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Twilight of Shepherd and Calamity

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The place Stonebury was once was also a small village, but it was a resource-rich place. Under the efforts of the predecessors, it became the Lastonbell, the City of Artisans. There, the clear bells resounded through the city. Artists and technicians are gathered there to be proud of their city.

Opposite, but still similar, Gododdin, where should be the forgotten village, the place abandoned by countries by its lack of resources and distant location.

Back then, everything in the near-derelict village was supported by the village chief. Nothing in the barren land could be immediately turned into money, so the village chief used the addictive fake Elixir(Nectar) to let the funds flow into the village. The village is not blessed by natural resources, The village is not sheltered by natural resources. Reluctantly, the surrounding caves and mountains can still be used as natural defenses. Unfortunately, this is not a value of aggression. The village chief can do very little, he contributes all his last contributions to the village. If there are no natural resources here, then at least leave the wisdom. While the village chief is using Nectar to maintain the village's life, he also hopes that the village will have a sustainable future in the correct way. He founded the school to educate the children of the village. He entrusted the future hopes to the children, the children became the pioneers of this land, and the old man’s body was gradually decayed by the poisoning of vermillion ore. After that, the true new Shepherd named Rose visited again. She promised that she would support the development of this place, let the hope of the village chief pass on.

In a lost tale, Gododdin poem which describes the assembly of 300 warriors fight the place for glory and eventually got nearly all killed.

“I appreciate the heroic spirit in the name but it is too sad for a place to be hoped, let’s name it more magical and mysterious. How about Magiland?” Shepherd Rose smiled and rename the place as her wish for the place to be more hopeful. It’s almost like a random name like how Mabo-curry bun made, but it indeed a symbol of a new future.

Now, in the original site of Gododdin, where became Magiland, the village of seraphim and humans, a guild is there to receive any request in the village, poor Sorey didn’t get his chance to fully explored the whole village. At night, the President of the guild just received the report of the return of Mayvin. It is certainly not a case to be ignored, and she is not surprised if there are more reports after this. The bell that hanging on the door rings as the hint of the visitor, makes the one sitting in the bar turned her head.

“President, here I come again~” Ophelia waved her hand to say hello the President, this is the second time she visits here since her escape to the Lost Tower.

“Ophelia? It’s rare to see you that frequent.” The President sitting in the bar answered with a welcome smile, although she is actually forcing the smile, you can still call it a perfect smile.

“Well. Actually, about the people I am observing…...all of them got captured.” Ophelia said with a helpless smile.

“..........Have any idea about it?” The President calmly responded and wait for an answer. She has already expected there are more after Mayvin’s return, and she doesn’t expect Ophelia will defend the observing target.

“No trace of where they go, maybe using the teleporting artes like us. And, he is the same person who attacks Mayvin and me, probably the one capturing the seraphim.” Ophelia stated in a serious manner.

“It will be terrible if he finds out here, let’s suppose the man is the new lord of Calamity and we need the Shepherd again.”

“I will not say he is a Lord of Calamity completely, he is not releasing malevolence, at least. So bad that the Shepherd is lost and the lady of the lake is searching for him.” Ophelia reported.

“Then the Sorey you say may be hope, at least he will fight, we need to rescue them.” The President planned.

“What do you need me to do?”

“You decide to help?” It’s rare that Ophelia suggested to help herself.

“Sure, so the story can continue. It is boring if it ended here.”

“It would be great if you go find the formula of armatus for me.”

“Hard works, but I will find it. Thanks that I have got some related knowledge in my human-self memory.”

Suddenly, another bell ringing from the entrance, that makes both the seraphim turn and see the visitor. They see no one, Oh let move our sight slightly downward, a normin arrived.

“Bien….! It’s….” The normin tried to organize words from his mouth.

“Bienfu, you are back again?” The President asked.

“Mi...Miss Magilou?!” Bienfu exclaimed when he sees Ophelia.

“Oh, Bienfu.” Ophelia sighed when she noticed that she forgot to change her appearance.

“I am Ophelia now.”

“Why do you change the name? Isn’t that anything doesn’t matter to you?” The President taunted.

“It’s a symbol of my new life! And why didn’t you?” Ophelia exclaimed.

“I am just respecting my human-self.” The President said.

“Anyway! Velvet is---” Bienfu urged himself to report.

“Velvet is awakened? Yeah, I knew, and I kind of following her along the way.” ‘Magilou’ cut Bienfu’s line.

“Apart from this, she suddenly----”
“She is captured, by what I found.” ‘Magilou’ said.

“Bien--?! Are you sure?! And you didn’t stop?” Bienfu asked with terrifying expression.

“More and less, I am powerless. And Velvet is not like Velvet now, at least not the one I knew, she is confused with her target, I will rather just watch longer.” ‘Magilou’ stated.

“.......And I hope that you may find out where they are, President!” Bienfu begged.

“No problem, we already planning to find.”

“Hmm...hmm….there is more, the Mayvin----!”

“Mayvin is back, I knew, I am just going to visit him. He survived, so let’s not let this kid die as the last kid did.” Ophelia sighed when she remembered the helplessness when she heard how the last Mayvin died because of helping Shepherd Sorey from Shepherd Rose.

“Are you planning to do something?” Bienfu asked.

“.......You are knowing too well, I am going to explore the formula in armatus with the Mayvin and complete a request from Maotelus. Are you coming?”

“A request from Maotelus? Of course! I will help whatever I can.” Bienfu exclaimed.

“For the first time, I think you are brave, Bienfu.” The President taunted.

“Bien….! That’s hurt!”

Now, ‘Magilou’ and Bienfu gather again and start their journey to find out the secret formula in Armatus and do a favor for Maotelus.
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Velvet POV

Just wait for you fodder today huh…...Just what he is thinking me to be? He is just acting like I am part of his property.

So unreal that all just happened to change everything surrounding me, but it is real.

I punch the wall with my metal left arm for frustration and not even a groove form on the metal wall but a clear clash sound of metal.

Frustration is the only thing I feel now, things repeat again.

I was ignorant in the Scarlet night that took my little brother away from me, then I wonder if it is the same that I am ignorant too, I wonder if they have something hidden from me again.

Even they hide something from me, I can’t really blame them, after all, I was a Lord of Calamity, a kind should not be trusted, and I can’t say close companion either when we just traveled together for a while.
Did they plan to leave me alone there so they went out at such time if they really are hiding something from me?

They do have the reason to leave me alone. Sorey wants to investigate the incident and Edna is a close companion with Sorey and I claimed that I am not helping. Can’t complain if they have such plan when we don’t have a mutual trust, mainly because of my anxiety and doubt around his past identity of Shepherd though, I kept everything inside and he shared information with me. I am horrible when he already put his trust to me.

Hmm, maybe I should be more optimistic, they may not have such a plan. To consider that all the package still inside the room, they at least plan to stay a night. It may be some moonlight walk at midnight, though I think it is really dangerous to be out such late.

Now all of my concern just useless, until I get the chance to ask them myself.
Yeah, why am I even thinking about it, it is the act unlike myself, but I just got too much time when I can’t take any action in this cell.

I proceeded my action anyway no matter what happened and no matter what it takes.
I used to be like that, but I doubt that I am being like this now because I still don’t find the reason to live.
I don’t want to live, but the people surrounding me is telling me to live. Phi tells me to live and see the world, so I try to live and find a reason. I stay such a way until now, to lose it all again. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to live and it just happens again.

I watch my Gauntlet Blade attached on my right hand, the haughty man doesn’t even take away my weapon.
Ah, apart from just sitting at the cell and thinking something doesn’t even matter, I can also commit suicide.

…....No way I will do it, let’s just hold on a little longer, I can’t waste it like this, it is meaningless.

 

I extend my left hand to the high light source of the room like I always did back in Titania. I always look at the only skylight in the pit in Titania, waiting for the day I got the chance to escape when there is a seraphic arte fix me in the pit. My arm is no longer the therion arm and there is no seraphic arte to seal me here.

“Have you forgotten that you are only a human now?”

What can I do if I am only a human then?

I wonder what can I do in this point while finding my pockets, then I find a letter in it. I wonder when is it inside, there isn’t an exact address on the letter, apparently like the letters from Eleanor.
Oh, I remember now that I once can’t finish reading all the letter so I just put it inside my pocket. Guess now I finally have time for it.
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Dear Velvet,

How are you, Velvet? Guess you are good if you read the letters.
[Hi! Velpoo! I see you must be living now, just there will be no galds from me~]

Ah….Yeah, Magilou is with me now and she insisted to write this with me.

It has already passed a year from my last letter and I am still focusing my job of villages and towns revivifications. The workload is finally somehow managed to be moderate with assistance from the reformed Abbey.

[You know, day 635 of tracing Eleanor, still find no element of humor inside Eleanor’s brain despite her Last name is Hume.]

This has nothing to do with my last name! Sorry if this looks messy, just get used to it……….Wait! So all the days I felt sights from behind……..

[Bingo~~I am your paparazzi~!]

Shouldn’t a paparazzi keep herself in secret? Well, I guess she will say Magikazam.
[Aw aw...you say my line…]
Nevermind. It is getting hard to revive villages when the daemons are starting to appear again. I am well aware of the reason, it is emotion. In the era of endless war, I can’t expect people will stay calm and positive all the time. At the beginning of the war, it is on a small scale and King Percival managed to block the news to people, they stay calm. Then the war continued and gaining in scale, as the resources started to drain, people started to know, still, King Percival managed to calm people emotion by using ‘the end of Lord of Calamity’ to encourage people to stay positive to the future. Of course, I disagree with his way, but the worst is it was effective. However, now its effect is fading, even with the help of religion, negativity spreads so fast, we need the purifying flame again.

[....Well, well…..are you giving history lecture in the letter?]
………
[Speechless?]

I won’t be silenced! I will just continue the ‘lesson’ then. Sad that I have no enough strength to form a pact with Laphicet, cause he is now an Empyrean. Thus Laphicet asked Lailah to make an oath so that I may use the flame by forming a pact with Lailah. Lailah cannot say multiple things because of the pact, this doesn’t affect me much but what affects me is that she learns bad puns to keep things hidden…...You have no idea how it is like…..

[Looks like Lailah learns well from me~Not far for the day for Eleanor to perform the Magilou show again!]

Oh…..Oh?...Oh?! How can you teach her such things!

[It’s definitely the best decision I made to teach Lailah, she is super talented in bad puns! Just thinking Eleanor is going to realize each pun day by day under her influence will make me excited!]

Ah….you have no idea how many times I rolled my eyes while writing this letter.

[Rolling your eyes is a good exercise for you eyeball!]

I suppose it makes the journey fun in some way. I understand it is not sustainable to revive places while quelling daemons, so I am also finding more Malakim to cooperate with us, but they are running away from us because of the past Abbey. Maybe they need more time to regain their trust in human, I don’t know whether this day will come.

[Who knows~ But seeing some serious and stubborn idiot keep fighting for people’ goods, they should have understood it already! Paparazzi all around~!]

It’s tired and frustration to see the ruined villages and towns everywhere. Nevertheless, seeing people smiling and gaining energy to live, I am sure my effort is not wasted and I will do better than that!

Other than that, Eizen is being the first mate as always, the last time I met him, he couldn’t wait to introduce his new collections. I am not sure how many in them are fake. And I am not sure about Rokurou now, sometime he will compete with Eizen for strength but no news other than that. I guess the recent news of some weirdo hunting down swordsmen will be him.
Well, that’s all, I guess.

I have asked Laphicet if he has words to tell you, but he said he will just tell you himself when the day comes.

[The boy really love you, surely you have got an affectionate confession when you got those letters~ And I wonder when will Eleanor accept the offer from the men on the way. From everywhere all the time, men keep proposing for marriage to her...How sinful this woman is…..]

Take care, and keep fighting. I am sure that you can get over of it whatever happens!

[Oh, ignore me again? Cheer up Velvet! I will make sure someone like Melchior will not appear again while passing down your story to make sure you get paparazzi in your time again!]

Best Regard, Eleanor Hume
[Biggest fan, Mazhigigika Miludin do Din Nolurun Dou Mayvin, simplified Magilou Mayvin]
[P.S. Coo Coo! (illustration)]
P.S. I wish to ask you what’s that mean?
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I read all until the end and see a black dove with big chest drawn next to the [Coo Coo!].
“She will never let me forget this one…….” I sighed while rolling my eyes, seeing the dove there leads an impulse of trashing the letter, but I managed to stop myself.

“.....And still affectedly shy and coy in her way,” I wondered if she is the reason that there are seraphim who know about me. Since Mayvin is the storyteller now, then I wouldn’t be surprised for Magilou being the first storyteller as Mayvin.

It is a messy letter as Eleanor said, if I ignore Magilou’s parts, it may roughly a formal letter from Eleanor. Stills, Magilou’s writing make this funnier and I can almost imagine they are having a casual chat there like the girl’s talk without boy there in my journey.

Eleanor is as strong as always with people supporting her there. She has no idea what situation I am in but still encourage me like an idiot.

Hmm, somehow I find myself to be relaxed and determined after reading the letter. That’s again I should thank a person who supposes to be dead now. Eleanor tried hard to achieve her goal and I want to try hard for my goal now. All I wish is to save Sorey and Edna now, doesn’t matter the reason I live.
The seraph Rohan has said that Sorey is the hope to him while the current Shepherd is missing. Also, I decided in my mind that not to let Edna be in danger when I met her. There are still things left for me to do, I can’t give up yet. In spite of the way he mocking at my powerlessness, I will make it con true in my way.
Last time I wish to contribute something to the world, to leave hope before I die as a Lord of Calamity, and it will be the same this time, to leave hope.
Although it is so unlike me to believe a hope without a basis, my friend just makes me believe it while she always believe a hope too. The only things I should do now is to wait for the chance to change the situation, like what I did when I was in Titania.
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Sorey POV

I am contained in a cell.
Pure white ceiling and white wall without window but a high skylight in the room, they are arranged by a giant metallic panel, and no slit can be found between the panels. I judged that it is unlikely to escape from the room alone and I don't know where is here. Surely, I was captured by the mysterious man. The reason he captured both Edna and me is unknown, the only thing I knew is how did I end up here.

I have never expected the midnight walk ended up like this. I left the hostel alone to go for a walk. Honestly, I don’t expect anyone follow me but Edna appeared in front of me and I am glad.
I wondered if I should go investigate alone when Velvet doesn’t want to help, but deep down my heart, I hate to be alone and I want Velvet to come with me too. Still, I think it will be very dangerous at the same time, I don’t want her to get hurt because of traveling with me. She is only a human now and she may wish for a peaceful life, there is no way to get it if she involved in this event.

Edna and I continued walking until the sudden drop in temperature. There is a suppression in the atmosphere, cloud arranged into storm-shape, the sky suddenly changes its color from dark blue to dark red, like the situation in the night when I am hunting a drake with my group but now this is more contrast in color. An old woman I met in Pendrago’s Shrinechurch says there was an ancient prophecy that “When the sky runs red, the world will be shrouded in evil.”

Maotelus explained once that Scarlet Night will be likely to occur only when the earth malevolence reaches a certain level. At the same time, the mana in the world reaches its peak in this time, events related to human-like soul sacrifice are likely to occur in this period, thus it is like a symbol of human sin, the full moon is recolored in crimson red, the color of blood, of cruelty. It should not occur after the earth is purified, at least no so quick.

A sudden squall blow to us, it is suffocated, like the first time I sense large portion of Malevolence in Ladylake when I was a Shepherd, I felt depression in my chest.

“It’s dangerous to walk such time. Little ex-Shepherd.” a male stood in front of us, I can’t see his face directly, as it is covered by malevolence-like particles. One thing I doubt that is the reason he knew my past identity while I have no image of meeting him in the past. Moreover, from his unfriendly tone, I am sure that he is an enemy to me, may as well as the one related to the disappearance of seraphim.

“Who are you?” I asked defensively. He is proceeding the physical characteristic just like the Mayvin said and there are plenty of things enough to remind me of caution. Like the dark particle around him, they are not malevolence, they look similar but different in feeling, at least Edna is not suffering from them.

“The one who collect seraphim.” He snickered.

“You are the cause of all then? Why are you doing this?” Edna grabbed her umbrella and widen her stand position, asked with the preparation of fight.

“To prepare a beautiful world of course.” To achieve such aim with such dirty works, I am sure that we have the opposite mindset, but I won't stop trying to communicate.

“How is that possible?!” From the way he used, I cannot agree with his vision to his action.

“No need for the one foolish like your kind to know.” He said in an arrogant tone and I guess he is not a human. All the hellions with consciousness turned from the human being, if he was a human, he at least loves or wants improve in human in somehow to admit himself existence as a human, but the guy denies the species totally.

“I see, you are a terrible kind and I don’t plan to understand you,” Edna responded.

“We didn’t plan to understand each other since long long time ago.” A long time ago, his word hint me that he may be an ancient being and be a seraph too.

I searched if any place enables us to break through the situation, unfortunately, I can’t find it.
Next second, our vision blurred by the dark smoke he produced, my body become heavy and finally sink into the darkness.

“Surprisingly high resonance, maybe you still have another use for me.” We are captured by the man and sounds like he is going to use us for some purpose.

I can’t even armatize to fight as the enemy didn’t allow us a moment for that.

When I wake up from the coma, Edna is not around, she is likely to be separated. I observe the room where I am in. The wall, ceiling are all made of steel, there is only a skylight for the air and light to come in and there is a steel door as an exit. In the corner of the ceiling, I find ball like installations, much like the technology of camera in this age. Seems nothing is taken from me, no even my sword, he is very confident to his own strength. It is true that even after formed the pact with Edna, I am not able to touch him a finger, maybe I can fight with him when I have had my Shepherd’s strength back.

Suddenly I feel the pressure in air, it is the domain of the man, I know, he is outside.

“You awake. Ex-shepherd.”

“My name is Sorey.”

“Whatever it is, your name is not important to me.”

“How may I call you?”

“Hum, you insisted on something not really important. You will not able to see me or affect my action from that cage. However, as a gentleman, I will give my name. My name is Tartarus.” Despite being annoyed, this is a good sign that he is willing to answer me, guess I can at least ask something out from him. Usually, that’s Rose and Mikleo or others to do such a job for me since I am not good at talking at all. Now they are not here, I have to try.

“Tartarus, did you know King Claudin?”

“.......That’s none of your business!” He sounds angry when I asked about King Claudin, I can relate him to the owner of the memory fragments. It may be inappropriate to start with such a private question, I guess I should start from his aim.

“Sorry, then what do you want?”

“I think I have already said.”

“To prepare a beautiful world, what do you mean?”

“Very well, I have plenty of time. Let’s talk in simple. The human being is born with sin. Sin deep down root in their heart, so they will release malevolence. Seraphim said they are going to live with human together in the past. Both of them is dirty and foolish, it is the time to clean now.”

“Why don’t you see they start to co-living with each other gradually now? Humans can change!”

“ I won’t admit or permit it, I supposed that they will all die under the punishment.” Now that he mentioned ‘punishment’, I thought of the ‘doom with human’ in the memory fragment, or he is now planning to give the punishment himself? In either way, I will not let it happen.

“What are you talking about?!”

“It’s enough for today.”

I feel daze again when the dark smoke surrounded the room. At least I have to find out what is his aim before he achieved it.

I wonder how would it be if I had stayed in the hostel, if I listened to Velvet, not to be involved. Would there be a change? Would it end up better? However, “if” never happened and is only meaningless thought. Neither it brings change nor hopes to the situation.

The cell separated my connection to the external world. Unknown to death, nor known to life. I felt pity myself to be useless to the moment, consciously being unconscious to the exterior.

I wonder how is Velvet now, will she be safe? Is she worrying?
I wonder how Edna now, is she captured too, will she be fine?
I wonder how is Mikleo, Lailah, what are they doing?
I really want to meet them again in this Era but I can do nothing now when I am captured now.

If only to let everything be fine, I would pray, for the peaceful world, for the future of human and seraphim, for the safety of my friends. There is no way to escape. Neither whining nor grieving will do things. Like what Gramps would have told me to do, I will just wait and hope, not to lose myself in the grief and find the action I could take.

Having a conversation with him may be my only choice now. From his information, he is going to save the world by cleaning all existence that he thinks is guilty and dirty, that is all human and seraphim, but I still don’t know in what way, I wonder what does he want with me.

I know nothing, I don’t even know how is Edna now and other people. There is no way to said it is fine if Tartarus succeeds. He may be the new Lord of Calamity to this Age even he doesn’t release malevolence, he will cause the release of malevolence.

“I hope I will find a way to fix things,” I said while looking up the ceiling.
I am alone again.

“I have been waiting for you,” Maotelus said when we first met. I don’t understand that feeling but realize now. I can do nothing but believe there is a chance to be freed by someone. The world is full of possibility. We won’t lose until we lose hope.

So, wait, and hope.

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