Terminology (Updated!)

 

Warning: Possible spoilers ahead if you have not read Chapter 2.

Please include credits and source if referencing externally.

Sorcery:

Sorcery refers to the usage of magic circles, incantations, and sacrifices to summon and bind demons, then using them to perform supernatural acts.When one summons powerful demons, one’s life is put accordingly into great danger, and depending on the circumstances, the necessary rituals may require significant time and/or labor. Also, as one will be defenseless during rituals, sorcery is not always expedient. In the past, powerful witches were defeated in battle, and the blame was placed on how difficult sorcery was to perform. Furthermore, “demon” is a generic term for all things inhuman; what would normally be called “fairies” and “gods” are simply called “demons” in the context of sorcery.

Those who study sorcery are split into factions based on their research and pursuits, including the Muddy Black, Lunar Chant, **********[1], and others. The Church views sorcery as heretical, and thus in areas under the Church’s influence, witches and sorcerers are persecuted and were driven to live in hiding. Furthermore, demons tend to like things of beauty, and so many successful sorcerers have desirable physical features.

Magic:

An abbreviation[2] of “Demon Contracts Principle”, it is a new technique invented by Zero when, during her practice of sorcery, she discovered that she could call upon the powers of demons without summoning them. Compared to sorcery, the troublesome labor required to summon demons and the need to draw magic circles to protect oneself from them are nonexistent, making it so that as long as one has the talent, one could learn to use magic in five years’ time. Experienced users are also able to cast spells without enunciating them.

The Book of Zero (also called the Grimoire of Zero):

Written by Zero, it is a tome containing the founding principles of magic, in addition to the names, abilities, spells, and required sacrifices of many demons. It is composed of four chapters (referred to as Books or Volumes in the translation), those of Hunting, Capturing, Harvesting, and Safeguarding. Ten years prior, it was taken from the cave Zero resided in and its knowledge was spread throughout the land.

Because of the danger that its contents may pose if used with ill intent, there exist purposeful spelling errors in incantations to minimize the power of the magic. In addition, if Zero herself makes a rejection or dismissal, she may deny any use of the inscribed magic, as well as various other safety measures.

Warning: Spoilers for Chapter Six.

Besides the aforementioned chapters, there is a Ghost chapter that deals with employing the power of demons who watch over death. However, Zero sealed this chapter off as a forbidden chapter, and it is not recorded in the tome itself.

End Spoilers.

Fallen Beasts (also called the Beastfallen):

A term for half-men half-beasts born with the traits of animals. Their appearances are those of wolves and hawks and many others. They are seen as impure existences by the Church, and as it is believed that they are born as humans with the bodies of beasts because of sins in their past lives resulting in demonic possession, they are loathed by the public. There is a saying that if one lays upon a fallen beast during their wedding, their child will also be born a fallen beast. Furthermore, as most fallen beasts live as mercenaries or burglars and other such distasteful roles, this is another reason why they are so disliked.

However, the truth is that the sins of past lives have nothing to do with one’s becoming a fallen beast, but rather because past witches performed sorcery termed Beastgranting (or Beastleaven) to grant the power of beasts to certain humans. When one of these humans passed and if the witch who gave them their powers was also deceased, the beast’s soul which resided within them would lose their way and return to the existence closest to the witch instead, causing the phenomenon known as spell recursion. What results is that the soul inhabits the womb of the witch’s female descendant, and is thus born as a fallen beast.

The blood and heads of fallen beasts are highly valued in sorcerous applications, and those witches without the strength to perform the Beastgranting ritual as well as humans who wish to kill time by meddling in sorcery hunt them to obtain these materials.

Please include credits and source if referencing externally.

Translated by Aer for Nanodesu

Source: https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ゼロから始める魔法の書#.E7.94.A8.E8.AA.9E




TL NOTES

[1] Censored for possible spoilers from future volumes. If you really wish to know, solve this Caesar cipher: Pqxodxwbop (Encrypted using left rotation of 3)

[2] “Demon Contracts Principle” is 悪の契約則 in Japanese, while “Magic” is 魔法. The bolded & italicized portions should help this make sense.

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