Ending Maker

C.134: Temple of Life (1)Feb 27, 2023
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Really late post, but anyway, Happy New Year to everyone!

Terms used in this chapter:

Words can become a seed – Korean proverb that means if something negative is said repeatedly, it may actually happen.

Aerith, the goddess of life.

Although she was not an archangel like Solari, she was a powerful celestial being just below the archangel rank – a Seraphim.

The earth where she first appeared was a completely different place from now.

Danger was everywhere, and disasters such as earthquakes and floods happened on a daily basis.

The humans could not even found a proper country as they were nothing more than prey to be chased by the demons who occupied more than half of the continent.

“The benevolent Aerith couldn’t leave the humans alone like that.”

Her original reason for coming down on earth had nothing to do with taking care of humans.

It was to stop the demons who were trying to advance on earth since her ultimate goal was to protect the heavens.

But at some point, she began to focus more on protecting and taking care of the humans, and the humans worshipped her as the benevolent goddess of life.

“But just like Solari, Aerith didn’t last forever.”

Solari, the goddess of the sun.

A supreme being.

The most powerful god of the humans.

But she died in a fight against the overlord of hell, and disappeared from earth.

Aerith wasn’t much different either. The opponent she fought was not the overlord, but she also lost her life after repeatedly fighting to protect the humans.

“Aerith disappeared, and her denomination lost their central figure and began to decline. The demons then used their followers to thoroughly destroy the Church of Life.”

That was not the only cause of their downfall. 𝘧r𝑒𝘦𝒘𝘦𝙗novel.𝐜o𝒎

After the disappearance of the goddess, the power that the priests of the Aerith denomination could use was greatly limited, so countless people turned to the other still standing denominations in search of a stronger power and strength to protect themselves.

“The death of the goddess, the persistent attack of the demons, and then the people who changed denominations…those were the obvious reasons on why the Church of Life disappeared and became history.”

The Church of Life disappeared, and everyone forgot about its existence.

“But her legacy has not completely disappeared. Aerith loved the humans on earth, so her thoughts…no, her love still remains on earth.”

The Temple of Life and the Sphere of Life that was enshrined there were evidence.

“So…are you listening? Cordelia?”

Jude asked the person on his back, but an answer did not immediately return.

“Hey, Cordelia? You asked me about their story, right?”

He asked again, but there was still no answer.

‘I don’t think she’s sleeping.’

It was difficult to see her face because she was on his back, but he could tell by the sound of her breath.

The breathing of a sleeping person was unique.

‘There’s also the feeling when she’s on my back.’

Because there was a clear difference between carrying a sleeping person on his back and carrying a still awake person who steadied themselves to prevent falling from his back.

‘Eh…don’t tell me she’s still thinking about that?’

They had reached this far from the town they left.

At least two hours had passed by at this point.

And Jude’s guess was right on target.

‘What? What is it? What kind of wish will he ask?’

Cordelia’s worries gradually intensified, and her delusions also ran wild.

‘It can’t be, right? It can’t be, it can’t be, …right?’

Dahlia’s endless delusions lingered in Cordelia’s mind.

To be exact, it was Dahlia’s words that lingered.

– ‘Wouldn’t he? He’ll seriously want to, right?’

To kiss.

To touch each other’s lips.

Mouth to mouth.

The one Adelia-unnie really liked to do.

– ‘Mr. Bayer is also a man, a man.’

She was right. Jude was also a man.

Just as Dahlia said, he was a man.

And Cordelia was a teenage girl who was at the height of her dreams and delusions.

‘What if it’s true?’

If Jude asks me to kiss him as his wish.

If something like that is what he really mentions.

If he really wanted to kiss me.

Cordelia’s face turned red. Blood rushed to her head, and her delusions further grew.

The kissing scene between Adelia and Ga?l that she saw on the day of engagement was replayed in her mind, and that scene was greatly beautified through the filter of a girl’s delusions.

‘Uuunnnnn…’

Embarrassing. It’s so embarrassing.

But.

But if somehow…

‘Aaah! No! I have to stop thinking! He’s Jude! Jude! Outboxer009!’

The b*stard who insulted me and ran away during the first time we met, saying that I’m bad at games!

‘That’s right! So he won’t ask for such a strange wish! He’ll definitely make another wish!’

Rather, it would be reasonable for him to make a wish to humiliate Cordelia.

‘Yes, yes, that’s more logical.’

But.

But what if…

Suppose if…

‘The possibility…’

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

Cordelia silently screamed and tried to catch her breath.

But even though she tried to do so, her glowing red face did not lessen.

‘Ah, I don’t know! First of all, I’m a woman who keeps her word!’

I’ll do it if he asks me to do it!

So what if I do it!

A kiss doesn’t make your lips wear out!

It’s not anyone else but Jude!

‘That’s right, Cordelia. Let’s be open-minded!’

We made a bet and I lost, so I’ll accept it. I’ll accept the result and not be a sore loser!’

‘I can do it!’

As a result of her continued delusions, Cordelia had already come to the conclusion that his wish would be a kiss, even though there was no basis for it.

And new thoughts sprang up because of that.

‘My lips…are fine, right?’

It’s not chapped, right?

It seems fine when I touch it. It’s soft and moist.

‘Wait, what if it smells?’

Come to think of it, when did I brush my teeth? Did I brush after dinner?

‘What was the dinner menu this night?’

I clearly ate at White Dove Inn.

Steamed pork with potatoes and carrots, bread and…chicken soup!

Cordelia quickly covered her mouth and slowly let out her breath.

As she hurriedly sniffed it, she felt like she smelled a bit of pork in it.

‘N-no. At this rate, my first kiss will be a steamed pork kiss…wait, wait-wait-wait!’

I missed something very important.

More important than a steamed pork kiss!

‘M-my first kiss!’

This is my first time.

First. First. First time.

And that other person is Jude?

‘Wait, so Jude will get my first kiss achievement? First place? Is he number one again? I’m letting Jude get first place with this? Even this?’

Her head turned a bit cold. But it didn’t help much because it was a result of her delusions running wild in the first place.

‘Calm down, calm down, Cordelia. Take a deep breath. Count the prime numbers. Yes, yes, let’s count the prime numbers.’

2, 3, 5, 7, 11…

‘Prime numbers are solitary numbers that can only be divided by 1 and itself. They give me strength.’

(T/N: The above is a reference to Enrico Pucci from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.)

It was helpful. She could finally relax after thinking of the manga character’s lines.

‘Cordelia, Cordelia. Be strong. You promised, right? That you’ll grant him anything. So you’ll keep your word because you agreed to the bet!’

Jude had never asked for a kiss, nor had he even mentioned anything, but it was already a settled matter in Cordelia’s mind.

‘Okay, let’s brush my teeth first.’

Make it clean and refreshing.

Let’s make my mouth clean with the mint I bought some time ago.

Cordelia slowly closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

She said in a calm voice, unaware of the fact that Jude had called her several times already.

“Jude.”

“Cordelia?”

“Yes, Jude. I want to brush my teeth.”

“Huh?”

Why so suddenly?

“It’s important. I really want to clean it.”

As Cordelia spoke again in a voice that somehow sounded very respectful, Jude frowned but he soon nodded.

‘It’s strange but…’

A day or two had not even passed before Cordelia had spoken.

Besides, they didn’t have time to properly wash up after dinner. So her mouth seemed to have become dry.

‘We’ll have to brush it before we sleep anyway.’

Jude nodded his head and replied as he continued to look in front of them.

“Hang in there a bit more. In one…no, in about 10 minutes or more, there’ll be a place where we can camp out.”

“10 minutes?”

“Yes, 10 minutes.”

Cordelia’s heart began to pound fast because of Jude’s words.

10 minutes.

10 minutes from now.

10 minutes later.

It would be 10 minutes later from now.

“Cordelia? Are you not feeling well?”

“Eh? Uh. I’m fine. I’m completely fine.”

“Your breathing is…rough?”

“It’s not. Yes, it’s not.”

Cordelia slowly and deeply breathed, and Jude increased his running speed instead of asking her further.

He thought that they could talk about it once he put her down from his back later.

And indeed, 10 minutes later.

Cordelia got off Jude’s back and diligently brushed her teeth.

Her mind had gone so delusional that the throbbing of her heart had even felt painful now, but she somehow continued to take deep breaths to calm herself.

‘Good, good. Alright.’

The moonlight is good enough.

It seems to set the mood a bit.

‘Let’s go. Let’s do it.’

After packing up her toothbrush, Cordelia mentally prepared herself before turning to Jude.

And Jude said.

“I’ve made the bed, so let’s sleep. I’ve set up and spells, so we don’t have to keep a night watch.”

“Huh?”

“Let’s go. I’m tired.”

He fought once and even ran for more than 2 hours.

In Cordelia’s case, she didn’t run and was carried on his back, but it was also difficult to be on the back of Jude who was running at a fast speed.

Just like getting tired after riding a horse for a long time.

“Then good night, dream of me.”

“Yes, good night…no, wait!”

“Cordelia?”

As Jude blinked his eyes, Cordelia unknowingly answered in her excitement.

“No! Hey! You’re just going to sleep?”

“Then what?”

“W-wish! Tell me your wish!”

“Can I do it later?”

“No! I won’t let you do it later!”

Cordelia shouted as if whining, and Jude blinked his eyes but nodded his head afterwards.

“Okay, then I’ll make my wish now.”

At Jude’s words, Cordelia flinched and then gulped in nervousness.

Her heart pounded fast and she even closed her eyes.

And after 1 second, 2 seconds.

Jude said his wish.

***

“Hey.”

“Yes.”

“Is this really a wish?”

“Should I wish for something better then?”

“No.”

Jude was lying on Cordelia’s lap as a pillow, and Cordelia was cleaning Jude’s ears.

‘Something’s not right.’

It’s good that…we didn’t cross the line. It’s really good.

But what is this, this feeling that I’ve been deceived.

This strange frustration.

“What did you think I was going to make you do? This is perfect. It’s also nice. I don’t know how long it has been since I’ve had someone clean my ears.”

“Umm…”

He wasn’t exactly wrong.

Cordelia herself never had someone else clean her ears except when she was very young.

“But Jude. Do you really like this?”

“Yes, it’s nice.”

“Hmm…then I’ll clean your ears once in a while.”

“Eh? No strings attached?”

“Yes, no strings attached.”

Cordelia hadn’t actually spoken about it until now, but she had always felt indebted to Jude.

‘Jude always cooked for me.’

It wasn’t just the meals.

Jude carried her on his back when her legs hurt, and he prepared their sleeping place all the time.

Cordelia had honestly felt indebted to Jude that she was worried if there was any way for her to repay him.

“Tell me if your ears feel itchy in the future. I’ll clean it for you.”

At Cordelia’s declaration, Jude said with a deeply touched face.

“My princess, are you all grown up now?”

“Yes, I’m all grown up. I’m an adult. So turn around. I’ll clean the other side.”

“Yes, Madam.”

When Jude turned around, Cordelia swept back his hair that had fallen to the side and focused her attention on the ear again.

And the next morning.

Standing at the entrance of the Temple of Life that was hidden deep in the mountains, Jude and Cordelia lightly clenched and opened their fists.

“Do you remember the original?”

“Yes, I remember.”

One could visit the Temple of Life 8 months after the Cordelia route in the original, but it was now almost four months earlier than the original.

“It may not have anything unusual like the Temple of Solari where Leisegang is sealed…but such a possibility still exists.”

The Temple of Life which Jude and Cordelia knew was the one that was four months from now.

Therefore, a situation different from what the two knew could happen inside the temple.

“But Jude.”

“Yes, Cordelia.”

“It’s rather ominous if you keep saying that. Don’t you know that words can become a seed?”

“Well, that’s true.”

In fact, the situation was unlikely to be different four months before the original.

“Okay, let’s go then.”

“Yes, let’s go.”

Jude was in the front and Cordelia was in the rear.

As they formed a line, the two entered the cave which was the entrance to the temple.

And around 30 minutes later.

“Hey! I told you that words can become a seed!”

“It’s coming!”

“Explosion!”

Cordelia’s magic exploded inside the temple which was completely different from the one they remembered.

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