Eminence in Shadow Volume 6 Chapter 4,75

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Quiet Talks, Digressions: Oath on the Grasslands
 

Delta was in a good mood.
 
Today she hunted a lot of thieves with Shadow.
 
Power is strength.
 
Strength is justice.
 
Hunting is not only a means to obtain food, but also a place to demonstrate one’s power.
 
“Boss!! How was Delta’s hunt today!?”
 
“Ah, it was good I guess.”
 
Shadow, draped in a jet black long coat, said while collecting wallets from the thieves’ corpses.
 
“I did it!! The boss recognized me!”
 
Hunting with Shadow was the greatest stage for Delta.
 
Being recognized by one of higher status was an honor for a beastman, and necessary to strengthen one’s position in the pack.
 
That was the beastmen’s values.
 
“Oh, what should we do with this corpse?”
 
Shadow pointed at the corpse of a beastman.
 
“Who is it?”
 
“It’s Delta’s brother. Don’t you remember?”
 
Delta tilted her head, trying to remember.
 
Come to think of it, there was some unpleasant fellow who talked to her.
 
“I guess we should bury him or something? I don’t know beastman customs though.”
 
“I don’t need it!”
 
“If you say so…”
 
Shadow said and resumed looting the wallets.
 
“Hmm…”
 
Looking at the beastman’s corpse, Delta somehow recalled unpleasant memories for some reason.
 
It was a very old memory, back when she was called Sara.
 
“What’s wrong?”
 
“It’s nothing!!”
 
She was in such a good mood just a moment ago.
 
Delta leapt onto Shadow’s back and started marking him.
 
“Hey, get off!”
 
“No!”
 
“Wait! You’re making me smell like a dog!”
 
“It doesn’t smell!”
 
As Delta covered herself in Shadow’s scent, the old memories faded little by little. She felt that way.
 

\\
 


Somewhere inside a small dark hut.
 
“Sara…are you awake?”
 
Hearing her mother call, Sara jumped up.
 
“Sara is here!”
 
At the back of the hut her sick mother lay.
 
“Cough…please fetch…cough…some water…”
 
Her mother said with difficulty, coughing.
 
“Got it! I’ll go get it!!”
 
Sara rushed out of the hut towards the watering hole to get water for her mother.
 
Outside, the morning sun was dazzling, and the grasslands stretched to the horizon. By the time she reached the watering hole, Sara’s feet were wet with the morning dew.
 
The clear water sparkled at the watering hole.
 
As Sara crouched down to draw water, she suddenly realized something.
 
“Oh no! I forgot the water bucket!”
 
She dashed back to get it.
 
Just then, someone tripped her feet.
 
“Kyaa!?”
 
Sara tumbled to the ground.
 
“Hey idiot Sara, why’d you suddenly fall over!?”
 
“Hahaha, did you forget the water bucket again?”
 
The two boys there were a little older than Sara.
 
“Brother Ral, and brother Ren…”
 
Sara’s ears drooped.
 
“You really are useless. Can’t even do any housework?”
 
“Good for nothing if you don’t even hunt…”
 
“B-But someone has to take care of mother…! So I can’t go hunting!”
 
“Don’t talk back to me!!”
 
Ral’s fist struck Sara’s cheek.
 
Despite her young age, it was a beastman’s fist. Sara bounced several times on the grasslands.
 
“Uu…”
 
Blood seeped from the corner of Sara’s lips.
 
The two boys looked surprised as they slowly got up.
 
“Huh, I actually hit her seriously.”
 
“Think you hit a weird spot? She’s acting strange.”
 
Saying that, the two approached Sara.
 
“Listen up Sara. Taking care of that woman is pointless. She can’t even hunt anymore. Despite only birthing three kids, she’s useless.”
 
“She’s just dead weight for the pack. That’s why dad abandoned her too.”
 
“Why…why do you say such horrible things! Brother Ral and brother Ren, our one and only mother…!”
 
Sara said with a trembling voice, gritting her teeth.
 
“….You really are an idiot.”
 
The cold words came back.
 
“The weak have no value. It’s the pack’s law, right?”
 
“The weak…? The pack’s law…?”
 
“Don’t tell me you forgot. To think this is our little sister.”
 
“But she’s our mom…”
 
“She’s not our mother anymore.”
 
“Huh…?”
 
“Oh right, we didn’t mention it. We got adopted into the number 3 family in the pack, the Pit family.”
 
“That’s right. Now we are the esteemed Ral of the Pit family, and the esteemed Ren of the Pit family.”
 
“No way…But mother is…”
 
“We don’t know any weak woman like that.”
 
“Call us brother so casually next time and we’ll kill you. Remember that.”
 
Laughing mockingly, the two left.
 
Sara stood dumbfounded for a while.
 
“That’s right…the water bucket…”
 
Wiping her tears, Sara wobbled back to the hut.
 

 
\\
 


 
Sara opened the hut’s door smiling.
 
“Mother! I forgot the water bucket!”
 
“Oh you child…”
 
Her mother waited with a kind smile.
 
“Teehee…!”
 
“It’s right there, see?”
 
“Yup!”
 
Sara picked up the water bucket at the back of the hut.
 
“Sara…what happened to your face?”
 
“Huh?”
 
Sara’s cheek was red and swollen from being hit.
 
“I…I fell! Teehee!”
 
Her mother gazed intently at Sara’s face as she awkwardly laughed it off.
 
“….Did Ral and Ren do that to you?”
 
“No, it’s not like that!”
 
“I see. Those two…”
 
“It’s not true! It’s not, but…”
 
“You’re a kind child. Come here, Sara.”
 
With her tail drooping, Sara headed to her mother’s bed, and her mother smiled as she stroked her head.
 
“Ugh… Mom is smart. She can see through all of Sara’s lies.”
 
“Sara’s lies are easy to see through.”
 
“Sara is not smart. Sara gets called ‘Stupid Sara.’ How can Sara become as smart as Mom?”
 
“Well, it’s difficult. Sara takes after her father…”
 
“Sara wanted to take after Mom.”
 
“You mustn’t say such things. Especially outside.”
 
Her mother spoke with a stern voice.
 
“…Okay.”
 
“You’re a good girl, Sara.”
 
Her mother gently stroked Sara’s head.
 
“Oh, right. Sara might want to speak a bit more politely.”
 
“Politely?”
 
“Yes, politely. If you speak politely, you might appear smarter… maybe.”
 
“Sara can become smarter too!?”
 
“You might appear smarter… maybe.”
 
“Understood! How should Sara speak!?”
 
“So, politely… Yes, adding ‘desu’ at the end of sentences.”
 
“Like this DEsu!?”
 
“Um, well, a bit different…”
 
“Like this desu!?”
 
“So, like that… That’s fine.”
 
“Will I appear smarter like this !?”
 
“Well… maybe… who knows.”
 
“From now on, Sara will speak politely like Mom nanodesu!”


T\N : Delta will start using “desu” at the end of her sentence. But I won’t include “desu” because it reads wrong in english.


“Come here, Sara.”
 
Saying that, Mother embraced Sara’s face.
 
“You’re a cute child. So cute, my child.”
 
“Mom…?”
 
“It’s because of me. I don’t want to make you suffer.”
 
“I’m not suffering !”
 
Mother shook her head and touched Sara’s red, swollen cheek. Her fingers were terribly thin.
 
“Sara, listen calmly. Won’t you go to the Doble family as an adoptee?”
 
“Eh… Adoptee…?”
 
“We’ve already discussed it with the Doble family. Because Sara is a girl, she couldn’t enter the Pitt family like Ral and Ren. But the Doble family is large enough.”
 
“Eh… Did Mom also… with Ral and Ren…?”
 
“It’s a secret. If they knew I was the one who arranged it, those children would be hurt.”
 
“Why…?”
 
“The Pitt and Doble families owe us. I used to be quite something back in the day.”
 
Saying that, Mother smiled proudly.
 
“That’s not true! Why… why, even though we’re a family! We’re all together !”
 
“Sara…”
 
“Ral and Ren are cruel too! They say terrible things to Mom! Mom is sick and doesn’t come home!”
 
Sara shouted in a tearful voice.
 
“Sara, listen. There’s no other way.”
 
“It’s not inevitable !”
 
“It’s the law of the pack. I can’t go hunting anymore. Besides, Ral, Ren, and Sara are still children. Going hunting would just make us burdens.”
 
“What about Dad…?”
 
“He’s the pack leader. There are many other families that need his care. If I could have more children, he might have helped us. But I can’t have children anymore… That’s why there’s no one to bring back prey to this house. Right now, we’re receiving help from other families, but we can’t continue that forever.”
 
“Sara is… Sara is Mom’s child nanodesw.”
 
“Sara will always be my child. But… think about it.”
 
“I don’t want to …”
 
“Sara…”
 
Sara clung tightly to her mother.
 
“Sara is Mom’s child. Ral and Ren are terrible .”
 
“Thank you, Sara. But, don’t speak ill of Ral and Ren.”
 
“Why…”
 
“Those children are also my precious children.”
 
“Are Ral and Ren more precious than Sara?”
 
“No, Sara is the most precious.”
 
Mother smiled softly.
 
“I did it !”
 
“Ral and Ren are still young and don’t have a position in the pack. It’s embarrassing for those children to have a weak parent.”
 
“So, is that why they say bad things about Mom…?”
 
“Those children are desperate too. Besides, they’re stronger than me now…”
 
“It’s okay as long as they’re strong desuka?”
 
“That’s the law of the pack.”
 
“I see…”
 
“So please, Sara. Don’t speak ill of Ral and Ren. It’s my greatest happiness for everyone to get along and be healthy.”
 
“Get along… understood .”
 
“That’s right. You’re a good girl, Sara.”
 
Saying that, Mother wiped away Sara’s tears with her thin fingers.
 
“Mom… what should I do ?”
 
“What should you do?”
 
“What should I do to live like before?”
 
“Well…”
 
“What should I do so I won’t be made fun of? What should I do so Mom doesn’t have to suffer?”
 
“Sara… I’m sorry.”
 
“Why are you apologizing?”
 
“It’s… I don’t know either. But, if Ral, Ren, and Sara grow up and can bring back prey on their own…”
 
“If we can bring back prey, it’ll be okay?”
 
“Yes, that’s right. And, um, if you become stronger.”
 
“If I become stronger, it’ll be okay. Then, will Ral and Ren come back?”
 
“That… I hope they come back…”
 
Her voice was small.
 
“Will Mom’s illness also get better?”
 
“Yes, it might get better.”
 
Saying that, Mother smiled sadly.
 
“I got it! Sara will become strong and be able to bring back prey!”
 
“Now now, don’t rush it Sara. When you grow up…” cough cough
 
“Mother!?”
 
“I-I’m fine…!”
 
Sara desperately rubbed her mother’s back as she coughed.
 
Her protruding ribs made Sara uneasy.
 
“I have to hurry…”
 
“….Sara?”
 
“N-Nothing ! Are you okay now ?”
 
“Yes, I’m fine now. Thank you.”
 
“I’m glad ! Then, Sara is going now .”
 
Sara darted off.
 
“Wait, Sara!”
 
Her mother called out to stop her leaving the hut.
 
“W-What is it ?”
 
“….Where are you going?”
 
Asked that, Sara’s ears drooped as she hung her head.
 
“I…I’m going to fetch water .”
 
“You forgot the water bucket again.”
 
“Oh…I forgot !”
 
In a panic, Sara grabbed the water bucket.
 
“Th-Then, I’m going to fetch water .”
 
“Have a safe trip, Sara.”
 
Her mother watched Sara’s back worriedly.
 


\\
 

──Night.
 
After her mother fell asleep, Sara secretly slipped out of the hut.
 
The grasslands that should have stretched to the horizon were just painted over in dark ink.
 
But still, Sara’s eyes could see far into the distance.
 
“Over there .”
 
Sniff sniff with her nose.
 
“Some over there too .”
 
Twitch twitch with her ears.
 
“Some over that way too . There’s a lot .”
 
Eyes, nose, ears.
 
Sara’s senses were sharper than anyone in her family.
 
“I wish I allowed to hunt prey.”
 
But Sara was still too young to be taken hunting. Especially for girls, it was customary to start hunting much later than boys.
 
But there was no time to wait.
 
Sara stepped onto the dark grasslands.
 
Her feet were trembling.
 
She was far more scared than when her brothers hit her.
 
Her brothers had already received some hunting training, but Sara hadn’t received any training yet.
 
She didn’t have a single bit of hunting knowledge.
 
“I have to get stronger …”
 
Sara walked into the grasslands with shaking feet.
 
After a while she stopped and surveyed her surroundings with eyes, nose and ears.
 
Then after walking some more, she would stop and survey again.
 
Repeating this, Sara went much farther than the pack’s settlement.
 
Even when a pack of monsters passed right nearby, she held her breath and slipped past them unnoticed.
 
“I’m good at hide and seek .”
 
None of the pack’s children could find Sara. Even the adults had trouble finding Sara.
 
That skill worked on the monsters too.
 
Her feet had stopped shaking.
 
There was nothing in these grasslands that could detect her presence. That confidence gave her composure.
 
“I can’t hunt big groups .”
 
With eyes, nose and ears, she selected her prey.
 
If she focused her eyes, she could see far into the darkness. If she twitched her nose, faint scents would be carried on the wind. If she perked her ears, she could hear footsteps and breathing.
 
She understood it all.
 
Somehow she could understand.
 
“That one .”
 
It was a lone great leopard hiding in the grass.
 
A strong creature of the grasslands, high risk and normally avoided.
 
But Sara understood.
 
That leopard was weak, it was weak.
 
She slowly approached from downwind.
 
As she got closer, the stench of death grew thicker. There was no mistaking it.
 
It had the same smell as mother.
 
In that moment, Sara’s concentration broke.
 
She realized what she had just been thinking. Understanding, she was astonished.
 
“No…it’s different !”
 
It was nothing alike.
 
She had superimposed the leopard’s death with her mother’s weakness.
 
“It’s not the same !!”
 
Forgetting herself, she shouted.
 
“Grrr grrr grrr grrr──”
 
Before she knew it, the leopard was before her.
 
“Ah…”
 
Its sharp fangs and wide open jaws approached Sara.
 
“Ahhh…”
 
Sara thought.
 
─How weak it must be.
 

\\
 


When she came to, Sara was standing on the grasslands at dawn.
 
The morning sun dyed the distant sky.
 
At her feet lay the lifeless great leopard.
 
“Ah…… “
 
Sara was crying.
 
Drenched in blood all over, she cried quietly.
 
Her body didn’t have a single wound.
 
All this blood was splatter.
 
“Ahhhh…”
 
She understood.
 
She understood it.
 
Just what a sin weakness was on these grasslands….
 

 
\\
 


 
Sara secretly carried the lifeless body of the leopard back to her hut.
 
She quietly placed it in front of the hut, then sneakily crawled into her mother’s bed.
 
Her mother was still sleeping.
 
Sara loved her mother’s warmth.
 
Sara decided to keep her killing of the leopard a secret.
 
According to the herd’s rules, she was still too young to go hunting, and she didn’t want to worry her mother. But the real reason was something else.
 
Sara had come to understand the sin of weakness in this grassland.
 
The weak get robbed, the weak get abused, the weak die…
 
“Mother isn’t weak…”
 
Yet she was afraid to be stronger than her mother.
 
If she remained weaker than her mother, she felt she could stay wrapped in her mother’s warmth forever.
 
And with that, she quickly fell asleep.
 

 
\\
 


She was awakened by her mother’s panicked voice.
 
“Oh my…I can’t handle such a big catch…”
 
“Mother, what’s wrong…?”
 
Sara rubbed her eyes and went over to her mother.
 
“When I woke up, there was a leopard lying in front of the hut!”
 
“Amazing, it’s huge!”
 
She pretended to be surprised, trying not to overdo it.
 
She was sure she had done a good job.
 
“Did someone leave it for us…? Sara, do you know anything about this?”
 
“N-no, I don’t!”
 
“Oh dear…cough cough
 
Her mother, who had been leaning on a pillar, suddenly started coughing.
 
“Are you okay!?”
 
“Yes, I’m alright.”
 
“Mother, get back into bed. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the leopard! I’ll eat lots of meat and cure your sickness!”
 
Sara helped her mother lie back down on the bed.
 
“Thank you, Sara… But can you really handle it?”
 
“I’ll…I’ll try my best! You just rest, Mother!”
 
With that, Sara took the leopard and a knife and headed to the watering hole.
 


 
\\
 

But she had never dressed prey before.
 
She had watched her mother do it, but unfortunately she wasn’t good at learning by observation, and barely remembered the process.
 
“Hmm, let’s see…”
 
First, she cooled the prey in the water.
 
She was supposed to bleed it while removing the entrails, but Sara’s knife hand hesitated.
 
“Do I start from the top…or the bottom?”
 
She didn’t know the order to insert the knife.
 
She didn’t know how deep to insert it without damaging the organs. Cutting the intestines or bladder would ruin the meat.
 
Just then, she sensed someone approaching from behind.
 
After killing the leopard last night, her senses had been honed razor sharp.
 
In a split second, Sara slid her body to the side.
 
Immediately after, a fist-sized rock whizzed past where she had just been standing.
 
“Damn, missed!”
 
“What are you doing, brother Ral!”
 
“Shaddup, my aim just slipped a little!”
 
The two figures approaching were beastmen.
 
“Brother Ral, brother Ren…”
 
Sara’s ears drooped down.
 
“Whoa whoa, isn’t that a leopard!?”
 
“Damn, my first time seeing one!”
 
The two shamelessly touched the leopard.
 
“Um…that’s…that’s my and my mother’s prey…”
 
“Hah? This is your and that useless woman’s catch?”
 
“Don’t talk crap! There’s no way she could take down a leopard!”
 
“Um…someone left it at my house…”
 
“Yeah right, they must have had the wrong house!”
 
“Why would anyone leave a leopard at your house!”
 
“But…but it’s true!”
 
“Hmm, whatever, don’t really care.”
 
Ignoring Sara, the two men started to drag the leopard away.
 
“This catch is too good for you useless people! So we’re confiscating it! We’ll split it between us Pitt family men!”
 
“Better for us strong Pitt men to eat it than useless weaklings like you! That’s the law of the grasslands!”
 
“That’s so unfair…”
 
“What’s that, Sara? Got a complaint?”
 
“Want us to teach you what happens when you cross the strong?”
 
As Sara tried to take back the leopard, Ral and Ren glared at her.
 
“But…is it okay if the strong can do whatever they want…?”
 
Sara lowered her ears, tucked her tail between her legs, and yielded the path to the two men dragging away her leopard.
 
“What’s with that weird way of talking?”
 
“Ending sentences with ‘desu ‘, so lame.”
 
“Mother taught me…this makes me sound smarter.”
 
Sara clenched her fists tightly.
 
“Gya-ha-ha! As if ending with ‘desu ‘ makes you sound smarter! No way!”
 
“Just the kind of stupid thing that useless woman would think of! Mother and daughter both idiots!”
 
“Don’t insult…my mother…”
 
From deep in her throat, Sara uttered in a low growl.
 
It was too soft for the men to hear. But that was fortunate for them.
 
If they had heard, there would have been no turning back for her.
 
“You say something Sara?”
 
“Oi, what’s with that look in your eyes?”
 
With that, the two punched Sara and sent her tumbling into the grassland.
 
She offered no resistance as she rolled across the ground.
 
“Tch, creepy kid.”
 
“We’re Pitt family now. Don’t compare us to an idiot like you!”
 
Complaining, the two left.
 
Sara gazed up at the blue sky over the grassland.
 
She didn’t feel the pain at all from their blows. She felt she could take a hundred hits and be just fine.
 
But her heart ached.
 
“Mother said…that’s why I sound smart…”
 
She clenched her teeth tightly.
 
“Mother said…family should all get along…so I should get along with everyone…”
 
Clenching her fists tightly, she repeated this to herself like a mantra.
 
The leopard had been stolen.
 
But that was alright. She could just hunt again.
 
“It’s okay. Because I’m good at hunting.”
 
With a quick smile, she returned home where her mother awaited.
 

 
\\
 


 
From that day onward, Sara would sometimes sneak out and hunt small prey on the grasslands.
 
Careful not to stand out, catching only what her mother could handle, she hunted discreetly.
 
Though her catches were stolen by her brothers at times, she didn’t care. After all, Sara could now hunt whenever she pleased.
 
Learning from her mother, Sara gradually picked up how to dress prey.
 
She was clumsy, but she persevered and learned.
 
Because before long, even dressing small prey was beyond her ailing mother.
 
And the scent of her mother’s impending death grew stronger. Sara sensed the end of her life approaching by instinct.
 
“Mother…”
 
Sara held her mother’s withered arm, like a dried branch.
 
“Sara…you are…a kind child.”
 
Her mother spoke in a hoarse voice.
 
“Mother…I don’t want…I want to be with you forever and ever.”
 
“Sara…you are the kindest child. I’m proud…to have given birth to you…”
 
“Uu…uuuu…”
 
Sara wept into her mother’s chest.
 
“Truly…a kind child.”
 
“Even after eating lots of meat…your sickness didn’t get better…”
 
“It’s alright…this is my time…Thank you, Sara…”
 
As she spoke, her mother stroked Sara’s hair.
 
Sara silently felt her mother’s warmth. The two spent a time together this way.
 
Her mother’s breathing grew shallower.
 
And with her final breaths, she uttered with effort:
 
“Your meat…was delicious…Thank you…”
 
And with that, she passed away.
 
Sara spent the entire night weeping on her late mother’s chest, then buried her on the grasslands the next morning.
 
Without anyone knowing.
 
She made a grave for her and her mother alone.
 

\\
 


On her way back from the burial, Ral and Ren blocked her path.
 
“Yo Sara, why you all covered in mud?”
 
“Gyahaha, look she’s been crying!”
 
“…My mother died.”
 
Sara said with her head lowered.
 
“Oh, so she finally kicked it!”
 
“The weak die! That’s the law of the grasslands!”
 
The two laughed blithely.
 
“Don’t insult my mother.”
 
It happened in an instant.
 
“Huh…?”
 
Sara’s knife-hand pierced Ren’s chest.
 
“Gobeh…you…guh…”
 
As he spit up blood and collapsed, Sara looked down on him as if he were garbage.
 
“Mother will laugh no more…and cry no more…so I don’t have to hold back anymore.”
 
And with that, she stomped on Ren.
 
There were crunching and squelching sounds as bones snapped and organs ruptured.
 
“O-o-oooooooi, what are you doing! How dare you kill Ren!”
 
“The weak…mustn’t be.”
 
“Wha-what do you mean…! If you do this, my dad won’t let you off!”
 
Ral backpedaled, his face twisted in terror.
 
“The weak get robbed, the weak get abused, the weak die…that is the law.”
 
After hunting countless beasts, Sara understood the law of the grasslands well.
 
“But the strong are permitted anything. That too, is law.”
 
And with that, she casually slit Ral’s throat.
 
“Ah, mama…guh…”
 
“I will become the strongest on this grassland. Then surely…”
 
Drenched in splattered blood, she smiled.
 
On her neck was a tiny black bruise.
 
///
 


 
scene transition
 


 


 
///


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4 thoughts on “Eminence in Shadow Volume 6 Chapter 4,75”

  1. Hits different because she casually killed one of her bros in the anime as well in the recent episode

  2. Understand when the weaker underestimate her. Also she don’t have chained after her mother die

  3. Thank you for the chapter!
    Very nice! Delta’s story wasn’t updated in WN for months, glad to know how it ended!

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