—Father was a quiet man. 

Suimei closes his eyes and recalls his father’s figure.  He was a difficult man to excite.  With his emotions having long since faded from his face, he would just sit in his wheelchair like a statue.  His name was Yakagi Kazamitsu, the Orient Magician.

He spent his time at home seated on his rocking chair by the veranda gazing beyond the limitless sky through the murky window.  He was a man who believed, “words come with consequences,” and as such, rarely spoke.

Suimei and his father did not have a normal relationship, even when considering they were a family of magicians.  While they did speak somewhat with one another on a daily basis, none of those conversations left any sort of imprint on his memories.  The closest they came to having any sort of meaningful conversation was when he was being taught magic by him.

His father taught him magic, introduced him to mysteries, and quietly imprinted onto him the image of the ideal magician.  Only after all of that, and only at that time, did his father appear to remember his forgotten passion, the doctrine of the Association—“To pursue the theory issued by the Leader.”  Repeating that phrase was a habit of his.

“Because there is always something that you desire, you should pursue mysteries with all your strength.”  If another person where to hear those words, that person would think them nothing more than the wild fantasies of a child unable to differentiate between dreams and reality.

Suimei thought the same when he was a young child.  His father always spoke with an endless passion about the Association’s ideals.  As such, he asked him, “Why are you still pursuing this?”  He wanted to know why his father continued looking forward despite no longer being able to see the past.

Suimei only asked him once, and only after suffering through endless lectures.   That was the only time his father told him –“There was a woman I wanted to protect.”

She was a woman cursed with the curse of destruction.  Her place was in being soaked with cold rain and sorrow.  Never would she be able to bloom in shadow or light.  She was a pitiful woman trapped in an abyss of suffering, unable to turn to anyone for help.  Destiny burdened her to die a life forsaken by happiness.

She was always by his father’s side, always crying within his arms.  His father said, “Only once did I ever see her smile from her heart.  Even the smile she wore as she passed away was one meant to comfort me.”

He wanted to protect her, but in the end, he failed.

—“Your mother was someone I couldn’t protect.”

Those were his father’s final words as he breathed his last.  He spoke them during the subjugation of an ancient dragon that resurrected in the modern era.  It all happened because he stopped attacking so he could shield Suimei from the dragon.

Suimei asked why he waited until then.  His father had many opportunities to tell him before.  He wanted to know why, during all that time, he never mention a single thing to his only son.  “Why, why did you stubbornly keep it to yourself?”

Suimei’s father said, “I didn’t want to burden you with it.”  Suimei is the child born of a misfortunate woman and a foolish man.  A connection between him and a cursed person was established at his birth.  Had he been told, he would have undoubtedly chased the same thing as his father.  He would have spent his entire life walking the same hopeless path.  “Which is why, I never told you.”

Suimei was left wondering why he was being told now, if his father had a change of heart, and why his father was undoing his own seal about speaking his buried thoughts.

He received the answers without needing to ask.  Now that his father was about to die, he had become much more talkative.  He had never spoken as much as he did then, not even when he was teaching Suimei magic.  This could be said to be the real curse that was placed on Suimei.[1]

His father’s concealed shame was expressed with a sigh, “Ahh.”  Suimei couldn’t tell if he was laughing at himself, or if he just became self-aware of how his words were flowing more than usual.  Then, in his lamentation, he spoke words unlike himself.  –“I still have lingering regrets.  I don’t mind that my body is withering into dust.  I only want for the dreams I shared with her, the memories I made with her, to not die with me.  I don’t want them forgotten.”

His path was paved with bitter hardship, yet his ambitions ended unfulfilled.  Despite that, he wanted his only son to remember the man and woman who were there.  He wanted him to remember that they had a past where they dreamt of a blissful future, that they strove for that happy tomorrow.

By then it was too late.  There was nothing Suimei could do with those sentiments.  He could only wonder, what the heck do I even say?  There was nothing he could say, but an answer was there.  It was the only one he could give.

Suimei doesn’t have the option of refusing.  Just like his father, he too is a magician.  As such, the words spoken to him back then have never left his ears.  “—Suimei, having only chosen magic and Shizuma, you’re the only person I can turn to.  That’s why, pursue the organization’s ideals.  If the truth of the world that the Leader seeks truly exists, then there’s no one that can’t be saved in this world.  Therefore-”

—“in my place, save those women who can’t be saved.”

Then, with “sorry,” as his final word, the man who dreamed of a happy future with his family breathed his last.  He said everything he wanted to say and then like a statue, didn’t listen to Suimei’s answer.  He was someone who’d gaze out the window with a tranquility that hid an unyielding desire for his family to be happy.  Nevertheless, that dream he yearned for was one he’d never see.

He was selfish.  He beaconed Suimei onto a heretical road, a road wrought with danger, through the lure of a sweet dream.  It was too late for Suimei to say anything otherwise.  Hence, at that time, he cried out against the red dragon’s roar.

—I’ll see your dream through without fail.

 

…There was a day like that.  One where I lost father and howled at an impending atrocity.  I swore an oath with everything that I am and not once have I doubted myself for it.  Chasing mysteries since then brought Suimei to where he is now.

Suimei pursues the Leader’s ideal for the sake of proving that there is no one who can’t be saved.  He chases a childish dream.  It is one without a fragment of reality to it and with no chance of coming to fruition.  It’s more obscure than the faintest outline of something hidden by the morning fog.  Regardless,

—I want to fulfill that dream.

……The Akashic Records.  Whether the field is through magic or science, it is what will be reached once all of the world’s laws are discovered.  Everything is recorded within them: the past, present, future, and even parallel worlds.  If a blissful future for those who couldn’t be saved is recorded, then the Leader’s desire for everyone’s happiness wouldn’t be just a dream.  There would be no one who can’t be saved.  If it were to be found, then the path walked by those two people would have meaning.

That’s why, here and now, I’ll make that oath again.

“……Father, just as you feared, those words you left me were a curse binding my future to the road you walked.  Except, I am your son, a magician.  I want to see the vision you were chasing.  Therefore—”

Just like you, I’ll go to those who can’t be saved.  I’ll save them even if it’s on another world, even if it’s on this world.

Suimei closes his eyes and calculates the significance of his vow.  He lodges the oath within his heart as he says, “I will never forget.”

Then, as he opens his eyes, a vileness infects the space around him.  There are many of them, yet they move with the same mind almost as if they were the organ of a single, larger, entity.  Just watching those corrupt and selfish creatures swarming around make him nauseous.  They are like maggots crawling around rotted meat.

How hilarious.  The huge scandal Suimei caused back at the castle was because he didn’t want to fight those creatures.  Now, they’re blocking his way.  How ironic.

Suimei blows his self-depreciation out his nose, “—Fuun.”

He looks from left to right with a scowl on his face as he recalls Rajas’s message to Lefille.  These must be the gathered subordinates, but it’s a wasted effort.  Whether there’s 1,000 or even 10,000, I don’t care.

Suimei takes a step towards that ocean of incarnated revulsion.  Then, he takes another step.

The mazoku, probably noticing his presence, rush to attack him.  Each is eager to land the first blow.  They can be considered the breath of the evil god who watches over that world from the outside.  A more accurate description would be calling them the tips of that god’s out stretched fingers.  They are grotesque and abnormal creatures which lack magical power, life forces, and astral bodies.  All they have inside themselves are their black auras.

A chill flashes across Suimei’s eyes as a part of him, far detached from the situation at hand, wakes up within his heart.  “Haa—”

So annoying.  Just what is a mazoku?  They’re nothing more than clichéd props set to be incompatible with human beings in fantasy novels and games.  Why does a modern magician such as myself have to fight these disgusting creations of a third rate author? How absurd!  The association’s ideals, father’s goal: my meager dream is nothing more than to pursue that!  Why am I stuck in a fight against a Maou determined to destroy the world? 

Ahh, this completely ridiculous. 

Disinterest sets within Suimei’s eyes as he sighs at the mazoku who want nothing more than to rip him apart with their claws.  “I’m utterly sick of this.”

The mazoku charge straight for him like wild boars.  Their mad plunge doesn’t carry a single hint of strategy.

“Ex hoc loco evanescent,” (Experience vanishing)

Lightning tears through half a mazoku’s body in a flash, leaving behind a pale magic circle where its feet once stood.  Depicted on the circle is a simple hand wielding a sword.

Suimei pays no mind to the mazoku as it’s sent flying back along with its severed arm.  With a puff, he amasses his power upon feeling an assault of physic cold against his consciousness.  Is this spell an imitation? 

The technique of the mazoku is similar to Goetia from a pagan religion.  They use their black aura to conjure a fireball that is hurled at Suimei the instant it appears.  Is this meant to be fast?  This is nothing compared to tank H.E.A.T.[2] rounds. 

Regardless of how Suimei estimates the fireball’s trajectory, he has more than enough time to conjure three spells.  As such, he sidesteps the attack and, without sparing it a glance, lets it hit whatever is behind him.  The explosion that follows is equally pathetic.

Had Suimei needed to defend himself, he could have deployed his golden defense.  That spell can block an armor penetrating, metal jet, moving at mach 20 and then disappear once its task is completed.  As such, he doesn’t pay the warm burst of air behind him any mind.  He just focuses his attention forward.  Not even the mazoku attacking from above are worth his attention.

“Crawl.”  (Et cadens in terram)[3]

With a single phrase, the mazoku drop to the ground.  He then fills his right leg to its utmost with magical power and crushes them underfoot.  He again doesn’t spare them a glance.  Weak.

The mazoku aren’t a threat to Suimei.  He isn’t the slightest bit cautious around them.  They are less dangerous then the pebbles laying on the road.  Those could at least make him slip.  Anyone who knows how to fight would fell in the same.  Why am I even fighting these things?  Is there any point to actually beating them?

This is pointless, it’s completely pointless. 

Suime, despite his feelings, doesn’t stop.  “I—”

Decided that I’m going to go down this road.  That was my decision so I’m seeing this road through.  Even if I stumble, even if I fall, there’s no way I’ll stop.  I already decided back then that I’ll keep moving forward.

I’ll prove that everyone who wants to be saved can be saved.  I’ll realize the Akashic Records my father dreamed of here and now.  Even I can do that much.

Cutting straight through the center of the mazoku forces is preposterous, but walking that road will take Suimei where he needs to go.

“—Archiatius overload.”  (Mana furnace load activation)

A brilliant magic circle of rainbow light explodes underneath Suimei’s feet.  Its diameter is five meters long and is inscribed with an intricate formation of letters and numbers.  They undo his eternal shackles for long yearned freedom[4].

Suimei’s magic power is unleashed.  The air screams and the ground shakes as it swirls around him with a fierce roar.  The scorching heat is like a nuclear reactor’s core combusting and rampaging after an unexpected meltdown.  Lightning flashes out, detonating and creating shockwaves.  A tornado kicks up and blows the surrounding mazoku into the heavens.

Everything surrounding Suimei gets sucked up and broken apart.  A new scenery is then created by the falling refuse.  Then, as his overflowing and rampant magical power stabilizes, the unnatural creatures attack.  They explode towards him like a black avalanche.  Each snow flake races to be the first to sink its claws into him.

Suimei straightens his coat that was disoriented by the whirlwind of magical power.  The mazoku horde before him stretches back for as far as he can see.  That’s when his father’s words ironically flash through his mind.  “A hopeless journey, is it?  ………Haa, just perfect!!”

He charges into that grotesque swarm with an unshakable grin.

 

T/N: This chapter was a bit painful for me to translate. I’m starting to reach age that I would like to get married, but with how life is unfolding, it doesn’t look like it will happen soon.  The thought of it makes me sad so being shown that at the beginning didn’t help.  It depresses me a lot more than I let others know.

Some of you might have noticed a new story, “The Day I Disappeared” being released on American Faux.  I am not the translator.  American Faux has been joined by Antoinette Vanessa.  Please give her a warm welcome to our site.  May she contribute to all our reading needs.

Thanks for reading,

~Gandire Alea

 

[1] そう、まるでそれが、彼に課せられた本当の呪いだったのだとでも言うように。

[2] H.E.A.T. = High-Explosive Anti-Tank.

[3] First, the literal translation is “crawl and cower/crouch”.  Second, the Latin part is what is normally spoken.  This is probably a typo by the author.  The woes of web-novelness~

[4] 五メートルもの差し渡しを測る複雑で乱雑な文字数字を内包した魔法陣は、永の時を焦がれていたとばかりに掛けられた枷を解いていく。

 

<29. Keeping Faith Until the End

31. After Despair >

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