|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 955 words|
As the man suddenly appeared before us, Cortina moved to cover me behind her. She didn’t have a wand on her, but her stance suggested she was ready to cast magic at any moment. As was expected of a first-class magician.
“Do you need anything?”
“Y-You two… oof…agh… if you value your lives, start…haah…coughing up your mon-…cough cough cough!”
“You don’t look so good. Want me to call the guards for you?”
“D-Don’t f̲u̲c̲k̲ with me! If you value your ******* life, empty your pockets right now!”
“Eh, then what’s with your rough breathing? Are you aroused or something? Ew, what a pervert.”
I mean, you’re the reason he’s panting that much, Cortina. More like, she was ridiculing him despite knowing it was her realization of the previous ambush that led him to such a state… so he was actually quite pitiable right now.
We had him put on that performance, then had him run to the other end after the initial attack failed, and now he was even being ridiculed by Cortina, so he would hardly settle for the general compensation.
He pulled his blade and threatened Cortina. Based on his looks, it didn’t seem like he’d pose a threat to her, but that part wasn’t important. All we needed was for him to produce danger and for Reid to appear and save her. As long as I remained by her side, it would count as proof that we are two different people.
Cortina seemed to have evaluated him similarly and was acting quite composed. It seemed like she would beat him first if Maxwell didn’t show up soon.
“Come on, hurry up and-, woah!?”
As the robber-in-play took a step towards us, I bound him and hung him on the nearby tree. Maxwell wasn’t here yet, but if he closed in on us any more than this, Cortina would beat him to the punch.
Also, he was just an actor in this, so if he took Cortina’s attack, he could very well die.
“This is… Could it be… Reid!?”
Cortina shouted and started looking around. Then, she was able to catch a glimpse of a man behind the tree. It seemed that Maxwell made it in time. But he was hanging on the tree with one hand while panting loudly so he looked pretty lame. Making an old man run was a pretty bad move on my part.
Maxwell looked at the man and lightly waved his hand. I matched his movement and coiled the thread around the man’s mouth, gagging him in the process. An amateur would never see through my thread skills.
“This technique… So it really is…”
With an emotional mutter, Cortina stepped towards Maxwell—towards Reid. However, if I let her continue, she’d forget about my presence. Thus I pulled on her sleeve. That made sure that she was aware that I was here.
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“Ah, Nicole… Umm, he is my old acquaintance. You should know him too, right? That’s Reid, my former comrade.”
She seemed to have thought that I was being vigilant of him and carefully explained it. Taking that chance, Reid—Maxwell gave me a refined bow. Just like a knight bowing to a princess.
Once he raised his head, Reid sent a charming wink at Cortina. That made her stand still and blush. Wait, what’s with that smug act? That’s not me!
Following that, he turned around, waving behind the black coat I used to always wear, and took a big leap. He jumped higher than the branches of the trees and disappeared behind them.
Of course, neither Maxwell nor the old me had that kind of jumping power. But with the threads, I was able to do that much. And with magic, it wasn’t hard for Maxwell to imitate it. This would serve as further proof that he was me.
But where was the need in that fancy flutter of the coat, or that aristocratic bow, or that wink even? That made it seem like I was some womanizer. That’s not me, Maxwell!
Cortina followed my back and leaked a small mutter. I had already let her know before that I couldn’t come into contact with her. She should’ve been able to understand the reason.
“So you’re saying that it’s still not that time yet, huh…?”
“What’s wrong? Or actually, what should we do about him?”
If I let her ponder about it too much, there was a chance she would realize it was all an act. Thus, I intentionally addressed her and directed her to a different problem.
“Ah, right. Let’s have the guards take him for now. Reid has tied him up tightly, so he shouldn’t be able to move.”
She directed her gaze at the man with those words.
“Nicole. Sorry, but can you run to the gate and bring some guards?”
Heeding her request, I dashed towards the guard post at the gate with all I had. If I didn’t act fast, Cortina’s interrogation skill could get kicked into motion and have the Adventurer spill all the details. I gagged him from the start because I hypothesized that scenario.
The guy knew that Maxwell would bail him out later. He probably wouldn’t even be charged. And that’s exactly what happened, the man was released right after.
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Cortina saw me and Reid present at the same time, so her doubts towards me had been dispelled.
Thus, with Maxwell’s help, I somehow managed to avoid being her suspect for the time being.
The story period of seven year old Nicole ends here. There were many things I wanted to include so it dragged out longer than I thought…
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