The slum – 3

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The slum – 3


Five days, or maybe more passed


The day I thought I was going to die after the first diagnosis.


Vera smirked at the sight of himself still breathing.


I hated to admit it, but Renee’s care worked.


She even reduced her own share of the meal, preventing him from dying out of starvation by feeding him a portion of her food, and the divinity, which was collected by gathering up remnants of her now lost power, slowed the deterioration of his  wounds.


However, that was it.


“The situation is improving.
Let’s try a little bit more.”


Renee said.
At that, Vera turned his head toward Renee and uttered an answer.


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It’s just that my lifespan has gotten a little bit longer.”


Yes, his lifespan just got extended for a little bit.
It was just that.


The wound still hasn’t healed.
The pain was getting worse day by day.


The injuries, which have worsened little by little over the past week, have now taken away all the strength needed to even move his fingertips.


Vera spoke to Renee, breathing heavily in pain.


“How about acknowledging it now?”

“What do you mean?”

“You have worked in vain.
I will die soon.”


As Vera said with all of his strength, Renee shook her head with a smile on her lips.


“You never know.”


Vera’s brow narrowed.


“Even if you say that, nothing will change.”

“You will never know unless you try your best.”


It was a repetition of the same answer.


Again, Vera felt his stomach tighten.


Her persistence, which made him feel so pathetic, was what made him feel like that.


“You are a foolish person.”

“It’s called being full of love.”

“Are you a parrot?”

“No way.
As you can see, I am human.”

“You don’t concede a single word.”

“The desire to win is a good stimulus for development.”


Vera frowned.


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He wanted to let out a sigh, but the pain throbbing through his whole body made him  barely able to do so.


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“If I was fine, I would have slapped your cheek.”

“That’s a good mindset.
I will wait for you , so hurry up and recover.”


Renee said so, leaning against the wall next to Vera who was lying down, and taking out Rosario.


A platinum-colored rosary that stands out as a precious commodity at a glance.


It was the mark of the high priests of the Holy Kingdom.


She always held her rosary and continued praying whenever she had time.


One day, I asked her what she was praying for as she never seemed to be getting tired of it.


The answer that came back at that time was that she was praying for his recovery.
It was a very funny wish, it was a wish he would not wish for unless he was an idiot.


Vera, remembering his past, seeing Renee praying with her rosary in hand,  shed words involuntarily.


“… That rosary, if you are not going to throw it away, you’d better leave it here.”

“How could I do that?”

“You will die because of that rosary.”


Vera looked at Renee, who still had her eyes closed, and said so as if affirming.


It wasn’t just nonsense.


The slum is where it would have been left to happen.


The Scavengers of the slum.


They are called so because if they find anything that’s worth money,, they would rip off and sell them, even if it is the organs of corpses


If they were to find that Rosario, Renee would become their target immediately.


Those scoundrels will pierce Renee’s neck with a knife to kill her, and after taking the Rosario, they will split her stomach to take out all the organs and sell them as well, and only then will they be satisfied.


“Scavengers are a bunch of lunatics who live only for today.
If they were to earn money for today, they would even risk being pursued by the Holy Kingdom and take that Rosario.”


After talking for a long time, his chest hurts again.


Vera breathed vigorously at the pain that resonated through his body, then frowned immediately.


The reason he brought this up, he himself couldn’t understand why he was being unnecessary nosy.


Have I finally gone crazy now that I’m a step away from death? He was making such a thought.


 “It’s unfortunate.”


The answer came back.


After saying that, Renee opened her eyes and continued speaking again with a small smile on her lips.


“They must be living such a harsh life If they have to do it.”

“Huh, if Kariak had heard it, he would have laughed and fell backwards.”

“Who is he?”

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“The first scavenger.”

“Oh, It turned out to be a well-known individual.”

“Well, you could say that.”


He was the one who created the deepest darkness of the slum, so it wasn’t really wrong.


“They are not worthy of sympathy.”

“Is there such a person in the world?”

“You live in a flower garden.”

“I can’t see it with my eyes, so I have to draw it in your head.”

“… Stop it.”


Vera closed his eyes.


I’ve never lost in eloquence all my life, but whenever I talk to her, I always feel like I’m being dragged around.


Seriously, she was a person who looked more like a weirdo than a saint, no matter how much he thought about it.


Since she brought him here, she never once asked about him.


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Not even the most basic thing like a name was asked, let alone his identity or his past.


If it was because she’s not interested in me , it would make no sense either.


She devoted almost all of her time caring for him, and never showed any signs of fatigue or annoyance.


Whenever I felt like I was about to lose my mind because of the pain, she held my hand and talked to me, and while being unable to properly secure even one meal a day for herself, she still took care of his meals.


Indeed, it could be said that it was the nobleness of a saint, but to Vera, it came off as bizarre rather than noble.


‘… No, it’s not.’


Vera felt a deflated laugh coming out of my mouth.


To tell the truth, he didn’t want to consider it as nobility, so he was judging it that way.


Even though both lived a miserable life, her unfading light was so dazzling that it made   him aware of how he was covered in all sorts of filth,that’s why he judged her like that.


Vera humbly acknowledged her.


He was ashamed that his past life, which he lived as a villain among the villains, was revealed under her light, so he was disparaging her


She was so dazzling that she was able to do things he couldn’t do in the past.


At the end of my life, I thought that no one would be by my side.


He had lived a life too ugly to deserve anyone to remain with him on deathbed , so he didn’t even dare to hope.


So he swore that he would humbly accept dying alone, but her light was able to weaken even his oath.


She was giving me a kindness that a ugly human such as myself would not have dare to receive.


‘… It’s funny.’


Vera laughed at himself for leaning on her warmth.



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His  eyes followed her.


… He followed the face with her eyes closed blankly.


A bizarre face that has been scarred from burns and whose original form cannot be recognized.


Vera tried to draw the face she would have had on it, but it was not easy to do because it was damaged so badly.


“Did you do that to your face?”

“What are you talking about?”

“… I’m talking about burns.”

“Yes, I did it myself.”

“Did you have any reason to do that?”


It was something that Vera did not understand.
If you simply wanted to hide your identity, you could use artifacts, and if that didn’t work, you could use a mask.


As Vera waited for an answer with a face full of questions, Renee answered it with a chuckle.


It was a tone with a touch of playfulness in it.



“You know? Until I made my face like this, I was a beauty that would be admired by anyone.”


It was a sudden remark, but Vera was able to understand her intentions with just those words.


Vera knew better than anyone that a beautiful appearance served as a fatal weakness in the slum.


She must have wanted to say that it was a choice to protect herself.


“… How can a blind person be so sure of that? Don’t you think the people who saw you didn’t have the courage to call you ugly?”


Vera spouted out his harsh answer because he was disgusted by her words.


What followed was also a laughable answer.


“I am telling the truth.”

“How can you be so  sure of that?”

“Do you know what it means to be blind?”


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Renee said and leaned towards Vera.
Renee’s hand was overlapped with Vera’s.



“It means being sensitive to other senses.
I can understand better than others whether the words conveyed by a person are true or false.”


Renee’s hand swept over the back of Vera’s hand.


“The human voice has a lot of vibrations  depending on the emotions it contains.
When you tell a lie, there is a tremor that breaks apart, and when you tell a touching story, there is a tremor that gets wet.”


Renee’s hand, which had been stroking the back of Vera’s hand, began to gently press the pulse on Vera’s wrist.


“Sometimes there is a pulsation.
The more intense the emotion, the more evident it becomes.”

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“… Why are you talking about it now?”

“It was because almost everyone who looked at me had a passionate voice when they looked at me.”

“Don’t you think that you are just being overly self-conscious?”

“No way.
I’m sure.
The tremors in the voices of those who told me that I was beautiful, and the heat that came along with it, each contained a hazy color.
There is only love, as far as I know, that has a tone with such a painful color.”

“Everyone who saw you fell in love? Aren’t you ashamed to paint your face with gold?”

“I was telling the truth.”


Vera felt a smirk coming out of Renee’s face as she said it without any shame.


“That’s enough.
I asked you a stupid question.”

“It’s a pity that there is no way to prove it.”


Renee’s hand, which was holding the pulse, fell off, and the warmth that had permeated Vera’s wrist disappeared.


Vera, feeling the sensation of emptiness, exhaled briefly, then shut his mouth tightly.


As the body weakens, does the mind also become weaker?


Vera felt that his pride had been hurt for nothing by the emotion that had just come to him.


It must have been a life in which I had never asked anyone for help or felt regret from the departing warmth.
For some reason, when I dealt with her, this weakness came out.


His shallow imagination keeps coming up with meaningless assumptions in his mind.


If I had met you at a different time, different place, and in a different position, would I be different than I am now? What if I had met you before I became evil.
Would I have lived a different life than the one I have now? If it had been before you scarred your face, would I have fallen in  love as you said?


A never ending chain of assumptions.
As a result, Vera felt his stomach churn again and shook it off by biting his lips.


It was because of the growing misery following those rising assumptions.


It took a while for the silence to fall in space to shake off those  thoughts.


“… Then I’ll go out for a while.”


Renee opened her mouth.


Vera hesitated and sat up, looked at Renee as she staggered against the wall, and uttered those words again.


“You’d better leave the rosario behind”

“How could I ever do that?”


It was a word of rejection that came back.


Vera looked at Renee walking slowly with her back away from him, feeling suffocated and unwilling.


So, unnecessarily words then came out of his mouth.


“… I guess the prayers you’ve been praying for the whole time must have been a prayer for someone to kill you.”

I’m not going to die until you get out of bed.”


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Renee said so, opening the door of the shack and making a ‘squeak’ and went outside.


“I’ll be back.”


Words in the usual calm tone, as always.


Those were Renee’s last words that Vera heard.

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