Chapter 99 P3/3: Sinner

Double Seventeen: By the time I realized that fact, I had already entered the top sixteen of Purity…

Double Seventeen: I chose to lose that match on purpose…I didn’t want to rely on that ability to fulfill my wishes anymore…

Di Qi Ju: Then, why did you rob Naphier of her wish ability?

Double Seventeen: Because…

Double Seventeen: I wanted to rely on my own strength to fight in this year’s Three Battles.

Double Seventeen: However…that trauma from before refused to go away, even with the help of those inventions by the mechanists…

Double Seventeen: Thus, I had no choice but to borrow her ability and ease my emotions…

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Double Seventeen: When I was sure that I was calm enough to face the Three Battles, I returned the ability to her…

Di Qi Ju: That ability of hers huh…

Hilda Karlyle: Then, why did you suddenly choose to partake in Halfmoon Leak’age’s ability midway of a battle? And why did you lose your cool because of that?

That’s right…that scene just now, if Halfmoon truly had his one and only wish ability stolen then it all made perfect sense.

Because of his own actions, Double Seventeen ended up trying to atone for his sins midway through the battle while Halfmoon ended up exposing his true self. Because he lost his wish ability, Halfmoon ended up going berserk.

But then, why did Double Seventeen activate his wish ability once more even though he already decided not to??

Double Seventeen: Because…

Double Seventeen:…

Double Seventeen: No—no!

Double Seventeen: Those eyes…that eye color…the descendant of the Blutgerinn clan…she’s still trying to control me…

Double Seventeen: That diary was right, they are all bloodthirsty murderers who toy with other people’s lives without any remorse…

Double Seventeen: I shouldn’t have looked…that was a trap…why was there someone like that amongst the clergymen…

Hilda Karlyle: Clergymen aren’t judged by their backgrounds. The Divine Hall has the ability to control anyone who has the aptitude for being a clergyman.

Hilda Karlyle: That’s enough for now. Conney, please take him away.

Conney: …alright.

As if they had disappeared into some kind of black hole, Conney and Double Seventeen disappeared without a trace into the dimensional gate created by Conney.

Di Qi Ju: Then…is my test over?

Hilda Karlyle:Ah, technically speaking, yes.

Di Qi Ju:In that case…once I find a replacement for Poppy, you won’t hunt her down anymore?

Hilda Karlyle:……

Hilda Karlyle:Yes.

Di Qi Ju: Sweet!

That’s great—whatever the case, this whole mess is finally over.

This country, all those tangled connections, they are all finally over!

Hilda Karlyle:—speaking of which, don’t you find it strange, Di Qi Ju?

Di Qi Ju: Ah…hmm??

Hilda Karlyle:Within that diary of yours, weren’t there some words purposefully erased?

Di Qi Ju:……

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She’s right.

While I was reading through the phonetics left behind by Naphier, I noticed that all mentions of their appearance was erased.

Specifically, their hair color and eye color.

According to his account just now, Double Seventeen probably erased all mentions of them because he didn’t want to face them anymore.

Di Qi Ju: By the way, how do you know that certain parts were erased?

Hilda Karlyle:I’m the clergyman of “bounty”. Naturally, I’ve already conducted my own investigations into this matter…

Hilda Karlyle:—that’s why I know what colors they were as well.

Di Qi Ju:Oh? What colors were they?

…I shouldn’t have asked that.

The moment I heard her answer, I knew I shouldn’t have asked her.

Hilda Karlyle: It’s…red. Red hair and red eyes.

Di Qi Ju:……

Hilda Karlyle: The grounds where fresh blood coalesces, the residents of that region all have a snowy white complexion contrasted with the bright red of their eyes and hair.

Hilda Karlyle:Depending on their environment, that red will undergo a variety of changes.

Hilda Karlyle: The pinkish hue of love, the purplish red of secrets, the dark red of dried up blood…these were all the different possible shades of red of Blutgerinn.

Hilda Karlyle:Of all those shades, absolute red was the most dangerous shade of them all, it held the greatest possibility of violence.

Di Qi Ju:You…

No, that couldn’t be true…what was she trying to insinuate…

Her words, why did they suddenly remind me of someone…

Hilda Karlyle: Come to think of it, don’t you so happen to have someone that fits this description by your side, Di Qi Ju?

Di Qi Ju:…huh? What…

Hilda Karlyle: Even though they weren’t completely red, her hair and eyes, with their brownish red hue, were rather close…moreover, she used to be a clergyman as well.

Hilda Karlyle: The whole reason why Double Seventeen’s wish ability went berserk was probably because he saw those eyes again, didn’t he…

She slowly lifted up her head and where the light fell upon her, I could see a taunting smile that seemed to say that she had succeeded.

Hilda Karlyle:—it’s because he saw the person who once caused him to fall into that abyss, the clergyman representing “Speech”, clergyman Poppy. That’s how your friend got implicated in Double Seventeen’s traumatic experience!

Di Qi Ju:…..

*shaking*

Other than shaking my head, all I could do was shake even more.

Di Qi Ju:…that’s not true, there’s no way she would do that!

Hilda Karlyle: No way? Are you sure about that?

Hilda Karlyle: Just recall for a moment, back in Honor City, what did she do there and the expression on her face when she did.

Di Qi Ju:…!!

Di Qi Ju:No…

Di Qi Ju: It’s not like that at all—Poppy!!

……

……

Di Qi Ju: —Poppy!

Within the reception hall of the Divine Hall.

Di Qi Ju:—Poppy!!

On the streets of Reitdarke’s Corridor.

Di Qi Ju:—Poppy!!!

Wherever I could remember coming into contact with her.

Di Qi Ju:—Poppy!!!!!

Nothing.

There was no sign of her at all.

Exactly when did she leave me side? Didn’t we already agree that she would stay by my side all day today?

Where did she go?

I wasn’t disappointed in her at all, neither did I wish to blame her…

All I wanted was to find her, and listen to her reveal her heart to me so that I could understand the real her.

I only had one wish right now…

I wanted her to explain away my doubts herself.

Pranks? Lies? Murder?

I could accept all of that, those weren’t a problem at all.

But…not like this…don’t disappear like this…

Please let me see your face one more time, to hear your voice one more time.

…Poppy!

Di Qi Ju:—!!

It was a certain kind of sensation. A strange sensation within my heart.

It was as if a certain existence had just appeared in a distant location.

Di Qi Ju: …the “marking” mentioned by Conney?

What was that exactly, whose marking was it and when was it placed; all those questions weren’t important right now.

I sprinted as hard as I could and knocked aside everyone and everything which got in my way.

That marking sensation, it was leading me to a certain location…

…the Grand Coliseum.

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