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27 The one the world rejects [5]

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Rustle—

The bushes swayed, and a figure emerged.

It was a little girl with black hair and deep eyes. Casually holding onto a pastry, she tossed it in her mouth and wiped her lips.

Her eyes squinted slightly as she savored the sweet pastry.

Num...

Her form started to shift.

Her height started to increase, and her expression started to mature.

Gradually, the silhouette of an extremely charming woman began to unfold. Glossy black hair, deep hazel eyes...

"...."

Delilah blankly stared at the scene in front of her.

It was a gruesome sight. One that would cause the normalest of people to feel sick.

Lying beside a mushed-up body was none other than Julien.

The Black Star.

She recalled the scene she witnessed, and only a thought crossed her mind.

".....He's weak."

That he was weak.

But...

"His mind is not."

It was strong.

Very strong.

"Not bad..."

All of this had been a test.

Such an attack... as if it could really happen when she was overseeing the institute.

Evaluating the enemy, and judging that they weren't strong, she allowed for them to do whatever they pleased, and let them teleport Julien and Leon out of the Academy. All she did was follow the mana trace from the spell to get to where they were.

It wasn't that far. Took her no time to get there and oversee the situation.

In case they couldn't handle them, she'd interfere.

She had been prepared to interfere during Julien's struggle, but...

Yet again...

He showed her why she had selected him as the Black Star. His anger... desperation... she could feel it from where she was.

The image of his expression lingered in her mind even until now.

To the point where she opened her lips to mutter,

"Anger..."

Her hands trembled, but it wasn't much.

Nothing compared to how he did it.

Her expression showed signs of cracking as she faintly smiled.

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"....I guess he's better than me."

In the Emotive field, that was.

It was a funny thought.

It wasn't as though she was talented in such a field. She could use emotive magic, but it wasn't excellent.

In a sense... she felt a sense of defeat.

"....."

Her gaze continued to linger over Julien. More specifically, toward his forearm, where a familiar tattoo rested.

She wanted to see what he'd do in such a situation. Catch him lacking... but he never faltered. His performance was flawless.

To the point where Delilah started to question herself.

'....Am I wrong?'

But clearly, the tattoo he had was the same...

"...."

Her delicate brows gently knit together.

"What a headache."

Flicking her hand, Julien's body levitated upwards. Nudging her fingers, his body drifted towards her.

Stopping just a few inches away, she brought her finger to his neck.

".....Nothing serious."

His body wasn't exactly in the best of shapes, but his heart was steady. There were no life-threatening injuries.

He was at most tired.

As for his broken bones and body...

That much could be handled by the infirmary. It would take at most a couple of days for him to be fully healed.

"Hm?"

Sensing something, Delilah's head turned to face the distance. She felt a subtle mana trace coming from there.

That's when she recalled.

"Ah, right."

There was someone else that was here.

Her form gradually started to blend with the world alongside Julien's. Before long, the two of them disappeared.

"...."

Swoosh—

Just as the two of them left, a change started to take place in the surroundings.

The broken trees in the distance started to repair, the body on the ground shattered in fragments, and everything returned to how it had been a few hours prior.

Rustle—

The trees rustled under the breeze of the wind, and all traces of what had been disappeared.

It was as if nothing had ever happened...

***

Dark.

My vision was dark.

And it was cold.

But that cold didn't last for long.

Something warm embraced my body. It felt nice.

To the point where I wanted to bask in it for a little longer. But... I knew I couldn't. This comfort... It wasn't something that I was meant to enjoy.

My reality wasn't as comfortable as this.

That much I knew.

As if a switch had been flipped, my eyes opened, and light entered my vision.

"W-where am I...?"

That was the first thing I thought when I looked up.

It was a white ceiling. One I wasn't familiar with. My head shifted, and I managed to look down.

I was lying in bed.

The room I was in wasn't anything big. With a wooden table opposite the bed and a metal cabinet, the room felt rather lacking.

It was bland.

"...."

The pungent smell of alcohol lingered in the air as my nose scrunched up. The sterile scent hinted at the fact that I was in some sort of medical center.

But where exactly?

"Ukh..."

Just as I thought to check, my face stiffened.

My entire body was in pain, and I could barely lift my head.

But I also understood something...

'I am safe.'

I didn't know why I felt this way. The place was unfamiliar, and yet... I didn't feel like I was in any danger.

Of course, even if I was in danger... I didn't have the time to think about it.

"Ukhg...!"

Memories from before started to flood my mind, and my stomach churned.lightsnovel

I hastily looked around before leaning over the bedside.

And...

"Blergh...!"

Once again, I puked.

"Blergh...!"

It all came out at once. I wasn't able to hold it and just flowed out from my stomach.

"Blergh...!"

My throat hurt and my eyes started to sting.

I was also struggling to breathe as I barely had any time to catch my breath. It was just endless.

The reality of the situation finally started to hit me...

I had killed someone.

"...Haa..."

It wasn't so much that I was distraught by that idea. He had been trying to kill me... I was merely defending myself.

But...

As I recalled the way that I killed him.

The blood that spilled with each swing.

The smell of it as it invaded my nostrils.

The pieces of his brain that splattered...

"Blergh...!"

My stomach once again turned over, and I continued to puke.

But this time...

Nothing came out. I only made the sound, but nothing came out. I had emptied my entire stomach. There was nothing left for me to puke.

"..."

I wiped my lips and took deep and even breaths.

I felt like utter shit.

Every time I thought back to the memories, my mouth would gag. I wished I could forget all about that memory and just move on, but...

'I can't forget.'

I mustn't forget.

Like I said, it was time for me to accept the world.

Who I now was... And the morals of this world. I had to accept them. I couldn't stay as Emmet Rowe forever. I had to... become Julien Dacre Evenus.

The world didn't reject me.

I rejected it.

And it was time for me to accept it.

From its laws to its morals... I needed to conform my way of thinking to it.

Only this way would I be able to find what I wanted.

Therefore, I closed my eyes and replayed the scene in my mind. Over and over again. I tried to recall all the details. From the sounds to the smells... all that I could think of.

I tried to recall.

"...Ukgh."

My throat gagged each time, but I let my mind immerse in the memories.

I knew that this wasn't going to be enough.

That it was going to take time for me to adjust to this sort of mentality, but... One had to start from somewhere.

And this was my starting point.

Creaaaaak...

The door of the room creaked open as a figure draped in white robes entered. With tall blonde hair and green eyes, he scanned the room and sighed.

"...I was wondering why there was so much sound."

He flicked his hand once, and all the puke on the floor disappeared. So did the smell, which made me feel better.

"Let's start with the introduction. I'm Dr. Gabel Wright. I'm in charge of healing you."

"...Oh."

I lowered my eyes and sat back.

"Am I at the institute?"

"Oh? You're aware?"

"Mhm."

It wasn't that hard to figure out. I had been thinking about it for a bit, but was it really possible for something like this to happen under the watch of the institute that boasted itself to be the number one in the empire?

No...

That was most likely not the case.

But... If that was the case, why did something like this happen? Were they just incompetent.. or was there more to it?

'Fucking game.'

"The Chancellor personally brought you back here in the middle of the night. Nobody is aware that you're here yet."

Taking out a wooden pad, the doctor glanced at it before continuing.

"...Broken collarbone, three fractured ribs, a punctured lung, spinal fracture... What sort of situation did you get yourself into?"

"Haa.."

I inwardly laughed. I wanted to know, too.

In the end, I was going to be stuck here for a bit...

Great.

"Well..."

Putting the clipboard down, he ruffled his hair.

"The injuries aren't anything serious or anything like that."

"...?"

"So you should be fine with leaving by tomorrow."

"...??"

"I'll be leaving to check on my other patients. Rest for now. I'll come to check up on you later."

He left just like that.

"Ah..."

Clank—

The door closed and silence enveloped the room. I thought back to his words and found myself blinking twice...

"Injuries aren't anything serious...?"

Broken collarbone, three fractured ribs, a punctured lung, spinal fracture...

"Should be fine to leave by tomorrow?"

This...

"Haha."

I couldn't help but laugh.

Although this was another world... It still left me stunned.

"...Fucking ridiculous."

"What is?"

"No, it's...!"

I abruptly looked to my left, and my eyes widened.

When did she...

Leaning against the nearest table, her long, flowing black hair draped down her shoulder as she cocked her head.

Her appearance was so blinding that I struggled to comprehend what was before me.

"So...? What's so ridiculous?"

"...."

Memories started to flood my mind, and I felt my face stiffen. It took me no time to figure out who the woman before me was.

One of the seven Monarchs.

The one who was closest to the Zenith.

Delilah V. Rosemberg.