History I Can't Erase

Good afternoon, my dear students. I trust you are all well? Ready to learn? We’re moving on to contemporary history today, starting with the coronation of Yuuri Shibuya forty-two years ago. Please take out your textbooks and turn to page two hundred and thirty-four…

For the love of Shinou, pay attention, Hans! Put that thing away, I will not tolerate you listening to music while I’m teaching. Honestly, children these days—fine, young people these days have no appreciation for what the previous generation has done for them. The battles we’ve fought, the things we’ve sacrificed! If it weren’t for our Maou, you wouldn’t be flirting with Gratia while my back was turned, or playing baseball after class with Fritz and Rupert. You’d be in hiding, trying to keep half of your identity a secret for fear of your life. It wasn’t so long ago when humans and Mazoku lived in separate worlds, each refusing to have anything to do with the other. Those few who broke the rule were punished for it. The offspring of a Mazoku and a human were without birthright, wanted by none, and even a halfling in the royal family did little to alter those attitudes. In some places the parents of such children were killed, or imprisoned and forced to do hard labour.

Things started to change when Yuuri arrived. Raised as a human child in the other world, our customs and prejudices were alien to him, and his first instinct was to break them all. He stripped away the societal taboos we’d buried ourselves in and let our minds breathe in clear air again. He showed us how to love, how to accept people for who they were and not what they were. Once a little girl tried to kill him and he adopted her before the week was out. Countless lives were saved by his mercy and compassion, a hundred potential wars averted.

Yuuri tried to change things through peace, but when you re-arrange the social hierarchy, violence can never be completely avoided. There were skirmishes in several territories that snowballed into larger conflicts, killing and injuring more than their fair share of humans and Mazoku alike. There were crushing losses among the nobility as well, and I know because I comforted some of them when they cried.

The previous Maou had three children and only one is still alive, the youngest, still Yuuri’s fiancé after all these years, holding on to something he knows he’ll never get and he didn’t really want in the first place. Scandalous, isn’t it? King Yuuri never got over the death of the middle child, Conrad, whom he loved more than he realized until it was too late. The eldest brother was my best friend, and I watched him die in the arms of the Sage.

Is that exciting enough for all of you? Tragic enough? Interesting enough to be worthy of your precious attention spans?

You can see dragons in the skies again because of Yuuri. Humans and Mazoku can walk in the sunlight together because of Yuuri. You can all sleep at night because of Yuuri, because of your King, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask for you to devote one hour out of your day to learning about why his portrait is hanging in this classroom, why you bow your heads in respect to him and why you owe him your allegiance and your very life.

Now, please open your textbooks to page two hundred and thirty-four.

Thirty students lower their eyes to their books, cheeks burning, red-hot shame and embarrassment knotting their stomachs at their teacher’s outburst. One boy, dark skinned and fair haired, shocking contrast, fights with his own guilt and meets the gaze of the woman standing at the front of the room. Grey is just barely beginning to touch her red hair, but her eyes are already world-weary and tired, sure sign of the long-lived Mazoku.
“Sorry, Ms. Anissina.”



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