Chapter 3 – Atavism
During our long talk, Nero and I hit it off quite well.
“T-they separated you from the village and called you a Devil Child you say!? And then they even sent you away as a sacrifice….! How could….”
Hearing my life story, Nero got quite angry, causing him to strongly swish his tail back and forth.
“I will make sure to severely admonish them in our next transmission!”
“….that will just create more misunderstandings, you know?”
Especially since the reason the whole sacrifice thing came about was because Nero threw a tantrum through the transmission a hundred years ago after he was blown off, and they misunderstood his intentions.
If Nero were to casually threaten them in some way, then it might lead to another hundred years of terror.
Also, I don’t really hold any resentment towards that village.
This result was something that the elder came to with a heavy heart while keeping in mind what was best for the village overall.
No one was really at fault.
….if I had to attribute it to something, then perhaps it happened because Nero’s appearance was simply too frightening.
“Still, to think they would treat someone with the atavistic trait of the Great Sage as a Devil Child….”
“….atavistic trait of the Great Sage?”
“Your settlement was created by the royal family to keep in contact with me to begin with….. They appointed one of the founder heroes of the kingdom, the Great Sage, as its leader and gathered people with high mana to live there. I heard that mana filled white hair of yours was a unique trait of that Great Sage.”
….I had no idea.
In the village, everyone always said it was a bad omen.
It seems our culture was really distorted during these four hundred years.
“Also….I need to say this as well. Marc, the time when my realm is close enough to your world only happens while the stars align….which lasts only seven more days. You will have to go back before that.”
Nero told me, since I was obviously unaware of that fact as well.
Even though he was the first friend I made, I can only stay with him for another seven days….
Also….after that time passes, Nero will have to live in solitude once again for another hundred years.
I closed my eyes and thought hard about the situation.
“That just means I won’t be able to go back, right? Then…..I will stay here.”
“Wh-what are you saying!? Don’t say such foolish things!”
“I won’t regret it. Nero, you are my first friend.”
“I’m happy that you would say that, but…..that’s impossible. My realm is….the Spirit Realm is unnatural for humans. Here the space itself will act as poison for them. People with low mana will feel their breaths getting labored after just half a day. People with high mana were selected for the position of the envoy in the past as well, but even then they only lasted for three or four days at best.”
In other words…..even if I remain here after the way back closes, I will only be poisoned and die after a few days anyway it seems.
Apparently, this was the origin for the rule that only people with a high amount of mana could be chosen as the sacrifice.
White hair being considered a bad omen might have also been just a convenient excuse to select someone.
When my shoulders sagged in disappointment, Nero let out a ‘hmm….’ sound.
“Well….if it’s with you, Marc, who has the atavistic trait of the Great Sage, we may be able to make a Spirit Contract….”
“It’s a ritual to designate a human as a passageway for us spirits. If you become my Contractor, then I’ll be able to affect your world….the real world without the need for the stars to align.”
“If I do that, then will you not be lonely anymore, Nero?”
“Mhmm! I’ve almost given up on it by now, but that’s one of my dearest wishes!”
Nero’s tail kept swishing back and forth with excitement.
“….however, there is a problem. Since I’m so powerful…..I can only make a contract with someone who has a great amount of mana. Since you greatly resemble the Great Sage, your mana amount should be more than enough. However, mana is something that gets stronger the stronger the mind and body are. As you are now, Marc, you won’t be able to handle the Spirit Contract with me.”
“Then, it can’t be done after all….?”
“No, there is a way! I will just have to bring out your latent potential during these seven days! If we do that, then we should be able to make a Spirit Contract! Of course, there is no telling how much we can get done in seven days…..and the training will be grueling as well. It will most likely be a painful experience for you, but….”
“I will do it! If I won’t have to separate from you this way, then I will endure anything!”
And so, until the seven days have passed and the stars have shifted, closing the way between Nero’s realm and the real world, I trained.