It was around twilight. The vaguely heated wind contained a scent that stimulated one’s hunger. Everything in the world was dyed in a color that induced one to drool and raise their appetite. As I had expected, the girl standing in front of that scenery must have felt as if she were standing in a banquet hall.
She wasn’t hungry. The girl had already enjoyed the banquet.
“I did it. I did it!”
On this day, in this moment, that girl⎯⎯⎯ ‘Rupture Spear’, Avin Batsand was rejoicing.
“Finally, finally this bastard! These bastards!”
Although I couldn’t see her eyes because of the light that was shining off of her glasses, which were covering almost half of her entire face, the fact that she was passionate could be understood just from her voice.
“I have gotten, my revenge!”
It was around twilight. The scent of protein and fat being burnt continued to emanate. Even without the help from the setting sun, the view that was before my eyes was sufficiently multicolored. Embracing the things that were human beings a second ago and using the things that were houses a second ago as fuel, the flames were spreading.
The massacred village was burning.
“Long······ It was long. However, I was able to obtain my revenge. Aah, may there be the blessings of the 12 Pillar Gods! At last!”
While the short spear that was gripped in her hand trembled, Avin Batsand turned around.
“Thank you very much, teacher!”
There was a glasses-wearing young man standing in the place where the girl was gazing at.
At a glance, he appeared like a maiden as well. Although he had a shining and tall stature, the lines that drew the outline of that person’s body were frighteningly feeble. However, engraved on his face was an expression that appeared as if it were drawn with an incredibly thick and unerasable handwriting. The purple light that was emanating from his pupils was also emanating from his hair. Even within this space where the setting sun was making everything give off an orange glow, he stood out with an unsinkable violet color.
“It’s all thanks to you, teacher!”
As if she were worshipping him, Avin Batsand knelt before that violet young man.
“Because you had taught me how to become stronger! Because you had taught me how to kill other people! Because you had taught me how to give others pain! Finally! I was able to achieve my revenge! Aah, Yudia Batsand! My great teacher!”
Towards his disciple’s admiration, Yudia Batsand let out his unique laugh while adjusting his glasses.
“As I thought, I believe that it is detestable that I was able to meet such an outstanding disciple such as yourself. Avin, out of all the disciples that I’ve had for the past 20 years, you were the greatest.”
Yudia drew closer and stroke Avin’s cheek.
“Aah, teacher······! I’m undeserving of such praise······!”
“It is a reasonable evaluation. Before a year had even passed, you had overtaken every single one of your seniors who had started to train under me earlier than you did. Once another 10 years had passed, you had become strong enough to face 10 rounds against me. Although it’s detestable to say it myself, this is an incredible stage that cannot be achieved easily.”
“It is all thanks to teacher’s guidance!”
“No, this is your own accomplishment.”
A smile that was like a wave washing over a mudflat appeared on the edges of Yudia’s mouth.
“I had bestowed upon you the blindness to not doubt your goal. I had bestowed upon you the earnesty to not carry out that process half-heartedly. I have made you stronger⎯⎯⎯. Your hatred towards this village.”
Avin was moved to tears by her teacher’s praise. On the other hand, she was also gnashing her teeth. That’s right, hatred. The hatred that couldn’t even be concealed by the large pair of glasses that were covering her entire face.
This village, the hatred towards the hometown she was raised in.
“Do you remember the details of how you obtained your abhorrence?”
Avin nodded in response to her teacher’s question. Obviously, she remembered.
“I was a tool.”
She remembered clearly.
“I was once living a life that had nothing to be envious about. I was the eldest daughter of the village chief of a pioneer village. I had a little brother and, at the time, we were quite close. My parents were pleased with us as well. However, one day, my father passed away and my mother became somewhat different. Us, no, she started to treat me differently all of a sudden.”
With her head lowered, Avin continued.
“At first it was the clothes I wore. After that, it was my furniture. After that, it was my room. After that, it was my blanket. I had my doubts. I couldn’t understand why I had to sleep with no blanket, no room, no bed, and while wearing ragged clothes. That suspicion didn’t last long. There was suddenly a lot of other things outside of that which I couldn’t understand after all. I.”
Aah, I⎯⎯⎯, Avin Batsand uttered and gritted her teeth.
“I was soon unable to eat. I endured it at first. However, I was soon unable to bear it. I cried. I pleaded that I was hungry. Like that, after I had begged several times, I was barely able to obtain a meal. Although I couldn’t eat properly at the table, I didn’t care about that. If anything, the only thought that went through my head was the desire to eat more. I was hungry, so I wanted to eat until I was full. I.”
Avin covered her face.
“I, was an animal. Food. Hunger. Because of those things, I descended to the level of animals.”
Once her hunger was gone, she remembered the meaning of what she had done. The refinement she was taught as the daughter of the village head had become a type of poison and chewed away at her body. Her own shallowness that was pushed towards her in a form that couldn’t be ignored. That wasn’t the last thing she had to experience.
“In order to eat, I had to descend into being an animal several times. However, a situation where just turning into an animal wasn’t enough had soon arrived. The moment where I couldn’t eat even if I begged. My mother told me to accept customers if I wanted to eat.”
Her saliva was like lava and burned her throat as it descended.
“I refused at first, but it was clear that I wouldn’t be able to refuse her for long. Both my mother and I were aware of this.”
Moreover, her little brother who was watching over this knew this as well.
“I, started taking customers.”
Her nails dug into her palms.
“While I was being treated like that, my little brother was being educated in order to become the next village head. That child had started to receive the education which I had originally received. He seemed to be puzzled at first. In my stead, he had even appealed to our mother several times about my treatment. Several village people did so as well.”
Once something has continued on for a while, people will grow accustomed to the things that were perplexing at first. It’ll become something natural. To be exact, around 2 years. That is a tool meant for the village⎯⎯⎯it took just that much amount of time before people started to think like that. For her little brother, that is······.
“If you look back at it now.”
Avin spat out her words as she gazed downwards.
“If you look back at it now, it was close to being a type of performance. A colosseum in a large city, a whorehouse, the Cat’s Kiln. A tool with the purpose of showing off that my mother, who was the village head, and my little brother, who was going to become the next village head, were sacrificing things for the village. A tool with the purpose of fermenting the complaints of the village people. Those days continued. In the end, I······.”
“Until the day you became my disciple.”
Yudia Batsand spoke.
Avin closed her eyes and nodded.
She nodded once more.
“Yes, that’s right.”
She remembered that day. The day when the door that would always be locked, was unlatched. Avin opened the door and went outside. It was night. Coldheartedly, the galaxy was spread throughout the sky. A flashy color that was similar to that of the shell of a beetle that ate corpses. Avin Batsand, who was walking while following after that light, encountered the violet-tinted young man.
The distinguished guest of the village who would visit and take care of the monsters that were nearby.
She had met the person who would become her teacher.
“It’s thanks to you, teacher.”
Avin Batsand spoke.
“I was able to run away from that village thanks to you, teacher. In my hands, I was able to obtain the power to get revenge. The power to settle old scores. Furthermore, a surname. You had given me a surname. You had adopted me as your daughter.”
“All of my disciples are my adopted sons and daughters.”
“Even so, it was special to me.”
Yudia shrugged his shoulders. For a long period of time, he had lived as one of the strong. In regard to what kind of merit that had become, descendants from famous households would all try to obtain his surname. It wasn’t a difficult task. Since it was a task that didn’t cost even a single coin, Yudia gave out his surname without reserve. However, certainly, there wasn’t a lot of people who would throw away their original surnames and solely use the surname that he had given them. In that regard⎯⎯⎯.
“Certainly, you were special.”
Avin blushed. However, Yudia wasn’t done talking.
“Yes, you were truly special. Avin, as I had said earlier, you were the greatest disciple I had for the past 20 years.”
Avin’s glasses became foggy by her own breath and body temperature. Once more, she started to tremble passionately. Aah, teacher. The teacher she loved and respected was acknowledging her⎯⎯⎯.
“You were the greatest.”
Avin abruptly realized that fact.
“It’s vague now.”
“I apologize, but what do you mean by that······?”
“Shall I talk a little about the past?”
Yudia adjusted his glasses.
“You should be aware of the fact that I do not reside in the headquarters of the End Void Gate for long periods of time. Although the tasks I carry out at the End Void Gate have their own meaning in themselves, to be honest, I do not enjoy it. What I enjoy is a fight that is appetizing. A fight with an opposition who can provide that skill. In order to obtain that, I’ve been wandering around the world.”
Avin nodded her head. That wasn’t solely Yudia’s problem. The executives of the End Void Gate would occasionally say so as well⎯⎯⎯in good terms, he was free-spirited, and in bad terms, he lacked a sense of responsibility. In the first place, if he didn’t have that personality, then he wouldn’t have been able to ascend to a position where he could proclaim that he had reached the limit of the void.
“You should be aware of the fact that those types of fellows are lacking in this world. That is an incredibly regrettable thing. The stronger they are, the greater the position they possess⎯⎯⎯the stronger they are, they have their own situation⎯⎯⎯and since fighting with me would be nothing more than a simple risk to them⎯⎯⎯ in other words, they end up not facing me. Detestably, that is a regrettable problem for me.”
Even if you exclude the executives of the End Void Gate, there were many other strong individuals. From the very beginning, as the term ‘strong’ was relative, it wasn’t only humans but other races as well, and it wasn’t only those within this world but those within other worlds as well. There were many people who could be called strong. However, the majority of those people had something they had to protect. They had things that were precious to them.
“You should be aware of the fact that in order to resolve that issue, I had endeavored in various ways. Accepting disciples was one of those reasons. A long time ago, intelligent beings solved their shortage of provisions through agriculture and stockbreeding. I had decided to emulate that. I didn’t just accept anyone as my disciple. People who would be helpful in various ways if I were to accept them as a disciple, those who had an outstanding skill, or people who had that much of a growth factor⎯⎯⎯you can say that you belong to that last example.”
Avin was suddenly able to speak. She believed that she understood what Yudia wanted to say.
“So my current hatred after having exacted my revenge······ did you believe that my motive to further train myself has diminished? Please be relieved! Holding my respect and affection towards you, teacher, in my chest, I’ll grow further than now and⎯⎯⎯.”
She had misunderstood.
“You should be aware of the fact that,” Yudia Batsand continued. “The world isn’t as overflowing with hatred as one would expect.”
Avin raised her head. What she was wearing and what her teacher was wearing, the two pairs of glasses were obstructing her gaze like a pair of transparent moons.
Across that, Yudia, the teacher she respected and held dear, was speaking.
“I said that I will talk about something that happened slightly in the past, did I not? Avin, as I had told you, the occasions where I would vacate the End Void Gate and wander around the world were often. In order to find an appetizing opposition, in order to find someone who could become that sort of existence for me. So, while I was wandering around, I ended up residing within a certain village.”
Something within Avin was telling her that she shouldn’t listen to this.
“It was a pioneer village.”
Something within Avin told her that she shouldn’t listen to this any further.
“Aah⎯⎯⎯it was a splendid place!”
Yudia spread out both of his arms. On the face of his tilted head, an ominous shadow was latching onto him like a mask.
“That gloomy and closed off atmosphere, the defining characteristics of a pioneer village! The murky air that was piled up there! The village gave off the same kind of claustrophobic chest-filling feeling which you’d normally get when you enter a small room that had been sealed for 10 years! Also, the seeds of hatred that the place was filled to the brim with⎯⎯⎯people who begrudged and envied one another, but at the same time, in order to make their rugged lives, which were laid out before their eyes, seem a bit better, they would show one another a forced smile. That banquet of demons. The hatred that almost appeared as if it could be visibly grasped and the aggravation that was piled up inside of that, those things made my heart dance!”
Looking through his glasses that were dyed white like the moon, Yudia looked down at his disciple.
“If it’s this town, then I might be able to pick up a good pupil. I was filled with that expectation.”
Avin suddenly opened her mouth.
“So that’s why you picked me up just as you had desired, right? My dear teacher! In order to compensate that expectation, I will······.”
“No. Regrettably, it had missed my expectation. It was a bit lacking compared to what I had hoped for.”
She had misunderstood.
The fact that it was a misunderstanding, in truth, Avin Batsand was aware before it was even told to her. She had somehow realized it while listening to her teacher’s lengthy speech. Her teacher······.
“That’s why, Avin, I decided to supplement what was lacking.”
Avin raised her head. What she was wearing and what her teacher was wearing, the two pairs of glasses were obstructing her gaze like a pair of transparent moons. Above that, as if there were fog, a hazy shroud was looming over her vision. Her eyes had become wet.
Past that, Yudia, her teacher was talking.
“I visited that village several times and resolved their problems. Honestly, even if it were called a calamity that was threatening a pioneer village, the creatures weren’t beings that had the skill to entertain me. Regardless, I could endure something of that extent. For the harvest that I’ll one day gather, I had to endure that much. Furthermore, that wasn’t the only village that I was going through······. Returning back to the main topic, the place I was paying attention to was the head of the pioneer village’s household.”
Like magma, tears flowed down Avin’s cheeks.
“The village head and his wife lived in conjugal harmony. However, on the wife’s side, she was harboring hatred towards the fact that her beauty was withering away. Eventually, once her husband passed away, the wife was left alone with her children. Among them, her daughter grew more beautiful as the days went by and was being raised in order to properly become the next head of the village. Although the missus secretly felt defeat in that regard, she didn’t let it show. That’s why I whispered something to her.”
A trace remained.
“I told her, ‘Your daughter, is a bit unpleasant’.”
Her teacher spoke.
“It’s the words of the savior who had saved their village several times. Even while panicking, the missus apologized. Asking if her daughter had done something discourteous, and to generously forgive her daughter since the fault lied in herself for being unable to lead her daughter properly. I pretended as if I were contemplating for a moment before speaking once more. Missus, you have done nothing wrong. Except, if your daughter becomes the village head, then I may no longer return to this village, is what I had told her.”
Avin was kneeling and Yudia was standing. However, the only obstacle that stood between them were the pairs of glasses that they both had on. Avin was able to look up into Yudia’s eyes. Even within her hazy field of vision, the violet tint that seemed as if it were surging, didn’t appear as if it were even slightly blurred.
“The missus seemed to be hesitant at first. However, I continued to tell her the same thing every time I visited their village. Before long, the missus made a decision. She decided to raise her son as the next head of the village. When asked about what would happen to her daughter, she responded that, for now, her daughter will be taken aside and be put to work as one of the workforces for the village, and later on, she’ll send her daughter off to get married to a suitable man within the village and make them create a workforce for the future generations of the village. If that wasn’t possible, then it’d be okay to politically marry her daughter off to someone from a nearby pioneer village and form a connection with them. That’s right, it was okay⎯⎯⎯it was okay, but it was a severely normal idea. It was an idea that didn’t match the hatred that had grown within her. It wasn’t something that I wanted either. That’s why, I gave her a piece of advice. That, it’d be a waste⎯⎯⎯.”
A real waste⎯⎯⎯.
“If it’s a competent individual such as yourself, missus, then you should be able to utilize that resource much more efficiently⎯⎯⎯.”
For the village⎯⎯⎯.
“It wasn’t long before the missus ended up facing the malice that she was harboring inside of herself. She realized what she truly wanted. She then started to carry out that desire. The people of the village and her son, as expected, they seemed to be hesitant at first. However, even the village people had a malice that had grown inside of them, and her son as well, as expected⎯⎯⎯.”
The sound of the moon shattering cut off Yudia’s words.
Using only his thumb, Yudia flicked away the spear that had extended towards him. The spear moved upwards in a large arc and broke Avin’s posture. Regardless, she used her collapsing posture in reverse and tried to slash at Yudia. Yudia blocked her by gripping the shaft of the spear.
“Avin, there’s something that you didn’t say a short while ago, isn’t that so?”
Avin roared. As if she were holding onto Yudia’s neck and choking him, she drew the spear in her hands close to her.
“Your little brother didn’t end up regarding you as a tool for the village. He didn’t end up becoming accustomed to the situation either. As I had watched over him and had given him pieces of advice, I know. Isn’t that so? Your little brother⎯⎯⎯.”
“Because he secretly loved you⎯⎯⎯.”
“I told you to shut up······!”
“He couldn’t forgive you for having a child with anybody and everybody⎯⎯⎯.”
The clear and high-pitched cry pierced into the boundary between the twilight and the starlight as it resonated. Like a carnivore that was struggling within an iron cage, the favorite disciple of the Violet-tinted Mire writhed. Shaking off the hand of her teacher who was holding onto her spear, she pulled her weapon back and extended it once more. She performed chain movements that befitted the characteristic of a short spear. A bright red air current, which matched Avin’s hair color, swirled around her spearhead.
Towards the dignified charge that was heading at him⎯⎯⎯while looking at the ability that possessed the power of absolute penetration, Yudia shrunk back.
He rushed towards it.
Yudia’s body turned into a violet wave. Boom······! He grabbed onto both of his disciple’s wrists and leaned his face towards her. The bloody aura that was swirling around the spear surged as if it were trying to brush against Yudia’s slender jawline. He wouldn’t come out unscathed if it were to even graze him, but without any concern towards that, he shouted.
“Aah, splendid! How marvelous, Avin Batsand! Do you not recall that night, Avin!? The night you lost your child. The night your body could no longer bear any more children! The night you became my disciple! Truly, you’re currently making the same exact expression as you did during those times! You’re harboring hatred! Aah! Avin! My favorite disciple!”
Although she was receiving praises from the teacher who she adored, Avin Batsand could only shed tears. It wasn’t the same as the first tears she had shed. It wasn’t the same tears she had shed when she had first become his favorite disciple. She most likely will never be able to shed those types of tears ever again.
Avin Batsand wept.
Yudia tilted his head as if he was just asked something odd.
“You should already be aware of the fact that I’m this sort of existence.”
Those words were so painfully true.
Strength started to leave Avin’s body. Yudia tilted his head once more before throwing Avin’s body as if he were tossing her aside. Bam······! Colliding against the rubble of a building that had already become a pile of ash, Avin stayed collapsed like that with clumps of ashes covering her entire body. She, while weeping as her shoulders trembled, curled her body up into a ball.
With his long fingers pressed against the edge of his mouth, Yudia tilted his head.
“Is that your instinct? You should already know that there’s nothing inside of that.”
A dreadful sound came from Avin’s molars.
She pressed her trembling hand down against the ground. A clear handprint was left on the ground that was covered in rubble and ashes. A single tear dropped down onto it. Her tears had been dyed black because they were mixed together with blood and ashes.
Around the time when her violent tears had eventually erased her handprint without leaving a single trace, Avin Batsand stood up.
Her posture felt as if she were having a contest of strength against the earth with her own two feet.
However, she did not fall.
Her short spear, while gripping her spear in her hands, Avin Batsand looked at her teacher.
Yudia Batsand had an intoxicated face. Like a young child who had sampled the finest alcohol, or like a lady who was acting embarrassed, Yudia shrunk his shoulders while pressing one hand against his lips.
“Yes, Avin. That’s what you must do in order to be called my favorite disciple.”
Avin responded by pointing her spear towards Yudia. Yudia pushed his glasses up and spoke quietly.
“Now then, I welcome you. Avin Batsand. My favorite disciple. I hope that your hatred is more immense than my own.”
With a scream-like shout, Avin rushed forward.
Night had arrived.
Yudia Batsand stood alone. Compared to a short while ago, his appearance was different to a certain degree. His build that was once tall had shrunken down while maintaining his proportions, similar to that of a balloon that had been deflated a bit. His face had become young as well. At most, he appeared like a boy who was in his mid-teens.
He looked like a girl as well. He clicked his tongue.
“Is that it?”
There was no response. Yudia let out a long sigh.
“I see that’s it.”
There was still no response. From the side, his appearance as he put away his spear and adjusted his glasses looked as if he were dejected.
“10 years······ Well, I guess this would be around that level.”
Glance, he turned his gaze towards the ground. To be exact, towards the girl who had fallen down on the ground and was completely charred.
“Although it’d be a lie if I said it wasn’t appetizing······.”
He, who had sighed a countless number of times now, suddenly clenched his teeth.
As he gripped his chest as if he had been pierced by an arrow, Yudia Batsand shouted as if he were vomiting blood.
“Avin, Avin! Aah, a bit more! Here! It was here! A little bit more! Deeper!⎯⎯⎯If you did, then!”
“Truly, how detestable······.”
Yudia pressed his hand against his temple. Becoming any more disorderly than this would most likely be impolite to his disciple. However, he couldn’t do anything about the complaints that were naturally flowing out from his lips.
“I wonder what I should do now.”
There were many seeds he had scattered here and there throughout the world. There were also some errors he had overlooked in some places. However, it’d take some time before he could harvest those. Does he have to play around by destroying labyrinths? Or should he try starting a fight with the Mage Tower? Yudia, who was thinking about those things, all of a sudden, while letting out an audible ‘ah’, snapped his fingers.
“The place where Yellow-Green Grass is entrusting her body. They said that a candidate to possibly become an Odd Sky Wizard has been born within the House of the Lion Earl.”
Every Odd Sky Wizard ends up living a life that is as eccentric as the ability they possessed. To be more precise, their ability made it so that they couldn’t live a normal life. Although there were repulsive cases like the Seventh Sky Wizard, New Design Foresight, Touma Soh, the majority of Odd Sky Wizards ended up suiting his fancy. It should be fine to rely on those statistics here.
“I may even be able to discover a fellow who is quite useful there.”
If that were the case, then he should establish a connection with them beforehand. Although he may have to wait another 10 years in order for them to ripen appropriately, that was a time he could endure. Malice tasted the best after it had cooled down.
The excited Yudia hastened his walking pace.
As if he were being swallowed up by a mire, his figure slowly disappeared into the night sky.
TL note: Well, that wraps up the end of volume 2. Once I finish the afterword and typesetting the character sheets, I’ll be taking a break for a week. I need the rest. This entire month-long period of translating this volume was way too stressful for me. I really can’t wait for this current job of mine to be over.
Anyway, similar to what I do every time I finish translating a volume of Dungeon Defense, I wonder if I should do a character poll for YaMA as well. Well, you guys can leave a comment regarding that.