Last Embryo Volume 3 Epilogue Part 2
As he was saying that, Arjuna could clearly see the images from his past play out in his mind as vividly as if they happened yesterday. The images of his shameful past that could never be changed or undone no matter how hard he wished for them to do so. Jin, who knew about Arjuna’s past in detail, could do little more than to cast his eyes down in silence, knowing full well that nothing he might have said would help here.
However, Homura did not know about the darkness of Arjuna’s past and how it still weighted down on him even after so much time has passed. Having only the knowledge of what Arjuna was willing to share with him, he spoke with brazenly blunt words while munching on a half-melted chocolate chip cookie he grabbed for himself.
「I don’t want to sound like a know-it-all, but if you asked me for my opinion then I would have to say that it sounds like he was taking you too lightly, and you want to prove to him just how wrong he was about you, right? So the question here is: do you think that you could settle that score with him?」
「I… I honestly can’t answer that. I don’t know. I want to do it, but… but I am not even sure if I will ever have the chance to actually do it.」
「*Sigh* you’re such a blockheaded idiot, you know? An opportunity will never come to you if you just sit around wishing for it to happen. Haven’t you realized yet that sometimes you have to take the matters into your own hands if you really want something to happen? If you don’t take the initiative to get the things that you want with your own hands, then you will only end up regretting it further down the road.」
Hearing Saigo Homura’s words, Arjuna’s eyes opened wide in unspeakable shock. He might not realize it, but what he said was preposterously irresponsible. He did not know a single thing about Arjuna’s past and the circumstances that surrounded his life as a warrior who fought in service to his country.
And yet, even though normally he would surely feel deeply offended by such a blatant display of unrestrained ignorance… he could not deny that Homura’s words resonated with a part of his soul, because of how drastically different it was in comparison to how Arjuna himself has chosen to handle that particular problem throughout the entirety of his past life.
You could even say that the approach Homura presented was a complete opposite of Arjuna’s method, which he though to be pretty successful up until now. And so, even though he could feel the muscles of his entire face tensing up, Arjuna still mustered all of his mental fortitude needed to ask Homura a very important question.
「Answer me this, Saigo Homura. Are you implying that our Fate is not something inescapable that has been prepared for us in advance at the moment of our birth, but rather something that we have to grab a hold of ourselves and shape it with our own hands?」
「Hmm? Well, when you put it that way… then yeah, I guess that is exactly what I was trying to say. After all, a man’s life of fifty years is but a fleeting dream, or however this saying went. To illustrate it with an example, had I not chosen to devote my life to the research and development of Star Particle Bodies under Everything Company, then the orphanage that I call my home would have run out of money needed for its continued existence and would simply be shut down. I do not know what kind of life you were living as a prince of India or what were your achievements as a member of its warrior caste, but no matter your position or upbringing is, one thing will always stay true for all the people in the world: if you desire a certain future you have to work hard and give it your all to turn that future into reality and make it happen.」
「Even if it turned out that the future you would obtain was ultimately not the one that you wished for?」
Arjuna asked Homura as he leaned forward towards him. Homura glanced back at him from behind his remaining cards and then said while putting his other free hand to his chin:
「『Life is a noble thing. A person polishes the gem they are bestowed by nature, until a shining light rewards that effort』.」
「And what is that supposed to mean?」
「It’s from a poem from the Outer World. Judging by your reaction, I take you never heard it before?」
「??? No, this is my first time ever hearing it.」
「I see. Well, to make the long story short, the poem that included the quote I just said has been written by a certain individual from the Outer World known under the name 『Merchant of Death』. He was an inventor who was initially praised for the ingenuity of his inventions only to later have them looked down upon when it was discovered that they could also be used to cause death and destruction on a never-before-seen scale. And yet, even though they were scorned as the instruments of war, it has to be remembered that it was because of those inventions that humanity as a whole was able to continue to advance technologically. The words of that man were like a beacon of hope to the scientists of not only his time, but also those who came after him, and many considered him and his genius to be a summit that every scientist should aspire to reach. To borrow a term from the modern slang, I guess it would not be an exaggeration to call that man a scientific influencer.」
Just from the way Homura explained about the author of the passage from that poem so proudly showed Arjuna how special that person must have been to him.
「That person managed to accomplish many great things throughout the span of his lifetime that were in line with his original intentions, but in the end, he understood that he will ultimately come down in history as nothing more but the 『Merchant of Death』.」
「He knew what was going to happen after his death… while he was still alive? How is that possible? Did he have a Gift that granted his Clairvoyance?」
「No, nothing of the sort. He was a simple chemist who wanted to use his invention to make the cultivation of the land easier, but when he discovered that it can instead be used to rob people of their lives, he could not stop lamenting over that fact. In the end, he died without finding a way to stop it from being misused, and it supposedly became his one, final regret.」
His only wish was for his inventions to be used for the betterment of humanity, but they were instead used as a weapons of mass destruction that ended the lives of many people, both innocent and not. God only knows how much pain and agony that realization must have brought to him and how he despaired knowing that there was nothing he could do to stop it.
「Even after he became the world’s leading multi-millionaire, he was not feeling satisfied with that outcome, but such a result was only natural since he created not with malice in mind, but with the purest of intentions: to bring happiness and prosperity to others. And so, all the while mourning the fact that his life, will and wish that he nurtured for so long will most likely leave nothing behind to be remembered, he invested his entire fortune and spared no efforts with the goal of passing the torch of hope to the next generation. The 『Merchant of Death』: his was a dark existence where most of the money that he earned for himself came from being exchanged for the lives of countless people. If that is how it is supposed to be, then at the very least let me repay the lives that were stolen because of me to some degree. Those must have been his thoughts when he went and established a certain worldwide award ceremony that continues to exist even today.」
Realizing the name of the person that Homura spoke about with such pride, Jin clapped his hands together
「You’re talking about Alfred Nobel, right? The one who established the Nobel Prize?」
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