Ilias ended up having a day off under the orders of Lord Ragudo.
Her objective was now to find him and invite him to the ceremony and banquet.
The serious Ilias walked around the city at once and began searching for him.
But she couldn’t find him.
She went to Dog’s Bone, but he apparently left after having a meal.
They haven’t heard about where else he would be going.
The church where Maya is, their house, the market; she went through many places, but there was no shadow of him.
Going this far, it makes her even wonder if he is hiding on purpose.
The sun was already going down by the time she noticed.
“I can’t find him even when waiting or searching… What should I do?” (Ilias)
The cry of a stray cat echoed pitifully to answer her.
She went back to the house several times, but there was no sign of him having come back.
There aren’t many stores open when it is night.
And so, she decided to go around the stores including Dog’s Bone.
She will most likely find him. Most likely.
She couldn’t find him even with that.
Even if there was no fatigue from stamina, her mental health was certainly being shaved away here, and that was showing in her face.
‘Can’t be helped. Let’s return home. At this point, being in the house should be enough.’ -is what she thought as she returned home.
That’s where someone was waiting.
“F-Finally found you!”
It seems like they were searching for her.
But Ilias had no clue as to who that person was.
“Uhm, who are you?” (Ilias)
“Aah, I am a messenger of Ban-sama!”
‘Ban, speaking of which, the owner of a big firm had that name. Since the death of my parents, I haven’t had the opportunity to go to facilities like that’ -is as far as she thought, and then remembered that she had drank with him at Dog’s Bone.
A merchant with that name has come to her place.
And then, she realized: ‘Aah, he is there, huh’.
She found it more relieving that she finally knows where he is rather than despair at her own lack of foresight.
“Could it possibly be about the young man at my house?” (Ilias)
“Yes, actually, he has been kidnapped by demi-humans.”
The girl’s overtime continued.
The next day, I went to the place of Grandma and broached the topic.
“About yesterday’s negotiation, I would like to add one condition.”
The black wolfkin around grew noisy. Only Grandma looked silently over here.
“That’s sudden. Ye already accepted our talk yesterday, boy. Are ya trying to overturn that?”
“No, I will prepare the place of negotiation regardless of whether you accept or not the added condition. However, I promise adequate compensation if you do accept.”
“What is it?”
“I promise I will definitely manage an equal relationship when negotiating with them.”
“Does that mean that ya won’t let us create an equal relationship if we don’t accept it?”
“No, it just means I will prepare the table but won’t do anything. It would fall under your own ability.”
“Sounds as if yer saying it will be impossible for us.”
“You don’t have to accept it if you are confident about it. I will simply prepare the negotiation table as I promised.”
“…Can you tell us yer condition?”
“I want you to give the opportunity for the Blight Child to leave this place.”
The surroundings got noisy again, but it was a lot noisier than before.
Grandma raised a hand to shut them.
“Is it okay to ask ye one thing?”
“I knew ye were attached to that thing, boy. But why is it that yer not asking to give it to ya?”
“Two reasons. For the sake of the Blight Child, and for the sake of you people.”
“That thing would happily leave this village. We would also happily give it away. What will it achieve to simply give that thing an opportunity?”
“Regarding the details of this opportunity, who is the strongest here?”
I look at the black wolfkin around.
A single man raised his hand after brief silence.
His physique is good and his presence as a warrior left nothing to be desired.
“It is me.”
“Then, have a duel with the Blight Child. If the Blight Child wins, you free that girl.”
“Are you telling me to have a battle to the death with the Blight Child?”
“No, it is fine as long as either side can’t fight anymore. I won’t complain if you go overboard and end up killing the opposing party though.”
“I see. I understand.”
“Boy, yer the same as us. Even when ye think of it as pitiful, ya disdain it. That’s why yer making it have a duel and have it die in peace. Ye want to have us win since ya would dislike the Blight Child to be there when ya will have economic relations with this village in the future.”
“You are free to think as you wish. So, do you agree?”
“I don’t mind. We shall accept.”
“I have gotten your consent.”
“But there’s no one in this village who would want to kill that and take the curse upon themselves. Even if we are to soften our hand and ends up with just hurting it, don’t complain, okay?”
“No, regardless of whether the man will kill or not, he will be fighting seriously.”
That’s when a black wolfkin came in from outside.
“Grandma, there’s people with weapons at the entrance of the village.”
“Looks like they have come for you.”
And so, everyone headed to the entrance of the village.
There’s Cara-jii at the front, the Ragudo Division, and also Ban-san.
Everyone is armed and creating a thorny atmosphere.
Cara-jii walks straight here when he saw me, but stopped in the middle and turned back.
One more knight of the Ragudo Division walked and faced straight at Cara-jii.
The knight was holding a giant hammer. A man that did work at the time of the bandit subjugation.
Boruberakuti—this man is called Boru-jii.
The two take a battle stance, ignoring the black wolfkin that were taken aback by that sight.
A strike of Cara-jii’s spear was unleashed at Boru-jii with that shout.
He takes on the spear going at a speed invisible to the eye with the hammer.
A shockwave and a thunderous sound was created at that instant, and everyone in this place felt it with their body.
The thrusts of Cara-jii didn’t stop.
But Boru-jii created an opening while deflecting those and swung down the hammer.
Cara-jii avoided that with paper-thin difference and the hammer sank onto the ground.
The vibrations were so strong they shook the houses of the village.
Yesterday I compared the black wolfkin with them and created a decent degree of superiority.
But the movements of those two don’t even need comparison. They are overwhelming.
Shockwaves were being spread to the village with each exchange.
The black wolfkins can’t drop their faces of shock while watching this.
They then made one last clash with everything they had, creating a shockwave bigger than the previous.
Some buckled at that shockwave, and there were some who fell on their butts.
“—Fuuh, something like this should be enough.” (Cara)
“You haven’t fallen off at all.” (Boru)
“Same goes to you, fuafuafua!” (Cara)
The two of them laughed as if nothing happened.
I walked to the side of the strongest man in this village and spoke to him.
“They have no intention of fighting. It is because they have come in small numbers that they have shown their fighting prowess, so that they won’t be looked down upon.”
“Well then, let’s begin. They won’t do anything, just be observers -to the duel of the strongest man in this village.”
The man tightened the grip on his weapon.
There’s already no room for him to hold back.
After being shown such a performance, if he were to show a lukewarm battle while holding back in front of the knights and in front of his tribe, it would end up being a public display of their difference in power.
Even if they have a negotiation as equals, they will end up being pressured in the future.
If they don’t manage to show their strength as a tribe, they won’t be able to think of themselves as equals on an emotional level.
Cara-jii walks over here in the time the villagers were bringing the girl.
And then, he bows to Grandma and stands by my side.
“How was that? Did we manage to do it as you wanted?” (Cara)
“It was a great dance. We will be able to see something interesting with this.”
“Really? I am a bit worried though… About my role after this too.” (Cara)
“Sorry. You are the one who I can ask the most of in the Ragudo Division, Cara-jii.”
“It doesn’t feel bad being told that. Oh, looks like they have arrived.” (Cara)
The girl was brought by the villagers.
She was pricked by sticks and made to stand on the plaza.
Grinding noises of Cara-jii tightening his grip on his spear were made when he saw this.
“Please do your best at controlling yourself, okay? I think that will be the hardest thing though.”
“Yeah, I believe in you lad, after all.” (Cara)
“Can I speak to her?”
I faced the direction of Grandma and pointed at the girl.
“I don’t mind.”
I stood up as she answered and walked to the side of the girl.
The girl is trembling.
That’s understandable. The gazes of the people directed at her were evasive.
I whispered in her ear.
The girl’s eyes opened wide as she looked at me, but I returned to Grandma and sat down.
The village’s strongest warrior and the hated girl were facing each other at the center of the plaza.
“Ye did a good job at kindling them, boy. If ye do that, we can’t hold back as a tribe…”
“It will most likely end in an instant.”
“Ending the Blight Child with our bravest youngster… Once he is cursed and loses his life, our standing will be gone… So that was yer true aim. Ye’ve got us good there.”
“You will soon see my true aim. Begin when you please.”
“I see… Both sides, get ready!”
The man readied his stone axe, and the girl simply stood there with the sword given to her hanging languidly.
She is looking over here, uneasy.
“Counting on you, Cara-jii.”
Cara-jii slanted the spear he had pierced on the ground.
The man roared and jumped forward while raising his stone axe.
That speed of his didn’t lose to Cara-jii.
It is a full power dash no matter who sees it.
The girl shut her eyes tightly, dropped her sword, and tried to protect herself with both arms.
The girl not only has no skills to use a weapon, she doesn’t even have that thought to begin with.
The stone axe swung down with the force of a planet was drawn accurately to the raised arms of the girl…
—And was destroyed completely.
It is not only the man who was shocked here. All the black wolfkin here made faces of disbelief.
And then, seeing the man who stopped moving, I shouted this.
“Now! Finish that life of yours with your own hands!”
The girl shouted and pulled her right hand heavily backwards.
And then, putting all the strength she could, she pushed her right hand out towards the chest of the stopped man.
A dazzling light rushed out violently.
This is a torrent of mana. It is not weaved at all. Accumulated mana was simply stupidly leaking out to the surroundings.
There’s no polish like the one attack of Ilias that wiped the undead and its destructive power is far below hers, however, the man that was hit by that torrent of mana flew on the air, passed overhead the spectators, and was smashed onto a house far at the back.
Everyone was speechless.
The strongest man in this village was defeated by the Blight Child who had the weakest standing in this village.
He pulled out his everything and was defeated in an instant.
They were unable to understand this and were simply frozen there.
I sighed in relief and told Grandma.
“This was my true aim.”
I stand up and walk towards the girl.
The girl herself didn’t understand properly what happened.
She was looking at her palms and making a questioning look.
“Everyone, listen. This girl that you abhorred wasn’t a cursed child.”
I bring out my voice as if wringing out my resentment, my anger, from the pit of my stomach.
“This girl has a genetic disorder called Albinism. The curse of this girl is not a curse but just a personal trait that occurs in 1 out of 10,000.”
The Albinos who are known far and wide on Earth have existed for a long time, and it is simply one of many phenomena.
“A mother losing her life from giving birth and a man getting distracted against a beast when he has lost his wife and his child is being repudiated is a tragedy that can happen in any country.”
It is because of such overlaps of rare happenstances and tragedies that this girl ended up having to shoulder a life of persecution.
“But you people feared the overlapping of tragedies, and without knowing, you feared and created a cursed Blight Child that doesn’t exist. The foolishness of not understanding your own ignorance and just assuming the easiest conclusion; that’s exactly the sin you people have perpetrated!”
Even when I say all this, the fear in their hearts towards her will most likely not change.
The only one who can believe what I said just now is Grandma who can see through lies.
But that’s fine. That’s why I will tell these guys the words that will make them regret the most.
“But there’s most likely going to be people who won’t believe me even if I say this. There will be people who will cover their ears, believing that the delusions they have created for themselves are what’s real. That’s why I set this duel; in order to prove the worth of this girl.”
I hold the white hair of the girl.
“Plants and trees change their appearance in accordance with the mana contained in the air. That’s because an excess of mana would instead dry those plants out.”
The reason for the vegetation of the Black Demon Killer Mountain matches the case of this girl.
“There’s a place near here where transparent trees inhabit. Those trees grew with the bulky mana in the air as their nutrients, and the excessive mana leaks out from the leaves as light -just like the shine of this hair.”
That’s right. That’s the reason why the hair of this girl was shining.
The excess of mana was leaking out from her hair.
“Black is the color that takes in the most light out of any other, but this girl didn’t need the black to take in the light of the outside…because she had overflowing light inside of her in the form of mana. She was born with excessive mana contained in herself from the very beginning.”
The reason why the possession spell began working on her after I hugged her was because the mana leaking out from her affected the Spirit, and was soaked in her mana.
That’s how abnormal the amount of mana she has inside of hers is.
When I confirmed my thoughts with Ban-san, he said that in the past…
“Her talent rivals that of the Hero that defeated the Demon Lords in the past.”
The expressions of the black wolfkins shake.
“This girl isn’t a Blight Child. She was the miraculous child that the heavens had gifted you people who lived in fear of the Demon Lord.”
This is the reason as to why I made her have a duel.
This girl had enough talent to make her win certain.
She was leaking out mana to a degree where she could dry out plants around her from excessive nutrition when she was just a baby who should have subpar amounts of mana, and has special mana enough to affect the Spirit inhabiting someone just from touching him.
Even as someone who can’t see through the intricacies of mana, I could feel the signs of it from her looks.
I had no hesitation after confirming this.
I requested the assistance of Ban-san and simply taught her the way to emit that mana.
It is the same principle as Ilias grabbing a stone hammer with one hand and crushing it.
It is simply accumulating mana to a violent degree to enhance your body -a feat that can’t even be called a technique.
Her body can’t stop leaking mana to begin with, so she managed to learn how to bring it out in one go almost instantly.
I thought at first it would be fine to just show them as a demonstration, but when Ban-san muttered ‘it is as much or even above that of Ilias-sama…’ I set up this place.
If it is on the same level as that gorilla, there’s nothing to fear.
Also, there’s two big reasons as to why I took this method. First one obviously being for the sake of the girl.
This girl has the power and talent to dye away the fear of this village.
She was simply not given that opportunity.
That’s why I gave it to her, and had her win her freedom with her own hands.
She still hasn’t felt the reality of it, but that’s fine.
This experience will certainly become a foundation for this girl.
The one other reason was just as Grandma said: for the sake of this village.
If they were still caught up in their superstitions and uncertain information while having economic relations with Taizu in the future, they would eventually be exploited by ill-intentioned people.
That’s why I had them understand what they themselves have done and had them regret it.
I pushed onto them the reality that they have killed the talent of the girl that could overwhelm their strongest warrior.
—However, me blaming them instead of reprimanding them by putting my personal feelings in between is plain proof of my own immaturity.
If the village changes with this, I will have no complaints; if it doesn’t, it will most likely end in an equal relationship even without me doing anything.
“Now then, I will be taking this girl as promised. I will definitely fulfill the remaining promise.”
Saying this, I left the village with Cara-jii and the others.
The girl was looking at the forest she was seeing for the first time with interest.
Not a single black wolfkin tried to stop us.
—It would be too soon to assume what this means.
“…Lad, that was impressive acting!” (Cara)
The one who broke the silence once we returned to the cave was Cara-jii.
He smacked my back and strength left me in one go.
“Man, it is a relief that, even though I went at them real hard there, they didn’t lash back at me… Really.”
To be honest with you, I was scared the whole time, you know?!
Even if they are weaker than the knights, that tribe is far stronger than the bandits.
A youngster preaching right in the middle of a bunch like that. Who does he think he is, right?
“‘This girl isn’t a Blight Child. She was the miraculous child that the heavens had gifted you people who lived in fear of the Demon Lord’ —Man, that gave me shivers!” (Boru)
Boru-jii teased me by even imitating my expressions.
Please stop. Just thinking up that line was super embarrassing, I’ll have you know!
Just how much courage do you think I needed in order to say that with a straight face?!
It would have been impossible if I hadn’t strengthened my resolve for this girl, you know?!
“Please spare me… I’m begging you.”
“No no, it really did feel good. Ain’t that right, young lady?!” (Cara)
Cara-jii smiled at the girl, but the girl took excessive distance from Cara-jii, and was directing a gaze of caution.
“…Lad, can you undo the misunderstanding quickly?” (Cara)
“Yeah yeah, got it.”
I honestly feel apprehensive about explaining this to a girl, but…the reason why Cara-jii came to us wasn’t for the sake of bodyguarding.
It was in order to set the girl up.
Thanks to the lecture of Ban-san, she learned how to emit mana, but there was an issue with the plan that seemed infallible.
This girl has strong fear towards the villagers ingrained in her.
If she got swallowed by that fear and she forgot about what we taught her -is the worry I had.
I created an act of sorts.
She had opened her heart to me.
I utilized that.
‘If you lose this duel, you will die. But don’t worry, if it doesn’t work, I will die together with you’ -is what I told her, and had Cara-jii point his spear at me.
This girl is a really nice girl, so when she thought that the first person that treated her well was going to die because of her…or something like that.
Let’s just say it was to have her ignore her fear towards the villagers…
“I will do it, eventually.”
The amount of guilt I feel from deceiving a villain like Dokora and an innocent girl like this is different, you know.
I leave Cara-jii who is making a shocked face and advance through the cave.
The girl is following behind me real close.
“What should I do…?”
This time around, things ended with a refreshing feeling in my chest thanks to the talent of the girl.
But what if she were simply an albino girl?
I probably wouldn’t have been able to dye away the trauma of the girl and have the villagers understand the mistake they made.
I drew a nonexistent scenario in my head and thought.
Accuse them of discrimination and persecution to Taizu, and use their standing as economic partners to attack?
Tear her away from the village, and have her forget about her past by teaching her the way to live while just facing forward?
Have true proud heroes like Cara-jii and Ilias save her…?
What would I have done if that didn’t work?
The tears I shed for her were the real deal, but the anger and hate that welled up were also real.
If I had left that take me over, just what kind of method would I have taken?
“Well, there are things that you would only know when the time comes.”
Let’s clean this girl up first once I am back in Taizu.
Will Saira make clothes she can wear if I ask her?
I also want to have her eat the food of Gozu.
It should be possible to communicate on both sides if I ask Maya.
What should I do after that? Right, we have to think of a name for her.
There’s still a lot that must be done, but let’s do it slowly.
I can do most of everything if it is for the sake of the future.
“What’s the matter lad, stopping all of a sudden—ah.” (Cara)
The knights that followed after also reacted.
That appeared as soon as we left the cave.
“Fu…fufufufu, judging from that reaction, it seems like everything is over now.”
It was Ilias smiling with blank eyes.