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Chapter 180: The white rabbit’s migration (2)

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Author: Shizuku Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3106 characters
Translator: Nomad English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1551 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

Hearing Ruri, Marize finally noticed that the small boy with tanned skin had been trying to steal Ruri’s katana. The child’s face stiffened up, realizing he had messed up.

“Ow! Let goo!”
“Mm no, you’re not getting away so easily.”

He looked like he was not even ten years old, so no matter how hard he tried to wriggle away, he did not have the necessary strength to break free from Ruri’s grip.

“Excuse me, is something wrong here?”
“Ah, yes, this kid-”

The owner of the shop went to see what was happening, and Marize tried to explain, but was quickly interrupted.

“Sorry, could we get one more serving of tea and dango?”

Rather than explaining, Ruri asked for more food. The owner seemed a bit confused for a moment, but then beamed a smile and went back inside the shop.

“Alright, why don’t you start by telling us why you did that?” Ruri forced the kid to sit with them and began questioning him, but he just turned away and refused to reply, determined to stay silent.

“Hmm, that’s troublesome.”

Even though he was a child and he had been interrupted before anything happened, that was still attempted theft. Ruri was serving the family ruling over the land, so she could not simply ignore that. She at least wanted to know why he had done that, but the child seemed determined to keep quiet.

“Here you go, tea and dango for three.” Then the owner returned with their order. Ruri received it, and placed a plate with dango and a teacup in front of the child.

“Here, eat up. I know it feels like I’m bribing you with food, but I won’t know what to do unless I know your story.”

“…I don’t want it.” The child relaxed for just an instant before his face turned sour again and he rejected the food. “I’m not some beggar. I don’t need your pity.”

“Then what are you? You just tried to steal something from me, that makes you a criminal. If you don’t want to talk back then don’t steal in the first place.”

“Hey, Marize?!”

Out of nowhere, Marize began talking harshly to the kid, disregarding his age. Even Ruri was stunned seeing that.

“Ruri is being kind to you and trying to reason before handing you over to the guards. So what should you be doing? Staying quiet? If that’s what you want, then go ahead, you can stomp over her kindness all I care, but what happens later will be your fault.”

In a way, Marize was seeing a bit of herself on the kid. She had once been unreasonably mean to Olivia, but she replied with kindness and acceptance. But even after all of that Marize still struggled to really like Olivia, and she saw the same attitude in the child.

Marize’s words seemed to strike a chord in the kid, as he stopped complaining.

Ruri was still trying to understand what had gotten into Marize, who just said the kid got what he deserved and began stuffing her cheeks with dango.

“I need a powerful weapon to take revenge.” After being quiet for a while, the kid finally explained his background. “Tsujihiko killed my parents. Regular weapons can’t kill him, so I need a powerful one. I overheard you saying how special your katana was, so I tried taking it.”

“Oh, umm…I’m sorry…”
“Who’s this Tsujihiko person? A bandit or something? Why don’t you tell the guards?”

Ruri winced in emotional pain at the realization that the kid had taken her nonsense seriously, so Marize had to continue asking questions. If the child was telling the truth, then they were dealing with a murder, and that was something the guards and local authorities would need to deal with.

“Those guys can’t do anything. A bunch already went to arrest him, but he just killed all of them, and now they don’t want to get involved. There’s even rumors that he’s actually the Headhunter Child…”
“Headhunter Child?”
“You don’t know about the Headhunter Child?”
“I actually just arrived from Seperion. I don’t know anything about this country.”
“The Headhunter Child is the murderer of the Headhunter’s Passage.”

The Sashimi Harbor was located in the Land of Kanon, as the different territories of Reibana had names different from the families controlling them. Nearby was Mt. Seppou, which delineated where the Land of Kanon ended and the Land of Toyomi started, and the Headhunter Child was a mysterious serial killer that appeared there once.

The Child was really short, which was where the name came from, but ran like the wind. That child would kill all of the bandits hiding around Mt. Seppou, leaving their decapitated heads along the mountain trail, which eventually came to be known as the Headhunter’s Passage once there were no bandits left.

“Is that some local legend?”

Marize seemed a bit skeptical about the whole story, but the kid raised his voice in protest.

“No! It actually happened like a decade ago!”
“That’s more recent than I expected.”

Marize had the impression it was some sort of old tale passed down generations, so she was a bit dumbfounded as she continued sipping her tea.

“One day the Headhunter Child just vanished, but now they’re saying that he’s back.”
“Hmm, I see. What should we do, Ruri?”

Everything still felt a bit foreign to Marize, but she was curious enough to want to see the bottom of the matter. But Ruri was part of the Urado family’s guard, so she was pretty close to the authorities. It should be easy for her to find a way to deal with a murderer like that.

“I seem to remember someone named Tsujihiko at the bottom of the Urado family register…he was always a bit of a problem child, but that explains why the regular guards couldn’t do anything about him…”

If he was part of the Urado family, then he was also at least part vampire, giving him enhanced physical abilities and regenerative powers. Those latter would mean that even if all his limbs were severed, he would be able to survive. Vampires could regenerate limbs in almost no time, and the most powerful ones could survive being decapitated.

Usually the only ways to kill a vampire was to use specialized methods, or have another vampire do it.

“Ughh…I wasn’t expecting to run into more issues here.”

Ruri quickly ate the rest of her dango and washed it all down with tea, then stood up ready to leave, unable to stay still after hearing that.

“Mm…gulp… What’s your name? And do you have any relatives?”
“Umm…I’m Wa… Err, Kazuta, and I have a little brother.”
“I see. Then you have to stay alive to protect your brother. I’ll deal with the rest.”

Ruri paid for their food and then headed out.

“Ah, hey, what do you mean you’ll deal with it! Also you haven’t even told me your name!”
“Oops, you’re right.”

Ruri stopped and turned around, the eye not covered by her eyepatch gleaming as she smiled.

“I’m Ruri. I’m just a maid.”

Ruri headed to the inn where the Beluga crew was staying, so she could report everything to Jinkuro first.

“It’s best if you don’t intervene.”
“I had a feeling you’d say that.”

Jinkuro instantly shut down Ruri’s idea, something she had already anticipated.

“If that Tsujihiko is the one we’re thinking about, then I doubt the guards can do anything against him, and we’ll have to deal with him. But we can only do that once we’ve received a formal order to do so.”
“How long would it take for that?”
“It’ll take around a week between the review of evidence and the disowning process. Actually, maybe only four days…”

Jinkuro quickly calculated the time in his head, though that process could only start once the guards presented the case, and it was impossible to tell how soon they would do that.

“Do we just have to ignore it until then?”
“We have no choice. The guards are in charge of keeping public safety. If we act as we will and ignore their process, it could set a very bad precedent.”

Intervening with something outside of their jurisdiction was a form of authoritarianism they wanted to avoid. Otherwise anyone else could simply ignore protocol and use force as they wished, excusing their behavior because they felt it was right to do, and that would destroy the whole hierarchy of authority and public order.

It was easy to say this was an emergency so they could not wait for the due process, but that was still a very arbitrary decision. It was better to show restraint and always follow the rules, letting the people know they would always be treated fairly and avoid future conflicts of interest.

That was the reason why rules were in place to begin with, and the government had to set an example by adhering to them at all times.

“Only someone outside the law would be able to deal with this faster. Like the Headhunter Child way back when.”
“That’s a pretty dark joke considering that was a serial killer.”

It was rare for Ruri to show such a serious reaction to a casual remark.


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