Demon's VirtueChapter 607: Nearly A Decade Ago
Chapter 607: Nearly A Decade Ago
Eiro stepped into the dormitories while Noma was hurriedly following behind him. The Demon's regular casual pace was so fast that Noma had to jog, if not run, to keep up with him. Soon, the two of them reached Noma's room, where his sister was already waiting for him for today's 'feeding'. She was seated on her brother's bed, biting her nails nervously. Her foot was tapping the ground, and she seemed to be staring at the clock as if her life depended on it. But the moment that the door opened up, before even giving Eiro the chance to push it open more than a few inches, she jumped off the bed and rushed to the entrance, pulling it open fully.
"Noma, you-!" She exclaimed, but instead of seeing her brother, someone else now stood in front of her, staring down at her. Taking a step back and covering her face, particularly her eyes, with her hands, Naomi tried her best to pretend as if nothing was wrong. But before she could even set her foot down behind herself, Eiro grabbed her arm and looked into her eyes. Noma and Naomi were twins. Both had the same shade of skin, their hair color and texture was the same, and even their build wasn't too different, surprisingly. But while Noma's eyes were a dark brown bordering on black, Naomi's were a light brown with a shade of red mixed into them.
Clicking his tongue, Eiro let go of Naomi's hand and stepped deeper into the room, "Further than I thought, but still manageable. Come in." The Demon said, waiting for Noma to step in fully as well. Once the door was closed, Eiro held his hand forward. A magic circle appeared within a single instant, disappearing before Noma or Naomi could even fully register that something was there.
"Just to make sure you're caught up – I know that you broke the taboo." Eiro said bluntly, and Naomi's body instantly froze up. She looked up at Eiro, slightly turning her head in shock as she looked at her brother, trying to find out what was going on. Her heart was beating loudly, but in an irregular pattern. That was another side-effect of the taboo. One's physical functions stopped working as they should. And that didn't mean that your organs would simply shut down, but that they had faults to them, even if they appeared healthy at first or even second glance.
The body wouldn't process food and drink properly, fermenting it while breaking it down, causing urine to be filled with alcohol, one's skin wouldn't stretch properly where it had to be flexible, or would sag where it had to be tight. Or, as in this case, the heart's rythm was off. Although, maybe it was more correct to say that the rythm disappeared, since it seemed to be beating at random. It still did whatever it had to, and there wasn't an apparent cause for this to be found if examined by a physician, but it still showed that the taboo had been breaking down Naomi's body for a long time, even if slowly and in particular ways.
Before he could explain further, Eiro soon found Naomi kneeling at his feet, grasping at his shirt as if trying to beg while tears streamed down her face, but she wasn't able to say anything, as if she didn't have the air needed to produce sound anymore. The Demon slowly grabbed her wrists, making her let go of his shirt, "Don't worry, I'm here to help you." He said, "I might not be able to fully get rid of the taboo, but it probably won't bother you while I try and figure out what to do next."
Even though he spoke while infusing his will and mana into his voice, it didn't seem like Naomi was able to understand what he was trying to say. That was… concerning.
"This… happens sometimes…" Noma explained, holding his hand in front of his eyes to try and force his tears to stay inside, "She gets angry easily, but she also gets overwhelmed like this… sometimes both at once… and if it gets to this point, she can't speak, nor listen. As if she's… stuck."
Eiro raised a brow curiously, squatting down in front of Naomi. Even though there was nothing there anymore, she was still staring at where his face was before. The Demon pushed his hand forward, and pressed his index finger onto her throat, right underneath her larynx. With a quick push of his magic, he sent a shock into her body, "This seems to be another unkind side-effect. The taboo makes it so that your body acts different to how it should. And I'm sure you know that even if you don't break a taboo, when you become incredibly overwhelmed, your body seems to become uncontrollable. In her case, when this happens, the flesh in different parts of her body swells up, and hardens around her joints to a point where it's somewhere between bone and cartilage. She completely freezes up, and her throat and ear-cannals close up due to the swelling."
Throughout his explanation, Naomi collapsed in front of Eiro, since he had basically paralyzed her for a moment. It was just an instant though, just long enough for her screwed-up body to return to how it should be. However, Eiro didn't give her long to relax. He grabbed her body and pulled her back up, sitting her down on a chair.
"I'm going to give you two choices. One, a simple necklace. Or maybe, collar would be more accurate with how it looks. It's going to suppress the monstrosity trying to enter her body. But for now, it's only going to slow the advance, and it's going to take a while for it to become suppressed. In that time, it could still do some damage to her until that time comes." Eiro explained to them. While he could very easily suppress the monstrosity of a being born with it with a collar, the way that it was invading Naomi's body was a lot more complicated than that. That was why he would rather go for the second option.
Noma looked into Eiro's eyes, nervously swallowing the saliva that he had forgotten to swallow until now, "A-And… the second?" He asked, holding onto his sister's shoulder, who still didn't fully know what was going on.
"A sealing tattoo. While this kind of tattoo will disappear once the seal is removed… I'm unsure if it is something that can be removed. And instead of just covering a small area like the collar, it will need to be applied to the whole chest and back." He said, bitterly remembering the sealing tattoos that once covered Leon and Sammy's bodies. The good part of the collar was that Eiro could compress the sealing patterns as much as he needed to, and simply use a base material that could withstand this strain. But human skin wasn't able to take such compression, meaning that such a sealing tattoo would cover a lot of surface area. And even then, it would be compressed down quite a bit, simply because Eiro had been able to make the seal more efficient. Noma and Naomi listened to Eiro's explanation, and even if the latter of the pair of twins still didn't understand all of what was going on, they were both tense and already thinking about what was told to them.
"I'll give you… well, a day should suffice. You shouldn't think much longer, anyway. I will send a carriage to pick you up in the afternoon. We will go ahead with everything at my manor. No matter which you choose, we will then discuss what to do next, and if there is a way to safely reverse the damage already done."
Noma looked at his sister, and then back at Eiro, "I can't thank you enough! I will never forget this debt!"ƒ𝑟𝐞ewe𝚋𝑛ｏ𝙫𝚎l. 𝒄o𝗺
"…You're not indebted to me, don't worry. I'm your teacher, this is what I'm supposed to do." Eiro said, turning around and heading back to the door. Without further ado, as if he was bothered by this whole situation all of a sudden, Eiro stepped out of the room, leaving the siblings alone to do what they had to do to reach tomorrow, and of course, so that Noma could explain the situation to Naomi.
He walked through the hallways of the dormitory, hearing Bavet's whispers in his ear, "That went well, didn't it?"
"Right, I guess it did." Eiro replied, although that answer seemed to confuse Bavet, "What do you mean, you 'guess'? You don't guess, you just… know."
"Picking apart my wordchoice now? Of course it went well, it's about something else."
"…What is it?"
"…" Eiro thought about it for a moment, and then decided that there was no need to hide anything from Bavet. He knew most of Eiro's secrets anyway, "You remember how I told you that before I met Jura, I would regularly eat people? Rather, it was basically the only thing I did eat." He pointed out, and Bavet stayed silent for a while, not sure where he was going.
"The last person that I ate was the one that was transporting the kids. I cut him up, cooked his flesh, and put it in a bag to eat him later."
"Right, so what? When the two of us met, I literally just got back from town after eating someone. It's not that big a deal." Bavet pointed out, "Sure, we should advertise this in front of the others, especially since we don't do it anymore, but still… Why're you worried about that now, after what, nearly a decade?"
"…I didn't know about the taboos back then, and since I had all that fresh meat, I offered some to the kids. They didn't realize what it was, at least not back then. I don't know about now. But Arc knew, he watched me take him apart. If he didn't stop me… I would be the reason that they would have broken the taboos. Seeing that girl…. that memory just came up."
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