Chapter 56:

Bonus Chapter: (Forbidden Chapter) Observers

I’m Taking Revenge for My Murdered Classmates Using Weapons Made from Their Souls

*Note: Forbidden chapters have the potential to upend your understanding of this world and have nothing to do with the main plot.

“Oh. You look different today.”

I opened the door to the lab to see Charlotte bent over at her desk, writing. It was slightly jarring to see her hair a different color from her usual blonde shade.

“My previous guise got destroyed, unfortunately. I need to find a replacement.”

“I see.”

Charlotte continued to scribble in her notebook without looking up. She must be writing the next script.

“Where do we rank?”

“We’re in fourth place now. We’ve gone down again.”

The only thing connecting our world to the Observers was a single computer monitor, which they used to send us updates on our ranks and reviews. My job was to print those out and bring them to Charlotte.

“Mind reading them for me? My hands are full at the moment.”

Charlotte oversaw every aspect of this world as the director, producer, screenwriter, cameraperson, and leading actor. I don’t think I’d ever seen her sleep.

I began reading the reviews we’d received so far, hoping to take some of the load off her shoulders.

“Love it!”

“The way the story brings you back to the present narrative is so well-done. The pacing is great too.”

“The pacing is perfect. Also, it switches between past and present at just the right moment.”

“I like it, but since it’s obvious that everyone dies, I’m a lot less invested in what happens.”

“The title and interludes feel like a massive spoiler.”

“I knew people were going to be divided on this. It’s difficult to strike a proper balance. What do you think?”

“How about including at least one unresolved mystery?”

“I like that idea. I’m using it. Continue, please.”

I resumed reading.

“I can’t handle the non-villains dying, so the only episodes I watch are the epilogues and intermission (I know it’s weird, don’t judge me), but I still enjoy it.”

“The whole concept of making weapons out of your dead classmates’ souls is mindblowing and fascinating.”

“The dual timelines portray the protagonist’s thirst for revenge effortlessly while showing the viewers how the characters ended up where they are now.”

“That’s definitely thanks to him. I should keep milking him and have him work harder.”

“Go easy on him, okay? He’ll break if you push him too hard.”

“I’ll consider it. Next.”

She definitely won’t, I thought, as I flipped to the next page.

“This is so sad. I love it, though. Looking forward to more!”

“It’s so bleak and heartbreaking. Love it!”

“There are so many things I wanna say that I can’t possibly list them all. I think it’s a beautiful and tragic classic fantasy series.”

“Yo, this director is ruthless! Do you know how freaking sad this is?!”

“I hate seeing them die! I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to quit watching...”

“It hurts too much to watch, but I can’t tear my eyes away. I’ve never been so engrossed with a story that I know is going to end tragically.”

“... Couldn’t you have written something funny or heartwarming where no one dies?”

“Nuh-uh. My classmates all became monsters, you know. How do you expect me to turn something like that into a comedy?”

We fell silent for a moment before Charlotte spoke again.

“Please. Continue.”

“I thought this was gonna be an isekai revenge story until you started talking about video-sharing website rankings...I mean, what a twist! I’m not sure if these people are supposed to be godly or from another world, but I’m guessing the characters will either free themselves from their captors—classic!—or maybe these two plots will remain separate, who knows. Anyway, keep up the good work!”

“This is in response to the missing chapter you wrote a while back.”

“One thing’s evident now. Most of the Observers are clueless about how this world works. They have no idea that their ratings could potentially wipe out an entire universe.”

I had no idea what the Observers looked like, as they never showed themselves on the screen.

Did they look human? Were they astral bodies without any physical form? Or were they creatures terrifying beyond imagination?

Their whole existence was a mystery to us.

One thing for sure was that they had the ability to destroy a single planet with ease.

I’d watched many other worlds that’d dropped off the list disappear.

We were nothing but playthings to these Observers, doomed to be tossed away when they tired of us.

“The next one’s our last review.”

“One after another, the characters die in battle. Despite that, I’ve never felt sick or thought of quitting the series. Why? I wondered. Then I realized: it’s because everyone dies remaining true to themselves. As long as that’s the case, even if no one survives, I wouldn’t consider this a miserable tale.”

“That’s nice of them.”

“Yeah, it is.”

If the Observers get sick of us and our rankings drop, then Charlotte, me, this whole planet, even the Earth will disappear.

Even so, that review touched me.

Charlotte had sacrificed everything.

She got absolutely nothing in return but endless despair.

Perhaps these reviews were the only thing that kept her going.

“I’ll come again, Charlotte.”

I left the stack of reviews by her side and headed to the exit.

“Thanks. See you later, *bleep*.”

“You should censor my name.”

Charlotte took her eyes off her notebook and looked at me for the first time.

“Right, the part about leaving one unresolved mystery. Got it.”

Charlotte grinned smugly.

“I’ll replace your name with a beeping sound effect then. From now on, your name will be *bleep*.”

I couldn’t help grinning as well at my new alias.