Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? Past Reflections: Ariel

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Eat and sleep. A healthy lifestyle?

A little pre-translation note: At time of writing I suspect we’ll get a few chapters like this where it’s a particular character talking about the past. But instead of it being a real conversation, we only see what one character says. It’s unclear when this conversation took place but it was probably well before the elf village war.

Past Reflections: Ariel

What was the System like immediately after it was put into operation? What’s the point in asking about that? ……It’s not something pleasant to talk about you know? You still want to know? Hmm. Okay, just for a bit then.

Well, to describe how things were back then in a word, it was brutal. Simply that. Brutally brutal. Apparently, it was like hell all over the place. I was completely at my limit dealing with my own troubles, so I only heard about other places from rumours. But, well, I’m sure you could imagine it.

Firstly, the countries that produced most of their energy from MA Energy were in a hopeless state. Naturally, right? Just imagine what modern Japan would be like if electricity completely vanished. Then maybe include gasoline in that too. Basically that means all the usable energy is gone, right. Because those had been relied upon, it’s obvious that living standards would collapse.

In addition, because of the attacks from the dragons back then, everything had been totally wrecked. Not only had many people become refugees, the fact that it wasn’t possible to use energy on top of that was a double-punch. Reconstruction wasn’t remotely feasible. People were at their limit just surviving each day.

What was most painful for me, was food. It was a situation where it was hard just getting food each day, yet due to my constitution I had to consume much more than other people. My friends gave me priority with food distribution because of that, but it still wasn’t enough. Kids even younger than me would endure their own empty stomachs and hand their food to me. I felt so pathetic, so guilty, that I had wanted to die. Or rather, I seriously thought that several times. But, each time everyone else stopped me, saying “Sariel-sama said it, didn’t she. Please live”. I ate while crying. But it still wasn’t enough, and I still can’t forget the taste of the dirt I ate in order to deceive my hunger.

Somehow I managed to survive those times, but before long fights started to break out. The cause, was due to the System, or I guess more because there was a scramble for the few remaining resources. Like I just said, there was a serious shortage of food, right. In the scramble for that people started killing each other in various places, and basically that slowly escalated. If they had that much energy, shouldn’t they have just cooperated to break free of the situation they were in? But well, humans give priority to the present over the future, right. Anyway, they couldn’t think of anything else except to scramble for what existed now.

My friends and I in the orphanage, continued to take refuge and avoid those fights. However, there were times when no matter what we did we still got dragged into it. In those days I was just a burden, and didn’t have the slightest ability to fight. Immediately after the System was put into operation it seems there was already benefits given by the status values, but that depended upon your original abilities in the first place. As I was spending more than half the day in bed, the benefits of the status values were less than that of a normal person. There was nothing I could do.

But you know, there was one day when a really helpless situation occurred. On that day, Gob-gob went off to try to fight some men for the first time. We were the survivors of Potimas’s human experiments. However, just because we survived that didn’t necessarily mean that we could continue to live. Gob-gob only had a lifespan of several years. It should have been research to try to prolong life, but he was a kid born with green skin and a lifespan much shorter than normal humans. Well, he had obviously been treated like a failure.

「I won’t live much longer anyway.」

Saying that, he went off. So anyway, I gave him my favourite pressed flower bookmark, and told him this beforehand.

「That’s my favourite, so be sure to return it.」

In the end, after showing a vague smile, he never returned. He had always been a coward you know. But right at the very end he tried to be cool. He was an idiot, right…… Yeah, an idiot.

From then on us lot wandered around every which way to escape the ravages of war, but somehow the situation turned from fights scrambling over food, to a conflict between humans and evolved humans. We were simply at the mercy of events, so I don’t know the details about how the situation transitioned into such a conflict. However, before I knew it, it had developed into a situation where humans were attacking evolved humans. The evolved humans, called demons nowadays, had far better physical abilities than normal humans in the first place, and their status values were correspondingly superior. However, they were a small minority, and because at first the evolved humans didn’t team up, they were attacked one-sidedly.

You’re asking about the food problems? Well, it’s true that the population was reduced as they killed each other in a scramble for food so the amount of food required was also reduced correspondingly, but the main reason the situation improved was because of an outbreak of monsters.

You’re asking why there were monsters? Well, just listen. These days monsters increase their numbers by breeding, but in those initial days they would spring forth out of nowhere. I’d guess it was something that D had prepared. So, normally that would cause chaos, and sure enough there was chaos. However, by the time of the first monster outbreak, people had already started to master the blessings given by status values and skills you see. As a result, the monsters weren’t that much of a threat. The monsters back then were like prototypes, so they weren’t that strong anyway either. When monsters came attacking it was easy enough to kill them in return. In those days, it was the other humans who were scarier.

So, we have these monsters that were easy to kill. Not surprisingly, they were a source of meat. Well, you understand the rest, right? In those days, people would eat whatever they could, even if it was something strange. Ironically enough, the demons weren’t even a threat, and in fact they became a source of aid. Well, because their arrival created some leeway in resources, I’m sure that’s exactly what led to the movement to suppress the demons.

The cornered demons were driven into the north of the Kasanagara continent, where they formed a group and counterattacked. The rest follows what you already know, that’s how the history of a long war between the humans and demons began in that boundary region. Well, it did take a number of years to develop that far of course. Or rather, until it stabilised the wars there were a really bad quagmire.

I might have briefly mentioned this before, but the first Demon King was a vampire. He was called a terrifying Demon King, but the guy himself wasn’t actually that strong though, but by using the vampire’s traits of being sly and increasing their followers he struck out at the people. Apparently, it was with such momentum that it seemed like everyone living would be killed. If the demons and the humans could have banded together then history would have been different, but unfortunately the result was the current 3-way struggle. Or rather, can the current situation even be called a 3-way struggle? The current situation is one where you can’t tell your friends from your enemies after all.

Even with my friends from the orphanage, in the end we all went our separate ways. There was a faction that believed in saving the people according to Sariel-sama’s teachings. There was a faction that believed that it would be better to fight in order to save Sariel-sama as soon as possible. I’ve said this many times, but us orphans were survivors from Potimas’s human experiments. While there were complete failures like me and Gob-gob, there were also those who had both failed parts and successful parts. Those with superior physical abilities, those with special abilities, and so on. Combine that with skills and status values and they were able to demonstrate far greater abilities than normal humans. As we children fled here and there over the months and years, we grew into adults.

Eh? What do you mean I haven’t grown? Ha ha ha. Haven’t I grown up magnificently! Ha ha ha ha ha.

Ahem!

Returning to the topic, us orphans split right in half, and set out on our own. Did you know? The first Hero and the first Saint came from our orphanage, right? Well anyway, they all either died fighting or lived out their lives and there’s none remaining. Most of them sacrificed themselves just before they died. Refusing to reincarnate, they sacrificed their own souls and all their energy to the System. They all vanished like that. All of them. They were idiots, right…… Yeah, idiots.

That’s why I’ve gotten used to being left behind. Well, unlike them I couldn’t fight at all. It took all I had just to stay alive you know. While I was lying in bed, everyone else was lost. Just why was it that someone useless like me remained in the end? On top of that, I don’t know why, but I became forever young.

Maybe it was the influence of the System, or otherwise Potimas’s research must have quietly born fruit. Or maybe it was both of them? While I don’t know the truth, the fact is I haven’t aged since the System was first put into operation. That’s why I’m still alive. On top of that, after many years of suffering I succeeded in overcoming my weak constitution due to my status values and skills. With the Gluttony Skill I could eat as much as I wanted of whatever I wanted to, and also the System decomposed the poison inside my body. Over the long months and years my status values accumulated bit by bit, to that of an average person, then higher, then higher and higher still. And that’s how I became like this.

I’m sure it must have been truly mortifying for Potimas that he had thrown me away, when in fact I had accomplished his goal of eternal youth. I’m sure he thought “If only I had never thrown her away!” or something. All I can say is, serves you right!

Eh? What was Potimas doing immediately after the System was put into operation? Who knows? He completely vanished from the world stage for a while anyway. I guess you could say he went into hiding? Just when I thought he had finally become quiet, before I knew it the new species called “elves” had suddenly infiltrated all of society. Literally, before I knew it. That guy’s skill really is superior when it comes to such things.

Well, it’s a bit rough, but that’s about how things were immediately after the System was put into operation. Well? It wasn’t a nice story, right?


 

Translation notes:

“I gave him my favourite pressed flower bookmark” – probably a reference to Oni 2where goblins hold pressed flowers as a good luck charm and pray to the Goddess.

“I might have briefly mentioned this before, but the first Demon King was a vampire” – probably a reference to Blood 23.

“Refusing to reincarnate, they sacrificed their own souls and all their energy to the System” – this was also mentioned in The Demon King and the Pope

Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? Past Arc ㉖
Kumo desu ga, Nani ka? Past Reflections: Gyurie