Chapter 374

Even though her lips moved, no sound came out. She almost looked like a group of carps mouthing above the water surface, but she eventually managed to squeeze out a word.

“That…!” She was trying to scream out something along the lines of ‘That’s not it!’ to deny Marilyn’s claim. Yet, Marilyn blocked her attempt.

“There’s no need for you to be that embarrassed about it, Lyla. Liking another person is a common occurrence. Just look at me. How confidently do I express my feelings?”

“…At the very least, I know that your actions don’t represent common human behavior.”

Marilyn pouted. “Everyone expresses their love differently. There are a hundred different types of love for a hundred different people. There ought to be people like me who express their love a bit more actively.”

“A bit more?” That was such an understatement—same for the word, ‘actively’. It would be more fitting if the words ‘a bit’ were changed to ‘excessively’ while ‘actively’ was replaced by ‘aggressively’. Yet, Marilyn didn’t seem to have an ounce of embarrassment about her love. She nodded with a confident expression on her face.

“Of course! In comparison to how big my emotions are, the way I express them is so small.” 

Lyla almost wanted to learn this level of boldness. In regards to love, Marilyn seemed to even exceed Zich—the epitome of shamelessness.

“Besides, there’s no need for you to pretend otherwise, Lyla. Didn’t I tell you? Anyone with even a little bit of sense can see through all your emotions, and you know how quick Sir Zich is.”

Lyla’s eyes rolled. Her mind stopped churning at Marilyn’s words. It wasn’t because she didn’t understand Marilyn’s words. On the contrary, she refused to think any longer because she understood instantly what these words meant. If she thought a second more, it would end with her utter embarrassment and humiliation. However, Marilyn didn’t intend to let Lyla evade her feelings. 

“Sir Zich has been aware of your feelings for a while now.” 

Lyla’s face reddened. She naturally turned back towards Zich and stopped. She couldn’t bear to see his face right now.

“I told you I don’t have any feelings!” Lyla attempted to deny it, but her voice went up and down. 

At this sight, Marilyn burst into laughter. Lyla’s red face looked like it was about to erupt, and a teardrop hung from her eyes in embarrassment as she glared at Marilyn. This made Marilyn laugh even harder. “My gosh! Sir Zich, how could you feign ignorance towards such a pure child?”

Zich had been quiet until now, but he finally spoke up. “She is just learning about human relationships. I thought it would be better for her to go through these experiences first-hand rather than me giving out advice.”

Lyla gasped and she turned around fast to look at him.

“Sir Zich, are you like a father with a daughter? With your way of thinking, you seem more like a grandfather. Ah, since you said you regressed, I suppose your true mental state is more like one.”

Zich groaned. Perhaps, he was displeased to hear about how old he was. Yet, Lyla’s head was whirling with all the new information popping up around her. She hadn’t dreamed in her wildest dreams that Zich had these kinds of thoughts about her.

“Huh? If you thought that she should experience these things firsthand, shouldn’t you have stopped me before I said anything?”

“As if I could have stopped you from spurting all that out.”

“That’s true.” After fighting each other to the death, there was no way Marilyn wouldn’t say something simply because Zich told her not to. 

“Besides, I thought it would be fine for her to realize her emotions this way. Although it’s good to realize these kinds of things slowly, it’s also good to get the truth out at once and organize them.”

“How rough.”

“I’m the one who used to be called the Demon Lord. This is nothing.”

Even as Zich and Marilyn continued their conversation, Lyla failed to grasp all her senses.

“I don’t think you’ll be able to converse with Lyla for a while now. Then, should we talk a bit more at ease?”

“Was that your goal?”

“Huh? I don’t know what you are talking about,” Marilyn said while sticking out her tongue, assuring him further.

Zich smirked. “Fine. Say everything you want to say.”

“Wow!” Marilyn celebrated with both hands in the air and quickly opened her mouth. She didn’t want to lose even a second. It was a strange sight. Although they were fighting for each other’s lives just a moment before, they were now conversing like long-term friends. Around them, there were still rolling remains of the stone statues, a large number of shadows circling around, and crumbled parts of the tomb proving as evidence for their battle. Yet, the two began to talk cheerfully as if their surroundings had nothing to do with them. 

They didn’t even talk about anything important but engaged in simple chit-chat. They talked about topics that friends who hadn’t seen each other in a long time would share over drinks. Although they hadn’t met each other long, the conversation flowed naturally as Zich carried it on with his image of the past Marilyn before the regression and Marilyn with the stories she heard about Zich since she was young. Even Lyla, whose mind was blank as a white paper, realized that the situation in front of her was strange. However, she didn’t intervene in their conversation. She just quietly watched to see what the outcome would be. Not long after that, there was a change. 

Drip!

Marilyn’s mouth, which had been moving non stop with a bright smile, let out a drop of blood and it eventually dripped down her chin.

“What?” Lyla was startled. Did Marilyn accidentally bite the inside of her lip while talking? 

However, the amount of blood flowing out of her mouth continued to increase. It was not an amount that could come out from just chewing the inside of one’s mouth a little bit. On the other hand, Marilyn and Zich didn’t bring up this matter in their conversation at all—Zich conversed with Marilyn while she let out a copious amount of blood. 

They just continued talking. They were so calm about it that Lyla even rubbed her eyes a few times to see if her eyes were working properly. But the blood flowing out of Marilyn’s mouth did not disappear. Instead, blood was now flowing out of Marilyn’s eyes, nose, ears, and all the holes that were possibly on her face. Likewise, Marilyn’s face grew paler. However, even despite all this, Marilyn did not erase the smile on her face and did not stop talking. It was an extremely bizarre sight. 

It was after some time that Marilyn’s words stopped. Her breathing was now rough, and half of her face was covered in blood. Her eyes were unfocused, and it seemed as if she was unable to properly see anymore. However, she was still smiling.

“Is it almost over?”

At Zich’s question, she nodded. “I wanted to converse longer, so I tried to endure as long as possible, but I think this is my limit.”

“You should have used a slightly weaker curse then.” 

“Yeah, I should have. I thought I should use the strongest curse I have if I’m going to do it, but it seems to have been too strong. There are other curses that are more fitting for suicide.”

It was only then did Lyla realize what was happening. Marilyn had put a curse on herself to end her life. Zich knew this and accepted Marilyn’s conversation to see her off on her last journey. Marilyn’s legs were shaking; her body had become too weak to even hold up her body.

Zich stared at this sight as he said, “Perhaps, this might be the first time we’ve shared a sincere conversation.”

“Oh my, I was always sincere. I’m sure that I was also sincere in the future that you know as well, Zich. You can bet with me on this.”

“How shameless…”

Marilyn burst out in laughter as Zich clicked his tongue. “Could I make a final request, Sir Zich?”

“What is it? Depending on the content, I might accept it or not.”

“Please don’t win.” Marilyn continued with a calm voice, “A pitiful defeat is good, and forfeiting your victory is good as well. Please lose your fight against our organization, and return to the never ending cycle of time. Then let’s meet again, forever.”

Zich folded his arms. While looking at Marilyn who was covered in blood, he said, “This will be the last time I’ll ever meet you. This is also the last conversation I’ll ever have with you. And this will be the last time we’ll see each other’s faces.” There was no refusal more firm than this.

However, Marilyn seemed to have expected this reply as she looked unaffected. “You’re cruel.”

“What about you guys who played around with another person’s life?”

“All those things are arbitrary. For me, right now, there’s nothing more cruel than your words. In the first place, the most important thing in this world is my own feelings.”

“That’s a great double standard. Your taste is similar to mine. I really like it.”

Marilyn made an embarrassed smile as Zich clapped his hands as if he was impressed. Lyla looked at this peculiar scene with a dumbfounded expression.

“Lyla.”

“…Um, yeah?” Lyla replied a second later as Marilyn suddenly addressed her.

“I hope you have a fun time with Sir Zich in this timeline.”

“I told you that it’s not like…!” Lyla’s words stopped as she met Marilyn’s cold and obsessive gaze. 

“In the end, however, Sir Zich will become mine.”

Lyla closed her mouth at Marilyn’s persistent declaration. However, that was only for a few moments. The agitation in her face disappeared as Lyla calmly replied, “That probably won’t happen, Marilyn. That’s because we’ll be the winners in the end.”

“Yep. Nice words, Lyla.”

When Zich took Lyla’s side, Marilyn glared at Zich. “Are you only taking Lyla’s side? I’m extremely jealous.”

“It doesn’t matter even if you’re jealous. What you want won’t ever happen.”

“Honestly, I’m also worried. Since our plan got distorted to this extent, there might be a chance that we might lose. Even then, I’ll wish for your defeat till the very end, Sir Zich.” Then, Marilyn vomited out a big glob of blood; bits of flesh and other substances were mixed in with the blood. Her torn intestines were coming out of her mouth as well. Zich and Lyla quietly watched this sight.

“Huff! Huff!” Marilyn let out several rough breaths and stared at Zich. While her face was twisted in pain, she made a frightening smile and reached out her hand towards Zich. 

“…Sir…Zich…let’s…def…initely…meet…aga…”

This was the end.

Thud!

Marilyn’s body, which had not collapsed even while a brutal curse was eating away the entire inside, fell forward. Blood burst out of her body like a fountain. Zich slowly walked towards Marilyn and while closing Marilyn’s eyes with his hand, he quietly whispered, “Goodbye, Marilyn. Let’s never meet again.”

Like this, Zich uttered his final farewell to his last subordinate. 

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