50 Sacred Curses, Deathly Blessings
"Haaaah...I never expected that it would end up like this," Saku sighed deeply as he slumped his back on a chair, feeling extremely tired.
It is already one hour past noontime, and the surroundings seem to be back to normal again, but the siblings have already lost their appetite to eat the lunch that they themselves had made earlier.
After all, they almost got hacked by that man to bits. If not for Aoi's mysterious intervention, we won't be able to hear them talk again.
"Are you sure you guys are fine? I could bring you to the hospital if you want to," I spoke to them in worry.
I'm afraid that even if they didn't got themselves hurt, this incident might affect them psychologically, especially Saki. I wanted them to go to the hospital just to make sure everything's fine.
Saku shook his head slightly. "Nah. I'm just a bit overwhelmed with the outcome of the situation, that is all."
"M-Me too, Brother Ren," Saki also replied, "I-It was really scary, but there's no need to worry about us that much!"
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You're saying that, and yet your body tremble like hell. Even Saku, you think I won't notice the shaking of your legs under the table?
"Honestly even though this happened, I can't show any sign of hatred to that person. Before his wife and only son died in a fire a few years ago I know that he's a responsible husband and father, full of hopes and dreams for his family. Since that day, he started diverting his grief towards alcohol and women, and piled up huge debts from different people. Even Father tried his best to help him, which he didn't succeed on doing before he died," Saku sighed again.
After their father's death, the siblings inherited the problem the former one had, in which they immediately found it too difficult for them to handle.
"More than fear, more than hatred--the one thing I'm feeling right now is the regret that we failed to stop him on his tracks on becoming the way he was before he died."
Hearing those words, my little sister who is silent until now suddenly interjected.
"...Don't show regret for what happened!"
"...It's his own fault for bringing his own demise! People who do nothing but to ruin their lives, then blaming others for that, doesn't deserve even a single shred of pity coming from other people! People like him instead should rot in he--mmhhh! Mmmphhh!!!"
"Ah, please don't mind what Aoi is saying. Hehe..." I hurriedly covered her mouth with my hand. Too close.
This girl...can you just eat silently instead of spewing out your thoughts recklessly? Your words really doesn't match with your appearance.
"Anyway, it doesn't mean that just because of this matter that we'll take a day off from our duties. Wake up Saki, we still have a business to manage!" Saku pulled his sister from her chair.
"A-Ah, we'll get back to work now Brother Ren, Aoi!"
"Don't overwork yourselves, you two."
""Okaaaaayyy,"" the two replied.
Immediately after they left, Aoi stood up from her seat too.
"You're going back already?"
"...Hm? Is there something wrong, big brother?"
"Y-You see..." I held her hand and whispered on her ear. "I'm intrigued with the thing you did earlier...the one you called [Sacred]...uhh--"
"Um, um! For some reason it's strangely amazing to know that with just a snap of a finger one could dispose off another person, even from far away. Actually it's my first time having this kind of morbid curiosity inside me that's why, I hope you could tell me more about it!"
Hearing my one of a kind request up close, Aoi replied without hesitation--
"...Sure, why not big brother!"
Aoi nodded. "...Truth be told, I really wanted to show it to big brother as soon as possible, but I can't find any opportunity to do so. Fortunately, someone ran amok today, so I finally managed to use my power again!"
She also told me that she'll inevitably teach me about it sooner or later, so there's no need for me to ask her for it.
"...If you want me to teach you about it we need to find a place where it's spacious enough and there's no other people around. Like our room, for example--"
"Nope, I don't want to fix another hole on the ceiling again," I refused.
For a moment I thought there's no other place here in Plate Town that would fit the bill...except--
"How about...that place?"
"...Oh, that's a good idea, big brother!" Aoi immediately agreed even though I haven't told her what exactly is that place.
If by chance she could 'read' my mind I'm sure she would absolutely object going to that place at this point. However, too bad--she already agreed without letting me reveal it to her.
Well, it's not that she won't notice it while on the way, though.
Honestly, I'm just joking when I said that I'm interested about it. But when I saw in her eyes how happy she was when I said those words, I decided not to make her feel disappointed and just go with the flow instead.
We went along with the flow, until we finally reached our destination.
"...Um, big brother...?"
"What is it, Aoi?"
"...I'm just wondering...is there any reason why you decided to go here?"
"Nothing in particular, I think. Why?"
"...Because...," Aoi took a deep breath for a moment. "Why in the world are we here at the dumpsite?!"
Although she said that, we're not inside an actual dumpsite right now.
The reason she called this place a dumpsite is because, this is where the old and broken things from Sandy Fish and other establishments in the area are stored inside a warehouse before being collected by the town's Environmental Management Department. As to why they decided to place those things here in the middle of the forest, I don't know. I just found out about this place when Aoi and I helped the siblings dispose some torn bedsheets and curtains here.
"...It took us about half an hour before we got here. My legs hurt so bad right now, big brother!" Aoi complained.
"Ah, sorry, but you should've told me earlier if you're feeling uncomfortable so that I could carry you on my back."
Fine, I'll do it later on the way back as my form of thanks for today.
Sitting cross-legged on a pile of wooden pallets, she cleared her throat and spoke. "...Anyway, I will start teaching you about my [Sacred Curses] big brother. You better listen carefully as this might be the only time that I'll tell you about it, and as you know already I'm serious when it comes to these things."
"O-Okay, I will do my best!" I immediately replied.
"...Ahem. First of all, let me ask you this--have you, even for just once, tried to make a wish that right at that instant, a person whom you hate so much will be swallowed by the earth or just disappear into thin air?"
"H-Huh? Uhh, I'm not sure if I did something like that before..." I scratched my forehead as I try to recall the past events inside my mind.
Let's see...maybe at the time when Rin and I got ourselves into a fight over a remote controlled toy car. I remembered that we yelled at each other for about an hour at that time, but something like cursing each other? I'm really not sure. Does calling each other 'ugly bastard' count?
"...Muuu, it's fine if you don't remember it at all, big brother," Aoi said. "Whether a person is guilty of doing it or not throughout his or her life, it's almost impossible for that person's evil wish to come true immediately, right?"
'I hope you rot in hell!'
'Curse you, your family, and your dog!'
'May you fall down the stairs and hit your face on the bottom floor!'
Whenever one is at a disadvantage, people tend to utter curses as a way of defending themselves. Even if they don't have the capacity to make it true, they believe that karma would work its way soon.
"...With the right training on making hexes and other dark stuff one could actually inflict a curse on another person but that process is extremely difficult, not even including the price for using those kind of magic! An experienced person might use at most 30 different curses in his lifetime, before his soul would be completely destroyed as a result of his contract with evil forces..."
'Allocating a significant portion of your life and resources just to be able to make a handful of people suffer? Isn't that way too inefficient?!' Aoi explained.
"...What they don't know is that, the one they are in contract with all this time was me, the Death Goddess! I'm the one who made those curses available to everyone!" She said proudly while puffing out her chest.
Allowing people to learn such kind of magic at the cost of their life force? Seems like a plan to me.
I raised my hand and asked, "If I were to learn how to make curses, would my soul be damned as well?"
"...Eh? The answer is obvious, you know?" Aoi tilted her head. "Big brother is already mine, so it'll be redundant if I take your soul if you want to learn using the powers I'll give to you."
"I-I see. I'm relieved..."
"...Not just that, but the things I'll give to you are the ones I personally made, after thousands of years observing how pitiful mortals and immortals slowly destroy this world. Wars, famine, plagues--all the darkness accumulated throughout history are collected into what is now called [Sacred Curses]! Big brother, be grateful, for you are the chosen soul to receive these blessings from me!"
Fwooooshh!!! All of a sudden thick, black smoke started appearing from behind Aoi and swirled slowly in the air around us, then gradually swirling faster to create a small vortex. At first I didn't mind it as such, until I noticed that all the shrubs that touched the smoke wilted and died in just a matter of a few seconds.
"A-Aoi, I hate to ask this, but what exactly are you planning...?"
The vortex of smoke and air spun even faster, sucking the air outside and the increasing pressure inside caused me to fall down the ground, unable to breathe.
Ah, I knew something like this is bound to happen! This little girl, she's as overbearing as always!
Aoi stood up, then solemnly spoke, "...Blessed are the ones who are favored by the Death Goddess, for only they are the ones who shall live long enough to know the truth of this world!"
At a snap of her finger, the vortex stopped moving for a moment, then surged rapidly into my mouth.
I can't stop screaming at the pain I'm feeling right now. The smoke--it burns my throat, sours my stomach, and I could feel it ravaging inside my lungs! Too much of Aoi's smoke is entering inside my system, I think my body's about to bloat and explode! This is more painful than the ones I've suffered before!
"K-Kheh, keh, guuuheehh..." I vomited blood after I swallowed all of that smoke.
"...How does it feel, big brother?" Aoi asked me with an innocent-looking smile on her face.
"How does it feel, you ask? It's much worse than the torture you've made to me countless times before!"
"...Are you mad at me, big brother?"
"If I am, so what?"
"...That's great!" Aoi clapped her hands. "I understand that you'll get mad at me for doing something like that but please just this once, can you divert your emotions and look at the tree over there?"
"Huh? What are you talking about--"
When I shifted my gaze towards the tree that Aoi is pointing at, it instantly lost its leaves and fell with all of its roots pulled.
"H-Huh?! What the fu--?!"
"...Kekeke," Aoi let out a short, evil laugh. "The one you witnessed right now, big brother, is just the beginning. Someday, you'll be are to use it on humans, beasts, demons, and even gods should you face them. That fallen tree, is the symbol of all the enemies falling down to your new power."
My body trembled in shock as I look at the tree in front of me. Did I really fell that tree with just a slight gaze?
"...It would take some time to get used to it but I assure you big brother, once you master using [Sacred Curses] you might opt not to use weapons or other magic anymore."
'Good, good,' Aoi patted my head happily as she still stood on the pallets.
Well, I don't have mana to begin with, so learning magic for me is impossible. That said, knowing that using Arcanas doesn't consume anything in order to work makes it an even greater substitute for that shortcoming.
"I guess I could use this power during hunting missions at the Guild," I said to myself.
More than that, I have more ways to protect Aoi and my friends, even use it to achieve my goal of returning back to my world.
"...Nn!" Aoi nodded.
I'm tired already. I want to go back now and sleep while hugging my 'pillow' tightly...--
"...You're going back now, big brother?"
"Hm? Is there something wrong, Aoi?"
"...But we're not finished yet," Aoi replied.
"W-What do you mean..."
"...I only gave you one [Sacred Curse], big brother, just one. There are thousands of curses existing all over the world, you know? I will pass it all to you!"
"E-Eh? You mean to say you'll do it again...thousands of times more?"
I gasped my breath. Gritting my teeth, I turned my back and started running for my life.
"As if I would endure that much of a suffering! I'll go back to Sandy Fish now!"
"...Ah, wait big brother! Geez..."
Unbeknownst to me, Aoi's expression became even more ominous. With a cold, heartless tone, she spoke.
"...Don't move an inch."
After I landed a few steps on the ground my whole body froze suddenly, and I felt a very heavy aura slowly approaching from behind.
"...Big brother?" Aoi looked at me with a stoic gaze in her eyes.
"...I told you before, right? As long as I know your face, it's no use running away from my wrath."
"...Oh, and I almost forgot, no one is immune from suffering the effects of [Sacred Curses] other than me! Even though I'm not at my prime anymore and your physical strength has improved, you're still no match to me!"
Cold sweat immediately covered my body. Seeing my fear leaking out of my skin, Aoi licked her lips as if she's a hungry predator looking at her prey.
"...Well then, let's continue with our business."