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Chapter 1 – Part 1
Ever since my birth, I had been shunned by my mother. It was because of my black hair.
In this world, the color of your hair decided the amount and nature of magic you possessed. If you had little magic, the color would be weak and dark if you possessed abundant magic.
For instance, my mother’s hair was sky blue, and her attribute was water, and the magic she possessed was little. My crimson-haired father had a powerful fire attribute. And I, with my black hair, possessed a vast dark attribute.
If it had been light purple, my mother wouldn’t have been as afraid. I might have been ignored though. Even if it were a darker shade of purple, I would have been allowed to exist as a member of nobility. However, I would have certainly been oppressed by the sons of other nobles.
However, mine was jet black. Very few people possessed the dark attribute. I had jet black hair, in a kingdom where people were persecuted for simply possessing the dark attribute as it was the symbol of evil. In addition to that, I had blood red eyes, which made me seem like an evil god incarnate. That was why my mother was terrified to simply look at me.
What saved me was the wit of my father who belonged to the Mage Order in the Capital. My hair was sparse as an infant, so they shaved my hair and tricked the people around. As a result I received milk from my wet nurse and was served by maids.
However, around the time I turned three, it was no longer possible to deceive others and I was locked in a basement where the people around couldn’t see me. There, I received strict training from my father.
He taught me the history of the kingdom; about how it had been destroyed countless times by the evil god; about how terrible dark magic was and the dangers of the ones who possessed dark magic, over and over. I was told that I would be seen as a wicked existence and that I couldn’t be seen in the public. It was also drilled in me that I must not use my magic no matter what. If I hesitated in my answers, I would be slapped.
It was painful, and there were times when I felt bitter about my confinement, but I did not hate my father.If my soul was truly that of a child’s, maybe I would have hated him. Because that was the original scenario.
I had a past life – memories of having lived in Japan. I had reincarnated in my favourite game from my past life, ‘Lumiere: Seeking a Star Fragment’, as the villain – Zagan.
The Zagan in the game was yelled at and beaten repeatedly during his imprisonment and at the end of it, his increasing magic power grew reckless as he grew older, which drove his mother’s body into a critical state of unconsciousness. His enraged father abandoned the not even ten year old boy on the border of the kingdom, the Great Etoile Forest.
Freed from the ill-treatment, he cleared out the monsters that attacked him using his magic power that seemed to run wild and somehow managed to escape the forest and arrive at a village after several months.
However, what awaited him, was the villagers’ cruel treatment. They screamed “Demon!” and bathed him in jeers and hurtled stones at him. Chased by adults who wielded swords, he instinctively used his dark magic. Yet what he got was even more rage.
As he ran away in tears, he cursed his circumstances for the first time. However, he quickly grew to hate the humans and the country that refused to acknowledge him. He abandoned the name he received from his parents and took on the name of a demon that lived in the past, ‘Zagan’, and began to massacre humans in various places across the kingdom. He was a villain dyed completely in black.
His outward appearance too was wicked by itself. His black hair covered half of his face with one red eye that glared at everyone and his lightly soiled black robe. Although he was a character that continued to come in the way of the protagonist till the middle of the story, because of excessive insanity and his egocentric nature, he was betrayed by the same dark organisation moments before the final battle.
Incidentally, the people of the dark organization that killed Zagan tried to bring back the evil god, but were unable to control him and they all died. The protagonists then defeated the evil god in the end.
Like that, I understood what sort of existence the evil gods were. No matter how the ones who possessed dark magic struggled, they would still be persecuted by society. I also understood my father’s mind, as he tried to hide my existence someway or another.
My father had crimson hair, a mage who had been brought up being bathed in praise since young. He prided himself as a prodigy. He also took a beautiful wife, the daughter of a count, and inherited the family name. Yet born to him was a son with black hair. If my existence were to become public, not only I, the main cause, even the parents, that included him would be ostracised by the aristocracy and everyone around them.
I had to protect them. The achievements that he had built up as a mage – the family lineage was weaved history. My beloved family.
Therefore I had to leave the mansion. I was nine at that time. At that age, my magic power had surpassed that of my father’s. If my power ran amok, even his brilliant mind wouldn’t stand a chance.
But that also meant that I had to be strong enough to survive even if I left the mansion. Rather than to hide in the basement under the pretense of being sickly and weak, wouldn’t it be better for me to abandon my noble status and go outside? I agreed with my father’s suggestion.
My father loved me as family. I guess it was because I never tried to leave the basement, just like he told me to, and never invoked any magic. He gave me a good education. He gave me delicious food, expensive clothes, and bought me many books. When my room had no space left for books, he bought me a magic bag with a large capacity and deterioration prevention to boot. My father and the butler were the only ones who celebrated my birthday each year.
As a result, although this was a sad parting, I could see my mother from afar till the last moment, and was sent off by my four year old sister, who occasionally visited me in the basement, as she waved her hands. It was a happy memory.
I don’t know what the game’s backstory was and all I had on me was the magic bag that my father had bought me when he left me in the big forest. It held all the books he’d ever bought me, as well as a lot of clothes, food, magic tools, daily necessities, and potions. He had even left a hooded cloak that covered my head and a dagger.
So for a few years, I lived in the forest. Now that my ban on magic had finally been lifted, there was no reason to not train.
I spent my day doing nothing but battle monsters. The names of the techniques that appeared as dialogue boxes in the form of “You Learned ***” or on the status screen in the game, naturally appeared in my brain when I thought of using a spell or a sword technique in reality. This was a strange phenomenon for me, who had memories of a past life, but this was the way of this world.
Also, monsters rose from magic miasma, so when they are defeated, they disappear and items are left behind. The core of the monster, the magic stone, in addition to meat, hide, feathers, talons, fangs or bones. Even otherwise, I had encountered various monsters and obtained many kinds of items from them. It made me happy to defeat a monster I had run away from a few days back and seeing the occasional rare item drop made me furthermore happy.
Incidentally, animals other than monsters lived in the forest too. While some monsters resembled animals, the regular animals were not surrounded in miasma, so there was no mistaking them.
I had spent six years living such a life. I went to town only when it was absolutely necessary, and even then, I covered my hair with the hood.
When I turned fifteen and passed my growth spurt, I registered with the Adventurers’ Guild. My name was of course, Zagan. Since I was no longer a noble from the moment I left the mansion, I could not use the name my father had given me. My existence must have been passed off as death due to poor health, just like in the game.
As I became an adventurer, I carried out the quests commissioned by the guild. I wrapped my hair beneath a turban, and then further covered it with a hood in an attempt to hide it to the best of my abilities. During my time as a low ranked adventurer who only gathered monster materials, I did not stand out much.
However, as my rank increased and I became more famous, I was asked to escort people, kill bandits, and rescue people increasingly often. When this happened, I had to use magic in public, and people around began to learn that I had the dark attribute.
Those who knew me began to fear me when they saw me. But they didn’t throw stones at me or chase me away like in the original game. People responded to me differently as a high-ranking, famous adventurer – different than when I was a weak-looking kid from who knows where.
Unlike the aristrocracy, the Adventurers’ Guild is all about results. Even if you’re a dark attribute adventurer who’s persecuted by the world, you’ll still gain value for completed requests, and receive points when you defeat monsters and submit materials.
As a result, the present me, at 23 years of age, was an S-rank adventurer.
Hasr: Poor Zagan…