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Chapter 77 – Nightmare

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Author: Eltria Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Robinxen

My earliest memory as Glass was of being inside a garbage bin, surrounded by the stench of decay.

It was unclear whether this memory was from when I had been thrown away or from when I had scavenged through garbage to survive.

I had lived as a street child in a corner of the city of Roengama, a place where money and greed swirled together. Compared to my later life, those days had been extremely harsh.

Roengama, a city that appeared like an oasis in the middle of the desert, was filled with every imaginable desire.

However, those who visited this glamorous city were unaware of the hell hidden behind its glittering facade, a hell where every kind of despair was concentrated. Adults who fell into this pit met a gruesome end and were eventually ‘cleaned up.’

The fate of street children was no different. As they grew up, mere scavenging wasn’t enough to survive. They used their status as children to scrape by, huddling together with their companions to sleep. If they were lucky, they would be taken by human traffickers; if not, they would end up as corpses in the corner of the city or become targets for ‘cleaning.’ Even as young as they were, they instinctively understood this stark reality of life and death.

I met my adoptive parent, Fail Dimelia, on a snowy winter day.

Fail, a man who had visited the underground passage I had been using as a shelter for a few days, came straight to me and expressed his desire to adopt me.

Abandoning my name ‘Soil,’ I was given a new name by Fail— ‘Glass Dimelia1.’

Fail, who called himself a traveling alchemist, told me that he was moved by how I survived like a resilient weed and bestowed this new name upon me. In exchange for learning alchemy from Fail, I was granted a decent life.

Initially, I struggled with reading and writing, but thanks to Fail’s diligent education, I quickly met Fail’s expectations.

Fail rejoiced in my growth, continuously giving me new tasks and sometimes having me assist in his work. For me, who had no parents, the stable life with Fail brought an unprecedented peace to my heart.

The life I led as Soil was unimaginable compared to the life I now lived as Glass. I had a new name, a mentor who taught me about the world and alchemy—Fail Dimelia, whom I respected more than anyone.

Even though Fail’s obsessive research often seemed dangerously intense to me as a child, I believed it was my role to support my foster father without showing my fear.

As a child, I felt proud to be of assistance to him.

“You are worthy of being ‘material’ due to your exceptional nature, resilient like Grass2,” Fail said coldly as he ruthlessly grabbed me by the neck. Fail never saw me as a human. All the education and knowledge were merely to turn me into a ‘material’ for a homunculus. Using a knowledgeable human as material allowed for the efficient creation of high-quality homunculi.

Struggling desperately for breath, I resisted with all my might until I found myself in a pool of blood.

In a frantic struggle, I had apparently grabbed a statue and continued to hit my foster father blindly. Seeing Fail’s lifeless body lying in the blood, I felt a brief moment of relief before being overwhelmed by immense guilt.

The blood-stained statue was a trophy I had earned as recognition for my first successful alchemical creation. Its careless placement on the floor now ironically symbolized the falsehood of my foster father’s affection. But I could no longer hold him accountable for it.

…I killed him…

The betrayal by the person I trusted and respected the most, coupled with the unbearable weight of having taken a life with my own hands, made my heart race and cold sweat pour from my body.

“Aaaaaaahhhh!”
“Master, Master!”

As Glass inside the dream wailed, I was jolted back to reality by Hom’s scream-like voice.

“…Hom…”
“I am here.”

Hom, kneeling beside the bed, confirmed my awakening.

“A… dream…”

I knew it, but I muttered it aloud to reassure myself. Hom nodded quietly. I took a deep breath, trying to calm my racing heart and erratic breathing. My throat felt raw and painful, indicating I had probably been screaming.

“You seemed to be having a terrible nightmare. Are you alright? Shall I bring you some cold water or a warm drink?”

It appeared that Hom, concerned by my distress, had woken me up. However, I was in no state of mind to express my gratitude.

…Indeed, the homunculus was the root of all this…

Knowing this, I had created Hom. It was all to use her to protect myself and those I cared about. Despite this pragmatic view, I couldn’t bear to have her in the same room at that moment.

“…I’m fine. So… just let me be alone.”
“Understood.”

Hom nodded and left the room. I had forgotten we shared the same room and had driven her out, but with dawn approaching, it would be manageable.

“No, that’s all in the past… I am not just material for a homunculus.”

Yes, I was not Glass. I was the daughter of the Rjuna couple, born to father Rudra and mother Natal. I was Leafa Naga Rjuna.

Repeating this to myself, I hugged my knees and curled up. It was the only way to quell the unpleasant tremors that wracked my body.



 

Footnotes:

  1. Silva: I’ve noticed the naming in this series is very lazy. If not Soil, it’s Grass (which I hate and changed to Glass), Fail, Hom, and Leaf (which I also hate and opted for Leafa). Author might thought he’s clever for using English name in a Japanese novel, but when translated to English novel, it’s just lazy names.
  2. TLN: Turns out Glass’ name was actually Grass (the weed) and it only became clear now. A bit late to change it though, and not very important, so will keep it as Glass.
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