Suimei gazes at the starry night sky of another world from within a rocky clearing. The lack of trees grant him one of the best views in the forest. He sits cross-legged atop of a large rock and refreshes his lungs by entrusting his body to the crisp, evening, air. Even though he rejoined Lefille in the forest earlier that day, he currently sits alone.
"It should be that way. Next…"
The shine of the moon and stars add a somewhat bright appearance to the dark, deep violet sky. Witnessing such a pristine sky would be impossible in his modernized world, too much exhaust pollutes the air.
He observes the sky in order to determine the four cardinal directions, to determine his bearings. He and Lefille have been moving West through the forest based off their intuition since leaving Klant City, but depending only on intuition leaves him uneasy. In order to mitigate his growing concern that they're lost, he's confirming whether or not they're travelling the correct direction through astrology, by applying divination to the night sky.
Despite the constellations of his current world being nothing like the ones from his original world, he can use the position of moon and stars to get a rudimentary idea of his coordinates. He can manage that because ever since arriving to that world, he's spent many nights studying the sky. Regardless, even though I can use it, this is the most I can pull out, huh…
Staring at the night sky wells up a sorrowful sigh from deep within Suimei's stomach. Many factors have been stressing Suimei ever since he arrived to his current world. Of them, one of the primary sources continues to bother him. As he stated, the level of strength he can draw from his astrology based magic has been cut.
The spectrum of stars— in other words, the beams of light emitted by the stars that fall upon the planet— can be analyzed through magic. Determining a star's attribute makes its utilization in magic possible. Not only is astronomy synonymous with divination, it's also the most effective magical application of star based power. It functions by drawing meaning from the name of the stars. In other words, the constellations are a major influence on the spell's outcome. As a result, Suimei can't exhibit the maximum effectiveness of his spells in his current world.
The spells Meteor Shower and Cursed Ice make for prime examples. On Suimei's original world, with the proper conditions, they are atrocious spells capable of boasting supremacy. Now, on this world, even with the proper conditions, he can barely muster half of their full potential due to the lacking influence from mystery.
Having two of his dependable combat spells restricted elects another melancholic sigh from Suimei. "Well…"
—Suimei and Lefille finished their conversation about the mazoku earlier when they were walking through the forest. With dusk falling upon them, they decided to search for an area to make camp.
Other than the vines, ivy, and various types of underbrush that obstructed their path, they also encountered a pack of wolves. However, not a single demon appeared before them. After a few hours of travelling, just as the evening dew began to set, the two found a supply of water and a cave.
Since the sun was already halfway below the horizon, that development was practically a godsend. They worked fast to set up camp and had a modest dinner, but nightfall had already hit them by the time they finish.
Suimei gazes at the starry sky as he loses himself within his thoughts. His earlier action was directed entirely by his emotion, but he doesn't regret it. Still, now he needs to decide what to do next. With everything that's happening, facing off against Rajas is probably unavoidable—
"That guy even said he'd bring more of his comrades."
Suimei recalls his earlier encounter with the mazoku shogun, Rajas. The mazoku had both an enormous frame and a big mouth. It looked at Lefille and told her it had plenty more subordinates lying in wait. According to Lefille, regardless of how impossible it sounded, Rajas is probably leading thousands of mazoku troops. Just what kind of military operation are they carrying out? Whatever it is, I should prepare myself for an enormous reception.
Only certain spells appear to work against mazoku. However, Suimei can simply overcome that restriction with brute force just like when he used Ashurbanipal's flame. That's why he laments that Meteor Shower can't be used to its fullest effect.
Meteor Shower is a spell that concentrates the power contained within the brilliant stars that twinkle in the night sky into something akin to tears raining from the heavens. Even though those same characteristics restrict the spell to only being usable at night, it's still a powerful attack capable of annihilating a wide range of enemies. Being unable to use that spell to its full potential hurts.
Suimei is about to release another heavy sigh when, "Hmm? Lefille?"
Lefille's elegant retreating figure, clad in her knight's attire, crosses his field of vision. When did she leave the cave?
Her gait is unsteady, she almost looks like she's sleep walking. Where's she going on her own?
Suimei sees Lefille off deeper into the forest. A strange thought causes him to losing his footing as it passes through his mind. Nothing like this has happening before, could something be controlling her?
Suimei can't figure out what that swordswoman is thinking. …Where is she going at this time of night without even taking a weapon?
She said she was a bit tired after dinner and would be going to sleep early. Isn't she worn out from battling the mazoku, the situation with the merchant's caravan, and scattering that pack of wolves?
"Thinking about it," Suimei crosses his arms and frowns as he looks at the sky. He then takes in his surroundings to aid the search through his sea of memories. There, Lefille's heading towards that small outlet by the brook.
Her destination, however, confuses him. Not only is it a bit out of the way, they already have water inside the cave.
"…." Suimei narrows his eyes as his intuition tells him something is wrong. He rubs the back of his neck in an attempt to sooth the feeling. Lefille's gait is off. It's shifty, but not entirely out of the ordinary. She's also entering the forest without a weapon, something that could be said to be indispensable for such a situation. Just what is it? What's going on here?
Should I follow her? Suimei leaps after Lefille the moment that thought enters his mind. He pushes the underbrush aside as he hurries past the trees and deeper into the forest. He soon finds their water source as he catches up to Lefille.
He leaves the underbrush to search for Lefille by the brook only to slip on a piece of cloth. "Ack… What's this?"
He barely regains his footing in time. If not because of his quick thinking, he'd have falling on his ass just like when he was first summoned to that world. What the heck did I step on? Could there really be something that slippery in this forest?
Suimei crouches down and feels the ground with both hands. The bewilderment of his discovery makes him leak out his inner thoughts without realizing it. "Huh…?" The cloth like object he stares at in his hands with a stupefied expression on his face is— clothes.
It's something people can wear, it's created for the sake of being worn… simply stated, it's clothes. Furthermore, this one is an article he's been seeing very often these past few days. It's the same knight's uniform Lefille wore when he spotted her a top of that rock.
The sight of woman's clothes spread out before Suimei leaves him gapping for words. He stutters as he loses his mind to bafflement which in turn makes him even more confused. "Eh, ju- ju- just a second, this means…"
For him to not lose his composure would be impossible. A second glance reveals woman's underwear. In other words, right now, Lefille is neither wearing her knight's attire nor her underwear.
Suimei soon processes the current situation. A girls clothes laying on the ground + her underwear = is the most accurate formula that he can create. Anyone might consider it a fiendish equation.
Peeping was never Suimei's intention, but his eyes are regardless drawn towards the brook in order to affirm his conclusion. As expected, by the waterside is Lefille's naked figure.
Suimei cries out in his mind from the shyness overtaking his heart. Right now, right now… He recalls the doubts that passed through his mind. What was that bad premonition earlier? What was that discomfort that made me rub my neck? From deep in his heart, he regrets listening to those fears.
He's peeping on a girl as she bathes. It's a fact that he is looking at her body regardless of the circumstance that lead to the event. If a third party were to pass by, that person would see Suimie holding Lefille's clothes while peeping on Lefille. There would be no escaping the slander that follows.
As for Suimei—
He blushes bright red as he wrestles to deny his desires. As a man, he wants to peep, but his masculine pride refuses such an action. Suimei undergoes a pointless struggle that sends all rational thought flying from his head. His mind is at the peak height of perfect confusion. "No, I still haven't actually seen her. I refuse to look! Even though I really want to take a quick peek… I won't! Just forget everything! Forget everything you saw, me! I'm going to forget everything I saw and return to—"
Suimei is man fully devoted to the pursuit of magic. Never has he bothered to acquire other experiences. Notions such as taking a closer look, or burning the sight into his retina do not exist within his mind. Furthermore, his fundamental personality is that of a diligent and honest person. Terms such as large, firm, beautiful, and perfectly proportionate are his enemies. They have no place in my head.
That's when Suimei hears, "Ah, a…aku, ah…"
Weak and fragile gasps make Suimei forget his confusion. "Huh?" The voice of a girl crying out not in words, but hoarse moans of pain and anguish. She sounds as though a heavy fever is burning through her body.
This isn't just a bath?
Lefille's gasps strike a chord within Suimei heart, leading him to once more turns towards her. She's on top of some rocks by the water's edge. The light of lucid composure is gone from her eyes. Rather than saying she bathing within cold water, she appears to be unconsciously suffering next to the stream.
What's going on? What the heck happened to her? Why is she groaning out in anguish like this?
Suimei doesn't fail catch the mark on Lefille's body. Etched onto her abdomen is a malicious tattoo.
His voice leaks out upon seeing the mark. "—ah." Lefille's raised arms, the sharp cries she's releasing, her naked body that's before his eyes, the self-centered bashfulness he was struggling to contain within his heart, Suimei's shock erases all of it.
The word evaporates the embarrassment monopolizing Suimei's immature mind. The confusion that was plaguing him vanishes.
Suimei speaks the words passing through his heart. "A curse… Why?"
No, Suimei pushes away those thoughts away. He refuses to let himself get bound down by despair or pity.
"Are girls tormented by curses here too?"
A curse. This is the first time Suimei sees such curse, but there is no mistaking it. The black and red tattoo curving around the lovely white skin of Lefille's waist, is without a doubt, a curse. So, they do exist in this world too.
Lefille's gasps strengthen each time magic power pulses through the tattoo. They force her to rub her crotch against the rock with more fury. The zeal of her obscene, batten form of masturbation are direct results the curse burning through her body.
Who did this? What's the point of such a curse? Why would anyone want to make her act like this?
"—Tch." Suimei's lack of knowledge about curses overwhelms him with an incomprehensible bitterness. Curses, on behalf of those who are cursed and he who carries a curse, he hates them with a burning rage.
There was even a day he sought to eradicate curses. He wanted to save a girl suffering from a curse of ruin, so he threw himself into studying curses. He ran at full force in order to remove it. He couldn't lift the curse. That irrational sorrow also exists in this world. Even now, I still can't change it.
The torment of the girl before his eyes isn't something he can ignore. Her obscene movements, regardless of how she shifts, create and unbearable tightness within his chest.
—A curse? That's terrible. What sort of monster would force a young woman like Lefille to live with that type of burden? An indiscernible amount of sorrow over flows from Suimei's heart upon seeing a noble woman like her being compelled by a curse to sooth her own burning crotch.
Suimei watches Lefille as she's forced to partake in her shameful act and concludes that she's pitiful. Everything happening can only be described as heart breaking.
Why do curses have to disgrace pure and honest girls?
Why do curses always burn girls?
Why do cursed girls hold back their tears despite their suffering?
Suimei's grief smolders into fury. His concern about her curse leads him to approach the rock she rubs herself against. He places a hand upon her shoulder while she gasps with pain and speaks a gentle, "Lefille."
Lefille's mind more or less returns to her. Despite the haze remaining, she turns towards him. A light flush remains on her face. "Uh… Ah?"
Her voice rises as she become aware of her situation. "Ah…." Despite the sympathy swirling within Suimei's eyes, her pupils fill with despair.
Lefille's crumpling expression reveal her thoughts. Why are you here? Why are you watching? Don't look at me when I'm like this. Yet, even despite knowing that someone else is there, her body continues to move. She's unable to resist the heat generated by the curse. She rubs herself against the rock in order to relieve herself of the heat, even if only by a little. "Ah, unn… ku. Ah…. yaa."
She masturbates in attempt to sooth her raging body, but from his perspective, she appears to be trying to seduce him. Her voice grows feeble, but not because she's feverish. It's an appeal from her grieving heart. "No… please, don't watch… please.
……The curse's grasp over Lefille's body fades after some time. Suimei sits on the ground as she dresses into her knight's attire. He says, "A curse?"
Lefille turns away as she nods.
As I thought.
Just as Suimei is about to ask a follow up question, the light fades from Lefille's eyes and she says, "—I am,"
"I am related to the Noshias royal family… No, Noshias was destroyed. The correct term would be was."
Lefille releases a self-depreciative sigh. She continues with her monologue, confessing everything with an unhurried tone. "The Noshias royal family— I was part of a branch family that inherited the blood of the spirit. As someone born possessing a high affinity with the power of the spirit, I was raised with the goal of protecting Noshias. Day after day, I'd receive training in swordsmanship and on how to use my power of the spirit. All of that was so that I'd be able to protect everyone from a northern mazoku invasion."
Lefille turns towards Suimei. "Earlier today, we talked about how Noshias was defeated by the mazoku, correct?"
Anguish laces her words, but she doesn't stop. "Back then… about almost half a year now, the mazoku forces overwhelmed the northernmost fortress my family was entrusted with overseeing. I was separated from my companions during the battle. Only a few of us were able to return to the royal capital.
"The mazoku assault was terrifyingly fast. Their forces engulfed over half of the nation in a flash, well before anyone could escape. Nothing we tried worked. Many clamored we'd be able to repel the mazoku forces by conducting a yuusha summoning ceremony, but everything was too late by then. Even though my power was all we could rely on, I was useless against them. My nation, renowned for its overwhelming military might, was crushed. In the end, the people of Noshias decided to show their resolve by barricading themselves within the castle and resisting until their death."
A last stand? It wasn't a choice made because the people desire victory above all else, but because they have no were else to escape. Their pride on defending the northern most area of humanity gave them strength to resist the mazoku's expectations. But then, how is Lefille still alive?
Suimei's question is answered without him having to ask.
Lefille says, "While everyone prepared to repel the mazoku, I was given a different task. I wasn't allowed to die in the castle. The power of the spirit lives within my bloodline. My power, I had to survive and ensure that the power of the spirit wasn't extinguished. I wasn't allowed to defend the castle with everyone else. Because I have this power, my father, mother, friends, and important people, I abandoned everyone. I had no choice but to run away."
As Lefille's head droops, It must be the greatest regret of her life. Suimei was born in modern Japan. If he were in such a situation, first and foremost, he'd be happy to have survived. For the people of this world, who take pride in continuing the sword of their ancestors, surviving must be unbearable. It's probably worse for someone bestowed with more spiritual power than anyone else.
Lefille says, "I received this curse during the middle of my escape. I encountered a group of mazoku and then…"
"Was it that guy?"
"….No, it wasn't Rajas. I got this curse from a female mazoku among Rajas's forces, one of the commanders specializing in curses. I don't know what that mazoku was scheming, but it placed a curse on me during the middle of a life and death battle as though it were child's play. It's like there are bugs crawling all over me. I can only sooth those feelings through that indecent act."
Lefille ends her story without any emphasis. So those are the circumstances behind her curse. Her hatred against the mazoku, it isn't just because of her curse, but because many overlapping issues.
Thinking about the curse reminds Suimei, "Then, that one time, back at the inn?"
"You remember? Yeah… that's right. I went out that night to find a body of water, then when I woke up in the morning, I hurried back to the inn before anyone could see me…. The rest is how you remember, I bumped into you."
"Do you know what activates the curse?"
"From what I can tell, it activates whenever I use too much of my power of the spirit. The same thing happened the other day when I undertook the guild's request to hunt that monster."
"Can you remove it?"
"I tired, but I'm not a spell caster. Not even a renowned priest of the Salvation Church could lift it."
She's been suffering from this curse the entire time? With no way to lift or suppress it? Being forced to relieve it while hoping no one will discover her? She's been baring that all on her own?
Lefille's silence is an admittance of her defeat. After a few moments, she releases a self-depreciating laugh.
"—A woman like me, go ahead and laugh. Cursed by a pathetic mazoku. This… this!" Lefille grabs Suimei's collar with both hands. She both laughs and begs him to laugh. In truth, she can't endure her situation anymore and now makes herself laugh. However, even her forced glee crumbles, leaving her with a hopeless gaze filled with despair. "Isn't it hilarious! I'm a prisoner to my own power of the spirit! It's my punishment for abandoning all of my friends! What was that!? I want to protect everyone with this power! Seriously!? Reality is nothing like that! I was cursed by my enemy! Instead of dying, I'm forced to live in disgrace…"
A punishment? That sentiment can't be anything more than an irrationality brought about by her grieving heart. Why would I laugh at that? How could anyone laugh at the unreasonable cruelty inflicted upon her by the world? There's nothing funny about those tears filled with misery.
Lefille's anguished voice practically says, "Make this into a funny story." Her grip weakens as she breaks into tears. Her hands slide away from his collar as her shoulders quake from her crying. "I survived the destruction of my homeland and was cursed with a wretched body that lives only to pleasure itself. Such- such a miserable existence…"
Suimei's heart tightens as he imagines hardships she must have faced. "Lefille, excuse me, but I'm about to do something a bit rude."
"Ah—" Lefille's short, knight's tunic is peeled off. Her seductively wet body is put on full display. Lefille's voice stiffens as she squeezes her eyes shut. "Do- don't…"
She's scared? Lefille is a shadow of her former self. Gone is the fearless warrior who'd charge into battle against mazoku.
Suimei disregards Lefille's fright and brushes aside her breast in order to touch the curse on her skin. "—Correspondence." [—In accordance with all of creation.]
He recreate a smaller version of Lefille's curse on his own arm with analysis magic. Magic circles surround the palm of his hand as he begins his examination and the information flows into his head. His spell did not recreate the curse, but instead formed a mimicry of it.
I can't lift this curse, even with modern magic. Suimei grits his teeth at the fact and charges his palm with magic power that will mitigate the curse's effects on Lefille.
Uh, guh…ah." Lefille's rough breathing softens into one that sounds like it's at rest.
Suimei says, "How's the burning in your body?"
"Ugh… haa, haa…ah. A lot… better… What did you do?"
"I used magic to weaken the curse's potency. You should feel somewhat more comfortable now."
"You did? I haven't met anyone who could this up until now…"
The relief lacing Lefille's words fill Suimei with guilt. He can interfere with the curse, but when all is said and done— "I'm sorry. While I can temporary weaken the curse, I can't lift it. This type of curse wasn't simply place onto your body. That's why, until the caster is defeated, or the medium binding you with this curse is destroyed, nothing more can be done."
Suimei lowers his head in disappointment. The curse cast on Lefille is sensual magic. Sensual magic, along with contact magic, are magic classifications proposed by the English anthropologist and mystic scholar, James George Frazer. He claimed that forms that resemble each other and articles that resemble concepts have invisible connections which allow for mutual interference, in a way akin to karma. Utilizing this mysterious connection allows for curses to be amplified. Many types of magic fall into this category.
In this situation, the target person needs to be connected with a modeled doll or photograph. The desired effect then needs to be placed on the related object. Japanese cursed dolls and Haiti voodoo figures are two popular examples. This is probably what happened to Lefille. Unless something is done to the medium, lifting this curse will be a problem.
Suimei says, "Sorry, this is all I can do."
Lefille picks up on Suimei's regret on being unable to help her and shakes her head. She masks her pain with a smile and says, "This is fine, thank you."
Drops of water soon begin to fall. Hot tears roll down Lefille's cheeks as her emotions overflow. A rain storm appears out of nowhere. "Uu- uuuu…."
Those tears, she's the only who can understand the emotions behind them. Even if I can sympathize, I can't really claim to understand how she feels. Regardless of what Suimei wants to say, he doesn't have the qualification to wipe away her tears that are full of fear and despair. All he can do is wait in silence for her to finish crying within his arms.
T/N This chapter took me way too long to translate. How long has it been since the last isekai mahout update? One month? Longer? I've been working on it since then. But speaking of isekai mahou, the current situation with Suimei will be put on temporary hold. I'm not dropping him for someone else! I'm not that type of gal, *wink*
Anyway, you'll see what I'm talking about next week, I hope. I mean seriously, the length and difficulty level may set me back a lot more than I'd like. Why else do you think I keep turning out so many chapters of Yuusha ni? It's nowhere near as complicated.