Paladin of the End

By Yanagino Kanata

Paladin of the End Chapter 1

Paladin of the End Chapter 1

Book01-Chapter01

1

ーMy eyes stare at the darkness, listening to the silence, thinking about death.

ーAs for the light, as for the darkness, there should be a life of as silent as death.

『Proverb of Goreisufiru, God of Light』

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Death, the memory of that time has become vague and cloudy.

……Most of my time was spent in a dimly lit room.

I had failed. Somewhere I had failed in something. As a result of that failure, it became practically impossible for me to leave the house.

My family only had halfhearted contact with me. They did not scold me. They did not grieve.

I could only smile bitterly towards their vague behavior. That mediocrity comfort had become my reality.

It was probably their kindness. But to me, it was only poison.

Over time, a feeling of frustration buried inside of me, and it reached the point where I wanted to tear my own heart out. That room offered me partial comfort. And the fear of the outside world was planted in me. My family said nothing. I hesitated to step forward, even one step.

I might be able to redo it, maybe. But, I failed that day. And, the following day.
Then a week later.
Then for a month.
Then for a year.
Then for ten years.

Maybe if I stepped forward something might have changed.

However, I did not step forward. I wasn’t able to step forward. I didn’t even have the courage to take a single step. In the end, it was merely one step, but 「something」 was already broken inside of me. Or maybe it was my excuse that 「something」 was broken.

While it was possible to step forward, the reasons to give up only continued to pile up.

…… Because it’s already too late.
…… Because it’s impossible to recover.
…… Because, I don’t understand what I can do anymore.
…… Because, I would only be laughed at if I did anything now.

The frustration with everything only grew stronger. Although I wanted to step forward, I feared the first step. I yearned to do something, but I had no idea what to do. Living became painful, yet I had no desire to die.

I was stagnant, eating what was given, wasting my time with insignificant pleasures, and living in name only. Fearing failure, I averted my eyes from my past mistake and surrendered myself to that foolish half-consciousness.

There was a vague memory my death.
It can’t be helped as my life itself is surely vague, as it’s probably already in chaos.

That dimly lit room.
The life where day and night were reversed.
The light of the monitor.
The tapping sounds of the keyboard.
That fragmented chaos continued.

Amongst it all was a slightly clear memory.

The sound of a motor running. The proceeding truck carrying the white coffins right in front of me. The door of the cremation furnace closing slowly with a cold mechanical sound.

It simply closed.

The slightly vivid memory inside of the hazy was of my parent’s deaths.

Before my eyes my parents became ash.

Did I shed tears? Everything is hazy.

From just that memory I already understood, it was already too late to finally take that first step… Before I know it, the remembrance of those vague days came to an end.

Death, the memory of that time is somewhat vague. That life was nothing but vague and murky.

ーーIn the end, I have a feeling that I saw a faint light.

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“Uwaa…….”

I awoke from that vague and murky memory.

I saw a dim ceiling…..

And then, suddenly, a skeleton appear before me. A skeleton with blue will-o-wisp in its hollow eyes sockets, and a bone clattering sound emitted from its jaw as it extended its arm toward me.

“Uwaaaaahhh……!?”

I screamed.