Really, kids these days…
Past Arc ⑪
Foddway’s life was one of kicking down others. The weak were there for exploitation, the strong were there to be deposed. That’s how he had lived. Without resorting to crime and fraud of course, he made his wealth without any legal issues. That wealth was sucked from the weak, and swiped from the strong. He then moved on to making another pile of wealth. Foddway himself had no particular desire for money. That’s simply how he was since birth, that making money was his job, and was his life. Like he was simply a cog on the wheel of the economy. The human called Foddway, was a device for spreading money around.
Compared to Foddway, Sariel was considered to be the exact opposite. Bringing salvation to the weak, and also lending a hand to those who were once strong and now cast down. With Foddway finding no appeal in leading a life where he simply piled up more wealth day after day, he grew interested in someone who was completely the opposite to himself. He wondered just what kind of saint she might be. Foddway donated part of his excessive wealth to the Sariera Society. He succeeded in using that connection to gain an audience with Sariel.
The person who he met there, was more of a device than himself.
Without emotion, she simply and dispassionately accomplished the mission given to her. She was not anything like the sort of saint that he had imagined. The impression that Foddway had of Sariel, was that she was a machine. Lacking a purpose of her own, a machine that simply executed the programme that had been inputted into her previously. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that she was a machine that was functioning normally despite bugs occurring?
What Foddway felt for Sariel on seeing her, was pity. What he felt on seeing her dispassionately carry out her mission without understanding the ideals behind her own actions, was an indescribable pity. However, despite that, it didn’t mean that there was anything he could do. Whether or not Foddway felt pity, Sariel would continue to be an unchanging cog in the wheel of the world. Being someone who was nothing but another cog himself, Foddway couldn’t do anything. Even so, he wanted to do something somehow.
For that man who had continued to be a cog until now, it was the moment when he decided for the first time ever that he would willingly go against the world.
From that day, Foddway began to follow Sariel. Although society found it amusing how such a heinous money-grabber had been purified by the power of the Goddess, he wasn’t a man who cared about such things. Serving by Sariel’s side as much as possible, he tried to learn what he could about her. To understand her, and to search for a means to liberate her.
However, it wasn’t enough. Foddway didn’t have enough at all. To understand her awareness, her emotions, her knowledge, her commonalities, what he needed the most was time. As a human, Foddway was completely lacking in time to understand a god.
By himself, he would not be able to understand enough about Sariel to liberate her.
Having realised that, Foddway made plans to allow someone to take over after him. Someone who could understand a god, and could stay beside Sariel for a long time. Such a person was needed.
Then before Foddway’s own eyes appeared a dragon who laid his anger bare. It had to be him – that was Foddway’s instinct. A god who could easily express emotions, such as anger. The meaning of having emotions, is that his thoughts would be similar to humans. Yet he was a god. There wasn’t anyone else who met the requirements so closely.
Then Foddway deliberately showered that dragon Gyurie with caustic remarks, to test him. To determine whether this man was someone worthy of entrusting Sariel to. For a human to test a god, is an extremely brazen act. He wouldn’t be able to complain if he was killed as a price for that. It would simply mean that his own perception was wrong. That’s all. Thus, he prepared himself for the worst. The end result, was that Gyurie compromised with Foddway more than he could have imagined.
Foddway now had hope. That one day Gyurie would be able to liberate Sariel from the chain that was her mission. It would surely not be straightforward, but it would be enough for Sariel’s heart to be gently released over the months and years. Foddway believed that Sariel had already more than fulfilled her mission as a cog after all.
If one perused history, a person similar to Sariel could be seen appearing and disappearing. The results of which were almost always disastrous. Try all she might to do good, but the results turned out for the worst. It was like she was being dragged into a bottomless pool of malice. Fodday felt that was due to the very ugliness of humanity.
Even still, in the name of Sariel’s mission, she continued to provide her services to the world without stop. All while she was covered in emotional scars. Without even noticing that she was scarred. Seeing her continue to simply fulfill her mission, was just too pitiful.
It should be fine for her to rest already. He thought that, but Foddway had no means of stopping Sariel. Whether by his words or by his actions, Foddway was unable to touch Sariel’s heart. Foddway did not have enough time in order to reach Sariel’s heart.
Faintly existing within Sariel was something that could be called her heart. She was not a perfect machine without any heart at all. That was why she was scarred. That was why she could be saved. However, seen from a human perspective, her heart was awfully small. Any flickers of emotion were microscopic, almost as if they didn’t exist. Foddway wasn’t able to appeal to those flickers of emotion. He wasn’t able to bring out any waverings in her emotions that would just let her abandon her mission. Because of that, he was entrusting her to another.
He didn’t particularly need to make her abandon her mission. However, he didn’t want Sariel to be scarred any further. Sariel had few waverings in her emotions, but even so she had accumulated many scars over the years. So long as those scars could be healed, then anything was fine.
「I shall leave the rest to you youngsters. Though saying that, I’m by far the youngest actually.」
Foddway had brought Gyurie to Sariel’s side. He had the feeling of being the member of a matchmaking service. He prayed to the gods that he didn’t believe in, that the two of them would find happiness.
That wish, was trampled down by the malice of humanity. That endlessly bottomless malice.