“Riku, my beloved daughter. Just get drown and become food for demons already.”
The father was carrying Riku by the collar.*1
Without being able to touch the ground, her legs were waving around to no use. The father was calmly walking, getting closer to the edge of the cliff. It wasn´t just a simple cliff; but a very steep one due to the constant shaving off of the raging sea.*2 The stormy waves that were blasting onto the cliff looked like they were saying: “Come quickly. Fall at once.” It was a very scary scene.
Riku looked at her father.
The father was giving a smile that made him look as if he was troubled.
Even though he was going overboard now, he used to be very kind to Riku. Of course, he didn´t neglect the spiritualist training. No matter how good she became at handling the spear, no matter how much she improved in swordplay, if she wasn´t able to use the technique to infuse the demon banning power, she would get beaten. She would be whipped, beaten down with the demon banning sword. It hurt so much she couldn´t bear. She hated it very much when she was ridiculed.
“This way I will end up falling down!”
Even so, normally he was very kind.
Riku knew that he didn´t put food she didn´t like on the table when eating out of consideration to her. Even when she had broken up vases, her father only smiled and forgave her. When she wanted something, he would buy her. He would also give her cute dresses as present. When Riku had five years old, which at the time her mother had died from illness, her father comforted her. He became more affective and even decreased the training time.
Yes, Riku´s father was very kind to her… Or at least, that was what it was supposed to be. Because there is no way a father like that would act this way. Riku soon became desperate and kept looking at her father.
“But Riku is an useless child, you know. That´s why you will be falling down.”
Cutting all of her hope in half, her father said.
She had already noticed it. Even though a smile was showing at her father´s face, his eyes weren´t smiling. It was similar to how he was during training. They were ones that showed profound frigidness.
“Even though Riku is already seven years old, she can´t use spiritualist arts at all. This is simply not having any talent. A child without talent only puts shame to the Barusak household. That is why Riku is unneeded.”
Color vanished from Riku´s sight.
It was said to her that she was unneeded. It was said to her that she had no talent. But then, what was she supposed to do from now on? Being driven out from her house, how is she supposed to keep living on? As if trying to hug, Riku started clinging on her father´s arm.
“Fa-father! I, I will make more effort! So, please let me stay! Please, don´t throw me away!”
Riku´s father started to caress Riku´s head with his free hand.
As if cherishing it, he stroked her hair. It was a red color that was as if it was burning. Riku didn´t like it very much when her father stroked her hair. It wasn´t that she didn´t like her hair because of the red color. Rather, it was that she just couldn´t get used to the way he did it. It felt to her like he was just looking at a research subject; it felt very scary.
But now, she couldn´t displease her father in any way. That´s why she desperately endured the discomfort.
“That´s just an already determined fact. The four year old Rook long ago was already able to infuse demon banning power. The one that can´t do the basic of the basics is only you, Riku. And I´ve always felt revolted at your hair anyway. It´s nauseating.”
Her father shook off the thin arms that were clinging at his arm.
Normally speaking, this shouldn´t be enough to make her lose her grasp. But Riku was deeply shaken by her father. Even with her unimaginable strength, there was no way for her to keep up on clinging to his arm.
Her red hair was indeed something peculiar. Both her parents and in both of their families, and even her older sister and young brother, none of them had red hair. Only Riku had it. Her hair wasn´t well liked, but even so, to her beloved father so admittedly affirm such was something she didn´t think it would happen.
“Good-bye, Riku. Don´t appear in front of the Barusak household ever again.”*3
And with this one word, Riku was thrown away.
For a moment, she felt like she was floating, but soon after that, she was able to hear the sound of the wind being cut through.
She was rapidly nearing the raging sea. The dark waves seemed to be inviting her, saying: “Come, come over here.” As soon as she fell down, she was violently engulfed by the waves. Her entire view was filled with bubbles and the movement of the waves were breaking her body.
In desperation, Riku tried to make her way through the waves.
“Fa… a… Cough, cough… Father!”
Distant, on the peak of the cliff, she could see the silhouette of a person.
As if seeking for salvation, she was reaching out her hand. But soon, the next wave would come and hit her. The huge wave would sweep down on little Riku. All she could do was to try to hang on.
There was a man that from very far above watching Riku disappearing into the waves.
It was Riku´s father, Raimon Barusak.
Wearing a coat which had the crest of the Barusak household on it, he was looking down at Riku. Within the raging sea, a tiny white hand could barely be seen, but a big wave would soon engulf it, then making it not possible to be seen anymore. The eye-catching red hair was nowhere to be seen.
“So, in the end there was nothing like a hidden power? A waste of expectation after all.”
The red hair rarely seen in this country and the super strength unimaginable to a seven years old.
If it wasn´t for those reasons, he would have certainly driven Riku Barusak out sooner. Raimon already knew Riku didn´t have any talent in spiritualist arts by the time she was five years old. Not known by Riku, in fact, Riku´s mother was killed around this time as someone useless that bore a powerless person.
“Then, father… Why didn´t you kill her sooner?”
Behind Raimon, a small shadow appeared.
A silver haired boy that had one of his eyes hidden by his hair was looking at him. Raimon kindly patted the boy´s head.
“It´s because there was a chance that that thing might have had a special power.”
“A special power, you say? I´ve never seen elder sister ever accomplish anything.”
The boy was puzzled.
Seeing the boy´s behavior, Raimon disagreed by shaking his head.
“That thing´s hair color was that red, right?”
“There is a superstition that red haired which doesn´t resemble the parents hold hidden powers. Besides… That thing´s muscle strength is abnormal.”
Raimon narrowed his eyes.
The red hair that is rumored to hold hidden powers…
And Riku´s thin arms that can easily deal with those seemingly unmovable spear and two-handed sword, even though such should have been impossible. Even when carrying pots which require adults to put some effort in order to carry them, to her, not even traces of fatigue are seen. As if to be expected, she was almost able to carry near one hundred of them. Although in the end, she let them slip and broke all of them, to a normal seven year old child, rather than one hundred, carrying two or three at once is what would make something like that happen.
“That thing is abnormal.”
“But even so, elder sister didn´t hold any spiritualist powers in the end.”
To Rook´s response, Raimon nodded admittedly.
Riku was clearly abnormal.
But even then, she didn´t have any spiritualist power.
The four year old Rook, who will eventually become the successor of the Barusak house, was already starting to distinguish himself over others as a spiritualist. Even if in the most impossible coincidence something was to happen to Rook, then just having the fifteen years old Raku marry someone should do it. In other words, comparing to demon banning power users, Riku with just her weird power wasn´t really needed.
“Even though I thought the true nature of her powers would reveal themselves if she was at the brink of death… Rook, you must properly devote yourself as the successor of the Barusak household. You must not become useless like her. As your family, I´m putting my trust on you.”
“Father, that´s mean.”
Rook grasped Raimon´s big hand.
And then, made a sorrowful face.
“Saying it like this, doesn´t that sound like I´m inferior to elder sister?”
“No, you´ve been properly making effort. Even though you are still four years old, you´ve even reached a realm at theory that not even me can compare. Without doubt, you are a genius that is born only once in a thousand years. Indeed… It is not in a level that can be compared to that thing. I´m expecting a lot of you.”
Turning his back from the cliff, Raimon left together with his to be successor son.
Rook, somewhat feeling lonesome, looked back at the cliff. Then, with a really tiny voice that even Raimon, who was walking next to him, didn´t hear, he said.
“If she was a little bit cuter, I could have saved her… But even if I help her, she won´t really be of much help for the events anyway…”
“Did you say something, Rook?”
“No, it was nothing. But leaving that aside, father, I have something to talk regarding the administration of the territory. About the land in our earldom that was supposed to be given to elder sister; could it be given to me?”
“That plot of land? I don´t really have anything against… But that piece of land is that one which you can´t even cultivate wheat, you know?”
“There is no problem. I´m four years old already. I can properly manage the territory. As the next head of the Barusak household, for the sake of our people, and also for the sake of our standing as spiritualists, I´m looking forward to devote myself entirely.”4*
Seeing Rook´s bright smile, Raimon felt relieved.
He was a successor that can really be relied on. For both the part of the territory administration and the spiritualist part, the Barusak household will be secure. For this too much excellent Rook, Raimon decided to give his all into raising him.
That was what Raimon´s heart decided.
And for the very excellent Rook´s imbecile elder sister… The name Riku Barusak will be removed from the family tree.
There was not even one person commenting over what happened to Riku.
Obviously the servants weren´t, but also the same was for the other fellow practitioners of demon banning arts that once had congratulated her parents when Riku was born, and even the elder sister and younger brother that remained; everyone had forgot about Riku´s existence. The Barusak household disgrace; as someone that didn´t have talent as a spiritualist, she was an existence that only by being there was an eyesore.
Rather, the number of people that were happily laughing behind the back about her disappearance was much higher.
In the future years, regarding this event, all Raimon Barusak have left to be told in the book of military history of the spiritualists was:
“To drop that thing down from the cliff… How foolish of me it was. If only I had just killed her personally at that time…”
About the spiritualist thing, I need to say that it is not the literal translation. The word used for the spiritualist stuff is 退魔 which literally is a general term for things about banishing evil spirits. With so many sweat and tears looking for a name to use for the translation of this bloody dreadful word that in no dictionary a literal translation was to be found, I came up with spiritualist. Cuz like, there is no way there would be a job such as demon banisher or something… It just sounds too stupid and forced¬¬.(Much worse demon banner…)When thinking about spiritualists, it´s about communicating with spirits and banishing the evil ones, if you think about it, right?? So it´s pretty accurate, riiiighttttttttttttttttttttt???????????? So… Like… If someone can come up with a more proper name for this stuff, then pretty please do tell. Deciding names for this kind of stuff isn´t my forte… It almost made me give up on translating this story.