|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syousetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
The girl had grown up a lot and finally is able to walk around. Currently, her shackles have been reduced to only the one on her right leg. But in exchange, its chain is twice thicker than before; so no matter what, we likely can’t escape. How the crude metal is disproportionate with the girl almost seemed to me like it’s the physical manifestation of that man’s obsession with her, and that only disgusts me. If you really don’t want her to run, then there should be better ways to go about it. Really, I don’t understand how that man thinks.
These days, since it seems that the girl can now understand simple questions, I could often see her exchange words with the man. And as for me, I still can’t understand it one bit. For her to learn how to speak in this empty room, a child’s learning ability is really amazing.
Also, there hasn’t been any direct harm on her up until now, but lately it’s been different. Just as soon as I notice someone entering the room exactly when the girl falls asleep, knives come flying, fire magic starts burning around, and continuous attempts on her life happen. Let’s just say that it’s thanks to these happenings that I couldn’t study the language.
Well, the detection magic is always active and the barrier seems to be working well, so only this much wouldn’t be a problem. I was convinced that this violence started because he noticed me using magic, but there was quite a gap between me using magic in front of him and the start of the assassination attempts, so it’s not related to that— I think.
Still, though I did say that it isn’t a problem, there was a time that the attacks were so much that my barrier couldn’t take it, so I needed to replace the barrier again and again, resulting in me running out of magic power. From then on, I’ve put effort into how to minimize my use of magic power.
More importantly, I often see the man entering some time after the assassination attempts, and dance in delight after seeing the girl unharmed. I can’t understand what he’s saying, but seeing him screech in a weird voice with his eyes wide open and his mouth warped in a crazed smile is absolutely scary, so I just wish that he’d be happy about it like a normal person. My question here was who wanted the girl to be killed, but I’m sure that it’s probably this man. After all, even after the assassination attempt, he didn’t move the girl elsewhere, so I’m sure that he’s at least related to this. Still, he doesn’t seem to want the girl to be dead. On the contrary, it seems that he’s delighted that she is still alive.
Thinking with that in mind, maybe the man is testing her. Maybe he thinks she’s somehow special, and she might actually be in some way; but if I wasn’t here, she would be dead. In that case, is he doing this taking into account that I exist? But still, the reason this girl is physically protected is because I was luckily able to use magic, so I’m not sure he knows. Does this mean that this girl is worthless to him if she can’t even do this much? Or maybe there’s a completely different reason? I don’t really know but whatever it is, I don’t think I’ll ever forgive him.
After finishing my now daily routine of singing for her enjoyment and after she had fallen asleep, I once again feel a strange presence and focus on it.
I feel it inside the cell opposite of us. In the cell’s corner, I can feel the presence of magic power. This presence is somewhat thin. Is something being written on the ground? This may be the so-called magic circle thing. And the moment I got a bit distracted, I sense a countless amount of things appear from the magic circle. One increased to two, two to four, suddenly appearing and squirming about. Each of them are small in size but when all of them move together they can be a threat.
Obviously, they’re all rushing to our cell. I suspect that this is just one of the regular attempts on her life but today it’s larger in scale. Those things come closing in, squeaking in a high pitch while rushing towards us. I suspected it from their noise, but after confirming with detection, it’s definitely a swarm of rats. Like a wave, they flood the room and start biting everything inside indiscriminately. The stone bed, the walls, the floor, the bars, the chains, the shackles, and of course… the girl too.
I don’t know how much of a threat the mice in this world are, but they don’t seem strong enough to bite through stone and steel. Nevertheless, they do seem to be able to put a dent on them, so a human bitten by them would likely get injured, and if bitten too much, we would probably die. Even the girl is being bit right now, but since my barrier is protecting her, there’s no problem for now. The only thing being whittled is my magic power.
After a while, the rats started biting each other. Since the girl is asleep, it’s not like I can see, but probably since I’m using detection magic, I ended up knowing all the details of what’s going on. Worse, the smell of meat and blood is drifting all over the room. Add in the screams of dying rats, it’s like a scene from hell. Not very good for my sanity.
After a while, the rats suddenly disappear. This is probably due to magic too, but right now that’s the best I can guess. It was a lot more stressful than I expected, but I’m glad that she didn’t wake up.
While thinking so, my consciousness slowly begins drifting to sleep.
On another day, a big beetle larva thing was sent in. Unlike the rats, they don’t really bite. Still, seeing only one of them is another thing, but the image of a crowd of them wriggling around is likely enough to make some people faint. And moreover, it seems like they’re trying to find tight spaces to squirm into, and they’re wriggling more and more downwards. If you throw a person into this crowd, they’ll probably crawl into more than just their mouth; and if it’s a girl, it goes without saying what they would do. Really, I can’t say if he’s crafty or just plain evil, but I’m really glad I was able to use the barrier.
But one day, something happened. It was another swarm of critters. I feel like I’m developing entomophobia and I now have the urge to push all kinds of insects to extinction. It seems like this time, by the look of these eight-legged, palm-sized things jumping around, he’s going with spiders.
They come rushing to the cell and bite all over the place like the rats, but if it’s only this much, it’s nothing. Still, seeing how some of them look like they’re melting, they may be venomous. Since I’m possessing the girl right now, I can’t see a thing; so if I can just bear the utter disgust boiling within me it should be fine. Or so I thought when a light suddenly shone through my eyes.
Suddenly in my field of vision, I see its hairy legs, its red eyes, and its sickening body. Then I hear some unpleasant sound. Several of those eyes shift their gaze towards us and start closing in. Since they’re blocked by the barrier, I can’t feel their touch and I know that it’s fine, but realizing what’s happening to us once again, I suddenly feel sick to the core.
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There’s this much just in front of my eyes. I’m sure that there are a thousand more of them crawling all over her.
I feel sick.
I feel sick.
I feel sick.
For better or for worse, the girl might have been disgusted as well as she immediately closed her eyes, but now she’s trembling in fear. To distract her even just a bit, I began to lull her to sleep. But the fact that I’m singing a lullaby while covered in spiders only whittles my sanity even more.
The girl has now grown to look like a five-year-old. Every day, I secured some time to sing and tried to communicate with her and lately, she’s definitely dancing along. After all, she’s definitely on rhythm. And seeing how she changes her dance to suit the change of songs, she’s probably quite talented. I might sound too doting on her, but seeing a cute young girl dancing to the beat of my song makes me happy and it’s adorable.
On the magic side of things, I’ve also been growing well. This time I focused on conserving the use of magic power and now, even if I constantly use detection magic, I don’t run out of magic. And as long as my barrier isn’t completely destroyed, I can repair it again and again. Thanks to that, lately my tendency of losing consciousness from overusing magic has considerably decreased.
I’m quite talented if I say so myself. But on the other side of things, I feel like I absolutely can’t use healing magic. It’s hard to describe, but I suspect that I poured all my magical talent on using barrier and detection. Though thinking about what has been happening up until now, I don’t really see it as a problem.
Still, the fact that no matter how much I strengthen my defenses, I absolutely cannot defend her from the wounds that man gives her is really bad for my mental health. Since she relies on the mysterious liquid for nutrition even now, I don’t really have a choice. And though he is healing her in a way that doesn’t leave any wounds, it’s still vexing. In the first place, it’s probably bothersome for the man to keep on feeding her like this anyway.
Except that, everything’s probably all right. Me thinking so may have been due to my own pride. It was then, that incident just suddenly happened.
One day, along with the usual mysterious fluid, the man brought a different container with a fluid different from the usual. It was the usual mealtime, the usual disgust. And since our senses are linked, I feel the usual pain as well. But on that day, before feeding the girl, the man had a slightly long talk with her.
Somewhere in my mind I hoped, maybe this disgusting feeding time will finally end today. That didn’t happen, however, and the man tore the girl’s clothes off and brandished his knife on her smooth, white stomach. You would think that I’d be used to getting cut deep enough almost to the point where you can see the organs after experiencing it every day, but I just couldn’t help to scowl in pain. After pouring the fluid into the wound, and healing the girl as usual, the man excitedly moved his hand to the girl’s leg.
Usually he would just dress her and leave, so I suspected that he’s planning to use some weird medicine again. That instant, he took the other container he brought along and poured its slimy fluid on her lower body and his finger. Having a bad feeling about this, I was about to protect the girl; but since the man was touching her body, I feared that he might find out about me and hesitated.
It was only an instant of hesitation. But for that excited man to take action, it was an instant long enough.
At the same time as I felt something entering from below, pain assaulted me. It was a pain different from the sharp cut of the knife I’ve felt so far. It was like my organs were being gouged out and I almost screamed in pain. Even when I tried to use magic, my mind blanked out and I couldn’t activate it. The intruder that was the man’s hand entered deep without any resistance. And with excitement, he began collecting the flowing red, the proof of pain, in a test tube-like container from his pocket. I dazedly thought this is his handcrafted hell, as I felt madness from the man looking lovingly at the flow of fresh blood.
Soon after, the man dressed her up and hastily rushed out of the cell. Left behind, the girl saw him off with no emotion in her eyes. However, I didn’t have the composure to worry about her right now. My dazed, blanked mind began working and right now, I immediately understood what had just happened. At the same time, the fact that I couldn’t protect her began rapidly weighing down on my conscience. Looking back, the reason the man talked for a while before feeding her was probably to tell her about this.
In other words, if I just understood even just a bit of this world’s language, I may have been able to avoid this. In the first place, if I just didn’t hesitate earlier, this obviously would not have happened. I couldn’t protect her. This only fact weighs heavily on me.
Right now, the girl may seem to look fine, but that’s because she’s still a child. For someone like her who endured pain every day of her life, it’s doubtful that she understands what this pain means. Once she learns of what this means in the future, will she despair? Just thinking about it makes me anxious.
At the same time, a calm part somewhere inside my mind began speaking to me.
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–Anxious? You just don’t want her to blame you.
–You’re only ignoring the fact that your mistake caused this.
–Why do you never learn? Why did you hesitate?
–Just because you can use a bit of magic, haven’t you gotten a little too conceited?
–If this causes her any trouble in the future, this is all your fault.
I know. I know, but I just couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t do anything, I didn’t do anything, I didn’t want to look at reality. Even if I apologize, her chastity will never come back. And if she starts fearing men because of this incident, she’ll fear half of the world.
If there will ever be any peace for her, someone like me who was once a man would never know. And exactly because I don’t know, that I wanted to protect her in the first place.
My thoughts just loop back and back, cursing me every time.
In a voice only she could hear, I apologized to her. Even though I know that it’s meaningless, even though I know it’s only for my own ego, I just can’t bear it. Because I, who doesn’t even have a body, can’t even cry. So I just continue to apologize.
I’m sorry. Forgive me. Next time, I’ll definitely protect you. I’m sure that she doesn’t understand me speaking in Japanese. Even so, I continue to apologize. To the point that even I forget who I’m apologizing to. My lamentation continued on until I lost consciousness.
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