Regression

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“This bastard!”

 

A violent shout.

 

Then, a foot that filled my field of vision came into my eyes, and a dull pain arose in my jaw.

 

“Oops… !”

 

Vera groaned with his teary eyes wide open, exhaling a sticky breath.

 

“Ouch… .”

“This jerk is making a big fuss for nothing.
You should have filled your quota then if you didn’t want this to happen !”

 

The sound of screams filled his ears causing a nauseating sensation .

 

Vera, who felt it, awakened his dazed mind and raised his head to look at the source of the voice.

 

‘… Doran?’

 

Doran.
The leader of the slum beggars.

 

Besides, he  was a man who he killed by twisting his neck with his own hands long time ago .

 

Vera looked at Doran with a disorganized complexion and unrefined breathing, then let out a bitter laugh.

 
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‘Ah… .’

 

You’re in hell

 

My soul, torn to shreds, fell to hell and is being punished .

 

As Vera started to sigh at those thoughts, Doran, who was looking at him, had a twisted expression and kicked him once again.

 

“Still, this bastard!”

 

Whoops! This time, after being hit in the chin, Vera fell backwards in shock.

 

Vera looked up at the sky while lying down in the muddy water, with a smirk on his face.

 

The gloomy and stuffy air.

 

It was the slums.

 

Even after struggling to get out of it, the place he eventually returned to were  the slums.

 

Ironically, his hell took the form of the slum.

 

Realizing this, a louder laugh erupted from Vera’s mouth.

 

“Poof… ,hahaha!”

“Are you laughing?! Laughing!!!”

 

Seeing Vera bursting into laughter, Doran got angry and started kicking.

 

Vera was hit all over his body with an angry kick, and he continued thinking blankly.

 

‘The saint… .’

 

What’s the point of saying it? That woman must have been in the arms of the gods.

 

In the first place, she was a person whom he had no reason to be worried about.
In the  end, she was a woman who made even an evil person such as myself feel regret, so she must be staying there.

 

Vera giggled and recalled the last moments of his life.

 

What was he thinking? He laughed so hard at himself, who had no shame to dare to make a promise in his next life.

 

God is not a moron, and there was no way she could show such mercy to a villain who used his stigma as he wished for all of his life.

 

‘… Shame.’

 

I was ashamed of myself for hanging on to that passing spring breeze, which had weakened at the end.

 

It is truly fitting that an evil person such as himself ends up like this.

 

Using God’s grace as a tool, sitting on a throne built upon the despair of ordinary people and enjoying pleasure all his life, this was a natural outcome.

 

His whole body was kicked and beaten.
Still he was bursting with laughter.

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Vera, who was  receiving two opposing sensations in his body, once again thought of the Saintess, and felt his stomach tighten.

 

‘… It would have been better if we hadn’t met.’

 

If I had, I would have felt very happy about that situation, I would have humbly accepted it, and I would not have regretted my past life.

 

While contemplating this thought, Vera had a sudden realization, ‘Could it be that  this was all arranged by the Lord?’

 

I thought that maybe God had placed her at the end of his life so that he would regret the sins he had accumulated, so that the sinner who dared to defile the stigma of God suffered even more.

 

Wouldn’t that be very reasonable?

 

If that is true, the Lord was truly omniscient.

 

He will pay up the rest of his sentence for his sinful karma with deep regret and despair.
If the God who prepared all that for him in advance was not omniscient, what would he call omniscient?

 

Again, laughter erupted.

 

“Uh-huh… .”

 
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There was no reason to laugh, it was a situation where he should be shedding tears, but for some reason, only laughter came out.

 

After laughing for so long, Doran, who had stopped kicking him, was looking at himself with a tired face.

 

“Huh, huh… .”

“Why? Keep continuing kicking some more.”

“Hey, you crazy bastard… !”

 

Hesitatingly.
Doran took a step back.

 

With a somewhat frightened expression on his face, Doran took a step back and ran away.

 

Vera looked at his distant back and said, ‘That guy has no guts even in Hell.’ Thinking about something like that, he felt a sense of incongruity belatedly.

 

‘… wait for a bit.’

 

Does this make sense?

 

Isn’t this hell? Isn’t this  a place to punish evil spirits? But, if that’s where I am.
Why is the jailer who punishes me running so far away?

 

“Ouch… .”

 

Vera raised his throbbing body and caught his breath.

 

Something is strange.
In the midst of that thought, while sweeping his body to check for injuries, Vera discovered that she shouldn’t be standing between her torn sleeves.

 

Vera hastily rolled up his sleeves.

 

The shape of a circle with 8 strokes of curves exposed under the sleeves.

 

‘stigma?’

 

It was the stigma of an oath.

 

Why is this embedded here? Why does it still remain?

 

After thinking of such a thought, Vera then closed his eyes and examined his soul.

 

It was the power given to those who received the stigma of the covenant.

 

Above Vera’s closed eyelids, a dark soul appeared.

 

A dark soul that vibrates as if on fire.

 

‘… It’s intact.’

 

not torn

 

‘… no.’

 

It had been completely restored.

 

All the parts that were once torn apart after breaking of the oath were healed.

 

While Vera was making a blank face at this strange phenomenon, he suddenly remembered the oath he had engraved before he died, and looked into his soul again.

 

A dark soul.
On top of it, golden letters were engraved.

 

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‘… It exists.’

 

The last oath of his life.

 

The oath of ‘I will live for the saint’.

 

It was engraved

 

Vera opened his eyes and looked around.

 

The back alley of the slum, which was gloomy and stuffy due to being obscured by the shadow of the tower.

 

His soul that has not been ripped apart in the slightest.

 

It was a bizarre situation as if it was said that everything up to the moment of death was a dream, but the oath engraved on the soul was saying that it was not a dream.

 

Vera looked at his skinny wrists.

 

‘The body of a beggar.’

 

The only time in Vera’s life that he was so skinny was when he was a beggar.

 

It must be so, after the hunger was resolved, he always maintained a strong body.

 

It would only be later that Vera realized what all of this meant now.

 

‘… Regression.’

 

I’m back.

 

Time has rewinded.

 

He returned as a wretched little boy in the slum who had not done anything yet.

 

A zoned out thought.
The pain slowly receded.

 

Vera stared blankly at the sky at this incomprehensible phenomenon.

 

It was right to come up with the question ‘why?’, but, unfortunately, one thought began to fill my head before all the accidents.

 

‘The saint is alive.’

 

That fact alone filled my head.

 

A feeling of relief that can’t even explain the reason begins to fill in.

 

She is alive.
It’s not just alive.

 

The burn hasn’t scarred her skin yet.

 

She did not starve while eating honey porridge, which is worse than livestock feed.

 

… In this slum, she was not here.

 

Vera, who clenched his fists as he thought of her, enjoyed the relief that rose for a long time, then came up with another thought.

 

For what reason did he return?

 

I tried to make a plausible guess, but no answer came to my mind.
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However, an existence capable of doing such a thing came to mind.

 

‘… the Lord.’

 

She who sits on the most supreme throne.

 

The one who shapes the world and weaves fate.

 

There was no one else who could do this.

 

*

 

Vera walked through the slum blankly, covered in muddy water.

 

It was because his mind was not organized.

 

If the Lord did this to me, what did she want from me?

 

In the midst of a series of questions, Vera finally remembered the oath he had made.

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‘… I will live for the saint.’

 

If there is anything the Lord wants to achieve through him, it will be the fulfillment of that pledge.

 

Isn’t it? Why else would you pay so much attention to someone who is not good?

 

He is an apostate who abused the power of God.

 

The evil being that throws the world into chaos.

 

This second life that God gave me could not have been for myself.

 

Suddenly, in Vera’s head, the conversation he had with the saint came to mind.

 

-Well, if the Lord was such a loving person, she would have taken pity on the saint and would not have left you in a place like this.

 

These are the words addressed to the saint who is living a miserable life in the slum.

 

The answer that came back was that she had chosen it herself.

 

Recalling her, Vera burst into laughter.

 

Again, Vera’s gaze turned to the sky.

 

‘Even the Lord couldn’t break that woman’s stubbornness.’

 

So, Are you trying to save her by using someone else’s hand?

 

The thoughts went on for a long time.

 

If that’s what the Lord wants.

 

‘I’ll be happy to go along with you.’

 

He let out a long breath.

 

As he exhaled, the stuffy air that had filled his lungs came out.

 

‘Before that… .’

 

Vera’s head turned towards the corner of the gutter.

 

One of the deepest alleys in the slum, Scavenger’s Lair.
He headed there

 

Vera recalled Renee’s body lying in the muddy water.

 

Vera’s fists were clenched at the memory of the moment as an indescribable bizarre despair started to appear inside of him.

 

‘… Garbage should be cleaned up.’

 

Even though it hadn’t happened yet, to Vera, they were sinners that had to be ripped apart.

 

*

 

A shabby pub with a musty smell.

 

In the middle of the tavern, where all of the equipment in it had been shattered, Vera looked down at the corpses, covered in blood, with a blank stare .

 

They were the scavengers who had their necks broken by him.

 

It was funny that after he got a second chance and the first thing he did was murder, but he had no regrets.

 

On the contrary, if he hadn’t done this, he would have regretted it.

 

Logically speaking, that’s the case.

 

The deepest darkness of the slum.
If left alone, mold will grow without end.

 

If you didn’t clean up like this, they would crawl out of the slum, so it was the right thing to do so.

 

… Yes, I could have said so.

 

‘… That’s an excuse.’

 

A smirk escaped from Vera’s mouth.

 

Vera didn’t bother to cover up his actions that much.

 

Finding them and killing them was out of pure anger.

 

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He remembered the end of his life that was still engraved in his head, and he killed out of anger.

 

A bloody smell filled the inside of the tavern.
It entered and evoked an unpleasant sensation.

 

By exhaling a long breath, Vera brushed off the disgusting atmosphere.

 

“Ugh… .”

 

He won with the power of the stigma, but there was still a lot of fatigue in his body.

 

It was natural.

 

It’s because his body was too weak right now.

 

Vera’s gaze turned to the mirror fragment on the floor.

 

Above the fragment of the mirror, a gloomy impression of a boy with a scrawny face and black hair covering his eyes was reflected.

 

Yes, a boy.

 

His body now was that of a young boy who was only fourteen years old.

 

In addition, he was not able to eat properly, so he was limp and trampled on and injured.

 

He faced the Scavenger in that state, so he was really tired.

 

‘Once the cleaning is finished… .’

 

Vera found a chair that was at least in good shape, put his buttocks on it, and continued his thoughts.

 

He had to plan for the future.

 

An oath engraved on the soul.

 

What should I do to protect her? He thought of that.

 

Life can’t be the same as before.

 

… No, I didn’t want to live so much since I already regretted that life.

 

I vowed to live for the saint and for that eccentric woman, so I had to become a human being who could protect her.

 

… Fortunately, he had a good tool for him.

 

Vera’s gaze turned to the stigma engraved on her right forearm.

 

‘… Paladin.’

 

Paladin of the Holy Kingdom.

 

An option I hadn’t even looked at in my previous life.

 
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However, if he wanted to, it was the easiest option for him to do.

 

In addition, it was the perfect place to keep the saint by his side.

 

In Vera’s head, the events that would take place on the continent in the future were lined up.

 

‘It will be four years before the stigma appears on the saint.’

 

The year she turns 14, the year she turns 18.

 

He clearly remembered that it was the time when he was collecting rumors about the imperial nobles in order to make a deal with them.

 

‘It’s been 4 years… .’

 

The past life, the time gone now.

 

According to Vera, the past was just over two weeks.

 

He remembered that she had found himself lying at the entrance to the gutter.

 

‘Last life you found me… .’

 

so.

 

‘This life I’ll go find you.’

 

A smile formed on Vera’s lips.

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