|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Aurum||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1364 words|
“It can’t be… Sir Priest?” Cortina asked in a state of shock.
At his feet, there was a girl with a gag shoved in her mouth… and several children’s corpses.
A few other children could be seen in a corner of the room by candlelight.
In the middle of this dreary room lay a huge magic circle inscribed with red paint.
The priest stood grasping a bloody spear in his hands.
“Oh my, I’ve already been sniffed out? As expected of the heroes, what sharp senses you have!”
“You- how could…. The children…” Cortina asked while holding back her sobs.
The priest in front of me didn’t appear as sociable as he did during the day.
In fact, I could see a hint of madness drifting onto his face.
“It’s a sacrifice, can’t you tell?”
“I’m asking because I don’t understand! How could you, to those, that child, they trusted you!”
The outraged Cortina took a step forward, at that I hurriedly held her back by the shoulders.
He’s holding a spear. She won’t lose to an amateur, but this guy’s still dangerous.
He shrugged his shoulders playfully watching Cortina’s outburst.
It’s like he’s trying to buy time, if that’s the case…
“That’s exactly why, it’s great. The deeper their trust, the deeper their despair. It’s those kinds of souls the devil is drawn to!”
There were gods in this world.
But Devils didn’t count among those gods, they instead referred to “things” from beyond this world. There was a possibility to even summon one that could very well defeat an actual god.
“Why, something like…”
“Why, why, why! You’ve got nothing but questions don’t you. Well, let’s answer you then!” He said as he raised the spear over his head and swung it down.
It pierced the corpse of the girl at his feet and skewered it to the floor.
“In this world, there’s something called the world tree, everything in this world is born from it, lives, dies, and returns to it. That is the cycle of the soul.”
“And then the tree purifies the soul and it returns to the world again.”
“That’s the cycle of reincarnation. A thousand years ago, however, a god destroyed part of the world tree!”
In the battle between god and the demon king that once existed, the world tree was split in half. And here we are in the present.
That destroyed the cycle of the soul. They say souls born from the world tree gets seeped out of the world when they die and sucked up through the roots.
The souls are sucked up by the world tree’s roots and return to the world’s source that way.
At first glance, it looks like the same process, but while moving through the roots, impurities are introduced into the souls.
Then there are those born with those mixed impurities, half-demons like me.
The impurities that possess smallish horns. Apostates that carry the fragments of the Devil into the world.
We continue to be held in contempt, it’s not rare that we are the subject of discrimination.
“You get it, don’t you? How much have they oppressed us!?” Shouting so, the Father grabbed at his own hair and ripped it out, no, should I say, he tore it off?
The priest’s hair was just a wig. Under it he had a bald head with small horns.
His dark skin is the opposite of my pale self, but they’re clearly there, the distinct remnants.
“That’s right! I’m someone persecuted by the world, just like him! The only difference is I’m powerless!”
I’ve earned the title of hero, but even before that I was publicly viewed as being strong.
But even now, those who lack power, who are viewed as weak, are constantly discriminated against.
“As someone born of this world, we should have the right to live like anyone else! Yet others won’t let us! So if that’s the case, we’ll just have to make them!”
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He roughly stabbed and crushed the corpse of the girl under his foot.
Cortina screamed at the sight.
But he didn’t hold back, a huge shadow rose from the pool of blood spread out on the floor.
A giant larger than 3 meters, it’s head almost hit the ceiling.
A goat head and hooves, carrying two huge swords.
“I never expected you lot would conduct an observation on the day of the dragon constellation, but I couldn’t afford to miss this chance. Finally, I’ve done it!”
“Sure you committed a sacrifice… But still, no chant?!”
I shouted in astonishment. He just inscribed a magic circle and offered a sacrifice.
No spell, no ritual. But just that was enough to call forth this Devil?
From the power I could sense coming off it, it’s pretty strong.
Cortina is intimidated by the Devil and squeezes her fingers, causing her whole body to start trembling.
Cortina doesn’t react to my call.
With just a slight glance, her body trembles and she slumps to the floor.
At my shout, Cortina finally regains her senses.
That doesn’t solve the problem though. If this Devil were to get out, this village would be done for.
I don’t think I could do it on my own.
“Go get the others!”
If those three are together, there’s nobody that can defeat them.
It’s about 20 kilometers from this village to the town where Gadius’s inn is located.
Cortina is faster than a normal human as a Cat Person, and because she’s trained as an adventurer, her stamina is real good. It should only take her an hour to reach them.
But Cortina didn’t want to listen to me.
“B-but… with that thing….”
“Go! I can handle it for an hour!”
“I, If that’s the case I will…!”
“And who’s going to get the others if you don’t go!”
At that Cortina noticed the problem.
The children bound in the corner. They were tense, trembling, having lost control of their bowels from fear.
If we were to escape, those children would surely be sacrificed.
With a swing of my arm, I cut the restraints on the children using the thread I’d sneaked through.
Yet no one could stand.
They couldn’t move because of the Devil’s intimidation.
“Ⓢⓗⓘⓣ, get going. Hey! Over here!”
As long as the children are unmoving I have to get the Devil’s attention.
To do that, I launched an attack at the Devil.
Recognizing what my intention was, the priest gave an order to the Devil.
“I won’t let you! O’ Devil, let none escape, annihilate them all!”
As soon as the priest finished speaking I swung my thread.
The priest who seemed to have a penchant for summoning magic had no talent for combat, so he takes my thread slashes straight on.
His neck and limbs are severed and blown off.
But his face was gleeful till the end.
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The orders the priest gave at the last second managed to reach the Devil.
I knew he was stalling for time so I was already trapping it with threads.
I was copying Cortina’s tactics.
“Tina, you hurry and get going too!”
Cortina finally started moving at my exclamation.
“Ah, geez! You better stay alive! I’ll make it back with everyone!”
While saying that I cast a net of thread to stop the attack of the Devil.
It was made to surround the kids.
Seeing that, Cortina finally bolted from the room. Did you see that and think I could buy time with it?
The mythril thread caught the Devil’s sword, the net held strong against the Devil’s swing.
It seemed to understand who was doing it. This guy might not be able to communicate but he’s not bad.
“Sorry, but I won’t let you.”
Knowing his attack wouldn’t reach the kids, the Devil shot a look this way.
I could clearly see the frustration in his eyes.
“Come then. You won’t be able to lay a finger on the kids unless you can bring me down!”
I put on a fearless smile on my face to psych myself up.
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