23-23 Cursed Child

 Today was the first time the boy had ever killed anyone.

"Can you ...... do it well, ......?

 The boy was terrified.
 The boy was afraid to see blood, even though he was a demon, a being with the cursed blood of the demon race, which is hated by everyone in this world.

 To see blood.
 Because it was to see his own blood.

 Ever since he was born, he was beaten, kicked, and not treated like a human being.
 If I say something, they hit me.
 If you make eye contact, they hit you.
 Even if he didn't say anything, just by being there, he would always be kicked.
 He was born that way.

 Sometimes I wondered.
 Why was I being treated so badly?
 I've wondered.
 But I never said it out loud.
 Once, when he did, he was beaten so badly that his face changed shape and he was left with only water for three days.

 He was beaten so badly that his face changed shape.
 But he did not want to do it to others.
 Because he knew the pain of doing it.

 It wasn't that he was particularly compassionate or sensitive to other people's feelings.
 It was fundamentally different from that.

 The boy "knows" what the other person is thinking.
 If he wants to, he can see what is going on in the other person's mind.

 Therefore, when this is known, the boy is further oppressed.

 I can't believe I know what they're thinking.
 They'll know how I feel.
 They'd know.
 The secret's out.
 That's why it's creepy, scary, unpleasant.

 A creature that looks like a person, but is really creepy.
 That's why they're called .......
 They were shunned and isolated, and the number of times they were beaten severely just for looking at them increased.

 And so the boy was hated and beaten at every turn.
 To be beaten for a reason.
 To be kicked and stomped on for no reason.
 That was the norm.
 Kicked and punched over and over again, on a daily basis.
 The sensation of pain became ingrained in his body.

 So it never occurred to the boy to do it to others.
 He didn't even want to be hit himself, but he didn't want to make the other person feel the same thing.
 For a child who could "feel" the other person, it was a double pain.

 So the boy has never hurt anyone.
 No matter how badly he was hit, it was better than hitting himself.
 That's how I've lived my life.

 But today I have to do it.

 I have to not only hurt you, I have to kill you.
 Otherwise, they'll hurt you worse.
 Not just you, but the other slaves, all of them.

 So you have to kill them.

"Do as I say, and I'll give you a good meal.

 Because that's what the man said.
 So we have to kill them.
 Every last one of them. Every adult, every child. Everyone.

 Then you won't hit me for no reason anymore.
 And I'll feed you a good meal every day.
 Because that man promised me that.

 That man beats himself.
 He hits all of us.
 But he's never failed to keep a promise before.
 If he broke a promise, he got beat up.
 When he keeps his word, he's praised.
 So I kill.
 Because of a promise.

 I could never read that man's mind.
 It was like he was using some magical tool to do it.
 It happened all the time.
 But he promised me.

 And today I can be of service to others.
 I'm proud to think that.

 I might die today.
 But I can help my country.
 I'm proud of that.

 You should be proud of that.

 That's what they told me when I left.
 A country called the Magical Empire that has neglected and oppressed you and us since we were born.
 But the country I was born and raised in.
 If I can be of service to it... perhaps it's a good thing.

 A lot of people are going to die.
 No, I'm going to kill them.

 Because I'm the one who controlled this hideous demon, the Black Death, and brought it here.

 It is said that the demon race has this innate power.
 It is a cursed power that allows them to communicate with demons and control them as they wish.
 I learned this from a much older demon I happened to meet.
 Long time ago, it was just an ability to control livestock.
 He started using it on demons and killed many in wars.
 That's why they hated him.
 They said it was inevitable.

 An outcast born to communicate with demons.
 A cursed creature.
 That's what I was always told growing up.
 But I want to help people.
 Even if I'm a demon, I want to be praised for my usefulness to other beings.

 So, even though I was trembling, I decided that today I would do it.
 Even if I'm scared, even if I don't want to, I'm going to do it.
 It's the only thing I can do.

 But the moment the boy made up his mind to do so, all of a sudden, the [concealment] he was wearing was removed.

I'm not sure what to do.

 This is a great way to make sure you are getting the most out of your time and money.

 At that moment, he thought, "Oh no, .......
 The eyes of the black death dragon glared at the boy.

 Now I've made a mistake.
 I've lost my focus.
 Because of that, the mental manipulation technique on the black death dragon was released.

 Now the black death sees you only as prey.
 This creature has already learned to kill people and eat their flesh.
 Because it was brought to the boy in that state.
 There's no time for another round of mental manipulation.

 I'm going to die.

 I saw the black death dragon open its mouth wide and raise its huge claws high in the air.
 Oh, it's going to tear me apart and I'm going to die.
 The moment he realized this, he thought from the bottom of his heart.

 Oh, I'm so glad I died here.

 If I die here, I won't have to hurt anyone else.
 If I die here, I won't have to hurt anyone else, and I won't have to feel the pain I inflict on others.
 At the same time, I felt guilty about that thought.
 Because of my mistake, someone else might get beaten up badly instead.
 But I was only happy to make things easier for myself.

 I'm sorry.

 The boy was apologizing to no one.

 I've always been a bad boy.
 Bad boys get punished.

 That's what I was taught.

 I'm sorry I couldn't be of any help to you in the end.

 So I guess this is my punishment.
 For being useless.
 For being born with a cursed power.
 And to myself for thinking I'm prettier than other people.

 It's punishment.
 It's a punishment for the fact that I, a cursed child, exist in this world itself.

 At the moment when the claws of the fierce black death dragon swung down, the boy was praying.

 Demons don't have gods, and they are not allowed to have faith.

 But if you die and are reborn, you can live a different life...
 The boy had a little faith in this idea that he had heard somewhere.

 So, he prayed to no one in particular.

 If he could be reborn, he prayed that he wouldn't be beaten too badly in his next life.

 And that he would be able to help someone, at least a little.

 That was most of the boy's wish.
 But in the end, he got a little greedy.

 And one more thing, if I could have my wish...

 If I could have one more wish, it would be that I could have a good meal, just once.

 That was all the boy could wish for as he faced death.

 The boy closed his eyes and waited for that moment.


 That moment never came.

 The claws of the Black Death Dragon did not cut through the boy.



 A stranger appeared out of nowhere.

 That man, with a black sword in his hand, was flipping back the claws of the Black Death Dragon, which were supposed to bring death to the boy, high into the sky.