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Chapter: 606

Taboos And Monstrosity

Chapter 606: Taboos And Monstrosity

Noma looked at Eiro, staring at him in disbelief. Clearly, he was overwhelmed by this unexpected revelation given to him. Eiro could hear Noma's heart beating so loud that even he was scared that it was about to jump out of his chest. Trying to calm himself down, the young man grasped his shirt tightly while trying to hold back his tears.

Since it wasn't a good idea to just watch this kid cry like this, the Demon chose to instead turn Noma's pure relief into something more useful – trust toward Eiro.

"To begin with… if you think this magic is evil, why do you keep studying it so intensely? You seem rather kind to me, at least."

Noma caught his breath, and to him, it seemed as if his heart that was beating so intensely simply stopped for a moment. He nervously looked to the side, and began to stutter, "I-I… I wanted to overcome what I thought this magic to be… that's all… I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn't evil, even though I had this sinister affinity…"

With a slight smile, Eiro locked eyes with the student that was trying to so blatantly lie to him. Of course, for a good reason. Even if Eiro didn't think that flesh magic, or any magic for that matter, could be inherently evil, Noma would never be able to imagine that he would simply overlook the fact that someone close to him broke a taboo. This was a fact that he could never reveal to anyone, even if Eiro wanted to help him. But of course, the more he looked into Eiro's eyes, the more he realized that it was no good. It was impossible to hide something like that from someone like him. By now, everyone knew of the abilities that the famous Baron Daemonherz possessed, and that included the fact that it was simply impossible to lie to him.

But even then, Eiro's expression didn't seem to change. He didn't even blink, simply keeping up constant eye-contact with Noma, to the point where it could even be called creepy. It was like time had frozen, just to give Noma the chance to think about what he was doing again. Numerous thoughts ran through his head, when the truth finally escaped his mouth.

"My s-sister broke the taboo… of ca… cannibalism…" Noma said, shutting his eyes in fear. He already knew what sort of expression Eiro was making right now. Disgusted and angry, as if he was no longer looking at a person. Or at least, that's what he was thinking. He never imagined that things would go very differently.

"Right, but what makes you think that flesh magic could help you overcome that taboo? Committing cannibalism is not something that can be reversed, and feeding someone that broke a taboo even more flesh than before might halt their cravings for a short while, but their curse is going to increase in strength more and more." Eiro pointed out bluntly, "Maybe in the beginning, a finger's worth could stop the craving for a day, but after a year or two, if you want them to keep their sanity, you're going to have to feed them enough flesh worth a small family every other day."

Noma opened his eyes confused, listening to Eiro's words, "And even then… I've met your sister, albeit briefly, and I didn't notice much of an active taboo?"

"Th-that… erm… I…" Noma muttered, still not able to comprehend that Eiro was reacting this way. Why was he being so casual about the fact that someone broke the rules of the gods? But soon, seeing that Eiro didn't show even a slight hint of anything like disgust, he started holding onto a bit of hope. If it was like this, then maybe Eiro could really help him out.

"…I've done some research on the taboos, and how they occure… Erm, I think that maybe… since siblings share the same parents, and are physically closer to each other than two random people would be, that the taboo isn't as big as normal? Maybe?" He explained, and Eiro crossed his arms. This may have something to do with this 'genetics' thing that Arc explained to him. Of course, the fact that if you shared blood with someone, you were closely connected in many different ways was already well-known, but Arc's explanation did shed a little more light on some things. Apparently, full blood-siblings shared around half of their genes, so maybe that did have an effect on things like the taboo. Even though Eiro has his own pet that he uses to test out things related to the taboo, even he didn't know all too much about it in regards to its causes. He mostly focused on its effects.

"So you're telling me that your sister ate your flesh?" Eiro asked, and Noma nervously nodded, "That… our parents are not good people, so when we were still pretty young, my sister and I ran away from them, and started living on our own. But obviously, that didn't really work out too well… one night, we got lost in a forest, and fell down a cliff… I broke my leg, and my sister her arm and some ribs, so we were stuck down there for… two… no, three weeks..? And… and just a few months before, I found out I can use flesh magic, but I couldn't use earth magic yet, and… well…"

"I get the gist, you don't have to tell me any more. So… if that's how you two survived back then, how long has it been since your sister has broken the taboo?"

"…Five years…" 

Eiro's eyes widened, and he looked at Noma surprised, "You two have been holding out for so long? For your age, you've gone through quite a lot, huh?" The Demon asked, smiling at the young man in front of him, who couldn't help himself but tear up. Quickly wiping his eyes dry, he moved on, "But it's what you said… my sister's cravings have been increasing more and more, and she's been much more aggressive even at her really good times. I'm afraid that at this rate, she won't be able to… That's what I have to keep practicing this magic, to make sure that I can make enough for her, so that she won't attack others…"

Eiro smiled lightly, and shook his head, "There's no need for that anymore."

"…huh? What do you mean?" Noma asked confused, and Eiro crossed his arms, thinking about how to best explain it, "So… the taboo is generally seen as something the gods created to punish those that go against their rules, right?"

"Yeah… isn't that what it is?" 

"Not directly, actually. You see, the system is something that we gained through small fragments of pure arcane energy fused into our souls. Every being with access to the system has this. People, monsters, magic beasts, everyone is the same in that regard. While each of them follow different rules, although I don't really understand the reasons for that myself yet, they are inherently the same. The first demon, for example, was a servant of the chief god. He was punished and became a monster. If that can happen, then the change from a person to a monster must be much, much simpler, right?" 

Noma was trying to follow along, simply nodding as the information came in, before Eiro continued, "Now, I have a slight theory. The gods that blessed people to protect them changed something in these fragments to set them apart from monsters, but as you know, all magic, even the divine magic of gods, has to follow strict rules, and that includes things which can break these blessings down. And those things were chosen to be clear things to set people apart from monsters. Monsters feed on their siblings all the time, so people were told not to break the taboo of cannibalism. Because that breaks down the border between people and monsters." 

Starting to understand what Eiro was trying to tell him, Noma's breathing sped up, "So.. my sister is turning into a monster because of me?"

Although he could see that Noma's condition was even worse than before, Eiro had to continue. He couldn't just turn back around now. If everything worked out, he could easily turn this frustration into motivation and trust quite soon, "…Not directly, no. While people were blessed, monsters were cursed. They were given 'Monstrosity', the thing that makes them so deeply vile and fearsome. I assume that this monstrosity, as it infects the one that broke the taboo, actually corrupts the fragment inside of them. It even shows in their view of the system. Letters might miss, number might be off. The windows refuses to open or close, or their colors might be slightly off compared to the last time you looked. And as the fragment corrupts, so will their soul, slowly killing them, turning them into something even worse and vile than most regular monsters in the process." He explained, keeping his smile up the whole time.  Clearly seeing this, Noma was unsure if Eiro was thinking of something, or if he was simply sadistic. Truthfully, it might have been more like a mixture of both, but of course Eiro would never let this child know something like that.. Eiro turned around and stepped toward the door, slightly turning his head to lock eyes with Noma one more time, "Luckily, you're standing in front of one of the few individuals that can completely suppress a being's 'monstrosity'."

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