Volume 1, Chapter 3: I became a human
This is bad…. Lately, that’s been all I had been saying to myself.
Not out loud of course. I couldn’t make any words in the first place. I gave a go at using my voice, however,
That was how I sounded. It was nothing to be confused about though. Right now I am a [Human] baby that still hasn’t even grown any teeth, and can’t even coordinate my tongue and mouth properly.
“My! How adorable. Yuru-sama, what ever is the matter?”
Upon hearing me making a sound, a woman wearing a maid uniform came over and cooed over me with a remarkably tender expression.
Well, babies were cute after all…. But you know, even if you ask a baby such questions, there’s no way it could answer.
Still, [Yuru-sama]….I was aware that the nickname [Yuru] came from my name Yurushia, but as a demon, I can’t help but feel more of a connection to my established [Name].
Well, that’s fine. It isn’t great, but I’ll endure.
But the nickname Yuru reminded me of something. It made me think of a [Mascot] that gave off a loose impression.
Now then…. Two months have passed since the time I was born, and I’ve noticed some things.
It appears that I, Yurushia, was born to a rather splendid household.
The ceiling of my room that I saw every day was adorned with ornaments, and the several maids in waiting were all beauties.
Being addressed as [Yuru-sama] by one of those beautiful ladies made it clear that I was an ojou-sama.
……Hm? I’m a girl, right? Becoming a little anxious, I rubbed my legs together. I didn’t feel anything like that “thing”, which was a relief.
At first there was the question of whether I could properly act like a baby… but my mind was influenced by my infant body. When I wasn’t focused, I would cry involuntarily or spontaneously cause leakages.
There was also the issue of language. It most likely wasn’t english. How exactly was I able to understand this language I hadn’t heard of before? It might be a demonic ability.
Thinking back carefully, The dark beast’s words had sounded like the growling of a regular animal at first, too.
However, I wanted to learn it if possible.
Being able to understand speech, but not read and write was a pain.
There was also the matter of food. My current staple food was breast milk.
It wasn’t very tasty….. Although Mother and two other people who seemed to be wet nurses let me drink their milk, I didn’t have much of an appetite.
However, if I drank too little then Mother would worry, so I forced myself to drink. …..It’s tough.
Now then, this is the biggest question:
What am I? A human? Or am I a demon…?
The number of humans that I got to see in person amounted to five. Mother, the wet nurse Trufi, and lastly, the three maids who took care of me, Vio, Fer and Min. …..Mm? I felt like I’d heard of those three names before….
It was likely that I mixed up their real names and nicknames, but in my present condition there was no way of confirming it.
There probably other people such as the chef, but I’ve yet to see someone among the people of this home that seemed capable of using summoning magic.
In the first place, did magic exist in this world? Well as a matter of fact it did.
Whenever Vio-san turned the light on in the room, she would use what appeared to be magic.
It wasn’t something surprising, seeing as how I came here by summoning magic, but I felt a bit down when I realized that this wasn’t the world from my dream.
They treated me as they would normally treat a baby even though I was a demon, so it was unlikely that these people were the ones who summoned me.
That being the case, it could only have been a natural phenomenon. Or perhaps the accidental result of a failed summoning from elsewhere.
But that wasn’t much to be concerned about. The problem was that I had [Incarnated] into the material plane.
Yes. ….. I all of a sudden thought about [Who] it was that was sacrificed for my manifestation.
I broke out in a cold sweat.
The most likely answer to that question, was that this body of mine… was manifested through the sacrifice of a baby.
The purity of a newborn’s soul and body. Judging from the prosperity of this household, it would most likely be of the lineage of a [Noble]. It was more than enough qualities for a demonic sacrifice.
This is bad, very bad….
It was appalling to think that I might have taken away and replaced the child of such a loving mother.
What should I do….
But, while I was drowning in my worries, my dilemma solved itself of its own accord.
One day, when Mother and Trufi-san saw that I was doing my best in drinking breast milk, they breathed a sigh of relief before entering into a keen conversation.
“…..Yuru-sama is doing so well…it’s such a relief, Ria-sama….”
“Yes….. When this child was stillborn…I was in despair, but to think she would suddenly come back to life…. I must thank Vio for that.”
“Vio repeatedly used healing magic for hours on end….. She was on the verge of giving up, still….. The other children were also delighted.”
In other words, the baby had died at the time of birth. At that point Vio-san, who was capable of magic, continually used healing magic on the dead baby.
The fact that she had repeatedly used magic in that manner must mean that the baby didn’t revive. It would have been a different story if she was a user of resurrection magic, but it would have been strange for such a person to be a maid.
Therefore, going by the current situation, it was most likely that the baby’s body alone was used as the sacrifice for my manifestation.
It might have been slightly lacking as a sacrifice, but I suppose as a demon I only amounted to that much.
There was also the factor of me forcefully opening the summoning gate as well.
That I was a demon that sacrificed a baby to manifest… wasn’t something I was entirely sure about.
For a demon, my [Power] was much too meager.
Of course, I did possess the ability to decipher languages and didn’t hunger easily, but apart from that I was truly just a [Human] baby. I couldn’t even crawl yet.
For the time being, I suppose I’ll just wait out the situation while gathering information….
Although I wanted to gather information, I had mostly made no progress.
The reason for that being that I was never taken outside of the house.
A year had passed, and the clumsy me had finally became capable of walking on all fours. I couldn’t hope to go outside on my own, but I hadn’t expected not even being taken along for shopping.
Was that how it normally was in this world?
Nevertheless, there was something that I had come to understand to a certain degree.
My place of residence was said to be a mansion, but it was a smaller place compared to the other mansions I could see outside the windows. Our place must be the villa of a noble, or the house of a wealthy merchant. That was why, even now I’m not sure of my social status.
Mother’s name was Riastea. Ria was her nickname.
I have yet to meet Father. From what I’ve put together from the conversations I’ve heard, he had apparently come to visit me only once, around the time when I was just born and wasn’t able to see well yet. I’m sure he was busy with work.
In our residence, there was a chef, and a slightly younger man who worked as both gardener and guard. I still don’t know their names.
I should probably mention this also. It was something I had suspected since the first time I saw magic being used for illuminating rooms, but there was no electricity. I guessed the cultural level here was around the Middle Ages of Europe.
The meals weren’t tasty…
It was quite problematic.
I knew the reason for it though. It wasn’t the fault of the cook, but instead my sense of taste.
I did find a way around it, but it wasn’t a solution to the cooking. Whenever I would receive milk from Mother, I would cling to her chest, and from her I could smell a fragrance that just a little sweet. Of course, Mother’s smell was a good smell, but it was different from that.
It was the same light intoxication I felt from when mofumofuing [Him]. I could feel that same intoxication from Mother and Trufi-san, and by taking in that sweetness at the same time as drinking milk, it became tasty.
What exactly was that smell, I wonder…? I should find out eventually.
One day, a few days before I was to turn into a 1 year old, I was made to wear pretty clothing for babies.
It wasn’t a kimono or anything, and the clothes I usually wore were also good looking, but I presumed that it was clothing for going outside.
That’s right. Today, I would be going outside of home for the first time.
Th-this is bad.
It’s seriously bad.
My mood that was full of cheer at the thought of going out with Mother deflated like a balloon.
Inside of the carriage that was heading out, was me and Mother, Fer-san and Min-san.
Well, to summarize the information I gathered while being pampered by the women for several tens of minutes, an unthinkable fact came to light.
I was in a strongly religious country called the [Holy Kingdom].
Almost all the priests of this country were capable of using the so-called [Purify] magic that was holy magic.
In this country there was a custom, where infants would receive [Blessings] at a church through the use of holy water, but of course it wasn’t something enforced by the law. It even costed money after all.
For some reason, though, this time, there was an official notice dictating that while the government would cover the costs, all children born within this year must receive the blessings…
From all over the country…including those from the outskirts of towns, villages and the slums, even the children of immigrants and traveling entertainers would be thoroughly investigated. In other words, it was now something compulsory.
This was bad wasn’t it. This was what you’d call bad, right? Holy water and blessings, wouldn’t a weak demon perish from those things?
I’m a baby you know. Terribly frail, okay?
Upon seeing me trembling in fear, the three women assumed that it was the fault of the carriage and that it was my first time outside, so they comforted me in various ways, even telling me that horses weren’t scary, but I didn’t feel any better. It would have been stranger if I did.
Why of all times, did they have to do such a thing now…..
……We’ve arrived at the church.
The building didn’t appear so different from the ones in my dream. If I had to point out something though, it was that the cross symbol at the top part of the church looked more like a plus sign.
Min-san told me that the goddess-sama of good harvest is worshiped here, but I’m a baby that can’t understand you know? If I could, that would be strange you know?
Inside of the church, there were several women that were all embracing infants like me.
Standing in front of a statue of the goddess was an old man wearing blue clothes, it seemed that he would be the one carrying out the blessings.
I was scared. But there was no escape.
My turn came, and Mother walked before the old man while holding me in her arms.
“Archbishop-sama. It has been a long time since we last met.”
Mother bowed to the old man. So this person… was an archbishop-sama.
“Well if it isn’t Riastea-sama. It has been a long time indeed. My apologies for troubling you to come in person.”
It seemed like they were acquainted from how the old man kindly laughed and greeted Mother.
“So…this child must be….”
“Yes. She is my child…Yurushia.”
My cheeks slightly stiffened in response to the strong gaze the old man gave me, as if he was checking something.
“…..Well then, let us begin.”
Around ten minutes had passed… and in the end, nothing happened.
At the moment when holy water was poured over my head, I couldn’t help but feel like crying, but it didn’t burn nor did I turn into a beast. To my relief, I received the holy magic [Blessing] without any problems.
When it was finished, the old man gently patted my head, which made me smile extremely happily.
Though, seeing as how I was fine with holy magic that was supposed to repel demons, I had to reconsider the first hypothesis I had made about myself.
Although I was under the impression that I was a demon that successfully manifested, but it might be that I wasn’t a [Human-like Demon], but instead, a [Demon-like Human].
As for this, whether I had been reborn as a human or not… was hard to say, but I thought that the situation was exceedingly close to it.
It was an accident I say, an accident. An act of god.
And so, after we left the church, we went shopping before heading back home.
During the shopping, the three women would take turns in carrying me in their arms, but when I took a closer look around my surroundings, I saw that the wealthy looking people would use something that looked like a baby stroller for their children.
I wonder why we didn’t have one? Even though a one-year-old must be fairly heavy.
The Holy Kingdom Taterudo
It was one of the major powers of this world with a total population of several million if you were to include the five outer town areas outside of the capital Tariasu.
In one of those outer towns, in an area to the west of the territory that was governed by duke Koeru, named Touru.
Most of the nobles that lived within the territory of Touru were retainers to duke Koeru, who all dedicated the same amount of loyalty to him as they did to His Majesty the King.
Within that area, 60% of the citizens were religious. For Archbishop Molt, the chief officer in charge of Touru’s territory, as well as the state church of the deity of good harvest, the goddess Kostoru, every morning was a busy one.
He had not changed his lifestyle even though he had already passed the age of 60. He rose together with the morning sun, and offered a prayer to the goddess. Afterwards he would head to his personal farmland in the back of the church, and only once he finished looking after the land would he take breakfast.
Giving instructions to his followers while drinking tea after his meal, he finally finishing the first part of his day. Molt solemnly stood up from his chair as he rubbed his shoulders with a tired face that he wouldn’t display in front of the church devotees.
This year was an extremely busy one. All due to the influence of that one event.
A large-scale demon summoning incident had happened within the outskirts of Touru territory, caused by a demon worshiping organization.
Including the twelve summoners involved, the names of several nobles were found to be among the dozens of that organization’s members, and while nearly all of them were wiped out or arrested, there were also dozens of casualties from the knight order as well as regular soldiers.
What was found to be drawn in a garden that was in the possession of a certain noble was a gigantic summoning circle that could cleanly fit onto the grounds of a small mansion.
Aiming for the moment when the summoning would already be taking place so as to capture all of the culprits, an armed force including the reinforcements from the imperial capital, comprising of forty five knights, two hundred soldiers, and thirty holy magic wielding Kostoru priests, commenced an assault against that organization, only to encounter demons that were lying in ambush.
Demons. Those that were on the opposite side of the material plane, in one of the realms of the spiritual world. The inhabitants of the demon realm.
With figures covered all over in dark grimy fur, they walked on two legs as they trampled on the soldiers with speed and strength that exceeded that of beasts.
Possessing strange, large bodies, their gray eyes contained hatred towards all living things, and their yellow fanged mouths were twisted as if finding delight in the humans’ fear.
There were ten of these lesser demons. Not only that, there were also three greater demons that were even larger than the lesser demons, who wielded spears and axes formed out of the combination of black horns and bones.
There was a distinct difference between lesser and greater demons, outside of their physique and weapons.
That difference lied in their intelligence, and magic.
Every action taken by spirits and demons, the inhabitants of the spiritual world, was accompanied by magical power. In the case of a lesser demon, a simple punch from the demon would crush the internal organs of a human, and a normal weapon wouldn’t be able to wound the demon’s magic infused body.
Greater demons, however, were capable of shooting out fireballs or ice arrows like rain with but a single scream, without even needing to chant the magic spell.
There were many factors that attributed victory to the kingdom’s soldiers. One was due to the many anti-demon magic weapons that they carried.
Another was that they had a great number of anti-demon specialist priests among their ranks.
Finally, it was because the person they had invited from the magical academy, to act as an adviser in summoning magic, so that they were able to use powerful spirit magic.
[Spirits] and [Demons], beings that were inhabitants of the same spiritual world, were considered to be of equal rank.
However, while lesser demons had limited intelligence, spirits still possessed high intelligence even if they were of a lower class.
Although physically strong, the demons could only manage temporary manifestations due to incomplete sacrificial offerings, and, unable to resist against the magic, they were destroyed by the summoned spirits.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
The demons had been summoned beforehand to act as guards, sacrificial pawns buying time so that their [Hearts Desire] could be summoned from the gigantic summoning circle.
Spirits that were summoned into the material world manifest in the form of one of the four elements in the material world: fire, wind, water or earth. Hence, their powers were stable, and are usually stronger than unstable demons. However, if a demon that possessed an even higher intelligence than a greater demon appeared… If that being was to gain a vessel and manifest, it would become an existence on the same level as a spirit king.
The lesser demons had all been destroyed. The soldiers and knights who were covered all over in wounds were bringing down the final greater demon that was guarding the demon worshipers.
But the moment the heart of the last remaining summoner was pierced through by a knight’s sword, from behind of the collapsing summoner’s corpse, [Something] had appeared in the gigantic summoning magic circle.
It was… a small golden cat, overflowing with beauty.
Charming…is what they had thought. So lovely…everyone on the scene was captivated by that beauty, so sublime.
Was it truly a demon…..? Was it not instead a divine messenger that was mistakenly summoned from heaven?
However, that expectation was betrayed by a few spoken words.
When the last remaining greater demon uttered those words as it vanished, they knew that the golden beast was one of those existences among demons…a superior demon.
If this beast was to run amock, what would become of our country? All of them were holding that thought in their chest and not making a single move, when the summoning circle that had lost its summoner in the middle of the summoning, lost its light.
At the same time the summoning was cancelled, the demon called the golden beast turned into a golden light and disappeared into the sky.
Disappeared into the sky. That was the problem.
A demon that had its summoning interrupted would disappear into the summoning circle and return to the demon realm. That being the case, where could this demon have disappeared to?
Together, the Holy Kingdom and the church began a search for the demon called [Golden Beast].
There was also the possibility that it had returned to the demon realm. Another likelihood was that its existence was erased. However, if that demon was a superior individual, and if it somehow gained a vessel, then the possibility of it becoming a terrible threat was highly probable.
They searched spiritual locations… in other words environments with high magical power, to no avail. As a last resort, the church decided to gather every child that was born within a year since the occurrence of that incident. If this endeavor were to fail and the demon was not uncovered, then the demon would be assumed to have perished.
During these several months, Molt had blessed over a hundred infants.
Of course, there were more infants than that in the territory of Touru, but the ones that he granted blessings to were the children that were proved, through a government investigation of utmost secrecy, to possess [Magical Power], as well as the possibility of becoming the vessel of a demon.
If it was just creating holy water through holy magic, then other priests would have been fine. However, there weren’t many that could use the holy magic blessing, and those that could were in other lands performing their own screening operations, so that was why Molt had no choice but to bless the children himself.
And those that he was responsible for blessing were the children with the highest possibility of being the demon.
It was only natural that Molt was exhausted, but he couldn’t afford to lose focus, blessing one child after another.
“Is today the last…?”
When Molt muttered those words, the middle-aged priest walking by his side affirmatively replied.
“Yes. Although there are still a large number of children remaining, today is the last of the children with high magical power that requires Molt-sama’s assistance.”
Even though it was just a confirmation, Molt was satisfied by the expected response.
As a clergyman and as the archbishop, it wasn’t something he would be praised for, but nonetheless, he thought it would be alright, for tonight, at least, to drink some alcohol along with the produce from his vegetable garden as appetizers.
With that goal in mind, he was performing the blessings in high spirits when the final person appeared.
The mother was the daughter of a viscount he was acquainted with. The woman was someone he had known from the time she was a child, and though he was unmarried, he thought of her as his own blood-related daughter.
The lovely young lady from back then had become an adult, and was now even more beautiful.
He was apologetic towards the viscount in thinking this, but as far as he was concerned, her daughter was his grandchild too.
Yurushia. The child was lovely like an angel, so dazzling that Molt squinted his eyes.
The child appeared to be frightened by something.
Certainly, most children that came into contact with an adult they were meeting for the first time and having water poured over their heads would feel frightened.
But in those cases, most of the time the children would cry and shout, but until now, none of them had been as scared as this girl.
For a moment, he stared at her with suspicion. But when he saw Yurushia about to cry the moment he poured the holy water over her head and afterwards being comforted by a panicking Riastea, he dismissed his previous suspicion as overthinking it.
He put his all into blessing Yurushia, and when finally he gave the puzzled looking girl a gentle pat on the head while grinning widely, Yurushia showed Molt a most brilliant and angelic smile.
Molt thought to himself.
‘If a child capable of such a smile was a demon, this world would be overflowing with demons, and would have been destroyed long ago.’
Molt firmly believed that today, the shadow of the demon hanging over the territory of Tuul was now gone.