Published at 17th of September 2019 11:24:20 PM

Chapter 1

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The Little Girl Raised by Death 1 – Three Shadows


“Grandma, please read this book today!”

A young boy pulled a book off the shelf and presented it to his grandmother, Camilla, who was kitting on her chair.

“This book again? Mikhail really likes this story, doesn’t he?”

Camilla stopped her knitting and took the book from Mikhail’s little hands. It was his favorite picture book, and they’d read it countless times together already. The book’s cover was cracked, and the long faded hand-drawn cover was testified to that, but Camilla still remembered the content vividly. It was about a black sword embedded upon the top of a hill, and someone from a faraway land that came to draw it – The Tales of Hero Diuve De Ricca.

That was the title of the book.

“Un, I love it! Because in the picture-book, he’s the strongest hero that ever lived!”

While he said so, Mikhail moved his small limbs around excitedly; apparently in an attempt to imitate the hero. Seeing his cute behavior, Camila naturally smiled. No matter the era, boys always looked up to heroes.

“Come, Mikhail. Quick, come here.”

Mikhail happily came when she gestured for him to sit on her lap and he did. His face looked up while he feet fluttered excitedly. His grandmother gently stroked his platinum hair and opened the book to the first page.

“Once upon a time, there was a girl raised by the grim reaper -”

This was a story of the girl who would later become known as the “Jet Black Hero”. Like most stories, it had a trivial beginning.

[E/N: May change the name to something better.]

Deep inside a remote forest, hundreds of trees grew tall as if they wanted to pierce the sky itself. Its under canopy was dark as night even during the day. As if to make the forest more mysterious, a dense fog always enveloped it. Since the age of ole’, the area had always been feared deeply by the people. No matter how amazing one’s sense of direction, they would always become lost, and that was a death sentence within this forest.

Like its namesake, it was impossible to leave the forest Rumors always told of people entering the forest but never told of their return. Nowadays, no one dared to approach the forest.

Nestled quietly in the middle of the forest, was a tower made of glossy black stones. Covered in moss and vegetation, it gave off an air of solemness. Around the tower were six black stone pillars, intricate engravings covered their surfaces, but three had already partially collapsed. From the way it had weathered and what grew over it, it had collapsed long ago. Several cracks ran through the remaining pillars, and it wouldn’t be strange if another were to fall apart soon.

Since ancient times, this was believed to a temple that led to the underworld.

Nearby this long forsaken entrance, somehow, an infant wrapped in a blood-soaked cloth slept. A bloodied man leaned against one of the nearby pillars, a broken sword still in his grasp.

The forest teemed with wild beasts, and the sweet scent of a human baby, along with the fresh scent of blood, promised a bountiful meal to any of them. Surely, a beast would eventually pass and eat them, but in reality; not even the caw of a bird could be heard, little lone a single beast.

It was as if the entire area around the tower was in a state of slumber, silent and tranquil. But also eerie.

“No wonder I felt something was amiss… There are humans here. Yet another soul here in search of the temple? This one is not but an infant, and the other is already dead. May heaven accept his soul.”

A shadow peeked at the baby, then to the corpse as it muttered to itself.

“This baby… What awaits your frail soul here is nothing but death… Why bother to resist now?”

Two shadows appeared, almost as if they had been there all along, one swayed eerily as it swung its scythe down – aiming for the baby’s heart… But the other shadow interrupted its move with a gesture. Not only did it stop it before it struck, but also shattered the scythe.

“… Why do you interfere? Do not tell me you’ve taken pity upon this child?”

“Nom, I did not. I just want… To observe a little longer.

“You’ve always been like that. Always interested in the strangest things… Very well, do as you wish.”

With that said, the two shadows disappeared as if they had melted into the ground. The original shadow remained and approached the infant. It held the baby gently with slightly shaking arms. As if on cue, the infant opened her eyes to reveal jet black eyes. In those eyes, reflecting the shadow. So looked for a while at it –

Then smiled.

“Fumu. This would make an interesting subject of observation.”

An amber necklace hung around the baby’s neck. The shadow’s stare alternated between the gem and the baby before it nodded.

『Fumu. This would make an interesting observation.』