Novel Dragon Princess

Discussion in 'Community Fictions' started by Chibi Kuroya, May 16, 2017.

  1. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    Hello everyone, this is a story I am been working on when I have some free time. This is still rather short as this years there are just too many exams...
    This story is also on RRL as I've been occasionally writing there for a year or two until now. Just hope you'll pardon the mistakes that might have gotten in the story as English isn't my main language.
    Each chapter is at least 10000 words long and is divided into many parts of between 1500-2000+ words.
    With the few chapters already out, you have a few hours worth of reading to do.
    The chapters will only be posted here when I am starting a new chapter for the introduction or maybe preview of the chapter, or when they are finished so if you want to follow the story then please come on my RRL page!

    Well, hope you'll enjoy!

    * * * * * * *
    Synopsis: Who can stop the humans' greed when what they seek is right in front of their eyes?
    A girl whose fate has been stolen away by her relatives finally obtain freedom within death... But is death truly the end of her suffering, or maybe it simply was the beginning of her story.
    "This world is filthy..."
    "Maybe, but it actually just makes it even more beautiful."
    Follow her adventures as she swears to keep her destiny within her two small hands, followed by friends and enemies in a merciless world.
    * * * * * * *
    Tag: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Non-Human Lead, Female Lead, Fantasy, Overpowered Lead, Mature Content, Tragedy
    The mature content is only here because this story contains swear words and some gore scenes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
    Claire Lilly and Haevrus like this.
  2. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    “See you tomorrow!”

    In front of a mansion in a certain country, a young boy waved his hands at his group of friends with a large smile.

    The boy wasn’t very old, barely fifteen years old. He had short black hairs and a slightly muscular body as well as pearl-like deep blue eyes strangely similar to the ocean’s one. His expression was warm and looked extremely gentle, the type of smile who belong to a well-liked and reliable boy.

    “See you tomorrow!”

    “See ya.”

    Two boys waved back and left first with a large grin as they left behind their third friend, a blond haired girl.

    The blond haired girl blushed when she suddenly noticed only the two of them were left. Her eyes were the glimmering color of emerald, sparkling in the light of the sun. She looked absolutely charming as she appeared to be hesitating about something, not daring looking at the young boy.

    Her eyes slowly turned watery and her face crimson, her ears slowly became hot and as reddish as a tomato.

    “S-See you!”

    “Goodbye Sena”

    The girl suddenly ran away like the wind, leaving behind the young boy who sighed as he entered the mansion.

    As soon as he opened the door, his face suddenly changed like he had removed a mask. His previous gentle expression was completely gone and replaced by haughtiness and arrogance.

    ‘Tch, she is still hesitating…’

    Keniro was in no way dense, he already realized Sena’s feeling for him… In fact, he had made it so she fell in love with him.

    Knowing her for a whole year Keniro had maintained the facade of a righteous and reliable man in order to seduce her. With his appearance and his ‘nice’ personality, he quickly became very popular with women.

    If he wanted to, he could just pick any girl from his school and make her ‘his’. But among the school, Sena was special.

    Not only was her beauty incomparable to the other girls of his age, but her feminine and cute personality made her extremely popular. Extremely pure and kind with everyone, she at some times seemed dumb and very easy to fool.

    It was because of this personality he wished to make her his.

    ‘I can’t do anything but wait for her to confess’

    Sena is the type of woman who trusted her friends before anyone else and never doubted them, Keniro already knew that he wouldn’t be satisfied with only one woman. This is why he deemed the easy to deceive Sena as the best girlfriend candidate.

    As long as he stayed a little secretive about the other women, she wouldn’t ever doubt him.

    In order to seduce her, he had spent a lot of time and money to create many situations where he would build the image of a ‘righteous’ man in her mind.

    He had hired thugs to attack her and ‘beat’ them to rescue her, paid people to bully her before inviting her in his circle of friend… He made it so she couldn’t help but fall for him.

    Thinking how he would very soon reap his due, he couldn’t help but grin and lick his lips.

    “I am home!”

    The mansion’s inside was lavishly decorated, every furniture looked extremely expensive. There were a high number of priceless painting, sculptures and vase. Each of them was extremely beautiful and unique.

    Keniro walked toward the living room, inside a woman was sitting on a couch with her husband by her side, watching a certain TV show on a gigantic twenty meters away.

    When the woman noticed him, a warm smile emerged as she lighted a cigarette. She was in her forties and still retained a certain beauty.

    “Welcome home sweetie, how was your day?”

    “Same as ever…”

    The young man threw his school bag in a certain corner of the room where a certain someone was cleaning.

    “Uhh…”

    Not able to see the bag he threw at her back, it collided with her and she fell on the ground.

    “Carry it to my room.”

    The girl didn’t say a single word, she only nodded and grabbed the heavy bag as she slightly rubbed her forehead who bumped on the ground, leaving behind a bump.

    Keniro sat on the couch along with his parents and started talking about his day while the girl left the room.


    * * * * *


    The young girl carried the bag to the other side of the house.

    From one glance, one could see that she was probably six or seven years old. Her clothes were tattered and her face pale.

    She was lacking the energy one would see in a regular child, her body was awfully thin like she hadn’t eaten for a few days and just dragging quickly made her out of breath. Trying as hard as she could to drag the bag made her extremely pitiful.

    Despite her very thin and malnourished body, she still possessed a trace of cuteness which was hidden behind all the dirt she had accumulated while working in the house.

    Her originally beautiful long silky like blond hairs were now stained with the dirt and dust they accumulated during her work. The majority of her face was covered by mud, hiding her beautiful white skin. Her only remaining distinctive feature were her beautiful eyes, her blue right eye was as deep as a cloudless sky, on the other side her left eye was green, a color very similar to healthy grass.

    Looking at her hands, the girl’s eyes couldn’t help but become watery. She only had some very faint memories of her mother.

    Her mother was a very successful business woman who after an accident lost her ability to birth a child.

    She who only concentrated on working only realized how much she wanted to have one after losing her ability to give birth to one. It was during this depression that she chose to adopt one…

    But who would have thought that after only three years, she would suddenly die? Leaving behind a three years old girl alone inheriting of all her fortune.

    As she wasn’t able to live alone, a certain couple, her mother’s distant relative came to take care of her. This couple carried a very large debt after taking a loan which they couldn’t repay, as soon as they learned that a certain very rich relative from the woman’s side died, leaving behind a large fortune to a three years old girl, they instantly decided to adopt her.

    It only took a few weeks for the couple and a very good lawyer for them to acquire this fortune. The only ‘downside’ was the girl, the couple had no use for the girl and weren’t very willing to raise her.

    She wasn’t a member of their family, she was just a stranger… A bother they had to carry around.

    As long as she was alive and not highly injured, they wouldn’t have any problem with the law.

    Bribing a few representative of the government who came to check the girl’s condition, she had no way of protecting herself or getting some help.

    Ever since she developed her self-awareness, she had lived in extremely terrible conditions. Her first memories were herself getting hit by Keniro until her body was covered with bruises, she clearly remembered how he was cursing the people around him with words she couldn’t understand at her age.

    At first, she believed everything was normal, she hadn’t developed a common sense yet. But it was with the help of the television that she began to learn about her condition; secretly peeking at the TV when her foster family was watching it together, she had learned that she was being mistreated.

    Her first reaction was of course to complain at people outside, but the power of money truly is unfathomable. Nobody came to her help, all she received was even more bruises and a broken arm which she got by ‘falling from a tree while playing with her dear elder brother’.

    Even after running away she was brought back by policemen to the house. Unable to get help or running away, too scared to die… She only accepted her circumstances and lived a dog’s life.

    Within a few months, her hands became rugged with the physical labor she was doing. Cleaning, carrying objects, getting hit… She was nothing more than a modern slave.

    After a year, she stopped crying whatever they did to her. Her life condition forced her to mature extremely quickly.

    Saying she was getting tutored at home, she wasn’t able to go to school. However it in no case meant she wasn’t cultured. In fact, she was more cultivated than people of her age!

    Behind their back, she was preparing her escape. It was absolutely impossible for her to leave now, but once she was an adult it would be different.

    Opening Keniro’s bag, she took out his books and opened them. Although his personality was bad, Keniro was still an honor student who diligently took his notes. Every day it was the same, he made her carry his bag to his room and watched the TV for an hour or two.
    During this time, she read his notebooks and reviewed his lesson. Sometimes she even used his computer for her studies and what she didn’t understand.

    She hoped that once she was an adult, she would get a scholarship in another country and run away from her family.

    Only six years old, yet she was planning her life more than ten years in advance. In a way, she could be called a genius.

    An hour quickly went by, once she was done reviewing Keniro’s lesson she quickly closed his books and tidied everything, making sure no clue of her deeds could be found out. While she wasn’t sure if Keniro was coming, she preferred playing the safe card and only study one hour a day.

    Perhaps they wouldn’t care about what she was doing, but there was a chance they would try to stop her, hence she wasn’t greedy and limited her studies to one hour a day.

    Leaving the room, she quickly hid in her room. Even though she had harsh life condition her room was a normal one, she had a desk, a bed, and an empty drawer. The room’s window was wide open, at this hour, she liked looking at the sky.

    Looking at the stars was her only hobbit, the one and only thing she could consider belonging to her. Something that no one could steal from her. It didn’t matter how cold or cloudy it was outside, as long as she opened her window, it became warm and the sky was cloudless.

    The stars were shining in the sky, like little pearls encouraging her, telling her to hang on. They gave her the courage to keep living, to endure everything. She felt like she was being embraced by someone, that she could rely on that person.

    Of course, she thought of it as something stupid. The stars wouldn’t come to her help, but just seeing them motivated her and made her smile.

    But today, something was special. The stars were brighter than normal, they were like a group of happy children playing and laughing together. The moon seemed closer than ordinary and more shining as well.

    Everything looked almost the same as usual, yet this difference made her heart throb. She had watched the sky for a long time, yet this normally common scenery made her heart beat faster than normal.

    There was a strange blur in the middle of the moon. It was the first time she saw something like that. Rubbing her eyes with her two frail and rugged hands, the blur didn’t disappear.

    “Sh…..el….”

    A man’s voice resonated in the night, the wind transported this voice to her ears, but she couldn’t figure out who was talking.

    The voice seemed filled with sadness and warmth, but nobody was around. Only a blur in the sky.

    She couldn’t see him… See the man who was standing in the air dressed in pure white clothes, looking at her with sadness and longing. He could only call her name, telling her ‘they’ were waiting.

    Even when he was embracing her, she couldn’t see him.

    Lifting his right hand in the air, it made a grasping motion. It appeared like he had one of the small white pearl shining in the sky in his hand. With a small movement of his hand, the star flew in the sky and became a shooting star.

    He soon grasped another one and threw it, then again another and another… Soon there was a multitude of shooting stars. It was like a festival which illuminated the sky.

    The girl was in an awe in front of such a scenery, she quietly watched it with a huge smile. It didn’t matter how difficult her life was, in front of this, she was smiling just like a normal six years old child.

    The man also smiled, every night he came here and try to comfort her. Being by her side yet watching how she lived, how she was crying and matured without being able to talk to her… It made his heart ache.

    “Good night, Shinael.”

    Watching the girl’s face, he noticed her expression suddenly change into a curious one as she seemed to be staring at him.

    “Is someone there?”

    His face suddenly turned into a shocked one, but once the shock passed he looked overjoyed. Two tears ran down the on his cheeks before falling and vanishing, it didn’t matter how much he tried to hold back, he couldn’t restrain those two tears.

    He who had passed an eternity waiting, in front of this time, even ten of thousands million of years were only a drop in the ocean.

    “Soon… Will it be tomorrow?... Or in a few months?... Finally, we will meet.”

    “Rest well, my daughter…”

    Very soon, the sky returned to its original form. It was like nothing had ever happened and the blur in the sky vanished, all that she could see was the habitual moon.

    At this point, the girl was thinking whether this was all just a dream or maybe an illusion. But it didn’t matter for her if it was real or not, once it was over she just burned this memory in her mind and went to sleep.

    Even if it was for a single instant she had left her reality behind, forgetting about how unhappy she was.

    With this mindset she went to sleep, not knowing that tomorrow would be the most important day of her life.


    * * * * *


    A few hours had passed since she went to sleep, and the girl woke up, as usual, the outside was still as dark as before and the sun hadn’t even begun to rise.

    Leaving her warm bed, she slowly opened her door and walked in the mansion toward the kitchen.

    In the house, she was the one responsible for ordering the food. She had to deal every chore no matter how tiresome or unpleasant they were, but thanks to this, she was at the very least able to find a way of getting more food.

    Every morning, she would wake up an hour or two before everyone else and secretly steal a little amount of food. This was the only time where she could eat her fill.

    However, today was different, much to her surprise, the door of the living room was slightly opened and the light inside were still turned on. While she didn’t know the exact time it was, she would normally wake up between 4 a.m and 5 a.m.

    Everybody should already be sleeping, this made the girl slightly worried, wondering if it was a burglary or someone who just couldn’t sleep. But in either case, the result would be bad for her.

    She stayed at the corner of the door for a few dozens of seconds, wondering if she should give up on the food.

    It didn’t matter how much she tried to persuade herself to go back, her hunger surpassed her reason. The last thing she had eaten was a small piece of bread, if she didn’t eat now she probably wouldn’t be able to last through today’s labor.

    Moreover, she was still a child in her growing period. Her body kept requesting food, it is far more painful for a child to be hungry than for an adult.

    Slowly approaching the door, she took a peek at the inside.

    *CLANK*

    Suddenly hearing the sound of glass breaking startled her to the point of almost shrieking, but she managed to suppress it by covering her mouth with her two little hands. Her heartbeat went up by at the very least a hundred beat as she tried to subdue her accelerated breath.

    “What the hell do you mean by that?! I don’t remember spending that amount of money!”

    The angry voice of a man resonated in the room. Because the bedrooms were far from the living room, nobody could hear his yell as he spoke to the phone.

    Around him, a dozen of alcohol bottles was smashed on the ground as well as some expensive pottery. It was Keniro’s father, his face had a strange contrast of color.

    At the same time, he was reddish, probably due to the amount of alcohol he drank earlier, but it was also somewhat ashen. He was profusely sweating, his clothes were almost transparent, showing his stomach which had begun to swell as he aged.

    “Shut your mouth, even drunk I wouldn’t dare to bet this much! Do you take me for a fool?!”

    The man continued to argue with the person on the other side. This somehow made a faint smile form on the girl’s face, she wasn’t a saint and still felt a certain degree of happiness as she saw how desperate he looked.

    His eyes were bloodshot and his breath heavy, it wouldn’t have surprised her if he soon fainted. In fact, she wouldn’t even have bothered helping him.

    Sober, he would just ignore her. But when he was drunk, this man was even worse than the two others. Sometimes he would beat her without any reasons and he wouldn’t even try to hold back.

    Soon, his expression suddenly turned into a terrified one. It was like somewhat had poured a bucket of cold water over his head, his body was shivering and his voice quavering.

    “I..I am so-sorry. B-But this amount…”

    His anger soon turned into fright, this made the girl’s frown as she understood something strange was going on. Whether he had or not bet a large amount of money, it didn’t matter at this point.

    Yet, as she was smiling, the man’s next words suddenly made her face become white.

    “W-What if I give you the girl? Will you… clean the debt?”

    She felt the urge to rush in the room and used her own two hands to strangle the man, he was trying to sell her off to repay his own debt. Everything she had working until now would be for nothing.

    “N-Not enough?... I see. Forget it, I will pay soon.”

    It was as if a burden fell from the girl’s shoulder, but her heartbeat still didn’t slow down. Even if it was just for a moment, this man still tried to sell her off who know where. This thought alone sent a shiver of apprehension through her body. If the other side had accepted, what would have become of her?

    The man soon hung up, he seemed lost in thoughts and soon his expression distorted and only anger remained.

    *CRACK* *CRASH*

    He ruthlessly threw his phone on the ground and stepped on hit, kicking it as hard as he could. The furnitures, the tables, the various pieces of arts which had been collected after many years. The man went in a fury and wrecked everyone whatever that came into his hands.

    *CLANG* *CRASH* *CLING*

    “Hah...Hah...Hah…”

    Everything around him was wrecked, not even a single cup was spared. As he regained his mind, Keniro’s father sighed and slightly regretted his actions.

    “What should I do now?... If suddenly half of the money disappear, what will the judge say? Even if I bribe him he won’t take the risk of covering us for this…”

    After gaining a large amount of money, the man started betting. The reason why they previously were crushed by debts was because of his betting issues. He had, of course, stopped after gaining a large debt, but suddenly he obtained a very large amount of money. Even after repaying what he owed, he still hadn’t spent more than two percent of the total amount.

    Ever since he obtained this inheritance, he even quitted his job. He had enough money for at least three or four generation to live without working, his gambling addiction resurfaced. It didn’t matter if he won or lost, the amount he spent every month was written as ‘renovation cost’ so he avoided any suspicion.

    But how could he explain that he lost more than half of the money?

    Within a single night, the man conveyed the impression that he had gained at least ten years. If he couldn’t find a solution, the girl would be taken away and he would be forced to refund the money he lost. The police would perhaps even start an investigation and find out that they misused her money.

    It was also the reason why he abandoned the idea of selling her. If the other side had accepted, then he could have continued to bribe anyone who came to check her living conditions. Ever since they arrived, nobody ever saw the girl. Whether she remained here or not wasn’t a problem.
    But all that the man offered was a reduction of twenty percents. The amount was still large enough for the police to investigate, but if the girl wasn’t here during their investigation, what would he tell them?

    “Tch... I might be able to drag it on for a few weeks, but I’ll have to discuss it with Natasha. She’s the one with the rights after all, she’ll once again scorn me.”

    Still feeling angry, the man walked toward the door. The girl quickly hid behind a corner of the corridor and watched the man slowly return to his own bedroom.

    She was smiling as she recalled the man’s words. If he didn’t find a solution, they might be separated and she would finally regain her own freedom. Just thinking about it, she couldn’t help but think about how beautiful her life would be afterward, she was absolutely ready to use any meant to sabotage any of their ideas.

    Still, her smile slowly dissipated as she once again glanced at the room’s insides.

    “Fu**, who do you think is gonna clean it up tomorrow?”

    Just thinking about how she would be forced to tidy everything, she was already saddened.

    Once she was completely sure nobody remained, the girl leisurely walked toward the kitchen and swiftly stole some dried meat which remained from yesterday, some fruits and a piece of bread.

    Before leaving, she completed her daily ritual. She opened every bottle she could find in the fridge and took all the leftover and spat on it before mixing it, leaving no clues behind.

    “Fufufu, have a nice meal.”

    Sometimes she added some dust to the juice and soup, sometimes some dirt. She had developed various ways of getting her revenge on her foster family without them knowing, seeing them cluelessly eat without suspecting anything was one of her only joy.

    There were some times where they cursed at their food, saying it had a strange taste. When that happened, she tried her best to restrain herself from laughing or showing emotions. She would be harshly beaten if she was caught, but it wasn’t important, she needed it, a way of getting her revenge.

    Once she finished salvaging the kitchen, the girl sneakily returned to her room where she ate the only ‘meal’ she would have today before sleeping a few more hours.


    * * * * *


    “SHITTY DRUNKARD, HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE?!”

    It was with those words that the girl woke up. Glancing at her window, the sun had only started to rise.

    Only three or maybe four hours had passed since she ate. The girl already knew what it was all about. Keniro’s father had told Natasha about his gambling issue, she was the one managing the inheritance and so she knew about her husband’s habit.

    Normally Natasha wouldn’t care about it, the amount of money he spent was pitiful compared to the total sum, as long as he didn’t spend too much it wasn’t a problem.

    But how could she stay calm after being told he had lost more than half of their fortune without even recalling it. Moreover, he had bet with a certain group of people who were ready to do anything to get their due.

    “I didn’t care about your addiction and allowed you to keep throwing money away as long as you didn’t go too far, didn’t I?! But you couldn’t help yourself and threw everything away!”

    “We don’t even know if I really gambled, maybe they are just swindling us!”

    “Who care whether you were drunk or not, you should have stopped going into such place after we managed to pay the loan!”

    “Then why didn’t you stop me from going there?! You yourself knew yet never cared about it, you are as responsible as me!”

    “So now I am responsible?! Aren’t you an adult?! I ain’t your shitty mother and shouldn’t need to follow behind you, cleaning your mess!”

    “Leave my mother outside of this!”

    At this point, the girl was totally awake and walked outside of her room. She didn’t feel the slightest bad for them and actually enjoyed hearing them argue, she was wondering about how her future life would be like after they were caught.

    Very soon, the arguing became more and more violent. The man who had been drinking ever since he woke up finally couldn’t bear Natasha’s curses anymore and slapped her.

    This was the beginning of a dispute, what followed was even worse to see.

    “Pitiful…”

    The six years old girl even felt pity for them, for money they hurt others, because of money they fought among themselves. The man wasn’t willing to recognize that all this was his fault, and his wife kept belittling him.

    The fight quickly became serious, what started with slapping soon turned into punching. While the man grabbed her hairs, Natasha used her nails to tear off some flesh from his face, almost blinding him on the process.

    All this scene, she watched it. She couldn’t think of them as anything else than evil people, if nobody interfered then they would probably soon try to kill each others. But she didn’t feel concerned, even if they died she wouldn’t feel anything for them.

    Quickly, the man gained the lead. Despite being drunk he managed to overpower her and hit her head against the wall, making her faint in the process.

    “Hah...Hah…”

    He was out of breath, feeling a liquid on his hand, when the man glanced at them he noticed they were dyed in red. Some blood leaked from his wife’s head, although he could still hear her rough breathing, he had without a doubt hurt her hard enough to probably cause a concussion.

    “Na...tasha? Hey Natasha, what are you doing on the ground?”

    “Natasha? Who did this to you? Natasha!”

    As if he had forgotten everything that just happened, the man soon started crying and held her head in his arms.

    Feeling the situation started to degenerate, the girl very quickly left her hiding place. Taking a last glance behind, she had finally noticed…

    “It was you, wasn’t it?”

    Her heartbeat accelerated, the man stood in behind her with a murderous expression.

    “You fu**** tried to kill my wife!”

    “N...No… it was y-”
    Before she could even finish her sentence, she was sent flying toward a shelf, her head marginally hitting one of the shelf’s corner. As she fell to the ground, she immediately tried to stand up and run away, but she found herself dizzy and her legs failed her.

    “What’s going on?!”

    At this moment Keniro who heard some large noises hastily hurried over, finding his mother on the ground, her head bleeding and his father ready to attack the little girl they took care of until now.

    As he saw his father try to kill her, Keniro quickly tried to stop him as hard as he could. He didn’t really care if something happened to the girl, but he couldn’t let his father become a murderer.


    During the time Keniro was trying to restrain him, the girl tried to run away, but after only a few step she fell on the ground, finding it hard to move any of her limbs.

    ‘What’s going on?... Why can’t I move?...’

    Her vision slowly became whiter and whiter, the sound around her distant. She could hear people yelling around her, yet they weren’t making any sense. The figure of the two people fighting blurred.

    ‘Am I… Going to die?’

    She felt like she was dying, this simple idea scared her who tried to remain strong ever since she was self-aware. No matter how she was treated she endured it, yet she was going to die like this.

    ‘All the efforts I did… Were they for nothing?...’

    ‘Why me?... What did I do wrong?’

    A few tears ran down her cheeks, but as the world around her slowly started to lose its color, a bright light shone at her side.

    She could see it distinctly, the silhouette of a man with long silverish hairs dressed in pure white clothes, a golden aura enveloped his body which gave him a majestic appearance. His snake-like golden eyes stared at her body.

    His golden eyes looked cold, yet they contained an infinite amount of warmth and grief. A few tears stained his cheeks, but they weren’t normal tears… It was tears of blood.

    She felt like she was connected to him as if she knew who he was but as far as she remembered, she hadn’t seen him before. At this point, all the pain she was feeling had vanished, just like the world around her which had lost all its color.
    All that remained was the two of them.

    “Who...are...you?”

    The man suddenly smiled as he sighed out of relief.

    “You are finally ready… Shinael.”

    He brought his hand to her hair and gently stroke them, making the girl faintly smile as if she felt relax and at peace.

    “Sleep my daughter. When you wake up, we’ll finally all be together.”

    On those words, Shinael fell asleep and her body turned into dust. All that remained of her was a purple flame which dropped in the man’s hands.

    “Y-You, who are you and how did you get here?!”

    Keniro’s voice resonated in the house, his father suddenly calmed down and stared at the man in shock.

    The man looked otherworldly, just his eyes made him look inhuman. His golden eyes are something impossible to possess, but no matter how they looked at them…they looked absolutely natural.

    Holding the purple flame in his hands, the man slowly raised his head and stared them.

    “You have absolutely no idea how much I wished to meet you three… How sad that one already left this world.”

    No matter how much they wished to say something, Keniro and his father were unable to even utter a single word. They felt like ants in front of him, his beautiful yet cold aura made their legs start shaking. They didn’t know why but they feared the man in front of them.

    “For this pitiful mansion… For money… You went as far as harm what is the most precious to me…”

    As the man stomped on the ground with his feet, they were sent flying for a dozen of meters. Within two kilometers, everything was reduced to dust. Whether it was stone, the mansion, forest or grass… Everything returned to dust. Only Keniro and his father remained.

    “Where is it?... That thing you plotted for?”

    Regained their spirit, Keniro’s father found himself flying… The man was lifting him in the air with a single hand. His expression hadn’t changed and he looked cold and ruthless.

    “P-Please… I was wrong so...”

    He now looked extremely pitiful, he didn’t know what was going on. How did the situation change into this? The mansion around him was turned into dust and he was being strangled by a strange man, his instinct told him to accept everything the man said and beg for his life, however his excuse didn’t even make him frown.

    “Hmph”

    The father suddenly began to burn in a blue flame, his scream echoed in the vicinity. The blue flames were extremely beautiful and slowly burnt his whole body, it was as if they were alive and tried to let the man survive as long as possible, trying to let him suffer as much as they could.

    But very quickly the scream stopped and once the man released his grip, only a charred body fell on the ground which he stomped on without giving it another glance. His expression didn’t change, it was like he was stepping on a worthless bug

    Keniro who saw the whole scene was trembling, his body was soaked as he imagined what sort of death that man reserved to him.

    ‘Is it my turn?...’

    But the man looked hesitant, he seemed to be hesitating whether he would kill him or not, but in Keniro’s mind, it looked like he was thinking what kind of cruel death would be the most suited for him.

    The man suddenly waved his hand at Keniro, the very next instant a golden circle appeared beneath his feets which made him levitate in the air. A bright light blinded him and he disappeared, leaving nothing behind.

    “You are needed in order for her to forget, survive and serve your purpose… She will be the one to finish you with her own two hands.”

    On those words, the man turned his back and walked away before vanishing, leaving behind the blue flame which was still consuming the charred body.

    No human could tell how this flame appeared or for how long it would keep burning, but even after many generations, it kept burning with all its glory.
     
    Claire Lilly, UpInTheAir and Haevrus like this.
  3. Haevrus

    Haevrus No.1 Incognito Webuser

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    I realise now. NU is not the best place to read lonnnggggh paras (especially in phone. )
     
  4. AlaAmami

    AlaAmami Active Member

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    Good luck (y)(y)
     
  5. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    “Are you awake sweetie?”

    This was the first thing Shinael heard as she regained her consciousness. She was wrapped in a warm and pleasant, but her body wasn’t moving as she wanted. This voice was feminine, unlike the voice she heard when she fell asleep.

    Opening her eyes, she found it hard to keep them open and blinked a few times as she experienced the same sensation as directly looking at the sun right away living in a dark room for a few days.

    Once her eyes adjusted to the light of the room, Shinael found herself in the embrace of a black haired woman who was staring at her, strongly yet carefully holding her frail body as if she was afraid she would be taken away.

    The woman’s long black hair was darker than the night, despite how lightened the place was they couldn’t reflect on her hair like they were absorbing the light itself. Extending her tiny hand, she instinctively grasped a few strand of her hairs, finding it at soft as silk while making the woman giggle at the same time.

    Shinael couldn’t help but stare at the woman. Her bright crimson eyes looked cold, cruel and seemed filled with darkness as if they belonged to a murderer. Yet at the same time, they were brimming with an infinite amount of affection and emotion.

    Her warm and goddess-like smile looked like a mask concealing her true self as if she was used to putting on a fake appearance, but it was obvious that her heartwarming smile truly came from her heart.

    Clothed in a pure black dress, it was a woman for whom the word beautiful wasn’t enough to describe. Her beauty was unreal and made Shinael unable to take her eyes away from her. She wasn’t wearing any jewelry, neither did she need to. In front of her, any ornament would pale and be concealed by her divine beauty.

    Shinael stood there open-mouthed, not even noticing the trail of drool leaking from her little mouth and dirtying the woman’s hand. Faintly smiling, the black haired woman used her finger to gently swiped away the drool from her mouth with a little laugh, making her embarrassed by her behavior.

    But it was at this moment that as if she was hit lighting, she remembered everything that happened before she passed away; the battle in her foster family, how the father tried to beat her up and perhaps kill her and how she died…

    She clearly remembered herself dying and vanishing in a bright light.

    It was at this moment that she noticed something was wrong, she had a hard time moving and felt smaller than before. Even the fact that the beautiful woman was holding her in her hands without any trouble was strange.

    Noticing her hand which was still grabbing the woman’s hairs, everything became clear.

    ‘Why did I become a baby?’

    The woman, noticing how strange Shinael was acting knew she had remembered everything and couldn’t help showing a saddened expression. Bringing her hand to Shinael’s hairs, she tenderly stroked them.

    “It’s fine… Everything's okay now, they won’t hurt you anymore…”

    Under the woman’s constant caress, Shinael found herself becoming calmer and calmer. A nostalgic feeling took over her body, her body completely relaxed and she soon felt dizzy. She was at peace and felt slightly sleepy yet wasn’t able to fall asleep.

    Yet, as soon as she was going to give in to this peaceful feeling, her mind was assailed by the memories of her previous life. She had until now lived a life where she couldn’t trust anyone, nobody would ever come to her help and everyone was acting against her.

    Even in front of this woman who didn’t seem to have the slightest intent to bring her any harm, Shinael couldn’t help but be suspicious and doubt her.

    Her behavior didn’t escape the woman’s eyes. She knew a lot of thing about her daughter, and especially how she lived until now which caused her to bear a deep grudge against the people who looked away.

    All of those who pretended seeing nothing and looked away, all of them would sooner or later pay for this. For now, they were enjoying the money they gained at her daughter’s expense, but she had personally prepared for them in the afterlife would definitely make them regret their choice.

    Looking at her daughter in her hands somewhat quivering, how could she not feel angry? They had left a profound scar in her heart which would take many years to heal.

    “I am so sorry Shinael… It’s all our fault that you suffered all those years.”

    Her eyes were watery and the woman couldn’t help but shed some tears quietly streaming down her cheeks. At this moment, she looked pitiful and filled with grief. The tears slowly dropped on Shinael’s chubby cheeks.

    Shinael felt her heart aching as she looked at the woman, she didn’t know why but she didn’t want to see her cry. She felt like there was a strong and powerful connection between them, they were somehow related.

    Mustering all of her strength, she grasped one of the woman’s finger and brought it to her head as she simply smiled.

    The woman manifested a surprised expression, she probably hadn’t expected her daughter to react like this, she was dumbfounded and only smiled as she regained her composure. It was a sweet and loving motherly smile.

    “I am Mystel… Your mother…”

    *Thump Thump Thump Thump Thump*

    The sound of someone running in the corridor resonated inside the room.The sound quickly became stronger and stronger as the noise’s source approached from the room’s entrance. It was only after reaching a distance of a few meters from the room that the noise dissipated and only the sound of someone walking could be heard.

    Mystel chuckled as she understood what was going on, but Shinael on the other hand was bewildered as she saw a young man in his twenties naturally walk inside as if nothing ever happened with an expressionless face.

    He was dressed in pure white clothes, they were the same as the woman’s ones but only differed in color. His long silverish hairs were attracting the light, giving him the presence of a divine emperor to whom even the stars kneeled in front of him. It was very hard to know what he was thinking, his impassive face lacking of expression made him look like a beautiful statue.

    Glancing at Shinael who was still held in Mystel’s hands, the corner of the man’s mouth slightly raised as he approached them and affectionately poked the tip of Shinael’s nose.

    “Humu, she’s already awake.”

    Mystel dumbly smiled as she showed Shinael to the man.

    “My daughter is so cute it’s a crime…”

    “Indeed…” The man coldly sighed as he muttered something inaudible which didn’t reach Mystel’s ears.

    “Did you say something?”

    “It’s nothing.”

    His finger left her noses, reaching her stomach and head as he tried to delicately take her in his arms. Mystel didn't seem to oppose his actions, but for some reasons he couldn’t lift her up.

    “What are you doing?”

    His voice became icy and wronged and his eyes deadly sharp, he glared at Mystel like she was his archenemy who stole his most precious treasure right before his eyes.

    “I don’t see what you are talking about~”

    A childish smile formed on Mystel’s face, yet somehow this smile contained coldness like it was a fake one.

    “You held her ever since I brought her back, it's been three hours now.”

    Mystel stopped smiling and glared at his with her blood-colored crimson eyes. She looked haughty and proud, not wanting to step down.

    “So what? You had your turn when you brought her back, now it’s mine so piss off.”

    “I had my turn? I only held her for five minutes! Right after coming back you took her off my hands!”

    Mystel sneered as she sarcastically shook her head.

    “Well, you shouldn’t have agreed back then.”

    “Give her to me!” The man roared as he ruthlessly stared at Mystel.

    “Nope~ Like I’ll give you my daughter.”

    “She’s my daughter as well!”

    “I don’t care~”

    Both of them were staring at each others with a cold smile. If a glare could harm, then they would have already destroyed a city or two.

    Shinael who was at the center of the conflict couldn’t help but feel confused and inwardly sigh at how childish the two adults around her were. Yet she felt her heart become hot and warm, she who had been raised without the love and care of her parents, this situation where they were fighting to spend time with her warmed her heart.

    She didn’t know who they really are, nor why she had been left when she was born. But seeing how loved she was, she knew they couldn’t help it.

    “Mystel, do you really want to force my hands?”

    “What are you getting so worked up for, Arsal? If you have the capacity to, then take her.”

    The atmosphere around them started to change; Mystel was enveloped by a blackish aura which consumed everything around her apart from Shinael. On the other hand, Arsal’s golden aura was dazzling and repelled her’s. They were like day and night, neither gained the upper hand on the other.

    Soon, the space between them started to shatter little by little, the dimension was slowly collapsing due to the clash of their aura; both noticed but none paid it any attention. They just glared at each other.

    However, despite getting annoyed by the opposition neither were really willing to go all out, they had only released a fragment of their true power. How could they both fight with all their strength with their daughter in the middle of the fight?

    Mystel especially made sure she wasn't harmed or the slightest bothered by their the display of power.

    Slowly but surely, both of them rose the power they wielded. At this point the world around them had already vanished leaving absolutely nothing behind, not even an atom could be found.

    It was a world of light brighter than the sun and darkness darker than night, both were trying to crush the other.

    “How foolish, you think you can beat me? Let me teach you a lesson!” Mystel coldly snorted.

    “Hmph, it’s been awhile since our last fight… But you still never defeated me!”

    The fight quickly intensified and none was willing to step down, but very soon the light started to gain the upper hand and very slowly pierced through the darkness. Mystel was slowly being pressured, but she didn’t seem to care at all. Her eyes were closed and her expression was back to a cold one.

    “You can stop now…” She coldly said.

    “Why should I listen to you?...”

    “Cause she’s asleep dumbass.”

    *Zzzzzzz*

    *Hah…* Arsal sighed as he withdrew his aura. Even if she wasn’t a baby in mind, Shinael’s body still was. Under the feeling of security brought by Mystel’s embracement, her body kept getting sleepier and sleepier until she finally went to sleep in the middle of their showdown.

    “Hmph, I’ve never seen you so talkative before. Were you trying to show off in front of your daughter?” Mystel said with a sarcastic smile.

    “Weren’t you as well? You are actually the one who provoked this situation.”

    “Perhaps~ But who would have thought she would fall asleep. Hah…What a strange girl we have.”

    Arsal silently glared at her while cursing in his mind. ‘How dare you say she’s strange?! Did you look at yourself?’

    Both parents were trying to brag in front of their daughter, how could a parent not want to be admired by their child and used as an example? It was a battle where there could only be a single winner. For the love of their daughter, they were both trying to take advantage of the other side and weren’t willing to concede.

    ‘ ‘I’ll definitely be the one she admire and love the most!’ '

    * * * * *

    “That’s it, just hold the arrow like this and slow down your breathing in order to make your body more stable… Don’t look at the arrow, but at the target… When you’re ready, just hold your breath and release your hand.”

    *Huff…Huff...Huff…*

    A wooden arrow suddenly flew out of the bow, flying with all its might toward a tree and embedding itself right in the center of the target… Or so she had hoped…

    “Mumumu… That’s hard…”

    “*Fufufu* Of course it is, but with a bit of practice, I am sure you’ll manage to do it.”

    Four years had passed since Shinael rejoined her parents. Ever since that fateful day, she had been living happily with her parents in the middle of some woods. Although they were living alone in the middle of nowhere, she wasn’t the very least unhappy about this situation.

    Every day was very peaceful, her parents would often fight on who play with her while the loser would look at them, gnawing his teeth. At some point, the ruthless fight turned into a rock-paper-scissor challenge, when Shinael asked them why they simply replied simultaneously:

    “ “ Because we are wasting the time we could spend with you! “ “

    During those few years, her body had grown up to look almost like how she had been in her previous life, but with a few differences. Due to being well nourished, her previous skinny body was now flourishing with energy.

    Her skin seemed to be shining as the sun warmed her body, she looked exactly like a normal child, if it wasn’t for her small horns growing on her forehead and the tiny jewel-like purple scale stuck on her forearm and legs.

    Every time she looked at them, she couldn’t hold back herself and started scratching them. But despite how much strength she used, not a single scrape could be seen.

    It was like having a very light metal plate embedded in her skin. It wasn’t painful at all, but it was extremely itchy.

    Mystel who had gained today’s game continued to teach her how to use a bow laughed as she observed her daughter scratch her little scales with a dissatisfied expression.

    “It's so annoying!” Shinael mumbled as she continued to scratch her newborn scales.

    On the other hand, this scene brought tears to Mystel’s eyes while she warmly smiled, those scales are the proof that her daughter is healthily growing. Which parents’ heart wouldn’t be smitten by such a scene?

    “Just ignore it, they’ll disappear soon enough as long as you don’t mess with them.”

    For Shinael who had once grown up as a normal human being, seeing those scales always filled her up with curiosity, they first just spout out of nowhere colored in black and then slowly turn purple. After a certain point when they feel like it, they simply disappear, only leaving behind a purple stain on her skin which slowly vanish as time passes by.

    It looked like she had caught the chicken pox, but instead of having red blisters, she had purple jewels.

    “Humu” Nodding, Shinael stopped scratching her scales and took out the last arrow she had in her quiver and aimed at the target on the tree. Out of thirty arrows, only two actually attained their goal.

    Remembering her mother’s instructions, her eyes were intensely staring at the target. Her aim was the center of the circle, she ignored everything else and concentrated on her objective. There were only her, her arrow and the target.

    Her breathing slowly slowed down until it became unperceivable, the bow string was strained to the maximum, but her body didn’t shake. After a few seconds, the arrow flew in a straight line toward the target.

    Shinael was excited by her performance, the arrow was perfectly fired and was going to reach its target.

    “You ALMOST did it.” Mystel said with a little smirk.

    At the last few moments, a large gust of wind made the arrow diverge from its original course and making it pass by the target, flying further away in the forest.

    “Huuuu~ That’s not fair, it was going right in the center!” Shinael complained while stamping her foot in frustration while puffing her cheeks out.

    “When you use an arrow, depending on the distance you might need to take into account the wind’s strength and its direction. Otherwise like here, you’ll completely miss your target.” Mystel said, but she was very satisfied regarding the progress Shinael made in archery.

    “Well your performance can still be considered good, if it wasn’t for the wind you would have definitely hit the mark. What are two meters when the target is six hundred meters away?”

    From their position, the small target not even half a meter wide would be a point on the horizon for a normal human being. Even elite archer would be unable to clearly see the target… Let alone hit it with an arrow. Just the strength needed to give the arrow enough momentum to reach the target is be something only a monster would possess.

    Shinael sighed and suddenly began to think very intensely about something, seeing her daughter radiate with an aura of seriousness made her somehow perplex. It was like this daughter of her had made an incredible discovery.

    Lifting her eyes and staring at her mother with a very serious expression, this made Mystel slightly smile as she wondered what kind of enlightenment her daughter had.

    “Mom… I am hungry…” She said as she pulled her mother’s sleeve.

    “...Let’s go see what that stupid father of yours is doing.”

    “Who are you calling stupid, stupid woman.” A man’s voice resonated from the direction in from which is located the target.

    Arsal, clad in a stylish gray robe was leisurely walking in their direction. His face looked imperturbable, but the look in his eyes which seemed to be sparkling with thunder showed that he was in a bad mood.

    “Dinner is ready, hurry and come eat.” He yelled as he coldly turned back, depressed as he remembered how he lost in the morning and was forced to prepare the meal. If it was only for his daughter, he wouldn’t mind… But thinking about how he was also forced to prepare Mystel’s one, made him lament the fact that no poison was powerful enough to even cause her stomach ache.

    Walking a few minutes, the three people soon reached a small cottage with a table and three seats. A few very simple dishes were presented on the table, the main dish was scrambled egg with a large chicken wing.

    It would have been a very normal scene… If it wasn’t for the mountain of eggs and the remnant of the bird abandoned not far from the cottage.

    Mystel couldn’t help but gulp as she eyed the dishes, the wonderful odor of cooked meat assailed her nostril. Inhaling this irresistible scent, it didn’t take her long before she recognized the ingredient used.

    Looking at the broken eggs, they must all have been at the very least half a meter tall before they were used. Even broken, they looked like pieces of arts, painted in a beautiful deep red and covered with goldens symbol; the egg irradiated with elegance and power.

    Yet, the cook who used it didn’t care at all about its appearance and mercilessly broke it before throwing it aside without giving it another glance.

    As for the ‘chicken’, apart from his beautiful red and golden feather which symbolized its arrogance and power, only bones remained.

    “Humu~ Is that Falleon's body? That poor bird can only lay down an egg every ten of thousand years, yet you preferred to cook together with his children to feed it to your daughter? Look at him Shina~ Look at how cruel and evil your father is~”

    Shina was a surname she earned when she first learned how to talk, the name ‘Shinael’ was too difficult to articulate for a young child, no matter how much she tried her mouth couldn’t pronounce it entirely. After giving up, she started calling herself Shina which was supported by her parents who found it cute as a surname.

    “Hmph, say the woman who hunted her own subordinate because she was bored.” Arsal replied with a sarcastic smirk.

    “Fufufu, at least I assume being evil and openly show it. Unlike you mister, the so-called ‘Righteous Ruler’ who's known for being impartial and loath evildoer. Yet here you are hunting this pure and virtuous chicken.” Mystel replied with a mocking smile.

    Arsal shrugged as if he was confronted with nonsense. “Who care how virtuous or majestic some food can be… In the end, food is food. Nothing more, nothing less.”

    Shina on the other side didn’t care the slightest about their argument. Ever since she was reborn, she saw them confronting each other, she had since long grown used to it and treated it as a daily occurrence. For her, the food in front of her was far more interesting.

    While she had eaten a variety of dishes made with strange ingredients, she couldn’t help but gulp in front of those dishes. The chicken was perfectly roasted and its flesh was shining, the eggs, on the other hand, looked like it had been mixed with gold.

    Once she started eating, she couldn’t stop herself. The meat warmed her insides and seemed to be giving her plenty of strength, she felt her whole body become energized while the eggs, on the other hand, made her feel refreshed.

    Very soon, she found her plate empty. It was so clean that she could perfectly see her reflection in the plate. Only after finishing eating did she realize that she was sated.

    As she finished eating, she noticed that her parents had finally stopped their lovers' quarrel and were ready to eat. But a shocked expression quickly showed on Shina’s face as her eyes kept looking at the dishes and the cottage.

    “By the way Arsal, where is my share of meat?” Mystel said as she looked at her plate, only filled with scrambled eggs. Missing the main ingredient of the meal, she couldn’t help but glare at Arsal.

    A little smirk formed on Arsal’s face as he glanced at Shina.

    “Fufufu…” Resonated in the air as Shina sneakily left her seat.

    Arsal kept on eating, only casting a side glance at Mystel. “Why don’t you look at the cottage…” He replied with a smile.

    An arrow was embedded in the cottage, together with a chicken wing.

    “...”

    “I am sorry for you… Missing such a good phoenix.” Arsal laughed as he looked at Mystel dark expression.

    Mystel didn’t say a word, she only walked toward the phoenix’s carcass sitting next to it.

    “Hurry and revive shitty chicken… Wasting my meal like this!”

    She didn’t know whether she should be happy with her daughter progress or sad because her meal was wasted. But after a few seconds, she decided to reject the fault on the phoenix.

    The phoenix whose conscience remained even after his death couldn’t help but curse this couple in his mind.

    ‘Fu**, who are you calling a chicken? And why is it my fault if your daughter trashed your meal?! Just take it out with her, not me!’

    Of course, no matter what happened, there was no way he would have ever said it openly.

    A few minutes after Shina sneakily escaped, various tremor occurred in front of the cottage, yet Shina didn’t feel any of them. After entering the cottage, it was like she was in a different world.

    The small house’s inside were as big as a mansion, each room were at least 100m² wide. Shina didn’t give it a second thought and ran down through the halls. After living here for four years, she had since long grown used to this scene.

    The cottage was linked to a different dimension. The very first time she had seen this scene, she almost suffered a heart attack, for Shina who had lived in a world where magic was just a dream, what looked ordinary for her parents was for her unbelievable.

    But after those years, she had since long, despite how sad her parents were, grown used to all this.

    As she ran down through the thirty meters long corridor, Shina suddenly stopped.

    Ever since she was reborn, she had never been alone for more than ten minutes. She was treated like a treasure by her parents and there were always at least one by her side no matter what happened.

    She was in front of a door, a normal door like every other in the hall. But even after four years, she never knew what was inside.

    While she never really asked any question about this door, thinking more deeply about this, she soon began to feel curious and excited about what was on the other side. While she had grown used to all the ‘trick’ her parents had, it didn’t mean that she didn’t find them exciting.

    Slowly opening the door, she soon realized that the room was very different than any others. It was much larger yet at the same time smaller, approximately three meters wide, but more than two hundred meters were occupied by a very large machine.

    The machine looked very simple, yet at the same time, it was bizarre. It was divided in three very easy to discern part, the first one was a small glass case which was filled with a large amount of tiny orb. Each of them had the same size as marbles, all filled were countless little strands of light, they were illuminating the room.

    They were like stars sparkling in the night with all their might, Shina couldn’t help but instinctively tend her hands toward them, but they were blocked by the glass case.

    The second part was linked to the glass case by a tube, it aspiring something from the marbles. Even with Shina’s eyes, who could precisely see a target six meters away from her, she had to concentrate to be able to see the small sand grains being aspirated toward the second zone of the machine.

    None of the sand grains could be seen in the second zone, they were all hidden by the white light emanating from it. It was as if they vanished into oblivion as soon as they arrived.

    Or so she thought until she saw the last zone which was the largest and the one who took most of the place. It was a container filled with sand, the sheer amount of sand it contained made it impossible to tell how much tons it was filled with.

    All the sand that seemed to have disappeared in the second zone very slowly dropped into this container which was linked to the first zone. It released a very faint amount of grains which entered the marbles.

    Shina’s eyes were suddenly attracted by a small glittering light which came from a shelf at the left of the machine. There were three small marbles laying in a bowl.

    Their light were much weaker than those in the glass case. Shina couldn’t help but take them in her hands, but as soon as she touched them, they starting gravitating above her hand.

    They were like three little stars playing around her hands, baiting her then slipping away from her grasp each time she tried to catch them.

    A few hours passed since Shina entered the room and started playing with the little marbles, she felt like they were three little children playing around as they flew around the room. Each time she caught one, she released them and waited a few seconds, giving them the time to make some distance before trying to catch them again.

    *Crack*

    Suddenly, one of the marble’s light dimmed and fell to the ground, the surface was fractured and its light started blinking like it was on the verge of dying.

    The two other marbles started rotating around it as if they were worrying about its condition.

    “Are you...alright?” Shina mumbled worriedly.

    The marble continued to blink, but as time passed it was becoming dimmer and the lapse of time between each emanation of light grew shorter. The orb’s surface slowly started to crumble like mud.

    “Shina! Are you alright?!” Arsal suddenly barged into the room with a distressed expression, but as he analyzed the situation, he issued a sigh of relief and approached Shina who wore a pained expression.

    “The marble...it’s dying.”

    After noticing the broken marble, Arsal somehow managed to understand the situation. “Defective universe… So that’s where this mana comes from.” He said in an indifferent tone.

    “Defective universe?...”

    As Shina heard her father’s word, she couldn’t suppress the feeling of astonishment which rose in her heart. Those little frail orb which flew around her were actually universe, after looking more deeply at the two remaining ones, she finally noticed that the shining little bits which filled the marble were actually galaxies.

    Because of her sudden discovery, Shina’s face paled as she looked at the broken orb.

    ‘If those are universe, then did I break one entire world?’

    Her thoughts suddenly froze as she realized the seriousness of the situation.

    When she was a simple human, Earth had a world population of 7.5 billion. But that was only on the Earth, who knew if there weren’t a dozen or thousand of populated planets.

    “You don’t have to worry that much, they can’t give birth to any living being.”

    As if reading Shina’s mind, Arsal made her feel relieved, but she still felt guilty for indirectly destroying this little universe.

    “If it wasn’t for me playing with it… It wouldn’t be dying.”

    “As I said, it’s a defective universe. Like those two others, they’ll probably die in a few years.”

    “A few years… Can’t we repair them?”

    Arsal looked at the two marbles flying around her daughter, shining in a warm and kind light as if trying to appease her feelings.

    “Do you know why they are incomplete, unlike the others in the machine?”

    Shina shook her head as she observed the other marbles which were floating in the glass case.

    “Unlike those ones, the one inside the machine are devoid of will and emotion. They are only tools which exist to harbor life. If when born a universe possess a free will, then won't be able to regulate it's mana output or renew it. It and will slowly exhaust all its reserve until death.”

    “So, the only way to save them is to…”

    “To destroy their soul… Now, do you really want to save them?”

    Arsal tone was indifferent. For him, removing the will of a few universe was something he had done many times before. The effort and time needed to make one were enormous and he wasn’t most of the time willing to put it aside and simply wait for its death.

    But even if it made no difference for him, he still treated this matter seriously… Because this matter was related to his daughter.

    Both outcomes were cruel, one was to refuse their will and turn them into dolls made to harbor the life of billions of people. The other was to simply wait for them to simply die.

    Arsal’s heart was filled with grief, but he knew that his daughter would soon need to mature as fast as quickly, and this was the perfect opportunity for her to recall that the world is unfair.

    Shina looked at the three marbles, the two others returned to the broken one’s side as if to reassure him. She felt in her heart that they were like newborn children, they wished for life more than anything, yet were also endowed with an intelligence high enough for them to understand what they were talking about.

    “That’s unfair for them…”

    “Humu… That’s how it is. I’ll let you chose their destiny.”

    Shina picked up the two flying marbles in her hands and carefully grasped the broken one, making sure of not hurting it more than it already was. She looked at them with tears in her eyes as she recalled her dark past.

    “What is life without freedom?... I am sure they would rather die free than live as a tool.”

    The memory of her past in that large and cold mansion assailed her mind. She had done her best not to think about it for those last four years, but she somehow felt that this situation was similar to her’s. She had lived as a doll, did her best to seal her emotion in order to one day live free, but she was willing to accept it because she had hope that one day she would gain her freedom.

    But for theses tiny universes, it was different. Right now they had their own freedom, but if surrendered it to save their life, then they would forever lose it.

    “I want them to live free until the end. Even if it’s a few minutes, or a few years… I want them to be aware that, right now, they are free.”

    Arsal only smiled, he hadn’t expected his daughter to choose this option at all. At the same time he was happy about how mature she was, yet also saddened.

    A normal child would have chosen to remove their free will, ignoring the other part demands. Not because they are cruel, but because a child is naturally selfish and that it’s their parent's duty to teach them.

    But Shina was far more mature than any child of her age, the hardship she suffered in her previous life made her mature many times faster.

    Arsal looked at her, his eyes held a hint of sorrow.

    ‘I shouldn’t think too much about this, this wound in her heart already mostly healed. After meeting that brat, she’ll be able to erase those scars.’

    Arsal nodded at Shina and approached at the large machine, touching the container holding the large amount of sand

    “Do you know what this is?”

    Shina shook her head, she didn’t know what this machine was.

    “This is the reincarnation system.”

    Looking at the first zone of the machine, his finger pointed at the sand coming out of the marbles.

    “Those grains of sand are the soul of the deceased from multiple worlds and regroup them together. This machine collects their soul and sends them toward the afterworld, in other words… This is the place most human call ‘Heaven’, a gigantic universe containing every living.
    The other destination is where those filled with regrets are sent for them to once again after having their memories being erased, simply waiting to be reincarnated.”

    Looking at the machine, Shina finally understood how important it was and how powerful her parents were for inventing such a thing, but it also brought a question to her mind.

    “Why did you make something like that?”

    “Because we were bored.”

    “...”

    ‘Seriously?!’ Shina thought as she almost had a heart attack, she knew her father wasn’t the type of people to tell a lie, moreover without batting an eye. Arsal faintly smiled.

    “Living being’s possibilities are infinite, you’ll always find something to learn by watching them, whenever it’s magic, food, magic engineering or formation. Lots of worlds use the same laws, yet their inhabitant uses them differently. We might make those worlds, but that’s it. What happen afterward and how the worlds develop isn’t our business. And that’s exactly why this is interesting.”

    A hot warmth covered Shina’s heart, the three marbles were shining in a dim light, yet it contained unlimited strength and desire to live. She felt like the marbles were asking her for help

    The three orbs were blinking together like they were resonating and the broken marbles which had begun to disintegrate turned into a light which illuminated the room. The two others as if responding to its call also turned into a sphere of light and fused with it under Shina’s surprise.

    Not only Shina, but Arsal also looked shocked by what was happening, but he quickly regained his composure and chuckled.

    The three marbles fused into a single one, losing most of its color, it turned into a pitch black orb.

    ‘The three universe combined their power and will to turn into a completely different entity... While they lost most of their power, they managed used Shina’s mana and sympathy creates a link between them. They depend on her to stay alive.’

    Had Arsal felt any enmity from the marbles against his daughter, he would have instantly taken action and mercilessly reduced them to dust. But after noticing what relation they had with Shina he felt relaxed.

    Shina smiled as she held the black orb in her hands.

    “You’ll be my first friend. Your name shall be...Kiel”

    * * * * *

    End of Chapter 1
     
    Claire Lilly likes this.
  6. Pau

    Pau Useless Hamster

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    Oh man. .. i made wrong comment... :3
     
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  7. LadyBlue

    LadyBlue Well-Known Member

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    Thsi looks quite interesting.Will be following.. ;3
     
  8. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    A little girl played in the forest, running barefooted and jumping from a tree to another like she was gliding in the wind with a bow in her hands. From time to time, she fired an arrow at anything which caught her attention, sometimes it was a fruit, sometimes just for having fun.

    The young girl looked like she was having fun, a large smile formed on her face as she spoke to her necklace which consisted of a simple pitch black marble. Each time she spoke to it, the marble replied by blinking a few times like it was understanding her.

    A few dozens of meters far from her stood two young adults, a young man with silver hairs and a woman with black hairs and crimson eyes. The man was lightly smiling as he watched the girl play around, but the woman, on the other hand, was harboring a worried and concerned expression.

    “Arsal, you’re really, REALLY sure that’s it’s safe?”

    The man chuckled at the woman’s anxiousness which earned him her anger as she threw at him with a deathly glare.

    “There shouldn’t be any danger, ‘Kiel’ lost most of its power during the fusion. And even if it wanted, he wouldn’t be able to harm her since its life is directly linked her. It’s safe...”

    “Even if that’s the case, I can’t help but worry after all… We don’t even know what this exactly is capable of.”

    Arsal sighed as he looked at the woman.

    “Whatever it evolve to depend on Shina alone, but I know for sure that it won’t betray her.”

    The woman looked angry like she was on the verge of exploding at the man.

    “How can you be so sure about it?!...What if it severs their link after growing stronger and kill her?!”

    “...Tell me, what do you see when you look at them?”

    Hearing Arsal’s serious response, Mystel expression returned to normal. She closely observed her daughter and especially the marble blinking happily.

    “They look happy and innocent…”

    Arsal’s expression relaxed as his eyes seemed to be smiling.

    “That’s right, they look innocent… Kiel is just like a newborn child without any parents, it didn’t have anyone to depend on as it was dying in a somber room. Before Shina arrived, it was all alone for many years. If it wasn’t for Shina interacting with them, they wouldn’t even have been able to move at all and would simply have died. But Shina saved Kiel, her good intention saved it and it deep inside knows it. For Shina, Kiel is maybe a friend or a member of her family… But for Kiel, she is his savior and mother which gave him life, its only light in this world.”

    Mystel became silent and simply gazed straight ahead, appearing to be in deep reflection while staring at the little marble.

    “...Now, if you truly wish to dispose of Kiel then you are free to do so. I won’t interfere, but don’t expect me to help you in any way, I am just interested to see how you will manage to convince Shina to hand over her first friend for him to die…”

    As if someone had poured a bucket cold water all over her body, Mystel could not help but click her tongue.

    While she didn’t want to admit it, Mystel indeed couldn’t do anything about it. The shock Shina who had opened her heart to them after some difficulties would receive would be tremendous, they would most likely lose her trust.

    Moreover, Shina might be acting as a child… But she wasn’t stupid and gullible at all!

    Even if they were to take care of that secretly, Shina wouldn’t be fooled by her. Her intelligence exceeded her peers and could already compare with an adult’s one. With no other living being than them in the area, she would instantly understand what was going on.

    Mystel’s expression relaxed as she sighed.

    “...Then lets at least keep an eye on Kiel, if it were to put her in danger then I’ll dispose of it. That girl isn’t simple minded, I am sure she would understand.”

    “That’s right, let’s simply watch over them silently…”

    After speaking, Arsal’s eyes suddenly flashed with seriousness.

    “By the way, it’s time to decide who's going to take care of Shina today.”

    As Arsal finished speaking, Mystel also started glaring at Arsal with killing intent. Both of them looked ready to jump at the other’s throat and kill him on the spot. A large aura surrounded them and some of the trees surrounding them violently shook from the pressure emanating from their bodies.

    Both of the lifted their hand, unwilling to make the first move, but after a long silence, Arsal suddenly opened his mouth.

    “3...2...1…”

    “ “Rock-paper-scissor!” “

    Soon after, a woman’s scream resonated in the forest. On the other hand, Arsal’s face wore a wicked smile as he proceeded toward his daughter, today’s victory was far more important than any others...


    * * * * *

    As Shina was jumping from tree to tree, as she was in middle air Arsal suddenly appeared at her side.

    “Waaah?!”

    Losing her calm, her body shifted in midair and she lost the control of her trajectory, making unable to safely arrive at her destination as her foot lost all stability on the branch. But as she felt her body fall, Arsal extended his hand, grabbing her by the collar.

    “...Careful.”

    Swiftly vanishing, they both appeared on the ground and Shina felt her body loosen up as her knee touched the ground.

    “Is it lunchtime?”

    A few days had passed since Shina encountered Kiel, during this time her parents had given her a few free hours in the morning for them to play together while they were quietly analyzing Kiel.

    Her reaction made Arsal slightly exasperated, his own daughter forgot what day today was.

    “Is there something you want for your birthday?”

    Shina looked surprised for a few seconds before a large twinkling smile formed on her face.

    “A large cake and some food!”

    “That’s a given, but… Is there nothing else you want?”

    Taking a few dozens of seconds to think, when Shina was about to shake her head, Arsal suddenly threw her on his back. His legs kicked the ground with such strength that it left a small crater behind.

    The next second, Arsal was flying in the sky, giving Shina a piggyback as he flew through the clouds at a tremendous speed.

    The clouds slightly impaired Shina’s vision, making her only able to distinct the main aspect of the scenery. But with a simple swipe of Arsal’s his sleeve, the large cloud faded away as though it came across a tornado which ripped it in pieces.

    Without the cloud restricting her vision, she could perfectly see the world around her. The forest in which she lived and never left for four years was actually very tiny and was localized in the heart of a far larger forest.

    The main forest trees far exceeded the size of the one she knew, they were all at least one hundred meters tall. They stood there stood for many hundreds of years, strong, majestic and unyielding.

    Arsal sneakily glanced at Shina and realized her eyes were shining, constantly moving right and left, looking at the landscape.

    “Hooooh!” She unconsciously let out unable to hide her excitement

    Arsal’s speed slowly began to fall until he completely stopped rising in the sky, but he didn’t fall down either. He simply stood in the airs like he was standing on the ground and looked around, countless monsters were flying around the forest.

    They were swarming not only the sky but also the forest.

    Some of them were even taller than the trees of the main forest, seeing them made Shina look at them with surprise. Those monsters were living so close to them, but she knew that none of them would even dare set a foot in their forest, because for them… her parents are probably the real monsters…

    She had seen the corpses of monsters even more impressive like the phoenix she had eaten recently. While those monsters indeed looked impressive, how could they compare to a phoenix? And most importantly, how could they compare to people who enjoy eating phoenix at lunch?

    Just the mere sight of Arsal made the flying monsters spread out, terrifying them to the point that they lost all control over themselves and started making way while colliding against each others.

    Scanning the area, Arsal’s eyes landed on a large brownish flying lizard at least twenty meters large; a wyrm.

    “You’ll do…”

    With a movement of his fingers, the wyrm was forced out of the crowd and stood in front of him, not daring to resist the force pulling him, he simply abandoned himself to Arsal.

    Arsal simply flew to the wyrm’s back on carefully dropped Shina on it before sitting down and tapping the wyrm’s back with his hand.

    The strength preventing the wyrm from flying suddenly vanished, allowing the wyrm to fly to the horizon.

    Shina stood up on the wyrm’s back, despite being in the airs, the wyrm’s scales reduced the wind pressure to a level bearable enough for her to play around.

    The landscape changed many times, they flew over large mountains with snow at the top, flew through canyon and valley. They were all scenery that Shina had only seen on television in her previous life, she often dreamed back then of one day traveling the world and seeing them with her own eyes.

    Deserts, ocean, grassland… Each of them brought a different emotion and a feeling of fulfillment.

    She wasn’t the only one excited by such displays, Kiel who was directly linked to Shina could feel her emotions and happily blinked with bright light every time she discovered a new place. It merely shared her happiness without second thoughts.

    A vicious smirk formed on Arsal’s face as he thought of Mystel’s expression when she lost.

    “Dad, thanks for this present!”

    Looking at Shina’s smiling expression, Arsal felt that taking a detour and not kicking the wyrm’s slow butt to speed up was indeed the right thing, but he also looked quite surprised by her thanks.

    “What are you talking about? That’s not your birthday present.”

    “Huh? What do you mean?”

    “We are simply going to visit a city and look for something you desire.”

    “A city?... Really?! What does it look like in this world? Is it like a medieval one? Can they use magic as well?”

    Not having left her forest, Shina hadn’t seen a single living being aside from her parents. While she had bad memories of her previous life, it didn’t mean that she didn’t want to socialize and make some friends at all.

    “No need to ask so many questions, you’ll see for yourself soon.”

    Arsal quietly dismissed all of Shina’s interrogation as he pointed at the horizon, Shina followed his finger and gradually a small city revealed itself to her eyes...


    Arsal leisurely forced the wyrm to land a few kilometers away from the city as he heaved a light sigh, he had originally intended to settle near the city but quickly abandoned this thought. He didn’t want to send the city into disarray and have to use strength to oppress them into obedience.

    Normally, he wouldn’t care the slightest about their feelings and do as he wished. But he had come to chose a birthday present with his cute little daughter, he didn’t want to make the inhabitants terrified and have them spoil this precious moment.

    Dismounting first, Arsal stood beneath the wyrm ready to catch Shina, not expecting her to make a double somersault and land right in front of him. He looked slightly disappointed but also amused by his daughter’s attitude.

    After landing on the ground and waiting for both his riders to descend, the large and impressive wyrm uttered a majestic howl like a king proclaiming this land as his own.

    As ludicrous as it sounds, while he was scared of the man sitting on his back, at the same time the wyrm who held in his blood a certain amount of dragon blood couldn’t help but feel proud of the fact that the man had chosen him among every of his peers.

    Shina who was observing the area with a wide smile couldn’t help but put her hands on her ears to diminish the sound of the roar which almost gave her a headache.

    Observing Shina’s reaction, Arsal glared with eyes full of murderous intent at the wyrm who felt so oppressed that his heart suddenly stopped beating for a few seconds yet his body remained immobilized by his contracted muscles. He secretly cursed his instinct and wished he could find a mountain to bash his head against.

    Shina who couldn’t feel her father’s killing intent looked at the pitiful wyrm whose eyes became watery as he lowered his eyes while looking at her asking to be spared. Looking at this majestic beast who normally dominate the sky staring at her with puppy eyes, she couldn’t help but laugh.

    The wyrm was thrown in disarray, he had acted just like those little animals who were begging for their life whom he enjoyed hunting when he was bored. Being a few hundreds of years old, he had come across many humanoid beings and knew that the young female ones were sensible to cute things.

    While looking distraught, the wyrm looked at Shina with bright eyes. He knew that if she doesn't say anything then the man will definitely kill him.

    In normal times, the wyrm would never have yielded or fall so low to beg for his life. But merely being stared at by Arsal made him feel like a peasant in front of an emperor. Gathering all his courage, the wyrm stared at Shina and slowly opened his large jaw.

    “Meowww”

    Shina stared at the large meowing wyrm in a daze, her extreme shock could be seen on her face. Shina had since long understood his situation, but she didn’t expect the hundred meters long wyrm to throw away all his self-esteem and pride like this.

    “Pwhahaha; what the hell? Are you a cat?!”

    Tears could be seen in Shina’s eyes as she stared at the wyrm’s wronged expression. Seeing her like this, Arsal couldn’t help but smile at this little demoness.

    Yet this reaction couldn’t compare to the one she got after seeing the wyrm’s next action... Never did they expect the wyrm to be so ashamed that it would burrow his head in the ground.

    Even the indifferent Arsal couldn’t help but smile.

    “You are wrong… Can’t you see that he is an ostrich?”

    Not able to handle it anymore, Shina fell to the ground as a loud laugh comparable to the wyrm’s roar could be heard in the land…


    * * * * *


    “*Cough* *Cough* My stomach still hurt…”

    Arsal grinned at his daughter’s pitiful appearance whom he supported with her hand, her legs were still shaking as she recalled the pitiful wyrm’s attempt to coax her into saving his life.

    Due to Arsal not wanting to alarm the city, it took them a few dozens of minutes to walk the several kilometers which separated them from the city’s gates. If it wasn’t for Shina’s sake, he wouldn’t have taken their feelings into account.

    In front of them stood an immense wall with a large door mostly made of iron, weighing probably severals thousands, if not tens thousands of pounds. From her position, Shina could only estimate the wall’s length to be around thirty meters.

    While the wall gave a medieval feeling, the guards weren’t wearing any heavy armor. Most of them were dressed in a very light leather armor and armed with a spear.

    A large amount of wagon were waiting for their turn in line to enter the city, most of them belonged to nicely clothed men who were probably merchants. Some others were carriage transporting some vegetables.

    It would probably take hours for all the wagon to enter the city. Shina showed a slightly annoyed expression as she wondered how much time they would have to wait to enter the city.

    Negative thoughts rose up in Arsal’s mind, he had already made many concession in order to spend a good moment with his daughter. But in no way was he ready to wait a few hours to enter the city, if it wasn’t for the fact that he wanted to let Shina discover some new sceneries and look like a ‘normal’ father in the city, he would have already teleported them inside.

    Secretly sighing, just as Arsal was going to teleport them, three guards made signs for them to approach.

    Two of them looked like simple guards, but the third one was wearing a reddish armor completely different from the two others. His expression carried some trace of wickedness despite his smile which made Arsal frown as they had caught his attention.

    The man looked at Arsal while throwing a few glances at Shina, scrutinizing carefully every inch of her body with a secretive grin.

    “Are you travelers? I don’t remember seeing you around here.”

    Unnoticed to the man, a hint of disgust and hatred had formed in Arsal’s eyes as he glared at the man who didn’t seem to notice anything.

    One of the two guards looked angrily at his superior from behind, it didn’t take long for Arsal to know about the man’s bad intention.

    Arsal nodded while secretly glaring at the man with hidden killing intent. Had he not wanted to make a mess, he would already have killed him over a thousand times until he was mentally broken.

    “Haha, I thought so. Seeing you wearing this kind of clothes, you must be a war refugee right?”

    Indeed, among the people sitting in the wagon, most of them were wearing a shirt and an easy to move in pants most of the time made of leather. Only a few people were dressed in a ragged cloak dirtied by their travel. Arsal’s pure white clothing looked pretty similar to their attire.

    “Times are starting to become hard… Some people like you already started leaving their Kalunda, but the problem is you see… We were told not to let any escapee enter the city.”

    The captain kept glancing at Shina as he feinted a saddened expression, Arsal’s indifferent countenance finally became noticeable, making the man think he started to become desperate.

    Arsal’s beautiful features and noble appearance combined with his unstained clothes even after probably traveling a few hundred miles. In the man’s mind, there was no doubt that Arsal was probably a very rich merchant or noble who fled war while taking his most prized possessions.

    Therefore, how could he let such a large sheep enter without taking some advantages of it? If it wasn’t because they were in public, the man would probably have already tried to rob him of his belongings like a bandit.

    Within an instant, every expression vanished from Arsal’s face as a very friendly smile had instead formed.

    Shina felt her heart beat very hard at this sight. It wasn’t like she hadn’t noticed the man’s evil intentions, after living a few years among hateful people, she had naturally become able to easily see through such people.

    She had seen Arsal smile a few times in the past, but his current very friendly smile terrorized her.

    Such a friendly smile, how could her father who normally don’t openly express any emotion smile like this? For Shina who was quite close to her father, she noticed that this smile actually lacked warmness.

    ‘Hmph, you want to exploit me? Fine, let’s play by your rules…’

    “Sir, there must be a way for us to… enter, right?”

    The red dressed man widely smiled as he approached Arsal, whispering a few words to his ears.

    “Please don’t spread it around, I actually have a lot of connections in the city, letting you enter wouldn’t be a problem but… You see, most of them won’t act if they don’t win a little something…”

    Arsal innerly snorted, this was the very first time someone actually tried to rob him like this. Would Mystel be here, she would probably be laughing until death, the sight of Arsal being exploited by a little human… A tiny captain from a city would definitely have killed her.

    Taking a purse from under his white tunic, Arsal took out of it a few shining jewel. They looked unworldly, each of them was at least as large as a finger and could probably be sold for tens of thousands of gold.

    The three guards eyes were wide open in front of such beauty, Arsal had only taken out three of these… There was no doubt that each of them would be enough to buy a mansion, various thoughts filled the man’s head. Seeing Arsal leisurely take out such precious things like it was nothing, he started to panic.

    ‘Did I misjudge him? This man probably has a huge background… Maybe he is a flying prince from Kalunda? No, this kingdom only has three princesses… He must probably be a rich noble who fled his home to avoid war, all he has is money but no power. That would explain why he is acting so friendly, not minding being slightly taken advantage of.’

    “I am sorry Sir but to tell you the truth… We are actually having a jewel surplus, we are having so much of them that they are now only worth their weight in gold.”

    Hearing their captain lying, the two guards felt like punching him until comatose.

    ‘A jewel surplus? Don’t you also have a surplus? A surplus of stupidity! Even a brat would come up with a better excuse!’

    Even Arsal couldn’t help but feel shocked from this man’s stupidity.

    “Sir, I understand your surprise but that’s the truth. What is the most valuable right now is… slave. With the rise of inhabitants, the fields need to be expanded but most emigrate actually refuse such type of tiring work. If you wish to, might be able to sell your slave for a few… hundreds gold. Just enough for you Sir to enter the city.”

    The atmosphere around them suddenly froze as Arsal’s smile vanished into oblivion. Compared to Arsal unstained clothing and elegant demeanor, Shina’s slightly tarnished black dress from running around in the forest earlier and her lack of footwear which she found uncomfortable and refused to wear indeed made it seems that she was of a lower status.

    A strong breeze suddenly blew on the wall, the man didn’t think much of it… Not did he know that he almost died a few times during this instant. Killing intent filled Arsal’s body, making the man shudder without knowing why; never in his life had Arsal feel such a strong urge to kill someone.

    Feeling like killing someone, yet being unable to for some reason… Only Mystel had made him feel like this before, but it had never been this intense.

    Arsal felt a little hand pulling his sleeve, Shina’s expression looked slightly annoyed as she looked at the captain. Looking at his adorable daughter pulling his sleeve while pouting, Arsal felt like all his anger was slowly vanishing.

    Her horns and growing scales had been hidden with magic, she looked like a small doll with long black hairs and bright purple eyes gave the impression of a tiny goddess who descended in this world.

    “Dad… Can I beat him up?” She whispered to her father.

    Arsal felt slightly amused at the thought of his daughter beating this stupid man until he begged for mercy. If it wasn’t because of Shina’s birthday, he would probably have taken him back home and use him as a target for her bow practice, but giving it a second thought, he also vomited at the idea of letting such a disgusting man close to his daughter.

    Refusing his daughter’s plead with a shake of his head, Arsal only desire was to hurry and enter the city before that man made him so angry that he would destroy it on an impulse.

    “I am sorry but she is not for sale, this is my daughter. Please wait a moment, I am sure that a few merchants here would be willing to give me the ‘few hundreds gold’ needed in exchange of some jewel.”

    The guard suddenly felt cold sweat forming, while he indeed had some connection in the city, the price of a single jewel could be counted in tens of thousands gold. Should someone know of his plunder, he was afraid of the repercussions.

    “Please wait, Sir! You absolutely don’t need to do so, I am sure you sacrificed a lot to obtain those jewels. You see, I feel very ashamed of calling your daughter a slave, as an apology let me take care of convincing my friends of letting you enter the city!”

    At this point, Arsal didn’t care anymore of this man’s shamelessness. Simply conversing with such a man had made him tired beyond belief and they hadn’t even entered the city.

    ‘You might as well enjoy those ‘gifts’ for a few hours… Just you wait until tonight…’

    On the red clothed man’s order, Arsal and Shina entered the city without any problems… Apart from the few men sneakily following them on the guard’s order, Arsal sighed as he wondered if that man’s greed had a limit.


    * * * * *


    Few minutes passed since Arsal and Shina passed through the door, the red-clothed man dubiously looked at the few crystals in his hand, not able to process all that happened. A wicked smile formed on his mouth as he called over a few of his most trusted men and sent them to follow the duo, ordering them to kidnap the girl if possible.

    One of the man’s two subordinate which followed him earlier couldn’t help but glare at him doubtfully. If he had asked to go after the father who held the jewels, it would have been okay, however, the one he wanted was the four years old little girl.

    “Boss, I don’t understand. Why pursuing the girl?”

    While it was true that the girl was extremely pretty, even the worst scum of the city wouldn’t touch a little child like her.

    It was a question of principle!

    The boss chuckled at his subordinate question, he understood that they were mistaken about something. Never in his mind did he think of touching the girl, while she was indeed very cute, he still liked mature women. But for him, the woman became even more important after obtaining such a large amount of money.

    “Karl, how old are you?”

    “Twenty-one years old sir.”

    Nodding several times, the man laughed as he patted the youngster’s back several times.

    “You are still young after all, you still don’t fully know how the world work do you?”

    Seizing the youngster’s hand, the thirty-something years old man forced his hand open and deposed one of the crystal on his palm, making the subordinates look at him with eyes filled with jealousy and astonishment.

    “S-Sir… I…”

    The captain grinned as he intensely looked at the man in his eyes, murmuring something to his ears.

    “Want to make a bet? If you keep this treasure then within half an hours you’ll be found dead in an alley and nobody will ask a single question about it.”

    A dreadful feeling suddenly surged within the guard’s heart, his back was stained with cold sweat and his hand holding the crystal was shaking. From the moment the crystal was placed in his hand, he felt his coworkers gaze, even his friends' ones were filled with jealousy and...killing intent.

    Those men whom he had worked with ever since he entered the city guards when he was sixteen years old, all of them which he knew, for now, three years were emitting killing intent hidden behind a smile.

    Even his cousin whom he had spent his childhood with and entered this job at the same time looked at him with hesitations. This tiny object smaller than his hand was enough for people to disregard any past relations.

    If it was another city then maybe it would have been different, but this was Whiost, one of the most reputed port city. This city has connections with most of the countries, here, an extremely high amount of money changed of hand every day.

    However, whether you find money, you will also find outlaws. You could find all kind of bandits and crooks here at such a point that even the guards were filled with them, this young man who had lived in a ‘safe’ part of the city wasn’t accustomed to meeting such people.

    The red-clothed man took back the crystal with a small grin, enjoying the young man’s reaction and relief as he felt like a large boulder had been lifted from his shoulders.

    “Some says that money is power, but that’s crap! You can’t protect it without power, you’ll simply get robbed and your corpse will decompose within an alley like many others.”

    “But strength doesn’t mean anything, beat one people and ten will follow. Beat ten, a hundred will follow. No, relations is true strength. But relations built on profit and money never end well, but give them something they would never ever dream of obtaining and they’ll lick in your hands like doggies.”

    “Things they’ll… never dream of obtaining?...”

    “The most common one is… beautiful women.”

    “...But isn’t she just a girl?”

    “A child if raised properly is easy to influence and loyal. Moreover, that girl in fifteen years will probably be beautiful enough to buy a city. In the future, even royalties probably wouldn’t mind conferring noble title just to obtain her”

    “But she’s… just a child.”

    “Ahh… Karl, my dear nephew once this is over you’ll be transferred to guard the port’s area for a while. Maybe there you’ll learn how life works in this tow-GUUH”

    A small scream echoed as the captain suddenly held his left shoulder which Arsal had tapped on earlier, the man couldn’t move it feel anything from there anymore, it was most likely broken.

    Everyone was shocked as they looked at the red-clothed man suddenly screaming, it wasn’t just his shoulder but some of his ribs started to fracture one by one, each one making him produce a shriek even louder than the previous one.

    Who would have known that Arsal’s little tap on the shoulder would have caused such damage?


    * * * * *


    Walking in the city, Shina still felt slightly annoyed of the guards attitude. Although she understood her father’s intention of not attracting any attention while they were in the city, she nonetheless thought it was useless.

    Useless because her parents while being without a doubt extremely intelligent were lacking something very important… Common sense.

    Shina was troubled. She knew that her father was trying to stay low-key, but which kind of low key person would use crystals and jewel instead of gold coins. Moreover, in his mind, their value didn’t exceed a few hundreds if not thousand gold while their real price could be counted in hundreds of thousands.

    Just showing them at the entrance of the city was enough to bring themselves a very large amount of troubles.

    Nevertheless, she didn’t give it that much reflection, if she was with someone else then perhaps it would have been troublesome… But the person she is with is her father, trying to pick a fight with him is just seeking a total and complete annihilation of the culpable bloodline; even his pets’ children probably wouldn’t be spared.

    All that mattered, for now, was enjoying this moment in the city.

    Right after entering the city, a large crowd filled the place as many people were shouting around. The marketplace was located right next to the city door in order for the merchants’ wagons not to disturb the living areas.

    This area was the most alive and cleanest of the town, most people owning a stall here were selling fast food like roasted skewers or living commodities such as clothes or vegetables.

    “Ooooh”

    Shina’s eyes popped out as she stared at people running here and there, this looked like one of those movies she once saw but more lively, it wasn’t something some actors could reproduce.

    The scent of roasted meat was filling the area which made Shina’s stomach emit a dignified growl. Her smooth cheeks became crimson as she lifted her hand, pointing at one of the roaster skewers stalls with an embarrassment which quickly disappeared after the shock passed.

    “I want one!”

    Arsal glanced at the small stall owned by a middle aged old man with a bald head so polished that it reflected the sunlight. The man was bare-chested, exposing his muscled sweaty torso under the fire’s heat.

    The man’s roasting technique indicated that he was in this job for a long time now. Even Arsal who knew how to cook had to admit that his skills were admirable. Nodding to Shina, Arsal walked toward the stall.

    “Welcome lad, want to try one of my skewers? It’s only five little bronze coins.”

    Shina barely managed to restrain her laughter as she heard the man’s friendly words. Never did she expect someone to call her father a ‘lads’. Regardless of his words, Arsal didn’t show much expression and raised two of his fingers.

    As the man obviously didn’t have any ill intentions, Arsal wasn’t a narrow-minded person and didn’t pay much attentions to his words.

    “Humu, two skewers.”

    “Sure lad, here you go.”

    Arsal grabbed the two skewers and passed one to Shina, his eyes still focused on the roasted meat.

    He didn’t notice it until it was in his hands, but the roasting was perfectly done at such a point that he would be incapable of reproducing it. The ingredients used for the seasoning were unknown to him yet they managed to bring out and enhance the savor of the meat’s juice.

    Even the meat’s juice which slightly vanish after the roasting didn’t disperse and instead abundantly flowed into his mouth.

    “Such a thing… Impossible.”

    A while ago Arsal only thought his skills were pretty good, but he felt like he could have done better than him. But only after tasting it did he understand how arrogant he had been.

    Glancing at Shina who almost instantly devoured the skewer and seeing the large smile on her lips as she complimented the meat, Arsal acknowledged his defeat.

    “Glad you like it little girl.”

    The man patted Shina’s hairs with a rough smile, obviously happy of the compliment.

    Arsal suddenly opened and intensely glared at him.The atmosphere around him had changed has he pointed at the man using the skewer stick.

    “Another…”

    “S-Sure?”

    At this point, Arsal didn’t look at him like he was puny human, in his eyes he was his equal in the cruel world of cooking… No, he became his rival!

    While Arsal was buying the skewers one after another, trying to pierce the secrets hidden behind their tastes; Shina, on the other hand, noticed a little girl, maybe four or five years older than her running.

    The girl’s clothes and body were filled with dirt and dust. She was dressed in worn out clothes which had probably been used for years, her short black hairs opposed her porcelain white skin tainted by the dirt.

    The worn out clothes displayed her legs and legs up to her knees, exposing many scars which she had probably earned over the years and many recent bruises.

    The girl ran down the marketplace, two other rough clothed men were running behind her.

    “Someone catch that fucking pickpocket!”

    “Just you wait! If I catch you today shitty brat I’ll definitely skin you alive.”

    The girl was carrying a heavy purse in her hands, her breath looked rough yet somewhat calm despite the danger behind her. She looked accustomed to such events.

    Yet what attracted Shina’s attention the most were her eyes. They were eyes she was very familiar with; eyes she once had in her previous life.

    They were cold because she knew she can’t rely on anyone else than herself, nobody would help her even if she was begging. However, they still contained a light called hope, as if after all this suffering one day would come where she would be able to live as she wished to.

    As she passed by Shina’s side, Shina greeted her with a smile, making the girl stare at with puzzled eyes before refocusing on her pursuer.

    Shina only looked at her running back while secretly cheering her up.

    The moment the two men passed by Shina side, a little leg suddenly flew toward one of the man’s stomach, sending him flying a few meters away.

    ‘I’ll give you a hand this time.’

    The remaining man suddenly turned back with a shocked expression as he looked at Shina, unable to understand how such a tiny little girl could send his friend flying away with a single kick.

    A man weighing at least 200 pounds was sent flying like a soccer ball, despite not being severely injured the impact had almost cost him a few ribs.

    Most of the people in the street hadn’t seen the scene and just glanced at the throwing up man wondering what was happening, but those who had clearly witnessed this incident looked at Shina with interest.

    The lying man hostilely glared at Shina as he coughed a few times after displaying what he had eaten for breakfast on the street.

    After the shock passed, the two man hurriedly looked around the street, unable to track down the fleeing thief. The girl had already run away.

    Both of the men gave up on chasing after her, as long as she was in their sight there would be no problem in tracking her down. But a thief who makes his living by stealing others has to know every corners and hiding spot of the city if he wants to live long.

    The thief was already gone and even if they looked for her the whole day they wouldn’t be able to find her.

    One man’s face was dyed red as he remembered the amount of money inside the bag, it was the taxes he had collected as protection fees from many shops. No need to say how large the amount was.

    If he went back to his boss, he could easily imagine what would happen to him.

    The man glared at the little girl who prevented him from catching the thief, surprised she hadn’t run away.


    Despite how luxurious Shina’s clothes were, the dirt they accumulated from playing in the forest completely masked their beauty. Adding the fact that she wasn’t wearing any shoes, Shina looked somewhat similar to one of the city’s child.

    It wasn’t weird for the men to think of her as the thief’s helper.

    One of the roughly clothed thugs stomped the ground as he walked toward Shina with a murderous face. Everyone knew what was going to happen, but no one acted.

    Despite being young, a thief remained a thief. Even for a child, the punishment for stealing some bread would be having their hand cut.

    The bald skewer seller who saw the scene glared at the two men, he previously had a good impression of Shina and noticed on their reactions that Arsal seemed to cherish her.

    “Lad, maybe you should hurry, your daughter is in danger…”

    At first, he thought that Arsal hadn’t noticed the commotion, but the small sarcastic grin on Arsal’s face made his heart skip a beat.

    “Don’t call me 'lad', I am actually older than your grandfather.”

    “Olde-... That’s not the issue right now, those men are going to hurt her!”

    Arsal humphed with disdain. Despite being engrossed in the man’s exquisite roasting technique he had never stopped paying attention to Shina. If she was truly in danger, he would, of course, be the first to rush in.

    Compared to fighting some guards which would become annoying later on, beating up a few thugs probably wouldn’t make a commotion. In the worst case, he would just make them ‘permanently’ disappear from the city.

    “She’s just playing around, let her be and give me another one.”

    The bald man looked at Arsal with astonishment, he remembered the man saying he was older than his grandfather. His natural demeanor indeed looked unworldly and supreme, making him unable to doubt his words.

    One of the thugs held the collar of Shina’s dress and lifted her in the air while throwing a threatening glare at her.

    “You must be that damn thief’s friend aren’t you?!”

    “Nope, I don’t know her at all…”

    Shina simply laughed it off while shrugging her shoulders.

    “You don’t want to talk huh? Think I don’t dare hit brat like ya?”

    The man made a fist and tried to threaten her.

    “Hurry and bring me to her… Or else…”

    “You aren’t just dumb, but your ears are also so dirty that you can’t even hear me? Or perhaps you are so stupid that you can’t understand human’s speech? Either way get lost you trashs…”

    The onlookers were filled with shock, without a doubt, the girl was going to get beaten up, but even so, they didn’t expect her to be unafraid and have such a poisonous tongue.

    Arsal on the side chuckled as he recalled a certain person’s talent.

    ‘Should I be worried? That girl indeed inherited a few of Mystel’s talents…’

    The lying man who with difficulty managed to stand up glared at Shina with ill intent.

    “You brat! Don’t you think you will be spared just because you know a few tricks!”

    “Taste my fist you damn bit-”

    As the man’s fist was rapidly approaching the smiling Shina; unnoticedly, within an instant a small marble rushed into the man’s face. The impact completely shattered the man’s jaw and made him spit out almost half of his teeth.

    Suddenly losing all his strength, the man failed to maintain his grip on Shina’s collar.

    “Nice one!”

    As she praised Kiel with a little smirk, Shina kicked the ground and raised her knee who lodged itself in the man’s most precious and sensible place while holding the man’s legs, making most of the male onlookers face become pale. One of them almost fainted.

    The impact made the man faint on the spot as his eyes became pure white, a large *THUMP* resonated due to the strength on the collision. A few person even sworn having heard the sound of something breaking, since Shina was holding the man to preventing him from being sent flying, the impact was even stronger than when she kicked the second thug.

    Arsal laughed to himself for a moment.

    ‘Humu, that’s right, always go for your enemy's weak point… I taught her well.’

    Shina glanced at the second thug with an innocent yet sarcastic smile making the man become pale. The first time he was hit he thought she had used some trick to send him flying, but this time, everything happened before his own eyes. He hadn’t even managed to see how she broke his friend’s jaw, but the speed at which she reacted was inhuman.

    Yet the man didn’t even dare think of running away. Not only had he lost the merchants' protection fees, but if he fled now then everyone would say that he was beaten up by a little brat. Which would then even dare to let such a man work for them?

    “You little…”

    Having more or less regained some strength, the man charged toward Shina with all his strength.

    Shina only sneered as she calmly looked at the man angered face. He looked like a bull whose complexion had turned crimson from fury, the man’s fist rushed toward Shina's head but with a little sidestep to the left it hit nothing but empty air.

    “Whoops~, you missed. Try again~”

    The man threw series of punch and kick, yet none managed to hit their target but instead made the man more and more annoyed at the playful little girl who wasn’t taking him seriously, it looked like she was playing a simple tag game.

    “Come on~ Try harder, I am starting to get bored.”

    The man fury almost exploded as he made a circular kick which surprised Shina as she dodged it by a hair’s breadth as she crouched at the very last moment.

    “Wow, you almost got me there! See, you can do it if you try harder.”

    “You shitty brat, I don’t care anymore!”

    Another punch flew toward Shina as the man angrily yelled, like every other one she tried to dodge it by a hair breadth, but this as she tried to dodge she felt a slight pain on her shoulder as a little metallic sound could be heard.

    Looking at her shoulder where the cloth had been torn, Shina felt surprised as she looked at the man’s terrified expression.

    “M-m-monster…”

    A little metallic fragment fell on the ground, it belonged to the small knife held by the thug. Shina quickly realized what had happened, she hadn’t even noticed the man taking out the small knife hidden in his sleeve.

    While being angry at the thug, she was more surprised by the fact that she wasn’t even wounded by the knife; rather it was the knife who broke.

    A purple skin could be seen from where the cloth had been torn, after a few seconds, it returned back to being her pristine white skin. This purple color looked very similar to the scales which grew and then disappeared on her body.

    Shina made an innocent-like smile toward the thug which made his legs start shaking.

    “L-Let’s stop here, it was our fault right?”

    A strong sense of danger filled his mind as he looked with terror at the young girl in front of him. At this point he had thrown away his shame, he refused to believe that this child was human; he was now certain of her being a few hundred years old monster who enjoyed tormenting others.

    “Nope~”

    Shina’s leg flew rushed toward the man’s knee. Like a metal bat swung at a window, her leg utterly crushed his knee, making his limb form a beautiful right angle.

    At the same time, a little marble rushed toward his stomach with an even greater impact than when Shina had previously kicked him, mercilessly crushing several of his ribs to dust. Remembering how he tried to use a knife on her, Shina wasn’t willing to let the man off so easily. Her hand grasped the falling man’s hair and violently smashed his head against the ground.

    As she was finished, Kiel made the finishing move by smashing against the man’s back, greatly injuring his spine.

    “Phew… Nice teamwork~”

    Shina complimented Kiel who happily circled around her.

    Surprisingly the man was still alive, Shina had somewhat held back trying not to kill him but she didn’t know if Kiel hadn’t finished him with that finisher move.

    It was a total annihilation. The onlookers were staring at Shina like she was a monster, never had they imagined that such a little girl could be so violent and powerful. Despite not being close enough like the thug to see her color changing skin, they still felt like him that she wasn’t human.

    “Hm, maybe we went too far?”

    Perhaps it was because she never thought about it, but she didn’t notice that her mind had started to change ever since she lived with her parents. Beating up someone like this hadn’t made her feel guilty from injuring someone this much, just regretful as she looked at the bystander's reaction.

    A few scream echoed as she heard the sound of people stomping toward her in the distance.

    “Ups, the guards are coming…”

    Looking at her father, he smiled at her and made her sign to run away while remaining standing beside the bald man’s stall.

    ‘I’ll let her play around for now. Who know, she might make some friends...’

    “La-... I mean mister, you still want another one?”

    Looking at Arsal who had devoured more than twenty of his meat skewers coupled with his little devil-like daughter, the bald stall seller more or less believed him when he said he wasn’t human.

    As the man was giving out another skewer, Arsal politely refused it.

    “I have some work to do, I’ll be back.”

    Arsal took out his purse and threw away one large crystal at the man whose eyes almost popped out.

    “M-Mister! T-this is…”

    “Keep the change, it would be more of a bother than anything.”

    Arsal showed a cold expression as he slowly walked down the street with his hands behind his back before unnoticedly disappearing after several meters.

    ‘Maybe I should use this time to take care of the few bugs swirling around my daughter…’ He suddenly thought as he vanished.


    * * * * *


    In a dark alley a few minutes away from the marketplace, a young girl was holding her chest while panting out of exhaustion. It was the girl Shina helped earlier.

    Looking backward and making sure nobody else was there, the girl finally breathed out of relief before entering the building by using a small fissure located at the rear of the edifice.

    She arrived in a basement where a few days worth of food were safely hidden together with a small bed half ripped.

    The girl opened the purse and smiled, it contained almost ninety gold coins. It was enough for her to eat at her fill for eight or nine months.

    “Nice, today’s harvest is great.”

    An annoyed thought suddenly came into her mind and the girl kicked out a chair next to her before taking out one of the many bricks situated near her bed and taking out a large half full purse filled with a few gold coins and many differents others less valuable.

    At the same time, she took out another purse from her hidden stash and threw in a dozen of silverish coins while feeling like she was repetitively stabbed in her heart every time she heard the sound of the metallic silver coins hitting each other.

    The girl grabbed a small piece of bread already half eaten and slowly enjoyed it while calming herself, remembering the young four years old girl she saw earlier.

    She strangely felt familiar with the girl yet was a hundred percent sure she had never seen her before, moreover her eyes were extremely mature and resolute despite containing a certain amount of childishness.

    From her dirtied clothes she imagined her to be a child of the street like her but quickly dismissed this idea, despite how dirty they were not a single scratch could be seen; in fact, they even looked somewhat new.

    While she didn’t see how Shina had beaten up the two thugs, she only assisted at her first display of strength when she sent him flying a few meters away with a single kick.

    “Is she… a warrior?”

    Thinking about this possibility for a while with longing eyes, she quickly threw this idea away.

    “Like hell! If it was this easy to become one, I would have long ago left this city. She’s probably just training, aiming to become one in the future.”

    “But still…”

    Recalling her eyes, the girl somehow felt like she must have experienced many things to mature this quickly, but her sympathy didn’t even last ten seconds before coldness returned to her eyes.

    Traces of doubts still persisted in her cold eyes, her mind despite how hard she tried just wouldn’t dismiss the image of that enigmatic young girl.

    Her expression constantly wavered, she knew the law of the street was ‘every man for himself’ and you shouldn’t wait for someone to help you; even confronted with death people would still backstab you for a mere gold coin.

    ‘Why did she help me?... She obviously has nothing to gain, yet…’

    Helping someone because he was in danger? This type of person wouldn’t last two days in the city with this kind of thoughts, even though she was rather good at judging people which helped her to survive until now, she felt clueless at the girl’s motives.

    *THUMP THUMP THUMP*

    The sound of someone hitting the door of the building resonated in the basement, the girl’s eyes suddenly regained their initial coldness and remained imperturbable.

    “Brat, hurry your ass over! The boss want to see ya!”

    A hint of fury and madness floated in the girl’s eyes as she sneakily exited her hideout and became one with the shadow, slowly crawling toward the man who didn’t stop banging on the door.

    With a tricky movement of her hand, she suddenly took out a seemingly rusted yet sharpened dagger while using her other hand and one leg to trip the man. Even though the difference in strength between a grown up man and an eight years old girl, by using his own weight she managed to throw him down.

    “Wha-!”

    His words were abruptly cut off as the dagger plunged just a few millimeters away from killing him, simply making a little cut on his cheek.

    “Shhhhh~ Stay nice… Otherwise, you might ‘hurt yourself’...”

    The man’s initial struggle suddenly stopped as saw some of his blood runs down his cheek, the girl’s dagger had slowly moved closer and closer of his cheek, making the cut deeper and deeper.

    “Y-You! Unhand me, if you kill me the boss will definitely track you down to your death!”

    “Pwahaha!”

    A cold laughter resonated as the girl looked down on the man with amusement.

    “Bloskin didn’t warn you did he? Never make unnecessary trouble with anyone…”

    As she coldly glared at the man with predator-like eyes she used her second hand to search around the man’s waist, snatching away a hidden dagger which looked far better than the one she owned.

    “Hoho~ Look at what I’ve found… You won’t mind if I borrow this? Thank you very much, mister!”

    A few grumble came out of the man’s mouth and his expression looked hideous like he wanted to say something but didn’t dare to in front of this psycho girl.

    Looking for another concealed weapon, the girl only managed to find the man’s purse hidden in his shirt. Her smile only lasted a few instants as she only found three silverish coins which made her glare at him.

    “Man, you are really so poor? What a pity…”

    “You crazy brat, don’t think the boss will forgive you if you don’t give up at least one arm.”

    “Yeah… Right, right… Now let’s get to the main business, what are you here for?”

    Killing intent filled her body as she asked the question. It was hard to believe she was only an eight years old girl, yet, no matter how childish her body was her cold eyes belonged to someone who had between life and death for many years.

    “T-The boss want to talk to you about a certain matter.”

    While stressfully trying to conceal the hesitation in his voice, the man tried to avoid any direct contact with the girl’s eyes, fearing he might anger her. At this point, he was certain she would kill her without the slightest hesitation should he say anything inappropriate.

    “Is that all?... I was worried for a moment, I thought for a moment had some ill intentions toward me.”

    “N-no, of course not! He simply wants to talk about a few matters.”

    “Ahh, what a relief…”

    The man sighed out for a moment, waiting for the girl to stand up.

    *Pshhh*

    “Mmmmmh?!”

    A scream almost came out of the man’s mouth, but the girl suddenly forced him to close his mouth, making him only emit a muffled sound.

    The man looked at her, terrified as he glanced at his own dagger piercing his shoulder. His heartbeat was beating at full speed and his breathing was so fast that it could be heard several meters around.

    He dubiously looked at her both filled with terror and incomprehension, his brain was unable to process what was happening.

    “Don’t think that because I am a kid I am as stupid as you… I know the underworld as much as you do since I was born in it. Today is the day when we are supposed to pay the protection’s tax. If he can’t even wait until tonight to see me, I guess something fishy must have made him look for me.”

    “I-I don’t know, I swear!”

    “Well… You probably don’t, but you still might have an idea of what’s going on, right?...”

    “I truly have no idea-Mmmmmh!”

    The dagger once again pierced his body, cutting one of his fingers away.

    “Come on stop screaming… What if you attract someone? I might as well break your jaw… But then you wouldn’t be able to speak, how troublesome…”

    The girl appeared like a normal girl as she talked, making the man absolutely shaken. Never in his life had he been this terrified even when he encountered his boss for the first time. He couldn’t help but assume that the girl in front of him was actually a demon clothed in a human skin.

    Her new dagger slowly rose in the air. This time, it was resting at the top of one of the man’s ear.

    “W-Wait wait wait! I’ll talk!”

    “Oh… So you truly knew something after all?”

    A surprised expression showed on her face, terrifying the man even more.

    ‘So she actually believed I knew nothing and still…?’

    “It’s because of that n-new guy. He was supposed to collect the taxes from the shops and stalls, but he came back along with his friend, his jaw was utterly shattered and his friend was half dead.”

    “And so?”

    The girl wore a serious expression as she listened to him, making sure she heard each and every word coming out of his mouth, trying to discover if he was lying.

    “Even though his jaw was shattered, we still managed to more or less understand what he said. According to him, a young girl stole the purse which contained almost one hundred gold coins and another one she was working with actually used some tricks to beat them up.”

    Lost in her thoughts for a while, the girl quickly managed to connect all the piece of the puzzle. She never expected the young four years old girl to actually beat them up to such a state, but in a way she did a favor to her.

    Since the men’s jaw were both broken, they couldn’t manage to properly describe her features and probably called all the young pickpocket of the turf to look for the thief. Had they knew it was her, she would have already been visited by more than twenty men.

    ‘I need to flee toward another turf! I can’t lose any time.’

    She glanced at the man still lying on the ground with unwavering eyes, at this point, she knew he hadn’t lied. No one else than the people present on the marketplace knew it was her, but if they managed to find someone who saw the scene then they’ll instantly come after her.

    As long as she flew toward another’s gang territory, they should stop pursuing her if they don’t want to start a war. Furthermore, one of the gang close by is actually the enemy of the one who would pursue her, as long as she safely arrives they wouldn’t let her die in order to humiliate them.

    “Will you let me go now?”

    The man still looked at her with hesitation as he spoke, he looked pitiful, yet behind this facade was already thinking about his next course of action for revenge.

    “Sure, here you go.”

    No more sound came out from the man as the girl slowly stood up, her previous dagger was now residing in the man’s throat.

    “Now I’ve let you go… to the otherworld.”

    Not even an ounce of pity or guilt could be seen in her eyes, she was already aware that if she’d let him go then he would get his revenge. Never showing any mercy is the rule number one of the underworld.

    ‘Let’s get the money out of the stash and flee now. By the time someone notices his death I’ll already have left.’

    The girl walked toward the building, thinking about how annoying it will be to look for another hideout. A sudden thought suddenly entered her mind.

    ‘I wonder how that girl is doing?’

    * * * * *

    End of Chapter 2
     
    Claire Lilly likes this.
  9. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    Shina threaded down the alleys with extremely careful steps. Her ears constantly twitching as if they belonged to a bunny, investigating any strange sound surrounding her.

    The sound of heavy footsteps echoed in the street, some city guards dressed in iron were checking every nook and corner of the area as the sound of their armor rubbing against their weapon alerted anyone nearby of their presence., completely surrounding her.

    However, Shina didn’t look very scared. Actually, a little smile persisted on her face while her heartbeat kept beating like a drum. She looked like a little mouse being pursued by a group of cats.

    “It feels like playing hide-and-seek but with a lot of people.”

    While Shina felt confident about her fighting ability, she wasn’t willing to go head-on against them. Her scales had managed to block a dagger; but in the end, a dagger is just a dagger. She didn’t know if they could also block a sword or a spear, neither did she want to give it a try.

    Yet this didn’t mean she actually feared a direct confrontation, in term of speed and reaction time she was actually positive on her chance of winning as long as their number didn’t overwhelm her.

    Almost one hour had passed since she left her father, at first, Shina had found being pursued fun, however, this previously amusing her now started to become boring. Due to their significative weighty armor, those men lacked speed and more importantly endurance compared to the rapid and agile Shina.

    When she was spotted, it was only a question of minutes if not seconds before she managed to leave them behind.

    ‘Should I put an end to it?’

    As she was deeply thinking, the sound of an armor creaking and heavy footstep slowly approached Shina’s hiding spot.

    The man who just turned at a corner of the alley came face to face across Shina who looked at him with a dubious expression.

    There was no way to know what the man was thinking as his face was covered by a heavy helm, hiding the totality of his face. This made the man look like a monster made of iron, seeing one of her pursuers so closely made her feel kind of stressed as she managed to let a word out.

    “H-Hello?...”

    No answer came from the man who looked down at the little girl whose size wasn’t even higher than his sword. Both of them stared at each other for a moment not knowing what to do until the man suddenly started moving.

    “She’s here! I need support!”

    Unsheathing his sword, the man slashed while adjusting his stance to maximize the speed of his sword.

    The man had no hesitation when he swung his sword. One might want to go easy when he fight against a child, unconsciously wanting to waste less energy when dealing with someone as weak as a child. But for those like him who had seen the state of the men Shina had knocked out, none of the guards were willing to treat her as a girl.

    Due to her small size, Shina easily managed to dodge the incoming sword with a few sidesteps, arriving at the guard’s left side.

    “*Muuuuh* You guys are impolite! Tracking a little child down in the city is something, but not even answering someone’s greeting… You are lacking manners you know?!”

    At the same time, Shina furiously drove her fist straight into the man’s stomach, making him fall to the ground as the armor slightly bend.

    Shina suddenly held her hand with watery eyes, carefully examining her fingers. Despite the protection offered by her purple scales, the impact of her hand on a hard metal like iron actually made her hand sore.

    “Uuuuuh, it hurt quite a bit…”

    Like he hadn’t felt the punch, the man slowly stood up with difficulties. Luckily for him the armor had actually absorbed most of the impact’s strength, giving him only a small bump when his head banged against the helm he was wearing. He only felt from a little dizzy after falling down.

    The man coldly snorted as he observed this young girl on the point of crying.

    While he was inwardly very impressed by the girl’s inhuman strength, after knowing she had no way of fighting back against this heavy armor, he sighed out of relief and confidently walked toward her.

    “Surrender now, however, I can’t guarantee that you’ll leave this place alive.”


    The sound of many heavy footsteps rushed toward their direction. After hearing one of their people’s scream, several guards who were surrounding the area hurriedly rushed toward them.

    Surrounded by almost ten guards, the man looked convinced of their chance of catching this thief.

    “Hehehe, what are you gonna do now little girl?”

    Being confronted with the man’s arrogant tone made Shina look at him with a mocking expression.

    “Such bullies~ It actually took ten fully armored guards and a whole hour to catch a four years old child. I am sure every citizen of the city can now sleep peaceful knowing how competent you guys actually are.”

    Shina’s sarcastic laughter resonated in the alleys, most of the men’s cheek became red under their armor, glaring angrily at the laughing girl.

    “Stop moving that poisonous tongue of yours if you don’t want it cut. You know the rules, give us today’s harvest and let us beat you up if you want to leave alive.”

    Being robbed openly by those guards didn’t startle Shina at all, after seeing her father being ‘taken advantage of’ earlier she already knew the guards would most likely have this kind of business.

    “Uuuh, what should I do?...”

    “Didn’t you hear him? Hurry up and give us your harvest!”

    Shina looked conflicted as she looked at the guards surrounding her with an innocent look.

    “What should I do? I can’t think of a way to make them realize how stupid those morons actually are… How troublesome…”

    The atmosphere suddenly froze after Shina uttered those words, not even one sound could be heard in the dark alley. Only after a few seconds passed did one of the man start laughing.

    “Well, well… Such a shame guys, it looks like the thief we chased after foolishly preferred to die rather than accompany us to the headquarter and after resisting armed with a knife was killed.”

    After his lips finished moving, many of the guards' eyes became bright as many “Ahhh, that’s indeed a shame” was said.

    Shina looked at the guards with a slightly serious face before taking Kiel in her hand.

    “I’ll be counting on you, buddy…”

    At the same moment, all the guards rushed toward Shina. Even though she was alone, no one dared to underestimate her agility which had managed to earn their respect. They knew that if they showed the slightest opening then she would successfully escape within a second.

    Expecting Shina to dodge until she found an opportunity to escape, the guards surrounded her as they prepared to cut any chance of dodging their attack by waving their sword at the same time.

    However, reality was different than what they had in mind as Shina did not fall back like they had predicted but instead pressed toward the previously dizzy guard who still hadn’t fully recuperated.

    Before the guard had a chance to complete the movement of his sword; using the fact that the joint were less protected than others area to allow flexible movements, Shina grabbed his wrist which was still performing a swing and twisted the wrist backward.

    The man emitted a deafening scream as he dropped his sword who ended up in Shina’s hand who gave him an annoyed look.

    “Why are you crying... Aren’t you a man? Geez, let me give you a hand.”

    Within an instant, the man suddenly stopped screaming as a white flash blinded his eyes. Only the sound of the wind blowing could be heard.

    The pain which previously threw his mind into disarray had actually vanished.

    When the man opened his eyes, he noticed that there was nothing at the spot which had made him want to cry; absolutely nothing… Not only his wrist, but his whole arm was gone.

    “Ha… Ha… Haaaaaaaaaaa!!”

    A large scream even louder than the previous one resounded, his wrist was now resting on the ground and a large amount of blood gushed out of his wound.

    The previously iron sword in Shina’s sword had actually transformed. It was now as white as snow and appeared untainted, not even one drop of blood could be seen despite having cut through the man’s limb.

    In the middle of the handle laid a glowing white marble. The light emanating from the marble was calm yet cold.

    The sword had actually cut through his armor like it was made of cheese spread.

    Using this opportunity while the men were distracted, Shina waved the sword in which Kiel had actually fused and severed a few of the guards' limbs; making at least sure she didn’t kill anyone.

    In front of her sword, their armor and even sword looked like butter and didn’t even give off the slightest resistance as they were sliced down.

    But before she managed to incapacitate everyone of them, the sword suddenly began vibrating, making Shina hurry up in her action and tried to take care of them all. Yet before she actually managed deal with all of them, the sword actually broke in her hand as the white marble returned to her hand.

    “Ahh… The sword was too weak.”

    Having only taken care of six guards, under Shina’s assault most of them had regained their mind and after witnessing Shina’s sword breaking sighed out of relief.

    None of them actually dared to approach her, yet they couldn’t just back out with this amount of people injured. If they didn’t provide an explanation or capture the culpable and force that person to show his ability, they would probably be removed from the city guards.

    Although she couldn’t see their facial expression, Shina more or less managed to guess how they were feeling and started taunting them.

    “What are you guys doing? I am but a frail unarmed girl, why do you all look so afraid?”

    Despite Shina’s taunt, hesitation could be felt as no one dared to move until a courageous guard actually charged at her.

    “Give that marble to me!”

    The guard who had seen Shina fuse Kiel with the sword actually lusted after the marble.

    Shina took a few steps back as she carefully examined her surrounding until mumbling a “perfect” and stopped moving, awaiting the guard to come closer to her before kicking the ground as hard as possible.

    “Moron~ If you want it, why don’t you try to catch me!”

    As she was propelled toward the guard who tried to raise his guard too late, Shina used his helm as a stepping stone and jump toward the sky as she heard the sound of the man’s neck dislocating.

    Landing on the roof of one of the building, Shina cutely stuck out her little tongue before running away; throwing a few “Morons~” as she left.


    A few minutes passed since Shina ran away, the guards hadn’t left yet. Almost half of them had become disabled and needed first aid in order to survive until they reached the closest hospital.

    As they were treating their comrades, an enigmatic beautiful woman slowly walked down the alley toward them.

    The woman’s face was gorgeous yet devilish, like a forbidden yet desired fruit every man coveted. Her body although not being extremely developed actually possessed a bewitching charm.

    “Hello everyone~… How about you come have some fun with me?”

    Each and every guard including the wounded ones who were until now agonizing gulped, everyone had become quiet as they were intoxicated by the woman’s charm.

    Walking toward one of the guards, the woman slowly raised her hand and touched the guard’s forehead with her finger.

    A red mist suddenly filled the area as the man vanished into nothingness, leaving behind nothing more than the scent of blood.

    “Everyone join me~ Play with me like you played with my daughter!”

    After a few scream resonated around, everything once again becomes quite. The alley was now completely dyed red like the building had been repainted.

    “What a bunch of trash…”

    Mystel’s expression turned cold as she remembered how the men had actually wanted to kill her daughter, she felt like she had been too gentle by giving them a quick death.

    But as she remembered the scene, a large smile formed on her face.

    “Ahhh~ My daughter was so cute when she was playing around~ She looked just like her mom when I was playing around back in those days! If it wasn’t for Arsal being such a pain I would keep her for myself and go have some fun like in the past…”

    She hated the idea of being forced to hide from Arsal and her Shina and having to secretly follow them, but they had made the promise not to interfere if they lost. She was already a little violating this rule by following them from behind.

    Suddenly, like she was hit by a thunderbolt, her gloomy expression suddenly turned into a bright smile suddenly showed on Mystel’s face.

    “I know, tomorrow I’ll introduce her to my subordinates!”

    * * * * *


    A small shadow swiftly ran through one roof to another within the city, randomly moving without any special destination.

    After spending almost half an hour aimlessly wandering in search of her father, Shina finally stopped after arriving on the roof of a small house within a district seemingly devoid of life. Most of the windows of the houses were closed, the area was dirty and the air around made her pinch her nostrils.

    This place was in such condition that it was surprised that people could live here.

    This was one of the various districts within the city left in such a state, and also the result of the town’s incredible economy.

    Whether money went, shady places would naturally also follow closely. Those kind of place were the result of the appearance of rich merchants who attracted bandits and robbers who flew toward this place after it started developing. This kind of port city gave birth to many opportunities for robbers and smugglers.

    Shina exhaled, it was the first time she visited this city and was completely lost.

    The chase she had with the guard forced her to run without paying any attention to her surrounding, ending up in not knowing from where she came and how to return to the marketplace.

    Furthermore, she couldn’t just ask anybody for direction as she was probably still being tracked.

    “Let’s see... I don’t know this city, don’t know where dad is and don’t know which way the door we entered from is. Humu, I can conclude that I am absolutely lost.”

    “Geez, I didn’t expect to become a ‘lost child’ this soon…”

    Laughing to herself, Shina had no idea of what to do.

    Despite being in this kind of situation, not an ounce of worry could be seen of her visage. She had an absolute trust in Arsal and knew he wouldn’t have let her go alone if he didn’t believe in her ability to protect herself.

    In the small district, the sound of chatter grasped Shina’s attention within this place devoid of any sound.

    Five guards with unsheathed swords were surrounding one young short black haired girl holding a large bag in her hands. The girl’s arm was lightly injured and the large back had a small gap from where a few coins slowly fell.

    Shina instantly recognized the girl, it was the one she had helped earlier.

    None of the person present had noticed her yet, allowing Shina to lean on the roof’s edge and listen to their conversation.

    “Whoah man~ Look at that large bag of money, that girl must be talented!”

    The five men looked at the bag with greedy expressions, but they also didn’t dare look away from the girl.

    “If you want it then just take it, but you have to let me go!”

    Throwing the torn bag in front of one of the men, the girl looked at it with a bitter face. This bag contained the money she had earned over many years and, one wouldn’t imagine the pain she had gone through to obtain this large amount.

    Yet in front of death, she didn’t hesitate a single moment before offering it.

    ‘Just you all wait until I become a warrior you assholes…’

    None of the men actually moved to pick up the bag, making the girl feel something was wrong with this situation. Most of them actually looked at her with a mocking smile.

    “Who care about that money? It’ll be ours after killing you!”

    The girl disdainfully glared at the guards as she understood the situation.

    “You guys are Bloskin’s lackey, aren’t you? No wonder…”

    It was just like she had predicted. She knew that even after hiding the corpse of the man who was looking for her, once they realized he was missing and she had left they would come after her.

    The missing point was that she had thought it would take at least three to four hours for them to find her.

    “Although you killed one of the boss’s subordinate, he might be willing to forgive you as long as you tell us where your friend is hiding.”

    A surprised expression showed on the girl’s face for a faint moment before returning to a poker face.

    She didn’t know what had happened to Shina, but from their words she at least learned that she escaped from them after helping her. But this also rose the girl’s doubt, while she herself had killed one of Bolskin’s henchmen, he instead wanted to find her that girl.

    “Why do you want to know?”

    Keeping a straight face, she acted as if she knew the answer to their question while trying to probe some information. Her instinct actually told her that she was the reason why those men remained careful of their surrounding and didn’t attack her yet.

    “Don’t act like your don’t know! That girl actually killed most of Bolskin’s men who worked for the guards!”

    Unable to maintain her poker face, her expression crumbled within an instant as she openly displayed her surprise and disbelief which didn’t escape the guards’ eyes.

    Many of the leader within the city had sent people to work in the city guards. While those leaders possessed a large amount of power, most of them couldn’t act openly if they didn’t want to be exterminated by the country.

    However, the guards were different as they worked for the country.

    If they killed someone then they could frame them or counterfeit evidence to force some false charge on them. Although the high-ups of the city wouldn’t allow any of their men to become high-ranked, those guards were still extremely important.

    Killing those guards was similar to killing one hundred henchmen. It was something that could only be returned with blood.

    The girl wasn’t surprised that Bloskin wanted her death more than anything, but her doubts about the girl’s origin kept growing.

    “So you don’t know where she is?”

    On the other side Shina also felt dubious, she clearly remembered not killing anyone while she was escaping. At most, maybe one or two maybe died due to blood loss, but that was all. She didn’t know at all that her mother had killed all the guards whom she had left behind. However even after learning of their death she wasn’t perturbed, whether they lived or died, wasn’t her problem...

    The guards began to doubt their relation after seeing the girl’s surprised expression. Yet they couldn’t just believe there was nothing at all, otherwise, she wouldn’t have bothered interrupting the girl’s pursuers.

    “I am actually more surprised that despite knowing how strong she is, you guys are still foolish enough to chase after her. If I was you I would have long ago abandoned those search.”

    “Who said we are trying to find her? As long as we lead her to the boss then everything will be over.”

    The girl turned pale as she remembered Bloskin’s strength, that man was actually a warrior. It was by relying on his strength that he managed to establish his own group. While she believed Shina to be strong, she didn’t dare assume if she would win or lose against him.

    “Actually, isn’t it fine as long as we bring her to the boss? If they have a relation then we might be able to lure her out. On the other hand, even if she doesn't show up we’ll still have caught someone who killed one of us.”

    “That’s right! Why didn’t we think of that?!”

    Looking at the men who slowly approached her, the girl took out the stolen dagger from her waist and prepared to protect herself.

    “Don’t you dare resist, we’ll bring you back with us even if we have to cut your legs!”

    Dagger against sword and completely surrounded.

    If this was the night and they hadn’t noticed her then she ‘might’ have a chance to kill them, but in this kind of situation, the girl knew she had no way to resist or escape.

    Raising her dagger, the girl deflected one of the guard’s incoming sword; but the price she had to pay wasn’t low as her hand dropped her weapon. A crevice had formed on the dagger and her hand was numb.

    This result wasn’t surprising, with the difference of strength and weapon the girl didn’t stand a single chance head-on.

    However, she still hadn’t lost her calm which impressed Shina who kept peering at this scene. She didn’t appear to be worried or afraid of the guards and tried to keep a hint of confidence.

    “Touch me and you’ll regret it…”

    Although she looked injured, not a hint of panic could be heard in her voice which surprised the guards. But this didn’t prevent them from moving toward her.

    “Hmph, are you really in the position of threatening us?”

    “Morons, did you really think we didn’t expect you guys from chasing me? At the very moment when you touch me, you’ll definitely regret it!”

    Shina looked over the scene while holding back her laughter.

    ‘She’s trying to bluff them…’

    “Brat, you really think we’re stupid enough to believe you? If that girl was already here then you wouldn’t have given up on your bag earlier. Everyone just capture her!”

    Ordering the guards around him, they confidently walked toward her. Thinking about it, there was a few sign from which they could assume that the girl was bluffing.

    A perceivable little smile formed on the girl’s face as she stood up.

    “Idiots, foolishly believing what that man say… “

    “The only reason I gave up on the bag is because I knew it would come back to me after a while, but you guys actually believe that man who doesn’t even dare take action himself in order to be the first to run away if the situation became dangerous.”

    The four approaching guards suddenly froze as they looked back at the man. What he had said made sense, but what the girl said was also very plausible.

    “W-What are you doing? She’s obviously lying!”

    Despite contesting her words, none of the guards dared taking action. Although the chance of the ‘monster’ being close was very low, it still subsisted.

    The possibility of coming across that monster absolutely terrified.

    Actually, no corpse had been found of the guards, yet a few elements led to the conclusion that they had been killed.

    The place where the ‘slaughter’ took place was painted with blood and all that remained of the guards were some broken sword and a few cut-off limb. Only by looking at the armors found on the limbs did they conclude that it was their remnant.

    Just what kind of monster would be able to reduce a body to a state where nothing else than blood could be found? What kind of horrible being could do such a thing?

    Some of the guards speculated that it was an humanoid monster in the form of a girl who ate them which would explain why no corpse was found, leaving only a few limbs behind because she was full.

    Others think it was done with magic, but the thought of confronting a mage able to use such a terrifying magic almost made them piss their pants.

    There were many opinions, but the only thing they shared was that each and every of those speculations absolutely frightened them.

    “I-If she’s lying, then do it yourself!”

    “That’s right! Do it yourself if you believe in your words!”

    “Y-You guys... “

    Despite believing that she was lying, seeing how scared his comrades were actually made the guard start doubting himself.

    ‘What if she’s telling the truth?... No, she’s probably just bluffing. But…’

    Seeing the man unwilling to move made the other guards angry. Using the girl’s words, this comrade of their actually used them as a shield if anything were to happen.

    Shina who was sitting atop the house looked amused, only regretting not being able to eat some popcorn as she enjoyed the show. With just a few sentences the girl managed to create discord among them and have the guard start fighting each other.

    ‘That girl is amusing, shrewd but amusing…’

    In the end, being pressured by his friend the guard was forced to capture her. As she advanced toward the girl with his sword in hand, his hands were shaking as he continuously scanned the area.

    The four other guards not far from them, ready to run away at the smallest danger.

    Although they were guards, in the end just like many other thugs they came from the slums and were also raised under harsh condition. They didn’t know the meaning of camaraderie and neither did they want to, life was for them more important than that bullshit.

    Slowly extending his wavering hand toward the girl, within an instant he found that a dagger had found its way in the gap of his helm, killing him on the spot.

    “See, now you regret it.”

    The man just fell to the ground, the blood gouging out of his head stained the ground and filled the place with the deep scent of iron. In his last thoughts he was at the same time angry, yet somewhat relieved of not dying a horrible death at that monster’s hands.

    “What should we do?”

    Not caring about their comrade’s death,the four men looked at the girl smeared with the blood of the two men she had killed today. She wore a devilish smile as she glared at them.

    “If we just leave then Bolskin won’t let us go…”

    “But if we go…”

    The guards hesitated, on one side they might encounter that monster, but on the other side their boss won’t forgive them for letting her escape.

    Actually, even though their comrade had attacked that little monster hadn’t shown up which made the guards lean toward going on the offensive. Retreating meant certain death, however by advancing they would take a gamble.

    ‘If they don’t let me go now, then…’

    The four guards looked at each other for a moment before coming to an agreement.

    “Let’s all attack together.”

    A panicked expression showed on the girl’s face as she heard their words, knowing they would quickly see through her lies.

    *CHANG*

    At the same moment, one of the guards fell to the ground. A large weight in the form of a girl had fallen on him from the sky, instantly knocking the man out.

    “Hey, sorry I am late!”

    The girl’s eyes almost popped out, she hadn’t expected her lies to suddenly become truth. But her reaction wasn’t as strong as the guards one whose face turned deadly white on the spot.

    “Kukuku~, she said it didn’t she?... You guys will now regret it!”

    The words coming from this little four years old child actually sounded like the call of the Grim Reaper in their ears, making the three remaining guards flee like madmen who kept banging on every walls and corner of the buildings.

    “Grooooaa~ Grooooaaaa~”

    Shina kept chasing after them for dozens of meters while roaring like a monster… A baby monster who just came out of its egg. Nonetheless, this still scared them out of their mind

    When she picked up the large torn-up money bag, the remaining girl who still felt shocked suddenly came back to her senses and looked at Shina, her mind filled with the bitterness yet caution. This money was something she had collected even before she started stealing, it contained everything she had worked for in her entire life.

    The sound of Shina’s footstep resonated within this silent place, making the girl insidely more and more nervous as she approached.

    Shina simply smiled at her and returned back the bag.

    “Their expression was funny, wasn’t it? By the way, my name is Shinael, but you can call me Shina. What’s yours?

    In front of Shina’s warm expression, the girl felt her mind go blank and unconsciously responded.

    “E-Eniel…”

    Shina’s approaching silhouette frightened her to death, the tone of her voice tense and hesitating, making the displeased Shina emit a little *Muuu* out of annoyance.

    “Why are you so rigid? It’s not like I’ll eat you...”

    Eniel cautiously nodded but still wasn’t able to relax, despite Shina’s attempt to appear friendly and inoffensive she still remained as rigid as a wall.

    An evil smile formed on her face as she suddenly had a flash of illumination. Slowly, Shina approached Eniel until they stood face to face while wearing a large grin, showing her pearly white teeth.

    Almost frightened to pieces, Eniel gulped while she hesitated about whether she should move or not but decided against. She wasn’t confident in her ability to run away and was afraid of angering this little monster.

    Shina’s face slowly approached her’s, making her close her eyes out of fright.

    ‘Will I die here?...’

    *Chup Chup*

    Eniel was so startled that she almost jumped backward as her face suddenly became crimson like she had turned into a mature tomato. Her breathing turned rough and she strokes her ear which wore some strange teeth mark.

    “W-What are you doing?!”

    “Oh? I don’t see what you are talking about…”

    Shina wore a teasing smile as she licked her pink lips, showing her little teeth which gnawed on her ear just a few second ago.

    “Y-You… You…”

    “Feeling better? At least you aren’t stiff anymore.”

    Eniel suddenly realized she wasn’t fearful anymore, it was as if everything had vanished and was replaced with embarrassment.

    “That’s not a reason! Doing something this… embarrassing.”

    “Embarrassing? What are you talking about?”

    Pointing at the mark on her reddish ear, Eniel was while wearing a strange expression fitting her age which she had never shown before.

    “Y-You just nibbled my ear…”

    Dubiously looking at her, Shina truly not understanding what she was complaining about.

    “Is that a problem? That’s something normally only used between… lovers.”

    “Of course, it is!”

    “Is that so… but my mother often does it to me, saying that’s how she show her affection.”

    Shina remembered the moments where her mother when half crazy each time she succeeded in doing something and happily hugged her body, either kissing her on her cheeks or nibbled her ears.

    Eniel wanted to say something but her words couldn’t escape from her mouth like they were glued to her throat.

    While she felt that she was right, the little girl’s eyes only showed sincerity and her ignorance about this action’s other meanings. Eniel felt like she was confronting a normal girl unaware of the world and lacking common sense.

    “I see... if that’s no good then how about this.”

    Extending her arms around Eniel, Shina’s little body more or less managed to embrace hug Eniel whose shoulder gave a startled jump.

    Many thoughts passed through Eniel’s mind. This young girl obviously had no ill intentions toward her otherwise, she would have already acted, on the other hand, she had no idea of how to react in front of her display of affection right after meeting her.

    ‘Did this girl really kill someone? Moreover a dozen of Bloskin’s men…’

    “Calmed down now?”

    Eniel silently nodded as she unconsciously relaxed under Shina’s warmth, not aware why she felt this calm despite having just met her.

    “Just who are you?...”

    “Geez, I told you earlier... My name is Shina.”

    “I already know that, but where do you come from? Did you really kill Bloskin’s guards?”

    Shina chuckled at her serious expression while remembering the traject time she passed on the wyrm’s back. Even on the wyrm’s back who was faster than a plane, they spend a few hours to reach the city.

    “I come from… far away?”

    “Are you fucking kidding me?”

    In front of Shina’s vague words, Eniel unintentionally rebuked her as she lost her calm.

    “Nope~ I truly have no idea of that place’s name nor of its location, I am just living in a forest cut from the rest of the world.”

    Staring into Shina’s unwavering black eyes made Eniel who was talented in judging people unable to doubt her.

    “As for the guards, I made sure none died… Probably?”

    It was the first time she came across such a mysterious girl. Eniel felt like becoming less and less able to see her true face, but somehow, while she remained slightly cautious at the same time she wasn’t able to perceive this lovely girl as a threat.

    From her attitude she more or less guessed that Shina had no tie to the underworld, but she still possessed a strength and a will strong enough for her to heavily injure or even kill people.

    A sudden thought came across Eniel’s mind.

    “Are you perhaps a warrior apprentice?”

    Hearing the term of ‘warrior’, Shina showed a clueless expression. She had never heard of this term before and deduced it probably was a term used by this world inhabitant.

    “What’s a warrior?”

    Eniel was surprised after hearing Shina’s question, the term of 'warrior' was very widespread within the entire continent yet that girl hadn’t heard of it before.

    “A warrior is a term used to define someone with the right of founding a party of mercenary and adventurers. This is a title that can be obtained only after taking a test at one of the guild’s headquarters, most of them become the leader of a party but a few of them prefer traveling accompanied only by their sword. To be a warrior one must be knowledgeable and able to adapt to every situation no matter how dangerous it is, they explore the world and hunt monsters for money.”

    Eniel’s eyes became brighter and brighter as she talked about them. It looked like she imagined herself being one of them, free and vagabonding, unrestrained and fearless while she traveled and discovered countless new things which she had never seen in this city.

    She would forever leave this dark world and live free worry, not afraid of having her throat slit and dying in a gloomy and lonely alley without anyone to remember her.

    Her lifetime dream, hoping for freedom and power. Shina finally realized why she thought that this girl was similar to herself, despite not being the same world and the same situation… she harbored the same desire and strive for freedom.

    “Pretty interesting…”

    “Of course, it is!”

    A vague sentence came out of Shina’s mouth while she looked at Eniel with a smiling expression.

    Eniel who misunderstood what the subject of her sentence thought she agreed with her and was about to continue, but after suddenly realizing that she was starting to grow excited after talking about her dream for the first time with someone. Eniel tried to regulate her feelings and keep them under control.

    She realized that as she was talking with Shina she slowly began to drop her guard. Her carefree, her clueless character combined with her lacking of common sense made her feel like she wasn’t trying to trick her.

    At the same time Shina gave her the impression of someone straightforward, but the very next instant she would become ruthless. Innocent, yet devilish who enjoyed teasing others.It was the first time Eniel felt so perplex about someone’s true face, yet together with a little of caution existed some interest.

    Shina was for her a mysterious existence, she envied her carefree attitude and her strength which helped her disposing of her pursuer despite being so young.

    Yet, despite her curiosity, Eniel didn’t try to dig too much in Shina’s origin or the secret behind her strength. She had for now become the subject of her interest, but everyone has secrets and she was still afraid of angering her by being too forceful.

    Eniel pondered about her identity a little before being interrupted by Shina’s voice.

    “Eniel~”

    “Yes?”

    Her voice was nothing like before. Shina looked alike a pretty little devil while staring at her with a smile that wasn’t really a smile, despite containing no enmity it still made her shiver.

    “I just saved your life didn’t I?”

    “Y-Yes…?”

    “In other words, you are indebted to me.”

    “That’s right…”

    Eniel didn’t dare oppose her words but took a step back and prepared herself for the worst.

    A small grumbling came from Shina’s stomach who became slightly redder, obviously embarrassed by what just happened.

    “Buy me food…”

    “I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry…”

    Eniel sighed as she started walking within the slum’s alleys.

    “Just follow me then.”

    With a teasing smile, Shina followed behind her and grasped her hand, making the lamenting Eniel innerly sighed.

    ‘Just what did I just get myself into?’

    Walking down the streets, Eniel didn’t realize that she had already started to treat Shina like a friend… Her first friend.


    * * * * *


    High in the sky, the sun was still shining as brightly as ever, just like how lively the marketplace was. In this part of the place, most of the stalls were occupied by food seller and grocers. It was the most animated part of the city where most of the commoners bought their food.

    Within one of the backstreets linked to the place, Eniel and Shina were hiding within the shadow behind one of the street’s corner. Shina strangely looked at the calm Eniel who observed each and every corner of the street, afraid of missing even the smallest detail.

    Eniel turned around and noticed Shina’s curious eyes.

    “What is it?”

    “I don’t understand what you are doing.”

    Remembering that Shina wasn’t originating from the slums like her, Eniel understood her why she had such a strange reaction.

    “Do you really expect me to go and buy some food?”

    Shina looked at Eniel uncertain of what she should say or what kind of answer she was waiting for.

    “Yes...?”

    “Or course I ain’t going to buy it! Why should I buy something from those morons?”

    Like she had suddenly understood something, Shina’s eyes widened as she harbored an interested expression.

    “So you are going to steal it!”

    Eniel nodded after she finally noticed her intentions, she looked at Shina her eyes filled with a touch of sarcasm.

    “What? Feel bad about stealing stuff?”

    From Shina’s reaction, Eniel noticed that she probably had never stolen anything from her life and probably harbored some principles like ‘Stealing is bad!’. But as she waited with a sneer for Shina to condemn her, she was actually the stunned one.

    “Nope, it sounds pretty interesting. Let’s do this!”

    A strange feeling filled Eniel’s heart after hearing her sincere reply, the emotion in Shina’s eyes toward her didn’t change in the way she was expecting; in fact, they were now filled with excitement.

    This excitement made Eniel feel puzzled and unable to understand what this girl was thinking.

    ‘Normally someone feels afraid or guilty when they steal something for the first time…’

    The more time she spends with Shina, the less she was able to understand her. It was like she didn’t belong to the same world as her, she completely lacked this something called ‘common sense’.

    Eniel’s eyes turned back to the street, Shina at her side also looked unusually concentrated as if she was trying to imitate her.

    Her eyes mainly focused on the many stalls close to her and their product, she compared their distance with how far the guards were and the time they would approximately need to notice her actions and pursue her.

    Unlike Shina who tried to enjoy this new experience, for Eniel stealing was her job. If she was caught she would either have her hand cut or being hang up, serving for the next few months as a new decoration for the city before having whatever remained of her body after being eaten by the birds thrown away.

    The food she had been forced to leave behind when she fled was something she obtained at the risk of her life. If it wasn’t because she couldn’t waste any time she would never have abandoned it.

    With her life in peril, she couldn’t allow the slightest mistake to happen!

    A small stall caught her attention, the merchant was selling a large amount of apple-sized purple fruits. Despite being pretty young; probably still in his mid twenty, the stall’s owner looked pretty sick and seemingly didn’t have the ability to chase after them.

    The guards have situated more or less thirty meters away and given her speed they wouldn’t be able to catch up to her given massive the weight of their armor. Normally a city guard would rather prefer to be wearing a light leather armor. But given how dangerous this city was, their duty was mainly of preventing thugs from openly killing people.

    Eniel tapped Shina’s shoulder and pointed toward the fruit stall.

    “This is our target, try to act naturally as we approach the stall. From the moment I start moving, you will only have two seconds to take some fruits and start running away. You absolutely can’t take too much, otherwise, you’ll be slowed down by the food and caught.”

    Not missing a single word, Shina listened to Eniel’s instructions and advice very carefully. Those advice were something that Eniel learned after stealing for years and came from her own experience, Shina didn’t dare doubt a single one of words.

    “Just try to follow my lead and stay behind me.”

    Unknowingly, worry for the girl began to fill Eniel’s heart. She had slowly started to open her heart which transgressed the rules she had followed until now, she started trusting Shina.

    Nodding at each other, the two girls left their hiding spot and slowly walked toward the marketplace. Eniel had changed her bloodied clothes and was now wearing a hood masking her face.

    After arriving only a few meters away from the stall, something unexpected happened.

    One of the men walking in the street grabbed suddenly her hood and unmasked her, revealing her face to all the people present.

    “This is!... It’s that thief! Everyone, I caught that thief!”

    While most of the passerby had no reactions, many merchants harbored an angry look.

    Eniel’s expression became grave and quickly tried to break free of the man’s grasp.

    “Tch!”

    A large amount of the merchant close by left their stall and ran toward her. Eniel’s popularity in this place was very high… In a bad way.

    “I remember you! You damn thief not only do you steal my product almost every weeks, but you also once stole the money I needed to buy medicine for my son! That day he almost died because of you!”

    “Give me back the ring I bought for my wife!”

    “She once destroyed my stall to escape!”

    “Mine too!”

    Many complain flew at her while she was trying to break free, Eniel had previously noticed that many merchants had once been victims of her thieving talents, but she hadn’t noticed this man who caught her.

    It was the man from whom she had stolen the wedding ring he had bought for his wife, such ring were many months of payroll. The man looked exhausted like he hadn’t eaten for days, yet his grasp was powerful like he wasn’t willing to let her go even if he died.

    A small crowd was rapidly charging at Eniel, her free hand quickly unsheathed her hidden dagger and stabbed at the man’s arm. A large amount of blood flew out after she mercilessly severed his tendon.

    Free of his grasp, Eniel started running toward the alley they came from, but it was too late. Many hands suddenly held her back and tried to immobilize her, preventing her from even moving her hands.

    More than ten people were actually holding her body down, with her meager strength she had no way to resist.

    “We got her, someone get me a knife!”

    “Hurry up, I want that damn thief’s hand cut!”

    “I got one right here, let me pass!”

    “Don’t just cut one, cut them both!”

    Even as many people roared and cursed at her, her eyes kept trying to analyze the situation, searching for a way to escape this hopeless situation.

    None of the guards actually moved in front of such a scene, it didn’t matter which city it was the punishment for theft is the same…

    Eniel recognized Shina among the people surrounding her. Having the reputation of working alone, nobody imagined Shina being her accomplice.

    She wanted to ask for help, using Shina’s strength she might have a chance of escaping… But what would she gain from that?

    Ever since Eniel was born, her life rotated around one principle… Never risk your life uselessly.

    Eniel’s eyes turned watery as she struggled using all her strength.

    “Let me go you bastard! Let me go!”

    She wished for help. But even if she asked for help, in the end, Shina would only put herself in danger without gaining anything in return. Yet, she innerly hoped for help, no matter how ridiculous she'd found this thought to be… she wanted to be able to trust someone.

    Shina who had remained silent until now gazed at Eniel held down by many people who were exploding with rage and joy.

    Under Eniel’s eyes, the atmosphere around Shina abruptly vanished. Her eyes turned cold and ruthless, she didn’t look like an innocent child anymore.

    Her mouth slowly opened as a low and cold voice came out.

    “Unhand her…”

    Hearing her words, only two men glanced at her.

    “Do you think she is her friend?”

    “Who care? Just leave her alone.”

    The two men quickly lost interest, not noticing how Shina normally black eyes slowly turned crimson.

    “Didn’t you hear me?... I asked you to…”

    Shina’s feet swiftly left the ground before landing on the shoulder of one of the men holding Eniel down.

    “LET HER GO!”

    The impact of Shina’s kick completely shattered the man’s shoulder to the point where even if it was hit by a hammer it would have been in a better state.

    His bone were completely crushed under her overwhelming strength!

    Everyone suddenly watched Shina’s darkened appearance who seemed to be radiating with a darkish aura. Her crimson eyes were filled with anger and a faint amount of killing intent.

    The onlookers shed cold sweat to the point where their clothes were as wet as if they had taken a bath with their attire on.

    The atmosphere around Shina turned colder and colder, they could feel the temperature dropping to the point where they wouldn’t have been surprised if snow started to fall. Without giving some time for the men to react, Shina’s fist landed on one of the men’s face, shattering his nose and jaw while sending him flying ten meters away.

    Every time Shina lifted her hands, someone was sent flying into a wall or destroyed one of the market’s stall. The place slowly started to be filled with unconscious bloody bodies.

    Nobody dared remain close to her, the passerby quickly began to panic and run away, leading to a general chaos. But within this chaotic place, only a single person looked at Shina with bright eyes as a single tear fell down from her cheek.

    Shina extended her warm hand to the lying Eniel who slowly grasped it.

    “Thanks…”

    Responding with a little nod, Shina pointed toward the alleyway they came from.

    “Humu… Let’s get moving.”

    “Y-Yes…”

    Still, in unsettled state, Eniel agreed in a low tone and walked toward the alley.

    “Oh right, I almost forgot."

    Shina ran back to the marketplace before returning, carrying five strange purple fruits.

    “Operation Succeeded!”

    On those words, Shina gave her three of the fruits and held her hand as they walked away...


    The sun’s light in the sky started the show a dim orange tint, it was slowly starting to set, showing it was already late afternoon.

    The two girls walked down the city’s alley, one was joyously analyzing one of the fruits in her hands, wondering if she had to remove the skin like a clementine before eating it. On the other hand, the second girl was lost in her thoughts, harboring a blank expression. Yet, it didn’t prevent her from taking the lead.

    From time to time, the girl took a few peek at the other one, her expression changed a few times before returning to a blank one.

    After a few moments of pondering, her grip on Shina’s hand unknowingly tightened as her lips slowly moved and a weak voice came out of her mouth.

    “It’s the third time today…”

    Despite how weakly the sound of her voice was, it didn’t escape Shina’s ears who responded with a curious glance.

    “Third time?”

    “The third time you helped me. Moreover, you also saved my life two times.”

    Shina remembered the three events, within a few hours she actually met Eniel for the first time she already saved her life two times. While she didn’t treat something like this as something important or dangerous since her body was far more agile and powerful than a human’s one, for Eniel it was a completely different story.

    Within the world where the only rule is ‘Kill or be killed’, stealing, deceiving and murder are only commons occurrences. Nobody expects someone to come to their help.

    For Eniel who grew up in such a world, it was the first time someone actually saved her without waiting for something in return. It was a child even younger than herself, however, she couldn’t resolve herself to treat her like a kid. She carried a certain amount of childishness, yet she could feel some maturity hidden within her expression and voice.

    She didn’t help her out of kindness or righteousness, yet neither was it with the purpose of obtaining a reward.

    “Just why… did you help me?”

    This was the question which kept coming back and forth in her head to the point to give her a massive headache.

    Money? She could have earlier taken the bag containing the money she had accumulated for years as a reward, yet she gave it back. Talent? Despite having a lot of organization wanting to hire her for her thieving talents, there are still a lot of people more skillful than her in this city.

    Eniel’s brain just couldn’t formulate a logical answer to this question, yet the response she got was also illogical.

    “Because I felt like it.”

    “This-...”

    Shina’s seemingly joking answer almost caused her to shout, yet she was stopped by the serious expression she carried, making her realize it wasn’t a joke and unable to doubt her.

    It was only now that Eniel smiled after realizing how dumb this situation actually was. Of course, she wouldn’t find an answer… If there were none from the start.

    Nonetheless, Eniel couldn’t help but feel somewhat hurt and saddened by this answer, secretly hoping it had been for a different reason.

    “But I guess it might also be because you looked interesting, at that moment I thought ‘I wonder if we could be friends’.”

    Eniel’s grip suddenly tightened, yet it didn’t bother Shina who in fact hadn’t even realized it.

    Her heart skipped a beat as she felt a strange warmful feeling spreading inside her body. Eniel tried her best to remain calm but didn’t notice that her cheek had reddened and that her lips unnoticedly rose up, harboring a hidden smile.

    “Is that so?...”

    “Yup…”

    She just stopped thinking about any ulterior motives Shina might have, she already had earned her trust.

    “Eniel, how do you eat this?”

    Eniel looked surprised for a moment.

    “You never saw an orange before?”

    This time, it was Shina’s turn of being surprised.

    “The heck? Since when did oranges turn purple?”

    “What are you talking about? Of course, they are purple.”

    “Uh? But aren’t they named orange because they ARE ‘orange’?”

    “That’s strange indeed… But that’s how they’re named in the society, we can’t do anything about it, can we? Oranges are purple, that’s how it is.”

    “From where I come from, oranges are orange…”

    “Look strange, but I won’t believe you unless you bring me one.”

    “Geez, no wonder the guards are so dumb… If even the society sucks then it’s not surprising that their subordinates are. By the way, it means that you have to peel them?”

    “Some people enjoy eating it, but it’s very sour. Though by putting the peelings in water, the taste actually becomes similar to some juice and it’s also very nutritious.”

    Shina’s finger’s moved, scratching the orange’s skin and more or less started to remove the skin while at the same time salvaging the fruit.

    Eniel chuckled before taking the fruit out of her hand and unsheathed her dagger.

    “Let me do it, if I let you continue then you won’t have anything to eat at all.”

    “...Fine.”

    Shina started sulking yet didn’t deny any of her words, knowing it was the truth despite not wanting to admit it.

    With a few movement of her dagger, Eniel skillfully removed the skin and threw the peel inside a small bag, most likely in order to later make some drink out of it.

    Giving back the fruit, Shina curiously looked at it. It looked exactly like an orange, but only the color was different. Cutting apart a piece of orange, the moment it was going to enter her mouth it was suddenly stolen without giving her a single second to react.

    *Gulp*

    “Humu, this is indeed the best season to eat them.”

    Even though she was being glared at by Shina whose eyes carried a hint of surprise, anger and a tinge of unnoticed happiness, Eniel didn’t seem to mind it.

    “You thief…”

    Eniel smiled at her words and even looked proud of herself.

    “Thanks for the compliment.”

    The peaceful atmosphere around them suddenly froze, the two girls’ eyes narrowed as the faint sound of someone walking entered their ears.

    If someone was just walking around it wouldn’t have been a problem, but this sound close to them only resonated for a moment. It indicated that the person walking suddenly stopped and didn’t move, moreover from the faint sound it also showed that he tried his best to conceal the noise of his footsteps.

    In normal occasions, they wouldn’t bother about this, but right now both of the girls were being hunted either by gang members or city guards.

    Sudden stopping in their movements, they turned around and carefully observed their surroundings.

    “Well well, aren’t you girls quite skilled?”

    A woman dressed in bandit-like clothes and wearing military reddish cape slowly walked toward the two girls. Combined with her long brown haired ponytail, if it were not for the various scars not only on her face but every part of her body, she would definitely be a mature beauty. Instead, it gave the feeling of a dangerous military madwoman.

    Eniel’s expression changed and secretly gulped. Her body was slowly soaked with cold sweat yet her expression remained prideful like a wolf ready to bite anyone to death if you came too closely.

    Her hand slowly moved toward her sheathed dagger, yet she didn’t make the first move before she knew who the other side was.

    “Rilesta…”

    Shina didn’t move either. She didn’t want to move unless the other side tried to harm them. This woman in her later twenties gave her bad vibes when she fought against the heavy equipped guards she didn’t feel anything… yet this woman actually made her feel threatened.

    Shina slowly leaned toward Eniel while remaining careful of this fearful woman.

    “Who is she?”

    Eniel responded without daring to take her eyes off the woman.

    “Her name is Rilesta. She is the lord of this part of the city, you can say that she is the equal of Bloskin, the man I am running from.”

    Hearing Eniel’s words, the woman harbored a displeased expression and sneered

    “Equal?... Don’t compare me with this brainless man, the only reason why he is still alive is because I don’t want to break the actual balance of power in the city.”

    Even though her words seemed outrageous, Eniel’s expression didn’t change as she believed her words.

    “Rilesta, an ancient officer of this country who decided to together with her soldiers to join the dark side and become an outlaw lord. While being weaker than Bloskin, her true strength lies in her subordinates who are truly experienced soldiers… Compared to them, the city guards are just a group of joyful children armed with sticks.”

    During this resume Eniel slightly glanced at Shina, obviously, those words were meant for her and served as a warning, resuming her strong and weak points and how powerful the woman was.

    “Nice homework kid… Or should I say Eniel, you are pretty infamous in the city aren’t you? Black Dog, Black Wolf, or even Lone Wolf. I wonder why a loner like you distrustful of the world is actually doing with this child.”

    Shina weakly sneered.

    “Black Wolf is kinda good but… Black Dog?... Lone wolf… Pffff how lame.”

    “Shut up!” Eniel answered in a low tone with a red expression.

    “Miss Rilesta, I don’t think the reason why you came here is just to ask me this question…”

    Politely refusing to answer the question, Eniel still tried to remain respectful of this woman yet didn’t move her hand from the hidden dagger on her waist.

    Rilesta didn’t look annoyed by Eniel’s response and slightly laughed.

    “You actually cut to the chase huh? Very well then, let’s not lose time. You girl actually want a place to live in on my turf, right?”

    “Indeed…”

    Rilesta’s smile vanished as she glared at Eniel with a hint of killing intent.

    “Then why don’t you give me a reason to let you stay?”

    Eniel didn’t lose her calm in front of her and coldly smiled.

    “You can destroy Bloskin’s reputation by having someone who stole from him and killed his men live in your territory. Who would obey a man who doesn’t even protect or take revenge for his subordinates?”

    While Eniel’s words held some truth, they actually made the woman laugh.

    “Indeed, you are right… It’s indeed a good reason, in the best case I might take a few of his territories without breaking the balance of power… But that’s not a reason good enough."

    Eniel was taken aback by her words. Rilesta’s eyes left Eniel’s figure before stopping on Shina.

    “If all that you did was stealing and killing some of his men then it would have been good… But tell me, will I be inviting inside a cat… or a tiger?”

    Noticing everyone was watching her, Shina shook her head back and forth as she looked at Rilesta and Eniel.

    “Are you guys talking about me?”

    “Indeed… I heard that you killed most of Bloskin’s guards in a single fight, aren’t you pretty abnormal?”

    “Thanks, I guess?”

    Dubiously accepting what seemed to be a compliment, Shina somehow understood that the subject of this conversation was revolving about her ‘killing’ the guards and what might happen if she went wild on her turf.

    Rilesta slowly raised her hand and opened her hand

    “But sometimes being too abnormal isn’t good. The best moment to kill a wild beast is when it is young.”

    Closing her hand, a group of men dressed in black clothes hiding even their head suddenly launched toward the two girls, Eniel didn’t even have the time to unsheath her dagger and was pinned down. Shina, on the other hand, had her arms restrained and a small knife pressed at her throat.

    Glaring at Rilesta, Eniel didn’t dare make a move with Shina being held hostage.

    “What do you want?...”

    Rilesta smiled and looked down at Eniel.

    “What can you give me?...”

    The two men holding Shina felt that something was wrong, their eyes narrowed as they realized that they grip on her thin arms slowly weakened without her putting any real effort.

    “Can you guys please let me go?”

    The third man who held his knife at her throat tried to threaten her by pushing the dagger deeper but quickly noticed that something was strange and quickly tried to retreat.

    “What an inhuman strength…”

    The two men quickly released her arms just in time and managed to avoid being thrown on the ground. This judgment came from their instinct which was developed after many battles, it screamed at them that if they didn’t let go then something bad might have happened.

    Having her arms freed, Shina grabbed the third man’s wrist who under her pressure released the knife in his hand.

    Rilesta’s mouth slightly opened, looking slightly surprised.

    “Aren’t you quite strong?”

    The knife in Shina’s hand was extremely sharpened, it wasn’t surprised that the man was surprised when he held his knife to her throat. Despite how sharp it was it hadn’t even cut her skin, if it was a normal human being then it wouldn’t have been surprising to see a trail of blood with the mere contact of the knife against the skin.

    Shina slightly smiled but didn’t answer, holding the knife in her hand, she used her second one to press it against her palm.

    *CRUUK*

    Slowly, the knife started to grumble in her hand before becoming a pile of broken iron. To everyone’s surprise, only a small cut was visible on Shina’s hand whose smile contained a hidden meaning.

    “What a monster…”

    With a sign of her hand, the black-clothed men quickly released Eniel before disappearing within the alley’s darkness.

    Rilesta glared at Shina without holding back her killing intent.

    “Everyone has their history in this city, who you are, what you are, it doesn’t matter… But just remember, if you stand against me in my turf, then don’t blame me for being ruthless at that moment.”

    Shina sneered.

    “Sure, see you old hag.”

    Wearing a dubious expression, Rilesta faintly smiled as she walked away.

    “Tch, what a lovely brat…”

    Just as Rilesta left, the black-clothed men’s presence vanished like they had never been here.

    Eniel rose up and deeply sighed.

    ‘What the heck is going on today?... Ever since I met Shina I almost died three times.’

    Despite swearing in her heart, Eniel still felt some happiness when she thought that it was the third time her life was saved even though it was actually Shina’s fault that she was almost killed.

    “I swear… I thought you were going to get us killed.”

    Shina smiled as she never thought of herself being in danger.

    “Even if they wanted to, they wouldn’t have been able to kill us.”

    Meeting her confident expression, Eniel could not help but feel curious.

    “Are you really strong enough to beat ALL of them?”

    “I am not…”

    Glancing at her surrounding, Shina seemed to be looking for something.

    “You’re here dad, right?”

    “Dad? Who are you talking abou-”

    Her words got stuck in her mouth as the figure of a silver haired man suddenly appeared out of nowhere in her field of view like he had teleported. His hand rested on Shina’s silky hairs as he gently stroke them.

    “Did you notice me?”

    “No, I just had a feeling.”

    Arsal didn’t say anything but only smiled at her before looking toward Eniel with an indifferent expression.

    “Thanks for playing with my daughter… I’ll try to bring her back in a few days.”

    Shina frowned as she realized that they were going to leave.

    “I guess we have to go… See you soon!”

    Shina grasped Arsal’s hand and was surrounded by a silverish light.

    “Wait-”

    Eniel extended her hand toward Shina but grabbed nothing but air as they vanished. Eniel simply stood there with a complex expression.

    “Just how are we supposed to meet up?...”


    * * * * *


    The sun was slowly sitting as Rilesta entered a heavy guarded large building, accompanied with a scarred faced man in his late thirty. On her way, most of the men made a military salute to which she most of the time replied with a bow of her head and a faint smile.

    The man, on the other hand, looked indifferent, yet as both of them entered what seemed to be a bar within the building, the man’s eyes flashed with curiosity.

    “I didn’t expect you to spare them, wasn’t miss planning on killed them before we left?”

    Rilesta smiled with a peaceful smile as she looked at the scarred man.

    “Something must be wrong with your brain Reil, how could you be thinking of killing such a lovely child?”

    Not believing a single of her word, Reil chuckled as he shook his head.

    “Despite your age, the commander isn’t the type of woman who would be sweetened by a little girl. That child represents a danger, there must be a reason why you didn’t eliminate her… Something must have happened right before we left which made you change your plan.”

    A complex expression formed on Rilesta’s face as she stared at the man in front of her, sighing as she threw herself at a coach and drunk a whole glass of beer before opening her mouth.

    “Reil, how much time have you spend under my commands?”

    Slowly closing his eyes, Reil started remembering the past and the very first time he met this commander when they were in the army.

    “Thirteen… No, maybe fifteen years?”

    Plenty of memories flowed into Rilesta’s mind, some gruesome about the men she commanded and comrades who fell in order to save her life. Some others about the good times and the joy they shared when they returned from a battlefield… Yet still returning to it like thirsty beasts only waiting to drink blood

    “Fifteen years, huh? No wonder you can see through me so easily…”

    “How could I? It was just an intuition.”

    “But what did you mean by ‘despite your age’... You owe me one punch.”

    Reil quickly paled as he imagined the state he would be left in after receiving a single punch and weakly begged.

    “Haha… Please spare me…”

    Rilesta exhaled as she grabbed some papers hidden in her pocket before throwing it at the man with a difficult expression. On the other hand, the man’s amused face quickly vanished and was now replaced with a very serious expression as some drop of cold sweat fell to the ground.

    “What do you think?”

    Thoroughly reading each and every line of the paper with an undivided attention, Reil’s heart started beating faster and faster as every line increased the invisible pressure crushing his heart.

    “When did you receive this report? Is it from a reliable source?”

    Despite wanting to smile and mock the distressed man who rarely show his fear, Rilesta didn’t have the heart to as she knew how serious this issue was. After hearing that the source came from their own men, Reil turned even paler.

    “We knew about the twenty of Bloskin’s guards vanishing, leaving behind only a pool of blood. This is also why commander our own guards ordered them to stay at the barrack. It’s a good thing that your foresight managed to save their life.”


    First report: In the middle of the afternoon, a group of twenty guards who were charged of tracking two young female thieves were found to be missing after taking action. In an isolated alley not far from the marketplace were found a few fragment of guards armor stained with blood. The area was soaked by a mist of blood.

    Second report: A total of 700 guards, approximately half of the city’s guard suddenly vanished as they were tracking the suspect of the disappearance of the first group. The only clue left behind by their sudden disappearance are the pool of blood extremely similar to the one mentioned in the first report. According to many passersby, the victims suddenly vanished right after entering an isolated area.
    Some of the witnesses who discovered those pools mentioned hearing a woman’s laughter.


    “Thinking about how I held a knife at her throat make me shiver.”

    Rilesta frowned as she started to think about a few loopholes in this report that didn’t make sense.

    “I actually don’t believe that the girl was the actual culprit. I had her followed ever since she entered the area, yet, she didn’t visit even a single place of those places apart from the one mentioned in the first report.”

    The man looked a little surprised but also relieved, afraid of imagining what might have happened if it had indeed been Shina’s doing.

    “While she may not be the culprit, I am sure that she is definitely related to their death. All of the dead guards were the ones charged of capturing her. Someone or something is actually protecting her from the shadow, and it most likely knew that we were bluffing about harming her and didn’t bother taking action… Or perhaps couldn’t due to some reasons.”

    Unknowingly, Rilesta had hit the spot but couldn’t have imagined that the only reason why Mystel didn’t appear was because Arsal was following Shina.

    As they were talking, Reil’s eyes abruptly narrowed as he glared toward Rilesta… Or most precisely at the black mist which had suddenly formed behind her. But as he was going to rush in and pull her away, his body suddenly froze like a rock preventing him from performing any movement.

    “Hello, little lady~ Nice to meet you.” A woman’s voice echoed around them, yet nobody in the bar even perceived what was going on.

    Rilesta who hadn’t noticed until now why Reil suddenly overreacted suddenly realized what was going on, yet just like Reil, her body was frozen in place.

    It wasn’t that the woman had used magic or some special abilities, they simply felt fear. Their body was frozen in place due to an overwhelming fear disturbing all of their senses, yet, it didn’t even allow them to lose consciously.

    The mist gathered into a small ball above Rilesta’s shoulder, forming into a woman’s face… Mystel’s one.

    “Fufufu~ Aren’t you an intelligent woman? No wonder you seem to be very popular among your men.”

    Trying her best to move, due to her military training and her various years on the battlefield, Rilesta somehow managed to move her mouth and utter a few words.

    “Who… are y-...”

    Hearing the woman’s words, Mystel’s expression suddenly vanished, turning into an incredibly cold and murderous one. The reflection of Rilesta in her eyes indicated that she didn’t even consider her to be better than bugs. Rilesta’s heart stopped beating for a moment.

    “You don’t need to know.”

    Some of the mist gathered around Rilesta’s neck, forming a monstrous hand which nail pointed at her throat; ready to pierce it and make blood fly all over the bar within an instant.

    “Your only mistake was to threaten my daughter…”

    The cold-blooded voice coming from Mystel was filled with bloodthirst, it sounded cold yet contained an insatiable desire for murder, making Rilesta close her eyes as she resigned herself to her oncoming death.

    “Is what I wanted to say but I shall spare you.”

    Not able to process what entered her ears, Rilesta looked at Mystel with a dumbstruck expression.

    “Rejoice, humans, you are the second being I have ever spared…”

    ‘The first one being that little marble staying at my daughter’s side.’

    Rilesta didn’t look relieved yet, as Mystel was still present. A single word managed to come out of her mouth as she still remained under Mystel’s pressure.

    “Wh-y?”

    A faint smile appeared on Mystel’s face as her expression turned somewhat embarrassed as she started to vanish.

    “Because you have good tastes… My daughter is indeed very lovely.”

    The black mist completely vanished and nobody in the bar even noticed what just happened. It took a few minutes for Rilesta and Reil to regain their sense.

    “Reil, are you alright?”

    “Y-Yes.”

    Somewhat still absent-minded, Reil someone managed to reply.

    “Then hurry and make everyone evacuate the building.”

    Confronted with Rilesta’s angry voice, Reil didn’t dare waste a single second and quickly started moving. With his brain still somewhat recovering from the shock, he didn’t understand or even try to think about the reason behind Rilesta’s order and simply complied.”

    As the people orderly started to evacuate, a faint sour smell slowly began to fill the bar. Once everyone had evacuated, Rilesta stood up and walked toward the upstairs. The area between her legs until her knees was soaked, making her inwardly sigh.

    “Even if I die, I can’t show this appearance to my subordinates…”


    * * * * *
    End of chapter 3
     
    Claire Lilly likes this.
  10. anakoj98

    anakoj98 Active Member

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    Dragon princess is one of my favourite novels on RRL, a bit sad that it was remade and not usually updated but I still love and can't wait for more chapter. Good job
     
  11. Gohanish

    Gohanish Member

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    damn didn't see the tragedy tag .
     
  12. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    Within the heart of a certain forest, the moon’s light gently illuminated a woman’s figure whom eyes remained closed as she lied on the cold grass. A little breeze caressed her cheeks and her hairs move back and forth as she harbored a faint smile.

    In normal times, whether it was during daytime or nighttime, a certain degree of noise would be heard… Yet, apart from the sound wind blowing against the trees and grass, not a single sound could be heard.

    It was as if the whole forests had fallen asleep, not a single bug, bird or other animal made a single noise, afraid of disturbing the woman.

    Any passerby would probably think of it like some kind of fairytale, but the truth was very different.

    The woman’s eyes slowly opened and glanced at the starry sky. Nobody knew what she was thinking as she silently observed the sky with her sharp eyes.

    *Fuuu*

    Releasing her breath, the forest was suddenly filled with activity. Whether it was insects or the small animals living nearby, they all looked in her direction with shock before scattering.

    Her presence had vanished as if she had become invisible, but a double of her had appeared and scared the whole forest.

    Mystel looked at the double for a few minutes with sharpened eyes, not only analyzing her double features with her eyes but also scanning her with her aura before nodding.

    “Humu~ Something of this level should be able to even fool Arsal if he doesn’t pay much attention to it.”

    Harboring a sly smile on her lips, Mystel waved her hand and a small paper appeared in front of her. After tracing a few words on the paper with her fingers, the paper floated toward the double and entered its body.

    “Kukuku~” Mystel laughed as she made her way into the house.

    “Let’s get started”


    * * * * *


    *tap tap tap*

    The sound of footsteps resonated in the house’s corridor and stopped in front of a certain door.

    With a wave of her right hand, the door silently opened as Mystel stepped inside. The very moment she stepped inside, the sound of her breathing, as well as her footsteps, had disappeared as if she had become a ghost.

    It was a simple bedroom with a closet, a desk, and a large bed if one ignored the various weapons, arrow and various other girly accessories lying here and there.

    Mystel’s eyes rested on the giggling small figure innocently sleeping on the bed.

    Approaching the sleeping Shina, Mystel smirked while she slowly brushed her hairs, afraid of waking her up.

    Sitting beside her, Mystel’s white hand landed on Shina’s cheeks who seized it, appreciating this newfound source of warmth.

    Mystel remained speechless. A lot of thoughts crossed her mind as her face turned reddish as if smoke was going to come out of her ears.

    “Uhhhh~ She’s so CUTE!”

    Is what she wanted to scream to the world, but she barely managed to hold back.

    Trying her best to calm down, Mystel took a few breath in and out before removing and carefully taking the sleeping Shina in her arms.

    Shina’s body curled up like a tiny animal in her mother’s arms, probably seeking some warmth as she was taken out of her lukewarm bed.

    A dark portal opened in front of them as Mystel enjoyed watching her reaction. With a childish smile, she vanished into the portal, leaving a sadistic laughter as it closed behind her.




    *Huuh*

    Letting out a small groan, Shina slowly woke up. Raising her hands and leisurely rubbing her eyes, she quickly realized after opening her eyes that she wasn’t in her room.

    The place was deadly quiet. She couldn’t hear the sound of birds or even the wind as if there was nothing but death in this place. There was in had no roof yet no sky. In fact, there was nothing else but a black ghostly road in this red area.

    The surrounding reddish color was became darker as time passed. Adding in the ghostly road, it made her think of a road to hell where demons lurked.

    Perhaps it was because she had just woken up and was unable to process what was going on, but Shina didn’t feel any kind of fear. Curling up in the warmth surrounding her, her eyes slowly opened, looking at the warmth sources.

    “Mom?...”

    Lowering her hand, Mystel smiled as she caressed Shina’s hairs.

    “We are almost there but you can go back to sleep if you want, I’ll wake you up.”

    Shina shook her head as she tried to get on her feets. Swaying left and right showing she was still disoriented after waking up, she finally managed to regain her balance after seizing her Mystel’s hand.

    “Stay close to me and be careful not to fall.”

    Nodding with her hand and sticking close to Mystel, Shina slowly regained her spirit and lucidity.

    “Was yesterday fun?”

    “Yup, I’ve been chased here and there, playing hide and seek with a lot of people. I’ve also made a new friend as well.”

    Mystel slightly laughed as she remembered yesterday’s terror in the city. A large number of city guards were running after her all around the city and were beaten till the fact where they had many broken limbs.

    ‘That was indeed a nice hide and seek game.’

    Remembering how she had ‘taken care’ of the guards who were ‘lucky’ enough to find Shina, smiled as Shina hadn’t even realized that in the game… She had been the demon and that the guards who were ‘found’ were dragged to hell by her mother.

    “Oh, you made a friend?” Mystel said as she feinted a surprised expression.

    “She’s pretty tomboy and cunning, we had some fun playing hide and seek together at the marketplace.”

    *Cough Cough*

    Restraining her laughter, a flashback of the scene of Eniel running for her life from the guards and trying to steal some fruits on the marketplace came back.

    ‘I don’t think it really went that way… If I remember correctly your friend of yours looked pretty terrorized, didn’t she?’

    Shina’s smiling face suddenly vanished as a certain thought suddenly came across her mind and replaced the smile with a distressed expression.

    “Ah, crap… How are we supposed to meet up again? I don’t know where she lives.”

    “Is that a problem?” Mystel replied with a composure.

    “Just ask some people around, there must definitely be some people who know where she lives.”

    Shina shook her head with a difficult face. “Actually… Most of the people I ‘played’ with don’t really want to see me again.”

    A ruthless smile formed on Mystel’s face and a small amount of killing intent emanated from her eyes as if it had taken a physical form.

    “In that case, just be more persuasive. If you want I can even give you a hand.”

    Knowing what her mother had in mind, Shina simply nodded and regained confidence.

    Mystel didn’t know that Shina was just trying to tease her all along. From the beginning, she knew that one of her parents was following her, but after hearing Eniel talk about the disappearance of city guards and the bloody areas appearing everywhere in town, she definitely knew it was her mother’s work.

    Would it have been her father, he would have done the act swiftly and given them a quick death before forgetting about them and wouldn’t have tried in any ways to hide it; probably using them to set an example.

    She knew that her mother liked using method a tad more brutal.

    Shina sighed, realizing that she had probably lost most of her humanity. Despite knowing that her parents probably killed hundreds of men that day, she felt absolutely nothing as if it didn’t even concern her.

    “Shina?”

    Flinching like a frightened animal, Shina quickly realized that her mother had called her several times before yet she hadn’t noticed at all.

    “Are you alright?” Mystel asked slightly worried.

    “I...am fine.”

    Mystel made a wry smile while looking at her little daughter, more or less knowing what kind of thoughts were crossing her mind yet she was unable to help her at all.

    ‘This is something she has to learn on her own.’

    Lightly smacking her cheek, Shina acted as if nothing happened and regained her usual cheerful expression as she looked in front of her, trying to see if she could perceive the end of the road.

    “Where are we going?

    Having been waiting for this question for a long time, Mystel’s eyes suddenly widened as she lightly laughed.

    “Fufufu~ We are going to the ‘Darkened Realm’.”

    “Darkwed Realm?”

    “Darkened Realm…” She corrected with a small chuckle which made Shina feel slightly embarrassed.

    “What is that?” She asked with round eyes

    “It’s a place where all kind of demons, monsters, and gods gather, mostly composed of people who oppose your father”

    As Mystel replied, a dark grayish light in the form of a door appeared in front of them and opened.

    “It seems that we’ve finally arrived.”

    Looking at the door, Shina harbored a strange look as she looked at her mother.

    “You said it’s composed of people who oppose dad. It means that he doesn’t know about us being here... right?”

    “Yup~”

    Shina’s face slightly tensed.

    “It also means that he is going to be VERY angry at us… right?”

    “You bet~”

    Recalling a certain event from the past where Arsal was angry at Mystel and almost destroyed the whole forest they were living in, Shina’s face became rigid as she took a few step back.

    “Fufufu~ You can’t escape!”

    Grabbing Shina from her back, Mystel pushed her into the door as she could already see Arsal’s reaction after he would discover the little message she left behind.

    A very pure sadistic and evil smile formed on her face as she leaped into the door as well...


    * * * * *


    Shina’s vision distorted for a very short instant forcing her to close her eyes.

    Skulls, gigantic demonic beast crushing humans like if they were ants as they begged for mercy. A river made of lava where demons were bathing as they enjoyed the screams of the slaughtered ones while drinking a few cups of blood…

    Some demons of the size of a mountain crushing villages with a single step and undead rising behind who would follow this madness and hunt the livings.

    A horror so terrifying that Shina would be unable to sleep at night… was not what she saw.

    The sight of a beautiful valley was reflected in her eyes, the water in the rivers was untainted and one would even be able to clearly see the fishes peacefully swimming.

    The majestic trees were for the smallest a few dozens of meters tall, the tallest almost surpassed the two hundred meters. Yet, despite their tall size the forest was perfectly illuminated giving the impression of one arriving in heaven.

    Shina couldn’t hide her surprise as she looked up in the sky, the normally blue sky had turned into an unnatural light red one with a beautiful purple sun similar to a perfectly round amethyst.

    ‘Is the name ‘Darkened’ coming from this red sky?’ She thought as she glanced at the beautiful scarlet sky.

    Appearing from the door, Mystel walked through with the childish smile of a child who just played a prank. Imagining Arsal’s reaction made Shina sigh as she was forced to give up on going back home; unless her mother wished to, it was impossible for her to go back on her own.

    Glancing at the horizon, Mystel smiled as she felt that a lot of time passed since the last time she visited this realm.

    “The village changed quite a bit, there seem to be more resident than before.”

    Mystel’s smile suddenly stiffened as it landed on a small mansion and her eyes sharpened before returning to her childish face.

    ‘I’ll have to ask Listae and Fortiem about this later.’

    Glancing at her environment, Mystel chuckled.

    “Shina, listen closely. I’ll use this opportunity to give you a lesson.”

    Hearing her mother’s words, Shina looked at Mystel with a clueless expression, not understanding what she was talking about.

    “Lesson number 1, whatever happen, you must never drop your guard and think you are safe. You never know if a rat isn’t following you and waiting for you to release your attention.”

    As she spoke, a dark arrow flew across the forest. With a speed even faster than thunder yet as silent as a small breeze, it rushed toward Mystel’s neck who didn’t seem in the very least impressed.

    Lifting her hand, Mystel lazily grasped the arrow without any difficulty. The dark aura surrounding the arrow tried to devour her but it was useless, it was like a toothless baby trying to bite a horse.

    “Still too naive…”

    Just as Mystel was going to crush the arrow in her hand, it suddenly exploded in a bright dark light.

    “You’re mine!”

    All of a sudden, a dark clothed figure appeared out of nowhere with a dagger. Armed with a blood stained dagger and surrounded by a bloodish aura, the figure attempted to pierce Mystel’s spine.

    Appearing unfazed, Mystel laughed as she didn’t try in any way to block the dagger. Piercing through her spine all the way to her chest, Mystel laughed as Shina appeared shocked by this display.

    As she was about to scream, Mystel’s hand landed on Shina’s head, patting it as if trying to reassure her.

    A smiling doppelganger of Mystel appeared from the shadow twenty meters away.

    “Unless you are as strong as me, you must always be aware of your surrounding.”

    “Tch, an illusion?” The dark clothed figure said in a frustrated tone with a smirk also formed on his face.

    “But I already knew it from the beginning.”

    Four figures dark clothed suddenly appeared beside Mystel, encircling her as four daggers abruptly rushed toward her body.

    Mystel’s expression wavered as she realized that he had seen through her and had been standing in a trap.

    “An attack this slow will never touch me!” She said tried to jump, but the black clothed figure widely smiled like everything had been planned.

    “Spatial Disorder” The four figure said simultaneously.

    As the word exited his mouth, the space around Mystel shattered and the daggers suddenly accelerated, giving no time for Mystel to dodge as the daggers almost instantaneously pierced through her body.

    “Did you perhaps forget about my power?” The four dark figure said with a cold laugh.

    “Right, the power to manipulate the space around you, such an annoying ability… Ah, you got me…”

    The dark clothed figure’s eyes narrowed as it found Mystel’s reaction strange. Within a short instant, his expression suddenly darkened.

    “Shit!”

    Realizing it was a trap, the figure suddenly used his ability to vanish as Mystel’s body exploded within a short area, burning everything aside from her to ashes within a black flame.

    Shina who had been watching the fight going on felt dizzy, everything just happened in an instant and she didn’t even understand what was going on. Her mother was pierced then a clone appeared who suddenly exploded leaving no one behind.

    Analyzing his surrounding, a strange thought suddenly traveled the black clothed figure’s mind. Remembering a previous similar battle, a sly smile formed on his face.

    ‘The last time I tried this strategy, she literally burned down the whole forest without a second thought. Why is she lowering her strength?’ He thought as his eyes fell on Shina.

    ‘Because of that brat?...’

    Full of killing intent, his figure vanished before one of his clones appeared right beside Shina. His hand tightly gripping his dagger slowly rushed down on Shina in an attempt to drag Mystel’s true self out.

    Shina was utterly unable to react as the dagger slowly approached her neck. But just as she closed her eyes, the dagger suddenly stopped. Within an instant, his hand was stopped by Mystel’s first ‘illusion’ who grasped his arm. A red flame emanated from her scarlet eyes as the sound of bones breaking echoed in the forest.

    ‘It was her true self from the beginning!’ He thought as he appeared at her back with a blue long sword in hand slashing down at her.

    Being unable to see Mystel’s expression, the black-clothed figure laughed as the thought of winning appeared in his mind.

    “Is tHaT FunnY?”

    He felt his body shivering as an alarm kept ringing in his mind, telling him to immediately get out of here before it was too late. His killer instinct kept telling him that he was in danger as a terrifying cold chill emanated from Mystel’s back.

    But just as he had given up on his blow and tried to retreat, he found that he couldn’t activate his ability. The space all around the area was frozen, it was as if the world itself was terrified and unable to react.

    His clone withered as if drained of life before vanishing under Mystel’s hand. Her hand suddenly rushed toward his neck.

    Trying to block it with his sword, he found his weapon being crushed just like a twig not offering even the slightest resistance as she grasped his neck.

    The dark clothed figure’s face suddenly froze as his eyes caught Mystel’s expression. Her eyes coldly glaring at him yet a bloody flame emanated from her bloody pupils.

    While he knew that Mystel hadn’t been serious all along, he hadn’t expected that Shina would be her reversed scale.

    “...Wai-..guuh-”

    Just as he tried to say something, Mystel’s hand didn’t give him the right as her grasp over his throat tightened. Her facial expression lacked emotion as she gradually tightened her grip, the black-clothed figure’s arm kept trying to force her hand to let go, but the difference of strength was the same as a chick going against a bull.

    “M-Mom?” Shina hesitantly called out while gripping Mystel’s dress with her frail looking hand.

    Right when he was right about to lose consciousness the unmovable hand finally let go, making him fall down on the ground, his eyes still popped out as he unconsciously tried to make some distance between Mystel and himself.

    Mystel looked away with a wry smile, unwilling to look at her daughter’s expression.

    “Are you scared?...” She asked with a small voice.

    Shina looked at her mother’s lonely figure, she felt that she was on the point of crying after showing how scary she could be to her daughter.

    “Let’s go back...”

    As she was about to wave her hand, Shina’s small hand prevented her from forming another vortex as she rushed in front of her mother.

    “I'm fine, see?” She said with a wide small devoid of fear as she grasped Mystel’s cold hands in an attempt to warm them up.

    “Now that you’ve brought me here, I refuse to leave without you showing me the surrounding”

    Seeing Shina’s earnest smile, Mystel felt at loose as her eyes moistened.

    “What a capricious daughter of mine.” She said with a heartfelt smile.


    “Kuh...Kuh”

    Starting to regain his breath, the dark clothed figure somehow managed to sit down with much difficulty while still experiencing a strong dizziness.

    “Hah...Hah… I seriously thought you were going to kill me for a second.”

    With a cold smile and without any hesitation, Mystel beautifully kicked his body, sending him flying at least twenty meters away before landing on a tree.

    “I WAS going to kill you, you idiot.” She replied with a glare while crossing her arms.

    The dark figure’s hood fell down, exposing a pretty pale yet beautiful face of a seemingly sickened teenager. Coughing a few times, the teenager wryly smiled as he held his chest, trying to check if that kick hadn’t broken a few ribs.

    Even though Mystel had deliberately held back, the strength she had used wasn’t something he would normally dare to face head on even if he was at his peak.

    “Ugh… I am on the point of dying right now.”

    “Then die, you piece of sh-.”

    Mystel practically spat at her last sentence as she was going to curses him. But throwing a little glance at her daughter beside her, Mystel swiftly adjusted her words to make them become less offending.

    “Piece of useless trashy assassin…”

    Both Shina and the man looked strangely at Mystel as they understood her intentions.

    Pulling on Mystel sleeve, Shina mumble a “That wasn’t much better…”, making her mother slightly reddened and transferring this embarrassment into anger toward the man as she saw him put on a very small smile.

    “Irio…”

    Sensing an intense amount of bloodlust emanating from Mystel as she called his name, the young man started sweating as he wished he could just run away as fast as he could.

    Who do you think you are laughing at?

    Irio who was already showing a pale face was now harboring a ghastly face. Mystel’s killing intent already went past the joking level, he wouldn’t have been surprised of seeing his body being torn apart within the next few seconds.

    Once again pulling on Mystel’s hand, Shina’s eyes seemed to be rebutting her mother who almost instantly repressed her bloodlust. The atmosphere around them finally relaxed, leaving only a shocked Irio behind, unable to believe that for the first time ever since he battled with Mystel, she hadn’t delivered the finishing blow.

    But the most unbelievable thing was that the child standing beside her had managed to make Mystel’s legendary rage vanish with only a few words. Irio couldn’t help but curse her as he remembered how many puppets he had to sacrifice the last time she went crazy and had destroyed the Darkened Realm’s moon.

    As he inwardly continued to emit a few curse, Irio sensed someone very intensely staring at him. Shina strongly stared at him as if extremely concerned by a certain fact.

    “W-What?”

    With a perplexed look, Shina gathered her courage as she opened her mouth…

    “Are you a man or a woman?...”

    Coldly maintaining a poker-face, Mystel innerly laughed so hard that her eyes moistened despite continuing to glare at Irio.

    ‘My daughter for sure, right where it hurt!’

    “Is that really impor-”

    “Shut up and answer already.”

    “But you already know the answer.”

    Flames formed around Mystel’s eyes as her stare seemed to pierce through his body, making his shudder and promptly close his mouth.

    “I am a man...”

    Shina looked surprised as she looked very closely at his face, analyzing his features.

    “Even though you have such an effeminate face? You look even more girly than Eniel.”

    ‘My daughter for sure…’

    As if receiving another blow almost as powerful as Mystel’s kick, Irio’s head dropped as he almost lost consciousness a second time.

    ‘Is that why she didn’t finish me? So that she can psychologically torture me? Just kill me already and be done with it.’

    “Shina, let’s leave it at that and get going. Talking with that idiot will just be a waste a time.”

    “Merciless…” Irio said as he was on the point of crying.

    “Uhm… Goodbye then mister?... Effeminate face?”

    “Just call me Irio!”

    “Irio? Doesn’t sound womanly.”

    “Because I am a man.” He said as he vanished, appearing right beside Shina under Mystel’s deadly eyes.

    “R-Relax already, I am in no state to shape to battle anymore.” Irio quickly replied, making Mystel relax a little as she removed her two fingers positioned just a few centimeters away from his eyes.

    Irio finally managed to ease out in relief as he could now start relaxing to a certain degree.

    “And so, who are you mister effemin-... Irio?”

    Hearing the hidden sarcasm in Shina’s voice, Irio sighed as he whispered “Is she doing it voluntarily?” to Mystel who simply laughed it off.

    “Probably.”

    Trying to put his feelings aside and puffing his chest, Irio removed his black clothes, revealing a very simple blue outfit similar to an army’s one which matched very well with his blue hairs and indigo eyes. Countless little throwing knives of diverse colors were bound to his clothes, a few were shattered on his chest probably due to Mystel’s kick from earlier.

    “You can call me Irio, the god of assassins. Or at least it’s how most people refer to me since I’ve never failed a single contract in my whole life.”

    *Cough Cough*

    Mystel simply sneered at Irio’s boast while staring down at him.

    “Apart from her, I mean.” He rectified under the pressure of her glare.

    Apart from giving some interest to the knives, Shina looked somewhat disappointed as she closely examined his body.

    “So you’re really not a woman?...”

    “She really reminds me of an annoying person…”

    Two red eyes shone at Irio within an instant, containing a mix of anger and happiness which made Irio feel at loose as he momentaneously lost his control over his mouth.

    Said something?

    “Absolutely not.”

    Mystel nodded as she pursued his introduction.

    “As he said, this is Irio. Now let’s go.”

    “W-Wait! At least introduce us!”

    Showing a disinterested look on her face, Mystel looked at him with an expression full of annoyance.

    “Why should I? We’ve already battled so stop being such a bother and just get lost already…”

    Completely ignoring her, Irio walked past Mystel and stood to Shina’s height with a little childish smile.

    “So you’re an assassin?”

    Looking at Irio in the eyes, Shina was filled with surprise as he openly admitted his assassin’s job. Moreover, he seemed to be pretty well known for even having his mother not denying or rebutting his surname, meaning that she somehow acknowledged his abilities.

    “You’re admitting being a killer so openly… You probably don’t have that many friends, do you?”

    Irio feigned a hurt expression as if he was about to cry.

    “I am actually pretty popular you know? I don’t know how you see me, but I don’t kill anyone outside of my contracts. Killing is just a job, it’s give and take. Why bother killing someone if you don’t gain anything in return but problems?

    “So, you mean that when you tried to kill my mother… It was a contract?”

    “Of course! Do you want to know who ordered it?”

    Shina frowned as she heard that assassins would normally never reveal who gave them the contract.

    “Don’t look at me like that, it’s not that much of a secret anyway.”

    “It’s that moron.”

    “Uhh, I was going to say it.”

    The illusions of a few interrogation marks seemed to appear beside Shina’s head as she couldn’t understand why he would do something so crazy as the try to assassinate Mystel.

    “I don’t understand… Are you stupid?” She asked with an amazed expression.

    “Why are each and every word coming out of your mouth cursing at me?...”

    “Cause you’re openly showing that you’re a moron?” A sarcastic voice said from behind him.

    “Right… Well, you can consider it as some kind of training. Can you think of a better way to improve yourself than fighting an unkillable evil goddess who can easily crush you even without fighting seriously?”

    Daughter and mother both looked at Irio with pity as they simultaneously shared the same thought… ‘That guy definitely is a moron’

    “That’s pretty strange, I didn’t know assassins had a god. Do they pray for you to help them killing their target without being caught or for something like that?”

    As if hearing something stupid, Irio started laughing as Mystel grinned.

    “That’s just a nickname, I am not a god after all but just a simple demonic being.”

    Making a small nod with her head, Mystel remembered that she had forgotten to teach Shina about the various beings living in the world.

    “Gods are simply beings who after achieving some requirement ascend to godhood and obtain a certain ability depending on their affinity and character. Space, fire, wind, food… Wasn’t there also that guy? What was his name again?”

    “Who are you talking about?”

    “You know, that god of misfortune whom you killed 32000 years ago. His ability that his luck decreased every year.”

    “Ah, you mean Malum? That bastard almost got me killed during the contract a good dozen of time, who would have thought that just as I was about to get killed, a meteorite landed right on him before being hit 3 times by the thunder.”

    Shina almost exploded as she tried to restrain herself, just what kind of ability was this? Did the universe itself have so much pity for him that he decided to finish his existence, moreover the three lighting strikes were pretty much overkill.

    Restraining her chuckle, Mystel regained some composure as she pursued.

    “In short, one doesn’t necessarily need to be a god to kill another one. There are a lot of demonic beings or spirit who are able to kill them easily.”

    “They are still the most annoying target, as they grow older their power becomes more and more powerful and their control over them make killing them much harder.”

    Seemingly in deep thoughts, Shina lifted her eyes and looked at Mystel with a cute and eager smile.

    “Do I have some ability as well?”

    Mystel eyes suddenly became serious as she brushed Shina’s head with her fingers, a mix of feelings crossed her heart as she looked at her daughter.

    “Most likely, they’ll probably manifest themselves as you grow up. You’re my daughter after all.”

    Hearing her mother’s reassuring words, Shina jumped into her embrace as she started imagining what kind of ability hers would be. While enjoying this moment, Shina’s eyes sharpened as many memories passed through her mind.

    ‘Whatever it is, I just want to never lose to anyone…’ She innerly wished as she remembered her previous life.

    ‘I’ll never return back to those days!’

    Embracing each other, the mother and daughter team had completely forgotten about the effeminate assassin who had fallen to his knees.

    “T-This is the end of the world… THAT Mystel has a child!...” He said as if it was the start of the apocalypse.


    * * * * *


    The sun was slowly starting to rise up in the sky as its ray illuminated small walls made of black stones which seemed to be absorbing the light as their color didn’t change. The wall surrounded a city composed of more or less a thousand houses.

    The houses were ordered by districts which surrounded a small castle which was located at the center of the city. The closest ones were the largest as reciprocally, the distant ones were the smallest.

    From what she could see, most of the houses possess their own design, some looked very humble while some others looked almost demonic and threatening like the entrance to hell which greatly surprised Shina.

    “Those buildings are strange…”

    Mystel looked proud for a moment as Shina admired the various buildings until her eyes sharpened as they fell on a certain residence which couldn’t be called a house anymore, but a mansion. A glint of anger swiftly passed through her eyes which remained imperceptible to Shina but made Irio shudder as he distanced himself from her.

    “Whose house is this?”

    Irio shivered as a cold whisper found its way toward to ears. He quickly understood what Mystel was talking about after following her eyes. The mansion was dirty and covered with mud; it looked a lot like a swamp which deteriorated the aesthetic of the area. Moreover, the mansion was excessively larger than the other houses, as if it was trying to compete with the castle in term of size.

    Each and every residence in the city represented one’s status within the darkened realm. The castle obviously belonged to Mystel as the lord of this realm and as expected, not a single residence could compare with it.

    However, the mansion despite being smaller still possessed the size of a small castle, being at least five times bigger than any other houses. Trying to compete in size with her castle was the same as challenging Mystel’s authority.

    Understanding that this anger wasn’t directed at him, Irio calmed down as he remembered a certain conversation he had a few years ago with a certain woman.

    “I think it belongs to a newly elected elder, I remember Listae saying that he is giving her a large headache as he has the backing of an ancient elder.”

    Mystel smiled while licking her lips, a dark and cold aura emanated from her body as her stare seemed to pierce through the mansion.

    “Good… It seems that some people think that I’ve gotten softer after not showing up for a while.”

    “Mom, did you say something?”

    Like the sun after the rain, Mystel’s expression instantly transformed from a murderous one into a motherly smile.

    “It’s nothing, let’s go inside.”

    The only person who remained frozen was Irio who still couldn’t understand how it was even possible for someone to be this double-faced.

    I just can’t get used to it… He thought as he followed them.

    A large gate made of silver surrounded by soldiers dressed in a demonic-like red and black armor guarded the only entrance to the city. Every soldier could be considered as a giant compared to normal humans as the smallest one reached six and a half feet, making them look even more imposing than the black wall behind them.

    As the three approached, the guards drew their weapons as a sign for them to stop as one of the guards walked up to them.

    “Your identity papers?”

    While asking the question with a rough and merciless voice, his eyes roamed, giving Shina a single glance before ignoring and glared at Mystel who harbored a very dark expression which greatly surprised the guard as he was temporarily unable to move. His body seemed to be frozen in place as an overflowing amount of killing intent was crushing him.

    “Identity papers?...”

    Every guards unconsciously unsheathed their weapons as their instinct were screamed at them to be on guard, but even so, their body seemed to have become a block of ice.

    Mystel slowly toward the first guard and despite gently touched his shoulder, the guard felt like his body was carrying a whole planet as he couldn’t help but bow his head which reached Mystel’s level.

    Leaning toward his helmet, Mystel whispered to the guard.

    “What kind of bullshit are you talking about?...”

    “T-T-Thats…”

    The more annoyed Mystel became, the harder her grasp on his shoulder became as her finger started to pierce through his armor.

    “That’s enough, everyone please calm down. Nobody wants any bloodshed happening here, right?”

    Despite seeming to talk to everyone, his words were mainly aimed to Mystel as he made her remember Shina’s presence with an eye contact.

    Mystel snorted as she withdrew her killing intent and tried to contain her anger.

    “Then hurry and take care of it.”

    Somewhat calming down and regaining his wits after a few seconds, the guard still looked terrified as he avoided to look at Mystel. Noticing somewhat had stepped in, his eyes widened as he finally noticed it was Irio.

    “L-Lord Irio.”

    An annoyed expression re-surfaced on Mystel’s face as she glared at Irio’s back who couldn’t help but want to kill the guard deep inside.

    You fucker, you aren’t even able to recognize your own sovereign yet you politely greet me… Are you fucking trying to get me killed?!

    Walking toward the guard, Irio hurriedly approached the guard and whispered a few words to him, making the guards widen his eyes as Irio spoke a few more words before giving him a few taps on his shoulder and walking back.

    “Hurry and open the gate!” The guard shouted in a tense tone and shaky tone.

    Shina tilted her head as she looked at Irio, her eyes filled with curiosity.

    “What did you tell him?”

    Irio chuckled while remembering the past and showed a painful smile.

    “I just told him a few story of the past.”

    “What kind of story?” She excitedly asked as she wondered how interesting they must be to leave the guard in that state.

    Stealing a glance at Mystel, Irio started laughing and caressed Shina’s head as he replied in a mysterious voice.

    “Just a little story of your mother in the past. Don’t worry, I am sure she will share them with you in the future.”

    “Come on, say it already…”

    Feeling the girl’s interest made Irio unable to turn her demand down.

    “If you insist, the-...”

    “I am curious as well, what kind of story are you going to tell?”

    A shiver went past Irio’s spine as he retreated a dozen of meters away from Mystel with a stiff expression.

    “Now that I think about it, it might not be really interesting for a child… Why don’t you wait a few years for it? Moreover, I am a very busy man, hahaha… Well then, goodbye!”

    Trying to run away as fast as possible, Irio felt a hand pulling down his sleeve. As he turned, his eyes widened after realizing that it wasn’t Mystel but Shina. Not only him, but Mystel’s eyes also sharpened as she stood there motionlessly, looking at Shina with deep astonishment.

    “Don’t run away!”

    “When did you mo-”

    A second pair of hands suddenly grabbed on his other sleeve, Mystel was standing beside him with a radiant smile.

    “That’s right, don’t run away. Why don’t you accompany me to the castle since I need to see Fortiem.”

    At the same moment, a warning echoed in Irio’s mind as a deadly voice whispered ‘Don’t tell her’. Unlike any previous warning, this echo in his mind was filled with pure bloodlust as if she was really ready to kill him this time should be approach this taboo subject.

    “Yes, mam…”

    Shina was forced to give up and she started to pouting as Mystel picked her in her arms with a caring expression.

    “Hum~ You petty effeminate man….”

    A few tears rolled down Irio’s face as he felt his lifespan being decreased each time she spoke, whether it was her instigating Mystel against him or breaking his self-esteem into countless pieces and throwing it into a dumpster.

    Mystel, on the other hand, harbored a very serious expression as she looked at the clueless Shina who hadn’t even realized how shocked she made them.

    Looking at her daughter’s innocent expression made Mystel sigh as Shina hadn’t even realized how incredible her action was.

    For a split second, Shina had unknowingly crossed the boundaries of space before grabbing Irio's sleeve...


    * * * * *


    Walking along the main street of the village, the three blended perfectly into the mass of inhabitant, given how diversified the residents were. The village was a melting pot containing hundreds if not thousands of different races cohabitating together in peace and harmony.

    It wasn’t a strange sight to see an eight meters tall giant having a drink with a dwarf of the size of an apple. Some creatures looked very similar to humans while some others seemed to have been designed by a two years old child.

    For a moment after staring at a very strange creature, Shina somehow remembered one of her own drawing from when she was still living on Earth.

    A strange though traveled through her head before shaking it silently.

    It’s probably just my imagination… She wondered for a moment while looking at Mystel before completely dismissing the idea.

    Leaving the main street after turning at a certain corner, Mystel released Shina’s hand before gently caressing her head and pointing at a certain building with her hand.

    “Just wait for me inside for a few minutes, okay? I’ll come back really~ quickly. As long as you stay there you don’t have to worry about anything bad happening.”

    Anyone who knew Mystel would have a hard time believing what Irio was actually seeing. Mystel was having a hard time separating from Shina just for a few minutes and seemed to be on the verge of crying as she couldn’t resist giving her a final hug.

    “If anyone annoys you don’t hesitate to beat them up, even if you break a few bones this is not a problem.”

    “Hm~” Shina replied with a nod.

    Irio made a wry smile as he sighed.

    “Hey, isn’t this place supposed to be a ‘non-violence’ area?”

    Taking a haughty attitude, Mystel glared at him as if he was spouting some absolute nonsense.

    “So what? What do you think is the most important between some shitty rules and my daughter?”

    Avoiding her glare, Irio looked aside as he muttered: “You’re the one who made them…”

    Mystel’s face lit up with a broad smile as she thought it was a good occasion to give Shina some advice that might be useful in her future.

    “Remember, rules are made for you to break them. Whether they're made by you or others, if you think they're useless and uninteresting, don’t hesitate!”

    In contrast to Irio’s tired face, Shina absorbed Mystel’s teachings with sparkling eyes as she repeatedly nodded.

    “Just what are you teaching her…”

    “Useful knowledge.”

    Irio turned to Shina with a desperate expression. Under Mystel’s education, Irio wasn’t very sure how Shina would turn out to be in the future. Most mothers would teach their child about being virtuous, caring etc… Mystel, on the other hand, was the perfect example of what she should not become.

    Opening the building’s door, Mystel smiled as she made a sign for Shina to enter.

    The door’s inside was completely different from what she was expecting, it was linked to another dimension. But knowing whom this city belonged to, Shina felt like it wasn’t really a surprise.

    The building’s insides was a large playground like those that she had seen on Earth, but far bigger as at a first glance it looked like a small town.

    Shina felt like she had somehow underestimated this village; if every building and residence were the same; then wouldn’t this village, in reality, be almost as big as a continent?

    As she stepped inside, Shina saw that there weren’t any adult inside, except for the various strange monsters whom she was unable to deduce their age. If the outside of the town was a world for adults, then inside this building was the kids' world.

    “I’ll try to be really quick, just try to make a few friends, okay? And remember, if someone is annoying you… Just kick them a few times.”

    “She won’t make any if she listens to you.”

    Hearing Irio’s complain didn’t perturb Mystel the slightest as she coldly snorted and replied.

    “It didn’t prevent me from making some.”

    “You still killed the majority of them...”

    “You’re being annoying… Shina sweetie, let me show you an example; Irio, let me break your legs.”

    Having sensed Mystel’s intents under her fake smile, swiftly started to run away.

    Shina laughed at their exchange, making Mystel smile as well as she gently kissed her forehead and caressed her hairs a few times before turning toward the exit.

    “Try to make a few friends, okay?” She said before leaving.

    After Mystel left, a small echo entered Shina’s ears as the door closed.

    “Irio you bastard, hurry and bring your ass back here. I am going to slice the shit out of you!”

    Ignoring her mother’s foul mouth, Shina turned a deaf ear to Mystel’s last words and started walking further inside this mysterious playground.

    * * * * *

    Walking within the playground, Shina realized that she had underestimated its size as she was now lost within a miniature town. Observing her surrounding, Shina quickly realized that this ‘playground’ was actually far more complex than what Mystel made it seems.

    From the conversation she heard all around her and by closely observing a lot of children, she realized that one of the true objectives of this playground was to form groups and alliances.

    From her point of view, their actions didn’t divert that much from the humans. Some of them like the vampires who harbored pale skins and were dressed in nobles clothing were overlooking the others with eyes full of disdain and pride. Some others like the demons whose mains characteristic were their long horns and black wings were enjoying displaying their own strength and competing against each other, something which was tolerated as long as no one was gravely wounded.

    Of course, not every youngling were divided into factions, some groups were a gathering of every species who simply enjoyed spending time together but some more mature and ambitious children were using this opportunity to gain followers of lower class.

    Now that Mystel was gone, Shina’s expression changed into a more mature one as if she had experienced a change of personality. It was an expression that she hadn’t really shown to them before, she looked more composed. In a certain way, she looked in some ways like her previous self from Earth.

    It wasn’t as if she was purposely hiding this part of her, but just that as long as she remained under her parents' protection, this part of her personality didn’t need to manifest and she could act as childish as she wanted.

    Carefully observing the children around them, Shina sighed before distancing herself from the mass. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to make friends, but more that she didn’t feel the need to make fake friends.

    Most of the children still harbored either a childish and innocent mind or were already tainted by their parents prejudice just like the vampires. The image of the mature black haired girl she had met in the human’s city kept appearing in her mind.

    Unlike most of the people here, Eniel possessed a certain maturity above her age and saw the world as it truly was, in Shina’s mind. Despite her situation as an orphan from the slum in criminal city, she still retained a great willpower and a certain sense of honor and pride hidden behind her cold eyes.

    Maybe it was because of how special she felt Eniel was that she thought the children here were lacking…

    Yet at the same time, a strong force crashed onto Shina’s body who was thrown a few meters away.

    “...Hic…Hic…”

    A young girl with long pink hairs with two long brown horns coming out of her head was lying on the ground. Dressed in a very simple white sleeveless shirt exposing her porcelain pure white skin and red pants seeming too big for her, the girl’s face was somewhat colored with a light pink.

    But the most intriguing was the metallic collar on her neck being holden by a broken chain which was very similar to the ones used on criminals or slaves.

    The girl was in a bad state, her arms were covered with cut and wounds and one of her horn was badly damaged. Obviously, her wounds weren’t caused by Shina but most likely by her potential pursuers.

    While appearing a little dizzy, Shina managed to stand up as thankfully her scales had absorbed most of the shock. Despite her innate strength, Shina was still shocked by how easily she was sent flying by this little girl whose strength was definitely far greater than her own.

    “...Hic… Hic…”

    Vigilantly approaching the unmoving girl who seemed to be sobbing, as a strong smell attacked Shina’s nose; she quickly realized that what she thought to be sobbings were in fact hiccups which released a strong stench of alcohol. The little girl who looked barely older than Shina was actually dead drunk.

    Still somewhat in a daze, the girl grabbed a small gourd which was lying close to her with a stupid smile and took a few mouthful of its inside.

    “Haah~ There’s nothing better than that!” She exclaimed with a satisfied smile.

    A strange expression surfaced on the girl’s face as she looked she and Shina looked at each other for tens of seconds, the girl finally broke the silence as she extended her gourd toward Shina.

    “...Want some?... Hic...”

    Shina looked at the gourd filled with hesitated. Truthfully, she really wanted to take a sip but at the same time, she felt wary toward this drunk strange girl. Yet looking at the girl's eyes, she couldn’t see any trace of malice but only wariness.

    Finally taking the gourd, Shina smelled the inside which was giving off a sweet fruity scent mixed with strong alcohol. Taking a glance at the strange girl, she took a large sip of the nectar which burned her throat and set her stomach aflame.

    *Cough Cough* The girl laughed as Shina gave her gourd back to her and drank a few sip as well.

    “Hic...That’s what I call drinking!”

    The girl's easy going attitude somehow made Shina smile as she somehow began to feel interested in her.

    “My name is Shina, what’s yours?”

    The girl's eyes widened for a moment before warmly smiling with a sunny smile.

    “My name is Kanabo… Kanabo the Oni.”


    * * * * *


    Sitting beside a tree of a nearing park, Kanabo took a few sip of her gourd before letting a large “Uhhh~” out and lying down on the grass with a satisfied expression and giving Shina glance.

    “Are you sure you don’t want some?... Hic”

    Shina who was lying against the tree shook her head as she rejected the gourd which Kanabo was extending to her.

    “I am too young to get drunk like you, moreover I don’t know how my mother would react if she saw me drunk.”

    Taking a few more sip at her gourd, Kanabo started laughing.

    “Aren’t you already old enough since you were allowed to enter this sanctuary?~”

    Noticing Shina’s clueless expression, Kanabo laughed even harder than before.

    “How old are you actually?”

    “Ten-... Four years old.”

    Thinking back about the six years she already spent on living on Earth, Shina made a difficult expression before quickly regaining her composure.

    Kanabo actually looked at Shina with wide eyes before once again starting to laugh very loudly.

    “Don’t you know that you shouldn’t be allowed to enter if you’re below twenty?”

    “Huh? Why?”

    “Since most races develop their self-awareness around fifteen, taking into account the time for their parents to educate them… “

    Twenty years old was the age at which a human was already considered an adult and could even be married. But Shina quickly realized something very important; she remembered that most of the inhabitant of this realm weren’t humans so it wasn’t very strange for the rules to be adjusted for them.

    Some greater magical beings like dragons would take at least thirty years for them to acquire the same self-awareness as a four years old child and at two hundred years they would only be between a child and a teenager.

    It wouldn’t be strange for some of the ‘children’ here to have twenty or thirty times her age.

    Well, mom did say she enjoyed breaking the rules after all. And in a way, I am far older than any of them...

    Despite being older than twenty, Kanabo still harbored the appearance of a little girl while still appearing older than Shina. Not knowing anything about the Oni, she had no way of telling how old she actually was.

    But looking at this little girl drinking alcohol like it was some apple juice still gave her a strange impression as it would still be unaccepted in the human’s society.

    “How old are you then?”

    Kanabo smiled as she drank some more from her gourd and exhaled a heavy scent of fruity alcohol.

    “73… or was it 74?... Can’t remember… Hic”

    While being prepared for an answer like this, Shina teasingly smiled as she made an exaggerated expression.

    “Aren’t you already hold enough to be my grandmother?~”

    Not appearing the slightest annoyed, Kanabo once again laughed loudly as she smacked Shina on the head and tried to imitate an elder’s voice.

    “Youngsters these days~ Aren’t you getting full of yourself?”

    Both of the girls started laughing at Kanabo’s strange imitation as she took a few more sip.

    “The average age at which an Oni become an adult is six hundred years old. As you can see, I can still be considered as a child.”

    “And you’re still allowed to drink alcohol?”

    “Hic… Why not? The love of drinking is the main characteristic of our races, whether you’re young or old; as long as you can raise your cup then you can drink.”

    “Hmph~ In short, you’re a race made of alcoholic…”

    “Fuahaha! You can put it that way, not even the dwarfs can compare with us!”

    Shina sighed as Kanabo took her words as a compliment.

    Looking at the easygoing girl lying on the ground, Shina’s eyes couldn’t help but pass over her wounds covering the majority of her arms and also her broken horn. Some of them had already cicatrized while some others were rather new.

    “You’re curious about these, right?”

    As Shina nodded, while keeping the same tone and attitude, the look in Kanabo’s eyes had changed, becoming more serious, unlike her previous self. Even her hiccups suddenly stopped as a tense atmosphere formed.

    Taking a look at her gourd, Kanabo showed a rather complex expression with a mix of sadness and resolve.

    “This is mostly because of this gourd…”

    Making a rather strange expression, Shina began to think how a mere gourd could cause her this much problem. Maybe this gourd wasn’t as simple as it actually seemed despite how ordinary it looks.

    “When people dies, their souls exit their world and seek reincarnation. But those whose sins and regrets are too deep aren’t able to ascend and fall deep into the ground, where the Oni resides…”

    This story reminded Shina of what her father previously told her, but he hadn’t gone too deeply into the details afraid that she might find it boring. She only knew about the existence of a heaven where people were awaiting their reincarnation, but she hadn’t heard anything about this so-called Hell which terrorized even the strongest men in their dreams.

    “By providing punishments, the Oni wash a soul of their sins which allow them to ascent and reincarnate.”

    Looking at Shina’s serious and earnest face, Kanabo smiled.

    “Simply put, we just smash them until they ascend~”

    “Couldn’t you keep it serious?...”

    “Te~he~”

    Giving Kanabo a smack on the head, she quickly regained a somewhat serious mood after gulping some of her beverage.

    “Well to keep it simple, each world has an Oni’s King who rules over the underworld and his subjects are in charge of providing the punishments to the burdened souls.”

    “Hm~ Hm~” Nodding her head, Shina somehow kept imagining a middle-aged man with beers in his hand whipping at a ghostly old man while complaining at how tiring his job is.

    “I don’t exactly know what you’re imagining, but you pretty far from the reality.” Kanabo corrected as she intuition told her that Shina’s imagination was tricking her.

    “And so, what does it have to do with the gourd?”

    “Stop being so impatient youngster, take a sip and calm down~”

    “Alright grandma, continue already…”

    Seeing Shina rejecting her offer, Kanabo didn’t look annoyed at all and continued with her story.

    “There’s not much more to it anyway. The issue is just that when a new world is born, one of the Oni King will give birth to a new one to be sent to govern this world.”

    “Wait, don’t tell me you’re an Oni King?”

    Kanabo smiled as she snapped her fingers.

    “Bingo~ And that’s one of my problems.”

    Shina sensed that something was strange in Kanabo’s story; an Oni King should normally be someone important as they would be in charge of upholding the correct functioning of reincarnation system.

    Was Kanabo someone kidnapped because of the importance of her future position? Or maybe someone simply tried to obtain a ransom

    As she tried to voice many ideas that crossed her mind, Kanabo denied each of them as Shina had fundamentally taken the wrong basis to mount her opinions.

    “The Oni Kings are indeed very important to every world, but that's not the reason why…”

    Looking up in the sky, Kanabo sighed.

    “I was exiled from my homeland by my father, left alone in this city until my death.”

    The silent Shina felt her heart beating faster as she observed the lonely expression on Kanabo’s face. Frustration and anger surged up in her heart as she imagined which kind of situation could lead to such a result.

    As an Oni King, her father should be their sovereign… How is it possible for him not to care about his own daughter… Unless...

    A sudden thought crossed Shina’s head, sometimes monsters weren’t that different from humans, or perhaps it was the reverse; the humans sometimes weren’t that different from monsters.

    The reason why she was forced to remain here until her death…

    “There is no new world…”

    Kanabo made a wry smile as she remembered her father’s expression as he exiled her to another realm under the pretext that it was for her own good. His eyes filled with anger, fear, and apprehension.

    The fear of being replaced by his daughter, of having to leave all your power to the next generation.

    An Oni King being born without any new world following her birth, it was something that never happened in the past, something that made her father think of her as a usurper.

    “Hahaha~” Seeing that the atmosphere had become very heavy, Kanabo started drinking while laughing very loudly.

    “Why are you making this kind of expression?...Hic... It’s not like it’s my own fault so who cares? I am myself and I don’t think of this as a curse.”

    Her eyes full of resolves and expressing her will to fight for her right to live, it indeed reminded her of Eniel… and herself.

    With a large smile, Shina grabbed Kanabo’s gourd whose eyes widened as she faced Shina with a surprised look, watching her drink her alcohol gulp after gulp before satisfyingly letting a breath out.

    “That’s right! When you feel bad there’s nothing better than a drink… Hic…” Kanabo giggled.

    Shina was slightly surprised after drinking when she realized that the amount in the gourd hadn’t even diminished despite how much Kanabo drank ever since they arrive and after she herself took a few gulp.

    Giving a mysterious grin, Kanabo still felt somewhat wronged that Shina hadn’t expressed that much surprise after realizing that her gourd was enchanted.

    “You said previously that this gourd was the reason why you were in that state, right?”

    Kanabo nodded as Shina handed the gourd back.

    “This is an Oni’s sacred gourd, an artifact born that only few Oni King are born with.”

    “As expected of a group of alcoholic races that drink ever since they’re child…”

    “Huhu~ Thanks for the compliment. This gourd can actually copy and give out an unlimited amount of whatever liquid you put in.”

    “And so you’ve put in alcohol?...”

    “What did you expect me to put in? Some juice?”

    Shina giggled as she somehow felt that Kanabo’s argument made sense.

    “So you’ve been pursued because it can reproduce any alcohol?”

    Taking a serious attitude, Kanabo glared at her gourd while remembering how even her father had tried to obtain this artifact.

    “I am using it for alcohol, but imagine reproducing any kind of holy beverage or elixir. The ability to obtain an infinite amount of any legendary ingredients that are normally found in such a small amount that even a single drop would be enough to buy a house in this city.”

    An artifact with the ability to reproduce any liquid, moreover so rare that the number of gourds existing in the world didn’t surpass five…

    “Even in this city where infighting is supposed to be forbidden, one cannot stop greed.”

    Grabbing Kanabo’s hand, Shina gave her a reassuring smile as she stood up.

    “Let’s walk a little, I am tired of sitting.”

    “Sure~”

    A mysterious grin painted Shina’s face as she leads Kanabo by the hand.

    Greed cannot be stopped?... We’ll see!

    * * * * *

    End of Chapter 4
     
    Claire Lilly likes this.
  13. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    The last rays of the sun stopped illuminating the city, leaving its place to a bright yet cold moon. The moonlight lightened the ill-famed city where like every night, blood and money kept spilling in oceans.

    Within one of those old building whose story had been erased by the ages, a lone girl stood at a window while observing the sky. The reflection of the moon in her eyes carried a profound loneliness

    In her hands laid a large bag filled with metallic objects which kept reflecting the star's’ lights as she kept toying with them.

    Carrying a lonesome and absent-minded expression, the girl for the first time of her life started watching the sky. This same sky which kept alternating back and forth between day and night now seemed different.

    This midnight sky which she had ignored until now was carrying a different image in her eyes which she had never seen before. The stars kept shining and dancing with each other like a group of children playing.

    It was beautiful, yet somehow only made her loneliness become denser as she gazed at them enviously.

    Grabbing a bunch of golden coins from her bag, a metallic sound kept echoing in the room as she slowly dropped the coins one by one with a heavy look.

    Just what is wrong with me.

    Various indescribable emotions kept flowing within her as she kept watching this beautiful yet saddening view that the starry sky offered her.

    Eniel was thinking about the black haired girl she met as she gazed at the moon, her visage was slowly replacing this large silverish orb in the sky. A terrible sentiment of longing assailed her as she threw the bag aside and went to lie down on her bed.

    Like every night ever since then, the various events of that days kept replaying in her mind again and again. While she did envy her strength, she respected even her unrestrained personality.

    She kept acting like nothing could bind her actions; carrying no regard or respect for the laws, it was as if she wasn’t a part of this world. Detached to the society, putting nothing and no one in her eyes. Perhaps she truly was the incarnation of freedom.

    Strangely, Eniel didn’t feel any type of jealousy within her but instead a feeling of longing. She wanted to meet her once again like the girl said but at the same time, she didn’t know how they were supposed to meet.

    Within such a large city, where were they supposed to meet? How would they find each other?

    This was the first time that the careful and untrusting Eniel made a friend. Within this dark city where human values were as precious as the dirt covering her shoes, trust was probably the hardest and most difficult commodity one could find. And if one was selling it, his fate generally wouldn’t be an enjoyable one.

    Thinking about her situation, Eniel started laughing at herself and how stupid she was acting. It didn’t matter how many times she thought about it, her actions and feelings went against the principles she had set to protect herself.

    But even so, despite knowing how irrational it was… She still wished to befriend… and trust that girl.

    “She said her name was… Shina.”

    It was a name that somehow made her think of the sky in its entirety, the dark and cold sky illuminated by various little lights which shone down to brighten the world. Carefree and which showed themselves whenever they wanted and took a rest behind the clouds and they felt lazy.

    Both girls didn’t know how much respect they carried to each other. One envied her freedom and her unrestrained way of living while the other highly admired her determination to keep on living and fighting despite her conditions.

    Maybe it was due to this mutual admiration that both girls wished to become closer and couldn’t forget about the other side.

    A knocking coming from the old wooden door reverberated within the room, Eniel’s childish expression slowly vanished as she once again readied herself to fight against her reality.

    “Come in.”

    The girl’s young yet cold voice somehow surprised the listeners as they hesitantly opened the door.

    It was a group of three men who harbored a strange expression as they entered the room.

    Two of the men was giving a very rough feeling due to their strong build, something that was pretty common within the slums where everyone’s mentality and bodies were forged through fights for self-preservation.

    The last man was rather skinny, but his eyes glittered with a malicious and scheming light as he cautiously watched over the room. He tried not to leave anything as he completely scanned the room with his eyes within an instant.

    One of the built men grinned as he looked at the lone little girl lazily walking toward the window and leaned against it. Eniel didn’t even give them a glance as she once again gazed at the sky whose beauty had been impacted by this disturbing visitors who didn’t seem to carry any good intents.

    “What are you here for?”

    The skinny man smiled amicably as he took a few steps toward Eniel, his smile exposed three golden teeth which gave him a vile and untrusty look.

    “Zizizi—, first I would like to welcome you to this-”

    Hearing the man’s strange and disturbing fake laugh made Eniel’s cold face slightly distort as she frowned and replied with a cold voice where lied a tint of anger. Taking a silver coin from her pocket, she threw it at the man who caught it with a startled grimace.

    “I am sure there are more than a thousand women out there ready to listen to your bullshit all night. So why don't you pay them a visit and get the fuck out.”

    The old skinny man smirked as he showed the silver coin to the two other men. He had heard rumors about a brat carrying a bag full of money living inside alone, but he hadn’t expected one of those rubbish rumors to actually be true. The bag lying just below the girl was actually revealing gold and silver coins, enough to easily live a few years without having to do any crappy job.

    “Zizi—, little miss have a harsh tongue but it can’t be helped… Anyone living here can’t help but develop such habits, I wonder how such a young girl like you managed to survive until now.”

    Eniel snorted as their intentions were just as clear as this moon, despite how eloquent the man tried to be or faked trying; his eyes just like the eyes of the other men… were fixed on the bag like predators eying their prey. Eniel didn’t appear in their sight, she was at most a small branch which could be cut in two with but a small effort.

    “This old man is actually owning an orphanage within the main street. My heart aches, seeing all these poor children living outside and forced to steal and commit crimes to survive.”

    The skinny man’s story made Eniel feel even more annoyed as she had already heard this kind of stories a few hundreds if not thousands time in the past. From being a kidnapped and abandoned daughter to a long lost sister or uncle… Every ways are good to take advantage of an innocent child.

    Eniel rolled her eyes as she waited for the man to be finished with his heart-touching story filled with hypocrisy and idealism. The light coming from the window slowly diminished as a large cloud started to cover the moon.

    “If you come with me, you’ll be able to eat your fill and you’ll be provided with three meals a day. Clothes and a warm bed to sleep in, if you are lucky we might even find you a new family!”

    ‘Family’ This word made Eniel’s ears twitch, an old memory resurfaced within her mind; a woman who told her to wait for her within an isolated alley of the slums. She didn’t even know if it was her real mother or not, but the only things she could remember about her was this hypocrite smile she wore when she said she would be back soon.

    This same hypocrite smile she harbored when she met her once again from afar talking with a man, this betrayed feeling she felt when that woman said she didn’t have any child.

    But what she remembered the most clearly was her begging expression when she recognized Eniel while carrying a gigantic debt left by that same man when he vanished from her life. She watched her being carried away by two men across the street, everyone knew what happened to women who owned a large debt but couldn’t pay it back.

    Eniel probably had a few siblings within the city, or maybe not if the woman was already dead…

    “If you are worried about your money, you can be at ease! It will be stored and kept in a secured place until you become an adult, I can assure you that no one will ever touch it.”

    After noticing Eniel nod a few times, the old man shamelessly smiled as he thought she only was a dumb little brat.

    “What do you say? Do you want to come live with us?

    Taking on a bored expression, Eniel stretched as her limbs turned sore.

    “You’re finally done? As expected this was an absolute mix of bullshit and crap.”

    The smile on the man’s face vanished as he looked at her darkly.

    “Zizizi— I truly dislike using such forceful methods, but since you refuse the easy way.”

    The two bulky men took the lead as they walked toward Eniel with a large smirk. Despite the threat they represented, the small figure leaning against the window didn’t look seems worried at all. She overlooked them like she was watching a group of trash on the verge of being thrown into a trash bin.

    “I don’t like that brat’s eyes, maybe I should tear them off.”

    Hearing the man’s rough words, the old man rebuked him with an upset expression, making the rough man slightly embarrassed.

    “Not again, we already lost a lot of money on the last two children because of your habits!”

    “Huhuhu~”

    Eniel’s cold laugh surprised the men, she wasn’t worried. She simply stared at them, waiting for them to take actions.

    “You dumb brat, why are you laughing?”

    “I am simply laughing at your stupidity.”

    Raising his hands, the man looked very threatening as a few blood veins formed on his head. They seemed to be on the verge of exploding as his face turned reddish.

    “Do you even realize what situation you’re in?”

    Eniel snorted with a sarcastic grin.

    “I do… And you?”

    The man rose his arm and threw a punch at the small girl, but strangely the girl wasn’t even hit even though she hadn’t made any movement. Because… his arm was gone.

    The arm dropped on the ground as his blood spilled down and stained the floor. A dagger revealed itself beside the girl, she wasn’t the one holding it, but a man whom presence they hadn’t even detected was.

    As the second man was going to raise his voice, a second dagger directly appeared from behind him; directly piercing through his back as he fell down on the ground and slowly poured out this crimson liquid.

    Before even knowing what was going on, the skinny old man ran away toward the wooden door. But before he even managed to cross it, another dagger had cut through his ankles before simply cutting his throat. As he died, his vile visage had now turned into an idiotic one as he died without even knowing why.

    “W-Who are you all?!”

    The bulky man who was missing an arm screamed with all his lung as he couldn’t understand the situation he was actually in. Eniel’s words actually represented the real situation. None of them had actually realized that they were walking on Hell’s path.

    As the man beside Eniel was going to finish him, she stopped him with a sign of her hand and glared at him.

    “Don’t kill him… Just gouge out his eyes and throw him away.”

    “N-No… Please!”

    The arm twitched for a moment in hesitation, it wasn’t because the man didn’t have the courage but because he didn’t know whether or not he should obey. His eyes landed toward the third man standing beside the door as if waiting for an answer.

    “Who care... Just do it but outside.”

    Nodding, the man dragged the rough thug outside despite his screams and begging.

    Walking to Eniel, the cloud finally finished covering the moon as the room brightened up, revealing the man’s identity.

    “I hope you’ll remember that we’re simply here to protect you and not to obey your commands.”

    Eniel snorted at the man and wasn’t concerned at all by his words.

    The man sent to protect her was Rilesta’s second… Reil.

    They had seen the monster standing beside her friend and were afraid of what would happen should Eniel be injured or died. Should they be the ones carrying its anger, even running hundreds of miles away from the city wouldn’t save them. Mystel had already shown that she could effortlessly kill any of them swiftly and discreetly without even revealing herself

    Remembering the scene of the black mist taking the form of a bewitching woman with bloody red eyes still made him shiver even though he wasn’t afraid of dying.

    While Eniel didn’t know at all why they were protecting her, she had the impression that Shina might be linked to it. Whether it was true or not, she had learned to take advantage of what she could and so wouldn’t hesitate at all to use any of these ‘bodyguards’.

    Noticing a wet feeling on her cheek, Eniel brushed it with her hand and wiped it a few times after noticing it was the blood probably belonging to the man’s whose arm still remained on the ground.

    “How many has it been?... Isn’t it already the third group tonight?”

    “It’s the fourth…”

    “Tch, this room is starting to stink of blood…”

    Wondering whether she should let the window open to freshen up the room while she goes to sleep with her hand on her dagger. Tomorrow the room will probably have been cleaned of any trace of blood like nothing had happened…

    As for the three men, two of them would have to give a visit to the Oni for a long time while the third one wouldn’t have to wait long in his current state before joining them.

    Eniel had, of course, no idea of this, nor did she even care...

    * * * * *

    I want to beat them up, but how am I supposed to find where they are?

    “Say Kanabo, what does the persons who kidnapped you looks like?”

    Kanabo glanced strangely at Shina for a moment.

    “Umumu~ How should I describe them to you…? Why do you want to know?”

    Harboring a nasty smile, Shina giggled while staring at her eyes.

    “I am just wondering what kind of people they are, from how you described how they tried to capture you within the city while ignoring every rule, they must hold a certain amount of power.”

    “Well, that pretty much the case… Let’s see, if I had to use a word to describe them it would be… a frog?”

    Hearing the kidnappers were frogs, Shina’s eyes widened as countless thoughts harassed her mind.

    “F-Frog?...” Shina grumbled with slightly reddened eyes.

    “Umu~ Or perhaps they were actually closer to toad than frogs?”

    Rubbing her teary eyes, Shina looked at Kanabo with pity and sympathy.

    Maybe I shouldn’t have asked? A lone girl being captured by a group of toad and sequestered in a dark prison at their mercy… I shouldn’t have asked at all!

    “Why are you looking at me like that? Hic~ You’re definitely misunderstanding something…”

    Shina patted at shoulder a few times before hugging Kanabo wriggling body.

    “You don’t have to make yourself look strong, you can cry a bit if you want. I’ll lend you my shoulder as much as you want.

    Seeing Shina completely ignore her actions, Kanabo finally gave up and took a mouthful of her gourd as she sighed.

    “You’re DEFINITELY misunderstanding something… Hic~ Well, I don’t care that much anyway.”

    “It’s fine… Everything is fine, even if your body is dirtied… You’re still pure.”

    “Jokes aside, don’t try to confront them. Okay?”

    Shina chuckled, releasing Kanabo from her embrace with a teasing smile.

    “You realized it already? Not funny…”

    “How do you expect me not to realize anything after overreacting like that?”

    Clicking her tongue, Shina’s expression turned a little more serious.

    “You still didn’t really go into the details, even if you say that they look likes toads, I’ve seen at least thirty differents types of toad ever since I came here.”

    “I really wonder why you’re that curious about them…”

    “To be on guard if they approach me!”

    To be ready to be them up if I find them!

    *Stare* “Jiii~ Something tells me that you’re mouth is speaking the complete opposite of what you’re thinking.”

    Shina’s eyes wandered here and there for an instant, trying to avoid Kanabo’s stare. Holding her reddened face with both her hands as if trying to escape Kanabo, Shina’s tone became shaky.

    “P-Please stop staring at me like that~ It’s embarrassing~”

    “Jiiiiii~ Is that so?...”

    “A-Anyway, I am asking just in case I come across them.”

    Pretty much embarrassed from Kanabo’s serious-like face as she stared at her, Shina tried to escape by changing the subject.

    “There’s not that much to say, they look like humanoïd toads with clothes covered in mucus. They are the type who never bathes to avoid losing their poisons so you can definitely feel them coming miles away just based on their odors.”

    Shina made a shocked expression as she once again looked at Kanabo with sympathy, but her gaze was much more earnest which made Kanabo feel slightly uncomfortable.

    “It must have been hard… Staying in a place where people never bathes, good job enduring it.”

    Completely ignoring Shina’s comment, Kanabo pursued without a care.

    “Their leader is the despicable type who like to use numbers to make up his weakness, moreover it seems that they have a strong backer so most people just turn a blind eye to their actions.”

    “I see… by the way, your hiccup disappeared.”

    “Umu~ Oni digests alcohol pretty quickly after all.”

    Taking a few mouthful of alcohol, Kanabo breathed out relievedly.

    “Kuuu~ There’s nothing better than drinking after all!~ Hic~”

    “I guess Oni truly loves drinking.”

    “Of course, we mainly live for that! Hic~ Come on, drink some too!”

    “No thanks, I told you that I don’t want my mother to find me completely drunk.”

    “Don’t be so shy~ If you don’t enjoy yourself when you are young, you’ll regret it after growing older! Listen to this senior’s of yours advise and drink! Hic~”

    Kanabo’s nasty grin and scheming eyes scared Shina as she took a few steps back, trying to run away. But before she even managed to start running, Kanabo held her arm, preventing her from running away by using sheer strength.

    “Y-You, what do you mean by senior? You’re still a child you drunken old man!”

    Struggling to escape, Shina realized that even by using all of her strength she couldn’t make Kanabo budge.

    “Fuhaha~ Trying to compete with an Oni using strength? Just give up and drink with me!”

    While struggling, Shina noticed something strange in the sky, a gray light in the form of a ball gradually became larger and large…

    Is that a star?... No why does it feel like it’s becoming bigger and bigger? Wait doesn’t it looks like it’s falling toward us?

    The gray ball became quicker and quicker like a meteor entering the atmosphere, falling in the girls' directions.

    “Wait wait wait! Kanabo, look at the sky, something is coming toward us!”

    Kanabo merely grinned as she tried to force the struggling Shina’s mouth open.

    “Hic~ Even drunk, you won’t deceive me that easily!”

    “Cwhait, flooks behaind yoiu!” (Wait, looks behind you!)

    Having no ways to escape, Shina had no other choice but continue struggling as the ball became closer and closer.

    “Now now~ Here, drink with-”

    Unable to finish her words the small gray ball landed exactly on Shina’s face, making Shina fall to the ground as Kanabo instinctively released her too lately.

    “So it was true… Hic~”

    Thanks to the gray ball losing most of its strength during the fall and it’s mostly unphysical form, the collision didn’t hurt Shina that badly as she rose to her knees with tears in her eyes and stared at Kanabo.

    It was the stare of a young girl being hit in the face by a boy in a dodgeball match, she glared at Kanabo with a wronged expression.

    “Uhhhhh~”

    “I am sorry…”

    “I told you to let me go…”

    “Sorry…”

    “You meanie-”

    “Sorry…”

    Washing her forming tears away, Shina stared down at the small gray ball at her feets with a mix of curiosity and anger.

    Instead of calling it a ball, it was far more similar to a will o’wisp. Slightly floating above the ground, the little flame floated in her hands, giving to Shina the impression that it was staring at her just like she was staring at it.

    Tilting her head, Shina looked at Kanabo with curiosity.

    “Do you know what this is?”

    Kanabo felt perplexed, she felt a certain familiarity with this thing.

    “It looks strangely similar to that… Is that perhaps a soul?”

    The will o’wisp shook at the word soul, maybe aware of their conversation it was trying to agree with her words… or perhaps deny them.

    “A soul? But why did it fall from the sky? I’ve heard people talking about babies coming from cabbage, but I’ve never expected souls to simply fall from the sky.”

    “You’re definitely wrong but I won’t bother explaining, that’s probably just a lost soul or something like that.”

    “A lost soul?... Hey, are you a lost soul?”

    The soul lit up as if trying to answer her question. Kanabo on the other hand just glanced strangely at the will o’wisp.

    “But it’s still pretty strange, generally souls aren’t gray…”

    “Then you mean that it’s not a lost soul?”

    The soul once again lit up, making Shina sigh.

    “Are you or are you not one? If even you are unsure then how am I supposed to know?”

    And the soul once again lit up…

    * * * * *

    Holding her head with her hands, Shina sighed while looking at the will o’wisp.

    “We didn’t learn anything in the end, just what is that thing in the end?”

    No matter how much they had tried to question the soul, or perhaps creature; it would only lit up, bringing Shina a headache as Kanabo enjoyed drinking while amusedly watching Shina waste her brain power.

    “I told you, that’s a soul.”

    “How can you be so sure?”

    Kanabo didn’t answer but simply pointed at her horns.

    “Right, you’re an Oni.”

    “Hic~ If there is something we, Oni can boast about, it’s our knowledge about souls. This thing is definitely a soul, it can’t be a mistake- Hey, what with your nose?”

    Making a clueless expression, Shina touched her nose and noticed a wet feeling and the scent of iron filled her nostrils. Blood was dripping from her nose, while not being a very serious thing, she felt a strange feeling thinking that it was the very first time she ever injured herself since her rebirth.

    With the protection of her parents and her resistant body, she had never truly been in danger, except for when she visited the human's city.

    “It was probably from the impact earlier, it’ll probably stop soon.”

    “Sorry…”

    “You can stop apologizing already, though I was lucky that the soul is very soft and squishy. If it was a rock…”

    “Well, you’re right there’s no use reminiscing the past. Let’s just drink and forget everything! Hic~”

    “Don’t even try to manipulate me into drinking more!”

    Clicking her tongue, as Kanabo was about to drink from her gourd, a large and cold pressure appeared around the girls. Her eyes narrowed and Kanabo dashed toward Shina, grabbing and wrist and tried to run toward a more densely frequented place.

    But before she could even run ten meters, a strange figure held both Kanabo’s and Shina’s shoulder, preventing them from running. Her hands were firm yet gentle enough not to hurt the girls.

    “Redia...Prana?”

    Seeing Shina’s and Kanabo’s expression as they turned around, the figure released them while letting out a very depressed sigh.

    The figure belonged to a very beautiful woman, making Kanabo relaxed as with this appearance she definitely wasn’t related to the toads who were chasing after her. While unable to drop her guards, she still felt a hint of relieve.

    “An Oni… Oni King? That’s pretty rare, it’s been a long time since one was born. But I don’t remember there being any new worlds being born lately?”

    Despite having hidden her gourds before trying to run, the woman was able to completely see through Kanabo’s identity which made her heart beat faster and faster, not knowing if she was in danger or not.

    Only Shina remained calm and unafraid, whether it was recklessness or an absolute confidence in her mother's words. She didn’t show the slightest fear and looked at the woman confidently in the eyes.

    If it was in other circumstances, she might feel endangered… But in this place where her mother had herself assured her safety, Shina completely believed her words.

    If Mystel says she is safe here, then she is.

    The woman, on the other hand, looked quite surprised that Shina glared at her unpressured, her long silverish danced with the wind as her pale face gently formed an apologetic smiled

    “I am sorry for startling you like this, it’s no wonder you feel a certain amount of animosity toward me.”

    Opening her hand, an umbrella suddenly materialized as she covered herself. The blue umbrella completely matched her western-style blue dress which allows her to give out nobility-like feeling. Her red eyes, brighter than Mystel’s were extremely alluring and gave the impression that they could steal people's souls.

    “When I heard about two newcomers being girls and roaming this space as if afraid to be discovered… I thought these two girls were back…”

    Harboring a depressed expression, the woman glanced at her darkened hand holding her umbrella in reminiscence, remembering past precious moments.

    “Are you two newcomers in the city? It’s strange, I haven’t heard of anything…”

    Turning her eyes to Kanabo as if asking her to introduce herself. Kanabo still remained on guard, knowing that some people didn’t care about this place rules at all, she had already experienced before.

    “You pretty much said it, I am Kanabo an exiled Oni King who doesn’t have a world.”

    “As I thought, this has happened a few times before so don’t worry too much. Most of the time it means that a world is being conceived but was delayed.”

    Her words left Kanabo who had for years thought that her birth was a mistake speechless.

    “But… These wounds… They still reek of blood, they are recent aren’t they?”

    Instinctively nodding, Kanabo noticed the woman’s two thin yet long teeth when she smiled or talked… Vampires teeth.

    Moreover, only very high-class vampires had silver hairs. While being in the same class as an Oni King, Kanabo remembered the identity of a certain person within this small city. The amount of true vampire was really low and high-class vampires are even more scarce.

    “You, you are…”

    “If you need help, don’t hesitate to come to me. Especially when a few people don’t follow the rules imposed by that dangerous woman.”

    “Jiiii~”

    The woman merely smiled and turned toward the glaring Shina.

    “And you are?...”

    Not having spent that much time analyzing the girls before, looking at Kanabo she could easily find out her race. But when she looked at Shina she couldn’t see anything at all.

    She couldn’t find her race, but her visage reminded her of a certain person. But the moment that thought crossed her head, she dismissed it as quickly as it appeared.

    Definitely impossible…

    “Could you please tell me your name?”

    The woman’s tone was very gentle, despite not being able to figure out Shina’s identity, she still didn’t worry but simply curiosity toward the girl in front of her.

    “Jiiiii~”

    Making a wry smile, the silver-haired woman turned toward Kanabo with a helpless expression.

    “Does she dislike me?”

    “Hic~ I don’t know, but thats maybe her way of saying ‘Introduce yourself first’”

    “Oh my~, is that so? My apologies, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Listae Bran, please call me Listae”

    Shina suddenly stopped glaring and her expression relaxed as if to say ‘it’s common sense to introduce oneself first’. Smiling at Listae, she bowed her head while raising slightly raising her purple dress, imitating the noble women from the middle age.

    “My name is Shinael, please call me Shina.”

    Seeing Shina politely introduce herself, Kanabo made a wronged expression as she sneakily drank from her gourd behind Listae’s back.

    “Um~ You weren’t that polite when you introduce yourself to me…”

    Completely ignoring Kanabo’s comment, Shina suddenly realized that the gray will o’wisp had hidden behind Shina as if afraid of being discovered.

    Noticing Shina’s reaction, Listae finally noticed the last party with a very shocked expression.

    “Is that an Ancient soul? What is it doing here?”

    Kanabo’s eyes also widened as she finally realized why this lost soul was unfamiliar.

    “This is, in fact, an unborn ancient soul. That’s probably how it managed to survive to the catastrophe.”

    The soul unborn soul of an ancient race and the first one to have ever existed, a pure soul not even born yet who has to shoulder the mistakes of its race.

    The undying roaming soul whose conscious hasn’t even developed and merely act based on its instinct.

    The one and only remaining soul of a lost era unknown to most, condemned to harbor this world without any chance for rebirth, carrying the sins of its predecessors.

    “What kind of catastrophe did they meet?”

    Listae looked at the ancient soul with sympathy, a child who can’t become a living being.

    “A self-brought apocalypse, foolish men gathered and in their ignorance tried to usurp that person’s throne. Triggering that person’s anger who brought down her judgment upon their whole race… A catastrophe named Mystel…”

    Mom… You again?

    * * * * *

    “Your daughters ran away?”

    Filled with melancholy, Listae made a saddened nod while recalling her two daughters that she hasn't seen for dozens of years. For immortal monster such as vampires, those years doesn’t amount to much. In her eyes, these daughter of hers were still children.

    “Why did it happen?”

    Making a wry smile, Listae looked at her black right hand with a gentle yet complex expression.

    “Just a mere argument turning into a fight, they probably ran away in fear of being punished after injuring me.”

    Making a shocked expression, Kanabo slightly trembled as she was fully aware of Listae identity both within the city and as a high-class vampire. She was powerful to the point that even a hundred of Kanabo wouldn’t leave a scratch on her.

    Shina, on the other hand, wasn’t much concerned about this issue but felt more curious about the reason behind this fight as well as how Listae was feeling about them.

    “Do you resent them?”

    Resent, it wouldn’t be that strange if Listae harbored some. She was injured by her own daughters and they ran away to another place, some parents would call their children unfaithful or irresponsible and deny their very existence.

    But from Listae’s expression, as she spoke of her daughters, it was definitely not the case. It was a face filled with worry, sadness, and remorse.

    “Even if I tried to, I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to. The whole situation was my fault, I can only carry this sin as a mother and continue to look for them.”

    “Your fault?”

    In her eyes, Listae seemed to be a good mother, or at least that was the impression she felt when she looked at her.

    “This is a situation you often see in the human's civilization. When the eldest one Prana was born, the situation within the city was very stable and I could manage to spend some time with her. But troubles arose and I became very busy.”

    “In other words, this is a case of neglecting your children…”

    Shina didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It didn’t matter if whether it was humans, monster or even gods, most children needed parents by their sides.

    “Having to raise her youngest sibling on her own, Prana quickly matured and took this harsh task upon her despite being so young. At that time, I didn’t realize anything at all... I didn’t notice their call for help... their loneliness.”

    “Redia’s personality soon became worse and worse, and one day, the situation exploded. She confronted me and it was only once everything was over that I realized their problems.”

    “And that’s why you’ve let them go? Hic~”

    Listae’s shoulder shook for an instant, Kanabo’s words were most likely true as she turned silent for a few moments.

    “It might sound irresponsible from me, but I fully trust Prana’s capability as an older sister. She is very mature for a child and will definitely take care of her sister. If by escaping from me they can start a better life... then as a mother, I’ll support their decision.”

    “But you’re still searching for them, hoping for them to come back to your side.”

    “I am still their mother after all, I can’t stop worrying about them.”

    “That’s right, don’t give up that easily.”

    Remembering her previous life where her mother died and left her alone, she understood that children needed a family.

    Listae felt a complex feeling after realizing that she had just spit out all of her worries toward two children. Under the momentarily lightened hope she felt after hearing about two newcomers being girls in the same range of age as her daughters entering, Listae felt very sentimental and didn’t hold back at all.

    Whether talking about it with children was stupid or not, she still felt strangely relieved.

    But her relief was only momentarily. Suddenly making a surprised expression, Listae folded her umbrella and it vanished, returning to nothingness. She mumbled something as she hurriedly prepared to leave.

    “It’s bad… ‘That person’ is back.”

    “‘That person?’”

    Presuming Listae was most likely talking about Mystel, Shina chuckled while imagining the reaction she would show when they would meet later on.

    Before leaving, Listae waved her hand at Kanabo with a gentle smile.

    “Once I am done, I’ll come to pick you up.”

    “Pick me up?”

    “You don’t want me to?”

    Quickly realizing what she was talking about, Kanabo simply nodded after realizing she was talking about taking her into her protection.

    “I am grateful.”

    Replying with a smile, Listae disappeared like a mirage, her body melting within the darkness of her shadow and divided into many ink colored shadow which slowly vanished in the ground.

    Releasing a sigh out of relief, Kanabo appeared relaxed as she realized that she wouldn’t have to hide away anymore and could enjoy drinking in peace. Patting her shoulder, Shina congratulated her.

    “Congrats, now you’re pretty much free.”

    “Umu~ Let’s celebrate it with a drink.”

    “Jiiii~”

    Kanabo raised her gourd, but after meeting Shina’s glare, she lowered her hand with an embarrassed face.

    “Ha… Haha… I didn’t plan on forcing you anyway…”

    “Liar…”

    Picking up the soul hiding behind her back, Shina hugged it like a pillow. Despite giving the impression of being made of fire, she had noticed after being hit that the soul wasn’t releasing any heat. In her arms, the soul was soft and squishy and would make the perfect sleeping pillow.

    She looked exactly like a child holding her teddy bear. Adding to it her pouting expression as she glared at Kanabo, it was hard for Kanabo to describe the feeling she experiencing as she rushes to embrace her in her arms while rubbing her cheek against Shina.

    “Hic~ I apologized already, please forgive me~”

    Shina tried to struggle while holding her pinching her nose, but under Kanabo’s herculean strength she was incapable of moving.

    “Uhhh~ Let me go, you drunkard!”

    Instead of letting her go, Kanabo rubbed her cheek even harder while emitting some strange sounds like ‘Kyu~’ or ‘Cuuutee’, completely destroying Shina’s first mature expression of the girl.

    “I forgive you already so let me go!”

    Kanabo released her pretty quickly with a satisfied face, making Shina realize she was tricked.

    “Good… You said it yourself~”

    Despite her word, Kanabo felt somewhat unsatisfied and wished she could have continued a little longer.

    “Despicable… Uh?”

    As she was going to complain about Kanabo’s actions, Shina noticed an abnormality with the soul she was holding.

    “It became… red?”

    The ancient soul hadn’t really become red, but it kept changing colors, alternating between gray and red. This occurrence somewhat made Shina felt worried, thinking she was maybe holding it too strongly, she tried to release it but it didn’t change anything.

    Red and gray, gray and red… Gradually the interval at which the soul changed colors became lower and lower.

    “What is happening?”

    Kanabo didn’t say anything but stared at the soul. Despite innately holding a certain amount of knowledge about souls as an Oni King, she didn’t know what was going on, making her quite worried.

    Thinking this was maybe due to Ancient Souls being different from normal ones, Kanabo hesitated for a moment before forcefully taking the soul from Shina’s arm and throwing it a few meters away.

    For an instant, Shina felt a hint of shock and anger which was quickly subdued after seeing Kanabo’s serious expression. The power of souls wasn’t something to be underestimated, even Shina who didn’t have much knowledge on this topic knew about it and understood she was doing this to protect her against an eventual danger.

    The soul soon turned red, it had lost its grayish color which was exchanged for a crimson color.

    All of its movements momentarily froze, any undulations emanating from the soul were frozen like time had stopped. After emitting a bright and powerful red light, the soul once again started acting as if nothing happened.

    Like a spoiled child rushing back to its mother, the soul fled toward Shina with an incredible speed and kept rubbing itself her. Not knowing how to react, Shina and Kanabo kept staring at the soul with perplex eyes under its strange actions.

    When Kanabo tried to touch the soul, it quickly flew in circles and hid behind Shina while occasionally poking her head as if trying to determine how it should act with Kanabo.

    “Did it perhaps become a sentient being?”

    Shina looked at the small red soul behind her with shock.

    “Sentient being?... You mean that it gained a conscience?”

    Slowly extending her hand toward the soul, seeing its reaction as it simply hid away when she made any kind of movement, she was pretty sure she was right.

    “Pretty much but not exactly… How should I say, it probably didn’t form a conscience yet, but it has started to develop instincts.”

    Neither of the girls understood what was actually happening. If it was a normal soul it might only seem strange… But this wasn’t a normal one, it was an ancient soul which existed for many eras. It existed for countless years but for some reasons only became a sentient being today.

    While Shina’s reasoning didn’t go as far as this, Kanabo who has much more experience than her definitely felt shocked. Moreover, the soul was especially attached to her like a chick following its mother.

    Shina was at lost, she didn’t know how to react and while she was hesitating, she felt a certain something moving around her neck. She was wearing a small string as a necklace which was linked to a beautiful marble.

    For some reasons, the marble which was resting against her chest started struggling and freed itself. Shining and sparkling brightly as if angered by something, the marble flew in the airs and charged at the small red soul.

    Despite being at least five times bigger than the marble, it completely overpowered it and sent it flying three meters away.

    “What is that?” Kanabo exclaimed in shock.

    “Kiel? Why did it suddenly wake up?”

    The soul vibrated for a few moments as if it was crying before shining in a color even darker than before and rushing back as if it was full of anger and hatred.

    It was the first time Shina saw Kiel act so strangely, it looked extremely angry for some reasons and once again charged against the soul.

    The two balls charging at each other, after a violent collision, Kiel easily overpowered the reddish soul and sent it flying. Not willing to give up, the red soul tried a few more times to fight back but was powerless against the overwhelming Kiel.

    Instinctively realizing it had no chance of winning, the red ball flew toward Shina and once again hid behind her. But once it realized that Kiel was chasing after it, it started flying around Shina in circles while being chased around.

    In the girls’ eyes, it looked like the two shining sphere were playing a strange game of tag where the mouse was chasing the cat. Shina quickly realized Kiel’s actions was similars to a child bullying another because he felt threatened or jealous like a child getting less attention after getting a smaller sibling.

    This picture made her giggle as the more she thought about it, the clearer it became in her eyes. The red soul kept around her while emitting red flash as if asking for help while Kiel was determined on giving the red ball a lesson.

    Extending her arms, Shina easily caught both the soul and Kiel, while the soul was extremely docile, Kiel, on the other hand, didn’t want to give up and kept struggling.

    “Calm down Kiel!”

    Hearing Shina yells at him, Kiel’s color dimmed as if it was feeling wronged while the red soul shone a few times as to provocate it.

    Shina truly felt like a mother having to watch over two mischievous children and made her laugh under Kanabo’s dumbfound expression.

    “You don’t have to feel jealous, I won’t abandon you…”

    Kiel somewhat calmed down, while it was not completely relieved it still completely believed Shina’s words.

    While Shina was busy mediating between the two ‘childs’, Kanabo’s eyes were fixated on Kiel. She felt a strange and powerful power hidden within the marble, something neither she nor Listae felt before it awoke, but she decided not to ask any question.

    The idea of keeping the soul and name it crossed Shina’s mind, but thinking about how she already had Kiel by her side most importantly, the danger the soul might potentially be in if it remained by her side.

    From Listae’s story, the soul’s race was destroyed by Mystel in a surge of anger after a revolution. While she didn’t know whether her mother was still angry at them or if she had already forgotten about this, Shina didn’t know how she would react if she found out that one had escaped her punishment.

    I can’t bring it home…

    A great idea suddenly crossed her mind, with an uprising smile, Shina extended the red soul toward Kanabo.

    “How is it, it’s cute right?”

    The red soul felt somewhat afraid of Kanabo, but under Shina’s care it slowly calmed down and allowed Kanabo to pick it up.

    Within Kanabo’s hand, the strange smooth and squishy feeling felt really satisfying. From starting by poking it with her fingers, she soon started grabbing it played with it. The sensation was as smooth as a baby’s cheek and very elastic like a chew-gum.

    As long as she didn’t use too much strength, the soul remained unperturbed and allowed her to do as she pleased.

    “It’s pretty funny~”

    Kanabo’s amused expression made Shina smile as she retracted her hand.

    “You don’t mind keeping it?”

    From the beginning, Kanabo wasn’t really against the idea so Shina’s small act wasn’t necessary. While she initially felt dubious about the reddish little soul, it wasn’t like it had any bad intent so she didn’t have any real reasons to deal with it.

    Moreover, knowing that Shina would probably have to leave soon, this little soul might keep her company and become one more reason for her new friend to visit her. And who know, there were a few souls in the underworld that sometimes accompanies the Oni in their banquets… She might as well use it as a drinking bud until she successfully teaches Shina the joy of drinking!

    While Kanabo how she could enjoy the soul’s company, a rough voice echoed in the area.

    “*Kroak* We’ve kround her!”

    Kanabo’s body jolted after hearing this familiar and disturbing voice. Noticing her reaction, an unnoticeable smile formed on Shina’s face. One that she had never shown before, just glancing at it would send chills down one’s back. Her eyes turned momentarily cold and contained numerous type of emotions.

    The source of the voices finally showed up, it was a group of humanoid creatures covered with scales and fully equipped with spears and revealings armors that simply protected the articulations and other parts not protected by their scales.

    The one leading them was a toad-like humanoid creature dressed in a simple long green robe. The toad’s mouth kept making a disturbing noise with his mouth as if he was chewing something and every time he opened his mouth, he exposed his long tongue while his saliva dripped on the ground.

    Shina couldn’t help but pinch her nose at the odor, moreover, the humanoid toad was covered with a thick mucus which made his robe stick to his skin. Whether it was his appearance, the noise he produced or his odor, everything about it was disturbing.

    “*Kroak* We’ve kronally found her, krome with us back home!”

    (We’ve finally found her, come with us back home!)

    As she heard his disturbing, Kanabo’s body trembled as she took a few steps back. Memories kept flowing in her mind as she looked at the frog’s angry expression, she wanted to run away but as she was about to move, Shina’s voice stopped her.

    “Do you intend to run?”

    She looked completely different from the girl she met before to an extent that shocked Kanabo. When Shina’s eyes laid on her she trembled, despite lacking any kind of ill intent, she felt something strange and terrifying hidden deep inside them. It was something that was even scarier than the toad’s arrival.

    “Kroanabo, give us the krourd or…”

    (Kanabo, give us the gourd or…)

    A cold breeze crossed through the scene, making Shina’s hairs flow with the wind while her eyes remained fixated on Kanabo.

    “Are you going to run away?”

    Run, of course, I need to run… If I don’t run they will catch me again, and they will take it away...

    Her hands on the gourd, Kanabo gripped it very hard, giving the impression that it was going to be crushed. It was something she had gotten ever since she was born, the sole memento from her mother who helped her escaping death by sacrificing herself to force her father not to execute but exile her.

    But even if I run now… In the end, they’ll probably catch me, it’s only a matter of time.

    She wasn’t willing to hand it over, she wasn’t going to hand it over… She would rather die than handing it.

    I don’t want it… Why do I have to keep running away from them? They are weaker than me yet I have to flee!

    Her teeth were grinding so hard that she felt that they were going to shatter. Threads of blood were flowing from her lips. She was scared but also angry at herself for not being able to even defend herself. The hand holding the gourd slowly relaxed.

    Wait… Why should I run?

    “I understand now… I really am stupid.”

    A dubious expression arose on the toad’s face which then turned into anger as he spits out on the ground while his small tail kept making circles.

    “Krohat are you smiling kror?!”

    (What are you smiling for?!)

    “Huhuhu~…”

    She was smiling… No, Kanabo was heartily laughing out to her heart's content.

    “Huhuhu~ Huahaha~”

    It was a loud laugher containing countless emotions, anger, pain, sadness, every kind of feeling as well as resolution and strength. A single tear fell down from her eyes as she drank a sip out of her gourd.

    Run away? Why should she run away? Once she realized the meaning behind Shina’s words, she realized that by running away she was going to turn into a coward who would hide from every kind of dangers. If she was in a crisis and left in a situation where running was her only option then it would be acceptable, retreating in front of an insurmountable situation was normal.

    But the people in front of her were all weaker than her, even Shina could feel it. The group of soldiers behind the toad-like man were only slightly stronger than regular humans, they weren’t much of a threat to her.

    Even if they brought stronger people, they could now depend on Listae. Running away in front of creatures far weaker than herself, she would indeed be nothing more than a coward if she did.

    Shina nodded, she found Kanabo’s laugher pleasing to the ears. Her finger fell on Kiel which she gently caressed.

    “Kröte, I suggest that you turn back. You alone can’t capture me.”

    The humanoid toad, Kröte looked at Kanabo strangely. Just a moment ago she was shaking in fear and after just a few words of the girl at her side she gained confidence and now was glaring at him.

    Feeling humiliated and having his prisoner challenging him angered him so much that his tail repetitively hit the ground. He didn’t care about who Shina was and didn’t even bother glancing at her as he extended his hand toward the girls.

    “Charge and kroapture them!”

    (Charge and capture them!)

    At his words, the scaled soldiers charged out with spears made of a coral-like material. Their two meters tall body made it looks like they were overwhelming with strength, compared to the girls small figure, it seemed that it was going to be a one-sided battle.

    Throwing her head backward while laughing, Kanabo charged at one of them and grabbed his spear. In her hand, the spear refused to budge which made the soldier’s eyes open widely as veins were appearing on his bulky arms.

    “Hufufu~”

    As she laughed, Kanabo slowly raised the spear in the hairs and with a powerful impulsion of her arm, sent the soldier flying in the sky.

    “Oh? You forgot something…”

    Seeing the spear still in her hand, she smiled and threw it back at him. With the strength of an Oni King even if she was still a child, the spear completely piercing through his scales like they were made of butter and impaled him on a nearby tree.

    No matter how courageous the soldiers were, this display of strength still froze their back as they momentarily hesitated. Kanabo’s wide smile as she slowly walked toward them scared them and their hands were shaking.

    It didn’t matter if she was a child, it didn’t matter if she was a woman… The one standing in front of them is an Oni King, a terrifying demon that rules over the underworld through strength and blood.

    “What are you all doing? *Hic*”

    Taking a sip out of her gourd, Kanabo coldly smiled while cracking her knuckles.

    Kröte never expected that the girl he could torment so easily whenever he wanted, that appeared so weak when she was enchained and whose worth was next to none was actually a monster that could crush any of his men with her bare hands. The mere idea of how he would have ended should she had freed herself during her torture with him scared him so much that his legs were trembling.

    A memory surfaced in Kröte’s head, a warning from his father when he brought Kanabo for the first time. He warned him to never fight her head on, the power of an Oni King even young isn’t something even his father would dare to take on.

    Kröte whispered to a soldier close to him and had him leave discreetly.

    “You, kro back and krall father!”

    (You, go back and call father!)

    Shina noticed the soldier leave and Kröte giving him instructions, but even though she realized what was going on she didn’t do anything to stop them.

    None of the soldiers actually went after Shina once Kanabo displayed her strength. They recognized her as their main opponent and didn’t pay any heed to Shina.

    Clenching her hands, Kanabo charged forward and threw one punch after another. Like a raging demon, everything around her shattered. Under her ferocity the earth shook, under her frail hands the spears shattered into pieces and the soldiers' scales and armor were crushed.

    “M-Monster!”

    “We need reinforcement!”

    “Young master, help us!”

    “We need backup!”

    Under the screams of his subordinate who fell down on the ground one after another, Kröte glared at Kanabo with hatred and fear. Under Shina’s surprised eyes, his tongue came out of his mouth and started vibrating, emitting a disturbing sound which resonated all around them.

    Kanabo, on the other hand, was being surrounded but didn’t even care about this. Every time she attacked, the encirclement was broken as the scaled men were sent flying one after another.

    “There’s quite a large amount…”

    Taking a sip of her gourd, Kanabo smiled as she was hit by a great idea. Opening her hand, black and purple smoke were gathering in her palm which soon transformed into a blazing and beautiful blackish flame. A hellish flame which came straight from hell.

    “Do you guys want a taste of hell?”

    Grabbing her gourd, Kanabo waved her hand and scattered the liquid it contained in the airs like a waterfall. The gourd could produce an unlimited amount of whatever it contains, the liquid scattered around like it was raining.

    The soldiers looked at the darkened sky with awe, when the liquid hit their skin and after finally realizing what it was, their face darkened.

    Kanabo opened her mouth and drank a few drop with a wide smile.

    “Humu~ I hope you guys like sake made of calea? It has a pretty high level of alcohol…”

    Madness suddenly filled the field, everyone was trying to run away as fast as they could. They were pushing each other, bumping and stamping on each other while trying to flee for their life. Kanabo simply smiled and opened her hand containing the hellish flame.

    “Are you trying to suicide with us?!”

    Kanabo sneered “Idiots…”

    The black flame set the alcohol ablaze and produced a flame that burned everything around. The grass was quickly reduced to ashes and the land was devoid of life, the scaled men didn’t even have a chance to resist as they melted under the terrifying temperature.

    Shina who was standing far enough not to be hit but either the alcohol or being burned by the flame watched the flame shot up burn everything with a strange smile. Once everything was burned to the ground, the flame suddenly gathered and formed a small black orb of only a few inches large and shot up in the sky.

    Kanabo looked at the small orb with seriousness and followed it with her eyes as it ascended.

    “May you repent in your next life…”

    The fireball exploded in the sky in a similar way to fireworks, it was a beautiful scenery which made Shina excited.

    “Tamaya!”

    Shina felt the urge to say it a few time as the fireball repeatedly exploded before leaving behind just a trail of smoke in the sky.

    “Shina, what did you say?”

    Kanabo who didn’t understand what she was doing looked at her strangely.

    Only a few soldiers were lucky enough to escape, the ground was burned to a crisp and nothing remained of their comrades. Under these circumstances, how could they be willing to also risk their life? As soldiers they were ready to give up on their life whether it was needed, but who would be willing to die for nothing? If their life could be used to injure an enemy or save their leader then it would be worthwhile, but going in right now was nothing more than just dying for nothing.

    *Sniff Sniff*

    Sniffing the odor permeating from the area, Shina felt hungry.

    “It smells great…”

    “You think so too?”

    “I once heard that you can eat frog and toad as long as you cook them slowly, moreover it seems that they go very well with alcohol.”

    “Really? Might as well try some *Hic*”

    “But there’s almost non-... Never mind…”

    A large pack of scaled soldiers suddenly arrived from all directions and surrounded the girls. Compared to the few dozens of guards annihilated by Kanabo before, there more at least more than a hundred encircling the girls with their spears aimed them.

    “That’s quite a lot… *Hic*”

    “Right… I remember that toads reproduce rather quickly, don’t they? Moreover, in some cases, they can be pretty harmful to the environment.”

    “Humu~ Then we need to reduce their numbers, don’t we? *Hic*”

    As Shina and Kanabo were talking to each other, the soldier that Kröte had sent away earlier came back alone which made him frown but after whispering a few words to his ears, Kröte started laughing madly.

    “Kroapute her!”

    (Capture her!)

    Ordering his soldiers to advance with a sly expression, Kröte began to whisper a few words under Shina’s eyes who suddenly had a bad feeling.

    Kanabo who resumed her fight was reducing the scaled men to ashes as black flames were surrounding her hands. Each punch could set her targets ablaze and burn them within just a few seconds.

    But as she was killing them, a green light suddenly emanated from the surface of her stomach in the form of a magic circle. Her body suddenly hardened, unable to move a single muscle, Kanabo fell to the ground with unwilling eyes while glaring at the laughing Kröte.

    “*Kroak Kroak Kroak* I completely forgot the seal father made!”

    Kröte continued to laugh madly and his laugh slowly started to affect his surrounding. Everyone soon started to laugh, some out of relieving, a very few mockingly and most of them simply tried to follow the mood.

    The laughter of more than two hundred people at the same time was oppressing and made Kanabo even angrier as she tried to free herself of the magic, but it was useless.

    Among the laughs, one could hear the voice of a girl who slowly made her way through the crowd. Nobody even paid her any attention from the beginning and even Kröte had forgotten her existence.

    Despite having a child’s voice, her laugh was bone chilling and terrifying. Her red eyes didn’t even seem to see them as living beings, above her palm, a crimson marble shining with an ominous bloody color was floating.

    The girl slowly made it through the soldiers, with each step she took the soldiers opened the way without even knowing why. They simply didn’t want to stand in her way.

    “Shina?...”

    When Shina arrived in front of Kanabo, she simply smiled and said a few words.

    “It’s fine, now just leave it to me…”

    At the same time as the words left her mouth, Shina used magic for the very first time.

    * * * * *

    “Ufufu~ What game should we play today?”

    Not long after Shina returned from the human city and met Eniel, it was Mystel’s turn to take care of Shina. Approaching her room, she noticed the room being abnormally quiet. Sitting on the large bed in her room, while tightly burrowing her head in her pillow, Shina hadn’t noticed Mystel approaching and her thoughts were stormily flying in her head.

    Mystel’s eyes narrowed, filled with anxiety and worry, she put her hand on Shina’s forehead to check if she was feeling alright.

    “Are you feeling bad? What should I do?! Should I bring a phoenix’s egg?! Get some water of the ancient spring?!”

    Surprised by her mother’s frightened expression, Shina harbored a small smile and held Mystel’s hand with a reassuring warmth.

    “Mom, calm down… I am alright.”

    Despite Shina’s words, Mystel still felt worried about it being a problem coming from Shina’s unstable existence and used her powers to check her condition. But after not noticing anything abnormal, she slightly relaxed.

    A trace of wariness still remained in her heart. Despite being physically healthy, some black under eyes bags had formed below her eyes showing that she hadn’t slept much. Her visage expressed how tired she was as if she hadn’t slept for days.

    “Is something bothering you?”

    Shina slightly nodded while remaining quiet.

    Mystel’s eyes turned red and looked enraged while a blackish aura soared from her body as if seeking to exterminate anything near her.

    “Who bothered you? I swear I am going to make them regret!”

    Smiling at her mother’s overreaction, Shina shook her head while staring at the ceiling.

    “That’s not it… It’s just that there’s something I can’t understand.”

    Seeing Shina trying to confide to her, Mystel’s heart was filled with happiness and worry.

    What bothered both Mystel and Arsal as much as the instability of Shina’s existence was her mental health. The years she had lived on Earth made Shina mature much faster than she should have and confronted her to the real world despite still being in her infancy period. It wouldn’t be surprising for her to keep some scars in her heart, moreover, she strictly refuses to show them to her parents which make them even more worried.

    Even if they tried to erase her memories, the damages dealt to her soul were already present and it might even make things worse due to the incomprehension of her suffering. They could only hope that this experience would only help her grow up and benefit her in the future.

    But now that Shina decided to talk about her worries, Mystel felt glad about her decision… Moreover, it wasn’t to Arsal but her, Mystel felt that she had somehow won against him.

    Keeping her excitement hidden deep in her heart, Mystel made a motherly smile and sat next to Shina.

    “What is bothering you? You can say it…”

    Shina looked at her mother with a lot of hesitation before looking at her in the eyes. What she saw back in the human city, people stomping on Eniel because she was stealing to survive, people not only ignoring her suffering and need for assistance but instead giving her pain and torment... This scene made her recall some memories.

    “I don’t understand… Why are people doing wrong things like it’s normal…”

    “Why are they able to deceive people while not feeling any remorse?”

    “Why do they enjoy beating others while smiling?”

    “How can say do such evil things?”

    Shina was looking very exhausted yet her voice was intense. Mystel kept a normal expression but her eyes were focused on Shina’s. Her questions were something that she had been thinking about ever since she had been living on Earth. Why was her family torturing her? Why was everyone ignoring her and her suffering? Why didn’t they feel any remorse?

    The answer to Shina’s question came in the form of another question.

    “You said that those are evil things… But what do you qualify as evil?”

    This answer shocked Shina quite a bit, but after thinking a little about it, she tried to give an answer.

    “Killing and… stealing are evil things?”

    “Why are they evil?”

    “They are bad because… they are bad…”

    Feeling quite lost about Mystel questions, Shina tried to think more deeply about it but couldn’t come up with a real answer.

    Mystel closed her eyes and laughed a little at her daughter’s answer. It looked that she had kept a glimpse of innocence in her heart. But this innocence wasn’t something Shina would be able to keep if she wished to live in this world, it was something she needed to lose.

    “Let me ask you a few questions…”

    “Is killing a someone that tries to kill you evil?”

    Thinking about how she had maybe killed the guards in the city that were chasing after her, Shina shook her head. She wasn’t the one who started the fight and she had done nothing wrong.

    “No… That’s self-defence.”

    “But killing is still killing whatever situation you are in, right?”

    Shina could only make a small nod.

    “Didn’t you also steal a few fruits in the city?”

    Hearing Mystel talks about her actions, Shina’s eyes widened.

    “Mom… Did you follow us?”

    Mystel coughed a few times before waving her hand as if to justify herself. Ignoring her mother’s reaction and this issue, Shina tried to think a little more about this situation but she couldn’t tell if she was wrong or not.

    She had stolen them for fun, but also because Eniel needed something to eat… But it didn’t change the fact that they stole something that belonged to someone else.

    At the same time, wasn’t Eniel a thief that lived by stealing others? Whether it was food or money, she stole what she could to make a living and try to change her life. Did this make her evil? Was her resolve evil?

    What is evil in first place?

    Mystel smiled as she felt that Shina's eyes started to open to the world.

    “Does good and evil even exist in first place?”

    “The act of saving an injured soldier from a battlefield can be deemed as good, right?”

    “But what if he was missing his limbs? Can you imagine the eyes filled with pity and disgust of the people living with him? How powerless he will feel for the rest of his life while living under someone else’s care… Isn’t saving him in this case just pure evil? This is just torturing him…”

    “Good and evil both exist yet are illusions.”

    A strange feeling swept Shina’s heart, she wanted to rebut her mother yet couldn’t find any logic that she could use against her words.

    “But… Doesn’t karma exist?”

    “Karma just qualify the guilt hidden within one’s soul. When it is too big, the soul needs to be purged. Nothing more, nothing less.”

    “For good and evil not to exist… “

    Mystel strongly shook her head after realizing that Shina misunderstood her words.

    “I didn’t say that they don’t exist, but that they are illusion. Good and evil do exist but differ depending on each person. I have my own vision of good and evil, your father also has his own vision… As you do.”

    “You were too influenced by the human society and simply can’t see that their vision doesn't rule the world. A few people simply imposed their point of view on others. In some countries, some see fighting and killing as some type of glory and some others as something disgusting.”

    “Everything depends on your vision of the world, whether you fight it can be because you seek to obtain something or to defend something. You can steal to save someone, to help someone, or even because you simply want to own something.”

    “Don’t be influenced by the human's vision of the world, why is killing bad? Why is stealing bad? Even your father who is said to be righteous wouldn’t say such idiocy. When something displeases us, we hurt, we steal, we kill and we destroy… Why do you think we do this?”

    Shina couldn’t provide an answer, she didn’t want to interrupt Mystel’s speech. It looked evil and gave the impression of someone who didn’t care about the world, someone who decided of its own future… But Shina felt inspired but Mystel and her vision of the world changed.

    “We can do such because we are strong! The humans follow the society because they are weak and follow orders but the strong lay down the rules and bend they when they want to. Aren’t nobles and kings bending the rules when they want to for their own benefit?”

    “In my eyes, strength rule the world. But that’s my vision. Your father’s vision is also different… As is yours.”

    “Mine is… different.”

    “I won’t tell you to see the world as we see it. You have to see the world with your own eyes and not ours. Don’t think about good and evil, don’t be restrained by the society, don’t try to be someone else… Just live as you wish to, be unrestrained and be yourself.”

    Shina’s eyes were shining as if she had been enlightened… Now that she thought about it, her worries until now were meaningless, whether she had an answer or not, what would it change?

    Leaving behind any inhibition or believe about good and evil, her unclouded eyes started to see the world as it truly was… Cruel, painful, colorful… and beautiful.


    When Shina once again opened her eyes to the battlefield, blood flew up in the air and stained the ground with crimson flowers. Her hand point at the sky and harboring a devilish grin, the girl laughed...

    * * * * *

    Blood rained down from the sky, and nobody knew what happened… Whether it was Kanabo, Kröte or the lizard men… All they knew is that one of the lizards charged toward the girl and that after she raised her arm, he exploded.

    The blood raining down wasn’t on the same level as Kanabo, the lizard had exploded with such violence that nothing remained of his body.

    The soil was stained with blood and the dark aura soaring from the little girl’s body was forming clouds in the sky. Among this disaster… the girl laughed.

    “She… she just killed someone within this dimension!”

    “Is she crazy?!”

    Nobody could believe the girl’s action. In this place, fighting was prohibited to a certain point. While nobody would say much about a fight between children, it was up to the point where nobody was gravely injured… But killing someone...

    “She just killed one of us! This is self-defense, capture or even kill her!”

    Trying to calm his men down, Kröte sent orders for his men to attack Shina. Since she had been the one to act first, under some investigation he would be the one in the right.

    The girl on the other hand grinned while cracking her knuckles, one of the lizards aimed his spear at her and threw it with all his strength. But despite feeling it incoming, Shina didn’t even take a glance at it.

    A crimson marble flew out toward the spear, before even coming in contact with the marble, the spear disintegrated into dust before flying toward the man’s body and piercing through his head like a bullet.

    The blood on the marble quickly vanished as if it was absorbed into it and the marble returned to the girl.

    Shina glanced at the aura around her, it was very similar to what her mother materialized when she was angry. It had appeared a few times around her whether she was angry or fighting, but it was the first time it materialized with such intensity.

    Even though she had never used magic before, Shina felt strangely familiar with this magic soaring around her. With but a thought, the aura separated from her body and formed a few purple orbs floating around her body.

    The lizard men hesitated before moving, the purple orbs together with the crimson marble were dancing around the girl, giving the scene a certain beauty and the girl a certain mysteriousness.

    With a snap of the girl’s finger, one of the purple orbs flew toward an unlucky lizard and entered his body. His body glowed in a purple light and his green skin turned quickly started to darkened before turning purple as well and exploding.

    The girl stared at the rain of blood with a strange expression and nobody on the battlefield knew what she was thinking.

    “W-What are you doing?! Attack!”

    Kröte’s scream under this situation awoke the men’s fighting spirit who all started to rush at her. There were countless types of magic and despite how strange or cruel her magic looked, in the end, she was just a child and wouldn’t be able to use it as much as she wanted.

    With a smile, countless purple orb soared around Shina and like a storm, the swarmed the incoming lizard bodies and one after another they exploded as their dying screams echoed in the land before turning into nothingness.

    Luckily for them, the purple orbs didn’t provide any type of physical pain or suffering and their death was very swift… But maybe this couldn’t be qualified as luck since they were unlucky enough to be hit.

    Soon enough, the tempest calmed down and no lizard dared to approach the girl Nobody knew exactly how much men had died to this tempest, but out of the hundreds of men present, only two third of them were remaining.

    The purple orbs around her had vanished and the girl’s aura had slightly weakened. It was the first time she used magic and as such didn’t know where her limit laid. But this was only but a lowly matter for the girl, it was the first time she used such magic and as such she only tried to enjoy the feeling.

    Kanabo stared at the girl she had previously talked to. She felt so innocent, yet could be so cold and cruel. The beauty of the girl fighting against a small army was deeply engraved in her heart, her smile as she controlled the orbs, her laughter as she confronted her enemies and the beauty of her figure basking within the bloody rain. Kanabo couldn’t help but stare at her with awe and admiration…

    Once again another wave of orb flew through the battlefield and more and more lizard men started to run everywhere as they exploded. Some tried to fight back but before they could even approach the girl, the crimson marble charged and blocked any attacks; killing every attacker at the same time.

    This couldn’t be called a battlefield at this point… it was a slaughter. Perhaps Shina had inherited her mother’s talent for carnage?

    Once the aura reduced past a certain point, Shina stopped producing any orbs and changed her way of fighting. Grabbing one of the spears lying on the ground, she smiled and using her hand urged Kiel into the weapon.

    The green and blue spear made of coral and shell transformed and turned red. It’s color and appearance made one think that it came out of one’s nightmare and perhaps revealed the girl’s desire to kill everyone standing here.

    Seeing her aura diminished, some people started screaming in the battlefield.

    “She has overused her magic!”

    “She’s weakened now and can’t fight!”

    “Let’s kill her now!”

    Strangely, most of the screams became more and more distant as if the people were making their way to the extremity of the field, trying to encourage others to attack and exhaust the girl while remaining safe.

    Once again another wave of soldiers charged at her. Raised the red spear in her hands, she gathered the rest of her magic within the weapon which was now enveloped by a purple aura.

    A man swept his spear at her.

    “Die!”

    The girl smiled as the spear danced within her hands and cut his down.

    “You die.”

    Three other soldiers rushed at her, but before their spears could even approach her, she vanished and reappeared behind them.

    “Too slow…”

    Their bodies were cut in half and fell to the ground.

    Some lizard men tried to throw their spear, but with just a few quick step she dodged most of them and grabbed one which she threw back with all her strength, impaling five other men together with the thrower.

    “Try harder.”

    A bulky lizard soldier almost three meters tall rushed at her, with a two-handed axe in his hands he swept at her with arms almost as thick as trees. He was the only one among them who had this kind of weapon probably made just for him to take advantage of his herculean strength.

    But it was useless against the girl, the spear easily blocked the axe and cut through it like butter. The reinforcement of the aura corroded the man’s body who fell to the ground before having his head separated from his body with a swift movement of her hands.

    Stomping on the man’s head, the girl sighed and glared at the army with bored eyes.

    “Too weak…”

    With but one sweep of her spear, tens of soldiers died… When her spear slammed into the ground, they flew in the sky…

    Each movement of her hands extinguished lives by dozens and soon enough, the girl noticed that none of the soldiers were moving… They were simply looking at her…

    She hadn’t noticed it before… The battlefield was stained with blood and forming a large carpet, various mutilated bodies were lying on the ground and people were screaming. It wasn’t something strange in a battlefield, the girl simply glanced over it but didn’t think much of it.

    She had abandoned her humanity, the world wasn’t something peaceful but cruel. Even peace itself is founded on blood and bones.

    But her eyes rested on the remaining soldiers who didn’t move… Didn’t want to move… Couldn’t move… They were trembling in despair and stared at her with eyes filled with fear.

    She looked at them strangely, as if wondering what they were doing.

    “Why aren’t you coming?”

    Nobody gave an answer, some people were blabbering a few things but it didn’t even form a sentence.

    “Why are you hesitating?”

    “Why aren’t you fighting?”

    “Or perhaps… Why are you even fighting?”

    The soldiers' eyes opened widely for a moment and asked themselves this question… Why are they fighting?

    “B-Because… we are… soldiers?”

    “Soldiers fight for their countries, for their families, for their people… What are you fighting for?”

    The various soldiers were staring at her with incomprehension, unable to understand why she was asking such questions.

    “I am fighting to protect my friend, but you don’t even have a single reason to oppose me…”

    The girl’s eyes were filled with discontentment and anger, yet nobody exactly knew why.

    “All of you just piss off… Or I’ll slaughter the rest of you!”

    The expression in her eyes as she glared at the survivors made the cower in fear, they understood that she had no intention to kill them at all… Because they all lost their will to fight.

    She was fighting because she wished to protect someone, but why were they fighting for? Why were they following orders? None of them thought about it before. Their beliefs were weak and shaken during the battle while experiencing their comrades' death.

    They understood that the reason why she was glaring at them was because she labeled them as cowards in her mind unworthy of being killed. People who wouldn’t even dare to act against her anymore or seek revenge.

    But among them, a few stood out and charged at her.

    Tear in their eyes and harboring a ferocious expression on their lizardish face, they charged while knowing they would die under the spear of this monster in the form of a little girl.

    “I shall avenge my comrades!”

    “I’ll fight for my brother you killed!”

    “As a warrior, I can’t go down without a fight!”

    Only a handful of people rose up to fight, and under the girl’s spear, they all experienced a quick death by having their heart pierced by the spear.

    Yet they all died with a content expression, they all honored their dead comrades or their beliefs.

    The girl nodded…

    “This is what it means to live and die for oneself…”

    Walking toward the leader, the soldiers all opened a path under her merciless eyes. She walked down the way hoping to see some courageous man who could entertain her, but none showed up.

    Arriving in front of Kröte, she smiled and lifted her red spear stained with the lizard men’s blood.

    The only enemy in this battle wasn’t the soldiers, but the one who issued the order and sought benefit by kidnapping her friend. The one who sequestered her and tried to obtain her gourd…

    “Let’s fight.”

    Kröte looked at the girl with fear, raising his arms in an attempt to stop her, his mouth produced many sounds.

    “*K-Kroak* Wait! You can’t Kroill me! My father and Kroandfather won’t forgive you!”
    (Wait! You can’t kill me! My father and grandfather won’t forgive you!)

    Her darkened eyes looked down on him like she was staring at a dead man, it was the first time Kröte experienced such a glare. He felt fear of course but also anger and hatred rise from the bottom of his stomach.

    “W-Why are you Kroaring at me like that! *Kroak* Do you know what you’ve Kroane?! You’ve broken the darkened realm rules!”
    (Why are you glaring at me like that! Do you know what you’ve done?! You’ve broken the darkened realm’s rules!)

    The feeling expressed on the girl’s face didn’t change at all, she simply grinned at him like he was too dumb to even understand the situation he was in.

    At the same time, Kanabo started worrying for her. Even if she was ten times more powerful, she wasn’t even close to the power of the soldiers and law enforcers in the city. Should they act after learning what happened then she would definitely be executed in the most gruesome way imaginable.

    “If you surrender now! *Kroak* This great I can allow you to survive as a slave together with that Oni King! *Kroak*”

    The grin on her face suddenly froze, her expression was filled with anger and bloodthirst… And her hand came down…

    Blood soared in the sky and a toad’s arm dropped on the ground...
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
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  14. WhiteWolf42

    WhiteWolf42 Well-Known Member

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    What an exiting story. I really would love to read more. Can you make this story be avaible as pdf or epub too? I would love to read it offline.^^
     
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  15. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    Completed the chapter 5.
    #Whitewolf42 : I'll gladly do it once I am done with the volume! Maybe after 4 or 5 more chapters.
     
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  16. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    Part 2 and 3 on RoyalRoadl
    Part 1:


    Within this silent land, only the grotesque voice belonging to a frog-like humanoid creature reverberated. His blood gushed out of his missing arm and his scream pierced the ears of the listeners.

    GYAAAAAAAAAAAAAOOOOOAAAAK!

    The previous eyes filled with arrogance and confidence which he used to look at the girl with were now only showing terror. He couldn’t process what had happened and wasn’t even sure if the arm on the ground belonged to him.

    Realizing what happened, Kröte started crawling on the ground to get away from the girl who easily followed after him with but a few steps.

    “S-Stay away *Kroak*”

    Shina didn’t pay much attention to his words, once again raising her spear under Kröte’s terrified eyes, the spear pierced his leg accompanied with the deafening scream of the toad man.

    “Noisy…” She complained as she made her spear rotate while still being embedded within the leg, making blood gush out without stopping.

    “GYAAAUOOKK! I...I understa...nd, I...won..’t come after you anymore… *Kroak* Please stop… *Kroak*”

    Retrieving her spear, Shina’s arm stopped moving as she glanced at him with calculating eyes. She mentally started comparing the pros and cons of letting the frogman go, while there might be a chance of him truly leaving Kanabo alone… Knowing his personality, he would definitely try to get some revenge on her while Shina was gone.

    Not even able to provide her with a single reason to spare him, her spear pierced his shoulder with such strength that it pinned him on the ground and prevented him from moving under the heart-shattering pain that filled his body.

    “S-Spare me…otherwise...*Kroak* M-My father won’t forgi...ve you… *Kroak* He-He’ll be here...soon… *Kroak*”

    “Begging for mercy… Mom said that only the strong were allowed in this land, that there was no place for coward…” She dropped her foot on his neck, ready to break it into pieces.

    It wasn’t that Shina particularly liked courageous people, but simply that Kröte reminded her of her previous adopting father who acted strong yet bootlicked anyone who was stronger than him.

    “S-Shina… Don’t kill him, leave him as he is and let’s run away!”

    Kanabo who was lying on the ground and protected by Kiel muttered those words with difficulties as she was still under the seal’s effect which prevented any kind of movements.

    Shina who was ready to finish him off hesitated for an instant, Kröte who noticed it started yelling at his soldiers who were watching him being tortured like it wasn’t their problem.

    “What are you all doing?! *Kroak* You are supposed to protect me you pieces of trash! Hurry and save me! *Kroak*”

    “Hmph…”

    Her previous hesitation vanished under Kröte’s words. Despite his current situation, he still thought that his soldiers might be able to save him… But she hadn’t noticed the inaudible sound that kept being transmitted by him.

    The world around Shina suddenly grew darker and darker until everything around her vanished. Kanabo, Kröte, the soldiers, the blood stained land, the trees and the sky… Everything vanished into nothingness, she was surrounded by pure darkness and could only clearly see her own body.

    It was like being imprisoned within a prison devoid of light despite the fact that she could see herself clearly.

    Shina suddenly realized that all along he had been trying to gain some time.

    Colors slowly returned to the darkness, the colors formed walls, a ceiling and various pieces of furniture. A cabinet, a disgusting bed of low quality, rotten walls and a plate with a little chunk of hard bread. She was in a familiar room that she hadn’t seen for years, the room where she spent years of suffering, living through hell as a doll for a certain family.

    The door opened and an alcoholic man entered the room, throwing a bottle of glass on the wall next to the bed. The bottle shattered and glass filled the bed where a little-malnourished girl was sleeping.

    Shouting a few inaudible words to the girl, she nodded in acquiescence and rose up from her bed, cutting herself in the process as she tried to avoid touching the glass shard and started cleaning them off.

    Shina looked at the girl with complex eyes, it was her previous life and an event that indeed happened. It was like she was reliving this memory and the feelings she felt at this time… Injustice, hatred, tiredness… The feeling of wanting to let everything go and give up on living.

    The girl kept picking up glass shard, cutting herself many times in the process while staining the dirty bed with her blood. A few tears fell from her cheek as she stared at the drops of blood coming out of her fingers.

    Forgetting everything that happened before, Shina wanted to take the girl in her arms and tell her that everything would be alright; she wouldn’t live the rest of her life like this… She would meet people who will care about her and make some friends… To keep enduring it for a while.

    But all the memories that filled her mind started to get cloudy and the girl’s feeling permeated more and more into her heart as if they had started to fuse.

    A feeling of powerlessness filled her body, she couldn’t resist this external influence that tried to erase her memories. The shadow of a large frog appeared behind her, unlike Kröte it wasn’t an humanoid frog but a real one. At least three meters tall, the frog’s mouth was unexpectedly filled with long and large sharp teeths that he licked with his bulky tongue.

    The frog looked at Shina with both anger and happiness, enjoying the helplessness Shina was feeling as he made her revert to her previous self.

    “*Kruoook*For what you did to my son… I’ll mentally destroy you and then eat you…”

    His eyes glittered and the scenery surrounding Shina once again changed, it now reflected her being beaten up by her adoptive mother for being too slow in cleaning the house. She was complaining about the dust on the television and how she felt humiliated after noticing it while having guests.

    “Such tasty memories, such fear… What a delight…”

    Her memory kept reverting to her previous self… Unable to defend against this kind of mental attack that she had never experienced before, as a mean of self-protection, she dropped to the ground, fainting as the scene disappeared and returned to darkness.

    Looking very disappointed, the frog looked at her frail figure while licking his lips with an expression filled with ecstasy and cruelty.

    “Krouk Krouk Krouk* She already fainted~ I wanted to torture her some more but that’s enough… I’ll devour her memories and eat her.”

    Closing the distance between him and Shina with a single hop, his tongue extended toward her body in an attempt to first devour her memories. But the moment his tongue was about to touch her body and enter her mind, two bloody eyes filled with an immeasurable amount of bloodlust pierced through his brain and almost destroyed his mental capacities.

    Fuck off!

    A woman’s voice screamed at him; the mere sound of this voice made him throw out and cough a large amount blood.

    At the same time, a phantomatic black sword formed behind Shina and charged toward him with such strength that it easily cut through the darkness of his illusion, destroying this illusory dimension.

    The sword mercilessly flew toward him but only managed to cut his tongue out before disappearing as Shina started regaining conscious after the illusion was dispelled.

    Her eyes opened and the first thing she saw was the sky, she was lying on the ground beside the trembling Kröte. It was as if she had merely fainted. A few meters away from her, a large frog was screaming his lungs out with bloodshot eyes while coughing blood.

    His salivate was mixed with the blood coming out of his missing tongue which was lying on the ground. Shina could barely remember what had happened, it was like her memories were clouded by some kind of fog.

    It was like waking up after having a bad and terrifying dream but being unable to recall what it was about no matter how hard you tried to. Yet, despite how terrifying it felt she also recalled someone embraces her body within this cold place. Someone very familiar to her yet that she had never met…

    “W-Who are you?! *Krouk* Who interfered?! Do you know who I am?! *Krouk*”

    The large frog screamed to the sky as if trying to talk to someone. His screams were filled with arrogance and pride, but also injustice like he was wronged.

    From within Shina’s shadow, the figure of a woman formed and held on her weakened body, her silverish hairs danced with him and red eyes glared coldly at the frog. Her eyes glanced at the surrounding areas with astonishment. It was a pure carnage… Some areas were burnt beyond recognition, some limbs and heads were lying around, some corpses were crushed and some pieces of meat were lying here and there.

    Blood was staining the ground and was forming puddles of blood. It was hard to believe that this was the same place as before. Moreover, the one who probably did all of that was the girl lying in her arms. Her previously black dress was now painted in crimson.

    “What are you doing here… Ranae.”

    The large frog, Ranae looked extremely ferocious with his body covered with his own blood. He glared at Listae like she was his lifetime enemy and wanted to eat her whole with a single gulp… But he knew that he wasn’t strong enough.

    Who was she? She was one of the lord’s second… The most powerful vampiress in existence and very few people could match her power. In front of her, he couldn’t even be qualified as a child.

    “What are you doing interfering in my matters… Listae Bran.”

    Listae’s anger soared and all the blood around her coagulated and started rising in the air. With a movement of her finger, the seal pressuring Kanabo was destroyed.

    “Bringing an army within this realm… Defiling this place with violence… Does your new status as a junior elder makes you think that you can ignore the lord’s laws?!”

    *Kr...Krouk Krouk Krouk*

    Unexpectedly, Ranae suddenly started laughing which made Listae even angrier. Despite not being the one leading the law enforcers in the city, she was still one of the ruling people who applied her lord’s rules on the inhabitant.

    Yet the man in front of her dared to laugh at her.

    “I don’t see which law I’ve broken…”

    Listae’s eyes widened in anger, but Kanabo standing at her side quickly understood what was going on and her expression turned into fear.

    “Kanabo… Come back home! *Krouk*” He ordered like it was natural.

    Not understanding what was going on, Listae glared at him while blocking his path to the girls by standing in front of them.

    “*Kroak* What are you doing Listae?”

    According to the laws, one wasn’t allowed to bring that many servants within the darkened realm, but this wasn’t a real offense and this law could more or less be bent by certain powerful persons. It was simply made to prevent people from shamelessly trying to invade the city by using numbers.

    But within the darkened realm, killing was strictly forbidden… Whoever was deemed guilty would immediately be chased by the authorities wherever he hid and executed. It was a strict law that even Listae couldn’t break despite her high status within the city.

    Of course, there were a few exceptions such as self-defense after being attacked and endangered.

    Realizing the meaning behind his words, Listae quickly turned toward Kanabo.

    “Did you perhaps… enter the city as a servant of his family?!”

    The single nod of Kanabo’s head made this story far more difficult and complex than it originally was.

    Kanabo belonged to Ranae’s family, she wasn’t treated as a member of the city… As such, she couldn’t be viewed as a member of the city but simply as an object belonging to Ranae. Her life and death belonged to him, just like all of the lizard men standing beside them.

    As such, Shina who had tried to protect Kanabo could only be deemed as a thief who tried to steal his possession… Moreover, killing his soldiers and assaulting Kröte was made her into a criminal.

    “Ranae… Don’t go too far…”

    Despite how much she glared at him and wished to tear him apart… Listae was still a representant of the city and couldn’t ignore the laws. In fact, the representant of the Lord who made the laws and as such was the only person within the city who couldn’t break them.

    The moment she acted, her opponent who was also Ranae’s backer would definitely use this opportunity to challenge her authority and try to have her abandon her post…

    ‘Tch… Lord, just where have you gone!’

    Her Lord had vanished a few thousand years ago without any warning and left her the task of supervising the city. Within these thousands of years, some factions fused and some new one appeared… Some people used the absence of the lord to gain power and were now attempting to obtain Listae’s position.

    But this wasn’t a democracy… but an absolute monarchy with someone above everyone else who didn’t give a damn about anything. With a single order, she would be able to purge anyone opposing her.

    Yet, despite having received the new of her lord arriving in the city… She couldn’t find any trace of her.

    “Listae, give them to me… Are you ignoring the lord’s laws?! …”

    In this case, Ranae was in the right and Listae couldn’t oppose him… She was unwilling to obey, but she couldn’t find a single solution.

    Her face reddened and she gritted her teeth so hard that they started bleeding. At the same time, Shina smiled and opened her mouth. An inaudible sound to everyone present came out of her lips… Inaudible to everyone but one person…

    The dimensions started shaking, the sky turned red started crackling. The space shattered, stars exploded, red clouds gathered and scattered at the same time.

    Walking through the shattered space with cold eyes and a bloodthirst that could exterminate a galaxy, each of her steps pressured the living being no matter their origin. Hairs as dark as the night, eyes as red as blood, a killing intent that pierced the sky and heart of the watchers.

    They were the same eyes as Ranae had seen when he tried to enter Shina’s mind.

    Her body vanished and she appeared beside Listae with Shina in her arms. Her mere glance pressured Ranae to the ground and forced Listae to her knees.

    Listae closed her eyes and dropped her head in submission.

    “Lord…”
     
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  17. candycane_whack

    candycane_whack Well-Known Member

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  18. Chibi Kuroya

    Chibi Kuroya Member

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    I forgot to update here due to being absent for various reasons... The chapter 6 is finished and I am in the chapter 7 on RRL, I'll update this thread soon after releasing the next part of chapter 7.
     
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