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Chapter 3: Attachment to Life

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“Do you only want to satisfy your knowledge at the risk of your life? Even after leaving the Alchemy Association and continuing alone, no one will know about your current research,”

Is there still time to keep talking? I don’t know, but there is no other way than to continue.

“What do you know?”

“I don’t know. Therefore, I can’t empathize. You chose solitude, living alone in this place isolated from the world. Don’t you understand that?”

“But my alchemical research—”

“Being born and immediately orphaned, finding a brief respite after being picked up by your foster father, Feil Demeria—only to learn you were a “material” for homunculi, you killed your foster father to survive. The extent of your connection to alchemy is just this.”

Cassius interrupted me, revealing dispassionately a childhood sin that nobody knew about. This man-god knows everything.

“…I didn’t want to die. I had no choice but to survive…”

The fear of that day I learned of my desperate situation, being informed by my trusted foster father that I was “material,” resurfaces. Cassius placed his hand on my shaking head as I tried to drive the memory out of my mind.

“I’m not blaming you. The truth you are seeking is essentially just following in your foster father’s footsteps.”

Whether due to being touched by Cassius, memories of “happiness” with my foster father began to overwrite the cruel ending.

“I just… wanted to be acknowledged…”

Said to be talented, I was rescued from the life of a street child adjacent to death. A house with a roof, a warm bed, warm meals—realizing that having guaranteed meals and sleep was happiness.

“Like the old times? Even though you killed the foster father who praised you?”

I never expected it to bring despair.

“I just… wanted to be needed as me… What’s wrong with that means being alchemy?”

“There’s nothing wrong. The predecessor was thankful to you. Your actions in the Human-Demon Great War were praiseworthy.”

Cassius tells me as if comforting. At those words, I powerlessly shook my head sideways.

“If it weren’t for alchemy, that wouldn’t have happened either. I only have alchemy… If you say my alchemy is praiseworthy, why sentence me to death? I only have alchemy—”

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“What are you seeking with that alchemy?”

“The truth. …I said it earlier. I am still pursuing the truth. …So, with my research, I want to acquire a new body to continue—”

Before I could finish speaking, Cassius clapped his hands. The monotonous sound of applause coldly echoed in the room.

“I see… So that’s the logic driving you. Then, knowing your sins at the end wouldn’t be too bad, would it?”
“Thank you for the mercy.”
“Saying something you don’t mean.”

A piercing cold voice vibrated from Cassius’s lips.

“Glass Demeria. Your sin lies in the research of homunculi.”

The declared sin was far too unjust.

“…There are other researchers too, aren’t there?”

“The level of completion is entirely different. The theory you completed has already stepped into the realm of gods. A homunculus as a vessel to accept souls—its existence will surely bring great disaster to the world.”

To my objection, Cassius continued without flinching. It became clear that I had reached a level in terms of research completion that no one else could. That became the reason I was sentenced to death.

“…So, it would be good to discard the homunculus research, wouldn’t it?”
“It makes sense. If you discard all the research, let’s reconsider.”

A way out suddenly opened up.

I began to burn the homunculi research books one by one in the fireplace.

Taking time to slowly burn it in the fire, Cassius silently leaned against the door with his eyes closed. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking, but I kept burning all my research.

If I can protect the already completed homunculus, I can survive.

The fire from the fireplace was not enough, so I used a simple magic circle to summon fire and increase the heat. A vast amount of ash was expelled outside through the chimney using another magic circle that invoked wind magic.

And so, I continued to burn not only the homunculus but all of the research papers.

“…Is that all?”

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When the shelves in the research room were emptied, Cassius opened his eyes.


I lied, hiding that one piece of research remained in a lab beyond a hidden door in the wall.

“I understand.”

Cassius nodded and turned his back on me.

— This is the end.

If only the main body of the homunculus remains, the goal will be achieved.

“I’m sorry, Glass-Dimeria.”

But, as Cassius spoke in a low voice and turned around, he drew the bronze snake.


In the next moment, the wall behind blew apart, exposing the homunculus contained within a large glass container.

“Did you think such a ruse would work against a divine being?”


I met an icy cold gaze.

I tried to activate the magic circle hidden in my sleeve, but I couldn’t make it in time.

At the same time a sharp wind passed before my eyes, my arm fell to the floor.

“Ah… ah…”

From the base of my arm, which had been severed from the shoulder, blood dripped down. The moment I recognized it, I was struck by terrible, searing pain.

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I screamed, falling and rolling on the floor. The floor wet with some liquid quickly stained with blood as I rolled, and something pierced into my rolling body. I wandered my eyes not knowing what it was, and a head identical to my younger self was rolled in front of me.

“…Ah… ah…”

It didn’t take long to realize that it was the homunculus being shredded along with the glass container.

“Everything has been “disposed of” now.”

As if to reveal the despair before me, Cassius said with a smile.

“…Ah, there is one more thing left, but well, it’s fine.”

Murmuring as if talking to himself, Cassius reached for the handle of the bronze snake Nehushtan.

“Now, regarding the proposal you gave—”

Cassius said, bending down next to me.

“If you swear to never research homunculi again, we can reconsider.”

“…Without an arm, you think I can do research?”

Whether due to blood loss, my focus was wavering.

“I can heal wounds and save you to some extent.”

Casually saying so, Cassius continued, and I felt like I heard a sound of a guard and a sheath clinking.

The bronze snake Nehushtan has two abilities. One is “severance,” and the other is the power of “junction.”

The severed objects can be “joined” by the owner of the bronze snake Nehushtan touching them. Cassius must know this ability.

But what does that matter now?

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“…Without curing the Blackstone disease, it is meaningless.”

“That is not my responsibility, it is due to your fate. You should accept it.”

“Extend the time of suffering from the disease, for what?”

All the research now only exists in my head. The tools and the place were slashed.

“That is for you to think about.”

“The only thing left is despair…”

Without my reliable homunculus, I no longer have hope.

“As long as you are alive, you will not lose hope.”

“The last hope has just been taken away… by you…”

I thought it was a cruel way of consoling. How can one say such a thing after snatching away hope themselves?

But before I could express my anger, my consciousness began to blur.

“If there is more to say, let’s stop the bleeding.”

“No need. I’m done… I’m tired.”

My eyes are fogging, and the field of view is whitening. It was terribly cold.

“There is no light left in the remaining life. I’m not interested in this hopeless world.”

I recall the extremely cold winter day I experienced when I became aware of my surroundings for the first time. Although I should have survived for thirty-seven years since then, I couldn’t escape from the despair of death after all.

“…End it.”

“I understand. I will “execute” you.”

That was the last voice I heard.

Whether it was a final act of mercy from a divine being, there was no pain.


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