It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (72/104), enjoy~
Ain had a dream.
A few hours after the commotion at the Demon Lord’s castle, he was on his bed in the water train heading to the royal capital.
In the dream, Ain was there as a lone bystander.
───In a dark and damp cave.
He couldn’t figure out the reason he was born or why he was born, no matter how much he thought about it.
The only thing he had done in the hours since he had awakened to his own mind was to check his body. Other than that, all he did was rest his body against the rock.
He uttered a voice. It was the voice of a newborn.
By the way, he felt awfully heavy and hungry. He was also scared, not knowing what was going on, and crying out for help.
“It’s nice to meet you, little skeleton. …I see you still don’t understand a word I’m saying.”
He shifted his body at the sound of the woman’s voice. He was secretly glad that he was no longer alone when the woman suddenly appeared and rummaged inside her robe, pulling out some magic stones.
“Eat up. You must be hungry.”
He could instinctively tell that it was food. His body was heavy, but he mustered up the strength to bite into the stone.
He couldn’t taste it, and the stone he ate was falling through his bones. However, every time he bit into it, an inexpressible feeling of satisfaction enveloped his entire body.
The heaviness he had felt earlier was gone. In fact, he felt very light.
“I wonder if you’re a slave child. There is no way such a small child would be alone in a place like this. The cave must have collapsed after the earthquake last night, and the miasma must have turned you into a monster.”
The woman was saying something, but he couldn’t understand what she was saying.
“Poor child. You’ve been left all alone.”
She said and hugged him. The sound of crunching bones echoed in the cave. He didn’t know what she was doing to him, but it felt warm.
“Let’s go together. I don’t have a specific place in mind, but I’m sure it’ll be less lonely than being alone.”
“My name is Misty. I usually go by my family name, Sylvia, but I don’t get to use it much anyway, so you can call me Misty.”
Ain, a bystander, remembered that. As he recalled, in an old book that Katima had, her name was written as Elder Lich Sylvia.
In other words, her original name would have been Misty Sylvia.
───After leaving the cave, the two of them walked a long distance.
It took them many days to cross the mountains, many days to cross the river, and many days to reach the great forest. They continued their journey together for what seemed like months.
“Shall we rest for the day?”
When he heard those words, his white-boned body was laid down.
His body was stronger than before and had grown a bit bigger. Perhaps it was because he had eaten so many magic stones until today, but he had also grown to the point where he could speak.
He can sleep very well. Misty could see that he would be asleep within a few minutes.
“Good boy. …oh, by the way, I should think of a name for you.”
It is significant for a monster to have a name. It allows them to expand their evolutionary path. Although having a name does not make them stronger, it is an important ritual in expanding their future potential.
She pressed her finger to her lips and thought for a few minutes.
“How about Ramza?”
She muttered to herself, looking at the small skeleton sleeping next to her.
◇ ◇ ◇
Another tremendous amount of time passed, and then one day.
Right in front of them, a silver-haired girl was vigorously chewing on a magic stone. The girl was surrounded by dried meat, fruit, and other food that the two had prepared during their journey.
“You really do eat a lot, don’t you?”
“Hey Misty, what kind of race is this girl?”
“Succubus… I think? She’s still very young, though.”
“Haguhaguhagu… Don’t get me wrong. I am a bundle of potential. I will grow up soon.”
“R-right… I’m sorry about that. But how did you end up here all alone?”
“I don’t have a tail; I don’t have wings. So I was abandoned… That’s it.”
Indeed, it is hard not to think of her as a normal human being at first glance.
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing. It’s just that my mother threw me out because I wasn’t a normal Succubus. There’s no other reason.”
Misty turned her affection towards the Succubus girl, just as she had done to Ramza before.
“Do you want to go with me?”
“Huh…? You want me to go? Where? With you?”
The Succubus girl was puzzled by the unexpected words. She had expectations, and yet she looked wary, not wanting to grieve if her expectations were not met.
“What is your name?”
“…I don’t have one.”
“Misty can give you one. Just like she did for me.”
Then the three of them started walking.
Ramza walks ahead while Misty walks with the Succubus girl by the hand.
“Then how about Arche?”
In response, the Succubus girl ─── nodded with sparkling eyes.
◇ ◇ ◇
Arche is a shy person. The rest of the time, she loves to sleep and has many likes and dislikes, but she is not all flawed; she has one special talent. She was blessed with the gift of being strong.
It’s a special talent that is more important than anything else to monsters and is hard to come by.
“No, impossible… I don’t understand why and; I don’t think it should be me.”
She was about to reach a turning point.
“I think Misty-Oneechan is perfect for the role. You have the looks and the tough personality.”
“It looks like you don’t want any dinner.”
“What’s with that bird-like chirping… but it can’t be helped. You, the Demon Lord, should be the head of this town. That’s what the people we saved are hoping for.”
“I don’t know. There must be some mistake. Yeah. It must be.”
“When we first met you, you said something about being a bundle of potential.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Ramza held his head as he looked at her pouting face.
“The work that needs to be done will be done by Ramza and me, so as long as Arche sits on the throne, that’s fine.”
“Really? You’re not going to lie?”
“Have I ever lied to you before?”
“I once got a vegetable in my sweets that you said wasn’t in there.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Misty looked thoughtfully in the opposite direction.
“There’s no point in playing dumb. I have a good memory.”
Ramza swallowed the question as to why he couldn’t remember what he had said.
But the final push did the trick, and Arche finally nodded.
“But why me? I’m just a Succubus. I’m not evolved into a Dullahan like Ramza-Oniichan, and I’m not Elder Lich like Misty-Oneechan. The thought of failing and having my brother and sister hate me makes me want to die.”
“We’re a family, so that kind of worry is ── right. It’s a little late for this, but I think we should have our own family name anyway.”
“Hmm, Misty already had one, right?”
“If it’s a meaningless family name that has been given on a whim, I’d rather not use it.”
By the way, monsters basically do not have their own family name. This is because they have so many tenuous relationships that they rarely yearn for a form of family. However, the three of them here do not fall into that category.
“If you want a new name for our family, I’m all for it.”
“A-Arche too! Arche agrees!”
“I’ll think of something. Do you two remember the name of this continent?”
“I do! Ishtar! I don’t know who started calling it that, but that’s what it’s called!”
As she said, it had been called that for some time. It was a name that was now widely used not only by monsters but also by humans.
“In God’s words, family is called Likua. Let’s borrow God’s word for it, shall we? …But it’s a little hard to say Likua, so let’s use Lika.”
Standing in front of Misty, the two of them were in a more uplifting mood than ever before. They were more excited than ever to be a family, both in name and in reality, and they felt it was worth more than any jewel.
“We’ve decided. Our family name is───.”
The scene Ain had been watching faded into a white haze.
What Misty had said at the end never reached Ain’s ears. But even so, he could immediately guess. The words she spoke were the very beginning of the long history of Ishtalika.