Chapter 80 The Hundred Years – Year One (Part 1)
After waking up Hannah felt… Different. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but she felt rejuvenated. Lighter.
Looking around her, she noticed she was still in the forest. It seemed to be a different location but that was only because she couldn’t see the mist anymore. The truth was it all looked the same to her. Trees jutting out of the ground so high into the sky that finding shade wasn’t an issue.
Suddenly, she realized that she felt like she was alone.
“Is the god gone?”
Just as she was about to call out to her, Hannah’s mouth lingered half open as she felt unsure what to call her.
“What do I even call her? Just Luna? Wouldn’t that be too informal? What about Miss Luna? Is that okay? Maybe I just call her by her title, but how can I just say ‘Are you there Moonlight Reaper’ wouldn’t that just sound weird?”
“Miss Luna? Are you there?” she called out lightly, hoping she was being respectful.
Nothing sounded out, except a few birds in the trees heard her voice and flapped their wings in haste as they made their escape. Too close to Hannah for comfort.
“Am I alone? She tells me I’m chosen and then just leaves me alone? Wasn’t she going to guide me? Wasn’t she going to help me develop my power? Wasn’t she going to help me save Kaden…?”
Hannah felt an overwhelming feeling of being dropped from the highest point, falling and falling with no end in sight as a feeling of despair overcame her.
“What if she’s gone? What if she lied and she isn’t going to help me?”
Instead of moving, checking her surroundings like she felt she should. Hannah huddled herself into a ball. Grasping her knees up to her chest on the floor by a tree just hugging herself like a child.
She hugged herself like this for comfort for hours, as her mind spiraled into depression as one thought after another popped up, all of which made her feel hopeless.
Despair, hopelessness, weakness, pain, loneliness. She felt each one in spades.
As the evening came and the sun left it’s post in the sky giving way to the moons Hannah fell asleep as she lost the energy to think anymore or to even hold herself up. When she woke up she was still alone, she was still in despair but her stomach was rumbling nonstop and her mouth was parched from the heat. Hunger and thirst were consuming her and instead of taking something out from her ring she just laid down against the tree. Unwilling or unable to do anything to help herself.
At some point she wondered whether she was going to die of thirst and hunger or if perhaps something would come along and kill her then eat her. “Well.. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad. If I was killed first and then eaten I wouldn’t feel anything bad anymore… I’d be helping that poor creature live… Oh… What if he tries to eat me while I’m still alive…? That would probably hurt…” she thought without changing her expression. Had someone, anyone, come along and seen her like this they would have shivered. She was smiling with all of the muscles in her cheek while pathetically clinging on to life against her own will.
The sight was truly pathetic and out of place. After a full day and night without any water Hannah could feel the pain in her throat worsen. Her throat was screaming in pain and her lips were cracked from the heat. Worse yet was the look in her eyes which seemed devoid of life. Hannah gave off the appearance of a corpse. A smiling corpse.
Finally on the second day she willed some mana into her ring and took out a jug of water. Gulping it down slowly. Staring at the jug, most of which was spilled without a care in the world. Hannah decided if she was going to drink something, she might as well eat something, as she pulled out some dried rations from her ring. She ate her food slowly, not even tasting it as she stared into space.
Once she realized she’d finished her food, Hannah figured…”Well if I’ve eaten something… Then feeling around her ring she felt Kaden’s corpse and after thinking she was devoid of any more emotion, and dried of her tears, she felt two drops of liquid fall from her eyes.
“I can still cry?” She thought in surprise as she reached her cheek and touched the tears as she took a look. Sure enough, they were tears. She was crying. “I’m in pain?” Hannah had to consciously think about it. She’d been emotionally overwhelmed to the point of a breakdown and only now did she think about why she was in so much pain. So torn up… So devoid of emotion.
Finally she took a long look at her life, and at the past few days with an objectivity she thought incapable of.
“I lost my parents. Our name and our lives were forever changed. People looked at me with pity and I felt disdain that they would look at me like I was some fragile bird that needed mending… I thought that was the low point of my life.
Then the entire town was destroyed and I lost my best friend. I cried and I cried and then realized they were tears of joy. Finally I was no longer tied down to that god forsaken town… I thought anything would be better than being stuck there for the rest of my life.
I felt sorry Chloe was dead… But that was it… If anything I felt worse that I didn’t feel bad enough about her death then I actually did about her death…
I had to leave my home, my town but I didn’t care. Instead I felt freed. I thought things were perhaps getting better. Then I saw Ava die in front of me and I realized I cared about her. It was as if I was losing someone important…
But it was my brother who did it, the last person I cared about. He killed her so she was dead… It was fine.
Before I realized it I was powerless, unable to move and at someone else’s mercy. The feeling of being powerless and unable to do anything to save myself was chilling.
Then he tortured me. He was forced do something that was breaking his heart with every move he made and I hated the monster that made him do that from the bottom of my heart. I wanted him dead. Every ounce of pain I felt I hated that monster more and more. Every ounce of pain I felt I knew Kaden felt it even worse. He was always so… Weak.
Then right in front of my eyes Daichi shows up and for the first time I thought I had a slight feeling of hope. Hope he could save Kaden somehow… I didn’t know how but I thought he could and as I was finally ready to let go of all of my burdens, I felt the rug pulled out from underneath me as the person I vouched for… Started to trust took my brother’s life right in front of me.
The pain I felt for living at the expense of my brother’s life broke something inside of me. It made me want to kill myself but it made me want to cherish my life even more. I was living at the expense of Kaden. I alive because of him. It was his life keeping me alive.
Then he made me feel powerless again. Unable to do anything. Unable to make a choice of my own free will as he throws me over a cliff and I think he’s trying to kill me.
I wake up and perversely, I first wonder where he is. Where Daichi is. As if seeing him will give me some sense of solace… Instead I find Ava and I see the object of my brother’s love… Still alive somehow… And it made me hate Daichi less… If only for a moment, I knew I hated the monster that really made everything happen the way it did.
But… Daichi is the one that shows up. He shows up and I knew he would, I knew he would be the one to come find me and I can’t help but point my hatred towards him… I even tried to kill him. No… I did try to kill him and I know that he hadn’t tried to hurt me. He didn’t use his skills, he did’t try to kill me when he had the chance. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I hated him so much… I just needed to vent… I couldn’t forgive him for killing Kaden and I killed him. He’s dead now.
Then that monster shows up and makes me do it. He made me kill Ava. He didn’t leave me any other choice!
Powerless to stop him, powerless to make the choices I want yet again. What’s worse, he tells me that he’d killed Kaden. He made it so that there was nothing that could be done to save him. He made me kill Daichi.
I didn’t realize I could hate someone so much.
Now I’ve let myself sit here… Like some weak shell of myself for no reason. Why?
I don’t need a god to help me. I can save him myself. I can bring him back. I can bring Ava back. I will find a way to even bring Daichi back.”
Standing up for the first time in two days Hannah realized how filthy she was. She’d even facilitated her needs without even realizing it on herself refusing to move or think of anything else at the time. Instead of being filled with horror at herself and the smells she was exuding, she ignored it altogether. Hannah started moving. She started moving filled with a sense of longing for life and a hatred directing at taking a life.
Unable to go in a straight direction. Hannah wandered listlessly for months at a time. Running into trolls, ogres, almas, and even demons on numerous occasions. When she could run, she would run. When she could fight, she would kill.
On numerous occasions she would get into get into fights she couldn’t win without meaning too. She was chased. Hunted by creatures she had no hope of fighting against and just as she thought she would die. She would lose consciousness. She would wake up somewhere else. Even the injuries she sustained before losing consciousness were completely gone. If there hadn’t been cuts of proof of the battles she’d been in, she would have sworn they were nightmares. Instead she knew it had all happened exactly as she could remember, but somehow she’d survived.
Instead of assuming it was luck. She gave it no further thought. It was likely due to her Divine Protection. Except something odd had happened to her. Ever since she’d been enveloped by that light after the goddess Luna had touched her. She could no longer summon her status screen.
Hannah’s world had truly been changed, and the previous her would not have known how to adjust. The current her had given it little thought and only moved forward. She gave nothing much thought as all she did was move forward, without purpose or aim she always moved in whatever direction she was facing.
After an entire year. She was finally beginning to feel listless. She had long since run out of the food and water she’d had in the ring she carried and had since had to make up for the deficiencies in food by hunting.
After months, she’d come to realize the monsters in the forest were slowly getting stronger. She even encountered beasts more than just rarely now. Different types of beasts she’d never heard of, on the rare occasion when she could kill one. She would never just leave it. She would use the knives she still had from the goblins she’d killed to skin the beasts and eat their flesh.
Whatever was left over she would store in her ring. Whenever she needed water she would find a stream and when she did, she would make sure there were no trolls around before anxiously getting her fill. She filled up all of the jugs within her ring in order to avoid numerous visits to these dangerous locations where beasts gathered.
The water she stored was always enough to last her a month. In fact these bodies of water had become some of the most dangerous places in the forest. The trolls had become some of the weakest monsters in these locations as most monsters and beasts needed to drink water to survive. The trolls had to band together into large groups to protect a few of these areas and even then, most of these large groups of trolls had been pushed away from the territories they coveted.
After an entire year, Hannah finally grew listless. Wondering how she could get stronger. After an entire year, her strength, speed, stamina and reflexes all grew exponentially after every kill but her ability had long stagnated and she didn’t know what to do.
Finally it dawned on her that not thinking about her future, her surroundings and anything else was the crux of the matter. She had cut herself from the ability to learn by cutting off unnecessary thoughts. Finally having realized this, Hannah had a moment of enlightenment.