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I know it’s an unusual subject to bring up, but isn’t there usually a death flag?
Some of the best examples are: [Leave this place to me and go on ahead! I’ll definitely catch up with you!], or [After the war is over, I’m getting married…].
There are others that follow a similar pattern, but whichever way you say it, the speaker is bound to die after they speak those kind of lines.
But you know, I believe that the most tragic character is the one who suddenly dies without raising a death flag.
――Because that character is me.
I somewhat remember crawling into my bed and closing my eyes while surrounded by thoughts like [Wouldn’t it be nice if tomorrow was a fun day…].
When I opened my eyes again, a man wearing a helmet and armor that resembled an oni came into view.
“Die and disappear from this world you monster!” He screamed with enough vigor to burst my eardrums.
I was surprisingly unafraid, which was probably because I didn’t know what was going on.
By the time I caught up, the sword that had been swung powerfully downwards was buried in my shoulder. It seemed likely that the blade sunk far enough to reach my heart.
Ahh…this guy has died for sure…as if it was someone else’s problem, words like this floated in my mind.Ahh…this guy has died for sure…
Around this time, from within my body there was a tremendous impulse along the lines of: If it’s like this, you might as well end it on a grandiose note…If it’s like this, you might as well end it on a grandiose note…
That is why, following this impulse, I cried out.
Even if I was confused, it was a terrible final line, from now on saying such things is prohibited.
The next time I open my eyes, for some reason I see a beam of blueish white light.
――Eh? A beam?
“If only you were gone!! ――Disappear!! You monster!!” A little ways off, while breathing weakly, a man in light armor cried out.
Ah, hey, the beam is in the way, I can’t see.
Bright. Too bright. Gradually the beam draws near and seems to hit me right in the face.
As I mentioned the last time, I wasn’t afraid because I didn’t understand what was going on.
Ahh…this guy is going to die here, huh…as if it was someone else’s problem, I thought――Ahh…this guy is going to die here, huh…
――I managed to cry out.
The next time I open my eyes, for some reason I see a fist approaching.
“I’ll be the one to defeat you! Return to the earth, you monster――”
“――Like hell!! Ugh! Goho! Goho!”
Although I managed to interrupt my opponents line, it was no good.
It seems to have sunk in, that fist.
Of course, it really, truly hurts. It probably went straight through my abdomen. Gofugofu…I’m coughing quite violently.
By the third time it seems I’ve finally caught up to the situation.
I think my consciousness has finally returned completely.
――Still, the previous two were better. Those ones were peaceful.
The first time when I was instantly killed by having my heart split in two, the second time being covered in light and obliterated while hearing a somewhat pleasant [Jyuu] sound.
But, the third death is unacceptable.
Anyways, it really hurts. Compared to my previous lightheartedness, I was in a cold sweat and my hair was standing on end. There was a hot, unfamiliar feeling like the spread of disease from my abdomen to the rest of my body.
The most unacceptable thing was the vigor of a foreign thing squirming around in my insides. It was disgusting.
Slowly the pain began to fade, this time around I had a clear head.
Instead of a clear head it could be said that I can comprehend enough to fly into a rage. Unfortunately it seems that the fist has completely disappeared into my stomach. Giving up seems an attractive option.
I wonder why it is I’m about to die?
Why did I die those two times and why do I have to die again?
Alas…my eyelids are closing on their own.
――When I open my eyes will another death be waiting for me?
I open my eyes.
To be honest, I’m not even sure how many times it’s been.
First of all I cried. Half was out of desperation. Up until now, how many times have I died?
Although, the situation this time appears to be different.
――eh? Is it alright if I don’t die?
I’m grateful and somewhat happy, understanding nothing of the current situation, I gave myself up to powerful emotions.
If you were to ask me, my crying appearance must have been unsightly.
I’m sure the sight of my face covered in tears and snot, and the sounds of my loud sniffling were difficult to watch.
After crying for awhile, I raised my head and took the time to confirm the current situation. Somehow it’s really hard to move, but let’s pay that no mind. It’s not as if I can’t move.
Like this, while looking around the room my eyes suddenly reflected――a person’s face.
A person. It’s a person. A person who may have come to attack me.
Their ominous red eye seemed to pierce right through me, for some reason, that person’s mouth opened and a voice came forth.
But, as for the words spoken, I couldn’t comprehend them. I could vaguely understand that they were speaking to me.
This person’s face was beautiful. Have I ever seen someone this incredibly beautiful I wonder? A typical cool beauty.
Unnatural pure white skin as translucent and smooth as porcelain, glossy, pure black hair. When you compared the two colors it created a strong contrast.
Long and slender arms and legs, it seemed that if I made the mistake of reaching a hand out to her, my roughness would conflict with her sensuality.
Considering the result of my original observation, I will refer to this person as [her].
For the time being, as I absolutely cannot understand the language, let’s try mimicking the action at least.
While thinking this I open my mouth. The beautiful woman is in front of me. Let’s say something using as much charm as I can muster. I breath in deeply from my nose all the way to my diaphram.
A spirited voice randomly came out.
How weird. I was trying to say [The moon tonight is really beautiful] in a refreshing voice. It got cut off short. To begin with, I didn’t even manage to form words.
I’ll try again to repair the mood.
What’s this guy laughing at. It feels weird.
While in front of this beauty I’m laughing strangely. The line of communication from my mouth to my head seems to have been severed.
――What’s the meaning of this?
I can’t form words.
Knowing this I take five seconds to get a sense as to the situation I have been put in. I get an unsettling feeling as I raise my arm. ――It’s heavy. And, as soon as I look at it, I understand.
My arm is frail, and has the appearance of a baby’s.
A feeble arm that, if gripped, would easily be crushed.
What is this? Is this really my arm?
Contrary to the words spoken in my head, my reasoning urges me to understand.
A hand like a baby, also, a mouth and voice that fail to follow my own will.
“■■■■?” While sitting beside me and watching, the woman says something with a troubled expression.
This would be the situation where I’d like to properly reply but…
What’s this guy saying?
――I’m at my limit.
Wait, wait, at the very beginning, didn’t I talk?
I wonder if that first time was a once in a lifetime miracle?
――If that’s the case, then use it more meaningfully! ….it’s too late to say that now, right?
In my heart I’d love to be able to express myself in a cheerful voice, but for the time being I’m assaulted by feelings of uselessness at my inability to speak.
Yes, a baby.
My body is that of a baby.
I felt through my body a strange despondency as I considered this fact. Then, I was surprised with a floating feeling.
My vision suddenly shifted.
Up until now, I have been held by [her]; the woman I see beside me.
She stood up and seems to be taking me somewhere.
I become a little anxious, but from now on I try and steer my mind towards staying relieved.
――If it’s okay for me not to die, then anything is fine.
I’ll turn my thoughts around and be happy.
This time only, I’ll give praise to my mental fortitude.
After some time passed, I managed to calm down.
Think, focus. I haven’t lost my reasoning faculties.
A baby’s body with a mature mind is bewildering, and because my mind is mature I can have a lot of complaints about the matter.
There’s definitely something better than being sucked into a mental maze while thinking too deeply about this.
You can’t understand the things you don’t understand. ――Get serious, me.
Ten minutes pass with me cradled in her arms.
I can catch sight of a changing landscape of nothing but trees.
Blue. Azure. Dark.
The air is humid.
After around ten minutes have passed the scenery I can see has completely changed.
A solemn castle.
The plain wall is a little dirty, from the front it has a very old fashioned style.
Also, here and there are shiny crystals that catch and reflect the sun’s rays with a clear radiance. It’s very beautiful.
A severely tall structure, to give an example it’s like a [Needle Castle].
It looks as if long, convex buildings are jumbled closely together.
The castle gives off a fantastical feeling, it makes my heartbeat flutter in my chest.
She says aloud.
Sorry, I can’t understand whatever it is you’re saying.
But, I’m grateful for her gentle tone of voice.
Up until now it’s been nothing but abuse, and getting killed, running into spiteful guys, and getting killed; I was stuck in that sort of endless cycle. So I’m satisfied just by seeing her concerned expression.
While I was thinking this I was struck by a strong desire to sleep. The whisper of drowsiness.
The combination of being embraced in her arms and the rocking motion as she walked was enough, in just a few seconds, against my will, my eyelids began to droop.
To be honest, I’m afraid of going to sleep.
I understand that, as I am currently a baby, sleep is necessary.
However, even still, just awhile ago whenever I woke up I was killed――I thought I was an existence that lived to repeat this pattern.
The terror of going to sleep.
Now, even as my consciousness fades, when I wake up will I be faced with an unreasonable death? ――Was what I was wondering.
Ahh, but it’s no good; my resistance is weakening.
Sleepiness is a veteran. A baby can’t win against it.
Natural human needs banzai!
With my final struggle and resolution, before my consciousness had totally faded, I felt in my heart what my mouth couldn’t say:
I don’t care what happens anymore――I don’t care what happens anymore
The next time I open my eyes I carefully survey my surroundings: I don’t want to die.
My survey results show that I have been put to sleep surrounded by a giant bed.
Actually, to put it into context, I’m lying on top of a giant bed.
When I first looked around [her] face appeared in my line of sight: the woman who was holding me when I fell asleep. She was holding a massive book in one hand, and made a [Nuu…] sound once she confirmed that I was awake. The book went [bara bara] as she turned its pages.
――Whoooaaa!! Words I can understand!
Is that massive book like a translation dictionary I wonder?
In any case, hearing words I can understand is great.
…but you know?
――Even if you ask me, I don’t have the speaking ability to answer…!! Did you happen to forget the weird laughter from before!?
Is this person a little strange in the head? ――Idiot, stop it, this person is trying to speak to you.
Be that as it may, it’s a fact that I am completely unable to exchange words with her.
While considering this, she tries again,
“I…apolo…gize…some…one….a..ble….to speak….a few….words…coming…”
Furrowing her eyebrows, she ran her eyes over the tightly gripped book and spoke.
I guess she means that someone who can somewhat understand baby talk, or someone who can better speak my language, is coming.
――Time to face my fate.
From now on, I’ll one-sidedly gather information.
I became somewhat happy, and with my body suddenly full of energy rolled around atop the bed.
Watching me energetically roll around on the bed, the woman showed a happy smile.
Radiating beauty, it was a gentle smile. Forgiving everything, concealing everything: a devilish smile.
Just now, I fell for her charm.
――Anyways, let’s look forward to the person she mentioned.
Until then let’s control get started on controlling this body, so that I can express with movement what I can’t express with words, let’s practice. ――Yeah, let’s do that.
The mentioned person, soon afterwards appeared before me.
Just like the woman’s appearance――strangely pure white skin, pure black hair, and deep red eyes.
At one glance it was obvious this person was a man.
In place of those powerful protuberances were muscles, his male-ness was assured.
“Nice to meet you. How do you feel?”
The first conversation in my memory.
I accepted that short phrase, and on the top of the bed rolled my body once towards the right.
――Fufufu, this is one of the abilities I acquired during this short amount of time.
If I roll once to the right: Yes! If I roll once to the left: No! ――It’s perfect!
――Of course it’s not.
But this was all I was able to think of…! Please! Somehow understand what I’m trying to say intelligent-looking onii-san!
“Oh? ――Ah, you are unable to speak. I apologize; I am unused to thinking from a baby’s point of view and forgot.”
I again rolled once to the right.
“――Rolling to the right is yes…I suppose?”
What an earnest onii-san.
You can call it genius.
The perspective that he’s just a good guesser was only considered for a moment.
――Okay, if I roll to the right one more time it’ll be perfect.
“Haha, just as I thought. I understand. ――Still, it must be irritating to have such clear understanding but be unable to speak. Are all babies like this I wonder?” The onii-san said while smiling.
“Well, that’s enough of that. First I will give introductions. My name is Alfred. Alfred Satana. The girl who picked you up is Lilian Satana. According to her, you fell nearby our castle.
After informing me of this, Alfred then began speaking in a different language with Lilian.
――Nevertheless, for what reason would I have fallen here?
One more thing caught my attention: the word [name].
――I don’t know my own name.
I feel that I had one.
Was my memory degraded from when I died over and over again?
The more I try to remember, the more obvious the void in my memory becomes.
There was definitely a time where I lived somewhere else other than here. I definitely have that feeling.
――Even so, I can’t remember.
The worthless information of the situations where I died dimly remain in my mind.
“――And that’s why, Lilian could not leave you alone and ignore you so she brought you home.”
My name, what is it…
――I have a feeling I absolutely can’t remember it.
It doesn’t feel like [I can’t remember] or [I forgot].
“――It seems to have been a painful experience, are you alright? ――Be at ease. We will not abandon you since we have taken you in. We will properly help you grow up.”
I feel like I was touched by this sort of human conscience a long time ago.
“For the time being, for the sake of conversation, I will teach you how to speak. I will also feed you.”
I am grateful. ――Truly, very grateful.
“――Come now, you have become tired I am sure. You look very tired. Do not fret, you may rest now.”
Alfred showed me a gentle smile.
Being drawn into his smile I also wrinkled my face into a smile and closed my eyes.
I tried to mutter something I had once spoken from another bed; this time from the bottom of my heart I felt――
[Wouldn’t it be nice if tomorrow was a fun day――]
While I fell asleep those words filled my heart.
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