Volume 7, Chapter 8: Children of Night, Part 2
Millions of the citizens of darkness lived in these large caves.
They fought against the elves and humans, the forces of light, as the forces of darkness, but even so, they weren’t monolithic.
Dark Elves. Beastmen. Intelligent magic beasts.
In the world of Atra where Yurushia lived, there was the existence called the Demon King, but here, while they honored those who were powerful, they didn’t get along as a matter of fact.
In the center of the cavern was an old castle, reminding people that there had once been a person who had united them. The castle had been unmanned for thousands of years, and if any one king tried to take it, they would be attacked by the other races.
The three races each had their castles along the wall of the large cavern away from the castle.
One of them, the castle for the dark elves, ran into a problem several years ago.
“Hey, Nefi. Is your father still busy?”
“Yeah, Rimi. They’re preparing for war.”
The little girl answered the question of the other little girl.
The dark elf girls looked like 5 or 6-year-olds, but one couldn’t tell the age of elven children by their appearance, and if they’d grown like human children they’d be about 15 years old though they looked like ordinary children.
The elven species were usually split into the normal whiter elves and the dark elves. And then there was the high elf, that was the progenitor of both species.
It was said that the white elves were born when the high elves, who were close to spirits, had children with humans, while the dark elves were those who had children with the demonic beasts.
It was said that high elves had infinite lifespans, and because there were so many of them who had the free time to spare, there were strange ones.
They were creatures that didn’t really fit the pattern of being praiseworthy just because they were old.
“Cut it out.”
These girls weren’t really poor. The stone-cut room was lacking in the colors typical of a pretty little girl, but it still had extensive furnishings and many items.
The two of them were also wearing gorgeous dresses that were labor-intensive to the point that ordinary wealthy merchants could not afford them for their children.
They were the royal family of the Dark Elves. The girl with the golden hair and blue eyes was Nefi, and the one with silver hair and purple eyes was Rimi, and the two were born as twins.
Still, there were no maids to take care of the young girls, and it was more like they were left alone in the castle.
How did this happen?
In the castle, the rest of the royal children were adults and now the five princes and three other princesses were competing to be the successor to the throne, and so tensions were high. Their mothers were all different, and the two of them whose ages were so far from the others were excluded from the succession race, so their siblings, who were jumping at shadows, even if they weren’t being hostile, were trying to keep them at a distance.
“Nefi, I smell something nice.”
Their caregivers had deserted them, fearing the other princes and princesses’ displeasure.
Over the past few months, the two of them managed to live together and survive somehow.
When they opened the door, they didn’t know who had put down the wagon filled with delicacies and luxurious dishes, but they reached out, and threw every little bit of it out of the window.
“It’s poisoned again.”
“I’m getting tired of this.”
Since they’d been fed small amounts of poison since young, they’d gotten the [Poison Resistance Skill]. Still, they would know the instant they tasted it that it was poisoned, and if they kept eating it every day they would die in about six months.
“Well then Rimi, let’s go have rice.”
“I hope that it’s delicious today.”
The two of them were pretty and cute, so their brothers weren’t very wary of them, but they were intelligent and had more cunning than any of their siblings.
Ironically, since their lives were in danger ever since their childhood, their strength and cunning had been polished, and their talent as the royals of the Dark Elves had bloomed.
Nefi and Rimi dove into a hole that was only wide enough for children and headed towards one of the kitchens. Their siblings were all afraid of being poisoned, and had segregated the kitchens, having their food cooked by their subordinate chefs separately.
After confirming the stage of the cooking with their smell and intuition, they snuck into the kitchen that was for the first princess’ exclusive use.
While the cooks busied themselves working, they were able to confirm that some of the dishes that were being made were the same as those that were delivered today, and the two of them took bread and cheeses, mixing in the poisoned dishes that they’d been brought into the food.
It was only a small amount, since they’d thrown almost all of it away, but if they continued this for a couple of years, it might be possible to ruin their sister.
The two of them were aware that this wouldn’t change things, though.
Because their father, the king, took a neutral stance, he wouldn’t protect them even if they were young. Also, their mother, who wasn’t a dark elf, had been assassinated soon after they were born.
The two of them who had neither backing, nor strength wouldn’t survive these years. It just made too much sense to eliminate them, since they would mature, even if they seemed harmless now.
“It’s delicious, Rimi.”
“It’s delicious, Nefi.”
The two of them shared bread and cheeses on an empty terrace.
Actually, it wasn’t really that delicious, but eating it together made it a treat.
How many more years could they keep this up…… The two of them weren’t interested in the throne, and only hoped to live together peacefully. …… That was it.
The two of them called out to each other suddenly.
They could feel presences other than their own. It was closer to an ‘odor’ rather than a presence, a ‘sense of incongruity’ akin to a deodorant that all traces of it wiped from the air.
Seeping out of the darkness like black ink, a black-dressed man emerged. It knew that it had been noticed and had probably come to kill them.
Whilst thinking of an escape route with each other, they built up a magic structure in their heads.
But why had he come here to kill them directly? The two of them hadn’t noticed it, but some of their siblings were aware of their talents.
Slowly, the assassin moved, his dagger wet with something liquid. But then,
Everyone turned their eyes to look at the teddy bear soft toy that walked in a wobbly manner on its short legs, stunned into blank silence.
As Nefi and Rimi murmured at the same time, the assassin instantly moved to slash the teddy bear.
Thinking about it normally, one could only think that it was a type of magic tool with a self-contained thought-circuit.
Because it meant that there was a witness, naturally, the assassin knew that it had to be cleaned up even though its ability wasn’t known. ……but.
The dagger was caught in the teddy bear’s fangs as it turned around and bit it off.
The assassin who’d quickly let go of his dagger tried to pull out his spare sword but stopped moving in the dark suddenly ~~~ and turned to dust in an instant, disappearing.
“Yes, who’s there?”
As the two of them glared at the ‘darkness’, unable to see more than the teddy bear, a black cat prowled out from within.
“A bear and a cat.”
They sounded carefree, but sweat was on their faces, and their bodies were trembling.
Although it only seemed and felt like black cat, but their intuition as one of the royalties of the forces of darkness knew that the existence that stood in front of them was an [Overlord].
Under the gaze of the black cat, Rimi fainted and collapsed to the floor, while Nefi also fell to her knees on the spot.
No, she kneeled. …… I guess you could say that. The girls who felt the difference in sheer level of existence between themselves and what stood before them, could only nod at each other with their eyes while stricken in fear.
“…… What… Is what I see before me the ‘God of Demons’?”
“Please…… please save us from our situation……”
When it heard the words of the two, the silver pupils of the black cat narrowed.
“[……What will you offer me? Black elves.]”
At the overwhelming pressure emitted from that [Voice], the young children lowered their heads yet further, raising their charm.
The two of them were hoping that one day some [Prince Charming on a White Horse] would come to save them.
But…… If such a person came, they had decided that they would give them half of their ‘lives’.
“…… Our lives… we will give you half of each of us.”
Half…… as the black cat heard… Rinne’s face distorted slightly.
Even for the elves who had lifespans of over 500 years, it seemed that their long lives made them lazy, and the souls of the dark elves weren’t that delicious.
Rinne had found these two girls among them.
The souls of these girls, born of the blood of the ancient elves, that had desperately polished themselves to survive, seemed like the only jewels in this country.
Half of their lives was quite considerable, but it was still a little insufficient to move Rinne, who was a [Great Beast].
Some of the [Devils] who had human features would not mind, since the Demons kept their promises, and it would always be able to get the rest of it at a bargain.
[…… Wait a moment.]
Rinne wasn’t great at such fine contracting. Not just Rinne…… but the entirety of the [Demon Beasts] weren’t that great.
If a Demon Beast was called, usually they would just destroy everything on the spot as a sacrifice and devour it all and so they were used like ‘bombs’. Those demon cultists who tried to bind Demon Beasts by making untactful contracts would by and large be devoured by the Demon Beasts that they summoned.
Therefore, the [Demon Beasts] had never made a careful contract, and what with this contract being [Rescue us from this predicament], he would have to change their surroundings, and the effective scope of the contract was too ambiguous.
Anyway, Rinne, who wasn’t good at fine contracts, called on Geas to send a message to its master, the [Devil], using their connection.
*Uhm, uhm, could you send over Noa?*
When the message was sent out, immediately after the ringtone of a pirororon, a reply arrived.
*Why, is it urgent?*
*Since contracting is troublesome, I want your subordinate to oversee it.*
*Noa is out right now, though?*
*Then, could you send someone? I can’t move directly. I need someone who can protect the contractor.*
*Don’t you have Geas? The appearance is lacking, but the insides are usable, y’know.*
*Well…… the content of the contract is troublesome. And there are two contractors.*
*What kind of people are they?*
*Two Dark elf children.*
*Hohhoh. Then I know just who to send. Rinne, do your best~*
It seemed good since someone would be coming. It would be the ideal to have Noa come, but Nea wouldn’t be such a bad choice either.
If that crappy maid duo came together, they would have to be careful, but it wouldn’t be bad.
“[Oh children of the dark elves. Offer up half of your soul and make the contract.]”
A thin chain stretched from Rinne as the proof of the contract was entwined with their soul.
It became a contract that seemed to have been left quite vague, but it wasn’t too bad for a Demon Beast. [Save us from our predicament] meant that in the worst-case scenario, he could just kill everything but the two girls.
However, he would have no objections whatsoever if they could recover the souls of the others in the royal family as they died.
“[I will assign someone to protect you. That should be enough.]”
“An …… escort?”
Unexpectedly Geas muttered something and opened his mouth wide, facing them directly.
And from among them…… An unknown black substance overflowed, and it seemed as if someone was trying to appear from there.
As the rabbit soft toy raised one arm lightly, they muttered it out in shock, and gazing at the bear and rabbit plushies, they regained their sanity.
“That’s!? It can’t be!”
Certainly, Rinne didn’t think that Onzada(rabbit) would be coming to escort the child, but before Rinne even got to play the straight man, it disappeared.
And so, it seemed that Geas and Onzada, the two of them, would be protecting the two princesses as their business.
The two little younger sisters, who had hidden in the shadows until now, began to show up on the main stage, and their siblings became wary and acted, not noticing the soft toys were stopping these actions, the girls rapidly strengthened their position in the castle.
Onzada regularly reported back to Yuru. Although she doesn’t understand a word.
Next time, we return to Yuru.
Hi Folks! Sorry for being late on this one, I’ll post what I said on the announcement here below:
Piroton will be unable to be my partner for their upcoming semester (Through January) and as such, beyond any backlog we’ll be making over the next few days, I’m on my own until at least that time. As such, chapter speeds will be slowing down again, unless someone is willing to volunteer among you fine awesome people to work together with me on this, at least until next year.
Let me know if any of you are interested! (Especially all y’all who know better than me *wink*)