|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1296 words|
Right after the riot began, Uno rushed towards the western gate. By now, Scudo had already incited every disturbing element, and would soon harm the Pope that carelessly showed up in public.
With the central figure of the city getting injured, the investigation would start city… no, kingdom-wide. Before that happened, he had to leave Berith.
He put on the hood so it would not get found out that he was a half-demon, rushing to the gate while keeping the surroundings in check. He wandered through the back street, trying to choose the least populated routes towards the western gate. But then, someone appeared and blocked his way.
“Ah, sorry but can I ask you some questions?”
Standing before Uno was a 17-18-year-old youth. He looked quite tall for his age, and had quite wide shoulders. And yet, he did not give off much of a macho impression, and rather looked to be on the slender end.
“Sorry but I’m in a hurry. Try someone else.”
“Yeah, I know that. I was searching for someone who was in a hurry.”
Uno raised a dubious voice, to which the youth responded with an elated expression.
“One or two suspicious individuals darting about at random in unpopulated areas while covering their heads.”
“…What do you mean?”
“I mean the a̲s̲s̲h̲o̲l̲e̲s̲ that injured Nicole… my master.”
The youth—Cloud lightly touched the ring on his finger, dispelling its effect. The next moment, a horn that was proof of being a half-demon appeared on his forehead. It was the illusion ring that Nicole always used. She had lent it to him while they were in this city.
Cloud was a half-demon, so he had to hide his horn. Nicole judged it would be useful for that and had lent it. And he was using that ring until just now.
“W-What? I don’t know anything about it.”
“Lady Cortina has told me that if the riot happened in the south, the ringleader would not stay there. And eastern and western gates were nearby, so it was highly likely that they would head there. I asked her to let us ambush you there.”
“That’s a false accusation. Are you saying I’m that ringleader?”
“I said it, didn’t I? You’re the only one that matched the above mentioned conditions. All that’s left is to see if you’re hiding a horn under that hood and it will be certain. Or maybe finding a Slime under it.”
Just as Uno voiced his puzzlement at the word Slime, Cloud had instantly closed the distance. He then unsheathed the sword on his hip and slashed up in one motion.
His slash was quick enough that an ordinary person would not be able to dodge it. However, Uno had some experience in combat. Even if it was a surprise attack, he hadn’t let his guard down so much that he would fail to dodge a frontal attack.
He dodged the upward slash by a hair’s breadth with backstep, but the hood pulled over his eyes got cut off. The hood fragments danced in the air. And under it, appeared a small horn characteristic of half-humans.
“Looks like I was right. Now—Prepare yourself!”
“That’s unreasonable! There’s no proof that it was me, right?!”
“Then just obediently follow me, and it will only end at getting restrained for some time. Lady Cortina has told me to seize every suspicious fellow. I won’t blame you for being angry… but I don’t have time to choose my methods.”
Cloud stood in the middle of the road to not let the opponent escape, lowering his posture and setting up his shield. Of course, since the road was quite wide, it was possible to slip by him, but Uno felt pressure from Cloud that would not permit it.
“You know… You pissed off the worst person you could have!”
With a yell, Cloud charged at Uno with his shield. Uno jumped aside to dodge the charge, then took out a dagger and threw it at him. Cloud swiped down that flank attack with his sword.
“Damn you, dog of the Strategist. Being a half-demon, you should have joined us!”
“Like hell I would join those who injured Nicole!”
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Changing his direction, Cloud swung down the sword from overhead. Uno pulled out two daggers and intercepted that attack. He then sent a kick to push him aside and take a distance, but Cloud stopped him with his shield.
Uno felt like he kicked a cliff, making his leg go a little numb. Following that, he lowered his posture and waited for Cloud’s attack. To respond to that, Cloud decided—not to attack. Rather, he took a step back and opened the distance.
Uno failed to understand the reason behind his action, momentarily standing still. But the next moment, both his legs were pierced by arrows. One arrow per leg. And almost at the same time.
“Too bad. But well, I never said I was alone, so I didn’t exactly lie or anything.”
His knees got accurately pierced, making it impossible to keep standing and he collapsed in the back alley. Cloud immediately kicked his daggers away, disarming him. Uno started throwing swears at Cloud for the surprise attack.
“You f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g coward! You had comrades with you?!”
“One of them. And she’s extremely pissed. It took a lot of persuading so she would not kill you.”
Michelle appeared from the alley silently like a ghost. She did not have the usual innocent expression and instead was so expressionless that it was frightening. That was all the more proof of how angry she was.
“Hey, can I just kill him, after all?”
“No. He might have comrades, and we have to get him to spit out the information about their hideout and such.”
“I see. Lucky for you.”
It sounded like a casual conversation, but the next moment, an arrow pierced Uno’s left shoulder. It happened so fast he did not even see her nocking the arrow.
He started rolling on the ground, trying to escape from pain, but that only caused the arrows to sink deeper. Michelle stared down at him as if he was a bug.
“Can I go for two or three more?”
“Leave it at that. You should leave some for me too.”
Hearing their talk, Uno started to despair.
He could not escape at this rate. He had heard that the World Tree Religion tortured people like no others. He had no confidence that he would remain sane after experiencing it.
And above all, even if he somehow survived it, Kufar would never forgive him once he gave away their comrades’ locations. What awaited him was being put through agony until he spat out the information, or perhaps he could—
“Just die here without hardship…”
Uno grabbed the small bag hanging from his waist with his remaining right hand. Seeing that, Cloud became alert for an attack, moving before Michelle to shield her.
But Uno instead shoved the contents of the bag down his mouth. Thick liquid spilled out from his mouth. Cloud remembered what it was.
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What Uno swallowed was Kufar’s body part. He did not know Kufar was a Slime, so he believed it to be just poison that he had prepared.
It was such a strong poison that Cloud had fainted from just a touch… and yet, he had just swallowed so much of it compared to the fragment that Nicole had been implanted with before.
As he poured down the mucus, it got mixed with the blood that he vigorously spat out, spilling down on the ground in a spotted pattern.
However, Uno was not able to even see it as he died.