Chapter 2: I became a Demon
The black panther and I began our cohabitation.
Although I say that, my mentality is that of a girl. And since the black panther speaks in that wonderful masculine voice, doesn’t this mean we’re like a couple living together? Or so I thought, but I’m his pet.
Thinking that makes my heart beat a little faster.
『……What are you thinking about？』
This dekaneko(big cat) has a surprisingly good intuition.
『Ah, right right, there’s something I wanted to ask you about~.』
『……What is it？』
Albeit in a suspicious tone, the black panther unexpectedly replied without reluctance.
Although the area we were in was the black panther’s territory, it wasn’t his dwelling place. Since we didn’t require neither sleep or meals, we had no need for a location that guaranteed safety.
Nevertheless, although I did wish for a safe place, seeing as how my body is that of a kitten, the stronger demons that would normally attack me wouldn’t draw near, fearing the black panther.
『This place we’re at…where is it?』
In response to my very much vague question, the black panther slightly narrowed his eyes…and replied after several seconds.
『By this place…you mean, rather than by my territory, where we are within this world?』
『Right right, that’s it』
He’s so smart~…..I’m alone in my idiocy huh.
『Even with such intelligence that allows you to converse, you don’t understand…? Didn’t you learn words after being summoned?』
『Su, summoned? No, I was born just recently……』
While I was nervous from the black panther’s surprised growl, I decided to explain. Of course, it was to explain about the dream world, but ever since he mentioned the word 『summoned』, I felt that it was better not to speak of the part where I was a human.
『Memories of a dream……what a strange thing.』
『I know right~.』
A huge black panther and golden kitten, seriously nodding at one another…surreal.
Surprisingly, the black panther easily accepted my explanation. There is the fact that he is highly intelligent, but more than that it must be that the strong didn’t fuss over such small things.
『And so, it’s about this world but……』
『That’s right……this world has various names. The truth of the matter is that you can’t truly understand unless you’re one of those that have existed since the beginning of this world.』
T, that kind of technical detail isn’t what I wanted to hear….
『But the humans use a mere few words to portray this kind of world. They call it the 【spiritual realm】.』
The black panther explained in simplified terms to the silly me that couldn’t understand.
The 【material realm】 was where the beings with life existed, such as humans, animals and the like.
And in this world, the 【spiritual realm】, was where those that were the exceptions…the beings that possessed no flesh and bones, existed.
『Take a look above.』
『Above you say…』
When I did as the black panther said and looked up at the sky, what I saw wasn’t the sun and the blue sky that I knew from my memories, but the usual hazy, dark emptiness.
『Try to perceive that somewhere far up there, 『something』 exists.』
Upon being told that something exists up in the sky, I tried searching for it…and in a place that was considerably high up, I saw shiny clouds that spread out far.
『Have you become aware of it?』
『The spiritual realm doesn’t consist of a single plane, but is divided into several. That is one of them…the border into the fairy realm.』
I was surprised upon hearing that, but didn’t feel particularly confused.
Ever since learning about summonings, I had already grasped a feeling for this world…. This is that, isn’t it. The domain of myths and fantasies. I vaguely remember reading such books, among the ones that my siblings brought to me in my hospital room.
The black panther hadn’t personally gone there before, but apparently even further above, there was also the ghost realm.
『Then, is there a celestial realm？』
『……I’ve never heard of it.』
I wonder, is it that it doesn’t exist, or that he just hasn’t heard of it? But rather than that……
『What is it？』
『This place…..no, how does the humans call us…?』
I questioned the black panther, ignoring the bad premonition I foresaw.
『Let’s see……if you mean how our existences are called as a whole then…the humans call us 【demons】.』
A, as I thought….I was hoping that at the very least, we would be some type of dark spirits, but the truth was a dimension apart huh~.……
For a demon, the black panther unexpectedly had quite the calm personality. ……Or so I thought, but he was really a demon after all.
On one occasion, we were roaming far and wide in search of snacks.
『Don’t fall off.』
Today, I wasn’t being held in the black panther’s mouth, but was riding on top of his head like a blond wig.
But even if I were to fall off, I mustn’t cling on with my claws. If I did such a thing, I would get munched on.
『There it is.』
In the next moment, the black panther was racing across the ground at an unthinkably fast speed towards a tiny gray colored monkey and in a flash, snapped it up into his jaws.
In the place of flesh and blood, the bittersweet scent of apple wafted in the air.
『Is it tasty？』
『……It, it’s delicious.』
Certainly it was delicious but…I thought I recognized something of a will from the mini monkey. I mean, the fear-filled eyes of the monkey had met my gaze, right before the moment it was bitten to death.
Even after that, the black panther continued to slaughter. Truly, it was delicious.
But you know~……this place we’re in…is something like the demon realm, and seeing as we’re one of the demons that exist here, doesn’t this count as cannibalism?
『……Black panther…？ What’s with that.』
He glared at me.
『Us demons have no names. Demons naming each other may end up causing us to deny our own existence.』
The inhabitants of the spiritual realm had no names.
It’s because, according to the black panther, if you were to be given a name that caused you to go into self-denial, your existence would weaken.
However, if granted a name from the material realm, it would further strengthen your existence, apparently.
『…S, so you have no name?』
『I do have a species name. Like how you would call humans or wolves. The other beings call me a 【dark beast】.』
Dark beast…. From what he said, I felt like it was more of a name that defined a type name rather than a species. Then I thought, isn’t it inconvenient since there’s no way of differentiating between other dark beasts? But he said that there was no problem since he was the only existing dark beast.
Incidentally, the mini monkey he had killed was just an ordinary 『demon』(without a name)…broadly speaking anyway.
『Well then dark beast-san, what about me?』
『The “-san” is unnecessary in my name. Also, it’s troublesome so you might as well speak casually.』
『I, I got it. ……and so, what about me？』(she switches from polite speech to casual)
『A species name huh? ……Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen something like you…』
It appears that beings like the dark beast and I are rare. Even at the time I transformed, he was expecting me to turn out as one of the monkey 『demon subspecies』. How cruel.
According to him, the other intelligent beings calling him dark beast was something that had naturally happened during the long passage of time.
『If it’s you, then seeing as how you’re similar to my species, let’s go with 【golden beast】』
『……Th, thank you.』
Golden beast huh~……That’s pretty half-assed, oi. But I couldn’t say it out loud. I couldn’t say it after seeing how triumphant he looked.
I’ve become used to the lifestyle of a demon.
When facing up against a kitten like me, as expected, even the mini monkeys that were usually so full of fright displayed hostility, although they were surprisingly easy to defeat. I’ve even gotten used to the terrified expressions they show before their moment of death. I’m sure that demons don’t have the heart to mind such things.
The reason they’re aggressive towards me must be because my kitten form has no dignity. Yup, it can’t be helped.
I got to talk about various things with the dark beast as well.
It’s been on my mind since the first mini monkey we saw, but regardless of whether the beings we run into have more or less, a portion of will and intelligence, the dark beast would always mercilessly kill them all.
Somehow I ended up asking him about it, and he replied that he disliked them because the large majority of those beings were either 『stupid』, 『frightened』 or 『haughty fools』 that didn’t make for good conversations.
That was why it had been such a long time for him to find someone like me who could converse normally, and counting up till the present, it seems he had known of only five beings that he had enjoyable talks with.
『Is it fun talking with me…?』
『It is. Your talk of the dream world is interesting.』
I also find talking with him to be fun. He has a lovely voice after all.
Once in a while there are times when we don’t talk as well.
It must be because, as fellow beasts of the cat family, our preference for playing and frolicking about closely resembles each other.
He was mofumofuing around the top of my belly with the tip of his nose.
I thought that if he went as far as licking then I would claw him good, but I wouldn’t lash out if it was just to the degree of nudging with his nose, rolling me over like a ball of fur and sniffing me.
After all, he let’s me mofumofu as well.
His fur is naturally silky, but the area around his chest was especially plushy. I have the privilege of plunging myself in there to the point of being buried and enjoying a full body mofumofu.
It smells good in there as well.
There’s a slight…very slight sweet scent, like the sense of intoxication you get from sipping alcohol.
I wonder, did my stomach give off a similar feel?
And it was in that manner that we passed away a considerable amount of time.
It might have been just a few days, or perhaps even several years. There was nothing to measure the time with, and to begin with, the very concept of time in the spiritual realm was vague.
But to a certain extent, I felt the passage of time through my body.
My body had grown from the size of a kitten to the size of a slender adult cat, and although I was still the size of a regular cat, I could run at the same speed as the huge dark beast.
Although I could only just barely bring out the same speed by using my bat wings.
My strength had increased by quite a fair amount as well. ……A passerby monkey-san that was bigger than I was took a look at me, only to become stiff in the face and slowly backed away with inching steps.
Ahh……please don’t make that face. It makes me feel all excited and wanting to chase you down.
But when I gambol around with the dark beast, I’m always the one to get blown away and end up surrendering my belly for him to mofumofu.
Muu(むぅ)……next time for sure I won’t lose.
『Nee(hey), what’s that?』
I was being mofumofu’ed by him since I lost in our previous contest, until I lost patience and bit his nose, and he was now letting me mofumofu him as an apology for being obnoxious.
It was when I was mofumofuing on his chest when I noticed something.
『What is it, you say…it’s a summon circle. Didn’t I teach you?』
He replied while also looking at the summon circle.
He was in a good mood until just moments ago, but he abruptly fell into ill humour. Is it that bothersome to repeat something you’ve explained before, I wonder.
『Not that~. Why is that tiny demon that was nearby suddenly being pulled away?』
Summoning magic circles. I’ve heard about them from the dark beast.
In short, it’s a gate that’s made through the use of summoning magic from the material realm, and if a demon from this side of the realm steps onto it, it would be summoned to the other side…or so it goes.
By the way, I’ve never entered one before so I don’t know. The first time I heard of it, I was happy in thinking that I could go to that world of light, but I couldn’t enter.
Just pushing through the tip of my feet was the farthest I could go in, and when I tried scratching around, I heard something like a shriek after which the summoning magic circle immediately disappeared.
Apparently in the past…when the dark beast was much smaller than he was now, he had been over to the other side several times, but it was impossible for him now.
Magic……it’s something I would have liked to see huh~.
『Why you ask…it’s because those of weak will are forcefully summoned away like that. When that happens, you don’t even get a contract and get forced to work for nothing.』
Upon responding to a summoning from the material realm, the demon forms a contract with the summoner. Through the contract, the demon would receive souls, sacrificial offerings and whatnot, but from what I heard it seems like summoners are usually quite miserly.
Even though a good sacrifice would allow a demon to manifest without restrictions and better display its power.
By the way, we can’t speak on the other side…and in the case that a weak willed demon that doesn’t know words is summoned over, it would only end up with an incomplete contract and wouldn’t even fulfill the work properly.
『So you get dragged away if you have a weak will…? I should be careful too.』
I don’t mean to boast, but I have a weak will. I mean, I couldn’t even win against the temptation of snacks.
『If it’s you…well, you should be fine.』
『It’s because you’re a little…lax.』
Certainly, I know that I’m a bit mentally slow, but you don’t have to put it that way do you?
Slightly miffed, I smacked his face with my paws which caused him to laugh amusedly.
So my cat punch doesn’t hurt huh…muu.
When I put on a dissatisfied face, he suddenly stopped laughing and pushed me aside as he stood up and bared his fangs.
『Wha!? O, ouch ouch.』
It was the first time being bitten this hard by him. The sensation of his fangs sinking into my back made me shudder from fear, like the first time I had met him.
The body of a demon felt almost no pain. Yet this pain told me of the stormy state of mind he was in.
『There’s no need for you to go over to that side. ……Stay in this place.』
He spoke in a rough and…scary voice, like the first time we had met.
All I could do was to give a small nod in fright.
He really is a demon after all.
No matter how much I’m favored as a pet, I’d simply be eaten after affection runs dry.
Before I knew it I had been thinking of us as equals, but I was sad after realizing that I was no more than a pet to him.
I want to mofumofu but I’ll restrain myself~. ……Sniffle.
Ever since the previous incident he had become increasingly persistent in mofumofuing me. If I let it be, then he would continue for god knows how long, so I lightly smacked him with my paws, to which he responds by lightly biting and even licking, which I disliked.
Muu, doing whatever he likes.
One day, he had went off somewhere.
Seeing as how we’ve been together ever since we met, it sure is a rare occurrence. I was pushing and rolling over a small demon into the summoning circle in front of me, when the dark beast returned out of nowhere.
『…Ah, where did you……what’s this?』
My……pet? Why bring such a thing? Is it so I can use it to vent out my mofumofu urges?
Several small demons that still had indeterminate forms were placed before me.
Four in total. Each and every one of them only had a slightly changed coloring, as well as some amount of will and intelligence. They were all afraid of both me and the dark beast.
They’re kind of…cute. And also seems tasty…sniff sniff.
Reacting to my faint thoughts, the demons began to tremble insanely. I spoke in a gentle voice.
『It, It’s okay~. I won’t eat you or anything~. Nothing to be scared of~.』
I’m not convincing at all, if I may say so myself.
Alright, in that case I should go with that tactic. I place all of the demons onto my back using my mouth, and spreading my bat wings widely, I leaped into the dark sky.
At this point, the matter about the summoning circles and my yearning for the world on the other side didn’t matter one bit in my mind.
The dark beast was making a face with mixed feelings as he watched me dance in the sky, full of enthusiasm for the first time in a while.
ぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちぺちんっ。(repeated smack sounds)
The demons on my back were hopping up and down with joy as they indulged in the fruity scent that was the result of my rampage of smashing up monkey demons.
They appeared to be no longer frightened of me, which was a relief. I slightly lowered my pace, and while gliding above the surface of the ground, I one-sidedly talked to the demons.
I spoke in a way similar to the people I had seen in my dream. The day-care worker, the teacher at school, and my own elder sister.
I wonder if it’s safe to speak like this to the demons? A sudden thought came to me. What I would do if this made them deny their existence, causing them to disappear?
……Oh well. I’m a demon too after all.
I gave up thinking too deeply into it. I mean, given the opportunity, wouldn’t it be fun if they became intelligent enough to converse with? …Right?
After a while, maybe as a result of my education, the little demons have become smarter……or so I feel.
They’ve become a little bigger, and even took the initiative to find their own snacks. They might be at that age ready to transform.
『How about giving them a species name…?』
『A species name…? Why?』
When not looking after the demons, most of the my time was spent being mofumofu’ed by the dark beast.
Thanks to that I was always busy.
『If you create a clear enough image, they may gain be able to gain a similar form, rather than that of a monkey.』
『Oh(へぇ)…in that case, why didn’t you do the sa-…ow ow ow.』
When I let out a light complaint, he abruptly bit down on me. I told him it hurt, after which he started licking me. ……Looks like I haven’t taught him enough manners yet. Argh…do as you like.
『Muu…which species would be good?』
『Don’t you possess those strange memories? Why not start thinking from there?』
I sulkily turn my face away after hearing his slightly dismissive tone. It’s like we’re both children.
But let’s try thinking about it seriously. It wasn’t a bad suggestion.
What would be good…. Since it’s come to this, how about picking something religious? No no, they’re all things to do with gods and my imagination doesn’t go that far.
Then how about the monsters that appear in myths?
Not an ordinary monster, but something along the lines of a demonic or ghostly type. Perhaps even a divine beast would do.
I was muttering by myself in the middle of thinking when the four demons began jumping up and down. Perhaps they thought I was anxious.
Their dispositions slightly differed from one another. It was just a hunch, but I felt like they each had their own genders.
『……Let’s see~. This one and this one, their colors somewhat resemble each other so I could make them be siblings….』
And so while murmuring such things, I continued to customize the four demons in my mind, down to the last details.
……But I wonder if this is okay? By all rights, these little ones should have had their own ideals, an image of what they want to become. ……But they were simply happy and accepting of the species name and setting I had in mind for them.
Feeling somewhat uneasy, I asked the dark beast about their reactions, to which he responded that it wasn’t anything strange.
Demons that were at the pre-transformation stage, unless summoned into the material realm, would find it difficult to attain an image, which was why in most cases they would end up with monkey-like forms, incapable of even creating a distinction between genders.
『……Why is it always monkeys?』
『The image of demons that the greater part of humans hold in their minds, somehow managed to influence the spiritual realm.』
Like I said, why is it always monkeys….
Fire spirits and earth spirits becoming lizards and wolves, water spirits and wind spirits, turning into maidens, wasn’t all of this a result of the so called human idea of romance?
……So in other words, demons=ugly=monkey…this must be their train of thought. Dangerous, dangerous.
Seeing as how everyday I call the four demons “cute, so cute”, I’m sure that they’ll grow up to be cute.
『……What’s the meaning of this…?』
『………How do I explain…』
Such deja vu. The only difference this time was that instead of sounding angry, the dark beast was simply utterly amazed.
Albeit with a slight lisp, the four demons gave off proper greetings. Super cute.
But the problem was that…they’re too cute huh~.
Two of them had perfectly round bodies like steamed buns. They were gazing towards me with sparkles in their purple colored and round eyes. The only demonic part about them was the pair of black sheep horns on their heads.
Depending on perspective, you could even see those horns as twin tails. Adorable.
One of them was a monkey-san…however, its pure white hair looked buoyantly fluffy, giving it a very lovable appearance. Its face closely resembled a pierrot, or so I had thought, but upon taking a closer look I saw that it was its actual face.
The last one was a snake. But instead of scales, it had extremely soft skin. I specifically chose this one to have matching colors with me; a light golden body and red eyes.
I’m sorry…. I’ve completely made them into my pets.
I’ve…known for a while now.
The dark beast…he must have brought back the little ones for me so that I wouldn’t go to the other realm. Chaining and collaring me in the form of 『lingering attachment』.
Even now, my heart grew calmer when I looked at the four demons chasing after insect demons.
But…did you know? Demons by nature shouldn’t have these kind of emotions.
As my mind became tranquil, I think of the world of light from that dream.
The memories of that world that I had recalled in order to create an image for the four little ones, had awakened a strong yearning for that world.
I want to go back. ……I was feeling something close to homesickness.
But still, I couldn’t go there. Because I didn’t know if the same world from my dream existed or not.
But still…even so, if it was the very same world of light….
It was the loud sound of something bursting open.
The dark beast and four demons became wary, unsure of what happened.
But I knew. No…I understood the instant it happened. My emotions had called on that summoning magic circle, so deeply imprinted in my memory.
Originally, opening a summoning gate should have been impossible to do from this side of the realm. It wasn’t a question of ability, but a law of this world which made it impossible.
It could only appear as a natural phenomenon. Otherwise, even if it did appear by coincidence, it would have been a gate opened from the material realm. There should have been no way to open one from the spiritual realm.
One of the primary factors for this exceptional occurrence was that I had the 『memories of a human』. And the other was that…when I had unconsciously invoked the summoning circle, at the same time there was an interference from the material realm.
I had never before seen the like of this huge summoning circle that had appeared. The size of it completely enveloped my body.
Noticing the summoning circle, the dark beast rushed towards me…but regardless of his powerful strength, he was rejected by the summoning circle and blasted away flying.
It was only natural that would happen….It was because this summoning circle was for me…for the sake of going to the other side, it was born for me alone.
The summoning magic circle was overflowing with the nostalgic light from my dream. Basking in that light, my body disappeared into that summoning circle.
I felt that my consciousness was…freezing. As I turned my eyes towards the demon realm I grew up in for the last time, I saw the dark beast gazing intensely towards me with anguish in his face.
His cry resounded deeply. ……I’m sorry. I ended up making you mad.
When I came to my senses…I was surrounded by light.
Where could this be? The world of light…was I able to reach the material realm?
My eyes…I couldn’t see very well. I couldn’t hear well either. Even my body wouldn’t move as I wanted it to.
Was the summoning a failure…? If that was the case…. I felt paralyzed by the fear I hadn’t felt in a long time. ……At that moment,
My body received a shock, as if slapped awake by something.
I sucked in a breath in my frightened state. ……Eh!? I’m…breathing?
I heard the crying sound of a small animal. For a while, I didn’t notice that those cries originated from my own mouth.
Other sounds could be heard. ……Someone was speaking.
The moment I realized that these sounds were 『words』, the words that were incomprehensible in the beginning, unraveled into comprehensible words that resounded in my ears.
「……My beloved child. My……Yurushia…」
I felt my mind quake, as if struck by lightning. Born in the demon realm without a name. After coming into the material realm, I was granted my first name, and I understood at that moment, that my existence had been firmly established.
I, a demon…was born as a 『human』 baby.