Lost Saga: Garden of Eden Chapter 12: End of the Beginning

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The man who struggled despite his odds, survived and completed his quest. Octo and Novy, a pair of father and daughter who were saved by Len gave the finishing blow before Rollo got the chance to heal his disintegrated throat.

Len, who sacrificed himself giving a fatal blow to Rollo was revived to the nearest, 'friendly', resting place. His bedroom in Octo's house.

Octo salvaged what's left in the wrecked workshop and Novy went back to check Len's condition.

[A Desperate Struggle] Complete.

Len received 'generous' rewards such as one 1.000.000-EXP-Card, [Blacksmith's Craftsmanship EX] Level 1, [Blacksmith's Eye of Appraisal EX] MAX, [Blacksmith] Class, and 100 affinity points with Octo, Novy and Derdun Village.

Additionally, he received a [Minor HP Potion] and two 2.000.000-EXP-Cards from Rollo's corpse handed by Octo. A short sword called [White Whistle] and a longsword called [Black Whistle] from the black-haired woman's corpse.

Len didn't receive the EXP from Rollo because he wasn't the one gave the finishing blow but Octo.

But it was not a big problem for him. With these EXP cards, Len obtained few extra life.

Octo came back and explained that the nearest village to Derdun is Lime which would require 3 days journey. They are safe for the time being.

"Wanna go together to the capital city?"

"H-hey, isn't that really dangerous pops? We came here to hide from them right?"

"Things changed. The Arcane Gem is no more."

"T-then... "

"We can live freely from now on."

Novy stuttered to herself. Contrary to the expression she made for the last few days, she clasped her hands together and made a 'O' mouth with moist eyes.

There were so many things Len didn't understand.

He thought that the black-haired woman came to seek revenge because of the chicken thigh incident, but that doesn't seemed right to him.

"What… is the Arcane Gem?"

"I… do not know."

"What do you mean you don't know?"

Within the wrecked workshop, Len and Novy stared at Octo who tried to scavenge whatever left intact from the fight.

"The origin, where it came from, what it is… I do not know."

"But you always had it with you pops?"

"It wasn't mine. Never was. Probably never belonged to anyone."

"..."

"Everything started when I was young. I was just your average-joe mercenary. I've been in that line of work for decades. And when you spent most of your life in battlefield… you know it is a bad idea to make friends in the same occupation."

"Why?"

"...Because you know your friends will be gone sooner or later."

"..."

"Everyday was simply fighting and fighting to death. Apostles or not, it didn't matter."

Len listened silently.

'Seems like he went through a lot. He… killed people, apostles… even people of the land just like him.'

Peeking a glance at Novy, Len could tell that she didn't know about this either.

"But, there was this particular man. Just like me, he was a survivor. Through the years, we became friends in and out of the life as a mercenary. He kept my back an I kept his. We fought together for years. I almost believed we were invincible back then.

"Until one day, he gave me the gem. He called it the Arcane Gem, and said the power it holds is not suitable for anyone. Not human, werebeast, and even the elves must possess such power, that nobody must learn of its existence.

"The gem cannot be destroyed, it can only be kept hidden. It's been over 50 years since his disappearance. Nobody knows where he went, there was no eye witnesses or even a single trace of him left. Just like a ghost, he vanished."

"Octo… how old are you?"

"Two hundred and eighty two years old."

"... You are not human."

"No, My mother was a giant and my father was a human."

"Ah! So that makes me a quasi-human then?"

Novy covered her mouth with her hands.

"Yes, you probably will live for 200 years."

Len thought to himself.

'If he has been alive for two hundred years, he must be around level 300 or even 500 something right?'

"Then you must be very strong, right?"

"I was. I'm around 300 something back then. But I quit the mercenary job and became a blacksmith instead. My class changed, most of my stats and levels were resetted. But I still retain my 'experience' as a mercenary."

"Why blacksmithing?"

"I don't know. Maybe I thought that I could destroy this gem if my proficiency is high enough."


'That person must be a very precious friend for him to do this…'

"..."





Novy, who listened quietly on fell on deep thought.

With the Arcane Gem out of the way, there's no more apostles or anyone that will track them down. She and her pops and leave Derdun and travel into a better place.

She knew that nothing changed with the world. Apostles still roaming around the Orion, creating havoc here and there, but the burden in her heart had decreased significantly.

"Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Here."

"This is…"

"The Arcane Gem. It was anyway. Now it is just a normal, indestructible gem."

"Hmm."


[Arcane Gem]

It possessed the lost knowledge of Ether. Now it is nothing but an empty vessel. Imbuing it with Ether might do something… if you are brave enough.

*Can be embedded into an item


After contemplated for a moment, Len decided to try it. At worst case scenario it will explode and he will revive again, though he will lose 10% of his EXP.

"[Magia Etherea]."

Len could grasp the sensation of the Ether a lot better now. It felt much more 'ancient' and 'pure'. Glowing with pale blue lights, the particles revolved around the gem and seeped inside it.

The color of the gem changed from a dark blue into dark red and brilliant light lit the whole workshop.

"This is…"

The red particles spread and formed into a sword of light.

"A sword…?"

The particles revolved and danced around the sword, it dissipated into the air and others returned to hold the form of the sword.

Len saw his EP bar decreased rapidly. With a shake, the sword disappeared.

"Arcane Sword…"

The first arcane weapon that he possess, a magical sword made of Ether.

Octo smiled and asked him.

"This ordeal is still not over yet. There's a possibility that they will come back here. So me and Novy will be going to the capital. Do you want to come with us?"

Len didn't answer. He stared at the gem and asked.

"Why are you so kind to me?"

"What do you mean?"

"What you told me when I first entered your house. I still remember."

"..."

"The apostles. They are pretty much what I would call the 'bad' guys… but…"

"Len."

"Yes?"

Octo crossed his arms and said while grinning.

"This world is vast. There are over 10 billions of people on Orion, and that's not counting the unexplored land."

"Orion is not fully explored?"

"No. Levels have no limit. Above the ground is the sky, and above the sky is another sky. What is the peak? Nobody knows. But people do know that the world is wide and filled with many kind of creature."

"..."

"You, my boy, Len, is an apostle. But it is nothing but a label. You are you, and only you can decide who you truly are. To me, you are an apostle. A different kind of apostle."

"A different kind?"

"An Apostle of Justice."

Len was taken aback by Octo's words.

'Apostle of Justice? Me? Oh no, I feel like a cosplayer…'

"And to me, you are like… umm…"

Novy also tried to say something cool and impactful, but she couldn't come up with anything.

"Um… oh yeah! You are like a Hero of Justice!"

"W-what!? How so!?"

"Well, I mean you saved us! You sacrificed yourself, and endured until the end! If I that is not a hero, I don't know what is!"

Len could feel his cheeks and ears burned in embarrassment.

To him, Novy gave an impression of a suave woman, someone who always keep her cool and calm. But after what happened, she started to open herself and acted how she normally behaves.

Len was actually forced to take the quest, otherwise he will fail the blacksmith quest and get kicked out of the village.

But everything changed.

He could feel her genuine concern when he fought Rollo, he remember everything. How she screamed 'No! You can't die now!', that might be because she still wanted him to fight, but then grabbed his hand, trying to carry him away.

'She tried to save me despite knowing that I will revive even if I die.'

It was just a small gesture that anyone might miss. But to him, that small gesture shows how much she worried over him.

"Len, there's something I need to tell you."

"What is it?"

With a guilty look on her face, Novy inhaled deeply and with a determined look she said.

"I'm sorry for everything."

"It's fine, I get something out of it anyway."

"No, I'm really sorry. The truth is… I wanted to use you as a bait. I-I… I, while you fought that black-haired woman, I was about to escape with pops and leave you behind!"

"..."

"Bu-but then… she stabbed your chest and I was so scared. I can't move. I can't… leave you die just like that."

Octo simply stood on the side, quietly listening.

"Because I know if I do that, then I'm nothing different than them. I will become just like those savages who murder people for the fun of it…"

"Novy-"

"I'm really sorry!! I used your kindness and tried to abandon you!! I'm sorry for almost leaving you behind to your death!! I'm… I'm…!!"

Her eyes became red and she bowed. Droplet of tears fell on the cold floor filled with dried blood and dusts.

Her calm, mature face crumbled similar to a children caught stealing a candy and forced to confess. Len was speechless. He didn't know what to say and blanked.

He moved his eyes to Octo. He stood on the side crossing his arms with eyes closed.

'Shit, what is this bullshit… isn't this the moment where I'm supposed to say 'you are forgiven', and hug her tightly? Isn't this one of those 'route'? A cliche development in a dating sim game? I feel so stupid, I can't believe I fell on one of those trope…'

Len sighed.

"Novy!!"

"Hii!!"


She jolted and trembled with eyes closed.

Bracing herself for a slap, Novy held the hem of her clothes tightly.

But nothing ever hit her.

Instead warmth sensation washed upon her body. A pair of hand enveloped her from behind which pushed her to lean on his embrace. Having her head rested on his shoulder, she could smell his scent faintly.

His hands tightened behind her, and the warmth spread across her chest to her hands, legs and head.

Strength seeped out of her body, only his hug that kept her standing still. Raising her arms slowly, she hugged him back and tears rolled on her cheeks and absorbed by the fabric of his clothes.

"Novy…"

"..."

She couldn't utter a single word. It took her everything just to not howl in tears.

'Truly… this girl…'

Len could relate to her to a certain extent.

The guilt she's facing, to some it maybe not big of a deal, others might even think her action is ridiculous. But Len knew, there's nothing weird about her crying.

Others would think of how stupid it is to cry over such matter. Making a big deal out of nothing. Perhaps, some would think that she's just being dramatic.

Len doesn't know about that.

But he did know that it was painful.

Even he himself started to feel a choking sensation in his throat.

"Novy."

"..."

"What you are trying to do was horrible."

"..."

Len could feel how she trembled hearing his words.

"But I understand that you wanted to save your father. He's your only family member left, and he must be your most precious in this world."

She grabbed Len's clothes, trying her best to hold her tears.

"If I die, I will come back. But not your father. Despite you knowing this fact, despite how everything is already passed, you still apologized to me."

"Guh…"

"I understand… what you feel."

"Ghuhu…"


"You are forgiven."

"Waahh!!"

She cried like a little kid having her toy crushed by a passing truck. She hugged Len back as hard as she could.

What Len said was half-lie and half-truth. He didn't completely understand what she felt. Only a small portion of it.

Anyone would think that, 'Since he will revive if he dies, I do not need to feel sorry or apologize to him.' Len could empathize to Novy by putting himself in her shoes.

'If I were in her shoes, I wouldn't really care about me honestly.'

With this, Len understand how kind she was. How sincere she was. How brave she was to apologize to him.

'This girl is truly… amazing in her own way.'

A woman who seemed somewhat distant and beyond his league was crying like a baby in his embrace.

'It seems… no matter how old or young they are… mature or childish they are… everyone will break down sometime in their life. Through guilt or regrets. I, too have my own…'

An obvious statement, yet often overlooked.

For the past two weeks, Len has experienced a lot. Looking back to how he was in his old world, Len now could say with certainty that he has changed.

He didn't know if he changed for the better or the worse. He can't judge himself in that aspect. He learned that he knows nothing about this world, and if he wants to survive having an open-minded perspective is important.

Anything is possible.

A world with RPG-like system.

People succumbed to their desires.

People who overcame their desires.

A chance of meeting a family who possess an ancient artifact who could alter the flow of the world and are being hunted by apostles.

'Orion, eh...'

Novy cried and cried until she fell asleep on his embrace.

"Geez, you really are something, aren't you?"

"It was just on impulse. Sorry I tried to flirt with your daughter Octo."

"Hoho, it's alright."

"..."

'Now what?'

The Arcane knowledge fused with him, turning the Arcane Gem to a magical gem that can only be used by him. No more being chased by apostles.

In a sense, Octo and Novy are free.

"As I said, do you want to come with us to the capital?"

"Well, what's in there?"

"A lot. Delicious food, fateful meetings, books to read if you are into that kind of thing, festivals, opportunities, maybe opening a new workshop, basically a whole new world to explore for you."

"Haha! Sounds very interesting!"

For the first time, after living alone in his apartment for 2 years passing his time playing video games and reading novels over and over again, he found the thrill of searching the purpose of his life.

A new world, a new history and future awaits.

Carrying Novy in a princess carry, Len thought to himself.

'I wouldn't be able to do this in my old world.'

Going back to the house, they rested for the day and started packing their belongings. Len bought some extra clothing and proper equipments from the shop.

He checked his status and noticed his charm increased. After some calculation, apparently Charm always increased by 2 points for every 10 levels. Len was on level 39, so he obtained 6 Charm points.

But why was the total 12 points?

'Must be because I'm losing weight.'

Wearing a white shirt and leather armour on his chest, shoulder and feet, Len carried most of his belongings in his inventory.

"Len are you ready?"

"Len! Hurry up!"

Both Octo and Novy called him from outside.

"Just a second!"

Len tied both swords that the black-haired woman dropped, [White Whistle] and [Black Whistle] together. Staring at it with a frown, Len shook his head and put it inside his inventory.

'Who is she? Her actions does not make any sense...'

There was something bugging him about that woman. She went after the Arcane Gem, yet her actions contradict her goal.

'Maybe… I will ask her myself if we meet again.'

Len ran and opened the door, the bright sunlight and blue sky welcomed him.

Novy was waving her hands toward him beside a carriage while Octo petted the horse. Wearing a straw hat, a big smile was plastered on her face.

"Let us depart to the capital!"

Through the recent trial and tribulation, he grew physically and mentally.

The question is, 'How much?'

Nobody knows.

'...But in the end, no matter how high my level is, how experienced I am, there will be always room for growth, right?'

Taking his first step into the carriage, the coachman began leading the horse toward the village's entrance. Through the road, he saw familiar faces.

The vendors who sold him the chicken thigh and apple, children who are playing around beside a puddle, and finally Dran the soldier guarding the entrance.

Despite having a bitter experience with him, Len held no grudge at all. Dran already gave him an enter permit certificate that let him enter any place without charge. This much is already quite valuable.

Len wasn't sure whether Dran really have the authority to assign such thing to people, but it seemed to be the genuine thing according to Octo.

As the carriage kept moving, the village's entrance became smaller and smaller until it vanished his view completely.

How Len experienced his turning point in life, facing toward the future and tread upon a path that nobody knows where it leads marked the end of the beginning.

The end that also marks a new beginning.

A beginning that leads to a new ending.

An ending that not even the gods themselves could predict.

Unlike the game of chess, there are too many factors that affect the outcome of this story. Len, the one who possess the Arcane Knowledge, began his life in another world. A child who lived his whole life in a peaceful society was stranded in a cold and cruel world where the blood of the innocent always spilled for entertainment of the powerful.

The gods were curious of what this little man capable of.

How would he advance from now on?

What will be the end of his tale?

Will he ended up as a destroyer of the world, or the saviour of the world?

Perhaps it might not be any of them.



"Do you have any idea what to do, Len?"

"No idea, yet."

"Why don't we open flower shop?"

"Hmm…"

"C'mon! It will be fun!"

"Hmm...."

"Now you are just ignoring me."

"No, I'm not. I'm thinking."

"Well, how about a restaurant then?"

"What are you on about Vy? Len will learn blacksmithing from me!"

"No! He will help me open a restaurant!"

"You guys are too loud! I will decide my own path and nobody, not even the gods can hinder me!"

Octo and Novy stared at each other and laughed out loud.

"W-what!?"

"That's a big word coming out of your mouth! Puhaha!"

"Hahaha! I guess you are still a child after all Len!"

"Oy!"

The road ahead is still long and bumpy for Len.

The wind blew gently and caressed his skins and hair. Gazing upon the morning sun and blue sky, there were flock of birds flying on it. Below was an endless meadow, stretched out to the horizon as the grasses danced together.

A view that he could only see through a painting or a picture was right here in front of him.

He mumbled quietly where Octo and Novy couldn't hear him.

"Garden… of Eden."
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