Ever since I met Thia-chan and Ikuru, my daily life has been full of new things.
I can now venture out from this house instead of being all alone. I even became friends with Thia-chan. I learned a bit more about this world too.
“Hinami-sama, here’s your tea. Although, why is it a mana potion instead of tea…? It’s a waste.”
“Well, because it tastes nice? It takes like black tea.”
While I had been preparing the fruit, Ikuru was preparing tea, which is actually a mana potion. By taking it out of the bottle and heating it with fire, a delicious tea is brewed.
Ikuru was saying, “There’s no way this will taste good,” but I’m sure he’ll be surprised after a single sip.
“Come on, just have a taste!”
“See? It tastes good.”
“……Yeah. I’m surprised.”
You see? He’s surprised.
“Really…Hinami-sama, just who are you?”
“I mean, it’s surprising enough that you’re living in the Lost Forest…but top of that you’re skillful enough to cultivate medicinal herbs. But on the other hand, you don’t seem to have the knowledge that chemisters usually have.”
Well, that’s true…I guess I could be considered a ‘mystery’ or something like that.
I came to this world two years ago. I had always been in the forest and it was only a few days ago that I met someone for the first time. I really do lack common sense, don’t I?
“This house too…the magic tools are super advanced…it’s strange.”
“It’s strange after all!?”
That’s right, for now, I should explain things to Ikuru. However, I’m worried about how I’m going explain things…
‘God brought me here and I live off of accumulating points!’ …Nope, I can’t say that. When I looked at Ikuru, he was looking around the house, probably because it was an unusual sight.
“Um, as Ikuru said…I don’t really know much about this world, so um…”
“I’ve been living here for two years now, so…”
It’s no use! I can’t seem to explain this well at all…!
I wonder where I’m even supposed to start. I wonder if I should talk about god? I shouldn’t talk about him so freely without permission… right?
“Well, I can tell that there are some circumstances at the very least.”
After having a sip of tea, I calm my heart. Losing control of myself—how embarrassing.
“Besides, I’m a curse-slave, you don’t have to force yourself to tell me, you know?”
“……That’s not it.”
“No, I’m sorry. Um…where I’m from, we didn’t have a system of ‘curse-slaves’ so…how should I put it……I can’t explain it well, but I can’t treat you like a curse-slave.”
“A place…without curse-slaves?”
After carefully choosing my words, I slowly convey that I am unfamiliar with ‘curse-slaves’… well, just those words might not be enough.
“I see. So Hinami-sama is treating me as a normal person rather than treating me as a curse-slave. Something like that.”
“Sh-Should I…not have?”
“No? Well, it’s not bad. Although I did think you were weird…but I could tell that you meant no ill just by looking.”
Ikuru sipped his tea and laid a hand on his chin in thought. Then after staring at me, he shook his head.
“Hinami-sama is special. It’s as though you are not of this world.”
“What is it, looking like I hit the bulls-eye?”
I didn’t imagine Ikuru could guess it that well! Preparing myself to deceive him, I started eating an apple and smiled a bit.
Ah, this apple is tasty.
“Anyway, I’ll stop prying for details, so calm down.”
“Ah, yes…but still, once I organize my thoughts better into words, I’ll tell you!”
“Organize thoughts…well, if that’s what Hinami-sama wants, then that’s fine.”
I feel like I’m getting spoiled by Ikuru’s kindness, but I can’t help it. I didn’t even confirm through the exchange diary if it’s okay to talk about him.
Ah! But I want to know more about Ikuru. I wonder if it’s okay for only me to ask? But when I ask things about someone, shouldn’t I tell them about myself too in exchange?
After I finished my apple in a somber mood and looked at Ikuru, he said, “What?”
“……You want to hear about my story, right?”
“Eh! How did you know!?”
“It’s written all over your face in big bold letters.”
So if showed that much. But I thought my poker face was pretty good…
Ikuru said, “come on,” as if he were sighing. So he’s telling me it’s okay to listen! Or something!
“Even so, I don’t have anything special to talk about. The curse-slave village I lived in was normal too.”
There’s nothing interesting? As if to say that, Ikuru tilted his head a little. No wait a moment.
Ikuru’s lifestyle was normal, other than him being a curse-slave? I mean, that’s not it, right?
“Eh, you don’t even know about that?”
“Wait a minute…I know that Hinami-sama doesn’t have common sense, but not even knowing about the curse-slave village is an even bigger problem, you know?”
“……Please pretend that you are teaching a toddler without any knowledge.”
I wonder how many times it has been that Ikuru has showed that exasperated expression.
“Well…okay. Then from the top…Let’s talk about Letisreel.”
“Yes! Thank you!”
Ikuru explained slowly and thoroughly about Letisreel so that even I could understand.
In this world…when it was just fresh land without people nor animals nor trees…
First, ‘the rain’ fell.
Next, ‘the sun’ illuminated the land.
Finally, ‘the moon’ softly wrapped around it.
With the rain moistening and the sun and the moon warming the land, a small tree was born in this world. Later, that tree grew to become a bountiful nature, and the goddess Letisreel was born.
The newborn Letisreel was very happy about the abundance of nature.
However, she also realized that she was all alone.
Feeling lonely, Letisreel created animals, humans, beastmen and spirits.
Everyone quickly became friends and lived happily. Then, this world was named after the goddess…Letisreel.
“……That is the beginning of the world.”
“So it’s the name after the goddess…!”
“Right. Even so, this is stuff you can even find in picture books for children.”
“I didn’t know though, so it’s a great help!”
“Yeah? Anyway, this is for little kids. Once they get older, children learn from their parents about the curse-slave system…about the ‘curse.’”
The curse-slave system…I had heard about the ‘curse’ but I didn’t know any details.
When I tilted my head, Ikuru quietly started taking off his jacket.
“Eh! What are you doing Ikuru!?”
“It’s faster to see it this way.”
Wh-wh-what!? In the blink of an eye, Ikuru became shirtless and turned this way. It’s funny how I was more embarrassed than Ikuru…!!
I was reflexively averting my gaze to not see his naked body, when he called out for me.
“This is a ‘curse’.”
When I looked at Ikuru…there was something visible near his heart, a bit like a tattoo, resembling a flower.
Rather than getting flustered, I felt a strange chill.
“……Let me elaborate.”
The goddess Letisreel and everyone were living happily together.
However, before anyone had noticed, the number of people in the world had increased…and there were some who left Letisreel’s side.
Everyone was sad about leaving, but they did so because they thought that having too many people gathering food from one place was not good.
For some time, people visited to Letisreel’s place and shared stories. No one suspected a thing because everyone was all smiles talking to each other.
There was happiness, but there was one big difference between Letisreel and other people.
Yes. The difference in life span.
Born as a goddess, death did not exist for Letisreel.
As time passed, those closest to her passed away first…and then new life was born. Gradually, the people further away forgot about Letisreel.
Centuries later…a tragedy happened.
The ‘jewel flower’ that Letisreel cherished was stolen. The thief…was a human or a beastman…or perhaps both?
Because of the sudden event, Letisreel was so shocked and very sorrowful. Her tears overflowed, and the world was flooded with the tears.
That’s when people noticed…Letisreel had disappeared and flowers were engraved on those who had stolen the ‘jewel flower.’
That was the ‘curse’, and the mark of sorrow that Letisreel left behind.
That ‘curse’ had 3 effects on those marked with it.
Effect 1: Reduction in stats.
Effect 2: Offensive skills cannot be used.
Effect 3: Some sort of abnormal condition.
How to Dispel: 5 years of continuous dedicated servitude.
At first, those with the ‘curse’ left it alone as they didn’t know the implications. However, the ‘curse’ was eventually passed down to their children.
After centuries had passed, everyone had learned of the curse and its conditions…Thinking that things shouldn’t go on like this, everyone living in the world began cooperating to solve the problem.
Thus, the curse-slave system was created so that people could work to lift the ‘curse.’
Also, a guild a founded to manage everything. Later, it grew into a neutral organization that also supported adventurers, becoming an indispensable institution for Letisreel.
A contractual system was created in which the guild manages the sources, while curse-slave traders act as the intermediaries.
“That is the beginning of this world, Letisreel…and the story of the curse-slaves.”
“Well, it might be hard to believe. The existence of a goddess sounds ridiculous to begin with.”
Talking in a self-deriding tone as if to say he didn’t believe in the goddess…I felt that Ikuru looked a little sad expression for some reason.
“So…technically, curse-slaves aren’t ‘slaves?’”
“The name? Well, that’s something the guild thought of…For people without the ‘curse,’ especially for those with devout faith to the goddess Letisreel, it was an unforgivable incident. Those with the ‘curse’ like me are the descendants of the criminals who stole from the goddess.”
“But it disappears after 5 years right?”
“That’s right. Even the zealous treat people normally once their ‘curse’ is removed, as they have been pardoned by Letisreel.”
So that’s it…
So this curse-slave system is quite different from what I had originally thought.
I wonder if this is a proof of the goddess’ sadness. Because people had stolen something precious…because she couldn’t forgive them…yet even then, she could not force them to suffer forever…that sort of kindness.
I think it might be unfair for the children and descendants to have gotten ‘curse’ too, but as I don’t know the exact details, I don’t want to denounce the goddess.
“That means…Ikuru, does your ‘curse’ also reduce your stats and inflict an abnormal condition on you?”
“Yes. But it seems that it depends on the person how much the stats are actually reduced, so I won’t know until the curse is released. I can only use search magic for now. The status effect doesn’t affect my daily life much, so there aren’t any problems.”
“I see…I’m glad to hear that it doesn’t affect your life badly!”
The status effect should be related to the body I think, but anyway it’s not polite to pry, and if there aren’t any hindrances, then I shouldn’t interfere.
Huh wait, but……?
“After 5 years, the ‘curse’ is gone, right? But there were a lot of curse-slaves…weren’t there?”
“We’re the descendants of thieves after all. Do you think someone who stole from the goddess would dedicate themselves to servitude for 5 years?”
“Ah, I see…if there aren’t problems with living, then that in itself is fine…is that it?”
“That’s right. People who become curse-slaves to dispel the ‘curse’…They are those who just don’t like the ‘curse’ on their chest, or those who dislike the reduced stats or the restrictions of spells…those sorts are adventurers, knights, or people who live in areas with lots of monsters. Also, there are those who seek to remove their abnormal condition. But it’s not rare to see people who don’t try to dispel the ‘curse.’ Therefore, the number of curse-slaves is not decreasing and the guild is troubled because the problem persists.”
I’m trying my best to organize the information I was told. So in the end the number of curse-slaves is not decreasing because there are many people who choose to leave it be?
Wait, what about…!
“Right! What about the curse-slave villages?”
“Ah. It’s a village of people with the ‘curse’ like me. Basically, people with the ‘curse’ are managed by the guild. Well, we can lead normal lives in the city…but it’s troublesome if we are found out by the devout. So naturally, people with the ‘curse’ formed communities. Those are the so-called curse-slave villages.”
“Hm…I thought it’d be a scary place.”
“Well, it looks like a normal village.”
The goddess and the ‘curse’.
I wonder if the goddess no longer exists?
Or is she somewhere in this world…?
I opened my mouth to ask Ikuru more about the goddess.
But then my stomach drowned out the sound…!
“For now…let’s have some food.”