In retrospect, Lazer’s actions were crazy and heinous. If he was in the Kingdom of the Sun, he would have been arrested and sentenced to capital punishment for them. Instead, he found himself in the Desert Kingdom enjoying the grace of the law and the Snake God.
Even though he was not widely accepted by lizard demihumans, he did climb to the position of amid-level officer. He did it by coming out of the Martyrs Colosseum victorious. Those who come out of the colosseum victorious are forgiven by the law and become a member of the desert regardless of how savage they are.
In a world where justice is in the interest of the strong, even the law failed to provide justice for the children.
Do lions mourn for lambs? Does sand gush spring water for thirsty travelers? This kingdom of beasts is merely a manifestation of the concept “survival of the fittest.” Maybe he should have been ashamed by what he had done. He held his face in one hand as the aforementioned thoughts crossed his mind. He felt different “versions” of himself reacting inside his mind, some laughing wildly while others shrieked, wept, and groaned in disapproval.
—He was right, justice is on the side of the “fittest”.
But why didn’t he feel saved? On the contrary, the feeling of madness that remained inside his heart was merely suppressed by his sense of reason. Only the views of the mirage could alleviate his pain and sense of contradiction.
… No. 3, the only survivor.
She obviously lived a life of pain after the hatchery’s demise. Meanwhile, he left the Martyrs Colosseum and joined the army to gain a more solid position in the Desert Kingdom. He spent a few years fighting in battlefields.
He planned to come back to get her once the war was over to give her a good life. He was surprised to find out that when he did, the hatchery had closed down and the girl had been adopted. If it was an ordinary family that had adopted her, the problem would have been easier to solve. Unfortunately, she had become a member of the royal family and was used as a puppet.
He wondered if everything would have been different had he come back from the battlefield sooner?
No… It was too late to think about all these things. What he should really think about was how to save her from the hands of Shaquille.
He left the hatchery looking sullen, only to find out that the female lizard had been waiting for him all along. She had tobacco in her hands—where she got it he did not know—and blew out smoke from her obscure nostrils. She was leaning against the wall of another house, waiting for him to come out.
“Done offering your condolences?” she asked, raising the corner of her lips.
“I thought you went back to the casino.” He glanced at her.
“I only said that I would leave that place, I did not say anything about returning to that crappy casino.”
“Are you not scared of me?”
“Why would I be? It is not unusual to see lunatics here in the Desert Kingdom,” she looked at him with a faint smile and decided not to tease him with a joke she had thought of. Obviously, she could not get more money from him today. “Relax, you are not the craziest person here. I have seen real murderers. You are not one of them. You were not happy about this.”
“Not all murderers kill for happiness.”
“Well… at least you did not break the law.”
He chuckled sarcastically.
More than a decade ago, he was a soldier fighting for the Kingdom of the Sun. At that time, the kingdom was still rich, so those living in it had no idea how cruel wars could be for soldiers stationed at the borders.
He was provided poor military equipment as well as clothes and weapons collected from corpses—not all soldiers were able to receive military supplies on time and not everybody received the same military supplies—he thought that by performing well in battles, he would be treated more favorably. However, that was not the case for his squad.
He and his comrades never received any attention.
It was not until they were captured by lizard demihumans that he realized that they were used as baits and pawns to be sacrificed. Although the captain should have explained this to Lazer, such explanation was never made. Instead, Lazer heard it from a lizard general, who said it in a pitiful tone.
That was when he could no longer tell right from wrong.
Loyalty, honor, and even recognition from one’s country were just superficial reasons to incentivize people to fight. The war made him witness non-stop killing and the deaths of his fellow humans and lizard demihumans. The belongings and clothes of the dead were taken by their comrades, while the flesh and blood of the deceased were consumed by vultures. The remaining bones were stacked together and could no longer be distinguished from one another. At a time like this, it was impossible to tell the difference between good and evil.