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After crying for a good, long while, Sare took a moment to reorganize his thoughts.
Many questions had been answered, and the troubles in his heart had more or less cleared up.
But, the scene he had witnessed was still fresh in his mind, it was something that couldn’t just be shrugged off, and when he remembered it at times a sharp pain would assail his heart.
The bodies were gone.
Before they could even begin to rot, he used the Gram Istoora, the eye of destruction, to destroy everything. Sanctos Castle was mostly destroyed; all that remained was a pile of rubble, and a strangely shaped area gouged out of the earth.
Sare returned to that strangely shaped place and lied down nearby in a daze; his way forward seemed dark.
――……what should I do now?what should I do now?
The ones that had fought with Alfred and the others should still be near, it should be possible to search for them.
――there’s a chance that they’re already gone…there’s a chance that they’re already gone…
When Sare had returned there had been no one nearby, and after using the eye of destruction and passing out for awhile, no one had tried to attack him. If that was the case, they must have quickly withdrawn their forces long before his returned.
“….haha, so it’d be useless…”
Admitting it out loud didn’t make the situation seem any less futile.
――The only thing I didn’t lose was my own life.The only thing I didn’t lose was my own life.
Of course, simply dwelling on what has been lost and losing oneself in the past makes it impossible to look towards the future.
Abandoning his gloomy thoughts, Sare lay sprawled on the ground watching the sky gradually grow darker by the minute.
I have to do something.I have to do
As Sare tried to think of uncomplicated things, the edge of this resolute thought kept trying to interrupt.
――For now I don’t want to do anything at all.For now I don’t want to do anything at all.
Sare put his arm over his eyes, blocking out his vision, and kept descending into the depths of similarly aimless thoughts.
Quite a bit of time has passed, hasn’t it? As he thought this Sare, who had his face pressed against the earth, heard an unusual [sound]. The small sound of something stalling and sputtering.Quite a bit of time has passed, hasn’t it?
A sound that seemed to come from within the crumbling Sanctos Castle.
Lifting his listless body from the ground, Sare rose to search for the sound which seemed to echo loudly in the stillness around the castle, where even the sounds of insects could not be heard.
As he carelessly brushed and moved rubble from his path and drew nearer to the source, he could hear the sound more clearly and had a guess as to its identity.
――The crackling of flames.
Believing in this assumption, Sare become more determined in moving the rubble out of his way and quickly located the sound’s origin.
Within the marble ruins, the hearthless [black flames] continued to burn.
Sare raised a brow in surprise, “Fulham Sanctos, the black flames of Sanctos Castle……so it really doesn’t ever go out….”
The black flames burned atop a large decorative silver plate as stood as high as he was tall. It was a sight he had seen any number of times.
As Sare looked upon the flames he remembered an old story that the older Majins had told him, full of pride.
――[This flame has continued to burn for a thousand years.]
When Sanctos Castle was being constructed, the first emperor, the [founder], brought the black flame to life using sorcery. It was to stand as a symbol of the Majin’s power, so he ordered that Majins would continue to worship it from then on.
Worship may not have been the expression he meant to use though.Worship
Majins don’t worship a god after all.
But, the founder’s flames that have never gone out, despite not being fueled by anything, have an existence similar to a holy object equal in how they are revered.
It’s a belief inherited from the first Majins whose country had just been recognized by the rest of the world. Every year during the festival of the [Fulham Sanctos] the flames were brought out from their place and carried about. It was a Majin custom.
――Though I don’t remember them carrying it around during the festivals I was around for.Though I don’t remember them carrying it around during the festivals I was around for.
Even so, to Sare it was the only thing that remained that held memories for him.
Against the night wind, the Fulham Sanctos was an existence that softened the piercing cold.
――In the end you’re the last thing that remains at my side.In the end you’re the last thing that remains at my side.
Sare sat beside the black flames and again passed his time in a thoughtless daze.
And, like that, night descended.
Time waits for no one.
――And holding out hope for miracles, like turning back time, is just unreasonable.
Sare, unable to ignore his body’s natural desire to live, went into the forest to scrounge up something to eat.
But after eating, he returned to sitting motionlessly beside the black flames of Sanctos Castle.
As time continued to pass in this way, his vitality was slowly fading away.
After this, what should I do?After this, what should I do?
What is left to guide me?What is left to guide me?
Is there any sign as to where I should go from here?Is there any sign as to where I should go from here?
――Don’t avoid thinking about it. Focus.Don’t avoid thinking about it. Focus.
If Sare continue to avoid thinking about the future he would just end up remaining in the ruins of his life, never bothering to accomplish anything.
Using his fading energy, Sare forced himself to focus properly on the problem at hand.
――It’s useless to go to Atem Kingdom. They obviously have at least enough strength to slaughter a hundred Majins.It’s useless to go to Atem Kingdom. They obviously have at least enough strength to slaughter .
Because I am all alone, if they find me I’ll be killed.Because I am all alone, if they find me I’ll be killed.
As much as I’d love to go after my family’s enemy, I’m not stupid enough to think I have the power to do it.As much as I’d love to go after my family’s enemy, I’m not stupid enough to think I have the power to do it.
“The enemy’s a whole country after all――”
One person vs. a kingdom.One person vs. a kingdom.
From what Alfred said, it’s quite a large kingdom at that. Even if I was truly insane I would still acknowledge it as a fool’s mission.From what Alfred said, it’s quite a large kingdom at that. Even if I was truly insane I would still acknowledge it as a fool’s mission.
――Greetings, I’m a tragic protagonist, would you please lead me to the king of Atem so I can have revenge?Greetings, I’m a tragic protagonist, would you please lead me to the king of Atem so I can have revenge?
“If that worked it’d be a pretty cheap tragedy, huh?”
First of all, who the hell would just lead me to the king?First of all, who the hell would just lead me to the king?
And for argument’s sake, if I killed him, then what?And for argument’s sake, if I killed him, then what?
Well, I’d feel quite refreshed for one.Well, I’d feel quite refreshed for one.
But then I’d be known as a criminal and spend the rest of my life on the run.But then I’d be known as a criminal and spend the rest of my life on the run.
――Haha, still, that wouldn’t be too bad, would it?Haha, still, that wouldn’t be too bad, would it?
Just as Sare thought this, those words came to mind:
[We, your family, would never wish for you to be exposed to such danger.]
Alfred’s words. Sare could almost hear his voice speaking them aloud.
――I can’t handle this burden, Alfred.I can’t handle this burden, Alfred.
You told me I could come back if I couldn’t bear the responsibility.You told me I could come back if I couldn’t bear the responsibility.
But I no longer have a home to return to.But I no longer have a home to return to.
Because my home was where Alfred and the others were.Because my home was where Alfred and the others were.
By keeping his mind engaged in such thoughts, Sare’s body was slowly regaining its energy. He used this energy to bang his fists against the ground in frustration.
――Keep thinking.Keep thinking.
The Atem Kingdom came and challenged the Majins. As a result, all the Majins in the castle had died.
Alfred had said it once before. That the Irudoe domain could no longer call itself an “empire.” It no longer had the qualities of a proper country.
Irudoe domain’s neighbor――the Atem Kingdom, defeated the Majins. Which meant:
――The Irudoe domain was practically Atem territory at this point.
Only one Majin is still alive in this domain after all.Only one Majin is still alive in this domain after all.
I no longer have any guarantee as to my personal safety.I no longer have any guarantee as to my personal safety.
Rather, if I stay here, the power of my life or death would be in the palm of the king of Atem’s hand.Rather, if I stay here, the power of my life or death would be in the palm of the king of Atem’s hand.
Just thinking about it brought to Sare’s mind the smallest bud of a passionate idea.
“――I’ll go against that kind of fate.”
Sare’s rebellious though gave him the feeling that even if he were left to a fate held in the hands of the king of Atem, he could still manage to draw out the power to resist.
――Even if I can only desperately claw at the those hands.Even if I can only desperately claw at the those hands
Just thinking that he had options was a relief.
――Whatever allows me to survive.Whatever allows me to survive.
I shouldn’t confuse my priorities. Any thoughts of going after enemies comes after I’ve moved forward. It’s fine to wait for the right moment, but for now I should focus on survival.I shouldn’t confuse my priorities. Any thoughts of going after enemies comes after I’ve moved forward. It’s fine to wait for the right moment, but for now I should focus on survival.
――If that’s the case, I’m the fool for choosing to stay here.If that’s the case, I’m the fool for choosing to stay here.
As soon as he was determined to leave Sanctos Castle, Sare began to put in order the deaths of his family.
It may have seemed foolish and unreasonable――but until he sorted out his feelings, he felt that his body would refuse to move forwards.
“Alfred, Lilian, my family――everyone has died.”
He finally said it out loud.
Sare no longer had connections,
――to anyone still alive.
Now that Sare had the determination to leave the castle, he began to make preparations.
He would leave behind everything except his luggage, that is, the contents of the leather bag prepared by Alfred and Lilian for his journey.
Sare upended the bag and went through the contents; checking what was important but unessential, and what was important and best to keep close at hand. Once he had rearranged and repacked the leather bag he crouched next to the flames and picked up the silver plate above which the [black flames of Sanctos Castle] floated.
He carefully set it aside with the rest of his things and then turned his gaze upon the ruins of Sanctos Castle.
――most of what remained had been buried.
He placed one hand over his eyes briefly, thought of something especially painful, and purposely, with his uncovered eyes, invoked the eye of destruction: Gram Istooru.
Sare carefully began to disassemble the useless, broken parts of Sanctos Castle by focusing on the areas where its balance was the worse. The unstable parts of the foundation were carefully chipped away. Bit by bit the intimidating pile of rubble that buried the castle became smaller and smaller.
“――alright,” he said with a nod.
Sare had given himself access to the previously inaccessible areas. The remaining rubble he then removed by hand.
After a few hours, Sare had created a somewhat safe path that allowed him access to the interior of the remains of Sanctos Castle.
He wore his bag on his shoulder, and carried the silver plate with both hands, the [black flames of Sanctos Castle] still floating above it.
Once he had successfully entered the somewhat safe areas within Sanctos Castle’s remains, Sare began to search out a room that was still mostly intact.
He picked one of the several rooms that met this criteria.
Sare set the silver plate that bore the black flame on the ground, and sat down nearby it. He invoked his maryoku into his index finger and used it to draw a [sorcery formula] onto the marble floor.
Slowly, so as not to make a mistake.
Seriously and confidently he carved the formula into the marble.
For a few hours he carefully engraved the seal of that very first Majin sorcery technique.
――At some point in the future, these black flames, first created by the founding emperor, might serve an important purpose.At some point in the future, these black flames, first created by the founding emperor, might serve an important purpose.
In that vein of thought, in order to properly utilize that technique, some [preparations] needed to be undertaken.
After Sare had finally completed the formula he had engraved on the ground, he felt a sense of urgency――took a deep breath and muttered:
“It’ll hurt a lot, but it can’t be helped.”
He removed the clothing on his upper body and took hold of the knife strapped to the small of his back. Silently, he thrust the tip of the knife into his right shoulder――the blade cut easily. He started a bit as the blade pierced his skin.
It was an act of self-mutilation.
That it would be painful was obvious, but each time the sharp blade was drawn along his skin the intense pain would force him to shut his eyes and groan aloud.
――Don’t move, hold on, carve it carefully.Don’t move, hold on, carve it carefully.
Carve it, carve it, carve it. Like a silent prayer Sare repeated those words over and over in his mind each time he drew the knife against the skin of his right shoulder.Carve it, carve it, carve it
It began at his right shoulder, but descended down his right arm, the knife continued to add to the edges as it expanded, it even appeared as if the skin of his arm weren’t enough to contain what he was carving.
Of course, if you pierce your body fresh blood will flow; every time Sare pierce his right shoulder with the blade there was a wave of heat and pain.
What Sare was carving along the whole of his arm was a [sorcery formula].
Sare was carving the same sorcery formula carved along the edges of the silver place that held Sanctos’ black flames into his own body. It was a large and complex formula.
To anyone who happened to be watching nearby, it would look like he was committing an unreasonable act.
――But if he were to carve it with his maryoku, like the floor, it would simply fade away.
That’s because, in Sare’s body flowed maryoku, the same maryoku that would be used if he were to draw the technique formula with the tip of his finger. It was kind of an annoyance…
…….because it would just fade away.
Due to the torrent of maryoku flowing within him, anything drawn on him with maryoku would be reabsorbed and fade within a couple of hours.
What Sare wanted was a formula on his body that would never disappear.
That is how Sare came to the conclusion that he had to carve the formula into himself with a physical [wound].
But, even by doing it [this] way the sorcery formula would soon disappear.
――It was a convenient, but at the same time inconvenient, body.
While continuing to silently chant that prayer in his mind in order to stay focused, Sare carefully kept his gaze on his arm.
A truly frightening ability of the Majins, their [resilience], was in full effect.
As soon as he caused his skin to split by the knife, it would quickly close up――the inherent resilience possessed by Majins.
Because of this, Sare had to carve the formula again and again into his body.
Even with the recovery granted by the Majin’s resilience, because he persisted in carving the formula over and over, scars began to remain.
He continued to carve into his body until he could see each scar clearly.
But the pain and blood loss couldn’t be ignored forever.
As time had passed the right side of Sare’s body had been dyed red, the blade of his dagger was similarly coated in blood.
As soon as he finished carving the last bit of the formula his willpower deserted him, and Sare collapsed.
He fell over as if he was praying to the black flames of Sanctos Castle――and soon began to breathe deeply as he fell asleep.
“――Please do not be so unreasonable, Sare.”
“If you had let me known earlier, I would have done it for you.”
Don’t say that with such a happy face. It would hurt the same no matter who did it.Don’t say that with such a happy face. It would hurt the same no matter who did it.
“Hahaha, that is true, but I wanted to be able to see it――”
“Brother, your love, is warped.”
“If Lilian has to scold me, I guess I will have to resist saying such things.”
To begin with, you shouldn’t say things like that so boldly.To begin with, you shouldn’t say things like that so boldly.
“Well, it is our fault that you were forced to do such a thing.”
Don’t worry about it. I was the one who wanted to do it. I’m fine. Instead――Don’t worry about it. I was the one who wanted to do it. I’m fine. Instead
“Oh yes. There was one thing I forgot to tell you before. I wanted to give you one more name.”
“――[Sanctos]. The same name as the castle. A name passed down to each Irudoe emperor. I would like you to succeed this name. ――For those who receive it, the name bequeaths a divine protection, as if the name is saying: please protect this one. ――We Majins do not follow any gods so perhaps that divine protection has faded, but I want to you have whatever protection remains to the Majin race.”
――Haha, what a grandiose name.Haha, what a grandiose name.
“Fufu, so it is. ――Now then, it is not good for us to keep you here too long so you should hurry back. You should not return here again.”
“See you Sare.”
Sare awoke while stretching his hand out into the empty air.
――So it was a dream.So it was a dream.
What a terrible dream.
――That sort of thing will just weaken my resolve.That sort of thing will just weaken my resolve.
“Haa…..” Sare sighed.
He casually raised his right arm. When he looked at it the sorcery formula was clearly visible against his skin. For the time being, it seems the carving of the formula was a success.
Sare once again donned his new clothes and stood up.
Just once he glanced at the [black flames of Sanctos Castle] which burned above the silver plate and said,
“――Let’s go. This way we can go together.”
Sare then invoked the now horribly swelling sorcery formula carved on his right arm to call the black flames. ――They quickly appeared above the palm of his right hand.
There was a gap between where they flickered and his palm.
As Sare’s flames flickered Sanctos’ flames seemed to flare in excitement from their place nearby.
For just a moment the formula carved on Sare’s right arm and the sorcery formula drawn on the floor near the silver plate sparkled.
Then, once it seemed that the radiance had faded, for just a moment, the black flames were [absorbed] into Sare’s right palm.
Sare took a moment to check his body’s condition before he was satisfied.
With a short affirmation, Sare lightly brushed the darkening scars of the formula on his right arm before saying farewell to Sanctos Castle.
After leaving the castle, Sare once again considered his dream and rifled through his bag.
“….Alfred, is definitely no longer alive, right?”
As he made a mess of the bag’s contents and stacked up various things, a single piece of paper fluttered to the ground:
[I want you to succeed the name [Sanctos]. A name first given by the founder to the subsequent emperors, from the previous generation’s emperor to me, and from me to you. Live with both this name and the divine protection of the Majin race which it holds. ――[Sare Sanctos Satana].
Or so it was written.
After that it said:
[Finally, I also declare you as Irudoe’s emperor. Although it does not really mean much at this point, perhaps in the future it will be of some use to you. Use this position however you like in order to survive. The [Imperial Sword] I have given to you is proof of your status as the emperor, so please take good care of it. ――Ah, I was a little parent-like just now, was I not?]
From the previous generation’s Irudoe emperor,
Albert Sanctos Satana.
――Sare gave a small smile.
TN: Because this is a Japanese narration the PoV changes from 1st to 3rd person quite often. As a result, I edited 1st person like mental thoughts in italics and changed some stuff so that descriptions and whatnot were normal 3rd person. It should read easier.TN: Because this is a Japanese narration the PoV changes from 1st to 3rd person quite often. As a result, I edited 1st person like mental thoughts in italics and changed some stuff so that descriptions and whatnot were normal 3rd person. It should read easier.
Also, the writer may have written the prologue separate from the main story because the writing style changed quite a bit and some info was repeated from chapter 05.Also, the writer may have written the prologue separate from the main story because the writing style changed quite a bit and some info was repeated from chapter 05.
Lastly, after Sare has the dream he starts speaking with just a little itty bit of regal language. I thought it was kinda cute.Lastly, after Sare has the dream he starts speaking with just a little itty bit of regal language. I thought it was kinda cute.
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