EP - 035.1 - Preparations

The worst thing about nightmares is that you can’t escape them even if you close your eyes.

So was the dream that Yuria Greyhounder had every day.

   [Young Lady, why… Why?]

The restless voices of the dead constantly echoed in her ears, the smell of blood lingers on her hands, and the pieces of flesh at her feet that she didn't even recognize anymore.

Corpses formed a mountain.

And everything was her doing.

The gardener who cultivated a small bonsai with her, the housekeeper who made her favorite carrot cake for dessert with a warm smile, and the maid who always gives her a nagging but is worried about her wellbeing.

All of them.

She cut down everyone. 

Just because they were within 'three steps' of her.


She screamed at the top of her lungs. 

She didn't mean to. She didn't want this to happen. 

No, never. 

Shedding tears of blood, she pleaded while vomiting. 

However, not a single word is reached.

Her mouth won't open.

Everyone glared at her with resentful eyes, wishing upon her curses as they morph into a cold corpse.

Then, she saw a man emerging from the sea of bodies. 

A robe of pure gold. A pure white wand. A swinging rosary.

A man boasting a perfect beauty as if he's meticulously created by a God. 

Yuria knew who it was.

The Pope. The pinnacle of all religious figures in this era.

   [Are you still hoping for someone to save you?]

An eerie sound, like a jade bead rolling on a tray, echoed out.

   [Are you still hoping to get close with someone?]


To her, it was the voice of a ‘predator’ that made her body shake just by hearing it.

   [You cursed apotropaic.]

She dreams of this.


   [You will be alone until you die.]

It ended with the Pope's whisper. 


Her eyes opened with a shallow scream.

Her whole body was drenched in cold sweat.


Yuria Greyhounder rubbed her face and looked out the window.

Fortunately, she hadn't overslept.

Her day always started at a regular time.

Living a self-sufficient life in a place far from people, even a refined greenhouse flower would get accustomed to the life in the wild.

Through the window, she caught a glimpse of the Academy building.

A civilized society filled with vibrant energy.


Yuria averted her dry gaze from that direction. 

She had no time for such places. She had mountains of tasks to accomplish.

She needs to reinforce her tent, check the traps and snares she set up to catch prey, and also wash the clothes she's been wearing for a week.

That was her life. A savage living in a place completely disconnected from society, no other human interaction. 

A sparkling and brilliant civilization awaits her, and it was only half a day's walk away. However, she was never a human who could approach it.

Curse of Severance. The bondage of a lifetime of isolation.

She just needs to do her role and today is no exception. 

Yes. That's how it should be. 

“Are you awake?”


That's what would have happened if it had not been for this strange man suddenly appearing out of nowhere.

A masked face, an altered voice.


She knew this person. More precisely, she recognized that familiar mask. 

This is the person who visited her once before and gave her delicious snacks.

And, he also said that he knew something about herself and her ‘sister’.

Recalling such information, Yuria instinctively calculated the distance between herself and this man with sleepy eyes. 

Three steps, then.

He came closer! 


Again, she violently drew her sword out against her will.

Her face turned pale seeing the sword lunging towards the man at lightning speed.

This time, once again.

She's about to kill someone again against her will.

“That's right.”

However, the man pulled out the sword he had prepared as if he had been waiting for this.

Then, he effortlessly parried her attack.

Continuing on, he stood his ground and blocked her successive strikes.

As if he had intended to do so from the beginning.

After the continuous exchange of blows, he swiftly went outside the three-step range when he slowly started getting pushed back. 

“…This should be enough. Enduring it is worth, and I'm getting closer…”

He mumbled something with a satisfied tone.

As if her attacks were worth receiving.


Yuria was stunned for a moment as she alternately looked at her sword and the man.

It wasn’t the first time she'd seen someone ‘receiving’ her attack. Especially if it's about three steps.

The way her sword works is the closer the opponent, the more her combat abilities increase. Likewise, the farther the opponent within her range, the less powerful her attacks are.

The problem is...

‘This is the second time, isn’t it?’

On their first meeting, this man also got attacked after closing the distance. 

That's why, afterwards, when he completely disappeared, she understood.


-You will be alone until you die.

These words that she always hear in her dreams echoed in her mind. 

That's right. She knows very well that it is her destiny.

After all, who on earth would want to get entangled with someone who'll slice you up if you get even an inch closer than permitted. 

“Okay. Judging from your swings, you seem healthy. Have you been well?”

Except for this strange man in front of her.

As Yuria looked at the man perplexed, he slumped down and caught his breath.

It seems that the intense exchange they just had has exhausted him considerably.

   […What is, what the hell?]

Characters formed by manifesting divine power floated before her eyes.

As someone afflicted by the Curse of Severance, she couldn't use her vocal cords. Hence why she's communicating this way.

It was a question filled with complex doubts.

What is the point of doing this? What the hell are you doing? 

Last time, he just disappeared and didn’t come back for a while. Then now, he suddenly came back with a sword and competed against her.

Moreover, he skillfully maneuvered within her "danger zone."

As if he knew about her curse.

‘…No, what is it really?’

Truly, his existence is just incomprehensible.

“Didn’t I tell you before? I'll occasionally come to bring you food.”

However, the other party simply replied like so.

In fact, along with those words, a lunch box filled with food slid towards her. 

“Eat. I'm taking my leave. Someone will get angry if I stay for too long.”


Yuria blankly stared at the man leaving.

What kind of person is he, really?

The day passed just like that.

She spent the rest of the day pondering over thoughts of that man while attending to her tasks.

‘What's going on? What kind of person is he?’

She was accustomed to the solitary life. She had plenty of time for thinking.

‘It's probably just a whim.’

In the evening, just before she's about to sleep, she successfully came to that conclusion and wore a satisfied smile. It was the result of thinking only of him for 9 hours.

Yeah, that's right. He hadn’t shown himself for a while after visiting her once.

It will probably be the same this time.

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