72. Chapter 72
Walm grasped his sword in haziness. But, one thing he was sure, that an enemy with a gleaming blade was screaming unbearably before him. His body reacted to the nostalgic sight as if to correct itself. He trampled the body of the enemy, who gave up the fighting posture, and wanted to put an end to the wobbly arm.
The tip of the sword tasted human skin after a long time, tore the flesh, and was greeted by overflowing fresh blood. A few more inches and the blood would spurt from the artery. Something it had experienced enough with the people of Liberitoa, Myard, and Ferrius.
Suddenly, however, Walm stopped the sword.
Wa…ar, yes, war… war
Sudden discomfort rushed to him. The words of the bar owner were lingering too much in his mind. They forcefully mobilized the fuzzy brain, which was heavy and didn’t want to move.
What was it… ah, “be more social”, huh…
A promise must be kept. Especially since the offered liquor had filled Walm’s stomach. But an enemy soldier was aiming for his life. Enemy soldiers must be killed. Couldn’t be overlooked. Too much compassion would only lead to being the “old self” and it would only hurt more to live in this world.
Something murky and invisible tried to settle in Walm’s mind. As he spun the convoluted brain, he found out the true nature of the feeling of incongruity. Although it was a vague memory due to the alcohol, Walm continued to fight on the battlefield as a soldier of the Highserk Empire. As a result, his comrades, family, neighbors, and nation… he lost everything he wanted to protect.
“eah… ‘ight. that’s, right. I, have, lost.”
Walm’s reason, which had escaped to alcohol, slowly returned to reality. At the same time, the brain slowly revived a memory he didn’t want to recall.
“Huh, hah, aha, ha… pa, thetic.”
The men who saw Walm’s bitter laughter made a noise. For his brain, which was full of alcohol, the noise was too much to handle.
“Please. Stop. We were stupid. Forgive us.”
“I will never do such a stupid thing again. I swear to God.”
Walm believed that if there was a God, that fucking bastard must hate him.
Trying to clear his cloudy mind, Walm squinted his eyes and carefully observed the man under his eyes.
“No, not these guys……”
The fact that the war was over…
The fact that he was no longer a soldier…
It struck him.
Yeah… I’m just, a pathetic defeated soldier, who failed to die…
Then, what are these guys?… Why is he pulling out a sword?
He turned the questions that came up to the adventurer, crawling under his eyes.
“Something’s, wrong… You, drew a sword. Must be, Enemy, right?”
Walm stabbed the tip of his sword at something like a breastplate, urging the adventurer to answer.
Gritting his teeth, the adventurer began to answer.
“I-it, it, it was just a fake threat. I-I wasn’t serious. I-I picked a fight but was ignored, so the blood rushed to my head.”
“Fight? A-ah, a fight, huh. Sometimes, you threaten others, by pulling out your sword, huh.”
On the battlefield, once you drew the sword and directed it to someone, it wouldn’t end until someone died. This was an absolute practice in a crazy struggle.
“Forgive me, I’ll pay for bothering you, please don’t kill me.”
The adventurer spoke as fast as his mouth would allow.
Walm turned his gaze to the other adventurers with a stunned expression. He couldn’t feel the spirit of the soldiers who carried the country’s prestige, nor the bare survival instinct. It was really just a bunch of stupid people looking for a stupid fight.
The bloody eyes subsided, and alcohol began to dominate the brain again. In short, it was a turn-off.
Walm, brought back to reality, accepted the offered money.
“Hah, don’t, get, involved, with me, anymore.”
After putting the sword in the magic bag, Walm picked up the flask thrown on the side of the road not long ago, and checked the contents. It was unknown to him whether the contents had been spilled or if he had drunk it completely empty.
“Wait, I’ve changed my mind.”
The necks of the adventurers awkwardly moved their heads, as if they were rusty metal dolls, turning their gazes to Walm once again.
“You guys, got some drink?”
“A, aaahh, yes, we have. Take as many as you like.”
Satisfied with the bottles of liquor and the new flask he had collected, Walm returned home without looking at the adventurers again.
Walm brought a liquor bottle directly to his mouth and poured the contents, which slowly mixed with the distilled liquor and wine in his stomach.
The throat was burning and the stomach welcomed the new alcohol. The blood pulsed. Thoughts that were on the verge of becoming clear became cloudy again. Nevertheless, this was fine. Walm didn’t need to work his brain again today. He could once again leave his consciousness submerged in the sea of alcohol.
There was no taste. However, as long as the body and mind were dominated by the feeling of drunkenness, it was more than enough. That was all Walm needed.
A soldier’s scream.
A compatriot, who had been chewed together with his armor by sharp teeth, weakly hit the monster’s body with a broken sword.
A militia, who volunteered to protect his family, exposed his viscera to the air while muttering the names of his wife and child.
Citizens seeking asylum were slaughtered in turn in a castle with no escape.
A monster approached from behind the infant. Walm shouted with all his might.
Right, it was useless. Everything was useless. Walm understood this clearly. It was all over, after all. The clock hands would never turn in reverse. Still, he couldn’t help but scream.
He couldn’t reach his comrades, the adventurers who had once been his enemies, and those seeking salvation.
He couldn’t live up to the wish of the weak girl who showed her determination on the battlefield.
He couldn’t fulfill the promise he had made.
All he could do was, uselessly standing still.
Hell… Perhaps it might sound cheap. Still, it was a word that would really fit here. And such a hell that was supposed to be over already, was still going on within Walm.
From the mouth of the family that had once seen him off, when he was drafted, with good luck came a curse word in a groaning voice, followed by the bloody arms spread out asking for a warm hug. He had the feeling that they wanted to celebrate his return, but were also hungry for his living flesh. The only thing that was certain was that Walm had crushed his parents’ skulls from under their chins.
Those feelings he could never forget, were like a curse.
Mercifully, such corrupt memories were rapidly breaking down. Following that, the muddy world slowly cleared.
When Walm opened his eyes, it was a dirty, muddy-looking room.
“Morning? It’s morning again, huh…”
Except for the built-in shelves and beds, there was no furniture in the room. The armor that Walm once shared the battlefield with now lay lonely and dusty in a corner of the room, and the mask was hung from a window.
Walm tried to put the mask into the magic bag, but for some reason, he couldn’t put it in. Vibrating, over and over, it also refused to get dusty like his armor. In desperation, he decided to hang it on a window with a view outside. Only then did the mask stop vibrating.
The mask shook a little as the sun rose.
There wasn’t a day when Walm didn’t have a nightmare. Even when he woke up, the memory didn’t just disappear. It had been a year, but he still remembered it as if it were yesterday.
The bed was littered with liquor bottles that had been abandoned, and the room was dominated by the alcohol smell from the overturned bottles.
Walm hated early mornings. Despite his stomach being stuffed with so much alcohol, his body was fully awake after only a short sleep. He wasn’t sure whether he should be glad to have a body with a good metabolism or not. After all, if he got sober, the memories would be revived even if he didn’t like it.
The determination to move forward was never made, and the holes in the heart were never filled.
Going crazy with alcohol and cigarettes, he spent days being numbed as if waiting for time to erase his memories. To heal his heart.
Goods and coins plundered from the corpses and abandoned supplies supported Walm’s laziness. The former owners, who would have wanted to live… their wishes couldn’t be fulfilled, even if they offered such a reward.
Knowing this, Walm despised his useless self who enjoyed the days of rotting himself. This lifestyle would continue perhaps until his death. In Walm’s mind, there was just no other choice. Something other than to let himself slowly rot in this small room. There was no other salvation for him.
“Ah, uh, Uurrgghhh…”
A sudden reawakening of memory.
Walm quickly opened the sealed liquor bottle with trembling hands and poured it into his oral cavity all at once.
Alcohol ran through the body and paralyzed the brain. Even if you could pretend to be crazy with alcohol, that didn’t mean you were completely insane. Walm understood that. But that was all he could have done.
“Ha… HAHA, ha……”
Nothing was interesting or funny. But a laugh echoed in the room. A dry laugh. As if just trying to warm up the facial nerve.
Like it or not, another day to live started.
Looked outside. Somehow, the cloudless blue sky felt ominous.
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.