s no reason.”

“Is that all you think?”

“Why should it matter…? I’m here… that not enough for you?”

“Most people have reasons they fight! Reasons they go on! All you have are a bunch of excuses! Grudges and anxieties you have to feed!”

“I… …so everything I’ve lived has been…” his head shook a little. “If this… is all there is…”

“Maybe I should die.”

“So, is that your answer?”

“I… have no other. So… go ahead… why don’t you? Kill me… you monster.”

“Peh. Just what I’d thought, no conviction. No conviction at all.” The pole-saw princess turned and began to walk off. “I’d rather let you suffer.”

Alviss suddenly leaped up, pinning Makara against the wall with the broken handle of his axe. She spun her blade around to dispatch him, but he slammed his heavy foot into the gas tank and shut it right down before it could do a thing, busting its systems entirely.

“Stupid troll whore… Real humans don’t have the time to crave death… We’re too busy thinking about the things that really matter… My conviction’s gotten me this far… a hero, respected by all, more money than I have time to count… and an endless legacy of battles and exciting memories. I just ain’t got time to die… but I think I can fit in killing you.”

He used all his strength to press down onto Makara’s neck, putting it closer and closer to its breaking point as she tried desperately to get a sound out.

“….o-…. o-“

“What’s the matter? Spit it out! Or are you too busy thinking about how much you want to this pain to go away!”

A sharp hand grabbed Alviss’ shoulder.

His dettached axe blade went into his lower back as he sqeeeled, dropping his handle and freeing Makara.

“𝓞𝓱𝓸𝓱𝓸𝓱𝓸𝓱𝓸~!” Makara burst.

The metal being in front of him was not the one he had seen outside earlier that day. They were alive, and they were angry. They dropped the blade from their artificial foot, and stared at him with the gleaming eyes lying just behind their visor.

“Please- y-you- Autonomous Unit-“

“𝕀 𝕒𝕞 𝔾𝕖𝕟𝕖𝕤𝕚𝕤.”

The house was at last still. The soulless young creature gave the Captain a painless final breath. Makara looked down at her weapon’s busted fuel tank and shrugged. “Hmm… seems you’ve got more conviction than I thought. But… you do know what people will think when they see this, no? They’ll just blame his death on the kid. Then what?”

“𝕀 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕥𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕔𝕣𝕖𝕕𝕚𝕥 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕞𝕪 𝕠𝕨𝕟 𝕤𝕚𝕟𝕤.”

The troll grinned.

Outside, the families sleeping had previously been awakened by the sound of a furious saw in the dead of night. By the time they had reached the scene of the chaos, the machine from that morning was walking out of the house holding the corpse of their Guard Captain.

“Is that the inhuman?”

“It truly was a devil…”

“How awful.”

“ℂ𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕖𝕥𝕥𝕖 𝕋𝕠𝕨𝕟.” It spoke to them. “𝕀 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕖𝕕 𝕒 𝕓𝕒𝕥𝕥𝕝𝕖 𝕚𝕟𝕤𝕚𝕕𝕖 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕙𝕠𝕞𝕖 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕥𝕒𝕜𝕖𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕝𝕚𝕗𝕖 𝕠𝕗 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕠, 𝕕𝕖𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕪𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕡𝕖𝕣𝕥𝕪, 𝕤𝕡𝕒𝕣𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕠𝕟𝕝𝕪 𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕤𝕠𝕟 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕝𝕝 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕡𝕖𝕠𝕡𝕝𝕖 𝕒𝕝𝕤𝕠 𝕙𝕒𝕥𝕖 𝕚𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕔𝕖𝕤𝕤. 𝕋𝕙𝕚𝕤 𝕔𝕣𝕚𝕞𝕖 𝕚𝕤 𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕚𝕣𝕖𝕝𝕪 𝕠𝕗 𝕞𝕪 𝕕𝕠𝕚𝕟𝕘, 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕚𝕥 𝕤𝕙𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝕓𝕖 𝕞𝕒𝕣𝕜𝕖𝕕 𝕒𝕤 𝕤𝕦𝕔𝕙 𝕚𝕟 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕣𝕖𝕔𝕠𝕣𝕕𝕤. “𝕀𝕗 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕨𝕚𝕤𝕙 𝕥𝕠 𝕙𝕒𝕥𝕖 𝕞𝕖… 𝕞𝕪 𝕟𝕒𝕞𝕖 𝕚𝕤 𝔾𝕖𝕟𝕖𝕤𝕚𝕤.”

Before the mob could chase after them, the mysterious visitor fled into the darkness.

Pope Evaristus
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