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One week has passed since Lilian picked me up.
A week that passed like a raging wave. A wave so intense I could weep.
Alfred came practically every day that week to teach me language. But Alfred is Alfred and can only manage what he can manage, so he left Lilian in charge of taking care of me.
Being nursed by a beauty. There’s nothing that could make me happier.
When she changes me I’m given a legitimate chance to touch her devilishly charming body. Her soft, glossy black hair would stick to her smooth skin. She put on display her full breasts and slender frame, and a narrow back that descended into a tight, shapely bottom.
Ahh, how wonderful, how fun, this is the best――
I’ll say it once more: that joyful description is an illusion.
The week that passed like a violent, raging wave was Lilian’s fault.
At the sound of Lilian’s voice I began to cry.
――Why is that you ask?
Because, using both hands, Lilian held out a dripping slab of [raw meat] for me. In the end she pushed that strangely flopping piece of meat forcibly against my mouth.
――Hey! Stop it!! Who’s going to eat that!?
S-save me Alfred onii-san.!!
A squishy gross feeling was covering my mouth.
Without paying attention to my refusal of that red, raw flesh, Lilian was determined to forcibly make me eat.
I’m glad you’re concerned, but, after all, I can’t eat it!!
Even if you tilt your head in an adorable display of concern I won’t eat it!! Looking sad is not going to work either!!
――First of all can’t you at least cook it so that it’s sterilized?
I’m a baby you know? My lack of resistance is no joke. ――As I fear, Lilian might be a little off in the head.
――Hey now, crying while stuffing your cheeks with raw meat is painting a really surreal picture. So please stop.
She seems to be the type to not show her emotions on her face.
Of course I’ve seen her look worried and her bright smile, but if you compare the variety to Alfred’s expressions it’s really lacking.
I’m held near her face every day so I should know, but maybe that’s my own arrogant assumption.
I turn my gaze from the Lilian with her cheeks stuffed with raw meat and look at the now familiar ceiling.
As I do I hear the door open with a clank.
――He’s here! My savior!!
“Hahaha, was Lilian trying to force you to eat raw meat again?”
It’s not something to laugh about Alfred onii-san.
While smiling happily Alfred brings a nearby chair over and sets it down next to Lilian before taking a seat.
“I thought it might be something a baby would be unable to eat, so I brought some food babies can eat with me.”
After he says that Alfred opens his hand and shows me several small fruits.
They seem to be fruit from different trees but they give off a poisonous vibe. Blue, black, purple…..purple?
“Ah, you look somewhat concerned. Do not fret! The poison has been properly removed.”
Hm? ――Poison? You did say poison, didn’t you? So that means that there was originally poison in them, right?
I return his words with an incredibly grim face. But it doesn’t seem to have been received. Alfred is smiling with his whole face. Haha… Damn you. I’ve now seen the smile of the Devil.
….well, you see, it seems that I’m not particularly hungry at the moment. I’ll eat those later. Much later. …yeah.
While I was thinking this I again turned my gaze towards Alfred and found an unusual object was now in his hands.
It was a bottle. A poison-like, purple fluid-filled, bottle.
――Alfred-san? What’s that bottle that you brought with those fruits? ――That isn’t, by any chance, the antidote?
….Did you really remove the poison from this stuff!?
With more energy than usual, out of true desperation, I rolled left three times. No. No. No.
With a ghastly vigor I communicated my true feelings of: absolutely not.
“Really? Then later I will have Lilian feed it to you.”
No!! Absolutely not!! That’s just raising my death flag, isn’t it!?
――As I thought. I’m going to be force fed. Haha…it’s like I’ve become my own, personal prophet. While I was deciding on a cool pose that would go well with that statement, Alfred continued speaking.
“Oh, yes, today I am going to introduce you to the family.”
At the sound of those words a question mark seems to float up, but it is soon cancelled and dispersed. The word [family] that Alfred used is almost immediately given a form as they enter my line of sight.
From outside my room I can hear a group of people loudly talking amongst themselves.
A bunch of them have entered the room.
Each and everyone, just like Alfred and Lilian, have porcelain white skin, and sparkling red eyes.
“Sorry about all the fuss. Babies are rare around here so everyone gathered to take a look.”
…But now that I think about it, something in what Alfred just said caught my attention.
Specificially: [Babies are rare].
“Actually, most of us have never seen a baby. Our race has incredibly low reproductive abilities so babies are rarely born. But, to make up for that, we live very long lives. …I wonder when was the last time a baby of our race was born?”
O-kay. Sounds good.
“In any case, that is why, in normal cases, when a child of our same race is born information would usually spread quickly. It is somewhat of a big deal. But, it does not seem that you were born from someone in our community.”
Oh dear. That seems to be an unusual situation. I thought to myself, as if it was someone else’s situation, and nodded.Oh dear. That seems to be an unusual situation.
――But this conversation is definitely about me, isn’t it?
“You appear to be identical to our race: the Majin. But as to where you came from we have been completely unable to figure out.” Alfred stated with a bitter smile.
I suddenly really want to borrow a mirror somehow.
That reminds me, up until now I haven’t really been interested in my appearance.
“But you know, even if you are a child of unknown origins, to us you are family. Your origins are not at all an issue. The rest of the family cannot wait to be able to speak with you.”
From nearby Alfred I can see around ten Majin who looked really interested in my person.
I was somewhat taken aback by all this, but Alfred’s words made sense, so I gained a new desire to learn their language.
After that Alfred sent the rest of the Majin back and the room was again just Lilian, Alfred, and I.
“We will have a more difficult discussion when you are a bit older. Until then we will protect you so just relax and let us raise you.”
As expected of Alfred. When he speaks to you with that beautiful face and love-filled expressions, even though he’s a man, you could find yourself becoming a prisoner of his words.
If you keep repeating those words that’s just what I’ll have to do. Just watch me grow up peacefully.
Hehehe, first up is sleeping!
Ah…but please give me a break with the raw meat, ok?
One month has passed.
The time has passed surprisingly slowly.
Sleeping, eating, and sleeping again. Every once and awhile having raw meat forced on me and refusing.
Around the time I’d become very used to Lilian’s presence I became able to walk under my own power.
I couldn’t believe how quickly I was growing up.
From being able to crawl to being able to walk took me only three days; even I was afraid of the depths of my genius.
In the language department, because of Alfred’s super translation ability I was able to understand the main points.
But my biggest assistance with understanding the language was from quickly absorbing what was spoken around my by the Majin whose words I couldn’t understand, namely everyone besides Alfred and Lilian.
My gait was a bit unsteady, but I had gained the ability and freedom to wander about the solemn castle.
“[Sare] eats meat?”
“He seems to resist it with all of his might.”
――Ahh…I bet they heard about that from Lilian.
When Lilian offers me raw meat, I earnestly do as they just said.
By the way [Sare] is my name, the Majin spent time deciding it and gave it to me.
My last name is the same as Alfred and Lilian’s: Satana. So altogether it’s [Sare Satana]. It seems to flow really well and I’ve become quite fond of it.
“It’s good when you cook it.” (Sare)
“It’s better raw.” (Lilian)
――So argues the owner of that unfavorable opinion while stuffing her cheeks with raw meat.
While giving a sidelong glance towards Lilian I let myself down from the bed.
On unsteady feet I headed towards the room’s mirror and assessed my own reflection.
As Alfred said, my appearance is near to their own.
Not just white, but porcelain-like skin, red eyes like fresh blood, and black hair like the night of a new moon. The light and darkness were distinct, and the contrast made my complexion seem to glow.
“I’m going to go to Alfred’s place for a bit Lilian.”
“Nn, off you go.”
During our exchange I continued to observe my appearance and confirmed its validity while Lilian continued to stuff her mouth full of raw meat, only pausing to briefly reply to me.
Alfred’s room is in the highest level of the castle.
The climb up the stairs is intense, but I do my best while thinking of it as training.
I somehow manage to make the climb to Alfred’s room, when I open the door I see Alfred reading a book.
When Alfred notices me he shows a kind smile.
“Hello there Sare. I see you have become able to climb up here on your own.”
“But it’s still hard.”
“You are growing up so quickly. ――Now then, come and have a seat.” Alfred said while pointing at a round table in the corner of the room.
Facing me like a wall were rows of giant bookcases. Without a single empty crevice the bookshelves were crammed full with books; it was a tantalizing room for the curious.
“Now, what shall we discuss today…”
“Can I decide what we talk about? It’ll help me tie together what I’ve learned.”
“That is true; let us do that.”
“Then, first let’s start with――”
My head was crowded with a bunch of questions, so I voiced one of them.
“Where are we?”
“The country of the Majins: [Irudoe Empire]. But rather than a country, it is more accurate to refer to us as a settlement.”
“The population of Majins this country once had have declined, so we are now just this settlement. In the past we had many brethren at our borders. Now the whole of the Irudoe nation are the hundred or so of us who live in this castle. That is why it does not seem right to call this place a country. We are not equal to foreign nations after all.”
With a sad smile Alfred continued:
“Anyways, this castle―― [Sanctos Castle] is a remnant of the time when the Irudoe Empire was well known. The Majin race now resides here.”
“By the way, why did the Majin decline?”
“When the [Uura Mitos], or Pure race, invaded――the people living on the border were killed.”
From my heart I intuitively felt something at the words Alfred so easily spoke.
These words were heavy.
I was filled with nothing but questions.
“Why did they invade…?”
“Because they feared the Majin race. It has been that way since long ago. ――There was also jealousy. Even among the other powerful races in this world, the Majin is an existence possessing a powerful capability to inflict [violence]. Besides that there are many more reasons I could explain to you at length――but let us hold off on that for today.” With that Alfred redirects the conversation.
“Since long ago the Majin race has conflicted with the Pure race, but at one time we opted for the path of peace. In the beginning we resisted with a do-or-die attitude. [The ones who cast the first stones were you!] or so they said. But along the way we realized how unproductive that behavior was.”
Alfred’s troubled smile was complicated, but he continued.
“This world’s standard race, the Pure race, when compared to the Majin race’s population, is much larger. They give birth to many new families, while our weak reproductive ability cannot keep up. Anyone can predict what would happen if we faced them with our numbers. ――That’s why we compromised and chose the peaceful path.”
Alfred recited this with his pained smile and somehow seemed really lonely.
“But, their traitorous form was revealed when they mounted a large-scale invasion awhile ago. We had no intention of fighting though. ….Our hopes to quietly live in peace were not able to be granted.”
“The survivors of the Majin race are…”
“I told you before, all the Majin live in this castle. But, even though our ancestors may get angry, I somewhat understand the Pure race’s complaints. Seeing a Majin nearby you never know when you will be in sudden danger.”
Alfred revealed with a bright smile and fiery eyes.
“Right now the Majins numbers are declining, and the Pure race is not bothering us. We have long lives, and as I said before we have practically no reproductive ability, even if we stop declining it is not like we will grow in numbers. That is why――we are not completely safe.”
“…Alfred――are you okay with that?” I suddenly asked by accident.
“Okay with it?”
“You don’t ever think of revenge, or consider them the enemy of your brethren or anything?”
“If you look at it realistically, we no longer possess the power to consider such things. Also――”
Alfred paused for a moment and took a deep breath before he continued.
“――[It’s fine]. Because I have no desire to see everyone fighting. Sare, that is why you should not let it bother you either.”
Even if he says so, I’m unable to swallow the story Alfred told me.
I understand the purpose and meaning of it, but I couldn’t connect with such self-centered reasoning.
If someone with no inherent bias came to this conclusion then it suggested that this story was filled with unreasonable statements.
Also coincidentally, Alfred’s [attachment to living] looks weak and pulls at my heart.
I understand being tired of fighting. No, lemme correct that: I have the feeling that I understand. As someone not directly involved I can’t make that kind of statement.
But, as someone who personally experienced unreasonable deaths over and over again, there’s a part of it I understand.
The [being attached to life] part.
“Let us end this dark discussion here.” Alfred said after a loud clap of his hands.
“At this point in time, I feel that we are all living for the purpose of watching over Sare as he grows up. It is very enjoyable watching over you. The act of raising a baby is something we are growing accustomed to, and since we only have old books for reference we are awkward at it――”
Having to look at Alfred’s self-derisive smile, I interrupt with words of my own.
“――Thank you. Everyone has my thanks. For welcoming me into the family. And even though it’s only been one month, thank you for raising me.”
“Haha, receiving those words makes me very happy. Do not fret, until Sare is able to live on his own we will protect you.”
――Please stop with that sort of thing. It’s almost like a death flag.
I think to myself using words from the depths of my broken memory.
“Now――it is a bit early, but I shall teach you the way to use a Majin’s powers. As I told you in the conversation just now, we tend to make enemies of the Pure race, so it is good if we have enough power to protect ourselves. Within you also rests power, I would like to instruct you on its use ahead of time.” While saying this Alfred rose to his feet.
It seems like we are changing locations.
With my unsteady gait I followed Alfred from behind.
Following Alfred’s lead we managed to arrive at the basement of Sanctos Castle.
Similar to Alfred’s massive room filled with bookshelves, it was a huge space similar to a reception hall.
At some point, not just Lilian but other Majins had filled the space with eyes full of anticipation as they waited for my arrival.
――Everyone’s got a lot of spare time, huh…
As if hearing my thoughts, Alfred admonished the other Majin as he smiled and scratched his head thoughtfully. “Really, putting your jobs off like this…”
“Everyone is curious about Sare.” Lilian spoke to excuse the other Majins.
“We are a hopeless family, are we not. Well, I understand your feelings so today will be a special occasion.”
At Alfred’s words the other Majins answered “O~k~” with apparent sincerity.
“Now then, today’s lesson is on a Majin’s inherent power. There are other abilities that are not exclusive to Majins that you can learn, but only this power is unique to Majins. For that reason I shall teach it to you first.” After saying this Alfred leaned over and turned his face towards me.
“It is a unique ability among the races. It can be said that it is one of the main reasons that the Pure race fears us.”
Due to the surprisingly long introduction I can deduce that it is a pretty important power.
Despite the sluggishness I was feeling in my baby body, in order to answer Alfred’s seriousness, I braced myself.
I took a deep breath.
“――Ok, I understand Alfred. Please teach it to me.”
Alfred nodded at my words.
Thereafter Alfred covered his eyes with his hand for a moment before removing it, and turned both eyes towards me.
I immediately noticed the change.
In the center of Alfred’s pupil a complex [pattern] appeared.
There were numerous characters that I couldn’t understand in it, but in the center was a six-pointed star.
If I were to comment honestly, I’d say that it was really mysterious.
The pupil in the center of his blood-red eyes was shining brilliantly.
“The eye of destruction, called [Gram Istoora].”
I suddenly noticed that the other Majin surrounding us were also displaying the same strangely-patterned eyes.
That Lilian is included as well of course.
The sight of those hundred odd Majin all turning to look at me with their glowing red eyes was a grand enough spectacle to make my heart skip a beat.
“I am somewhat jumping into an explanation here, but in this world there are powers that follow reason and common sense known as [Technique Formulas]. A [Formula] is used by the different types of powers in this world, and [Techniques] are fueled with the power of those different formulas, which in turn cause various phenomena and changes to appear.”
Alfred suddenly holds out one of his fingers and from the fingertip a small ball of light appears. A small ball with the brilliance of a miniature sun.
“Those with Majin powers use the [Majin Technique Formulas], those with Heaven powers use the [Heaven Technique Formulas], and those who can see spirits can use the [Spirit Technique Formulas]. Because of this the types are really varied. But, whichever of those technique formulas you choose to learn, you will attain the ability to cause unique phenomena and changes in this world.”
Just by listening I can tell that [Technique Formulas] have a lot of variety. It seem there are three of them.
“Now then, by looking at those using [Gram Istoora] you can follow the previous line of logic that as it is a naturally found phenomena, a power that can only be handled by Majins, it is referred to as a [Natural Technique]. It is something that dwells in the eyes of the Majins from birth.”
Or so Alfred amended.
“If I were to put it simply――the ability that the [Gram Istoora] technique possesses is that of [destruction]. It is a [destruction] near the level of what you would imagine destruction to be. It seems obvious, but you should understand that the scope and range is quite broad. ――Rather than just telling you, I suppose giving you a visual example would be more efficient.”
After saying this, Alfred turned his gaze from towards the area behind me and fired the small ball of light with his words:
It was a short, fleeting phrase filled with malice.
Suddenly a piercing sound assaulted my ears from somewhere behind me.
Following the noise I turned my gaze to the floor behind me in the large reception hall, Alfred’s gaze was levelled at a part of the floor where a hole had been gouged out.
The floor, which I had once heard was made out of marble, had been broken up into pieces, and there was a large gaping hole in it about the same size as my body.
――Give me a moment.
――Isn’t that a little over the top?
Although I felt curiosity at the sight of it, it was also a little bit scary.
As Alfred had mentioned previously on how the Pure race fears us, for a moment even I could sympathize.
――If my opponent had that sort of power…
I got a chill down my spine.
There was an uncomfortable and unusual feeling of wrongness accompanied by a cold sweat that ran down my back and stuck to my clothes.
“The most important thing is to focus your gaze on your target. After that, you use a voice full of what you would call [malice] and [ill will] to call it forth――and it becomes something like that.” Alfred said the last part while gesturing towards the gouged out surface of the floor.
“Of course the [Gram Istoora] has its risks as well. Naturally your body suffers exhaustion from excessive use.”
If all you have to pay for using such a skill is physical exhaustion then it’s a cheap price to pay.
“There is one more. It is a [symptom] which you must never forget about, got it? You must never forget this.” Alfred continued.
I gulped and waited.
“If you use [Gram Istoora] to the point of physical exhaustion and continue to use it you will begin to suffer from [tears of blood]. That is the sign that you have hit the limit of using the eye of destruction. If you get to the point where you are suffering from [tears of blood] then you must absolutely stop using the eye of destruction.”
“If you happen to continue using it――what happens?”
That is definitely not a cheap price to pay.
“Shortly after the tears of blood have ended you will die from blood loss.”
That paints a freaking scary mental image…!!
“At the time when the tears of blood begin to flow from your eyes you should immediately stop using the [eye of destruction] to allow your eyes rest. That is why you should absolutely stop using the [eye of destruction] if you are experiencing tears of blood. This is one of the things a Majin should absolutely always remember. ――Also, the [eye of destruction] has a second risk.”
“A second risk?”
“Right. I told you that the Majins are feared because of their eyes, correct? ――That is why, when an opponent who knows of the Majins abilities faces one in a fight they will always immediately aim to crush their eyes.”
It has turned into an unexpectedly intense discussion.
Considering how often they’ve been in conflict with the Pure race it isn’t exactly an unexpected discussion, is it?
After all, it’s a given that the [Gram Istoora], in terms of battle efficiency, is at the top of the list of convenient weapons.
Also, the word [conflict] seems to be something that is always attached to a power called the eye of destruction.
When I consider both of the risks together I feel a shiver run through my body.
“That is why, if Sare finds himself in the Pure race’s territory, he must never reveal or use this power recklessly. At least if he desires to live in peace.”
That’s a given. If it’s found out then it could lead straight to my death.
Anyways, I wonder if there’ll ever be a moment where I’d find myself in the Pure race’s territory.
If I’ve properly digested all the information up until now, the Pure race would always make any Majins they encounter their enemies. The fact that this is likely the same even today has been been engraved in my mind.
I don’t really want to think about it.
I don’t want to die again.
Constantly running into things that bear you nothing but ill will is not fun.
Even though I’ve often experienced those sort of events, I have no desire to become used to them.
If I were to become any more used to it I feel that I might lose something important.
“Let us leave it at that for today. If I properly think about it, Sare is still just a baby. I just really wanted you to know about it――that is, about the [eye of destruction].”
“Yeah, I’m glad you told me about it ahead of time.”
If, in the distant future, I had a strange and unbelievable power and it was allowed to run wild, it would be nothing to laugh about.
My self-awareness as a Majin is strong, so I make sure Alfred sees me nod emphatically.
There is too much I don’t understand about this world.
I’m already quite aware that I have been given a new life.
――There has been joy, but it’s also been a little lonely.
――A second life?
I’d say I’m at the tenth life or so. Or at least, I’ve died that many times.
Also, I have a hard time remembering anything specific about that life I seemed to be living in the beginning.
――I’ll stop clinging to the past.
――If I want to get anything done in this life I need to look forwards.
――That way holds the highest likelihood of being interesting.
But in forcing myself not to think about the past an uncomfortable feeling begins to rise from the pit of my stomach and hang in the air.
Holding those feelings in my chest, I give myself up to pangs of uneasiness.
(TN: [Technique Styles] were amended to [Technique Formulas], or just “techniques” for better clarity going forward.)(TN: [Technique Styles] were amended to [Technique Formulas], or just “techniques” for better clarity going forward.)
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