Last Embryo Volume 4 Chapter 4 Part 3
Right now, it would be nothing but an unproductive waste of time.
However, Pritt was still not done with him. She crossed her legs and smiled, knowing that she has definitely pressed the right buttons. If she gives him one more little push. . .
「Then let us put that matter aside for now and talk about something else: that supposed best friend of yours. Exactly what kind of girl was she, hmm, Izayoi?」
The moment she said that. . . **SNAP!!!** . . . the two pencils that Izayoi was holding in his hand were broken into tiny splinters, and Izayoi himself raised his head and looked at Pritt with great surprise. This woman, right now, she really was more like a demon than a Goddess of the Indian Pantheon.
「. . . . . .What are you going on about, Earth’s Mother Goddess? Has the heat of the sun affected your mind in a negative way?」
「Oho? And what might you be getting so defensive about? From my experience, whenever man speaks about a girl from his past or childhood, it usually means that said girl was his first love.」
「Is that so? Well then, your information must be either wrong or hellishly outdated, because it was not like that with me.」
「Hou hou? I wonder if that is really true, or just a front you are putting up to hide your embarrassment?」
The Earth’s Mother Goddess then laughed like a full-fledged villain who enjoyed playing mind games with his prey.
「I know that this probably will not do anything, but could you please stop blowing this misunderstanding so out of proportion? Because you are making a way bigger deal out of it than it needs to be. And besides, I will have you know that I did not even know if what was a guy or a girl up until the vert end.」
「You did not know their gender? Could you not tell by their genitals?」
「I would have done that if I could, but that was not possible. Apparently all of the test subjects at that facility had their genitals surgically removed both inside and outside of their bodies. Maybe we would have been able to tell the difference if we did a DNA test, but unfortunately we did not have the luxury of doing that back then.」
For the first time, Pritt’s expression became clearly distorted when she heard that, to the point where he dug her nails into her arms in order to keep herself composed. It might actually be for the better that Izayoi had no intentions of talking about it in more detail, because if he did, Pritt did not know if she would be able to hear about it all without causing an unsightly scene. Because as the Earth’s Mother Goddess who watched not only after the agriculture, but also fertility as indicated by one of her other names, 「The World’s Womb」, she definitely would not be able to bring herself to forgive those who willingly mutilated the bodies of their fellow human beings in such a way, taking the ability to bear offspring away from them. If that ability is taken from humans the moment they are born, that makes them no different than livestock. It is an act that completely tramples over their dignity and what makes humans human.
Not commenting on Pritt’s current look as she was biting on her lips to remain calm, Izayoi stood up, picked a few pebbles off the floor and began throwing them towards the remains of the ancient waterways outside of the inn. Just like he thought, it would have been much better if he told her only half the truth, or omit it entirely. As he surveyed the area, a somewhat self-deprecating smile has bloomed on Izayoi’s face. Now that he has already started talking about it, he might as well go all the way down the rabbit hole.
「Canaria took me to that facility when I was only thirteen.」
「Young. Too young, even. If it were for me, I never would have taken an immature child to such a place.」
「Trust me, I also knew that I was too immature at that time, but that was also in the period of my life where I was travelling around the world with Canaria in order to deepen my insight and familiarize myself with everything the world had to offer: both its good and bad sides. But one day when the stupid young me got tired of doing it day after day and night after night because I thought that already saw everything there was to see and knew everything there was to be known, I remember that I once told Canaria that 「I want to see the worst war in the world! The absolute worst there is to see!」.」
「Why did you say something like that?」
Pritt narrowed her eyes as she leaned forward towards Izayoi, who continued to throw pebbles in random directions while his own sight was wandering somewhere far away on the horizon.
「Because at that point in time, all that Canaria was showing to me were unquestionable beautiful things, and it made me feel like I was taking the bait she was luring me with without even questioning it. The waterfall of Iguazu, where the Devil was supposed to dwell, The Pillars of Heracles at the Strait of Gibraltar which he was supposed to traverse during his Tenth Labor when he was tasked with bringing the Cattle of Geryon to Eurystheus. . . of course, all those places resonated with me deeply and I took all of their sceneries and histories in like a hungry demon, but a part of me always thought, somewhere deep down inside of my mind, there these beautiful, scenic places cannot possibly be everything that the world has to offer. That this is not possible for this world to be a place devoid of evil and darkness.」
Thinking about it now, it might have been on a different scale than with other people, but the main reason why he made that request to Canaria was probably nothing more but a childish suspicion. Let us not forget that puberty is essentially divided into two stages: the beginning is when kids think themselves to be immortal and invincible, and the second stage that comes after that comes when they finally get over it and begin to understand how the world around them works. However, in Izayoi’s case, he would have to begrudgingly say that in his case it was the other way around, a fact that he was not proud of.
「That being said, there was no way that Canaria would take me to see how the real, bona fide war looked like, and she even yelled at me for being an idiot for wanting to go anywhere near the battlefield and strictly prohibited me from thinking or trying to do something like that ever again. I still remember that I was rather salty about it for quite some time when I heard her scream that at me back then.」
「It was a very admirable of her to make such a decision. I would have done the same if I was in her shoes. She must have cared about you deeply if she wanted to protect you from the horrors of war at such a young age. . . 」
「Oh no, her reasoning had nothing to do with such noble causes. She forbid me from ever participating in any conflicts and wars not because the battlefields were too dangerous for a kid like me or because all it would take to kill me was a single stray bullet fired by either side of the conflict, but because she knew that what would normally be a slaughter would turn into a hopeless bloodbath with no survivors if I was allowed to take part in it. And the best thing about it is that she would be absolutely right, yahahahaha!!!」
Izayoi laughed maniacally, but there was no emotion behind that laugh of his. It was a hollow laugh, only there to serve as the punchline to what he was saying. Because what he was talking about. . . was no laughing matter at all.
With the closing of the 20th and the dawn of the 21st century, it can be said that one type of war has died and disappeared along with the changing times: a total war that would only end with one or both sides of the conflict dead. Of course, that does not mean that the 21st century has been freed from the nightmares of war altogether. No, wars are still around, but their rules have simply changed.
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