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Published at 11th of February 2016 06:47:58 AM

Chapter 17

CHAPTER 17: UNPLEASANT MEMORY


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—The girl had once had a dream .

A very normal, very ordinary dream: to protect the place where she’d been born as well as the people who had raised her .

For people born to this world, particularly those who were living proper lives, this was more or less a desire they all held in common .

This girl lived as those nameless masses did, with that dream guiding her .

There was, however, a distinct difference between that girl and the others who shared her dream . She was, in fact, anything but a normal human . Instead, she was born the scion of an ancient line of spirits, apostles of the Goddess Arshuna . It was her duty to repel the invasions of the Varied Races, and so she had come to be known as the Miko . (TN: The characters here are “神子”, an alternative to the more commonly used “巫女” . These characters literally translate to “God’s child” . )

As the girl tirelessly developed her swordsmanship, she’d often hear, “Spirits are the Goddess Arshuna’s gift to humanity, a rare power that exists to defend against the Varied Races . ”

And so defeat was not an option .

To protect the peaceful lives of the people, this was a power that could not be allowed to disappear .

And so the girl continued to live, praying constantly to the Goddess Arshuna even as she ceaselessly practiced her swordsmanship . On occasion, she’d make her way north to repel the invasions of the Varied Races, laying their raiding parties to waste . And so the days passed, the girl continually able to realize her dream .

Even though it left her without even the possibility of realizing the happiness of being born a woman, the girl never gave up on her dream .

But dreams come to an end .

When the new Maou ascended to the throne, her dream vanished like the popping of a bubble .

By the time the news reached the capital, it was already far too late . A swarming flood of a million strong of the Varied Races swept through the north . Cities and villages disappeared in their wake, swallowed by this ferocious threat .

Overwhelming numbers . Moreover, each individual member of the Varied Races displayed a power far exceeding human ability . Their indomitable might coupled with their staggering numbers left humanity in complete and utter despair .


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That notwithstanding, the girl fought to keep hope alive, infinitesimal though it might be . To protect her homeland and its people, she would continue to swing that sharp blade for as long as there was yet breath in her body .

Before her power as a Spirit and her divine swordsmanship, countless members of the Varied Races were transformed into a mountain of corpses .

The girl was strong . Stronger even than any of the North’s most elite troops . That strength, however, availed them not as they were swept away by the violent, overpowering might of the enemy .

Beneath the force of crushing malice, the girl’s dream shattered . The girl’s homeland was trampled by the invading force, and the lives of those whom she had fought to protect were cut tragically short .

That overwhelming power was absolute even when it came to the girl .

The girl suffered defeat at the hands of a leader of the Varied Races’ army, his strength as terrible as though evil itself had been made manifest . Worse still, after her loss, she had been made the victim of a shameful and vile curse .

Perhaps this is my end, the girl thought, resigning herself to the fate her companions had met: for this, her homeland, to be her final resting place . She had fought that wretched enemy general to her very last and dealt him injuries from which he would never recover .

Sadly, even this solemn, stirring resolution of hers was to be broken – her people told her to live .

Indeed, the power the girl wielded was invaluable . It was a gift from the heavens, the Goddess of Justice made manifest, the power of the spirits bestowed by the Goddess Arshuna herself . A rare and precious power that was antithetical to the Varied Races, who worshiped at the altar of a wicked god .

She was a hope that must not disappear, a light that must not be extinguished . And so she could not be allowed to die there . No, she would have to live on in shame, growing steadily in strength until the day she could plunge the sword of retribution straight into the heart of the Mazoku .

…Once, the girl had a dream . Now, she didn’t even have a choice .

And so it was that, once more, on this day, the girl – Lefille Gurakis Noshias – wept silent tears alone .


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Several days after his visit to the guild, Suimei, having woken up bright and early, was swinging his sword in practice .

“Sei! Ha!”

Repeatedly, he swung his sword in a vertical motion, from high to low, his breathing steady and undisturbed .

This was a practiced motion for him, and one from his youth, though not something that he had learned from his father . No, this was something he had learned at the dojo near where he lived .

Although his father, a magician, was also an expert at close combat, he had decided this matter was still best left to the professionals, and had taken his son to the nearby dojo .

These chained motions were a part of the swordsmanship he had learned there .

Swordsmanship was something that would inevitably deteriorate without consistent and steady effort . With the exception of a few exceptionally talented individuals, a week’s time was sufficient to degrade one’s swordsmanship .

This was doubly the case for Suimei, who had devoted his time in the palace to study .

While it’s true that Suimei could well rely on his magic or magic items to engage in close combat – swordsmanship wasn’t a necessity per se – he nevertheless felt far more at ease with a sword in hand .

“Fuuu… That should do it…”

Taking a deep breath as he finished a set, he wiped his sweat with a towel . Although today’s practice was a bit simpler compared to his normal routine, but in light of his plans for the rest of the day, it would do .

This was not a day when he could afford to be exhausted right from the get-go . Today was the day when Suimei would set out on an escort mission destined for the Nelferian Empire .

This escort mission would take him from city to city, nation to nation . His undertaking this commission was, of course, because it aligned with his goals .

His objective was to discover a way home and then to create the path that would do so .


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To that end, visiting the Empire – a place that far outstripped Aster in both ease of obtaining intel and resources – was a necessity . The first stop along that path required that he first reach the city of Kurand, on Aster’s western border, near the Empire .

Kurand was a city that sat on the boundary between Aster and Nelferia . It was a highly developed city with regards to both trade and intel, second only after the capital, Mehter itself . Suimei wanted to get a grasp on the workings of the Empire before actually setting foot in the country, and so he’d planned to spend some time in Kurand gathering resources before making way to his final destination .

For this purpose, Suimei had attached himself to a business caravan which was thoroughly acquainted with the area and the journey .

…He’d been on the constant lookout for such commissions at the guild, when finally this opportunity had presented itself the day before .

Because competition was fierce, he’d originally assumed that it would have taken quite some time to successfully accept such a commission . Instead, however, it had only been three or four days, quite a bit earlier than his projections .

When it came to this, it had to be said that his ability to use restorative magic played a large role . By the time D-ranked magician Suimei had made his way to the reception window, the caravan had already met its requirements for bodyguards . That notwithstanding however, the leader of the caravan had said that when it came to mages wielding healing magics, the more the merrier, and welcomed Suimei .

As presumed, this world was quite welcoming towards mages capable of using restorative magic .

Given that his guild record was still a blank slate with regards to accomplishments, it was possible that the caravan leader was of the opinion that if he was really of use, then it was all worthwhile .

In any event, his plans for the day were already set . Today, he would leave Mehter .

Right then . Let’s head back, Suimei thought to himself, hiding his mercury blade once more on his person .

On the way back to the inn to make final checks on his preparation for the journey ahead, Suimei was walking back to his room when he crashed into someone headfirst going around a corner .

“Oh man, I’m so sorr—!”

For a brief moment, he saw stars . Shaking slightly from the impact, Suimei apologized for his inattentiveness .

Suddenly, he stopped short . More accurately, he was left speechless by a sudden turn of events .

The person Suimei had crashed into was a fellow member of the guild as well as someone lodged in the same inn as him – Lefille Gurakis .

However, what had stunned him so was not that the person he had literally run into was someone familiar to him .

No, he had interrupted himself because this girl, Lefille Gurakis, looked terribly off .

Indeed, she’d come rushing in from somewhere – outside?! – dressed only in her underwear, her eyes red and swollen, tears running down her face .

“Ah—”

Lefille seemed to have finally realized how she must look . Even so, she simply gasped, frozen in surprise . The sorrow that weighed upon her soul was such that it seemingly left her unable to care about her appearance, coming far second to the dark cloud of gloom that rested upon her .

“Uh, um, eh—?”

The other party, Suimei, was similarly frozen stiff, unsure of how to react to the unexpected situation .

Although he’d definitely run into her with a fair amount of force, from what he could tell, this hadn’t been caused by the impact . Both her state of dress and her weeping were simply too far out of the blue .

“Oh, sorry…”

At long last, Lefille seemed to have come to . She wiped her tears, offered those words in a pained voice, and completely disregarding Suimei’s words, dashed directly further into the inn .

Suimei, completely dumbfounded, stood frozen in place before finally muttering to himself in confusion .

“What on earth was that…?”

It was, however, early in the morning, and with all others lost in dreamland, there were none to answer him .

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