Chapter 1 – The offering for the Evil God
“It’s a Devil Child that took the lives of his parents with his birth!”
“Kill it before it can cause a disaster!”
The adults of the village cursed at the infant named Marc that was just born.
Marc’s father died even before his son’s birth during a magic beast hunt, and his mother also lost her life due to a difficult delivery.
But most of all, Marc possessed the white hair said to be the sign of a ‘cursed child that brings disaster’ in their village.
“They say that children with white hair tend to have high inborn mana. A Devil Child like this should be to the taste of the Evil God as well.”
With that statement from the village elder, the fate of Marc has been decided.
There was a tradition in that village.
Once every hundred years, the stars illuminate a path deep into the mountains that leads to a different world.
If a person with a high mana capacity is not offered as a sacrifice at that time, then the Evil God will be furious and a great calamity will be visited on the entire kingdom.
With his parents dead and he himself having the white hair that was deemed ominous by the village, Mark was simply a convenient target.
It was decided that Marc would be raised in a shack on the outskirts of the village――and so, ten years have gone by just like that.
“Marc, come with me. I will now lead you to the altar, where you will be offered as a sacrifice to soothe the anger of an ancient god.”
The day I turned fourteen…..the village elder appeared before me with the village militia in tow.
I hung my head in silence.
I had no intention of trying to oppose them.
I was allowed to live for the last fourteen years for this single purpose.
As someone who took his own parents’ lives and was born as a cursed child, this is my chance to be of use to someone.
The militia that accompanied the village elder also included the mages responsible for the ritual, so we all walked up the mountain.
Within a cave, there were a number of mummified remains of magic beasts in a row; slated to be used during the ritual, most likely.
Ordered by one of the mages, I sat down in the center of the large magic circle.
“With this, both the problem of the Devil Child and the sacrifice for this generation will be resolved. This is a good omen, village elder.”
One of the mages said with a smile.
The elder did not reply in any way; he just kept watching me.
“…..the problem of the sacrifice casts a shadow on our settlement. There was never a convenient way of getting ahold of a criminal with high mana. The fact that we had to offer one of our own caused a lot of discord and arguments to this day. As someone that has to lead our village…..Marc, I could only push that fate onto your shoulders alone.”
The elder kept looking at me as he spoke with a trembling voice.
Then, slowly, he hugged me with his thin arms.
“I’m sorry…..I’m sorry….. Marc, your father didn’t have parents either…..He was like a son to me. And yet, I did not side with you, but chose the traditions of the village and chose to select you as the sacrifice…..!”
The other adults rushed to the elder’s side in a panic.
“E-elder! What happened!?”
“If you go near the Devil Child right now, you might get caught up in the sacrifice to the Evil God!”
The adults pulled the elder away from me.
Right at that moment, the magic circle started to light up.
I was most likely about to be sent to the Evil God.
“…..I know that when I was little, you used magic to frequently speak to me while pretending to be a fairy, Elder. That’s why….I didn’t feel like I was alone.”
“Marc…..! I-I can’t, I just can’t do this to you……!”
Even while being restrained by the other adults, he tried to reach out to me.
“…..thank you for taking care of me for these last fourteen years.”
At that moment, my sight started to distort and flicker――when I came to I was standing in a reddish black swamp.
The sky was shining with an eerie purplish red light, and even the ominously swirling clouds looked like the faces of devils.
This must be the other world where the Evil God lives.
Here, my soul will be devoured by the Evil God….and I will die as the sacrifice.
“So you’ve come….child of man. With the Pledge broken for a hundred years, I am filled with rage.”
A terrifying and inhuman voice resounded.
The space in front of me warped and that thing appeared.
It was a giant monster that nearly filled my entire field of view.
Its general shape resembled that of a wolf, but the surface of its body looked like it was turned inside out; it looked like a creepy lump of flesh.
Its entire body, which I couldn’t tell if it belonged to an animal or a plant, was covered by countless swaying tendrils.
It had no eyes and its mouth was filled with innumerable fangs.
I was supposed to be already prepared for this.
However, in front of a dreadful presence that far surpassed my expectations, my resolve crumbled like nothing.
My legs couldn’t stop shaking from terror, so they finally just gave out and I fell down.
Tears I couldn’t stop gushed forth from my eyes.
The monster suddenly moved its large face closer to me.
If it wanted to eat me, then it should’ve just done it before I knew it was there.
“It seems you were a bit tired. Well then human, sit, sit. After a two hundred year gap, I’ve become quite bored! So, what game do you want to play?”
Rapidly shaking its huge tail, the monster asked me.
“I’ve heard from the last human that there is a game where you kick a spherical object between each other! There is a spherical rock I’ve cut into shape over there, so….!”
“U-uhm, wait a moment, please.”
I failed to comprehend the current situation.
I raised my hand and cut off the monster.
“Hmm? Oh, right. Humans tend to get thirsty quite fast. There is some swamp water I’ve been filtering for the last two hundred years. I will go and get it….”
“Uhm, weren’t you supposed to eat me…..”
The monster tilted his head in confusion from my words.
“What the hell, that’s scary….”
“Why would I want to wait a hundred years to eat the meat of an animal that’s less than a thousandth of my body weight…..?”
It seems….there may have been a serious misunderstanding between the humans and the Evil God.