POV Chapter: Meeting with the mamono, Ema
The wasteland that is called the edge of the world.
That is exactly where we are living.
It has a messed up environment and one can’t even live properly in this vast ground.
But even with that, we highland orcs, take residence in a relatively blessed area. By producing crops and hunting preys we are somehow able to live.
To be honest, I want to live in a more bountiful place.
But to move the village the risks are way too high.
Even at this moment, a number of great warriors have gone out to look for a good plot of land but, in the scope we are able to move to, will there be a place that is better than this one?
I have doubts for the future but, the days keep on passing.
That is the everyday life of us.
Yet, since several years ago the situation changed.
From the far west mountains, a dragon that calls itself Shen has demanded sacrifices.
Of course, we couldn’t accept just like that.
We tried to oppose it.
The warriors took their swords and the magicians held their staffs.
Highland orcs exceled in both sword and magic. It’s embarrassing to say it myself but we are a strong race.
We have survived the interior of this wastelands, we have a bit of pride ourselves.
But the Superior Dragon, that even among the giant dragons is considered the strongest. The strength of Shen was too immense.
In the base of Shen that is located at the distance, the units’ expeditions were unable to reach it.
What we could only do was to intercept, we thought if we can at least do that, the other party would give up.
But the actions of Shen were to envelop the entire village with the mist that it governed.
That mist, not only took the vision of our surroundings but sapped our physical strength as well.
Even our crops couldn’t grew poorly.
Anyhow the mist had coiled around our village.
It couldn’t get any worse.
The swords and magic couldn’t get rid of it.
The balance had crumbled.
The important balance that enabled us to live in this barren wastelands.
Of course, we didn’t perish immediately.
But everyone knew that was not far in the future.
After that we tried many experiments, in the end we couldn’t resolve the situation and we had to accepted the demands of Shen.
Every half a year a girl would be send to be sacrificed.
Even this was merely a slower way to perishing.
It was a humiliating choice.
Freed from the mist, we had to worship Shen like a deity.
The days where we had to use –sama (a honorific) to someone who only brought harm to our village, began.
Slowly the girls from the village decreased.
I, the daughter of the village headman, was no exception.
At last the moment has come.
A village that had a feeling of closure and the despair that floated around it.
How did things end up like this?
Come to think of it.
A number of times, a rarely seen race that had blue skin, offered to help us but, for some reason Dad didn’t even heed their words.
I think he said they were called Demon race.
I have only spoken with them for a bit but, they seemed to give a feeling of gentleness.
We are being cornered this much, it should be fine to ask for their help. Or at least that’s what I think.
The village’s decisions were done by father and other influential people. It wasn’t something a woman like me could intervene in, so I have never spoke out.
Thinking that not long now I would be dying, as my last words I decided to tell him my opinion.
It happened on the night before I was to depart.
“Father, I have a favor to ask of you”
“Ema, huh. What is it?”
“When I go, I want you to listen to what the demon race has to say. I don’t know what they want from us but at this rate the village will disappear”
Father was silent.
“I have already accepted the fact I will be a sacrifice. But…”
“… Are you scared?”
Father said it in a way that seemed as if he wanted to save me, I don’t know if there was a different meaning to it but, he asked me if I was scared.
I silently shake my head horizontally.
“If the village disappears, I and every girl who had been sacrificed would have died in vain. I don’t want that. I am dying for the future of the Highland Orcs. At least, that’s what I want it to be”
“Ema… I understand. If even when you become a sacrifice, he demands another sacrifice, we will accept the alliance with the Demon race.
“Thank you, Father”
I am glad.
With this, I might become the last sacrifice.
If we obtain the Demon races’ cooperation, the relationship with Shen might change for the better.
Even though I confronted my own father, somewhere inside me I felt a bright feeling while I walked through the wasteland.
Choosing a path with good view, when an opposing monster or race appears I take the initiative and use magic to implode them. With that I was able to make it all the way here.
As long as I take the initiative, most of the monsters, even with only me, I would be able to somehow take care of them.
At the time of the first sacrifice a warrior accompanied her to the god mountain where Shen was, but now they had to pass a number of relay points by themselves in order to reach there.
There weren’t enough hands so we had no other choice.
That’s why the girl that has been chosen as the sacrifice will have to spend half a year learning magic.
The girls who are more skillful with the sword were taught how to handle weapons.
Not even saying for half a year, I had been practicing since the day I remember so there was no problem with me.
In that half a year of concentrating on the practice of magic I felt a tad bit happy.
It was a small thing but remembering the fun I had in that half a year, my face unconsciously made a smile.
Now I prepared myself.
Lifting my face, there were rugged rock walls and a terrain with lots of protuberances in a wide area.
This is the last rough spot.
Since the vision in this area was bad, a surprise attack is possible.
I have to move out of this area fast as it’s a place with lots of dangers.
Though if I am to pass this place fine, I will reach a cave that will lead directly to the god mountain.
I made my first step in the rocky area.
“Please, someone help me!!!!”
Even I didn’t understand to whom I was calling for help.
My staff had been blown off my hands and had broken.
Now it won’t be useful at all.
I, who didn’t have a single weapon in hands, was now facing a demonic beast.
A giant dog.
But he had two heads.
A dark deep blue haired demonic beast that I knew.
“Why is Liz in this kind of place?”
That is the name of the double headed dog in front of me.
It’s a fearsome demonic beast that creates groups and can breathe both fire and ice.
If I had the distance it wouldn’t be impossible for me to defeat him.
But losing my staff and being brought into physical combat distance, it wasn’t an opponent I could handle.
What makes them so dreadful was their cunning way of hunting their prey in groups so it was strange to encounter a single one, in that sense it could be said I was lucky.
It could be said but…
Since I can’t defeat it, it was pointless luck.
There isn’t supposed to be a Liz turf in this areas though?
This is bad, he is coming.
My breath is growing shallow.
No, to die by being sacrificed is one thing but, to die prey of this Liz!
Don’t joke with me!
“Someone help me!!!!”
I screamed from the bottom of my heart.
I see the Liz heartlessly placed his strength on his hind legs and slightly shrink his body.
For this to be the end, for what sake did I…!
The Liz ears perked up.
Releasing the strength he placed in his body the Liz both heads face at the same direction.
What is happening?
The Liz was lured by it and I followed him.
What is it, it seems that a cloud of dust is being raised?
“What? A race I have never seen before?”
Liz made an overpowering roar in that direction.
It is obvious that he is more preoccupied by the trespasser than in me.
In the same way as us Orcs, the shadow was running with a pair of legs in speeds that were impossible.
Isn’t it way too fast?
In a breath it had shortened the distance between us and its appearance was clear.
“ASFHDSKJHFS!!” (TN: Yes, that’s what it says I’m not messing around)
Plunging with a shout I couldn’t understand well, he released a flying kick on Liz.
A physical match with the Liz?!
Is he a warrior?
Will it be repelled or will he be able to deal damage? Anyways his strength will be determined.
But he must have great confidence in his strength if he is challenging Liz to a physical match.
I muttered lowly.
It took me time to notice it was me who said that.
It was fast but, it was only a flying kick.
He wasn’t using any magic and he was probably not using any kind of special equipment.
Not only that, I could also sense clumsiness in his movements.
He tore off the body of the Liz when he hit him.
Even though I saw it with my own eyes, my mind could still not perceive it as reality.
When it landed, it softly got up and turned its back. (TN: all this time she has been talking as if ‘he’ is an ‘it’. There is no definer as she doesn’t understand what he is)
Not far from it, a meat lump that was once Liz was there.
I am convulsing, I am definitely dead now.
With only one hit?
The Liz that was a mass of hard body hair and muscle… it killed him?
It is saying something.
Turning its eyes to one side, joining its hands, closing its eyes, it did many gestures I didn’t comprehend.
Our languages probably don’t match.
At the time it shouted I couldn’t understand it either after all.
Though I think it is probably male.
Taking into account that voice and physique.
With all the knowledge I have I try to think of what he is.
A hairless face that seemed smooth.
Simple garments made of cloth I have never seen before.
But the sewing techniques utilized to make it were clearly skilled.
He didn’t have claws nor fangs and there is no tail.
Such kind of creature.
Could it be a warrior that has come from outside that we have made contact a couple of times. The so called hyuman?
Anyways, they are the hyuman race or so I have heard.
Dissecting the body of the enemies it has defeated, oppressing the people that run away and have lost their will to fight, it seems they are a brutal race.
Now that I think of it, there was a dangerous race that had confronted the demon race.
Could it be the hyuman?
Our eyes met!
Without any cautiousness he was coming closer to me.
Even if we are both barehanded, just seeing that spectacle, there is no way I would think we are on the same ground.
“Ah… Nice to meet you”
“Hiiii! He spoke?!”
Without thinking I let out a pathetic voice.
But I am not wrong.
Just a while ago I wasn’t able to understand a single word yet, all of a sudden he said words I understood. He began to talk in my language.
There is no way I wouldn’t be shocked.
In a glance he saw through that I was a highland orc and changed the language he spoke?
Hyuman(provisional), scary. (TN: She is still not sure, hence the parenthesis)
“I am not strange. I am gentle and kind. Do you understand me?
Boku? (TN: A Japanese way to refer himself)
As expected, he is a man.
I certainly understand what he is saying.
I move my head up and down.
If for him this means the same thing as what I know, I couldn’t think about it at that moment.
But, I felt there was something wrong…
??! I- I am gently and kind?!
What am I doing?!
Hurriedly I shake my head left and right.
“There is no way someone who kills a Liz in one hit to be ‘gentle and kind’!” (Ema)
I could feel my body shivering again.
This guy, what kind of nonsense is he saying?
“Oh I see. I am strong! I am stronger than you!”
I knew iiiiiiit!
Shrinking my body I tremble.
Without denying it, he suddenly came with a threat.
He hasn’t done anything after that but, I feel like he is intimidating me.
When I sneaked a glance from the opening in my hands.
He lifted up his hands and watched my scared appearance with a confused expression.
Just what are you?!
No matter how much I want to stay calm, the fear inside me always gets me.
“Well, calm down…”
It sounded as if he was telling himself that though.
Saying that, he continued the conversation with me.
Talking with him I noticed that he was unexpectedly a comprehensive person.
How to say it… a good person.
In the middle of it I asked him if he possessed that unique power called Tamer, but it seems he didn’t.
By the way, Tamer is a unique power that rarely appears in the demon race and hyuman. They can communicate with demonic beasts and mamono, and sometimes even control them.
After hearing that he said “Are you also lost?”
When I called him a hyuman he didn’t negate it so I think he is a hyuman.
But, what is that about ‘also’? Did he get lost while walking alone in this wasteland?
No, that is not possible.
What kind of absurdity occurred for that to happen?
And he doesn’t even seem to know that this is the border of the world.
What is this? This mysterious person.
When I told him that I was a village sacrifice and that I was on my way to the gods’ mountain, he made a meek face and concerned about me he asked about the village situation and how we normally lived, those kind of things.
As expected, I think he is not a bad person.
He is a weird hyuman.
He introduced himself as Makoto, a 17 year old like me, and he escorted me to the last place I was to rest, the ‘Body Purifying Field’.
As he is my benefactor I decided to call him Makoto-sama.
He then called me Ema-san. I felt ticklish.
It’s alright to not call me with honorifics, but maybe he doesn’t have that kind of custom?
Since the time he began to escort the journey has been proceeding smoothly.
There were no surprise attacks, only some races that were looking at us.
They seemed to be cautious of Makoto-sama and couldn’t get close.
I am truly trankful.
I felt relieved in my heart that now I could fulfill my duty as a sacrifice.
The entrance of the cave was in sight.
“Makoto-sama can you please wait here for a bit? I have to explain the presence of Makoto-sama to the people of the forest” (Ema)
“I get it” (Makoto)
I told Makoto-sama to wait for me for a bit and entered the cave first.
He obediently agreed and stopped, send me off by waving his hands.
“Ema-Sama, I am glad you have arrived safely”
“Thanks. There is a person who saved my live on the way. There is no problem if he comes to rest right?” (Ema)
“Ooh! A life savior?! I get it. Then, that person is?”
“Calmly hear me out. I havent seen them before but he is probably a hyuman” (Ema)
“Yeah. It seems he is lost but I don’t understand his circumstances well. But what I’m sure about is that he rushed to me when I was in trouble and defeated a Liz in one hit. By all means I want to welcome him before we part” (Ema)
“A human though. I haven’t seen one either but I heard they are brutal and extremely greedy, on top of that, an exceedingly cruel race”
“I have already spoken with Makoto-sama, in regards to him there is no such thing. Please” (Ema)
Persisting in my request, they accepted what I said.
They probably heard my selfish request because I was a sacrifice.
I have to be grateful for that.
From the entry I wave my hand to Makoto-sama as a signal.
Even if I’m interested in him there is no point.
To the me that is soon to die.
The Makoto-sama who suddenly appeared, that complete mystery. I couldn’t stop the curiosity that was slowly growing inside me.
At that night at the cave with Makoto-sama, for me it was the fun I have not had in a long time, it was the best night.
I liked to tend to another person.
Even if it was a guest that came to the village, like for a friend celebration.
At these times, if I had to say which one I am, I am the kind that receives hospitality from others. There were lots of times where I was in a special position. I would normally enjoy those times more than normal.
If talking about Makoto-sama, he was really interested in the magic I used. It seemed he couldn’t hold it in anymore and asked me about it.
“Ema-san. That, is magic right?” (Makoto)
“Y-Yeah. This is a magic that we normally use in our daily lives. Hyumans call it sorcery though” (Ema)
I had heard that Hyumans called magic, sorcery. I was a bit surprised that he called it magic.
At that time, he asked me if he could use magic as well.
When I answered that, “Even if I look like this , I am actually one of the most prominent magic users in the village” His eyes began to shine.
I am actually the strongest one but I tried to be a bit humble.
Then Makoto-sama requested me to teach him magic.
I can’t believe it.
While being in that wasteland, without a weapon, and moreover without knowing magic.
Well with that physical strength it could be possible but…
He also said that he hadn’t eaten for 3 days. While being reluctant, he ate the reserves of food in our cave.
Well he asked me but since he said he doesn’t even know the existence of magic, with low expectations I will teach him about the aria of the magic I am using as a form of thanks. I explained him a bit of what was magic energy. (TN: aria is the magic chant used to activate a spell)
When I did that, he really, even if it was elementary magic, with just one try of the aria, was able to successfully conjure it.
Wanting to know just how strong this person was, I took out an item from the storage that was able to identify the levels and the result was… he was a level 1.
There is no level 1 that strong.
I thought he was a level 100 or 300 at the very least.
Most of the demon race that come to the village are around level 300.
He is really a mysterious person.
Is he a genius?
From the persons that exceled in talent, there was normally a hard to approach atmosphere. But from this person I cant feel anything at all.
In the end, after promising him that I would give him the arias that I know at a later time, the day came to a closure.
At that night I took a leather piece to use as a paper and wrote and wrote and wrote like crazy, every single aria that I knew.
I thought that if my knowledge can stay inside my benefactor Makoto-sama then that is something to be happy about.
In the night where everyone was already asleep, I went to the room he was and silently left the paper there and went to sleep.
Last night he lived a harmonious live as the only different one in this place filled with highland orcs.
I could feel the alertness of the warriors and all the other ones.
The next day.
I who had slept till late at night went to the guest room wishing to see the figure of my benefactor.
But, I couldn’t find him.
I couldn’t see the figure of Makoto-sama anywhere.
Is he still sleeping?
It will be breakfast soon though.
There is still some time before I had to go but if for only a bit I want to talk about a lot more stuff with Makoto-sama.
Even if I checked the inside, in the place where he is supposed to be sleeping he was not there.
That’s why I went to the entrance and asked the guards there.
“Good morning” (Ema)
“If it is about him, he left early in the morning”
“I have a letter from him”
“A letter from Makoto-sama?” (Ema)
In the letter that had been taken out there was certainly letters written in it.
And no doubt it was in our language.
Just what in the world is he?
Even in our village there aren’t many who can write.
“Thanks for yesterday. Its been a long time since I have slept somewhere around the rooftop. The magic aria that you have left beside my pillow I receive it thankfully. To have politely taught magic to a total stranger like me I was really moved. For the sake of Ema-san who had been so kind to me, I want to do something. Is what I thought. I don’t know to what extend but please wait for at least one day before going to the god mountain. I will do something about that guy Shen. Just that, it’s possible that I will be unable to return there anymore. If tomorrow Shen is not at Gods Mountain then please go back to the village with everyone. For being with me at the time when I thought I wouldn’t be able to meet with anyone anymore, I truly thank you.
Such a thing.
Makoto-sama is certainly strong.
But we are talking about the Superior Dragon Shen, a dragon that stands at the top of the dragons. It’s hard to expect something.
No matter what kind of existence, if you are not a Superior Dragon as well or at least a Superior Spirit, there is no way you will be able to fight it one on one.
To challenge him with only the poor-quality magic I have taught you.
That wouldn’t be a fight, it’s a suicide.
I hurriedly make preparations depart.
I am not sure if I will be able to catch up with him but still, if I make it I have to convince him to give up.
I don’t know if Shen knows about our relationship with him but if he fights Shen and he does know and decides to destroy us all…
I began to think those kind things.
I have already accepted my death.
That’s why I don’t want someone else to die for the sake of me. If by trying to save me, the village gets destroyed then I don’t wish for salvation.
I get it to the point of hurting that he is doing this out of goodwill.
That goodwill is something I can’t take.
I have to hurry.
With the minimum preparations I announce that I will be leaving the cave.
At that place.
Makoto-sama was there.
With a girl I didn’t know.
“Ah… you read the letter right? Well you see, I’m sorry. I have returned. Tadaima” (Makoto) (TN: I am back in japan when returning home)
He must have inferred what I was going to do by looking at my attire and expression.
Comforting yet evil, with a face of someone that had received a punishment.
Makoto apologized and then said, “I am back”, to me.
The hyuman looking woman with a strange outfit that wrapped around her body, to my amazement it was Shen-sama! (TN: Japan… I love you. So? When is little orc Ema going to get some love too?)
Talking with Makoto-sama it seems she fell in love with him and is now travelling along with him.
What is happening, I didn’t know at all.
What I clearly understand is that…
We were leaving the ‘Body Purifying Field’, moving through all relay points in the opposite direction and rendezvousing with soldiers. Meaning we are now returning to the village.
Is this a dream?
The Shen that had oppressed us for all this years, actually didn’t do anything at all.
Saying she was only sleeping.
When I asked what happened to the sacrifices, Shen-sama told me that it was most likely the handiwork of someone that had used her name to impersonate and deceive us.
A woman with long blue hair and tall figure.
This is Shen-sama.
Makoto-sama didn’t back off against a Supreme Dragon and moreover led it to a favorable ground and even made a pact with it and seems to now rule over her.
Fighting a supreme dragon, to draw it to a favorable state for him and then form a pact?
I thought he was strong but clearly the dimension of strong was completely different.
Seeing Shen-sama teasing Makoto-sama, “rule?” I want to tilt my head in doubt, but seeing Shen-sama’s form I can’t doubt it.
Blowing his face away and telling him to make her his wife, or, just a bit more and I would have been dragon steak.
I felt like I was hearing make believe stories.
But hearing Shen-sama explain in detail while laughing, somewhere inside my head I had already agreed with it.
Seeing Shen-sama drinking the valuable sake as if it were water, and the Makoto-sama who, unlike the time he was in the cave, was eating the meal without any restraint, I felt like I was inside a dream.
It’s a feast a feast.
And moreover it was a feast celebrating the problem was resolved.
To think I had such a future.
The drunk warriors then asked the guest of honor Makoto-sama and Shen-sama to stand in front and act out the fight for them.
It was a show of ability so it wouldn’t become a fight to death, but the intensity of it was thoroughly transmitted. It seems that Makoto-sama was having fun.
This time it was the girls that gave out requests but instead of a fight they suggested a dance.
Makoto-sama was receiving a warm reception by father, he had a face that couldn’t hide his happiness.
It was the best night of a lifetime.
I thought that, but the next day they did a best night of a lifetime again. I can’t believe it.
When Makoto-sama leaves his seat the celebration settles down a bit, but the enthusiasm still remained.
At this rate it will last until morning.
With a bitter smile I watch the surroundings and in that, at a bit separated place, I saw Shen-sama and father were talking with each other and decided to get closer.
What are they talking about?
“That’s how it is. Whether you tell it to everyone or not I leave it to you” (Shen)
“I see. Then that also means Makoto-sama had taken in the resentment of the sacrificed girls”
What did he say?!
Avenge? But Shen-sama had said that she didn’t know the one who used her name.
What does this mean?
“Great master doesn’t take the trouble to say those kind of things” (Shen)
“I thank you. Let me once again express my gratitude”
“That is not needed. Though, I have a suggestion” (Shen)
“What could it be?”
“At the ends of the wasteland everywhere is dangerous. In it there are some fertile places, but they have already been fought over and disappeared” (Shen)
“That’s right. In the past we also had to fight for those fertile places and wore ourselves out. Judging that it was useless we decided to make a village here. Forced to protect the lands we have obtained, the days of never ending fights against the tribes will only continue”
“This may be a wise choice. Well, you see. Don’t you want to live in a more bountiful place?” (Shen)
“Is that, are you telling us to fight again?”
“No. When I made the pact with my liege I coincidentally found a nice plot of land. There is no one living in that place, and without my and masters’ permission it is impossible to enter it. The green is abundant and in my eyes it was an easy to live in place. How about it?” (Shen)
“Is Shen-sama inviting us to her sacred lands?”
A fertile land?
A secure place?
There was no signs of the topic about resentment but I couldn’t help but have an interest in what those two were talking about.
“Calling it a Sacred Land gives me shivers. Asora Akuja. Oh well, the naming doesn’t matter. From now on you will receive the protection of my master and as long as you devote your selves to him, I will provide you a rich land to live in. That’s how it is” (Shen)
“But that, we don’t know how much land there is and the place it is located”
Father seems to be at a loss.
It’s true that it would trouble him, to so suddenly say to abandon the village.
But, a land that is protected by Makoto-sama and Shen-sama.
That must be an incredible place.
“Fumu, you do have a point. Then, being the chief I will let you see it once, come”
As expected of Shen-sama she is fast, Father and Shen-sama were enveloped by a thick mist and disappeared.
Does that mean they have gone to that land?
To enter from the wind. It would certainly be a safe place.
I heard a gachigachi* (rattling) sound of teeth.
It was me.
An exciting and uplifting feeling.
It slowly began to accelerate inside of me.
By following Makoto-sama and serving him we would get a rich land and safe lifestyle.
How to say it, it was enticing.
It’s true that I still don’t know much about Makoto-sama but he is definitely not in the bad side.
A rich land, could it possibly be that kind of land that with just a little plowing, the seeds that we planted will grow?
If it were in the wasteland, without doubt everyone would fight for the land with bloodshot eyes.
That kind of place we could live in it by serving the Supreme Dragon Shen-sama and Makoto-sama.
The proposal of Shen-sama sounded incredibly appealing.
When father returns I must join in convincing him.
While I silently hardened my resolve, both of them had returned.
Father’s appearance looks strange.
But I have to convince him.
Without minding, I began walking to where both of them were, and then stopped.
“Shen-sama. I will make sure to convince everyone by tonight. Please, let us live in that land!”
I couldn’t feel the hesitation he had a few moments ago. The words of father requesting migration made me let out a stupefied voice.
“Fu, it seems your daughter also agrees. Can you pledge your loyalty to Misumi-sama?” (Shen)
“He is the savior of my daughter. From now on he will become the savior of our tribe. Please, let us serve under him!”
“My life was saved by him. To repay him is a given” (Ema)
“Fumu. Fine. Leaving convincing master for tomorrow, tonight you guys should properly put in order those noisy people” (Shen)
“I got it!”
The next day.
It didn’t take long to accept the migration.
We decided to live a new live on the land that Makoto-sama and Shen-sama govern.
Wondering how bountiful the land is, everyone directed fervent glances to father.
I was looking forward to the everyday life that is to come.