SIDE STORY, CHAPTER 100 – STARS YET UNSEEN
The oldest memory I could recall, was traveling in a desert somewhere. Behind my father’s cart, I was being held in my mother’s chest as the golden ground and the blue sky traveled past me so quickly.
“Alright, Kamil. Come with your mother.”
As soon as we returned to her home country of Arxia, mother made me join the temple. I thought that I would always be walking behind her, but why did it turn out like this……
In the unfamiliar chalk buildings, my mother who walked around with a lordly manner, seemed like a stranger to me.
“Welcome back, Iris-sama.”
The women here were clad in pure white as if for a funeral, and they all bowed their heads towards mother as she passed by, I thought it was strange.
“Mother, where’s this?”
I couldn’t help but become anxious, and I tugged on mother’s sleeves as she walked in front of me. I’ve begun to grow much faster recently, and I was almost as tall as my mother already who was short among women.
“What is it, Kamil?”
The voice that responded to me, had no warmth to it at all, I wondered if this really was mother’s voice after all.
“Um…… Where are we?”
“This is Shanak Temple. The origin of the gods…… The god Misorua’s castle. My home…… And from today onwards, yours as well.”
Mother’s words came out like she was singing, and I couldn’t even understand half of them. This is going to be my home? But the stories I had heard from father about his home while we were traveling, hadn’t mentioned anything about temples at all.
Father had saved money since he was young, and he was finally able to construct a large mansion. I had heard about energetic servants that would work happily for him. There’s no way that he could have been talking about those lifeless seeming women I passed by just earlier.
And why is it that, father didn’t come back together with us? Last time I saw father, he had been on his way to a trade where he was selling the other party goods for a grand dinner. We should have been sleeping on the carts tonight like usual, and returned home tomorrow together.
Without even the slightest sign of a smile on her face, my mother ignored my question. At this time, I was extremely confused. My mother in front of me seemed like a completely different person, and the pure white building surrounding me without even a single window felt like it was suffocating me.
I know absolutely nothing. Even though that had been the norm during our travels, why is it making me so uneasy now.
“That man who had no holy power, had no right to ever step foot in this sacred temple.”
I don’t, quite understand. That man, could she possibly mean father? With the current conversation, it didn’t seem like she could be talking about someone else, but I can’t believe that mother would refer to father like that.
“……Kamil. You’re my son. Your power shall be devoted to Misorua.”
I had been born while my merchant father was traveling around various countries. Father had taught me how to be a merchant, and before I realized it, I had always thought that would be my course in life.
Mother had taught various skills and knowledge to me as well, and once again, before I realized it, learning became natural to me as well.
“Now, Kamil. Do as I teach you.”
Mother whispered something in my ear as she indicated at the pale white neck of a woman. The woman who was tied up in mother’s restraints, wasn’t even able to cry out in fear and her face was ash white.
Mother placed her hand on my shoulder. I emptied my mind as much as I possibly could, and swung down the short sword in my right hand without any excess movements.
Without wavering, the sword cut off the woman’s head. Since I knew that if I pulled on the sword that blood would splash, I let go of the sword just like that.
“Wonderful. As expected of my child.”
– Amazing, well done. As expected of my son.
Mother’s laughter as she seemed so happy, overlapped with my memory of father’s voice. I felt like fatigue was piling up on me, and I shook off mother’s hand on my shoulder. Recently, I feel like it’s annoying whenever she tries to talk to me, and I have nothing I even want to say to my mother.
“Misorua will surely be pleased as well.”
I know nothing about stuff like that. Unlike my mother, in my mind I spat on it.
“If you would like to leave this place, won’t you come with me?”
I felt extremely lazy. Because it was too annoying to turn my head, even though it was rude I only looked in his direction. Even though he was old, his posture indicated that he was vigorous in his old age. I could instantly tell at a glance that he was different from all the lifeless people in the temple. I had been exceedingly bored until this man suddenly arrived, and now some curiosity has finally returned to me.
“……Oi you, who are you?”
Since the man hadn’t introduced himself, I eventually asked him.
“My name is Sigmund Teresia. I’m a noble.”
“Ah…… a noble, eh. As expected.”
To my confident statement, he lifted his eyebrows quizzically. As a noble, maybe he’s protesting my complete lack of manners.
Right now, I don’t care about anything. Even if I’m not being courteous to him, please, go ahead and have me flogged or execute me or do whatever you like, is what I thought.
One month ago, I killed my mother.
I had gotten so tired of her existence. Unbelievably, I’d managed to poison her food with the poisons she had taught to me. But I didn’t really think that I’d succeed. I guess mother had never expected that her own son would use her own techniques to kill her.
And two months ago, father had died.
One year ago mother had taken me and left father because father had fallen down so far that it was too miserable to look at. As a major merchant who had done whatever he liked, hanging out with rotten nobles and traveling to other countries, his life had become quite depraved.
But in the end, I heard that he was executed for poisoning some nobles somewhere.
Poisoning, eh. Even using the same method, I am indeed my father’s son after all. My mother had changed so much, that I had my suspicions.
“I’ll say it again. If you would like to leave this place, come with me.”
The old man informed me in an adamant voice. I had taken a minute to look back on the events of this past year. Living here every day in this chalk white temple with no warmth and no beauty, had sapped my spirit. Just like my mother who was from here.
Compared to those lifeless shrine maidens that I had thought were so strange when I first arrived, there was almost no difference between them and me now who might as well be a dead person.
If I remain here, I’ll probably die just like this. Probably, just like my parents. That was all I was certain of.
“……Got it. I’ll go with you.”
That was my answer, and he nodded firmly.