I am overwhelmed. Thank you again to a special somebody for the ko-fi. Another bonus chapter for you guys. Also, this is the last chapter of this arc. Tissue warning.
Translated by Eve
Edited by Sora Harukawa
The research was in full swing. Furthermore, it seemed like the terrain was sternly warning them, as this winter was endless.
One month, two months, three months…….It originally was time for spring to arrive, but it continued to snow hard outside, without any sign of warming up. This winter was originally abruptly pushed forward, giving the beast people no time to prepare for the winter as they had before. Also, because the beast tide was relatively large-scale, it caused periphery areas of many towns, small and large, to be attacked and suffer damage. So, even before spring had arrived, rations had already run out. The hungry beastmen, who were unable to endure, had no choice but to leave home and enter the jungle once again despite the danger, hoping to come find something to fill up their stomachs., However, no matter whether it was animals or plants, everything had been killed by the heavy snow. There was practically no sign of life whatsoever.
Because of the low temperature and their hunger, the first to face trouble were the elderly beast people, the pregnant sub-beastmen, and the young newborns who were still weak. The faces of many beast people were filled with uncertainty towards the future, and pain for their loved ones. They passed each day numbly, praying to the Beast God for protection before going to bed. However, each time they awakened, they sunk one step deeper into despair.
“You guys take the prey…….” Sui Yuan glanced at Monroe and Moya with a complicated look in his eyes. The two beastmen had thinned down considerably, compared to before. Fortunately, their vitality was still not bad, and they were not dispirited.
This time, they had agreed to enter the jungle with several other beastmen to hunt. Despite walking for ages, they had only come across a single guinea pig den. However, they were able to restrain their own hunger and brought it back to give to Sui Yuan. Sui Yuan had to say that this made him feel very touched, and also made him even more unable to accept their kind intentions.
Sui Yuan paused, before continuing, a bit helplessly, “Thank you, but you guys need this more than I do.”
“You really don’t need this?” Monroe wrinkled his brows, a bit discontented as he watched Sui Yuan’s small and thin body shrink into a ball beneath his blanket, “As far as I know, Leonard rarely goes to the jungle to hunt. Do you really have enough to eat?”
“Rarely going doesn’t mean I never go. On the contrary, this just means that my efficiency is much higher than yours.”
An indifferent voice replied in place of Sui Yuan. A black panther entered the room with a plump giant elk, placing it next to the emaciated guinea pig, wordlessly showing off, “Eli is going to be my mate, I can naturally take care of him. There’s no need for you guys to worry about him.”
Moya’s expression changed slightly, showing a bit of unwillingness, and a bit of admiration. There was even a bit of relief. He silently took back his guinea pig.
“……How did you manage to do this?” Monroe could not help but admire Leonard’s strength. It seems that ever since Leonard regarded him as an enemy on account of Eli, Monroe hadn’t since been able to find an opportunity to one-up him. On the contrary, every time Monroe went to provoke him, he ended up firmly suppressed by the other. There was no leeway for him to change his fate at all, making Monroe, who had always had a high self-esteem, feel very uneasy.
“I naturally have my ways. Even if I told you, you wouldn’t be able to do it,” Leonard said inscrutably, completely apathetic, acting like a pretentious prick.
“……..System exchange?”. Sui Yuan shrunk into his blanket, quietly exposing Leonard.
“Yes, it was definitely a system exchange., 5237 nodded his head in great agreement, “Food is the cheapest item you can buy, requiring the least amount of points.”
Monroe & Moya: “…………？？？”
After ruthlessly driving Monroe and Moya out, Leonard who had once again returned to the house swept a glance at Sui Yuan whilst also beginning to sort out the “system exchanged” elk. Sui Yuan felt a bit hungry. His ears were perked up while his tail was swaying impatiently and expectantly. He looked just like a little kitty that was waiting for his owner to feed him.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“How’s the research progress?” Leonard asked in a gentle tone as he lit up the stove and set up the grill. He then silently watched Sui Yuan, who had quietly moved to his side.
Vel Tejc rcloofv atf jlg jcv rajgfv ecyilcxlcuis ja atf gbjrafv nfclrbc bc atf uglii, jyrfca-wlcvfvis jcrkfglcu, “Aera jybea atfgf.”
“Pr la alwf ab vlf?” Ofbcjgv qjerfv tlr wbnfwfcar.
“Tfjt. Ugbyjyis klatlc atfrf akb vjsr,” Vel Tejc cbvvfv tlr tfjv fjgcfrais.
5237: “……. Efjiis vbc’a xcbk tbk ab vfrmglyf atlr mbcnfgrjalbc bo sbegr…….”
In the original plot, during this time, Allen and company had finally completed the research and were able to draw the first Incantation that would be capable of reversing the release of spiritual energy.
Having been the person who had drawn the Incantation, Allen originally had planned on experimenting its effects on himself. However, Eli, who had also participated in the Incantations research, was opposed to Allen being the one to be credited for this great matter. So, Eli took the lead instead.
Eli, who was at the lowest point of his life, thought this when faced with the possibility of standing at the peak of the second phase of his life: if he were successful this time, as the very first person to use the Incantation, he would inevitably be marked down as a glorious and magnificent person in history. He could possibly turn this hopeless situation around. On the other hand, he didn’t have anything to lose even if he were to fail. Because of Allen, he was detested and abandoned by Leonard, and blamed by his family members.
—- As such, while holding onto this sort of thought, he replaced Allen as the one who would first use the Incantation, and ended up losing his life. The Incantation was not at all successful. Or rather, it was successful to a certain extent. Everyone had been confused by its apparent perfection, completely forgetting that no force can be made from nothing. The reason why this charm can release the spiritual energy is because it absorbs a certain other power — the spirit, spiritual energy and even vitality of the person who uses the Incantation.
Eli had made trouble for Allen many times, because of his willfulness, and even threatened his life several times. Eventually, he exchanged his life for Allen’s survival. It is unknown whether this was karmic retribution.
Later that night, all of the sleeping beast people were awoken by the great torrent of power that erupted out of the research institute.
Under the night sky, a pillar of silver light burst straight up to the sky. Soon afterwards, it turned into little silver lights, entwining with the white snowflakes as they fluttered down. It was absolutely beautiful.
A completely new energy filled the air, making everyone who had a heavy mood because of the unending snow disaster inexplicably feel relieved. Not knowing what had happened, they gradually gathered at the research institute that was the source of the light. However, they soon discovered that the building had already collapsed.
Above the ruins was a teenager with black cat-ears who was holding onto an Incantation, eyes slightly closed. He was enveloped by a silver light. His beautiful and pious face looked like that of an immortal god. By his side was a black panther, lying lethargically by his side, eyes narrowed while he swayed his tail weakly.
“Eli? Leonard?” At last, Allen saw who these two familiar silhouettes belonged to. Allen was shocked, and he wanted to rush forwards but was forcibly kept out by the light. He could only hit the unknown barrier helplessly, “Put down the Incantation! Do you know what you’re doing?!”
The more beautiful something is, the more dangerous it is. The silver light ruthlessly stole all the strength from the youth’s body. The once rosy face had already become pale as snow, and the eyes that were originally brilliant as a star gradually began to lose their splendour. The youth seemed deaf to the outside world, consciousness no longer clear at all. It was only when he looked to be about to topple over that he faintly turned his head to look at Allen and co. Soon afterwards, with a trace of regret in his expression, he fell down heavily onto the black panther’s body.
—– He had made an error when estimating how long it would take him to die. He did not expect that his strength was so much more powerful in comparison to the original Eli. He had persisted right until everybody had come together, and had yet to completely die. He was unable to die a lonely death as had been described in the original work. Sui Yuan felt that this was truly a pity.
The black panther moved slightly, lowering his head to use his coarse tongue to lick the youth’s bloody cheeks, from his tightly closed eyes to his slightly opened lips. Finally, from his throat came a low whimper, sounding as if it was full of endless longing.
“What the hell is going on!” No matter what method they used, they were unable to break apart the silver light. Seno and Moya were going crazy with worry, while Monroe stood there silently, like he had finally realized what had just occurred. His face was full of silent endurance and mourning.
“He used the Incantation…….That Incantation……originally, I had planned to use it…….” Allen slumped weakly against the transparent barrier, voice choking as his head shook helplessly. He was originally supposed to be the one who would face this situation. Eli was taking his place and bearing it all for him, but Allen could not feel even a bit of happiness. His heart was full of self-reproach and remorse.
“……The Incantation failed?” The Incantations teacher walked over slowly with a face full grief. He originally had not been very fond of Eli and had been dissatisfied with his perfunctory approach to the research as of late. Despite his grievances, he did not want to see such an outcome. Still, compared to Eli, he was more concerned with the Incantation that had to do with the life or death of the beast people.
“No……It succeeded……The Incantation was a success……” Allen’s clenched his fist tightly, staring unblinkingly at the person and black panther within the silver light, who looked to have collapsed whilst embracing one another. He was completely unaware that he had already bitten through the skin of his lips.
“I should have realized it earlier. I should have realized this earlier! Spiritual energy cannot be produced out of thin air. That Incantation takes the spiritual power and life-force of the user and transforms it into the world’s spiritual energy!”
The Incantations teacher’s face abruptly changed. “He unexpectedly went to secretly use an imperfect Incantation. Eli, he—-”
“Because he knew that talking about it would be useless.”
Monroe suddenly spoke, coldly interrupting the Incantation teacher’s words. Then, under everyone’s bewildered gaze, he slowly closed his eyes, “You guys were kept in the dark by Eli this whole time. You guys had no idea that his spiritual strength was not actually at the seventh level, but rather, was much more powerful than that — so powerful that even I cannot tell exactly how strong he was in the end.”
Upon hearing his words, everyone’s eyes were filled with incredulity. Even Seno had not realized that his own little brother had hid such a secret.
“I only had the good fortune to discover this fact by coincidence. I have no idea whatsoever as to why he acted this way. The only one whos knows why– he is there.”
Monroe turned his gaze to the black panther within the silver light, voice full of undisguised admiration, envy and remorse. There was even a bit of pride— that was the sole sub-beastman that he had wanted to offer his everything to, “Eli’s understanding of Incantations is far more profound than all of yours. He must’ve seen the drawbacks of that Incantation ages ago, so he chose to quietly do it before Allen tried it out himself. If there was a person who could maximally take his own power and transform it into the world’s spiritual energy, thereby resolving the current crisis, then that person can only be Eli. Anyone else would only end up a meaningless sacrifice.”
Monroe’s voice echoed in the silent night sky, making the nearby beast people unconsciously hold their breaths, even making their breathing subconsciously lighter. They did not know whether or not they should believe Monroe’s words. After all, what happened this time was truly too abrupt and unpredictable, making them unable to react at all.
“Idiot……” Allen, who had been staring at the silver light for a long time, finally spat out this one word, lifting up his hands to cover his face. He had always thought that men did not cry easily, but now he completely had no way to restrain his desire to cry, wanting to vent out the tight pain and heaviness of his heart.
Seno did not go comfort Allen. He only leaned against the transparent barrier, eyes unblinkingly staring at his little brother who he had spoiled from birth. He didn’t know where he had gone wrong, to make Eli forever keep this secret from him, and eventually, to leave without a word of goodbye.
He had died for the sake of Allen, who had wanted to test the Incantation, and also for the sake of himself, who loved Allen. Seno did not know what Eli’s state of mind had been when he had laughingly wished him good night. Furthermore, Seno had completely been unaware of any abnormalities. He had just turned around and left as usual.
…….Thinking back to their final moment together, Seno felt like a sinner who had let down his beloved little brother.
No one spoke a word until the silver pillar of light gradually disappeared, the transparent barrier finally opened before everyone.
Monroe, who remained calm and rational, unlike the others who didn’t dare to confront the truth, took the lead to walk towards Eli and Leonard’s side.
Eli laid serenely within Leonard’s embrace, and was encircled by the black panther as if he was his treasure. Monroe crouched down and raised a hand to gently feel for the two people’s breaths. Soon after, he gradually closed his eyes and hung his head, expressing the beast people’s most esteemed form of courtesy, reserved only for the passing of their most respected and noble people.
This show of courtesy shattered everyone’s meagre hopes.
“He is the pride of your family, Seno.”
Monroe stretched out his arms to carefully lift Eli out of Leonard’s arms, solemnly handing him over to the grim, pale-faced Seno.
Seno took Eli and reluctantly raised his lips to a bitter smile, lowering his head to kiss his little brother on the forehead. “Of course. He has always been. He gave up his life for our entire race. Our family and our parents —- we are all so proud of him.”
Seeing Seno’s grieving smile, Allen took a deep breath and slowly lifted his hand, placing it on Seno’s arm. He imitated him, pressing his trembling lips upon Eli’s ice-cold forehead.
Warm liquid fell from his eyes, dripping onto Eli’s peaceful face. Allen abruptly turned his head away to hide his own uncontrollable tears.
Recalling the first time Eli ever took initiative to strike a conversation with him, in which he had taken him to read and record the research’s text, Allen suddenly felt that, in fact, from that time on, Eli had already accepted his fate. So, that was why he had been so calm and composed, as if he had finally found the true meaning of life, only waiting peacefully for his life to end. Then, without any hesitation, he carried out his task as if he was an emissary sent by the Beast God to save the race.
—Perhaps this is just his wishful thinking, but already, everything was incapable of being verified.
Finally, Monroe glanced at Eli who was held carefully by Seno and Allen like a treasure, and then glanced at the lonely panther on the ground.
Moya stood beside Monroe, still unable to face the death of the sub-beastman that he had always followed and loved. So, he did not go over, and instead, lifted up Leonard’s body alongside Monroe.
“I truly do not know if you’re smart or foolish,” Monroe muttered softly, “I never understood you.”
“……Actually, I envy him very much. He can always be with Eli. Even death cannot separate them.”
Moya looked down and said in an bitter voice, “If Eli had permitted me, then I would have done this for him too. Unfortunately, between Eli and Leonard, a third person could never get in between them. Not even in death.”
“……Although I have a favourable impression of Eli, however I still can’t get to that point, so I can’t understand your feelings,” Monroe looked at Moya and comforted him by patting him on the shoulder, “But I’m sure that you’ll be able to meet another sub-beastman worthy of your devotion.”
Moya smiled bitterly, nodding lightly, before shaking his head slowly, “However, there is only one Eli, and no one can replace him.”
Morning’s first ray of light pierced through the thick and heavy clouds that enveloped the research institute’s ruins, hitting several people’s bodies. One of the beast people who had quietly watched all along seemed to fall into a stupor when faced with the brilliance of the morning’s rays. He suddenly raised their heads to look towards the sky, letting out an “ah” in surprise.
Following his movements and exclamation, more and more beast people raised their heads.
The dense clouds had begun to dissipate, revealing the long-lost blue sky and the morning sun that was not at all blinding.
“……The snow has finally stopped……”
The heavy snow that lasted for months on end had finally stopped, and the sunlight shining down on their bodies held the warmth of spring.
The first disaster had finally passed. Coming up, the beast people still had lots to do in order to restore the world’s spiritual energy. But in any case, they were unlikely to embark again on this old, familiar, wrong road, and were unlikely to let down the people who had sacrificed themselves to call forth spring…….
The author has something to say:
I unexpectedly saw a little sister saying that my author has something to say section was full of spoilers! I…. I won’t say anything else in the future! QAQ
Eve: You don’t understand. I’m CRYING. I know it’s fake but my heart really hurt for the people of this world who had truly come to love Sui Yuan… especially Seno. He arguably loved him the most 🙁 I listened to 刚好遇见你 – 李玉刚 and imagined Allen and Seno reminiscing and missing Sui Yuan and I now need to eat a whole tub of ice cream or something to fill up the hole in my heart.