It was the summer of her 13th birthday that Miriam decided to sell herself to pay off her parents’ debt.
My father was originally a poor peasant farmer, but after his father caught an epidemic disease which destroyed his body, the household finances collapsed as if it were rolling down a slope.
Then, a bad harvest one year took it all down. The debt was so inflated that we were unable to even pay the interest, and they finally settled the debt in exchange for Miriam selling herself.
Her parents cried and apologized to Miriam, but she acted bravely and said she would take care of her younger siblings. I convinced myself that it would be fine if the whole family would be saved in exchange for myself.
There is only one kind of “work” that a girl who has been taken as payment for a debt would do. A prostitute.
There was an unavoidable sense of disgust, but Miriam desperately endured it. There’s no way she could rebel. Because she knew what kind of horrible man her owner was.
Those who control the underworld of Ciel-Terra… “Night Python”. My father borrowed money from a moneylender who was a breath(??) of Night Python.
I heard that they would do anything for money, no matter how despicable. They manipulate officials with bribes and blackmail, and even the Knights can’t touch them.
If Miriam were to escape, they would chase her to the end of the world and kill her. They bind the prostitutes with that kind of fear.
By the time a few years passed, Miriam had become a full-fledged.
Even the nauseating “work” eventually became “routine” and she didn’t think about it anymore.
However, at a certain point, Miriam began to get only troublesome customers.
A guy who gets excited by hurting people. The guy who pours strange medicine on Miriam. The one who is reluctant to pay, but is so possessive that he won’t allow other customers to take his place.
At first I thought it was a coincidence, but it wasn’t. The brothel was pushing such customers onto her.
Miriam knew the reason for that. That’s because Miriam was the lowest-valued product in the brothel.
For Miriam, the only thing she can sell is her youth. The younger you are, the more valuable you are if you have the same looks. She tried her best to learn how to flirt and be affectionate, but even that was only at the level of “natural”.
In order not to wear out the other prostitutes, they concentrated the damage on Miriam, who was of comparatively low value.
Miriam was injured more often. So when there was a day when she couldn’t go to the store, her earnings decreased, and she was beaten by her master.
I was cornered mentally as well. I couldn’t eat, and I was emaciated. The number of customers decreased even further.
Nevertheless, she continued to endure, but one day Miriam overheard the master talking about selling her for two bundles.
She was sold to a drug factory that was also owned by Night Python. There was always a shortage of lab animals to develop new drugs. So that was Miriam’s next… and last role. Miriam had been given up as a prostitute.
The fact that they were talking like that in a room that could easily be eavesdropped on must have been an underestimation of what she would do. But Miriam was quick to act.
While the customer was asleep, she pulled out her wallet and fled with it. She went to her family, whom she hadn’t been able to contact since then.
She feared that maybe her actions would put them in danger. However, Miriam was still afraid of dying. She wanted to flee with her family to another country.
She changed her clothes to plain cheap ones, cut her hair, covered her face with a hooded cloak, and took a carriage. She prayed that the next passenger would not be one of Night Python’s pursuers.
She didn’t know if her prayers went through, but Miriam was able to return safely to her home village, almost on the other side of the country.
When she returned to her home after several years, Miriam was greeted by two skulls lined up on a table in the dirt floor.
Miriam wondered why there was such a thing here.
There was no sign of people in the house.
There were signs of ransacking, but a thick layer of dust on top of that told her that no one had been in or out of the house for years.
Where had her father, mother, brother, and sister gone?
Miriam tried to ask the people in the village about the situation.
The villagers, whom she had not seen in a long time, were all surprised to see her, but they were somewhat distant and refused to open up to her no matter what she asked.
Miriam’s debts had not been erased when a neighbor lady, who was a good friend of hers, said carefully, “Don’t ever say I didn’t tell you.”
She thought that was ridiculous, but whatever it was, the contract at that time contained several conditions for the debt to be erased. One of the conditions was that Miriam’s profit to the store had to reach a certain amount within the first year of working.
There was a clause that struck Miriam.
For the first year, Miriam’s salary had been disgustingly good. However, no matter how much money she received, she was forced to spend it on clothes, cosmetics, and accessories to attract customers (especially clothes that she had to buy for her future), and she couldn’t even save enough money because the older prostitutes were always taking something.
At the time, she had just started working and thought that this salary was normal, but now that she thought about it, the profit of the store must have decreased by a lot.
Anyway, the remaining members of the family were mercilessly told that the loss was impossible to write off, and they had no choice but to flee at night.
The family disappeared without telling anyone in the village. A few days later, only the heads of her father and mother returned.
Night Python killed them in return for trying to avoid their debts and set an example to others. The whereabouts of Miriam’s younger brothers and sisters are nowhere to be found, but they are valuable commodities. They must have been turned into merchandise. In some way.
The villagers could not even bury the two heads for fear of incurring the wrath of the night python. They were just bones, and today they greeted Miriam.
Miriam collapsed before the end of her parents’ skulls.
she was too shocked to cry.
She wondered what the past few years were all for. She had thought that her parents and her younger siblings, though poor, were helping each other and living happily ever after. That was the only thing that kept her going.
How long had she been doing that for?
Miriam felt the presence of someone behind her, Miriam looked back.
Someone was standing in the doorway of the house, carrying red-black afterglow on his back.
It’s a young man dressed in ordinary travel attire. A man who seems to be everywhere at first glance… Because of that, he is a mass of incongruity.
Miriam has figured out who he is.
The assassin released by Night Python. It is an assassin who appeared to exterminate Miriam who escaped from the brothel and make an example out of her.
Miriam spilled, but the man had no answer.
He pulled out a glaring knife and casually walked towards Miriam.
“Why did Dad and Mom have to die?”
“Why aren’t my younger brothers and sisters here?”
“Why did I have to die?”
The man didn’t answer.
The man hadn’t necessarily killed her parents, but Miriam couldn’t help asking.
What did my father, my mother, and I do to deserve this?
Even in poverty, they lived every day to the fullest.
However, everything was exploited and ruined just for the bad guys to make money.
Miriam stood up.
In her anxiety, she pulled out the knife she had bought for self-defense on the road.
“Give everyone back!!”
Miriam thrust her knife at the man.
And two knives were stuck in Miriam’s chest.
A beat later, the pain came.
She didn’t even know what happened.
The knife that had disappeared from Miriam’s hand was stuck in her chest with the man’s knife. In an instant, the weapon had been taken and used against her.
She couldn’t breathe well. Blood came up from her throat. She couldn’t get any strength in her body.
“Give the-…” Miriam collapsed
Her outstretched hand was out of reach, and Miriam’s consciousness sank into darkness.
When she felt her body suddenly lighten, Miriam looked down at herself sinking in a sea of blood.
She floated a little in the air.
Inside the house, the assassin from earlier was still there, examining the interior.
I look at my hands, they are pale and translucent, and I can see the view on the other side.
――The appearance her soul…
Yes, Miriam is dead.
A sense of loss that can’t be compensated for, like starving and drying, strains her heart.
It is said that the souls of the dead are guided by the light that falls from heaven and return to the bosom of God and gain peace. And before long, they will be born again in this world.
But Miriam didn’t feel that guidance.
Miriam has been trapped in this world due to her grudge.
“Ah, ah, ah ah ah ah!!”
The flame of black resentment burned up in Miriam.
“What’s wrong with you? Why?!”
In anger, Miriam struck at the assassin.
But that fist just cut the sky in vain.
Tears welled up in her eyes now that her body was gone. Miriam cowered on the floor and cried howling tears.
She cried and cried, out of sadness, anger, and later resentment which kept coming back.
Eventually, the assassin man pulled up. He seemed to be checking to make sure that Miriam hadn’t hidden anything in the house.
Miriam was staring at the back of the assassin who killed her with a murderous glare.
But she couldn’t actually shoot him dead. She couldn’t attack people with magic like the undead monsters she had heard stories about. He was trapped on earth, defying God’s truth because of a grudge, and yet he couldn’t even do a little bit of that.
I can’t forgive… Night Python…!
But you can’t do anything just because you can’t forgive it.
How much resentment, blood and tears does Night Python stand on? Miriam’s grudge alone would not change anything…
Suddenly, a wild scream resounded and Miriam looked up.
The assassin was lying down just outside the doorway. Miriam had no idea what happened.
“But why did he die?”
“Huh… heh hehe…
I hate you… I hate you… I hate you… I don’t want to die like this. ……”
Suddenly, a chuckle sounded from somewhere.
The girl’s laughter was young and filled with a horrible intensity.
“I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear that I can settle that grudge for you. If that’s a wish worthy of your soul!”
She felt the world shudder.
So much pressure that Miriam’s soul seemed to bubble up and distort.
When she looked up, she saw a silver moon in the indigo sky.
――It’s different. It’s not the moon…
Her silver hair spread out softly like an angel’s wings. It’s not the moon. Her skin is as white as snow. A dress with delicate white decorations.
There was a girl with a beautiful and noble appearance, dressed all in white and silver. But she was also a… soul, just like Miriam. She was a dead person.
It was immediately apparent that she was not a regular person.
she felt a pressure that seemed to grind at her soul.
She was something paranormal, something that Miriam could never have imagined.
“Did you kill this man?”
“Yeah, he was in my way. He didn’t seem to be able to see us, but I didn’t want him to hear me, just in case.”
The girl’s spirit said without incident.
Miriam was more interested in how she killed the man than why she did it, or rather how she had the power to kill him.
“What are you…”
The girl looked a little stunned at the question, but then opened her mouth like a flower petal.
“Avenger. … Renée “Rosy as a Rose” Luvia Ciel-Terra”
“Ciel… no way!”
Prostitution is also a customer business.
There are many customers who talk about themselves and gossip, and they share information among their friends, so you can usually hear about the topics that are making the world go nuts.
Miriam had heard about the former princess who had died a horrible death and how she had come back as an undead and wreaked havoc.
“You were executed and revived as an undead…!”
“Huh? There’s been quire a lot of talk about it.”
Renée laughed not looking fully innocent.
It wasn’t a childish smile, it was an ironic way of smiling adults do. It is somewhat insane and scary to have such an expression on an innocent face.
“Well, you don’t have much time, so I’m going to say it bluntly.
If you leave it like this, it will turn into a vengeful ghost, and eventually you will become an undead monster of the spiritual system.”
“Can I become…?”
“Do you want to be?”
When Renée asked back, Miriam nodded her head.
“Because… if I do that, I might clear my grudge…”
Miriam had never seen a demon in person, but she had taken adventurers and traveling merchants as customers, where it was not uncommon to encounter demons during their work. As a result, she had some knowledge of demons.
I heard that undead monsters are horrible with or without flesh.
I thought that if I could become such a thing, I might be able to take revenge on the Night Python.
“No way, it’s impossible. Spirits that are self-bound will quickly lose their sanity. They will go wild without even knowing who to turn their grudge against. Even if you are good at fighting the object of grudge… Yeah, well, even the lower-ranking undead can be defeated by adventurers around that area.”
Renée’s commentary was merciless.
In the end, Miriam’s grudge will never reach Night Python.
“So things are discussed. Would you like me to go bloody Night Python? Your soul can be my payment.
It’s a little over my budget, but what the heck, I’ll give it to you as an opening day sale.”
Renée’s smile seemed as sweet as poison.