Maou No Utsuwa: Prologue 1

A new life. Not reincarnation

——– when I tried opening my eyes, the moon hanging in the sky was what I saw.

It seems that a long time has passed since I lost consciousness. It has been an awfully long time. My whole body felt sore in all sorts of places — which I endured — when I tried to prop up the upper-half of my body. Looking at my surroundings, there was no sign of anybody around. It was good that I fainted, it’s probably time to go home.

On the way back from school, my classmates suddenly encircled me. Those were the guys who always bullied me. They dragged me inside the woods at the back of our school and started bullying me. First, they would pour muddy water on me (from where they fetched it was still unclear to me). Then they would pin me down, forcefully open my mouth, and have me drink the water.

I have always endured it, but because of this, I don’t know when they would stop. However, this day, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I pushed the one who pinned me down and start hitting those that were around me. 

Never had I expected that they wouldn’t flinch from my counterattack. Instead, everything was received head-on, and my struggles ended there. I was helpless against the one enhanced by strengthening magic; it instantly became a one-sided beating. Being outnumbered and unable to use strengthening magic, I couldn’t oppose them. 

Being bullied like this was because I couldn’t even use that magic. 

Magic lessons started one year ago. As the class continued, those around me (my classmates) had already learned it. Steadily, they were improving, except for me, who completely couldn’t even use life magic, said to be the most basic magic.

The side of the Academy was impatient of the troubling situation. Based on the results from the Kingdom’s investigation on foundation of magicians, it was discovered that the reason was ‘absolute’ magical power shortage. Just invoking a single life magic was enough to consume all of my magic power.

With this result being confirmed, my life changed. 

I had confidence in my arm strength, but it couldn’t be compared with the power of those who could use magic. I wouldn’t even be a match with the student at the bottom of the class. Soon, pitying looks turned into scorn, and also, the bullying started.  

It wasn’t just in the Academy. Even in the Noble family that I was born from, Grandfather grieves having a grandchild that was incompetent in magic, which brought shame to the family. Soon, it turned into anger; he would shower me everyday with harsh words. With the way my grandfather treated me, my uncles and aunts, and even my cousins changed their attitude towards me. 

A fully nuisance treatment. 

Now, they wouldn’t even let me live in that house anymore. I was living in a separate room where I could freely travel to and from school.Actually, I am really grateful to the person that kicked me out from there. I am bullied at school and even at that house. Because of that, from the depths of my heart, I was no longer willing to stay in either of those places. 

Although I was thinking like that, it seems like I had reached my limit.

[ All the more better if you kill me] 

While looking at the night sky, those words leaked out from my mouth. 

Living was harsh. When growing up,  shouldn’t my magical power quantity increase so that I could use magic? If I’m useless in magic, then should I strive with swords? That was what I was thinking, but no matter how many times a person tries and exerts effort, somehow, it was all a futile struggle. 

Beyond this point, my mere magicless life at most would be known. Additionally, I had considered leaving the house and live as a one of the commoner but, based on my age, there was no way I would be able to. 

After that, how many years should I keep enduring?—- while thinking this, my tears kept pouring out. 

As I thought, it was best to just die, I might meet my parents at the other side. 

With those thoughts, I had started thinking of a way to die. 

However, something caught my attention a few moments later. With great momentum, something was falling from the skies which was reflected in my eyes. Hastily, while enduring great pain from my body, I’ve rolled around to leave that place.  

When it hit the ground, I heard a loud crash upon impact.

[ Aah, why did I run away] 

I would die — I’m aware of that, I’m not even a bit embarrassed about it. After all, I don’t even have an ounce of courage to commit suicide — while thinking like that, I turned around towards the falling object.  

What I saw was someone who fell down.

[Eeee!? Aaaaa, are you alright?]

[Come here!] 

In confusion, I couldn’t even grunt while going to his side. Just as the fallen man faced towards me, his eyes that was like daggers, glared at me.

[But……, that’s a terrible injury you have] 

The face facing me was covered with blood all over. Not only that, but his whole body was also riddled with cuts.

[Child……]

[Treat me fast]

[Me treating you? It appears that I don’t even know you] 

A pale face faced towards me, that man displayed a scorn in his expression.

[Umm, what kind of person are you?]

[ You couldn’t even tell?]

[Indeed]

[I’m a demon]

[ ……by demon, do you mean ‘that’ demon?]  

[I don’t get what you mean by ‘that demon’. Based on humans, does the word demon have many meanings?]

[ ……besides that, I don’t know the others]

[You’re an odd child. Am I that dreadful?]

[ ……that I couldn’t say]

I, myself, am strange. Speaking of Demons, they are ruthless and cruel creatures. We were taught that they would attack directly if they met any humans. If you met a demon, it would be strange if you wouldn’t feel like fleeing for your life.

[Haa! You, aren’t you a bit strange?]

[Seems like that]

[ ……this case was not a pointless talk. Before those who were after me arrive, I need to escape]

[Pursuers?]

[When a demon appears in the capital, it is only natural to pursue it, right?]

[It would be like so]

That would be a stupid answer from me. What the demon heard was probably the same as what I am thinking.  While giving a bitter smile, I carefully stood up.

[It’s dangerous here. If you don’t want to die, let us hurry to your place]

[Well……]

[What is it?]

[I want to die, you know……]

[ ……Whaaat?]

[Anyhow, can’t you run away after you had killed me?]

[You……, what are you talking about?]

[Nothing really, just that I was exactly thinking of dying. Because you came falling here, I failed at dying.] 

That was a blatant lie. Dying was scary, I couldn’t say that I wanted to run. If I said so, would that person not kill me, that I did understood.

[ ……are you seriously saying that?]

[ Definitely. Living was unbearable anymore. But, it seems that I don’t have the courage to die]

[That’s not a good way to joke]

[I’m not joking]

[That’s a joke. You want to die? In this world, how many do you think wants to live but can’t live?] 

What the demon said sounded right. However, it just sounded right; in this world, if it holds true, then I wouldn’t ever be bullied. That was all I could think of. Somewhere in my heart, this reason was clearly engraved.

[A person like you wouldn’t understand how I feel! Demons are strong, right!? To that person, he won’t bother to know how weak I felt like!] 

Those words that I patiently endured forcefully came out of my mouth. Simultaneously, tears blurred my vision.

[ ……Perhaps you may consider me to be strong, but if you were to consider all of the demons, there will also be those who are considered ‘weak’] 

While looking at the crying me, the demon talked with an admonishing tone.

[That is?]

[Children wouldn’t understand. Demons are also persecuted by humans. That’s the perspective of the hunted. We, individually, are strong, but humans number differently from us. Even as we speak, there might be some of our fellows who are dying]

[Is that so?]

[Yes. Even though we are demons, in this world, we do all we can to live longer. Even if we have to become the enemy of the whole world]

[ ……That is not the words of a weak person. That strong heart is something I do not possess. I beg you. Please, absolutely kill me.]

[ ……You]

[Isn’t this good? Hey, use that sword to just stab me. As for you, killing me is just an easy thing, right?]

[This sword……]

[It doesn’t matter what method you use. Just do it please!]

[But……]

[If you won’t do it, then I will just do it myself. However, if you can be considerate for a pitiful person like me, then please kill me with your own hands!]

[ ……I got it]

Having said what I wanted to say, I think it was probably a bit troublesome. Either way, the demon gave his word that he will kill me.

[Well then, please] 

Although I asked for him to kill me, it’s not like there was no fear of death. Closing my eyes firmly, I waited for the demon to kill me. 

I could sense a presence closing onto me.

[Whaat!] 

Just a bit more — was what I thought as I heard the demon’s astonished voice. 

When that happened, I gently opened my eyes. I could see a faint glow coming from the sword of the demon. The demon had a surprised look while looking at the sword.

[Well?]

[This, what might you call this?]

[What happened? If possible, I would like to ask you for a favor which won’t take too much time]

[ ……the one that you wanted me to do? It’s alright. I’ll kill you using this sword. It would be an honour]

[Indeed] 

Why was it an honour? At that time, I didn’t know what he meant by that because it was not necessary to listen to his reasons. I just obediently nodded to his words.

[Ok, here I come] 

The demon pointed the sword he was holding to my chest. Then, he would stab it. While thinking of it, I closed my eyes again.

[………]

[Would you hurry up?] 

I couldn’t feel any pain no matter how much time passed. As I couldn’t endure it, I asked the demon. It was because it was hard waiting to die.

[I have already stabbed you]

[That’s a good joke]

[That is why I’m saying; I have already stabbed you!]

[Eee? What’s this?] 

After opening my eyes, I could see — before my eyes — the sword holding demon. And also, the point of the sword, as the demon said, was stabbed deeply in my chest.

[What the!?]

The demon was surprised with eyes wide open. I, myself, was also surprised. Feeling no pain, I completely confirmed it by stabbing the sword deeper into my chest. 

With that, soon it completely disappeared in my chest.

[Ugaaaaaa!!] 

Unexpectedly, inside my body, a pain like a burning fire traveled to every part of it. Not withstanding the pain, I struggled and rolled on the ground so as to lessen the pain.

[It can’t be, such a thing!?]

[Ugu, Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!]

[OI! What kind of person are you!? OI!!]

[Guu, Uwaaaaaaaaaaa!!] 

The demon’s voice started to became energetic, but I couldn’t afford to answer him. From the depths of my body, I could feel the neverending burning pain.

[OI! Your scream could be heard at the other side!]

From afar, I could hear someone’s voice.

[Tsk, the pursuers, huh? ……You, if you live, let’s meet again one day. Until then, I’ll give you the sword] 

There was no way I could still live through this situation. In this pain, even while I rolled around, I could still think calmly in my head. 

From the distance, a metallic sound was mixed with the footsteps that could be heard. They were coming closer as expected. It was because the sound could gradually be faintly felt. Soon, my consciousness sunk into a gloomy darkness.

◇◇◇

There was a white ceiling when I opened my eyes. 

The burning pain that assailed me completely vanished, and my whole body felt dull. 

When I look around, nearby, a woman in white clothes was doing something with her back facing me.

[This place is?] 

Having been called, the woman’s shoulders jumped in fright. Immediately, she turned towards my direction.

[So, you have already woken up!?]

[Yes, where am I?]

[This is the Imperial Hospital]

[Hospital……. Is it?]

[Please wait for a while. I’ll first call for the doctor] 

After saying that, the woman exited the room in a hurry.

[ Still alive……] 

Without a doubt, I thought that I had died, but it seems that my wish wasn’t granted. Suffering is more painful than dying. I had recalled the pain at that time.  

Perhaps, that demon wanted to teach me the pain of dying. If that was the case, then that demon was surprisingly kind.  

That thought came to my mind. 

After this, I, myself, should think of what I should do. Dying was completely out of the question. However, I couldn’t think of other options at this time. Rather than having no choices, I should just empty my mind. Somehow, it would make my mind hazy.  

Soon, I could hear hurried footsteps from the corridor. 

I thought, it was the nurse that had gone to call the doctor. However, when I looked at the door of the room, what appeared was a knight wearing an armor that was unsuitable for the hospital.

[Oh, you are already awake. Can you talk?]

[ …… yes]

[Then, I will be direct. I am Henry from the Imperial Guards Knight Group]

[Ano, where’s the doctor?]

[You should prioritize this. After my talk with you, I’ll call him]

[ …… Is that so?] 

That talk should be given more priority than my treatment. Anyhow, I think I understand that the contents are more important to the knight than the state of my body.

[Then, why are you in that place?] 

From the beginning, the knight’s tone was that of one demanding an explanation.

[I just dropped by there when going home from school]

[During such a time?]

[Yes]

[That seems strange? That time, all of the students had long went home]

[But, this is the truth]

[Why not tell me about the truth?]

[The truth?]

[You’re not hiding something, right?] 

I couldn’t see any concern from the knight’s eyes. They were a doubtful eyes no matter how you looked at it. When I saw that, I thought, he was probably thinking that I am a partner of that demon.

Although I became irritated in my mind, I was careful so that it wouldn’t show on my face when answering the knight’s question.

[You’re being bullied by your classmates, right?]

[Haa?]

[So, it’s bullying. Bathing you with muddy water and forcefully making you drink it. You had been punched and kicked by them. If you have talked about this, then I think those guys would be charged of that crime. Since we have already got to this point, I thought there would be no point to keep hiding this any longer]

[No, it isn’t kind that of thing……]

[That thing? Ah, so it’s alright being bullied, right?]

[Nope, that was not what I meant to say]

I did understand what the knight was trying to say, which was why I wanted to cover it up in a hurry in a half-baked effort. Considering myself, it seemed to be all right coming from me.

[So, what is it?]

[Haven’t you met somebody?]

[All those classmates assaulted me. I had fainted, so after that I planned to go home]

[Other than that?]

[Suffering from pain, I couldn’t find someone to help me. Ah, that wasn’t what happened. Unexpectedly, didn’t someone bring me here?]

[That would be my colleague]

[Is that so? Please give him my thanks]

[Ah, after that, haven’t you seen anything?]

[You’re saying……]

[For example, demons?] 

As it was clear that no progress was made, the knight changed to direct question.

[Demon……. When you say demon, is it the cruel and brutal creatures?]

[Ah, that’s right]

[I haven’t seen those creatures. In the first place, if I met those creatures, would I still be alive?] 

The one that I met was a kind one that would eagerly stop me from wanting to die. He wasn’t one of the cruel and brutal creatures.

[You’re quite right……. Is there anything besides that?]

[I had fainted throughout that time]

[A loud voice was heard]

[It was because I was suffering from pain. Possibly pain from the bottom of my heart?]

[Is that so?]

[Should we charge them with their crime?]

[Hmmm? Nope, wouldn’t that be my own choice?]

[Is that so……]

[That would be so, shouldn’t I better consult it with the Academy first?]  

I appeared discouraged as one would expect in that awkward experience. Even if the knight advised me, it wouldn’t have taught me anything. With that, I couldn’t help but groan.

As expected, even the teacher was aware of it for a long time already. However, they kept pretending as if they saw nothing.

[ ……yes, I’ll think about it]

[Ah, as I thought, I should investigate this bullying a little more. Would you tell me their names?] 

I wouldn’t want him to investigate it anymore. With what I implied in my answers, he should have easily understood it.

[Even though I won’t say it directly, those classmates would know instantly. By doing that, it won’t matter if the teacher will listen to it]

[Is that so? No, however……]

[Pardon me but, I haven’t said anything regarding that. It would seem like I’m tattling. With that said, I’ll think about when to reveal all of this……]

[Is that so…….Alright, I understand. I was just asking for your affirmation]

[Please do so]

[That was all of the questions. Pardon me for that. I’ll call for the doctor immediately]

[Please do so] 

While watching the back of the leaving knight, I couldn’t help but take a deep breath. 

As expected, I couldn’t lie. However, I should keep the secret regarding that demon. If that thing were to be exposed, thinking what would become of me made me uneasy, but it was good that I disposed of that thought immediately.   

This country was not kind to me. Instead of kindness, all I could sense was animosity towards me. 

If the demon becomes the calamity of this country, it would have nothing to do with me. 

For some reason, I couldn’t get over this feeling.

As I thought, I might die once again. If it was the me from before, wouldn’t I think other thoughts than that? 

And if so—–if I’ll be reborn after dying, I would chose a different kind of life from this. 

After this, I kept on thinking about that.

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