My name is Youma Hiromi.
If I had to say anything about me, it would be that I was born into a fairly good family and led a happy fulfilling life.
My parents were supportive of anything I wanted to do and tried to provide me many life experiences. We talked a lot together. A joyful family situation.
Caught in my interest for dad, who was a practitioner of martial arts, I decided I wanted to practice martial arts. Dad supported this with all his might. But mom was a bit reluctant about it and said that I should aim for something less dangerous.
“I want to protect this family!” is what I said.
In the end she gave in to my and dad’s insistence.
With going to school and training, I grew up with a healthy body and sharp mind. I won various awards and was fairly decent in my studies.
I could feel the pride when my parents spoke about me to others and that made me happy too. It drove me to try even harder.
But when I was 16, an accident occurred. The bus which I was on, was heading to our next training area, but it crashed and fell off a cliff. Many died in that accident. I really hoped I could be one of those. But I miraculously survived. My healthy body that I trained all my life was now completely crippled. My nerves were a mess and was deemed irreparable.
However, my parents didn’t give in. They tried their all to give me the best treatments, to help me recover. But the bills for my treatments and for the stay in the hospital were stacking up. It was something they couldn’t keep up for long. Soon, they fell into debt.
Debt collectors often appeared at my hospital room demanding their money. My dad was always there to appease them. They threatened dad with me as the collateral.
I couldn’t do anything but watch as my parents fell deeper and deeper because of me. Even though I was already beyond help, they continued to pour their all.
5 years passed, and mom broke. She proposed to finish this. To end it all.
Dad opposed this fervently.
I didn’t hate mom for it. Mom was the logical one in the family while my dad was the emotional.
They continued to fight and fight. My heart shattered while my body was in shambles.
My family was being destroyed, the happy life that I had was being torn apart by none other than me.
At that time, the shadow appeared.
It gave me the chance to disappear from this world.
I thought that death had already come for me. I actually felt happy that I was not going to be a burden for my family anymore. I know I wouldn’t be able to make all their problems disappear, but they will be able to recover now.
I didn’t hesitate to accept his call.
But for the call to be a bait…
That damn World.
My mind was seething with wrath right now. The family I swore to protect, after the accident the only thing I did was bring it down with me. And just when I finally thought it would be the end with my death.
‘You are certainly alive’ ‘Oh look, you are still being taken care of’.
Those words echoed in my mind. Mocking me.
“Uhm, Youma, are you alright? Were you awed by the presence of World itself?”
I heard words of worry. When I concentrate, I could see that there was certainly a person here with me.
A wry smile surfaced in my face.
“Yeah… I was certainly overwhelmed by him”
“Heheh, no helping it then. It’s a God after all, being normal after meeting someone of that status would be strange”
The person in front of me is the oracle of World, Leila. She brought me here after receiving a message from World itself.
I turn and ask Leila: “What did World tell you when you received his oracle?”
She must have felt something wrong in my tone, she showed a bit of hesitation.
There is no way I can hide my emotions completely after all. Not when they are overflowing like this.
“Well, he just told me to test you, and after that, bring you to the core of the World Shrine. World’s oracles are almost nonexistent but when they happen they are normally on the short side”
“… I see”
She may not know the true character of World. Since I was brought here it must be because in order for World to communicate with me, there was a need to be in a suitable place. This core was probably the catalyst. Not only that, my special body may have something to do with why I could communicate with World. My connection with him is unquestionable.
Moreover, this core. He didn’t tell me anything about it, but it is certainly an important object for him. To go all the way to call me here and use my parents as hostage. There must be a reason why he had to use me specifically in order to do this task.
I place my hand on top of the core once more, of course, this time I wasn’t blown to where World was. I could feel the mana flowing inside it, the tattoo that was on my left hand was reacting to it, the green light glowing faintly.
I unconsciously grip this big chunk of mana tightly.
World, make sure you prepare yourself. I am not a dog you can easily leash and drag around.
“Youma, did something happen when you met World?”
Leila asked me from a few ways back. It seems that she couldn’t get close to the core and only spoke to me in the distance. Her face was showing a bit of worry.
… My emotions were clearly showing.
“I was told to collect all 5 cores scattered around the world”
I couldn’t tell her all that happened. I don’t know her relationship with that God, she may barely know him at all. As a zealous member of the Church and a believer of World, how can I tell her that World is threatening my family to make me collect these strange cores? I certainly don’t think she will believe me and it would create unnecessary trouble.
“I see, it is certainly a hard task to accomplish. The 5 cores are all situated in the different continents of the world. Namely, the continents that divide the races. To collect them all is truly a difficult task. As expected of the man that has been named the Messiah, the mission given to you is on a whole different level”
Even she considers it a difficult task. Of course, with each continent being divided by the races, it would mean I would have to get in contact with them. The issue is, the incredibly bad state of affairs between all the races. All of them are at their throats. No matter which continent I go, I will be faced with opposition, that’s for sure.
“So… will I be receiving assistance?” I take my hand off the core and return to Leila’s side.
When I asked the question, Leila avoided my gaze and a cold sweat ran down.
“Sorry, but we are unable to provide you any assistance. The World Church is not that big of an organization. It’s actually composed of very limited individuals that know this truth. What we are doing right now is already risking a lot. We may be able to give you some items that might prove useful, but assisting you in your journey will not be possible. And less if you are traveling to the other races’ continents where human influence is thin”
Well, I expected as much. I didn’t actually think they would help me anyways, but I had to try at least.
“Okay then, can I get those items now?”
“Oh yes, here they are”
I wait for it, she takes out a small pouch and rummages around it while sticking her tongue out. Her WHOLE arm was put inside it. That was physically impossible; yet, I could still cope with it. After all, I have an inventory that spits things out of nowhere. A pouch as inventory is as logical as a basket than can hold your whole farm.
After a while, four items were lined up on top of a mantle. A bangle, a necklace, boots and a feather.
They seriously like accessories.
“Heheh~ Do you like them?”
“… They are not cursed right? I can properly take them off?”
“How rude! These items are in no way cursed, why did you come to that conclusion?!”
Well, you did give me this bracelet that is now a permanent tattoo. I didn’t ask for a tattoo you know?
I take a careful look at them. The bangle seems to be on the big side. Maybe it can cover my tattoo if I put it on. It was a silver bangle that looked a lot like the previous bracelet just because of that it gives me bad vibes.
The necklace was connected by chains and had a strange amber pearl embedded at its center, it glowed a mysterious light but was in no way conspicuous. It had a soft light that you have to concentrate in order to notice. The chain was a dark blue and seemed to be made of some sort of metal I have never seen before. It was transparent and felt durable.
The boots didn’t look in any way different or unnatural… they look like boots anyone would use.
And then, the feather. It was a long azure feather that looked like the ones you use for writing. When I checked closely, I could feel faint traces of mana wafting out. A feather was producing mana…
“These are the items we have prepared for our Messiah to make your journey comfortable! Listen well and be surprised. Here we have the Hidden Cat’s Bangle, wearing this item on top of your ‘bracelet’ will keep in check the mana from your tattoo and hide it so others can’t detect it. Better not take it off if you don’t want unnecessary troubles.
Next, we have the Eye of Truth. It will give you the ability to check items and things that are stored inside its data! It analyzes and shows you its uses. A convenient encyclopedia!
And then… there is boots. You seriously need new boots. It has protective enchantment and it won’t wear out easily, so please use them.
Finally, we have the feather of a Rivbaret! This awesome item produces a certain amount of mana per day, your own tank of mana whenever you are thirsty and don’t want to waste on mana potions, PS: use it by injecting yourself in any part of your body with it, don’t hesitate and stab hard okay?”
Leila’s overhyped behavior and exaggerated movements reminded me of a salesman. After presenting me everything, she takes them all and holds them onto me, looking at me with expectant eyes. I could see stars sparkling inside them.
I take the items from her hands and thank her. It seems I will be receiving the pouch as well. I already have the inventory, but it is still useful.
All the items were certainly interesting. They concentrated on utility instead of armor and weapons. It is actually more to my taste this way. Well, there was one normal one mixed.
I look at my feet and notice. My boots were destroyed, I am practically walking barefooted. My feet were thoroughly dirtied. I decide to take the boots presented and put them on right away.
“I am truly sorry Messiah. That we are unable to assist you in your journey is painful. It may seem that we have a lot of influence, but right now we have our hands tied. Please understand that”
“Don’t worry about it. I will manage somehow”
It seems that she had a lot of things to do. After shaking my hand a couple of times and apologizing, she guided me outside of the core room and quickly left with the parting words: “I hope we meet again!” An archbishop is surely someone of status, it wouldn’t be strange for her to be busy.
I was left in the chamber. At one corner of it, I saw the Kaiser Blood Bear sitting, glaring at me. It seems he has no will to attack me… maybe?
I don’t know why, but I can’t come to hate him for that attitude. He was like a hardy fellow with short boiling point, I have met a lot of those type in my life and it’s actually relatable.
I walk up to him. As I get closer, the Kaiser gets up and looks at me. I stop at a set distance from him and say:
“I will come back in the future, by that time I hope to fight with you once more”
I don’t know if he understood me. I turned back to exit the chamber, and from my back I heard something close to a snort. I took that as a confirmation.
When I was out of the chamber and back into the halls, I check my surroundings with [Instinct of the Predator]. It seems there isn’t anyone in the vicinity.
I open the map I got from the core and it spread out, covering all my vision. If I don’t confirm the safety of the area first, this skill would certainly endanger me.
I checked the information of this area and once again move out. It looks like this place is a lot more complex than I thought it was. Several corridors and numerous rooms were spread out all over. Many of the deeper rooms were still unexplored by me since I had to chase those Blood Bears and had no time to investigate. Not only that, I compared the areas I have already passed through and noticed that there were secret rooms. Places where I remember a wall was blocking the way, the map tells me it still continues.
I began investigating the area once more. I am worn out and I want a proper rest, however, I am sure this is the only chance I have to swipe this place, so I will have to do it. Who knows, there might be something useful.
The search proved… I’m not sure.
I tried using the necklace, Eye of Truth, to search for anything of value. Whenever a window popped up, I picked it. I found several ancient looking coins, broken swords that seem to have had some sort of value in the past, worn out books with unknown writing which even I can’t read because of how blurry it was. I ignored all furniture and decorations. Really, old things are hard to gauge their value.
After that, I take out all the corpses of mana beasts I had and began dismantling them. Mainly the Blood Bears I had gotten. For some weird reason, I only found 2 cores in the four Blood Bears, and they weren’t as good as the first one and didn’t give me any new skill.
By the way, when I checked the pouch, I noticed that there were 30 gold coins in it. How tactful of her. I place some of my pots inside it for any emergency and a number of things that I may have to take out in sudden situations. The pouch doesn’t seem to have as much space as my inventory, but I can’t say for sure. It does get slightly bigger each time I put something in, so I can definitely see a limit to it, unlike my inventory.
Lastly, before leaving the cave, I check my status window.
Name: Youma Hiromi Age: 21
Gender: Male Class: Double Edge
Race: Human Alignment: None
<Active>: [Heavy Blow (E)] [Speed Burst (D)] [Limit Break (E)]
<Passive>: [Fit for injuries] [Weak feed the Strong] [Calm voice] [Discern] [Instinct of the Predator] [Map]
My stamina and mana were really low. I am incredibly worn out after all.
In my state I can’t activate a single buff, so I take out the Feather of Rivbaret and stab my arm as if I were receiving an injection. From the outside I must definitely look like I am drugging myself. The feather penetrates unexpectedly smoothly, I didn’t feel any pain at all. All I could feel was a nostalgic flow entering smoothly inside me. After a while, the azure feather turns completely white and the flow stops. My mana was now 212/212. It recharged me completely.
I felt slightly better after that and finally I exit the cave.
At the entrance I couldn’t see anyone around. It was pretty quiet. The guys chasing me were nowhere in sight. They must have left after completing their mission or just grew tired of waiting.
I stretch my limbs to the utmost and take a deep, dee~p breath of the nature’s scent. It was a truly refreshing sensation truly different from the heavy and closed atmosphere of that cave. I am definitely more of the outdoor type.
“Now, to finally return to Arnesti”
After getting blocked so many times, I was actually looking forward to return to that city. I want to get a good night’s sleep… Sleeping on leaves at nights isn’t the most comfortable experience.
As I walked out, I had my [Instinct of the Predator] on. I avoided the people around and was almost at the end of the forest. But then I saw one figure hanging upside down.
“Uh~ *Sniff* Uwah~~”
And she was crying. A voice I feel like I have heard before.
When I check who it was…
It was Elinalise hanging upside down. When I look closely, she was caught in one of my traps… I made all of my traps non-lethal just in case, so there were no worries.
“Why are you up there? Did you come here alone?” I said this as I look around. No signs of life in a 20m radius. She was hanging out alone. Did she really come here without company even after she had such an experience?
“Uh… well, no. I was actually… Anyways! Can you let me down?” She seemed reluctant to tell me. Her body was swinging left and right and her face was a bit flushed, probably due to being upside down for a long period of time.
“If you tell me I will”
I tease her a bit. Elinalise cries out softly when I said that, but I could also see relief from her face. I don’t know why, I wanted to see her hanging like this for a while more. It was a pretty refreshing sight. I could feel some of my stress blown out when I looked at her.
“C-Can you not stare at me? I-I am currently in a bad situation here!” With a flushed face, she flails her hands and tries to cover her skirt that was flipping.
“I still don’t hear the answer. Why are you here alone?” This time I ask her seriously. It wouldn’t be a joke if she ended up the same as last time.
She averted her gaze for a bit and seems to have surrendered. After inhaling and exhaling as if preparing, she begins to explain:
“I was a-abandoned here. I had a party accompany me, but after a while of exploring we began encountering traps here and there. Always running into one after the other while we were hunting. In the end… I got caught in one too. And they decided to abandon me here. Because you know, I am called “Black Cat” in the guild…”
Sorry, those traps are mine. But did you really run into my traps that much? I didn’t place that many you know. How unlucky are you guys?
The patience of her party was probably pretty low since they already knew the rumors about her.
“Uhm… Sir Youma, can you please let me- Wah! Wa~ D-Don’t swing me please~”
“Calling me Sir at a time like this. What a shameful woman”
I push her a bit and enjoy her bashful behavior. She couldn’t do anything as her hands were keeping her skirt in place. Her long sky blue hair was swaying fluidly and her thin figure made the swinging easier.
After a while, I let her down. She fell on her knees and gasped for breath. I pat her back a number of times. The first time I patted her, she was surprised and choked, ending up in a coughing fit. But she later told me to continue so I did so.
When she calmed down. She looked at me and said: “Youma is a bully! Bleh~!” Sticking out her tongue, she walked forward, faking heavy stomps. For someone who was abandoned, she is awfully cheerful.
It seems she was returning to Arnesti as well, I walk behind her with a smile. She may be the healing type. Her actions made me forget, even if for a bit, the burden that I am now carrying.
Hey guys, thanks for reading.
The reunion with Eli has happened ^^! Now to see what will happen in Arnesti. I have a bit of situations stored for it :P, expect the heroes! No, its not a spoiler guys, its called a teaser! 😀
On a different note, an editor of mine, OhMario, is writing a new story that seems to have been sparked by my story. If you want to try it, here is the link https://losthighwayblog.wordpress.com/lets-go-devil-king/
Saraba Minna! See you on the next chapter of Tsuki ga Michibiku! (Because that’s definitely coming out faster :v)