(edited by Richard)
Those who are touched by darkness are bound to darkness. Due to this phrase spread by their religion, many interpretations come out. One of them is that, black hair and black eyes are considered cursed because they are the color of darkness. Those who have one or both of them are those touched by darkness. Therefore, they are called “Cursed Children”.
I grumble at the explanation of the “Cursed Children”. There are so many people with black hair on Earth and most of them are good people. But this world is different. The people of this world have have many different hair colors compared to Earth, some that are not usually natural.. I have seen blue, green, purple, and even pink. But most of them are dull yellow to light brown colored. Based on that, people started to discriminate black haired people since their hair color was such a rarity..
“Well, that’s prejudice for you.”
“How did you enter the previous village with that black hair than?”
“I use a hood. Easy, isn’t it?”
I see. She always wears a hood after she went outside the village. I thought she was just blocking the sunlight. Who knew that there was such reason. I need to think about my hair from now on. At least until we can contact Earth again.
“Then, Mary. How is it?”
“Since he tried to invite me to the kingdom, I guess I will be granted an audience with the king. I don’t know if all of you will be allowed to come with me.”
“We will be fine. But are you ok with it?”
“Hmm. I am going to refuse it. It has already been decided. But I don’t know if we can discuss about Earth with them. We might need more time if the king is like ‘that guy’.”
“I hope not. So what else did you guys talk about?”
“He mostly ignored Frank and only talked to me. He talked about the benefit of being a noble. I would have land, wages, and earn taxes from commoners. (Mary)
“However it is equally troublesome to handle the administration of the land.” (Erwin)
“He said we can just leave it to our trusted servants and live however we like.” (Mary)
Yuni and I stood there with our mouths gaping. That’s the stupidest and worst kind of way to govern. What if the ‘trusted servant’ can’t be trusted? What if they can’t handle the land? So many things can go wrong when you cannot trust someone.
“We did gather some information about him. The previous earl was a capable man and he died in the middle of the war 15 years ago. His son, that noble, was raised and pampered by his mother. But this...” (Yuni)
“Alright. He can’t be trusted. We just have to follow him to the capital and be done with him. When will the reinforcements come?” (Erwin)
“He said in a few days after he sent word about my approval to go to the capital.” (Mary)
“Alright then. We will stay here for a little while.” (Erwin)
“Come to think of it. Why would an earl be alone here? Where are his guards?” (Yuni)
“Did he say anything about it?” (Erwin)
“He said he has guards around him. They are concealed because he wants to show off that he can get things done even alone.” (Mary)
“Then, why did those guards not attack me when I dragged him before?” (Erwin)
“It seems he is hated.” (Yuni)
We conclude our discussion about the untrustworthy foolish man. Mary changes to a new topic that we all want to know.
“Yuni, how are the girls?” (Mary)
“Ah. They are sleeping fine. Sometimes the little girl shakes furiously. I don’t know if it is her mother’s nature that comes out but the older girl will always hug her until she calms down... Even in her sleep.” (Yuni)
“Hee? Even though they are from different races.” (Mary)
“Well yeah. Looks like they have some circumstances.” (Yuni)
“Erm... Sorry, but why does the little girl have strange ears and a tail?” (Frank)
“Ha? There aren’t any here?” (Erwin)
“Oh right. I forgot about it. There aren’t any of them here, Erwin.” (Yuni)
“I see. Well, look at this.” (Erwin)
I open up my gallery of photos. It is mostly filled with my family’s photos but there is a folder with my father’s pictures. It is filled with his time in another world. He befriended many races and naturally took many photos with them.
“Look at this. This is my father and his friends.” (Erwin)
“Wha--!? There are people like them!?” (Frank)
In the photos are various type of beast kin. Most of them have their bodies covered with furs. Lion, tiger, werewolf, arachnid, vampire, lamia, merman, draconoid, lizard, and various others half beast, half man. They were all wearing a big happy smile when the photos were taken.
“There are a lot of them. We have established trade with them and signed a peace treaty agreement. You might see them soon if our meeting with the king goes well.” (Erwin)
“I really want to meet them since they look like really interesting people. ” (Frank)
“I will introduce you to one of my friends from these races. Hahaha” (Erwin)
“Well, let’s get back to the topic.” (Yuni)
“Oh right. They might have come from the place where both of them or maybe more races lives. The little girl is a fox kin, judging by her ears and tail.” (Erwin)
“Since this world didn’t have any beast kin, we might need to conceal her appearance.” (Yuni)
“I will do it. I know the magic for it.” (Mary)
“Alright then. It is decided. We will discuss further after hearing their situation. For now, let’s sleep.” (Erwin)
“ “ “ Alright! ” ” ”
We leave the dining room and go to sleep in our room. Oh right, that noble is locked up in the guest room. We don’t want him to go around the base by himself.
A small groan can be heard from the red haired girl. She wakes up near dawn. In her arm is the little girl that survived with her. She sits up on the bed. Her groan attracted another roommates’ attention.
“Ah. You woke up.”
An unfamiliar voice in an unfamiliar language resounds in front of her. A silver haired beauty is peeking at her with a cheerful face. Her heart skips a beat. Her mind couldn’t comprehend why she can understand the language she just heard even though it is a completely different language.
“Are you alright now? You have some bruises and small cut wounds. I have already closed the wounds.”
“Yes. I am alright.”
Her heart skips a another beat. She didn’t know why she could speak in different language so easily. She didn’t remember studying nor had she heard this language before. She falls into deep thought.
“Ah. I forget to tell you. I cast a magic spell to help you understand our language. It’s harmless so don’t worry about it.”
“Yes. Like this.”
In the next second, on the palm of the silver beauty, a ball of water appears. She remembers about the strange things happened in her world. Lightnings, floods of water, fire pillars, and more things that appear out of thin air. They have destroyed her world’s army time after time. A look of fear spread across her pale face.
“Ah. Sorry if I scared you.”
The silver beauty quickly dispels it after looking at her face. Her gentle face didn’t look like she was going to do anything harmful. She regains her calm.
“Can you tell me where this is?” She asks.
“Yes. This is Outpost Haunt. An outpost located in a small pass in the Graham Mountain Range.”
She tilts her head upon hearing names she has never heard before. Then, she remembers that her world might not be there anymore. She can no longer see the castle she was born and raised in. No longer can she see her family’s, friend’s, and companion’s graves.
She looks down and a tear drops from her red eyes. Another follows in its place. She feels a calming warm body embraces her. Feeling the warmth, her hardened heart breaks a bit. More tears flows from her eyes.
“It’s alright. Everything is fine now. You’re safe here.”
Hearing the gentle words from the beauty that seems to know all of her hardships, she finally cried like a child in her mother’s arms. A black hair woman at the door can only watch in silence as she cries. Her own tears are welling up. Unknowingly, the little girl also shed tears in her sleep.
“So... She cried herself to sleep again? Looks like we will not know her situation quickly.” (Erwin)
“Well, it looks like her world didn’t have knowledge of magic. When I showed her magic, she got surprised and scared. Whoever showed her magic before must have caused her to fear magic.” (Mary)
“Can’t be help. Looks like we will have to slowly get her accustomed to it.” (Erwin)
“How is Earl Harvey?” (Mary)
“I kept him locked up in the guest room. He has been shouting to let him out since a few hours ago.” (Erwin)
“And no guards come?” (Mary)
Mary and I look towards the side of the house where he is locked up and give him a pitying gaze. I don’t know if he felt it but the shout stop for a while.
“Yesterday, there wasn’t any attack from zombies. The drawbridge is fine so I think the base is safe now.” (Erwin)
“Yeah. We just need to wait for the reinforcement to occupy this outpost.” (Mary)
We go back to the base to have lunch. Frank and I are tasked to give the noble his lunch and proceed to lock him up again. Shouts of anger at the food quality and his treatment are received in one ear and go out the other.
In the dining room, the two new girls are sitting facing the table. Mary and Yuni are taking out the meals. Alishia is playing with her water ball. She can make a near perfect water ball and maintain it for much longer now.
The little fox girl is staring at the ball in Alishia’s hands from the older girl’s lap. She pokes the ball and quickly retracts it. Then she pokes it again. The next moment, they are laughing with each other.
The other girl is looking at the water ball with a slight fear. When the little one plays happily with it, her fear dissipates. Looks like her adaptation is good. The two of them clean themselves in the bath before lunch. Their clean figures are more spectacular than we thought.
The older girl has a yellowish white smooth skin. Her hair is a shining bright red color unlike the red blood color from before. Her figure in a clean red dress is splendid. Well, both Mary and Yuni won’t lose to her.
The little girl also has a smooth milk white skin that suits her young age. Her hair is snowy white. Combined with her white clothes, she is all white and gives her a pure feeling. Her cheerful face brings much warm to the surroundings.
“Frank... Why do I feel we shouldn’t be in this group?”
“I.... also feel like I don’t belong in this beauties’ group, Sir Erwin.”
We fidget at the door. Mary,who see it, urges us to sit. Yuni is laughing at us. We sit at our usual place but a bit cramped now since there are new members. I talk to the older girl first.
“Hello. I am Erwin Cota. Nice to meet you.”
“Ah. I am Felicia Risca Castia. Former Princess of Castia Empire. This girl is Maria. Pleased to meet you.”
“Hmm? A princess. Sorry for my discourtesy because I am not used to royalties.”
I bow my body a bit. There is no royalty in the country that I came from so I don’t know how to act.
“You do not need to mind it. I am no longer a princess. Castia Empire has fallen.”
“Ah! Sorry for reminding you of that time.”
“I will get used to it. By your name, are you a noble?”
“No. I came from a place where most people have a surname so it does not indicate nobility.”
“Let us eat first, shall we?”
We eat a slightly better meal that the noble. Revenge for his treatment of us. Maria eats energetically like Alishia. Felicia also eats without minding the meal. We feel slightly relieved that she can eat it just fine.
Finishing the lunch, we talk about where they came from. Both of them are from a country called Halgenia. This world is called Talmatir so we can safely assume it is another world.
They are originally hostile to each other. There are 4 major races in Halgenia. Human, Beast, Dwarf, and Elf. They were in a four way war when suddenly a huge army of monsters came.
One by one, their cities fell. After acknowledging that this was a large crisis, the four races joined in a large alliance. The front lines were shifting back and forth. After five years, Halgenia alliance started to lose. Their numbers quickly decreased when their enemies seemed never end.
In their last stand, their army of 2,000 fought against an army of more than 10,000. Felicia and Maria are caught in the end of the fight. Maria was left alive as a motivator for Felicia or so she was told by the enemy’s leader. The leader desired a glorious fight.
“So, you mean this world will be the next world he invaded?” (Erwin)
“Yes. We can assume so since I was sent here to organize a fight. I feel like that is my purpose here. To stop his invasion and defeat him.” (Felicia)
“I understand. It looks like I need to send some urgent reports to my superior.” (Erwin)
“Do you know how long until he comes?” (Mary)
“One year. He gave me one year.” (Felicia)
“Can we organize a fight within one year?” (Mary)
“It will be difficult but we have to do it.” (Felicia)
“I think we will manage to defend one country but I can’t say for sure the others can hold themselves. We need to convince them to stop fighting and sign a peace treaty.” (Erwin)
“Looks like our workloads have just increase again, Erwin.” (Mary)
“*sigh* Can’t be help, can it?” (Erwin)
“Erm... I thought you wouldn’t believe my story.” (Felicia)
“We can because Mary and I are from another world ourselves.” (Erwin)
A shock appears on Frank’s and Felicia’s faces. Yuni as the one who knows the most, just keep smiling. Alishia and Maria are playing with each other.
“Yuni. You knew?” (Frank)
“Yes, I know.” (Yuni)
“How do you know?” (Frank)
Well, she says the truth. But she left out many things too. Frank is depressed. Felicia looks confused.
“We will show you later. Now you know why we believe you so easily, right?” (Mary)
“....Yes. I see it somehow.” (Felicia)
“One more thing. I will disguise her so she wouldn’t stand out.” (Mary)
“In this world, there aren’t any beast kin. She will stand out a lot and I am sure she will feel uncomfortable.” (Yuni)
“I see. I am counting on you.” (Felicia)
“Leave it to me. Maria, come here for a second.” (Mary)
“Hmm? Okay~” Maria skips over to Mary.
“I will have to hide your ears and tail, okay?” (Mary)
“Why? I like them” (Maria)
“Don’t worry. It will be there. Just that, you can’t see it.” (Mary)
“Don’t want it.” (Maria)
“Maria, if you go out like that, you might get taken by bad guys. You don’t want to separate from Felicia, right?” Mary persuades her and points at Felicia.
“Maria. Just accept it. She can make it appear again later when we are not outside.” (Felicia)
“Yes. That’s right. It will only look like your ears and tail are hiding.” (Mary)
“Good girl. Wait for a bit.” (Mary)
Mary pats her head and she squints her eyes with a happy face. Mary casts a magic to conceal her ears and tail. Then, she casts an illusion of human ears on her. Maria now looks like a white human girl.
“It’s done.” (Mary)
“I can feel my ears and tail but I can’t see it.” (Maria)
“That’s right. I just put them into hiding so you haven’t lost it. Now, you can go back to play.” (Mary)
“Un. Okay.” (Maria)
She skips back to Alishia. Alishia looks a little sad because she can’t touch the fluffy tail anymore even if it’s still there.... I want to touch it too.
“With this, it is settled.” (Mary)
“Yes. Thank you.” (Felicia)
“Now then, with the issues in this world temporarily finished, I want to know about our enemies.” (Erwin)
“Alright. I will tell you all that I can remember.” (Felicia)
She describes the monsters one by one with detail. Since their world didn’t have these kinds of monsters, they didn’t have names for them. They label them one by one with their own name. Due to similarities with monsters we know of, we will use our names for them.
First are Goblins. They came in large number and small body. Most of them don’t use armor and use a club as a weapon. There are several other types like goblin assassin, elite guard, general, and king. They seemed to appear in their battle for Halgenia. There were no users of magic among them. I thought there would be some shamans.
Second are Orcs. Their numbers are smaller than goblins but they still are large in numbers. There shouldn’t be that many of them but it seems they have invaded several worlds and increased their numbers significantly. They are about equal to an average soldier. Combine with goblins, they will be tough opponents.
There are many different variants of them. Orc sword master, headhunter, javelin thrower, spearman, shamans, priest, elite guard, general and lastly king. Their shamans can use basic magic. A few of them can use intermediate magics. From the explanation, none of them can use advanced magic.
Third are the Arachnids. They are equivalent to cavalry. They use threads, spears, and bows. They specialized in mobility for harassment and trap. Their charges are weak compared to other kind of cavalries because nobody wants to charge into rows of spear knowing that it will hurt. They don’t have any variant except for their queen.
Fourth are the Mermen. They are the navy corps. Their lower half is the body of a fish so they are excellent at any watery terrains such as swamp, river, lake and sea. Their best terrain is sea due to a large area of movement. They use tridents and water magic as weapons.
Fifth are the Lesser Dragons. They are their strongest force both on land and air by far. They have a body similar to a dragon but lacking the strong protective scales. Their scales can be easily pierced with javelin but arrows can only give them small wounds. They mainly attack with their claws and a breath of fire or ice.
Sixth is unknown since Halgenia’s scouts were unable to get close to them. They were using advanced magic to destroy Halgenia’s army. The only information is that they are wrapped in a robe that covers their entire body and moves as if floating. From that, it is likely that they are spirit type or undead type lich.
With those types around, we can’t abandon the likelihood of an undead army appearing. The zombies that we encountered might be their advance force. Our situation is even more dire now.
Finally, the last existence Felicia encountered. The commander of the monster army. He is a man with muscular build. Large bat wing reside on his back. He has horns and crown on his head. His pitch black eyes looks like they will see through your heart in a simple glance. He has an oppressive aura that is unbearable for normal people. Felicia barely held onto her spirit and faced him.
His race is unknown but judging by how he commands the vast army of monsters, he should be the Demon King. Or the least he could be a Demon General. His monster army lacks devils who should come with Demons but we still lacks intelligence on his world’s races. We will leave them for intelligence corps to find out and at least prepare for now.
“Alright. I will send this information to my world immediately. We might need their help to survive this.” (Erwin)
“Thank you for telling us various things about this enemies.” (Mary)
“Do not worry about it. I am glad to help. Beside, it seems like you will have more information about them than me.” (Felicia)
“Well, we have knowledge from 20 or so different worlds. We can give you more information later.” (Erwin)
“Twenty.... I look forward to it.” (Felicia)
“Now, I guess we should let you to meet a noble from this world. However I am sorry because this noble is a bit foolish.” (Erwin)
“Oh? Where is he?” (Felicia)
“We locked him up on the other side of this building.” (Erwin)
“I don’t think he will like that kind of treatment. You should treat them with more courtesy.” (Felicia)
“Well, you will see why later. Also, we don’t know his affiliation well enough to let him go around this building. This outpost is a headquarters for this area so there will be some information about the country here.” (Erwin)
“I see. Well done.” (Felicia)
The lunch has finished and the dishes are taken care of. All of us, except Alishia and Maria who fell asleep, walk to the other side of the base. When we are about to reach the room, the shouts of anger to let him out can be heard from inside.
“Let me out of here! You can’t treat me like this! I am a noble!” (Harvey)
“I don’t care who are you. I will let you out but it is only to meet someone.” (Erwin)
“You Cursed Children won’t be let off like this! I will have you executed when we are back in the capital. Lady Mary should never be with you. She should be with me.” (Harvey)
“Cursed children?” (Felicia)
“My hair. Yuni is also one of them.” (Erwin)
“It is only a prejudice. No one can tell that it is the truth.” (Yuni)
“What did he think of me?” (Mary)
“No idea.--- I will let you out now but I warn you not to act rashly.” (Erwin)
“Just let me out!” (Harvey)
“I guess you want to keep a bit of distance. Mary, make a barrier.” (Erwin)
A barrier is spread in front of the door. I take the stick, that is used to hold the knob so it won’t turn, out. Seconds later, Harvey storms out of the room with his staff. His head hit the barrier hard and he falls to his back.
“What do yo---!? ....I am sorry for letting you see my disgraceful appearance, Lady Mary. And who might this fair lady be?” (Harvey)
“See what I mean?” (Erwin)
“Indeed. I am Felicia Risca Castia. It is a pleasure to meet you.” (Felicia)
“I am Earl Harvey, Wind Magician of Yamato Kingdom. It is my greatest pleasure to meet you Lady Castia.” (Harvey)
“I want you to also bring her to meet the king with Mary.” (Erwin)
“Watch your words.-- It will be my pleasure to escort Lady Mary and Lady Castia to the Royal Capital.” (Harvey)
“I appreciate your help.” (Felicia)
“I look forward to it.” (Mary)
“When will the army come?” (Erwin)
“Tomorrow since I asked them to come quickly.” Harvey answers with a disgruntled tone.
“Alright then. Go back to your room.” (Erwin)
“I will not. This treatment will guarantee you an execution. Let me out.” (Harvey)
“Just let him out. Forbid him from going to the room with information though.” (Felicia)
“Alright... Mary, create a barrier at the study room.” (Erwin)
“Who are you to order Lady Mary around? Disrespectful. Apologize to her.” (Harvey)
“I don’t care whatever you say. You can’t go to the study room or outside the outpost. If you go there, I will lock you up again.” (Erwin)
“Nothing else? Let us go back to our own works.” (Erwin)
We split up to do our own things. Today will be a noisy day now that he is out of his room...