Tsurugi no Joou to Rakuin no Ko:Volume 1 Chapter 1

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Chapter 1 – Beast’s Son

Your father was a beast— Chris heard such a description of his father from his mother’s mouth.

He returned to his wilderness, and is not here anymore…… She said.

‘Now, you have nothing left except for me.’

‘There can only be me alone in your eyes; Devour my hair, drink my blood, and then live on……’

Before his seventh year, Chris was still living a life of being imprisoned in a store that was full of hay and firewood. As he had never once basked in sunlight, every inch of skin on him was snow white; so white that it was chilling. The only thing that gave him comfort was that whenever he faced an urn of water, the reflection of his face in the water resembled his beautiful mother a lot.

Except for Mother, I really have nothing left……

Chris’s body was frail since birth. Whenever winter arrived, his chest would hurt so much that he would cough up blood, and at those times, his mother would take care of him without rest; picking herbs for him without caring that it froze her hands, feeding him yam porridge that was originally meant for her. All that she did caused the blood that he coughed up to not stick in his throat.

If mother isn’t here one day, then what should I do?

On a certain winter morning, he woke up in his mother’s lap. Opening his eyes, he looked at his mother’s facial features as she held him in her lap. That moment, she was sleeping lightly with weariness clouding her face. All of a sudden, a chest pain different from when he was coughing blood suddenly assaulted him.

— If she isn’t here anymore, there would probably be no one in this world who even knows of my existence anymore……

Don’t worry— his mother said while holding his hands, lightly touching her lips on his forehead at the same time.

Red marks that were like crawling worms branded Chris’s forehead and the back of his hands since birth. She told him that it was the proof that blood of the beasts flowed in his body—

‘So don't worry, you are a son of the beast. Devour me— my blood, my meat; swallow my whole life into your belly, allowing me to forever become part of your body……’

Moonlight shone into the store through the transom. That night, the moon was a big, sleek new moon. On nights when the new moon hung in the night sky, the brandings on Chris’s body would emit a faint, soft light of white that had a tinge of blue. At the same time, a faint pain that caused his body to feel pleasure slowly pierced into his chest little by little. He felt the pain to be almost like a summon……

—Actually, Chris knew faintly in his heart that his mother was always deceiving him.

Occasionally, there would be people visiting her from her mother's side. Chris was locked inside the store, and he would eavesdropped on his mother and the opposing party’s conversations through the slit of the door……

‘— Ever since your husband was killed, you always locked yourself in your house……’ It was a voice that sounded somewhat hoarse because of age. Chris always heard this voice questioning his mother: ‘I heard sounds of movement in your store. What in the world are you hiding……

‘— You didn’t refrain yourself from throwing away that baby that time, did you!’

On the winter when he was seven, Chris’s existence was found out by the villagers.

Amongst his mother’s cries, the door of the store was furiously pushed open by the masses— it was the first time when Chris saw an adult man in his life. A few men rushed forward to press Chris onto the floor. His mother’s wails tortured his eardrums. Perhaps due to the strong fear, pain and anger in his chest, he did not realize at the moment that a sense of burning suddenly throbbed on his forehead and hands.

‘— This thing is the beast that brings misfortune!’

An old woman that seemed to be an elder of the tribe forcedly opened her eyes that almost went blind and furiously glared at Chris while saying:

‘Look, it is that marking on his forehead. This kid will devour everyone’s lives, leaving misfortune, and then living on alone!’

‘Why didn’t you kill him when he was still a baby! I did tell you to toss him into the river!’

‘Why did you secretly raise him!’

—Why didn’t you kill him, isn’t he the child you borne after you were defiled by the enemy in a war? This is a sign of bad luck— What do you think we will do if he brings disaster? What if the village is attacked by other armies again? Hurry up and kill him, hurry up and kill him…… Even though Chris’s existence was resented, assaulted furiously with words and became the target as a trash in the hands of the surrounding villagers, his mother still hugged him to her chest, trying to protect him to safety. That moment, the warmth from his mother was the last feeling that Chris’s mother gave to him.

And on that night, the night of the new moon, the village was assaulted by a gang of bandits. Every house was burnt to ashes. Villagers were slaughtered, while Chris’s mother was defiled before his very eyes, and was killed just like that……

He did not remember how he survived after that.

That night, he regained consciousness under the night sky stained in brownish red by the blazing fire. The thick odor of rust drifted in his surroundings, while the tears and ashes that floated in the air stained his whole face. Chris saw numerous corpses before his eyes— Apart from his mother and the villagers, there was a crowd of bandits donning old, dirty armor whose bodies were severely deformed.

The new moon that was like a white scratch climbed past the zenith of the night sky after a long time. Before that, Chris was still blankly lying on the ground, staring at the pools of blood on the ground and the flickering flames. That moment, the store that he lived in from the time when he was little spat out the flickers of flames from the blaze and started to collapse.

He could not hold back the trembling of his chin. However, the trembles were completely irrelevant to the coldness of the night……

— Mother…… died…..

— Mother died…… But why am I still alive

— Why did I abandon her…… living on alone?

— I already don’t have the strength to move a finger……

— Just let me lie by her side like this……

— Sleeping forever by mother’s side……

Thus, the roof that was unable to remain erect finally collapsed from the attack of the ferocious flames. It was possible that everything in that place would be burnt to ashes by the blazing fire not long after…… Chris attempted to crawl towards the corpse of his beautiful mother. However, he realized all of a sudden that he was holding a foreign object……

— A large sword

A blade of uneven widths was completely stained in blood…… Chris hurriedly searched his surroundings. The corpses of the scattered bandits also held large blades of the same type…… Which means, the huge sword in his hands was snatched from the bandits?

— How can this be possible? How could I do such a thing…...

Blood stained his blade. Whose blood was that— that’s right, why is it that apart from the corpses of the villagers, the bandits were there as well? Their throats were cut, while the armor on them was devastated due to being pierced through with innards flowing out. And those people, how did they die?

— Did I really kill them?

— If it is indeed so…...

— Why was I unable to save my mother?

—I couldn’t save her…...

— Why…...

Chris stared blankly at the huge sword in his hands. The flames reflected on the blade shone in a cold radiance, absorbing all the fear and tremors of his heart. The store that he always lived in made various noises as it was devoured by the flames, and faded as he gradually focused on other matters in his brain.

— Why did I kill them? Even though I was unable to save my mother at that time?

— Why am I feeling so calm?

— Even though I was unable to save my mother…… Why…...

That moment, a voice suddenly came into his ears— or it might be better to say, into his consciousness.

(…… Devour them.)

(…… Eat up all of their fates.)

He understood in a flash that it was the voice of the beast. He looked at his fists that looked pale because of its overexertion. The insignia on the back of his fist gave off a blinding light. He covered his forehead and immediately felt a scorching pain burn his palm.

(…… Devour them.)

(…… Eat up all of their fates, and live on by yourself.)

— The beast…… is saying the same things as mother…...

The same structure of both of them caused a terrified but sweet sensation to arise in Chris. That moment, the blood of his mother, unnamed villagers and the bandits mixed together, sliding down the blade, seeping between his fingers.

He heard the sound of the beast swallowing the blood, and at the same time, he once again recalled the words his mother once said…..

‘Now, you have nothing left except for me.’

‘There can only be me alone in your eyes; Devour my hair, drink my blood, and then live on……’

However, she wasn’t there anymore. If so, whose meat would he have to eat, and whose blood would he have to drink to live on? Whose body would he have to lean on so that he would not feel cold— Would someone like that search for him? Or could he even meet such a person? And then…… would he have to eat up such a person?

— It is indeed so. Then perhaps he should allow his dry throat to forever remain in such a bad state, allowing his stomach to continue feeling the hunger. Not crossing the fates of other people, living on all alone…...

Chris stood up, looking towards the new moon hung high in the sky while dragging his sword. At the same time that he took his first step, the sound of his home collapsing due to the flames rang behind him.

The remains of the fire drifting in the air, he had his back on the scene, walking into the blurred, profound night step by step.

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