The wasteland that is called the edge of the world.
That is exactly where we are living.
It has a messed up environment and one can’t even live properly in this vast ground.
But even with that, we highland orcs take residence in a relatively blessed area. By producing crops and hunting preys, we are somehow able to live.
To be honest, I want to live in a more bountiful place.
However, the risks are way too high in moving the village.
Even at this moment, a number of great warriors have gone out to look for a good plot of land, but in the scope we are able to move to, will there be a place that is better than this one?
I have doubts for the future, but the days keep on passing.
That is the everyday life of us.
Yet, since several years ago, the situation has changed.
From the far west mountains, a dragon that calls itself Shen has demanded sacrifices.
Of course, we couldn’t accept it just like that.
We tried to oppose it.
The warriors took their swords and the mages held their staffs.
Highland orcs exceled in both sword and magic. It’s embarrassing to say it myself, but we are a strong race.
We have survived the interior of this wasteland. We have a bit of pride ourselves.
But the Superior Dragon, that even among the giant dragons, is considered the strongest, was too intense for us.
The expedition units were unable to reach the base of Shen that is located in the distance.
The only thing we could do was to intercept. We thought if we can at least do that, the other party would give up.
But the actions of Shen were to envelop the entire village with the mist that it governed.
That mist, not only took the vision of our surroundings, but sapped our physical strength as well.
Even our crops grew poorly.
Anyhow, the mist had coiled around our village.
It couldn’t get any worse.
Our swords and magic couldn’t get rid of it.
The balance had crumbled.
The important balance that enabled us to live in this barren wasteland.
Of course, we didn’t perish immediately.
But everyone knew that was not far in the future.
After that, we tried many experiments, but in the end we couldn’t resolve the situation and we had to accept the demands of Shen.
Every half a year, a girl would be sent to be sacrificed.
Even this was merely a slower way to perish.
It was a humiliating choice.
Freed from the mist, we had to worship Shen like a deity.
The days where we had to use –sama (a honorific) towards someone who only brought harm to our village…began.
The girls from the village decreased slowly.
I, the daughter of the village chief, was no exception.
At last the moment has come.
A village that had a feeling of closure and the despair that floated around it.
How did things end up like this?
Come to think of it.
A number of times, a rarely seen race that had blue skin offered to help us, but for some reason, Dad didn’t even heed their words.
I think he said they were called demons.
I have only spoken with them for a bit but they seemed to give a feeling of gentleness.
We are being cornered this much, it should be fine to ask for their help. Or at least that’s what I think.
The village’s decisions were made by father and other influential people. It wasn’t something a woman like me could intervene in, so I have never spoken out.
Thinking that not long now I will be dying, I decided to tell him my opinion as my last words.
It happened on the night before I was going to depart.
“Father, I have a favor to ask of you.” (Ema)
“Ema, huh. What is it?”
“When I go, I want you to listen to what the demons have to say. I don’t know what they want from us but, at this rate, the village will disappear.” (Ema)
Father was silent.
“I have already accepted the fact I will be a sacrifice. But…” (Ema)
“… Are you scared?”
Father said it in a way that seemed as if he wanted to save me. I don’t know if there was a different meaning to it but he asked me if I was scared.
I silently shake my head to the sides.
“If the village disappears, me and every girl who has been sacrificed would have died in vain. I don’t want that. I am dying for the future of the Highland Orcs. At least, that’s what I want it to be.” (Ema)
“Ema… I understand. If even when you become a sacrifice, he demands another sacrifice, we will accept the alliance with the demons.”
“Thank you, Father.” (Ema)
I am glad.
With this, I might become the last sacrifice.
If we obtain the cooperation of the demons, the relationship with Shen might change for the better.
Even though I confronted my own father, somewhere inside me, I felt a bright feeling while I walked through the wasteland.
I choose a path with a good view. When an opposing monster or race appears, I take the initiative and use magic to implode them. With that, I was able to make it all the way here.
As long as I take the initiative, I would be able to somehow take care of most of the monsters even if it is only me.
At the time of the first sacrifice, a warrior accompanied her to the god mountain where Shen was, but now they had to pass a number of relay points by themselves in order to reach there.
There weren’t enough hands, so we had no other choice.
That’s why the girl that has been chosen as the sacrifice will have to spend half a year learning magic.
The girls who are more skillful with the sword were taught how to handle weapons.
Not even saying for half a year, I have been practicing since the day I remember, so there was no problem with me.
In that half a year of concentrating on the practice of magic, I felt a tad bit happy.
It was a small thing, but remembering the fun I had in that half a year, my face unconsciously made a smile.
Now I prepared myself.
Lifting my face, there were rugged rock walls and a terrain with lots of elevations in a wide area.
This is the last rough spot.
Since the vision in this area was bad, a surprise attack is possible.
I have to move out of this area fast as it’s a place with lots of dangers.
Though if I am to pass this place fine, I will reach a cave that will lead directly to the god mountain.
I made my first step in the rocky area.
“Please, someone, help me!!!!”
I didn’t even understand to whom I was calling for help.
My staff had been blown off my hands and had broken.
It won’t be useful at all now.
I, who didn’t have a single weapon in hand, was now facing a demonic beast.
A giant dog.
But he had two heads.
A dark deep blue haired demonic beast that I knew.
“Why is a liz in this kind of place?”
That is the name of the double headed dog in front of me.
It’s a fearsome demonic beast that forms groups and can breathe both fire and ice.
If I had the distance it wouldn’t be impossible for me to defeat him.
But losing my staff and being brought into physical combat distance, it wasn’t an opponent I could handle.
What made them so dreadful was their cunning way of hunting their prey in groups so it was strange to encounter a single one. In that sense, it could be said I was lucky.
It could be said, but…
Since I can’t defeat it, it is pointless luck.
There isn’t supposed to be a liz turf in these areas though?
This is bad, he is coming.
My breath is growing shallow.
No, to die by being sacrificed is one thing, but to die prey to this liz…!
Don’t joke with me!
“Someone help me!!!!”
I screamed from the bottom of my heart.
I see the liz heartlessly placing his strength on his hind legs and slightly shrinking his body.
For this to be the end. For what sake did I…!
The ears of the liz perked up.
Releasing the strength he placed in his body, both heads of the liz face in the same direction.
What is happening?
The liz was lured by it and I followed suit.
What is it? It seems like a cloud of dust is being raised?
“What? A race I have never seen before?” (Ema)
The liz made an overpowering roar in that direction.
It is obvious that he is more preoccupied by the trespasser than he is of me.
The shadow was running with a pair of legs in the same way as us Orcs, at a speed that’s impossible.
Isn’t it way too fast?
In a breath, it had shortened the distance between us and its appearance was clear.
“ASFHDSKJHFS!!” (TN: Yes, that’s what it says I’m not messing around)
Plunging with a shout I couldn’t understand well, he released a flying kick on the liz.
A physical match with the liz?!
Is he a warrior?
Will it be repelled or will he be able to deal damage? Anyways, his strength will be determined.
But he must have great confidence in his strength if he is challenging a liz to a physical match.
“No way…” (Ema)
It took me time to notice it was me who said that.
It was fast, but it was only a flying kick.
He wasn’t using any magic and he was probably not using any kind of special equipment.
Not only that, I could also sense clumsiness in his movements.
He tore off the body of the liz when he hit him.
Even though I saw it with my own eyes, my mind could still not perceive it as reality.
When it landed, it softly got up and turned its back. (TN: all this time she has been talking as if ‘he’ is an ‘it’. There is no definer as she doesn’t understand what he is.)
Not far from it, a meat lump that was once a liz was there.
I am convulsing, I am definitely dead now.
With only one hit?
The liz that was a mass of hard body hair and muscle…killed by that?
It is saying something.
Turning its eyes to one side, joining its hands, closing its eyes, it did many gestures I didn’t comprehend.
Our languages probably don’t match.
At the time it shouted, I couldn’t understand it either after all.
Though I think it is probably male.
Taking into account that voice and physique.
With all the knowledge I have, I try to think of what he is.
A hairless face that seemed smooth.
Simple garments made of cloth I have never seen before.
However, the sewing techniques utilized to make it were clearly skilled.
He doesn’t have claws or fangs and there is no tail.
Such a creature…
Could it be a warrior that has come from outside that we have made contact with a couple of times before? The so-called hyuman?
Anyways, they are the hyuman race or so I have heard.
Dissecting the body of the enemies it has defeated, oppressing the people that run away and have lost their will to fight; they are apparently a brutal race.
Now that I think of it, there was a dangerous race that had confronted the demon race.
Could it be the hyumans?
Our eyes met!
He was coming closer to me without any cautiousness.
Even if we are both barehanded, just seeing that spectacle, there is no way I would think we are on the same ground.
“Ah… Nice to meet you.”
“Hiiiih! He spoke?!” (Ema)
I let out a pathetic voice without thinking .
But I am not wrong.
Just a while ago I wasn’t able to understand a single word, yet all of a sudden, he said words I understood. He began to talk in my language.
There is no way I wouldn’t be shocked.
With a single glance he saw through the fact that I am a highland orc and changed the language he spoke?
Hyuman(provisional), scary. (TN: She is still not sure, hence the parenthesis)
“I am not strange. I am gentle and kind. Do you understand me?”
‘Boku’? (TN: A Japanese way to refer to oneself.)
As expected, he is a man.
I certainly understand what he is saying.
I move my head up and down.
At this moment, I couldn’t think about the possibility that maybe this doesn’t mean the same thing for him as it does for me.
But I felt there was something wrong…
??! I-I am gentle and kind?!
What is he saying?!
Hurriedly I shake my head left and right.
“There is no way someone who kills a Liz in one hit can be ‘gentle and kind’!” (Ema)
I could feel my body shivering again.
This guy, what kind of nonsense is he saying?
“Oh, I see. I am strong! I am stronger than you!”
I knew iiiiiiit!
I tremble and curl up.
He suddenly came with a threat without denying it.
He hasn’t done anything after that, but I feel like he is intimidating me.
When I sneaked a glance from the opening in my hands…he lifted up his hands and watched my scared appearance with a confused expression.
Just what are you?!
No matter how much I want to stay calm, the fear inside me always gets me.
“Well, calm down…”
It sounded as if he was telling himself that though.
Saying that, he continued the conversation with me.
Talking with him, I noticed that he was unexpectedly an understanding person.
How to say it… a good person.
In the middle of it, I asked him if he possessed that unique power called Tamer, but it seems he didn’t.
By the way, Tamer is a unique power that rarely appears in demons and hyumans. They can communicate with demonic beasts and mamono, and sometimes even control them.
After hearing him out, he said: “Are you also lost?”
When I called him a hyuman, he didn’t deny it, so I think he is a hyuman.
But, what is that about ‘also’? Did he get lost while walking alone in this wasteland?
No, that’s not possible.
What kind of absurdity occurred for that to happen?
And he doesn’t even seem to know that this is the edge of the world.
What is this? This mysterious person.
When I told him that I was a village sacrifice and that I was on my way to the god mountain, he made a meek face and was concerned about me. He asked about the village situation and how we normally lived, those kinds of things.
As expected, I think he is not a bad person.
He is a weird hyuman.
He introduced himself as Makoto, a 17 year old like me, and he escorted me to the last place I am to rest in, the ‘Body Purifying Field’.
As he is my benefactor I decided to call him Makoto-sama.
He then called me Ema-san. I felt ticklish.
It’s alright to not call me with honorifics, but maybe he doesn’t have that kind of custom?
Since the time he began to escort me, the journey has been proceeding smoothly.
There were no surprise attacks, only some races that were looking at us.
They seemed to be cautious of Makoto-sama and couldn’t get close.
I am truly trankful.
I felt relieved in my heart that I could now fulfill my duty as a sacrifice.
The entrance of the cave was in sight.
“Makoto-sama, can you please wait here for a bit? I have to explain the presence of Makoto-sama to the people there.” (Ema)
“Got it.” (Makoto)
I told Makoto-sama to wait for me for a bit and entered the cave first.
He obediently agreed and stopped, sending me off by waving his hands.
“Ema-sama, I am glad you have arrived safely.”
“Thanks. There is a person who saved my life on the way. There is no problem if he comes to rest, right?” (Ema)
“Ooh! A life savior?! I get it. Then, that person is…?”
“Calmly hear me out. I havent seen them before, but he is probably a hyuman.” (Ema)
“Yeah. It seems he is lost, but I don’t understand his circumstances well. However, what I’m sure about is that he rushed to me when I was in trouble and defeated a liz in one hit. By all means, I want to welcome him before we part.” (Ema)
“A hyuman though. I haven’t seen one either but I heard they are brutal and extremely greedy, on top of that, an exceedingly cruel race.”
“I have already spoken with Makoto-sama, in regards to him, there is no such thing. Please.” (Ema)
I persisted in my request, and they accepted what I said.
They probably heard my selfish request because I was a sacrifice.
I have to be grateful for that.
I wave my hand to Makoto-sama from the entry as a signal.
Even if I’m interested in him, there is no point.
I will be dying soon.
The Makoto-sama who suddenly appeared, that complete mystery, I couldn’t stop the curiosity that was slowly growing inside me.
That night at the cave with Makoto-sama, for me, was the most fun I have had in a long time -it was the best night.
I liked to tend to another person.
Even if it was a guest that came to the village, like for a friend’s celebration.
At these times, if I had to say which one I am, I am the kind that receives hospitality from others. There were lots of times where I was in a special position. I would normally enjoy those times more than normal.
Speaking of Makoto-sama, he was really interested in the magic I used. It seemed he couldn’t hold it in anymore and asked me about it.
“Ema-san. That…is magic, right?” (Makoto)
“Y-Yeah. This is magic that we normally use in our daily lives. Hyumans call it sorcery though.” (Ema)
I had heard that Hyumans called magic, sorcery. I was a bit surprised that he called it magic.
At that time, he asked me if he could use magic as well.
When I answered that: “Even if I look like this, I am actually one of the most prominent magic users in the village” His eyes began to shine.
I am actually the strongest one, but I tried to be a bit humble.
And then, Makoto-sama requested me to teach him magic.
I can’t believe it.
He was in that wasteland, without a weapon, and moreover without knowing magic.
Well, with that physical strength, it could be possible though…
He also said that he hasn’t eaten for 3 days. He ate the reserves of food in our cave reluctantly.
Well. he asked me. but since he said he didn’t even know the existence of magic, I will teach him about the aria of the magic I am using as a form of thanks with low expectations. I explained to him a bit about what magic energy is. (TN: aria is the magic chant used to activate a spell)
When I did that, even if it was elementary magic, he really managed to successfully conjure it with just one try of the aria.
Wanting to know just how strong this person was, I took out an item from the storage that was able to identify the levels, and the result was… he was a level 1.
There is no level 1 that strong.
I thought he was a level 100 or 300 at the very least.
Most of the demons that come to the village are around level 300.
He is really a mysterious person.
Is he a genius?
There’s normally a hard to approach atmosphere from the people that exceled in talent. But I can’t feel anything at all from this person.
In the end, after promising him that I would give him the arias that I know at a later time, the day came to a close.
That night I took a leather piece to use as paper and wrote and wrote and wrote like crazy; every single aria that I knew.
I thought that if my knowledge can stay inside my benefactor Makoto-sama, then that is something to be happy about.
In the night when everyone was already asleep, I went to the room he was in and silently left the paper there, and went to sleep.
Last night he lived a harmonious life as the only different one in this place filled with highland orcs.
I could feel the alertness of the warriors and all the other ones.
The next day.
I, who slept really late in the night, went to the guest room wishing to see the figure of my benefactor.
But I couldn’t find him.
I couldn’t see the figure of Makoto-sama anywhere.
Is he still sleeping?
It will be breakfast soon though.
There is still some time before I have to go. I want to talk about a lot more stuff with Makoto-sama even if only for a bit.
Even when I checked the inside, in the place where he is supposed to be sleeping, he was not there.
That’s why I went to the entrance and asked the guards there.
“Good morning-” (Ema)
“If it is about him, he left early in the morning”
“I have a letter from him.”
“A letter from Makoto-sama?” (Ema)
In the letter that was taken out, there were certainly letters written in it.
And there’s no doubt it was in our language.
Just what in the world is he?
Even in our village, there aren’t many who can write.
“Thanks for yesterday. It’s been a long time since I have slept somewhere with a ceiling. The magic arias that you have left beside my pillow, I have received them gratefully. I was really moved that you politely taught magic to a total stranger like me. I want to do something for the sake of Ema-san who has been so kind to me. Those are my honest feelings. I don’t know for how long, but please wait for at least one day before going to the god mountain. I will do something about that guy Shen. Just that, it’s possible that I won’t be able to return anymore. If Shen is not at Gods Mountain tomorrow, then please go back to the village with everyone. For being with me at the time when I thought I wouldn’t be able to meet with anyone anymore, I truly thank you.
Such a thing.
Makoto-sama is certainly strong.
But we are talking about the Superior Dragon Shen, a dragon that stands at the top of the dragons. It’s hard to expect something.
No matter what kind of existence, if you are not a Superior Dragon as well or at least a Great Spirit, there is no way you will be able to fight it one on one.
To challenge him with only the poor-quality magic I have taught you…
That wouldn’t be a fight, it’s a suicide.
I hurriedly made preparations to depart.
I am not sure if I will be able to catch up with him but still…if I make it, I have to convince him to give up.
I don’t know if Shen knows about our relationship with him, but if he fights Shen and he does know and decides to destroy us all…
I began to think about those kinds of things.
I have already accepted my death.
That’s why I don’t want someone else to die for my sake. If by trying to save me, the village gets destroyed, then I don’t wish for salvation.
I get it to the point of hurting that he is doing this out of goodwill.
That good will is something I can’t take.
I have to hurry.
With the bare minimum preparations, I announce that I will be leaving the cave.
At that place…
Makoto-sama was there.
With a girl I don’t know.
“Ah… you read the letter, right? Well, you see, I’m sorry. I have returned.” (Makoto)
He must have inferred what I was going to do by looking at my attire and expression.
Comforting yet evil, with a face of someone that had received a punishment.
Makoto apologized and then said, “I am back”, to me.
The hyuman looking woman with a strange outfit that wrapped around her body -to my amazement- was Shen-sama!
Talking with Makoto-sama, it seems she fell in love with him and is now travelling with him.
What is happening? I don’t get anything at all.
What I clearly understand is that…
We were leaving the ‘Body Purifying Field’, moving through all relay points in the opposite direction, and rendezvousing with soldiers. Meaning, we are now returning to the village.
Is this a dream?
The Shen that had oppressed us for all these years actually didn’t do anything at all.
Saying she was only sleeping.
When I asked what happened to the sacrifices, Shen-sama told me that it was most likely the handiwork of someone that used her name to impersonate and deceive us.
A woman with long blue hair and a tall figure.
This is Shen-sama.
Makoto-sama didn’t back off against a Supreme Dragon, moreover, led it to a favorable ground, and even made a pact with it, and he seems to now rule over her.
Fighting a supreme dragon, to draw it to a favorable state for him, and then form a pact?
I thought he was strong, but clearly the dimension of strength was completely different.
Seeing Shen-sama teasing Makoto-sama, I wanted to tilt my head in doubt and say “rule?”, but seeing Shen-sama’s form, I can’t doubt it.
‘Blowing my face away and then telling him to make me his wife, or more like, just a bit more and I would have been dragon steak’.
I felt like I was hearing make-believe stories.
But hearing Shen-sama explain in detail while laughing, somewhere inside my head, I had already agreed with it.
Seeing Shen-sama drinking the valuable beer as if it were water, and the Makoto-sama who, unlike the time he was in the cave, was eating the meal without any restraint, I felt like I was inside a dream.
It’s a feast, a feast.
And moreover it was a feast celebrating that the problem was resolved.
To think I had such a future.
The drunk warriors then asked the guests of honor, Makoto-sama and Shen-sama, to stand in front and act out the fight for them.
It was a show of ability, so it wouldn’t become a fight to death, but the intensity of it was thoroughly transmitted. It seems Makoto-sama was having fun.
This time it was the girls that gave out requests, but instead of a fight, they suggested a dance.
Makoto-sama was receiving a warm reception by father. He had a face that couldn’t hide his happiness.
It was the best night of a lifetime.
I thought that, but the next day, they did the best night of a lifetime again. I can’t believe it.
When Makoto-sama leaves his seat, the celebration settles down a bit, but the enthusiasm still remains.
At this rate, it will last until morning.
With a bitter smile, I watched the surroundings and, in that, at a bit of a separated place, I saw Shen-sama and father talking with each other, so I decided to get closer.
What are they talking about?
“That’s how it is. Whether you tell it to everyone or not, I leave it to you.” (Shen)
“I see. Then that also means Makoto-sama had taken in the resentment of the sacrificed girls.”
What did he say?!
Avenge? But Shen-sama said she didn’t know the one who used her name.
What does this mean?
“My great master doesn’t take the trouble to say those kinds of things.” (Shen)
“I thank you. Let me once again express my gratitude.”
“That is not needed. Though, I have a suggestion.” (Shen)
“What could it be?”
“Everywhere is dangerous at the ends of the wasteland. There are some fertile places, but they have already been fought over and disappeared.” (Shen)
“That’s right. In the past, we also had to fight for those fertile places and wore ourselves out. Judging that it was useless, we decided to make a village here. Forced to protect the lands we have obtained, the days of never ending fights against the tribes will only continue.”
“This may be a wise choice then. Well, you see…don’t you want to live in a more bountiful place?” (Shen)
“Is that…are you telling us to fight again?”
“No. When I made the pact with my liege, I coincidentally found a nice plot of land. There is no one living in that place, and without my and master’s permission, it is impossible to enter it. The green is abundant and, in my eyes, it is an easy place to live in. How about it?” (Shen)
“Is Shen-sama inviting us to her sacred lands?”
A fertile land?
A secure place?
There were no signs of the topic about resentment, but I couldn’t help but have an interest in what those two were talking about.
“Calling it a Sacred Land gives me shivers. It is Asora. Oh well, the naming doesn’t matter. From now on, you will receive the protection of my master, and as long as you devote yourselves to him, I will provide you with a rich land to live in. That’s the gist of it.” (Shen)
“But that, we don’t know how much land there is and where it is located.”
Father seems to be at a loss.
It’s true that it would be troubling to suddenly announce that we will be abandoning the village.
But, a land that is protected by Makoto-sama and Shen-sama.
That must be an incredible place.
“Fumu, you do have a point. Then, being the chief I will let you see it once, come.”
As expected of Shen-sama, she is fast. Father and Shen-sama were enveloped by a thick mist and disappeared.
Does that mean they have gone to that land?
To enter from the wind. It would certainly be a safe place.
I heard a rattling sound of teeth.
It was me.
An exciting and uplifting feeling slowly began to accelerate inside of me.
By following Makoto-sama and serving him, we would get a rich land and a safe lifestyle.
How to say it, it was enticing.
It’s true that I still don’t know much about Makoto-sama, but he is definitely not on the bad side.
A rich land. Could it possibly be that kind of land that, with just a little plowing, the seeds that we plant will grow?
If it were in the wasteland, without doubt, everyone would fight for that kind of land with bloodshot eyes.
That kind of place…we could live in it by serving the Superior Dragon Shen-sama and Makoto-sama.
The proposal of Shen-sama sounded incredibly appealing.
When father returns, I must join in convincing him.
While I silently hardened my resolve, both of them had returned.
Father’s appearance looks strange.
But I have to convince him.
Without minding, I began walking to where both of them were, and then stopped.
“Shen-sama. I will make sure to convince everyone by tonight. Please, let us live in that land!”
I couldn’t feel the hesitation he had a few moments ago. The words of my father requesting migration made me let out a stupefied voice.
“Fuh, it seems your daughter also agrees. Can you pledge your loyalty to Misumi-sama?” (Shen)
“He is the savior of my daughter. From now on, he will become the savior of our tribe. Please, let us serve under him!”
“My life was saved by him. To repay him is a given.” (Ema)
“Fumu. Fine. Leave the convincing of Master for tomorrow. Tonight, you guys should properly put those noisy people in order.” (Shen)
The next day…
It didn’t take long to accept the migration.
We decided to live a new life on the land that Makoto-sama and Shen-sama govern.
Everyone directed fervent glances to father wondering how bountiful the land is.
I was looking forward to the everyday life that is to come.