We will never forget that moment. The moment when the monster came up from the sea we had sacredly worshiped.
The monster with green scales shining like a beautiful mermaid in legend was difficult to recognize at first glance. Even with only one head, it was huge enough to cover our village, and the moment the monster popped out, everyone ran away without looking back.
However, when the monster climbed up on a rocky island not far from the village, I was able to observe it closely. The monster with only two front legs crawled up the island. A few scales were pointed like manes, and it’s eyes were lifeless as if dead. It looked like a long water serpent but had a dragon-like head. Inside the huge jaws of the monster, there were thousands of teeth that could chew a human in one bite.
“Come on, run away…!”
On the first day the monster appeared, people screamed and ran away. Fortunately, quite a few people survived. But we had to lose our livelihoods in an instant. The brave men of the village came forward, but they were only dragged into the endless abyss by the monster. But they had no choice.
The village elders, including my father, climbed up to the temple of Gamila, dedicated to the goddess of the earth. There was no priest in the pure white temple built on the hillside surrounded by fog. Except for the one priest behind the veil.
“You were not faithful to the god of the sea.”
It was before the villagers even spoke up. The woman in the veil who did not even reveal her face opened her mouth first.
“Even with the sea by your side, you did not show any sincerity to the god of the sea, which is the same as giving up receiving protection from that god. That monster, the Leviathan, is the only life where the protection of the sea god has not reached.”
“Priest… … ! Please Forgive us for our foolishness!”
“Forgiveness should be prayed to the sea god, not me. I am not a priest who worships the god of the sea, so I cannot give him your apologies.”
“Then what should we do?”
“Take the punishment until the sea god takes his wrath away. But, it will never come off easily. However, there is a way to stop the Leviathan as a temporary measure until the god of the sea relieves his wrath.”
The village was already ruined, but it was hopeful news for the villagers who had no place to stay without them.
“What is that?”
However, the answers that they received were far from hopeful.
“The Goddess of the Earth says, Every year, children under the age of fifteen are to be sacrificed. It is said that only pure soul blood can silence a Leviathan.”
Is this really a real solution?
After returning from the Temple of Gamila, the relationship between the villagers was not what it used to be. They all looked into each other’s eyes with hatred. But the fight didn’t last long.
“It’s all because of that old man! You mean you didn’t even think about making a sacrifice to the god of the sea while being the leader of the village?!”
Because of this, the first offering was the grandson of the village chief.
“You! Do you know how much damage our store has suffered because you got the credit and didn’t pay it back?”
The second offering was the eldest daughter of a drunken man who had a bad reputation in the village. The uncle’s youngest son later became the third sacrifice.
The village was restored to some extent thanks to the quietness of the monster Leviathan, but people could not go out to sea by boat because of the monster.
Some wanted to leave the village to protect their children, but as soon as they were found, their children had to be sacrificed.
“N-not my daughter! My daughter is still young!”
“Then is my daughter, who is only 14 years old, old?!”
“Come on, your daughter is not dumb! Rather than my healthy daughter… … .”
“what? This child!”
The village went into madness in an instant. My father, who was stopping people from fighting, saw them the day he went out and left them and came to me.
“Rose! I told you not to come out!”
“But I heard father’s voice… … .”
My father, who became sensitive to people’s madness, did not listen to my excuses. He just dragged my hand into the house, locked the door, and grabbed my shoulder.
“Rose, listen. now…”
But I, who was young and innocent, cared more about the bruises on my father’s cheek than his words. I reflexively bit my finger and put my thumb into my mouth to bleed. That was then.
“How many times has this father told you not to do that!”
My father’s anger was as big as thunder, and only then did I look into his eyes. My father sometimes made me bleed, but he also hated me to bleed without his permission.
Whenever I questioned my father’s double attitude, he would speak up.
Your power is special. If you show that kind of power to anyone, people will try to step on you out of envy and jealousy. So that power should be used only when necessary.
So it was always after my father’s permission that I could bleed.
People complained that my father was obsessed with me because my mother died while giving birth to me. However, my father never talked about my mother in front of me. He only talked about how special I am.
I am a special child. So my father loves me very much.
“Rose, I can’t live without you…”
“… I’m sorry, Dad.”
There is no father in this world who does not have his own special children. But my father was a bit eccentric. I grew up hearing the word ‘special child’ to the point of getting tired and getting used to it. I didn’t question it because it was a word I heard every moment as if it were natural, but at this moment, I unknowingly brought up a question to my father.
“But Dad, why am I special?”
My heart trembled as it was the first time I was asked. I don’t think my father would give me a proper answer. But my father gave an answer surprisingly easily.
“When your mother was pregnant with you, she went to the temple of Gamila to receive an oracle.”
“Then the priest said the oracle… … .”
‘She is a very special child, so keep it cherished until the time comes.’
“But don’t you really have special powers like an oracle?”
“Father, why do you think I’m special?”
“That’s it. Because you’re just proving that I’m not just like everyone else.”
Those words were difficult for me to understand when I was young.
“My daughter is a child with such special powers prophesied in the oracle! Even though the ignorant world looks down on this father, Rose, my daughter…”
“Your existence proves that this father is not just that kind of guy.”
My father hugged me and stroked my hair. My father was always kind. I liked my father, but at the same time it felt creepy.
He may have needed something to prove his worth as a father, rather than a child to whom he would devote his fatherly love. The feeling was almost certain.
It was a fact that could not be ignored even if we tried to ignore it.