Important: This story is a story about the past, but it is connected to the main story, so well, as you can see, it is a long chapter which we haven’t had in a while, but please be careful about skipping through this one since you won’t be able to understand the future developments.
TLN: This is a SUPER long chapter. So keep that in mind , haha.
Wind that carries the scent of salt blew through the slightly elevated hills.
That girl was standing alone on that hill where wind whistles.
As if riding the wind.
Or maybe as if hiding in the wind.
A sigh mixed with sorrow and understanding leaked out from the small mouth of the girl.
—A frail girl.
Thin arms and legs that felt like they would crumble with a mere touch.
Straight and perfectly smooth black hair was easily waving through the wind, and her eyes were of the same black color, but had deep darkness residing in them, oozing a languid atmosphere.
This girl that felt lost if she had been thrown into this world all alone held her hair waving with the wind.
As if reacting to this, the mouth below her sorrowful eyes showed a faint smile.
The real feelings she had been holding back leaked out along with that sigh of hers.
“…I don’t…want to work…”
And once she voiced it out, it was all downhill.
She fell backwards without a care about her clothes getting dirty, and words overflowed as if a dam had been open.
“Aaah, if only I could stay like this foooreveeeer without doing anything.
If I can’t do that, I might as well…”
The girl was lying face-up defenselessly on top of the hill with her limbs spread apart.
But the voice that rang from the other side of the hill spelled the end of that slothful sight of hers.
“Ojou-samaaa*! Where are you, Ojou-samaaa!” <A lady of a high social position>
Hearing that voice, the girl went ‘achaaa’ and made a face as if finding this a pain for just an instant, and then reluctantly got up.
The one that showed up was a man in the prime of his life with a tough physique.
This man that had a calm atmosphere that clashed with his tanned stern face approached the girl looking relieved.
“…Gaius, I told you to stop calling me Ojou-sama.”
The girl turned away after saying that complaint who knows how many times already.
It did look like a teasing gesture, but Gaius, who is an honest caretaker, shrunk his body as if ashamed.
“My apologies, Mitia…-ojousama.” (Gaius)
“So you still add the ojou-sama.” (Mitia)
“That’s…you are this generation’s priestess-sama, and I am your caretaker after all.” (Gaius)
Mitia simply shrugged her shoulders at the reserved words of the man.
“No, more importantly…!” (Gaius)
The next one to complain was Gaius.
He put emotion in his voice as he approached Mitia.
“Mitia-ojousama, how many times have I told you that it is dangerous to walk around alone?!” (Gaius)
It was the natural reprimand as her caretaker and as the older one here.
But, even with that, Mitia didn’t break her displeased attitude.
“You said that you would rush my way to save me no matter where I am.” (Mitia)
“I certainly am of that intention. However, if something were to happen while you are away from me…” (Gaius)
“Something, you say. There’s nothing dangerous on this island.” (Mitia)
There’s no dangerous monster on this island, and no person who would think of harming the future priestess.
Even so, the fact that there exists a personal caretaker and bodyguard for the priestess is telling of just how important a priestess is for the people of this island.
“But there’s the off-chance!” (Gaius)
“I get it. I am the one in the wrong… That’s why…let’s go back, okay?” (Mitia)
Even Mitia understands that.
Her household simply exists in order to maintain the blood of the priestess.
She is aware that she is always complaining because she is taking advantage of Gaius.
“Again with the words you don’t mean…” (Gaius)
Mitia ignored the exasperated face of Gaius, and quickly moved to his back.
Gaius raised a questioning voice, and Mitia puckered her lips as she answered.
“…I am tired, so I can’t walk anymore.” (Mitia)
“That’s why, Gaius, carry me.” (Mitia)
Saying this, she got on the back of Gaius without listening to his answer, and wrapped both arms around his neck.
“…Good grief. You really are a handful, Ojou-sama.” (Gaius)
Gaius muttered this, but his mouth had a smile contrary to his words.
He is aware that this modest selfishness and rebelliousness is how she acts spoiled after all.
“It is not my fault if you get a shaky ride.” (Gaius)
“If you do, I will complain to Father that you did horrible things to me.” (Mitia)
“Hahaha, I would want to be spared from that.” (Gaius)
Gaius spoke lightly as she moved his hand to the back and supported the body of Mitia with strength, and went down the hill with firm steps.
“Your back really is big, Gaius.” (Mitia)
“Is that so? I think it is normal though.” (Gaius)
Mitia was looking at the back carrying her while Gaius was walking his way back fearfully.
“But it is far bigger than mine.” (Mitia)
“That would make the backs of all men in the village big, Ojou-sama.” (Gaius)
The two were having a peaceful chat, but Gaius suddenly changed his tone.
“…You are a weird one, Mitia-ojousama.
Even though there should be a lot of people in the village that would want to carry you instead of this old bag here.” (Gaius)
Even Mitia could tell that Gaius didn’t say that in the literal meaning of the words.
Mitia chose Gaius as her caretaker 2 years ago.
Gaius was referring to that in a roundabout way.
The chosen caretaker for the priestess candidate is normally a man of the same age.
She would normally end up together with her caretaker, and that’s actually how Mitia’s father and mother ended up together.
That’s why Mitia choosing Gaius as her caretaker caused confusion to many a villager.
There’s no special meaning to that choice for Mitia.
When it came to choosing her own caretaker, the man that she thought of was the old man that looked after her since childhood.
However, now that she thinks back to it, she might have been seeking the shadow of a father that she didn’t have because he was always taking care of her mother.
(I might have simply wanted to escape.) (Mitia)
For a priestess candidate, marriage and giving birth is duty-bound.
Losing the blood of the priestess is not allowed.
Even if Mitia herself wishes or not, she will have to end up together with someone of the village and give birth.
(My father and…my mother when she was healthy told me that I am free to decide the person I will be together with.) (Mitia)
If she has to end up with someone anyways, she did want to choose for herself.
But marrying or even falling in love with someone from the village didn’t feel realistic for Mitia.
It is by no means that she hates the people of the village.
But Mitia, who took special education as the priestess apprentice, barely has any connection with the villagers.
She has been told stories of her great ancestors since childhood, and her only means for entertainment in her house was to read the book collection there where the heroes of those stories would defeat everything in their path. Because of this, the sense of worth of Mitia was heavily different from that of the villagers that are used to the simplistic rural lifestyle.
She is the daughter of the present era priestess, Nadia, and even when she has the troubling position of being the next priestess, her appearance is that of a frail beauty.
There have been people who have shown clear interest, but she would feel fear and confusion before feeling happy, and has avoided them all, living a lonely life this whole time.
‘I am sure I will manage somehow when that time comes’ -thinking that…no, trying not to think about it, she has been putting it off.
And then, the time finally came.
The only thing Mitia felt when standing on top of the podium, exposed to the many gazes of expectation from the men, was fear.
She couldn’t see the happy future she imagined at all, and only fear and disgust rose from deep in her chest.
What flickered from the back of her eyelids instead was her mother that grew weaker and weaker as the days passed by, and her strict father that would hide to shed tears.
Of course, it is not like the person you choose as the caretaker will definitely become your future partner.
However, once you decide this, your future will be settled too.
The gray and musty future felt like it had actual mass and crushed her…
The mind of Mitia that had flown to the past snapped back to the present with that voice calling her.
She looked around for a moment and remembered her own situation and the most recent conversation.
“Do you…dislike being my caretaker?” (Mitia)
Mitia unconsciously asked this question in order to not show her agitation, but she was filled with uneasiness to a wondrous degree instead.
“Not at all. I am truly honored to serve this role, Mitia-ojousama.” (Gaius)
But Gaius was far from what Mitia was worrying about.
Gaius responded to the question of Mitia with his usual simple honesty.
Mitia has been saved a lot by his way too honest attitude.
“But you really should stop walking around all alone.
Even if there’s no monsters, it is not like there’s zero chance of an accident happening, and if you enter a place with a bad field of vision, you might even get lost…” (Gaius)
“…Right. I will be careful.” (Mitia)
Mitia did her best to answer with a gentle tone in order to reciprocate her kind caretaker.
…But he didn’t know.
It is impossible for Mitia to get lost on this island.
She looked at the front…a little bit above the back of her reliable caretaker.
What was there was a pillar of light that only Mitia -a person with the traits of a priestess- can see, going straight towards the heavens, stretching endlessly.
(That’s the Evil Sealing Circle. The place where I stop being ‘Mitia’.) (Mitia)
Mitia bit her lips at that majestic sight for a moment, and soon closed her eyes as if giving up.
Mitia was shaken by the back of Gaius for a while, and by the time the only village in the island was coming to view, Gaius muttered.
“If you have so much free time…” (Gaius)
“How about finding a hobby you can do in your house?
You could try stuff like cooking or sewing. Who knows, you might…” (Gaius)
Mitia hesitated at that question for a moment.
She wondered if it would be okay to tell him, but the answer came out soon after.
“Ah, I do. I already have a hobby I do at home.” (Mitia)
“Yeah… I am…writing a story.” (Mitia)
This is a secret she hasn’t told anyone, not even her father or mother.
That said, the extremely introverted Mitia has no other person to talk with other than Gaius though.
“That’s impressive!” (Gaius)
“I-Is that so? Isn’t it weird?” (Mitia)
“No, I think it is a wonderful hobby! And so, what kind of story are you writing, Ojou-sama?” (Gaius)
Mitia suddenly got energetic at her first endorser.
She began talking in one breath unlike that of her usual frail atmosphere.
“T-The story I am writing is that of adversity!
A reclusive mage was overwhelmed by a cruel fate -ah, this takes reference from the first generation-sama- but that person goes to the past, defeated the wicked being that defeated him before, and finally took ahold of the happy future that escaped from him before…” (Mitia)
“U-Uuh…a mage is the protagonist? I-Is there…romance…in that story?” (Gaius)
“Eh? No. Why?” (Mitia)
“…No, it is okay. Please continue.” (Gaius)
She found it strange that Gaius looked dejected there, but she didn’t stop talking.
“Actually, I am already close to writing the last scene!
I have thought of a whole ton of cool names for the spell the protagonist will use at the end, but I can’t decide on one!
Ah, you should choose together with me next time, Gaius—” (Mitia)
Just when she was about to continue in excitement…
Mitia cowered at the wave of mana that shook the air.
She didn’t even have the leeway to respond to Gaius.
She hurriedly directed her gaze at the mountain on the other side of the village, and there was a dark flame tracing the surface of the mountain.
The dark flame that devoured everything was indulging on the dying mountain.
It was encroached by the darkness endlessly, and there was already not a single blade of grass in that mountain, even so, the fire that was even darker than black continued burning as if sucking up every drop of life right to the marrow.
“Has mother…used the Release Relic…?” (Mitia)
Mitia muttered this dumbfounded when she saw that.
Gaius saw the same thing and couldn’t hide his surprise.
“No way… She used it just a few days ago…” (Gaius)
He forgot to continue walking, and the two were simply watching the black fire carrying on its destruction.
The first one to return to their senses was Mitia.
“…I’m getting down.” (Mitia)
She jumped down from the back of Gaius and began walking towards the village.
Mitia didn’t look back at Gaius who was following from behind flustered and spoke…
“I thought writing a story was a good hobby.
Because, even after I take over my duties, I could still continue doing it even if I didn’t take a single step into society.” (Mitia)
“…But is that true?
After the inheritance ceremony is over and I become a priestess, can I still continue writing?” (Mitia)
There’s countless family recordings of priestess candidates that couldn’t handle the inheritance ceremony.
Even if they do, there have been people who have lost their sense of sight or hearing, or have been unable to move their bodies properly…
“It is okay! I am sure it will be okay! Leaving aside the time when my family received its name, if we have the two treasure tools that the founder-sama entrusted us with, I am sure…” (Gaius)
“…Yeah, you are right.” (Mitia)
The words of Gaius were not just for soothing.
Due to this person called the Founder-sama, the risk of the priestess’s role dropped down drastically.
The Founder-sama that Mitia admired more than anyone is -to be precise- not the founder of her family.
They were a big contributor by entrusting 2 treasure tools to the nameless seal household of that time, and made the king of that time acknowledge the importance of their role.
“The ones who are truly supporting this world are not the royalty, but you people.
Even if no one else knows, me…and my descendants will know.
You people are the most precious beings in this world, and the greatest lineage.”
After declaring this, the King gave the title of ‘Guardian of the South’ to the ‘Founder-sama’.
The Seal Lineage has inherited that role and title without fail, and has continued protecting the peace of the world.
And the treasures that the Founder-sama left have provided undeniable help in fulfilling this duty.
These two unique treasures were called ‘Law Relics’ by the family, and the priestesses of each generation would inherit them.
The first treasure tool is the Seal Relic that assists in the seal of an evil being.
This thing that is the crystallization of the feelings and techniques of the priestesses of past generations teaches the one who wears it the sealing techniques, and also mitigates the burden of the seal.
Also, if by some reason the present priestess suddenly passed away, it can become a place where the ‘evil one’ is sealed for a temporary amount of time until the next priestess is chosen.
The second treasure tool is one that frees the evil one: the Release Relic.
No matter how strong of a resistance to darkness the priestess has, it is way too much to have the evil one reside in your body.
If you let it stay for a long time in your body, the body and mind of the priestess will crumble from the inside.
That’s where you temporarily release the evil one, have it possess the body, and let out the accumulated power of darkness.
The priestess wearing the Release Relic will get drunk by the thoughts and powers flowing from the evil one, and become a beast devoid of sanity.
That’s why, when putting on the Release Relic, the priestess will be tied up on a pillar in the middle of the mountain with a barrier set, and have her rampage until her mana runs out in order to disperse the mana of the evil one that has stagnated inside of her own body.
The magic fire that Mitia and Gaius saw rising up from the mountain was exactly that.
The present priestess and mother of Mitia, Nadia, used the Release Relic and let out the dark mana.
When she was a child, she thought that those black flames were just beautiful.
She does still find them appealing even now.
But she couldn’t help but feel fear from the destructive power of that fire.
That’s why, even though Mitia has the highest affinity to darkness in history, she obstinately hasn’t used dark magic, and preferred fire magic which is the next highest affinity she had.
She felt that if she were to use dark magic, that abyss devoid of light would swallow her, and would drag her into its own desired fate.
Also, the current Mitia had another worry.
(I have a bad feeling…) (Mitia)
The priestess normally would use the Release Relic to let out the dark mana once every few months.
Moreover, her mother used the Release Relic 2 days ago.
She did feel like the span of time it took to use the Release Relic was getting shorter, but even if so, this is not normal.
(Could it be that something has happened to Mother…?) (Mitia)
Mitia hurried to the path of the village while feeling an anxious gaze from behind.
Mitia was panting as she returned to the village, and the father of Mitia was standing at the entrance with arms crossed.
This is something that has never happened before.
What will she be told after going out on her own whim?
“…I have something to tell you. Come.”
From an outside perspective, Mitia looked pitifully scared. Her father, that’s also the village chief, said this briefly.
“P-Please wait.” (Mitia)
Even when she spoke in a faint voice, it didn’t seem like her voice reached.
She could only fix her ragged breathing while desperately chasing after that back.
“—We will be performing the inheritance ceremony tomorrow morning.”
The moment she understood the meaning of her father’s words, she felt as if her vision was suddenly covered in deep darkness.
The ceremony for another priestess to take over.
The ceremony where the evil one in the present priestess will be moved to the priestess of the next era.
She did know that it would eventually come.
Mitia had the resolve, knowing that she would one day have to become the priestess.
But that’s not now.
She thought it would be a lot further in the future.
“Wait, please wait! This is way too sudden!” (Mitia)
Mitia is timid, tends to retreat in her own shell, and she would be unable to say anything when in front of her strict father, but that wasn’t the case right now.
She was confused by the sudden verdict, but she held back her cowardly disposition temporarily.
“R-Right, a child! I still haven’t even married yet…” (Mitia)
It is customary for the one that will become the priestess to take the inheritance ceremony after she has given birth to the next priestess candidate.
It is because, once she has the evil one in her body, there’s no leeway to give birth to children.
Mitia used that reality that by no means wanted to use as a shield on her father, but he wasn’t fazed at all, and simply shook his head to the sides.
“Just let someone else give birth to the child. It might end the blood of the direct descendants, but it can’t be helped.
Also, I heard that you have outstanding dark mana resistance and affinity within the history of the priestesses.
If it is you, you might be able to give birth to a child even after finishing the inheritance ceremony.”
“That’s…that’s just…!” (Mitia)
Even Mitia got angered by that way of putting it.
But the mouth of Mitia was sealed by the next words of her father.
“Nadia…your mother…is already at her limit.”
“The corrosion of the darkness was far more severe than we thought.
You must have noticed as well that the interval to use the Release Relic has shortened, right?
We have been mitigating it by scattering the dark mana more often, but it is already at the limit.
At this rate, she might not be able to last until tomorrow night.”
Speaking of which, she hasn’t had the chance to meet her mother face to face.
The priestess normally shuts herself in the Evil Sealing Circle in order to stop the corrosion of the evil one as much as possible.
Mitia thought that was the reason why she didn’t meet her, but could it be…
“Giving you as much free time as possible was the mutual wish of her and me.
I am truly sorry that things have turned out like this. But…”
The feelings of her parents she didn’t know were there.
But Mitia was not even given the time for that reality to shake her heart.
“But you should understand. You and I already have no time for choice.”
The glint in the eyes of her father, the eyes of the Seal Lineage’s head, sewed Mitia in place.
And then, he spoke as if dealing the finishing blow.
“—Our everything exists in order to seal the evil one…the Evil God Fragment.”
Mitia simply nodded at those words of her father.
She had no choice but to.
After that, Mitia didn’t remember how she returned to her room.
However, just before separating from her father, the ‘sorry’ her father leaked and Gaius telling her ‘I will also be present for the inheritance ceremony’ somehow remained at a corner of her mind.
She will inherit the seal of the Evil God tomorrow, throw away the name of Mitia, and become the Guardian of the Seal.
She couldn’t feel the reality of it at all.
When she dropped her gaze, what she saw was the story she had written.
The moment she saw it, tears flowed out from both of her eyes for some reason.
She remembered the conversation she had with Gaius before returning to the village.
There was the light of hope in there even if extremely faint.
“Scared. I am scared…” (Mitia)
Mitia continued trembling while hugging her own body within this dark room.
A rain of tears fell on top of the story that she wrote.
After a long night where she couldn’t sleep a wink, there was Mitia in the middle of the Evil Sealing Circle.
The Evil Sealing Circle is just as the name states; a magic circle that controls the power of evil.
On top of this circle, the power of evil beings is limited, dropping their power to around 20%.
But the most important trait of this ceremony is that it slows the awakening of the Evil God.
The seal of the priestess can’t be passed around from person to person.
The present priestess seals the Evil God in her own body again after the previous priestess frees it.
That’s the inheritance ceremony.
In the case the seal is undone on top of this Evil Sealing Circle, the Evil God Fragment won’t wake up immediately.
If you don’t deal damage to it, it will be dozing on and off for a few minutes.
At the very least, there hasn’t been a single case where the Evil God Fragment has woken up in the middle of the inheritance ceremony.
There’s no going back now.
Mitia looked at the face of her father and the only villager allowed to be present here, Gaius, and she stepped into the circle with trembling legs.
Her mother, the priestess Nadia, was already inside the circle.
Mitia gulped at that worned out and weakened figure of hers.
“I am sorry! I am sorry, Mitia!” (Nadia)
But she was hugged tightly before she could speak words of comfort to her.
The warmth of her mother she hadn’t felt in a long time.
Mitia felt pain deep inside her nose.
“It is…okay. I am…okay.” (Mitia)
But she pushed down those welling up emotions and separated from her mother.
It is because she couldn’t worry her worned out mother even more than this.
Mitia couldn’t tell what Nadia thought of that sight of hers.
However, she hugged her once more, and then stood up with a decisive expression.
“We will be performing the inheritance ceremony now… Is that okay, Mitia?” (Nadia)
She couldn’t stop her voice from shaking.
Even so, she couldn’t show a pathetic sight in front of her mother.
Mitia desperately hid her fear and unease, and nodded to her mother.
Nadia saw this and…
“Let’s begin.” (Nadia)
She announced this and held her right hand up in the air.
An extremely short incantation of just 2 syllables.
With just that, the duty of Nadia that spanned decades had come to an end and that showed in the present world.
—Evil God, Dis Aster.
A vicious god that’s said to devour the evil of people, sips on despair, and continues growing endlessly.
The Fragment of that Evil God that has appeared in the present world lost the lift of the seal and fell on the ground.
There wasn’t even time to think about whether the Evil God Fragment would wake up from the impact of that.
The moment the seal was undone, Nadia collapsed as if she used all her strength. Her father and Gaius shouted, but even that didn’t reach the ears of Mitia.
The wicked ‘god’ was right in front of her eyes.
Red like blood, pulsing like a heart, a core that has outrageous mana residing in it.
Sloppily made arms that look like they were sculpted with clay by a child were stretching out from there.
And then, the ribbon shaped tentacles that wriggled from here and there in its body.
All of those created disgust and awe.
“Something like this…” (Mitia)
A part of the Evil God’s body that the hero divided.
The second biggest fragment of the Evil God.
She has heard about it before.
She has seen that figure from drawings a number of times.
But Mitia hadn’t heard that it would be something this fearsome and disgusting.
“Mitia? What are you doing?! Seal it quick!”
She heard the voice of her father.
But it felt like that happened far away, and it didn’t shake the heart of Mitia in the slightest.
“Impo…ssible. It is…impossible.” (Mitia)
Even Mitia who is said to have the highest dark affinity in history…no, it is exactly because it is Mitia that she understood.
She could feel in her skin just how evil and gigantic the thing moving in front of her eyes is.
Thus, she couldn’t move.
There’s no way she would be able to oppose it, and even less have it reside in her body.
“Mitia, only you can do it!
The world that Nadia…that we desperately protected…you have to…!”
The scream of her father hit her ears again.
Even with that, Mitia’s legs didn’t move, and the only thing ruling her body was fear.
“I can’t do it…. I really…” (Mitia)
‘It is impossible. Someone please save me’ -the heart of Mitia screamed.
There was only one person that showed up in her mind at that time.
The caretaker that would always be her ally.
Mitia’s guardian who was more of a father than her own father.
If it is this kind hearted man with an unfitting big body, he will definitely save her.
Seeking that last piece of hope, she searched for his figure and…
The gazes of the two made contact.
This man that continued protecting Mitia kindly no matter when, the moment his gaze met Mitia’s, his face warped in surprise and…
—He averted his gaze from Mitia.
She felt as if the world…as if her footing was crumbling below her.
Mitia could tell that something extremely important had died at that very moment.
And then, by the time she noticed…
“Eh…? Why did I think…about becoming a priestess?” (Mitia)
Mitia had lost herself completely.
Why is she standing there?
What should she do?
She couldn’t tell at all anymore.
“Even though…I didn’t want to do anything…
Might as well have me and the world…perish…” (Mitia)
The reprimand of her father resembled a scream.
But even with that, Mitia’s legs…and arms…didn’t move an inch.
In this world where no one could move, one person alone stood up.
Mitia’s mother, Nadia.
Mitia was about to defenselessly accept the hand that she slowly stretched out.
Even though she should have noticed.
Noticed that she approached Mitia, not with the eyes of a mother, but with those of a priestess.
“—The inheritance…of the priestess…” (Nadia)
The moment the brain of Mitia picked up those words, her hand touched the Seal Relic that Nadia had in her hand.
A scream surged out.
What flowed from the Seal Relic were the memories of dozens…no, hundreds of people.
“Stop it! Stooop iiiittt!!” (Mitia)
She held her head with both hands while screaming.
Even when she did, the memories didn’t stop flowing into her.
“No! I don’t want to know this!!” (Mitia)
Memories were inundating her.
The memories of the dedication of past priestesses and their sacrifices.
There were even younger children than Mitia there too.
There were even more lonely girls than Mitia there.
All of them worried, suffered, but they all became priestesses for the sake of the world, for the sake of their family, and for the sake of the memories they have succeeded.
The motivations, wishes, and deaths of all the priestesses were poured into her, and the flood of memories stopped.
But those memories were not escaping from inside her head.
Mitia stood up…with her head still pulsing in pain.
“This is horrible… This is too much…” (Mitia)
This is a curse.
A chain of good will that is more fearsome than anything and hard to get away from.
They sacrificed themselves for the sake of their role as a priestess, had their lives eaten away, and died pitiful deaths, but no one forced the duty of priestess to Mitia.
They were telling her ‘if it is painful, you can run away’, ‘if you can’t take it, just stop’.
“There’s…no way I can run away. There’s no way…I can just stop.” (Mitia)
For someone like Mitia who wishes to do nothing, there’s obviously nothing.
No motive to go so far as to suffer in order to save the world, or survive through the pain… Nothing.
And that’s exactly why.
The motivation of hundreds of people as if she herself had experienced it and felt -their will- she didn’t feel like she could push them away.
That’s why Mitia walked forward with unsteady feet.
Towards the Evil God that still hasn’t woken up.
“This is…the worst. Unbelievably so.” (Mitia)
Even though it is painful.
Even though it is so painful she wants to cry…she couldn’t begrudge anyone.
Because there’s only victims here.
They all became priestesses by their own will, and they all had their hearts broken by the Evil God.
No one and nothing can save them, and they will never be rewarded.
There’s no other path than Mitia taking over the seal and becoming a sacrifice.
She saw the heart of the Evil God pulsing within her vision blurred by tears.
A distance that she could reach if she were to stretch her hand.
Mitia stretched that hand of hers knowing full well that this is a path she can’t go back from.
“—This is how it should be, right, everyone?” (Mitia)
There was no answer for her question.
The tip of her finger simply touched the core of the Evil God.
Mitia, who had become the new priestess, forcefully shook off the attempts of her father triying to stop her, and returned to her own room.
There was something she wanted to do no matter what.
“I have…to finish it…” (Mitia)
The last thing that remained of her after losing sight of everything.
The shoddy story that she was writing before becoming a priestess.
She had to finish this at the very least, is what she told herself as she headed to the desk and…
But she couldn’t.
Just a bit more.
If it had been before doing the inheritance ceremony, she would have been able to finish this in just a few minutes, and yet, she couldn’t progress at all.
It is not that she couldn’t see or that her hands couldn’t move.
She simply couldn’t write.
—The protagonist that was made to shoulder a cruel fate broke through it and managed to grab hold of a happy ending.
But Mitia…already can’t even dream of that happy ending…
“Something like this…! Something like this…is completely pointless!!” (Mitia)
She shouted her feelings out.
Scattering her tears about, throwing stuff around in her rage, she grabbed her own treasure…her story.
“Nothing will change! No matter how much I write something like this…nothing…!” (Mitia)
This is truly a dream story.
There’s no fairytale story like this, and even if there were, it has nothing to do with the darkness that Mitia shoulders.
“I see…” (Mitia)
Those words dropped like a boulder in her own chest.
—What’s no good.
—What must be done.
She felt like the answer to the question that was smoldering the inside of her heart this whole time was there.
“Ojou-sama, that just now…”
She heard the footsteps and Gaius jumped into the room.
He might have entered the room because he was worried about the dejected Mitia, but Mitia had no interest in that right now.
“Gaius-san, please call father.” (Mitia)
“The family head? But…” (Gaius)
Being ordered with a tone of authority he wasn’t used to, Mitia looked at the confused Gaius with cold eyes and declared this clearly.
“—I will leave this island.” (Mitia)
There’s no way the priestess would be allowed out of the island after finishing the inheritance and having the Evil God Fragment reside in them.
If the priestess were to die, the Evil God Fragment would come back, and the world might fall.
Everyone in the village was obviously against this.
In the end, Mitia’s request was approved.
There’s no one on this island…no, no one in this world who can stop a serious priestess….
The fate of the world is in the hands of the priestess.
There’s no one who can go against someone who has the whole world as their hostage.
The day to depart came faster than expected.
The restriction placed on Mitia at the end was to contact them once every month, and a time limit of 5 years.
Chains way too frail to tie up a dangerous person that could destroy the world.
The villagers might have grown tired of it already -tired of the lifestyle of fulfilling their role as the seal tribe without the knowledge of others and the sacrifice of the priestesses.
“Are you really going?”
Mitia didn’t hesitate in the slightest to nod at the words of her father that was seeing her off.
“I noticed that nothing will change if I just stay cooped up in here.
I will be leaving this island in order to fulfill my true wish.” (Mitia)
Mitia simply answered with a short ‘yeah’ at the questioning voice of her father and said clearly.
“—I don’t want to do anything!” (Mitia)
It took a while before the meaning of those words resonated in the heart of her father.
Mitia said slowly as if to add to this onto her father who was making the face of someone that doesn’t get anything.
“As I said, I want to live a slothful life where I don’t have to do anything and worry about nothing.” (Mitia)
The ‘I don’t want to work’ that she muttered on top of the hill.
Those were the unshakeable real feelings of Mitia.
“But the Evil God Fragment is in the way of that.” (Mitia)
In the memories she saw inside the Seal Relic, there wasn’t a single person who was truly happy.
Of course there wouldn’t be.
It was over from the very beginning after all.
Even if she were to take over the duty of priestess herself, even if she were to push it to someone else, Mitia wouldn’t be able to take it easy without worrying.
The worst part is that this is not something that would end just because her duty as the priestess ends.
Within the memories she saw in the Seal Relic, she obviously saw the memories of her mother, Nadia.
Her and her father were worried about making their own daughter into the priestess, too.
Mitia can’t imagine it even now, but if she were to give birth to a child in the future, she definitely wouldn’t want to push the duty of priestess to that child.
“In the end, in order for me to not do anything, I have no choice but to do something about this seal priestess thing.” (Mitia)
“That cart before the horse mentality…”
“I know. But I noticed that that’s my wish; the thing that I truly want to do.” (Mitia)
There may be fear in the face of Mitia while saying this, but no hesitation.
She voiced out her will as if it were natural.
“That’s why, I will become strong and defeat the Evil God Fragment.
If that’s impossible, I will find someone who can, and bring them here.” (Mitia)
“That’s…something like that is…”
He must have wanted to say it is impossible.
But her father shut his mouth.
Mitia was grateful for that.
Because Mitia herself thought from the bottom of her heart that that was impossible.
Even so, Mitia continued putting up a brave front.
She continued taking on the gaze of her father with chest puffed out.
“But leaving the island alone is…
You are a girl and you have barely left your own room…”
The next one to speak anxiously was her mother, Nadia.
“I will do something about that.” (Mitia)
It is true that she has written down in her book before that a woman traveling alone is dangerous.
That’s why she has thought of countermeasures.
She can’t deny that she knows close to nothing about the outside world, but she has read a whole ton of books to compensate.
There might be wrong knowledge within those, but she most likely can manage somehow.
“Also, I have gotten the introduction letter for the King.” (Mitia)
There’s the introduction letter for the king of the place she will be heading to inside the bag that she slapped.
This is something Mitia didn’t know, but the Rihitel Kingdom’s royalty and the Seal Lineage still had connections.
If they know the circumstances, the royal family would want to avoid a situation where something happens to the priestess and the seal on the Evil God Fragment is undone.
They should be able to help out when it gets truly dangerous.
Her mother seemed like she still wanted to say more, but Mitia cut off that talk by moving her gaze away.
The last one she made eye-contact with was the past caretaker of Mitia, Gaius.
The moment Mitia directed her gaze at him, his stern face warped into regret and suffering, and he lowered his head.
“Mitia-ojousama…I am sorry, I…” (Gaius)
“It is okay. I don’t mind it.” (Mitia)
Mitia said this from her heart.
She doesn’t hate Gaius, and there’s still good will towards him remaining deep within her chest.
But she also knows that she won’t be clinging to that back of his ever again.
It is not like something has changed.
She simply noticed.
—For Gaius, she will always be Mitia-ojousama, and the big back that she spoiled herself with and relied on was simply an illusion.
“…It is farewell then.” (Mitia)
She left those parting words and got on the boat to leave the island…or not.
There’s one last person.
One she must bid farewell to.
Mitia took that out, and Gaius moved away as if scared.
“Don’t worry. It won’t turn into what you think, Gaius.” (Mitia)
She silently hid the fact that that reaction had hurt her, and raised that thing to her face as if nothing happened.
“Release Relic… You really…”
This is the last and biggest trump card of Mitia.
Different from all the priestesses before her, Mitia didn’t lose her sanity even when she put on the Release Relic and released the power of the Evil God temporarily.
She was attacked by a strong desire for destruction and she spoke differently from normal, but that’s all.
Not only does she have a strong resistance to darkness, but her personality was languid before, so the effect of the Evil God’s power might not have been that strong on her, is what Mitia assumes, but she doesn’t know how it works exactly.
What’s important is that Mitia can go on with her life while wearing the Release Relic the whole time.
The benefits of that are big.
First, she can suppress the effect of the darkness eating onto her body to the minimum.
The priestesses would normally have to spend that power in order to go against the dark power eating onto them.
But if that role is done by the Release Relic, Mitia can move for the sake of her own objective without worrying about anything.
You could say the Release Relic will be necessary for her journey.
Also, being able to utilize the power of the Evil God is also an important point even if she can only use a part of it.
Paired with her natural talent in magic, if she manages to perfectly control that massive mana, Mitia could become the most outstanding mage in the world.
Defeating the Evil God by using the power of the Evil God.
That sounds pretty ironic, but Mitia doesn’t hate those types of stories either.
But the disadvantages for this are also big too.
Even if she doesn’t lose her sanity, it is not like the effects the Release Relic has on her emotions and personality are zero.
She gets more aggressive when she has the Release Relic on, and her restraint for many desires is gone.
Her self-esteem gets inflated, and she will end up feeling a sense of omnipotence without any basis.
She has only tested it alone and no problems have happened, but maybe if she were to actually leave the island, it isn’t hard to imagine that she might end up causing trouble with that cocky attitude.
You could say that she would be a different person from that frail and introverted Mitia.
(…But that’s fine.) (Mitia)
No matter how troublesome of a person she is, no matter how different she is from how she originally was, what she needs right now is the power of a person that can move forward.
There’s no need for a cowardly girl that trembles in place and can’t do anything.
There’s no need for a girl that shuts herself in her room writing about her dream stories.
That’s why Mitia will don the Release Relic, go out on a journey, and has no intentions of taking it off until her objective is complete.
(I didn’t think something like that would happen at that time though.) (Mitia)
In the past, Mitia was lamenting the fact that the name of Mitia was gone at the inheritance ceremony.
But this is already not an issue of names anymore.
(—I…I will kill Mitia.)
She has resolved herself to that degree, so she won’t hesitate anymore.
She made her last resolution as she held the Release Relic that will be her executioner and her lifelong partner while reflecting on herself.
“Father-sama, Mother-sama, Gaius… Farewell.”
She said those parting words, but even at that time, her hands were trembling.
At that very moment when the Release Relic was about to touch her skin…
Her mother shouted.
As if hitting her with those overflowing emotions.
Her mother might have been trying to stop Mitia, her own daughter.
“—No, that’s not it anymore.”
That was a bit too late.
The girl that was once called Mitia shook her head to the sides.
“Mitia is not here anymore.”
The waves of darkness that surged through her body…her heart…dyed away ‘Mitia’.
The weakling Mitia had died as the feeling of omnipotence welled up -is what she told herself.
What was drawn in her mind instead was the far ancestor called the Founder-sama.
The person that she admired since childhood, strived for, and wished to overcome.
Survived the Evil God Great War, created the seal of the Evil God, and was the greatest mage in the history of humanity.
“The one here is the newest seal priestess.
The descendant of the Evil God Great War heroes: the Dark Priestess Neitia and the Light Flame Mage Nameless. The one who will succeed the title of the Guardian of the South.”
As if overlapping the figure…the being surfacing in her mind with herself…
As if to imitate not only their appearance, but their way of acting and their way of speaking.
With the hand where she is wearing his legacy, the Seal Relic called the Soul Bracelet, she flutters her big black cloak…and introduced herself gallantly.
“—I am the great mage Sazan!!”