Revenge of the Soul Eater Volume 1 Chapter 1 part 4

“As Lars said, let’s forget about this person and enter the forest already. I don’t know if it’s just my imagination, but he smells like a homeless who hasn’t bathed in three days,” Miroslav added.

“Hey, Miro. You were the one who spoke to me first,” I pointed out.

As they said whatever they wanted, Lars and the others disappeared into the forest.

The one who remained was the elf, Luna Maria.

“I’m glad to see you’re okay, Sora-san,” she said, bowing. The gentle smile she gave resembled the one from before.

Elves are generally proud and distrustful of strangers, but Luna Maria was like an exception, and sometimes I wondered who, among her, Miroslav, and Iria, was helping the group.

When I joined the “Falcon’s Sword,” in the midst of preparations and conducting transactions together, to be honest, I felt drawn to her.

After realizing that her gaze was chasing after Lars like the other two, I carefully controlled my emotions.

Her attitude didn’t change even when we weren’t leveling up in the group, so I was grateful for that at the time.

But now, I’m surprised.

After I was expelled from the group, I overheard an interesting conversation in a bar.

That this elf was the one who started the nickname “Parasite.”

After briefly responding to her words with a “Thank you,” Luna Maria turned her back to avoid further conversation.

I could sense a doubtful signal from behind, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want a conversation of pity and sympathy.

Ignoring me, she went off with her beloved Lars. That’s what I really thought. However, my intention didn’t appear, but a voice, like shaking a bell, came from her back.

“In recent days, many people have gone missing in the Tittis Forest. Be very careful, Sora-san,” she warned.

“…..Disappearances?” I unexpectedly looked back over my shoulder. Then, Luna Maria nodded with a bit of relief.

The Tittis Forest is so vast that it could swallow up an entire country, and there are rumors that mystical creatures inhabit its deepest parts.

Because of that, there have been many cases where adventurers who entered the forest never returned.

However, even taking that into account, the number of people who have gone missing in recent days seems abnormal.

Moreover, some of those who disappeared are C-rank groups like the “Falcon’s Sword,” and the guild has decided to send high-rank groups to investigate the cause. The “Falcon’s Sword” is one of them.

Luna Maria warned me to be careful because the forest is currently dangerous.

Honestly, I wanted to tell her that I didn’t need her concern, but I managed to keep my composure.

“…..I will. Thanks for the advice,” I replied.

“You’re welcome. Well then, I’ll take my leave,” Luna Maria said, and like her comrades, she disappeared into the forest.

Relieved to be done with this unwanted reunion with my former companions, I resumed gathering herbs.

I was curious about the missing people as Luna Maria mentioned. Regardless of the depths of the forest, there shouldn’t be any problems in the outer periphery.

In fact, if the number of adventurers approaching the forest decreases in this case, the price of herb collection will increase.

That expectation touched my heart. No one could complain about that.

—But I never would have imagined that Lars and the others would be attacked by the lord of flies and return, luring it back with them.

What’s more, Miroslav attacked me with his magic to redirect the monster’s attention towards the injured – me.

I hated the name Sora (sky). Every time they said my name, I felt like they were calling me empty.

T/N: kanji for 空 can be read as Sora (sky) or Kara (empty)

No, actually, they did say that at that moment. It was when I lost against my younger brother Raguna in a practice at the dojo. Raguna himself said, “It’s the same as always.”

But it wasn’t just Raguna, it was also the other apprentices.

“It really is Kara. He’s completely empty.”

“I feel sorry for Raguna for having such a weak, empty older brother. No matter how you look at it, Raguna is better.”

When I was seven years old. When the difference with Raguna, Ayaka, and the other apprentices became clear, those looks from around me—especially when my father started looking at me coldly.

Why did they give me this name? I asked my mother. She kindly embraced her pathetic son and took me to the courtyard.

My mother was a sickly person.

It seems she was sick from the beginning, but it became particularly noticeable after giving birth to me, and she spent half a year resting.

Her room, the mansion, and the courtyard. That was her entire world.

Perhaps because of that, my mother liked looking at the sky.

She liked the sunny sky.

She liked the cloudy sky.

She liked the sky at dawn and dusk.

She liked the rainy sky—she couldn’t walk in the garden on rainy days, and I think she laughed a bit as if she hated that.

Still, I knew her loving feelings were greater when she looked at my mother’s face gazing at the rain clouds.

No matter where or when, when looking up, there it was. All kinds of faces were shown.

The people you cherish who are far away are looking at the same sky.

They are connected under the same sky. Thinking that, one doesn’t feel lonely.

My mother loved looking at the sky, so when she gave birth to me, she said the first name that came to her mind was Sora.

“I want you to be a person as vast as this sky,” she placed such a wish.

“You see, Sora,” addressing her crying son, although she was still speaking, my mother mischievously smiled.

“The word “empty” isn’t necessarily something bad. If there’s nothing, then you can be anything. From now on, gather many things from yourself and become whatever you want to be. No matter what you become, I will always bless the path you choose.”

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“Where am I…?”

As I came to, I found myself lying in an unfamiliar place.

Having a nostalgic dream, I hoped that perhaps someone had saved me.

The area was completely dark, and I couldn’t grasp the situation, but at least there were no signs of the lord of flies.

Relieved by that fact, I tried to get up.

However…

“Huh…?”

My body didn’t move. A strong numbness hindered the movement of my limbs.

I could barely move my head freely, but I couldn’t even budge a finger from my neck down.

I was taken aback by a sensation I had never felt before. And speaking of surprises, where does this sound come from?

A sound like something hard breaking.

A sound like soft and soggy chewing.

A sound like touching something sticky.

It was not a reassuring sound. Unable to see anything, fear grew.

I desperately tried to move away from the source of the sound, but my numb body wouldn’t budge.

At that moment, a light entered my field of vision, which was enveloped in darkness. It was the moonlight descending from above.

Illuminated by the moonlight, the full image of where I am now becomes clear.

It was a vast space that could easily fit a small mansion. Rocky surface. There was no evidence of human manipulation, so it appears to be a natural cave.

However, although it is a cave, there is no side hole serving as an entrance.

To get out of here, I would have to go through the hole above my head. That hole, which also served as the entry point for the moonlight, looked quite small when I looked up.

But that’s because there is a considerable distance from the ground. The actual size of the hole is significant. It is large enough to allow large monsters to come and go easily.

Entering and exiting would be difficult unless you have the ability to fly.

Looking at it from that point, whoever uses it has the ability to fly and needs a large hole to enter and exit.

In other words—

“…Is it the nest of the lord of flies?”

I murmured weakly. The expectation that I might have been saved faded from my heart.

No, more importantly, if this is the nest of the lord of flies, then the identity of that sound earlier is—

Fearfully, I moved only my head to look. I knew I would regret it if I saw it, but I had no other choice.

And as expected, I regretted it.

“…Hii”

An adventurer was there. Probably one of the missing adventurers Luna Maria talked about. It was a horrifying sight. He had no arms up to his shoulders. Just like his feet and thighs.

Countless larvae were attached to the open wounds where bones and reddish flesh were exposed.

They ranged in size from that of an ant to that of a fist, countless larvae clung to the wounds, gnawing at the bones, devouring the flesh, and sucking the blood.

That wasn’t the only terrifying thing. From that adventurer, several larvae overflowed from his nose, mouth, and ears.

Only the eyes seemed to be spared. Or so I thought. In the next moment…

– Our eyes met.

Fear and desperation floated in the light, yet I was sure that I was still here.

As evidence of that, the adventurer widened his eyes, and it seemed like he was trying to say something—but what came out were not words but countless larvae.

“Hii… Hii…”

What I had read in the records was real. Looking at that horrific sight, I could only think that I would be next. Upon realizing that fact…

“Hyaaaaaaaaa!”

I screamed, unable to bear it. As if in response, the surrounding larvae came all at once.

“Don’t come near me!”



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