Chapter 127:
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   He dreamt of a cemented city that stretches for miles. He dreamt of a small room with a table, television, personal computer, and a bathroom. He dreamt of a bed near the window, where he could watch the cars from a two-story building.

He dreamt of a lofty job, staring at documents, and having enough money to travel a known world. He dreamt of a scene where he would meet a girl who was great to talk to. He dreamt of a having co-pilot in life that could understand him.

Those dreams, however, became smoke when he found himself partly buried under the sand, reaching out to a slowly dimming sun. The dreams, the aspirations, and all that wanted were thrown away into nothing. He thought of what his family would do knowing that he just vanished. Would they cry for their son? Would they even remember the son who tried his best no matter how life seems to pull him down? Of course, it was a normal life that left no regret for the man.

However, to be thrown into a world that he did not belong to was troublesome. He could recall the days where he tirelessly works to learn the language. The days where he lived a peaceful life of just working in a tavern with a good boss and a cheery co-worker. Those days were thrown away as well when the light faded, and he was thrown into the fray.

He despaired at the thought of fighting. Yet, he saw a woman who showed determination against the desperate fight against the dark. Maybe, it was because of her eyes that he fell in love. Maybe, because he wanted to cheer for the woman who did her best to fight against the odds.

No matter how bleak things are, she would not lose the fire on her eyes. That single-minded yet grim will to succeed had him fall in love with a madwoman with a death wish. So he strived himself in order to survive and watch her battles. She was his idol and along the way, he thought greedily that one day he’d be with her. He tried, not because he was brave, simply, because he had nothing to lose by doing so. He was beaten, insulted, and treated like a freak who had a fetish for burnt women.

He was treated like a soldier but when they have rest. He was all alone in his tent, sharpening, oiling, and making sure that his equipment doesn’t break on him. The circle of friends that he had was long gone by the time he realized it. They come and go and he found himself walking alongside men who he doesn’t recognize.

He dreamt of standing on the same stage as her. He dreamt of being free from the bonds of normalcy and held hopes for power. However, all he had was love for her, and that love managed to reach her stubborn heart after so many years. Still, in just a few years, he loses her, and he was traveling under a banner of the bleak, with his heart torn to pieces. His heart was steeled as he joins the push against the darkness.

He was able to reach the end of the world and helped saved the world. He was truly happy when he saw the light of the world. He was glad that the things he fought for were worth something in the end.

So imagine his despair at the thought of finding himself in a loop. At first, he found himself fighting again, again, and again. He got stronger, and he got good. However, he could still not reach her despite all of his efforts. He once believed that limits were to be surpassed. But he was merely a greater pawn that was lost from the wheels of time.

He had been betrayed. He had been killed by the woman he loved in these loops. He was stubbornly hoping that there would be a loop where he would be able to make her run away from her duties. But what did he get instead? Just pain, heartbreak, and his beliefs disillusioned as time passes. Even a greater pawn can be someone when he repeats the same scenario. He coped by making time for himself and doing lonely soliloquies. He stopped counting how many times has it been and worked as a puppet of a puppeteer. He was a blade pummeled by a crude hammer. He was to be bent in order to realize his foolishness that a sword made from normal materials cannot become a legendary blade that splits the heavens or save the world.

He was made from crude iron, he was melted, and improved, but in the end, his base was that of crude iron. No matter how he told himself that he had become better, he could never escape what he truly was. Still, he fought no matter how many times he awakes in the same world, buried under two-feet of sand. He tried his best and when he did find a way to make the woman he loved reach a new peak of existence. His brittle heart finally broke into many parts. He wandered around and thought of choosing a different part, still hoping that maybe he can reach her.

But when the time wraiths finally found him, and when he realized how heavy his limbs were, and how rusted his heart has become, he let go and let himself be fragmented, hoping, that the fragments would return to kindle hope inside of him. That these fragments would forge his heart for the better.

“Suicide?” He said blankly while staring at the mirror of his bathroom. He saw his reflection cry two streaks of blood and a faint light glimmered for a second. The cry of the hawk was heard for a moment before it died out. The water from the faucet continued pouring down the basin.

“I see. I give up then,” he said truly. The steel inside his heart shattered. “No more, I have enough fighting, and it looks like there was just no way. Let me live this human life normally. You already used me as a battery for years. Leave me alone already.”

He wiped the blood on his cheeks. He pulled his tie and went out of his apartment. He looked at the cavern ceiling, slapped both of his cheeks, and went down a flight of stairs and went to work.


Chapter 127: [ _ _ _ _ _ _ A l v a _ _ _ _]

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