“This is the Demon Lord Bifrons-sama’s human farm.”
“H-Human farm…?” (Makoto)
The unfamiliar words made me repeat them unconsciously.
“Yes, Bifrons-sama has a lot of demon subordinates that feed on humans. That’s why they made a tall wall and have the humans ‘pasture’ inside… Food is provided in fixed moments, but you don’t live long… You get eaten by demons and monsters while still young after all…”
I was at a loss for words.
I have heard about this.
Humans were treated as livestock in the Dark Era.
But…this is livestock in the literal sense.
Isn’t this situation way too despairing?
“Is there no…human settlement?” (Makoto)
“Eh? Y-Yeah…I have heard about there being some outside, but I was born in the human farm, so I haven’t been to one…”
A person born in the human farm… What a thing.
I was getting culture shock here, and while I was spacing out, the girl approached me.
“U-Uhm! My name is Momo. Can you please tell me your name…?” (Momo)
Hmm, is it okay to say my name?
I am supposed to not be a person from this era…
No, Althena-sama said that there’s no need to bother about the small details.
I hid my family name.
That should be enough.
The girl approached me even more.
What thin shoulders…
“Thank you very much for saving me when I was in danger. I don’t have anything to pay you back with… The only thing I can pay you back with is with this body of mine. I can only tell you to do as you please…” (Momo)
The little girl hugged me and whispered this.
Her eyes were damp, and were like that of an abandoned puppy.
What did this girl say just now?
“I may have a seedy body, but…I have no experience. It is my first time. If you have a liking…can I please be under your patronage, Makoto-sama…?” (Momo)
“W-Wait a moment!” (Makoto)
This is obvious, but I didn’t save her because I had such an objective.
She is simply the first human I met in the past.
This isn’t good.
“What about…your parents?” (Makoto)
Let’s change the topic.
“My father…died 3 years ago.” (Momo)
“…I see.” (Makoto)
“Mother died 3 days ago.” (Momo)
Crap, I can’t say anything.
“I already don’t have anyone to rely on. Makoto-sama saved me despite having no relation with me. The words of my mother before dying were ‘live’. In order to continue living on, I have no choice but to do anything no matter how foul it is… Can you please save this pitiful me despite all this…?” (Momo)
That desperate look of hers made my heart tighten in pain.
A girl that I can only see as 10 years old…is saying something like this…
I saved her with light feelings, but this must be a normal background in this world.
…Then, I have to take responsibility for saving her.
I held the shoulder of the girl and separated her from me.
“I said this before, but I am looking for someone. A person called Hero Abel. Have you heard of him?” (Makoto)
“…No. I don’t know much about the outside world, so…I have never heard of him. I am sorry for not being of help…” (Momo)
The face of the girl darkened visibly at this.
She must have thought I have deemed her as useless.
“Then, can you help me out in searching for him? I have come from a faraway country, so I don’t know much of the area around. Can you please guide me?” (Makoto)
The girl’s mouth hung agape.
As if she couldn’t understand what I said.
“U-Uhm…what do you mean by that…?” (Momo)
“If you guide me, I will protect you. How about those conditions?” (Makoto)
“?! Yes! With pleasure! I will be under your care!” (Momo)
She hugs me with a beaming smile.
And in this way, I obtained a comrade in the Dark Era.
I wandered around the territory of the Demon Lord Bifrons for around 3 days with Momo.
I met a number of humans that were living in hiding a number of times, but they had eyes with no light in them.
I thought they would try to do something to someone like me who looks weak and the young Momo, but they all didn’t even have the energy to do that.
I tried talking to them but no one knew about Hero Abel.
The troubling part is that the humans here all had tattered clothes, and I stood out a bit being in my traveling clothes.
I tried to make my attire as plain as possible, and matched it with the appearance of the people in the area.
The outer garment was given to me by Momo.
The human farm of the Demon Lord territory is distributed food at fixed times.
They are literally raising humans…
There’s a high chance that demons and monsters slaughter them at that time.
That’s why getting the food provided has high risks.
I made the proximities of the river into my base, and grabbed some fish for food.
The cooking method is…
“Momo, can you use fire magic?” (Makoto)
“Yes, a little bit of fire magic and earth magic…” (Momo)
I decided to cook the fish with the fire magic of Momo.
It was insipid cooking with only salt that I had on me.
“That’s impressive. Wouldn’t you be able to fight back if you were to be attacked by monsters?” (Makoto)
“T-That’s impossible! There’s far more people who have powerful magic and skills! But no one can match the monsters of the demon lord army… Even if we were to win luckily, we would be killed instantly by the leaders of the demon lord army…”
“The 16 undead generals and the vampire general. The strongest elites are the Impenetrable Demon Balam, the Bewitching Shuri, the Demonic Eye Setekh. Even Heroes can’t match the highest generals. They are fearsome demons…” (Momo)
I know two of the strongest generals.
I really have so much connection here.
No wonder I ended up here.
“Uhm…Makoto-sama, you are reading a book all the time. What book is that?” (Momo)
Since coming to the past, I have been training my Sun Magic: Elementary and Destiny Magic: Elementary when I find the chance.
It goes without saying that water magic as well.
Also, while I was training, I would read about the Legend of the Hero Abel.
It seems like Momo was interested in it.
“This is a book from my hometown. I received this from an important person before leaving.” (Makoto)
I remember the face Princess Sofia had before I left.
“I see. I can’t read, so I am jealous that you can read books…” (Momo)
Momo was dejected.
This is the reason why I can so brazenly read the book of Hero Abel without any worries.
Because there’s no problem if she sees me doing so.
“I will teach you how to eventually. But first will be magic training. For now, let’s try our best till you can use magic chantless.” (Makoto)
I am together with Momo right now, but it is not like it will stay like that forever.
That’s why I was thinking about teaching her as much magic as possible.
At least until she can survive on her own…
I use water magic while I look down at my picture book.
Legend of the Hero Abel: First Chapter.
The story of a young boy raised in a small village that awakened the power of a Hero.
The story of him growing together with his master the Fire Hero.
The end of the first chapter was Hero Abel joining forces with other Heroes and defeating the Demon Lord Bifrons.
That’s right, the first Demon Lord that was defeated by Hero Abel was the Immortal King Bifrons.
That’s why I intend to wait for Hero Abel here.
I was originally thinking about going to a big settlement to gather information though…
I am scared of searching around blindly and ending up being wasted effort, so I decided to wait for him in a place where I can surely meet him.
I was told about stories of this era by Momo, and I taught Momo magic.
Demons and monsters would wander around, but I used mist to block their vision and Stealth, so the chances of being found were low.
The food being bland is a bad point, but…I can’t really ask for luxury here.
Also, this isn’t a complaint, but there’s something troubling happening.
At night, Momo would try to nightcrawl me.
When I finished training and went to sleep, I would get into my small blanket for travelling.
When I met her, she was in tattered clothing, but after cleaning her with water magic, I gave her a change of clothes, so she is now super clean.
I thought of it the first time I met her, but she has become even more of a beauty.
Maybe because she is aware of this, Momo’s attempts to approach me with upturned glances were cute.
(I won’t put a hand on her though.) (Makoto)
Putting my hand on a little girl right after coming to the past?
There’s a lot of issues with that, but most of all Lucy and Sa-san would kill me.
“Momo, sleep already. If monsters come, I can notice them with Detection.” (Makoto)
Understanding that I won’t be putting a hand on her today as well, she would go to sleep dejected.
One day, when I was getting fish from the river, a boy I don’t know spoke to me.
Momo hid herself.
She is like a cat.
The boy approached me all familiar.
“Heya, how are you doing?” (Makoto)
“Not good at all.”
“I see.” (Makoto)
I was on guard just in case, but he doesn’t seem to be hostile.
“…There’s no good stories around here at all. Just recently, I heard the worst rumor.”
“Is that so. What was it about?” (Makoto)
“Hm? …Well, I am fine telling you, but…”
He is peeking at the fish that’s being cooked up.
So that’s his aim, huh.
I give him one.
“Hehe, thanks. Apparently, a whole ton of Heroes will be executed. The one who captured them was Setekh of the Demonic Eye. Their objective was apparently the subjugation of Bifrons-sama though… Haah, to think they wouldn’t even reach him. Can’t even have hope… The execution will be at the plaza in front of the Demon Lord Castle as a public display. This world is done for. See ya. You be careful too.”
The boy left with a tone of abandonment.
I trembled when I heard that.
The execution of Heroes?
Could it be that Abel is there…?
(Isn’t the mission that Althena-sama gave me already doomed?!) (Makoto)
While I was taking it easy here, it had turned into a really bad situation.