Author: Demon Lord D (D魔王)
Editor: None – (Forever searching?!)
Chapter 9: The First Story
When the elf found the siren, he was cowering at the corner of the city walls, seemingly trying to hide himself deeper in. This was one of the places that has the least amount of traffic in the city, it was following this line of thought, that the elf was able to find him.
The young siren seemed to have mostly regained his composer, when he saw the elf, he even gave a forced smile.
At this time it seemed it would be useless to say anything, he could only wait until he decided to speak.
So, the elf sat silently next to him.
“Ellen, I’ve become strange.” After seemingly a century or two had passed by, the siren youth started to speak quietly, “I could hear Duke Elmond speaking. He… he’s not here, right?”
“It’s daylight, vampires won’t appear.” The elf replied with certainty, “Perhaps the effect of the spell he left behind still remains, don’t think too much on it.”
Even though it was a speculation without much evidence, after the young man heard it, he breathed a large sigh of relief, even revealing a small smile.
“I’m fine now, let’s go home.”
He stood up, then stopped, looking at the elf with slight hesitation, “Did I cause a lot of trouble for Cain? … Could you help me apologize?”
“Something like apologies, is only worth it if it’s done by yourself.” The elf smiled and patted him on the head, “If possible, I hope you could tell me the whole story. – Of course, we will wait till you are ready.”
“I can tell it now,” the young man nodded lightly, “If I tell it, would you be able to find the duke?”
“But there was another person, would you be able to find him?” The boy reached out his hand, pulling on the elf’s sleeve.
The elf looked at him in surprise.
“I can only ask you,” the youth said, his voice was shaking, but his gaze was steady, “no need for a trial, after you find that person, help me kill him.”
“Don’t believe in humans” the youth continued his tone was as if he had been hypnotized, “don’t fall in love with a human, Ellen, you can’t even if it’s Cain.”
In that moment, the elf felt like he could hear the low murmur of Duke Elmond’s voice.
Upon returning to the Mercenary’s Home, Cain was already waiting inside.
He noticed the slight shift in mood, but didn’t ask anything.
The siren didn’t apologize to him, just sat there, and started telling his story as if he was an observer.
“Most of the time a siren’s diet consists of fishes and crustaceans, except during mating season, the females* will leave there territories, in search for ships. Since it was said that, the child will be more outstanding if they ate a human.”
“I say the females, because sirens are a race with a large female to male ratio. Males are born with two legs, but have almost no hunting abilities, in comparison to females their life span was also much shorter**. Therefore in a tribe, there is normally only one male. So, if more males are born, the weaker ones are abandoned.”
“For myself, the situation was a bit more unexpected. I was one of a pair of twins, and the child of the chief, so in terms of bloodline, it was not possible to distinguish strength. By chance the year I was born in, had an abundance of food, so they decided to raise both of us, to determine which one should remain once we grew up.”
“There was still some time before we were of age, but mating season was about to start. So they decided to start hunting for ships. My sibling was very excited about this – he had already started to reach puberty, in terms of looks he was much stronger than I. But the ability in illusionary magic can’t be determined by outlook, so I was allowed to remain, at least until he had the ability to start reproducing.”
“They found a suitable ship, planning to lead the ship to be stranded on a deserted island. The plan was almost ruined, as one of the sailors could see through the siren’s illusions – but his position was lowly, so he wasn’t able to prevent the captain from making a mistake.”
“Because they needed to wait until the mating season, the sailors were ‘being kept’. They were already seduced, thinking they had drifted onto an island, and saved by the local tribe, they would be able to return once their ship had been repaired. The chief decided that they had uses other than as food, so every day in front of us, with the sailors they would… hoping to teach us how to mate.”
“As for the uncontrollable sailor who could see through their illusions, he was locked up. They believed that a human who was immune to illusions would be good food, so he wasn’t killed immediately.”
“At that time, I didn’t doubt that I would lose to my brother, so I didn’t care much. Just waiting for the mating season to arrive without much thought. At that time it would be my death, as well as the death of the sailor. Probably because of our similar circumstance, I started to develop a sort of familiarity towards him.”
“I went to see him every day. At first he was very cold towards me, thinking that I was just checking on the food. But after I told him about my circumstances, our distance was reduced. He knew a lot, at least to me who had never experienced human society, it seemed like he knew everything. I pestered him, asking him to tell me what the land was like, how humans lived.”
“Of course, I would tell him about life at the tribe. But I soon realized, that compared to humans, my experience was too pale. When I tried my hardest to search for an interesting story within the memory of my ten or so years of life, he would always easily respond with a more interesting story.”
“I started to yearn for that sort of life. Secretly using my powers, and according to his descriptions, created endless plains, tall cloud piercing castles, crowded streets. – But no one was able to tell me if my illusions were accurate or not.”
“I told him this. He laughed happily, and reached out a hand from the cage, to pat my head. ‘Then continue to work hard, if your illusions could trap me, then I would be able to see it right?’ was what he said to me.”
“For that reason, I started practicing desperately. They thought that I finally woke to my male instincts, becoming much friendlier towards me. I used this chance, to request for the sailor’s freedom. – The chief agreed, since this was a deserted island, he would not be able to leave, and she was happy that her sons were both determined …to kill each other. In truth there was only a few days left until mating season. I never thought about it, I simply thought, that at least before I died, I could complete this one thing.”
“Finally I succeeded. At first it was something small, followed by transforming my image, finally the surroundings. I created from his description, his hometown, the Golden Capital Elvira. We strolled along the illusion, according to his memory, adjusting and correcting all sorts of details. When I didn’t know what to do, he would draw it for me. It was just a pencil and some paper from the ship, yet it could show me things I had never seen before. I thought it was magical, even more so than illusions.”
“ ‘Then, this is my illusion.’ He said to me. Then took a piece of paper, told me to stay still, and started to draw again. I really didn’t move, until my neck became stiff, before I was able to see his drawing. It was the two of us, hand in hand walking along a human street.”
“ ‘It would be great if it was real.’ I didn’t know why, that I would say that. He smiled and patted me on the head, then suggested something I never considered – to win the tribe’s male position.”
“Of course, not only that. He wished for me to challenge for the position of chief. I had told him that the position could be taken by a strong opponent at any time, but the challenges would always come from females.”
“ ‘But there are no rules preventing males from challenging for chief,’ he said, ‘therefore they cannot refuse. Once you become chief, you could allow them to live.’ “
“Of course I knew that by ‘they’ who he had meant – my brother, my mother and everyone aboard the ship. It was a truly bold plan, but we had nothing to lose. We were originally at the edge of death anyways, so what if we struggled a little more?”
“Most importantly, I didn’t know from when it had started, that I wanted to live. – Perhaps it was a human infection.” The siren gave a small self-deprecating smile, “That person, had been searching for a way to live all along. To save himself, to save his companions, even if it was a small thread of hope.”
“So I did it. When I defeated my brother, he started to cry on the ground in disbelief. – Then I challenged the chief. They discussed it for a long time, before finally agreeing. So I stood on the beach, facing my mother.”
“I was afraid. Really very afraid. She was already 300 years old, her powers were started to wane. But in terms of illusions, experience was more important. She could create unbelievably real, fearful images, causing my mind to break and die.”
“But then, that person came to my side. – He gripped my hand and spoke this in my ear.”
“ ‘Remember, no matter what happens, I am by your side.’ “
*她們 – The feminine ‘they’. Strangely enough, you can’t really hear the difference in masculine and feminine when it’s spoken even though he explains that by “they” he means the female members only. (I wonder if I should mention this to the author :P)
**By much shorter, I don’t think it means only a few years of life, but a more human like life expectancy. Since we find out later that sirens can live for a few hundred years.
And so we’re finally getting our mysterious siren’t back story!!
Remind me to scan the character intro page from the novel at some point.
But on a side note, another illustration by Tina! This time it’s our favorite Siren and the Sailor!