Maou no Hajimekata Volume 3 Chapter 2 Part 1

Translator: DarkHeartedAlchemist

Chapter 2: Let’s Get Back What Was Stolen From Us, Part 1

[Aur, I think we should stop. This is too dangerous after all.] [Thank you for your input, but I’m afraid I have to decline. Now, can you stop clinging unto me so much? It makes it harder for me to move around.]

Aur was walking down one of the Dungeon’s many corridors, dragging Froro, who was clinging onto the sleeve of his robe trying to stop him before someone would inevitably caught them. Doing so made him realize that there was no doors around here at all.

Just like Froro said, it looks like very few people actually posses the ability to [create something] around here, so even if they were to gather enough wood, no one would probably be able to make a door out of it.

Just like it was with the room he woke up in, occasionally rags were used to make provisional doors, but most of the time the doorways were simply left exposed, making all of the rooms clearly visible. That there was not all that much to look at to begin with was another matter entirely.

In case of Aur’s Dungeon, each and every room is always separated from the hallway that leads to it by a solid door. But since there are no doors  in this particular Dungeon, it is very hard to tell if the room is actually owned by somebody or not.

When he asked Froro about it, he learned that [owning something] is a very foreign concept here at The Bottom. The facilities, if you could even call them that, and tools are used by everyone equally, and there was supposedly no such thing as blame here.

In such a place, there were only two things that could be classified as a [possession]. First thing are the [Skills], and the other…

[Slaves are not treated as people. They just exist so that others could take everything that’s important away from them.]

… was people. In other words, slaves.

[But I am not a slave.] [That’s what you might think, but once you end up here at The Bottom, you become one, Aur. It’s just how it works here. If you are a slave who is not owned by anyone, you won’t be able to complain about anything that happens to you. No matter how many things will be stolen from you, you’ll have no choice but to accept it.]

Froro turned her gaze downwards as she explained that to Aur.

[Judging from what you’re wearing and the way you conduct yourself I can tell that you must have been someone very important back where you came from… but none of that matters now. In here, you are nothing more but a slave, just like the rest of us.]

She might have been telling that to him because she was worried about him, but to Aur it looked as if she was talking about herself. She must have been in a situation that was similar to Aur’s. Her face was too pretty to be that of someone who was born a slave, and both her mannerisms and her way of speech were also sophisticated. She must have been of noble position herself, but for some unknown reason she ended up as a lowly slave. Maybe that is why she was helping Aur now, because she thought that they were kindred spirits?

[It might be exactly like you say…]

For that reason, Aur felt strangely irritated when he was speaking with her.

[… but I do not intend to live the rest of my days while surrendering both my body and heart to slavery. I will be the one to decide how am I going to live and die, no one else.]

Astonished by such a bold declaration, Froro let go of Aur’s hand and stared at him in awe.

[Those were certainly some moving words.]

Aur and Froro turned their eyes towards the sound that came towards them from the shadows.

[Hello, Froro. I trust you put the Skill you bought from me to good use? Or perhaps you wish to obtain something else?]

It was a sound of a big snake crawling along the ground.

[As for your companion, I believe this is the first time I see someone like him.]

But what appeared in front of them was not a snake, but a woman. She was a beautiful woman with long, purple hair and a sizeable pair of breasts which she didn’t even bother to cover. But that was just the upper half of her body. The lower one was belonged not to a human, but to a snake. She looked just like a Lamia, a species of Demi-humans known to Aur.

[Are you the one who took Froro’s eye?] [Yes, Nagia is my name. Pleasure to make your aquaintance.]

The half-human half snake named Nagia gave a graceful bow.

[Aur. Now if you don’t mind, I would like to buy her eye back from you.] [Ara ara, maa maa. Then how about doing so in exchange for your newly-aquired language understanding Skill?]

Nagia proposed with a playful tone.

[Sounds good to me. Anything else you want to add to the transaction?] [Not really. Just be aware that do not accept refunds. But if you will ever want to get it back, I will gladly exchange it with you for another thing.] [Wait! If it’s the language understanding you want, then take mine!]

Froro broke between Aur and the smiling Nagia.

[I regret to tell this to you, Froro, but that would not be enough.] [Wha…!]

Froro screamed at Nagia, who didn’t seem to feel sorry for her at all. But Aur suspected it was going to be this way.

[Why?! Why won’t you accept my exchange?!] [My poor Froro, you do not seem to understand how business works. There is no gain for me in exchanging the things that are of equal value. In order to get your eye back, hmm, let’s see… you’ll have to give me something that’s ten times their value.]

She was driving a hard bargain that Froro just couldn’t compete with after all. And it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. After all, there’s no way that anyone in their right mind would even consider giving a lowly slave a chance at fair trade. But more importantly, but there was a measure of truth to her words.

[That’s…!] [Move aside, Froro. You might not like it, but what she says isn’t entirely wrong.]

From a merchant’s perspective, it was perfectly natural to make as much profit as possible from any business transaction possible.

[I like kind-hearted people like you. Now then, Aur, let’s see what other Skills you might offer to me in exchange…]

Nagia squinted her eyes and stared at Aur.

At that moment, there was a sharp click-like sound, and Nagia closed her eyes, as if she was trying to endure immense pain.

[….! What was that just now?!] [Didn’t they ever teach you that peeking inside other people’s heads is in an extremely poor taste?]

Aur smiled at Nagia, who was still holding her face in pain. She tried to do something to him, but the magical barriers around him prevented her from doing it.

[How absolutely wonderful! I have never heard of a Skill capable of blocking other Skills!]

But instead of being angry, Nagia seemed to be extremely excited.

[So how about this? I will give you Froro’s eye if you give me that Skill of yours.] [Aur, no! Don’t listen to her!]

Ignoring Froro, who desperately pulled on his sleeve, Aur was deep in thought.

[I don’t mind, but there’s one thing that I have to correct you on. This is not a Skill. It’s a technique. Knowing this, are you still interested in it?] [A technique? I have no idea what that word means, but very well.]

Leaning curiously towards him, Nagia nodded her head. Handing over something like this is going to be much better deal then losing one of the things you were born with. Even if he loses it now, all he has to do is to learn it again.

[Then you have yourself a deal. And just to be sure, I hope you will really return Froro’s eye once you get my technique.] [But of course. I never lie in my business endevours.]

Nagia was smiling all the time, but Aur knew that that statement was a big fat lie.

[Aur, don’t do it!] [Now then, take it!]

Aur declared loudly, pushing away Froro who desperately tried to stop him.

[Don’t mind if I do.]

Nagia stretched her hand towards Aur’s chest, and when her fingertips touched it they sunk into his body. He didn’t feel any pain, but he felt a strange sensation as if something was crawling throughout his entire body, searching for something.

[This is… astounding!]

After a while, Nagia withdrawn her hand, which now held a gem in it. It was smaller when compared to what Froro gave to Aur, but it shined brightly and was shaped like a perfect sphere with no rough edges whatsoever.

[I have never seen such a refined Skill!]

Nagia sighs and looks at the gem in her hands with adoration.

[I see. So this is how Skills are removed from the body.]

On the contrary, it was the exact opposite for Aur. When she extracted that technique from him, he has lost all the memory and knowledge of protection from magic. He couldn’t recall the things he was certain he knew, but he was aware that [he has lost something important to him]. It was a very strange occurrence, completely different from his memory manipulation technique where the target couldn’t even remember that it forgot something.

Name: Nagia

Race: Tail Tribe

Gender: Female

Age: 16 years old

Master: Sarnak

Possessed Skills: {Tightening}, {Sword LV2}, {Rush}, {Language Knowledge}, {Presence Concealment LV1}, {Skill Crystallization}, {Identify}

When he tried to focus on tha strange feeling inside of him, letters appeared in his line of sight, displaying the information about the woman who took his technique from him.

[Wha…?!] [What a strange technique. So this is a Skill Called {Identify}, huh? But I have to say, you are surprisingly younger than you look.]

Aur was looking at the information displayed in front of him while paying no heed to the astonished Nagia. He honestly thought she was in her mid-twenties, thanks to the aura around her and her overly aboundant chest. Then again, there is a possibility that maybe the passage of time or the calendar in here work differently then in Aur’s world.

[How were you able to do that?! Now that I have your Skill, you shouldn’t have been able to do that!] [I thought I told you that it was a technique, not a Skill. And that was not the only technique in my possession.]

The technique that Nagia took from Aur was the most basic, low-grade method of countering any direct magic interference to the user. Although it can be constantly deployed without the user even being aware of it, there is a limit to which techniques it can block, and its applicability is limited even further if the user is not able to predict which ones will be used against him.

Incidentally, Aur has a number of high-grade anti-magic techniques at his disposal, however, those one need to be activated manually in order to take effect. For example, he as the one that can invalidate any advanced techniques used against him, one that can analyze the nature of other techniques without the enemy being aware that they are being analyzed, and the one that he used just now, the one that allows him to copy the effects of the opponent’s techniques.

[By all means, I would like you to sell that Skill to me as well… ara?]

Nagia placed the crystal with Aur’s technique in her mouth, but then took it out and looked at it suspiciously.

[W-What on earth is this…?!] [I though I already told you. That is not a Skill. It’s a technique.]

The word Skill differs from [technique] in the sense that it is fundamentally independent. It can be used alone, without any prerequisites. However, the techniques cultivated by Aur are different. All of his techniques are interrelated, stacked and synergic with other techniques. That’s why extracting only a single technique from him will achieve nothing, and conversely, if any of his techniques gets removed, it can be replaced with a different, similar one.

Aur has already replaced the magical protection that had already been extracted from him, making up for the one he gave away to Nagia, who won’t be able to utilize it It is because she does not know anything about the presumption of magical power, how to circulate it throughout her body, and how to handle magic without casting.

In other words, it is as if he handed her only the recipe for a dish she has never heard of, but didn’t include the most important thing: the ingredients. On the other hand, Aur remembers what he wants to make even if he forgets how to make it, so he can devise a recipe from scratch if need be. So it was a good deal for him from the very beginning.

[Now then, give me Froro’s eye, just like you promised.] [….No, I cannot accept that.]

Aur held his hand expectantly, but Nagia refused to follow through with their deal.

[This is a defective product! I can’t accept such transaction!] [I said from the beginning that it was not a Skill, but a technique. Or did we make a different deal that I am not aware of?]

But to Aur’s words, Nagia offered only a mocking laughter.

[Oh really? Did I make such a ridiculous promise now?]

She brandished a sword that was on her waist. Froro bit her lip, knowing perfectly well that she wasn’t going to give him a fair deal to begin with. But now it was too late for regrets.

[I see.]

Aur, however, answered her without any signs of being disappointed.

[Well in that case, I guess I will have to show you what happens to those who think they can fuck a Sorcerer over when making a deal with him.]

He muttered so quietly. Almost eerily so.


Moments later, Nagia dropped her sword and started writhing on the ground.

[It hurts…! It hurts, it hurts, it hurts! What did you do to me…!?] [I did literally nothing. You did that to yourself.]

Aur looks down on Nagia, who was visibly in agony. Seeing the expression on his face, froro was genuinely frightened.

Many people enjoy hurting others and making them suffering. They always smile when they do so. With a gruesome, vulgar, dirty grin. However, Aur was completely expressionless. He doesn’t enjoy Nagia’s suffering at all. He’s not even interested in it.

[It is a pain of the soul, something that, unlike the pain of the flesh, you cannot get used to it or go crazy from it.]

When he stood over her like that, he looked more terrifying then if he reveled in her suffering.

[Forgive me… please… please! Please…! Please!]

Nagia pleaded, crying from what looked to be an unbearable amount of pain.

[If you want to set yourself free from this pain, then what you have to do is really easy. You just have to keep your promise.] [I don’t have it…anymore! Floro’s eye…I gave it to my master..Sarnak…I lost it…!]

So it was just as Froro thought: Nagia didn’t intend to keep her end of the bargain from the very beginning. But apparently Aur knew that, and he still made her promise him. That was so shocking that Froro no longer had any will to blame Nagia for what she did.

[I see. Then there’s nothing we can do about it, is there?] [Aur! Can’t you forgive her already?!]

Froro begged Aur to stop.

[You cannot be so quick to forgive. A promise is a contract, and a contract is a curse. This is what happens when you bareak a promise made with a Sorcerer. I am not doing anything to hurt her now. She has brought this upon herself.]

n other words, even Aur himself cannot stop Nagia’s pain. Nagia’s face suddenly turned pale in response to his words.

[But… but isn’t that just too cruel? Does she really have to suffer so much?] [Curious words for someone who was so worried about me not too long ago. I any case, there is no way for me to break the curse.

Nagia simply grabbed Aur’s foot, and sobbed into it.

[Please! I beg… you! I’ll do anything you want! Just… this pain….!]

And so, when she finally begged…

[H… huh?]

She realized that the pain has left her body as if it was never there to begin with.

[You said it yourself.]

Aur looked down on her, and grinned.

[You said that you’re going to do anything. This time, make sure you keep that promise of yours.]

Nagia needed a few solid seconds to fully realize what she has done, and how much  deadly weight her words truly carried.

One Comment

  1. I like that. Not going with a “they aren’t skills from this world so they can’t be extracted” but “they differ so fundamentally that they can’t be used and can be replaced because of that”

Leave a Reply