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North x Northwest CH 109

Author:Song Yun Category:urban Update time:2023-01-03 14:31:52

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Volume 4     Chapter 109

Side story 2 – Edgar’s Chapter 1: The Forest

Headnote: warning for gore and mentioning of self harm. 

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Edgar gasped in surprise at the sound of his own voice.

The smell of Chippo’s rotting corpse filled his nose and mouth.

It was as if his face was buried in the dead flesh.

The stench, which was normal with rotting corpses, suddenly became unbearable with Chippo’s carcass.

Edgar backed away and covered his mouth in an attempt to block the smell.

But by doing so, he accidentally bumped his back against the corpse lying on the bed behind him.

After regaining his balance, Edgar blankly looked around him.

His unfocused view was strangely distorted.

Only then did his mind, which had been maddened and blinded by his goal the past few days, come back.

Edgar tilted his head in thought. 

‘Somewhere in the jungle, Chippo is still roaming on top of an elephant.’ 

He nodded his head as if agreeing with himself. 

‘That’s right, there can’t be a Chippo in a place like this.

Perhaps by now, Chippo would’ve found another me hanging from a tree while trying to calm an elephant running somewhere.

The person will then shout, “A fairy!” and Chippo would first carefully observe the creature he has never seen before.

He would soon realise that it’s a creature that’s calling for help.

The friendly Chippo will then save the other me from a falling tree.’

“…Isn’t that right..”

Instead of an answer, a bug crawled out of the dead face.

A face which they didn’t even bother to close its eyes off.

As Edgar’s focus blurred, he looked across the room.

Among the dozens of corpses were multiple children.

His first autopsy, the farthest corpse from where he stood, was also a youngster… Suddenly, his fingertips, drained of blood, began to tremble.

Every Ruwa child has followed him around the village at least once.

Every child at some point made fun of him for being ugly, and for doing so, every child was tickled by him as their little punishment at one time or another.

Edgar lowered his weeping eyes.

In front of him lay the braided-haired child who always clung to his leg and pleaded for a ride on his shoulders.

But, after seeing the child’s guts and blood gushing out of his wide open abdomen, the sound of him whining as he yanked on Edgar’s pants faded away.

Edgar couldn’t take the nausea any longer and poured out his disgust.

His nose and eyes, stimulated by his gastric juices, became sour and hot.

He collapsed and fell to his knees.

He hadn’t eaten anything, and yet his body continued to vomit.

He could no longer bear it as he hated himself so much.

That feeling made him sick to the stomach and he kept spewing out his guts…

***

The Retiro residence became the centre of heated gossip.

The nobility of Sesbron began whispering about a rare opportunity.

The latest topic circulated around the grandson of the Marquess, currently staying in the mansion in the capital.

The young master was claimed to be the heir.

The young master, who had initially aimed to undertake officer training at Lebrun, unexpectedly joined the Imperial Clairaut and accompanied his grandfather’s expeditions. 

Nobles who wished to make a fortune by investing in the marquess’ voyages sent invitations or paid daily visits in the hope to meet Edgar.

However, they were only welcomed by frightening ghost stories.

The rumour that the heir was obsessed with cutting open the bellies of various races quickly spread across Sesbron.

In fact, servants could be seen moving corpses into and out of the residence, indicating that the harsh treatment towards the other races didn’t stop even after their persecution.

In Sesbron was neither the concept of an autopsy nor the study of anatomy, conventional.

So, the young Retiro heir, closely associated with the sliced up bodies, including those of uncommon races, was regarded as horrifying and disgusting.

When this news reached Roahn, the Marquess began to worry about his grandson’s future.

But he couldn’t lift a single finger.

A doctor with a sick lover was a person who got crazier by the day.

The thought that they couldn’t cure the person they care about the most, even though they had been able to save so many people with their hands, was maddening.

And that was exactly what Edgar was going through.

Even as he rotted away because of the guilt and rebuke, he was obsessed with something that an ordinary person couldn’t understand and immersed himself in all sorts of research and experiments.

Edgar slowly walked into a hell.

It’s been more than six months since that hell began to chew him up.

The Marquess attempted to clear Edgar’s laboratory from the Retiro estate and locked him out.

But when that happened Edgar didn’t hesitate to harm himself and the situation was quickly rectified.

Edgar was well aware that the Marquess adored him above everything else.

But the moment the exhausted Marquess begged, Edgar pleaded back.

{ “Why can’t you understand me, who loves her so much” }

Everyone who knew Edgar saw that he was behaving out of the ordinary.

He not only caught animals and collected plants, but he also began travelling up mountains.

His insanity towards an unknown cure became more serious as time passed.

Nonetheless, the Marquess had no choice but to lend his full support.

He couldn’t help but hope that a medicine would be discovered soon and that this ordeal would end.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the Ruwa tribe perished.

And since the Sesbron residents still believed it to be an epidemic, the Ruwans had to be burned.

Their entirely burned carcasses could no longer be autopsied.

So Edgar could only hang on to the data gathered in the first few months. 

‘The Ruwans died from cell proliferation of unknown causes.

These strange cells, which metastasize regardless of organs, proliferated immensely even outside of the body.’

Therefore, culturing wasn’t difficult, and for that reason, even without a body, his research could be continued.

Edgar was hopeful. 

‘Murasha can be saved if the cause of the cell transformation is discovered…’

He groaned and rubbed her sunken cheek.

“If I can find that out, you’ll…”

Murasha slowly opened her eyes.

It was a sunny day.

She spoke while bathing in the bright sunlight.

“Let me hear the Cembalo*.”

She was no longer able to lift the Surihe.

And even if she could, her Surihe was left behind on the Western Continent.

Still, she wanted to listen to music.

She had spent her entire life playing music dedicated to God, so it seemed natural that she would seek music even as she withered.

Edgar started tapping on the Cembalo that he had placed by the bed.

He was always indifferent to music, but the marquess insisted that he would learn it from an early age, claiming it was a keepsake from his grandmother.

Whenever the marquess got the chance, he would sit down and listen to Edgar play the song he wanted.

Thanks to the marquess, Edgar knew how to play well enough to give a performance.

Edgar almost bursted out in tears the first time she asked if there was music here too.

It was the only meaningful thing he could give her.

He endured for the sake of seeing her live again.

If he didn’t have anything to offer, he might have truly gone insane.

Murasha, who was silently listening to the melody, recited.

“I want to see the forest.”

“Again”

Lately, they’ve been visiting the nearby forest.

He initially had hopes that Murasha’s symptoms would improve when she asked to be taken to the woods, but nothing changed.

She was still unable to walk and would periodically lose consciousness.

As there was no forest near his residence, they had to go to the nearby hunting ground.

Edgar always took Murasha there, even though he was worried that the carriage would be uncomfortable or if it would put too much strain on her body.

Still, whenever she got to the forest, she seemed happy.

Edgar looked down at her as she leaned against him with her feet dipped in the lake.

The forest wind blew her tousled hair.

‘Is it her instinct to find the forest, or is it a feeling of longing for her hometown’

While staring at Murasha, who had her eyes closed, Edgar decided to confirm the hypothesis.

An unreliable hypothesis.

But that was all he had now.

Murasha was the last of the Ruwa tribe.

She was the only one who could be studied.

Animal experiments took longer, and Edgar had a long-held suspicion that Murasha’s time was running out.

‘The oxygen concentrations in the Western and Central Continent are different.’

This was a hypothesis he had long tried to prove.

The voyage would be long and hard, but the answer would be the same no matter how many times he thought about it. 

‘Murasha is unable to survive on the Central Continent.

She can only live in the Western’s jungles.

Even within the Central Continent, there are different regions with different oxygen levels in the air.

Murasha finds it difficult to breathe here, just as it’s difficult for someone who lives on flat terrain to breathe when they travel up a mountain.

She may not feel it, but her cells certainly do.

Because if cells can’t handle oxygen levels that are less than usual, eventually changes will occur in the living body so that they can survive even with that amount of oxygen.

That‘s why plants and cells that live in places where the air is thin form coils in the bodies of higher organisms.’

Edgar headed to the Western Continent with her.

Around this time of year, the route was clear and that was fortunate for them.

Perhaps thanks to that, Murasha didn’t have a hard time sailing.

No, it was more right to say that she didn’t have the spirit to struggle. 

Edgar lay always next to her, unable to step out of the bed.

He held her cold hand and begged for a sleep that never came. 

At some point, Murasha stopped eating full meals, but she never mumbled that she was hungry.

So, Edgar naturally stopped feeding her and instead played her the Cembalo he had brought on board…

A few months later, they anchored off the coast of the Western Continent.

Edgar entered the jungle with Murasha in his arms.

Wild boars and buffaloes roamed the ruined village.

Elephants flapped their ears and roared.

Most of the burned buildings were covered with black spots, and vines entwined around the destroyed building acting as their support.

“Murasha.”

He lowered his gaze to her in his arms.

He was met by a pale face that revealed the contour of her skull.

He always thought her pink skin was lovely, but today, no matter how hard he looked at her, he couldn’t see it because of her grey complexion.

Edgar felt fortunate that he was able to give her a proper Ruwa funeral.

Ruwans were cremated.

So, he set up a pyre in front of the temple.

The process was neither complicated nor difficult.

One should sprinkle enough flower petals to cover the body and set it on fire.

As Edgar watched the flames blazing in silence, the resentment he had endured for a long time finally bursted out… 

 – – – – – 

Footnote:

*Cembalo: Musical instrument that looks like a piano, but works like a string instrument.

By playing the keyboard one or more strings will be plucked by a small plectrum.

So even though it looks like a piano, it sounds more like a guitar or similar string instrument.

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TN:

Chapter 108 and 109 were so hard, so sad and so painful to translate… It really hit us in the feels.

It becomes even more tragic knowing that Ed and Murasha were only 18 and 16 years old, poor kids.

We also can’t decide if we were robbed from a gem of a scene or if it’s fortunate we didn’t get to read about the exact moment she passed away.

TT

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