Volume 1 — Birth
The First Errand (Extreme)
I let out a cry loud enough that I even surprised myself, and started to run.
I hastily rush over and ascertain Erina-san’s condition.
The first thing I felt was her abnormally high body temperature. Her entire body is hot, her breathing is harsh, her perspiration isn’t stopping. It’s clearly abnormal, but I mustn’t make her rest in the kitchen. I call out to her several times, but—perhaps unconscious—there’s no response. I don’t really want to move her, but it can’t be helped.
I crawl underneath Erina-san, fire myself up and lift my body. I didn’t think that a three-year-old child would be able to lift up an adult female, but my trained body responded to the necessary demands to accomplish it. I limp along with her on my back: it’s an awkward movement, but I walk step by step: in a way that ensured that I wouldn’t drop her. Frankly, it was demanding, but thankfully Erina-san’s room is close by.
Barely managing to reach her room safely, I shift her onto the bed and then return to the kitchen.
I had also studied medical science in my previous life, but this is a different world. Even though I can think of similar manifestations, it’s not necessarily the same disease.
Setting aside the examination, I try to rehydrate her. Having perspired to that extent, she’ll succumb to dehydration. I fill a wooden cup with the water that she had already prepared for brewing black tea, and finely chop some apus with a knife. Taking the finely chopped apus into my hand, I squeeze them into the cup and mix it with the water. I put a cloth and water into a nearby bucket and return to Erina-san’s room carrying everything that I had prepared.
When I get back, Erina-san had awakened.
But her face is pale, and seemingly unable to even raise the upper-half of her body, she apologetically turned her eyes over here.
“Sirius-sama……I’m so sorr—…..”
“It’s fine! Here, drink some water.”
I prop up the cup to her mouth and slowly tilt it. She seems to be able to swallow the liquid, so taking care not to choke her, I continue to make her drink it. I move the cup away just as she had drunk about half, wring the bucket water out of the cloth and wipe away Erina-san’s sweat, wring it once again and placed it on her forehead.
“Aah……I feel much better. Thank you very much.”
“Don’t worry about it, more importantly, what happened? Is this a disease?”
“Yes, it’s probably……Demon’s Water disease.”
Demon’s Water disease? Where have I seen……aah, it was Albert’s Book of Travels!
If I’m not mistaken, there was a certain village where there were numerous deaths due to Demon’s Water disease or something in that book……wait, isn’t that a dangerous disease?! As it wasn’t a medical text, only the name and the outcome of the disease was written, so I don’t know the specifics of the disease.
“Please don’t worry. It’ll be okay when Dee and Noel return tomorrow.”
Perhaps she had noticed that I’m panicking, Erina-san spoke to me as if to calm me down.
“With Demon’s Water disease, if you have the medicine, you will get better. As that medicine had run out, I had the two of them go out to buy some. ”
“I-, I see. If it’ll cure you, then it’s okay.”
“Yes, I only have to put up with it until tomorrow. Only people with the water attribute can catch this disease, but I’m not sure whether Sirius-sama can catch it as well. So please avoid coming near me until the two of them get back, okay?”
“All right. However, as you probably need things like water, I’d like you to allow me to tend to you, even if it’s just a little.”
“I guess it can’t be helped. Thank you……for your help…….”
Perhaps relieved, Erina-san lost consciousness as if a switch had been turned off.
Oi oi, wait until tomorrow in this situation? Nevertheless, I can’t stop worrying in the least. Thinking ‘isn’t there anything I can do?’, I try searching around Erina-san’s room. Erina-san does have pharmacological knowledge, and there are things like compounding utensils in the room. There might possibly be something like a medicine that recovers a person’s physical strength around. Unfortunately there wasn’t, but instead, I discovered a book. It had a long-winded title, but rendered simply it’s: [Encyclopedia of Diseases].
The main method of treating people in this world is to use magic, so medical knowledge is not advanced. Perhaps because of that, this book has no thickness to it; but it’s just what I need in this situation. I open the book without delay and search for the symptoms of Demon’s Water disease. As there’s no table of contents, it took more time than I expected it would, but I was able to quickly find it by skimming through the book.
Demon’s Water disease.
A strange disease whereby maryoku starts being spontaneously emitted from within the body.
At that time, the body generates heat abnormally, and the body becomes unmovable due to the high fever.
Strangely, while only people of the water attribute suffer from this disease, it’s highly infectious.
As for the treatment, medicine made from a mixture of Water Demon grass will completely cure the disease.
If it’s not dealt with within half a day, due to the maryoku depletion and the high fever, the person will lose their life.
It’s because of that speed that—although it’s curable—it’s known throughout the world as a dreadful disease.
It’s totally wasn’t okay!
Erina-san was infected with Demon’s Water disease this afternoon, and Dee and Noel will return tomorrow afternoon. With a reprieve of half a day, if we were to wait for the other two, she’ll certainly die, won’t she?
So much for ‘please don’t worry’…… She probably said it to put me at ease, but to hell with that! I don’t care about no circumspection. Because I’m going to do what I want to do.
Since I’ve decided, I need to be expeditious.
I turn over absolutely every book in the room and locate a book related to medicinal plants; it was for the purpose of finding the [Water Demon grass] necessary for the cure. Since the compounding method was written in the previous book, all I need now is the ingredients. While I am calming my impatient mind, I flip the pages, searching for words ‘Water Demon grass’. And then I came across the page I was looking for.
Water Demon grass.
Growing by absorbing underwater maryoku, it’s a species of medicinal plants which possesses a distinctive shape.
Used in various mixtures, it possesses the property to vastly enhance the effects on people of the water-attribute.
It grows naturally on watersides with thick maryoku and the collection is relatively easy.
A picture of the Water Demon grass is also on the page and I beat its distinctive shape into my memory.
I let go of the book and make preparations to collect the grass. As for a weapon, the knife in the kitchen will do. It’s a knife used for cooking, so its strength is an issue; but it’s better than nothing. I don’t need any armor that will obstruct my movement. This time it’s a speed-prioritized-gather-and-return operation. I take a small bag to be worn on my back, and just in case, I also leave behind fresh water and cut apus around Erina-san.
With the preparations made, I rush out from the entranceway and check the sky. The day had already become dark, it’s the time period when day changes completely to night. There’s a moon that is further away and larger than the one in my previous life, but fortunately there’s a full moon today and it’s bright outside.
My destination is the forest that is on the opposite side of the entrance. I would’ve been scolded by Erina-san so I haven’t gone deeply inside it before, but I do recall having heard the flow of water from this direction. If I try searching over there, then I might find Water Demon grass.
It’s a world with demons, so a lone child rushing into the night forest is insane. However there’s no time to waste; if I were to fail Erina-san here, I would regret it for the rest of my life. I want to save someone that is saveable. Preparing myself for the worst, I charged into the forest.
Because the footing isn’t stable with the many obstacles in the forest, even walking uses up more physical strength than I expected. I had the experience of being raised in a forest, so I can limit wastage; but the body is of a three-year-old child, so even that won’t last long. While avoiding the Horabis which jump out at me from time to time, I advance while controlling my physical strength consumption.
Before long, I found a small river and searched for the Water Demon grass.
Apparently ‘collection is easy’, but is it difficult for a flowing river? As ‘watersides with thick maryoku’ was written, I should head upstream rather than downstream. I stab a block of wood in the ground to act as a landmark, and hurried deep into the thick forest that was alongside the river.
Passing over something fence-like on the way, I think it was about twenty minutes? Just when I thought the narrow river was rapidly spreading out, I realised that the river was just leading into a small lake. The lake split several times into rivers, and it seems that the one which I came alongside of was one of those.
Given the breadth of this place, it looks like the grass would be here. The visibility is also favourable as the moonlight isn’t obstructed by trees, making it easy to search. ‘I should immediately’……right after I thought that, I sensed a presence and my feet came to a halt. As a wild beast wouldn’t reveal its presence so conspicuously, I stay concealed in the trees and shift my gaze towards the presence.
Sure enough, that was there.
A head with horns, an entirely green, human shaped demon.
In my previous life’s scale of measurement, it’s height looks to be approximately 1 meter. A crude cloth is wrapped around his waist and it’s carrying a piece of wood as a weapon. It’s strength is that of an ordinary adult male, it’s movements aren’t that fast and it’s also not smart.
In exchange, their fertility and growth is abnormally rapid, and they have the habit of banding together, so subjugation corps are often assembled to deal with them and such.
As it’s omnivorous it’ll also eat people, and in the case of females, they abduct them, rape them and force them to give birth to their children.
If one was able to defeat a goblin that carried a weapon, they’d be called a novice adventurer.
The aforementioned was from a selection of Albert’s Book of Travels.
In other words, a goblin isn’t an enemy that a three-year-old child challenges.
What’s more, there’s three people……no, since they’re not humans, there are also three goblins. Nevertheless, I will purposely challenge them. It’s because they’re a hindrance to my harvesting. They sit down on the bare ground with a dosshiri; they don’t have any intention of moving somewhere else. There’s also no time, so if they’re not going to move out of the way, then I’ve no choice but to eliminate them.
Gripping the knife, I picked up a rock that was at my feet, threw it in an arc and it landed behind the goblins. That sound caught their attention, and the moment they turned their backs, I rushed out towards them.
My posture is low, running swiftly towards their chests.
The goblins turn around at the sound of my footsteps, but I’m already at their feet. I’m shorter than them, and they lose sight of me for an instant. I was in a position where they’d be able to see me if they lowered their gaze even just a little bit.
In the space of that instant, I thrust in the knife into a throat.
While the fresh blood that spurts out dyes my body red, the remaining two goblins, leaving their eyes open, had stopped moving. As a former educationist, I instinctively wanted to lecture them about their miserable state of standing stock still during a battle.
I twisted my body and extract the knife with the resulting momentum, continuing, I cut the second goblin’s throat……in the middle of that, the knife broke. But I don’t stop moving. I take the broken part of the knife and, with the palm of my hand, push it into the goblin’s hand that came at me as a delayed form of opposition. Feeling the resistance, without slowing down one bit, I use the forward momentum to leap and I distanced myself while doing a forward roll three times.
Looking back, two goblins have collapsed, and they died while shaking and twitching.
But I don’t have a weapon, and I’m in pain because I was slightly cut from using my palm to push the edge of the knife into the goblin. Also, perhaps having recovered from being perturbed, the goblin yells out, enraged. I realized it just now, but that goblin’s weapon isn’t a piece of wood, it’s a sword. As the blade of the sword is short, I think it’s a kind of short blade, but I dare say it’s using it after picking it up from a human’s belongings.
While I’m scrutinizing it, the goblin abruptly stopped moving and let out a laugh in a husky voice. Might it be thinking ‘my opponent is a child’ and is mocking me? I wonder if you realise that two of you were defeated in an instant by this child? Aah, come to think of it, ‘goblins are of low intelligence’, was it? It would be on its guard if it was a complete beast, but a half-baked intelligence turns out to be fatal. Well then, I’ll gratefully exploit that.
This time I charged without lowering my posture, and the laughing goblin launched an obvious vertical slash at me. I slant my body and avoid it, concentrate, and chant. I visualise a baseball sized maryoku ball in a grenade launcher.
“Slumbering truth from the depths, evil spirits that wheeze at me……”
Argh, whatever, it’s such a pain!
Aimed at the goblin’s face, I fired the ball of maryoku from point-blank range. Having eaten an impact that made his body float in the air for a moment, the goblin, holding his face, writhed around while screaming.
With that opening, I pick up its dropped sword, and with the weight of my body, I end it by thrusting it into its throat……there.
In this way, my first demon slaying ended.
Putting an end to the battle, I make sure that there are no enemies in the surrounding area and take a breath. No, I didn’t stop at one breath. Perhaps I was more fatigued than expected, my temporarily disordered breathing had not settled. Even if my mind was used to it, my body is that of a three-year-old child, so it’s natural to be fatigued from having done a forced march up to this point. Just when I had calmed down, I close my eyes, and slowly count to three.
That was a slight suggestion, a switch that changes my battle consciousness to normal consciousness. Like that, by the time I open my eyes, I will regain my composure. Now, let’s search for our objective.
Although, when I approached the waterside I immediately found it. While one blade of grass is sufficient, I harvest five blades just in case and put it away in the bag. It looked like if I stayed too long, other demons will gather in response to the blood. I wash my blood-covered face, and hastily retraced my steps back the way I came from.
I fell down several times due to fatigue, but I returned home without encountering any demons. It was probably about two hours since I departed.
When I checked Erina-san’s condition, she was breathing harshly and her consciousness was also faint. There’s no time, I open the book and started compounding using the compounding tools in the room.
Put the Water Demon grass into the mortar, mash it until the clumps disappear. Put in the seeds of the walnut-like Kurumeshia—which I have on standby—and then also mash this until the clumps disappear. Once it’s turned into a green coloured paste, put it into boiling hot water—……wait, there isn’t hot water!
I go to the kitchen, throw kindling into the cooking stove and pass maryoku through the appended magic tool. Under usual circumstances, the kindling catches fire from this tool, but nothing happens. Even after I try it several times, the result is the same; and when I check the magic tool, one part of the magic square drawn on it was missing.
Come to think of it, I recalled the discussion this morning about it being broken.
If that’s the case, then trying to ignite it with a fire stone, I look at the box placed in a corner, but the box is toppled over: aren’t all the stones cracked? I suppose it most likely happened the instant Erina-san collapsed, but thanks to the floor being made out of stone, it didn’t become a conflagration; at least that’s something isn’t it? But with this the fire……no, I have no choice but to ignite it by hand.
There are fragments of the fire stone remaining. I taper the kindling to a point with the spare knife in the kitchen and hit that sharpened point against a fragment of the fire stone. I then rotate the kindling, igniting a fire with the frictional heat: it’s a primitive method. This method requires quite a lot of power and skill, but as I expected, the fragment acted as the ignition material and was easily ignited.
I increase its heating power by giving it air, and I throw in the compounded medicinal plants once the hot water boiled. When I add in the medicinal plants, the pigments of the green colour muddied the water, but a short time later, the supernatant became transparent. It appears that this supernatant is the specific medicine for Demon’s Water disease. Lastly, I collect the supernatant in a cup and it’s complete.
‘The finished product is colourless and emits a faint light’ is what is written, and the exact same phenomenon is visible, so it appears that it is well-made.
Letting the medicine cool, I dash back to Erina-san.
“Erina-san, it’s medicine. Drink this.”
She seems to be conscious but also confused; and she murmured something, staring into space.
This is genuinely bad, if I don’t forcibly make her drink this….
“I’m so sorry……I’m so sorry……I-……I-……”
Like I said before, why are you apologizing!
Damn it! Even though I have to compose myself, perhaps my mind is being dragged by my body, my emotions are uncovered. Enough already, adrenalin is kicking in and holding it back has become ineffective.
“Just drink it! Because if you don’t drink it, I definitely won’t forgive you!”
Erina-san’s body trembled at my angry voice. When she takes a quick look at my eyes, I firmly keep her gaze over here, so I move the cup to her mouth. It takes several minutes, but she finishes drinking the contents of the cup, and at the end I gave her an order with a single word.
My tone of voice was rough, but Erina-san quietly shut her eyes and began to make the breathing sounds of a sleeping person. Tears flowed from her eyes, but whatever happens, happens.
I leave the emptied cup on the floor, and I realized what I had accomplished. I did what I could, and all that remains is to wait for the outcome. I had passed my boundaries, and remaining clinging to Erina-san’s bed, I lost consciousness.
I experienced a soft sensation on my head.
Being caressed lovingly is the usual……the usual—?
I awaken in an instant, and my face shot up.
“Yes, I’m here……”
The always smiling Erina-san was there.
Her hair and clothes were disheveled by sweat, but her face wasn’t pale, and she had moved her upper body and was caressing my head. Looking outside, it has become completely light out, it was probably forenoon.
She was over the worst of it.
Like this, I look at Erina-san’s face and finally settled down.
It seems that she’s cured from the Demon’s Water diseasel; all that remains is to let her recover her physical strength and it’ll probably be okay. I thought I’d get some food and stand up, but—perhaps I slept with a strange posture—I fell on top of Erina-san without being able to put strength into my feet. What are you doing, placing a burden on a convalescent person? I try to get up with the embarrassing feelings of ‘how careless and uncool’, but I wasn’t able to.
As Erina-san is holding me tightly in her arms.
“Thank you. Just, you have……my gratitude.”
I’m buried in Erina-san’s chest, and it’s a bit hard to breathe, but shall I let her do what she wants for now? No, wait a minute, even though I ran and fought to that extent, I haven’t changed my clothes yet.
“Umm, Erina? If you stick to me like that the stains will……”
“I don’t mind. The stains of someone who saved me does not concern me.“
“O-, okay. But, you know, you don’t want to have a bit of blood to stick rig—……”
“Blood!? Did you get injured somewhere?!”
Woah, she unfastened me from the embrace as if I was about to burst open.
And then using her eyes, as if licking over my whole body……hey, you’d instantly find out wouldn’t you? My clothes are a deep red from the back-splatter of the goblins blood. Even though it took considerable effort for her to become healthy, Erina-san’s face became pale once again.
“Calm down, since this isn’t my blood.”
“Bu-but what exactly is this blood?”
Yep…well whatever, let’s tell her the truth. It just means that I’ve moved up next year’s plans to now.
“This is goblins’ blood. They were a hindrance while I was collecting Water Demon grass, so I defeated them. ”
“Goblins!? Moreover, it was during the collection of Water Demon grass that you, defeated them?”
“Yep. With the kitchen knife and like this……see?”
I reproduce the movement of stabbing the goblin’s throat with gestures.
As expected, Erina-san is dumbfounded, but I gazed at Erina-san with a serious face. Perhaps comprehending the extent of the seriousness on my face, the perturbed Erina-san calmed down a little bit.
“Sirius-sama, just what are you?”
“I think there are various things that we want to say to each other. I have some things I want to say, and Erina does too, right?”
“However, let’s settle down a bit. It’s not too late to talk after we’ve finished taking care of our bodies, etc.”
“That’s……true. I have behaved embarrassingly.”
It’d probably end up being about important and crazy matters, so I think we should talk after we had calmed down.
Handing Erina-san a change of clothes, I leave the room, return to my own room and finished changing my clothes. Looking at it again, the blood back-splatter is really dreadful. For me to have been that inept in the battle…
I go outside, wipe my body with water from the water well, and decided to make a light meal. I cut the bread into bite-sized pieces and dip them into a mixture of eggs, pseudo-milk, and sugar. After that, if I grill them until the surface gets slightly burned, then an other world version of French toast is complete. As it’s not white bread, it might be weird to call it ‘toast’, but I don’t pay undue attention to that. There’s no issue with the taste. I also prepare my favourite black tea. Now, let’s go! To where Erina-san is!
I knock and wait for a response before I enter the room. I had told her not to move from the bed, but as one would expect, she had already neatly finished her personal grooming. Before we talk, let’s try and get through a meal shall we?
“I wonder, what is this? It’s the first time I’m seeing this food.”
“It’s called ‘French toast’. It’s sweet and delicious.”
“Well then, itadakimasu.”
I actually wanted to make a thin rice porridge for a convalescent, but as there’s no rice… If it’s French toast, then it’s soft and easy to eat. Erina-san ate a mouthful, and after nodding several times, she smiled a full smile.
“…..it’s delicious. I feel Sirius-sama’s kindness.”
“I see. You’re still convalescing so please don’t over do it, okay?”
“It’s not flattery. Receiving such good care, I’m blessed.”
I feel happy seeing her figure happily continuing to eat.
In the blink of an eye, she finishes eating it all, and I prepare the tea and paused.
Well then, let’s have a discussion that will decide my life, shall we?
“Erina, it’s about time we get to the main point.”
“……All right. ”
“So, it’s about me, but—……”
“Please wait a moment.”
I planned on saying it all rapidly, but I was stopped.
Please, give me a break. No matter how much of an ossan I am, something like this requires courage, you know.
“Before that, please let me say something. It’s regarding Sirius-sama’s mother.”
Ooh, finally, about my mother is it?
However, Erina-san’s expression is stiff: is it perhaps a subject that difficult to broach?
“I’m sorry, but there’s a picture inside the desk. If you could……”
Exactly like she said, when I search the desk, there’s one A4 sized picture inside.
What was depicted was a lone woman.
In other words, this person is…
“Miliaria Eldrand. Sirius-sama’s mother.”
It’s not to the extent of a photograph, but it’s a good picture with excellent craftsmanship and painted in colour.
Looking at the flowing black hair, and the gentle eyes, a feeling of being at peace mysteriously comes over me. I instinctively understood: this person is, without a doubt, my mother.
“And, at the same time she gave birth to you……she passed away.”