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The wind that flowed from between the buildings was warm. It was because right now is the latest part of spring and almost approaching summer. In this season the daytime is longer, and even now the sun hasn’t set yet, however the white moon has also climbed up high in the sky and night time activities has started in Mishia’s streets.
As a metropolis, even in night time humans wave didn’t stop. Brilliant lights started to light up in the shops, and the stalls that sold traveling supplies or daily foodstuff started to transform into sweets stalls where you can eat while walking or shops which sell alcohol. The shop attendants and touters proactively called anyone who passed by, while near the fountain in the plaza you could see friends and lovers meeting up. While narrowing her eyes when she saw the scene that symbolized the peace of the middle continent, Miliazard walked away from all those hustle and bustle, alone.
“Human activities didn’t change much even after hundreds of years passed…but, well, it’s true I can spot smiles easier now compared to during the great war.”
Miliazard reminisced about the past. It was when Alneria church hasn’t been established yet, and she was travelling towards many places just like her current pilgrimage. At that time there were almost no difference in people’s daily lives in all around the continent. People fearing the monsters, unable to travel and migrate, villages or towns razed into the ground by a group of monsters, was common story everywhere. The population too, was only around a tenth of the current population.
And the being called as demon kings were a lot in that time. Among them, there were six which bore tremendous power, able to swallow a country in one swoop. Those powerful demon kings were dubbed as ‘Great Demon King’ and the fight against them lasted more than three hundred years. The period of consecutive wars against them was now called as the Great War Era. The Great War Era ended around 350 years ago. And after that, war among humans increased until the peacekeeping organization was founded. That period was called Dawn Era. The Dawn Era ended only around twenty years ago.
Miliazard started her pilgrimage since from before Great War Era. Or actually, it can be said that she is the one who started Great War Era. While she was traveling into many places in her pilgrimage, there were many instances where she naturally defeated the demon kings, and she also got a lot of companions from it. And in ten years they had become a great power to behold. Hence Miliazard became the symbol of resistance against the demon kings. It was the parent organization that later spurred the creation of Alneria church.
Anyway, Miliazard saved people who suffered from illness or injury, and made contact and traveled between towns and villages if possible. And then she also cleared the land infested by monsters and thus widened the scope of human living. And before she noticed she was called saint and highest founder. She also guided people who has elementary attainment towards healing magic. Actually since the beginning, healing magic will show better effect when used to help others, and yet they started to become popular as priests and sisters with holy power. Thanks to them though, life expectancy in this world increased. Also, among them, there were some who swore that they will follow her with their lives, that’s how Alneria church was founded.
With their dedication, and a lot… a lot of sacrifices, the current Alneria church can exist. Currently Alneria church’s main activity was saving people from poverty, however in the past their main mission was monster subjugation. Among them was the subjugation of great demon king, it was the time when Alneria church power received a big blow, even Miliazard herself stepped forward in the battlefield. Although there were many sacrifices, humans received even more benefit. Although Miliazard herself didn’t plan to weigh the sacrifices and benefits to boast about it, even more because fighting is not her purpose, she didn’t regret what she did. Because if she felt regret, it would become an insult towards those who left the dream and hoped to her and even sacrificed their lives to reach it. And yet,
“I started to wonder whether what I did is the correct thing to do…”
Following the widening living range after monster’s influence thinning, the strife among human started to widespread. Alneria church with Miliazard as its core basically stood in the middle ground in wars between human, however because of that the link towards the various countries for demon king subjugation was neglected, and Alneria church must subjugate the demon kings unassisted, resulting in dragged on battle. Among them, there were many knights, sisters, and priests who died. She was criticized for that, and also internal discords happened many times.
Additionally, there were also some bad people who used the spreading influence of the church, ignoring affection and salvation which was the foundation of the church. It didn’t mean that they came with wicked thoughts when they entered Alneria church. Most of them possessed noble ideals and strived hard in their duty. At times, when Miliazard ended the internal discord with her own hands, she was assaulted by sorrow. However, it doesn’t mean she was cutting corners or giving them half-hearted compassion; it was not in her nature.
As Alneria church became bigger, the darkness inside also became stronger—she couldn’t deny it. Which is to say, it was just like her own self. Miliazard laughed with self-depreciation. The organization she created, is like her own child. And a child is similar with their parent.
While indulging herself in reverie, Miliazard passed the shopping district and entered the back alley. This place was one of the place with the worst public order even in Mishia, where brothels, gambling houses, and black markets stood in a row. Coming and going were indecent harlots, and a large number of hoodlums with scary eyes. There were people who picked the pockets of drunkard who laid on the roadside, sounds of fighting in a smaller alley; truly the scene of a lawless area. It’s also not uncommon to find a corpse at the dawn of the day.
However, at this era, this kind of thing was present in every town. Although it’s not as bad as Taram’s back alley, Miliazard still can’t suppress the queasy feeling in her chest.
“I can’t save all of them. Only those who work hard daily and earnestly living and yet can easily die just because a trifling matter. I just don’t want to see that kind of death. And yet I can’t choose who to save…”
She remembered the villagers who were kind to her in the past. They lived earnestly, working hard from morning into the night without complaining, they didn’t prosper, and yet they still didn’t abandon people in trouble. However just a single attack from a group of monsters turned all of them into ashes.
The elderly couple who invited her for dinner when she didn’t have anyone to rely on, the intimate large family who sowed seed together with her, the twins who bustled about with her on the hill and in the field—all of them were gone. And also the Sister who always talked to her. Suddenly, someone grabbed her clothes. Perhaps a beggar, his appearance was dirty,
“You’re a Sister, right? I haven’t eat anything for three days… please give me God’s charity.”
Miliazard took the sweet she bought in the stall awhile ago. It shaped like a star and she planned to enjoy it secretly later, but if she was stingy here she felt that she would lose the qualifications to talk about church beliefs.
“Currently this is the only thing I have.”
“! What? It’s a sweet! Are you making fun of me because of my lowborn!?”
“I’m sorry, but this is the only thing I have.”
“Then give me money! I can buy alcohol with that. I can live as long I have alcohol.”
“I’m sorry, even though I want to give it to you, I didn’t bring any money.”
“Don’t f*ck with me!!”
The man grabbed Miliazard’s collar.
“Please release your hand. If you commit violence towards an Alneria church’s Sister, you will receive retribution.”
Perhaps he also had a slight faith in him, or perhaps he felt guilty against committing violence against a young Sister, or perhaps because Miliazard’s eyes were sharper than he imagined. Whichever it was, he quickly released her collar and left through the back alley after spitting words of curse. Well, if he didn’t pull back, without waiting the retribution to come, Miliazard will surely deal the retribution herself.
“Without working hard himself he wanted to be independent…a failure of human. In the past that kind of person won’t be able to live. Even those who work hard while supporting each other still find it hard to live after all.”
She muttered as she fixed her clothes.
“No matter how hard I try I won’t be able to give that kind of person affection. Well if they are in trouble I will still come to save them though. But, if it’s you, perhaps you might pour your affection even toward that kind of people, isn’t that right, Alneria…”
She remembered the face of the Sister who picked her up in the past. Because it was something in the farther past, her image of Alneria had became too hazy. However, she still remembered her last words, every single of word and phrase.
–Don’t hate, others–
“Alneria, I am not a saint or anything, and I am not qualified as a founder. I’m just copying your actions. Those who killed you, even now I hate them.”
She protected her when she was expelled and looked after her. She explained to the villagers to let her live in the village. When Miliazard had a fever she would nurse her till the fever went down without sleeping. When there’s someone injured in the village she would rush to save them, when there’s a family who didn’t have anything to eat she will cut down her own food and shared it with them. Moved by her kindness, the villagers also conducted themselves like her. Even though it was an era where monsters run rampant, I doubt there’s a village as peaceful as that place even in this peaceful era. Every time she remembered about that place, a warm feeling spread out in her heart.
“I want to see…that scenery again.”
While she reminiscing, she reached a deserted alley. Although it was deep in the back streets, to have anyone here is still strange.
“Hmm…You are here, right? Come out!”
From the shadow, some people showed up. Five people showed up, but there’s no guarantee that that was all. Miliazard cracked her neck,
“I’ve been waiting. Let hear out first who sent you.”
“Silent huh. Borin…”
Without waiting for Miliazard to finish her word, the one in the front sent out a signal and everyone quickly moved. All of them took out blades from their bosoms.
“No patience huh!”
Miliazard evaded the attack from the two directions. Although a Sister’s uniform is hard to move in, her movements were so light that no one would have thought it as something a Sister could do. And while she did that, she also grabbed one of them and threw him to the wall.
A sharp sound of bone breaking could be heard, and yet that man didn’t let out any scream, on the contrary he quickly stood up and fixed his posture. To be able to continue attacking while ignoring the pain, they seemed to be well trained. She won’t be able to stop them with half-hearted attacks.
“Well sorry, but I’ll make you unable to move.”
Miliazard tried to use a simple magic to apprehend them, but then she noticed, she can’t use magic.
In the next second someone came at her and she jumped to avoid it. After going past her, he quickly kicked the wall and jumped towards the roof of a four storey building.
“I see. Using magic to drive people away and sealing magic at the same time…you guys are high ranking ninjas huh.”
In a flash all of them stood in the buildings’ roof. Ninja was a tittle for assassins from the different continent in the east. Although the size of that continent was not even half this continent, the average strength of the monsters was higher than here. Also since there were many savage lands, there were many chances to fight. Moreover the resources there was scarce, around 400 years ago when diplomatic relations was established with that place, in exchange for food support, they sent weapons and talented people here. One of them was this ninja.
Their specialty was killing and they could use different types of magic (they called it artes and hidden artes). Although they were also capable of using attack magic, because they are mainly work in the shadows, they focused on indirect magic. The magic system they used to seal Miliazard’s magic was one of them.
“(Moreover it’s evening, thus the compatibility of holy magic and the season is not good. Since it’s powerful enough to seal my magic then the duration should be short. However since it’s from a system I don’t know I also don’t have a way to dispel it. Then what’s left is hand-to-hand combat huh….)”
Although Miliazard impatiently looked for a chance, her enemies didn’t show any opening. Furthermore those man suddenly have something in their hands.
“(Those are… talismans? Then they’re summoning paper puppets?)”
The magic in the east was also more diverse and they could call manservants with various forms for themselves. The talisman would become bigger and the manservant would crawl out from there. There was also one that would draw something like magic circle. There was also one which would shapeshift the user into the manservant itself. Truly diverse.
(“Specter, Orge, bug…what a variation.)”
The manservant they called numbered more than twenty. For Miliazard who couldn’t use magic, this might be bad. Perhaps convinced that they have upper hand, one of them spoke for the first time.
“…Prepare yourself, Highest Founder.”
“Ooh, so you can speak. Well more importantly, knowing who I am and still attacking me, it seems you know very well about your employer.”
“Silence again huh. Well whatever. If you are willing to sell me the information about your employer I’m willing to pay twice more. How about it?”
But they keep silent and order to attack.
“You guys really boring, I’ve granted the chance to survive and yet you kindly throw it away. You should treat your lives better, right?’
Miliazard placed both of her hands in her waist and said ‘good grief’ and sighed, while at the same time the two meter ogre came to attack her. But Miliazard nimbly evaded its fist, and in exchange grabbed its face. And then–
Together with a plosive sound, Miliazard crushed the ogre’s head that was five times bigger than her hand like crushing a fruit. Blood splattering around and trickled down from her fingers.
Not only the one who ordered the ogre to attack but the rest also held their breath.
“It’s been years since I crushed something like this. Alright, since you have come at me there’s no more room for discussion. Moreover, if I don’t fight once in awhile I might forget how to fight. Sorry, but please help me with my warm up. With your lives that is.”
Miliazard’s expression slowly changed into one that was combat ready. And they also noticed that no matter how they have cornered Miliazard like this, they must never show any opening against her. But actually they were already wrong at that point. At that point they should have used all of their paper puppets as a decoy and run away as fast as possible. They were ten seconds late to notice it. Although even if they were noticed it, it was still a mystery whether they can run away from her or not.
TL: I hate the ninja part. But I love how strong Miliazard is.
ED: Being professionals, they were surprisingly unprofessional to confront her with noobs